A beginners guide to start your own blog, get your blog up and running in 30 minutes following these 10 simple steps!
Taking those first steps into starting a blog, can seem like a daunting prospect. Will anybody read my content? Is the blogosphere too saturated? Do I need a website designer? Is it going to be expensive? How do I market my blog? You name the question, and I will guarantee we’ve asked it! Thankfully, through trial and error, countless hours of research, perseverance and dedication we have got our site to a position we are happy with. Don’t get me wrong, there is still much to be learnt and work to be done; however, each day our traffic is increasing, therefore we must be doing something right.
In this article we will be sharing all the tips & tricks that we’ve learnt along our journey, which will help you to save both time and money when starting your own blog.
WHAT DO I NEED TO START A BLOG?
- Your blog name – Pick a name that’s relevant and memorable (e.g Our Taste For Life)
- Understand these terms:
- WordPress.org is a program to develop your blog & design your website (Do not confuse this with WordPress.com)
- A domain name is your website address (e.g www.ourtasteforlife.com)
- Web hosting is where you will register your website. It’s a storage space offering services that make your site visible on the internet (e.g Bluehost, Site Ground)
- SEO (Search engine optimisation) getting your website visible in search engines
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO START A BLOG?
You can start a blog for free however it will be a ‘hosted’ site which means it will be very basic, you will have less control on SEO and there will be limitations to what you can design. We started off with a free blog and our content wasn’t getting seen so eventually we changed to a ‘self hosted’ site.
If you eventually want to earn money with your blog, you will need a ‘self hosted’ site which means you will have full access to everything. To set up your own self hosting site can cost as little as $3.95 a month. Keep reading to get the cheapest deal with our referral link.
HOW TO START A BLOG? LETS GET STARTED!
1. CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME
First lets check is your domain name is available on the internet:
If your domain name is not available, you can:
- Try changing .com to .net or .org
- Play with the text (e.g change ourtasteforlife.com to ourtaste4life.com)
- Add dashes in between words (e.g our-taste-for-life.com)
Don’t forget to check if your name is available on all social media platforms too!
2. REGISTER FOR WEB HOSTING SERVICES
Ok so Domain confirmed, let’s get your site registered with a web host. BLUEHOST is the number 1 recommended web hosting by WordPress.org – for this reason we use them and, of course, they were one of the cheapest. If you sign up with BLUEHOST they will also give you the domain name for FREE (which usually costs around $15 a year). They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee!
You can sign up in a few minutes by clicking on the green button ‘Get Started’. At no extra cost to you, we will earn a small referral fee which helps us maintain the site. Every little helps…. please let us know so we can thank you!
- Click on Get Started
- Select your plan package (Basic for beginners unless you would like the plus features)
- Enter your domain name under NEW DOMAIN
- Enter personal details
- Select package length (We recommend 36 month as it’s the best value)
- Select package extras (We don’t use these, you can always add them on at a later date)
- Enter payment details & submit (BLUEHOST offer a 30 day money back guarantee)
You will receive an email with your cPanel (control panel) log in details. Log in to your account.
3. INSTALL WORDPRESS SOFTWARE
- Under the website section, there should be a WordPress icon titled ‘Install wordpress’ – select this.
- You will be redirected to a Bluehost Marketplace page, click the ‘Get Started’ button.
- Enter your domain name on the next screen and click ‘Next’.
- Enter admin details, tick all the boxes and click ‘Install’.
While WordPress is installing, it will ask you to select a theme for your blog. You can select a free theme for now and change it later once you start blogging.
Once the installation is complete, that’s all the formalities done! Now time for the fun stuff…
4. PERSONALISE YOUR WEBSITE
Get familiar with your WordPress dashboard, under ‘Appearance’ you can change your themes, menus, logos and customise everything.
There are thousands of FREE themes available, you can filter them to find the right style for you. WPbeginner wrote a great article to help you choose the right theme, 9 things you should consider when selecting a perfect WordPress theme.
5. DOWNLOAD PLUGINS
Plugins are like apps, they add features to your website such as improve security, SEO, social media buttons and more.
We recommend starting off with:
- Akismet Anti-Spam – Protects your blog from spam
- Sucuri Security – Security scanner
- Yoast SEO – Improves your websites ranking in search engines
- WPForms Lite – Create contact forms, such as this
- Bluehost – This integrates your WordPress site with the Bluehost control panel, including performance, security, and update features
- Updraft Plus – Backs up your site
Once installed, activate and follow any registration steps that pop up.
6. ADD PAGES
A good start is to add an ‘About You’ page, let viewers know what sort of blog you are and your message.
In your WordPress dashboard click on ‘Pages’ > ‘Add New’ and when it’s ready, under the ‘Publish’ section, click ‘Publish’.
If your site is showing a ‘Coming soon’ page, in your WordPress dashboard, click on ‘Bluehost’, select ‘Launch’.
7. PUBLISH YOUR FIRST BLOG
Don’t feel the pressure of getting this perfect, there’s no such thing. You’re going to learn so much on this journey of blogging. Look at our blogs for layout examples and you’ll eventually develop your own style.
In your WordPress dashboard click on ‘Posts’ > ‘Add New’. Write your article, add Categories, add tags, a featured image, complete the Yoast SEO and when it’s ready, under the ‘Publish’ section, click ‘Publish’.
8. BUILD AN AUDIENCE
Get yourself out there, social media platforms are a great way of driving people to your site. Follow us on INSTAGRAM and get in touch we would love to check out your new blog and give advice where possible!
View this post on Instagram
9. TRACK YOUR TRAFFIC
Go to Google Analytics and sign up for a FREE account.
Google Analytics will display how many people are visiting your blog, where they are coming from and more. Eventually, this report will help you learn what people are searching to find your website. This will track your growth in the background.
10. MONETIZE YOUR BLOG
Go to Google Adsense and sign up for a FREE account.
Google Adsense is the largest advertising platform for bloggers, the more traffic, the more pennies.
Once you’ve got more content published and consistent traffic to your site, you’ll start earning. Please note this takes months and even years to build an income.
Another way to earn money is through affiliate links, check out this blog post: HOW WE MONETIZE OUR BLOG
Well, that concludes our blog our step by step for starting your own blog, however, if you have any further questions we would be happy to help. Please leave them in the comment section below.
Happy blogging and good luck!
Charlotte & Natalie x
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you purchase through these links, we will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. And we can continue bringing you free travel tips and advice. If you use our affiliates, you are awesome, and we thank you!
BLOG CHECKLIST – PRE-PUBLISHING & POST-PUBLISHING