Year after year, the blogging industry has changed and provided more and more resources (like The Blog Societies) on industry tips and insider tricks. So you want to start a blog? How do you even start a blog?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Once you’ve decided you want to start a blog, follow these ten steps to set yourself up for success. And yes, it really is this easy to start a blog. The real work comes in the consistency of creating content and managing all the other things that go with a blogging business. But you’ll never know what to do next until you simply start!
How to Start a Blog in 10 Easy Steps
1. Figure Out Your Brand & Content
This may be the hardest part of the entire process of starting a blog. But getting a good idea of who you are, what you want your brand to feel like, and what sort of content you want to create is an important step.
Sure you can dive in without this all figured out perfectly. But to give you some sanity, we encourage you to get a good idea of who you plan to be on your platform.
2. Buy Your Domain
Buying your domain is one of the most affordable things you’ll do for your brand. At under $20 a year, owning your URL is ideal. We recommend using Siteground to register your new business domain.
It’s crucial to own your own website. We do not recommend setting up a site on Wix, or using GoDaddy for these sorts of things. Siteground has been our trusted hosting service for years.
3. Set Up A Blog Email
Head to Gmail and set up your very own, professional email with your blog name. It not only looks professional, but it’s nice to keep this separate from your personal emails as well.
This will also come in handy when you plan to start a newsletter (which we’d suggest starting from the get go!).
4. Get on WordPress.org (NOT .com)
We highly recommend utilizing WordPress.org as the backend of your site for several reasons. First, the difference between .org and .com is who is hosting your website. You’ll want to self-host your website on something like Siteground that’s a reliable hosting service with great customer service.
Second, there are tons of affordable themes you can buy to make your site look instantly like a professional blog.
5. Buy A Beautiful Theme That’s User Friendly
There are tons of great affordable themes out there to buy for your blog. Many are even under $100 and look like you spent thousands on it. We recommend finding a theme that’s geared toward your type of content. Many designers make food-related ones, or fashion themes, that make sense for the type of content you’ll create.
You may find some of your favorite bloggers are using pre-made themes as well. Just head to the very bottom of their blogs, there’s usually a link to who created it! PS here are 6 of our favorite pre-made themes from reputable web designers.
6. Download The Best Plugins For Your Site
We wrote a post here on some of our favorite plugins. You may not need them all, but a few we recommend to start out with are Jetpack, Google Analytics, and No Follow For External Link. You can also download a recipe plugin if you plan to create recipes, or the Editorial Calendar to help plan out your content.
Your website should keep plugins to a minimum and always be sure to update them when prompted.
7. Install Google Analytics
You’ll want to keep track of your site’s traffic from day one. Google Analytics is the standard tool for measuring site traffic and analyzing your readership. It’s an easy thing to install, and we recommend just using the Google Analytics Plugin to make it even easier.
8. Write A Handful Of Blog Posts
Get your feet wet with writing and creating content on your new WordPress site. Add pretty images, write content, and get ready for your go-live date. You can easily schedule posts in WordPress to go live a certain day or time or leave them as drafts to push out as you see fit once you’ve gone live.
PS check out this post on how to export images from Lightroom and upload them the right way for your blog posts.
9. Set Up Social Media
Even if you don’t plan on Tweeting right away, or sharing something to Facebook just yet, it’s important to own your blog name on all social channels. Set up an account on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Also, set up each and every social media profile with the below information.
- Great Headshot – take those sunglasses off!
- Blog URL
- Contact Info
- Short Bio
- Your City
10. Go Live!
Hit live and start publishing that content!
Now that you’ve gone live, you can read some of our blogging tips here to help grow your blog, manage your business, and more! PS, we highly recommend starting your blog out on the right foot with SEO so you’re ahead of the game. Learn more here!