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Last Updated on March 8, 2023
How to Start a Blog in 6 Easy Steps: This quickstart blogging for beginners guide will teach you how to start a blog from scratch and actually make money with WordPress. Step-by-step instructions full of ideas and inspiration for aspiring bloggers in all genres. Coaches, consultants can also benefit from starting a blog!
So you wanna start a blog?
Maybe you love cooking and coming up with new recipes.
Maybe you have something powerful to share with the world that could help others (we all do!).
Maybe you’ve heard how lucrative blogging can be and you dream of quitting your job, striking out on your own and working from home.
Great news. Starting a blog can bring you all of that (and more!!). Since starting my first blog back in 2015 (which I later sold) and this one, I’ve learned just how lucrative, fulfilling and empowering running a blog can be.
Blogging truly changed my life, and it allows me to earn millions of dollars doing something that I love from the comforts of my own house (without ever posting on social media!). Freedom, flexibility, satisfaction…these are just a few of the perks of blogging.
Plus, you can start a money-making blog for just a few dollars a month. Seriously–blogging might be one of the lowest overhead cost businesses around.
That being said, blogging can also be incredibly overwhelming, complicated, exhausting and downright hard. This is real talk: we all know that nothing worth having comes easy, and blogging is no exception.
Buuuuuuut, there’s good news (other than how worth it blogging is!): it doesn’t have to be so difficult.
Table of Contents
I want to set the record straight right away – blogs can be businesses, all websites are blogs, and every business needs a blog. Let me explain.
There are traditional bloggers – like I was when I started my first blog in 2015 – who monetize running a blog through affiliate marketing, ads, sponsored content posts, etc. I ran my blog like a business because it was one. I made six figures from it, paid taxes on that income, hired contractors, and did all the things you need to do to make a business successful.
Then, there is blogging for business-owners or websites that don’t currently capitalize on this incredible resource. All business websites need a blog, and here is why. A blog with good SEO can drive more traffic to your website than social media. How do I know? I have done it! I don’t use organic social media anymore and my website traffic and business has not suffered for it (and my mental health has definitely improved!)
For this reason, every business needs to be investing in developing a blog with good SEO that can be used to not only attract ideal clients, but also help build your business’s brand and presence.
Starting a blog is one of the cheapest and most effective marketing strategies around. Depending on what hosting and domain services you choose, as well as what levels, you can spend waaaay less than $200 to start a blog if desired and less than $100/month to keep it running.
When I was running my first blog (about health and wellness), I made over six figures. You can read more about that in my income reports, which I published every month for years. Now, because I focus more on my coaching business, this blog in and of itself doesn’t generate quite that amount of revenue, but it is the main traffic driver to my coaching programs, which earn multiple six figures a year. And according to Glassdoor the estimated median pay for a blogger is currently $52,220/year.
Often times, the hardest part is just getting started. Fear not–I’ve created a step-by-step guide for you all about how to start a blog.
Let’s do this!
Since starting and selling my 6-figure earning health and wellness blog, I have gotten so many emails from people who wanted to start a blog but had no idea where to start. “I don’t even know what I’d blog about,” was a common message I received dozens of times.
So, we decided to go ahead and create this handy quiz to help you find your true calling!
A quick Google search reveals there are over 340 million food blog results out there, so simply starting a food blog with no angle is going to be a REALLY hard way to stand out, especially in this day and age. Instead, I’d recommend coming up with a specific hook, a niche, something that is going to make you different from the other millions of food blogs out there.
Maybe it’s a dietary preference, like gluten-free baking. Maybe it’s a restaurant review blog in your local city. Maybe it’s your background as a professional chef or a doctor or a nutritionist that will help you stand out and inform your writing. Maybe you’re targeting a specific subset of people: millenials who don’t know how to cook, busy moms over 40 who need quick weeknight recipes for their family, people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
You get the idea. The point is, the more narrow your audience and your niche, the more likely you are to be successful in this oversaturated interweb of bloggers, influencers and coaches.
After you’ve done some serious brainstorming (I recommend starting a spreadsheet and doing lots of word association exercises) and have decided on a name (I think a good blog name is descriptive and/or clever, or both), you’ll want to make sure it’s available.
Keep in mind, your domain is essentially your address on the internet, it’s the name people type in their URL box to find your website. So don’t make it to complicated, with lots of different dashes or dots or weird spellings that people will often misspell and thus not find your site. Keep it simple, straightforward and you’ll be fine!
There are a couple options for buying your domain:
You can buy your domain with Namecheap, or with Bluehost you can get your domain for free. Keep reading to find out how! Simply type in your desired domain to make sure nobody else has already taken it.
Now that you’ve chosen a domain name, you’ll have to host it. Hosting is like renting space online to display your blog. There are dozens of hosting services out there, but the best, cheapest and easiest option for beginning bloggers is Bluehost (plus, they give you your domain name for free if you decide to host with them!).
I started out with Bluehost and used them until my traffic reached over 50,000 pageviews per month. I then upgraded to a more expensive, but more feature-heavy service called Cloudways. But if you’re just starting out, Bluehost is the way to go.
(Updated June 2018: Bluehost now also has a new sign-up process called Bluerock, which has WordPress automatically installed at sign-up! You’ll understand why this is awesome in #4 below… but essentially, it saves you a step and makes this process even easier! Woo hoo!)
They’ve got a few different plans, but I recommend just starting with the Basic Plan for just $3.95/month (a special deal for you, reader!). The basic plan will provide everything you need when just starting out, and you can always upgrade to a more robust plan later as needed.
I also recommend choosing the 36-month plan, which will help you save money, too.
Once you’ve completed your hosting registration, it’s time to pick a content management system. This is the tool you’ll use to actually design your blog and write your posts.
While some people go with Squarespace or Wix, I think that’s a mistake (read more on that here). Wordpess is the #1 blogging software out there and you’ll have more themes, plug-ins, SEO capabilities and it’s the most popular and robust DIY platform out there. Plus, it’s FREE! And it’s super easy to use.
And if you chose Bluehost for your hosting, you’re in luck since you you’ll have WordPress automatically installed, and you can even pick a theme right away (which is the next step #5 below). Bluehost also has “live chat” customer service peeps on the ready to answer any questions you might have in this process.
Note: make sure you go through WordPress.org and not the free version at WordPress.com, which will limit your capabilities and require your domain have wordpress.com in it. Trust me, it’ll be worth it to go with WordPress.org.
After you’ve set up WordPress you’ll officially have your own blog. Whoop!! Congratulations. The best is yet to come, though.
The next step is choosing a theme (i.e. the design for your blog). WordPress has tons of free WordPress themes to pick from, but if you’re approaching your blog like a business rather than a hobby, I recommend choosing a premium theme. If you signed up with Bluehost, you’ll be prompted to pick a theme right after you register.
Note: A theme has two parts, the framework (the bones) and the design (the face).
I recommend using Restored 316 Designs for the most SEO-friendly, easily-customizable themes with incredible customer support!
After you install your theme, you can modify your design with custom colors, fonts, widgets, navigation menus, and add your logo and photo. This is the fun part!
Alright, this is an optional step that only applies to food bloggers or any bloggers who share recipes. But don’t worry, it’s easy!
If you’re going to be publishing recipes on your food blog, you’re going to need a recipe plug-in. This is basically an extra tool you download within WordPress that helps you create those cute little recipe cards with nutrition information, cooking times, servings, ingredients and instructions. It helps your recipe stand out from the blog post, and enables your readers to print the recipe if needed.
Plus, check out the Pinch of Yum, the Tasty Food Photography E-book, to make your blog’s photos stand out!
And there you have it! You’re now officially a blogger. Welcome to the club!
Drop a link to your new blog in the comments below so I can see it. 🙂
While this quick start guide on how to start a blog covers technical aspects of getting your blog set up and running, there’s a lot more that goes into running a successful blog than just producing great content (which I know you’re doing anyway!). That’s why I created the Success with Soul Incubator, a holistic mastermind empowering female coaches, consultants and bloggers to make money sustainably. In the Incubator, you will learn in more detail how to start a blog, grow your email list, and more – plus, you receive live coaching and personalized critiques and support on your work. Learn more here!
After you have started your blog, there are various other endeavors to tackle to get traffic to it and monetize it even more!
Check out my posts on other topics that will be helpful to you as you grow your online business/blog:
4 Reasons Why Selling Your Own Digital Offer is a Way to Monetize Your Blog
How to Monetize Sales with an Evergreen Marketing Funnel
How to Make Money from Affiliate Marketing
Email Marketing 101 for Beginners + Bloggers
Business Systems 101: How to Automate Your Business + Work Less
How to Get Sponsored
A blog is a powerful marketing tool that, when optimized for SEO, can drive traffic to your website, establish a brand, and help customers and buyers know what you are all about. Blogging is not dead, and at times can be an even more lucrative investment than social media marketing.
The key to choosing a blog name that reflects your vision and purpose is to make sure that you narrow your niche and your target audience. Starting a general “food” or “travel” blog isn’t narrow enough anymore. Spend time reflecting on exactly who you want to serve with your blog and what topics you will write on to help them. From there, you can start to brainstorm an appropriate name.
When I was running my first blog (about health and wellness), I made over six figures. You can read more about that in my income reports, which I published every month for years. Now, because I focus more on my coaching business, this blog doesn’t generate quite that amount of revenue, but according to Glassdoor the estimated median pay for a blogger is currently $52,220/year.
Depending on what services you use and what levels you purchase, you can start a blog as cheaply as less than $100.
Even for beginners, starting a blog can be simple and straightforward. The process comprises of choosing a name, purchasing it through a domain service, choosing a blog host, installing a blog theme, choosing helpful plugins, and start writing!
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We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.