In my day to day life, my blog comes up in conversation occasionally and more and more of my friends and family have been asking about how to start a blog so I thought I’d share my own step by step guide for how to start a WordPress blog (this is what I use). If you’re thinking about starting your own, it seems that there’s never a good time to start so just go for it!
Decide what to blog about
Before you create your blog, you need to decide what you’re going to blog about – are you going to be a travel blogger? Are you going to blog mostly about food or fashion? Or perhaps you’re going to blog about money or parenting. The blogging market is quite saturated but it will really help you to build a following and audience if they understand what you’re niche is.
Choose a blog name
Next up, think about what your blog is going to be called and this will be the start of the branding of your blog. This can be quite difficult as you need to think quite long term about the name so that you don’t put yourself in box you can’t grow out of for example calling your blog “Freya’s Beauty Blog” means that your focus will always need to be beauty and in a few years time you might want to take your blog in a different direction.
I blog using my full name as I felt that it wasn’t limited in terms of the content of my blog and I don’t have any plans to change my name so it felt right in terms of future proofing.
Purchase the Domain name
Once you’ve decided on your blog name, I’m recommending that you go the “self-hosted” route using WordPress which means you’ll need to buy a domain for your blog. Your domain is the web address that people will search to find your blog. I bought my domain using using 123reg.com and couldn’t recommend them enough. The cost of your domain can vary dramatically from a couple of pounds to hundreds of pounds, depending on the popularity of the domain (.com and .co.uk domains are always more expensive) and this will be an ongoing cost every year that you’ll need to pay.
Purchase your site hosting
Next, you’ll need to get your host for your blog. This is essentially where your website will live on the internet. Purchase your site hosting from SiteGround – the Start up plan will be fine for the first couple of years and this is about £3 a month. This is another ongoing cost so make sure that you budget for this on an annual basis. You can’t do this step without your domain so make sure you’ve bought this by this stage. Once you’ve chosen the Start up plan, create your WordPress.org account and select start new website. The SiteGround Account Setup Wizard is really easy and walks you through the entire process in just a few minutes. Choose WordPress and create your account login details (sometimes this is tucked away in the cPanel so have a look in settings and make sure you’ve got WordPress installed on your blog). Once you’ve got your login details to the back end of your site you can login and start customising your blogs appearance. Sometimes you might need to go into your domain account and redirect the DNC but you should be notified if this is the case.
Purchase your blog design
The way your blog looks is controlled by the themes of your blog and the default theme is extremely basic so you’ll want to change it asap. There are lots of themes out there both free and paid but I recommend purchasing one from Pipdig. This will probably be the most expensive part of setting up the blog. I paid £50 for mine (Equinox) two and a half-ish years ago but it’s a one off payment. Pipdig also offers a free installation service on most themes so I recommend you do this. Just wait for Pipdig to migrate your new template and he’ll (Phil) will let you when it’s up and running.
Create Social Media Accounts
While you’re waiting for your new theme to be installed, create Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest accounts for your blog using your blog name. These three social media platforms will all drive traffic to your blog so I recommend them all. You get an email account with your SiteGround hosting so you can use this email address to set up the social media accounts with. Get following your friends and family to start to build up some interest for the launch of your brand new blog!
Start Creating Content
Next, add some categories. These are the loose-ish headings that your blog posts will come under. Mine are Beauty, Food, Lifestyle, London and Travel and these form my main menu but you can tailor yours to you so it’s exactly how you want it.
You’re good to go – start writing your first blog post and hit publish!
Don’t forget to promote all your new blog posts using your newly created social media profiles and interact with other peoples blog content too!