Are you thinking of starting a blog? Maybe you’ve heard how easy it is to make money blogging or maybe you just like to write or express your creative side? The main reason I started blogging was to inspire others and share creative ideas and if I made a few extra bucks on the side, then that’s even better! If you are thinking of starting a blog, keep reading for how to start a blog in less than 5 minutes (you don’t need any techy computer skills either!).
Already have a blog? Yasss! Keep reading for more info to make the most of your blog and freebies 🙂 and be sure to check out my Bloggers Toolkit, which is full of useful resources and plugins that you may not already use AND check out ALL of my blogging tips here!
Here’s a little background on my blogging journey…
Back in 2010, I started a mommy blog and I admit now that had no idea what I was doing. I love writing and wanted to make money online while being a new stay-at-home-mommy (my daughter was born that year) so I monetized my site with Google AdSense and Amazon Associates. I wrote a few sponsored posts for retailers that offered free products/giveaways in exchange for product review posts.
That blogging journey quickly ended when I started working full-time again 11 months after starting the blog. I gave up when it came to that first blog because I didn’t really think I was helping others by posting product reviews, I also didn’t know how to make a profit from it, and I felt like I needed to make use of my college degree by working in the corporate world. Fast-forward to 4 years later, and the blogging world was calling my name, so I started blogging again in January 2015.
My main reason for starting another blog was to promote my handmade products (I opened an Etsy shop the same time I started blogging in 2015) and to share ideas for home improvement, crafts, and DIY projects. Well, a year after blogging part-time, things started to get crazy at my full-time job and my Etsy shop was keeping me REALLY busy during my free time. I was stressed out and needed a major change. I was determined to make REAL money from my blog so I could quit my stressful day job to become a full-time blogger.
So in March 2016, I quit my day-job to pursue my blog full-time with the help of this amazing blogging course. During that time my blog went through some MAJOR changes, including changing my blog name, and that’s when the real growth finally started to happen for me and my blog.
How my life changed…
I’ve come A LONG way through my blogging journey and it was a lot of hard work (and still is) but it is also SO WORTH IT! My life has completely changed since I took the leap to quit my day job and start blogging full time.
I get to make my own schedule, which means I see my kids and hubby more while working from home, AND my insane 2-hour daily commute is now history! I’m at the happiest point in my entire life… and life is really good 🙂
I will admit that making my own schedule and working from home was a HUGE transition for me. I talk more about how I was able to overcome the transition roadblocks in my post The One Rule that Changed the Way I Work a Home.
Time management is a struggle for most bloggers (especially newbies!) and finding the perfect work-life balance will make or break your success. Since I like helping my readers (that’s you!), I’m going to share my time management process with as you start (or if you are still deciding to start) your blogging journey and give you my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide as a FREE BONUS!
Get my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for Free!
All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
How to Start a Blog
The easiest way to start a blog is by following the same simple steps I took:
- Determine Your Niche
- Pick a Blog Name
- Get Website Hosting
- Get WordPress
- Pick a Blog Theme
- Create a Logo
- Start Writing
There are a few more tips after you start writing, keep reading for more! Bookmark this page or Pin for future reference if you don’t have time to complete these steps right away!
Decide Your Niche
If you’re not sure what you want to write about, sit down and write a few key words about some things that you are passionate about. Also, include things that you are really good at. Think of subjects, activities, and hobbies that you love sharing with your friends or family. Think about things that you are really good at or your friends and family have said you are really good at.
In my case, I love creating things and making my home pretty. I also had previous experience and as a professional organizer and am passionate about being clutter-free with less stuff. I also love helping others grow. I have over 20 years of business management experience and training employees was one of my favorite parts abour being a manager. I loved seeing my employees grow and get promoted. So naturally, that’s why I also write about how (you) can start a blog and grow too.
Choose Your Blog Name
I made a huge mistake when I started blogging again in 2015 and picked a name that was totally unrelated to my niche. It didn’t explain what my blog was about at all! So when I started taking this course to grow my blog in 2016, I was given the courage to change the blog name. I’m not very technical so that side of changing the name was holding me back (you can read more about everything else that goes into changing your blog name here). But I got it done and it was the best decision for my blog. Honestly, if I had to do it all over again, I would’ve left the old blog and started fresh with a new blog (it was quite costly to hire someone to help me with the transfer).
Okay, now that I’ve given you anxiety about making sure you come up with the perfect blog name, here are a few tips to come up with your blog name:
- Think about using the key words you wrote down for your niche
- Do an online search for “another word for____” to come up with synonyms
- Arrange the keywords together to make an aesthetic sounding phrase or name
- Go for a walk and brainstorm ideas with a friend (the hubby helped me come up with my name on a walk!)
- Do a domain and social media name checker to make sure your name is available
Get Website Hosting
Now that you’ve chosen your name and checked that it’s available, you need to buy your domain and web hosting! If you are not technical at all and want the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get your domain and web hosting, then do it the same way that I did. Go to Bluehost and follow the below steps.
Another way to do it if you’ve heard bad things about BlueHost (I ended up switching from BlueHost a year after because my images started to be slow to load on my site) then start by buying your domain on GoDaddy and purchase your hosting from your preferred provider. A lot of bloggers go with SiteGround these days, however, I use WebFaction and LOVE them!
Here’s how to get your domain and hosting in 4 Simple Steps…
(Keep reading for next steps after hosting!)
Here’s how I started my blog, it was super easy and you don’t need any technical skills to set up your new blog:
- Pick a Hosting site (I recommend starting with Bluehost Here)
- Choose a Domain (your www.name.com)
- Download WordPress
- Start Blogging!
BlueHost and their support team has been amazing! My old blog (2010) was through Blogger and although Blogger is simple to use, it’s not the best when you are trying to be unique, stand out or monetize. Wordpress offers a variety of themes or you can buy a theme to differentiate your blog. I use a Genesis theme from StudioPress and highly recommend going with a Genesis theme! Go HERE to see the awesome themes at StudioPress after you complete your hosting set up!
Go to Bluehost to get started. You will need to pick a domain name – you should pick something that describes your blog – many bloggers use their personal name as well. Bluehost will let you know if the domain is available.
Be sure to read my post I Changed My Blog Name and This Happened for more blogging advice on choosing a name and the pros and cons if you are thinking about changing your blog name.
Once your domain is verified, you will need to complete the information section.
You will be taken to the package option page. I use the privacy protection but you can decide what extras you need. They have 12 – 36 month options. Don’t forget to go through your EBates account (or sign up Here if you don’t have an Ebates account yet and get a free $10 gift card!) so you can get cash back on all of your online purchases! Our family earns an average of $50 every 3 months from Ebates and you can too!
Enter your payment information next and BAM – you have a website!
You will receive a welcome email from Bluehost with the next steps for your WordPress Install. Log into your BlueHost account, click on the Hosting Tab and you will see the icon for Install WordPress.
Once WordPress is installed, you can start writing and sharing valuable content! Have fun getting to know the basics of using WordPress. It is very user-friendly and you can search topics in their Support Forum if you are stuck.
That’s all you need to do to if you want to start writing! Otherwise, I highly recommend picking a (paid) theme and customizing your site with a brand new logo. Keep reading for even more tips and don’t forget to check my Bloggers Toolkit for more resources and WordPress must-have plugins!
Pick a Blog Theme
WordPress has some really nice looking free themes that you can add to your blog, but I recommend paying for a theme. The reason you will hear lots of bloggers say you should go with a paid theme is that…
- It helps your blog stand out
- Looks more professional
- Helps you seem legit (some of the free ones look spammy)
- Easier to set up pages, widgets, etc. with already set font/colors/etc.
Also, let’s face it, take a look at your favorite blogs and those sites are freaking beautiful (eh hem, I know mine is!). Haha, for reals, you can find an amazing theme at StudioPress (that’s where I got mine). By the way, if you want my theme, it’s the Modern Blogger Pro by Pretty Darn Cute. It’s super old and there are so many other cute themes they make these days, but I won’t be mad if you get my theme 😉 Just make sure whatever theme you pick has the Genesis framework because there are some kickass plugins that only work with Genesis Framework themes.
Create a Logo
OMG! If you made it this far then you are rocking your blog set up and are ready to make a logo! I made my logo through PicMonkey. If you have experience using another photo editor program, then use that. I like PicMonkey because you can find tons of free useful tutorials on how to make logos, make Pinterest images, Facebook images, Instagram images, marketing images, and so much more!
PicMonkey is free unless you want to add some of their premium options, but then it’s still super cheap at only $33/year! Go here to learn more about PicMonkey!
Start writing and start making Pin-Perfect images! If you want to wait to officially “launch” your blog until you have some kickass posts on it, then go for it. I just started writing but I’d recommend anyone just starting out to write 30 blog posts with amazing “what’s in it for me” titles and pin-perfect pictures. The “what’s in it for me” and good images is what is going to bring readers to your post.
A word of advice….
Blogging is not a way to get rich quick. There are many bloggers making between $1k-$100k+ a month (yes, a month!) but it doesn’t happen overnight and there are many streams of income for bloggers to make money (see my post with 4 Simple Ways I Make a Full-Time Income as a Blogger).
It’s going to take A LOT of hard work in the beginning and you need to be committed to blogging for the long term! If you get frustrated that you are not making money right away, just remember, the successful bloggers are the ones that NEVER GAVE UP! So stay focused on the other reasons you start a blog (mine was freedom from the corporate world and increased quality of life!).
Here are some posts that might interest you in your next steps:
Grab my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for FREE! All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
Get 10 stock images to use on your blog for FREE! All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you 10 professional images to use for free!
Grab my essential blog post checklists!
- Blog Post Checklist (a checklist of everything you should do before hitting publish!)
- Blog Post Sharing Checklist (a checklist of where to share your blog post once published)
- Blog Post Monetization Checklist (a checklist of items you should do to monetize your post)
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links or a sponsored post. All opinions are always 100% mine and I don’t partner with any product or company that I don’t use and love. Please see our Full Disclosure for more information.
Subscribe and get my Blogging for Business Tome Management Guide for FREE!
Time management is a struggle for most bloggers (especially newbies!) and finding the perfect work-life balance can make or break your success. This guide will help you:
- Reduce your working hours
- Increase your productivity
- Provide a work-life balance
- Give you insight for the steps to a successful blog