I get asked all the time how To Start a Blog — how to set it up, who to host your blog with, which blogging platform to use, and where to find a beautiful theme. You’ll find everything you need to know here on How To Start a Blog. Lezzz go!!
What’s The Best Blogging Platform?
The first question you need to ask yourself is do you want a free blog (which I don’t suggest) or do I want to have the ability to self-host my blog. Lemme explain.
What does it mean to host your blog? It’s confusing AF when you first get started I know. You can choose either between self-hosting your blog or choose a free host. It’s my opinion and understanding that it’s better to self-host your blog where you pay a certain amount each year to have your blog hosted by a third party company. A free host would be something like Blogger, Wix, WordPress.com (WordPress.org is the self-hosted platform for WordPress) or Weebly. When you self-host your blog you have much more control over your blog as far as advertising options, plug-in options and the amount of storage you’ll have. Also, having your blog self-hosted will allow you to have better SEO, meaning if someone goes to a Google search, it’s more likely that your blog may show up in the search. This is not the case with free hosting platforms.
Personally, I suggest WordPress.org. Why WordPress.org? It’s a blogging platform that allows you to self-host your website which again will limit your control over your site. You certainly can choose the free WordPress.com option, however, you’ll have limited options for plug-ins, storage, and bandwidth.
Buying Your Domain
First things first in how to start a blog, you need a domain. This means your sites URL will show, for example, samanthahauger.com instead of samanthahauger.wordpress.com or samanthahauger.blogspot.com. Why is it important to have your own domain? While I don’t think it’s absolutely critical I do believe that if you want to start a Money making Blog off on the right foot then you’ll want your own domain. It looks more professional to have your own domain and buying a domain is quite inexpensive, typically about $5-$15 per year. I buy my domains via Google Domains. There are several other places where you can purchase domains like GoDaddy and Host Gator.
Here is a super helpful page that will show you how to get your domain to point to your WordPress site.
Host Your Blog With A Third Party
While you can definitely use WordPress.org as your blogging platform AND also as your host, it’s not always the best idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. Most serious bloggers use WordPress.org as their blogging platform, however, they use a third-party company to host their blog. This means that the third party will essentially hold all of your blog’s data and so will the platform, acting as a sort of back-up for your blog. There are several third-party hosting companies, the most popular being BlueHost, GoDaddy and HostGator. I’ve used all three of these but my favorite is BlueHost.
Using WordPress.org as your platform while using BlueHost for your hosting (storing all your data) is what myself and many other serious bloggers suggest. BlueHost has some of the best customer service available which makes it far easier to use and install onto your WordPress.org website. Here is a helpful page that explains exactly how to install BlueHost onto your WordPress site.
Finding A Theme
Now that you’ve got your domain, your blog platform and your hosting all set up you’re probably chomping at the bit to start doing the “fun” stuff and designing your website. Luckily WordPress has a ton of beautiful and free themes, however, they are pretty standard and not very unique. I’ve personally always purchased my own themes. This makes your website more unique to you and the message you want to convey with your brand. Buying a theme is well worth the extra $30-$75!
The best place to find WordPress themes is Etsy. They are SO many options to choose from and its great knowing that you’re supporting a small business. Here are some lovely themes I found on Etsy.
If you can find a theme where the creator will install the theme for you I highly recommend it, especially if you’re not familiar with coding. Installing the theme can be very time consuming and frustrating (trust me I’ve tried.) Pay the extra if you have to to have it installed for you.
How To Start A blog
You should be all set now to start blogging. Get those creative juices flowing and just start writing and taking lots of photos. I like to keep a running list in Google Keep of all my blog ideas. I hope you enjoyed this post on How To Start A Blog. Should you have questions or comments lemme hear them in the comments below! Show me your blog you created using this article!