How To Start A Blog in 2017: The Complete Guide For Beginners

a guide on how to start a blog for beginners

If you’re here because you want to know how to start a blog of your own, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you will learn the 5 basic steps to start a blog using WordPress and the basics of blogging.

Let’s get started, shall we? 😉

The 5 Basic Steps On How To Start A Blog

Ready to learn the steps to start a blog from scratch? These are the 5 simple steps involved:

  1. Decide what your blogging niche will be.
  2. Choose a blogging platform.
  3. Register your domain name.
  4. Get a web host
  5. Design your blog.

What Is A Blog And Why Should You Start A Blog?

A blog, short for “web log,” is your personal website where you create written and visual content. There are plenty of reasons why you need to start a blog:

1. To market your business and become an expert.

Most entrepreneurs and startups these days want to have their own sites. They find that blogging helps them target customers who might be interested in their product or service.

For you to effectively promote your business online, you need to create valuable blog content that would establish yourself as an expert. This engages your customers in interesting conversations that would eventually lead to a sale.

2. To express your thoughts and opinions.

Blogging can be a great way for you to share your passions with the world. You can start a blog about anything that captures your interest!

Whether it’s a recap of your day, a recipe you’ve tried, or your political opinion, it doesn’t matter. The blogosphere is a place where everybody deserves to be heard.

3. To grow an online portfolio.

Are you an aspiring writer? Blogging is for you if you want to build up a killer writing portfolio that lets you showcase your very best work. Creating an online portfolio reveals that you are serious about your craft.

By showing what you’re capable of writing, more writing opportunities come your way. Your blog helps you stand out as a professional writer.

Step 1: Decide what your blogging niche will be.

This is where the fun (and confusion) starts! Believe me, success in blogging begins with choosing the right niche for you.

Some experts say that a good niche is something you’re passionate about. Other experts believe that a good niche is a profitable one.

The best answer? Strike a balance between passion and profitability.

Why you need both:

  • Your work becomes super enjoyable.
  • Money won’t change the fact that you don’t like what you do.
  • You’re less likely to quit along the way.
  • You’ll get your creative juices flowing.
  • Your expertise helps you outshine your competitors.
  • More food on the table!

How do you start finding a niche that you care about and actually makes you money?

Make a list of your favorite topics

Get a piece of paper and write down anything you’re interested in. Do you like talking about dogs? Are you good at gardening? Are you into dating and relationships? Have you taken business classes?

Another tip is to come up with a list of random article titles. If you can identify a dominant theme, then that’s what you’re most passionate about.

Now, the next step is to find out if your niche is profitable…

Google Keyword Planner

A tool to help you would be Google Keyword Planner. It’s a great tool that gives you an idea of whether your topic is popular or not.

search volume data for blogging niche

Enter your desired keyword. In my example below, I’ve chosen the keyword “camping.” What I would want to check for is my topic’s average monthly search volume.

getting average monthly searches with keyword planner

The result above tells me that my topic of interest (camping) has 100,000 to 1 million searches on Google every month. This gives me a good idea that a lot of people are looking for camping information online.

In this case, I love the topic camping and other people love it too. If I write about camping or sell camping products, they would be interested in my blog.

Keep in mind that the higher the average monthly searches, the better.

Step 2: Choose a blogging platform.

After you are sure of your blogging niche, your next step would be to select a blogging platform. Your blogging platform is where you’re going to publish your blog posts.

While there are tons of available blogging platforms out there, what I recommend is self-hosted WordPress.

Aside from the fact that WordPress has millions of users, it’s very easy to use and does not need any coding knowledge.

Take note that WordPress has 2 types: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

You’ll want to choose WordPress.org over WordPress.com. Why? Below are the reasons:

1. Hosting -WordPress.org is self-hosted which means that you can create and manage it the way you want.

2. Themes – Thousands of free and premium themes are available. You have 100% freedom to design your blog with your theme of choice to match your branding.

3. Ads – You can monetize your blog by displaying your own ads. WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to have your own ads.

4. Plugins – Thousands of free and paid plugins to add more functionality to your blog. For example, you can have a plugin that allows you to share your posts and display post counts.

5. Analytics – WordPress.org lets you integrate third-party analytics to measure your performance and track down your competitors.

Newbie bloggers wanting to start a site can’t go wrong with WordPress for their platform. Since you’ll be choosing self-hosted WordPress.org, you need to get your very own web host.

This leads us to the next step…

 Step 3: Pick and register your domain name.

Just to clarify what a domain name is, this website’s domain name is kevinocasio.com.

Choosing the perfect domain name for your blog can take some time. Why? Because the wrong domain name can break your efforts. Your domain name is your online identity.

Since it’s the first thing that people see on Google search results, it creates a positive or negative first impression.

Ask yourself, what’s the first thing that comes into a person’s mind when seeing your domain name?

Tips to choose the perfect domain name

1. Keep it short and easy to remember. 

Short and sweet is the way to go. People don’t have all the patience to type a long domain name, especially among today’s growing mobile users.

Can you imagine typing thisdomainnameissolong.com from your smartphone?

2. Pick an appropriate domain name extension.

Internet users are used to the “.com” domain extension. It’s what most people prefer, and I advise you to make this your primary choice. If .com is not available for your domain name, other options are .net and .org (for non-profit organizations).

3. Consider using keywords. 

Unless you’re using your name as the domain name, you might want to consider including a keyword or two – preferably closest to the beginning of the domain name. This is for SEO purposes.

Just don’t force it! As long as your domain name makes sense, you don’t need to stress about adding keywords to it.

How to register your domain name

An important step to consider in the process of starting a blog is selecting the right domain name registrar. This service is where you’ll be buying your domain name.

A word of advice: For your protection, only choose a domain name registrar that’s accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Namecheap is my top choice for an ICANN-accredited domain name. It doesn’t only guarantee top-notch security, but also sells domain names for a cheap price.

choose namecheap for domain name registrar

Check on Namecheap if your preferred domain is still available using their search box.

Again, if you can’t find your domain name for a .com extension, Namecheap will suggest other available extensions. Next, add your domain name to the shopping cart and proceed to complete your account details.

Step 4: Get a web host.

You’re almost done.

After you’ve chosen and registered your domain name, set up your blog hosting with SiteGround to make your blog go live and store your files. This is my number one host for WordPress bloggers.

This web hosting service has been around since 2004 and has amazing customer support.

Since you’re a beginner still learning the process, you’ll want to choose SiteGround’s StartUp plan.

siteground hosting for blogging

The StartUp plan already has a strong set of features for newbie bloggers:

  • 10,000 unique visitors – Your blog will be able to handle as much as 10,000 visits per month without slowing down.
  • Free CloudFlare CDN – This ensures that your blog loads faster no matter where your visitors are in the world.
  • Free Daily Backup – Protects your blog data by backing up your files daily.
  • 24/7 Technical Support – Aside from their custom knowledge base, SiteGround handles any hosting problems you have round-the-clock.

Other features include free SSD storage (again, for fast page load speed) and a 30-day money back guarantee.

By the way, several companies offer both domain registration and hosting services. SiteGround offers both.

However, please remember that your domain name and web host do not always have to be under one roof. Meaning, you can choose a separate service provider for each especially if it’s more convenient for you.

I have intentionally suggested Namecheap for your domain name provider since it’s much cheaper than getting one from SiteGround.

Step 5: Design your blog.

Finally, the most exciting part: Making your blog look amazing! 😀 This important step involves deciding on a theme.

This one can be overwhelming to most bloggers because, as I have previously mentioned, WordPress.org has unlimited themes to choose from.

Your theme of choice impacts your branding. Therefore, it needs to look great across all devices – laptops, PCs, smartphones, etc.

MyThemeShop is by far the best place to choose hundreds of paid and free blogging themes.

But take note: While free blogging themes sound like fun (who doesn’t want free stuff, anyway?), the disadvantage is that there isn’t a lot of room for customization!

Also, there are several blogs that use the same theme. Not cool.

mythemeshop paid and free blogging themes

Now, visit MyThemeShop and pick from the premium ones. You get to enjoy these features and benefits:

  • Unlimited color options
  • Unlimited background options
  • Fast-loading web pages
  • Better placement options for your ads
  • Clean commented code for crawlability
  • 24/7 premium support

What’s more, all themes from MyThemeShop are SEO-friendly. You get a better chance at ranking on search engines and getting more customers.

How awesome is that?!

Let’s Have A Quick Recap…

Congratulations! If you’ve reached the end of this post, it means that you’ve figured out how to start a blog. Let’s quickly review the steps involved in starting a blog:

  1. Choose a profitable blogging niche that you like – Make a personal list and use Google Keyword Planner.
  2. Pick a blogging platform – Use self-hosted WordPress.org.
  3. Register your domain name – Use Namecheap since it’s secured and affordable.
  4. Get a web – Choose SiteGround for your web host.
  5. Design your blog – Choose from MyThemeShop’s blogging themes.

Are you ready to start a blog today?

If you found this post helpful, share it with your friends or leave a comment below!

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