So you want to start a blog. Congratulations! But where do you begin? This is where I come in. In this post, I will detail the absolute easiest way to start your blog and get up and running in minutes. Really! Even if you are not “techy”, even if you don’t know the difference between WordPress and Blogger, even if all you want to do is write and forget about the setup, you will love how simple this is. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn how to start a blog the easy way.
(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. See my full disclosure policy here.)
PICK YOUR NICHE
The very first thing you want to do once you’ve decided to start a blog is to decide upon a niche or a topic that you want to write about. What can you talk about for hours? What gets you excited? Is there a subject you are very knowledgeable about? Then narrow it down. This will help you in the next steps when it comes time to pick your domain name.
CHOOSE A PLATFORM
There are tons of options. Should you go with WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, or something else? The answer is self -hosted WordPress. By choosing WordPress, the paid version, you will save yourself valuable time and heartache from having to switch later on. You will be able to have complete control over your site. You can run ads, include videos, and install plugins to your liking.
The free version is extremely limiting. Within an hour of having my free WordPress site, I switched to the paid version because it would not allow me to design it or configure it the way I liked. It also did not allow any ads, which if you are thinking of monetizing, is pretty important. With the free version, you do not have access to the free themes offered by WordPress, and you won’t get your own domain name. Instead, it’ll look something like this: lifeunplannedblog.wordpress.com. Ugly!
A quick explanation of what web hosting is… it’s like your home. It’s where your blog lives on the web. It needs to be functional and reliable. When people want to visit your home, it needs to be there to welcome them in. This being said, you need a host with a great track record and great customer service. I learned this the hard way. Learn from my mistake and choose a great host from the get-go.
The best host on the web by far is Site Ground. They have the best reliability and customer service around. When I switched from my first host, who had my site down for over 24 hours, Site Ground literally did the entire switch for me within minutes and with no disruption to my site. It was amazing! I’ve since had reliable service for my readers ever since and I couldn’t be happier.
With Site Ground, you can set up your own account or simply have them do it for you. I opted for the latter, as it’s the easier way and I’m all about easy 😉
Step 1.) Pick your Plan
Once you’ve logged on to Site Ground, the first thing you will want to do is pick your plan. The Start-Up Plan is most affordable and most likely what you need when first starting your blog. You can upgrade later when you have more of an audience. You can get the Start-Up Plan for only $3.95 per month, and that includes registering your domain name, which we’ll talk about in a sec.
Step 2.) Register Your Domain
Now this is the fun part. You get to pick your domain, your URL. Where your host is like your home, your domain is like your address where everyone will find you. For example, mine is www.lifeunplannedblog.com. Simply input your desired domain name in the box and see if it’s available.
Or you can sign up with an existing domain. If you already have a domain, Site Ground will do a FREE website transfer, which is a $30 value.
Do give some thought to your domain name. You want it to be unique and memorable at the same time. This address will be with you for a long time, so make sure it fits nicely with your blog.
Step 3.) Install Your WordPress Site
Remember I said this is the EASY way to start a blog, right? Now, simply click on the Support tab and tell Site Ground that you are new and want to set up your blog. They will do it all for you. You needn’t lift another finger, my friend. This is so valuable. Instead of fretting about the tech, you can start writing your awesome blog.
Begin by logging on to your new WordPress site. Your dashboard will look something like this.
Click on Appearance to choose your theme.
Your theme is simply the look of your blog. It’s the general layout and design. You can always change this easily later.
Click on Customize to add a header, insert your logo, change your colors, etc.
Design your new blog. Make it fit your personality and desired look. Here you can really customize and make it your own.
Click on Posts > Add New Post, and you can begin to write your first blog!
That is IT, my friend. Easy, peasy.
Stay tuned for the next part of the series How to Start a Blog the Easy Way where I’ll talk about mistakes to avoid and making the most of your first posts.
Now check out these posts and you’ll be well on your way to starting an awesome blog:
For a support community and great blogging advice, join the Life Unplanned Facebook group where we talk about all things blogging and then some. Here, you can ask any questions and get the support you need when first starting your blog. Can’t wait to see you in there!
PS: If you have any questions along the way, just pop your question into the comments or message me directly at Darci@lifeunplannedblog.com. I’m happy to help!