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How to Start a Blog in 7 Easy Steps

Do you want to learn how to start a blog? Easy and simple steps:

Step #1: Select a perfect niche for your blog
Step #2: Choose a blogging platform
Step #3: Pick a domain name
Step #4: Starting a blog on WordPress
Step #5: Select a theme and design your blog
Step #6: Write and publish blog content
Step #7: Optimise your blog content for SEO

Step #1: Select a perfect niche for your blog

First things first: choosing a domain name. Where are people going to find you online?

This can be one of the most enjoyable parts of getting started with a blog; it’s such a rush when the URL you want is available and you can buy it right away.

But if your first choice isn’t available, if someone else is already using that URL, it can be stressful to come up with another domain that feels right. After all, this is a permanent home on the Internet you’re creating!

The truth though, is that you can always change this down the line if you decide to go in a different direction with your URL. The most important part isn’t choosing the perfect domain, it’s choosing one and getting started.

One of the best places to start is using a variation of your name. Especially as a writer, because you are your brand. Your name will never go out of style no matter how your interests change over time.

How to Choose a Blog Topic & Name

If you don’t have an idea for a name already, the first step is choosing your blog topic.

If you’re not sure what to blog about, there are a few ways to find a good blog topic:

  • Life experiences. Everyone has lessons they have learned through life experience. Sharing this knowledge can be incredibly helpful to others in similar situations.
    For example, I recently helped a woman start her blog about being a fireman’s wife. She has a lot of experience and knowledge to share with others about this topic, and it has helped her connect with others in similar situations.
    Think about the things you have experienced in life. This could be related to your family (example: a blog about being a stay at home mom), work (a blog about experiences dealing with clients), or other life experiences (a blog about dealing with a troubling time such as a disease or divorce, or about a happy time such as preparing for a wedding or a birth of a child).
  • A personal blog. A personal blog is a blog all about you. This will include a variety of topics, from things you do on a daily basis, to random thoughts and musings. This is a great way to share your thoughts with the world without having to stick to just one topic.
  • Hobbies & passions. Hobbies or other interests you are passionate about are a great place to start. Cooking, travel, fashion, sports, and cars are all classic examples. But even blogs about more obscure hobbies can be successful, since the your audience is literally anyone in the world with the internet.

Once you have a topic it’s time to choose your blog name, also known as your domain name.

A good blog name should be descriptive so that potential visitors can instantly tell what your blog is about just from the name.

If you are blogging about one specific topic then you will definitely want to include that in some way when you pick a domain name. Try not to get hung-up on just one word though. For example, a cooking blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “cooking” in it. The words “food”, “recipes”, and “meals” would also let people know that your blog is about cooking.

Step #2: Choose a blogging platform

Now it’s time to choose a web host.

What’s a web host? Your hosting company does all the technical magic to make sure your site actually appears when people type your domain name into their browser. In other words, it’s pretty important.

While we use MediaTemple to host The Write Life, it’s typically better for blogs with lots of traffic. You probably don’t need that if you’re just starting out, so go with a cheaper option instead.

For a new blog, try Bluehost, Godaddy. It’s used by top bloggers around the world and is known for its customer service and reliability.

Oh, and pro freelancer tip: Put your purchase (and all the purchases listed in this post) on a business credit card and keep the receipts; as investments in your business, they’re tax deductible.

Self-hosted blog solutions (e.g. WordPress.org)
You don’t have many choices when it comes to self-hosted blogging systems (also called a Content Management System or CMS). As you can see from the graph, the most popular is the free and open-source system WordPress.org.

Self-hosted platforms allow you to set up your blog and run it using your own domain and web hosting. You’re fully in charge of your blog and its contents. It will cost just a few dollars per month for the webspace (hosting account), and around ten dollars per year for a domain. The actual blogging software is free.

If you want total control of your blog, or plan to run ads, sell products and services via your blog, then this is the best way to go.

Hosted blog solutions (e.g. Blogger and Tumblr)
For many new bloggers, it’s tempting to start a blog using free hosted platforms such as Blogger.com or Tumblr.com.

However, it’s important to understand that “free” always comes with limitations.

First, your blog name will be set as a subdomain (examples: yourblog.blogspot.com or yourblog.tumblr.com).
Second, you’ll be subject to their rules and restrictions.
Free options come in handy for testing a blogging platform. But, if you’re serious about starting a blog, you’ll have to start paying for full services and a custom domain name sooner or later.

Step #3: Pick a domain name

Your domain name will be the name by which you will be known online, no matter what niche you choose.It’s your blog’s unique address on the Internet. It will be yours as long as you continue paying the annual fee ($10 to $15 per year for a .com).

Users who know your domain (URL – uniform resource locator) can simply type it into their browser’s address bar. Others will be able to discover you through search engines such as Google and Bing, so you definitely need to find a unique blog name.

Your domain name may be the highly popular “dot com”, or it may be country or niche-specific. The general rule is to get a “dot com” domain, but some of the other extensions can be used too. For example, “dot net” or “dot blog”. 

If you can’t find a domain name you like, Bluehost will let you choose one later. That will give you time to do some research and thinking before you start your blog.

Step #4: Starting a blog on WordPress

You can’t start a blog without blogging software. I run all of my blogs on WordPress because it’s user-friendly, free, and powerful.

If you decide to make a blog that’s not on WordPress you’ll find that it is much more costly as WordPress offers thousands of free plugins that allow you to modify your blog in any way, shape, or form.

Even without a technical bone in your body, you can install WordPress in exactly five clicks.

Step #5: Select a theme and design your blog

The first thing your blog needs is a face (design and layout). 

Installing a new WordPress theme is exciting and fairly straightforward.

Inside the WordPress dashboard, under the “Appearance” tab, click “Themes”. You will be presented with some popular options. You can click on the WordPress.org Themes button and search for free themes. There are more than three thousand themes available on WordPress.org.

The look and feel of your new blog rely on the theme you choose. Your first-time readers will notice the overall appearance of it before they even take a look at the content. Select a theme that looks great, but also works for your specific content needs.

Here’s a quick guide for choosing your theme by searching within the WordPress dashboard:

Read the description – Most themes come with a short description of features and functionality. Reading it can help you to figure out if the theme matches your needs.
Preview the theme – Preview the theme (demo) to get an idea of the overall look, layout, and how customizable it is.
Check the ratings – Star ratings will be visible in the preview and under theme details to give you a clear idea of how good the theme is.
If you can’t find a theme that you absolutely love, don’t worry. Settle on one that you like, and you can always change it in the future.

Once you install a theme, don’t be surprised if it still doesn’t look quite right. It is just a skeleton of a blog. To make it appealing, you’ll have to fill it in with content (text, photos, videos, etc.).

Step #6: Write and publish blog content

Prepare and publish content on main pages

Depending on your individual needs you can decide what pages to publish. The following are the most common pages bloggers use: 

  • Homepage – This depends on what type of layout you choose. As I described above, when customizing your blog you can choose to display the homepage as a static page. In that case, you will have to prepare content for it.      
  • About us – The most traditional page on any blog is the “About us” page. This page tells new visitors what it is all about, who you are and why you run a blog about your niche topic. 
  • Contact – This page allows visitors to your blog to communicate with you. It can be a straightforward page with your email address plus your social network links, or you can use a simple contact form that visitors can use to communicate with you. 
  • Products, Services, Resources – Static landing pages with any additional information that you want to include on your blog.

Write your first blog post

Creating blog posts inside WordPress is nearly the same as creating pages. However, for a blog post WordPress lets you select categories and tags while pages don’t. 

Wondering how you can write quality blog posts? It’s simple. 

Here is a simple 3-step approach to making great content of any type:

  • Point – State your main blog topic idea that you are covering.
  • Prove – Give an example of the idea you are covering.
  • Perform – Give a simple way to execute the idea.

Step #7: Optimise your blog content for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process that website owners use to get more traffic to their web pages from search engines (such as Google).    

Keyword optimization

This is the process of researching and selecting the right set of keywords that you think people will type in a search to find content like yours online.  

Ideally, keyword optimization should be performed for any blog post or page. It’s important to select the main keywords (and related words) that you want to target for each page and make sure that you include these (and related words) within the content. This way it will be easier for search engines to understand what a specific web page is about when they crawl it and you have a better chance to rank higher in search results.

SEO meta tags


When you publish a new blog post or page, you will need to add SEO meta tags for each piece of content.

These are the SEO title and SEO description tags. These tags are not seen on the actual page, but Google will use metadata to better understand what the webpage is about.

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