Are you a total beginner to the blogging world? I’m sure by now you’ve heard of all the amazing things you can accomplish with a blog. But how do you start? Where do you start? What do you absolutely need?
If you want to start a blog but are feeling overwhelmed well don’t worry! It can actually be quick and simple with the right guide (like this one: Blogging for Beginners 😉).
There are three major but basic components to actually starting a successful blog.
The first is your idea: you need to find the perfect niche and audience before beginning. Second, you will need hosting. In order for your blog or website to exist on the internet it needs to be hosted on a server. And third is your actual blog with it’s content.
If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, check out my tutorial that will help you start your own blog. Starting a blog can cost as low as $3.49 per month plus you will receive a free blog domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link! Check out my guide: How to Start a Blog.
Choosing the right niche is important if you plan on either making money from your blog or want to build an audience. In my opinion, finding YOUR perfect niche should be easy. You probably already have an idea of what you want to blog about and are probably looking for some assurance. If so, you are already 50% there! All you have to do now is think, can I scale it? If you can’t then maybe it’s not the right one.
You should have three things in mind when choosing your niche:
- Am I passionate about it?
- Am I skilled in this topic?
- Can I scale it?
As you can see from my graphic below, your niche should meet in between the three. For example, if you are passionate about being a mother and have skills in the business field then you can certainly build off of that by making courses. JACK POT! You found your perfect niche. Try making the same graph for your ideas and find the best one for you!
If you are having a hard time finding your passion, answer these questions:
- When your chores and responsibilities are done, what do you turn to?
- What is something that you are really good at and everyone comes to your for help?
- Are there any topics where you want to make a difference?
- Is there something that you know a lot about that is usually misinterpreted?
Domain & Hosting
Once you decided on a niche (which by the way can always be changed and refined over time), you can choose your blog name! Your blog name will then become your domain which is what will be your “www.yourblogname.com.” There are a couple ways to secure a domain name.
You can either buy them from your hosting site or from a separate site. If you want to buy your domain before committing to hosting, you go to somewhere like NameCheap. I initially got a FREE domain when I signed up with Bluehost but when I decided I wanted to change my domain I purchased a new one from Namecheap. After a lot of research I found the best deals were there!
At the time of this update, I switched hosting companies from Bluehost to A2 Hosting.
For my entire first year of blogging I used and loved Bluehost. It was 100% worth it! I loved that they started me out with a free domain, they have a simple way of starting out with WordPress and have amazing customer support.
I honestly love and would still recommend Bluehost.
As my blog grew and my needs as a blogger changed, I decided to take the plunge by switching to A2 Hosting. Both are amazing hosting platforms and would 100% recommend the two.
The prices of A2 Hosting is still very competitive in relation to Bluehost which I thought was really cool.
My biggest reason for switching was because I wanted to have Unlimited Websites on my account so I was going to need a host that has great Uptime, Bandwidth and Speed.
Unlike most other hosting companies, A2 Hosting has Anytime Money Back Guarantee which says a lot about how confident they are that you will love it!
A2 is officially my Number 1 recommendation followed by Bluehost!
As I skimmed over a little above, the hosting site will be the foundation of your website. These tech companies own servers that hold all of your website’s information. There are two types – self hosted or hosted. This website is self- hosted with
Bluehost A2 Hosting and using WordPress.
An example of a hosted site would be Squarespace. There are a lot of controversies in the blogger world about which one is “best.” In this case, it’s all about preference.
A hosted plan is a all in one package. They will provide the storage for your website AND the software to build your website. SquareSpace, WIX and Blogger are the top three of these kinds of sites. Many people will choose this for the simplicity of it but I highly recommend checking out BOTH first.
A self hosted plan will only provide you with the hosting and you will need to build your website through another software. But you can integrate WordPress for free and most self-hosted companies will have a quick installation processes directly after purchasing.
I definitely don’t want to be biased buuuuuut, I love being self-hosted.
IN MY OPINION, there is more flexibility, control and fewer restrictions when it comes to building the EXACT site that I want.
Check out my blog post: How to Start a Blog on a Budget. This is not only my technical guide to setting up your website but it really compares all the costs of starting a blog.
Blog Posts & Pages
Usually you will hear bloggers tell you to fill your site with “pillar posts,” well I say you need foundational posts.
A foundational post will show your readers what your blog is all about. If you have to wrap everything up into 5 blog posts – have those be your foundation! Then every week post a new blog post to build off of that. Make sure to add high quality images and think about your SEO while drafting up your ideas!
I think beginning is the hardest part especially when starting to write! I questioned everything I did. Is it long enough? Will my audience enjoy it? Will it even be read?
But the BIGGEST game changer for me was taking the Post by Number course! Suzi from Start a Mom Blog, created this amazing course that details all the steps to always publishing high quality posts!
Bonus to taking this course: you have the opportunity to submit a guest post to her second blog. This is amazing exposure for a new blog!
You can either opt to make an entire page with your story and background or you can have a recap on your sidebar/homepage. I find this page to be very important because it allows your readers to trust you through knowing you.
You can really sell yourself here by saying why you started your blog, why you are an expert in this topic and why you’re so passionate about it.
Bonus: Advanced Steps
Congratulations! After completing all the above steps you have a blog! There are definitely a couple more things you will want to think about after completing these major components. Assuming you want to make money or build an audience you will need:
- Marketing Plan
- Email List
In order for your blog to grow, you will need to get viewers on your page! That’s where your marketing plan comes to play. Pinterest in this case will be your best place to start.
As a quick recap, you will want to add your pins to your Pinterest account – circulate them into group boards for more visibility. Try using a scheduler like Tailwind to help you out!
Once your posts are out into the world and people are reading them, then you should create some opt-ins to get people to sign up to your email list. An opt-in is a free piece of material that you give in exchange for your reader’s email.
The best way to come up with an opt-in freebie is to think “What is the next step after reading this blog post?”
If you have a recipe blog post, for example, maybe a good freebie will be a printable option of the recipe itself or a fillable recipe page and grocery list. Once you have a good opt-in or freebie, you can start collecting email addresses to build your email list.
I use MailerLite to build my list. Your fist 1,000 subscribers are free and the software is really easy to use!
The next and final step is to sell something to your email list. What I just explained to you is called a sales funnel. Check out my graphic below! All these initial steps you take are to “funnel” your customer into buying something from you.
Preferably a product that YOU made!
And there you have it! A nice little overview of what you need to get started. Of course, you will probably need more in depth information on each of these topics but now you know what you will need to do. My free eBook, The New Blogger’s Starter Kit is a great guide to get you going on those advanced steps!
If you haven’t started a blog yet make sure to read my post: How to Start a Money Making Blog.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Ideas? Talk to me in the comments!
- How to Start a Money Making Blog
- 20 Ways to Make Money with your Blog
- My Favorite Resources
- The Ultimate Blog Funnel