Wondering about how to start a blog in 2021?
That’s why you’re here!
In the past year, That’s the year I learned about blogging. I dreamed, worked and now my blog is my main passive income source.
In this step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how to start a blog (on a beginner-friendly budget), It’s not as complicated as you think.
So, I’m going to make this guide super detailed for you.
First, you need to know that this method is the easiest way to start the most popular type of blog — a self-hosted WordPress blog. To save you time, I’ve created this free step-by-step guide to show you how to do it easily without having prior experience.
If you’re going to follow the below steps correctly, which means you can surely build your blog today!
Ready to get started?
Introduction to the Way
Blogging! Blogging is some kind of addiction and anyone can start a blog about what they love to discuss. But, what is the right way that starting a profitable blog? You may have a lot of questions. Still didn’t have any idea about blogging?
Don’t worry! Let’s clarify everything from scratch.
Here are a few facts you may need to know before starting a blog!
What is a Blog?
A blog is a type of a regularly updated website with posts (articles) about a particular subject, typically run by an individual or small group.
I Have Zero Technical Experience, Can I Start Blogging?
The effort is a must to succeed in anything. But you need to follow a particular learning curve.
This guide is entirely for beginners (like you). All the blogging resources and tools available here are suitable for beginners and those are easy to handle with their user-friendly steps.
But, everything is up to you! Because your dream blog will entirely depend on how you work and how you spend time for it to achieve success. So, I’m here to guide you to start your blog by lessons that I learned from my blogging journey!
Why Starting a Blog in 2021?
Being online helps you to build your career and makes a huge value for your thoughts ideas and works. You can sell digital goods or reach your own business to more audience at little cost without spending more money on advertising. Simply you can show your talents to everyone!
Can I Make Money Through My Blog?
Let’s be honest! Once you start blogging in your own way, you can open your doors to make money blogging.
It’s not limited to displaying ads on your blog! You can do affiliate marketing, write sponsored posts, sell ebooks, sell physical goods, and many advertisers will find you to collaborate with you! (Valuable and unique blog content will bring you more opportunities.)
Why I Need a Budget to Start a Blog?
You must need to understand that “free” things always come with limitations.
There are some free blogging platforms, great for beginners, and fit for everyone who loves to blog. However, those platforms have several limitations. As an example, If you’re planning to start a business or make a passive income, combing your business and blog might be uncomfortable with those free platforms.
But, if you’re going to start a self-hosted blog with WordPress, the blog is entirely yours! You can make it much usable and profitable.
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
What is the WordPress that I’m talking about?
WordPress is the web software that we are going to use to build your blog. WordPress provides its web software in two different ways,
WordPress.com: These blogs are free, but you have less control, you need to pay for additional features and your freedom may be limited.
WordPress.org, known as self-hosted WordPress, bringing you WordPress as an open-source web software that you can install on your own web host to create a blog or website that’s 100% your own. (This is the way you are following up with this guide).
Simply, you are going to build a blog on your own internet space using WordPress. It will host by you so we can be called it — a self-hosted WordPress Blog.
As I mentioned above, most prominent companies and small bloggers have a self-hosted WordPress blog. If you are serious about doing something profitable and valuable thing without starting just a “simple blog”, WordPress is the best recommendation for you!
6 Steps to Start a Blog in 2021
- Decide what you’re going to blog about
- Choose a blogging platform
- Pick a good hosting
- Set up your blog
- Get started with WordPress
- Customize your blog and launch it!
Disclosure: This free guide contains some affiliate links. If you purchase any service through one of these links I may earn a small commission, this is at no extra cost to you.
Step 1: Decide What You’re Going to Blog About
If you’re running a business, company, or organization, your blog should be related to your product or service you offer. So, you can promote them through a blog!
If you’re an individual, you can decide on a topic you most likely to discuss. I can introduce it as the “Blog Niche”. In general speaking, the blog niche is the specific topic of your blog. Such as about Food, Travel, Tech, or something similar you mostly love to write.
But here are few things to think about first,
- How passionate you are about the topic or blog niche
- How passionate other people are about the topic or your readers
- Ways you can make money from the topic
There is no rule to choose a common topic. If you have a reasonable chance of making your blog better than other blog topics with your passion, skills, and experience, you can go through it!
But you have to think about how others passionate about your topic. (passionate plus more readers!)
If you want to make your blog profitable, you have to think about how it should be in the right way.
Here’s a small example,
Imagine you’re passionate about coffee, so you can writing about different coffees, your adventures at various cafes, etc.
But, can you imagine how many people are in the world being loved with coffee?
You can drive those people to your blog as your readers. It will help you to makes other coffee lovers happy and simply you will gain more readers and more revenue!
Just start blogging with something you and your readers will really passionate about! Simply, use social media, Google, and all the other related sites and do a quick research about your passionate!!
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform
If you want to start a blog, you need a blogging platform. It’s something like a kitchen in a restaurant.
So, you need to prepare your kitchen more healthy and reliable to get more customers. Likewise, You need a great blogging platform to start your blog!
I use and always recommend WordPress as I mentioned above. It’s totally free to use. But WordPress can do everything? Then, why you need a budget to start a blog? Confusing…?
Just think about the restaurant. It has a kitchen, right?
Then what about the dining area?
The restaurant needs a dining area to serve their foods to customers!
Likewise, you need hosting to hand over your blog posts to your readers. Let’s move to the next steps to clarify this.
Step 3: Pick a Good Hosting
In the above step, I have mentioned about a restaurant similar to starting a blog. And now you are going to know about its dining area. Right?
The blogging platform (WordPress) will manage all the words, blog posts, images, videos, and everything on your blog. (Like the restaurant’s kitchen)
Hosting will power up and makes your blog alive and accessible on the internet by providing a space for the blog. (Like restaurant’s dining area)
In this method, You’ll find a simple way to get blogging platform + hosting from one place without spending more money and time. It will only take less than 30 minutes to set up everything!
Step 4: Setup Your Blog
Thankfully, Bluehost, a WordPress recommended hosting provider, has provided you a free domain name and beginner-friendly steps on web hosting to start your blog.
That is one of the most extensive website hosting providers and powers millions of websites. It already used by top bloggers around the world and is known for its performance and reliability. Now, let’s get into your hosting setup!
→ Click here to head over to Bluehost and hit the blue “Get Started Now” button
Bluehost offers the one-click WordPress installation, which means no need to worry about anything installing WordPress on your host.
As other benefits you’ll get,
- FREE Domain Name
- FREE SSL certificate included
- One-click WordPress installation
- Free CDN Included
- Host unlimited Websites (Starts from Plus package)
- 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
First, Select a plan you preferred. You can sign up for the Basic plan to get started if you’re going to start just one blog or I can recommend choosing the Choice Plus plan because it has more unlimited features and offering domain privacy.
When you register a domain name, your personal details are saved in a publicly available database called WHOIS.
Bluehost’s Domain privacy protection will protect your personal data and keep them hidden from the rest of the world. And Bluehost will offer this protection in the “Choose Plus” plan, there is no extra cost to you. Either, you can choose the Basic plan as you prefer.
If you’re wondering what is “Free CDN included” refers, it will store your blog content over 200 locations globally (A content delivery network) so it loads your blog quickly for your visitors.
Enter the domain (your web address) you want to use. It can be your name, company, or organization name, or whatever name you want as your blog domain name. Make sure to keep your domain name short and make it easy to pronounce and spell.
Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year and also a free SSL certificate. (A digital certificate that provides authentication and enables encrypted connection for a website. Simply, the padlock icon at the address bar on the web browser.)
If your domain name of choice isn’t available, you can either try another name that comes to your mind or you can click the option “I’ll create my domain later” to set a domain after you purchase your hosting.
If you want to run a quick search to see if your domain name is available to get, you can do it quickly right here:
Set up your Bluehost account. You can sign in with Google or enter your contact info manually. Make sure all the details are correct!
Select your package information. You can choose a package pricing on how far in advance you want to pay. They do not offer monthly payment plans.
When paying for 36 months (3 years) upfront, your monthly cost will be discounted from the normal price (only for the first time) and you can save more money and you will get hosting for 3 years! There are several plans available for your choice.
I recommend getting the CodeGuard to secure all your hard work with automatic, daily backups of your site and SiteLock Security to protect your website from attacks.
These package extras are not mandatory but when you’re running a website, you must need to consider these. Just noted, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can click “More information” under each package extras to figure out what they will offer for you.
Complete your hosting purchase. Enter your payment information, review the Policies and Terms, check the box and hit the green Submit button!
Create a password for your Bluehost account. This is the password for your Bluehost account, not for your WordPress blog (that will receive you via email).
Log in to your Bluehost account. Use the password you just created in the above step. Or sign in with Google as you signed up before.
Start creating your blog! Enter the name of your blog and a tagline of your blog. Toggle on the switch next to “Do you want a blog?” and you can change these settings later!
You may be asked some survey questions about your online goals and some website creation related questions about your experiences. Answered them and continue the next step.
Pick a theme you love! You can choose a free or premium theme as you want. Premium themes come with more features and updates. Either you can choose a free theme.
Once you pick a theme your WordPress blog will start installing itself.
Congratulations, you just have a self-hosted WordPress blog!
Step 5: Get started with WordPress
Once everything has done, you can start building your WordPress blog as you want. Just a thing to remember, you should have two sets of login details (check your email inbox),
- WordPress logins, the place you’ll write your posts, and manage your blog.
- Bluehost logins to manage your hosting account related settings and pay your hosting bill.
However, we have to spend more time on WordPress, remember both passwords, and you will need WordPress username and password to login to the WordPress dashboard most of the time.
Welcome to the WordPress Dashboard!
Here’s the place you can publish posts, photos, and everything on your blog. Also, we can install the required plugins to powerup your blog with great features and more. Simply, this is the place you’re going to buildup your blog!
The left black column shows you tools and options to build your blog, and the right section is your working area. Here are a few settings you make sure all are right,
If you want to learn how the WordPress dashboard is working for you, just head over to my step-by-step guide to learn WordPress from scratch!
For now, go to Settings > General
- Site title and tagline: Make sure your site title and tagline are correct. If not you can edit them here. Your tagline should be a short phrase that describes your site or mission well. Those are changeable at any time!
- Site address: Make sure it is started with https:// instead of http://.
- Admin email: You can change the administrator email by entering a new one. Once you changed it you have to confirm it. Make sure that email is active.
- Membership: Do nothing if you are not going to register new members for your blog. Just leave it as unchecked.
- Timezone, date: You can change the time zones as you want. But remember this will important for if you are going to schedule posts.
Go to Settings > Permalinks and make sure “Post name” is selected. That structure is very understandable for readers and it’s good for your blog growth.
Click “Save” if you made any changes there!
Step 6: Customize Your Blog and Launch it!
Hooray! Now you are in the last step to launch your blog to the rest of the world. So, now you can start doing something on your blog. Go to Posts > Add New to create a new post!
I recommend doing these things before launch it,
Install important plugins. First, I recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin. It helps you to write SEO friendly blog posts to get more readers from search engines like Google.
To install a plugin:
- Go to Plugins > Add New.
- Search for “Yoast SEO” on the search bar.
- Click “Install and “Activate” it.
So, as my experience I recommend you to install plugins called “WordFence” or “Sucuri” for security, for better blogging! Don’t worry that plugins already has a setup guide.
Customize the blog design. You can change your theme as you inspired. Go to Appearance > Themes > Add New to choose your preferred one. Or you can upload any theme there you have separately downloaded from somewhere.
But many free themes aren’t kept updating, sometimes that may affect your site’s security. It’s better if you can go with a premium theme.
Astra theme has some great features,
- Pre-Built Websites (Import websites from the library of starter sites and edit them as you want.)
- Customize Without Code (Astra premium theme offers much more customization options for easy use.)
- Made for Page Builders (You can use it with easy drag-and-drop page builder, Elementor.)
- Super Fast Performance (Astra is lightweight and easy to use with any website)
However, It already has a free version of the theme so that you can get their premium version for your requirements!
Remove the Coming Soon page. Go to the Bluehost section of your site’s WordPress Dashboard (yourblog.com/wp-admin) or the Settings > General section of your site’s Dashboard. If you don’t remove the coming soon page, visitors can’t see your blog.
Congratulations!!! (party sounds) now your blog is live!
Hit your blog’s domain name into your browser’s address bar and see how it looks like.
What’s Next on Blogging?
Just keep writing and building a great audience around your blog. Always write the helping with Yoast SEO plugin and make sure to share your blog posts on social media including Pinterest.
When you are going to make any changes related to plugins, read their installation guide, and setup guide first. Otherwise, if you faced any issue with WordPress or any plugin, you can use the wordpress.org/support forum to get help from the developer’s end.
Here are all the other tools you can use to grow your blog from zero to thousands of blog readers:
- Tailor Brands: If you’re looking for the easiest way to create a logo for your blog, this is an AI-Powered free logo designing and branding platform that helps you to create a logo with zero design skills.
- Constant Contact: This is a powerful email marketing platform you can create and manage email lists. If someone will subscribe to your email list before leaving after reading your blog, you’ll build a relationship with them.
- Canva Pro: This is a free online graphic design platform that lets you create awesome graphics for your blog posts. It will help you to get more social shares and attract more readers visually.
- InVideo: If you want to create videos for your blog, this online platform can help you to do it within a few minutes for any kind of purpose. It’s that simple creating videos.
- Google Analytics: This is one of the best tools that Google provides to help website owners and bloggers to understand what visitors are doing on their website. You can use this to measure your website performance and traffic. If you want to set up Analytics on your new blog, read this guide.
- Google Search Console: This is the place where help you to understand how Google sees your blog in their search engine results. If you want to see your blog on Google, you need to set up Google Search Console for your blog first. It allows you to monitor your site performance in Google search results.
And the last thing is, don’t quit blogging! I can guide you to start and grow your blog but I can’t tell you what to write, because you’re the only one who knows about your passion, skills and experience.
If you’re serious about starting blogging, there is no doubt you can grow your blog into a blogging business.
Otherwise, If you need any technical help with Bluehost, you can contact them via live chat or call them via the numbers from their home page.
Additionally, if you’re already blogging on WordPress on another hosting and thinking about moving to Bluehost you can also able to migrate your WordPress website absolutely free with expert support.
I hope you have started a blog with my how-to start a blog guide. I got you covered from every part you need to start and grow your blog. Check out all the blogging related articles here.
Don’t forget to share this with your friends to help them start a blog as you started!