Wondering how to start a blog in 2023?
You can do it. Millions of people already have.
Maybe you think it’s too hard, or maybe you worry that no one will want to read your blog.
I started this blog from the same place you’re at right now. But now, this blog is my main passive income source and I never expected that just 4 years ago.
Guess what — you’re not alone!
In this step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how to start the most popular type of blog — a self-hosted WordPress blog the right way.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
Introduction to the Way
Starting a blog can be one of the most profitable online businesses you can do with a low startup cost.
But, what is the right way of starting a profitable blog? You may have a lot of questions.
Let’s find out everything from the scratch!
Here are very basic questions that every newbie bloggers ask when they get to start their first blog:
What is a blog?
A blog is a type of frequently updated website that contains posts (articles) about a specific subject and is typically run by an individual or small group.
The purpose of a blog is to inform, educate and entertain a user, so they will come back for more.
Blogs can be used as a way to share ideas, information, and products online.
Why you should start a blog?
The one thing that’s certain about the Internet? It never stops changing.
There are countless benefits to being online, whether you’re looking for new information, want to build relationships, or are simply looking for a way to share your creative side.
That means it lets you spend your time on something worthwhile, even if you’re looking to start blogging as a hobby.
In other words, doing something you love is always better than doing nothing.
I have no technical experience, can I start blogging?
Put simply, you don’t need to know how to code in order to start a blog. But having any new skill is always an advantage. This guide was entirely created with beginners in mind.
All the blogging resources and tools available here are suited for beginners and easy to use so that you’re able to learn how to start a blog today.
Can I make money with my blog?
If your blog can give people what they really looking for, then it will bring you more opportunities. The key is unique blog content.
You can do affiliate marketing, write sponsored posts, sell ebooks, sell physical goods, and advertisers will find you to promote their products through your blog like I’ve done for many years here (we’ll get to that later).
How much does it cost to start a blog?
Depending on the type of blog you want to start, your blog cost will be around $35.40 to $100 and it will cover your minimum expenses for the first year.
And I’ll walk you through where blogging costs can be reduced as you learn about how to start a blog in this guide.
Sounds good? Let’s get started!
6 Steps to Start a Blog in 2023:
- Pick a “perfect” blog topic
- Choose your blogging platform
- Get the best web hosting
- Set up your blog
- Get started with WordPress
- Customize it and launch it
Disclosure: This free guide contains some affiliate links. If you purchase any service through these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Step 1: Pick a “Perfect” Blog Topic
If you’re running a business, company, or organization, your blog should be related to the product or service you offer. So, you can promote them through your blog.
If you’re an individual, you can decide on a topic you are 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. It can be about Food, Travel, Tech, or something similar you most love to write about.
Here are two questions to ask yourself before choosing a blog niche:
- How passionate you are about the niche?
- How passionate other people (your readers) are about the niche?
In other words, if you have a passion for something and the skills and experience to back it up, you can go for it!
Additionally, having a clear understanding of who your audience is — and what they are looking for — will help ensure that your blog appeals to them.
Here are some of the most popular blog niches that you may want to consider:
- Beauty and Fashion
- DIY and Crafts
- Health and Fitness
- Home Decor
Don’t overthink it too much — simply choose something you love to talk about and learn as you go!
Step 2: Choose Your Blogging Platform
When it comes to starting a blog, you need a blogging platform. It’s something like a kitchen in a restaurant.
You need to make your kitchen more healthy and more reliable to get more customers.
Likewise, you need a good blogging platform to prepare your blog content.
You have several options when it comes to blogging platforms. Some are simple to use, while others are limited to customization options and require a lot of money to upgrade.
In the world of blogging, WordPress is the most commonly used blogging platform.
The best thing is it’s free to use and you’ll have full control over your blog.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world, used by millions of bloggers and countless companies and organizations.
Over 43.2% of all websites are powered by WordPress, making it one of the world’s most-used platforms for creating blogs and websites.
The reason WordPress is so popular is that it allows you to easily create a website without coding skills.
That is the way I built this blog that you’re reading right now.
But can WordPress do everything?
Let’s move to the next step to clarify this.
Step 3: Get the Best Web Hosting
Just think about the restaurant again. It has a kitchen, right?
Then what about the dining area?
The restaurant needs a kitchen to prepare food and also a dining area to serve its food to customers.
Likewise, you need WordPress to manage your blog content and a web hosting service to hand it over to your readers.
In other words,
The blogging platform (WordPress) will manage all the words, blog posts, images, videos, and everything on your blog. (like the restaurant’s kitchen.)
The Web host will power up and make your blog alive and accessible on the internet by providing a space for the blog. (like the restaurant’s dining area.)
Now, you need to choose a good web hosting service provider to start building your blog with WordPress!
Step 4: Set Up Your Blog
Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, comes with great web hosting packages to start your WordPress blog seamlessly.
It will also help you get started without facing tech-savvy things and it only takes around 30-40 minutes to set up everything.
→ Click here to head over to Bluehost and hit the “Get Started” button
Bluehost is working with WordPress since 2005, meaning you won’t need to worry about setting up WordPress on your web hosting space.
Mainly, they will offer you:
- Free Domain Name for the first year
- Free SSL Certificate included
- One-click WordPress installation
- 24/7 live expert support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
First, select the web hosting package you prefer. I recommend you select the basic package because it comes with everything you need when you’re just getting started.
If not, you can also select any other higher package if you want to start more than one blog. Or you can always upgrade your package later if you need.
After that, enter the domain (your blog address) you want to use. It can be your name, company, organization name, or whatever name you want as your blog domain name.
Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year and also a free SSL certificate.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a way of encrypting data between a website and the visitor’s web browser, also called “SSL encryption.”
If you are using SSL then your site is secured with an encryption method that protects it from unauthorized access.
(You’ve likely seen this padlock symbol on your web browser’s address bar.)
Make sure to keep your domain name short and make it easy to remember and spell.
If your domain name of choice isn’t available right now, 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 up a domain after you purchase the hosting package.
Now, create your Bluehost account. You can sign in with Google or enter your contact info manually. Make sure all the details are correct.
Once completed, select your package information. You can choose a package pricing plan on how far in advance you want to pay.
You can choose your plan and pay in 12 or 36 months upfront.
When you pay for 12 months upfront, your monthly cost will be just $35.40 and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so no risk.
In addition, watch out for pre-ticked package extras. I recommend keeping the “Domain Privacy Protection” extra.
What is Domain Privacy Protection?
When you register a domain name, your details will be stored in a public directory. Bluehost’s Domain privacy protection will help you protect your personal information online and replace it with generic Bluehost contact information instead.
If you don’t want any other extras, make sure you’ve unchecked the boxes.
Lastly, complete your hosting purchase. Enter your payment information, review the Bluehost Policies and Terms, and then hit the green “Submit” button!
Just wait for a few minutes for the next step to come up.
Create a password for your Bluehost account. This is the password for your Bluehost account, not for your WordPress blog (which will receive you via email).
Log into your Bluehost account. Use the password you just created in the above step. Or sign in with Google as you signed up before.
Give your blog a name and tagline. Enter the name of your blog and the 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 experience. Answer them and continue to the next step.
Now pick a theme for your blog. You can choose a free or premium theme as you want. Choose a free theme for now and you can change your theme later.
When you’re all done, your WordPress blog will start installing itself.
Not too hard, right?
Step 5: Get Started With WordPress
You can now start building your WordPress blog as you want.
Just a thing to remember, you should have two sets of login details:
- Bluehost login details to manage your hosting account-related settings and pay your hosting bill.
- WordPress login details to access the WordPress admin area to write your blog posts, and manage your blog.
However, we have to spend more time on WordPress, so you will need the WordPress username and password (check your email inbox) to log in to the WordPress dashboard most of the time.
Welcome to the WordPress Dashboard!
This is the place you can publish posts, images, and everything on your blog. We can also install the required WordPress plugins to power up your blog with some additional features.
It may be complicated at first, but don’t worry. It’s much easier than it seems. I recommend you read the WordPress beginner’s guide to figure out everything easily.
Here are a few other settings you should check out to make sure you’re on the right path:
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://. (If you need help with this, simply contact Bluehost support to make sure your SSL certificate is valid.)
- Admin email: You can change the administrator email by entering a new one. If you’ve changed it you have to confirm it. Make sure that your email is active.
- Membership: Do nothing if you are not going to register new members for your blog. Just leave it unchecked.
- Timezone, date: You can change the time zone as you want. But remember, this will be very important if you are going to schedule blog posts.
Go to Settings > Permalinks and ensure “Post name” is selected. That structure is very understandable for readers and it’s well-suited for your blog.
Click “Save” if you’ve made any changes there!
What are WordPress Plugins?
WordPress plugins are pieces of software that help you extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site. There are thousands of free WordPress plugins you can install into your site to create better blog posts, create galleries, improve performance, get bookings, sell products, and tons more.
To install a WordPress plugin:
- Go to Plugins > Add New.
- Search for “Yoast SEO” on the search bar.
- Click “Install Now” and “Activate” it.
From my experience, I recommend you install the plugin called “WordFence” to secure your blog from attackers and the “Contact Form 7” plugin to add a contact form to your blog.
Don’t worry, most WordPress plugins come with a setup guide.
Step 6: Customize and Launch it
Let’s customize your blog design. You can change your theme to any theme you like.
Go to Appearance > Themes > Add New to search and choose your preferred one. Or you can upload any premium theme there if you have separately purchased one from somewhere.
What are WordPress Themes?
A WordPress theme provides the overall look, feel, and style of your blog. It includes the layout, colors, fonts, icons, widget areas, header images, background images, and anything else that makes up the visual design of any blog or website.
Personally, I love the Astra theme. This theme performs better on all devices such as PCs, Laptops, Mobile, and Tablet devices.
Once you’ve activated the theme, go to Appearance > Themes > Customize to change the view of your blog.
The customizer lets you modify, design, and change the layout of every part of your site using a live preview.
You can change add logo or menu items to your site’s header, change the blog layout, add widgets to the sidebar, and change your footer area without writing a single line of code.
I know it can be unusual and confusing when starting out. I was right there in the same place you’re in right now.
Take your time and look around, it’s super easy to learn everything.
You can now start writing your first blog post.
If you don’t know what to write, simply start writing anything about your blog topic or you can learn more about how to start writing your first blog post here.
Go to Posts > Add New to create a new post.
You can also edit your blog posts at any time, so don’t worry too much about writing a perfect blog post for the very first time.
In addition, make sure to add important pages for your blog.
Go to Pages > Add New to create a new page for your blog.
Now you’re all set!
Let’s launch your new blog!
Remove the Bluehost’s coming soon page. To make sure your blog is visible to others, you just need to remove the coming soon page for all.
To do this:
- Log into your blog’s WordPress Dashboard (yourblog.com/wp-admin).
- Go to Settings > General.
- Scroll down to the “Bluehost Coming Soon Page” and turn it off.
- Click “Save.”
Now, enter your domain name in a new browser window to see your brand new blog.
Congratulations! you did it! Now you’ve got the most popular type of blog — a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Now it’s time to start your blogging journey!
What’s Next on Blogging?
The next step is to focus on creating high-quality content.
And build a great audience around your blog.
My recommendation for beginner bloggers is to start out on Pinterest. It’s one of the best places to drive free traffic to your blog.
To read more about how to get started with Pinterest, check out my article, Pinterest for bloggers.
Most new bloggers get focused on trying to make money out of the way. But it’s important to set up your blog the right way first.
When your blog performs better with having a valuable audience, you can start making money to plan your life on a decent blogging income.
As always excellent blog content is the key to long-term success.
Here are a few other easy-peasy tools we used that you can also use to improve your blog to drive more readers:
- Canva: This is a free online graphic design platform that lets you create awesome graphics for your blog and social media. It will help you to get more social shares and attract more readers visually.
- WP Rocket: You need to make your blog load faster to give your readers a smooth experience. WP Rocket is a WordPress plugin that caches your pages and does much more to ensure that your blog loads faster on every device.
- Google Analytics: This is one of the best tools that Google provides to help website owners and bloggers to measure their website performance and traffic. If you want to set up Analytics on your new WordPress blog, you can do it easily with the help of the MonsterInsights WordPress Plugin.
- Google Search Console: This is the place where you can find out 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.
You can contact Bluehost via live chat or phone for any further hosting-related support.
You can also use the WordPress support forum to learn more about WordPress and get help with a specific theme or plugin.
In addition, check out all the other blogging-related articles here to polish up your blogging skills.
Now, it’s your turn! Why not start your blog today?