If you were to ask me if I thought you should Start a Blog, I’d definitely say Yes! So it won’t surprise you to know that I love Blogging! In fact, I love it so much that I have 2 blogs!
But why do I love blogging so much?
- It gives me a creative outlet
- I’ve connected me with loads of other wonderful bloggers within the blogging community
- It gives me something to work at that doesn’t revolve around my kids
- I get to use my Brain and learn something new every day
- It gives me a platform to make my own money while I stay at home with my twins
As you can see, there’s lots of reasons Blogging helps me stay sane as a SAHM!
Is Blogging for you?
Perhaps you’ve been browsing Pinterest and you just can’t stay away from all those Blogging pins, but you’re not quite sure if you’re cut out to be a Blogger.
Are you worried that you’re not ‘techy’ or not got a lot of spare time, or you’re on a budget?
Well you can stop worrying because none of those things will hold you back from being a Blogger.
Blogging is for anyone with a Computer
It’s easy to get started; honestly just follow the instructions in this post and you’ll have your Blog all ready in less than half an hour.
Blogging is super flexible
You can blog as much (or as little) as you have time for. When I started my first Blog my twins were only tiny and I blogged during naptime and when they were in bed at night.
Blogging is Cheap to Get Started with
In this post I show you how to Start a Blog for only $3.95 a month. And of course, as you grow your Blog, you’ll be able to make money Blogging!
Right then, time to get started…
(This post contains affiliate links. This means if your purchase a product or service I recommend using my unique referral link I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I use and love and I appreciate your support in keeping this Blog going)
Should you choose a niche before you Start a Blog
What is a Blog niche?
Your blog niche is what you write about on your Blog. So it might be parenting, or natural living, or making money from home, or any other thing you can think of!
Some advice insists you choose a niche before you start your Blog (and if you have already decided what you want to Blog about, that’s great), but it’s definitely not essential.
In fact, it can be very beneficial to Start your Blog writing about a variety of topics. When you blog about different topics, you’ll discover what your readers prefer. Then you can write more of what you know your audience like, instead of just guessing and hoping for the best!
My #1 tip for deciding what to Blog about
Blog about what you know! Yep it’s really that simple!
Lots of Bloggers talk about discovering your niche like there’s some sort of science to it. But you are your niche already.
For example, you decide to start a Mom Blog, and you’re going to share recipes, kids activities, organisation tips and homemaking solutions.
But without even trying, you have already narrowed down your niche for a more specific audience just because of the lifestyle you have. So…
- If you’re a single Mom, your Blog will be relevant to other single Moms because that’s the experience you’ll Blog about..
- If you’re a Mom to 6 kids, your Blog will automatically be about parenting a large family. Because that’s what you do.
- If you’re a Mom living in the middle of New York, your experience of parenting is going to be totally different from a Mom Blog written by someone living on a farm.
All those Moms have a different niche because of the point of view they’re Blogging from even if they’re all Blogging about homemaking, organisation, kids activities and recipes.
So, if you’ve not decided what you want to Blog about, just write what you know and take it from there!
How to Choose a Blogging Platform
There are a variety of different Blogging platforms, including Blogger, Squarespace and WordPress.
This tutorial shows you how to Start a Blog simply and quickly with self hosted WordPress.
Why Start a Blog with WordPress?
It’s cheap to set up
WordPress itself is Free. The only thing you need to purchase is hosting, which starts at just $3.95 per month, including a free domain, from SiteGround (I use and highly recommend Siteground)
You have total control on the design of your site
Your site is yours and you can do whatever you want with it or on it. There are thousands of free and Premium WordPress themes for unlimited ‘out of the box’ Bog design.
Or you can use a framework like Genesis and code your way to your perfect Blog design.
Or you can ignore the code completely and still have have a completely customisable site using a drag and drop site builder like the Divi theme.
Functionality is unlimited
There’s a plug-in (or several!) that can help you make your Blog do exactly what you want it to. And the essentials are covered by Free plugins.
Your monetisation options are unlimited
You can run ads, use affiliate links, write sponsored posts, add an e-commerce plugin and sell products or services, or any other way you can think of to make money on your Blog.
Millions of people use WordPress
There are 76.5 million blogs using WordPress so if you have a question, or a problem there will be someone available who can help you! A search of Google, YouTube or asking in a Blogging Facebook group should answer any WordPress related questions you have.
It’s easy to use
WordPress sounds complicated when you first start Blogging. But it’s honestly super simple. SiteGround takes care of all the scary stuff like backups and security and a theme like Divi makes it easy to build and design your site exactly as you want it without touching a line of code.
How to Start a Blog in less than half an hour
There are only two things you actually need you Start your Blog:
- Web Hosting
- A Domain Name
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is where all the files for your Blog are stored. This blog is hosted with SiteGround.
There are hundreds of webs hosts out there, so you may be asking; why SiteGround?
Here’s 6 reasons why…
#1: Your Blog is safer
Siteground have a unique Account Isolation feature that means even if there is another vulnerable account on the same server as your Blog, yours won’t be affected, Free Backups are done daily (even on the cheapest hosting package), you can choose to have WordPress Automatic updates at no extra cost and they have a proven record of patching vulnerabilities faster than other top hosts.
Which, in plain English, means I don’t actually have to do anything, apart from update plugins and my theme, to make sure my Blog is kept safe and updated!
#2: Your Blog is Faster
Readers like fast Blogs, Google likes fast Blogs. SiteGround have implemented cutting edge speed technology. From faster hardware, innovative network architecture to new software solutions. If there is something that can make your website faster, SiteGround likes to be among the first to implement it!
#3: Customer Service is excellent
SiteGround have 24/7 Customer Support via telephone, live chat and email.
And in my personaly experience with SiteGround support they responded super quick to my support tickets (within 5-10 minutes), and after I explained my problem, they didn’t just just tell me how to fix it, they went ahead and fixed it for me!
#4: Uptime is 99.99%
The last thing you want when you’re growing your Blog is for it to go down. All that effort getting traffic and Subscribers and writing posts, just for your site not to be available.
SiteGround’s average Uptime is 99.99% (which means your Blog will be online 99.99% of the time!) In actual time, this equates to only 5 minutes of downtime per Year!
#5: They make it super easy to Start your Blog
Siteground is very new-blogger-friendly and make Starting a Blog easy, even if you’re non tech savvy!
They have WordPress specific hosting, 1-click installation and will even transfer an existing WordPress site for free!
#6: They’re highly recommended
I went with SiteGround in the first place due to personal recommendations from my Blogger friends. And know I always recommend SiteGround without hesitation when new Bloggers ask me about WordPress hosting.
What is a Domain Name?
Your domain name is your Blog address (or URL) Normally it is the name of your Blog.
How to Choose a name for your Blog
Deciding on a Blog name can be really hard! You want something that you’re not going to regret after a year, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be something that stops you getting your Blog started.
If you haven’t chosen a name for your Blog yet, here’s some inspiration to get your Blog named with minimal stress.
Use Your Name
Create a personal feel to your blog by using your name. And it gives you the option in the future to make changes to your Blog without the blog name becoming redundant. Here’s 3 Bloggers that use their own names:
- by Regina
- Meera Kothand
- Sarah Titus
Name your Blog something relevant to your niche
It’s nice and easy for your readers to tell what you blog about as soon as they land on your site when your Blog name is relevant to your niche. But it can be limiting if you decide to write about different topics or completely change your niche in the future. Here’s some niche specific Blog name inspiration. As you can see, some Bloggers have been more specific than others:
- Heart Handmade
- Pinch of Yum
- Making Sense of Cents
- Two Crafty Gals
- Blog Beautiful
- Don’t Waste the Crumbs
Or just do your own thing!
Honestly, people use all sorts of names for their Blogs! You get random words, made up words, or word combos that may mean something to the Blogger, but mean nothing to something seeing the Blog name in isolation. Here’s what I’m talking about…
- Thrive/Strive (a fitness Blog)
- Boho Berry (a blog mainly focusing on Bullet Journaling)
- Bogoten (a lifestyle blog focusing on list type round ups)
- Thirteen Thoughts (a lifestyle blog)
- Blue and Hazel (a Motherhood & Lifestyle blog)
- The Random Passion Project (a Blog and Business blog)
Before finally settling on your Domain name, I always suggest
- Getting a .com extension if you can
- Checking there are no trademarks on the Domain name you want to register
- Checking your Blog name (or something very similar) is available on the social media accounts you’re going to use
- Making sure your Blog name isn’t inadvertently embarrassing or inappropriate!
Most hosts, SiteGround Included, include a domain name for at the first year you’re with them, so you buy your domain when you get your hosting and set up your Blog.
So let’s go…
How to Start a Blog with SiteGround
Step 1: Choose a hosting plan. I use the GrowBig plan. It gives me Backup & Restore and Priority Support, and allows me to host more than one Blog.
Step 2: Now is the time to get your Domain Name. It’s included free with your Hosting Plan, but if you already have a Domain registered somewhere else, you can transfer it for free at this stage.
Step 3: Fill out your account details and purchase your Hosting! I purchased Hackalert Monitoring too, for the extra security peace of mind.
Step 4: Your hosting is now all set up and ready to use! You will receive a confirmation email from SiteGround with your account details.
Step 5: Now it’s time to set up WordPress. There are 3 options for completing this step.
- Contact Support and they’ll do it for you
- Use the 1-Click Installer
- Install WordPress manually (if you have more than one blog on the same hosting you’ll need to install WordPress for each domain)
I recommend using the 1-Click Installer. It’s really simple, just follow the instructions and you’ll have WordPress ready to go in less than 5 minutes! If you choose the 1-Click Installer, you can skip straight to Step 6.
If you do need to install WordPress manually, the next 4 steps are for you…
How To Install WordPress manually
5a: Open your cPanel, from My Accounts in your User Area
5b: Scroll down your cPanel until you reach Autoinstallers, and select WordPress
5c: Softaculous will open and simply click on Install Now to get started.
5d: Fill out the details in the Software Setup form.
- If you have more than one domain, make sure the right one is selected from the domain dropdown.
- Fill out your Blog Title and Description (you can change this easily in the WordPress admin panel so don’t worry too much about what you put here.
- Change the Admin username and Password to something you’ll remember. Or write down the default ones provided. You’ll need them to log into your WordPress dashboard!
- Leave Select Theme as none, you can change it from the default WordPress 2017 theme really easily later.
Finally click Install
Step 6: WordPress is now installed!
Type your Domain name into your browser and your new Blog will be there! If you kept the default WordPress 2017 theme, it will look like this
Yay! That’s you all set up. You now have a Blog!
You can log into your WordPress Dashboard by logging into SiteGround and going to My Accounts, then Go to Admin Panel for the Blog you’re working on.
Or go straight to your Admin Panel by entering the URL into your browser. Simply enter “YourBlogURL/wp-admin/” and log in
From your Dashboard, you will be able to:
- Add Pages
- Add Posts
- Change and Customise your Theme
- Add Plugins
- And lots more!
You have a Blog. Now what?
Now it’s time to get yourself acquainted with WordPress. Have a look through the free themes available and choose one you like the look of. At this early stage, I don’t recommend spending too much time worrying about the look of your site.
The two things to focus on first are:
- Writing content, and
- Growing your Traffic
Then you can move on to the fun stuff like making money!