When I started blogging a few years ago I went through several trial-and-error (more errors than not) moments before I was able to figure out how to start a blog, let alone how to start a blog for free. There was hardly any information available, I couldn’t find a guide to starting a blog, and it really was hard for me to keep up with all of the changes that was happening in the blogging world. Now that I consider myself a veteran blogger and have learned how to make money from blogging I want to make it easier for you all who are new to blogging or are interested in blogging but have no idea how to start a blog.
*Some of the links below are affiliate links to products/services that I’ve used and personally recommend. If you purchase through the links, I will earn a commission which will help support The Kreative Life.
Figuring Out How to Start a Blog
Get to Writing – Most articles about how to get started blogging say that you should consider your blog name and URL before you start anything else. This is where I disagree. I say that you should start writing first. I believe this is a better strategy because the content you choose to write about is what will bring people back to your website. A catchy name or URL doesn’t. They’ll remember your content before they remember your name. Even if you write a couple of articles in a Word doc before you publish will help. You’ll find your voice, your writing style, and even the topic that you write about the most (your niche).
Find a Webhost That Packs a Punch – When I first started blogging years ago, I really didn’t know much about webhosting and what to expect. I purchased webhosting, I purchased a domain, set up a very basic homepage template, placed pictures where I needed them to be, and wrote text on that homepage that linked to articles. It sounds so perfect, but it really was a nightmare. Whenever I needed to change the slightest placement of a picture, I’d have to move it centimeter by centimeter to where I thought it should be, reload the entire page, and wait a few minutes for the changes to take effect. The backend with my logs were so confusing and customer service didn’t help because it was hard to get in contact with anybody, even through email.
After my subscription ended with that webhost, I switched to Dreamhost and haven’t looked back since. I’ve been with them for several years and have started several other websites with its webhosting service. What I love about their service is that I have webhosting, a WordPress.org site, superb customer service, and they made it easy transferring my content from my old domain (Kreative Creationz) to my new domain (The Kreative Life). Any questions I had or if I changed something in my backend code that locked me out entirely, they were able to fix my issue in no time. Along with their webhosting, Dreamhost offers personalized email addresses using your blog’s URL (no more email@example.com), shared/private/dedicated servers, cloud hosting, free SSL certificates, and much more. Its hosting packages range from $7.95 to $10.95 a month with some services billed only once a year. They currently (April 2018) have a coupon code for 40% off webhosting. Use code HOSTING595COUPON at checkout.
Don’t Forget Social Media – If you’re blogging just for yourself, friends, and family it’s ok to skip this step because they’re probably already following you on your personal accounts. However, if you want your blog to reach the masses and eventually grow an income from blogging, you need to be able to share your content in as many places as possible. You can start business pages with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Business pages will allow you to see analytics (the stats) of each post you share directing back to your blog. Search for usernames that match your blog’s name. Oftentimes, it’s best to see if social media names are available before you choose your domain name so they can be streamlined.
Choose a Blogging Platform – There are several platforms available for blogging, but since I’m most familiar with WordPress.org, that’ll be the one I’ll talk about. I initially started with the nightmare blogging platform I mentioned above, then I switched to WordPress.com, and then I made my final move to WordPress.org a few years ago. I liked the ease of the .com and didn’t have to worry about coding or anything on the backend at all. All I did was write and publish. The only things that were true drawbacks for me were the limited themes available and that I didn’t fully own my content. I changed to .org because the amount of fully customizable themes available through WordPress.org and because I want to own all of the rights to my content.
Plugins and widgets available with themes make them even more customizable. If you’re familiar with coding, having a WordPress.org account is great because you’ll be able to easily change anything on your theme. Blogging themes also give you the ability to add or remove commenting on your posts, insert videos, and even audio files. There are plenty of free themes, but if you want a theme that offers a lot of tailoring, ones that are specifically for your niche, or that have shopping carts attached you can check out StudioPress. I’ve used their Genesis Framework with themes on several of my websites. Most free themes do not offer support once you start using them, but StuidoPress has forums for each theme where you can ask or search for specific questions to help you take care of any issues you may be having.
My blog uses the Foodie Pro Theme which allows me to choose a customizable static front page or a page where all of my blog posts show in chronological order.
Publish Your First Post – You’ve already written your first posts, chose your webhost, setup social media accounts, and know which blogging platform you’re going to use. Now, what do you do with it all? In order to start your own blog you need to publish your first post. WordPress makes it fairly easy to publish your posts. All you have to do is copy the text from your Word document, paste it into your WordPress editor and hit publish. You’re officially a new blogger! If I made publishing a post in WordPress sound way too easy, here’s a guide that will walk you through how to publish a post in WordPress. It really is pretty easy!
Now that you know how to start a blog and how to publish a blog post in WordPress, I want to be the first to welcome you to the amazing world of blogging by giving you an 18 Month FREE Blog Planner that’s over 90 pages and fully customizable. Just click the image below to get your free printable blog planner now!