Starting a blog is something that may appear daunting to many people, but it isn’t really that difficult, with a little help. However, if you are like a lot of people, especially those with little or no experience of online business, you may not know where to start.
In the following article, I take you through how to start a blog, with little or no experience.
If you are serious about building and publicizing a business online, a blog is an essential tool. For those that don’t know what a blog is, it is essentially an online journal or collection of articles, usually put together by an individual or a group of contributors.
I am going to focus on how an individual would start a blog, but the principles and tools I use could be equally applied to a group or company blog.
On the subject of tools – I recommend a number of tools in this article as being useful when starting a blog. These are my recommendations based on personal experience and research.
It is also important to point out that the links I include,, are affiliate links. That means that I will receive a small commission if you sign up for any of these products or services after clicking on any of these links.
A Quick Note On Affiliate Marketing
I am a big advocate of affiliate marketing. If you are looking to earn an income from your blog, affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to do so.
You don’t need to go to the expense of developing your own product. Instead, you promote someone else’s product and earn a commission. If you want to know more about affiliate marketing, I have some links at the end of the article.
Quick disclaimer – this review does contain affiliate links to products that I recommend. I only recommend products that I have used and that I think could be beneficial to your business. I receive a small commission if you click on any of the links and sign up for the product or service, but that doesn’t increase the price and may sometimes include special discounts.
How To Start a Blog – What Do You Need?
You need a Domain and a Hosting Provider
The first thing you will need when starting your blog is a name for your business and a domain name for your blog. This could be your name if your name is unique enough. Alternatively, you may choose something that is relevant to your business, like I did with www.silentearning.com. I focus a lot on how to earn income online passively, sometimes while you sleep. SilentEarning sums that up pretty well.
Find a Domain
If you are stuck for a name and want some ideas, I recommend a tool called Hover. With Hover, you can type in a phrase that fits your business and you will be greeted with a list of available domains that either uses the words in that phrase or are similar along with the cost to buy. Click to add and after a few steps, it’s yours.
Check it out at www.hover.com
Which Hosting Provider
Armed with your shiny new domain name, you then need to find somewhere to host your blog so that it can be seen online.
I did quite a lot of research on this before I chose my hosting company. This included checking out what the top bloggers were recommending.
I eventually narrowed it down to two: Bluehost and Hostgator. I have tried both and have blogs hosted on both platforms. I find Bluehost slightly easier to use with some great tutorials. They also include a free domain name with some of their packages.
More recently, I have seen great reviews of Siteground. I have tested Siteground on client sites and been very impressed with both performance and the support they provide.
WordPress is the platform of choice when you are looking to start a blog or even a full website.
Close to a third of all websites and nearly half of all blogs now use WordPress as their platform.
I speak to many people who want to set up an online business. Some already have a business running offline or they have a business idea. Others like the idea, but don’t have a niche in mind.
If you fall into the latter category, I recommend you just take a step back and decide on your niche and indeed on your audience.
I recommend reading “Will It Fly” by Pat Flynn. It takes you step-by-step through the process of finding your niche and testing it. I have a link to it at the end of the article,
The good news is that Bluehost, Hostgator and Siteground all include a wizard-driven WordPress installer that means you can install WordPress in a couple of clicks.
If you still need some guidance, Bluehost has some excellent videos on YouTube which take you through the whole install process and even show you how to build a simple web site.
If you purchased your domain from a different provider, such as Godaddy or Hover, you need to change your domain settings to those provided by Hostgator or Bluehost. The following link takes you to how to do this with Hover:
Once you have your domain in place, you have to choose a theme and possible a WordPress framework.
Choosing a WordPress Theme
This is actually one of the more important steps when starting a blog. Choosing a quality theme not only affects the look and feel of your blog, but it can also affect its speed and its Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
As with choosing a hosting provider, I went through a lot of research to chose a WordPress theme. Many people with established blogs had gone through a number of Theme changes to get the best results and all had wished they had chosen better to start with.
Build Your Own vs Using a Page Builder
If you are comfortable with building your own pages or you have access to a good WordPress developer, you can go with a theme that doesn’t include a page builder. However, unless your business is web design, I wouldn’t recommend trying to set everything up yourself. I know from personal experience that this can be a massive time-suck lined with endless frustration.
If you go down the page builder route, I recommend Elementor. This builder works well with a number of popular WordPress themes and there are plenty great Elementor resources available.
Here are the steps I would recommend:
- Decide on your branding, your color scheme and your logo
- Put together layout for your home, page, about page and blog home page using a page builder platform such as Leadpages or Kartra
- Find a WordPress expert on www.fiverr.com, preferably someone with experience of Elementor Page Builder. Send them everything you have put together and ask them to build the site for you.
I would also recommend you check our some of the resources below or visit my blog resource page
My good friend Pat Flynn offers several great courses. I have gone through them and highly recommend you try them out.
Build Your Own Brand – This is a free course that is great for anyone who just wants to be taken step-by-step through setting up their online business.
Smart From Scratch – If you have an online business idea and want to know if it is a good one, or maybe you want to set up an online business, but don’t know what your niche is, this course is for you.