Everything you need to know about starting a blog

Our goal with this site is to explain how to start a blog in the simplest way possible.  Starting a blog can often be the first step to a new career or even a new life, but you need to know what to do so that you don’t make any time consuming mistakes that could have been avoided from the beginning.

After reading through just this one page you will have everything you need to know to start a blog today.

There are 4 simple steps you need to complete to start a blog.  We will go through each of these steps in greater detail below.

  1. Pick your blog topic.  We will assume that you already have some idea the topic you want to write about.
  2. Choose and purchase a domain name for your blog.  E.g. www.myawesomeblog.com – there are lots of places where you can buy a domain – you have probably heard of GoDaddy.com
  3. Pick a blogging platform.  This is just the online tool you will use to write your blog posts – most people use WordPress – and we think it is the best choice as well.
  4. Find a place to host your blog.  All your blog content will be stored on a computer/server on the internet.  You have to pick a company where you install your blogging software and store your blog posts.

Pick a Blog Topic

Most successful blogs are about one or maybe 2 topics.  If you stick to a single topic it helps you stay focused and it also works well for your audience.  For example, if your blog topic is restaurant reviews, and you stick to that topic, then over time you will build an audience of people who also frequent restaurants and are interested in your take on them.  They will become loyal readers – a blogger’s best friend.

If you want to blog about 2 or more completely different topics, you should probably consider creating a blog for each one.  That is enough about blog topics.  You probably already know what you want to blog about anyway.

Choose and Purchase a Domain Name For Your Blog

Technically, this step is not mandatory.  You can set up a blog for free on services like Blogger or WordPress, but there is one major drawback.  With a free blog you don’t get your own domain name.  Let’s say you want to name your blog www.myawesomeblog.com, you can’t do that with a free service.  With a free blogging service your blog address would be something like myawesomeblog.wordpress.com or myawesomeblog.blogger.com.  If you are even the least bit serious about your blog, I would just get your own domain name.  A domain only costs about $10 – $15 per year.

Where to search for and buy a domain:

There are many many places you can buy domains, but there are 3 that I recommend.

  • GoDaddy.com – Almost everyone has heard of GoDaddy and their Danica Patrick commercials.  They are a legit company and when I am searching for a domain, I almost always go there.  Even if I don’t buy the domain name from them, I like their search and search suggestions the best.
  • Bluehost.com – These guys are know for hosting (which we explain further below) but you can also get the domain from them, which makes the hosting setup much easier.
  • HostGator - Another company that is known and recommended for hosting, but they also let you search for and buy domains.

Remember, for simplicity, I highly recommend you buy your domain from the same place you that will host your blog.  All three of the options above let you buy the domain and host it.  You really can’t go wrong with any of them.  If you are price sensitive I’d go with Bluehost or Hostgator because their hosting plans are cheaper and they don’t have as many add on charges as GoDaddy, but they are all good choices.  The cost of hosting has become extremely cheap, so we’re talking about less than $10 per month.

Pick Your Blogging Platform

I’ll make this simple.  You should use WordPress.  There are other services out there like Blogger or Tumblr, but WordPress is by far the most popular and if you ever need any help with anything, almost everyone knows WordPress.  If you choose one of the blog hosts above, installing WordPress can be done in 2 minutes with one click.

Pick Your Blog Host

The final step to starting your blog is choosing a blog host.  The host is where you will install WordPress and all your blog stories and pictures will be stored.  As we also mentioned above.  We recommend that you buy your domain from the place you want to host your blog.  If you buy your domain from GoDaddy, let GoDaddy host your blog.  Don’t try to buy the domain one place and have it hosted elsewhere. It can be done, but it is a bit of a pain, especially for a beginner.

Our recommendations are: GoDaddy, Bluehost, and Hostgator.  I personally have blogs hosted at all of them.  Bluehost and Hostgator are very similar.  GoDaddy is a little more expensive, but might also be slightly easier for beginners, though they are all very easy.