How to Start a Blog in 2019 : Free Blogging Guide for Beginners

(Last Updated On: 13 Sep)

You’re struck with inspiration for a new blog topic and can’t wait to get started. But there’s just one important thing missing – how to start a blog? 

With all those blogs on thousands of niches scattered around the world wide web, you’d think that starting a blog is a snap which is not so.

 

how to start a blog

 

Starting your own blog and make money is not overly complicated or costly. It can be easy if you know what to do. This article will guide you on how to start a blog in 8 easy steps.

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase any services via these links, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. This helps to keep this blog alive. In your support, it also helps every beginner to start their own blog and make money by having these guides and support available.

NOTE : The Bloggingtek blog is hosted by SiteGround. For only $3.95 a month, SiteGround can help you set up and host your blog. Use this link to receive a 60% discount on the selected hosting plans at SiteGround

Want to skip the introduction? Click here to go to Step 1

Blogging 101: A Primer for Beginners

Blogging has been around for about as long as the modern Web. It’s really no different than journaling, except it’s done online. Over time, blogging became a preferred way to share information because it carried personality.

Let’s do a quick primer on blogging before we start building, shall we?

What is a Blog?

A blog, or weblog, has its roots in personal and professional journaling. Users updated their sites, sharing what was going on in their lives. Some kept it about themselves while others covered the news, work, and whatever their fancy.

The popularity of this content format gave rise to blogging platforms, like:

  • Blogger
  • LiveJournal
  • Xanga

Platforms including WordPress, Tumblr, and several competitors hit the mainstream not long after. While some of the older platforms died off, we saw WordPress becoming the dominant blogging platform with some 75+ million websites built with this technology.

Your basic blog structure and format included:

  • Header (with navigation)
  • Main content area
  • Sidebar
  • Footer

The main content area contained snippets of the blog post, usually sorted by publication date. Posts are divided into categories for structure. And, the sidebar provided extra navigation and personalization.

 

How is a Blog Different from a Website?

The line between a blog and a website has mostly burred these days.

  • Websites are largely static
  • Blogs are organic and change often

Blogs get frequent updates so their homepage and sub-pages are always changing. Compare this to a business website that may only get a revision once every couple of years.

However: A website can house a blog.

You’ll find many static websites featuring a /blog/ section where they’ll post frequent updates. The site benefits from the blog syndication and ease-of-use.

Also: Developers can build a website using a blog platform.

A blog platform is really no different than most site templates. A blog, after all, pulls from a database which happens the same with a dynamic website.

Confused?

Just realize that a blog is a better bet because it offers everything one can do with a website but more.

Why Should I Start a Blog?

The big question isn’t “what is a blog”, or even “how to start a blog” but the “why” you’d want to start a blog in the first place.

Why start a blog? Well, one could:

  • Build a great platform to connect with a like-minded community
  • Promote products and services in exchange for a commission
  • Run ads and features, letting its owner get paid for blogging efforts
  • Transform it into a book, series, or a feature-length documentary
  • Create a strong online presence and platform, later selling it for a profit

Blogging gives a voice, unlike any way before. You are building a space, online, that can become really anything it’s needed to be.

Think of it like this: Blogging can become or amplify a business.

There are ways to make money from blogging. There are ways to transform a blog into a full-on business. And, there are smart strategies to leverage a blog for a business already running (or about to launch).

All-in-all, you’re building an asset with limitations only set by personal creativity and business drive.

How to Start a Blog : Step by Step WordPress Tutorial for Beginners

1: Select a blogging platform

2: Pick a perfect domain name

3: Choose the best hosting service

4: Connect the domain with hosting

5: Installation of WordPress

6: Design your blog

7: Add blog post/page

8: Publish your blog


Step 1

Selecting a Blogging Platform


 

There are several blogging platforms to choose from. They each have their pros and cons, some are easier to use than others.

The following are, in my opinion, the best blogging platforms for newcomers. Plus, my opinion about them from experience and their general acceptance.

WordPress.com (Easy for Beginners)

WordPress puts your content into storage for free, but you’ll experience a limited version of the great WordPress software. Bloggers who want to talk about their favorite hobbies can create a blog for free using wordpress.com

Tumblr (Fun and Interactive)

Tumblr is a well-known blogging/ social network platform. It’s also one of the easiest ways to make a blog. If you love the idea of re-blogging ideas and sharing them in your social circle, then you’ll like Tumblr’s easy sharing options.

Blogger (Great Support)

Blogger is one of the best sites to start a blog for free. The tech giant Google is in control of Blogger, so this means you get blogging tools such as Analytics, AdSense, and other helpful resources connected to your account.

Medium (Strong Community)

Medium is a content publishing platform many people use as their primary blogging platform. It’s a great start because it has a built-in community. Yet, you don’t have control in its design and you’re limited to just content.

My Recommendation: Self-hosted WordPress

WordPress is arguably the best place to start a blog and make money. This is why you find so many tutorials and guides sharing how to start a blog in WordPress — it’s because it’s such a wonderful, flexible platform!

All types of bloggers from niche hobbyists to corporate brands instantly love the WP themes, plugins, HTML codes, and basically, the full control over their blog.

If you have an idea then you can likely tweak the design and make a WordPress blog about it. And, if you don’t know how to code then there’s a good chance someone already made it for you!

The themes and plugins are enough to make any blog beautiful and professional-looking. These let you start a blog in no time because you’re no longer hung up working with devs and designers!

Why You’ll Love Building a WordPress Blog

Why is WordPress such a popular platform when starting a blog? Well, besides its ease-of-use and overall popularity — you’ve got things like:

  • Thousands of free and paid themes, plugins, and extensions
  • Massive support in the forums and all over the net
  • Seamless functionality and unique design and style
  • Flexibility to make it into whatever it needs to be

It’s really the perfect platform for blogging, no doubt. One can build a simple blog or a full-on eCommerce site! You can make one-page sites or a membership blog and platform. WordPress supports it all!

So, if you decide to use WP for the blogging platform, then let’s move onto the next step of how to make a blog by settling on a name for the blog!

 


Step 2

Select the Domain name for your Blog


 

After deciding to start a WordPress blog…

…you’ll want to pick a name for the blog (obviously!).

What Makes a Good Domain

The name for the blog should be:

  • Easy to remember
  • Unique and brandable

You can also consider choosing a name based on a keyword or phrase. This helps the site ultimately get found in search. Yet, this can become limiting when later deciding to change directions and topics on the blog.

My Domain Name “Trick”

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Start writing down blog names
  2. Pick one or two that really “stuck”
  3. Pitch them to friends, seeing what they say

Did any of the blog names stand-out? If so, maybe that’s the one to use! If it’s memorable, easy-to-type, and helps convey your ideas then you’ve got yourself an awesome blog name to get this going!

Buying the Blog Domain

Go to a domain registrar like:

  • Namecheap.com
  • GoDaddy.com
  • Register.com

Expect to spend about $10 to $15 for a domain name unless you find and use a coupon. Or, if you use an introductory rate where sometimes it offers a blog domain name for $0.99 or a few bucks for the first year.

Then:

  1. Input the domain name into the search
  2. Verify the domain is available
  3. Go through the checkout process

Viola! You’ve got a brand new domain name for the blog! From here, set up hosting so you can install WordPress.

 


Step 3

Picking a Blog Hosting Service & WordPress


 

To set up a WordPress blog — you need:

  • Domain
  • Hosting

The Web host is where all blog files are stored. When a person types in the blog name into their browser, it’ll deliver your site. Therefore, you want a fast and reliable blog hosting service so people get to your site quick!

One of the best hosting providers for starting a WordPress blog is SiteGround apart from Bluehost, Dreamhost etc

 

I recommend SiteGround especially for Beginners due to the following features:

1. It’s a well-rounded platform that provides a wealth of nifty features plus the necessary support, security and speed.

2. As for reliability, it’s likely that you won’t experience any downtime with SiteGround.

3. You also get built-in hack protection from online vulnerabilities and prying eyes.

Well, it’s super easy to get started!

Sign Up For SiteGround

Visit the homepage of SiteGround, click “Sign Up”.Choose a Hosting Plan. Currently, there are 3 plans available.

siteground hosting plans

 

*The StartUp plan is best for those who are starting out blogging with just one website.

*The GrowBig plan is perhaps the best value for your money. You can create multiple websites and an included SuperCacher feature, which further speeds up and optimizes site speed for WordPress and Joomla platforms.

*The GoGeek is best for those who want everything. They can set up a suitable e-commerce site and get developmental bells and whistles such as GIT integration and staging technology.

For beginners, its best to choose the startup plan.

 


Step : 4

Connecting the Domain and Hosting


 

Next, you will be asked to choose your domain. Enter the domain name you have purchased from Namecheap. SiteGround also provides domain name registration when you host with them but the price is high.

 

siteground domain name

 

Getting your SiteGround set up is super easy:

  1. Create your account
  2. Enter the payment details
  3. Review everything
  4. Scan the terms and conditions
  5. Hit Submit

Follow these steps and complete the registration process. You’re done!

 

siteground payment methods

 

Though you have entered the domain details in SiteGround it will still be parked in Namecheap. You have to enter the SiteGround nameservers in your corresponding Domain Registrar DNS section. Follow the below tutorials to point your nameservers.

For Namecheap : How to point domain from Namecheap to Siteground

For Godaddy : How to point domain from Godaddy to Siteground

Those two tutorials go into the complete details of connecting your domain to the hosting. It’s a relatively straightforward process though it does get technical so you’ll want to take your time.

The basics behind the process involve doing this:

  1. Logging into both your domain and hosting accounts
  2. Setting the domain name servers to your hosting servers
  3. Verifying your information, and letting the domain/hosting connect

Getting tripped up on this process? Feel free to drop me a line! My goal with this wasn’t just teaching you how to start a blog for beginners. But, also helping out when needed.

Your next task? Well, it’s installing WordPress!

 


Step 5

Install WordPress on SiteGround


 

Once you log in to SiteGround account, head over to cpanel.Cpanel offers a ton of features for the web host. Notably, you’ll have handy plugins that will let you install scripts, packages, and other neat things. One of these includes WordPress — how cool is that?!

 

siteground cpanel

 

Under “Software Services” in cPanel, locate the Softaculous icon. Click on it. You will be taken to the Softaculous installer page.

 

Installing wordpress on Siteground

 

On the navigation panel, click on “WordPress”. The installer will then take you to the WordPress installation page.

 How to install wordpress using Siteground

Fill out the WordPress Form : Here is where you will be required to provide all the necessary information for installing WordPress.

Just click on the “Install” tab and you will be presented with a form to fill in the data to be used to install your blog on SiteGround. This tab is active by default.

Fill in your desired information before finishing the installation process.

In the protocol, you have to define whether you want to run your blog on the raw domain or its”www” subdomain. Also choose if you prefer “https” over”http”.

Update : https is preferred nowadays as it gives a trust signal in search results. Contact SiteGround Customer care for more information

When choosing the domain to install WordPress on, ensure you choose the root domain, unless you want the blog on your subdomain.

Enter your blog name and description. This description sometimes appears on your site, depending on the theme configuration. Under “Admin Setting”, ensure you change the master account username to something different from the default “admin”.

Provide a strong password and your email.Now choose a language for your blog. This is the main language that will be installed on your blog.

 

make a wordpress blog

 

Complete the Installation: On the Advanced section of the Softaculous installer, you might not need to edit anything. After making sure everything looks good, click the”install” button.

The WordPress installation will be completed in a few seconds.

Congratulations!

You’ve successfully installed WordPress using the Softalicious plugin in cPanel. Take note of the user name, password, and other details. Keep them safe!

You’ll get confirmation of the installation including info on how to log in. Now you’re ready to get everything going, installing a theme and plugins!

 


Step 6

Design Your Blog using WordPress Themes


wp themes

The theme is what makes WordPress blogs unique.

You can find thousands of WP themes all over the Web. Many are completely free while others come at a premium. You’ll find themes for all different types of blogs, too, from business and personal to news, video, and more!

Picking and Installing a WordPress Theme

To begin, Go to Appearance > Themes, then install or download a free WordPress theme from there.The best themes are immediately captivating to the eye, and professional looking.But, most importantly, you should look for a design that’s customizable in case you want to tweak it to specific ideas and goals.

Spend time looking at the themes and don’t just settle for the first. The design should be in alignment with the niche and should be easy for readers to browse around content.

For most of the content rich niches you can settle with a free theme. Its true, Believe me! But remember you can always browse on premium theme websites to get paid themes such as, Studiopress Genesis, for more blog exposure.

Adding WordPress Plugins and Features

Now is also a good time to add WordPress plugins.

Plugins add extra features to the WordPress installation. You’ll find plugins that help with everything from tracking traffic and handling security to adding eCommerce features, and so much more.

A few, recommended plugins to explore include:

  • Yoast — For all SEO needs
  • Sucuri — Add a ton of security features
  • Pretty Links — Easily control outbound links
  • WooCommerce — Add a shopping card
  • Gravity Forms — Simple to advance forms

Look in the Plugins -> Add New section of WordPress and sort by popularity to get a start. Find thousands of great, free plugins to modify the installation. Then, start checking out the premium plugins, too!

Like themes — if there’s a function you need then someone probably made it.


Step 7

Adding Basic Pages and Blog Posts


 

Open up the WordPress dashboard and crack your knuckles, as it’s time to start blog customization.

Navigating the Menu

The dashboard serves as the back end of the blog that you can tweak to change what your viewers see. On the left side, you’ll see the WordPress admin menu.

Here are some of the more important features you’ll use often:

Dashboard – The page you’ll see as soon as you log in.

Posts – Write your first blog post, preview it and once satisfied push publish button.

Pages – The same as in Posts menu.Create, preview and Publish new pages

Media – Upload all your videos, embed youtube videos, photos, audio files and related content here. It will act as your WordPress media library.

Comments – All about comments. You’ll start to see this menu light up as soon as you’ve published your first post, and when people start leaving comments

Appearance – Refers to the aesthetic values of your website. You can change designs and bring out your online interior decoration skills here.

You’re now at that part, trying to answer “what to blog about?“.

It’s a good question that needs answering because, up to this point, you’ve only built a basic platform to share ideas and information. Having some form of direction matters.

You’ve got to walk before you can run — just start and you’ll pick up the rest.

So, say you want to post some new content. Some sort of a testing ground. How do you do it in the least amount of steps? Here’s how:

  1. Move your mouse on over to the “Posts” menu
  2. Click on “Add New” from the drop-down menu that pops out

blog page

 

The first tab will be for your post title, the second, a much larger tab will be for the content of the post. Go try it out and write your very first blog post!

Once everything’s set, click on Publish.

As soon as the page refreshes, click on “View Post”, and you’ll be taken to the live post on your blog. Easy, right? That’s the basics of adding a blog post, it’s the same for adding a page on the blog, too!

Optimizing a Page/Post

I wanted to share one more thing when creating these pages/posts:

  • Try to keep the page about one, general topic but support it with sub-topics (think: this is the best piece of content about this topic)
  • Include keywords throughout the title, description, and body so Google picks it up and ranks it for those chosen terms

Also:

  • Add media using the editing features in WordPress
  • Embed video or interactive graphics to make the page fun and neat
  • Stylize the content using formatting, making it easier to read

You’ll soon get the hang of it.

Optimizing each page/post will help improve your search traffic. Before long, you’ll get a lot of people coming and leaving feedback. You can use this feedback to refine your work, content, and efforts. But that’s for another time.

 


Step 8

Launching the Blog


 

Now’s the big moment…

…it’s time to launch!

Technically, you’re already live if you’ve made it to this point. Adding in a few pages and posts now gives people something to explore.

What’s next? It’s up to you!

I’d recommend:

  • Coming up with a list of blog post ideas and start writing
  • Sharing your blog with friends/family, getting their feedback
  • Trying out new plugins and features, learning what they do

See it as a playground of some sort. Dive right in and learn as you go. Reach out to fellow bloggers, getting their feedback, tips, and suggestions. Or, check out a free or paid course if you really want to.

You should try to — at least — set up the main site:

  • Home
  • Blog/Articles
  • Services/Shop
  • About Me/Us
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Disclaimer

You know… average pages seen on most sites. Get those down and you’ll have a full-on blog and website. Then it’s all about getting more content out there, getting more traffic, building a community, and growth!

Blogging Extras and Resources

Blogging seems sometimes easy. A lot of times it’s tedious. We all have made some blogging mistakes at some point in time.

That’s the beauty of blogging:

You’ve got a lot of great information and tutorials like this out there. Feel free to experiment and learn while going, too. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes when learning how to start a blog — it’s part of the fun!

That said:

If you are new to blogging then check out the following resources since they’re really helpful to learn beyond the blogging basics:

I also recommend checking out more of BloggingTek.com. And, following on social media channels where I share a lot of great information.

Conclusion

The steps outlined above is probably the easiest way to build a blog. The best hosting reviews put SiteGround above all else for a number of reasons, including ample security, great entry-level costs and full compatibility with WP themes.

Before long, as you learn your way around WP, you’ll soon discover how to make a living blogging. The idea will jump right out! You’ll begin forming a community that’ll support your work and efforts — and with this community come opportunities to monetize and build something great.

Create your own blog in just 30 minutes and show the world what you have to say. Share ideas, thoughts or your expertise to your readers and be ready to mix with the online community.