How to Start a Blog or Website

How to start a blog or website

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you.

No matter what our economies go through, there’s always going to be internet (fingers crossed), and there’s always going to be money to be made with online businesses.

Starting a blog is a great way to start an online business and earn passive income.

One of the misconceptions of starting a blog is that you have to be an exceptional writer to be successful in blogging, which simply isn’t true.

As a blogger, you don’t have to be an expert writer to create content. Although there are companies like Writer Access that provide content creation services like writing a blog post, if you want to invest into your blog that way.

You don’t need to have any coding skills or have to pay a professional to do anything for you, and it doesn’t cost a whole bunch of money to start a blog either.

As long as you put forth the effort, regardless if you’re 8 or 88 years old, you can start a blog.

A great advantage of running a blog that makes money is that you will have the ability and freedom to work less and work from anywhere.

You’ll even be able to travel while working. That’s just about everyone’s dream job, isn’t it!

Whether you want to build a company, become self-employed, or just want to have an outlet for creative expression, this is a guide where you will learn everything you need to know about how to start a blog.

The process of starting a blog may seem scary or overwhelming, but you’ll find that as you start to take the necessary steps to get started, it becomes less and less intimidating.

No need to be scared, you should actually be excited! This can turn out to be a life-changing experience.

What you need to start a blog:

  •  A laptop
  • Internet connection

Sidenote: The information in this article on setting up a blog, also applies to anyone that wants to add or create an E-commerce website. 

 Step 1. Choose your Blog Niche / Topic

Your blog niche is basically whatever topic that you want to create your blog content around.

If you’re not already sure what you want to choose as your niche, it’s a good idea to consider the things that you’re good at or have some type of passion for or something that you wouldn’t mind taking the time and effort to learn about.

Don’t think that choosing a niche has to be this long drawn out process where you have to spend weeks meditating on what niche to go with. You can start out with a few different ideas and narrow down your choices when the time comes around for you to start creating content.

Regardless of the niche that you choose, there is more than likely always going to be a way to make money in it.

What is more important is how well you know your audience and the figuring out the different ways that you can provide for them what they need.

Some blog topics that are known to be profitable include:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Essential Oils
  • Recipes
  • Relationship Advice
  • Specific Diets (Keto, Vegan, Etc.)
  • Travel
  • Parenting
  • Tech
  • DIY and Crafts
  • Lifestyle
  • Finance
  • Home Decor
  • Beauty and Fashion
  • Making Money Online
  • Education

It’s not an issue to combine multiple niches in one blog. Although focusing on a specific niche can help you better target an audience.

Don’t overthink all of this too much. What’s important is that you get started, experiment, and learn as you go.

Step 2. Set Up Your Platform

To build your blog you’ll need two things:

  • A Blogging Platform – Where you will create and edit the content for your blog
  • A Hosting Service – So that your website can be published live on the internet

If you want to turn your new blog into a successful online business, the biggest mistake that you want to avoid making is to create your blog with a free or limited blogging platform.

Free blogging platforms come with a lot of different limitations including:

  • You cannot run ads and are limited in other ways of monetizing your content.
  • Blog designing capabilities / options are limited.
  • You don’t own your domain name.
  • Your account can be suspended on violation of terms.
  • Looks less professional.
  • Less bandwidth. (When you start to get a lot of visitors, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid platform)
  • No updates or new features
  • And many more.

You can’t start a blog for free, without putting any money into it, and expect to earn money from it.

The absolute best route is to setup up your blog on a content management system where you host your own site.

The number one platform to use for blogging is WordPress, which is used by 95% of successful bloggers because of its power and customization abilities.

The version of WordPress where you host your own site is WordPress.org. This popular blogging platform, which is free to use, is what you will be using to build, design and maintain your blog.

You can visit the WordPress website here, and click the ‘Get WordPress’ button on the top right of the home page to download this blogging tool.

In order for your website to go live on the internet you will need hosting. Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet.

This is how your website gets viewed on the internet.

The top 2 hosting companies used with WordPress for blogging is

Siteground and Bluehost are basically neck to neck and similar with their features and pricing, and the service that they provide.

Both hosting companies are fully integrated with WordPress which make the setup process easy

*You can set your blog up with SiteGround here for as low as $3.95/month

You can set your blog up with Bluehost here for as low as $2.95/month

You don’t really need to know all of the technicalities of hosting, but you can always get more information by simply googling what hosting is.

Both hosting companies have a 30-day full refund / money back guarantee cancellation policy and customer service support that can guide you through the set up process.

The hosting service comes with a domain name, but it is optional if you want to get your domain name from a specific domain company outside of one of the hosting companies.

A domain name is basically just the text that is on the top bar of your web page. ‘upongee.com’ is the domain name for this website.

Step 3. Understand Your Platform

Once you go through the steps of integrating your hosting with WordPress, it’s time to start getting familiar with the Wordress platform.

When you start using your WordPress dashboard, there’s a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but like anything else, as you go along, you’ll become more comfortable and familiar with the functions over time, then using them becomes second nature.

The first thing that you want to do is to select and apply one of the many free themes that come with the platform.

If you already know which paid theme that you want to use to build and design your site, you can just download and apply that instead of applying the free theme.

As soon as you have your theme set up, you can start navigating aroung the dashboard to become familiar with it.

There a lot of different features inside in the WordPress dashboard, but some of the main ones that you will want to initially get familiar with are:

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Appearance
  • Categories
  • Menus
  • Settings
  • Theme Customizer
  • Comments
  • Media Library
  • Plugins

Step 4. Find Inspiration

Choosing a design style should not be an overlooked part of setting up your blog.

The structure and design that you choose to display will be a part of the representation of your blog / business, and will be noticeable to your visitors every time that they visit your site.

There’s nothing wrong with looking at other websites to find website designs that you like that can give you inspiration on how you’d like to build and design your site.

You shouldn’t stay too hung up on the initial design of your blog though, it is likely that you will change your design a few times as your blog grows and your content and monetization strategies change.

The best thing to do is to start out with a design that’s simple and professional.

Step 5. Choose a Theme

A blog theme is coded software that allows you to add a lot of additional design and customization to your blog.

By now, you already have a theme applied to your blog, but in this section, I’ll be including the option of getting a paid theme.

While it’s optional to apply a paid theme to your blog it is highly recommended as paid themes are more powerful and customizable than free themes.

A majority of people that run profitable blogs, use paid themes, and an advantage to using one includes support staff that is dedicated to help you with technical issues within your paid theme.

My recommendation for a free theme is the Flash theme by ThemeGrill

My recommendation for a paid theme is the Divi theme by Elegant Themes,.

The Divi theme has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read More: Best WordPress Themes for your WordPress website

Step 6. Create Content

When i started my blog, before creating any particular content, my first mission was to create my navigation menu.

The navigation menu is the part of your website towards the top of your page that shows the visitors the different sections that you have in your website.

The navigation menu is going to be created with the Pages and Category sections of your dashboard.

After I created content for certain Pages on my navigation menu, like the About page that tells you about this site,  I started to focus on creating content for the different Category pages.

The Category content will be created with your Post pages, and you can assign each individual post to a Category page.

So if you have a hair blog, you can make a blog post about “The advantages of wearing a wig”, and then assign that post to a Category page that you call Wigs.

There are many other things that you can do as you are creating your content, including:

  • Add images
  • Add social media sharing icons
  • customize headers, footers and banners
  • Focus on writing content
  • Connect with your audience
  • Share your content on different platforms

As far as the monetization aspect there are many methods of making money with your blog, including:

  • Ads ans sponsored posts
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Digital Products
  • Email Marketing
  • And many more

In Conclusion

Starting a blog is not as scary as it seems. All it takes is effort and a little bit of persistence.

If you want to start a blog, i think the most important thing is that you don’t procrastinate.

One important thing that potential entrepreneurs should be careful not to do, is spend too much time analyzing, contemplating and evaluating when and how they should start their business.

You can literally end up spending months and even years saying you’ll start a business like a blog and never get around to doing it.

The best thing to do in this case is to get the hosting for your blog ASAP, because at that point you will feel invested into the business, which in turn can motivate you to get started.

This will then create a domino effect of you now being committed to doing what you have to do to put the pieces together.

The longer that you wait to start your blog, the longer it will take to get to the point where everything comes together beautifully.