How to Start a Blog

The Beginner's Guide to Creating a Blog in 2020

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Do you want to learn how to start a blog?

blog sign

More than 7,467 people started their blogs with the help of this guide.

Hi, my name is Anya. I’ve been blogging for more than eight years and love every moment of it. Blogging helped me find my first job and earn money on the side.

When I was learning how to create a blog back in 2010, it took me some time to find all the right information online, and I had to look for it on different websites. That’s why I’ve created this free step-by-step blog tutorial to teach beginners how to make a blog fast and easy. It’s not as complicated as many people think.


This guide is 30 minutes read (8231 words). Yes, it might be an extended reading, but I cover everything new bloggers should know for starting a blog today.

Below, I’ll show you how to build your own WordPress blog with the one-click install using Bluehost (hosting provider trusted by millions of customers).

Jump to “Step #5: Starting a blog on WordPress” section

P.S. If you have any questions about this guide or get stuck with the steps, I’d be more than happy to assist you. You can get in touch with me via the
contact form.

Kind words from top bloggers and influencers

If you’re just starting your blog or want to level up your blogging skills, make sure to check out Anya’s @firstsiteguide.

Mark Schaefer
Mark Schaefer

How to Start a Blog via @firstsiteguide. Super helpful!

Mari Smith
Mari Smith

New to #blogging or looking for additional blogging resources? Check out Anya and @FirstSiteGuide.

Neil Schaffer
Neil Schaffer

How to Start a Blog in 8 Easy Steps

introduction to blogging

Disclosure: FirstSiteGuide is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. We test and try all the products that we recommend.

Before you go into action steps for how to create a blog, let me cover some valuable facts. This section provides details on why you should start a blog and blogging 101 information.

To skip the basic introduction, use the link below:

Jump to “Step #2: Choose a blogging platform” section

Why are you starting a blog?

Do you want to communicate something, like a message or an idea? Do you want to build a community around your love for a cause? Do you want to keep your followers and fans updated on what’s the latest with your brand? Do you want to explain how your product or service works and why people should buy it?

A blog can help you inform, educate, promote and even sell, but only if you are clear about your intention from the start.

Hence, take some time to figure out your message and the purpose of your blog. In the meanwhile, here are several reasons why many people make a blog and enjoy blogging:

  • To enhance writing and thinking skills
  • To establish expertise
  • To increase self-confidence
  • To network with others in the industry
  • To make money blogging

There are many ways to make money by starting your own blog; you can sell products and merchandise online or place ads and receive compensation from brands by promoting their products and services – considering that 61% of online customers make purchases based on recommendations from a blog, this could turn into a highly profitable endeavor for you.

A quick primer – Blogging for beginners

All in all, there are four important steps to making a blog quickly. I’ll go into details on how to start a blog on WordPress later, but for now, you can review these steps. If you are familiar with these things, you can create a blog in 15-20 minutes or even less:

  • Carefully select the best blog platform
  • Find a perfect web host and get a domain name
  • Design your blog
  • Find as many useful resources as you can

Blogging platform

The first thing you should do is find the best blog site. There are many of these, with all kinds of different features, but I use and recommend self-hosted It’s one of the biggest and easiest blogging sites and it allows you to design your blog with ease. Simplicity is key here.

Web host and a domain name

Free blogs have tons of limitations and downsides, but self-hosting a blog on your domain allows you to fully own your blog. That’s why you should seriously consider hosting a blog on your own domain. I tested Bluehost, a web hosting company that provides you with a free domain name, and I recommend them to all new bloggers.


If you decide to go with WordPress, you’ll get a chance to enjoy multiple free WordPress blogging themes. Go with the one that’s easy to customize and looks professional to some degree.

Useful resources

The more you know about social media and online experiences, the more prepared you will be to step into the blogosphere. Remember, the big fish always eats the small one, so keep learning and improving if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

Step #1: Select a perfect niche for your blog

blogs solve problems

Before you learn how to start a successful blog, you must first find your niche, figure out how to make it profitable, and figure out who your ideal readers are. In short, a niche is a topic that you write about most often, or even exclusively, in your blogs. Niche blogging is creating a blog to advertise to a particular market. Niche blogs are easy to monetize and they usually contain affiliate links, advertisements, etc., and that’s mostly how they become profitable.

How to choose a niche for your blog

To become a successful blogger, you will have to choose the right niche and work on attaining the highest form of knowledge within that topic. So pick the one that appeals to you—the one you are passionate about and most interested in. Strive for success, happiness, and recognition. By choosing the niche of interest and having your own point of view, you’ll be able to differentiate your personal blog ideas from the competition.

Step #2: Choose a blogging platform

wordpress platform

At this stage, you’ll need to look at the best blog sites out there and determine the type of blog management tool you want to use. I recommend that you make your own blog using a self-hosted setup that I show in this guide. But before you ask yourself, how do I start a blog, let me describe each option. When it comes to popular blogging platforms, you have the following options: free and self-hosted (recommended).

Free platforms

Blogging statistics for top management platforms in the United States
WordPress 96.19% Blog usage in U.S.
Blogger 3.29%
MovableType 0.18%
Ghost 0.17%
Tumblr 0.03%
Blog Engine 0.01%
Pagekit 0%
Svbtle 0%
Posthaven 0%
Anchor CMS 0%


For many new bloggers, the availability of free blog platforms such as, Blogger, or Tumblr is tempting.

By keeping your blog on a free platform, you let the platform own your name. You’ll be subject to their rules and restrictions. If you are looking to learn how to make money with a blog, they may limit or prohibit ads on your blog, or they may even place their own ads. If you’re serious about blogging, you’ll want to move away from free blog sites.

Self-hosted platforms

Self-hosted platforms allow you to run a blog using your own domain. Aside from following your domain registrar and web hosting company’s rules, you’re fully in charge of your blog and its contents.

You have several choices when it comes to self-hosted systems (also called a Content Management System or CMS). The most popular is This option is called self-hosted because you will use your own web hosting space and name. If you use our recommended hosting company, it will cost just a few bucks per month for the webspace (hosting account), and you will get a FREE name (domain) for the first year. The actual CMS is usually open-source and free.

Although I mentioned some free hosting options, the best course of action is to own your blog, especially if you will be using your own copyrighted material (articles, drawings, photos, etc.). Pay a small amount of money every month, about the same as a Starbucks coffee, and you will build your own equity.

If you plan to sell products, services, music, or anything else via your blog, then this is the best way to go. Many hosting providers can help you maintain an e-commerce blog.

wordpress is a king

One of the best and most well-known self-hosted content management systems (CMS) is, powering 25.4% of all websites in the world and responsible for over 76.5 million sites. It is recommended by 99% of the blogging experts I’ve surveyed.


To create a WordPress blog, you need to decide on two important things: a domain name and a web hosting provider. If you are a new blogger, you should try using Bluehost, a company that powers over 2 million websites worldwide.

I was able to negotiate a special deal only for my visitors that includes:

  • Free domain name
  • 30-day money-back guarantee period
  • Discount price of $2.75 per month

→ Click Here to Claim an Exclusive 65% Bluehost Discount Offer ←

Step #3: Pick a domain name

pick domain name

Your domain name will be the name by which you will be known online, no matter what niche you choose. It’s your unique address on the Internet. Your domain will be yours as long as you continue paying the annual fee ($10 to $15 for a .com domain). Users who know your domain/URL (uniform resource locator) can simply type it into their browser’s address bar. Others will be able to discover you through search engines such as Google and Bing, so you definitely need to find a unique moniker.

Your domain name may be the highly popular “dot com,” or it may be country or niche-specific. The general rule is to go for a “dot com” domain, but some of the other extensions can work. For example, “dot net” or “dot me.”

If you can’t find the domain name you like, Bluehost will let you choose a Free Domain later. That will give you time to do some research and thinking.

Recommended tool:

In the end, it’s about being memorable, so if a different extension or country code helps you be memorable, then break the rules!

Step #4: Get a web hosting account

choose web hosting

After choosing a domain name, selecting reliable hosting services will be one of the most important decisions you make. To a great extent, the functionality and performance of your site will depend on your blog hosting. The host makes sure your site is available 24/7 to potential readers and it’s where your files are stored online.

Most hosting companies also offer domain registration services. Some people keep their domain name with the registrar company, separate from the hosting account. I recommend keeping it all under your hosting account for hassle-free management and maintenance.

The wrong web host can cause many problems with your blog. Just imagine choosing a mobile company that has no reception. Your web host is a major piece of the puzzle to creating a successful blog; therefore, you must choose a reliable provider.

Based on our survey, a reliable provider is Bluehost. 99% of blogging experts suggest using it with

WordPress Bluehost

Step #5: Starting a blog on WordPress

This section provides detailed information to help you sign up for the web hosting account and how to set up a WordPress blog. As an example, I will show you how to make a blog with Bluehost, and I included screenshots of the pages that you need to go through.

1. Visit Bluehost

Use this link to visit Bluehost. Then click the “Get Started Now” button.
bluehost home page

2. Select your blog’s hosting plan

You should start by selecting your plan. If this is your very first one, you should go with the basic one – at least until you explore your options. The one called plus should be able to cover all your needs once you get going, and you should consider the pro version once your popularity skyrockets.

hosting plans

3. Input your blog’s domain name

Your domain name has a say in the success of your blog, so you should take your time to come up with something new. Just type in the desired domain in this “new domain” box and Bluehost will show you whether it’s available or not. If not, it will provide you with a list of similar names for you to choose from.

choose domain name

4. Register for Bluehost

After you pick out your domain name, Bluehost will take you to the registration page where it will be required from you to fill in your personal info, including the billing data. A couple of minutes are all you need.

bluehost account info

5. Select your hosting options

Pay additional attention to your hosting options. Obviously, the 12-month package has the lowest price, but the other two are great when you want to make a long term investment.

package info
You can feel free to uncheck the rest of the boxes – you can always get them later when you find them necessary.

6. Launch your WordPress blog with Bluehost

Congratulations, we are almost there! Once you have your domain name and web hosting connected, it’s time to set up WordPress.

Go to your Bluehost cPanel account, find the ‘My Sites’ section, and click Install WordPress. That’s the famous one-click set-up offered by Bluehost that makes blog creation a breeze.

step six

Now, if you go to your site’s URL, you will only see a ‘Coming Soon’ page because the site hasn’t gone live yet. For this, you’ll need to set up and design a WordPress site before launching it, but I’ll get to that later. Once this is done, go back to the cPanel and hit ‘Launch.’

Step #6: Select a WordPress theme to design your blog

More on themes

The first thing your blog’s front end needs is a face (design and layout). You want to create an environment that is both eye-catching and practical. In the long run, you want your visitors to easily find information on your site. You don’t want visitors to be discouraged by the colors you choose or the non-intuitive and unpractical way in which information is displayed. Your design can cause instant distrust of your blog or immediate acceptance.

Start your search for a theme as soon as your WordPress platform is installed. The look and feel of your new blog rely on the theme you choose. Your readers will first notice the overall appearance, before even taking a look at the content. Choose a theme that looks great, but also works for your unique content needs. The default theme that comes with your WordPress blog installed is Twenty Nineteen—while it’s a good starter theme, you’ll want to choose a theme that is unique and compatible with your niche. There are more than three thousand themes available on

Premium theme price
A premium WordPress theme has the average price of $40

Third-party themes
Among the 10 most popular free themes on, only 3 come from third-party developers (not developed by or Automattic). They are: Swift, Zerif Lite, ColorWay

Here’s a quick checklist for choosing your theme by searching within the blog dashboard:

  • Read the description. Most themes come with a short description of features and functionality. Reading it can help you figure out if the theme matches your needs.
  • Check for responsiveness. Aim for a responsive design that will work on desktop browsers and mobile devices. This is recommended by Google.
  • Check the ratings. Star ratings will be visible in the preview and under theme details to give you a clear idea of how good the theme is.
  • Preview the theme. Preview the theme (demo) to get an idea of the overall look, layout, and how customizable it is.

If you find a theme that takes your breath away, cool down. Once you install a theme you like, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t look quite right. It is just a skeleton of your blog. To make it appealing, you’ll have to fill in content (text, photos, videos, etc.).

Should you choose a free, premium or a custom theme when setting up a blog

Free, premium, and custom themes

For many visionary novice bloggers, the world is not enough. The stash of free themes does not satisfy their particular desire for the look and feel they are going for. There are two other options you can take a look at, premium and custom themes. But they incur a cost, sometimes a tiny one, at other times a considerable amount.

Premium themes are created by both single developers and dedicated showcase websites. The price range for single-use licenses ranges from $30 to $500, depending on which premium theme you choose.

Custom themes are created by an individual developer (coder and designer, or agency) who will either customize an existing theme or create a brand new theme for you. While coming with clear-cut advantages, they are not the ideal choice for a beginner blogger due to their high cost. Prices to customize a theme, ranging from $500 to $2,000, depending on the features you want.

Recommended reading: The Best WordPress Themes for 2020

Blog theme customization

Installing and setting up your new theme is quite exciting; these steps confirm that you made a good choice with WordPress as your blog management system. Remember, your Dashboard is the place where it all happens in the back end, including the option of installing your theme.

Once you login to your account, you are now able to choose one of the default WordPress themes provided by Bluehost. Keep in mind that you can always pick another theme from a repository.

choose theme

After selecting a theme of your choice, you are now ready to log in to the WordPress dashboard.

login to wp

Once you login to your WordPress dashboard, you will be prompted with the “Welcome” message and you can choose to accept the help provided by Bluehost for selecting the type of website you are about to create. Or, you can always do it on your own.

welcome screen

If you click on the Bluehost button in the left-hand corner, you will see the page with various tools that are designed to help you create your own blog. Click the “Launch” button and you’ll be seen online within minutes.

launch blog screen

After clicking the “Launch” button, you will just need to fill the two most important fields for your site. The title and description, which will tell your future visitors what is your site all about.

blog info

Congratulations, you just learned how to create a blog. Your new blog is ready for launch, so get ready to learn how to blog!

Recommended tutorial: The Beginner’s Guide to Managing WordPress Blog (including Video Tutorials)

Now you should learn what it takes to customize your blog, make the necessary tweaks to make it stand out and please your readers.

Step #7: Write content and promote your blog

writing blog content

So far, you’ve captured a domain name, chosen your blog site and set up the theme, and you are ready to go. Your framework is complete. Now comes the moment of truth. You must learn how to write blog content – in the blogging world, any useful information that you bring to readers can be called “content.” It must be something people will want to interact with and come back to get more, something of value.

The next step is to figure out what content you need to make for your new blog and the best practices you should follow. Whether your blog is to be composed primarily of words, photos, graphics, audio, video, etc. – the content will be the bait that draws your crowd. Few will come just to see your new site.

Without great content, even the most well-designed, tightly-structured blogs will ultimately fail. The framework of the web is code – but the attraction of the web is the content found there.

Three things your content should do

  • Your content speaks to a specific audience and provides value to them in some significant way. If this sounds suspiciously like our Commandments, you are right. Drill the idea into your mind and never forget it: It’s not about you; it’s about them.
  • Your content should be easily accessible and attractively presented. Your presentation must equal the quality of your content. Here again, don’t cut corners on low-quality graphics or designs. Everything about your blog must attract your visitors and encourage them to interact with your content.
  • Your content may be commercially purposed, but should never be commercially focused. Never greet your visitors with pop-up ads and giant banner ads. Greet them with content and reasons to engage with that content. Let them know you are there to help them, not to use them.

As a blog owner, you might get overwhelmed by all the available types of content and methods you can deliver it to your readers. You have to remember that the content delivery method is less important than the actual content and its quality.

Wondering how you can create quality content? It’s simple.

Here are three simple steps approach you can use to make great content of any type:

  • Point. State your main idea and point you are covering.
  • Prove. Give an example of the idea you are covering.
  • Perform. Give a simple way to execute the idea.

There are two blocks you need to worry about, pre-launch and post-launch contents:

Pre-launch content

Before you start writing your day-to-day blog posts, you will want to make sure static pages (such as About us, Contact, etc.) and other parts of your blog (Sidebar, Footer, etc.) are filled with the suitable information. Let’s explore each of these content areas.

  • About us. The most traditional page on any blog is the About page. This page tells new visitors to your blog what it is all about, who you are and why you run a blog about the particular topic. Depending on your niche and your style, the information you provide can be “all business” or personal and fun.
  • Contact. This page allows visitors to your blog to communicate with you at any time. It can be a simple page with your email address plus social network links, or you can use a simple contact form that visitors can use to communicate with you without leaving your website.
  • Sidebar content. Your sidebar is the smaller column to the left or right (depending on the theme you selected) of your blog’s main content. In the sidebar, you could include your blog categories, the most popular posts, ads, etc.
  • SEO meta tags. You will need to prepare content for the SEO titles and description tags of each page (not seen on the actual page, but you need to have it ready).

Post-launch content

  • Blog posts. The blog post is an entry (article) that you write on a blog. It can include content in the form of text, photos, infographics, or videos.
  • Cornerstone content. Cornerstone (or evergreen) content continues to be relevant to its readers and gives them value years after the publish date. It is always fresh and up-to-date. It remains informative and retains its original quality. As its name implies – it is timeless.

Recommended reading: How to Write Blog Content – Posts, Pages, & More

Content is not limited to written material but easily overlooked. It is often best to utilize numerous forms of content and give your audience more than one way to obtain knowledge.

Recommended reading: 100+ Types of Digital Content You Can Make

To produce quality content, you will have to use your originality and imagination. However, you have to understand that some content performs better than others. But again, you should start creating content that you feel comfortable with, right for your readers, and for your blog.

Start promoting your blog

promoting blog content

You’ve learned that the content will be the bait that draws your audience. You can write the most compelling copy the world has ever seen and design a blog interface that would sell people their own shoes…if no one sees the blog, though, all your work is in vain. Marketing and promotion happen every time you engage with your current and future readers. The success of your blog promotion will depend on the ability to engage in your niche.

Let’s look closely at the advanced and straightforward promoting/marketing activities you could be taking to become an authority and successful blogger:

Let your friends know about your blog

Inform everyone you know about your new endeavor. You should include your blog name and URL in your email signature, list it on all your social media profiles, and use every opportunity to get the word out about your new undertaking.

Submit your blog to search engine

It only takes a moment, and it will help to get your blog indexed. To submit your blog URL to Google, sign in to your Google Account and go to the Submit URL option in Webmaster Tools. For extra credit, submit your site to Bing.

Submit your blog to bookmarking sites

Bookmarking sites can offer your content to a lot of potential viewers who are searching for content within your niche. You should do this every time you publish a new blog post to spread the word out. Some popular social bookmarking sites are, Reddit, etc.

Be active in your niche

Get active on relevant blogs, forums, and social pages. Blogger communities are a good way to connect with other bloggers within your niche. You can engage, build friendships and help each other in spreading the content.

Be active on social networks

Your business is unique, and you should make use of the social media avenues that best fit your own niche and style. Choose the one (or ones) that best fit your needs and become an expert at leveraging them to help reach your goals.

Comment on other blogs

Commenting on other relevant blogs is a great way to build relationships with top bloggers within your niche. This will help you make them and their readers aware of your existence as well as developing your personal brand within the topic.

Guest blogging

Take the relationship a step further and offer to write a guest post for other websites. Just be sure your work goes on reputable sites and that the content is directly related to your niche. Guest blogging is an excellent way to build an online presence.

Start building your mailing list

Once your blog gains new fans and readers it’s a good idea to collect the email addresses of those who want to be notified of new articles and offers. As people come to know and trust you, they will respond better to your promotional efforts.

Advertising on the web (paid traffic)

Appropriate and well-informed use of paid media can help you gain exposure and attention before your organic (naturally derived) traffic takes hold. Paid traffic avenues include Google AdWords, and Facebook, to name a few major ones.

Recommended reading: How to Promote Your Blog and How to Increase Blog Traffic (100+ Hands-on Tactics)

Remember that you can always find other ways to promote your new blog. Rely on the blogging fundamentals: a clear and well-functioning blog, focused and helpful information, engaging conversation and practical advice. Your authority will come from helping and giving advice to other people, your fans or readers.

Step #8: Make money blogging

make money blogging

Monetization is the process of translating your blog activity into earnings. You should keep in mind that blogging isn’t all about making money but instead creating useful content that will attract readers and make them come back for more.

After producing great content for some time and by engaging with your niche market, you will become a recognized expert who will be able to build a significant list of followers and subscribers. Only then you could consider adding content that will generate income.

Blog monetization channels

How to monetize a blog? There are several options from which to choose. You should use the ones that prove most useful to you:

Running ads on your blog

There are seamless possibilities for you to run ads on your blog. Regardless of your niche, you can opt for ads that are specific to what you are writing about or ads that simply better serve your advertiser’s purposes. Google Adsense is one of the most popular choices for ads.

Enrolling in affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are ways of teaming up with retailers to promote their products and benefit from successfully carrying out sales through a commission. Some things that you need to consider when enrolling in affiliate programs:

  • The number of affiliate sales will strongly rely on the number of visitors you have.
  • You need to be credible enough for your visitors to click on your links.
  • You may want to consider placing a notice on your Terms of Use page that you do use affiliate links.

There are a few popular online platforms that offer many affiliate programs you can enroll in Amazon Associates, ShareASale, etc.

Selling your products and services

If you are more on the creative and entrepreneurial side, you may want to consider using your blog as a venue for selling your products and services. Use this advantage especially when your blog gains in readership, authority, and popularity. There are plugins that you can easily integrate into your blog and start selling, such as the WooCommerce plugin. It comes with product pages, cart, checkout, secure payments, etc.

Writing and selling an Ebook

Another great opportunity to make money is to gather existing content from your own blog and offer it as a downloadable ebook. Your ebook can be sold independently if your blog has a commercial platform (such as Bigcommerce), or it could be sold elsewhere. A great publishing opportunity is offered by Amazon and their KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) program.

Sponsored posts

Advertisers are always looking for exposure and are willing to pay you for placing a sponsored post on your blog. Those posts usually promote advertiser products or services and are a good way to earn some additional income for your blog. In the future, if you’re able to build one of the most popular blogs and become an authority in your niche, the advertisers would approach you to publish their posts.

Recommended reading: How to Make Money Blogging

As you can see, there are numerous ways to monetize a blog. Consider the possibilities, and then choose the method or methods that best suit you and your audience. As a minimum, you should – from the very start – begin compiling a mailing list of your readers through subscriptions. Then, when you are ready to recommend products, you will have ready access to those who want to hear what you have to say.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a blog?

Some people still don’t know what is a blog? A blog (in the early stages called “weblog”) is known as many things—a digital magazine, diary, newscast, collector’s meeting place, a showcase for your art, information sharing, teaching hub, a place to learn and…well, almost anything you want it to be. A typical blog combines text, images, videos, and links to relevant pages and media on the Web. Blog readers can leave comments and communicate with the author. In fact, dialogue and interaction are a popular part of a blog’s success.

How to start a blog for free?

People often wonder where to start a blog, but several blogging platforms allow you to create a blog for free. All you have to do is to choose the one you like, register an account and start blogging. For example, you can start a free blog on, Blogger or Tumblr in a matter of a few minutes.

But you need to understand a few things when starting a blog for free:

  • If you open a BlogSpot account, your free blog name will be in this form: “” or “”. In the blogging community, this type of blog is the sign of an inexperienced beginner who likely won’t be taken seriously.
  • You’ll be subject to rules and restrictions set by the platform. They may limit or prohibit you from using ads, or they may even place their own ads on your blog. If you’re serious about blogging, you’ll want to move away from this option sooner than later.

How to make a blog the right way? I strongly suggest setting up a WordPress blog, and I covered how-to in this blogging guide. If for some reason, the free blog is the only option for you, then create an account on one of the free blog platforms mentioned above and check them out.

What is a niche and how do I choose one for my blog?

If you’re unsure what a niche even is, you’ve come to the right place. In short, a niche is a topic that you write about most often, or even exclusively, in your blogs. Think about the countless of ‘healthy living’ blogs – they give advice on, well, healthy living. They often offer some interesting recipes, share insight into great exercise routines, talk about which foods you should avoid, etc. Leading a healthy lifestyle would be their niche. Brainstorm to find your topic Following is a process that can help you determine which niche is best for you:

  • Make a list of your interests or hobbies. Which topics fascinate you? List them all, for instance: golf, fishing, yoga, playing games or cooking.
  • Next, list accomplishments you are proud of, such as musical talent, artistic talent or sports achievements.
  • Now, list difficulties you have overcome or defeated, such as: losing a significant amount of weight, recovering from a financial setback or managing a disease.

During this exercise, you will get a better feeling for the topics that resonate with you. The ones you are most passionate about are the best candidates for your niche. The reason is that while blogging is an enjoyable process, most people give up after a few months because they lose interest in it. You don’t need to be an expert on the topic that you choose, but it is necessary to want to learn more about it. It’s necessary that you’re excited about it. When you’re disinterested in the topic, the readers will notice and they’ll stop coming to your blog; it’s as simple as that. Narrow it down Once you’ve found your topic of interest, it’s a good idea to narrow it down. If you’re super excited about yoga, for example, choose the type that you’re interested in the most. Is it Hot and Bikram yoga? Kundalini? Something else? If you pick too broad of a topic, it’ll be difficult for you to stand out from the crowd. Speaking of yoga specifically, just by doing a simple Google search of it, you’ll find countless big blogs covering this topic. You’ll only be making it harder for people to find your blog.

Recommended reading: How to Find a Niche for Your Blog (Step-by-Step Guide)


What should I blog about?

More often than not, people think they should blog about popular topics where they think money grows on trees. And while the truth is that you might be able to attract the larger audience if you write about smartphones instead of blogging about something specific like tuna fishing, that’s the wrong way to go. In the case, it would show that you write about something you might not completely understand and love, and it would result in an unsuccessful blog that not even you would enjoy.

Instead, you should start writing a blog about something you love and follow. Even if it is a smaller audience, your passion and expertise will attract just the right people. You will be able to connect with them, which will help you to grow and even earn money from it.


Which is the best blog site?

As you might have already realized, there are more than a few blog sites that can easily catch your attention. Although the answer depends on your needs and wishes (where each platform has its good and bad sides, of course), I’m a strong supporter of self-hosted WordPress.

Some may argue the fact that having a self-hosted WordPress site is the best option, but you can’t dispute the fact that it is the most popular blogging platform in the world. WordPress will let you own and control the blog.

How much does it cost to start a blog?

Starting a self-hosted blog is not as expensive as you might have initially thought. If you choose to host your site with Bluehost that I recommend, you can have the environment ready for as low as $2.75 per month!

While usually, a domain would cost you around $15, with Bluehost, you will get one for FREE! The basic package also includes a free SSL certificate (which protects data transfers on your site and makes it safe), 50GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth which means you can have as many visitors as you are able to attract to your site. And this is more than enough to start with.

Do bloggers make money?

You can definitely make money blogging. The amount of money will depend on many factors and it won’t happen overnight but if you put enough effort you could be making extra income or even make a living from your blog.

When you are just starting a blog, don’t get disappointed if blogging won’t buy you a new car in the first few months.


How much money can you make from a blog?

It depends on many factors. Are you just starting out or you already blog for some time and have a group of people who trust you? Is blogging your primary focus or do you manage a blog just in your spare time? And how to make a living blogging?

According to Glassdoor, bloggers in the United States on average earn $30,000 per year. Obviously, some earn a lot less, while there are influencers who have millions of people following them and can earn more than $100,000 per year. Some even say blogging for money gets them more than a million-dollar per year.

Do you want to know how to make a living blogging? If your blog is completely new, you will have to work hard before getting that first paycheck.

Also, passive income needs time to start increasing. Different advertisements and banners will make sense only after you have a well-established blog. While it is possible to get a few bucks per click on a Google ad, you will have to develop your site and build an audience before that becomes a reality. So, when starting out, you can expect only a fraction of a dollar for each click, but do not let that discourage you. Everything has a start, so does your income from a blog.

How do I find a profitable niche for my blog?

So, now you have your topic of interest, you’ve narrowed it down, everything seems to be going great. What now? How do you start making money off of it?

Do a market search

Well, the first thing you should do is check out the competition. A simple Google search for your niche would suffice. You can also check out social media networks, even paper magazines to figure out your competition and see whether you’ll have the audience you want. You can use free SEO tools to get insight into the volume of searches so you can know what you’ll be dealing with. I personally use SEMrush SEO tool for all my research.

If there are too many searches with a lot of competitive sites, you might want to narrow your topic down even more. Explore all the possible keyword ideas that would be of interest to the audience, so that you can find that sweet spot between great demand and low competition.

Check out how profitable your niche is

If you want to make money off your blog, you need to find out whether the niche you’ve chosen is profitable and how much do bloggers make in the same niche. You can once again easily check this with a Google search. When you type in your keywords, are there any ads that pop up as the first result?

When brands or businesses are paying to advertise the products or services related to your niche, you’ll know you’ve picked a good topic, and you’ll be able to monetize your blog with ads.

A better way for monetizing a blog might be through selling affiliate products. Amazon, for example, has a nice affiliate program that allows you to get a 10% commission when your blog sends a buying customer to them. Going back to the yoga niche, you could link to Amazon affiliate products like yoga pants, mats, etc.

Who is your ideal reader?

It’s a common misconception that a specific type of blog post will attract the right person when it’s actually the audience itself that dictates what a blogger should write about. This is why you should always have your ideal reader in mind when creating a profitable blog.

Once you have an idea of who your ideal readers are, you can adjust the language you use in blog posts, the tone of voice, the type of products you’ll market to them, etc.

Knowing the age group of your audience will help you determine their probable spending power, which will, in turn, let you know what types of products to promote. The lower their spending power, the cheaper the products you should market, and vice versa. It will help you determine your style of writing. If your audience is advanced in your niche, you can use topic-specific jargon, if they’re not, you’ll want to keep it simple.

Having a specific reader in mind will help you center your posts towards them, making writing easier, and your new job more enjoyable.


Should I start my blog on WordPress?

WordPress is truly a superior choice when starting your own blog. It’s the most popular CMS in the world for several very compelling reasons. Apart from having complete control over your blog, if you create it on self-hosted, you will experience several more exceptional benefits.

The platform is very intuitive and user-friendly, and it’s very easy to install. You can have your blog up and running with just a few simple clicks.

WordPress comes with plenty of customization features. There are thousands of themes to choose from to make your blog enticing and attention-grabbing, and there are also thousands of plugins for adding more functionality to your blog, including SEO plugins for optimizing your content for search engines.

So, to answer the question: you should definitely start your blog on WordPress, particularly self-hosted You don’t have to worry about security, updates, or slow-loading pages, as you can quickly create a powerful blog that readers will absolutely love.


What to do if I already have a free blog?

For starters, don’t worry. If you decide to switch to a self-hosted WordPress, you can quickly and painlessly move your free blog to your new host.

Most of the free blog sites allow you to export the content. And WordPress features a ton of tools that will automatically import the content to the new blog. If you are running a Blogger, let me show you how to move it to WordPress, step-by-step.


How do I learn WordPress?

I always love to hear that someone is interested in WordPress or to learn blogging. That’s because I have been working hard to gather the knowledge and experience I had been collecting for many years in the business.

I have dedicated an entire section of our site to learn WordPress where you can level up your WordPress skills and understand the best practices.

The section will guide you from the very beginnings of your WordPress site to advanced techniques that will teach you how to develop a unique site that both you and your visitors will love.


How bloggers get paid?

There are two main categories we can talk about when it comes to getting paid as a blogger. One is passive income while the other requires you to engage in some actions.

Passive income is an always popular option since it allows you to earn money even while you sleep. While the concept is very tempting, you should understand that it isn’t entirely true. While you are able to get paid all the time, you still have to work hard on the advertisements and different systems if you want to get the best out it (earn as much as possible). This usually includes:

  • Displaying Google ads or other advertising platforms/networks
  • Affiliate links (you get a percentage for sale that comes from your site)
  • Adding textual advertisements & links

The active income may bring you more cash, but it needs more involvement. You can earn money by:

  • Having Course Sales, Training, and Coaching
  • Writing & publishing sponsored posts and listings
  • Selling products directly
  • Writing ebooks
  • Podcast sponsorships

These are just some popular ways of earning money while blogging. Learn more about it through my beginner’s guide with tips from 33 experts.


What to do if your domain name is taken?

Unfortunately, gazillions of awesome domain names have been already taken; especially if you aim for the most popular .com domain. But don’t worry; if you can’t get the domain you want while registering for a hosting account, Bluehost will help you by letting you choose one later. Just by clicking the button, you can skip the registration of the domain. That will give you time to do some research and thinking. Try thinking about other options or maybe another extension like .net or any other that may be a good fit for your blog.

Free Domain Later

I have put together a guide to help you come up with a great domain name, so take your time and consider all the factors before registering a domain.


How do I switch from HTTP to HTTPS on Bluehost?

Recently, Google started to penalize sites that aren’t secured. News about unsecured sites started to spread like wildfire, and everyone wanted to get their site on the safe list. And so should you; having a secure website have more than a few benefits:

  • People will be more likely to stay on your site
  • If you sell something or ask visitors for email addresses or different personal information, they will know the information will remain visible only to you
  • Google will not penalize your site by showing an alert that your blog is not safe

To make your blog safe, all you need to do is turn on the SSL certificate. It controls the data transfer on your site and makes it unreadable to nosy people who might sniff the data from an outside. But before you start worrying that only tech savvy-experts know how to do this, let me show you how you can get a FREE secure connection in just a few steps:

My Site

Login to your Bluehost account (Use the login information you received via email after creating an account)

If not already selected, choose “hosting login” tab

Click on “My Sites” from the menu

Hover over the thumbnail that represents your site

Click the “Manage Site” option that will show up over the thumbnail

Select the “Security” tab at the top

Turn on the “Free SSL Certificate” by clicking the switch to “On”

After toggling the switch, you should wait up to one hour before the changes become visible on your site.

To quickly identify if the SSL certificate was successfully installed for your domain, check for the icons next to the URL of your site.

If using Chrome, you should see a little green lock followed by the word “secure” or the name of the site. This will indicate that the certificate has been successfully installed and that your blog follows the rules. Congratulations!


If not, Chrome will show a little information icon (a circled letter “i”). If you click on the icon, it will tell you that the site is not secure, and warn you about leaving sensitive information on that site. Now you can imagine how terrible that looks like when Google recommends not leaving any information on a site.


Please note that you can turn on the certificate only after your domain registration is fully completed. To make sure it will work; wait at least 24 hours before turning on the certificate.

start blog book

How to Start a Blog PDF

This guide takes you from learning the basics of blogging to becoming a talented blogger.


Congratulations! Now you’ve learned how to start a blog. You have your own domain name, hosting space and your blog is set up. Next, you will need to get familiar with the WordPress dashboard, make desired changes, start content creation and promotion to become a successful blogger. Check out all my Resources and learn how to blog.

146 comments on “How to Start a Blog

  1. This is an excellent guide on how to create a good blog. Thanks a lot Anya for sharing your knowledge.

  2. I have read through your Guide for wannabe Bloggers. Quite Impressive, I must say. In spite of the detailed explanations, I still find the process of setting a Blog so complex. I doubt if it is something I can do myself, or will I need an expert to set it for me?

    Stanley Moses.

    • Hi Stanley, the actual process is pretty straightforward if you follow the steps I’ve outlined. You will have your live blog in 15-20 minutes. Keep in mind that after you get your blog online, you need to work on your theme design and content. Feel free to reach out to me via our contact form if you have any questions along the way. Good luck!

  3. A great guide in precise words. I was just thinking about beginning my own blog but had no clue how it works. Thanks for the information conveyed here. It had been a great help.

  4. Thank you so much for giving me the needed push to get this moving! Your post covers so much information and answers so many questions! Thank you again for sharing.

  5. I am really grateful for this information. It’s so helpful to me as I have been planning to start my own blog for some time now.

    • I’m happy to hear that Hayinday. I hope my guide will help you get your new blog live. Let me know how it goes and good luck!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing these great tips! I am living in the US now, but will soon return to Brazil. Will I be able to keep my blog running with Bluehost and WordPress? Can I change the payment details later? Do you know if my domain will show up from searches outside the US? Thank you so much again!

    • Hi Maria. Your blog will work just fine anywhere so don’t worry about it. And with Bluehost, you can always update your payment preferences. All the best!

  7. Loved your guide. It is super helpful and complete. I do have one question. If you already bought a domain, would you be able to use the hosting service you recommend?

    • Hi Christine. You can transfer your domain to Bluehost and still be able to use it. When you come to the step of choosing your new domain, just select the option “I already own a domain”. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  8. Hey Anya,

    I hope you are doing well.

    This guide on starting a blog is one of the most precise and easy to consume content for beginners. I just started exploring your other content as well and hoping to enjoy it. Be safe and have a nice day there!

  9. This is an excellent guide on how to create a good blog. Thanks a lot, Anya for sharing your knowledge. Really useful!

  10. Thank you. You made it quite simple. As a beginner, this is all we need to know. I got almost all the answers. Thank you again.

  11. Hi Anya, I am a novice when it comes to blogging. You have invested a lot of effort and time, to come up with this, “to the point” and “easy to understand” article. I now have a fair idea of what is blogging. Thank you 🙏.

    • Thank you Suresh! I really appreciate it when people recognize the effort…this means a lot to me. Thanks once again.

  12. Outstanding post, well done! Couldn’t agree more, your profitable niche is the most important step. Because all keyword and search phrase placement is dependent on that. Without which it will be impossible to dominate search result pages.

  13. This was such a wonderful guide! I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a little while but never knew where to begin. I’m actually excited now and brainstorming a domain name. Thank you for your helpful tips and step by step instructions!

  14. This was very helpful, thank you! Your step-by-step instructions helped me understand where to start and how to get to where I need to be.

  15. This is an amazing article that helped me in deciding on how to start my blog. I appreciate the step by step process you went through to explain on how to start for beginners.

  16. Thank you for the information. It is really helpful. Please note you have a small word omission under the sub heading- “Submit your blog to bookmarking sites”.
    Bookmarking sites can offer your content …… You should (do) this every time you publish a new blog post to spread the word out. Some popular social bookmarking sites are, Reddit, etc.

  17. I must confess, I haven’t read an easy-to-implement guide like you have provided here, for a very long time. I’ve always wanted to start my blog and now I’ve found help. Thank you so much!

  18. What an incredibly informative article. Im looking to start a blog for my company and i love this article. In fact you are now bookmarked as my blog bible. Any problems i can and will probably run into getting it off the ground you cover. Thank you truly for sharing and helping others take a creative step in the right direction. Im not sure i get evergreen content. I mean i get the gist of it but is it like if i ran a food blog and had recipe for a soup that was popular and people kept coming back for it? Or am i missing the point? Sorry it may be obvious and i am just not getting it.

    • Thank you Megan for your kind words.
      My explanation of evergreen content is this:
      Evergreen content is content that continues to be relevant to its readers and gives them value years after the publish date. It remains informative and retains its original quality. As its name implies – it is timeless.

      I hope it helps. Feel free to reach out if you need any help!

  19. It’s such an in-depth guide on how to start a blog. You have given a clear picture of how to start a blog, hosting services, etc. It will be a goldmine for new bloggers.

  20. It’s such an in-depth guide on how to start a blog. You have given a clear picture of how to start a blog, hosting services, etc it will be a goldmine for new bloggers.

  21. This is the most detailed guide I have ever come across. Starting a blog is one of the most difficult tasks for newbies because they are always confused to find the right steps. You explained very well to buy a domain name and hosting for the blog. I am happy to see that you recommended one of the most used CMS WordPress in this article.

    Thanks for putting this awesome article.

  22. Thanks for sharing the nice article. I really enjoyed reading it. This is a very good guide for people who want to start up a new blog.

  23. I recently started my blog after procrastinating for so many years, It has always been my dream. This is so comprehensive and it is helping me through the early phase. Thank you so much.

      • Hello Anya Skrba, I really liked your cost-effective guide. I now speak to myself, it’s time to start blogging. Let’s get in touch for more guidance, please. Thank you.

    • I’m really glad that you find it useful!
      Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any trouble with starting your blog – we are here for all blogging newbies 🙂

  24. Great blog!!! Great guide with an excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate this great information.

  25. Awesome article! Starting my own blog has helped me personally in achieving a lot of goals. Apart from the fact that it makes my personal brand quite prominent in my niche it also allows my readers to get useful and applicable information regularly.

  26. Often, when I speak with people who quit blogging, I tend to get answers that revolve around the hardships in the promotion.

    I like the tips listed above as they are very efficient promotion methods.

  27. Great article. Blogging is one of the best freelancing options to work from home and make money. Your post covered all important aspects of starting a blog. Well written.

    All the best,

  28. After reading some posts about blogging, and finally this, I start wondering if blogging is also meant for poor writers. Here’s my big question: can a ‘poor writer’ start a blog and hire some persons to create content? How bad does this affect new bloggers?

    • Hi Jane,

      Blogging is in fact supposed to help with your writing. The more you write, the better you will get! And of course, you can always hire someone to help you with the content.
      Good luck!

  29. I’m a bit scared to be honest…I’m reconsidering if blogging isn’t a bit of a big step for me… Oh, what to do guys? 🙂 You made it sound like a piece of cake but is it really?

    • Hi Simon,
      I suggest you go over our section “Know why you’re starting a blog” again. I hope it will help you understand the benefits of blogging.

    • Blogging is extremely intimidating. That’s how I felt, Simon, when I started in 2016. My site, Just Add That, was supposed to be a couponing website. But I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t know where to start. Burn out happened quickly. Off and on for the next year, I tinkered and learned the basics of blogging following articles like this one at First Site Guide.

      After learning the ropes, I felt much more confident and continued to build my following and promote my site. Just Add That went from nothing to something in just a few years. Is it work? You bet. Is it worthing? COMPLETELY! Be brave and be bold. You can do it! Good luck, Simon!

  30. Do you really mean that 77% of internet users read blogs? That’s quite a huge audience to tap from! Too bad, I gave up on my blogging career years ago. I’m tempted to give it another shot now.

  31. Choosing a domain should be in line with one’s financial capability and blogging idea, I guess. You wouldn’t want to spend much on renewing your domain plan when you’re yet to earn from your blogging activities.

  32. Blogging appears to be a full-time business for many online entrepreneurs, and they make a good living from it. However, I’d like to know your take on the idea of a newbie blogger going all in, and possibly dropping off a low-paying 9-5.

  33. OMG! 6,7 mill of people are blogging now?! That’s like…wow… I had no idea.
    Good idea to point this information in the infographic – the number is astonishing!

  34. I really used to think that starting a blog would cost a whole lot of money. I had a friend who blogs about recipes and I’ll always see her buying stuff, paying for videos and photographs and all that and so I imagined that it was that way with the rest. But I think I understand it better now. Thanks a lot for this simple yet comprehensive guide.

  35. Someone was telling me that I need to have a large number of following before I can be accepted to place ads on my site. I have tons of subscribers but haven’t monetized my blog because I feel I still have a long way to go. After reading this post I have checked some tools and I’m surprised to see that I can do well if I monetize it now.

  36. I used to make and post content on YouTube but honestly, it costs me a lot to make a professional video. Now I’m really thinking of moving to a blog because from this post I can see that it won’t cost me as much as it does with video uploads.

  37. I have a blog which I’ve long forgotten about it because I wasn’t getting traffic as I expected. I’ve always thought I wasn’t cut out for this but right now, I have realized that I didn’t push it out to the public well enough and so I’m going back to give it another go! This has really caused a spark of energy within me.

  38. Thanks for the great article Ogi. I am a great fan of FirstSideGuide’s web design and graphics. Creating a blog isn’t a tough process. The real difficulty is in marketing our website to reach the audience. Though people say you can do that easily with SEO, the competition in each and every niche is damm too big. On the other hand, the low competitive niches have very low traffic volume.

  39. Awesome content! I was looking out for the promotion ideas because I have a blog in Travel Niche but it’s not performing well at all. I’ll have to try paid traffic option. Do you have other promotion ideas you could suggest?

    • Hi Sandra,

      you should check out our guide on blog promotion. Hopefully, you will get some more ideas to help you promote your blog.
      Good luck!!

  40. You may never know how much you inspired me with this guide. I’m definitely giving blogging another shot, and I hope it works this time.

    Thanks again!

  41. Thanks for sharing this guide. However, you talked about choosing a niche in line with passion and hobbies. Does this make it impossible to choose a niche that “pays” as people would say? Even though it doesn’t dance in tune with one’s passion.

    • Hi Williams,

      You can certainly create a blog to make money off of it. There are various monetization strategies you can apply once you start your blog.

  42. I just really appreciate that you guys covered the costs of starting a blog! This way I know how to manage my budget 🙂

    Thanks a lot for this!

  43. Thanks for sharing the nice article. I really enjoyed reading it. This is a very good guide for people who want to start up a new blog.

  44. This is an easy step by step guide for starting a blog. All new blogger needs to read this once. I am sharing this on my social media. Thanks for sharing.

  45. What an amazing guide you have shared on starting a blog. I really appreciate your effort in writing this post. Thanks for the great share. I will be sharing it with my new blogger friends.

  46. This is the most comprehensive guide I’ve read so far and I decided to go with it!
    I particularly appreciate you guys also covered later development like WP dashboard navigation and content creation and promotion – this helps me a lot with my blog plans!

    • Hi Shawn. CMS is free. But keep in mind that you need to have a web hosting account to set up a WordPress CMS!

      Let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

  47. Great information in simple easy language that a non-tech can understand. I was thinking of starting a blog but knew nothing about it as to what to do how to do. Now I know all that is needed to know.


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