Sunday, June 16, 2019

How to Start a Blog: A Step by Step Guide

Nicole San Miguel

"How to start a blog?"  I've been asked by this question so many times up until today. There are lots of aspiring bloggers who want to create their own blog, but they don't know how to do it properly.  Some of them think it's expensive to create a blog, but it's actually not. It just depends on your preference. That's why I decided to write a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog. I just wish I knew these things when I was starting. lol 

Creating my first blog 7 years ago is one of the best decisions I've made in my life. Though things are different back then. I was a freshman college student who loves to write poems and essays, and I don't know the technicalities of blogging. I had no idea how to start a blog or how to be a blogger. Still, one thing is for sure was, I started a blog because I'm looking for a perfect platform where can I publish my writings, and I wanted to let my feelings out since I am not really a vocal person when it comes to expressing my own thoughts and sentiments. 

Why you should create a blog?

 Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information. It’s a great way to express your thoughts about a particular topic and to document your life. So why not? Blogging is for everyone, whether you’re someone who wants to launch a personal brand, build a freelance business, or just someone who is passionate and loves to write.

Creating your own blog can take a little while, so grab yourself a drink and let’s get stuck in!

Step 1: Decide What to Write

To start a successful blog, the first thing that you should do is to decide what your blog will be about. There are tens of thousands of blogs in existence today, some become successful, but the majority are completely unnoticed. So how can you stand out? Be specific with what your blog is about. Of course, you can always start a blog talking about anything and everything. Consider your passion and think about what you are interested in. When I was beginning, I mostly blog about my life, beauty reviews, and Fashion related. But in the latter part of my career, I expanded my content to other varieties like food, lifestyle, and travel.

Step 2: Pick a Blog Name and Domain

After deciding your blog niche, you have to pick a unique name for your blog. Choosing a bog name is like choosing a baby's name. It’s a big decision that’s not easy to change, especially when you are already established, so choose it wisely. Pick a name that is easy to remember (the shorter, the better), easy to spell, and of course, the name must be somehow related to what your blog is about. 

When you already have a blog name, search for potential domain name (web address) and secure it. You need to make sure your domain is available and no registered with another blog/website. Blog name can be your domain name. It's up to you. In my case, I choose Living Beyond Style as my Blog name and for my domain. 

Buying a domain name is optional if you don't want to spend anything in creating your blog and if you are already contented with a sub-domain. But if you decide to buy it, look for a reputable domain registrar company like Namecheap, GoDaddy, or Bluehost. After registering your domain, probably for 12 months initially, you need to keep it renewed each year. If it lapses, somebody might buy that domain name, and you’d have to start over again.

Step 3: Choose a Blogging Platform

So, you already decided on your blog niche, and you already have a blog name and domain name in mind. Now,  it's time to choose a blogging platform to set up your blog!

Here are some of the leading blogging platforms that people use nowadays:

Tumblr:  I've personally used Tumblr from 2012-2014. It's different than other blogging platforms. It is a micro-blogging platform with social networking features. It's an excellent platform for short and shareable content like photos, art, poems, etc. It has a re-blog content feature, which is a great way to get your blog exposure. However, you need to know some basic HTML/CSS to customize your website or add widgets. This platform offers a basic blog hosting service for free. You can purchase additional options like additional storage and other premium services. It has limited options to extend your site. You cannot use custom themes and plugins for customizing your blog, and you cannot run advertisements on your blog. Instead, will show their ads on your free website. It’s completely free if you are happy with a sub-domain. This is a self-hosted solution, which means that you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider. It is an excellent option if you want to have full control over your blog’s future. You can grow your blog and add extra features like forums, online stores, and paid membership. You also get access to more than 54,000 free plugins. If you are looking for trusted hosting service, I highly recommend Bluehost. It’s the best affordable hosting for beginners, and you will get a FREE domain name when you buy a 12-month plan. Get a 65% discount if you sign up here.

Wix: This is also a hosted platform to build websites. It offers an easy way for small businesses to build a website using drag and drop tools. You can also add a blog to your website by adding the Wix Blog app. You can customize your site using dozens of templates and third-party apps, but the free account is limited and shows Wix branding and ads on your website.

Blogspot/Blogger: This is a free blogging service by Google. It offers a quick and easy way to create a blog for non-tech-savvy users. It gives you an unlimited bandwidth, which is a good thing for bloggers who upload numerous hi-res photos on their blogs. You can’t have it self-hosted since it is owned by Google. Widgets and plugins are also limited. Blogspot is the best platform for starters or those who don’t want to spend too much on hosting and other maintenance costs. Like Tumblr, you also need to know some basic HTML/CSS to customize your website.

 Remember, as your blog grows, you may want to change the look of your site and add more features for your growing audience. That means it’s crucial to choose a blogging platform that’s easy to use, flexible, with room to grow.

Step 4: Customize the Layout of your Blog

Whatever blogging platform you chose, there's a bunch of themes/blog templates that you can use. Customize its design based on what you like – place your widgets, adjust how many sidebars you have, where your sidebars will appear, and how many sections you want in your blog footer. Even if you don’t really care about how your blog looks, your readers do. You can think of a theme as the template for the visual layout of your blog. Even if you’re not an expert in web developing/designing (and I’m definitely not one), having a good design has an impact on your audience. 

Step 5: Create your Main Pages

After setting up your blog and customizing it, the first thing you need to do is to create the main pages of your blog such as Homepage, About, Contact, etc. Most people tend to forget this step and published their first post immediately after setting up their blog, which is wrong. Creating the main pages of your blog is just basic but very important. By creating these main pages, your readers will get to know your blog, and they will be able to reach out to you quickly. 

 The homepage is considered as the most relevant page of your website because it's the first page that your visitors will see. About page is as relevant as the homepage. You can draw your readers deeper into your blog by describing what your blog is about. Include a featured image and detailed information about you and your blog. (Click here for an example of About page)  The same goes for the contact page. Imagine, if someone’s stumbled across your post and they love what they read, they will leave a comment on your blog, or they will reach out to you directly by clicking your Contact page. What if you don't have it? How they can contact you?

Step 6: Publish your 1st Blog Post

This is it! Now it's the perfect time to publish your 1st post! Start it by writing an interesting article depending on your niche. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be your best writing yet, but the post should be about the subject you have chosen to write about. Do not write an introduction to yourself, who you are, and what you like to do. Save that for your About page. Instead, think about why you started a blog and what the purpose of the blog is. Think of your first post as the center of it all, the core that links out to other posts. Don't forget to share it on all your social media accounts!

Step 7: Maintain your Blog and Create Quality Content

Congratulations on creating your blog! This is just the beginning. You have to maintain your blog by posting regularly. You can start posting once a week or every 2 weeks, but do not sacrifice the quality of your content. I suggest investing time in creating an editorial calendar to make sure you are writing interesting and worth reading content for your readers. Reply to their comments and ask for their suggestions on what they want to read next, and how to improve your blog.

Blogging success doesn't happen overnight. It takes dedication, hard work, and lots of patience. If you decided to make your own blog or if you are blogging for a while now and you're still not where you want to be, that's okay. Don't be discouraged and just continue what you are doing! Always remember your reason for blogging. It's important to never ever compare your journey to the other bloggers. Success comes slowly. Trust me, you'll get there!

Anyway, I hope this article was helpful for you, especially if you've wanted to start a blog. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below, or you can get in touch with me, and I’ll help you. I will try to answer any questions you might have.


  1. I remember being so lost before starting my first blog. These are some great tips!

  2. love this topic! every single one of them is such an important guide before starting a blog. Thanks so much for sharing

  3. These are such helpful tips! This is a great guide for starting a blog!

  4. Great job on this evergreen post!

  5. Good post for newbie who needs guidance to start a blog. Thumbs up to you!

  6. Thank you for your tips and for sharing the best practices of blogging. This was helpful!!

  7. Hi! I remember my first years in blogging, and it was not easy. I almost wanted to give up. But I agree, you should never compare your success to other bloggers as it does not happen overnight. We all start with small things and it should be important to go back to the reason why we blog.


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