How to start a blog: A great and practical beginner’s guide

Learn how to start a blog in six easy steps. In this guide you will find the right way to begin in the blogging world with a good strategy.

If you are reading this post it is because you want to be a blogger and want to know how to start a blog.

Let me tell you that starting a blog is easy. All you need is passion, because your audience must feel your passion when they read your post.

Also, starting a blog requires dedication. Why? Because your posts won’t only just be written. You will need time to investigate, to find the right keywords and then you can start to write.

Yes, you will need time to write, and you must enjoy it. It is your time to show your passion to the world and your readers must feel it. Also, you will need time to learn how to start a blog.

I know that maybe this is not the first post you’ve read about how to start a blog and the difference from other posts is that I want you to have the right knowledge and tools to have a successful blog.

The tools that I will recommend to you are the tools that I currently use for my blog. I won’t recommend anything to you only for the affiliate commission. To be totally honest with you, yes, I have affiliate links in this post and I will earn a commission if you buy the hosting, domain name or the theme through my links.

Makes more sense for this to come before the statement that you have affiliate links on this page.

Owning a blog is still an excellent idea

I know that you are the best at doing something, maybe you sing very well, or you know how to cook delicious dishes, or you are a good fisher. Everyone has talents. Maybe you want to share your secrets and think learning how to start a blog is a good idea?

Yes, the best idea is to start a blog. Why? Because Google is still the place to go to find answers. If you write good quality content, your blog will be at the top of the Google search results page.

That is the reason why you need to learn how to start a blog properly because your blog will be the center of your digital ecosystem. You can read all about it here: Digital Marketing Ecosystem: The first step of a great Marketing Strategy.

Maybe you are saying: I want to start a blog for free, and you can absolutely do it. You have great alternatives with Blogger, WordPress.com or Medium, but I recommend that you start a blog on WordPress.org.

You can read my opinion about that topic here: The 3 best blogging platforms for beginners.

So let me show you how to start a blog.

How to start a blog in 6 steps

For my experience , you only need to do 6 things to create a successful blog:

Step 1: Picking the niche

Step 2: Know your reader

Step 3: The domain name

Step 4: The hosting platform

Step 5: The theme of the blog

Step 6: Start writing

Step 1: Picking the niche

The first question you are going to have to answer is: what do I write about?

I know that you want to learn how to start a blog faster but first you must pick a niche to blog about.

You can say to me, but I read blogs with a variety of topics. Yes, there are blogs with a variety of topics but all those blogs began with a niche.

Beginning with a niche will help your blog rank high in the search rankings, because Google will know how to categorize your blog.

My recommendation to pick a niche is that you should write about your passion. Writing about your passion will be a pleasure for you and you won’t feel like it’s a job.

But if you want to know how to start a blog to earn money you have to fulfill a human need.

Everyone has needs and everyone spends money to satisfy their needs.

From my experience, I know that there are three blogging niches based on human needs:

  • Health
  • Money
  • Relationships (Love)

If you write about one of those topic, trust me, you will have a very profitable blog.

Step 2: Know your reader

I know that you want to know how to start a blog. You have all this knowledge to share with the world but let me tell you this. When you have a blog, you write to an audience, a very specific audience.

This is the moment I have to ask you: who is your reader? Or, like Russell Brunson wrote in his book DotCom Secrets: who is your dream customer? What is she or he like?

From the moment you have a blog, you don’t write for yourself, you write for your audience, for your reader, that’s why it is very important that you know and understand them.

In this post about how to start a blog, I will teach you the best way to know your reader: customer empathy. You can also read about customer empathy in this post.

This step is very important because you need to know who your reader is. Knowing your readers will give you a significant advantage over your competition.

Let’s begin with a basic question: do you know your reader?

Maybe you haven’t thought about it yet, perhaps you’ve only thought about how to start a blog or what you were going to write about.

To answer that question, I will show you the Customer Empathy Map:

 

Customer-empathy-map

Answer the 7 questions:

Who are you empathizing with?

  • Who is the person we want to understand?
  • What is the situation they are in?
  • What is their role in the situation?

What do they need to do?

  • What do they need to do differently?
  • What job(s) do they want or need to get done?
  • What decision(s) do they need to make?
  • How will we know they were successful?

What do they see?

  • What do they see in the marketplace?
  • What do they see in their immediate environment?
  • What do they see others doing?
  • What are they watching and reading?

What do they say?

  • What can we hear them say?
  • What can we imagine them saying?

What do they do?

  • What do they do today?
  • What behavior have we observed?
  • What can we imagine them doing?

What do they hear?

  • What are they hearing others say?
  • What are they hearing from friends?
  • What are they hearing from colleagues?
  • What are they hearing second hand?

What do they think and feel?

Pains

  • What are their fears, frustrations, and anxieties?

Gains

  • What are their wants, needs, hopes and dreams?

What other thoughts and feelings might motivate their behavior?

To get to know your readers you have to answer those 7 questions.

In this post, I did a customer empathy map about Daenerys from Game Of Thrones, but in this post about how to start a blog I will do a customer empathy map about my dream reader, as an example.

Let’s call her Sally.

Who are you empathizing with?

  • A 30-year-old business woman
  • She loves her job
  • She goes to conferences about entrepreneurs

What does she need to do?

  • She knows that she wants to be her own boss
  • She just needs to make that decision
  • She needs to feel confident

What does she see?

  • She sees more people doing business online
  • She sees young YouTubers getting famous and making money
  • She sees bloggers making money and being free

What does she say?

  • I would like to be an entrepreneur
  • I am afraid to leave my 9 to 5 job
  • What can I blog about?
  • Am I good at something?

What does she do?

  • She watches videos of famous bloggers
  • She reads about startups
  • She reads about famous entrepreneurs

What does she hear?

  • She hears that any time is good to follow her dream
  • She hears that she must not leave her 9 to 5 job
  • She hears that is difficult to be an entrepreneur

What do they think and feel? Pains

  • She is afraid she won’t be successful on her own
  • She would be sorry not to make her dreams come true
  • She is afraid of losing her monthly paycheck

Gains

  • She feels that she could be free
  • She thinks she can do better by herself
  • She wants to travel the world

What other thoughts and feelings might motivate their behavior?

She sees younger people having online businesses and having freedom to travel the world.

After you answer all the questions, you must write your reader’s story.

Writing your reader’s story is a very important part in how to start a blog.

For example:

Sally wakes up from Monday to Friday at 6 a.m. to do some exercise. She likes a healthy life.

After her workout, she eats a healthy breakfast and watches videos on YouTube. She loves her work at a big tech company and also loves the fact that she can work from home.

As she works from home, she has the opportunity to attend conferences in person or virtually.

After attending several conferences, she decided that she wants to be her own boss but she is afraid to leave her 9 to 5 job, she knows that she has to decide but her lack of confidence is stronger.

She sees that young people are making money online, and she wants to be part of that movement. She wants to have a blog, a YouTube channel and have freedom.

When she talks to her family and friends she says that it is time for her to start a business of her own, time to start her journey, but when she is alone in her house she asks herself: what can I blog about? Am I good at something?

To start her journey with confidence, she watches videos of famous bloggers and reads blogs about entrepreneurship, taking notes and getting inspiration.

She hears in the conferences that the time to be free is now, that any crisis is an opportunity for entrepreneurs, but also some members of her family are telling her it is better to have a 9 to 5 job and that entrepreneurship is difficult.

After all, Sally is a human being, and she is afraid of not achieving it and not having money. But  she gets the feeling that this is the moment for a leap of faith for her future.

This is an example of the story you have to write about your reader. I recommend to you that before answering the questions of the customer empathy map, do an investigation, like for example what places does your reader go, what beer does your reader drink, what newspaper does your reader read? The more interests you can investigate about your reader, the better for you, because you will be able to write better for your reader and you will be doing a big step to know how to start a blog.

There is a post in my blog that I recommend you read to learn more about the new consumer: Digital Consumer: 14 significant characteristics you must know.

Step 3: The Domain Name

First, I want to say: before you hire a designer to make the logo for your blog, buy your domain. Trust me, that is a great lesson on how to start a blog.

I have seen many cases where the blogger had the design of the blog but at the moment of buying the domain, the blogger realized that the domain was already taken.

Recommendations to buy a domain name

Buy a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to find.

For example, the domain name of my blog is https://thetechnologysavvy.com/

The domain name is easy to remember and easy for anybody to find.

The domain name must be easy to spell.

Good examples are Google, Facebook, or Twitter.

The domain name must represent you or your business.

The name I had in mind for my blog was: raulthetechnologysavvy.com because every member of my family and my friends always ask me about technology or digital marketing, but I knew from the beginning that I would write the blog in English. Since my name isn’t easily pronounced by an English speaker, I decided that just https://thetechnologysavvy.com/  is a good name for my blog.

Pick the right domain name for your blog and you will be on the right path to starting a blog.

Where is the best place to buy a domain name?

So before finding the best place to buy a domain name, you must check if:

  • The company is registered with ICANN.
  • The company has many TLD options.
  • The company offers free WhoisGuard.
  • The company has 24/7 support.

For me, the best place to buy a domain name is Namecheap because, despite being the best option on the market, it has excellent prices for its domains.

Remember I only recommend the tools I use for my blog; I want you to know how to start a blog properly.

best-place-to-buy-a-cheap-domain-name

It also has many options for TLDs, like .com .net .ai

Namecheap collects the ICANN commission, the commission must be paid, so that everything is in order with ICANN.

And an important point is that it gives WhoisGuard for free.

What is WhoisGuard?

WhoisGuard is a privacy protection service that prevents people from seeing your name, address, phone number and email when they do a Whois search on your domain.

It puts its address information to the public Whois, instead of yours, to protect you from potential spam and even identity theft.

Namecheap gives WhoisGuard for free, which is great, and alongside its 24/7 support.

How to buy a domain name on Namecheap?

I will show you step by step, in this post about how to start a blog, how to buy a domain name on Namecheap, it is very easy.

To buy a domain name on Namecheap, you must first create an account.

sign-up-namecheap

Then you must enter all your data.

fill-up-namecheap

And then you are ready to buy your domain name.

To buy the domain name, go to Domain Name Search and in the search bar you write the domain name you want.

domain-name-search-namecheap

Here, I am looking for the domain name for the Spanish version of this blog: “El Experto Tecnológico”.

el-experto-tecnologico

And as you can see, the TLD .com was available (for me, this was a relief).

namecheap-tld

NameCheap offers other TLDs that you can buy, but if they have the .com available, buy that one first and then you can buy the other TLDs later so that no one else has them.

Now when selecting Add to Cart, an up sell will appear. It is at that moment that NameCheap will offer: hosting, and an SSL certificate, but in NameCheap, you only have to buy the domain name of your website or blog. So ignore the up sell.

namecheap-upsale

Click on View Cart or Checkout.

namecheap-checkout

In the Shopping Cart, you can choose the number of years for which you want your domain name. Here, I have only chosen one year, then in the renewal I selected as many years as possible.

namecheap-shopping-cart

You see that they comply with WhoisGuard for free, and you see the ICANN fee that is just $0.18. Ignore the premium DNS; I will show you another company specialized in DNS.

Then you review your order.

namecheap-review-order

Click on Pay Now, and that is it.

namecheap-complete-order

You now have a cheap domain name from the best place to buy a cheap domain name.

If you want to know all about domain names, I recommend you read this post in my blog: The best place to buy a cheap domain name.

It is important to know how to start a blog the right way and the next step, in my opinion, is the most important.

Step 4: The Hosting Platform

Choosing the right hosting platform is key for the success of your blog.

You need to know how to start a blog the right way, and choosing the best hosting platform is the right way.

If you search in Google for “best hosting platform” you see that the results are:

  • Bluehost
  • SiteGround
  • Hostgator
  • Dreamhost
  • Hostinger

Those are great companies, but the most basic plan they recommend to the public to begin in the blogging world with WordPress is a shared hosting plan.

  • I don’t recommend a shared hosting plan because:
  • Your blog will share the resources of the server with other blogs.
  • You will have to pay at least one year upfront to get the offer of $2 or $3 per month.
  • The loading speed of your blog will be slow.
  • You cannot scale with your blog.

I recommend cloud hosting, because:

  • You pay for the resources you use.
  • You pay monthly.
  • The loading speed of your blog will be fast.
  • Scalability is easy with just one click.

If you want to read more about the differences between shared hosting vs cloud hosting, you can read my post: Shared Hosting vs Cloud Hosting: 1 winner.

My recommendation, in this post about how to start a blog, is CloudWays because it is affordable, easy to set up and, above all, it is a powerful cloud hosting platform for WordPress sites.

CloudWays Pros and Cons

PROS

●     Free 3-day trial period.

●    You can choose between five cloud infrastructure options: DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Computing Engine (GCE).

●     SSD Drives, PHP 7 Servers, Nginx/Apache servers, Varnish/Memcached caching.

●     Launch multiple apps in 1 click. (WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento)

●     Pay as you go pricing model.

●     Vertical scaling.

●     Free site migration, free backups!, free SSL certificates.

●     Built-in CloudWays CDN.

●     Great customer service.

Cons

●     No email hosting.

●     No cPanel.

●     It takes some time to learn how to manage it.

If you want to know more about CloudWays, I have a review post that you can read: A CloudWays Review. 6 reasons to use the best hosting service. Do you want to know how to start a blog? OK, let’s create a blog for you in CloudWays:

First, we must create an account and for that you must go to start free:

cloudways-start-free

Then you have to sign up.

cloudways-sign-up

Once registered, you are already a client of CloudWays.

CloudWays Welcome

Now check the email assigned to your account because CloudWays sends an email for you to activate your account.

cloudways-activate-account

To verify your account, you must enter your phone number.

cloudways-second-step-verification

Time to choose between the 5 infrastructure providers that work with CloudWays: DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

cloudways-servers

By default, DigitalOcean will select a 2GB server for you. In my case, I chose DigitalOcean with a server size of 1 GB and a location in New York. Just click to increase or decrease the size of the server.

cloudways-server-configuration

Remember, CloudWays is pay as you go and, with this setup, I will only pay $10 per month.

Once your configuration is ready, click on launch now and you will have to wait around 7 minutes for your server to be ready, although it could be ready in a shorter time.

CloudWays-waiting-server

After waiting, CloudWays will notify you that your server is ready and you have to click on your server, in this case the server is called Technology.

cloudways-server-ready

First, you will find this view of your new server.

cloudways-server-ready-1

To add a WordPress blog on your server, you have to click on applications.

cloudways-applications

And in applications I recommend you click on WordPress in the latest version, which is a version optimized for CloudWays. In this case, the latest version is WordPress 5.4.2.

CloudWays-applications-to-choose

And that’s it. Your WordPress blog is in the cloud thanks to CloudWays. Click and you can see the access to your blog.

CloudWays-blog-ready

This is the window that you will see with the information to enter your blog.

cloudways-access-blog

Now what you have to do is enter domain management to make the link between the domain that you have bought in Namecheap with your new blog.

Cloudways-domain-management

In primary domain, you must put the name of the purchased domain. In this case, as an example, I will put in the name I bought from NameCheap.

cloudways-el-experto-tecnologico

Before going to NameCheap, you must have this number at your fingertips.

CloudWays-Public-IP

With your public IP number ready, go to the NameCheap Dashboard and select the purchased domain. Here, as an example, I will select El Experto Tecnológico.

namecheap-dashboard

Click manage and go to advanced DNS. Upon entering, you will find this screen.

namecheap-default-screen

Then click on add new record and the final configuration of your domain should look like this.

namecheap-configuration-dns

The first thing to do after clicking on add new record is: Find option: a record In host, place: @ In value, place your public IP that CloudWays gave you. After doing these steps, you can enter your domain by placing it in the browser, for example: elexpertotecnologico.com. But what if people write www.elexpertotecnologico.com? For that, this is the following configuration: Click on add new record: Search URL redirect record In host, write: www In value, write: https: // (yourdomainname) Done, you already have a blog on CloudWays with your domain configured.

To enter your blog and write your first post you can do it with these details:

cloudways-login-blog

Before the next step, I want to tell you, in this post about how to start a blog, that my recommendation is to not buy the hosting service and the domain name from the same company. This is another important lesson about how to start a blog.

For example, if maybe in the future you want to go to another hosting service, there will be no problem because after the migration you will only have to change the public IP in Namecheap and that is all, but if your hosting service and domain name are in the same company, it will be more complicated.

Step 5: The Theme of the Blog

I want to tello you, in this post about how to start a blog that, choosing the right theme is just as important as choosing the right hosting server. Yes, choosing a theme is a big decision when starting a blog.

You need a theme that helps your blog rank high in Google.

My recommendation for the theme of your blog, in this post about how to start a blog, is the Schema theme from My Theme Shop.com.

Schema is the theme I use and it’s really fast:

schema-theme-speed

Pros and Cons for the Schema Theme review

In this post about how to start a blog I will mention the most important things that made me choose the Schema theme for my blog, and I think it will be very helpful for you to decide. If you want to know all the features of this theme, you can go to its page here.

Pros

●     The whole theme is a blog

●     100% responsive

●     Powerful options panel

●     SEO ready

●     Easy implementation with Rank Math

Cons

●     The theme is not pretty

●     The best options are in the paid version

●     Just one option to show your logo

You can read my whole review of the theme here: Schema Theme Review: A Fast and SEO Friendly Theme for You.

Step 6: Start Writing

Now it is time to write in this post about how to start a blog, and for that I recommend these posts in my blog:

I want you to remember this: writing in your blog must be a pleasure, you must enjoy the time you spend writing in your blog – that is why it is important to choose the right topic.

Now, I will share a little secret with you in this post about how to start a blog.

I take my blog very seriously, as I don’t want you to find any spelling mistakes – that is the reason I hire a professional proofreader.

If you are going to take your blog seriously, your writing must be impeccable. That is why you will need a professional proofreader.

And the good news is that you can hire her too.

The first thing you have to do is to open an account in Fiverr. Use my link so you can get a 20% discount for your first purchase.

And the second thing you must do is to search for Hannah Sears. She is my secret weapon in this blogging world.

General FAQs

How to start a blog?

You can start a blog in 6 steps: Step 1: Picking the niche Step 2: Know your reader Step 3: The domain name Step 4: The hosting platform Step 5: The theme of the blog Step 6: Start writing

Is it worth starting a blog?

Yes, because Google is still the place to go to find answers. If you write good quality content, your blog will be at the top of the Google search results page.

Can I start a blog?

Yes, everyone can start a blog. You only need passion to begin.

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