If you’re wondering how to start a blog for beginners in 2023, then you’re in the right place.
How To Start A Blog For Beginners
- Step 1: Understand Essential Blogging Terms
- Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name
- Step 3: Get Your Website Online
- Step 4: Get Familiar with WordPress
- Step 5: Install A WordPress Theme
- Step 6: Install Essential Plugins
- Step 7: Create Essential Pages
- Step 8: Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Step 9: Conduct Keyword Research
- Step 10: Create Pillar and Supporting Content
- Step 11: Promote Your Blog
- Conclusion: How To Start A Blog For Beginners In 2023
While starting a blog can sound intimidating and time-consuming, we’re here to tell you that you can totally do it.
Whether you’re working 9-5 and looking to start a side gig, an aspiring entrepreneur, or an established business, starting a blog has a high return on investment.
And in a digital world, building a strong and engaging online presence is crucial to your online success.
In this post, we’ll cover the 10 steps on how to start a blog for beginners in 2023 from scratch.
How To Start A Blog For Beginners In 2023
From getting acquainted with essential blogging terms to promoting your blog online, this guide will cover the high-level steps to creating a self-hosted WordPress blog and getting consistent traffic.
Like most beginner guides available online, this post is meant to serve as a high-level roadmap for success.
Once you’ve read this entire guide, set up a free strategy call so we can help answer any questions and jumpstart your success.
Step 1: Understand Essential Blogging Terms
Most tutorials on starting a blog jump right into choosing your domain name and signing up for web hosting without even covering what these terms mean.
However, if you’re just starting out, this can make you feel pretty overwhelmed and confused.
That’s why we believe having an understanding of the following blogging terms is a must.
You don’t need to have extensive knowledge of all of these terms before you start blogging, but you should be familiar with these concepts to understand this blogging tutorial and others.
Essential Blogging Terms
- Domain Name: a unique and user-friendly address for your website (ex: google.com).
- Top-Level Domain: the highest level of the domain name system (e.g. .com, .co, .edu, .io, etc.)
- Registering Your Domain Name: the process of purchasing and securing a domain name across the entire internet.
- Web Hosting Providers: companies that rent out space on virtual servers. This server can be used to host your blog (ex: bluehost.com).
- Self-Hosted Blog: you ‘manage’ the virtual server that is running your blog (ex: wordpress.org).
- Hosted Blog: the blogging platform manages the server that runs your blog (ex: wix.com).
- WordPress.org: an open-source content management system to create, update and manage all of your blog content and files.
- WordPress.com: an all-in-one blogging platform that includes web hosting and a content management system.
Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name
As we discussed, a domain name is a unique and user-friendly address for your website.
It is also how your audience will recognize you and help you build your digital presence and brand.
For example, Google’s domain name is google.com.
With well over 1 billion sites on the internet as of March 2022 (source: siteefy.com), it’s easy to get stuck trying to find the perfect domain name.
Here are four different approaches to naming your blog:
- Niche-Specific (ex: busybudgeter.com, goodfinancialcents.com)
- Your Name (ex: timothysykes.com, camillestyles.com)
- Name & Niche (ex: sallysbakingaddiction.com, lilistravelplans.com)
- Made-Up Word (ex: google.com, yahoo.com)
To check if your domain name is available, head to Bluehost’s Domain Search.
Make sure your domain name is free of spelling mistakes and isn’t too niche for your site and your brand to grow.
You’ll also want to make sure that even if your domain name is available, you don’t have any close competitors with a very close domain name that people could easily confuse.
If you are struggling to find the perfect domain name for you, keep in mind, that a domain name alone will not make or break your website.
Step 3: Get Your Website Online
Once you’ve identified your domain name and confirmed it’s available, it’s time to get your website online and ready for blogging so that it can be read by users anywhere via the internet.
There are three steps to getting your website online and ready for blogging:
- Purchase web hosting
- Register your domain name
- Install WordPress
Purchase Web Hosting
When you purchase a web hosting plan, you are buying space on a remote server that is physically managed and maintained by the web host provider.
Think of it as your own digital real estate in your name that your blog lives on.
This step is as straightforward as signing up for a subscription service, but there are still some things to keep in mind.
Web Hosting Providers
For an extra $12 for the first year, you’ll get nightly backups and increased website performance.
And as a beginner blogger, we can’t recommend investing in website performance enough.
The last thing you want to happen is for a user to navigate to your site, get frustrated with the loading speed, and then leave.
Even if you don’t have much traffic in the beginning, Google will still prioritize sites with better performance over those with slow performance.
Therefore, if the purpose of your blog is anything but a hobby, we recommend starting with Siteground.
However, if Siteground is out of your budget, you can certainly get started with Bluehost and transfer to Siteground later.
Read more about the benefits here: 7 Best Blogging Tools for Beginners.
Register Your Domain
Registering your domain name is the process of reserving the domain name for your use only. It will take the domain name off the market for others.
Registration generally covers a one-year period, with the option to auto-new your domain, so you don’t risk losing it.
Luckily, when you purchase web hosting, most providers (Bluehost, Siteground, GoDaddy, HostGator, etc.) offer domain registration, so that you don’t have to worry about the technical details.
While your web host provider typically takes care of registration, we still like to mention it because it’s a crucial step to getting your blog online.
Many web host providers have made installing WordPress.org on your virtual server as easy as downloading an app from the app store.
And Bluehost has made it even easier – Bluehost comes with WordPress already installed.
To read more detailed instructions on how to install and set up WordPress, check out this post.
Step 4: Get Familiar with WordPress
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that makes it easy to create and update your blog posts, manage media such as images and videos, and design your website.
With hundreds of different features and capabilities, logging into your WordPress dashboard for the first time can feel pretty overwhelming.
We recommend spending 20-30 minutes exploring the WordPress dashboard to become familiar and confident with the back end.
Some of the key features to check out include posts, media, pages, appearance, plugins, and settings.
Step 5: Install A WordPress Theme
As you become familiar with the WordPress backend, you’ll likely notice that you need a WordPress theme.
A WordPress theme is a basis for the overall design of your website.
One of the many benefits of WordPress.org is the number of free themes available for use.
After you’ve found a theme you like, install it and then activate the theme to connect the theme to your blog.
We recommend starting with a free theme from the WordPress dashboard and upgrading to a paid theme or custom design once you start seeing some consistent traffic and know your blogging strategy is working.
Step 6: Install Essential Plugins
A WordPress plugin is a mini-application that you install on your website to add additional functionality without having to do any coding.
Most WordPress plugins generally offer a free version and a paid version of the plugin.
For most plugins, the free version is sufficient, but there may be times when you want to upgrade to the paid version.
Step 7: Create Essential Pages
Before you ‘publish’ on your website, it’s essential that you have the following pages: home, about, contact, blog, 404, and legal.
The home page of your blog should include clearly communicating who you help and how you help them. Some things to include: a preview of your blog posts, a blurb about yourself, links to social media, and a picture of you.
The about page should summarize who you are and connect with your ideal audience.
The contact page should enable your readers to easily get in touch with you, whether that be through your social media or email. This shows that you’re friendly, responsive, and open to communication.
The blog page should list your most recent blog posts. You can add searching and filtering to help your audience find blog posts more quickly.
A 404 page is displayed when the user navigates to a URL on your blog that is not found. Ideally, this won’t happen, but if it does, you need a way to indicate the page can’t be found, and suggest where to go instead.
Step 8: Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website for search engines such as Google.
The goal of SEO is to get your blog post to the top of the search engine results page when users search for the topic of your blog.
There are three types of SEO strategies that must be implemented: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
To learn more about SEO, check out our guide: SEO For Beginners.
Step 9: Conduct Keyword Research
A keyword is a word or phrase that a user types into a search engine.
Keyword research is the process of identifying keywords to target for your blog that attracts your target audience and solve their problems.
Keyword research tools include Ubersuggest, Answer The Public, Ahrefs, and SEMRush.
Step 10: Create Pillar and Supporting Content
After you’ve conducted thorough keyword research, it’s time to create pillar and supporting content.
This starts with building out a framework of pillar content – the big ideas and concepts that form the foundation of your site – and then filling in those ideas with supporting content, such as blog posts infographics, and videos.
One key to creating powerful pillar content is choosing a topic with a clear appeal to your niche.
The best way to get ideas for your pillar content is by looking at forums such as Reddit and Quora, social media platforms, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Once you have developed pillar content, take time to outline a plan for how you will fill in those gaps with supporting content.
Think about which types of posts might best complement the various topics you’ve covered and how often you should publish new material on each topic.
These decisions will depend on things like your target audience and their needs.
If you need help with a content strategy, set up a free strategy call with Samantha.
Step 11: Promote Your Blog
This is the key to getting the word out and growing your audience.
You can promote your blog using email marketing, social media platforms, guest blogging, YouTube, Podcasts and more.
Pinterest is also a great way for beginner bloggers to start getting traffic to their blog.
If you use Pinterest, make sure to find a Pinterest scheduler, so that you can automatically pin at the ideal times for your audience.
We love and recommend Tailwind since it’s so easy to use.
Another route you can take is paid advertising to drive more traffic to your site.
We recommend that beginner bloggers start with email marketing, Pinterest, and content sharing buttons.
Conclusion: How To Start A Blog For Beginners In 2023
No matter your reason for wanting to start a blog or how far along in the process you are we hope this guide on how to start a blog for beginners in 8 easy steps was valuable to you.
Starting a blog in 2023 is a long-term investment in your digital presence, and with the proper resources and guidance, you’re already well on your way to success.