This post may contain affiliate links.
Updated: September 2018
One of the most common questions I get via email or in my Facebook group is how to start a blog. So in this post, I’m going to walk you through what you should do before you start a blog + how to start a blog with SiteGround.
I feel like every mama out there should have a blog. It is so fulfilling and you can create so many lasting relationships through blogging. It is also a fabulous way to make money from home!
By my third month blogging I was making over $1000 a month, and now I make enough to provide for my family and put my husband through his Master's degree! So many other mommy bloggers are making a significant income from home thanks to their blogs.
Rosemarie from The Busy Budgeter - $24,347 in one month!
Suzi from Start A Mom Blog - $9,042 in one month!
Jen from She’s Ambitious - $2,196 in one month
Starting a blog is one of the best choices I’ve ever made, so I wanted to create a step-by-step tutorial to show you how you can start a blog too. Even if you aren’t tech savvy (like me) I’ll walk you through it all and show you how you can start a blog on SiteGround today!
1. Pick your niche
Your niche is essentially the topic that you want to blog about, it could be parenting, recipes, DIY projects, entrepreneurship or really anything that you love!
To find your niche consider asking yourself these questions.
What do I enjoy talking about? Think of something that excites you. What types of articles are you up late reading about on Pinterest? That is what you need to write!
What do I have experience in? Maybe you have worked in a certain industry or maybe you have had a child with a particular disease. If you have experience, you are qualified to write about it!
Is this a topic that I can monetize? If you are going to commit all of the time to write great content for your blog most likely you are going to need to monetize it to justify your time. Almost every niche has income potential, but start brainstorming how you can make money from it.
Once you have a topic or two in mind, start brainstorming your blog name. You want it to be something that your readers will be able to relate with. Think of terms relevant to your topic and to your targeted reader.
So, for example, when I was coming up with the name of my blog I knew that I was targeting other moms and I wanted to talk about money, specifically how moms can make money. “Moms” in Moms Make Cents is pretty straight forward, but “Make Cents” is a little play on words.
Once you have a couple ideas check to see if your domain is available.
2. Choose A Platform
I recommend starting with WordPress.org. You will have more opportunities to customize your site and it opens up all of your options when you want to monetize your site.
With WordPress.org you will need to have “hosting.” This is access to the server that will run your blog. Think of it like this, your blog is your apartment, your domain name is your address and the hosting is your landlord. Fortunately, hosting is super inexpensive. You can get amazing hosting for less than $4 a month! Don’t we all wish rent was that cheap ;)
There are other alternatives, like SquareSpace (which I think is the second best option, but I wouldn't recommend), but there is less opportunity for customization and it is much more expensive (more like $200+ per year).
3. Set Up Your blog
I have worked in the blogging industry for over six years and the best host I have found by far is SiteGround. In this tutorial I am going to walk you through how to set up your blog, so you can start sharing with the world!
Why Start a blog with SiteGround?
1. Their Uptime Is Incredible.
One of the worst things that can happen as a blogger is to have your blog go down. Other hosting companies have frequent outages, but SiteGround has 99.9% uptime, which is pretty dang incredible.
2. Their Customer Service Is Fabulous
No more waiting to chat with a representative for an hour. "Ain't nobody got time for that!" SiteGround's tech support is lightning quick and super helpful. They can help you setup your hosting for WordPress in under 10 minutes. Their service is available 24/7 and you can talk with tech support via phone or in an online chat (I always opt for the chat so I don't have to worry about my little boy being loud in the background 😊 ).
Why Should you start a blog?
Absolutely anyone can start a blog nowadays! As long as you have the passion and the drive for something and you want to share it with the world, then blogging is for you.
Your blog can be a hobby or you can turn it into a profitable business. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. It requires a lot of patience, constant learning, and honest decisions for yourself and for your brand. But it can be incredibly rewarding and not to mention very profitable. By the second month of my blog I made over $400 and in my third month I made over $1,500 😱 !
Are you ready to get started? Follow these simple steps and you can have your blog setup today!
First, click here to visit SiteGround.com so you can follow along with the tutorial! This will take you to their landing page and already you can see how simple it is to navigate. We will explore some of the other pages later, but for now click on the "Sign-up" button to get started.
Step 1: choose a plan
The first and most basic plan is the StartUp Plan. As the name suggests, this is what you should start with when you are just starting out.
The StartUp plan costs only $3.95 a month! That is a steal for starting your own business! This includes,
10GB Web Space
10,000 Visits Monthly
Plus, all of the essential features.
This package costs $5.95 a month, which is still a great deal since you get the basic features plus premium.
I personally recommend trying the GrowBig plan. This will give you even faster customer service response times and priority service which is so helpful when you are starting a new blog. The Grow Big plan includes,
All of the features of the StartUp Plan
Hosting for Multiple Sites
20GB Web Space
Best for up to 25,000 Monthly Visits
Extra Fast Response Times
The Super Cacher - This helps your site run faster which improves your SEO ranking with Google and helps keep your readers on your site.
Ready to take the blogging world by storm? The biggest SiteGround plan is the GoGeek plan, which costs $11.95 a month. This includes the basic features, premium features, and the geeky advanced features. In addition to the features of the GrowBig plan you get,
30GB Web Space
100,000 Visits Monthly
This is a great option if you already have a lot of traffic to your blog each month and want to switch from another host or if you anticipate a high amount of traffic to your blog when you launch.
Choose which plan best meets your needs then click "Get Started."
Step 2: Choose Your Domain
A domain name is important since it defines your brand. As a standard rule, domain names should be simple. You can’t make it complicated or else people won’t be able to find you or remember your domain name.
You can use your own personal name as the title of your blog, or even use a catchy phrase just as long as it is related to your blog and what you are talking about. Just remember to keep everything simple and straight to the point.
Here you can enter your existing domain name, or register one upon sign up. Type it in and the website checks if that domain name is still available. You can also pick your domain extension such as .com, .org, etc (however, if possible I recommend going with .com). Once you have one that’s still free to use, then you’re good to go.
Step 3: Review and complete your information
Account Information and Client Information
Payment Information and Purchase Information
Extra services: here you can choose to select or unselect the extra features that you might need or might not need on your blog. For the most part, the basic features are fine. To remove the extra services just uncheck the boxes.
Check the box that says you agree to the terms and conditions then click "Pay Now."
Congratulations! You can now have hosting for your blog! All you need to do is to install WordPress and get creative. It is pretty simple to set up, but if you are technophobic, guess what? The tech team at SiteGround will set it up for you!
All you have to do is go here and click on "Live Chat." One of the ultra friendly SiteGround representatives will say, "hello." and you just need to ask them to set up your WordPress site and send you your login details. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. This process will take a max of fifteen minutes and then you can access your beautiful new site!
Once they send you your login details go to www.yournewsite.com/wp-admin and login.
If you would rather install WordPress on your own follow the steps below.
Click on "WordPress" in the Autoinstaller section.
Then click the blue "Install" button.
On the next screen fill out the following:
Choose Protocol: most likely it is https://
Choose Domain: The domain for the site you are setting up
In Directory: Leave this section blank
Site Name: Anything to help you remember which site this is. Note: you can update this later.
Site Description: A brief description of your site. Note: you can update this later.
Admin Username: You will need to remember this! Write it down and keep it in a safe place.
Admin Password: You will need to remember this! Write it down and keep it in a safe place.
Admin Email: Your email address.
Language: Your preferred language.
Choose a Theme to Install: You can install a theme here or on the backend of your WordPress site. You can start with a free theme and upgrade to a paid theme as your blog grows!
Now using the username and password you just created go to http://www.yournewblog.com/wp-admin (your domain) and login!
See that wasn't as hard as you thought! You now have your very own blog!
Step 4: Grab your freebies
I've put together a blogging mini-course to help you get started. All you have to do to get the mini-course is purchase a hosting plan through SiteGround via one of my affiliate links in this blog post. Easy peasy, right?
Once you receive your receipt from SiteGround, just forward it over to me - or a screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll give you access to the course! Booyah!
In the course, there are five lessons with over an hour of video training that will cover the key topics you need to know to start your blog the right way.
Watch over my shoulder as I show you how to,
How To Install Your Theme (+ My Favorite Free & Paid Theme)
The 9 Best Free Plugins
How To Effectively Write Powerful Blog Posts
How To Promote Your Brand New Blog Post
What Is An Email List + How To Start One
Are you ready?! Let's do this!
Once you've set up your hosting check out these posts for more help!