If you want to learn how to start a blog that matters, pay attention.
My name is Matthew Woodward and I’ve made millions of dollars with my blogs and won 8 prestigious blogging awards. I’ve spoken about blogging on stages all over the world-
I am one of the most qualified people on the planet to be telling you how to start a blog the right way so please pay attention.
I’ve helped thousands of people just like you to achieve their blogging dreams:
So today I am going to take you by the hand and show you how to start a blog the right way step-by-step.
In the next 15 minutes you will have-
- Chosen your blogs topic & domain name
- Started your blog
- Customised the design
- And published your very first blog post
What Will I Learn?
How To Start A Blog In 5 Steps
Learning how to start your blog is very easy, just follow these steps-
- Pick a blog name. Choose something descriptive.
- Get your blog online. Register your blog & host it.
- Tweak your blog. Choose a free theme & customize it.
- Write your first post. This always feel’s amazing!
- Promote your blog. Get people to read your posts.
- Bonus: Learn how to monetize your blog to create income.
If you are short on time you can get started with A2Hosting for just $2.99/mo who set everything up for you including a custom domain name.
Step 1 – Choose Your Blogging Platform
WordPress is the go-to platform for bloggers.
- It’s free for anyone to use (you just need a cheap webhost & domain name)
- It’s super easy to use even if you never built a blog before
- They have over 5,000 free themes to choose from to make your blog look awesome
- Over 91% of all blogs are running WordPress, including this one!
Why You Shouldn’t Create A Blog On A Free Platform
People don’t know the difference between starting a self-hosted blog and using free blogging websites.
One of the biggest mistakes I see new bloggers make, is using a free blogging platform when they are just getting started. Everyone wants to learn how to start a blog for free thinking they will become a famous author and make a stack of money.
But if you do this, you will seriously limit your potential success as a blogger.
- No Control – You have zero control over your blog. Tumblr/BlogSpot or whoever can choose to shutdown your blog and delete it at any time.
- Lack Of Customisation – You can’t use any of the thousands of free WordPress themes and plugins and are limited to very basic templates.
- Limits – You are limited on how many images and videos you can upload or how many people visit your blog.
- No Custom Domain Name – You will get stuck using an ugly domain name like http://yourblog.blogspot.com rather than just yourblog.com.
- No One Will Take You Seriously – And the most important of all, is if you use a free platform it makes you look like an inexperienced beginner and no one will take you seriously.
If you are serious about learning how to start a blog and make money like I do…
…then do things the right way the first time! The choice is yours.
Plus it only costs $2.99 per month to do it the right way – so why take shortcuts?
Or read my full A2 Hosting review to learn why they are awesome!
Step 2 – Choose Your Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is one of the most important steps of starting a blog.
If you don’t know what a domain name is, well it is the address of your blog – for example the domain name of this blog is just my name – MatthewWoodward.co.uk.
Before you choose a domain name you need to choose a topic for your blog.
If you’re not sure what to blog about here are a few suggestions-
- Write a list of 3 things you are good at
- Write a list of 3 things you are interested in or enjoy
- Write a list of 3 things you want to learn about
That quick 5 minute exercise will give you more than enough ideas for topics for your blog. Just choose from your menu of ideas.
My advice is to write content about things you are passionate and knowledgeable about. You’ll be able to create hundreds of posts that your audience find engaging and they will subscribe to hear more.
Once you have a topic for your blog you need to choose a good domain name.
If you are going to blog about a specific topic (which I recommend you do) then you should try and incorporate that into the domain name.
Or you could just use your name as your domain name like I did with this blog that focuses on blogging and digital marketing.
Once you have picked your domain name (don’t buy it yet), I have some great news:
The hardest part of setting up your blog is over!
Now we just need to get it online and that can be done with a few clicks of the mouse and it really doesn’t matter if you want to learn how to start a fashion blog or a travel blog or even just have somewhere to write reviews of your family trips – the process is the same.
Step 3 – Setup Web Hosting & WordPress
Next we need to setup your blogs hosting, install WordPress and connect it with a domain.
If all of that sounds scary don’t worry, most of it happens automatically with a couple of clicks, but first let’s go over some basics.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is what keeps your blog “online” and stores all of your blogs files, images and content. If you don’t have a web host then no one else would be able to see your blog!
A good web host means that your blog will be available to every single person in the world, every single second of every single day.
Avoid Bad Web Hosting Companies!
There are both good and bad hosting companies & choosing a host is an important part of starting a blog.
Many cheap hosts overload their servers which means your blog will be slow, which means updating it will take longer and it will take longer for your visitors to load it.
That is usually backed with terrible support so when you do have a problem, you’re on your own. All of this means you can’t focus on building and growing your blog.
So the only hosting company I recommend for beginners is
- 1 Click WordPress installation – Installing WordPress takes less than 30 seconds.
- 24/7 support – No matter what happens, they are available to help.
Free SSL – Get a free SSL certificate at zero cost to you
Turbo Servers – Much faster than other budget hosts because of their SSD & turbo cache setups so your blog loads quickly.
Budget friendly– It costs just $ 2.99 per month!
You have now installed WordPress and your blog is ready to go!
Although if you are super serious about starting your blog, you should look at what the fastest WordPress hosting providers have to offer. Take a look at my WPX Hosting review
4 – Customising Your Blog
Now WordPress is installed, it’s time to customize your new blog to your liking.The first thing we are going to do is find and install a theme that you like.
The design of your blog plays a huge role in the success of your blog because it’s the body language of your blog.
How To Choose A Great WordPress Theme
- Simple & clutter free – The simpler it is to read and navigate your site, the better!
- Mobile responsive – Your blog needs to look great on mobile as well, this is non-negotiable.
- Optimized for speed – Your blog needs to load quickly to keep visitors engaged
- SEO ready – It should be built with search engine optimisation in mind
- Easy to customize – Ideally you can change the layout or colours in a couple of clicks
- Built in shortcodes – This makes it easy to style your blog posts
The great news is there are thousands of free WordPress themes that you can choose from.While they might not have all of the best features and support, they are free.
To find a WordPress do that just go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
From here you can browse through the featured, popular and latest themes to your heart’s content. Just mouse over any that you like to get a live preview or to install and activate one.
Once you have done that you can go to Appearance > Customize to tweak things like colors & fonts easily-
Just keep tweaking things until you are happy!
If you are serious about your blog then you might want to invest in a pro WordPress theme that will help you to stand out from the crowd & save a lot of the headache that you often find with free themes (like things not working properly/zero support).
In fact I highly suggest you watch the video below which explains all of the problems I had when I started my blog-
Hopefully you don’t make the same mistakes!
In fact I worked alongside the MyThemeShop team to build the custom theme that you see on the blog right now.
So if you want a WordPress theme that builds trust, loads quickly, ranks well and positions you as the authority in your niche then you can download my theme here.
Step 5 – Writing Your First Blog Post
Now comes the fun part, it is time to start writing your first post!
Writing & publishing your first blog post might seem scary but I’m going to guide you through the process.
First of all login to your WordPress admin dashboard (yourdomain.com/wp-admin) and then go to Posts > Add New.
You will be presented with a screen like this-
Let me explain exactly what you are seeing here-
- Title Area: This is where you write the title of your blog post
- Add Media: This is where you can upload images/gifs/videos
- Content Area: This is where you write the main content of your post with text formatting tools above
- Publishing: This is where you control if your post is published and live to the world or you can choose to schedule it in advanced.
- Other: Choose or create a relevant category for your post or upload a featured image. If you don’t know what tags are then don’t worry about them.
Feel free to write anything you want for your first blog post as you get used to the WordPress system and learn to use it’s features.
Here is an example post-
Once it is done, just click on the blue Publish button and voila!
You have just written and published your very first blog post!
Now give yourself a pat on the back and take a break because you have just started your very first blog! Congratulations!
Frequently Asked Questions About Blogging
So now you know how to start a blog the right way, I am sure you have a bunch of questions!
So I did my best to answer as many of your blogging questions as possible below.
Just click on the question(s) below to instantly reveal the answer!