How to Start a Blog | A Beginners Guide 2020

How To Start A Blog!

So Let me guess, you are asking yourself, How Do I start a Blog in 2020? 

So much information can be found online, so many people are telling you about this topic. 

  • Where does a person start? 
  • Who should be listened to? 

I know it might be confusing but I used to be a Newbie too. 

This isn’t my first blog. 

I actually started one way back in high school with an account on Xanga, OK,  now I feel old. This unfortunately got hacked, so I was pretty much forced to delete it.  

I even had a blog for when I was doing a semester abroad in Italy. As well as a few more along the way.

Now, I know a thing or two about blogging and I would say, I am doing pretty well for myself. 

I will say, please do not think that travel is the only thing that a person can blog about. I mean this blog has posts about making money online, teaching abroad, blogging, food and just about whatever else I feel like writing about. People blog about all kinds of things, like, sports, being a mom, fitness, money, school etc... Literally any topic you can think of someone is probably blogging about it, so why can't you?

With just a little bit of effort blogging can be simple and fun! Many people have even turned blogging into their career and make a rather good income.

Table Of Contents
- Why Start A Blog
- FAQ: How much does a blog cost?
- FAQ: Can I start a blog for free?
- Step 1: Decide What to Blog About
- FAQ: What if I can't decide what to blog about?
Step 2: Pick a Domain Name & A Host
Choosing A Domain Name
Choosing A Host
- Step 3: Install and Setup WordPress
- Step 4: Design Your Blog
- Step 5: Get Some Content Going

First, Why Start a Blog?

What is the point in having a blog, why even start one. Well, people start blogs for all kinds of reasons. Here are some of the top reasons why people choose to start a blog. 

  • You just want to write. Lots of people just want to write about their experiences and share their stories. A blog is a terrific way to do that and to build a community around what you are doing. 
  • Exposure for a business or organization. Reaching a bigger audience is something that every business or organization wants. A blog is a great way to do just that and one that is very cost and time efficient. It also gives your customers a reason to keep returning to your site besides just checking business hours. 
  • You want to help others. Perhaps you are in a unique or not so unique situation and other people would benefit from your knowledge. For example I have a few city guides on this blog and I have information that would be helpful for people who are wanting to visit those places. Or perhaps you want to share a parenting technique you learned about and thought it would help others. 
  • Make Money Online. Making money online while working from home in your pajamas is something a lot of people want. A blog is something that you can make a little extra money from or even make a full time income and then some, it will all depends on how much effort you put into it. While it can be hard work, it is low risk, and low cost.

These are obviously just a few examples, people start blogs for all kinds of reasons, many more than are listed here.  

Steps to Starting a WordPress Blog in 2020

These are my 5 basic steps to starting a WordPress blog. 5 Steps isn't too bad right?

  1. Decide what to Blog About
  2. Pick a Domain Name & Host  
  3. Install & Setup WordPress
  4. Design Your Blog
  5. Get Some Content Going
FAQ: How much does a blog cost?

So the type of blog that I am going to show you does have a few relatively small upfront costs. However, once you get started you can continue and maintain your blog for around $5-$15 per month. As your blog grows and starts to make you money, so can your budget for a nicer and better blog with more bells and whistles. 

FAQ: Can I start a blog for free?

Yes, there are a few free blogging platforms. However just like everything else that is typically free in life the options and ways to do things are limited, and not exactly the best. 

  • The design and how to make everything look is limited.
  • How to make money is limited. 
  • If you decide you want to move to something else it can be very hard to change to a different platform without spending a lot of money. Or nearly impossible. 

Step 1: Decide What to Blog About

So, obviously if you are starting a blog for your business or organization, then it should be very clear and obvious what you are going to write about. 

However, if you are starting a blog on your own then you have a lot of flexibility on what you want to write about. 

As mentioned earlier you can literally write about whatever you want. A few key points I must mention are these. 

  • Write about something you like. When you write about something you like it will make the time and effort you put into the blog much more fulfilling and enjoyable. If you are writing about something that you don't really like then the time spent writing and working on the blog can start to feel more like a punishment versus something you want to do or be successful with. 
  • Blog about something that has room to talk about. Yes, I have seen entire youtube channels dedicated to just mattresses and MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat, essentially military rations) but they found a way to keep making content around these topics. So make sure your topic has plenty of things to write/talk about or get ready to be very creative. There are Instagram accounts dedicated to just pictures of fried chicken. So I mean if you think your topic is limited then you haven't been creative enough.  
  • Pick something where you can make yourself a go to authority figure in. This will allow for a lot of doors to open up for you. I can basically guarantee that you will not be the first person to write / talk about whatever it is you pick. However, don't worry about that. You have to get started somewhere. 
FAQ: What if I can't decide what to blog about?

I would say this, start anyways! The thing with blogging is that you can write about whatever you want. Lots of people even start with one topic and then start writing about another. Take this blog as an example. I write about essentially 3 topics, Travel, Teaching Abroad, and Blogging. I have also written about other topics as well. So don't feel like you are stuck with the first thing that you pick either. The only way to truly find out what you want is to just get started. Getting into the habit of writing and learning how to work with your blogging software is going to make everything much easier down the road. 

Step 2: Pick a Domain Name & A Host

Choosing A Domain Name

First, let me explain to you what a domain name is. A domain name is simply the address for your website. For Example the domain of this site is travelbybroom.com.

If you do not already have a domain name or an idea of what you want, you can always just use your own name or think of something catchy and shareable. I even own the domain spencerbroom.com I use to have a blog on it as well but now it just redirects back to here. I recommend using your own name because it also allows you to write about whatever you want and allows you to establish yourself as a brand and become an authority in your topic of choice.

One Great way to think of a good domain name is by going to shopify and using their Business Name Generator.

I purchase all of my domain names from NameCheap.com

NameCheap Home Page How To Start A Blog

Here is a video of me going through the domain name purchasing process. 

Choosing A Host

I know what you are thinking, what is a host? Well, to put it simply a host is a place that contains your website so that people from all around the world can view and access your work. 

For your blog to be “online” and accessible, you need server space, the data still has to be physically located somewhere. You get this server space from a hosting company aka.. A “host”

I have a feeling many of you might be asking now.... 

What Host Should I Use?

I recommend a host I have personally paid for, did a lot of research on, and am currently using right now to host this website that you are currently looking at! 

The Link above will open in a new window and you can use this page as a reference as you get everything setup. 

Inmotion Hosting Home Page How To Start A Blog

Try not to worry if the images are slightly different from what you see here. InMotion Hosting is always trying to improve things and make a better experience for its customers. However, the process is the same. Hey, you might even find that they have a sale! I recommend the shared hosting plan.

Step 3: Install and Setup WordPress

This process is not all that difficult but I find it would be much better for you to watch a video.

Check out my video on how to connect your domain name to your hosting and getting WordPress installed.

Step 4: Design Your Blog

The basic design and layout of your blog is determined by the “theme” that you choose. A WordPress theme is a pre-defined template which you can customize. Their are literally thousands of themes to choose from. Many of those themes are free and many are paid for. The site that you are currently on is made using thrive themes. I will say that this theme costs a monthly fee. Honestly you are perfectly fine using a free theme if you are just starting out. When you are choosing your theme you want to make sure it fits with your goals. For example, if you are writing a professional blog then you will want a formal clean design where as a music blog you will have more license to show off your creativity.

These days you should be using a responsive design. This means that the layout of your blog will adapt to different mobile and tablet screen sizes – which is highly important for usability now that a lot of people are using mobile phones to browse the web. Personally I would suggest using a very basic free theme starting out just to get use to using WordPress, and get into the habit of writing and working on your blog. Then after a few posts graduate into a more premium theme such as Thrive

Step 5: Get Some Content Going

Try not to worry too much about things just get started.

There’s truly no point in starting a website if you’re not going to create content your readers and search engines will love. 

You need to pay attention to content length, search engine optimization, and more. But, don’t worry too much about that just yet.

A lot of people will recommend you follow specific strategies when starting your first blog. However, I’ve found experience to be the absolute best teacher.

You need to throw a few things against the wall before you find what sticks!

Try out different types of blogging content. From stories to tutorials, you want to find out what your readers prefer and what kind of writing you’re naturally good at.

A basic road-map to get you started is below. 

  • Write your About Page
  • Write your First Post.
  • Write another post. 
  • Repeat, Repeat Repeat.

That's it really it, consistency is key when it comes to having a successful blog. Once you have a few posts going you to need to remember to start marketing them. Social media is my go to. Share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere with an audience really.  

Congratulations your blog / website should be started. Put your new website in the comments below so I can take a look. What else do you want to know about starting a website / blog?

Every good blog needs awesome images as well.
Check out my post on getting free website graphics

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