So, You want to learn How to create a blog?
I’ve been through this phase. I’ve tried a lot of blogging platforms (free & paid), different web hosting companies & different methods to set up a successful blog.
You don’t need to experience all that headache. I’ll show you exact step by step process to start your blog. No technical experience required.
but, why do you want to create a blog? There might be plenty of reasons behind it.
- You want to make money blogging & leave that 9 to 5 job.
- You want to add a blog to your existing business website to get more exposure.
- Maybe, you want to travel the world without working your ass off.
- You want to pursue your hobby of writing.
- You want to help people by showing your talent.
Most of the people create a blog to make money & live the life they want and nothing wrong with it.
Do you know how much money you can make by blogging?
Top 3 Bloggers & their Monthly Income
There are a lot of bloggers making thousands of dollars every month. They work hard & do blogging with passion.
I want to show you such a top 3 bloggers & their monthly income:
John has a blog with name EOFire & writes about Entrepreneurship & Online business. He has interviewed more than 1800 entrepreneurs such as Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Gary Vee, etc.
His blog generates over $200,000 every month. In the month 2017, he made over $490,000 which is over 3 Crore Indian Rupees.
John started EOFire 4 years ago & he makes most of his income from Podcast Sponsorship, Membership website & selling online courses.
He is one of my favorite bloggers & I love his blog SmartPassiveIncome a lot. Pat is earning over $100,000 every month.
In the month July 2017, he made over $320,000 which is almost 2 Crore Indian Rupees.
Pat started his blog 7 years ago & he makes most of his income by selling online courses & doing affiliate marketing.
She is the best example for the people who think they can’t make money by following their passion. Lindsay Ostrom is a food blogger & she makes over $90,000 per month.
Her blog PinchOfYum gets millions of views every month. If you want to start a food recipe blog then you must follow her blog.
She started her blog 6 years ago & most of her income comes from Affiliate Marketing & Selling an online course.
Would you like to make such income from your blog?
Of course, you would! It takes a lot of hard work, consistency, dedication & patience.
The first step is to make your blog up & running. So, It’s time for an action.
Let’s go & create your own blog, Right Now!
How to Create a Blog – Step by Step Guide:
These are 7 steps to create your blog in a less than 15 Minutes:
- Decide What to Blog
- Choose a Blogging Platform
- Find a Good Web Host
- Find a Domain Name
- Buy a Web Hosting
- Install WordPress & Configure Hosting
- Design your Blog
This step is crucial & beginners mostly overlook it. Your blog niche (topic) is the foundation of your blogging future. So, select it wisely.
How to decide blogging niche?
You should always decide a blog niche that interests you. Ask yourself, what would be the one thing that I’ll enjoy while writing about it? Which topic would I love to teach others?
Don’t select too broad or too narrow niche. If you select too broad niche then you have to face competition.
If you select too narrow niche then you won’t get plenty of ideas to write on. So, select the topic on which you could write a lot & has low to medium competition.
If you select such a niche it will be helpful to establish an authority in that niche.
E.g. Suppose, You like to write about Operating Systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android, iOS, etc. Don’t write about every Operating System, rather select one Operating System such as Android & write about it.
When your blog about Android starts generating traffic, people will know you as Android Geek or Android Expert.
Once you decide the blog niche, It will be also helpful to choose a domain name for your blog.
A blogging platform is a software which is used to manage your blogging activities. There are a lot of blogging platforms available such as WordPress, Joomla, Blogger, Medium, Weebly, Drupal & the list goes on.
Have you ever wondered which software top bloggers are using to publish blog posts? It is WordPress. I am also using the WordPress blogging platform to manage StriveMoney & it is absolutely free.
It is used by over 29% of websites all over the world and has 59.9% market share. It is fastest growing blog publishing system.
There is a major confusion among beginners about WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Hosted blog & Self-Hosted blog. If you don’t want to know about it, Jump to next section.
As I already told you that WordPress software is completely free. You can download it from WordPress.org website. It comes with compressed zip folder.
Now, You have a WordPress software but where to install it?
There are two places to install WordPress Software:
- WordPress.com (Free) – Also known as Hosted.
- Your Web Host (Paid) – Also known as Self-Hosted.
When you host your website on WordPress.com, they will install WordPress software for you & provide you with a domain name like “yourwebsitedomain.wordpress.com”. It is a free service & comes with a lot of disadvantages.
Why I don’t use WordPress.com hosted or any other free blogging platform:
- I can’t make money: You are not allowed to advertise on the blog. Also, Ad networks don’t approve your long domain name.
- They may delete my blog: It has happened with a lot of bloggers. Your blog will be deleted without any notice. Read it here.
- A long domain name is not memorable: The domain name like “yourwebsitedomain.wordpress.com” is hard to remember.
- I can’t get users’ trust: People never keep trust on Hosted blogs.
There are more reasons to not use the hosted platform such as I can’t build a brand, I get the limited functionality of using WordPress software and I can’t get other domain extensions like .in, .org, .net, etc.
Another most important reason to not use hosted platform is that they will kill your growth. Once your blog starts to take off by generating more traffic, they will ask you to buy their paid plans.
Whereas the self-hosted platform costs you little money but you will have much more control, a brandable domain name, users’ trust & money making opportunities.
So, I urge you to spend little money & install WordPress software on your web host.
But which web host is good? Hop into the next section.
If you are a beginner, you might be thinking Why we need a web host in the first place?
It is so simple. The Internet is a collection of computers/servers connected to each other (Inter Net).
I have installed WordPress software on one of the servers connected to the Internet. You are accessing this blog from that Internet-connected server.
It means, If the server of my blog disconnects from the Internet, then you will not able to access this blog.
So, It is very much important to choose a web host which has the servers connected to the Internet 24×7 so that your website will be accessible all time. It is also referred as Server Uptime.
The best web hosting service gives you more space on one of their servers to install WordPress software, 24×7 high-speed internet connection to that server (server uptime), rock-solid security, reasonable pricing & a great customer support.
Siteground Hosting is the best web host which has 99.9% server uptime guarantee. (I’ve experienced 100% server uptime from their servers.)
(I will update this screenshot every month)
Apart from uptime, Siteground also has 24×7 Live Chat, Phone & Ticket support. It is also very easy to install WordPress on Siteground.
Moreover, It is fastest & secure web hosting provider comes with $3.95 per month cost (Rs. 250/Month).
I call Siteground web hosting as a beginner friendly hosting. The perfect web host for the people who are just stepping in the blogging world.
I think you are convinced enough to host your website on Siteground. So, Start the process.
Click here to visit Siteground and Create your blog. (This link will be opened in a new window. You will get 60% Off on original pricing.)
Click on the “CHOOSE PLAN” button.
Select your plan:
Siteground plans come with three options:
- StartUp – $3.95/Month, one website and 10,000 monthly visitors
- GrowBig – $5.95/Month, multiple websites and 25,000 monthly visitors
- GoGeek – $11.95/Month, multiple websites and 100,000 monthly visitors
You might be thinking which plan should I choose? I usually go with the GrowBig plan as I have multiple websites.
So, If you are planning to host multiple websites, go with GrowBig otherwise StartUp is the best plan for you.
Don’t worry about monthly visitors or Disk space, even if you cross these limitations, SiteGround won’t hurt you.
And by the time your website getting 10,000 visitors, you will be making much more money than you are going to spend for web hosting.
So, Select your plan by clicking on orange “GET STARTED” button. (I assume you have selected StartUp plan).
On the next screen, you have to register a domain name for your website. A domain name is your website address E.g. strivemoney.com
How to choose a domain name?
Here are a few tips on choosing a good domain name:
- It should be easy to remember & spell.
- Go with .com domain extension over .net, .org or .info
- If your audience is from your country then use country-specific domain extension. E.g. .in for India, .co.uk for England
- Keep it short, do not use hyphens, numbers, special characters.
- It should be related to your blog niche.
- You can also use your name.
At this step, you could either register a new domain or enter existing (already bought) domain name.
If you want to register a new domain name, select the first option. Enter domain name according to the tips given above. Try different words, be creative & find an available domain name.
Once you find out an available domain, click on “PROCEED” button. A new domain registration will cost you $14.95 (approx 900 Rupees)
If you’ve already bought a domain name from different domain name provider such as GoDaddy then choose the second option, “I already have a Domain”.
Enter your domain name like “strivemoney.com” & click on “PROCEED” button.
Like other hosting providers, Siteground doesn’t offer low cost domain name for the first year. Other hosting providers will give you free or low cost domain name for the first year (to acquire customers) and after a year they will charge you nearly same amount SiteGround is charging you now.
Siteground believes in providing high-quality hosting & superior customer support. So, they don’t sell low cost services.
Even if you choose to buy a cheap domain name for $1 (Rs. 99) for the first year, then visit GoDaddy, buy a domain name & enter it at this step by selecting “I already have a Domain” option.
Remember, next year you have to pay $14.99 (Rs. 967) for domain renewal to GoDaddy.
You have to complete your hosting order & install WordPress software to make your blog up & running.
On the next screen, you have to fill out account, address & payment information to complete the order.
Enter your email address & password. Confirm the details before scrolling down.
After scrolling down you have to enter more information such as Name, Country, Address, etc. Enter all the information & scroll down. (Company & VAT information is optional).
Here you have to enter your credit card details. Enter your card number, expiry date, CVV code (present at the back of a card) & credit card holder name.
What should I do if I don’t have a credit card?
As Siteground is not an Indian company it doesn’t accept Indian Netbanking or Indian debit card. However, you can take a credit card from your parents, relatives or friends to buy a web hosting.
A few banks in India provide International Debit cards. Such as:
- HDFC Bank
- ICICI Bank
- Axis Bank
- Yes Bank
If you have a debit card from one of these banks, just log in to the net banking account & enable International Transactions.
E.g. HDFC Bank
Sometimes, you also have to set International Transaction Amount limit using your net banking account. You should set this limit to Rs. 5000.
Purchase Information – Hosting Services:
Here you have a provision to change your plan & duration. If you want to buy a plan with more features & more duration then you can change it.
The most important option in this section is Datacenter. A data center is a location of the web server.
Near the location of server, faster the blog speed.
Siteground has five data center locations:
- Chicago (USA)
- Amsterdam (NL)
- Singapore (SG)
- London (UK)
- Milano (IT)
You should always choose a data center nearest to your target audience. My target audience is from India so I’ve chosen Singapore (nearest data center location to India).
If you are from India & your target audience is in the USA then choose Chicago.
Purchase Information – Extra Services:
Apart from web hosting, Siteground also offers a few extra services. A domain registration is a part of extra service.
If you’ve chosen to register a new domain in the fourth step, then Domain Privacy & SG Site Scanner options will be shown. If you’ve chosen to use your existing domain then only SG Site Scanner will be shown.
Country specific domain extensions like .in, .us, .co.uk, .pk, etc doesn’t have Domain Privacy option.
Should I buy these extra services?
You don’t need to buy these extra services. A domain privacy service will hide your name & contact information from Public Whois database.
A public whois database stores contact information of domain owners. Anyone can access this information by entering a domain name using whois information provider website.
If you don’t want to disclose your contact information then enable Domain Privacy option.
I never enable this option because I get the trust of my site audience when they come to know that this domain belongs to me.
An SG Site scanner service will check if your blog has been hacked or injected with malicious code. You also don’t need to buy this service. I will tell you how to secure your WordPress website using free tools in my WordPress Security guide.
Confirm & Pay:
Finally, review all your the information & select the Terms of Service checkbox. Click on “PAY NOW” button & purchase the web hosting service.
Once your hosting purchase is complete, you will be redirected to the below screen. Click on “PROCEED TO CUSTOMER AREA” button.
Now, You have to install WordPress software on your new web hosting server.
You don’t need to download WordPress software & dive into technical details to install it, Siteground will do it for you.
On the next screen, select the first option “Get WordPress preinstalled on this account” & click on “PROCEED” button.
Now, Enter the WordPress login details such as username & password. These details are required to log into your site’s admin area.
You can access your website’s WordPress dashboard, publish & manage posts, change settings, etc.
Scroll down & choose a free theme provided by Siteground. I never user free themes due to security concerns, rather I always buy a theme for my WordPress sites. (More on this in the last section).
It is fine even if you don’t select a theme. Just click on “SUBMIT” button. On the next screen, you’ll see your website admin URL which will be helpful to manage your website.
You can open that URL in new browser tab & log into your website admin area. (Don’t do it now, let’s configure your web hosting account first).
Scroll down and click on “Proceed to Customer Area” button. You will be redirected to the Siteground customer area.
Your website admin area & Siteground admin area is different. With the Siteground admin area you can manage your hosting needs such as:
- Upgrading plan
- Installing SSL certificate
- Managing files
- Adding or registering domain
- Buying additional hosting account, etc.
With the website admin are you can manage your blogging needs such as:
- Publishing a blog post
- Adding images
- Adding themes
- Changing settings
- Adding users
- Uploading plugins
- Adding pages, etc.
Web Hosting Configuration:
So, this is your Siteground Customer Area. Now, click on “My Accounts” from the navigation bar.
In the “My Accounts” section you’ll see your hosting accounts & domains registered with Siteground.
If you’ve bought a domain from Siteground, you’ll see domain status as “Pending Verification”. If not skip this part.
Now, log into your email account. You may have received a verification email from Siteground with the subject “VERIFICATION REQUIRED”. If not, click on the “Resend Email” button.
Open an email & click on the link to verify your domain contact details.
It will open a new window. Confirm your details & click on the “Verify Information” button.
After verification, your domain status will become Active. (Sometimes it may take time to show “Active” status).
Now, Click on the “Go to cPanel” button. A popup box will open.
Select “Remember my selection…” option & click on the “Proceed” button.
Your cPanel contains different management level settings such as:
- Domain Management
- WordPress Tools
- Security, etc.
As Siteground has already installed WordPress software, you don’t need to anything here. You just have to configure your SSL settings.
Along with WordPress software, Siteground has also installed free LetsEncrypt SSL certificate.
It means anyone can access your website with https://yourwebsite.com. You can also access it using http://yourwebsite.com.
If your website is accessible with both HTTP & HTTPS, it will create duplicate content versions of your website. It is totally against Google guidelines & you may not get traffic from search engines.
So, you should redirect all HTTP requests to HTTPS. Siteground provides one-click option to do this setting.
In the cPanel find “Security” section & click on the “Let’s Encrypt” icon.
On the next screen, enable “HTTPS Enforce” option. That’s it.
Congratulations, Your brand new WordPress website is ready to rock. You can see your website by entering it in the browser.
Also, log into your website dashboard using website admin area login URL like https://yourwebsite.com/wp-login.php to create & publish new posts.
You may not able to see your website due to nameserver conflict because your domain is with another company.
I have a domain with another company…
While buying Siteground hosting, If you’ve entered domain from another company like GoDaddy, you won’t able to see your website in the browser.
It happens because your hosting account is not connected to your domain. You can easily connect it by updating name servers.
In your cPanel area, at the left sidebar, you’ll find two nameserver addresses.
E.g. ns1.sgp48.siteground.asia, ns2.sgp48.siteground.asia
These addresses vary according to the web hosting provider. Now, log into your domain name company account & find nameserver section.
I am using my Namecheap account for the demo:
Copy the nameserver one by one & paste into the nameservers section of your domain company account. Update the nameservers.
Now, You can able to see your website in the browser. (It may take up to 2 hours to show your website after updating nameservers).
Your blog should have an attractive & high-quality design. A good blog design creates trust in users’ mind. It will help you to monetize your blog with an ease.
The WordPress software has a theme system for the blog design. You can not use normal HTML templates. You have to design WordPress theme for your blog.
I am a non-technical person so I can’t have an ability to develop themes. So, I use themes developed by other users.
There are different companies who develop WordPress themes & sell it online. This blog uses Digital Pro theme designed by StudioPress.
If you don’t have a budget, don’t panic. I will tell you both Free & Paid methods to use a quality theme for your blog.
How to use free themes?
First, log into your website admin area & click on the “Appearance” from the sidebar. It will show you all installed themes of your blog. Now, Click on the “Add New” button.
The WordPress platform has a lot of free themes. You can easily filter out themes according to the categories such as Popular, New, Featured, etc.
You can also use Feature filter to find a theme according to the specific feature.
Now, Just keep your mouse over (hover) any theme & click on the “Preview” button. It will show you a preview of the selected theme.
If you like a theme click on the “Install” button. After installing a theme, click on the “Activate” button.
Most of the time, an installed theme doesn’t look good because of no customizations. So, hover your mouse on the “Appearance” sidebar menu & click on the “Customize”.
You can customize theme colors, layout, header, footer, widgets, menus, options provided by theme owner & your own CSS styles.
The problem with most of the free themes is security & theme vendor may ask you to buy a paid version to unlock some features. So, I always buy themes from high-quality sites.
How to buy WordPress Theme?
You can buy a theme from following vendors:
My favorite choice is StudioPress. All the themes provided by StudioPress runs on Genesis FrameWork.
It is most secure, fast & SEO optimized framework. You can buy both Genesis Framework & Genesis Theme from StudioPress.
If you buy a theme from any of the vendors given above, you will get one .zip file. (In case of StudioPress, You’ll get two).
Download the .zip file(s) and head over Appearance menu, Themes, and click on the “Add New” button. On the next screen click on the “Upload Theme” button.
Now, Choose a .zip theme file & click on the “Install Now” button. (In case of StudioPress, Install framework first & later a theme).
After installation Activate a theme. If you are facing any difficulties, contact the customer support team of a theme vendor.
You can customize the theme in the same way as you’ve done with the free theme. I recommend reading a theme documentation provided the vendor before doing any customization.
Over to you:
That’s it. All about How to start a blog. Congratulations again on taking the first step towards your successful blogging career.
You should publish helpful articles for your audience and monetize your blog. You can’t get overnight success, it required hard work, patience & consistency to make your first dollar.
Are you facing any difficulties while creating your blog? Is there anything that you haven’t understood? Let me know in the comments.
Please, Share this article and help your friends & family to create a blog.