How To Start a Successfull Blog Today. A Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide

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So you want to learn how to start a blog. So you want to turn it into a business and as a result make money blogging. Maybe you’re interested in making an extra $1,000 a month in addition to help out with the bills? Or perhaps you rather to get out of the 9 – 5 routine?

Truth is there are over 300 million blogs online and yet only a fraction of them are making any money.

Why is that?

Most of all, starting a blog is very easy, but if you want to monetize it, you need to consequently approach it like you would any other business.

Therefore you will need a business plan!

It doesn’t need to be very complicated, but without a marketing plan, all businesses will fail as a result.

How to Start a Blog – Content Planning

Ok. Let’s get started…

Deciding on your Niche

The first thing to consider is what will my blog be about? If you already have a business, then this question is already answered.

But if you don’t and are just starting, then deciding on your niche can be a real challenge for most, as the list of topics are endless. I struggled with this also.

You might be wondering, why do I even need a niche?

Having a niche is very important because it gives you a road map of which direction your blog will go.

I’m sure you wouldn’t start out on a road trip without knowing which way to go and how you where going to get there, neither should you in business.

When your blog has a clear direction and focus, it makes it easy for your visitors to have a clear understanding of what you stand for. Therefore making it easier for your visitors to remember you and your blog, as a result will help grow your blog and following a lot quicker.

So to help narrow down your niche, ask yourself these 3 questions.

What am I passionate about?

What’s the one thing you are always thinking about? What are your hobbies? What are your life experiences? Is there something that you are very knowledgeable about?

My background is in business, marketing and being a dad. My passion was about loosing the 9 – 5 routine, spending more time with my family, and having the freedom to work from wherever I may be. So when I created Responsive Blogging, I drew from those experiences and passions.

Pick something you really like, or even better, something you know a lot about. The most important thing is that it MUST be something you are very passionate about. If you don’t enjoy writing about it, your business won’t last long.

Don’t rush this, it is the foundation of your business.

At the end of the day, you have to WANT to do it and LOVE doing it, as this will consequently make your blog successful.

Is there a need for my niche?

Deciding if your niche is worth pursuing is the next step, but thankfully it is easier than the last step.

It is one thing to build a blog about what you are passionate about. But if becoming a successful blogger is your ultimate goal, you need to make sure that many others are also passionate about the same things. Do research if there is lots about your niche online. A great tool for researching a niche and keyword planning is Long Tail Platinum. Tools like this make deciding if a niche can be profitable much easier.

If you find a lot comes up when you make your search, don’t get discouraged. It just means there is lots of interest in the topic, meaning the earning potential is high.

Can I monetize it?

Now the next step is deciding how are you going to make money using the niche you just decided on and researched. There are many different ways such as content marketing, advertising, affiliate marketing, online courses, physical products, digital products, etc.

If you have answered these 3 questions and are comfortable with the answers, then you are ready to proceed.

Creating your Brand

Creating a brand for your business is very important to do right from the beginning. You have already decided on a niche market, so now you have to decide on a brand name.

Don’t rush this. Make sure your happy with your brand.

Choose a Domain Name

Deciding on a domain name can be challenging, but this is where your creativity comes in. You want to make sure that the domain name you choose matches the brand you are trying to create. This is important in starting any business, not just a blog.

I recommend using 2-3 word domains or less and never use hypens “-” or numbers in your name. Try using the .com extension if possible. As a rule, make sure your domain name is short, simple, easy to spell and relates to the brand you are trying to create. Remember, you don’t want to change the name later, so choosing the right one now is important.

I prefer to purchase all my domain names from a different company than who I use for my hosting. The company I use is NameCheap. They also have an excellent tool for checking the availability of your chosen name. In conclusion, where you decide to purchase your domain name is up to you.

Web Hosting Step-by-Step Installation

Finally we are ready to install your blog. In this guide I am only going to discuss the web host provider and platform that I personally use and recommend. Siteground and WordPress.

Let’s continue…

Get Website Hosting with Siteground

Website hosting is a critical element for the success of your business. Consequently it is the foundation your blog will be running on. A bad web host provider will only hurt your business and have you spending time dealing with problems, taking you away from running your business. Rather than a good web host provider will allow you to forget about the hosting and focus on your business and in addition make more money.

As a result this is why I strongly recommend Siteground.

With Siteground you get unlimited hosting, branded emails (@yourblog.com) for your business, one click installed wordpress site, control panel (c-panel), FREE CDN with supercacher, and even FREE SSL certificated for just $5.95 USD a month. Finally you can also scale your plan with them as your blog grows.

They are solid web host provider with fast and reliable wordpress hosting. They have 24/7 customer service which is absolutely outstanding. In conclusion, this is very important to us all, but especially if your are new at this.

Consequently I have never had to wait for more than 5 minutes to get help.

Step 1 – Choose your Plan

Siteground has 3 plans to choose from.

  • Startup – is for people with one website and are just starting out.
  • GrowBig – is a great value for your money, it includes the option of having multiple websites and comes with Supercacher, which speeds up your site. This is the plan I recommend for bloggers starting out.
  • GoGeek – is perfect for people with e-commerce or larger sites

If you use my special link, you will receive 60% off the regular price!

Siteground web hosting plans

Once you have decided on which plan is for you. Click on the Get Started button.

Step 2 – Domain Name

This page is asking if you already own an existing name (we talked earlier about purchasing a domain with NameCheap) and if so enter it here. If not, select to Register a New Domain.

New domain name registration or use existing name

Step 3 – Account Info

Fill in all your information. Make sure to pick a term of 12 months or longer to receive the 60% discount.

Siteground sign up account information form

siteground signup client and payment information form

siteground sign up purchase information form

Below the total make sure and click the box that you agree to the terms of service and then click Pay Now.

Congratulations. You now have a hosting account.

Step 4 – Pointing your Domain to your Hosting Account

If you purchased your domain from Siteground then you can skip this step.

Therefore if you purchased your domain name from another source, you have to manually point it to your web host. In your welcome email from Siteground there will be information called “name servers”. There will be 2 of them and they are very important. They will look something like this

ns1.us27.siteground.us

ns2.us27.siteground.us

This information is also available by logging in to the cpanel of your Siteground account.

You will need to login in to your Namecheap account and from your dashboard select the Manage button relating to the domain in question. Under Nameservers click on the drop down menu and select Custom DNS, then enter the name server information that Siteground sent you one per line and click apply.

Updating name server data can take time to fully propagate. If you need help you can contact me.

WordPress Installation

Now we need to install WordPress, the operating system that will run your blog. With Siteground you have 2 options, you can install it yourself, or either have them do it for you.

Option #1

If you are concerned that setting up WordPress might be a challenge for you, Siteground has an option just for you.

Just click on the Live Chat button to contact customer service and request that their tech team install wordpress for you and send you the login details. Should only take about 15 minutes to be done.

How’s that for customer service?

Siteground live chat button

Option #2

First, go to the My Accounts tab and click on Go to cPanel

Siteground C-Panel button

Next, click on WordPress in the autoinstallers section.

Siteground WordPress autoinstaller

Click on the Install button.

Wordpress install screen part 1

After the install, fill in the information on the next screen.

Siteground WordPress software setup screen

  • Choose Protocol – select https://
  • Choose Domain – select you domain from the drop down menu
  • In Directory – leave this blank

Siteground WordPress site settings

  • Site Name – the name of your site you picked earlier
  • Site Description – a brief description of what your site is about
  • Admin Username – this will be the username you use to log into your site. DO NOT use the name admin, change it to something different for security reasons
  • Admin Password – this is the password for logging into the dashboard of your site. Use a STRONG password.
  • Admin Email – enter your admin email here – where all your site emails will go

Siteground WordPress install final setting

  • Select Plugins – click to install Loginizer
  • Choose Theme – you can leave this blank and select a theme from your website dashboard

Click Install. The whole process should take less than a minute.

Congratulations. Your blog is now setup.

Let me know if you get stuck anywhere in the process.

In conclusion, I hope that my version of How to Start A Blog in 2017 A Beginner’s Guide was helpful to you?

Share your thoughts and comments below!

Don’t forget to share this quide!

Doug Paulson
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Doug Paulson

I'm a Canadian solopreneur that blogs at Responsive Blogging. This blog is where I share my knowledge and experiences of working online. My goals are to help others to break free from the 9 to 5 routine.
Doug Paulson
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10 Comments
  1. Ye Chen 4 months ago

    Hi Doug, thanks for such a detailed post on how to start a successful blog! Really useful and informative 🙂

    • Author
      Doug Paulson 4 months ago

      Thanks Ye. I really appreciate.

  2. Jeremy 3 months ago

    Thanks for the info! Really helpful as I am just starting out with my blog.

  3. Kristen 3 months ago

    Thank you for sharing these tips! I didn’t know how to install WordPress beforehand, which turned me off a bit to purchasing a unique domain name. Maybe I’ll go do that now!

  4. Saurabh 3 months ago

    Hi Doug,

    I am glad to read this step by step tutorial of how to start a blog.
    There is many hosting provider who offer cheap service and WordPress CMS is an great way to start an blog easily.

    Thanks again for this informative post.

    • Author
      Doug Paulson 3 months ago

      I’m glad you found it informative. Thanks Saurabh.

  5. Julian Ann 3 months ago

    This is an inspirational post for all young Blogger those want to be a professional Blogger. I must say this is a complete guide to be a Blogger.

    • Author
      Doug Paulson 3 months ago

      Thanks for the comment Julian! I appreciate it.

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