So, you want to start a blog, eh?  If you are anything like me, you have never been formally trained in web design (or any design for that matter), and you don’t even really consider yourself to be that skilled at the computer.  You have no idea the principles of marketing or design, and you’re wondering how you’re ever going to pull this blog idea off.

This blog post teaches you how to start a blog step by step for beginners (or blog how to start).  That’s how everyone searches for this topic in the search engines), in 7 easy steps.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosures page for more information.

01. Pick your blog niche

Your Blog Niche

What is your blog niche? It’s the specialized, overall topic of your blog, that you write about in your blog posts.   A blog niche allows you to narrow down your content to make it especially relevant to your unique audience.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. “Why do I want to start a blog?”  Are you simply looking for a hobby or creative outlet?  Do you want to share your expertise with the world?  Are you looking to monetize your blog for extra income on the side or with hopes of replacing the salary at your full-time job?

If you want to learn how to create a blog that makes money, you are going to have to put in a lot of hard work.  It is SO worth it though.

Think about why you even want to start a blog in the first place. Do you want to share your ideas and knowledge with others? Do you want to create an online business?

Do you want to build up your existing brand? Do you want to make an income from your blog so that you can work from home and spend more time with your family?

Whatever your goals are for your blog, you need to get clear on them before we even start it, so that we know what goals to work towards.

2. “What am I passionate about?”

Your readers can smell inauthenticity a mile away, and they aren’t sticking around for it.  Find a niche you truly value, and it will shine through your content to provide value to your readers as well. 

“I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things. If you simply didn’t give up, you would outlast the people who came in on the bus with you.”

Harrison Ford

3. “What am I experienced in?”

If you are going to write repeated amounts of content on the same topic, you better know that topic well.  If you want people to look to you as the expert for that niche and trust your advice, you better know what you’re talking about.  Play up your strengths in your business, and look to other resources for help in areas where you are not as strong

How did I decide on my blog niche? Well, I’m an ICU nurse by trade, and helping people fulfills me in a way that nothing else can.

Apply that principle to the blogging world, and I love helping blogging beginners start their own, successful businesses. I knew nothing when I started my first blog, and I spent YEARS trying to figure it all out.

I want to help you skip all of that and just get to the good part-your successful blog. So, The Blog Planner was born.

Again, your blog niche is going to depend on your unique knowledge and your personal goals for your blog. However, the most profitable blog niches in 2023 include:

02. Choose a Domain Name/Name for your Blog

What is a domain name?
A domain name is your website’s equivalent of a physical address

Why do I need a domain?

  1. memorability
  2. effective branding: your domain name helps communicate your project or business in a way that aligns with your brand’s values and mission.
  3. credibility: a domain name is more professional looking than those with a free domain name, like
  4. custom e-mail address: allows you to create a unique and professional email address like [email protected]
  5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): a domain name with relevant keywords can rank higher with search engine.

>>> I recommend using BigScoots hosting. Hosting starts at just $6.95/month and it includes:

    • free SSL certificate
    • more advanced security measures than some other hosting platforms
    • automatic WordPress updates
    • 24/7/365 phenominal hosting support

03. Choose a Blog Host

Wait, what is web hosting?  

If the domain name is the web address of your website, then web hosting is the home where your website lives. It stores all of your website’s files. You wouldn’t have a website without it!

can I host a blog for free?

Technically, yes, there are free options, such as and  They promote that they are easier to start a blog on.

Don’t fall into this trap!

If you are wanting to monetize your blog and earn an income from it, these web hosts that offer free hosting restrict blog monetization on your website. Additionally, you can’t get a custom website name (like with them.

Instead, you get a shared website name (like looks unprofessional to your customers, readers, everybody. There are fewer customization options, and some necessary add-ons (like Google Analytics) is not offered.

04. Choose a Blogging Platform

WordPress powers over 43% of the internet (W3Techs), and this is the recommended platform for monetization. But be cautious about which WordPress you sign up for—the one that ends in .ORG is the one you want. vs.

Both platforms are by WordPress, however, limits monetization. The free version of .com comes with ads on your website, whether you like them there or not. And the domain name will be shared, like This looks unprofessional!

Self-hosted allows you to have a custom domain name, (, offers advanced customization options, and does not limit you on ways you can earn an income from your website, as long as you follow their policies.

blog how to start

05. Choose a Blog Theme

I am not a big fan of only using a theme to design your website.  Mostly because I don’t feel like themes are not very user-friendly for beginners.  Your website never looks like the demo photos of the theme!

If you don’t even know where to begin to make an aesthetically pleasing website (like me), I highly recommend Elementor templates with the Hello Elementor theme on WordPress. I downloaded the Elementor plugin on WordPress, which gives you limited access to free website templates (but you can still make a beautiful site with the free version!).

I really wanted unlimited access, so I bought the paid version of Elementor. Similarly, there are also free and paid templates within Elementor.

It’s important that you think about what you want the look and feel of your website to be. Then you can pick what template works the best and edit it as you wish. All you have to do is drag and drop the website features that you want onto your website.

I go into more detail about themes vs. templates here.

06. Plug-ins

What are plug-ins?
Plug-in are add-ons that provide additional features to the host, without altering the host itself.

Plug-ins can:

  • Improve site speed
  • Increase security for your website
  • Offer Mailing list forms
  • Back up your blog
  • Provide additional design features

must-have plug-ins for WordPress

  1. Elementor: a drag-and-drop page builder. Easy enough for even a beginner to have an aesthetically pleasing website.
  2. Limit login attempts reloaded: blocks excessive login attempts to protect your website.
  3. Yoast SEO: Analyzes blog post content and evaluates SEO. It’s a good plug-in, but I recommend doing your keyword research first, writing killer content, and only then checking with Yoast.  You need to write your posts for humans, not a computer.  Google gets emotional if you don’t.
  4. W3 Total Cache: improves site speed, and therefore user experience (important for SEO and for maintaining your audience!)
  5. I use ConvertKit to automate my subscription emails, but there are several good ones out there. Just have a plug-in with signup forms, etc. to grow your email audience.
  6. Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR/CCPA: supplies that cookie pop up you are supposed to have to stay legal.
  7. Akismet Anti-Spam: another security plug-in to protect your website
  8. Weblizar Pin In Button on Image Hover and Post: Allows your readers to pin any of your images to Pinterest.
  9. Image optimization service by optimizing: reduces the size of your images to increase site speed.
  10. Site Kit by Google: this plug-in made it pretty simple to set up and track my Google Analytics
blog how to start

07. Branding

I didn’t take this seriously when I first started my business.  After all, who cares what colors I use or fonts I write in.  Well, your readers do.

It’s important to determine a select few signature fonts, a logo and a color palette-and stick to it!  This helps all of your content have a uniform, consistent feel.  It gives a more professional appearance, and people will begin to recognize those shades and fonts and associate them with you.

Need some help with all the suggestions I gave you in this blog post? Fill in your email address below to have a free blog planner sent straight to your inbox, to help you keep it all organized.

Thank you for hanging out with me and reading this blog post. I meant what I said when I said I love helping people.  I hope this article helps you know what needs to be done to start a blog.

Do you have other topics or products that you wish to see on my website.  Let me know here.

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