This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series How to Start a Blog

Are you ready to start a blog but not exactly sure where to start? No problem. Use this helpful checklist, 15 Steps to Take to Start a Blog, that walks you through the process step by step.

15 Steps to Take to Start a Blog

Three years ago when I started my blog, I honestly had no idea how a website worked, I didn’t know how to create a blog, and I certainly didn’t know what the steps were that I needed to take.

Today, by God’s grace, I run a website that’s viewed by thousands of people every day and my blog brings in a significant income to help support my family.

This series will walk you step-by-step through creating a website and blog. Feel free to leave questions in the comments section. No question is too small or silly.

The Difference Between a Blog and a Website

Let’s clarify some wording as we dive deeper into this process.

A website is an internet location that people come to visit. Think of this as your small patch of real estate in the internet world.

A blog is an ongoing, continually updated series of posts.

A blog lives somewhere – most often on your own website, but not always. This series is going to assume that you are starting your blog on your own website. If you plan to make income from your blog, this makes the most sense.

However,  you can start a blog in other locations, which are social media platforms. Keep in mind though, that any platform you don’t own is not ultimately yours and the content belongs to the host. The rules can also change at any point according to the host’s wishes. The advantage to hosting your blog somewhere you don’t own is that it’s cheap (probably free), relatively easy, and can be started immediately.

Places to blog on social media:

  • Medium
  • You Tube (video blogging or vlogging)
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

15 Steps to Take to Start a Blog

Creating a successful blog requires hard work, determination and a passion for your niche. When you’re ready to get started, use the following steps as a guide to help you reach your blogging goals.

Here are 15 steps to take to start a blog:

  1. Choose your niche – Be specific when choosing a niche and make sure it’s something you know and love. Many people worry that getting too specific won’t work, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Some of the most successful websites I know are those that are very specific. You might not personally know a lot of people who are into your specific, targeted hobby or interest, but what’s amazing about the internet is that you are literally drawing from the whole world of readers. Most general blogs actually have a harder time finding readers because the target audience is too wide.
  2. Get to know your target audience – In order for your blog to cater to the wants and needs of your audience, you need to know as much about them as you can. This isn’t as hard as you think. I’m assuming you are writing about something that interests you, so you are already most of the way there. Where do your readers hang out (stores, websites, Facebook groups). Start listening more carefully for their specific language and interests.
  3. Determine what you have to offer your audience – You have to give something of value in order to get their attention. The most successful blogs offer value. Value comes in all sorts of ways – tips, helps, new information, entertainment, or a sense of community. Start to watch your own patterns. What websites, blogs, and social media pages do you frequent? Why? What benefits do they bring to you?
  4. Set specific goals – What do you hope to accomplish with your blog and how do you plan to reach that goal? Do you want to share information or help other people? Do you want to make money? You won’t be able to hit your target if you don’t know what it is.
  5. Choose a domain name – Think of your website as your internet property. The domain name is the address. (Your domain name is your www.yournamechoice.com.) Take your time and choose a domain that is relevant to your particular niche but that is also easy to say and remember. Choosing a domain name is a BIG deal and one I didn’t fully appreciate when I started my website. Your desired name might not be available so consider a number of options. Google is going to weigh your website name heavily when sending you traffic, so choose a name that fits exactly with what your website is about. I encourage people to use “.com” whenever possible.
  6. Choose your web hosting service – Your website is your property, the domain name is the address, and then web host is your landlord. This company is going to manage your online property for you. Choose a service that you can depend on and trust. There are some big names in the industry, and then some smaller players. A bit company tends to have a lot of power but you may hear that the customer service isn’t as great. We’ll dig into more details about this in further posts of our series. I started my website using Blue Host.
  7. Pick your blogging platform – You need a framework for your blog. WordPress is one of the most popular and easiest blogging platforms available, and the one I highly recommend. This is the way to run your blog and website. There are other platforms available, such as Blogger, Wix, and Square Space, but Word Press is my recommendation.
  8. Design your blog – Keep your design simple and use the same design for everything. You can do the design yourself or hire someone to help you. Consistency is the key to helping people remember you.
  9. Choose your plugins – Once you have your basic website up and running, you will want to add bells and whistles. These will make your blog more interesting and enhance the reader’s overall experience. Think of these like apps for your smart phone.
  10. Create your About Page – Tell your readers a little about yourself, the passion that drove you to start your blog and anything else relevant to your site.
  11. Create compelling content – Content is the heart of your blog. Sharing a lot of blog posts is less important than consistent, helpful content. Use catchy headlines to grab the reader’s attention and relevant keywords to make your content more searchable.
  12. Use all forms of content – This includes images, videos, presentations, tutorials, lists and how to articles.
  13. Use an editorial calendar – This will help you keep track of your content and ensure you’re posting regularly. This also gives you the opportunity to plan ahead for seasonal content for holidays and what’s popular during certain times of the year.
  14. Promote your blog – Use social media and any other means you have to promote your blog and draw in more readers.
  15. Measure and track your progress – Use Google Analytics or a similar service to measure and track your progress.

Now you know the steps to take to start a blog. Following these steps will help get your blog off to a great start and keep your visitors coming back for more.

EPIC BLOG: One-Year Editorial PlannerEPIC BLOG: One-Year Editorial PlannerHow To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your SoulHow To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your SoulBlogger's Quick Guide to Starting Your First WordPress Blog: A Step-By-Step WordPress Guide for Beginning Bloggers (Blogger's Quick Guides Book 3)Blogger’s Quick Guide to Starting Your First WordPress Blog: A Step-By-Step WordPress Guide for Beginning Bloggers (Blogger’s Quick Guides Book 3)

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