There is so much information out there about how to start a blog, how to be a successful blogger, how to make your blog stand out – we’ve seen them all.
But what we haven’t seen is what they all have in common which is a domain, hosting service, blogging platform, and email address. Some articles will over complicate the process, while others don’t tell you the process at all, but I’m here to explain the 4 FOOLPROOF steps you need to start a blog.
Step 1: Buy a domain
The first step to making an official blog is to buy a domain name. Your domain is as important as you make it. If you plan on making a brand, your domain should align with that brand name. I know a few bloggers whose domains are totally different from their social media handles and brand names, but I’m sure there’s a strategy behind their choice. It all depends on your personal preference. I personally like to keep everything one name so it’s easily recognizable.
Anyway, a domain isn’t just a .com website like notanotherblonde.COM. You can also have something like befrassy.NET or takeaim.NU. The most common place to get a domain is from GoDaddy.com. You can also buy a domain from Bluehost.com, but we’ll get to that in the next step.
Now don’t panic if the .com version of the domain you pick is taken. There are millions of people out there with millions of domains and it’s likely that someone had the same idea for a domain as you, so you either choose a super creative and unique name or go for your original name with a .net, .org, .blog, or .biz domain.
Whatever you do, take your time in choosing the perfect domain because there is a lot in a name, especially if it is going to represent who you are as a person and the direction you want your blog to go.
Step 2: Self-host your blog
The easiest way to make a blog is by simply signing up on Blogger, WordPress, or Tumblr. But if you want to make a blog like a pro then you’ll need to self-host your blog on a site like Bluehost.
A self-hosting site like Bluehost is the glue that keeps your domain and actual blog together. Without hosting, you have no blog and without a blog, you just have an inactive domain.
The reason why people pay to self-host their blogs over using a free service like Blogger is because self-hosting gives you complete control over every aspect of your blog. You can turn your blog into an eCommerce site, you can have it redirected elsewhere, you can adjust the PHP, FTP, and whatever other 3-letter word web lingo there is.
When you use free services, the service is the one who owns your blog, not you. So any changes they choose to make are out of your control. Even though self-hosting a blog means paying for it, in the long-run it’s worth it if you really want to build a lifelong brand. It’s a small price to pay for a safe home for your blog.
Step 3: Use WordPress.org
WordPress.org is hands down the best CMS (content management system) to use for a blog. Almost every pro blogger uses WordPress. The few who are still with other systems will switch eventually, trust me.
Bluehost gives you control of the backend of your blog and WordPress.org gives you complete control of the frontend. WordPress.org allows you to make your blog as pretty, as plain, or as intricate as you want. It’s as simple as that.
Actually, navigating around WordPress isn’t that simple, which is why so many bloggers love it – it has so many options! Once you play around with it for a week or so, you’ll be a pro in no time. And if that doesn’t work, you can always hire someone to help (Bluehost and WordPress have plenty of choices).
Step 4: Set up a domain email
The final step in making a blog like a pro is setting up an email. An email with your domain’s .com address is as official as it gets for a beginner blogger. This is your contact information for brands, other bloggers, and anyone else who wants to work with you.
Having a gmail account is great, but it’s something anyone can do. An official domain email takes a little more elbow grease than the simple click of a button and it shows that you’re serious about your blog. If you can’t figure out how to make an email address through your domain, again, Bluehost and WordPress are great resources to use for help.
The road to becoming a successful blogger is a long, challenging, and wild journey but these 4 steps will help to get you on your way.
What do you find is the most difficult part about making a blog? Tell us in the comments!