I receive multiple messages from readers/followers per day all wondering the same thing: How to start a blog. The only problem with this question is that there’s not a simple answer for it + I am a very, very busy gal! So I often feel terrible I cannot get to everyone’s questions in a timely manner. I promise I’m not ignoring you.
When I first started CHELS and ZOE, + my blog before it, I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. I started with only three things; a love of fashion, a love of writing + the determination needed to figure out how to be successful at blogging. After much researching, reading + a bit of trial + error… I got the hang of blogging + have become quite successful at it – working with companies like Christian Louboutin, Redken, Urban Decay + much more!
Having gone through it, I know how overwhelming it can be to start your own blog, + while I don’t consider myself an “expert” in this industry… I’m happy to share what has (+ hasn’t) worked for me. Hopefully this page will avoid your messages from being lost in my Instagram or email inboxes, you’ll get your answers much quicker + lucky for you, you’ll have the opportunity to avoid the trial + error phase of starting your blog.
So here it is – how to start a blog in 3 simple steps:
Step 01. Pick A Blog Name
This is probably the hardest part of it all, haha. You want a name that not only represents your niche, but will also remain relevant longterm. You don’t want a blog name like “A Girl’s Guide to College” if you’ll eventually be graduated + not discussing college relevant topics in years to come.
I chose CHELS and ZOE because well, it is mine + my cat’s names. I am obsessed with my cat, Zoe, + I want her to always be a part of my life. God forbid anything happen to her, she will remain a big part of me + my brand. Plus, CHELS and ZOE sounds cute together + anytime I am blogging she is sitting next to me as my little blogging helper.
Obviously my niche is fashion + lifestyle, but again, with a name like CHELS and ZOE, I have the ability to branch in different directions if I want to later on. With a name like “Chelsea’s Style Diaries,” or something similar, I’d be more limited.
Furthermore, you want to initially keep in mind whether you plan on monetizing + eventually making money from your blog. If so, be sure your name represents a professional/classy image. Brands won’t want to work with bloggers with inappropriate blog names.
If you need help getting in the mindset of choosing a blog name, read this post.
Step 02. Set Up Web Hosting
When I first started blogging I had no idea what web hosting even was. I originally started out on Squarespace – big mistake – but we can talk about that another day. Web hosting is so important because you cannot have a website without hosting + so much of your website’s success comes from having good hosting. Hosting impacts site speed, errors, crashes + also impacts functionality + customization to a large extent.
I cannot tell you how many bloggers I know that have shared their horror stories of their blogs being redirected, crashing, or being completely erased after months of hard work perfecting it. So again, in case you missed it the first time… web hosting is so important!
I personally use + wholeheartedly recommend to everyone, BlueHost.
- Hosting starting at only $3.95/month (great deal!)
- An amazing customer service team available 24/7 (I cannot tell you how many times they’ve come to my rescue)
- A FREE domain name INCLUDED with every plan (something other hosting companies don’t typically offer for free – big score!)
- Money back guarantees
I can just hear you all now, “OKAY, get on with it! Tell me how to start a blog!” So here’s what you need to do:
Head over to Bluehost’s website – it will look like the below image. Click the green “get started now” button to be directed to a page outlining their various hosting plans.
Once directed, select your plan. Although the plus + prime plans include a lot more…when just starting out the cheapest “basic level” plan is sufficient enough, so I’d start there. Plus, you can always increase later!
Hit “select” on the plan you want + you’ll see this page:
Now you are ready to type in the domain name you want. A domain name is your blog’s name/URL. For example, my domain name is “www.chelsandzoe.com.” Be sure to check your domain name for errors before going on – you don’t want a typo in your registered domain name!
Once you type in your domain + hit “next” you’ll be directed to input your account and payment information on a page that looks like this:
Again, there will be many options to choose from. Options range from 12 months of hosting all the way up to 36 months, but as mentioned above, I think at this point selecting only the basics will be sufficient enough since you’re just starting out.
One thing to keep in mind though, if you want your blog to be successful, you need to invest in it. I remember how unsettling it was at first to commit to even the basic level plan, but anything worth having takes investment + commitment. Especially if you’re monetizing your blog… it takes money to make money, babes!
Step 03. Installing WordPress
WordPress is the site you use to create + customize your website. Once you’ve paid for your Bluehost web hosting, you’ll be directed to input your password + login to your new account:
Once logged in, you can pick a theme. Choose a theme that inspires you + fits your niche. There will be a number of free themes to choose from, but you also have the ability to purchase new themes + upload them to your website any time you’d like.
Yay! Now your theme is picked + you’re ready to start blogging + customizing your site on WordPress. It will look like the below screen. Just follow the prompts to launch your site. You can login to your wordpress account anytime by going to www.(yourdomainname).com/wp-admin
Now, all the hard stuff is done + you’re ready to start blogging! You can create pages like “home,” “about,” “contact,” etc. You can create blog posts, + customize the look/layout of your new blog, + even start thinking about custom headers + logos. Possibilities are truly endless.
If there is enough interest, I can always expand on blogging + possibly create an entire series that helps bloggers create their own blogs. There is always something to learn!
Happy Blogging! xo