How to start a blog

Blogging, Tutorials

So, you want to start a blog but not really sure how or where to start? Then you are at the right place! Starting a blog in 2020 may seem impossible or a little scary, but don’t worry, I’m going to take you step-by-step on how to start your blog, and once you have it all set up and ready to go, so you can focus on building your brand and creating quality content for your blog!

Blogging is perfect for you if you want to express your creativity or interest to like-minded people. But, running a blog is like running a business (to be successful), what you put in is what you get out. Your passion, creativity or interest can make you money and connect you with brands to work with and build your own empire (If that’s your kind of thing).

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. I will always only recommend brands I trust and ones I think you’ll love too.

Why do you want to start a blog?

  • Are you really passionate about something that you want to share your ideas, tips, and knowledge about?
  • Do you day-dream about working from home, running your OWN business and being your OWN boss?
  • Maybe you already have a business but want a website/blog that will attract more clients or give your potential clients more ways of getting to know who you are.

Whether you’re doing it for the love of doing it for the perks to start your blog. The most important thing is to START as there has never been a better time and I want to show you exactly how to do it and help you make a blog that is WAY more than just a blog!

Let’s start getting you set up for success!

How to start a blog in 2020 by Christine Fleury

How to Start a Blog

Step-by-step instructions to get you started

1 – Think of what you will blog about

The first thing you will need to think about before you start a blog is what type of blog you want to have. In other words, your “niche”. The more you really pin down on your niche and create posts related to that niche, the more followers you will get. If you make a blog with content that is all over the place, people won’t be able to connect and relate as much as if you had a more focused path.

Top 12 popular blog categories or niches:

Fashion Beauty Lifestyle DIY / Crafts
Family Fitness Travel Home
Food Motherhood Parenting Tech

You need to go for a niche that you are passionate about and that you would love to create content for. If you want to make content for more than one niche, e.g.(Family, Motherhood, Lifestyle, Home, etc.) I would suggest picking no more than 3 and make sure they complement each other.

You don’t want to have categories that make no sense together, like Family and Parenting work great together, but, Music and Food just doesn’t make sense. Unless you are truly honing down on a Niche of making music with food, then, you do you!

Yes or No?

  • Do you have a niche/category in-mind?
  • Does it get you all excited?
  • Can you see yourself 1,3,5 years from now still blogging about it?
  • Do you have experience or knowledge about your niche?
  • Can you make a list of 10 things you could make a blog post for right now?
  • Are you ready to invest love and time into your blog?

If you answered YES to all of the above, then CONGRATS! You are on the right track to starting your blog, without half-assing it! WOOHOO!

2 – Name your Blog

So, you’ve decided on your niche, now you need to name your blog. Choosing a name for your blog can seem like an enduring task, where do you begin, do you want to use your name, should you choose the obvious?

Okay, I know, there are literally a bunch of different ways you can come up with a name, but I’m going to take you through 3 ways that you can choose a name for your blog.

  • Use your name: Yes, this is one of the more obvious ways to pick a name for your blog. Using your name for your blog is a great way to personalize it, from the name in the website URL to your personal touch in your posts. You can always play around with this and incorporate your niche, from Emily’s designs to Travels with Megan,  or just use your first and last name. 

  • Niche-specific: You can use keywords related to your niche to create a name. Let’s say your niche is weddings and your relevant keywords are (Bride, Veil, Dresses, Cakes, Invitations, etc.) Your name can be “I do cakes” or “The Bridal stationery”.

  • Think outside the box: Another way to name your blog is to step outside of the box and be creative. Now, I’d like to say, just because I’m saying “think outside the box” doesn’t mean go crazy and choose a name that doesn’t have anything to do with your niche.

NOTE: One thing to keep in mind when you’re choosing a name for your blog is, DO NOT and I really mean do not go with overly complicated, weirdly spelled or copy-paste names. You want your followers to remember you AND easily find you online. There’s nothing worse than having to look at an EXTREMELY long name and try to remember it, or figuring out if it’s spelled as “Buotyfull” or “Beautiful”, and the worst yet a COPY + PASTE name.

Yes, I get it you’ve been browsing around for ideas and you just LOVED that name, and whatever you’ve come up with so far just doesn’t put a spring in your step.

Choose a name that is YOU not somebody else, make a name that others want, not where they have to guess if you are Blog A or Blog B.

3 – Secure the name

Once you have chosen a name for your blog you will need to secure it online, for your website address “www.yourname.com” and on Social Media. Now, securing your name goes hand in hand with the “name your blog” step. When you have your name for your blog you will need to do some research, I know YAY (not yay!).

The first bit of research you will need to do is check if your name is available online, this will be your “Domain name”. There are loads of domain name checkers that you can use to see if it is available, but I personally used This one to see if a name is available. This part of securing your name is the most important one, as this is where your blog/website will live. If it’s not available, MOVE ON back to step 2 to come up with something else or MAKE A CHANGE.

If you opt for making a change then you need to make the change big enough to not be confused for someone else’s website. Don’t make subtle changes like adding an (s), you can put a ( – ) or ( _ ) to break up two or more words.

Did you know you get a FREE domain name for your first year when you signup with BLUEHOST?

Lock in your name on all Social Media platforms that you are going to use or potentially use in the future. Matching your domain name with all your social media handles will make it really easy for your subies to connect with you and not to mention how much easier it would make it for you when you need to direct someone to all your platforms.

Don’t be discouraged if your exact name isn’t available on all platforms, it’s okay, I feel like Social media handles are much more forgiving if you change it a bit from your blog name.

But, if you can, get your most used platform to match your blog name, as people are less likely to really think anything about it if your not so popular platform handle is a bit different. 

4 – Choosing a Hosting provider

If you haven’t secured your “domain name” yet, don’t worry, many, if not all Hosting providers have the option to register a domain name alongside your hosting package.

Choosing the right hosting provider/ package is a big decision, not only is this where your domain will operate from, but this is also where your website functionality will be decided. You want to go for the best option that not only is within your budget but also fits your needs. The provider and hosting package that you go with will decide how much storage space you have to work with, your domain security, website speed and so much more.

SiteGround or Bluehost which is better?

These two hosts are the most popular among the WordPress community, and for good reason too. Each host has its PROs and CONs and in the end, you will need to make the decision that is better for you and your blog needs.

Bluehost, you may have heard of them before, as so many bloggers use them to host their WordPress sites. You get a FREE domain name for the first year and they have a very easy 1-click WordPress install option. Bluehost definitely takes the stage with their storage @ 50GB on their Basic plan, but where they fall flat on the storage on their Basic plan is that you only get a 100MB email storage (Which is ridiculously small).

SiteGround, I personally use it to host my website. You may not get a Free domain name, but SiteGround surpasses Bluehost with the best security and performance speed. SiteGround, also has a 1-click WordPress install option, along with a FREE WordPress Migration Plugin (You will need to pay extra for this feature with Bluehost). This might not be your Cup-o-tea if you are more interested in saving upfront costs to get your website up and running.

1-click WordPress Install

A FREE Domain name

50GB Storage (Basic Plan)

Unmetered Bandwidth

FREE SSL Certificate

1-click WordPress Install

NO FREE Domain name

10GB Storage (StartUp plan)

Unmetered Traffic

FREE SSL Certificate

BEST Performance Speed

BEST Customer Service

At the end of the day, I can’t tell you which host to go with. I would suggest going to each host and have a look at all their plans and do your own comparison. Highlight what you like from each host, but, ultimately it will come down to Pricing+Storage vs Security+Speed

5 – Install your blog theme

Once your domain is up and running and you have WordPress installed, you’ll most probably want to change your BASE website look. All clean installations of WordPress come pre-installed with their theme for the year (Which is very plain).

There are 4 ways you can go about choosing a theme for your website;

The As-is:

You couldn’t really be bothered with making too many changes other than some colors and fonts and you just want to get a theme that looks good to get started. If you go for this option you can browse through WordPress’s Theme section they have a MASSIVE selection of free themes you can immediately install to use.

The DIY’er: 

You have a vision of how your blog should look. You’ve found the perfect theme to work on as a base and that you can personalize even more by using some coding or page builders if you wanted to.

Elementor is a great option to start off with for free and you can upgrade to the PRO version to unlock more advance options. There is also Divi by Elegant Themes which has more features but it cost $89 per year or $249 lifetime.

The do it yourself:

You plan to use a theme builder + some coding to make your blog 100% yours. You’re ready to build your website from the ground up. This is a great way to fully customize your blog and make it look the way you want it to. You would need to have the time to invest in your look and have a plan in place on what style and layout you want for each and every page.

The most popular page builder is Divi by Elegant Themes, it allows you to build your website with a beautiful jam-packed visual drag-and-drop feature on the front end, add custom coding and have the advance features to build everything custom (I mean EVERYTHING). DIVI does, however, cost $89 per year or $249 lifetime. The DIVI community is BIG and very helpful! You can find all kinds of tutorials and advice and even free layouts to use as a base.

The other option you can look at is Elementor page builder (Free for the basics) or Genesis. The number 1 thing to remember about Genesis is, yes, it’s popular, but it’s a code-driven framework and not a pretty visual editor!

The do it for me:

You have a big enough investment to hire a website designer to build your website for you. This gives you the freedom to concentrate on other aspects of your brand without having to worry about doing the grunt work yourself. Be prepared though, hiring a website design doesn’t come cheap and could require an investment of $700+.

You will need to provide your web designer with everything, and I MEAN EVERYTHING, that you want on your website. You will need to list how many pages you need and what to name them, all typography and photography. This process can take a month or two, as you and the designer will have to go back and forth with the design and content on your blog consistently proofing the work.

Whether you’re an as-is kind of person or would rather have a professional do it for you, YOU need to be happy with how it looks. Your theme also needs to be appealing to your visitors, a boring theme won’t have your visitor stay around for long. Also, don’t go too over the top and have your theme cluttered or confusing to the eye.

6 – Add your personal touches

This is the fun part where you add your personal touches to your website and blog. The first thing you should do is get all your imagery together that you want to use on your website. You will need a Logo, FavIcon, photographs, blog “about me” photo, embellishments, etc.

Logo

The most important “personal touch” you are going to add is your logo which will sit in your menu on every page and blog post. Your logo will represent your brand so make sure it’s legible, matches your style and is cohesive with your theme. If you have a brick and mortar store or online shop you will want to have your existing customers know it’s you, so make sure your logo from your store matches your website.

You can add your logo by going to “Appearance” – “Customize” and click on the “Site Identity” section. If you’ve installed a page/theme builder or custom theme your location will be in a different place. For Divi users, you can add your logo by going to your Divi tab in your Back Office and then Theme options.

Site Icon

Next is your Favicon, this is your website icon that will show in a browser tab or shortcuts created from your website. Your Favicon needs to stand out so don’t have more than 3 letters in it. You can also incorporate an image or element from your logo to make it match.

Grow your brand with styled stock photos & graphics, from Pixistock.

Photographs

Photographs or stock photography, you can use to add more depth to your website, like having a blog header background to add that LITTLE something extra. If you do want to use stock photography to populate your content on your website you still need to stay with your same brand style. Don’t have grunge images when your brand style is all about the Glits & Glam. If you’re not sure where to go to get stock photography, you can visit my resources list for links to FREE and PREMIUM sites.

About Me

If you’re going for the traditional blogger route you might want to add a photo of yourself in your sidebar. There are so many options you can choose to style your photo, from just a photo and some text underneath, a styled border around your photo or styled section with your photo and snippet of you.

Regardless of how you want to style it make sure your photo is good quality and in natural light. If you’re just starting out you don’t NEED to have a professional photo taken, you can always update your photo on a later date!

Embellishments

They can be anything from dividers, Social Media Icons to Custom PIN IT buttons and icons. Embellishments are a great way to add pops of color or textures to your website and make it feel even more personal. You can find some great “blog kits” on Etsy to easily stay with the same style.

Blog Kits

Do you need a blog kit? Blog kits are packed with loads of elements you can use to decorate and style your blog with. Usually, in a blog kit, you get 50+ items, this includes Icons, frames, dividers, Pinterest Pin it images, Buttons, About me Styles, and so much more. If you’re looking for a way to add small details to your blog to make it personal and save some time and not make all that yourself then a blog kit is perfect for you!

7 – Start posting content

You’ve got your host, your theme is ready to go, you’ve added your personal touches and you’re ready to start posting content! YAY! You did it! You have officially gotten to the point that you’ve been dreaming of, that’s right, BLOGGING what you’re passionate about.

Before your brain starts going into overload take the time to plan. Plan out your headings. Plan out your Pinterest Pin Images. PLAN IT ALL! Make yourself a list of the first 10 blog posts you’re going to make, go over what you would need for the post, like Featured Image, Images in your post, links to external sites, etc.

Grab your free BLOG POST PLANNER from the Freebie Library to help you get started!

Plan out a posting routine. Having a dedicated day/s of the week where your posts will be “published” lets your reader know when they can expect new content from you. This will also help you plan out your posts in advance, and work on promoting your blog posts on other days.

If you can, I would recommend having a month’s worth of posts ready and scheduled in advance. You can then work on getting the next month’s posts ready, without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

8 – Promote it

For people to read your posts and find your blog, you’re going to have to PROMOTE it. The most popular place to promote blogs is Pinterest, but you should also promote it on places like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. With my BLOG POST PLANNER, you can plan on which platforms you want to promote and keep track of how much views and engagements you get.

There you go! I hope this guide helped you with the basics of starting a blog. If you have any questions send me a message and I’ll gladly help!

Until next time,