There’s a creator within you and someone who has a message to share be in creating art, writing stories, making music or being of service to your people – so its time to start a blog.
But just how to you get that message out? Where do you begin?
A quick search online on how to start a blog and you are bombarded with information overload and everyone has a different thought or doing on how to get started. And then you’re overwhelmed and wonder if you ought to keep going.
And here is what most anyone that started a blog of some kind has in common: We were all beginner’s at one point but we stayed the course and learned the things we needed to know. Including me.
And if you’ve never heard about a blog, that’s okay. If you’ve heard about them and wondered how to begin, that’s okay too. Wherever you are right now it’s okay and if you feel nudged to start a blog, then I can share with you that it’s a lot easier than you think.
Why you should create a blog
Before we dive into what you need to do to get started, let’s dig into your why for a moment. I am a firm believer that when you have a solid understanding of WHY you want to be doing something, then it will be easier to focus on and even in the midst of a lack of motivation, it helps you find your way back.
- Blogging is one of the best ways to communicate with your people, share what’s going on and teach a thing or two.
- It’s a brilliant way to express yourself and in the process become a better writer and more you. And the world needs more you.
- It has the potential to be an income stream such as selling your products or services
Disclosure: This post on how to start a blog contains my own links from the shop and affiliate links. That means when you make a purchase I will receive monies at no extra cost to you.
Your “WHY” is in the purpose that lies deep within. For example, The Rebels Den is about sharing information, how-to’s, promote other artists through interviews. The Why behind is that I am passionate about helping others and shine the spotlight on those that are following their own passions and dreams. It’s like I can’t help myself. It is also an income producing avenue for me through the shop and the membership that’s launching soon.
Creating and starting your blog can happen within the hour and sometimes even less. It depends if you’re willing to run with the idea or want to overthink it.
How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps:
There are 5 main components of starting a blog
- What will your blog be about – what topics will you cover
- Choose your blog platform
- Let’s talk about Self-hosting
- How to Set up a blog on your own domain
- Design your new blog
1. What will your blog be about – what topics will you cover
I fully believe that if you are not passionate about the topic than what is the point? Everything I share on The Rebels Den is on purpose because I want to help and be of service on and with topics that I have personally experienced and have thoughts on.
When you are passionate about your blog, you are more likely to put in the time and effort and you are continuously filled with things to write about.
Passion fuels you because if you focus only on how profitable your blog can be – and not the message in can share – you will burn out and more than likely abandon the blog. And people have the ability to read through the lines, so if you come across as someone that doesn’t really know what they talking about – they’ll know. So when choosing a topic aka niche of your blog, it’s helpful to use the expertise you already have.
- What are your hobbies?
- How do you spend your free time?
- What is the one topic you could go on about for hours if your friends or family let you?
- What types of classes did you enjoy in high school or college?
- What do you enjoy reading and learning about?
- If you could do one thing the rest of your life, what would you do?
2. Choose your blogging platform
I am all about choice here and that’s why I am going to share with you different options, even though I have a preference. But this isn’t about me so there’s that.
- WordPress is one of the biggest and preferred blogging platform that I believe can and will grow with you and your venture.
- Blogger is an option – in fact when I first started blogging in 2005 that was my stepping stone.
I know I am going to sound like a pushover, but here is why WordPress is the better option in my opinion. But do your research 🙂
Easy to set up and free to use, is highly customizable with free themes and layouts, has it’s own support forum to get help, and plugins galore that can help with so many things you may want to do on or with your blog.
3. Let’s talk about self-hosting
Yes, WordPress and Blogger have free options but they can limit you. For one, you won’t be able to use your own domain name. And that would maybe defeat the purpose of what you’re trying to do.
Secondly, you wouldn’t be able to make money with it or upload videos and images that you want to share with the world.
And let’s think about the part that you wouldn’t even own your blog. You do all the work but someone else has the rights to it. And with one click on the other end, all your work could disappear in the interwebs black hole.
So, having a self-hosted blog with your own domain name does look much sweeter now right? You can name it what you’d like – as long as the domain is available. And yes, it will cost money but it isn’t as crazy as you think – depending on who you use as a hosting provider. The average cost of my blog is about $8 per months.
4. Start a blog on your own domain
If you’ve decided to go with the free option, then read no more 🙂 the rest of this post is about using self-hosted blogs on your own domain.
So, if you haven’t already it’s time to choose a name for your blog aka the URL/Domain Name.
- Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website.
- Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Think if hosting as the space you rent for your blog to live on.
Disclosure: I use ionos.com for domain purchase and hosting. If you click through one of my links and make a purchase, I will receive a commission, which helps me keep The Rebels Den up and running.
I’ve not had a single issue with ionos.com since using them – and I’ve explored various hosting companies in the past. You don’t have to choose them of course, but it’s just the one I use I wanted to tell you about.
Something to look for is the ability to install WordPress – usually with just a click of the button. So when you choose a provider, you need a domain name and a hosting plan – don’t worry too much about the other things although WHOIS privacy will keep your personal information private – and automated back ups will help you when something goes kaputt and you’re not loosing everything.
The moment WordPress is installed is the moment you can start blogging when you log into your WP-Admin page that looks something like this: www.yourblognamehere.com/wp-admin
But perhaps you want to familiarize yourself with the backend and design your blog? I promise it really isn’t as complicated as some people make it out to be.
5. Designing your WordPress blog
I love designing blogs because you can make them look like how you ant them. To start you will go to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme. I do want to add that some of them are the Lite version and won’t always have the exact capabilities that you are looking for – which then gives you the option to purchase the Pro version. I personally use DIVI from Elegantthemes.com because it’s so incredibly customizable with its drop and drag builder.
Another advantage of WordPress is that at any point you want to change the layout you can do so with just a few clicks and not lose all of your content. When thinking about your design, keep in mind that you want it to show off your personality and what your blog is about. That’s why picking your topic and the niche was the first step.
You can go search the internet for wordpress themes as well to get an idea of what you want it to look like.
Start writing and publish your posts.
A great way to get started is to brainstorm your topic. Get a piece of paper and write down the theme/topic/niche for your blog – this is your main topic.
And then write down all the things you can write about, these are your sup-topics.
For example, if your blog is all about music (your main topic) what about music can you write about? Some of the topics can include:
- how to write a song
- how to create the notes for the song
- how to publish a song on x,y,z platform
- your creative process
- how to find inspiration
Another thing I want to mention is to decide how often you want to blog. My personal recommendation is once a week – at least getting started because that helps you stay consistent with your work and reduces burnout.