Woman typing on a laptop - how to start a blog.

With a plan and guide, it’s much easier to begin a blog! Learn how to start a blog (in 2024) and make money. You’ve been eyeing starting a blog for a specific niche or a blog that promotes your business… but you just don’t know how to start blogging with a self-hosted site.

When you think about all that it takes to create a successful blog, it’s overwhelming!

You’ve heard the stories and you’ve seen the pins on Pinterest about people leaving their day jobs and making gads of money through their blogs. And while this is possible, you have to start somewhere.

If you’re looking to start a blog for free, you’re in the wrong place.

This is a step-by-step guide to starting a self-hosted WordPress blog.

In this ultimate guide, you’ll learn how to start a blog as a business, with these steps:

  1. How to choose a blog niche
  2. Choosing a blog name
  3. Setting up a self-hosted site with a hosting provider
  4. Set up your blog theme
  5. Set up your WordPress setting
  6. Set up your legal pages
  7. Write a few blog posts
  8. Set up key plugins and set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console
  9. Customize your blog’s key pages, branding, etc.
  10. Monetizing your blog

While some “blogging experts” claim that you can do all this in less than a day, the truth is that starting a blog to make money fast will take at least a month if you do it right.

And even then, you won’t be making much money… just yet.

Yes, the technical part of self-hosting can take anywhere from an hour to a day. But the rest takes a bit of time. And after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

So, are you ready?

Read my top 10 reasons why you should start a blog in 2024 if you’re still not sure about it. It might be the best thing you ever did!

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DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend.  I may make a small commission on any purchases you make using these links, at no extra cost to you. Read my Disclaimer for more information.

Bookmark this post for reference on Pinterest!

How To Start A Blog PIN2024 1

How I Started Blogging

Wondering how to become a blogger like me?

Here’s a brief backstory of how I started my blog.

I started blogging 13 years ago with my lifestyle blog Suburban Tourist.

Through trial and error, and many hours spent researching and learning, I grew my lifestyle blog into a popular site for travel, outdoors and general lifestyle topic posts. In 2017, I rebranded it into solely a lifestyle blog.

But that wasn’t enough.

With a background in marketing and PR and many years of blogging under my belt, I found myself in a position to start coaching others.

Since 2020 I’ve been sharing insights into how to start your a blog with my MargaretBourne.com blog.

As a blog coach, I’ve helped over 100 clients start and grow their blogs. Let me know if you need help with yours!


How To Start A Blog And Make Money

Before we jump into creating a blog for you, you need to know one thing.

Yes, it’s possible to start a blog and make money in 2024.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Millennial blogger or Gen-X blogger. Anybody can learn to blog.

While there are many fantastic blogs out there, I need you to know that you can start a blog and make it FANTASTIC too.

The good news is that while it may potentially take you a while to get to “pro blogger: status, it’s doable.

While starting a blog isn’t for everybody, there are many reasons you may want to start a blog or start a blog business:

  • You want a creative outlet, and you may want it to be a source of passive income on the side
  • An entrepreneurial mindset and skills mean you can turn a blog into a business with products and services to sell
  • You want to quit your job and start your own consulting or freelance business, and a blog is a strong way of promoting yourself

No matter the reason, you’ll need to be dedicated to continue growing it for it to be a success. It won’t happen overnight. With time, patience and consistency it will ultimately succeed.

When it comes to blogging, your mindset will be key to your success. Don’t compare yourself to others. BE YOU!

Make your own blog goals and work to achieve them with realistic deadlines. You can start a blog as a business, but you’ll need to treat it as one to succeed.

So, now that we’ve got this out of the way, what’s the first thing you need to do?

Research and plan!

| RELATED: 5 Essential Things To Research And Plan Before Starting A Blog


1. Start Your Blog By Choosing Your Blog Niche

Let’s answer the question of how to start a blog by looking at what you need to do before you purchase a domain and a self-hosting plan.

For those who are using a blog to promote your business, you already know your niche! Congrats, you can skip along to point #2.

For all the others, read on.

Researching And Choosing Your Niche

When I started blogging, I wanted to know how to create a blog that would work within my interests. So I spent hours online reading about starting a lifestyle blog.

The key piece of advice I tell others is that before you delve into the technicalities of launching a blog, you need to determine its niche.

Whether you start a personal blog, a niche blog or a business blog (your blog content promotes your solopreneur business), it needs to be something that will attract readers.

You’ll also need to “niche down” to be successful.

A little tip, based on experience: general lifestyle blogs tend to fail over time. It’s much harder to be profitable with a general lifestyle blog.

Fine-tuning your niche is preferred because your readers may want to follow you specifically for a certain topic. When you start blogging about unrelated topics, they may stop following you.

Can You Niche Down With A Lifestyle Blog?

A lifestyle blog is considered a broad niche category that covers more than one niche.

For example, a lifestyle blog can include food & drink, beauty, wellness, living life and parenting. It’s not advisable to do this as you can easily lose focus on your key target audience!

However, you niche down your audience based on their generation and their common issues (e.g., Millennial or Gen-X), or their overarching problems, such as being busy working moms who are seeking stress-relieving life hacks.

Fine-tune your blog niche and you’ll see quicker success.

Always start thinking about the big problem you’ll solve with your blog.

| READ MORE: The Most Profitable Lifestyle Blog Niches And Their Sub-Niches

How to start a blog - choose your niche.

Choose Your Niche

Key Steps For Choosing The Perfect Blog Niche

The best way to find your blog niche involves research and soul-searching.

You’ll need to answer a few questions:

  • What are popular niche blog categories? Check out Google Trends, Pinterest Trends, Quora, Reddit and social media.
  • What is my expertise? About which topics am I most passionate and knowledgeable?
  • Who is my audience? What kind of posts will interest them? What are their pain points and how can I help them (brainstorm them!)
  • What kind of content will I be developing (e.g. more recipe posts versus simple product reviews etc.)
  • Finally, do I see my life evolving? If yes, will my niche also be able to evolve? If you’re planning on getting married in the next year or so and having a family, consider how your blog may change soon. Blogs are personal, so if you can’t see an easy fit if your life changes, you might need to broaden your niche just a bit.

This is your general plan for your blog – first start building your blog’s brand identity.

This will become extremely important in how your site visitors perceive you, and whether they will come back for more.

Once you’ve figured all of this out, you can begin getting to the technicalities of building the site.

Do not skip this step when you are starting a blog!

| RELATED: How To Choose A Blog Niche That’s Profitable

How To Choose The Perfect Food Blog Niche

How To Choose Your Travel Blog Niche

How To Rebrand Your Blog And Change Your Blog Niche Or Category

NICHE TIPS: I’ve written posts that enhance this post if you’re starting these types of blogs:

10 Steps For Starting A Travel Blog

How To Start A Delicious Food Blog In 10 Easy Steps


2. Choose Your Blog Name & Domain Name

When you’re determining how to create a blog, the next step after choosing your niche is what to name it.

Choosing a blog name can be tricky when you’re starting a blog from scratch.

Here are a few general rules:

  • Keep the name short without hyphens or numbers. You want people to remember your blog name easily.
  • Make your potential blog name list long. There may be blogs with your preferred names already in existence. You may also want to check to see if it’s trademarked.
  • Consider blog names with your name – for example, I could have a lifestyle blog named “Coffee With Gosia” (my Polish nickname).
  • Use your name. This is a great idea if you plan on providing a service in the future and you know your niche will remain the same. This works best if your name is unique.

Check Google search results to see if anybody else is using your chosen name. 

Also, consider what your social network handles will be and check if they’re available before you start a blog.

You don’t want to purchase a domain and get started and then realize somebody else has all of your social media handles!

Check to see if your potential blog name’s URL is already in use. I like to go to Domain.com for a quick search.

How To Start A Blog - use Domain.com to check for URL availability
I check potential URLs with Domain.com

Finally, do you see this name being used in the long run?

Are you planning on expanding what you’ll write about?

It’s harder to re-brand your site when people have become used to knowing it under a certain name.

When you’re ready, you can purchase your domain name through your hosting provider or an external provider such as Domain.com.

Consider purchasing not only .com but other versions of your domain name. For example, I primarily use .ca for SuburbanTourist.ca but I also have the .com version.

| READ MORE: How To Choose A Blog Name That Works Perfectly For Your Niche


3. Setting Up Your Blog On A Self-Hosted Site

If you’re thinking of starting a lifestyle blog, business blog or any other kind of blog, I strongly recommend going with a self-hosted WordPress blog.

Don’t confuse this with a WordPress.com blog.

Read my complete post on blog hosting options before you read further if you want all of the complete details!

While other blogging platforms are making a big push for users (SquareSpace, Wix and Groove being some of them), WordPress is the one that most will use.

Some of these other blogging platforms have big limitations and you’re stuck with whatever options they give you.

Why is WordPress so popular?

For two reasons: self-hosting and the plethora of plugins, resources and tools in place to make it easy for you to customize your site as needed.

Why do you need a self-hosted site versus a free platform?

  • More FREEDOMMM!!!!! (Imagine me screaming like Mel Gibson in Braveheart). In general, free platforms are limited in what you can do with them.
  • You can install the theme of your choice, not from a selected few that work with the free platform.
  • Widgets and plugins mean you have more control over your blog’s functions and look and feel.
  • It’s good for SEO. Search engines prefer self-hosted, secure sites. Since you can optimize your site, you can also make it very fast, making it even more appealing to search engines.
  • Monetization opportunities galore! You can put ads on your blog and YOU get paid for them. The best thing about blogging is making money!
  • Finally, it looks more professional to have a self-hosted blog.

Why You Should Invest In A Quality Hosting Provider Even As A Beginner

When I started, I was using a Canadian hosting provider that was pretty awful at providing a decent server for my self-hosted site. The support was brutal.

My webmaster friend recommended a popular alternative that was relatively cheap. The switch was fairly painless.

But in recent years, the quality of customer service and “up-time” has reduced greatly.

As such, I’ve recently decided to move this site to NameHero – an independent, quality hosting provider.

A great alternative is BigScoots, if you don’t mind spending a bit more for a faster speed for your site load, and better service. And if you don’t want the hassle of upgrading to a better hosting provider down the line!

Moving a site can have tech challenges. You don’t want to be playing around with them in the first couple of years as a blogger. Your focus should be building your blog.

This and the following reasons are why I recommend NameHero:

  • It has a great reputation for service, fast servers and up-time (99.9% of the time your site is up). I have several clients using NameHero and they are very impressed with it.
  • The company is independently owned, which is important for the quality and credibility of the company. I love supporting independent businesses such as NameHero, and the Google Analytics alternative, Fathom Analytics.
  • Extremely fast Litespeed server
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • It has a CDN (content delivery network)
  • A free SSL certificate is included.
  • You get a free domain (for packages 2 years or more with specific extensions, e.g. .com, .net…)
  • You get what you pay for! A cheap hosting package equals cheap customer service and services. This can lead to headaches. NameHero has a reputation for quality customer service.
  • It has a generous discount when you sign up for the first time, and affordable monthly costs after the initial period you’ve purchased is over. It’s best to purchase a 3-year package for cost savings (remember you can use this as a business expense for tax purposes).
  • There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

How To Start A Blog With NameHero

So how do you set up your self-hosted site? It’s super easy!

Here are the three key steps:

Namehero - main page  for hosting:  how to start a blog.

1 | Choose The Hosting Package

Before you do anything, you’ll need to choose a hosting package.

Knowing that you may start more than one blog, I recommend that you choose the Turbo WordPress hosting package from NameHero.

It’s recommended for approximately 50,000 monthly visitors. While this may seem much, in some cases some blogs just take off quickly. And if you have two blogs with 50,000 monthly visitors add up fairly quickly.

So, it’s a smart investment to go with a slightly bigger package.

PRO TIP: Get a 36-month term and save more money!

2 | Register Your Domain Name

The next step in starting your blog is registering a domain name.

If your package is for 2 years or more, you can get a free domain from NameHero. This makes it so much easier to set up a self-hosted site, as well as more cost-effective for you! Otherwise, you will need to purchase it.

Remember that long list of blog names and domain names you created? Now is the time to whittle it down to one. Take the name that you like the best and go with it.

How To Start A Blog Registering domain on NameHero

3 | Purchase Your Hosting Package 

Once you have chosen your domain name, it’s time to purchase your plan.

This is your last opportunity to decide on a one year, two year or three year term. Remember it’s more cost-effective to do more than one year.

I also recommend you get a premium backup service to your CPanel, just in case something goes wrong (I know the pain of this first-hand).

This is very important to ensure you don’t lose your blog if there’s an issue or if you accidentally make a vital error.

What’s great about NameHero is that you can get your secure HTTPS site with an SSL certificate for free. 

A secure site is always looked upon more favourably by search engines such as Google.

You will notice there’s also a malware-scanning option. It’s a nice-to-have, but something you can add later.

The next few steps after choosing the package include the payment and setting up your password. These are pretty straightforward.

PRO TIP: Change your username from Admin to something else. Choose a complicated password, as hackers can get access with simple passwords.

4 | Installing WordPress And Verifying Your Domain

After everything is all set up with your password and you’ve logged in, you’ll notice that WordPress is already installed for you. YAY!

Next, you’ll get an email to verify your domain.

Click to confirm your domain name and ownership.

You’ll need to also set up your SSL Certificate. While you can do all of yourself, it’s probably simpler and less confusing to reach out to customer service to get help.

Once everything is working, you can now add your theme.

| Related: 10 Things To Do After Setting Up A Self-Hosted WordPress Site

5 | Set Up Your Email Address

Because you now have a domain, you can create a professional email address that includes it.

It’s important to have this set up, primarily for your email newsletter (which will require it), and to sometimes confirm proof for various software or plugins.

If you’re working with NameHero, you can get the details as to how to set up with Outlook or Gmail.

Once you’re set up, test it to see if it works.


4. Set Up Your Blog Theme

Now it’s time to set up your blog, and the first thing you do is add a theme.

It’s best to consider one that works with your blogging needs and attracts your reading audience.

For example, feminine WordPress business and blog themes are great if your audience is primarily women.

You can easily purchase a new theme from sites such as:

  • Kadence – your best option with a super light theme with many template options and customizations with the premium version (Kadence Pro Blocks, patterns, themes). I’m using this on my lifestyle blog – Suburban Tourist.
  • Restored316 (child themes for the ultra-fast Kadence theme)
  • Bluchic (where I got this business theme, Elementor-based themes)
  • Pix And Hue (gorgeous Elementor-based themes)
  • 17th Avenue (Using the Genesis platform)
  • OceanWP – a light theme with many template options
  • Generate Press – a very light theme, considered to be one of the fastest-loading

Take into consideration the reviews on any theme, the instructions for setting it up and what you can do with it.

Sometimes it’s easier to have a simpler blog theme that’s easy to set up than a complicated one.

How To Log Into Your WordPress Blog

To add your theme, you’ll need to log into the WordPress dashboard. So you start a blog and then you don’t know how to log in to update it!

This caused some panic in me because I didn’t know how to get BACK into WordPress once I logged out.

Go directly to WordPress by entering your website’s URL into your browser’s search bar and adding /wp-admin to the end.

So something like this: https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin

This will take you to your login page where you enter your username and password.

And of course, you can always reach out to the support team if you encounter any problems.

Kadence, Divi and Genesis themes have a learning curve. Elementor has a bit of a learning curve as well, but in general, it’s fairly easy to use when you get the hang of it.

Adding Your Theme To Your Blog

When in WordPress, head over to Appearance and then click Themes. Follow the directions from your theme developer!

Some themes will require to be uploaded to your content a certain way through your C-panel with your hosting provider.

Ask the developer for instructions (they usually will have them available to you).

Usually, you can add your new theme by clicking on Appearance, then Themes, and uploading your new theme as a Zip file.

It will look something like this:

WordPress - add a theme - how to start a blog.

PRO TIP: ALWAYS read the documentation for how to set up your theme. Your answers are usually there, or if you can, reach out to the developer for support. Some, like Kadence, have forums and amazing resources to help you out.


5. Customizing Your WordPress Blog, Branding And Essential Elements

The next thing you’ll do in this journey to start a blog is to customize WordPress.

You can start here with this introductory video (although I provide some tips on settings below):

For this, you’ll head over to the dashboard on the left-hand side and click on Settings.

You’ll see something similar to this:

How To start A Blog set up settings

In General:

  • Change the site title to what you’d like it to be
  • Add a tagline if you wish
  • Set your preferred site language
  • Set your time zone
  • Set your time format
  • Choose which day your day starts

No need to touch anything else.

In Reading:

  • Depending on your theme, you’ll either have a static page or one with blog posts constantly updating. Check your Theme’s documentation on how to set this before making changes.
  • Choose how many posts your blog page shows

Leave the rest as is.

In Discussion:

Make sure that “Before a comment appears” has  “Comment author must have a previously approved comment” toggled. This will make it easier to automatically have pre-approved commenters’ comments appear.

In Permalinks:

Choose the “Postname” option, as this is the best for SEO, keeping your URLs short.

Update Your User Information In WordPress

When you’re in the WordPress dashboard, go under “Users” to add your name and details.

You may want to head over to Gravatar to set up your profile (for free) which can be connected to your User account.

This is useful if your theme has an author highlight for each post (usually at the bottom) and pulls it directly from Gravatar.

Branding Your Blog And Setting Up Your Social Media Profiles

Now that you have the essentials set up on WordPress, it’s time to brand your blog.

When you start a blog, one of the things you’ll need to do is brand your site so people know what it’s all about.

So you’ve got your blog set up on your self-hosted site, and you have a few blog posts in the works. But you want to make it look your own.

This means you need to :

  • Design and create a logo, as well as the favicon (the little image you see on tabs on an Internet browser)
  • Set up your social networks if you haven’t already done so and link them to your blog.
  • Create an About Me page so people know who you are. Include a photo to show the person behind the blog.

Don’t forget to brand your blog on your About Me page! Here’s something that will help you write it:


Every blog needs to have three key legal pages on its site, easily found by blog visitors.

Mine are in the footer of this site, a location where many sites have this information.

These three key legal pages are:

  • Privacy Policy: tell visitors how you protect their private information gleaned from their visits to your site, sign-ups to your newsletter, etc. This is important for being compliant with GDPR and CCPA.
  • Disclaimer: clarify what visitors can and can’t do with the information on your site, and identifying how you work with affiliate programs and third-party links.
  • Terms & Conditions: the agreement between you and your site visitor as to what they can do with your information. Essentially your blog’s rules regarding your content.

You need all three to legally protect yourself and your blog from potential lawsuits.

You could be sued for thousands of dollars.

To make it easier for you to create these legal pages, I highly recommend the easily customizable starter Legal Bundle from Amira, A Self Guru.

She’s a blogger AND a lawyer and has created a super-easy, up-to-date legal bundle including all three key legal pages and 6 extras that keep you uber-protected.

It’s a small investment to make, to sleep easy at night, knowing that you won’t be losing thousands if somebody decides to go after you legally.

It’s been used by many bloggers in the US, Canada and internationally to protect their blogs.

NOTE: I loved Amira’s legal bundle so much, that I purchased several other key legal templates such as a coaching agreement template, among others.

PRO TIP: You’ll also want to make sure your site is accessible to those with disabilities. Check out Amira’s checklist, guide and accessibility statement (like the one I have in my footer), and plugin recommendations in her ADA Compliance package. Don’t get sued for not being ADA-compliant!


7. Set Up Key Plugins & Connect Up With Google

While you’ve started writing your first blog posts, take little breaks and set up a few other key things for your site.

START HERE: I’ve shared my favourite FREE plugins for WordPress to get you started and get your blog looking like a professional blog, right from the start.

I’ve also got a list of 15 free blogging tools that you will want to know more about.

This isn’t the sexiest part of creating a blog, but you must add key plugins as you set it up. You can do some of these after you officially launch your blog.

Speed Up Your Blog For A Great User Experience

You will want to make sure your blog is loading fast for a great user experience. If it loads slowly, people can get frustrated and leave your site. Not good!

Next, speed up and optimize your blog with a few key plugins:

  • My favourite caching plugin choice: WPRocket! Many hosting providers that use LiteSpeed caching will recommend the second option (see below). However, you can try using WPRocket. It’s one of the best caching plugins for beginner bloggers because it’s easy to set up and it does an excellent job. It’s worth the small investment, as it’s very easy to set up and makes your site run much faster than free plugins such as W3 Total Cache  or WP Super Cache.
  • LiteSpeed Caching: if you choose NameHero or another hosting provider that uses LiteSpeed servers, this is a free option (with minimal investment for the required CDN). It’s a bit tricky to set up, so you will need to work with your hosting provider or a LiteSpeed Caching setup expert if any issues pop up.
  • If not using the LiteSpeed cache (which optimizes images), add an image optimizer like Smush.it or EWWW Image Optimizer to reduce the size of your images for the speedier loading of your site.

These are all very useful plugins to ensure your site loads faster. Nobody likes to hang around waiting for a page to load!

PRO TIP: Always optimize your blog post images to the minimum size for your theme, and save them as smaller files using tools such as Pixlr.com (a very affordable online image editor) or TinyPNG. I save mine as JPGs, at 70% quality for small sizes that load fast.

Other Useful WordPress Plugins For New Blogs

When you’re starting a blog, you also need to make sure it’s running well, to give your site visitors a great experience.

A few useful plugins you may want to consider adding:

  • Wordfence – a free security plugin that protects from malware, and website hacks
  • WP Tasty Pins for easily adding Pinterest Pin Titles and Descriptions for your Pinterest pins for each blog post. It saves you the hassle of fiddling around with HTML. Worth the investment!
  • UpDraft Plus – a free backup plugin that saves a copy of your site’s content in Google Drive or Dropbox
  • WPCode plugin (previously called Insert Headers and Footers) to easily add HTML code to these two areas of your site without having to play around with the integral code files, accidentally causing major issues to your site.

Most of these are free with upgrade options. In most cases, you can use the free version without issues.

Set Up Your Analytics

I recommended the WPCode plugin (free version – former Insert Headers and Footers) because it will come in handy with this next part of starting a blog.

Connect your blog to Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

These two tools will become invaluable sources of information so that you can tweak your content to better serve your readers with valuable content.

It’s important to also have access to your analytics for advertising opportunities.

Once you hit a threshold of 10,000 sessions you can sign up for better advertising platforms (Ezoic, Monumetric) for an income from ads.

For step-by-step instructions check out WP Beginner’s installing Google Analytics info and how to set up Google Search Console.

PRO TIP: A fantastic alternative to Google Analytics is Fathom Analytics. Read my Fathom Analytics review to learn why I’m switching and investing in this easy-to-use, ethical analytics tool.


8. How To Start Blogging: Start Writing!

The next step in starting a blog is to begin developing the content. Your first blog post!

Many bloggers ask – “how many blog posts should I have before I launch my blog?” I’ll help answer that question momentarily.

Most bloggers wait until they have “launched” their blog and made it live, but I recommend that you pre-write a few blog posts in advance.

Why?

It makes it much faster for you to set up and publish blog posts and get started promoting your blog!

It’s time to write your first blog.

Here’s how to get started writing amazing blog posts that readers will love:

  • Research a few key blog posts that you know your audience will want to read about (make them posts that answer burning questions your target audience needs to have answered).
  • Write out the introduction, body and conclusion of your blog posts. Add one or two relevant external links to reputable sources.
  • Search out images that you want to use in your posts, edit them and optimize them to be smaller files (you can use a plugin on your site that optimizes them when you upload them, but it’s best to do this manually in your editing process). Also use Pixlr-E, a free online photo editing tool and save your images at the correct minimum size for your theme and at 70% quality for a small, fast-loading file. Upgrade to the entry package to get unlimited saves (a super awesome price!).
  • Save the draft and when you’re ready to publish, hit Publish!

This is my recommendation as it helps you get at least four to five blog posts ready to be published as soon as you officially launch your blog.

You can keep customizing it and setting things up, while you also focus on writing blog posts.

| RELATED: Why You Should Never Steal Content From Other Blogs

How To Write Blog Post Titles That Get Consistent Clicks

How To End A Blog Post In An Engaging Way

Determine Your Categories & Brainstorm Topics

This is also a good time to start figuring out your categories because you will need to determine which ones you’ll focus on in your blog.

The worst thing you can do is to write about everything that interests you.

Instead, narrow down your topic categories to 3 to 4 key ones, under which you can have many different blog posts.

A good example of a lifestyle blog with solutions for time-crunched, busy moms is:

  • Parenting Tips
  • Easy Family Recipes
  • Home Organization Tips
  • Self-Care Tips

Brainstorm 4 to 5 blog post ideas for each of those categories to get you started. Consider writing one cornerstone blog post that’s long, and full of great information for each category.

This will help with your SEO and interlinking, ultimately helping you boost your ranking in Google searches faster.

| Read More: SEO Tips For New Bloggers – How To Write Posts Optimized For Google Searches

Do A Soft Launch So Google Can Crawl Your Site Sooner

When you’ve made your site go live with a few blog posts, this means Google and other search engines may begin indexing it.

It may take a few days to a few weeks before your blog and posts begin to show up in searches.

Don’t be disappointed if it’s not showing up. You may need to do a few things first to get your blog found properly by Google.

Although it’s fun to see your blog “out there”, live and ready to be shared, you may want to take a few extra steps first.

NOTE: You can officially “LAUNCH IT” by promoting it when you’ve got several posts done and everything all set up.

PRO TIP: It will take up to six months for your blog to be properly crawled and indexed by Google and to show up correctly after you’ve submitted the sitemap to Google Search Console.


9. Do An Official Blog Launch

Now that you’ve got everything set up for your new blog, and you’ve got a few blog posts ready, it’s time to LAUNCH your blog!

Congratulations – you’ve just started a blog and the adventure begins!

Remember to promote your new blog on:

  • Your personal Facebook page
  • The Facebook page for your blog
  • Your Instagram accounts (personal, and the one you’ve created for your blog)

Share it with your friends and family!

Make a big deal out of it, because you’ve worked hard to get here!

| RELATED: Over 100 Business Hashtags For Instagram To Promote Your Blog Biz


10. Monetizing Your Blog: Initial Steps To Making Money With Your Blog

After you start a lifestyle blog or your specific niche blog, you’ve got a few posts up and a presence started on social networks, and you’re ready for the next step.

You can start making money!

See? It’s fairly easy to start a lifestyle blog. It just takes a bit of time and following the steps.

Before you go any further though, read up on how you can mess up monetizing your blog, and how to fix it.

I’m sharing this with you now so that you don’t make these new blogger mistakes as you start growing your blog.

Placing Ads On Your Blog

I often tell my students, that advertising with a completely new blog is not something on which they should focus.

You start getting a worthwhile income from advertising if your pageviews are over 10,000 a month. Ads also slow down your site and create a poor user experience.

However, if you want to add ads after you start a blog, here’s what I recommend: 

Set yourself up on Google Adsense. It’s the simplest way to get ads placed on your site. You can have them placed in the sidebar, in your posts or in other spots as you desire.

There are other ad providers that you can work with (e.g., SheMedia, Mediavine), but Google Adsense is the easiest to implement.

You may need to blog for about two to three months before you get accepted by Google Adsense.

Don’t spend too much time on ads. Read my post on the BEST ways to monetize your new blog and focus on these.

Affiliate Marketing Networks

You can start earning a passive income with a blog that’s only a couple of months old.

Here’s where you start to learn about affiliate marketing:

Join affiliate marketing networks. There are many options open to new bloggers like you depending on your niche or key category.

One of the biggest ones that I like using is Shareasale – it has many fantastic brands as merchants.

Impact Radius is increasingly showing up on my radar and it includes many of my favourite blogging tools and resources.

I also use CJ Affiliate, which is one of the bigger ones with International, US, and Canadian brands and retailers.

There are also many brands that you love that have their own affiliate programs. Check out their websites to see if they have an affiliate program you can join.

Setting yourself up may take about a week, but once you’re in, you can start including affiliate links and banner ads throughout your site, where appropriate.

Learn how to add an affiliate link to your blog content by reading my Ultimate Guide To Affiliate Marketing for bloggers.

To get started you can join my Confident Blogger Academy Affiliate Program and start earning 30% commission on sales of my courses, ebooks and templates. Read more about the Confident Blogger Academy affiliate program!

Affiliate program for Confident Blogger Academy - how to start a blog and make money.

Once you’ve been blogging for a while and have built up a following on social media, start reaching out to brands and PR representatives with collaboration ideas.

Determine your rate for sponsored work and pitch a brand as an influencer. You may start with free samples, but over time, you will start getting paid sponsored collaborations.

NOTE: When you get an email from somebody seeking to do a sponsored post and they want to provide you with the article and request a do-follow link, I strongly recommend you decline.

Why? Because their content usually is very salesy, focused on promoting a brand or product, and it’s usually not original content.

You can potentially harm your SEO by using your FANTASTIC blog to sell out to a “sponsored post”.

The only ones you should be open to are those brands that want you to write and make authentically yours.

PRO TIP: Have a media kit ready to send to prospective brand partners. To fill up examples of product reviews, purchase a few favourite items and review them on your blog. These will serve as examples of what you can potentially do for a brand.

Get a media kit template for Canva and get started!

Media kit template for Canva

| Read More: How To Get Sponsored Posts For Your Blog

How To Design Your Media Kit

How To Create A Rate Card For Your Media Kit

Create Your Own Services & Products To Sell

Look at ways to sell your own services or digital products.

For example, I help beginner and intermediate-level bloggers with their blogs. I offer one-hour coaching sessions that guide new bloggers through their challenges as they start up their blogs.

You can start transforming your beginner blog into an online business and use online coaching tools for productivity and promotion.

E-books, printables, courses, and consultative services are just some of the other ways you can make money.

You can test what your audience wants by creating freebies and seeing which ones do well. Take them and build on them! Make them into complete courses or e-books.

PRO TIP: A great way to make money as a new blogger is to start freelance blogging for others. Check out ProBlogger’s job board for blogging opportunities.

| RELATED: A Guide To Creating And Selling Digital Products As A Beginner Blogger


One Additional Step: Set Up Your Email Newsletter

An extension of your blog is your newsletter! So when you’re starting a blog, don’t forget to set up your email newsletter list.

Not sure if you should start it now?

I’ve got a few top reasons why starting your email list should be one of your top priorities during your first six months of blogging.

For this, you can use great email marketing platforms such as Mailerlite (I’m currently using this and LOVING IT – up to 1,000 for free), or Convertkit (up to 10000 subscribers for free – limited automations).

Start Building Your Email Subscriber List

I know that starting a blog can be time-consuming and the idea of focusing on growing a newsletter subscriber list may seem overwhelming

To grow your email subscriber list, you’ll need to find one or two GOOD opt-in freebies (lead magnets) to include in as many posts as possible (relevancy is important!).

Think of what may be some of the biggest challenges your readers are facing and offer them a checklist, template or something else that’s easily printable that will help them.

It has to be a SUPER VALUABLE freebie for them to be willing to follow you.

It will be the basis for future sales funnels for selling your own digital products.

The best practice is to have a welcome series of emails that tell your followers a bit about you and what you do. Get a little personal here if you like.

Then stick to a weekly schedule to send out an email to your followers.

It could include your latest post, an interesting tip, affiliate links with great sales that you recommend, or your own products/services that are on sale.

Start a blog Pinterest pin.

What To Focus On First: Create A Blog Content Calendar And Start Writing!

One of the final tips I can share with you as you start your blogging journey is to get organized with blog topics.

Whether you brainstorm the topics yourself or tap into recommended topics (like my 100+ lifestyle blog post ideas or 300+ mom blog post ideas), you should be starting and managing a content calendar or what’s called a blog editorial calendar.

Read my tips on how to get started with a blog content calendar, using several different types of blog posts, and useful tools to keep you on track.

I love to use the free tool Airtable – super easy to set up your lists and manage your content.

One last tip: think about what you can write about for your first cornerstone blog post – one that you will want to rank for, and that wows your readers.

To make things easier with promotion on Pinterest, I’ve created Pinterest templates for Canva. Sign up here and get the link to get started today!

| RELATED: How To Write A Great Blog Post Your Readers Will Love Reading

How To End A Blog Post With An Engaging Call-To-Action


A Recap: How To Start A Blog Easily

When you visualize your plan, it’s easy to get started with a blog.

So in this brief road map on how to start a blog, you’ve learned how to:

  • Choose your blog niche
  • Carefully choose your blog name and domain
  • Set up your blog on a self-hosted site
  • Set up your theme
  • Customize WordPress settings and brand your blog
  • Set up the legal pages
  • Set up with key tools and plugins
  • Add Google Analytics and Google Search Console
  • Start writing blog posts
  • Monetize your blog!

Don’t forget to add setting up an email newsletter and developing a content calendar to your list of things to do after you start a blog.

Now go forth, and blog away! Whether you start a lifestyle blog, food blog or business blog, these are some of the key steps to take to get going.

Finally, learn from others. I’ve got a list of new blogger tips to help you get ahead faster.

Remember… pace yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It will take you time to start a blog and make it a success.

But you will get there with perseverance, hard work, and effort.

| RELATED: 15 Blogging Habits Of Successful Bloggers


Extra Resources: Get Help Starting Your Blog From A Blog Coach

This blog post has a whole lot of information! Sometimes you need one-on-one help:

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed with all the pre-planning, setup and things to do before you officially launch your blog, contact me! I’m available for one-on-one blog coaching, blog audits and troubleshooting.


Courses To Help You Start And Grow A Blog

Launch It: Start A Blog Course & Toolkit: a go at your own pace course, with video, checklists, tips and more including the best templates, worksheets and printables that you’ll find useful as you start your blog… as well as a sweet discount on my Pinterest course and SEO e-book. AND get a special offer on core legal pages you need.

READY TO START A BLOG?

Learn step-by-step how to start a self-hosted WordPress blog, and make it profitable!

After you have started your blog, the next step will be to learn blogging skills so that you can grow it.

If you want to scale up your blogging skills faster and get your blog running like a professional blog, check out the Grow It: From Blog To Online Business Course.

Computer with text: The Grow It Course - From Blog To Online Business.

How To Start A Blog In 2024 – Now You Know!

So have I answered how to start a blog?

If you still have questions, drop me a line in the comment box!

QUESTIONS: What do you find is the hardest part of starting a lifestyle blog? What is the most confusing part of starting a self-hosted site?


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How To Start A Blog PIN

Originally published 2018.

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