Business and tech writer.
Starting your own blog is a great way of creating an online income stream, and getting started is simple.
This guide will walk you through 10 easy steps towards starting your own blog.
The first step towards starting your blog is to find a suitable niche to write about. This is an important yet simple step that can put you ahead of the competition.
You want to choose a niche you are familiar with that can also be profitably monetized through adverts or affiliate marketing.
What is a blog niche?
A niche is simply a specialized area of a particular market which mainly focuses on one particular interest or industry.
When looking for a niche, here are a few things you should look for:
How popular is the topic, interest, or product? Use free tools like Google Trends to measure the interest level of your chosen niche.
How many people are blogging in this niche? Whilst you shouldn’t worry too much about competition, it’s good to know who your competitors are.
How can you monetize your blog niche? Are there affiliate products? Is the niche advert friendly?
For example, general advert networks won't accept CBD and Adult blogs, requiring you to look for specialized ad networks.
Different ways you can monetize your blog include:
Below is a list of 10 popular niche ideas to get you started:
If you need more tips on finding a blog niche, you can check this resource here.
Other ways you can find inspiration for a blog niche is in your daily life:
These are some of the questions you can ask yourself every day.
Once you have a good idea for a blog niche, the next step is buying a suitable domain name; then, you can buy your web hosting and set up your website.
Next, let's look into domain names.
Choosing a suitable domain name for your blog is essential for building a memorable brand that users can easily remember, share and come back to.
Having target keywords in your domain is a good idea, but you don’t always have to do this. The key is to have a catchy and relatable domain name that isn’t too long, hard to spell, pronounce, or remember.
If you need help finding ideas for a domain name, use Shopify’s domain generator to get you started.
Just insert a keyword, click “search,” and scroll down to “alternative domain names.”
If you find one you like, go to Namecheap and buy your domain name.
When picking a domain name, you want to make sure you can use that same name on all the major social media sites.
For example, if you choose “campoutdoors.com” as a domain name, you want to make sure that @campoutdoors or a close equivalent (@tweetcampoutdoors, @campoutdoorscom) is available as a username.
Make sure the username you choose is the same across all social media accounts, even if it is slightly different than the domain name.
Again, once you have an idea for a domain name, I recommend you register your domain name from Namecheap.
You can easily buy a domain for a low cost and transfer it to a web hosting service straight after.
Having a reliable web hosting plan is important for any serious blogger, the type of web hosting I recommend is managed web hosting.
Managed web hosting is the best choice because you get the following benefits:
I recommend using Kinsta’s managed hosting for serious bloggers. From $30 a month, you get free SSL, free CDN, 10GB disk space, and 25,000 visits per month, more than enough for any blogger starting.
You can use cheaper options like Bluehost for $7 per month, but with Kinsta, you would save more money since you won’t need to buy any premium plugins for CDN’s, caches, and site backups.
Plus, your site is managed by the Kinsta team, allowing you to focus solely on blogging. So when you’re ready, go to Kinsta, choose a plan and sign up.
Once you’re signed up, it’s time to connect your domain name to your hosting account.
This step is easier than it seems; you need to connect your domain (from Namecheap) to your web hosting account (Kinsta or Bluehost).
Kinsta has a simple 4 step guide on how to change your Namecheap nameservers to point to Kinsta. I recommend reading that guide (opens in new tab), but I’ll summarize it below:
Log in to your Namecheap account dashboard.
Next to the domain that you want to point to Kinsta, click on “Manage.”
By default, the nameservers for your domain will be set to Namecheap’s BasicDNS, which you will need to change.
Go to the “Domain” tab and select “Custom DNS” from the dropdown menu.
If you already have custom nameservers from a previous host, skip to the next step to update them.
Next, you need to enter the nameservers provided by Kinsta. You can find these by clicking on the Kinsta DNS section from the MyKinsta dashboard.
Take the nameservers from the Kinsta dashboard and input them into the Custom DNS section in Namecheap for your domain. And click the green checkmark when finished.
It may take a few minutes for the nameservers to propagate everywhere. You can use a free tool like What’s My DNS to check if your nameservers are pointing correctly.
You will then want to ensure that you finish adding your DNS records in the Kinsta dashboard for your WordPress site to function correctly.
To get started, go to your Admin Dashboard. Once there, select “Sites” on the left sidebar menu, then click on the “Add Site” button.
Image from HomeGrown Income.
Next, you need to fill out the form for adding a new site. Below are the sections you will need to fill in and information about each one.
Choose a physical location for your website. I recommend choosing a location closest to your intended users. The closer your website is to your readers, the faster it will load.
Name Of This Site
Choose a name for your website. This name is only for you to see and will be shown in the MyKinsta dashboard and won’t be visible to your visitors.
If you already pointed your domain to Kinsta, you can select “custom domain,” and that domain will be used when creating your WordPress site.
You can also add your domain after creating your new site. On your MyKinsta dashboard, click “Kinsta DNS” on the left side menu and click “Add Domain” on the next page.
Should We Add A Brand New WordPress Install?
To create a new WordPress site, select “Add a Brand New Install.” When creating a new site, this is what you’ll want.
If you are migrating a WordPress website to Kinsta from another host, then “Don’t Install WordPress” is what you want.
You can easily migrate your site to Kinsta with the Duplicator plugin.
You can also clone an existing WordPress installation.
Next, you need to add a title for your website. This is the title that visitors will see on search engines and web browsers.
Create a username for you to log into your WordPress site. Once you have logged in, you can create additional users.
Create a password to log in to your WordPress site. You can use the “generate new password” option to create a highly secure password.
Add an email address where WordPress will send important notifications to.
Select a Language
Select the language you want to use WordPress in. You don’t have to write content in the same language as your WordPress interface, so feel free to choose your native language, even if you are writing content in English.
Tick this box if you would like to create a WordPress Multisite installation. This is for running multiple, very similar sites under one WordPress installation. Most of you won’t need to tick this box.
Since you are creating a blog, you won’t need to select this option. However, if you decide to start products through your blog, you can install WooCommerce further down the line.
That’s how you install WordPress and WooCommerce using Kinsta’s admin dashboard.
Now that your website is set up, it’s time to choose a suitable theme. I recommend installing the “GeneratePress” theme for your blog; it has both free and paid versions of the theme available.
Another theme I highly recommend is the “Astra” theme, which also comes with a free and paid version.
If you have a high enough budget, I recommend buying the premium versions of the themes above for additional functionality and support. If not, use the free versions for now.
Both of these themes load fast and require no coding knowledge to customize your website.
Now that you got your website and theme set up, the next step is installing some important plugins for your WordPress blog.
Here is the list of some essential WordPress plugins for your blog:
These are some of the essential plugins every blogger needs. You might have noticed that I didn’t include an SEO plugin in the list.
That’s because we’re going to look at SEO plugins in the next step.
The SEO plugin that I recommend for all bloggers is “The SEO Framework.” This plugin is more lightweight than RankMath and Yoast, which is known for being a bloated SEO plugin.
Lightweight plugins help your site load faster, which is also good for SEO since page speed can affect page ranking and the chances of customers leaving your page prematurely.
It will help you optimize your blog posts for SEO whilst keeping your website lightweight and fast.
The SEO Framework is free to use, but there are paid versions available. If you’re already using a plugin like Yoast or RankMath, you can easily switch to The SEO Framework in 5 minutes.
The default WordPress permalink structure uses the year and date in your URL’s which isn’t good for SEO.
It’s best to have the post name only in your URL, so you need to change the permalink structure, and below, I’ll show you how to do so.
Follow these steps to change your permalink structure:
After you have changed your permalink structure, you are now ready for the final step.
Now that your blog is fully set up, it’s time to publish your first blog post!
To publish a blog post, do the following:
This will take you to a window where you can add a title and write out your content.
Once you’re done, add a featured image to your blog post. Go to “Featured Image,” click on the “Set featured image” box and choose a picture to use for your featured image.
Once you are all done, click on “Publish,” and you’re officially a new blogger!
That’s it! How to start a blog in 2022 in 10 simple steps. I hope you found this guide helpful.
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