So you want to learn how to make a blog, right? I’ll just assume that’s how you landed here 🙂
Starting anything can be hard. I know you know that (I hope). Starting a blog is no different.
I want to make this process of blogging as easy as possible. It involves some technical skills to get started, but I’m going to walk you through everything.
The Matt Difference: Receive a FREE 30-minute call for help setting up your blog.
Blogging takes patience, dedication, and a long term vision.
You won’t gain thousands of visitors from your first, or second, or even twentieth blog post. It feels as though you are talking to deaf ears at times.
But don’t let that get you down.
With over 440 million blogs on the internet today, it’s hard to cut through all the noise and grab the attention of people.
That’s why you’ll need to follow this guide in sequential order.
Are you ready to commit?
Ok, let’s go!
Time needed: 1 hour and 59 minutes.
How to Make a Blog in 9 Simple (Beginner Friendly) Steps
- Define Your “WHY”
Use the Five Whys technique to help you define your purpose for creating a blog.
- Pick a Niche
Ask yourself, what could you ramble on for all day without getting paid for it. Pick that.
- Learn About Your Target Audience
You want to speak directly to them, using words and phrases they use when talking about the subject.
- Pick a Domain Name
Make a list of 15-25 different domain names. Using a domain name generator will really spark your creativity.
- Select a Hosting Provider
If you a just beginning, BlueHost is the most affordable. For more advanced users with high traffic volumes, choose WPEngine.
- Install Blog with WordPress
The installation process is automated and straightforward with both BlueHost and WPEngine.
- Selecting a WordPress Template
With thousands of options available, only a few make my cut. Find out how to get over $2,000 in free templates.
- Install Top-Rated WordPress Plugins
Start by installing these 10 plugins specifically for bloggers.
- Publish Your First Blog Post
All set, ready to publish and start promoting your content. Congratulations!
1. Define your “WHY” for creating a blog
As with any entrepreneurial journey, you must declare a WHY. Why are you doing what you’re doing?
So ask yourself, why do I want to make a blog?
Using the Five Whys technique will help you explore your why for blogging. The technique was originally developed by Sakichi Toyoda and was used within Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of it’s manufacturing methodologies.
Another example of defining your why is from a famous TED talk by Simon Sinek. With over 46 million views, it’s one you don’t want to miss.
⚠️ DO NOT skip over this critical step. It will serve as your anchor throughout your blogging journey.
There will be moments when you want to quit; trust me. But if your ‘why’ is strong enough, and you have the mindset to push forward, you will succeed.
2. Picking a niche
Do you have any hobbies or activities that you are passionate about? What makes you lose track of time when you are doing it?
This step is the most important and where many get it wrong. Your impatience could mean an early death of your new business. Some tips to finding your niche:
- Look at your interests. What topic could you write a 2,000-word article? What topic would you like to build a business?
- TIP: Ask yourself, what could you ramble on for all day without getting paid for it. Pick that (for now).
- Make sure your topic is highly relevant or at least trending up in Search Volume.
BONUS: Take this 30 question passion quiz to find out more about your what drives you in life.
3. Learn about your target audience
With all the marketing riff-raff online, you have to know exactly who your target audience is.
You want to speak to them, in the language they use. What words do they use to describe their problems? What are their fears and desires? Where are they hanging out online?
Your target audience isn’t just an age group and gender. Learn to go beyond those simple demographics and focus on the psychographics, those deep core values that people believe in.
Demographics are used to divide, psychographics are the core values that drive people to make decisions.– Rachel Pedersen
Start by creating one or two personas of who your ideal customer is. Keep that in front of you at all times when you are writing.
4. Pick a domain name to start a blog
To publish a blog online, you must pick a domain name. This is where your blogging website will “live” online.
Many people spend a great deal of time picking out a domain name. Don’t spend too much time analyzing it.
The most important question, do you want the blog to reflect your brand or towards the niche you selected?
So mattsteinman.com vs. onlinefreedombusiness.com as an example.
See the difference in branding?
Make a list of 15-25 different domain names that come to mind. I recommend writing them down in one session. Then come back to them later in the day, or the next, so you don’t make any premature choices, you’ll regret later.
5. Selecting a hosting provider
Let’s make this process as simple as possible because it should be!
If you are just beginning, the most affordable host is Bluehost. I have partnered up with Bluehost to help you save on your hosting packages. Click the link below to get started today.
I recommend a more robust, managed hosting provider for more significant traffic sites. A managed host will allow you to scale and grow as your audience and website become more popular.
You will pay more of a premium for this service, but WPEngine is my goto when it comes to hosting websites. I partnered up with WPEngine to help you save on their yearly plans.
My only recommendation is to NOT use website builders like a Wix blog or Squarespace. They have limited customization and scaling options and you’ll be migrating over to WordPress after a few days anyways.
6. Install Blog with WordPress
By far, the most robust, customizable, and user-friendly CMS is WordPress. You don’t need to bother with looking for other solutions. WordPress is the best solution for you.
As of this writing, WordPress powers 30% of the entire internet.
Now depending on your hosting provider, you’ll have different methods for installing WordPress.
Don’t worry; the installation process is automated and straightforward.
If you have questions or need help, contact me to set up a free 30-minute consultation.
7. Selecting a WordPress template
Selecting a template for your blog can be overwhelming. Let’s make this a simple process for you.
Depending on your hosting provider (Bluehost or WPEngine), free options are available. Remember though, free options usually lack in design and are not optimized for speed/performance.
WPEngine has an incredible selection of free templates when you sign up. They have partnered with StudioPress to provide you with 35+ templates (over a $2,000 in value). Click below to view all the StudioPress themes available.
15 best free WordPress templates here can also be found on BlueHost.
This blog you’re reading also utilizes Thrive Architect, which is a drag n’ drop page builder. It offers more advanced features that will generate more leads, much quicker. If getting leads and growing your subscriber list is your goal (which it should be), Thrive Architect is an excellent solution.
8. Install Top-rated WordPress plugins for bloggers
- Yoast SEO: the most popular plugin for search engine optimization (SEO).
- Jetpack: the most affordable solution to get started with keeping your personal or small business site backed up and spam-free.
- Thrive Leads: list building solution that’s created by a team of people who are obsessed with conversion optimization.
- Social Locker: helps to improve social performance of your website, get more likes/shares, build quality followers and attract more traffic from social networks.
- Akismet: spam fighting service that protects millions of WordPress sites from comment and contact form spam
- a3 Lazy Load: mobile oriented, very simple to use plugin that will speed up sites page load speed.
- Google Analytics: lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications
- *Wordfence Security: the most comprehensive WP security solution available.
- *W3 Total Cache: boost your website’s speed by using the most powerful WP caching plugin.
- All-in-One Schema.org Rich Snippets: get eye catching results in search engines with the most popular schema markup plugin. Easy implementation of schema types like Review, Events, Recipes, Article, Products, Services etc
9. Publish your first blog post
Now is the most exciting time! Your website should be live on the internet!