Since starting this blog in 2014, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to run a website, build a community, and ultimately juggle a million things at once. Running a blog is a lot harder than it might seem, but it’s also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
I started a blog simply because I love writing, and I knew a blog would be a good creative outlet for me to share my passions. It’s become something far greater than I ever imagined, and I’m so grateful that I took the leap of faith and just started it.
Over the years, I’ve received tons of questions about how I got started with blogging, what my favorite tools are, and how I designed my blog. I’m sure since you’re reading this post, you have an interest in starting your own blog or want to know what it takes to start your own (spoiler alert: it’s super easy).
That’s why I decided to put together this mini-guide – now you can easily get started with your own blog and quit holding yourself back from something that might change your life!
How To Start A Blog In 5 Simple Steps
Before we get into the details, you should know the most important thing about starting a blog: write because you have a passion for something. If you are starting a blog with the intention of getting rich and famous, you’re probably better off trying something else.
But if you have something to share with the world, whether it’s tips, photos, writing, your interests, or hobbies, I say go for it. I mean, really, what are you waiting for? Here are five simple steps to make it happen!
1. Choose a domain name
Coming up with a domain name can be one of the hardest tasks. After all, it’s going to be the identity of your blog. I’m talking about a .com that is all yours. You could go the simple route and use your name, but if you want a little creativity/anonymity, it might take a little bit of thinking over.
It took me a long time to come up with The Blissful Mind, but it ultimately came from my belief that having a healthy mind is the key to overall health.
Once you’ve figured out the name, buy a domain name from somewhere like namecheap.com (prices start at just $0.88 per year which is stupidly cheap).
2. Get a host
A host is the place where all of your blog’s files are located. I use SiteGround as my hosting provider, and I have been so impressed with the level of customer support they offer. The SiteGround team are quick to respond to any issues (which I’ve rarely encountered), and they are extremely knowledgeable about hosting.
SiteGround’s hosting starts at $3.95 per month which is perfect for anyone just getting started with blogging.
To start the process, head to this page and click ‘Get Started’ for the plan you want (StartUp is best for your first plan. You can always upgrade later).
Once you’re on the next page, enter in the name of the domain you just purchased from NameCheap and then choose which payment plan you want to go with (trial month, 12 months, 2 years, or 3 years).
Sidenote: To be completely transparent, I started off using BlueHost as my host, but I ran into a lot of problems and found they weren’t responsive with questions that I had. I switched to SiteGround and never looked back.
3. Install WordPress
There are quite a few platforms out there like WordPress, Blogger, and Squarespace, but I’ve used WordPress since day one. Since I’m only familiar with WordPress, that’s what I’d recommend you use as the place where you write your blog posts.
SiteGround offers a free and easy WordPress installation which makes it a million times easier than doing it manually. Once you’ve set up your account with SiteGround, they will prompt you through the WordPress installation process.
4. Find a theme
When it comes to your blog’s appearance, you want it to be user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Over the years, I’ve used themes from Angie Makes and Station Seven (both found through Creative Market).
I get questions all the time about how I designed the website that you currently see now. It’s all designed with my favorite drag-and-drop tool – Elementor. Elementor is incredibly easy to design pages that look amazing.
Get the Elementor plugin here
If you don’t want to spend money on a theme, there are tons of free ones out there if you just do a quick search on Google for free WordPress themes.
SiteGround has some free templates that they can install for you, and it’s easy to change your theme once you’re all set up. Most places that you buy or find themes from will tell you exactly how to install them in WordPress, so you don’t have to worry about messing it up.
5. Start writing
When you’re just getting ready to start a blog, you’ll read a lot of articles that tell you how important it is to have a niche for your blog. Here’s my advice to you: don’t worry about your niche until you’ve written at least 10 blog posts.
My blog started out as a mashup of random topics like an apartment tour, pancake recipes, and beauty products I liked. I had no idea what I was really talking about, but I kept writing because I enjoyed it.
It wasn’t until at least a year into blogging that I started realizing what I really wanted to write about and what resonated with other people. Let yourself write about what you want in the beginning and don’t try to put yourself into a box. These things take time.
Here are the five steps to starting your own blog:
5. Start writing!
Recommended Blogging Tools
Once you’ve started blogging, you might want to consider some of these awesome tools:
1. ConvertKit – The best platform for building an email list. Having an email list is the best way to start making sales from your blog.
2. CoSchedule – One of my favorite tools for planning and scheduling my blog and social media content
3. Pinfinite Growth – The amazing online course by Melyssa Griffin that helped me get 35,000+ Pinterest followers
4. Tailwind – The best platform for scheduling your Pinterest content
5. Elementor – An amazing WordPress tool for designing beautiful websites (and it’s super easy to use)
And that’s a wrap!
I hope this blog post helped simplify the process of starting a blog and you feel a little less daunted now. Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything explained in more detail!
Disclaimer: Some of the above links are affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission from purchases at no cost to you.
Thank you for sharing. I just started my first blog and the creative outlet has been really rewarding. I am trying to balance the creative satisfaction and not put pressure on myself to ‘accomplish’ certain milestones (pageviews, comments, a following) etc. Could you speak to how you balance this? http://mymeditationproject.com
Hi Erin! I think it’s definitely tough to find that balance. Part of it is just knowing that if you put in the work and keep going, the numbers will come eventually. Sorry to not be more helpful, I think it’s something that always nags in the back of your head a bit!
I’ve found it the same, it’s pretty simple setting up your blog it’s just the continuous development of it that’s the hard work! Great post, as always :)
Yep, so true! xo
Thanks for sharing. I’m looking to start my own blog mainly for the creative outlet and in the process to help others.
That’s awesome, Tara!
So happy I came across your blog today :) I just started my blog a couple weeks ago and am still learning. I liked your suggestion of not worrying about a niche at the beginning, I think that’s honestly kept me from even blogging at all since I haven’t exactly known what I want my niche to be :P
I’m in the same boat as you :D gonna check out your blog :3
Nice to know I’m not alone haha! I will check yours out as well <3
Yay! So happy to help, Julia!
Just found your blog from get up and do something facebook page. recently started blogging so far i got no traffic haha still very confused about the whole concept of it expected it to be way easier :3 grats on getting this far I hope I will improve and eventually start gettin some traffic as well :D
Aw thanks, dear! If I could give you any piece of advice for getting traffic, I’d say share your blog posts on Pinterest!
cheers Il give it a try :D
Great advise, thank you! It certainly can be soul crushing looking at low viewer activity – but I realise I have much more to do on my blog!
The one I use currently is blogger blogspot through Google.
Helpful blog post though thank you ?
Hey Catherine, you are an inspiration I really love how when I read this post I feel like I’m gave permission to organically figure out what my blog will be about as I just love to write. Could you give a little information about how you set up the back end of your website as all info out there is focused solely on self hosted, domains design, seo ect… but things like privicy policy and terms and conditions are a must as well as a list of things I’m still not aware of. Any info would be much appreciated. And thank you for the effort of your site, it shows how many people telling the same story but some just say it better.
I absolutely love your webpage and your blog.
I am a Coach but I have now decided to start blogging and I love it.
Thank you for your advice!
Thank you so much, Veronica! :D
Enjoyed reading this. Spot on. I too don’t have a niche yet but it’s much joy writing what you want. Besides people love to read lots of different things. I found your blog on “lifegoalsmag” and it was a top recommendation there for training your life about habits and goals.
So glad you enjoyed this, Ebei!
I really liked this article it was very interesting and inspiring to me. I think I’d like to start a blog. I love sharing information about life, food, desserts, my dogs and my life. I believe it will be fun!
Go for it, Janet! It’s fun to share what you love :)