How To Start A Blog In 2022: Launch Your Blog Fast (+ Expert Tips)

How To Start A Blog In 2022: Launch Your Blog Fast (+ Expert Tips)

How To Start A Profitable Blog

Want to learn how to start a blog?

Maybe you’ve seen those people who make a living blogging about their passion and want to join their ranks. Or maybe you just love the idea of being able to share your thoughts with people from around the globe.

Regardless – starting a WordPress blog is a great idea!

In this post, I’ll walk you through the entire process of starting a blog – step by step. Complete with screenshots and technical steps so you can follow a long, no matter what your experience level.

So, if you’re ready to learn how to start a blog – let’s get started!

4 common questions about how to start a blog

As you prepare to embark on the process of building a WordPress blog, you probably have a few questions bouncing around your head.

Don’t worry – that’s pretty normal!

In fact, there are some common questions that almost every beginning blogger asks, which is why I’m going to give you the answers upfront so that you know exactly what to expect from this process!

How long does it take to start a blog?

While it’s hard to put a timeframe on the creative process of choosing a blog topic, once you know what you want to write about, you can knock out the technical process of starting a blog in just 20-30 minutes. It really is easier than you might think!

Is it expensive to start a blog?

Nope! While the method that I recommend isn’t 100% free, you can start a blog for ~$80 for the entire first year, which comes out to under $7 per month.

Can’t I just use one of those free platforms to start a blog?

Free platforms are ok for hobby blogs. But the truth is you have little to no control with free platforms, and if they were to shut down, you’d lose your blog. The method I’m about to show you gives you the most control, protects your content and is ideal if you ever want to earn money from your blog.

Do I need to be one of those tech geniuses from TV to start a blog?

Nope! As long as you feel comfortable using a computer and browsing the Internet, you should have no trouble starting your own blog. No special knowledge needed.

Your 5-minute guide for how to start a blog today

You’re going to learn a lot more about all of these topics in this guide. But before I dig into the nitty-gritty details, I want to give you a bird’s eye view of the actual technical steps that you’ll need to take to launch a blog.

In addition to the creative aspect of choosing what to blog about, here are the steps you’ll need to take to get online in just about 20-30 minutes:

  • Register a domain name from Namecheap – This is your blog’s permanent address on the Internet.
  • Purchase website hosting from DreamHost – This is the engine that actually powers your blog.
  • Install WordPress – This is the best platform for creating a blog.
  • Set up your WordPress blog and start writing – This is the fun part!

I’m going to start at the beginning – choosing a blog topic. But if you’re already 100% sure what you want to write about, click here to jump straight to the technical part of how to start a blog.

Step 1: Choose a topic – is your WordPress blog for fun or money?

If you’re just planning to blog for fun, you don’t really need to read this section because choosing a topic is simple:

It’s whatever interests you!

But if you have monetary hopes for your blog, things can get a little more complicated.

See, sometimes what you like writing about the most isn’t necessarily something that’s going to make you money.

And because it’s hard to change your blog’s topic later on, if your end goal is monetization you need to put some effort into figuring out whether you have an audience and monetization options before you build your blog.

Try to answer these three questions:

1. Do I enjoy writing about this topic?

There’s just no way around this fact:

Building a blog takes time.

I don’t mean the technical part. That’s pretty easy.

But once you get your blog launched, building it into something that gets regular visitors is going to take some time.

For that reason, it’s important you pick a topic you can see yourself writing about over the long haul.

Sure – you might have a passing interest today. But are you going to still be happy writing posts on the topic two months from now even if your blog isn’t receiving thousands of visitors?

If you’re not passionate, it’s going to be an uphill battle trying to consistently publish new posts.

2. Are other people interested in this topic, too?

If you’ve found a topic that you know you’ll be passionate about for the foreseeable future, it’s on to the next question:

“Are other people as passionate about the topic as I am?”

This one is pretty simple.

If you want to be able to eventually build an audience, it helps if you already know people are interested in your topic.

Don’t worry – you don’t need to be able to read minds to do this.

There are actually some helpful free internet sleuthing tools that can help you figure out whether there’s an interested audience:

KWFinder – This free tool lets you input a “keyword” to see how popular it is. A keyword is essentially any phrase that people search for in Google. If lots of people are searching for the topic in Google, you can be pretty sure there’s a good-sized audience.

Try to think of the words that best describe your topic – then enter them in the box and click Find keywords.

You should see a bunch of results with a number that indicates how many people search for that term per month. Ideally, you’ll want to see numbers with thousands of monthly searches. For example, the topic of this post (a very popular topic) gets over 110,000 searches per month:

Your blog will probably cover multiple potential “keywords”, so it’s a good idea to repeat this process for different topics that your blog might cover.

And be sure to check out our in-depth guide to keyword research if you need more help.

Facebook Groups – Facebook provides a great way to gauge the interest in your chosen topic. Try to look for Facebook Groups that cover a similar topic and see how many active members they have.

If you find groups with thousands of members, that’s a good sign that your topic has an interested audience:

Google Trends – This tool is a bit simpler to use and lets you quickly see whether interest in your chosen topic is increasing or decreasing (increasing is better!).

3. Can I make money from this topic?

If you’re creative enough, it’s possible to make money from most topics. But some topics are definitely more suited to monetization than others.

This example is kind of commercial, but if you had a popular blog about strategies for using credit cards better, you can bet you’d have a boatload of credit card companies knocking on your door wanting to throw money at you.

If you are planning to make money from your blog, try to answer questions like:

  • Are there companies that would be interested in paying for exposure to my audience?
  • Do other blogs that cover this topic seem to be able to find monetization opportunities?
  • Could I create my own product down the line, like an eBook, that people might be interested in purchasing?

Need more help choosing a blog niche?

Choosing a blog niche can definitely be difficult, so if you want an even more in-depth look at how to choose a blog topic, check out this post:

  • How To Choose The Perfect Niche For Your Blog And Avoid Failure

Step 2: Pick a blogging platform – I recommend WordPress

If you want to start a blog, there’s only one blogging platform I recommend nowadays:

Self-hosted WordPress.

Not only does WordPress power this very blog you’re reading, but it also powers 33% of all the websites on the Internet. Yup! More than one-fourth of every single website that you use is powered by WordPress.

So whether you’ve heard of WordPress or not, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ve used a website powered by WordPress at some point in your life.

Why is WordPress the best platform to start a blog?

If you weren’t dazzled by WordPress’ impressive market share, here are some actual concrete reasons why WordPress is the best platform to start your blog:

  • It’s easy to use – WordPress is simple enough to use that even non-technical people can publish blog posts.
  • It has a huge community – WordPress is so popular that it’s easy to find help if you ever run into issues.
  • It’s easy to add functionality – Because of things called “themes” and “plugins”, it’s super easy to change how your blog looks and functions without needing any special technical knowledge (more on these later!)

You shouldn’t use WordPress.com, though

Here’s the confusing part about WordPress:

There are actually two different platforms named “WordPress”:

  • WordPress.org  This is what I recommend. It’s a non-profit, open-source piece of software that’s developed by a huge community. This is best if you want a self hosted WordPress blog.
  • WordPress.com – This is a for-profit service that’s built on the open-source WordPress.org software.

WordPress.com lets you create a basic blog for free. But:

  • You don’t have full control of your website, which means you never really 100% own your blog.
  • It’s difficult to customize your website because you can’t access WordPress plugins or themes unless you pay for an expensive business plan.
  • com puts some restrictions on how you can monetize your site.

Self hosted WordPress with WordPress.org, means you install the free WordPress software on your own web host, which means you’re 100% in control of your website. It’s a little more involved to get started with, but the payoff is definitely worth the extra effort.

In addition to owning everything, you can also make whatever tweaks you want and monetize it however you’d like.

Here’s the bottom line: If you’re serious about your blog, having a self-hosted WordPress blog is a better option than using WordPress.com, even with WordPress.com’s offer of a “free” (but limited) blog.

Step 3: Register a domain name

Now that we’ve covered how to choose a topic and blogging platform, it’s time to start digging into the technical details of how to create a blog, starting with:

Your domain name.

Your domain name serves two core purposes:

  • It’s your blog’s permanent address on the Internet. Once you get everything set up, anyone will be able to type your domain name into their browser’s address bar and access your site from anywhere in the world.
  • It’s your blog’s brand. Usually, your domain name will be the same as your blog’s name, so choosing a domain name is a pretty important branding decision.

What makes for a good domain name?

A lot of this is personal choice and branding. For example, two of the most popular websites, Google and Facebook, have pretty unique names that would be hard to generate from some “formula”.

As those examples suggest, you’ll find plenty of successful sites breaking these rules. But in general, these are some good guidelines:

  • Pick something that’s relevant – Choosing a name that has some tie to your topic helps people quickly understand what your website is about. For example, this blog is about blogging, hence – com
  • Make it brandable, too – You want something that’s easy to brand so people will be able to remember your blog.
  • Avoid hyphens and numbers – Avoid the desire to get creative with hyphens or numbers. It’s hard for people to remember!
  • Use a .com if possible – While other domain extensions are becoming more popular, it’s still best to choose a .com domain name if possible. If you find a great domain name using something else, it’s ok to ignore this one, though.

Need more help with choosing a domain name? Be sure to check out our guides on choosing a blog name and choosing a domain name.

How to find domain names that are available

Here’s the tricky part about domain names:

Every single domain name can only be owned by one person at a time.

Think about it – if anyone could go out and buy Facebook.com, the Internet would be total chaos, right?

So in order to purchase a domain name, you need to find one that’s “available.” That is, you need to find a domain name that no one else currently owns.

That can be a tall order, but there are plenty of tools to make the job easier.

First, to quickly check if a domain name is available, Instant Domain Search is about as easy as it gets. Just type in your desired domain name and the tool will tell you whether it’s available or not:

If you keep running into domain names that are no longer available, you can also turn to a blog name generator. A blog name generator basically spits back a list of relevant domain names that are guaranteed to be available. All you do is enter a word related to your topic and these tools will do the rest.

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