So you want to start a blog. Congrats! Blogging is awesome. It has so much creative potential and is the perfect way to communicate your unique message. You have something inspiring and awesome to share and you deserve a platform that is as cool as your ideas.
I will be the first to admit that while fun, blogging can also be stressful starting out. As a beginner, you might feel like there are SO MANY posts and articles with steps on how to start a blog- but which one do you follow? How do you know which will give you the best information to set you up for success in the long term? How much money will you need to spend? How time consuming will it be?
I have felt all these things and more. I am completely self-taught when it comes to blogging, and everything I have learned up until this point has come from me pouring over endless resources trying to find ones that are actually helpful. Today, I thought I would share which resources I think are the best and which ones I used. Also, I will cover the steps I took to create my website from start to finish. Keep in mind, this is a super non-technical explanation. I am literally sitting at my desk explaining in plain words how I started my blog. So take it as you will.
Note: I used Squarespace for over a year when I first started and I am SO happy I did. Squarespace helps you build super beautiful websites without having to know anything about hosting, domains or coding. However, as my site grew and my needs changed, I decided I wanted a bit more control in building and running my site. For that reason, I switched over to WordPress. And let me tell you- I never had so much fun building a site as I did when I decided to use WordPress.
First things first.
Please keep in mind that I am talking about wordpress.org not wordpress.com. Read this article to find out why I use wordpress.org instead.
Step 1: your website needs a place to live on the internet. You need a platform to host your website, cleverly called a hosting platform. There are a few different hosting platforms to choose from. Through my own research I decided to use Siteground to host my website. Siteground, like all comparable hosting platforms, has a low monthly fee. This covers the cost of them letting your website live on their internet space. Siteground is a very highly rated platform with amazing customer service. I go on their online chat to ask questions and get help about 3 times a week and they are so friendly and nice. I recommend using their “wordpress” package (you’ll see that option when you go to sign up) which basically means they download and install WordPress for you so you don’t have to. This will save you some time and it’s the same price as the regular package so why wouldn’t you choose the easy way right?!
Here’s what it looks like on the Siteground homepage. Go to WordPress Services.
Then just click WordPress Hosting and choose your monthly rate from there. I would suggest going with the cheapest one for now, as you probably will not have super high traffic from the get-go and you can always easily upgrade plans at any time in the future.
Step 2: your website needs a URL- which is called a domain name. It is what people type in to get to your website. For example, the domain of my website is: itslivb.com. So choose the name that fits your site best! Siteground will guide you through the domain choosing process when you sign up with them. Also, be prepared to have your dreams crushed, as many URLs you come up with will be taken. (Livb.com was taken, but for up for sale for $42,000! A bargain! LOL!)
Step 3: Siteground will guide you through the set up process, but essentially from here you just log in to Siteground. Then click My Accounts.
Then click Go to Admin Panel to get to WordPress and access your website!
Ok, time to get to the fun stuff!
Step 4: Themes! Your website theme is basically the template of what your site will look like. The reason my site looks the way it does is because I chose a specific theme that gave me the look I was after- clean, minimalist, pretty.
WordPress offers a ton of free themes. This may sound great, but remember, you get what you pay for. These themes (in my opinion) are really lacking compared to ones that you can buy. There are so many AMAZING themes out there, designed by people who know what consistutes a beautiful website. I will list some of my favourite places to buy themes here.
Station Seven: a small but awesome duo that creates beautiful themes for WordPress. They are extremely #aestheticgoals.
Creative Marketplace: this is an online marketplace that has amazing themes from thousands of creators. Just make sure you are searching for WordPress themes. Most are clearly labelled but always read the description.
Bluchic: they offer beautiful, feminine themes- many of which are used by super well-known bloggers like The Skinny Confidential.
When you buy a theme from these places it will come with tutorials explaining how to install it. From here on out, you don’t really need me! You can find a tutorial for ANYTHING on the internet, so whatever questions to have, do a quick search and I am sure you’ll find it. Happy blogging!
Some of these links are affiliate but I only promote what I personally use and pay for myself. This is how I built my site from scratch. I am pretty obsessed with my website so I hope this guide helps you build a site you love too.