How To Start A Blog In 2024 [Step-By-Step]

Learn how to start a blog in 2024, step-by-step. I'll show you the same process that I've used to start many blogs of my own.

Have you ever wanted to build a blog but don’t know how to get it off the ground? Then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re like most potential bloggers, you’re probably overwhelmed with just how many factors go into launching one.

But let me tell you that it’s actually not as hard as you might think it is. With a little bit of patience and an open mind, you, too, can learn how to start a blog.

I’ve been starting blogs and authority websites for over a decade. I’m now sharing the exact process that I’ve personally used – time and time again – to do so.

How to Start a Blog in 8 Steps

When it comes down to it, starting a successful blog only involves eight simple steps:

  1. Get hosting: what keeps everything humming along.
  2. Install WordPress: where your content and site files live.
  3. Install a theme: what makes your blog look nice.
  4. Choose a niche: the focus of your blog.
  5. Create a name: your blog’s brand.
  6. Design your blog: how your blog looks.
  7. Create blog content: writing content that your audience loves to read.
  8. Publish your blog: going live to the world and promoting yourself.

This is the same exact method that I use on every authority site in my own portfolio. I have used it repeatedly to achieve results like this:

is blogging dead screenshot

As you can see, the process works—and it works well. And by the end of the guide, you’ll have a fully functioning blog that you can take to the next level.

Each step can be as simple or as difficult as you want it to be, as you’ll learn with time. My suggestion is to take it slow and enjoy the process.

So now let’s jump into what you came here for – how to start a blog.

Before You Begin

This page is a condensed version of the overall course. It will show you how to quickly start a blog, step-by-step.

For a MUCH more thorough breakdown of each step, check out the lessons in the full course content.

You don’t need to do anything to get access. Simply scroll down and read the guides just like you would read a normal blog post.


1. How to Build a Blog

The actual process of building a blog is not that hard to do. In fact, I’d argue that there’s no better time than now to build one because of just how easy it really is.

I’ve built a portfolio of websites from nothing to millions of unique users per month – with nothing but my own skill set, a handful of blogging platforms and tools, and occasional outsourcing to third-party contractors.

You, too, can start a blog with very little investment and achieve incredible results. But… the trick is to build on the right blogging platform, backed by the right tools – from day one.

Step 1
Build Your Blog
Build Your Blog
Step 2
Name Your Blog
Name Your Blog
Step 3
Finish Your Blog
Finish Your Blog

What You’ll Need to Build a Blog

There are many different blogging platforms to choose from, both free and paid. Depending on whether you choose a free or paid option depends on what you’ll need to set it up.

Typically, if you’re using a free blogging platform like LinkedIn or Medium, all you have to do is sign up and start creating right away.

The ease of use sounds good, but I HIGHLY suggest avoiding the free options, as they have more downsides than upsides.

For example, you don’t own the platform, you can’t customize the design of your blog, and you usually can’t monetize your writing once you write it.

I suggest disregarding all the blogging platforms you see and jumping straight to WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system (CMS).

Over 40% of the world’s websites are built using WordPress. As a result, there are many tools, resources, and developers that make building a blog incredibly simple.

a vector graphic showing an illustration of the wordpress.org dashboard screen

When building on WordPress, you need just four things to start your blog:

  • Domain: The unique web address (URL) where visitors can access your blog on the internet.
  • Blogging platform: WordPress, the content management system where you create, manage, and publish your blog posts.
  • Hosting: The service that stores your blog’s files and makes your site accessible on the internet.
  • Theme: A pre-designed template that determines the visual layout and style of your WordPress blog.

Don’t worry, I’ll show you which tools to select and how to set them up, every step of the way.

Tip: We’ve built a free course on how to use WordPress, step-by-step. If you get stuck along the way, check that out to clear up the confusion.

The Tech Stack That I Personally Use

I’ve spent the past ten years building blogs and websites full-time.

During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to try almost every popular content management system, host, theme, plugin, and digital marketing tool on the market.

Through a TON of trial and error, I’ve assembled a list of items to power my blog that has proven to be reliable, secure, and scalable, yet still easy to use.

Core Setup: What Powers the Blog

Additional Functionality & Features

This is the same list of items that I use on almost every website I run, including bloggingtips.com. I trust them with my sites and use them every day.

Unlike the large majority of other people who sell blogging-related courses online, I am not just promoting the tools that give me the highest commissions.

I’m also not showing you the cheapest way to build a blog, either (though I do promise that it will still be affordable – with budget options for each recommendation I provide).

However…

I am showing you the easiest, quickest, and most scalable way to build a blog quickly and efficiently.

It’s important to remember that we’re building a blog the right way from day one. This will save you a lot of wasted time and headaches in the future, including those I’ve personally experienced.

Step One: Get Hosting

vector graphic showing an illustration of how to choose a hosting provider

If you’re looking for the easiest way to start a blog, sign up for WP Engine hosting.

WP Engine is a type of host known as a “managed host”, a type of hosting that is specifically optimized for WordPress sites to make them very fast and secure.

These hosting plans come standard with features like daily backups, free SSL certificates, threat detection, and staging/development/production environments.

WP Engine is a little bit more expensive than shared hosts like Bluehost (my budget pick below), but offers a FAR superior experience.

In fact, it is is so simple to use that you really don’t even need to know much about technology to use it. I’ve written about this in detail in my WP Engine review.

You simply click a couple of buttons and WordPress goes live. From there, WP Engine handles the complicated tech stuff like performance, security, and keeping your site live.

The best part about paying a little extra for hosting is that when you do need help, they have a great support team to help you out. They’ll literally help you fix your site if you break it.

I suggest selecting the “Essential” plan. It comes with everything you’ll need. You can always upgrade later if necessary.

a screenshot showing how to sign up for wp engine hosting

For those looking for the cheapest way to start a blog, sign up for Bluehost.

Bluehost is what is known as a “shared host” which means that your blog will share resources with a bunch of other websites, making it very cheap to get.

For example, you can sign up for a shared hosting plan for $2.95/mo. For slightly more, you can upgrade your resources to allow for more websites and additional storage:

screenshot showing a sign up for bluehost hosting page

If you’re on a budget, you can get a blog off the ground with Bluehost. However, I encourage you to think twice before you do.

Many bloggers build on Bluehost’s shared hosting because it is super cheap, but they don’t realize that this actually comes at the cost of performance, reliability, and ease of use.

I made this mistake when I first started blogging. I signed up for the cheapest options possible, and ended up spending a lot longer trying to figure out how it all worked.

I then spent even longer trying to fix things when they went wrong (which happens a lot while blogging).

A few key differences to think about:

  • WP Engine is as simple as pressing a few buttons to install WordPress or roll back a website backup. Bluehost makes these tasks far more complicated.
  • WP Engine offers staging and development environments, Bluehost does not.
  • WP Engine excels in handling high volumes of traffic, Bluehost’s shared hosting will slow down when this happens.
  • WP Engine handles technical maintenance, security, updates, and optimizations. You will have to learn to do all these things if you choose Bluehost.

In short, Bluehost’s shared hosting is much more difficult and complicated to use than a managed host like WP Engine.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with choosing a Bluehost shared hosting plan, but I would highly recommend trying to find room in your budget and allocate a little more for higher-quality hosting from the start.

If you choose Bluehost and want to migrate to WP Engine later, that’s super simply to do with their free website migration tool and service.

Regardless of which host you choose, the goal is to simply choose one and keep making progress.

Step Two: Install WordPress

image showing an illustration of wordpress security elements

Once you sign up for a hosting account, you’ll need to install WordPress on the account in order to make our blog actually function.

Remember, WordPress is the content management system that allows us to manage our content, site design, and files. Once installed, we will be able to design our blog and start creating content.

Both hosting services make this process very simple, but actually doing so is a slightly different process depending on which host you choose.

First, click the “Add site” button within your customer dashboard.

image showing how to install wordpress on wp engine
Image credit: WP Engine

Decide who will own the site. Unless you’re building a site for somebody else that you plan to transfer to them later, select the “This site is mine” option.

image showing how to install wordpress on wp engine
Image credit: WP Engine

From there, start with a blank site. This will install WordPress on a blank site that you can build your blog on.

image showing how to install wordpress on wp engine

The process will take roughly 5-10 minutes to complete. Once the site is built, you’ll receive a notification via email that the site is ready.

The email will include the site URL, the login details, and a link that allows you to set a fresh password for the site.

image showing how to install WordPress on WP Engine

That is literally all that you have to do to launch WordPress on WP Engine.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to log into your Bluehost account and click the “Hosting” tab.

image showing a screenshot of how to install WordPress on Bluehost
Image credit: Bluehost

From there, select the “Add Site” button. This will allow you to initiate a WordPress addition to the account.

image showing a screenshot of how to install WordPress on Bluehost
Image credit: Bluehost

Select “Install WordPress” and then hit the “Continue” button.

image showing a screenshot of how to install WordPress on Bluehost
Image credit: Bluehost

Choose the site title.

This can be anything, but I prefer to have the title be descriptive so that I know exactly which site is which within my account.

Once named, select the “Continue” button.

image showing a screenshot of how to install WordPress on Bluehost
Image credit: Bluehost

From there, you will need to connect a domain. We haven’t named our blog yet, so I suggest using a temporary domain.

Once we go through the process of naming the blog in the next step, we’ll add that later. Right now, however, a temporary domain that we can build on will allow us to get the blog live.

image showing a screenshot of how to install WordPress on Bluehost
Image credit: Bluehost

The system will take a few minutes to install WordPress. Give it 5-10 minutes for it to finish the process.

image showing a screenshot of how to install WordPress on Bluehost
Image credit: Bluehost

Once installed, you will see an intermodal box pop up that gives a link to the site.

image showing a screenshot of how to install WordPress on Bluehost
Image credit: Bluehost

That’s it. You’ve successfully installed WordPress and you’re ready to move onto the next step – selecting a niche and naming the blog.

Once you install WordPress on your host, there is nothing left to do at this point.

While I do suggest familiarizing yourself with your host’s dashboard and the features it offers, at this point, we won’t need to do anything with the host until later when we register a domain.

Step Three: Install GeneratePress

Now that we’ve installed WordPress, we just need to install a theme – the part of the blog that makes things look nice.

There are tons of different WordPress themes that you can use. If you start looking around, you’ll notice that there is a WordPress theme for pretty much every use case in existence.

Do not be fooled. Some themes are far better than others.

That’s why I highly recommend GeneratePress Premium, the same theme and framework that nearly every site I own is built on.

First, GeneratePress Premium offers an extensive site library of premade themes. There’s a very wide variety of themes available. If you have a design in mind, they probably have it.

a screenshot of the GeneratePress site library

But these themes not only look great. They’re also very easy to modify and customize as well.

The block-themed design means that you can simply click on most elements and modify them individually without breaking things.

But the design doesn’t come at the cost of performance. GeneratePress is designed for speed and efficiency, improving both user experience and SEO with high PageSpeed scores.

In fact, this is one of the only themes I’ve ever used that has allowed me to get nearly perfect Pagespeed Insights scores.

When stacked with WP Engine hosting, WP Rocket for performance, and Imagify for image compress, I am able to get nearly perfect scores across every one of the websites in my portfolio.

a screenshot of a nearly perfect pagespeed insights report from myjobsearch.com

GenatePress is also compatible with most of the popular plugins and integrations that you’ll find online. I have almost never run into compatibility issues while using the theme.

Lastly, the company offers incredibly fast and responsive support if there is an issue. The team provides quick solutions, backed by detailed documentation.

I subscribe to the Premium service, so I almost always receive replies from support within the same day.

It’s not uncommon for me to submit a support ticket, and then have my issue resolved less than 30 minutes later.

In short, you can build on whatever theme you want. But if you want more scalability and fewer headaches, skip the other themes and choose GeneratePress.

Installing GeneratePress is simple and takes no more than a few steps to complete.

First, subscribe to GeneratePress Premium and unlock the advanced features that make building a blog easy – like the theme builder, Site Library, additional styling controls, and more.

Once subscribed, log into your account and navigate to the “Downloads” section.

A screenshot of the GeneratePress Premium site download page

You should see two downloads—the GeneratePress theme and the GP Premium plugin. You’ll need them both, as the two work together.

The theme is the framework that makes everything work as it should, and the plugin unlocks the extra Premium features that will make our job easier.

Keep this tab open, because we’ll need to first install the free GeneratePress theme before we can move on.

Now, head back to your WordPress install and log into the Dashboard.

First, install and activate the GeneratePress theme.

You can do this by navigating to “Appearance > Themes” in the left hand menu. Then in the “Search Themes” box, type “generatepress”.

a screenshot of the GeneratePress theme

Install the theme and activate it. You will have the base theme on the site.

Next, we need to head back to the GeneratePress account tab that we kept open. Download the Premium plugin and copy the license key.

a screenshot of the GeneratePress Premium license key and download

Now, head back to your WordPress dashboard and select “Plugins > Add New Plugin” from the lefthand menu.

Upload and activate the GP Premium plugin.

A screenshot of the GeneratePress Premium activation

Once that is activated, paste your license key into the plugin settings in WordPress at “Appearance > GeneratePress > License Key”.

Once complete, you should see a green notification that indicates “Receiving premium updates”. Once you see that, you’re good to go and you can start building your blog.

Step Four: Configure GeneratePress Premium Features

Once WordPress and GeneratePress are installed on your host, we’ll need to activate the features that come with Premium, which are referred to as “Modules”.

To do so, simply navigate to “Appearance > GeneratePress” within the WordPress Dashboard – the same place where you entered your license key above.

a screenshot showing me activating GeneratePress Premium modules

Activate the “Copyright,” “Disable Elements,” “Elements,” “Site Library,” and “Spacing” Modules.

You don’t need to worry about what these do at this point, but you will need them later once you actually install a theme and start configuring it.

Once that is done, you can proceed to the second most important step in starting a blog: selecting a niche and a name.

How to Build a Blog

Homework: What to Do at This Point

Our goal right now is to simply get a basic blog off the ground.

We'll gain forward momentum by installing WordPress on our host, and then adding a theme and core plugins.

WP Engine offers staging sites by default, so we can launch a blog without needing to have a domain name.

We’ll eventually name our blog and register a domain, but not until the next step once we’ve decided on a niche and audience to focus on.


2. How to Select a Blog Niche

Once your blog is live, you should select a niche and a blog name.

The niche will guide the direction of your blog, and the name will guide the brand. Both elements will work together to bring your authority site to life.

What is a Blog Niche?

A blog niche is the central theme and main focus on a blog. This theme guides the overall direction of the blog and aligns with what type of content that you write about and cover.

Typically, blogs have very engaged and specific audiences in which readers are very passionate about the niche.

For example, a niche website that writes about electric vehicles will have a large audience of people who either own, or are just interested in, electric vehicles.

Or, in the case of BloggingTips, blogging. When you come to the website’s homepage, it is immediately clear which niche we’ve chosen to focus on:

a screenshot of the bloggingtips.com homepage - used as an example for how to start a blog name and niche

We take that one step further and incorporate that theme directly into our name, providing very little confusion about what we offer readers (more about that in a bit).

Additional Examples of Blog Niches

  • TechCrunch: Focuses on technology and startups, providing news, trend analysis, and company profiles. It targets technology enthusiasts, investors, and industry professionals.
  • Nomadic Matt: Targets budget travelers with guides, tips, and stories for affordable world travel, appealing to backpackers and cost-conscious tourists.
  • Gizmodo: Covers consumer electronics and gadgets with reviews and tech news, catering to gadget lovers and tech enthusiasts.
  • Serious Eats: Offers tested recipes, cooking techniques, and food science, appealing to home cooks interested in the science behind cooking and new culinary ideas.
  • Ridester: Provides information for rideshare and delivery drivers, educating them on how to sign up for and succeed with gig-related roles.

As you can see, each blog has a very specific focus, and it’s not hard to imagine why people might choose to follow the expert advice from these blogs.

The Importance of Choosing a Blog Niche

Let me first start by saying that choosing a blog niche is not something that you should rush through. Taking time to think through your niche initially will save you headaches in the future.

First, without a clear niche, content can become disjointed and unfocused, confusing readers and making it hard to build a loyal audience.

Next, without a niche, it’s harder to rank in search engines, as your blog lacks topical authority and clear keywords to target.

It is also hard to demonstrate E-E-A-T, a huge factor in ranking content on Google (and growing more important every day).

Lastly, monetizing a blog is more challenging when the audience is not well-defined. Advertisers and affiliates prefer to invest in blogs with a targeted, engaged audience.

I’ve made this mistake far too many times in the past and have spread myself too thin in the process.

It’s MUCH easier to define the niche and direction from the start than it is to try to focus the blog, delete unrelated content, and do the extra work later.

Selecting a blog niche may seem overwhelming, but it really just comes down to a handful of steps:

  1. Determining what you’re interested in and passionate about.
  2. Researching to gauge if there is an interest or market opportunity for that niche.
  3. Researching the industry, competition, and potential opportunities.
  4. Determining how you’ll grow the blog and make money in the niche.

Again, take your time and don’t rush the process. Take your time with each step and really think through each one as you go.

vector graphic showing an illustration of the best niches for youtubers

1. Assess Your Interests and Expertise

Choose a niche that aligns with your passions or professional skills. This makes it easier to sustain your interest over time and provide valuable insights to your readers.

Your expertise and passion for a niche will show in your writing. If you don’t really understand a niche, you probably shouldn’t be trying to create a blog in that niche.

Trust me, I’ve made this mistake before. I once owned a website in the beauty niche – one that I know absolutely nothing about.

That website fell flat on its face because I had no idea what I was talking about and no idea how to engage with the audience.

I am know a lot about digital marketing and I’m also passionate about helping others start an online business, you can probably tell in my writing that I know what I’m doing.

Despite what other “experts” will tell you, there’s no such thing as quick money online. You’ll have to prove yourself as an expert, put in the work, and the rewards will come with time.

2. Research Market Demand

Next, it is important to select an evergreen niche that will be around in the future.

Explore if there is a readership for your chosen topic. Use tools like Google Trends or social media platforms to gauge interest levels and see what related topics people are discussing.

3. Consider the Competition

Look at other blogs in your potential niche. Identify what they do well and where there might be gaps you can fill. This can also help you find a unique angle for your blog.

4. Think Long-Term

Select a niche that you can see yourself writing about for years to come and that has the potential for ongoing relevance. Avoid overly trendy topics that might not have staying power.

5. Match It to Your Goals

Align your niche with the objectives you have for your blog. If it’s a business blog, your niche should be closely related to your products or services to attract the right audience.

How to Brainstorm Ideas & Choose a Blog Name

Once you have a niche, you’ll then need a name. I suggest not rushing this part of the process either.

1. Align With Your Niche, & Message, & Audience

Select a name that matches the aesthetic of your blog and sets the desired mood for readers, ensuring it reflects the type of content you plan to publish.

Consider who your readers are and how they might change over time. Choose a name that will continue to appeal to your audience as it evolves.

Think about what you want to communicate through your blog both now and in the future. Ensure the name remains relevant as your content and brand evolve.

Choose a name that is flexible enough to accommodate potential future expansion of your blog’s topics without becoming restrictive or misleading.

2. Research Research Research

List relevant keywords that capture the essence of your niche. Consider your blog’s main topics, your target audience, and the unique angle you offer. Words that evoke emotions or vivid images can be particularly powerful.

Analyze prominent blogs in your industry to understand branding strategies and audience preferences. Ensure your chosen name isn’t already in use, and check domain availability.

Utilize blog name generators with your keywords to spark ideas and help in brainstorming potential names.

3. Make it Creative, Yet Simple

Opt for a name that is easy to remember, pronounce, and spell. This increases the likelihood that readers will recall your blog and return to it. Avoid using jargon unless it’s common within your target audience.

Play with word combinations, use puns, alliterations, or metaphors to come up with something unique and catchy. This can set you apart from competitors and make your blog name stick in readers’ minds.

4. Check Availability

Once you have a few potential names, check if the corresponding domain names are available. Also, look up the availability of these names on social media platforms. This consistency across platforms helps in building a strong, recognizable brand.

Make sure your chosen blog name isn’t trademarked or in use by another business in your sector. This can prevent legal issues down the road.

5. Consider Your Brand

Link the blog name to your overall brand, using similar fonts, colors, and styles to maintain brand identity across all platforms.

Opt for a name that is easy to say, spell, and remember to prevent confusion and enhance recall among readers.

These steps aim to ensure that the blog name not only reflects the blog’s purpose and niche but also has the flexibility to grow with the brand and remain appealing and relevant to the audience over time.

5. Get Feedback

Share your top choices with friends, family, or potential readers. Getting external feedback can help you understand how your blog name might be perceived and which options have the most appeal.

How to Register a Domain Name

Once you have a niche and a blog name, the next step is to register a domain.

By this point, you should have done all the research you need, so this should be as simple as visiting Namecheap and registering a domain.

This is a simple process. You simply need to type your desired domain into the search box and you’ll see whether or not the domain is taken.

screenshot showing a step of how to register a domain on namecheap

If it is, keep searching until you find one that you like and that is not taken.

Like I’ve mentioned so many times above, don’t rush the process. You can always change the domain in the future, but it’s a lot easier to find one you love at this point than to change it later.

Niche and Name

Homework: What to Do at This Point

Our goal at this point in the process is to choose a niche and a blog name.

The focus of our blog is the "North Star" of our entire blogging efforts, our guiding light that now directs our strategy and actions.

Once again, take your time during this process. It's important to get it right now than to deal with avoidable problems later.

3. How to Design a Blog

Next up comes the design of the blog. We’ll make this quick and efficient by installing one of the pre-made themes from the GeneratePress Premium site library.

To install a theme, head to “Appearance > GeneratePress” in the WordPress dashboard. Then scroll down to “Modules”.

Within the “Site Library” module, you’ll see an option to open the site library. Select this.

screenshot showing how to install a generatepress theme

An index of the site library will pop up. This should be nearly identical to the site library on the GeneratePress website.

Tip: If you don’t know which option you’d like to install yet, I suggest heading back to the Site Library on the company’s website to preview the different options.

It is a lot easier to preview them there than it is within the installer.

screenshot showing how to install a generatepress theme

Select the option that you’d like to install and it should open in a new window, with an option to install it.

Select the “Get Started” button, which will then prompt you for what you want to import:

screenshot showing how to install a generatepress theme

I usually import both the theme options and the demo content. This sets up the entire site that you can later modify. I’d rather delete the extra content that I don’t need than have to add it in later.

Start the import. This should take around 3-5 minutes to complete. Once it does, simply select the “Visit Site” button and you’ll see your live site.

screenshot showing how to install a generatepress theme

Now that your site is imported, you can modify it however you want.

I have a few additional steps that I’ll link to in the homework below, but by all rights, congratulations, you now have a fully functioning WordPress blog that you’re free to build on.

How to Build a Blog

Homework: What to Do at This Point

The goal now is to install a theme to make our blog look nice.

TEXT


Pro Tip: Disregard the “Experts” and Take Your Time

There are countless experts out there claiming that making money through your blog is easy, but let me be clear: it IS doable, but it’s not as easy as some might make it sound.

We’re bombarded by blogs, links and newsletters stating how this person ‘made a six-figure income’ or how that person ‘lives from the income their blog generates’.

What you don’t see is the tireless hustle in building the blog. The grit to stay the course when things get tough. Or the countless nights spent building away without any type of recognition as a result.

Ultimately, however, you need to remember that making money with your blog takes hard work, dedication, and patience.

It won’t happen overnight. You need to lay the foundation now to reap the rewards that blogs can offer later.

But don’t worry. I’ll be with you every step of the way showing you how. I’ll offer my thoughts, insights, and guidance.

By learning the proper way to build a blog from the start, you’ll save yourself a huge amount of time and avoid plenty of headaches in the future.

course content [page jump]

Related Courses

In addition to starting a blog, I also suggest:

Course Content

Expand All

Building A Blog

Planning & Strategy
Design & User Experience
Creating Content
Launch & Promotion

About Instructor

Brett

Brett Helling is the owner of Bloggingtips.com – one of multiple digital assets in his portfolio. He has been starting, growing, and monetizing websites since 2014. While in college, he began to learn about digital marketing. After graduating, he continued to build a diverse portfolio of websites while working a full time job. After years of building the portfolio on the side, he made the jump to run his websites full time.

29 Courses

Open Registration

Course Includes

  • 10 Lessons
  • 49 Topics