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How to Start a Blog: A Beginner’s Guide

Learn how to start a blog in 12 easy steps and harness the power of blog content for free.

In the modern world, having an online presence is essential for just about everybody. Whether you’re a small business owner or you just have a hobby you’d love to turn into a passion, starting a blog can be a good way to find an audience who’s interested in what you do. You can start a blog to share some of your favorite recipes or show off your crochet work, or you can use your blog as a way to educate potential customers about your products or services to drive sales.

By blogging for local search results and marketing your blog through social media, you can continue to expand your following as your blog grows. You can even use analytics and keyword research to figure out what kinds of questions people have about the topic you’re blogging about and to measure the impact of certain keywords. These capabilities make blogging a particularly powerful marketing tool for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

While blogging can be a great way to give your business a boost, you can’t expect to create a blog and build a following overnight unless you’re a well-established brand. For most businesses, learning how to start a blog is a long process that involves a lot of decision-making, a bit of financial investment, and tons of effort. If you want to set your blog up right, you need to take the time to choose the best blog name and domain name, register with the right blog hosting platform, and install the right plugins. For some people, this process is enough to forego blogging altogether.

The good news is that creating a blog isn’t as tough as it sounds as long as you know how the process works. In this guide, we’ll talk about how you can start your first blog, from the first time you write a blog post to the continued work you need to do to grow your blog. Keep reading for a step-by-step breakdown of the whole process.

What is a blog?

A blog is a type of website that’s centered around “posts,” which are individual entries that may include text, images, and videos. Each blog post has its own title and exists as its own piece of media, though bloggers will sometimes write a series of blog posts where each post is a continuation of the last. When a blog post is published on a website, readers from all over the world can check out the blog post and leave a comment.

You might be wondering why somebody would want to share information about their lives, their hobbies, or their business with strangers on the internet. The truth is that people love to read blogs, and the massive popularity of blogs has made them one of the very best marketing tools.

It’s common for companies to create customized blogs on their own websites now, but blogging became popular through free blogging platforms such as Xanga, LiveJournal, and Blogger. These types of blogging platforms allow you to create a blog without buying a domain or web hosting, but that comes at a cost. With the resources that are available on the internet today, you can learn how to create a blog with your own domain name and web hosting.

What is in a blog?

While every blog is a little different in terms of themes and layouts, there are a handful of common elements that every blog shares. Here are the parts you’ll find in every blog post:

  • A title: The title of a blog post is where bloggers can grab readers’ attention and get them wanting to read more. Blog post titles should be somewhat short and catchy, but it’s also important that your title reflects the actual content of the post. Ideally, your blog post title should be about 60 characters in length.
  • Body content: Once you’ve hooked readers with a good title, it’s time to reel them in with the actual body content of your post. This is where you go in-depth about the subject you’re talking about, and you can do it with text, photos, videos, charts, and other media. The body content is the most important part of a blog post. This is also where you should include keywords.
  • A comments section: This is where people can leave a comment about your blog post after reading it. As the blog author, you can respond to each of these comments individually after you’ve posted your blog. You don’t have to have a comments section, but comments are a good way to engage with your audience.

As far as the blog itself goes, most blogs feature a list or a grid layout of articles with thumbnail images. Depending on your blog design, you may also have a calendar on the side of the page that allows readers to discover old blogs by the date on which they were posted.

12 Steps a beginner can take to start a blog

If you’re interested in starting a blog, there’s a process you need to follow if you want to do it right. Learning how to start a blog means following a few basic steps, which we’ll outline in the next section.

1. Choose a subject

The first thing you need to do to start a blog is choose a subject. Your blog can cover a general topic that includes a lot of specific subtopics, but you want to make sure you’re writing blogs about a topic people are interested in. You can do a little research to see what kinds of blogs people are reading the most, which can help give you an idea of what to write about. You might find that it’s easier to gain a following by covering a somewhat niche topic, so take some time to consider your options and find a topic that works.

2. Choose a name

After you figure out what you want to blog about, you need to choose a name for your blog. Your blog name might not seem like a big deal, but your blog name is kind of like your blog post titles. Some people are going to decide if they want to check your blog out based on the name alone. Even if that’s not the case, people still gravitate toward blogs with short, catchy, unique names. That being said, you should also make sure your blog name is relevant to your business or the subject of the blog in some way.

If you’re having trouble choosing a good name for your blog, you can try a blog name generator. These name generators allow you to input a few keywords, then they give you potential blog names that you can choose from.

3. Register your domain name

Registering your domain name is one of the most important steps of how to start a blog. Your domain name is the URL people type into the address bar to get to your website, usually ending in “.com”. Ideally, you want a URL that’s short and to the point, that way it’s easy for people to type. Your URL should also be easy to spell and pronounce, so people can tell their friends to visit your blog and there’s no confusion.

You can use Mailchimp to check domain availability and register your domain name. One thing to keep in mind with domain names is that registering a good domain name can be highly competitive. Unless your blog has a very unique name, there’s a good chance you’ll have to make some compromises when it comes to your domain name.

4. Find a web host

Just because you have a domain name doesn’t mean you have a website—you also need a web host. When it comes to blogs, most people choose WordPress. The thing is, WordPress isn’t actually a web hosting provider but a blog platform. The good news is, there are a lot of web hosting options that offer WordPress web hosting.

If you want to host your website with WordPress, you can navigate to the “Hosting” page on WordPress to check out the recommended WordPress web hosting options. Currently, WordPress has listed Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround as web hosting services that support WordPress hosting.

Look for a web host that makes WordPress integration easy with simple installation and robust support. The options recommended by WordPress are generally a safe bet. If you’re interested in how to start a free blog, you can check out free web hosting providers.

5. Set up your blog

Now that you have a domain name and web hosting, it’s time to start setting up your blog. The process of adding a blog to your website varies depending on your web hosting provider and whether you’re using the tools they offer or hiring a web developer. Most WordPress hosting options have features that make it easy to set up a blog, including things like drag-and-drop and one-click install. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to set your blog up, look for tutorials or YouTube videos provided by the web hosting company you’re using.

When you set your blog up, you’ll also need to choose a theme, decide what sort of font you want to use, and iron out all the other small details.

6. Create a custom blog email address

Keeping up with your blog is important, but you might not want your personal email inbox getting spammed with notifications and updates about your blog. Now that you have your own domain name and web hosting, you don’t have to worry about that. You can create a custom blog email address that you can use to see notifications about blog posts, and you can use that email to answer readers’ questions and communicate with your audience on a more personal level. Your email address will end in “”, but you can still link it with any popular email service to read your emails.

If you’re not the only person working on your blog, you can create several custom blog email addresses. Creating these email addresses is quick and easy, and it’s a great way to chat with readers.

7. Create your social media accounts

Social media is a great way to promote your blog and give it a broader online presence. Some of the most popular social media today include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. If your blog post is centered around a professional or educational topic, LinkedIn can also be a good place to share your articles.

You can use your social media accounts to promote your small business blog posts. When you make a new post on your blog, simply copy the link for that blog post and share it with a quick blurb. You can easily share links to your blog posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. On Instagram, you’ll need to direct users to click the link in your bio and include a link to your blog there.

8. Install blog plugins

Plugins help give you more control over the look, feel, and function of your blog. You’re not going to take advantage of all the available plugins as a beginner, but you should at least try some of the highly recommended ones out. Blog plugins can prevent spam, make it easier for readers to share blog posts, and contact you to learn more about a particular blog post. There are even plugins that can help you optimize your blog for SEO, so it’s easier to grow your audience.

9. Decide on post length & posting frequency

Actually writing blog posts is one of the most important parts of running a blog. Before you get started, you should figure out how long you want your blog posts to be and how often you want to post. This helps you keep your blog consistent, with regular posts of about the same length. If you want even more consistency, you can create a blog post template that you can use when you create new blog posts.

10. Create your first blog post

Now that you know how long you want your blog posts to be and how often you’ll be blogging, it’s time to create your first blog post. Your first blog post is an important opportunity to make a first impression, so take your time to write a well-thought-out post. You can jump right into your blog with an interesting post about your area of expertise, or you can use this post to introduce yourself. Whatever you do, writing a good first blog post is crucial.

11. Market your blog

You’ll probably grow your blog through word of mouth and organic traffic to some degree, but there’s no replacement for good marketing when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Every time you make a new blog post, you should post a link to that blog post with a brief description of it on your social media accounts.

You can also use PPC and PPM advertising to promote your blog to a larger audience. Whatever you do, marketing is an essential tool when you’re building your audience.

12. Use analytics

Using analytics to see how your blog is doing is a good way to make sure you’re on track to meet your small business blog goals. Perhaps you want a certain number of readers to sign up for your business’s newsletter, or maybe you want to gain a certain number of new readers each month. Using analytics, you can monitor the success of individual blog posts and your blog as a whole.

Analytics are also important because they help you figure out what’s working for your blog. If a particular type of blog post does very well, you may want to make more posts like that one.

Time to take the first step

If you have something to share with the world, starting a blog can be a good way to reach a wide audience. Whether you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur, you can start a blog by following the 12 steps above.

Need help getting your blog off the ground? With Mailchimp, you can create a custom website, plus you can enjoy email marketing and automation features that help you build your audience while saving time and money. If you’re trying to start a blog but you need a helping hand, try Mailchimp today.

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