We’ve poured our expertise into this simple 6-step guide on how to start a blog. Follow along to learn how to set up your own blog with the best tried-and-tested tools out there for bloggers.
Want to build something meaningful? Or work on your own terms? Well – why not be a blogger?
If this page has found you, you’re probably not sure how to start a blog. You may even be pretty confused where to begin. Well, you’re in luck.
We at Bitcatcha have been writing our hearts out since 2014, with our online content attracting millions of readers each year. We’ve also spent thousands of hours geeking out about the tech behind successful websites, so we’re pretty darn passionate about the topic.
Table of Contents
How To Start A Blog – From Zero To First Blog Post In 6 Steps
- Pick a niche
- Brainstorm blog name ideas
- Choose a blogging platform
- Register your domain name and web hosting
- Designing your blog
- Start publishing awesome blog posts
Bonus: Resources to Help You Write Compelling Content
Frequently Asked Questions
This beginner’s guide is perfect for anyone who wants to start a blog quickly, but on a strong and sturdy foundation. Follow along and you’ll exit this article with a new blog that’s primed for success and ready to face the world.
Believe it or not, starting a blog can be quite straightforward. For the parts that DO require technical know-how, we’ll share our own tried-and-tested recommendations and will guide you through each step.
Why Start a Blog Anyway?
In a second, I’m going to outline exactly what you need to do to start a blog. However, I want to quickly touch on WHY you should build a blog.
If you already have your why, you can skip ahead to step #1.
When blogging first became a thing, most people used it as an online journal to pen down their thoughts. Since then, the blogosphere has evolved and spawned blogs of every shape and size.
Generally speaking though, blogs are still a type of website with a focus on written content.
People have many motivations to start their own blogs. Some find it cathartic to express themselves. Some are just plain passionate about their chosen niche.
I can’t speak for all of them, but one motivator that draws most people to the beautiful world of blogging is the ability to make money from their blogs.
Because bloggers write from their personal experience, they often share a very personal connection with their readers. This means that many high profile brands are willing to pay a blogger to endorse their product.
- Displaying banner ads.
- Using an affiliate marketing model.
- Sponsorships and brand partnerships.
- Using their blog as a lead generation tool.
- Selling products like e-books, online courses and subscriptions.
However, here’s a lot of confusing advice and mythology about making money from your blog. One of the best pieces of advice we can give you, blogging padawan, is to be realistic and patient.
Another important way that new bloggers can inspire themselves is to browse other successful blogs. You can start by skimming through our masterlist of 43 blog examples that are doing things right – it’s a great reminder of what’s possible with the power of blogging!
Many people have the misconception that you need to be a good writer to start a blog. While having good writing skills can help communicate your message, it’s the content of your blog that sells. Check out our guide to blogging even if writing isn’t your thing.
Regardless of what motivations you have to start your blog, the bottom line is that blogging can be deeply rewarding.
How To Start A Blog – From Zero To First Blog Post In 6 Steps
Now that you’re absolutely convinced that it’s time to start a blog, let’s get into the steps of how to build your own.
Step #1: Pick A Niche
Pick a blog niche that interests you and some sort of audience.
>> Skip ahead to Step #2: Brainstorm A Blog Name
This exciting first step to starting a blog will shape the way you blog for the rest of your blogging career. It’s a simple but very important step: You have to decide on your niche.
In short – what do you want to blog about?
Are you going to be a tech blogger? A digital marketing blogger? Maybe you’re into sustainable living. Maybe food is your jam.
Your chosen niche will help forge a path for your blogging topics in the future.
When you’re deciding on your niche, there are 2 important questions to ask yourself:
- Is it a niche I’m passionate about?
- Is there enough audience interest in this niche?
The first question is something that only you can answer.
The second question is something that you can help validate through good ‘ol fashioned research. Check if people are searching for these topics. You should also take a look at the competitor blogs that already exist in that niche.
The niche that you select will also determine how much potential you have to monetize your blog in the future.
You don’t HAVE to pick a niche that’s already popular, but it can really help to see what types of blogs are successfully earning.
To help you out, we’ve written a piece on the 13 most popular types of blogs that we’re seeing again and again. Go check it out if you want some insights on the different monetization strategies that are common in different niches.
Once you’ve picked your niche, it’s time to start thinking names.
Step #2: Brainstorm blog name ideas
Choose a short and memorable name for your blog.
>> Skip ahead to Step #3: Choose A Blogging Platform
Your next step is to choose a name for your blog.
Your blog name is the first impression that readers will have of your blog. So it should be short, unique and memorable. You want people to remember you, right?
Choosing the right name for your blog is very important, so give this step ample time and thought.
A useful tool that many people use is a blog name generator tool like Name Mesh to help you find blog name ideas that can be turned into a functioning domain name.
We’ve actually written up a great article explaining what’s a good blog name and how to use a blog name generator cleverly. Even if you already have a blog name in mind, you might find our final checklist in tha article useful.
When you’ve got your unique blog name, you’ll need to choose where to build your blog.
Step #3: Choose A Blogging Platform
Choose a platform to manage and build your blog. We recommend WordPress.org (self-hosted WordPress).
>> Skip ahead to Step #4: Get a Domain Name & Web Hosting
Now, it’s time to choose the management platform that you’ll use for your blog.
This is an absolutely critical step, as your choice of platform will affect every aspect of your finished blog, such as how it looks, how well it functions, how easy it is for you to customize – and more!
There are lots of blogging platforms out there. You’ve probably heard of the most popular ones, such as self-hosted WordPress, Medium, and Wix. They all have their pros and cons, so it can get kind of overwhelming.
Many new bloggers make the mistake of going for a free hosted blog platform such as Tumblr or Blogger. The word ‘free’ may sound tempting, but there’s a big catch: free hosted blog platforms come with a LOT of creative and technical limitations.
If you’re serious about starting a blog and want to give it the best chance of success, you should definitely go for WordPress.
Our top favourite blogging platform is (by far) WordPress
After our own research, testing, and direct experience – we can confidently say that the best platform for most bloggers is WordPress.
Why? Simply because WordPress is one of the most powerful blogging platforms out there. It powers a whopping 41.0% of websites on the internet today.
In fact, this is the option we used when we set up Bitcatcha.com in 2014. And we’ve never looked back.
WordPress is SEO friendly, very easy to use and offers thousands of plugins, which brings extra functionality to the table without needing too much technical knowledge.
Just be careful not to get confused between the 2 different forms of WordPress:
This is ‘hosted’ WordPress. You use the WordPress interface and will receive free web hosting and a WordPress domain name.
This is ‘self-hosted’ WordPress. You use the WordPress interface, but you have more control and flexibility, letting you choose your own web host and domain name.
It may be tempting to get your free web hosting and domain name directly from WordPress.com, but as my dear grandmother used to say, “good things don’t come cheap, cheap things don’t come good”.
Why we recommend WordPress.org instead of WordPress.com
WordPress.com is phenomenal, but their free web hosting and domain name unfortunately just comes with too many limitations.
- You don’t have a “yourname.com”
While this may not seem like a big deal, it separates the amateurs from the pros. If you’re serious about your blog and want to see it grow, you’ll want to get your very own domain name.
- Web hosting limitations
The free WordPress.com comes with very little web hosting space (a piddly 3GB). Once you fill up this space, you’ll have to pay to upgrade and continue using your blog.
- No plugins allowed
The free version doesn’t allow plugins, which is sad and breaks my fragile heart.
- Ads everywhere
It’s bad enough that you can’t monetize your free wordpress.com website, but they’ll place ads everywhere! Remember, “good things don’t come cheap, cheap things don’t come good”. Ad placement is a way for WordPress to generate revenue.
- Your blog might get deleted
These are just a few of the problems we can think of.
By going with WordPress.org instead, and purchasing your blog domain name and web hosting separately, you won’t run into any of these issues.
When doing our research for this guide, we noticed that many people were stuck trying to decide between Wix vs WordPress. If you’re interested in a direct comparison, we’ve written a whole article comparing Wix and WordPress specifically for bloggers. Spoiler alert: WordPress wins.
To sum it all up – almost all serious bloggers today use a self-hosted WordPress site. It simply gives you so much more creative freedom and flexibility.
Don’t worry about signing up for a WordPress account yet – we’ll show you how to do so in the next step, via your web host.
Step #4: Register your domain name and web hosting
Purchase your domain name, register for your web host and connect WordPress.
>> Skip ahead to Step #5: Design Your Blog
It’s time to make things official. Let’s go ahead and start setting up.
Get your domain name
Now that you’ve decided your blog name from Step #2, it’s time to secure the domain.
Remember, you’ll want to pick a domain name that’s simple and easy to remember. No funky extensions like “.io” or “.biz” either, keep it to “.com” because it’s what most people are used to.
You can purchase your domain in 1 of 2 ways:
- Get your domain through your web host
Some web hosts will include a free domain name when you purchase one of their hosting plans. For example, Hostinger includes a free domain for you for the first year. This method also tends to be easier to set up.
How? Skip to the ‘sign up for web hosting’ step below and I’ll take you through the process.
- Get your domain through a domain registrar
You can also purchase a domain from a domain registrar like
GoDaddy and Namecheap directly. Once you purchase it, you’ll need to connect it to your web hosting manually.
We like Namecheap because they’re an excellent registrar and they’ll throw in free WhoisGuard that helps keep your identity secret, in case you want to blog anonymously.
How? Just head to Namecheap to sign up and purchase your domain name. Then read on.
Sign up for web hosting
You might think that web hosting is just space for you to store your website files, and that any random web host will be fine, but you couldn’t be more mistaken.
In fact, if you want your blog to be successful, you better damn well make sure that you’re getting a web host that’s reliable and fast.
Have you come across a blog that loads so freaking slow that you just couldn’t be bothered to wait for the content to pop up? If you time yourself, you’ll see that 3 seconds is all it takes for you to feel that the blog is sluggish. 5 seconds is the average amount of time it takes for people to bounce.
Your web host is crucial in making sure that your blog performs quick and snappy.
While there are plenty of web hosting services around (see our list of top web hosts) for bloggers who are just starting out – our #1 recommendation is to host your WordPress blog with Hostinger.
Our research found that the combination of Hostinger + WordPress outperformed the rest as the best choice for most bloggers.
Hostinger’s uptime, dependable customer service, affordability and insanely fast server response times are absolutely brilliant. You can read our full review on the full list of Hostinger’s features here.
Let me walk you through the process.
How to get a hosting plan with Hostinger
Getting an account and setting up your blog with Hostinger is really simple. Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to Hostinger.com and click into their hosting plans.
- Pick a plan. We recommend getting the Premium Shared Hosting plan ($2.59 /mo) as it’s a nice balance between price and benefits. You don’t need to dwell too much here – you can easily upgrade or downgrade your plan later on if you need to.
- Once you’ve selected a plan, you’ll need to complete the checkout process > create an account > fill up your payment information > review your order > then click “Submit Secure Payment”. You’ll then receive a receipt from Hostinger with all the details for your web hosting subscription.
- You’ll be automatically taken to the Hostinger onboarding page. To start setting up your website – hit “Start Now” and follow along.
- You’ll be prompted to “name your website”. You’ll need to pick 1 of 2 options:
- If you already have a domain name – Click “Select” under “Use an existing domain”. You’ll later need to point your domain to Hostinger – just follow these instructions in this Hostinger’s tutorial on YouTube.
- If you don’t have a domain name yet – You can go ahead and purchase it through Hostinger by clicking “Select“ under “Buy Domain”. Type in the name of your blog and Hostinger will take a second to check its availability. If it’s available, proceed by clicking “Continue”.
Voila! You now have a web hosting account and domain name all set up!
It’s now time to get it connected to WordPress. This is where your blog’s going to start looking like a blog.
Installing WordPress on Hostinger
This section is a continuation of the previous section, but we’re breaking it up into different parts for easy digestibility.
If you get stuck during ANY one of these steps, don’t hesitate to contact Hostinger’s live chat support. They’re super helpful and will guide you through everything you need help with.
- You can choose between “build a new website” or “migrate my website”. If you’re been following along with this guide so far, you should probably go with the former.
- You’ll be asked whether you want to build it with Zyro or WordPress – if you’re in for the long run, we recommend building your site with WordPress.
- Create your WordPress account with your email address and a password. You’ll use these details to login to your WordPress dashboard later so don’t lose them!
- Next, Hostinger will ask you to select a theme for your WordPress site – you can skip this step for now. We’ll talk about this in detail later.
- Almost there – Hostinger will now let you review your website setup information. Carefully check whether your website’s domain name & admin email are correct.
- Notice how you can edit your “website location”? You should change your website’s data center location to one that is closest to your target audience. This will give an optimal experience for your target audience when they visit your website.
- After you’re done reviewing, hit “Finish Setup”.
You now have your very own WordPress site! You should be proud of yourself.
So far, it’s nice and clean. Very zen. Also very generic. In the words of my younger friends, your site is currently “Vanilla AF”, so let’s do something about that, shall we?
Step #5: Designing Your Blog
Customize your blog by choosing a theme, setting up pages, using widgets and plug-ins, and more.
>> Skip ahead to Step #6: Publish A Blog Post
In this section, we’ll be taking a look at what we can look to give your blog a little more personality.
We can manually design and customize the blog to appeal to your targeted readers, but that takes a whole lotta time. Nahhh.
Fortunately, WordPress has thousands of free themes that are fully customizable, and also look highly professional!
Here’s how you access your WordPress themes:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard. It should be “www.yoursite.com/wp-admin”. You’ll want to switch out “yoursite” to your actual blog URL. Key in your WordPress username and password, then log in.
- Once you’re in, you should see your WordPress dashboard, which looks like this. Click on “change your theme completely”.
- Next, click on WordPress.org themes and you’ll find thousands of themes to pick from! If those aren’t good enough for you, head on over to ElegantTheme to purchase some really good looking themes.
Themes are awesome but they can be tricky. Site load speed is crucial to getting your blog ranked on Google, and picking unoptimized or unresponsive themes will adversely affect your loading speed. Make sure to check out the comments for any negative reviews and test the theme’s responsiveness in the preview section. If the theme is already unresponsive in their own preview, it’s most likely gonna be sluggish on your blog.
- Once your theme is selected, click on “Install & Preview”, followed by “Activate & Publish” to install your theme.
(Install & preview your theme)(Activate & publish the theme)
Your theme is now installed, but you’ll still want to personalize and add some content, or your new blog will look a little empty.
Customize Your Theme To Your Liking
Whilst WordPress themes already come with their own design, you’ll probably want to tweak it further to your liking.
- To do so, go to “Appearance”, then “Customize”.
- You should now see the WordPress Customizer:
Different themes will display different options in the sidebar menu. However, the most common options that show up include:
- Site Identity
Set your blog title and tagline (see next step below), add a logo for your blog, and a site icon.
Set the basic colors used in your blog design.
Set a graphic or image for your blog header.
Set a graphic, image or solid colour for your blog background.
Have a play around and see what you like!
Creating customized titles & taglines
If you want people to discover your blog and read your content, then you’ll definitely want to pay attention to this portion of the guide.
Your site title tells people what your blog is all about, and taglines help support what the titles say. They also help search engines sort and send your blog to the relevant searchers.
- To customize your titles and taglines, just hop on over to your WordPress dashboard, go to “Settings” then “General”.
Here, you can change your site title and tagline to whatever you want it to be. Go ahead and do that, then hit “Save Changes”.
How to create a static homepage
Yes you want to run a blog, but you don’t actually want your homepage to look like one!
What you’ll need is a static front page, a sort of “home” page for visitors to land on and take in everything they see.
Like most professional blogs, a static front page doesn’t change and it’ll show your readers something consistent every time they visit your site, making it look more polished.
If this isn’t done, WordPress will use your latest blog posts as your homepage which, quite frankly, can look very amateur.
You can create a static front page by doing this:
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard, hit “Settings” and “Reading”.
- Click on “A Static Page” then select the page you want as your homepage, then “Save Changes”.
Adding pages to your blog
Your little blog baby is still pretty bare at this point, so let’s go ahead and add some pages.
Most blogs will include at least some of the following pages:
- About Us
To tell your visitors who you are and what the blog will be about.
- Contact Us
A page that lets your readers contact you.
Reviews or comments from past customers.
A showcase of your skills or past projects.
- Products / Services
Details on things you might be selling.
To start you off, let’s look at how to set up an About Us page on WordPress:
- Under your WordPress Dashboard, head on over to “Pages” and click on “Add New”,
- You’ll be sent to a page where you can fill in a Header and a Paragraph. Go ahead and write “About Us” in the header and write a little something about your blog in the “Paragraph”. Once you’re done, hit “Publish”.
Linking your pages to the menu
Your “About Us” page won’t show up unless you create a link for it in the menu.
- Simply head on over to your WordPress dashboard, under appearance, click “menu”. Your list of pages should automatically be added to the menu structure. If not, just check the boxes under “add menu items” and hit “add to menu”.
- Once you’re done, hit “create menu” and your blog will be updated with your pages linked in the menu.
Adding or removing content on your sidebar
Some people want content on their sidebar. Some people prefer to go for a cleaner look and do away with it. Either way, it’s up to you.
Adding or removing content from your sidebar is quite easy.
- Head over to your WordPress dashboard, go to “appearances” and click on “widgets”.
- Here you’ll see a list of available widgets and your sidebar. All you need to do is to drag and drop the widgets you want in your sidebar, or simply delete the widgets you don’t want there.
Give your blog an edge by using WordPress plugins
In the past, when we wanted to optimize our blogs or add features, we had to do it manually (which is both time-consuming and a pain in the butt).
These days, you can do all that and more with just a few clicks, thanks to plugins!
Plugins basically let you add anything you want to your site. You can turn it into an online store or a gallery portfolio. If you can think of it, there’s probably a plugin for it!
What you’ll need to do to install plugins is under your WordPress dashboard, hit “Plugins” and “add new”. From there, just check out the popular or recommendations tab for plugins that suit your needs, and you’re done!
There is an endless list of plugins for you to pick from but keep in mind that some plugins might slow down your blog. Do a little research on plugins and your blog will run like a dream.
Here are some of our favourites plugins for bloggers:
- Yoast SEO
It helps make your blog more SEO friendly.
- Swift Performance Lite
It helps decrease your caching time for WordPress, which speeds up your blog load times.
- Google Analytics by ExactMetrics
This one helps you track the amount of visitors your blog receives. It’s super useful in helping you set benchmarks!
Step #6: Start publishing awesome blog posts
Start writing and publishing blog posts on your new blog.
>> Skip ahead to Bonus Resources For Writing Content
Your framework is now complete!
That means it’s time to start writing blog posts (woohoo!) This is where the fun really begins.
Blog posts are the bread and butter of any successful blog. They help keep you relevant, keep your site ranked in Google searches and help you get your message out there.
How to start writing great blog posts
Everyone has their own blogging style and voice.
The most important thing is that blog posts need to offer something valuable to readers so that they want to come back to your blog for more.
As for the blog writing process – it gets easier when you break it into 5 simple steps:
- Plan your blog post by preparing your outline and researching your topic.
- Write your hook with a killer headline and intro.
- Write the blog post.
- Format your article for maximum readability.
- Check internal links, CTAs and publish your post at the optimum time.
For detailed instructions with examples, check out our step-by-step guide on how to write great blog posts people actually want to read.
Getting your first blog post out there
Like taking that first plunge into cold water – many people often find that the hardest blog post to write is the FIRST.
Most bloggers will adopt 1 of these 2 strategies for their first blog post:
- Introducing themselves to the world and talking about what the blog will be about.
- Jumping headfirst into writing the type of content they want to write.
The choice is up to you. To figure out which is right for your blog, check out our full guide on exactly what to write for your very first blog post.
How to publish your first blog post on WordPress
Once you have your final blog post draft, it’s time to put it out there in the world!
Let’s quickly sort out some things on WordPress in preparation for making it live.
- In your WordPress dashboard, hit “posts” and select “categories”. You should see the screen below. Fill in your category name. For this instance, you can just call it “blog”. Click on “add new category” at the bottom.
- Next, under “posts”, click on “add new”. You should see a page where you can fill in your post title and content. Go ahead and do that if you want to. After you’re done, look for the “categories” bar on the right side of the screen and check the box marked “blog”.
- Hit “Publish” and your new blog post is good to go! All you need to do now is add the category to your menus, and you’re all set.
BONUS: Resources to help you write compelling content
Congratulations – you’ve now published your first blog post!
You’re off to a great start, but part of being a successful blogger is being able to write high-quality content on a regular basis.
Here’s some further reading to help you out on this front:
Coming up with awesome content
Improving your writing skills
Wrap Up: You’re A Blogger Now!
Congrats random person in the blogosphere, you’ve successfully built your own blog!
We helped, but you did all the heavy lifting by yourself, so you should really give yourself a pat on the back.
Before you go, here’s a quick refresher on how to start your blog.
And remember – keep on customizing!
Remember, WordPress is highly customizable. You can really create any kind of blog you want with WordPress, so keep on experimenting and customizing until you’re 100% happy with what you’ve got.
Now – go forth and blog! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Frequently Asked Questions: Starting A Blog
1. What’s the difference between a blog and a website?
A website consists of multiple static “pages” that may not be updated frequently and are usually used as an online tool, or to sell a product or service. A blog is a type of website that usually has a focus on written content and is regularly updated, hence it is dynamic. Blog content tends to be referred to as “posts”.
2. Can you blog for free?
Yes. There are free web hosting services and blogging sites that let you set up a blog for free, however these all tend to come with significant performance restrictions and even display ads, which you’ve no control over. These free options can suit casual bloggers, but you should stay away from these if you’re looking to make a business out of your blog.
3. How often should I blog?
How often you should blog will depend on your resources, niche, and audience. In most cases, the higher your blogging frequency, the more the organic traffic your blog receives.
4. How do I get my blog noticed?
Establish your blog’s online presence. You can start by producing high-quality content regularly, optimizing it for search engines, and looking into outreach strategies such as guest posting.
5. How do I drive traffic to my blog?
The best way and arguably the most important factor to get traffic is to simply write quality content. By writing useful and relevant content for your target audience, your blog is more likely to rank well in web searches, exposing it to more search traffic and eyes.
6. How do you make money blogging?
Bloggers can earn through a variety of methods, but the main 2 are by placing ads on your blog, or through affiliate marketing. Placing ads is very low maintenance, all you have to do is literally place them and forget (often through an ad network), however, the income generated is generally quite low unless you have large traffic. Affiliate marketing requires a lot more effort to maintain, but the potential for profit is much higher.
7. Should I use WordPress or Wix for my blog?
Our recommendation is WordPress. Wix lets you make a beautiful blog effortlessly, and is easy to use; but you won’t be able to move your blog anywhere else once it grows big and needs more resources. With WordPress, you have access to many more custom tools and can scale your blog and ensure it has the biggest earning potential. Read our Wix vs WordPress comparison.