How to Start a Blog in Under 30 Minutes for Beginners
Want to start a blog? You can have a blog up and running in no time. It is faster and easier than you think. Read this easy to follow guide and you can have your own blog, online and ready for your first post in less than 30 minutes.
There are 5 main things you need to do before you can start a blog and start writing your first blog post,
- Choosing a blogging platform (WordPress)
- Choose and purchase a domain
- Choose a web host for your blog
- Install your platform (WordPress) and must have plugins
- Design your blog your way
Doesn’t seem to hard, does it? With this guide you can start a blog and have it ready for your first post in 30 minutes or less.
Step 1 – Choosing a blogging platform (WordPress)
Choosing what platform to build a blog with should be the first thing you do when starting a blog. There are a few different choices you have when choosing a platform, the more common ones are WordPress, Blogger, and Joomla.
I would say WordPress is by far the easiest, and biggest platform available. It is used by more than 74 million websites worldwide. WordPress is easy to use and has a massive amount of free themes and plugins to choose from.
Most hosting companies offer a simple, one click install of WordPress that installs it in less than 2 minutes for you.
Reasons I chose WordPress
- Very easy to set up.
- Completely free to use.
- Very customizable, there is thousands of FREE themes to choose from
- It is very secure, with WordPress constantly updating their software to keep everything secure
Once you choose which platform you want to use, move on to the next step to starting a blog.
Step 2 – Choosing and Purchasing a Domain
Choosing a domain can be a pain. A domain is the web address people type into the address bar of your web browser. My domain is www.mebradsblog.com.
I know it seems simple, but you need to think of one that is not to long, and easy to remember so your blog is easy to find.
I literally spent most of my time trying to pick a domain name because almost all the ones I typed in where taken.
I chose Namecheap because I read a lot of very positive reviews on them. You can choose whichever you like, but remember once you choose they will be the registrar, and you cannot transfer your domain to a new one for at least 60 days from purchase.
Step 3 – Choose a Web Host
To start a blog you need to choose a web host.
A web host is basically the company that makes your website available on the internet. Think of it as a virtual harddrive that stores all of the files, photots and posts you publish on your blog. This is also where WordPress will be installed once you buy a hosting plan.
Chose the web host that will work best for you. the web host affects page load time, and website up time. You don’t want a host that has slow page load times, or a lot of down time each month. There are several reliable options available at varying prices, GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost and Ionos 1and1
I chose Ionos 1and1 as my host, I read a lot of positive reviews and they where the cheapest option I found. $11.88CAD for a 1 year hosting plan, this includes a free domain, and SSL certificate for 1 year. There is other hosts that provide the same features but for the price, 1and1 seemed fair to me.
Once you have your host, you will need to set up your domain with it. Log into your admin panel and you will find a button asking for a new or existing domain. I purchased my domain separate from my host so I had to set it up, but if you purchase a hosting plan with a free domain, I’m sure it will already be set up for you during the process.
Step 4 – Install WordPress and Plugins
Once you have your domain purchansed, and a hosting plan purchansed, your are ready to install WordPress and start your blog.
I know 1and1 has a simple one click WordPress install, I am sure all the other hosts I mentioned have the same one click option. Once you have your web host and your domain set up on it, log into your admin panel and you will find a button for a one click WordPress install, click that button and wait, you should get a email when it is ready to use.
If you choose to use a different platform, like Joomla, 1and1 also offers a simple 1 click install of it.
Now you officially have a blog up and running. there is more to do but it will be up and running now.
There a a few plugins I recommend you get right away
- Jetpack – Jetpack is more like a bunch of addons in one plugin. Real-time analytics, Jetpack comments, and Extra sidebar widgets are a few.
- Theme Check – Theme Check will check if your theme is up to the latest WordPress standards
- Yoast SEO – Yoast SEO is one of the more popular SEO plugins available.
- MailChimp – MailChimp is one of the best plugins for collecting and storing email addresses
- iThemes Security – Help prevent hackers and malware
These are my suggestions of plugins you should install before you start posting on your blog. As you blog, you will find the need for more plugins, there is thousands to choose from.
Step 5 – Design Your Blog, Your Way
Now the fun part, designing your blog. There is literally thousands of different ways you can design your blog. Log into your wordpress dashboard, once your in there, on the left sidenof the screen click Appearance, then Themes. There are a lot of them, take your time and choose one that suits you and your blog topic.
Most themes also have additional customization options, so install a few and choose your favorite. I installed about 20 different themes before I found one I liked.
It is a good idea to make sure the theme you choose is not to cluttered, and easy to navigate. If it is to cluttered and difficult to get around, people are more likely to leave and come back. You should also make sure your theme is mobile phone friendly. More people use there phones to go on the internet today than ever.
I hope this helps some of the beginners. Blogging is a great past time, and can be a way to make money if you work hard enough at it. Check out these 5 common ways bloggers make money here.
There will always be new things to learn when it comes to blogging, some things you will only learn by trial and success, and trial and error. This is just a guide to help you get started and ready for you first blog post. I wish you all the best in your blogging journey.