How to Start a Blog in 2019
Hello and welcome to my step-by-step guide to building your own blog.
This guide helps thousands of new bloggers get started each year (since 2013).
In this guide, I’ll help you through the process with screenshots, videos, and you can even message me if you need anything.
If you are ready to get started now, I recommend a simple one-click installation through Bluehost.
My name is Matthew Kaboomis Loomis, and I think starting a blog should be easy to do.
I’ve been helping people start WordPress blogs since 2013. I have also launched several other blogs in the past.
Thousands of readers have been following me for years because they have found me to be a trusted source of information on the topic of blogging.
If you feel overwhelmed right now, take a deep breath. This guide helps beginners start a blog without any prior technical experience.
You can save yourself a lot of time and headaches by following this guide. I’ve already made the early mistakes that you can avoid with my help. This free blog puts all the information you need in one trusted location.
I have helped teenagers and people in their 90s create their own blog in 20 minutes (or less.)
And I can help you, too.
Remember, if you get stuck at any point, please message me and I’ll help you get unstuck.
Skip the rest of the introduction and start building your blog!
Do you have something to share?
The fact you are here now indicates you do indeed have something to share.
If you are wanting to reach people outside of your family, coworkers, neighborhood, or other places in your life, then the internet is the place to be.
You just need a place where people can find you online.
When you have something to share, a blog is the best way to spread your message.
What is a blog?
A blog is simply a regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
Most bloggers write like they talk. They did not start out as talented writers. They wrote like they talked, and picked up a few page formatting skills along the way.
This website has lots of free tips about page formatting and writing that work with any type of blog.
You can start a successful blog in practically any topic imaginable.
Blog niches include movies, food, crafts, finance, being a mom, political, health, travel, fashion, music, photography, religion, art, sports…whatever you want to talk about.
Why Blogging Works
Bloggers develop awesome relationships with their readers by sharing their personal stories in their posts. Personal stories make connections with people, and personal opinions spark conversations, which build relationships. See how this works?
Your blog can have a comments section where readers provide feedback to your posts. Blog comments often add additional material to a post that is interesting and fun to read.
This direct connection between blogger and reader happens faster and easier than a newspaper or magazine. You will connect with like-minded people and share ideas, stories, and even make new friends.
This relationship building process that naturally comes with blogging can open a door for you to make money with your website, which we will talk about in this guide later on.
Another reason why blogging works is that no matter the topic, your readers don’t expect you to know everything about a topic. So relax. You don’t have to be an “expert” to enjoy or succeed in blogging. For example, you don’t have to be a former NFL head coach to start a blog about pro football. You don’t have to be a licensed chef to start a food blog. If you love food, that passion will show through your blog and attract like-minded people!
Passion is a good start – but you need something else to succeed: a guide.
I love helping bloggers who are passionate about their topic. Passion is important for long-term success.
However, if you don’t have a guide to help you get there, passion gets wasted.
I’m here to help you channel your passion into a productive direction.
Let me walk you through this process and help you get the end result you want.
See if any of these reasons to start a blog describing why you are doing this:
Share your story. I get emails all the time from people who want to share their story because they want to help other people going through the same thing. Things like living with a disability, dealing with mental illness, finding a job, finding true love – you can share your entire life story with the world, or you can make your blog private and only let certain people see it. I’ve seen some people start a blog and use it as a diary…they simply share what they did that day so friends and family can keep up-to-date.
Find customers for their business. These days we know that Google helps people find practically anything they’re looking for. This includes information about all types of business…Need new tires? Google “new tires near me.” Want to sell your home? You pull out Google to find the right real estate agent to work with. Businesses of all types are using their blog to bring in new customers.
Build a Community. Blogging is interactive. You write a post and readers give feedback in the comments. This is how like-minded people form a community. A blog can be a magnet that attracts similar people, giving them a chance to connect, build a relationship, and form a community.
Make money from home. There are some bloggers who earn well over six figures per month. Others make a thousand per month. Many don’t make anything. Why? They don’t have a guide. Or they read too many different guides and get confused. This guide goes into more detail on how to make money with a blog later on. If you’re looking for a way to generate income, you can get off to a good start by using this blog setup guide, which sets you up with the type of blog you need to make money. Not all blogs are compatible with making money – particularly free blogs.
A Self Hosted WordPress Blog is the right choice for making money online.
Get started setting up your Self Hosted WordPress Blog with Bluehost
Alright, now let me show you how to start a blog, okay?
The Easy Way to Start a Blog
These four steps are all you need to start a new blog TODAY!
You can get Steps 1 thru 3 done in the next 20 to 30 minutes.
- Pick a “domain name” for your blog. (If you already know this, skip to Step 2)
- Register your blog with hosting.
- Design your blog by choosing a WordPress theme.
Then, if you can spare an extra 5 minutes, I’ll show you how to create your first blog post on the last step.
- Write and publish your first post.
Boom! You’ll be a real blogger in less than an hour!
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Pick a Blog Name
Once you know the blog topic you are passionate about and want to spend time on, then you need to choose a good blog name.
If you can’t decide on what to blog about, these three things might help you find a great topic just right for you:
Hobbies & Interests – What do you like to do in your spare time? Collecting things, following a sports team, cooking, traveling, these are some classic examples. However, if you have a weird hobby, that could be a perfect blog. Don’t rule it out! Bigfoot has made many bloggers good money. 🙂 Star Wars has turned a lot of fans into bloggers. Remember, you can connect with a GLOBAL audience on the internet, so if you want to find people that share your hobbies, think globally.
Life Challenges – Good or bad, life experiences teach us lessons and provide knowledge for others willing to listen. Sharing your challenges, the highs and lows, can inspire and educate other people…maybe even save their life! It depends on the topic, right? I have helped people with fibromyalgia use a blog to help others with the same condition. I have helped someone with Aspergers start a blog to encourage and inspire other people with Asperger Syndrome. I have helped mothers start “mommy blogs”. I’ve helped dads start dad blogs…whatever your challenge, that story could really help someone if you shared it on a blog.
Your Personal Story – This is a blog that tells your story over the course of time. If you are 40 years old, you probably could tell enough stories to last for 100 blog posts. You could even be only 18 years old, yet have a powerful personal story with lots to share. Some bloggers like this type of blog because they can talk about a variety of topics.
When you nail down your blog topic, you will then be ready for the next step – Choosing Your Blog Name.
You want the blog name to be memorable and the name should communicate clearly what the blog is about.
The closer your blog name reflects the main purpose of the blog, the better. As you brainstorm name options, remember to not get too attached to a particular word. Two reasons why: 1. that name might already be taken, so you want to have some backup options. 2. That one word you’re stuck on probably won’t make or break your blog. If you have a blog about cars, your name doesn’t HAVE to include “cars.” Words like “automobile”, “ride,” or a specific brand like “F150” would let people know that your blog is about cars.
If you plan to write on a wide variety of topics, you may want to use your own name for the blog. Or something like “Mike’s Musings” or “Tina’s Life” or whatever. If your name is taken, you can add in your middle name, or go with something like “Joe Blow Blog” or “Blogging with Joe.”
Choosing your domain extension (a.k.a. the “domain suffix”)
The domain extension is what you choose to have at the end of your domain name. A .com is the most widely used extension, and others include .org, .net, and even .blog. In fact, the possible choices in domain extensions exploded a couple of years ago.
So, if you choose a domain you like, and you find it has been taken, you might be able to simply change the extension and get what you want. For example, bowlingtips.com might be taken, but bowlingtips.net might be available.
To find out if your domain is available, you will start the blog setup process and in just a few clicks, you will see a page that looks like this. You will type in your domain name and choose your extension, then click “next” to find out if it’s available.
Important: You cannot use punctuation or spaces other than dashes in your domain name.
So if the name you want is taken, not only can you change the extension, you might also do this:
Add dashes between words – For example, pro-bowler.net
Add little words – “a”, “my”, or “the” could do the trick. Example: thebestrestaurants.com instead of bestrestaurants.com.
Step 2: Set Up Blog with Hosting
With your name picked out, you are now ready to get started with the blog setup.
I’ll walk you through this process below — a total tech newbie can do this. 🙂
Hosting, or a blog host company, is how your files for your blog are stored and how others find your blog when they type in your blog name. A blog host is necessary to have a blog.
The other thing your blog must have is software. In this guide I will show you how to set up a blog using the WordPress software. I highly recommend WordPress because it is easy to use for people who have no technical background. It is also extremely customizable, and serves more blogs than any other software!
For hosting, I recommend Bluehost. I like Bluehost and use it for several reasons:
- Bluehost will register your blog domain name for free. No one can take it once you do this.
- You get a free “one click” installation of WordPress blogging software. I will show you the one button you click to do this.
- WordPress highly recommends Bluehost, so the two of them work well together.
Bluehost currently hosts over 2 million blogs.
Their customer service is helpful and available 24/7 by phone or web chat.
- Bluehost has a money-back guarantee if you happen to not be satisfied.
Every Bluehost link on this site will get you a special discount of $2.75 per month for hosting. I’m an affiliate with Bluehost, and they compensate me when you purchase through my link, which is how I am able to deliver so much free blogging tips to you. This does not raise your rate at all. In fact, my relationship with them lowers your cost.
If you need any help setting up your blog with this tutorial, you can contact me and I will help you.
1. Click here to get the special $2.75 per month rate on Bluehost, and then click “Get Started Now”.
2. he next thing you will see is a choice of three different plans. You can choose whichever one best fits your needs. However, I highly recommend the Prime or Plus plan because it offers some great features for free that will help you grow much faster.
Here’s what the Prime plan provides that the Basic does not:
– Unlimited amount of websites
– Unlimited amount of email accounts and email storage
– Domain privacy and site backup pro is included
If you need to select the Basic plan, just know that you can always add these features to your blog later on.Whichever you choose, just click “select” and you will continue.
Whichever you choose, just click “select” and you will continue.
3. Here, you will see a choice of two paths to take to get your domain. If you already own a domain from another registrar (like Go Daddy) you can transfer that domain to Blue Host. Just put this domain name you already own into the box on the right.
If you are grabbing a new domain name for the first time, you will put that into the box on the left to see if it is available. Then click “next.”
4. Once you find the domain you want, you will see this page that says “congratulations” at the top. You might need to make a slight revision on your domain to get one. For example,, here I select www.golfaroundtheglobe.com. If I had typed this in the first time and saw that it was already taken, I might simply change the suffix of the domain and grab www.golfaroundtheglobe.net . Or I might have revised it to be golfaroundtheworld.com . So, if your first choice isn’t available, you don’t have to totally give up on it. See if you can come up with something similar.
Once you do, then you begin typing in your account information as seen below.
5. Your purchase is now complete. Time to create your password, so click “create your password” like you see below.
6. Now it’s time to create your password that logs you into your Blue Host control panel. Make sure the “I confirm” box below is checked, then create your password.
7. Now you can use your new password here to log into your Blue Host control panel.
8. After you put in your account information, scroll down and select your package. You can uncheck all the extras listed below. You don’t need them. You can always add them later.
Important note about the package selection: As you can see here, the 36 month and 60 month plans offer the lowest monthly rate, saving you money in the long run.
Then simply put in your billing information.
9. Make sure all the boxes for extras are unchecked so they’re not added to your cart. When your done, click the green button “next”.
10. Here, you don’t need any of these upgrades. Just skip them.
11. You don’t need any additional domains either. You can scroll on down and click “complete” as seen below.
12. Your purchase is now complete. Time to create your password, so click “create your password” like you see below.
13. Now it’s time to create your password that logs you into your Blue Host control panel. Make sure the “I confirm” box below is checked, then create your password.
14. Now you can use your new password here to log into your Blue Host control panel.
15. Now you’re inside the control panel. You may see a “free trial” like this one for an email tool called Constant Contact. You don’t need this, so just click at the bottom where it says, “No thanks, I’m not interested.”
16. At this point, you have a choice that is really cool….if you feel confident enough to download WordPress to your blog, you can do it yourself by clicking “i can do it.” This is the quickest way to finish the process and really is pretty simple. But, if you are not feeling confident and you want some help, you can click “do it for me” and someone with Blue Host will finish the WordPress set up for you. Very cool. So if you do get confused here, know that Blue Host is able to help you finish. It just might take a little longer than 15 minutes overall.
17. So, if you do go forward yourself, this is what you’ll see next (below.) You can click “close this guide” and move forward.
18. Next, you want to find the WordPress icon where it says “Install WordPress” below the WordPress logo as seen below. Click on that to continue…
19. When ready, click “Install“.
20. Next, you will see your domain there and you will then click “Check Domain.”
21. Last step! Just check the box that says you have read the terms and conditions, then click “Install Now.”
Your install is complete. You should see this at the top of the page.
Step 3: Blog Configuration
First, login to your WordPress blog. Just type in your domain into the browser and add /wp-admin to the end of it.
So it will look like this: www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
That should take you right to the login page, where you’ll put in your user name and password.
To find your first WordPress blog login username and password, just pull up the email from Bluehost to find it.
Here is what you are looking for…
1. The Bluehost email with the subject line “Notice Regarding Your Recent WordPress Installation.”
2. In the email, find “Your Admin Username” and “Your Admin Password” like you see below…
Step 4: Design Your Blog
Now you are ready to create a password for your blog. Once you do that, you can choose a free design template for your blog (which can easily be changed later at any time.)
To login your blog, go to http://www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin to bring up your login page (insert your blog name in place of “yourblogname.com” example domain.)
Be sure to check the email that was sent to you from Bluehost that gives you the login name and password.
How to Add Your First WordPress Theme Design
Are you now logged in to your WordPress dashboard? This is the administrative hub area, where all changes to your blog are made.
One thing I love about WordPress software is how much variety it provides for design. We all have different tastes and styles, and with a WordPress blog, you get to create a website that looks unique – like you! This can be done in just a few clicks.
WordPress design layouts are called “Themes”. Whatever theme you choose will control all visual elements of your blog.
When you are ready to install your first Theme or change your theme, just put your pointer on the Appearance tab on the left menu inside your WordPress dashboard, then scroll down and click Themes.
Once you click Themes (under Appearance), you will see a few themes already installed. Usually, they are the yearly themes, like Twenty Eighteen, Twenty Seventeen, etc. These themes are easy to work with, and can serve you well, so to get things rolling, so why not start out using one of these free themes?
If you already have a Theme in mind, then you should go with it. Let’s say for now you are using one of the Themes already in your blog. One example might be Twenty Fifteen.
You would just hover your pointer over the Twenty Fifteen theme and click the “Activate” button. Boom! You’re done! With one click, your blog design is changed.
Good news: You are not stuck with only the Themes automatically included in your blog. You can choose from literally thousands of other free Theme options. To install a new theme, click the Appearance tab again on the left menu and then click the “Add New” button atop the page. Looks like this:
You’ll see below what the Theme search page will look like. There’s a button called “Feature Filter” that enables you to search for themes with specific qualities, like color, layout, and many more. Check the boxes you want, then click “Apply Filters”.
Now you can browse your search results, which bring up Themes that have the traits you are looking for. Once you find one you like, click the “Install” button.
After the Theme is installed, click “Active” and you should now be able to see it on your blog. Check it out!
Changing your design is so simple with WordPress Themes.
Keep this in your back pocket for later: If you ever want to upgrade to a paid Theme, you can get a 20% discount on themes with my affiliate link to MOJO Marketplace.
Here is a video that shows you how to install a Premium WordPress Theme:
Step 5: Learning WordPress
Publish Your First Blog PostWhatever you want to do with your blog, there’s a good chance you’ll find a helpful video here! Learning WordPress is a snap with Matt! 😀 Customize your blog today!
(And if there’s something you need that’s not here, contact me and I’ll make a video for you. 🙂 )
Step 6: Release Your Inner Blogger
Let’s now show you how to start blogging! 🙂
On the left menu, there is a tab called “Posts”. Click it.
You will probably see some example posts already there. All new WordPress blogs have a few default posts. You can delete those by clicking “Trash” under the post.
To start a new post, click the “Add New” link.
This takes you to the Post Editor. Here, you can type in your blog post title in the top bar, then start writing in the lower large box.
To add visuals to your post, you want to click the “Add Media” button…
…then click “Select Files” to upload a photo or graphic from your computer. In here, you can adjust the size of your visual. When ready, click “Insert into post” and the picture will be added.
Then, when your post is ready, click the “Publish” button on the right side of the screen.
Make Sure Your Blog is “Public”
If people cannot yet see your blog, and instead see a “Coming Soon” page, you need to make your blog public.
This is done by clicking the Bluehost tab at the top of your left menu in the dashboard, then click the blue “Launch” button to remove the “Coming Soon” page.
Congratulations! You’re now a real blogger!
Once your content is done, it’s time to let people know it’s ready!
Step 7: How to Promote Your Blog in 2019
A new blogger is going to need to promote their new blog post, as their site does not yet have a following.
The best way to start promoting blog is to post links to your articles on your social media accounts like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. This is an easy and free way to let your friends see your new post, and hopefully, they will share it as well. A well done blog post has the potential to go viral on social media!
Along with social media, an even better promotional tool is email marketing, which is why I recommend getting started on your email list right away. My video course Get a Professional Looking Blog shows you how to set up your email list, so visitors will give you their email address (with their permission.) Then, you can notify them every time a new blog post comes out.
Email marketing covers too much ground to get into here. There is a guide to email marketing on my blog (highly recommended.)
Step 8: How to Make Money Blogging – Beginners Guide 2019
Once your blog is built, and you’re posting content people want, and getting traffic to your site by promoting your posts, you are now ready to pursue income generating opportunities.
Here are some different ways to make money with blogging…
Promote other people’s products or services – this is also called “affiliate marketing.” You can become an Amazon affiliate or join any type of affiliate program you want. Or you can simply promote someone else’s stuff and earn a commission. This is something you can do right away.
Advertising – another way to monetize right away is to sell advertising space to your blog. When you build a huge audience, other businesses will come to you, wanting to buy ad space from you.
A simple way to get started is to do Google Adsense. This program finds the ads that your audience will appreciate, and they put the ads on your site for you. All you do is place the Google Adsense code on your blog and let Google do the heavy lifting. You simply collect the payments. I have a guide that shows you how to place Google Adsense on your blog here.
Sell your own products/services – you may already have something in mind here. If not, that’s okay. Build your audience and they will let you know what they want you to provide them.
Still need help?
My hope is this one page guide has helped you start a blog.
However, I’ve got good news if you are still needing help on one or more of the steps: this site has more detailed, individual, step-by-step tutorials.
here is a list of popular tutorials found on my blog:
Message me if you need anything. You can use Instant Message in the lower right corner of this website. Your message will be emailed to me if I am not available.
This step-by-step guide has helped thousands of people and it should provide you with everything you need to start a blog and succeed long term.
Again, please contact me at any time if you need some help or advice. I love to talk shop with bloggers, and would love to hear from you!