If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already been browsing the internet for ways to start a blog. Before starting Vegan Blessing, I had no idea how to start a website, nor did I have any technical skills to build it. Fortunately, the internet is so vast that you can easily find a soul brother teaching you how to do it.
Gone are the days when we had to know a lot of code to build our own little corner in this world wide web. Today, there are a lot of tools that do the hard work for us, making it easier to focus on our content. Yet, if you have time to learn to code HTML and CSS, for example, you’ll find it really easy and intuitive. It also gives you more flexibility for designing and modifying your blog.
Here, I’ll show you the 5 most important steps for you to start creating what you love.
1. Find a Web Hosting Service
Just like you need physical storage for the data in your computer (HDD or SSD), you also need one to host your blog. That’s what servers are for. There are a variety of web hosting services to choose from, each with its own pricing. Before Vegan Blessing started, I researched tons of hosts comparing their prices and features, choosing what was best for our purpose.
Currently, we’re using Dreamhost. They have a terrific plan starting at $2.59 a month, with unlimited traffic (in other servers you need to upgrade to get unlimited traffic), SSD storage (the fastest) and SSL Certificate (important security certificate). At Vegan Blessing, we currently use Shared Unlimited from $7.95 a month (billed each 3 years). This plan includes a free domain name and also an email hosting.
Dreamhost offers a free WHOIS privacy service to protect your personal contact details from public searches. This feature, the free domain name, the email hosting, SSL certificate, are usually charged an extra yearly cost in many other web hosting services. That’s why we chose Dreamhost! Also, their fantastic live chat support saved me a lot of headaches.
2. Choose a Domain Name
What is a domain name? Well, basically, it’s the name you wish to give your website/blog. In our case, “veganblessing” is our domain name, while “.com” is our top-level-domain (TLD). You can choose a variety of TLDs, such as .com, .org, .info, .net, etc. To check the availability of your domain name, you can use this search engine. Remember that once you choose and register a domain name, you won’t be able to change it, unless you register another.
3. Choose a Theme
Dreamhost comes with a one-click install of WordPress, the most popular website management system there is. WordPress gives you a set of free themes you can choose from, depending on the looks and feel you want for your blog. Of course, you can also code it from scratch if you have the knowledge (I certainly hadn’t). One of the benefits of using a pre-made theme is that you can tweak its design to suit your needs.
At Vegan Blessing, we’re using the Genesis Framework plus Foodie Pro Theme by StudioPress, the industry standard for Premium WordPress Themes. As the name implies, Genesis, a parent theme, functions as the framework for a child theme, in this case, Foodie Pro. This framework gives you a lot of flexibility for defining the layout of your website, mainly with widgets. It makes it easy to customize in real-time changes you do. As a rule of thumb, you should do your code tweaking in the child theme, not on the parent theme. This way, you won’t lose your customizations when Genesis updates.
4. Create Good Quality Content
Besides all the technical issues that are raised when starting a blog, the most important factor is content. It doesn’t matter if your website looks great from a graphical viewpoint if it doesn’t have content to match it.
If you really want to build a blog, that probably means you already have something to offer. If you don’t, you need to find what you’re passionate about, you need to find your niche. For readers to be engaged, they need to feel that the topic you chose is natural to you. Imagine yourself within a year with 50 posts already written. Will you still have the passion to write about it? If so, you found your niche. I believe everyone has something to say which they could go on and on without becoming tired. This is really important.
5. Keep Consistency and Don’t Give Up
Consistency is key.
What’s the point of starting a blog if your posts start declining in quality and also in numbers? Maybe you start writing every 2 to 3 days, but then slowly there’s a drop-off… Once every 2 weeks… Once a month… It probably happened to most of us, I’m not negatively judging people. But not everyone finds the time, consistently, to write.
Also, if you want to start making an income from your blog, you must keep consistency. This, along with good quality content, is the main key factor that every successful blogger emphasizes.
We all have those days when inspiration flows without thinking, and days when we struggle to start a sentence. That’s ok! You just need to remind yourself what’s the purpose of your blog and give yourself some time if you need to. Don’t give up!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed above and recommend them because they are companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed above!