Everyone has the dream of starting an online business these days, they want to start a blog and make money from their laptop. Is it a pipe-dream or realistic? Sure, it can happen, but the amount of work and dedication it requires forces most to quit before they come even close to experiencing any success.

If it was easy everyone would be making money online, traveling, and living the good life. Do some live this way? Of course, but the percentage is very small. The key is to go in with little to no expectations, and starting a blog is one of the best online businesses a noob can start with very little cost and little to no technical skill or experience.

When you start a blog with realistic expectations, like breaking even in the beginning to cover expenses, then making a little bit of money that can be reinvested to make the blog better, rather than making a million dollars in a month, you will stand a much better chance of building something correctly that has long term potential.

When you start a blog as a hobby it can then turn into something much bigger. You really won’t know the potential or what opportunities present themselves until you get it cranking.

Look at my own story, as it’s a great example. I started SerpLogic as a blog, with no intention of ever starting another SEO agency after my previous one was acquired. Well, the blog grew in popularity and traffic went through the roof and the demand for SEO and link building services was too high to ignore.

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear revolves around people with little to no experience online wanting to know how to start a blog. So, I wanted to put together a very noob friendly post that explains the necessary steps to get a blog launched and live.

The hardest part is just starting. It will never be perfect, so the quicker you can get it live and start publishing content, the more you will learn and the better it will get over time.

Again, start a blog with the goal to create something fun, and don’t focus on the money in the beginning. If that is your only focus you will become disappointed quickly.

If you understand this is a long term project, then keep reading and follow the simple steps below you too can start a blog today.


1. Think of a Niche You Love (and others do too)

There are blogs for almost any topic you can imagine. There are very broad topics, like saving money and finance related blogs, to very niche blogs about trout fishing. It’s wise to start a blog around a topic that you like, because you will be spending a lot of time working on it, and also one that you are knowledgeable about, because you are going to have to write a lot of content (and often) on the topic.

In the beginning you aren’t going to want to spend money on content, so it will be up to you to publish new posts. Down the line you can open your blog to guest writers and outsource some content creation, but it’s you that will determine the early momentum.

Someone that is interested about a topic is going to write content that will engage and educate more than some random freelance writer will. You also want to make sure that the niche has a large enough audience. Remember, without a large audience it will be very hard to turn the blog into something other than a hobby.



2. Find the Perfect Domain

Your domain name is your blog’s home online. Some CMS blogging platforms will allow you to use their domain and assign your blog a sub-domain, but that isn’t the best option. You don’t fully own the blog in this situation.

Use a popular domain registrar, like GoDaddy, and start to search. I would recommend only using a dot com, simply because it’s the most common and widely accepted. Someone that has limited online experience knows what dot com is and might not even be aware that there are other extension options available.

You want to think of a clever name that is relatable to your niche, short, and easy to remember. A long domain name or one that isn’t relevant will make it hard to build a brand that people connect with the niche. Take your time on this as the right domain name is key and the wrong one can be disastrous.


3. Pick a Blog CMS and Hosting Provider

As I mentioned before, there are a few blog CMS options, like Blogger and Wix, but there are many reasons why you should avoid them. They are self-hosted so you don’t have full control over your blog. They also have SEO issues, which can make it difficult to scale your organic search engine traffic down the line.

WordPress is the best option without a doubt, and it’s free to use. They have two options, a self-hosted or one that you host. Don’t worry about hosting, as there are options that make it very easy to get started without any experience and still maintain 100% control and ownership.

There are a few WordPress hosting packages that are affordable, from HostGator, GoDaddy and WP Engine. They all have one-click WordPress installation and easy setup, allowing you to easily connect your domain to your blog and start posting content right away.

Tip: I would suggest getting your domain and WordPress hosting from the same company to make it easier.


4. Install a Blog Theme

WordPress comes installed with a few standard themes, but they are as basic as they get. You will want to pick a theme that matches your niche, and there are thousands of free ones (over 5,000) to pick from in the theme directory.

There are paid themes too you can buy online, which can range anywhere from $29 to $80, but you don’t have to spend the money in the beginning. I would suggest selecting a free theme that works, and then once you build an audience and prove that you have the opportunity to turn the blog into something bigger, then you can opt for a premium theme or even hire a web designer to create a custom design for you.

While browsing the theme directory you can filter the results to show only certain features or certain industries. From there you can then preview what each one looks like. You can always switch themes, so don’t think you will be locked into this decision forever.



5. Install Plugins for Customization

One of the other reasons WordPress is the best blogging platform is the plugins available for feature additions and customization, all of which are free. Again, there are premium plugins available, but there is no reason to spend money in the beginning with so many great free options available.

You can easily add any feature you desire with just a few clicks. No programming or coding skills are needed, which is why plugins make the entire blog building process so simple and hassle free.

Want to add an image gallery? How about a contact form? Or security settings to protect your blog from hackers? All of these can be accomplished by installing a plugin and activating it and letting it work its magic.

You will think of features or changes you want to make as you build your blog, so just remember that you can always search the plugin directory for what you need. Chances are you will find a solution to every desire and need.


6. Sign Up for a Mailchimp Account

I have said it a couple times already: building a blog is a long term plan, but you have to do things in the beginning that will benefit you when the time does come to monetize it and building an email list from the first day your blog launches can be one the wisest decisions you make.

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email list services, and they have a free plan that allows you to build a list of up to 2,000 contacts and send mail to it regularly. Even if your list grows more than 2,000 you won’t be charged unless you want to mail it.

Sign up for an account and then install the Mailchimp WordPress plugin. This will allow you to insert newsletter subscription calls-to-action in your blog posts or put offers to join your list into the sidebar of your blog.

Every email that you add to your list is something that you can then market a product or service to down the line. It doesn’t matter what it is; having a large list when that time does come gives you a major advantage and a warm customer list you can market to.


7. Install Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool that you can easily setup that will help you grow your blog and make changes to improve its performance. Register a free account and then install the Google Analytics WordPress plugin, which will then insert the tracking code into your blog’s code automatically.

The data Google Analytics provides you with allows you to see where you blog traffic comes from, what it does while on your blog, what it likes and what it doesn’t. This might seem overwhelming, but it’s actually very easy to understand. Make it a point to spend 5 to 10 minutes looking at your data daily.

This will help you self-teach yourself, and over time you will become a much better blogger because of this self-education. Building a successful blog involves more than just writing posts, and the analytical data available to you can help guide you to new opportunities while also helping you create better content.



8. Practice Publishing Content

This is where many people get stuck. They spend so much time trying to think of the perfect blog post and go back and forth on topics. Don’t overthink this. Just start blogging.

You need to let your ideas and thoughts just flow. This is how you will develop your voice and start to attract readers. The more content you produce, the more opportunities for it to be found via Google search and the more content you can share on social media.

This will also help you become familiar with the WordPress publishing platform. It’s very easy to use and all of the formatting options are self-explanatory. The more you post, the more accustomed you will become to all of its features and capabilities.


9. Focus on Attracting Readers (Social Media, Forums, Facebook Groups, etc.)

You will want to always be working on attracting traffic to your blog. You can do this for free using this simple three step approach that is very beginner friendly:


  • Share on social media: There is a good chance that you have friends and connections on social media that are into the same things that you are. If you started a blog in a niche you are highly interested in (which you should have done), then simply sharing your posts on your social media is a simple way to get readers to your blog that will likely continue to come back and check out what you are blogging about.


  • Post in forums: Be active in niche forums and create a signature with your blog’s URL. Each time you post you will promote your blog. Just don’t spam or make nonsense posts of you will be called out and likely banned.


  • Be active in Facebook groups: There are a lot of Facebook groups for all niches, so find the most active ones and start talking to people. Drop a URL to your post when it’s relevant and you can pull in traffic. Again, no spamming or you will be banned. Authentic engagement goes a long way.


10. Only Consider Monetization Down the Road

Let me end this with monetization. This is often the first thing people starting a blog are focused on, when in truth it should be the very last.

When your traffic is minimal and just starting to scale the opportunity to monetize is low. You could have Google AdSense code, and make a few dollars a month, but in the beginning that might push away you readers. Remember, you need to focus on building a loyal core audience.

I would wait until your traffic is booming and showing steady growth each month before introducing ads. With high traffic numbers you can then monetize through AdSense and at least cover your expenses.

As your blog grows and becomes more popular you can then determine whether or not your own product or service would be wise, or if an affiliate marketing option would work better. There is no way to predict. You have to wait and see how your audience reacts and what opportunities will be the most financially rewarding.




Starting a blog is really not that hard. It’s a simple process that anyone can do, and several try, only to let the blog fade away and become a project covered in dust. There are far too many gurus out there that claim you can built a million dollar blog empire overnight.

Why do they say this? To get you to buy their course. There are no shortcuts to online success, especially when it comes to blogging. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs, with countless new ones being launched daily. The competition is high and it’s only going to become more difficult.

Be willing to put in the work and you have the chance to build something great that can eventually turn into a full-time business.

What questions do you have about starting a blog? Drop them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them all.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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