How To Start A Blog

by
LAURYN

everything you need to know about how to start a blog | by the skinny confidential

Want to start a blog? I’ve got you covered.

About two years ago, my best friend & fashion blogger, Erica of Fashionlush, and I were having coffee & talking shop. We were both eating/sleeping/breathing blogging… but wanted to take it a step further. Erica’s a coder & I love branding — we wanted to bring everything together sort of?

So we created a little something called blog-doo.

& the blog making magic began. We offer various design packages to either help start you from scratch or give your existing blog a magical makeover. If you’re interested in working with us to get your blog up & running, you can learn more about the process here. If you have any questions — please feel free to reach out!

If you’re more of the DIY type… you’re in the right place! Today’s post will help all of you DIY-ers get on the road to blogging in the big leagues. Read on for a simple step-by-step guide to help get you started.

If, down the road you want to up your blogging game, blog-doo will still be here to help!

Ok so let’s get down & dirty with the first steps to getting your blog up & running. Erica & I wrote down everything you need to know below!

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PART I: THE IDEA

At this point, you probably have a name chosen, but take it a step further & formulate a plan. What are your top-level categories, lower-level categories, target audience, etc.

Nailing down these details with a small business plan will help you get an idea of how you want your blog to look, what you will be blogging about, & your audience.

PART II: WORDPRESS.COM VS. WORDPRESS.ORG

First of all, let’s talk WordPress. WordPress is your CMS ( content management system ). It’s where you will go to write posts and manage your content.

There are many content management systems out there (Blogger, Squarespace, WIX, etc.), but we are all about WordPress for those wanting to blog professionally.

There are two different WordPress sites to choose from: WordPress.com & WordPress.org. We ONLY recommend .org as it gives you more control over your site & has great features to give you the ability to evolve in the future.

WordPress.org seems scary to some because you gotta do some tech-y stuff all by yourself, but really, once I break it down for you, it will be a breeze.

PART III: DOMAIN & HOSTING

1. Choose a domain name: If you’re just starting out, we recommend you keep things as simple as possible and take advantage of the FREE domain name with Bluehost ( which is where you will be getting your hosting ). First, be sure to check if your domain name is available. If it’s not, try adding “blog” to the end, or go back to the drawing board.

2. Choose hosting: If you think of it like a house, your domain name is the land you are on, the hosting is the framework of the house, & WordPress is the furniture. So for the framework, you want something reliable & trustworthy. If your site goes down, you want a hosting company who can be on call at all hours to help figure out the issue. At blog-doo, we always recommend  Bluehost as they offer a combo of great pricing, speed, & amazing support. You can start today for as low as $2.95/mo for 36 months. LOVE THIS HOST. That’s 50% off the normal rate!

PART IV: HOW TO SET UP HOSTING & WORDPRESS

1. Head over to Bluehost & when you get to the site, hit that big green “GET STARTED” button. Easy enough.

2. Next, you will come to a page that asks you to choose your package. You’ll see three options – if you’re a beginner blogger, the ‘PLUS’ package is perfect. Hit select.

3. Sign up now! You will see two options: a “new domain” box and a “I already have a domain” box. If you bought your domain elsewhere, you would use the latter option. If you want to register through Bluehost to keep all your stuff in one place, register your new domain — which Bluehost is offering to TSC readers for FREE.

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4. Next, it will take you through the typical checkout information. First, it will ask for your account info, then it will ask you for your package info, which is where you will choose your account plan & add-ons ( check whichever ones you want – but typically we just recommend domain privacy! ). Then, it will ask you for your billing info. Easy enough.

5. You’re almost there! Set up your password & log in to your new hosting account. YES!

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6. Once you’re logged in, you will find your dashboard. The first thing we are gonna do is get WordPress installed! This is where things get kinda intimidating but trust me, follow these steps & photos and you’ll see, it’s very straightforward:

» in the dashboard, locate the icon that says “install wordpress” & click on that.

» next, it will take you to an install page where you will simply click the big green ‘start’ button.

» the next window will provide you with a drop down to choose the domain you are working with. If you only have one domain, you will only have one easy choice!

» lastly, you will be asked to name your blog & set up your login information.

** I RECOMMEND Bluehost if you’re starting out. Be specific when it comes to hosting.

7. OK, you’re all signed up. Now, head over to your email inbox & find a welcome letter that includes your login + a link to your WordPress dashboard (i.e. www.yoursite.com/wp-admin). Click this URL to be taken to your WordPress login page ( bookmark this link – you will visit it everyday! ). Log in & there you have it – your shiny new WordPress dashboard!

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PART V: DESIGN!

Ok, so you’ve got the bare bones of the blog set up, & you can definitely start blogging ( getting content up before launch is a great idea ), but you will need to figure out a design.

There are a few options here:

You can find a theme you like & buy it – there are tons of themes on Etsy & you can also search for themes on Pinterest. These themes are templates that you can customize with your logo & colors. This works for some people if they are just starting out, but if you are looking for a more original design…. that’s where a blog design company, like blog-doo, will come into play.

This may not be something you want to do right away as you’re feeling out the whole blogging thing, but down the road, a professional & original blog design is definitely the way to go. Whenever you’re ready – feel free to contact blog-doo & mention you read this post for a 10% off discount.

ALSOblog-doo will be launching an eBook shortly that will cover EVERYTHING you need to know about starting a blog, including ( but not limited to: branding basics, Google Analytics, case studies from brands, & SO MUCH MORE! ). We have been working on this eBook for months & we promise it will be a real game changer in your blogging career. If you want to know when the eBook is live, sign up for our newsletter ON THIS POST at the bottom!

For more info, scope blog-doo. Happy weekend!

lauryn x

Check to see if your domain is available:

BLOGGER BOSS VIBES:

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  1. AvatarMonique

    Omg omg omg OH.MY.GOD. I can’t believe you’re doing this. I have been wishing for something super-simplistic like this before I launch my blog! So not only is it insane that it’s here, but the added bonus is that it’s from YOU, aka the best blogger EVER! This was a super smart nidea Lauryn! Sooo many ppl are going to want to take advantage of this opportunity with you, I know I am! My problem is with the design, and it has been holding me back. I just can’t seem to get it right ?. I’m super picky, and super OCD so I know you can relate to that. I have so many posts just waiting to be released to the world, and a million more ideas. I was just stuck with the design. I was debating on just launching and then cleaning it up as I go, but let’s face it I can’t! Not until I’m at least 80% satisfied with my look and feel on my blog. So I’m still struggling, waiting, and letting precious time slip by like a complete idiot! I can’t wait to take advantage of this Blog-Doo opportunity. I just have to get a cpl ducks in a row, but I’m super stoked! Thank you so much for doing this, and sharing your wise-wisdom with all of your readers. I guarantee you guys are going to be slammed with business. I found Blog-Doo off of TSC like 4 months ago, but I wasn’t sure you were still offering it. Now I know! This is a great way too start my Saturday, you just made me sooo happy! Lots of love xoxo!

    Reply
    1. AvatarLauryn Post author

      AW you are SO sweet Monique! We can’t wait to help you design your blog : ) In the meantime, I definitely believe in launching fast and evolving as you go. I waited over a year to launch TSC because I wanted it to be perfect and I wish I had launched sooner. xx

  2. AvatarChristina Rice

    Wow I wish something like this existed when I was first trying to figure out how to create my blog – you simplified it perfectly! Would love if you could do a post about getting a blog more readers/ exposure/marketing it!

    Reply
  3. AvatarCaitlin

    Thank you so much for sharing this post Lauryn! I launched my blog a few months back and am having trouble with gaining and growing my readership. I so excited for the Blog-Doo e-book, I can’t wait to read the tips from one of my favorite bloggers! So happy you are doing this, thank you!
    xo, Caitlin

    Reply
  4. Avatarrxhunt

    I’ve been a watcher-supporter of yours for years, but felt like you were out of reach so I never interacted with you on any of your platforms–until I started listening to your podcast this past week. I feel terrible for being that person who enjoys all your work, but isn’t vocal or promotes you in anyway (that is changing, be prepared).
    Literally, what you’ve written here is gold. I’m a (self-taught) web/graphic designer and if someone had just broke it down like this for me in the beginning, I might be 5 years ahead of my current game.
    THANK YOU for being so generous and giving away so much free content and knowledge!

    Reply
    1. AvatarLauryn Post author

      WHAT A NICE MESSAGE! Made my day. You can always e-mail me. I respond to all e-mails. I make a point.

      Thank you so much for your support, Rebecca! XO

  5. AvatarHolly at Healthy Living Holly

    Such great tips and ideas in this post. My blog is hosted on Blogger, but I have been researching how to make the switch over to WordPress.org – I just hope I don’t have any huge issues losing content? I am wondering if you have any ideas about this or what might be the best route to go! Thanks Lauryn!

    Reply
  6. AvatarAle

    Hi! Lovec your tips. Would i file the same steps if i need to migrate from wordpress.com to wordpress.org ?
    Thank you!!

    Reply
    1. AvatarJennifer

      This was literally the post that pushed me to purchase a domain! I’ve been following bloggers, including yours, FOR YEARS, and have always wondered about starting my own but always had my doubts. Why would I write? Who would listen? Who cares? Early twenties self-doubt. After YEARS of contemplating, I saw this post and said f*ck it – I’m doing it. Not for anyone else, not for the money, not for Insta-fame, but because I have a lot of shit brewing in my head so I might as well write it online and make it pretty, right?

      Seriously, thank you for always being authentic to your brand and self. It shows through your blog (obsessed), Instagram (liked), Snapchat (lol) and now podcast (love). I can’t wait even wait to start pushing content (once I figure out my shit and where to start).

      Also, I know the podcast space is super new to you and even the demographic your viewers are in, but honestly you are KILLING IT. I’m pretty sure I work with the guy that did your new intro. Anyways, I die listening every week (in a good way) and love the tips. Michael is ok too.

      xx

  7. AvatarKassi Wilkey

    So when we follow the steps to download wordpress from bluehost; do we have a wordpress.com or wordpress.org account? Thanks!

    Reply
  8. Avatarkait

    This was incredibly helpful and I am going to use it as a guide to get started this weekend. Is that blog-doo eBook out yet? 😉 Thank you!

    Reply
  9. AvatarKate Brownell

    This is great sharing. I am a housewife, have lots of time to do any creative work. I am also thinking of write a blog related to cooking recipes. I don’t know how to write a blog and where to write. So I was searching online for how to start a wordpress blog so that I can too earn some extra for myself. I found your blog so interesting and steps are also easy. I will share my cooking experience through blogging and also help people. I hope people will like my recipes.

    Reply
  10. AvatarLynne Mazin

    Thanks so much for the inspiration! You make all your hard work look fun and exciting! I totally appreciate the blog guidance. Followed your advice and launched penthousedreams.com. Published 1st blog! Thanks for all your support xox

    Reply
  11. AvatarSara Smith

    8. Blog launch is the first step that tell how professional and serious you are about blogging. 90% people who fail in blogging business has launched the blog without any research and passion. It is necessary to blog with passion but at the same time it is important that you should do research. Your job is to spend time and find out which niche is profitable and how that attracts you.
    Your tips are always helpful.
    Glad you shared these.

    Reply