Before you start reading – I have to clarify this is not your typical “start a blog and get rich” guide that seems to be popping up like weeds all over the Internet. Sure, you can make money from blogging and sure some bloggers do become millionaires – but who are we kidding, not every kid who picks up a basketball is going to make 37 Million Dollars a year like LeBron James.
I started blogging in 2010 – and yes you can argue those were simpler times for the Internet – but for me, blogging has always been more about self-expression and sharing my ideas with the world than it has been about making money.
I remember in the early days of CodeofLiving.com, I received a thank you message from a reader in India (and yes, I still do read all of my mail and respond to everyone) – and it just blew my mind! Like I was just a regular person, sitting in my pajamas, writing about my life and things that I have learned in my short time on earth and this person is emailing me from the other side of the earth saying “you changed my life” – it was just amazing and so humbling that I wouldn’t trade it for any dollar amount.
This is what I feel the purpose of blogging is. Stop worrying about winning or making money and just focus on expressing yourself to the fullest. Write amazing content that comes from your heart instead of your empty wallet and just make it your goal that “even if 1 person (including yourself) is positively impacted by this blog, I am successful”. Quality always trumps everything else and the funniest part is, in my experience, the bloggers who start off with the right intentions are the ones who end up making the most money long term anyway.
So, without further ado – here is my quick simple guide to starting a blog. This is how I started CodeofLiving.com, step-by-step with additional rationale and insights:
5 Simple Steps To Start A Blog:
Choose a blogging platform and domain
The very first thing you need to do is go to Bluehost and register your domain. Think of this step as purchasing paper and pens to write a novel. You don’t need to set up WordPress, which is the most popular blogging platform in the world because Bluehost does that for you (go to this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price and a free domain). There is a free, “one-click” install that makes the technical parts of “getting online” a breeze. Plus, in my experience, the free “live chat” assistants at Bluehost are phenomenal and help setting up your blog simple and easy.
Design the look of your blog
WordPress has a huge catalog of free themes to apply to your blog. Think of this as the paint and décor in your room. You can browse and choose the look that best suits you or the content you will be writing about. There are thousands of themes and I could recommend some but honestly, it’s best to choose a theme for your blog that “you like.” It should express who you are and resonate with your target audience.
Choose the best plugins for your blog
Think of plugins as “little packages” you add to WordPress to give your blog additional capabilities. WPBeginner has a great Best WordPress Plugins article about the best plugins to add to your blog. There is an exhaustive number of plugins available in WordPress’s catalog with an endless number of features. If there is something, you’d like to do on your blog, I can almost guarantee there is a plugin for that.
Tweak your blog to define your style
When I started CodeofLiving.com I spent the first 2 months simply tweaking and fine-tuning every corner of my blog. Not saying this is the best advice as content truly is king but this still is an important step to your blogging journey. Add a funky logo, tweak the colors, change the fonts, adjust the font sizes, alter the arrangement of your sidebar, decide whether you want scrolling share icons or static ones at the top of your article and the list goes on…
Write quality content
Finally, the fun part begins – and the best part is you can write and upload content directly via WordPress. Obviously start with your basic pages such as your About Page, Contact Page, Books Page, Archive Page etc. and then move onto the more compelling posts that you want to write. Focus on readability, quality and use images. Try to write blog posts on a regular schedule and every word you write, always keep in mind that very likely after you hit submit, a person from the other side of the world might very well be reading this post and ask yourself if your writing will make a positive impact in their life.