Finally, so people can receive our blog posts via email, we established a free Feedburner account. For a more feature-rich email-subscription service we recommend Constant Contact (affiliate link). (By the way, if you don’t already subscribe to The Minimalists’ blog via email, you can here.)
How to Start a Blog in 2022: 5 Simple Steps
In this step-by-step guide we’ll walk you through every part of the process while helping you avoid the common mistakes new bloggers tend to make. By the end, you’ll have your very own personal or professional blog up and running in less than 30-minutes.
1. Pick a Topic
We recommend choosing a blog topic that you feel passionate about or interested in. It’s even better when you’re an expert at something, as this helps you to grow your blog through writing quality content to help others.
Here’s an example: If you’re interested in fitness and you like to train, it’s wise to share your knowledge in a blog that’s related to fitness or cover topics on training and nutrition. Through the blog, you’ll be able to get new clients.
2. Determine Your Niche
Your niche could be a very specific target audience (e.g., high school students in New York City), a specific type of content you’ll share (e.g., step-by-step guides), a subcategory of your topic (e.g., hiking), or a combination of these (e.g., guides for New York City students who like hiking).
3. Confirm Market Demand
Think of a few keywords related to your topic. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to see how popular they are. Alternatively, you can look for online forums in your niche or run surveys to understand the size of your potential audience.
4. Choose a Name
Step 1 Choose your blog name and get your blog hosting
Blogging Quick Start – Step 1
Choose your domain name
Your domain name is an important part of your blog because it creates a first impression—it is the name of your blog. Also known as your URL, your domain is also your address on the web. For example, our domain name is www.theminimalists.com.
So, what do you want to call your blog? Maybe it’s YourName.com. Maybe it’s YourBusinessName.com. Or maybe it’s a creative brand name you thought up. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a good domain name, try Wordoid, a wonderful naming tool that will give you plenty of great options. Just make sure you don’t buy the domain from them since Bluehost will give you a free domain. (If you’ve already purchased a domain elsewhere, that’s okay, too, because Bluehost will make it easy to transfer your existing domain during the setup process.)
Set up blog hosting
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you’ll need to set up hosting for your blog. While WordPress itself is free (see Step 2 below), you need a reliable place to host your WordPress blog (your blog needs to be on a server somewhere on the Internet).
- We Use Bluehost. We personally use Bluehost to host The Minimalists. If you recommend a company, you better be willing to use their product yourself. We also use them to host several other websites of ours.
- Outstanding Customer Service. Bluehost’s customer service is 100% US-based. With hold times that average less than 30 seconds and 100% in-house, on-site staff in their Texas offices, you can rest assured that the person helping with your site knows how to help. In other words, if you have any questions, they will help you through the entire setup process.
- Great Pricing. TheMinimalists.com is a Bluehost affiliate partner, which means that in addition to using their service, we also receive a commission for referring new customers. To be fair, though, we would still use Bluehost even if we weren’t an affiliate—we’ve used them for a long time. Ergo, we don’t recommend Bluehost just because we’re an affiliate (every hosting company offers a similar affiliate program); we recommend Bluehost because they are the best, most reliable option. Plus, because we’re a partner, Bluehost offers a 50% discount for The Minimalists readers: only 5000.75 a month for the first year.
- Free Domain. When you sign up for hosting, Bluehost will give you a free domain name, which allows you to avoid the upfront and recurring fees associated with purchasing a domain on your own. If you’ve already purchased your own domain name, don’t worry; you can still use your domain with Bluehost (it’s just one extra step).
- Money-Back Guarantee. Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk if you change your mind.
- Reliability. Bluehost’s facilities are world class. They have their own custom-built 20,000-square-foot datacenter with enough backup generators to power a city.
- Friends & Family. Many of our friends and family also use Bluehost to host their blogs.
How to Start a Blog Ebook
Step 3 Pick a simple theme to make your blog your own
A theme allows you to pick a design for your blog without the need for coding expertise or design knowledge. In other words, a good theme helps you to design your blog exactly how you want it to look. If you’re not a coder (I’m certainly not a coder), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier.
Blogging Quick Start – Step 3
Our blog design is from BYLT, a platform created by our good friends at SPYR. They have several beautiful, simple WordPress themes to choose from, and, in fact, you can purchase the same theme we use if you like.
Simply go to BYLT and find the minimalist WordPress theme that best fits your desired aesthetic. Their themes are feature-rich; plus, once you buy your theme, you will have the same team supporting your work that we trust to support ours.
Tumblr is one of the original free blogging sites on the web. It’s just a bit ‘milder’ than the others on the list. Unlike the rest of the platforms that are mostly created for publishing purposes, this one here is more oriented to multimedia or social media-like content. The interface of Tumblr is more playful and is easy to get started with – you can simply sign up and then you’re allowed to start posting.
Just like a regular blogging platform, it provides multiple post formats for different types of content. The thing with Tumblr is that it is purely for personal use and wouldn’t put up a great solution if you have business-oriented plans. It is simplistic, offers basic customization options and, like I said earlier, has more of a social media vibe.
Jimdo is more than just an example of free blogging sites. However, in its free version, blogs are the most recommended, given Jimdo’s basic features. So you can quickly create a website with Jimdo by going through a few items (you take a basic questionnaire about your site’s purpose). After you check these options, your site is automatically created based on your picks. The downside of Jimdo is that you can’t have a custom domain (at least not for free) and you can’t remove the ads unless you upgrade.
An important aspect of Jimdo, though, is that it is a page builder: you create blog posts right via the front-end and not via an editor (like the other blogs do). This means that you need to go to every content box on a live page and edit it on the spot, without being redirected to another page. The footer and the logo can be edited the same way. When it comes to the content elements, you have a few options: simple text, text with image, photo gallery, columns, buttons etc.
Via the left sidebar, you can make more tweaks, such as adding the post’s date, title, category, status (published or draft), summary, and image preview. In short, your article will be entirely built from many individual elements that you will edit separately. Text, picture, button… the order is up to you.
How to create a blog (in 6 easy steps)
Ready to launch a blog with these free blog sites?