How We Started This Blog
Want to create something meaningful? Why not start a blog? Why not become a blogger? Creating this blog is one of the best decisions Ryan and I ever made. After all, our blog is how we earn a living. More important, it’s how we add value to other people’s lives.
So you’re thinking about starting a blog, but you don’t have any idea where to start, right? Guess what—neither did we! Before we became “The Minimalists,” we wanted to start a blog to communicate our thoughts and express our feelings, but we were overwhelmed with options.
Clueless, confused, and confounded with choices, we had no idea how to start a blog or how to be a blogger. When should we start? How do we register a domain name? What is hosting? Which blogging platform should we use? How do we choose a blog theme? What is a plugin? What should we write about? Heck, we could hardly spell HTML, let alone build a blog!
But good news: it turns out that starting a blog is much easier than you think. We’ve learned a ton of lessons during our ascent to millions of readers, and now you can learn from our pain and suffering to avoid much of the tedium involved in setting up a blog.
How to Become a Blogger: Video Tutorial
If you prefer to watch our process for setting up a blog, we’ve created a step-by-step instructional video, How to Become a Successful Blogger Today, which shows the entire starting-a-blog undertaking. Otherwise, read on.
- How to Start a Successful Blog in 5 Steps
- Choose your blog name and get your blog hosting.
- Start your blog by adding WordPress.
- Pick a simple theme to make your blog your own.
- Add two key blogging plugins to find your readers and track stats.
- Write compelling content to create a blog that your readers love.
- While there are other blogging platforms out there like Blogger.com and Tumblr.com, nearly every serious blogger uses a self-hosted WordPress site because of its creative freedom and flexibility.
The Minimalists uses WordPress because it gives us greater control over the look and feel of our blog—more creative control than any other platform. Oh, and WordPress itself is free!
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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.
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).