How to Start a Blog the Right Way, A Step-by-Step Guide for Creative Bloggers

A step-by-step guide to launching a creative lifestyle blog

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

You’re probably thinking about blogging for a while now but don’t know how to start a blog. The idea of setting it all up overwhelms the life out of you, I get it.

I can imagine you now, daydreaming about what ifs and why nots, ideas flowing and heart bursting with excitement. YOU have a story to tell the world and you’re convinced that blogging is the way to get your message out there.

The problem is, you don’t know where to begin.

As a side note, I have been blogging for 18 years (say what?!) and have built a career and a business around blogging and designing blogs. That said, a lot of people come to me for help because they think that only a blog “expert” or a web designer can set up a blog.

I’m here to tell you today that NO, you don’t need to be an expert to set up a blog.

This is no rocket science. If you can read and follow instructions, then you can absolutely set up your blog right away.

TODAY, if you want.

Like, right NOW. Game?

Wait, there’s a right way to start a blog?

There is no ONE right way, yes, but there are several WRONG ways that will cost you money and days to correct.

I personally had bad (and I mean, really bad!) investments in my quest for the right tools to keep my blog/s going. Although I’m one to appreciate mistakes (because you learn things from them you wouldn’t have learned otherwise), I also wish I didn’t spend so much time and money experimenting and just trying things out. 

I’ve tried many blogging platforms and content management systems.

I’ve familiarized myself with a couple of web hosting providers, as well as experienced working on dozens more as part of the job. (If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I used to offer web design services, which means I’ve had to work with a plethora of web hosting providers.)

I’ve been through downtimes and malware problems and bad customer support; from transferring from one server to another and moving from one blogging platform to the next—and back, twice.

18 years is a long time, you guys. So much has happened through those years, and this blog has evolved in more ways than one. Which also means that I know a lot about what works and what doesn’t, both in the technical and creative aspects of setting up blogs.

AS FOR YOU, don’t need to make the same mistakes I did.

And you sure don’t need a decade to learn how to do it!

With this guide, you can start your blog the right way from day one. All within 30 minutes. Today.

If you’re the type who likes worksheets or checklists, you can download my Blog Launch Checklist too!

Download my FREE Blog Launch Checklist

Blog launch checklist

Download this FREE Blog Launch Checklist. Includes tools, plugins, and other blog essentials you need to launch a purposeful and profit-ready blog!

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So are you ready? Let’s go!


1. Choose the right domain name

I know what you’re thinking. Do you really need your own domain name? Can’t you just use a .wordpress.com subdomain or any of those free blogging platforms?

The straight answer is YES, you need your own domain name if you’re serious about starting a blog the right way.

Here are the reasons why you should get a domain name:

  • You want to eventually make money off your blog.
  • You want to use your blog to promote an existing business or a potential business.
  • You want to build up your personal brand and establish yourself as a thought leader in your passion or area of expertise.
  • You care about the creative ownership of your content, and you want it in a space that you own. (This, for me, is the most important thing, whether you want to make money from your blog or you just want to blog for fun.)

Having your own domain name speaks a handful about your intentions for your blog.

Let’s ponder upon that last sentence for a moment, shall we? 😉

Even more importantly, it puts a bit of pressure on yourself, which can be a good thing if you want to motivate yourself to take blogging seriously.

With that said, make a list of your domain name ideas, giving room for a few options in case what you want is not anymore available. When you’re ready with your list, it’s time to sign up for a web host!


2. Get the right web hosting

Web hosting and domain name are two different things but are often mistaken for the other. In layman’s term, web hosting is the space on the web where your website is stored, while your domain name is your website’s unique address. Example: This website is hosted by Siteground, and my domain name is www.chasingdreams.net.

On that note, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get your domain name and web hosting from Siteground.


Read my full honest review of Siteground here.


Trust me when I say I’ve done the legwork, and I’ve never been more happy about finally settling down at Siteground.

Pricing starts as low as $3.95 per month for the first year. Not bad at all! Coming from a more expensive web hosting provider (Dreamhost, which starts at $10.95/month, whew!), I love that the initial investment for Siteground is just right for beginners. You’re not paying for server space that you’re not using yet, and you can just grow the space as needed.

Step one. Choose a plan.

The StartUp Package works great for starters, up to 10,000 monthly visits. When your blog traffic starts growing to more than 10,000 page views (that’s the goal right??!), you can easily upgrade to the next plan.

The GrowBig and GoGeek plans are ideal for advanced bloggers. This is good if you plan on having multiple domain names down the line.

Step two. Choose domain.

Once you click the ORDER NOW button, you’ll arrive at the page that tells you to type in your chosen domain name.

It will verify if the domain name you picked is available, after which you can proceed with the registration details.

Step 3. Review & Complete.

And then you just have to complete your account information and other payment details.

After payment, you’ll receive all the billing info and other registration effects through email.

You should also receive your login details via email so keep watch for those Welcome emails! One of those initial emails will take you to your Siteground dashboard.


3. Choose the right Content Management System

There are other CMS and blog content platforms (Squarespace, Blogger, to name a few).

I will not go around in circles anymore and just tell you straight out—choose WORDPRESS.

In all my years in the industry, I always recommend WordPress as a blogging platform because it’s FREE, it’s SEO-ready, and it has a massive community of third-party plugin developers and theme designers. And because it’s an open-source software, it has room for all sorts of optimization and customization that are not possible with other blogging platforms.

Installing WordPress is super easy with Siteground through their setup wizard and their AMAZING customer support team. (The best one I’ve seen!)

Once you log in to your Siteground dashboard, you’ll see an alert like this, which will take you through the setup wizard.

Just follow the instructions and you’ll be done in a jiffy!

It’s really easy to install WordPress through Siteground’s setup wizard, but if you find yourself lost in the process at any given point. This is why Siteground is SO AWESOME.

They have a 24/7 chat support system in place that just BLEW. MY. MIND.

And this is worth noting because, in my experience, certain web hosting providers do have good live chat support in place—but only pre-sale. Sadly, heir live chat team is so good at closing sales but horrible at attending to actual customer concerns. The moment you swipe your card, and as soon as your 30-day (or whatever number of days) refund period is over, they just wouldn’t prioritize you anymore.

With Siteground, I was very happy (and pleasantly surprised) that their Live Chat is very efficient and overall awesome! They wouldn’t disappear on you whether you’ve been with them for just a few days, or months, or years.

So go ahead and click on the Live Chat button at the top of their homepage and expect a friendly neighborhood staff who will answer all of your questions and even help you with the setup as needed.


How much does it really cost to start a blog?

If you follow the above steps, the cost starts about $65 for the first year. This means you have 12 months to work on your blog and to get some traffic and ROI going. I don’t know about you but I think that’s a ridiculously small amount to pay to start blogging right. Even if you’re not planning to monetize your blog and just want one for fun, $65 is still not bad at all!

When I launched my first hosted blog, I spent a lot more than that. (Around $125 with Dreamhost.) But because I was convinced that this would generate me a stable income, support a profession I’m passionate about, and serve as my very own “creative playground”, I didn’t even have second thoughts about the small price I have to pay.

It was the best investment, ever!

If you ask me, I really think you should go with Siteground, and I’m not saying this because I’m an affiliate but because I really do believe that these guys are the best web host for bloggers. And this is important for us, creative/lifestyle/mommy/non-techie bloggers who don’t have the time in the world to worry about the technical stuff.

I’ve never been more indebted / invested / grateful / obsessed about a web hosting provider until today, tbh, especially after all the web hosting nightmares I’ve had. I can personally vouch for it, but if that’s not enough, WordPress themselves recommends Siteground as one of the best and brightest WordPress hosting providers too.

And now it’s your turn to make the decision. I hope you make the right one. 😉

Pin this post for easy access later:

Step-by-step guide to launching a blog the right way.


Beyond the blog setup

And now the real work begins. Needless to say, launching a purposeful and profitable blog goes beyond simply setting it up.

If you want your blog to start generating income or to eventually transition it to a business, you need a blog strategy that will take you where you want to go.

One of the things I learned in life, in business, and in blogging is that purpose always precedes profitYou have to establish your purpose for blogging first before you can expect to make a profit from it. 

I created a 7-Day E-course called “Blogging with a Purpose” which is designed to help you:

  1. Define your purpose for blogging
  2. Identify your blog #goals
  3. Carve out your unique niche
  4. Dig into the heart of your target readers
  5. Unravel your passions and strengths so you can..
  6. Begin creating an inspired message that attracts the right people.
  7. Plus some personal stories and lessons I gained from over 10 years of professional and leisure blogging.

For 7 days I will walk you through how to launch a purposeful blog +worksheets to guide you through it. Have I mentioned it’s FREE? Well, it’s free.

Join the e-course and begin your journey to creating a purposeful and profitable blog today!

Take the Blogging with a Purpose E-Course

A FREE 7-day e-course designed for bloggers and creatives who want to take their blog to a whole new level of meaning and purpose.

This e-course will take you back to the drawing board, unravel your passion and purpose for blogging, with an end-result of creating more intentional blog content that will attract the right readers.

Worksheets included!

No spam! 3 Worksheets included. Powered by ConvertKit

Take the Blogging with a Purpose E-Course

A FREE 7-day e-course designed for bloggers and creatives who want to take their blog to a whole new level of meaning and purpose.

This e-course will take you back to the drawing board, unravel your passion and purpose for blogging, with an end-result of creating more intentional blog content that will attract the right readers.

Worksheets included!

No spam! 3 Worksheets included. Powered by Seva

Author: Rhiza Oyos

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