Want to start a blog from home?
I’m sure you read a lot of blogs, spend time on Facebook, or hang out on Pinterest.
You see others online with their blogs, and you want to know how to start a blog in 2021.
You want to join this awesome blogging community.
I’ve been blogging for almost four years years on this blog and let me tell you, starting a blog was the best decision I ever made.
I love blogging so much, and that’s probably why five years ago I decided to become a freelance writer. I blog for a living, and it’s been the best decision I made for myself.
You know why? I’ve been in jobs that I hate. Wanted to be in a position to ‘call the shots’ for myself. Have family that I want to visit in other cities or countries.
You know how it is.
Because I have a blog, I can take my work with me when I travel. I can work (or not work) whenever I want to.
You can make money on your blog as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort to grow your blog. If you’re not sure if you can, just look at some of these bloggers who started out just like you and grew their blog to thousands a month!
I’ve had so many new bloggers email me personally telling me their story for wanting to start a blog, but they had no idea what to do or where to go.
If you want to start a mom blog, don’t worry, it’s easy, quick and you don’t need to know any tech stuff. Trust me. I’m tech illiterate, and I was able to start a blog with Namecheap in under 10 minutes!
Let’s break this down from the beginning!
How to Start a Blog in 2021
1. Figure Out Your Niche
One thing you need to think about when starting your blog is what you plan to write about. This can be a challenge for a lot of people. I struggled too.
When I first started She Loves Nice Things, I decided to write for women who like lifestyle type content. You know…food, interior design, shopping, etc.
But, I soon turned to women who want to become digital entrepreneurs. And even now, I’m narrowing my niche to make sure I focus on traffic growth, income growth, and email list growth. I will, of course, talk about my love for ‘the good life’, and being productive, but it’s not my blog’s focus.
You might be wondering, why do I even need a niche?
There’s a lot of lifestyle blogs that talk about career, travel, beauty, parenting and DIY.
For your first blog, though, I suggest you find a niche. You know why?
It will help you grow your blog and your following quicker.
If I have one regret with starting a blog, it’s that I didn’t target a narrower niche from the very beginning.
People remember you when they can think of your whole blog and what you stand for.
So, to find your niche, ask these questions:
What am I passionate about?
What’s that one thing that keeps you up at night? Look at your hobbies and find out what you enjoy and can write about it for a long time.
You can also look at previous experience to help you decide your niche.
My background is in fashion design and being a mom, but my online experience is in digital marketing. When I created She Loves Nice Things I pulled from those experiences.
Is there a need for my niche?
This is a little bit more challenging. How do you find out if there’s a need when, on Pinterest, you see like a gazillion blogs that talk about the same thing?
One easy way is to check on Facebook. Go to a few groups you belong to and use their search function.
Just type in your niche or keyword that represents your blog and see if there are lots of questions surrounding that topic. If so, you have a viable niche!
Can you monetize it?
Listen, we all love blogging for fun, but if you really want to be able to quit that 9-5 job you hate, you need to find a way to monetize your niche. For some, that’s doing sponsored posts, for others, it’s affiliate marketing, and for others, it’s starting a service.
Answer those three questions, and that should help you find your niche.
2. Choose a Blogging Platform
This site is a WordPress.org blog and while there are other blogging platforms to choose from – Squarespace for example – for the sake of this tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to start a WordPress.org blog.
A WordPress.org blog requires hosting and this post walks you through how to set up your hosting using Namecheap.
I recommend starting a blog with WordPress because:
- Most sites are WordPress sites (like The New Yorker and even celebrities use WordPress!)
- You have more options to customize your site with WordPress plugins and thousands of themes to choose from (both free and paid) to make your blog look the way you want it to.
- There is a lot of support to help you with your WordPress blog. There are YouTube videos, blog posts and WordPress forums – not to mention me! – that can help you with your blog’s theme and site.
3. Choose a Domain Name
This is the fun part!
This is where your creativity comes out It’s time to create your website’s name.
What are you going to name your blog? This will be what you type in the address bar – http://yourblogname.com.
It’s probably a good idea to have your niche somewhere in your website name.
Don’t spend days thinking of the perfect name. Make sure, though, to have a couple of names in case the .com is already taken. I also suggest trying to get a .com since that’s the most common and easy to remember (just make a list for now. Once we get into starting your blog, I’ll show you how to get your domain name!).
As a rule, make sure your domain name is simple, short and easy to spell, and relates to your overall brand.
Some of my favorite Lifestyle blog names are:
Cupcakes and Cashmere
A Beautiful Mess
Gal Meets Glam
Okay! Now it’s time to create a blog.
4. Time to Start a Blog with NameCheap and WordPress
When I first started blogging I wanted to use a secure and reliable web host. I also didn’t want to break the bank spending hundreds of dollars on this blog, when I wasn’t sure if I’d stick with it.
Namecheap is one of the best hosting companies out there and a great value too!
Why Choose Namecheap?
There’s a lot of hosts to choose from, so why choose Namecheap to host your blog? There are three main reasons to start your blog with Namecheap.
1. The hosting plans cost less than most others
Many hosting companies (and bloggers) profess to give you ‘free’ items that really aren’t free at all.
Namecheap’s basic plan (which is all you need to start) costs $18.44 a year, including the domain. That’s a savings of $40.96 off that ‘other’ hosting company’s one year plan!
This is super important if you want to bootstrap your blogging expenses.
Other web hosting providers offer a “free domain” to their customers, but when their hosting plans are so much more expensive, is that domain really free?
It’s simple math.
2. Namecheap Has 24/7 Support For All of Your Questions
If you have a problem or question, you don’t have to wait over an hour for a representative. Namecheap’s fantastic tech support will answer your questions any time of the day or night, and do it quickly.
I use their live chat all the time.
3. Super Affordable for New Bloggers
I get you –
When starting a blog, you want to keep your costs down. Making money blogging is a journey, so any savings you do up front will help you with blogging for a long time!
Namecheap has made it super affordable for new bloggers with their plans – when you use this link. You can start a blog for as low as $2.88/month! (If you purchase the domain and hosting bundle, that price drops to $1.53/month!)
No one can beat that!
Why did I start using Namecheap?
I started using Namecheap because when I first started blogging, I had 3 young children, and I couldn’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars to start a blog.
Namecheap’s plans were (and are) the best deal that I found, and I’m so happy that I did.
Starting a blog doesn’t have to be a hard decision for you my friend. If the expense of starting a blog was your concern, it shouldn’t be anymore.
As a stay at home mom, it was absolutely the BEST decision I have made.
Just click on over to Namecheap and follow along with me!
Step 1: Choose Your Plan
Namecheap has three plans to choose from: Stellar, Stellar Plus and Stellar Business. I recommend that bloggers running WordPress start with the Stellar plan. The Stellar plan has everything you need for a single blog, but I’m a serial blogger and I just can’t stop making new blogs!
With the Stellar Plus plan you can host unlimited domains and you have unlimited storage space all on your one hosting account.
And let me tell you, you WILL want to start more blogs after your first
But, if you’re just getting started with this blogging thing, then the Stellar Plan has you covered! (You can host up to 3 blogs with this plan anyway, so you’re still safe.)
And if you use my special link, you can save up to 46% off the regular price!
Click on the Select Plan button for any of the plans. This will take you to step 2.
Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name
Remember the list you made of potential website names? Your domain name is what people will remember you by when they are on Pinterest or Facebook.
It’s also what will set your brand apart from others. So, when someone thinks of your site’s name, it should represent your brand.
As I stated already, She Loves Nice Things isn’t such a great domain name since I changed my niche and decided to talk more about business than ‘nice things’.
But, I am still building a brand with She Loves Nice Things. People “know” me for my strategies to grow a blog.
When you get to this page, you can use your existing domain name or pick a new domain name.
Type in your website’s name, and it will check if it’s available. You can pick your domain extension like .com, .org, .net, but I highly suggest you stick with .com since it’s easier to brand and remember.
If your website name isn’t available, you can try picking a variation of your blog name.
If your website name is available, you can choose the “I’ll create my domain later.”
This is a great option if you’re totally stuck with a blog name!
Step 3: Your Account/Package/Payment Info
Fill out your account and client information.
Here’s the best part:
With other companies, you only get the price they advertised ($2.95/month) when you choose the 36 month plan, and pay for it all up front. But with Namecheap, paying for one year up front is no biggie, because you’re only paying $18.44 to get the best price, instead of $100+!
Note: you can pay with credit card or PayPal.
Next is setting up your password for your Namecheap account.
Installing WordPress on your Namecheap hosting account has never been so easy. No more manual installations or FTP clients like I had to when I first started blogging. Now, it’s pretty much one click and done.
It’s surprisingly easy to install WordPress with Namecheap.
Use the link inside the confirmation email that Namecheap sends you to log into your cPanel.
Once you login to your cPanel, all you have to do is click on the Softaculous Installer, then click the WordPress Logo.
Set your admin email address, username, password, and site title. You might want to check the boxes to install Loginizer and the Classic Editor.
As far as the theme is concerned, you can select any of the given themes at this step.
And that’s about it! To complete the installation, click Install and you’ll have the latest version of WordPress installed on your website.
Logging Into Your New WordPress Blog
Now that WordPress is installed on your website host, you can login to your Admin dashboard.
Simply go to: example.com/wp-admin
Enter the username and password that you chose during installation. You will be taken to the WordPress admin dashboard. This is where you’ll install your plugins, theme, and respond to comments.
The WordPress dashboard is a very important place, so make sure your credentials private.
Boom! Just like that! You Have Your Blog!
Are you excited? I know when I started my blog I had about a million topics to write about!! (That’s probably why I didn’t niche down to begin with.) I was so excited and eager to start publishing posts.
I want to hear from you!
When you set up your blog (don’t forget my special link to save up to 46% off) tell me about it and make sure to give me your link! Email me or leave a comment or find me on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest!
Here are some other posts in my ‘How to Start a Blog’ series: