What do I need to start a blog? Ultimate blogging tips

You have a great idea for a blog, and you’re ready to share your thoughts with the world. But how do you even begin? It takes a bit more than some recipe ideas or your take on the latest news to get a blog going. You’ll need to consider the “why” and “how” behind your blog, too. If you’re wondering what you need to start a blog, this guide has everything you need to get started. 

What do I need to start a blog?

As you prepare to launch your blog, you’ll need to take several steps to make sure it looks great, functions well, and continues to suit you well into the future. Below, we’ll go over these 11 steps to starting a blog:

  • Decide what you want to write about
  • Come up with a blog name
  • Decide where you want to publish your blogs
  • Design your website
  • Optimize your blog
  • Fill in the About page 
  • Write your author profile
  • Create an editorial calendar 
  • Publish your blogs
  • Share your blog on social media
  • Monetize your blog

1. Decide what you want to write about

Before you begin writing, it’s important to consider the central theme of your blog. Think about what you enjoy doing in your free time or things you’d like to learn in the future. Maybe you’re a workout fanatic or want to perfect your bread recipes. If this sounds like you, your blog could be based on fitness content, delicious recipes — you name it. 

Another important aspect when choosing a main topic is to consider who you want to read your blogs. Are they the same age as you? Where do they live? What are their jobs? Knowing who will come to your blog and read your content can help you choose future topics, form collaborations, and determine where to advertise your blog. 

2. Come up with a blog name

Whether you’re offering your own take on current events, developing fresh new recipes, or sharing your travels online, a blog name can help readers better connect with your blog as a brand. Think about what you might want to call your blog and run the idea past a few friends to see how they like your name!

3. Decide where you want to publish your blogs

There’s more than one way to get your blog out into the digital universe. One course of action is to use a blogging platform like Medium to publish your content. While those platforms are simple to use, you’ll have little control over how they’re presented.

You may also want to consider building your own website to host your blog, which gives you more control over the content you add, how your blog looks, and other features like a contact form. A site maker like Namecheap’s is a great way to dip your toe in the water, offering a step-by-step way to create pages, post content, and more. 

If you choose to create your own site, you’ll need a catchy domain name to go along with it. You can use your own name as the domain name, choose one related to the subject you’re writing about, or buy a domain name to match the name of your blog.

4. Design your website

Once you have the basics in place, it’s time to design your website. Before you begin, think about what you want your viewers to see. For example, do you want your blog to be filled with neutral colors for a modern look, or are you thinking bold florals to go with your nature theme? The overall design of your website grabs your readers’ attention and makes them want to stay awhile as they read through your blog.

The design of your blog goes far beyond background color and written content. It’s the font style and sizes you choose, the pictures you add, and the layout of the page. To get a few ideas of what you may want to include, look up some of your favorite bloggers for design inspiration. 

5. Optimize your blog

Optimizing your blog can make the difference between having five readers or 5,000 readers. To take your blog to the next level, you want to keep search engine optimization (SEO) best practices in mind. 

Here are a few ways you can improve the SEO ranking of your blog: 

  • Use keywords. Each blog you write should have a main keyword identified, and your content should be written around that main keyword. For instance, maybe your most recent post is about your famous homemade spicy guacamole. Chances are, there are other people looking for a guacamole recipe. Therefore, keywords about making (and eating!) spicy guacamole are a great way to help your content reach searchers looking for guac recipes.
  • Update your content. It’s good practice to regularly return to old entries and find ways to update them. This can be done in a few ways. For instance, you may want to update a blog with new information or add a few paragraphs to an old blog that makes it more relevant for the current time. The more relevant your content is to readers, the more likely it will be to show up in search engines.
  • Add links. To make your blog more credible and reliable, you want to add authoritative links. For instance, if you’re writing about remodeling your home with new paint designs, you could link to a source that describes how different colors affect moods. 

6. Fill in the About page 

The About page puts a face to your blog and provides a place where you can detail your blog’s mission and vision. By telling your story on this page, you can help build stronger connections with your readers. 

Generally, your About page only needs to be a few paragraphs long and should explain a bit more about the blog’s purpose, the reason it came to be, and a bit about you. You can mention your hobbies, schooling, credentials, or any information you believe is important for your readers to know. 

7. Write your author profile 

At the top or bottom of each blog post (depending on the layout), you’ll see the author’s name, photo, and a quick blurb about them. Make sure this information is filled out! This way, visitors immediately put a name and face to the content they’re seeing, further fostering connections with your readers.

8. Create an editorial calendar 

An editorial calendar is utilized to plan the content that’ll be written, posted, and shared in a given timeframe, whether that’s by week, month, quarter, or a different period of time. Using an editorial calendar can be extremely helpful because it helps you stay on schedule, gives you enough time to write your blogs, ensures you’re publishing on a regular basis, and helps you address all the topics you’d like to talk about in a given time period. 

9. Publish your blogs

After you’ve written and edited your content, it’s time to publish your blog. Once you add your text, images, and links to your post, use the “Preview” function to make sure it looks precisely as you want it to display on your site. You can also use post scheduling features to select the times for multiple blogs to go live. 

10. Share your blog on social media 

Having amazing content is only the first step to bringing more readers to your blog. Share your content on social media to introduce it to new audiences and reach people who may not know about your blog.

There are a few ways to do this, including:

  • Creating a profile for your blog on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and other social media platforms
  • Sharing your content to relevant groups on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Asking friends, family, and colleagues to share your blog content

11. Monetize your blog 

Now that you have great content and ways to share it, the last step is to explore your options for monetizing your blog. Here are some of the most common ways to earn an income from your blog:

  • Run ads. Whether through banner ads or selling ad space on your blog site, running ads on your blog can help bring in some extra cash. You can work with a third-party service to introduce these ads to your site, or you can create your own ad program in which advertising partners can create a banner that you post on your site.
  • Become an affiliate of your favorite brands. An affiliate is someone who partners with a brand to promote the brand’s products or services. With each sale that’s made through your blog, you’ll earn a small commission from the brand.
  • Create content that sponsors will pay for you to post. Advertisers are always looking for a way to introduce their products or services to a new audience. For many, paying bloggers in their niche to share their content is a common feature. These posts promote a company’s products or services and can be a great way to earn some extra cash.
  • Sell your own products. While less common than other monetization opportunities, larger and more successful bloggers can pivot into creating their own line of products that match the theme of their blog. This is common among beauty bloggers, some of whom can use their influence to develop their own skincare or cosmetic lines. 

Tips to keep in mind when starting a blog

Now that you’ve learned the steps of how to create a blog, it’s time to try it out yourself. Here are some tips that can help you set your blog up for success: 

  • Your writing should reflect your personality. Your blog represents your thoughts and point of view. You want to write as you would talk to a co-worker or friend. Keep the tone of voice casual and off-the-cuff instead of professional and buttoned up.
  • Stick closely with your purpose. It can be tempting to start writing about your favorite recipes on a blog you created about fashion, but that sort of content can throw readers off-guard. Make sure that whatever you publish is relevant to your main mission.
  • Make sure to structure each blog post. Giving each post some structure makes a difference for both SEO and your own organization. Use subheadings, bulleted lists, and other formatting tricks to help lead your reader down the page.
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Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash
  • Set yourself apart with a thoughtfully designed brand. Creating a brand for your blog can help you stand out in a crowded online landscape. Consider creating a blog logo and setting font and color guidelines that can represent your blog across multiple platforms. Some great examples are the Nom Nom Paleo blog and the fashion-forward Living in Yellow blog.
  • Introduce concepts related to what people are searching for online. Think about how your blog topic intersects with what people look up online to find new opportunities for your blog. Start by considering what your audience is interested in or wants to learn about and work from there.

Create your own blog with Namecheap 

You don’t need to be a master website builder to create your own blog. An easy-to-use site builder can help you get online in minutes. 

Namecheap’s Site Maker offers an easy way to build your own unique blog in just a few quick steps. Choose between numerous templates, color schemes, and fonts to find one that fits your blog’s style. After you're finished designing, all you need to do is add or remove blocks, then get to writing. It’s that easy!


Nick Allen

Nick Allen

Nick Allen is a writer, photographer, and content marketer. He’s also the founder of BrainBoost Media, a boutique content and operations studio. With a wide range of interests, he enjoys reading and writing about sports, entrepreneurship, and start-ups.
More articles written by Nick.

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