How to Start a Blog - 2018 Beginners Guide, START A BLOG, 2018 BLOGGING, CREATE A BLOG

You always wanted to start your own Blog but never thought you could? Then 2018 my Bloggy Friend is your year!

Creating and setting up your own Blog using this Simple Guide is SO EASY!! I promise you can do it!

This is really a no-brainer – you have to start your own Blog it’s so much fun! And friends above being able to be creative and fulfill your own vision you have had for years, you might lay the cornerstone and foundation of your own successful Business?

Doesn’t that sound amazing!?

You really have nothing to lose and friends there are so many situations where we cannot say the same!

Right??!!

Creating my own Blog has totally changed my life and I know that this how to start a blog in 2018 guide can change yours too!

If you are like me and you always wanted to start your own business and pursue your own vision then Blogging is exactly what you need right now!

And the best thing….

You do not have to quit your Job right now, nor take any crazy life changing risk!

All you need is your vision, a laptop, and the courage to just TRY it right now!

So, let’s do this TOGETHER and NOW THE RIGHT WAY!

Let’s show you how to start a blog in 2018!

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post. However, these are all products I use myself and thus highly recommend and support!

STEP 1: HOSTING

So, the first thing in this how to start a blog in 2018 guide will be Hosting!

You don’t want a wordpress.com Blog you want a wordpress.org Blog! The difference is super easy.

With Worpdress.org you can customize your Blog and eventually make Money with it.

So, the first thing you have to do is go to Bluehost.com and buy your Blog Hosting Plan!

Hosting is basically the Land where your house is built on! So the Land is provided by your Host in our case Bluehost. The House “your Blog” is built by WordPress 🙂 Does that make sense?

So let’s start with the land first! Let’s set up your hosting!

Its super cheap and literally starts at $3.95 a Month!!!

CLICK HERE TO START THE PROCESS!

You can watch this video on how to set up BLUEHOST here! In 7 min!!!!!!

So, Friends, once you have your Hosting and WordPress.org Blog set up we can start with the Fun stuff – designing your amazing new Blog!

STEP 2: BLOG THEME 

The second most important thing when creating a Blog is choosing the RIGHT THEME!

Now, here is where the first people go wrong!

If you are serious about your blog it’s not ok to start with a free Theme! You do want to buy a Theme.

BUT good new they are NOT EXPENSIVE and it’s an ONE TIME INVESTMENT!!!

Besides this “How to start a blog in 2018 guide”, I have also written a whole separate Blog Post about “The most popular Blog Themes Ever”!

Check it out HERE!

I give you a ton of ideas about the MOST SUCCESSFUL and LOVED Blog Themes! A bunch to choose from!

OR you can also go with MY BLOG THEME!

YES, the Blog theme I have here on my Blog! Its called the Victoria Theme from Bluchic! I absolutely love this theme! It’s the best and HIGHEST CONVERTING Blog Theme I have ever had!

Highest converting what does that mean?

You see this big image at the top of my Blog? My Blog Header also called Hero Image or “above the fold” image?

It is where people can opt-in for my Email List on my Blog!!!

Your email list is your one goal you should focus on when building a Blog and I will let you know in on this secret more in the last point of this blog post!!!

Having a theme that converts well, meaning getting people on your email list should be your No.1 priority!

Again, you can check out the Bluchic themes HERE or go over to ThemeForest the biggest supplier of WordPress Themes and filter for popular themes!

Install your Theme!

Usually, you go to WordPress < Appearance < Theme < Add New

You add the .zip file you receive and download as soon as you pay for your Theme!

Watch this video for installation instruction on the Victoria Theme!!

ALSO check out my Free Download on “10 Things to consider before purchasing your new Blog Theme” HERE!!

Click here to subscribe

 

STEP 3: BRANDING

Wow, we are moving at light speed!

Now, this how to start a blog in 2018 is not only technical but I would also like to talk about the Branding and Design aspects of your Blog!

Now that we have our Hosting and Theme set up the fun stuff starts! Let’s talk about designing and branding your Blog – the right way!

Now, branding is as much important as anything else on your Blog! Your Blog is your Business Card to the World!!!

You want to make the best impression every single time a new visitor checks out your page!

So, what are the main things you need think about when designing and branding you Blog:

  1. Clarify your Vision
  2. Define your Niche
  3. Colors
  4. Fonts
  5. Logo
  6. Social Media Appearance
  7. Consistent & Clean Website Design

I have written a dedicated blog post on these steps called “How to Brand your Blog with 7 amazing Tools“, so if you want to dig further into any of these topics, CLICK HERE!

OR; You can check out my Free Downloadable Guide on “The 7 Steps Guide to Branding your Blog”:

STEP 4: PLUGINS

Another focus in this how to start a blog in 2018 guide for me are Plugins!

Plugins are the things which take an “OK” Blog to an absolute “KILLER” Blog!

Since we have paid for our Blog Hosting (see Step 1) we can now edit and upgrade our Blog just the way we like it!

You want to know the best part; MOST PLUGINS ARE FOR FREE!

How cool is that right :)?

So, plugins are little programs you can install in the plugins section of your WordPress Menu.

You literally go to Plugins and search for the plugin name, click install and active!

Depending on the plugin your Blog is altered!

I know there are loads of Plugins you can download and it can feel overwhelming on which plugins are right for you!!

Hence, I have listed the most important Plugins for you to download below!! It’s really not an exhaustive list of Plugin, merely a suggestion!

BUT, in my opinion, it’s a good starting point!

Here we go in alphabetical order:

  • Akismet Anti Spam – Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam. It keeps your site protected even while you sleep.
  • Autoptimize – Optimizes your website, concatenating the CSS and JavaScript code, and compressing it.
  • Disqus for WordPress – Disqus helps publishers increase engagement and build loyal audiences. Supports syncing comments to your database for easy backup.
  • Easy Google Fonts – A simple and easy way to add google fonts to your WordPress theme.
  • Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – Displays Google Analytics Reports and Real-Time Statistics in your Dashboard. Automatically inserts the tracking code on every page of your website.
  • Insert Headers and Footers – Allows you to insert code or text in the header or footer of your WordPress blog
  • Instagram Feed – Display beautifully clean, customizable, and responsive Instagram feeds
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com – Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.
  • Pretty Links – Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website!
  • Resize Image After Upload – Automatically resize uploaded images to within specified maximum width and height. Also has the option to force recompression of JPEGs.
  • Social Warfare – A plugin to maximize social shares and drive more traffic using the fastest and most intelligent share buttons on the market, calls to action via in-post click-to-tweets, popular posts widgets based on share popularity, link-shortening, Google Analytics and much, much more!
  • WP Fastest Cache – The simplest and fastest WP-Cache system
  • WP Smush – Reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO
  • Yoast SEO – The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.

As I have said this is merely an idea to start with!

There are literally millions of plugins 🙂

Click here to subscribe

 

STEP 5: EMAIL MARKETING

Like I have said before your No. 1 priority in this how to start a blog in 2018 guide should be building your Email List!

Now an email list is when someone subscribes to your Newsletter!

BUT what a lot of people do not understand is that it is so much more than just sending the occasional email to your subscribers!

It’s building that relationship, connection, and COMMUNITY!

Building an Email List is your best shot at EVER making money from your Blog and building a successful business!

I know that a lot of people are totally confused by email marketing!

I know that a lot of people think that when someone subscribes to your blog they are actually on your Email List!

In fact, to build an email list you will have to set up a separate email marketing service on your blog!

No, there is NO Plugin for this!

Yes, there are plugins where people are subscribing to your blog BUT where are those email addresses actually go to?

Are you able to send mass emails to those people?

No, you can’t!

You will need to set up your Email Marketing Service and I suggest you do it right now rather than later!

My absolute favorite email marketing service is ConvertKit!

Here is why I love Convert Kit:

  • You can create Subscriber Forms which you can include in your Blog Posts (without paying for other landing page or subscribe box programs)
  • It super easy to use if you are a Beginner
  • There are a ton of YouTube Tutorials if you are new to Email Marketing
  • It starts at only $29/month if you have less than 1000 subscribers
  • You can send automated Welcome Sequences to Subscribes – yes!
  • You can create Visual Sequences and complicated email Flows – love this unique feature!

Here is a full ConvertKit Tutorial if you are totally New to Email Marketing and you want to learn more about it! S

Super helpful!

So here we go my lovely newbie bloggers!!!

I hope this guide on “how to start a blog in 2018” really helped you and made the decision to start your own blog a little bit easier!

There are a ton of other blog posts here on the Blog as well as our Freebie Library with additional downloadable files for our Community Members!

I know that you have a bunch of questions right now!

I know I had when I started my first Blog 🙂

So please DO NOT HESITATE to write your question on anything in this how to start a blog in 2018 guide in the comments and let me know what is working for you and what is not!!

Lots of Love

Katie

 

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Katie