Thinking about starting a blog but not sure where to begin? Well you’ve come to the right place! I am going to tell you exactly what I did to start a blog in 2020.
But first let me tell you how I got here.
And by here I mean writing this post.
When I became pregnant with my second baby I began researching ways to make money while staying at home. I considered so many different options but blogging was something that caught my attention. However, I did not give it much thought until I was a few weeks away from my due date.
After my daughter was born in October 2019, I decided I would take the plunge and start a blog.
So that is when I began researching the best way to start a blog.
I am sure you already know but there are hundreds and thousands of articles detailing what you need to do to become successful at blogging. It is overwhelming for sure.
I’ve read countless amounts of blog posts on how to start a blog, how to monetize a blog, what not to do when starting a blog, yada yada yada. I’m sure you’ve been there.
Finally, I decided to just jump in and do it.
From all the information I have gathered, here is the exact steps I took to start a mom blog in 2020:
This post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase a product through my link I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information you can read my disclosure here.
1. Decide on a Niche
The following criteria will help you decide on a niche:
- What are you passionate about?
- Do you have personal experience with the topic?
- Can you help solve problems regarding the topic?
Basically you want to pick something that you enjoy and have experience with because it will make writing so much easier and fun too! The most popular blog posts are ones that solve a problem so make sure you will be able to do this within your niche.
Furthermore, there are a lot of posts urging people to “niche down” and stick to one topic. However, I’ve also read successful blogs that have 2-3 topics.
If you can stick to one topic great but it is okay to have a couple as long as they relate to one another.
Here are some popular Niches:
- Health and Fitness
- Home Decor
2. Write 1-2 Posts
Once you have selected a niche I highly recommend writing a post or two. This will help make sure you picked the right niche before purchasing a domain. It also will give you something to put on your blog right away so you can figure out formatting and such.
3. Pick a Name for your Blog
This will likely be the hardest part because there is no going back. Well technically you can change your domain name but that can be a messy situation.
Don’t worry though people focus less on your blog name and more on your content.
Keep it simple, easy to read and write and no more than 3-4 words.
The name will not hurt you if it doesn’t relate to your content but it does help.
Can’t think of a name? Just use your own!
Use the box below to check if your name is available!
I highly recommend purchasing a domain name through NameCheap.
4. Sign up for Web Hosting
If you want to make money blogging you must pay for web hosting. You do not own your content with free websites and people do not take them as seriously.
With that being said, I use Bluehost. It automatically installs WordPress which is what you will need to build your website. There are other website builders out there but WordPress is by far the most recommended.
You can sign up for Bluehost through my link here for only $3.95 per month for 36 months!
Bluehost is great for beginner bloggers but you definitely want to switch hosts once your blog grows.
The other beginner host is Siteground which is a little more expensive and they raise their rates even more after your first plan. They do however have better customer service than Bluehost. So if you are willing to spend a little more money Siteground is a good option.
Now once your blog grows I would switch to BigScoots.
BigScoots is one of the best recommended hosts for blogs with A LOT of traffic. I’m hoping I will gain enough traffic by the end of my 3 years with Bluehost (and hopefully sooner).
Skip to Step 5 if you do not need a tutorial for setting up your blog with Bluehost.
See my step-by-step tutorial below:
Step 1: Get Started!
Step 2: Pick a Plan
Step 3: Set up Domain
Step 4: Enter Account Information
Step 5: Enter Payment Information
Step 6: Select Package Extras
Step 7: Create your password
Step 8: Go to Login Page
Step 9: Login!
Step 10: Name your Site & Add Tagline
Next Bluehost will ask you some questions about the type of website you are looking to create.
Step 11: Pick a Theme
Step 12: Head on over to WordPress
If you need help, you can always reach out to Bluehost.
5. Create Social Media Accounts
Now that you have officially purchased a domain name you can create your social media accounts. You want to do this right away so you can secure your username.
I recommend using 1-2 social media platforms. However, I also suggest securing your name on several social media platforms just in case you want to use it down the road or if you decide to eventually sell your blog.
Popular social media sites:
Pinterest is a must! This is where the majority of blog traffic comes from. If you already have a personal Pinterest account you can easily convert it to a business account. Just make sure to switch unrelated boards to a “secret” board so that no one can see them. If you do not have a Pinterest Account you can easily sign up for a business account.
Sometimes it is better to start fresh with a new account especially if you have a lot of unrelated boards.
Click here to follow me on Pinterest!
Other than Pinterest you can use one other social media platform such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Which one you choose will most likely depend on your niche and what you are comfortable with.
You can use more than one but social media is VERY time consuming. You don’t have to do it at all actually and can focus strictly on your blog.
I use Instagram as my other social media platform. Click here to follow me!
The exact steps I took to start a mom blog in 2020
6. Purchase a Theme
Next you will need to pick a theme. You can use a free theme from WordPress or you can purchase one.
I purchased the Ella Sophia theme from TinselPop on Etsy for a great price.
The theme came with all the installation instructions I needed which saved me a ton of time because I did not have to figure out where to put my pages, categories etc.
The blogging community highly recommends the Astra, GeneratePress or Kadence themes. The free versions work just the same as the paid the only difference is you have limited customization with the free version.
Overall, you want to make sure that your theme is mobile response, optimized for SEO and has good site speed.
Other excellent places to purchase themes:
7. Set up Pages
Now that you have your theme installed you will want to set up your essential pages:
- About – write a few paragraphs about yourself and why you are passionate about your blog. Include a photo or multiple of you. Check out my About page here!
- Contact – create a contact form using a plugin (I use Contact Form 7)
- Disclosure – if you are using affiliate links you need to disclose that you may make a commission when using the links at no additional cost to the buyer.
8. Add Categories
Now that your pages are set up, figure out how you will want to organize your posts by using categories.
The categories for my blog are Pregnancy, Baby, Toddler, Life at Home & How to start a blog.
Each time you write a post you can assign it to a category.. You can also add sub-categories. This will keep your site organized.
You will also noticed you can add tags to your posts. DON’T do this. It used to be a thing years ago but is no longer relevant and can actually hurt your blog in regards to search engine optimization (SEO).
9. Install Plugins
Here are the Plugins I recommend:
- WordFence (For Security)
- WPRocket (For caching)
- UpdraftPlus (For creating backups)
- ShortPixel (For compressing images)
- Contact Form 7 (For readers to contact you)
- Yoast SEO (For creating a Meta Description for Search Engines)
- Grow by Mediavine (For sharing on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter)
- Insert Headers and Footers (Used to add code into the Header without)
- Image Widget (Lets you put a title and description with an image)
Just keep in mind that you do not want too many installed because it can slow down your website.
10. Add a Favicon
If you are currently using a computer to view this post take a look at the left hand side of the tab.
What do you see? My Logo!
You can download a free favicon for your website here or you can upload your own logo.
Simply go to Appearance » Customize and click on the “Site Identity” tab and upload under “Site Icon.”
11. Develop Content
Next the most important part, developing content!
You only need 1 post to launch your blog and I highly recommend launching with only 1 post.
Now I am not saying announce to social media that your blog is launched with only 1 post but instead this starts the google time clock. Basically google makes you wait 6-12 months before considering your content. They do this to weed out spam sites.
So launch that site as soon as you can! You can always do a separate “launch” later down the road for social media once you’ve built up enough content.
I had 10 posts published when I launched to social media.
Content is THE MOST important part of your blog. Forget the name, theme, etc. it’s the content that will determine whether your blog is successful or not.
Now that you have your site set up and one post published you can officially LAUNCH!
Well there you have it. That is exactly what I did to start my blog in 2020.
So save yourself time and follow these 12 Steps to start your blog.
The biggest obstacle when starting a blog is “doing.” You could spend months researching the “best” ways but in reality that is just wasting time.
So I encourage you to go for it!
Here are some additional helpful tips:
- Adobe Lightroom – use to edit photos
- Canva – use to create graphics for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- Google Analytics – shows traffic
- Affiliate Marketing – Amazon Associates, Awin.com” target=”_blank” aria-label=”undefined (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow”>Awin,