The Ultimate Guide - How To Start A Successful Blog In 2021~
Have you been wanting to start a blog? If the past year with Covid-19 has taught us anything its that having passions, hobbies and side hustles is essential. Life is so up and down and having a project that inspires you will help you get through the tough times.
And maybe make an extra bit of money!
But the problem is there's so many posts on how to start a blog that it gets confusing. That's why I've created this post, the ultimate guide on starting a blog in 2021.
First things first, I want to share with you why I started my blog.
Why you need a blog
Fun fact, before this blog I actually had another self improvement blog. It was very similar to this blog, called the Self Love Circle, however, in 2021 I combined the blog and my Etsy shop to create the Self Love Shop.
(P.S. you can shop all of my positive stationary, gifts and workbooks here)
The self love circle was only a small blog but I reached over 15k page views a month in under a year and brought in a decent side hustle income. It might not sound like a lot but for a small niche, it was a successful blog.
The reason I started blogging was because I wanted to share my self improvement tips with the world. Most people create a blog around something their passionate about.
And that nicely leads us onto the first step in how to start a blog...
How to start a blog
(Disclaimer- This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click a link and purchase an item that I recommend, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.)
Step 1. What's your passion and who's your blog for?
Why do you want to start your blog? Some people start their blog as a creative outlet, a way to further their existing business, online shop or influencer brand or to make some extra money.
Before you begin setting up your blog, you need to know two things.
1. What you blog will be about and
2. Who your blog is for
When deciding what your blog will be about, its worth considering two things. First, what are your passions and interests and is your blog something people actually need.
The reason your blog needs to be something you care about is because you'll be writing a lot of posts as it takes awhile to build an engaged audience. So it needs to be a topic you're knowledgeable and passionate about.
It can take awhile to build up your blog and gain some good consistent monthly traffic. If you're blogging about something that doesn't truly interest you, it could get boring and monotonous. Your passion will drive you forward with your blog.
Now you have a topic that you can easily write about, it's time to decide if there's an audience for your blog idea. If you're a small shop and you're wanting to create a blog alongside your products, you'll already know if there is an audience.
If not, one of the most popular places to drive blog traffic from is pinterest. If you search your topic on pinterest trends, you'll be able to see the amount of monthly searches and know if its something people are looking for.
Hot tip - Narrow down your niche. For example, say you want to start a mom blog, what part of parenting do you specialise in? Maybe its homeschooling, hands free or just the early parenting stage. Narrowing down your niche will help you find and market to your specific audience better.
Step 2. How to actually set your blog up
Now that you hopefully know what you're blog is going to be about and who your blog is for, it's time to actually start setting your blog up!
To set your blog up properly, you need a self hosted website with your own domain.
This means that your website will be www.yourwebsite.com rather than .wix or .wordpress.
But why is that important?
Having your own web address with a self hosted blog makes your blog look more professional and people are more likely to take you seriously.
Also, if you want to get into making money with your blog through methods like ads and affiliate marketing, you will need a self hosted blog.
Get Siteground hosting - £2.99 a month
Siteground is the web hosting service I used for my first blog (I use shopify now because I have my shop and blog in one) and I can honestly say they are my favourite. For as little as a cup of coffee every month, you can have a fully set up website that is completely customisable.
Siteground are connected to wordpress and will walk you through step by step on how to set up your siteground self hosted website with wordpress. All I did was click a few buttons and I was set up!
First, go to siteground.com and choose your hosting plan. The startup plan is perfect for new bloggers.
Second, choose your domain name. This will be the name that people search to find your website. Make sure its relevant, easy to spell and not too long.
Short, catchy web addresses work best. Siteground will also tell you if the web address is already taken.
Hot Tip - Before finally deciding on your blog name and purchasing your web address, check that the same name is available on social media platforms eg. Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok, Twitter and Facebook.
Lastly, its time to pay for your hosting and domain name. The best deal is to pay for all 12 months upfront. By doing this you'll save more money and not have to worry about the payment coming out of your bank each month.
After this, siteground will direct you to set up your web address with wordpress. There will be no more cost involved, don't worry!
Siteground with wordpress is perfect for new bloggers who are ready to get started. For just £2.99 a month you can start setting up your blog today.
Pick a theme for your blog
Once you've purchased your hosting, domain and connected to wordpress, it's time to bring your blog to life.
At the moment your blog will be a blank slate so lets pick a theme. The best part about blogging in 2021 is that you don't need any experience with coding. Wordpress does it all for you!
So, a theme. A theme is basically the layout of your blog and how it looks. You want a theme that shows your personality and creativity.
Wordpress comes with lots of free themes that you can work with. These can be found in your wordpress dashboard > the “Appearance” tab > “Themes” section > Search themes.
If you really want to make your blog stand out, a paid theme might be a better option.
For example, BluChic have beautiful feminine themes that come with installation and help from their support team. They're super easy to install and look fantastic.
Step 3. Start creating content for your blog
Now that your blog is set up and looking stunning, it's time to start creating content.
So a little tip I've got for you, it's important to launch a blog with plenty of content.
Say you launch your blog with one blog post, people aren't going to stay on your website for very long because there is nothing for them to read.
Instead, write and publish 5-10 posts before you start sharing your blog with people. This gives your viewers more to look at and your blog will look more professional and less of a beginner blog.
In order to come up with content ideas, I recommend thinking of 2-4 main blog topics. For example, lets say you want to start a blog on personal development. Your blog post categories could be journaling, self care, self improvement and productivity.
These sub categories will then be the basis of your content.
Hot Tip - To find content ideas, go to Pinterest and type in your blog post category. The pins that come up are popular posts in those categories. This will give you a bit of an idea of what posts are popular in your niche.
You need to be able to keep up with posting high quality blog content. Blogging is all about consistency in order to keep your audience coming back for more. A good aim is to have published 100 blog posts within 6-18 months of starting your blog.
Step 4 - Set up your socials!
Once you've got your blog set up, 5-10 posts ready, then its time to launch your blog!
But who are you launching to?
Social media is going to be your best friend as a blogger, especially Pinterest and Instagram. Your audience needs a place to hang out and get to know you away from your blog.
So, get a Pinterest and instagram account set up and start finding your audience.
Hot Tip - Find other bloggers in a similar niche to you and look at what they're posting. Copying is not okay but you can get some ideas about what your audience wants to see on social media.
As well as being a fantastic platform to find your audience, pinterest is also the best platform for driving traffic to your blog. If you want to know how harness the power of pinterest and get people reading your content, then you need to read my post on growing your blog with pinterest.
Step 5 - Keep going towards success!
By now your blog will be launched, you'll have plenty of blog posts for your visitors to read and fall in love with and will be harnessing the power of pinterest traffic!
Remember when I said about how it was important to start a blog that you're passionate about? Well, this passion is going to push you through the first 3-6 months of building content, learning everything you need to know about blogging and your audience.
It can feel like a long start but if you're ready to actually start your blog the right way, grow a huge audience and miss out all of the steps and hurdles then I highly recommend the Boost Blog Traffic Ebook.
This amazing Ebook is written by Ana at TheSheApproach. She helps bloggers and solo entrepreneurs start successful blogs, boost website traffic and increase their online incomes.
I read this Ebook back when I started my first blog and it is the best blogging resource I've ever come across. Her tips and advice helped me grow my first blog to over 15k monthly sessions in a small niche.
If you're serious about starting a blog, growing your traffic and potentially earning an income online, then you need the Blog Traffic Ebook.