How To Start A Blog On A Budget

How To Start A Blog On A Budget

If you want to know how to start a blog from scratch and what the critical components of building and setting up your blog here we will go into specific step by step details on creating and publishing your blog online today!

how to start a blog
Tumisu / Pixabay

So, What does it really take to start a blog from scratch ? I’ll tell you exactly what you need to easily get started immediately plus some useful tips.

First, What is a blog ?

A blog is sort of a journal from what ever topic or topics you are interested in publishing. It is the beauty of owning and running a blog besides you can run your blog from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet connection. It is an awesome platform to give back to the world your wisdom and expertise in a particular subject.

A blog also makes it easy to build a business on a budget that is non-existent or starting with a low budget to begin with but would like to leverage its power to sell your products or begin your journal.

According to UberSuggest Keyword Tool there are 74,000 people every single month wanting to learn how to start a blog online to either create a journal site, start a business online, create a website for their existing business or would like to sell their products.

how to start a blog

As a blogger and business owner I understand very well the frustration of not knowing where to start or lost in a sea of misinformation and it is the reason we took the time to create a step by step guide to getting started with your blog or website.

There are several pieces to this puzzle you should be aware of but pretty simple to do. It will require a you to do little work at the beginning and can be done on your spare time too.

Step 1: Decide what to blog about & do your market research – This is probably the most important part of building the foundation of your blog. What you should blog about should be something that your passionate about and have some expertise on or know the subject in good depth. Your market research is the one area you should spend as much time as needed to come up with what your target market will be. So, Do Your Due Diligence Thoroughly and most of all be patient because this process can be pretty tedious.

Step 2: Pick a domain name – In this example we are using a Domain Name Registrar like Namecheap.com. You can Start your domain search here.

Step 3: Find a hosting company & choose a blogging platform – There are several online hosting companies but you want to make sure you read reviews about hosting company to make sure that you will get the service and support you need when something is not working or have questions.

Choosing a blogging platform is something that can be done from inside your control panel once you sign up for a hosting plan. We use WordPress here but you can also choose Joomla, Drupal, or Web Apps.

Step 4: Get started with WordPress – Once inside your control panel the first thing you need to do is setup your Domain Name Server and connect your domain to your hosting plan. Then install your WordPress and connect it to your hosting plan. See setup instructions below.

Step 5: Design & use your blog – Once you have setup your blog you will be able to design and populate your blog with content.

Step 6: Using an Email Management System with Autoresponder – An email management system will keep you organized and will help you build your list and grow your sales.


  • The first thing and highly recommended is market research. To start you can use a free tool like Google Keyword Planner to do your market research.

This tool gives you information like: What your market is searching for via keyword terms and keyword phrases, how much competition you will have if you decide to use paid marketing and what kords to use in your Domain Name and blog content when writing your blog posts and page content.

Before you start to do your market research you should know by this point what you would like to blog about.

Below is an example of doing a market research on on, ” how to start a blog “. If you notice there are 10K to 100K searches per month on this term with Medium competition and to the right you will see that the going Pay Per Click price from the lowest place on the first page of Google to the number one spot on Google search results.

This gives you an overall idea of what your market looks like. You can even go back 5 years to see how the search term has trended over the years.
Google Keyword Planner - Market Research

Here is another way to see how many pages or content is found online using the same keyword term or phrase. Do a search on Google and see how many other websites are using this term or phrase. In the image below you will notice where it shows, About 20.9 Million results this term has been used on sites and other mediums online.

Quick Tip: There are two important things to look at here in this screenshot below.

  1. To the right of the 20.9M search results you will see in parentheses that the Google page took 53 Seconds to Load. Why is this important ? Because Google is basically telling you that, Page Load Time is important to search results as well. These are more advanced SEO marketing strategies that are looked at when trying to rank your site on Google.
  2. If you notice that all the top 4 websites on the top of organic search results are paid ads which means there are people selling information, courses or products related to how to start a blog. In other words it is a profitable niche or market which is good news for anyone who is interested in creating a site around these search terms.

Google Search - how to start a blog

We also did a search using quotes (“”) in front and at the end of search term to see how many sites are using this term on their sites. As you can see below these are the sites online who are using this keyword phrase.

Market Research

When doing your Google search also scroll down to the bottom of the page and see the LSI keywords ( Latent Semantic Indexing ) and keyword phrases that are relevant to your search giving you more related terms you can use for your website or blog and its content.

Market Research

This short video will give you some more market research tips you can use when doing your market research and reverse engineering your competition.

Quick Tip: One thing to keep in mind is that Google no longer gives the main keyword in your Domain Name the ranking and authority in search engines. But the good news is that the keyword in your Domain Name is still relevant to a visitors searching online as long as your content provides a great and high quality reading experience for your readers. This is really one of the key elements to making your blog stand out from your competitors.

  • The second thing you need to get is getting your Domain Name. To Brand your Blog and Yourself online you need your own Domain Name that is congruent with what your blogging about and should be easy for your visitors to remember.

A Domain Name will only run you apprximately $12 to $15 a year and when selecting your Domain Name do your due diligence and do a good market research before you decide on it.

Getting your own Domain Name is the best way of branding yourself and getting found on the top search engines and should include your main keyword preferably.

This keyword should be the one with the most searches and least competition you found while doing your keyword research.

  • The third thing you will need is a hosting account. There are many hosting registrars online like Hostgator.com, 1and1.com, Bluehost.com and many others.

how to start a blog

We have personally used Hostgator to build over 25 sites and have had a very pleasant experience with their service and support.

Now we have used 1and1.com for a few years and had excellent service with them as well as their support too.

If you go the free way of building a site then we  recommend using WordPress.com or Blogger.com. These two platforms are the most popular ones online but we favor WordPress because of it’s simplicity and  it’s versatility with the thousands of Themes and Plugins ( Only With Paid Hosting Service ) at your disposal.

  • Fourth is Getting started setting up your WordPress – The first thing you will want to do is get your 1and1 Domain Name Server info. from your hosting company. You can do this by doing a search inside 1and1 Search Box, ” Set Up an External Domain with 1&1 “.

It will also give you instructions on how to set up and the DNS info to input at your Domain Name registrar to point your domain name back to 1and1 to start your website creation. Here is a screenshot of what you will see below.

1and1 Domain Name Server

At the bottom of the page you will see this information in screenshot below which you will need when directing your domain name registrar back to 1and1. You will select which one applies to your location. For other countries you might need to do a search for hosting companies that support your country.

1and1 Domain Name Server

Once you have the DNS information above you will go to your domain name registrar and input DNS Servers as seen in screenshots below.

Setting Up Domain Name Screenshot

3. Select Custom DNS as shown below.

Setting Up Domain Name Screenshot

4. After you have selected Custom DNS you will see this window below pop open where you will input your DNS Name Server information. As you see below initially you will have only two places where to input your DNS info. Just click on ADD NAMESERVER and add two additional to input the other two lines of your DNS. Once you have completed this you will click on the Green Checkmark to save your settings and your done. 

Note: It can take up to 48 hours to get your domain name populated and ready to use and set up your WordPress website.

Setting Up Domain Name Screenshot

5. Setting Up Your Hosting – Once your Domain Name is populated you will more than likely get and email telling you it is ready for use. In this next step you will ADD DOMAIN to your Hosting.

Select the ADD DOMAIN yellow tab on the upper right corner ( See screenshot below ). A pop-up window will open.

Setting Up Hosting 1and1

6. Select Order Domain

Setting Up Hosting Screenshot

7. Enter your domain name in the search box and click Check >. You will get a message that is taken which is correct because you registered it.

8. Now select where it says Transfer it to 1&1 now!. A new window will open.

1and1 Domain Name Setup

9. After selecting Transfer it to 1&1 now you will get a new window as seen below in screenshot. Here you will input your domain name and select Start setup.

Setting Up Hosting for 1and1 Screenshot

10. Next you will select and click on the Hosting Plan you would like to use setting up your WordPress site.

1and1 Domain Name Setup

11. Your Domain Name has been added to your hosting and ready to use. In the screenshot below once your domain name has been successfully applied it will ask you to setup your domain name which you have done already in Step 3. If not do it now to get started installing your WordPress website.

12. Select Use domain. A new window will open to start setting up your WordPress website.

Setting Up Hosting for 1and1 Screenshot

13. Select Create Website. Another window will open to select WordPress platform.

Setting Up Hosting for 1and1 Screenshot

14. Select Get Started with WordPress platform below. Once you select wordpress a new window will open to start customizing your site.Setting Up 1and1 WordPress Screenshot

15. In this step you can enter the Title of your website. You can change this in your WordPress back-office anytime. Once you enter the Title – Select Create website. A new window will open.Setting Up 1and1 WordPress Screenshot

16. Now your in the home stretch of finalizing your WordPress installation. Enter your Login details, preferred language, agree to terms of use and Click Continue.

Setting Up 1and1 WordPress Screenshot

17. In this step you have the option of choosing Continue with Managed WordPress or Continue with WordPress. Selecting the first option is highly recommended specially if new to managing a website. By selecting the first option WordPress will take care of keeping your website up to date with latest updates and will save you time with the technical stuff so you can focus on content creation and customizing the site exactly the way you would like.

Note: First option will have an additional maintenance fee currently $2.99 per month but it is totally worth it.  

Setting Up WordPress Screenshot

18. In this step you will Select which domain name you would like to assign to your WordPress website.

Setting Up WordPress Screenshot

19. Once you have assigned your Domain to WordPress you will get an INSTALLED with Green Check letting you know your site is ready and you can Login to your back-office by clicking on Edit web site.

WordPress Installation

20. After you click on Edit web site you will be required to login to your back office with the login credentials you set up in Step 16. Now your looking at what your back office will look like. 

Remember in Step 17 where we recommended you get a Managed WordPress ? If you look at the screenshot below you will notice the Updates on the left margin. These updates will be taken care of when you select Managed WordPress. Obviously your new site will not look like this since it is brand new but we want you to get an idea of what you will see so you can familiarize yourself because you will spend a lot of time here.

WordPress Back Office Dashboard

21. Customizing your WordPress website:

  • Selecting a Theme – Selecting a theme is really about functionality and look of your website/blog. In the screenshot below you need to hover your cursor over Appearance on the left margin and select Themes.

Selecting A WordPress Theme

There are many Themes to choose from and while it is important to have a responsive Theme that is both search engine friendly and mobile responsive as well.

Your website must be mobile friendly not only because there are more people online via there smart phones but Google earlier last year made an announcement that if your site is not mobile friendly it will not show up in search results.

When selecting your Theme think of it as the cover of your book you want the world to embrace and buy, it should be elegant and functional, deliver the message you want to express, easy to use and navigate for readers and visitors, generate traffic & leads plus make sales if your selling a product.

In this screenshot below you will have the option of uploading your own Theme or select from the WordPress library. Initially you will see the most featured themes but you can browse through the most popular, latest, and favorites.

Once you find a Theme, make sure you preview it and read about its features and functionalities to make sure it will work for you and your business. Once your satisfied you need to Install it and when installed Activate it and your ready for your next step, customizing your Header Image.

How To Start A Blog - Selecting A WordPress Theme

  • Customizing the Header Image – To do this you need to hover your cursor over Appearance in the left margin and select Header from the drop-down menu as shown in screenshot below.

Customizing WordPress Header Screenshot

In the screenshot below you will be able to upload an image for your Header. As you can see below the Theme we are using requires an image that is 1800 X 848 pixels. For the most part finding an image of this size will be a challenge unless you get a custom made image which can cost a custom prize as well.

Customizing Your Website Header

But, don’t despair because here is a solution for you if your on a small budget. You can use Canva.com to customize your own professional looking Header image in no time with this awesome tool which is free to use.

Once you sign up for a free Canva account, login and you will come to this page below where you can select Use custom dimensions. A popup window will display where you can input exact dimensions.

Canva Image Customizing

Once you have entered dimensions select Design, as seen below.

Canva Create Custom Header Image

On the nest page you will have a blank canvas where you can either create whatever your imagination can come up with or use commercial friendly images from sites like Pixabay.com which is another great free tool you can use with over 1.4 million royalty free stock photos and videos shared by Pixabay’s generous community.

In the screenshot below you will have a blank canvas to start customizing your Header Image. In the left margin you can select the Layout which in this case would stay as default since you need a full width image. Custom WordPress Header Image with Canva

You can also select Elements like Free Photos, Grids, Frames, Shapes, Lines, Illustrations, Icons, Charts and I Love Canva section. We recommend that you browse through all functions to familiarize yourself.

Next on the menu is where you can apply Text to your Image giving your three options Add Heading, Add Subheading or Add a little bit of body text.

Below the Text option you can choose the background of your image. Here you can add a color background or patterned background.

The last option on the menu is Upload. Here you will be able to upload your image. Once your image has been uploaded you will need to click on it to transfer the image onto your blank canvas.

You will be able to stretch the image to fit your blank Canvas without any distortion or pixelation loss which we think is awesome because most image editing tools don’t have this feature and provide you with a professional looking Header most people will never know you made it yourself.

Quick Tip: What ever image (s) you use for any part of your website they must be commercial use friendly and free royalty unless you either make your own or purchase from sites like ShutterStock, iStockPhotos, Fotolia.com.

  • The Sixth thing highly recommended – is getting an Autoresponder Email Management System like Aweber, Get Response, iContact or MailChimp which is free but a little limited in what you can do.

Email ManagementWe’ve been using Aweber.com for over 8 years. If you want to go with a free service then you can use MailChimp.

Why do you need an Autoresponder you might ask ?

If you are planning on building a business and/or selling products or running a newsletter on your site then an autoresponder is a must in your business.

If you are planning to build a long-term business online then you need to build your email list so you can capture prospects and leads email information showing interest in your niche or market which allows you to stay in touch with your subscribers and more importantly make continuous sales from your list over and over again as long as you provide solid, high quality products and high value that they will benefit from keeping them coming back for more.

This will help you increase profits while lowering your ad cost.

  • The last but not least but very important is Your Blog Content. Content Is King! Your blog content should be unique and of highest quality possible if you want your readers to come back to your blog and get the attention of the search engines to reward your site with better rankings leading to more organic traffic to your site.

If you are not a writer or don’t know how to start a blog content strategy, don’t worry. You will develop your skills as you go along and the truth is that people like content that is natural and not made up or stolen from elsewhere. Later you can outsource this if you wish but this is the core of your blog and should be looked after diligently.

Your new website is already populated with a sample post and a sample page which you could either delete or modify to your satisfaction.

When creating content on your blog you want to make sure that you focus on one particular niche/subject at a time to increase the value of your site in the eyes of search engines and your readers.

Content Marketing Content Is King*** Note: When starting a blog from scratch it is important to keep in mind your SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ).

Make sure that you find what your best keywords are and use them in your content sparingly and do not over stuff your content with keywords. Make sure that you use your keywords in your Meta Tags, Your Site Description, Your H1, H2 Tags too.

The other day I was listening to one of my marketing training masterminds with a well respected blogger network marketer entrepreneur saying you should never write content or do marketing of any sort without doing a market and keyword research.

Before I set out to write an article I want to research what the topic will be and what kind of demand there is for said topic.

Once you have done your research and come up with a topic you want to know how big or small of an audience you have before you spend hours or days writing an article.

Then you can pour your heart and soul knowing that there is an audience interested in reading your content.

When content is done properly it can yield an ongoing audience for a long time.

Now that you have setup your blog and are ready to publish your content online there are several WordPress Plugins that will help you enhance your site.


WordPress Plugins

Plugins will help you with the functionality of your site and enhance its performance. There are plugins for everything that has to do with your website.

You will have hundreds of WP Plugins at your disposal and here are some popular WP Plugins to consider adding to your new website:

1. SEO Plugins – Not an SEO Expert ? This plugin helps you create search engine optimized content on your site that is Google friendly and helps your site with better ranking on search engines.

Here are the two favorite SEO Plugins Bloggers and WebMasters use.

As you can see below they both have over 1+ Million WordPress installations on their websites but Yoast SEO has over 20K reviews and the All-In-One-SEO Pack Plugin has only 500+ reviews.

They are both highly recommended and either one will help with your website SEO. We use Yoast SEO on our site and had previously used the All In One SEO plugin but after extensive use and testing of functionality and simplicity we favor the Yoast SEO.

To add any of these plugins you simply hover over Plugins on the menu and select Add New. Once installed it will ask you to Activate Plugin, select Activate and then go to the settings of the plugin to enter pertinent information. See next screenshot where I walk you through the process.

SEO Plugins for WordPress

In the image below you can follow the steps and instructions for each step to its completion.

SEO Yoast Plugin Setup for WordPress

Select General to get started from the menu above to see Yoast Plugin Dashboard. In the Dashboard you will see the SEO health of your site and what you should do to correct it.SEO Plugins for WordPress

Next step is to select the Features tab and follow instructions for each element. You can click on the question mark (?) to learn more about each feature. Once complete make sure to Save Changes.

Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress

Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress

Select WebMaster Tools as seen below and follow along to complete each section. WebMaster Tools keeps track of analytics and data you will need to grow your website and business.

If you don’t have an account for each of the WebMaster Tools simply create a free account by following the links provided for each one. Make sure to Save changes.

Yoast SEO Plugin Setup WebMaster Tools

2. AddToAny Share ButtonsDon’t forget to take advantage of Social Media platforms and it’s power to share your content, website or blog and create a following to increase traffic, engagement, leads and sales.

To add this plugin or any plugin simply hover over Plugins and select Add New. Select Install and once installed Activate plugin. 

AddToAny Share Buttons for WordPress

After you have activated the plugin you can head over to the settings found under Settings on the left hand column. Select AddToAny and you will arrive on a page as seen below.

After your done customizing the size, which social icons you want to display on your site and where you want them to display as well.

Once your done customizing Save changes.

AddToAny Share Buttons for WordPress

3. AMP Plugin – AMP for WP automatically adds Accelerated Mobile Pages (Google AMP Project) functionality to your WordPress site. AMP makes your website faster for Mobile visitors.

Follow the same steps to install and activate your plugin.

AMP Plugin for WordPress

Once AMP plugin is installed and activated you will find the plugin at the bottom left hand column.

Select it and configure the settings and select what you would like AMP to apply to, Posts and/or Pages.

AMP Plugin for WordPress

4. WordPress Backup Plugins – Backing Up your website page is critical to not loosing your content and the work you put in to get your site just right. Take it from us it is not fun loosing an entire website. So install a BackUp plugin to secure your website data.

Below are two of the more popular backup plugins used for backing up your site. Once installed on your site and activated you will be able to run manual backups and automated scheduled backups at a specific time and date configured by you inside the settings area.

Select a Backup plugin install and activate and go to the settings and configure it to your liking. You can save your Backup data to a folder chosen in the setup.

BackUp Plugins for WordPress

5. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) Plugin – Google Analytics is a great way to keep track of your blogs data, understand where your traffic is coming from, demographics, your Bounce Rate and more.

Note: To use this plugin you must have a Google email account to create an analytics account.

Once you’ve created your analytics account you will need your Tracking ID to setup your Google Analytics Plugin. 

Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

6. Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin improves SEO using sitemaps for best indexation by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.

7. WP Smush – Reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO of your blog/website.

8. WP Super Cache – Very fast caching plugin for WordPress. Keep your blog running lean by caching all the junk left behind every time you update your site or add content, images or videos. Keeping your site running and loading fast will help your SEO with search engines as well. 

9. RS FeedBurner – This plugin detects native WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner, FeedPress, or FeedBlitz feeds so you can track your subscribers.

Best place to start a blog is anywhere you choose and it is the reason blogging can be some much fun because of its flexibility to do from anywhere you are as long as you have internet connection. 

How to start a blog is not the difficult part as you might think but growing your blog and business will take persistence, patience and perseverance to enjoy success.

Share your passion, your ideas or your expertise because it can be very rewarding and you’ll never work a day in your life.

We hope that this how to start a blog information and steps will help you build your blog or website plus enjoy great success.

Now that you know how to start a blog with WordPress and set it up now you are ready to let the world know about your blog.

So, how do you do spread the word out ?

Here are some tips to get your site indexed online quickly and easily plus let everyone know about your blog.


Social Media

( Get your blog Indexed in search engines and start to grow your audience )

As you probably already know social media is where most people, your market hangout, business owners and affiliate marketers are today and you should too.

When creating each social media account make sure to add your website link on your profile.

Complete your profile as thoroughly as possible to create the most interest in what your blog or business is about.

Here are some popular social media platforms to get started with:

1. Facebook – If you have a personal account you can also build Fan Pages and/or Business Pages to share your business related content, products and of course your blog posts. 

Keep in mind that your personal page should be kept for personal stuff only so you don’t get your account shut down.

Use your Fan Pages or Business Pages strictly for your business stuff. 

When sharing your content it is a good idea to use #HashTags which are basically keywords or phrases of what people are looking for on Facebook. 

Facebook Groups is another great place where you can join groups related to your niche or market to share your content to create engagement and additional traffic.

Make sure you read the rules of each group so your in agreement with their terms and conditions.

Facebook Live is another option it offers and free to use and very effective too. Facebook Live streams live online and affords you the opportunity to build a great audience where you can interact with them live.

Another benefit to using Facebook is you could also use their Paid Ads to target your market directly.

2. Google Plus – Inside Google+ create a free account ( must have a Gmail account ), update your profile with your website link.

Join niche related Google+ groups to share you content. There are no paid ads with Google+ but can use Google Adwords instead.

3. Twitter – Create your free account place your link when creating your profile.

Unlike Google+ & Facebook where you can add a detailed post or content Twitter only allows you 140 Characters. 

Make the best of Twitter by sharing high value content and your blog post content. Twitter also offers paid marketing options too.

4. Periscope – This is one of the newer social media platforms that works with Twitter. As of January 2017 Periscope has 1.9 million daily users.

Periscope is available in 25 different languages and has over 350,000 video streamed daily.

5. LinkedIn – Create a free profile and add your website link.

On LinkedIn you will find entrepreneurs who are all about business and a place where qualified prospects for your business or products are hanging out too.

6. Instagram – Facebook is owner of Instagram and can be used in conjunction with Facebook for paid marketing purposes.

However Instagram on its own is a pretty powerful platform for sharing media to build an audience and get a good flow of traffic too. Instagram is free to join as well, simply create a free account, add your website link and start sharing.

7. Pinterest – This is another platform which shares images and a great place to connect with your audience.

On Pinterest you can create Boards on different categories which you should leverage to target your market too.

It is free to use but has paid marketing options as well where you pay for marketing each Pin you create.

Hope you enjoy great blogging success and hope to hear you thoughts and questions below. Thanks for reading.