So you’ve found your niche, you know what you’re going to blog about, who will want to read it, and how you will find these readers. Now it’s time to actually build your blog. The good news is that it is easier than ever for anyone to build a professional blog—no coding or web design experience necessary. First, choose which blogging platform to use. Then, get a domain name and web hosting, choose a template, customize it, create content, and publish your blog.
Follow along with our blog checklist!
Here’s how to build a blog in six easy steps:
1. Choose a Blogging Platform
The first step in building a blog is choosing which platform to use. There are a number of options available, but for those looking to build a professional blog, we recommend using WordPress.org or a site builder such as Squarespace. Both offer comprehensive blogging features that can grow with your blog. The easiest of the two is Squarespace, and for that reason, we’re going to show you how to build a blog with Squarespace.
The most popular blogging platforms include:
Best Blogging Platforms: WordPress vs Site Builders
WordPress is the world’s leading CMS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best platform for every blogger. In the past, site builders such as Squarespace and Wix weren’t designed to get found in search engines, so it, therefore, became the rule of thumb to always use WordPress for blogging. However, site builders are now designed to get found in search. Not only that, but they’re designed to make it easier to get found in search. Site builders are also far easier to use, and therefore help a lot of bloggers more easily get to blogging.
That said, if you want an easy way of setting up a blog, we recommend using a site builder such as Squarespace. It gives you a headache-free way of building a professional website—you know, the type of website others spend thousands paying a web designer for. It also comes with built-in search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help you build your site to get found in search.
If you’re adamant about using WordPress, get step-by-step instructions on how to make a WordPress website.
2. Create an Account
Next, navigate to Squarespace or the platform of your choice and sign up for an account. With Squarespace plans (starting at $10 per month), everything you need to build and manage a professional blog is included, such as a drag-and-drop site builder, web hosting, a free domain name, and a free SSL certificate.
Those creating a WordPress blog will need to get web hosting and a domain name, and you can get both for as little as $2.95 per month with Bluehost.
3. Choose a Template or Theme
A website template serves as the base of your site, which you will customize to make it your own. It’s important to take your time choosing a template (or theme). Be sure to choose one that matches the overall aesthetic you’re going for and one that requires the least amount of customizations to match how you want your site to look when completed. When you’ve found your template, hover over it and click to get started with that template.
4. Customize Your Site
After selecting your template, it’s time to start customizing it and making it your own. To do this in Squarespace, hover over page elements you wish to change, such as images, text, and buttons. Use the left-hand menu to add or remove pages, update design, and schedule posts (through the “Blog” page).
Here are five things to do when first building your blog:
- Add site title (the name of your blog)
- Add your logo
- Add or remove pages (e.g., blog, about, and contact)
- Add blog posts to your “Blogs” page
- Add social links
Keep in mind that while Squarespace is regarded as one of the easiest-to-use site builders, it still takes a bit of time to get used to using the platform. Squarespace offers users a comprehensive help center that includes a vast amount of educational resources to help new users learn how to use it and design professional-quality sites and blogs.
5. Build Blog Content
Blogs are all about content, and so you will need to build out blog content, or posts. To add a new blog post, go to “Pages” from the Squarespace editor dashboard > click the “+” icon next to “Main Navigation” > select “Blog” from the options menu. After adding a blog to your Squarespace site, learn how to create an effective blog content marketing strategy.
Pro tip: Stay ahead of your content calendar by using the option to schedule blog posts to automatically publish at a certain date and time. After publishing posts, use the built-in tool to push your blog posts to your social media accounts for added exposure.
6. Publish Your Blog
Once you have customized your site and created some content, it’s time to make your blog live. To do this, go to the “Home Menu” and click “Settings.” From there, click “Site Availability,” and then select “Public” and click “Save.” If you have not already purchased a premium plan, you will need to go ahead and do so in order to make your site public.
Next steps: Congrats on launching your blog! Now, it’s time to start promoting it. Learn more about how to gain exposure with website marketing strategies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is WordPress the best for blogging?
WordPress is commonly regarded as the best platform for blogging and business websites alike. However, its vast popularity doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best blogging platform for you. WordPress is not the most user-friendly platform to build a blog with, so if you don’t have the time to learn the platform or if you don’t have the technical aptitude to do so, consider using a different platform.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
Those looking to build a blog for professional use should use their own custom domain as opposed to using a free subdomain over platforms such as WordPress and Medium (e.g., blog.wordpress.com). A self-hosted blog will involve a few costs such as a domain name (approximately $12 per year), web hosting (approximately $3 per month), premium theme (approximately $30), and marketing tools. Overall, building a blog is generally affordable and one can be built for under $100. Learn more about the costs and what’s involved with creating a successful blog.
What’s the best web host for a blog?
The best web hosts are those that make it easy for you to connect your blog, provide fast and reliable hosting, and are affordable. The overall best web hosts include Bluehost for ultra-low pricing on long-term plans, DreamHost for reliable, commitment-free hosting, HostGator for an affordable hosting option with unlimited storage, and GoDaddy for those looking for an easy way of building a blog. Learn more about the best web hosting companies.
How do bloggers make money?
There can be a lot of money to be made with a blog, and we’ve all heard that bloggers can easily generate a monthly residual income of around $500 to $2,000+. Top bloggers often earn well into six figures. The most common ways bloggers make money is through ads, affiliate marketing, paid mentions, cross-selling your brand, and selling digital products or services. To maximize blog revenue, many bloggers utilize multiple revenue channels. Learn how to make money blogging.