I thought I would never have a website of my own.\n\n\n\nThe year was 1997, and I was spending hours every day learning how to code a webpage. Blogs did not exist and there was no simple solution. It was weeks of hard work but I bought this website and built the original from scratch.\n\n\n\nThen I did it again, and again.\n\n\n\nFast forward to 2019 and someone can buy a computer, go online and have a great looking blog setup and ready to go within a matter of minutes.\n\n\n\nIf you are ready to step up to the plate and have a blog of your own, you are in the right place. I\u2019ll take you by the hand and lead you, step-by-step through the process. By the time you are done (in as little as 30 minutes), you\u2019ll have a blog of your own.\n\n\n\nReady? Let\u2019s get started!\n\n\n\nStep 1 \u2013 Select Your NicheStep 2 \u2013 Set Up Your Hosting (10 \u2013 20 Minutes)Step 3 \u2013 Create Your Blog (5 \u2013 10 Minutes)Step 4 \u2013 Customize Your Blog (5 Minutes or Longer)Step 5 \u2013 Add Content (Ongoing)\n\n\n\nStep 1 \u2013 Select Your Niche\n\n\n\nChoosing a niche for your new blog is the best of times and the worst of times.\n\n\n\nIn other words, it seems easy and carefree but it can drive you absolutely batty!\n\n\n\nI don\u2019t want to minimize the importance of choosing a niche. It is going to be what you write about and you have to be at least somewhat passionate about the subject.\n\n\n\nThat being said, it is sometimes best to take the following approach:\n\n\n\nReady\u2026 Fire\u2026 Aim\u2026\n\n\n\nConsider the following three questions when choosing a blog niche and you will find it is one of the easier decisions you have to make in life.\n\n\n\n1. Do you have an interest in it?\n\n\n\nYou will have to have at least a passing interest in the niche that you choose. Keep in mind that you will have to write on that subject regularly if you want to have a successful blog.\n\n\n\nDon\u2019t think that you need to be an expert on the subject. As long as you know more than your readers and can provide them with quality, useful content, you are already halfway to the finish line.\n\n\n\nIn addition, it is possible to develop an interest in any subject. That interest will typically come as you research and write on the subject regularly. It will also show up when you start getting checks in the mail. (Do they still send checks in the mail?)\n\n\n\n2. Is it broad enough? Is it narrow enough?\n\n\n\nThe last thing that you want to do is lock yourself into a very narrow niche. You might be able to write about it for a week or two but will you run out of subjects at that point?\n\n\n\nYou may be able to branch out into similar topics but is that really necessary? It\u2019s better to choose a niche that is broad enough to write on regularly. It will keep you from struggling at the keyboard.\n\n\n\nIt is also important that you keep the niche narrow enough that you don\u2019t go off on wild tangents. Many people want to blog on every subject that interests them. Just select a subject (maybe two) and stick with them until you are successful.\n\n\n\n3. Does it have an audience?\n\n\n\nAlmost every subject has an audience. Admittedly, if you plan on blogging about your rubber band collection, you may struggle to get a large audience.\n\n\n\nOn the other hand, some bloggers are wildly popular with an extremely small audience.\n\n\n\nIt really depends on the niche.\n\n\n\nMost evergreen subjects have an audience that is always available. They include subjects such as diet and weight loss, finance, beauty, relationships, and food. You could go extremely narrow in an evergreen niche and still have a large audience.\n\n\n\nThe bottom line is, choose a niche that is interesting enough to you and others to grow a successful blog. You don\u2019t have to follow the leader, just make your choice and roll with it.\n\n\n\nStep 2 \u2013 Set Up Your Hosting (10 \u2013 20 Minutes)\n\n\n\nThis is where the fun begins. In this step, you take the leap from thinking about a blog to actually being a blogger!\n\n\n\nThe host I recommend is Blue Host. They have a great starter package and can you get up and running with a free domain and rock-solid hosting for a few dollars per month. I am an affiliate for Blue Host, so I do make a commission if you order through my link, but they are the only host I recommend.\n\n\n\nYou will now have to head over to Blue Host to order your hosting. Don\u2019t worry, it\u2019s super simple and I\u2019ll walk you through the process here.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nClick on the green \u2018Get Started\u2019 button and then choose your plan:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nNot everybody is going to need the recommended \u2018Choice Plus\u2019 Plan. Some people who only plan on having one blog can go with the \u2018Basic\u2019 plan and do quite well.\n\n\n\nI have multiple domains and needed the extra storage space so I always choose a higher option.\n\n\n\nAfter choosing your plan, click on the \u2018Select\u2019 button and it will take you to the page where you choose your domain:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nYou get a free domain (first year) with Blue Host. That will save you around $12, depending on the name you choose.\n\n\n\nHaving problems picking your domain? No problem! You can still take advantage of their great price and choose your domain later.\n\n\n\nSimply click on the link at the bottom of that page to continue and choose your domain later:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nOn the next page, you will create your account. Make sure you double-check your information\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAs you scroll down the page you will see some additional options:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nYou can change the package at this point if you like. It may be to your benefit to pay more per month and less upfront for a shorter term.\n\n\n\nThe SiteLock Security is NOT something you will need. There is no need to add any package extras at this point. You can add features if desired at a later time.\n\n\n\nThe next step is to fill out the financial info, agree to the terms of service and click on the \u2018Submit\u2019 button.\n\n\n\nCongratulations, you are now officially a blogger!\n\n\n\nStep 3 \u2013 Create Your Blog (5 Minutes)\n\n\n\nBlue Host (affiliate link) will walk you through the process of setting up your blog. They have automated the entire process.\n\n\n\nHonestly, most of the blog creation process is technical and somewhat boring. It is also something you don\u2019t have to understand at this point. Just be happy that Blue Host has simplified the process to a few point-and-click maneuvers.\n\n\n\nAt this point, I\u2019m offering free help with creating your blog if you need it. After you set up your account with Blue Host, you can contact me for help using my contact form. I\u2019ll get back with you as soon as I can.\n\n\n\nStep 4 \u2013 Customize Your Blog (5 Minutes or Longer)\n\n\n\nOne of the nice things about having a WordPress blog is that they are completely customizable. You can basically change anything to suit your needs. In most cases, there will even be an automated way to change it.\n\n\n\nHere are some things that can change your blog drastically with minimum effort:\n\n\n\nPlugins \u2013 The plugins for WordPress can do so many different things. Some make it much easier for you to work your blog and can add features that will make it more appealing for the reader.\n\n\n\nIt is also good to keep in mind that plugins can be rough on the resources. It\u2019s good to use the plugins that you need but don\u2019t let them bog your site down.\n\n\n\nNew Theme \u2013 There are so many different theme options, it is difficult to number them all. Each theme will drastically change the way that your blog looks.\n\n\n\nThe good news is, it isn\u2019t going to change your content. It will simply make your comment fit into the new blog theme.\n\n\n\nYou can browse plenty of free blog themes and will likely find one that is right for you. You might also want to try some of the premium themes for more customization options and to make your blog more professional.\n\n\n\nGenesis \u2013 The Genesis framework is one of the most popular options for professional bloggers. I use Genesis on this website as well as on my other websites.\n\n\n\nOnce you have the Genesis framework set up you can add any one of their different themes to it. Even if you make some customizations, you don\u2019t need to change it every time you upgrade the framework.\n\n\n\nThrive Themes \u2013 These themes are very popular because they work well and they are very easy to set up on your blog. That being said, they are also not free.\n\n\n\nDon\u2019t think that you have to have a paid theme for your new blog. At first, you are going to be writing content without an audience.\n\n\n\nIn the next section, we will talk about the importance of adding content. You could always change the theme later, just make sure that you have content and an audience as soon as possible.\n\n\n\nStep 5 \u2013 Add Content (Ongoing)\n\n\n\nIf you have been around for any length of time online, you have probably already heard that \u2018Content is king\u2019. I\u2019ve been working full-time online since 1999 and I\u2019ve heard it more times than I can count.\n\n\n\nJust because it is clich\u00e9 (and perhaps a little annoying) does not mean it is not true. Content actually is king and it is one of the most important things for you to consider if you plan on being a successful blogger.\n\n\n\nThe problem with starting a blog is that you are going to have a large audience at first. Some people compare it to writing to a ghost town.\n\n\n\nI like to think of it as writing for people who would eventually come to your blog.\n\n\n\nThere are many things to consider when writing content for your blog. Keep the following things in mind as basic reminders.\n\n\n\nQuality Matters \u2013 There are many reasons why it is important for you to provide quality content. Perhaps the most important is that your readers will appreciate it and read it. If your readers are sticking around, you will gain additional readers.\n\n\n\nPut as much quality into the content as you can. Never sacrifice quality, but be reasonable. If you are taking hours to write a single blog post, you might want to rethink what you are doing. Some blog posts will take hours, but not all of them.\n\n\n\nDon\u2019t Forget the Search Engines \u2013 Search engine optimization is still alive and well. In fact, SEO is going to be around for a very long time.\n\n\n\nWhen you write your content, write it for your readers. When planning your content, plan for the search engines.\n\n\n\nAlways check keywords and competition before you write any post. There is always going to be competition, but if you are going up against a long list of heavy hitters, government websites and authority websites, you may have a struggle.\n\n\n\nIt is better to write a post for an obscure keyword that gets very little traffic then to write a post for a top-level keyword that you have no chance of ranking four.\n\n\n\nPut Your Head down and Go \u2013 Don\u2019t overthink the content creation process. Start creating content and create it every day. It won\u2019t be long before you are enjoying the fruits of your labors in ways you could have never dreamed possible.\n\n\n\nConcluding Comments from the Peanut Gallery\n\n\n\nI started providing content online back in 1996. Back then, I was getting traffic from search engines such as AltaVista, Web Crawler and Yahoo.\n\n\n\nGoogle is the new sheriff in town and if you want to play, you have to play by their rules. Give them what they want in the form of good user experience and they will reward you with traffic beyond your wildest dreams.\n\n\n\nStep outside of the lines and they can crush your dreams just as quickly.\n\n\n\nI\u2019ve seen it happen and it has happened to me.\n\n\n\nBlogging is one of the most exciting opportunities to come our way in many years. The time is ripe for you to get started.\n\n\n\nWe will never go back to 1996 again but we can look forward to the future with hope, knowing that our blogs will be doing their job for many years to come.