How to Start Blogging in 2023 (Ultimate Guide)
Ask yourself if you could start blogging in 2023.
You’re probably thinking there are so many technical steps and options for starting a blog that it seems too confusing.
It seems easier to make a social media page.
But a social media page can be hacked, deleted, or closed anytime without warning. And you’ll lose everything you’ve worked for just like that.
Blogging isn’t as technical as it seems, and there are easy options for getting one going.
I will show you how to start blogging in 2023 with this easy-to-follow extensive guide.
Why Start Blogging in 2023?
Why would you want to start blogging in 2023?
Social media is the thing these days, right? TikTok, YouTube, Instagram…
Sure. But social media is rented space meaning your social page could be suspended or closed at any time without notice. And you agreed to this when you joined their service. It’s in the terms!
But with a blog, it’s yours. You have access to the database. So you won’t lose anything like you would with social media.
And you’re also limited on what you can do with social media because of algorithms and following limits.
You can rank on search engines with your blog by following simple content structuring techniques, which I will teach you in the guide. You can also make money blogging without having to reach some outrageous vanity metric that social media makes you achieve.
Blogging makes sense. But it doesn’t make sense if you’re passing up the benefits of blogging to focus on something that can be closed at any moment without notice.
Start blogging in 2023, and let me show you how with this ultimate guide.
Make Money Blogging
Blogging is a great way to make money online.
The economy has been tanking lately. As a result, tech giants are laying people off left and right.
Eggs are higher than they’ve ever been before in recent years. Heck, everything costs more in 2023.
We still see financial downfalls from all the “lockdowns” from 2020.
So, any extra money is good money, don’t you agree?
You can start blogging in 2023 to create an additional income stream. But I’ll be honest with you. You won’t make a lot from the start. It takes work to make money blogging. But know this; MANY people out there make all their money from their blogs alone.
So, blogging is a great way to earn an extra income and eventually focus on making it your full-time gig.
Build a Community
Most bloggers will develop an audience for their blog. An audience will read their posts and consume their content.
But in 2023, building a community is most important. A community is like an audience but loyal because everyone knows and cares for each other. A community helps to make decisions about the future of the blog. A community is the best way to go in the future.
Members of your blogging community are more likely to read anything you post. They’ll be the first to share the content and be your organic ambassador. They’ll buy your products and turn into organic salespersons without you even asking.
With the threat of artificial intelligence harming search engine ranking and the hard work of SEO, building a community will help protect your audience from being converted away by AI.
Don’t start blogging in 2023 if you don’t have building a community in mind, or you might put in a lot of work for nothing.
Get More Customers
A blog is a great way to get more customers to your business and products.
If you have a website and don’t have a blog, you should consider adding one. Your customers seek additional information. Anyone who buys products and services loves to get further information about them. You can deliver that with your blog.
In addition, a blog can also give you the following benefits:
- You can post additional information about your products and services, industry news and updates, and general posts about your products and services.
- All your content can be created to enhance your lead gen and get you more customers.
- Constant content created on your website through your blogging routine will also help your site rank better on search engines. In addition, it can get you more visitors and potential customers in the process.
If you don’t update your website, people won’t usually find it.
Become a Better Creator
Start blogging in 2023 if you want to become a better online creator.
Even if you mainly do social media, blogging can help you improve. With blogging, we concentrate on writing. We ensure we spell correctly and use proper grammar. This will ultimately help you create short-form content by creating better long-form blog content.
If you want to become a better writer in general, blogging will help you accomplish it. In addition, blogging can help develop your writing skills if you eventually hope to write your own book or novel.
The more blog posts you write, your writing skills will improve.
Develop Your Expertise
Blogging around the topic or niche of your business and industry will help shape you into an expert.
Blog posts will draw attention to your industry, create an audience, develop a community, and show you as an expert and an authority within that realm.
If you create articles that help to answer a tough question or solve a complex problem within your industry, people will look up to you as an expert in that industry. This will increase the more you increase submitting content on your blog.
Blogging can help you become the “go-to person” in your trade, industry, or niche.
Start Blogging in 2023 for Free
You can start blogging for free entirely if you want to create a personal blog.
But if you want your blog to be an audience builder or make money with your blog, you’ll have to spend a little bit of money on starting.
But don’t worry!
You don’t have to spend that much. A teenager could use their allowance to start a blog. It isn’t that expensive to get going.
The great news is that the core function of your blog, the software you use, is entirely free. It’s open source and used by nearly half of the internet’s websites.
Free Versus Paid (Blog and Hosting)
You will be tempted to use a free blog hosting service or even a free hosting service to install your blog software.
Free isn’t always the best option for you to take in the case of blogging.
If you plan to have a personal blog for which you don’t care about building an audience or earning any money, then by all means, use a free system. However, remember that upgrading to a paid system might be difficult or even impossible later.
WordPress.com Pros and Cons
With WordPress.com, you can not only start blogging in 2023, but you could also use your blog to act as your main website. WordPress isn’t just a blogging service; it’s an entire website builder or even a Content Management System (CMS) if you want it to be one.
But there are advantages and disadvantages to using WordPress.com.
- Excellent hosting services that are fast and secure.
- Free plan and upgrades for most budgets.
- You can use a custom domain name.
- Dozens of themes.
- Mobile friendly.
- Fast and friendly support.
- You own your content and can export it.
- Built-in features for social sharing, SEO, and speed improvement.
- Free plan is ad supported.
- You cannot make money with the free plan.
- The free plan comes with basic support.
- You cannot install plugins with the free version.
- Your choice of themes is limited on the free version.
It’s important to understand that WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org. WordPress.org is the self-hosted software that I will talk about below. WordPress.com is the ability to have a WordPress blog on WordPress’s servers without downloading anything or providing your own web hosting.
Blogger Pros and Cons
Google owns Blogger. Blogger is used by many bloggers on the internet and has been for many years. This service used to be called BlogSpot years ago. Since Google acquired it, many new features have been added to the service. There are, however, many pros and cons of using Blogger.
- Blogger is free.
- Google’s secure and robust servers power blogger
- You can choose your blog’s look and feel using Blogger.
- You can enable Google AdSense and make money on Blogger.
- Blogger has free basic support services.
- Using a custom domain will cost money.
- Support is minimal.
- AdSense is not approved for everyone.
- Google has not updated Blogger in a long time.
- You don’t get to access your content if you wish to move.
- If Google shuts down Blogger, you lose everything.
Blogger might be ideal if you have a personal blog. But not getting access to your content should make you feel concerned about using their services.
Tumblr Pros and Cons
Tumblr is a unique blog hosting service now owned by Automattic, who also owns WordPress. You can create your own blog using Tumblr. You create your blog using their services and server network. You’re not required to download or host anything yourself.
- A generous free plan.
- Easy to use.
- Themes are visually appealing.
- Mobile friendly.
- You can add text posts, videos, images, and more.
- Blog is linked in an interest-based directory that others will find it on.
- Premium addons and custom domain names cost money.
- Limited themes to choose from.
- You do not get access to content if you want to move it.
- If Tumblr closes down or suspends your account, you lose all content.
Tumblr is simply an updated and modern version of Blogger. Unfortunately, you don’t own your content, which is a problem if you ever want to move away to a different system.
Start Blogging in 2023 with WordPress.org
I talked about WordPress.com, which is the hosted version of their platform. Now I want to talk about WordPress.org, which is a self-hosted platform. The self-hosted software gives you all the features of the WordPress.com free version but more freedom to do without having to pay anything extra aside from hosting.
The pros are that you can do everything on WordPress after you get your domain name and hosting for it. The cons are that you typically have to pay for a domain name and a hosting plan.
It’s recommended that you start with a basic shared hosting plan. Depending on your needs, this usually costs as little as $10 to $20 a month. As your blog grows, you may eventually need to upgrade to a Virtual Private Server, which can cost a lot more. But choosing your own hosting will give you more freedom to expand your blog.
Domain names typically cost under $20.00 a year.
The WordPress self-hosted software is entirely free and open-source. There are thousands of themes and plugins (also free) to choose from the extend your blog.
You own your database and content, so you can move it anytime you wish.
WordPress powers more than 43% of websites on the internet. It powers this blog. It most likely powers your favorite blogs online.
I highly recommend that you go with this option above all others, even if you’re making a personal blog.
How to Start Blogging Step By Step
Assuming you will be using the self-hosted version of WordPress, this next section will cover the step-by-step process of how you can start blogging in 2023 using WordPress.
Choose a Niche (Topic)
The first thing you need to do is choose a niche for your blog.
A niche is the topic or “specific industry” of what you plan to write about.
Choosing a niche about a topic you know a lot about is best. This could be one of your biggest passions in life or something that interests you. This way, you’ll have a better chance of coming up with new stuff to blog about.
Many new bloggers make the mistake of choosing a topic solely because it’s trending. Typically, it’s a topic they know nothing about. They end up being overwhelmed trying to keep the blog updated, and essentially, most will fail in the first year of launching their blog. Don’t choose a niche because it’s currently trending. Choose a niche you can keep talking about, whether it’s popular or not.
I’ve been blogging for 25 years. So creating a blog focusing on blogging is brilliant because I know a lot about blogging. But if I were to start a blog about baseball, I might be able to write two or three posts, and then my knowledge of the sport would end shortly after because I know nothing about baseball.
Many blogging experts will tell you to stay away from a niche in an oversaturated market. That means there are tons of blogs about that topic, and competing with those blogs will be difficult. This is true and false. It’s true that an oversaturated niche will be challenging to contend with. It’s false that you shouldn’t do it.
If you think you have what it takes to compete with bigger blogs, by all means, try your best.
Do you want to know a secret about niche blog markets on the internet? They’re all oversaturated. There are no more niche topics that don’t have a ton of blogs within them. Don’t let oversaturation stop you from starting a blog in 2023.
Quit procrastinating and start your blog.
Choose the Best Blogging Platform (WordPress)
The best platform for blogging is going to be WordPress.
Choose the self-hosted option to access all the features without having to pay a lot of money. Many paid hosting services even offer plans that are dedicated to hosting a WordPress blog. You get full access to your blog, but setting it up is easier. These typically cost more each month, in any case.
Check out some of the best hosting services that have WordPress hosting plans. Read reviews online to determine which will be best for you. Do your research.
Basic shared hosting plans are best to start out with for a new blog.
Once your blog grows to a certain level, you’ll have to upgrade to a VPS and maybe even eventually a dedicated server.
Always try to have the plan to earn revenue with your blog to help pay for the expenses of higher costing hosting plans once you’re active enough to upgrade.
And don’t worry because, with the self-hosted WordPress platform, you have access to your content, comments, and everything in your database if you decide to switch hosting services or plans.
Setup Your WordPress
If you choose a WordPress-friendly hosting service or a dedicated WordPress plan, installing your blog should be done with a few easy clicks of a couple of buttons.
If you need to install the blog yourself, that isn’t too difficult, either.
Choose a domain name. These typically cost $20.000 a year or less. The best domain name type is a .com because people remember.com better than any other extension.
Choose a domain name with the keywords or related keywords that explain your blog. But you could also choose a domain name that doesn’t have related keywords. Take my domain name, for example, ShawnGossman.com, it’s about blogging and digital marketing, but it’s my first and last name. I’m branding myself as an expert in blogging and marketing, so choosing my full name was smart.
I strongly suggest staying away from using hyphens and numbers in your domain name unless they will be a part of your brand. They’re characters that many of us have a hard time remembering.
After registering your domain name, the next step will be finding a hosting service that allows you to have a WordPress blog. The most popular hosting services out there will enable you to have a WordPress site. But, again, read reviews online and find your best option.
After you choose your hosting, you’ll need to create a database for your WordPress installation. This is typically an easy process. First, you create a database name, database username, and database username password. In most cases, you will use “localhost” as your server, but some hosting services may have you create a server name, too.
Then you will need to download WordPress. Then, unzip the folder and transfer the files to your web server using FTP or something like that.
After that, go to your website address and follow the installation instructions. You’ll need your database information. You’ll need to create an administrative username and password. Make sure the password is secure.
After that, installation is complete, and you can start using your new blog. It’s pretty easy to create your WordPress, but if you need additional help, a whole community of WordPress users and experts exists where you can ask for help for free.
Choose a Theme and Logo
The next step is to choose a theme and logo for your newly installed blog.
Many great free themes can be chosen through your WordPress Dashboard appearance settings. Of course, the default WordPress theme is usually an excellent theme to use, too. But, most of the time, people typically don’t choose to use the default theme.
You also have the option to purchase pre-made themes that typically come with more features. For example, the theme that powers this blog is DIVI by Elegant Themes, a premium theme I pay for each year. There are other options and theme frameworks you can purchase, too.
You could also have a custom theme created for your WordPress. This usually costs quite a bit of money but allows you to customize all the features. Of course, if you’re good at programming, you could always create your own theme.
Using a free or premium pre-made theme is fine, but other blogs may also use those themes. You should try to customize the theme as much as possible to make it unique to your blog and different from other blogs that use the same theme.
Create a custom logo or have one made if you have the money. Alternatively, you can use the name of your blog as a text logo which most themes support by default. A logo is a good idea to create a brand around your blog, but it’s something you can add later if you want to wait.
Your WordPress Dashboard has an area where you can search for and install plugins. Many plugins are available to help you extend the features of your WordPress site.
Adding as many plugins as possible will be tempting, but there are some essential things to consider before adding any plugins.
- Plugins should only be installed if you absolutely need them to extend your blog.
- Make sure any plugin you install is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
- Adding too many plugins could pose security risks and even break your blog.
I typically add less than ten plugins to each blog that I install. A few of the must-have plugins for me include:
- Akismet – for preventing comment spam.
- Yoast – for SEO content auditing.
- DIVI plugins – one for social sharing and another for newsletter CTAs.
- WP-Rocket – for caching, database optimization, and CDN services.
- Jetpack – for various enhancements to make the blog better.
- WooCommerce – if I plan to sell anything and need a store and payment processor.
You might need other plugins not listed above to give you desired features, which is fine as long as you don’t overdo it because too many plugins will create more problematic conditions on your blog if something goes wrong.
Adjust Your Blog Settings
The next thing you want to do is adjust your basic blog settings.
Go through each of the setting sections of your blog. Then, fine-tweak the settings to match your desired outcome. In most cases, many bloggers will leave most of the default settings as is.
But there are a few settings that I recommend adjusting, and they are:
- Under General Settings: Choose your blog title (name of your blog) and the tagline, which will default show after your website title on the browser. Keep the tagline short but directly related to your content. You should also select your time zone.
- Under Permalinks Settings: Choose the option called “Post name” as your permalink structure. This is the friendliest URL setup to choose from. It will help your content rank better on search engines.
You should go through each of the settings and adjust them to how you want your blog. Be careful, in any case. It could break your blog if you don’t know what a setting does and adjust it wrong. So it’s best to leave the setting as is if you don’t know what it does.
Any added theme or plugins may provide additional setting sections that you should also fine-weak if needed.
For the most part, aside from a few adjustments, most settings are set in a way to be the most beneficial for your blog.
Create Your Blog Pages
The next step is creating your blog pages. These pages will depend on what your blog will be used for.
Do you wish to use your blog as your whole website? Or do you want the blog just to be a blog?
Suppose you make your WordPress installation a complete website with its own homepage and the blog as a secondary page. In that case, you’ll need to adjust your Reading Setting Section and edit the Homepage dropdown menu of the “Your homepage displays” settings. Next, you will need to create a blank page (call it “blog”) for your blog, select it as your posts page, and then select your pre-made homepage to make the main homepage a different page.
I suggest creating a few additional pages for your blog.
Create an about page to explain your blog and who you are as an author. You can put a picture of yourself on this page if you want to.
You might also want to create a contact page with your contact information. Great web form plugins are available to help you create a contact form if you’d rather have one.
Create any additional pages you might need.
You should also edit the categories in your Posts section. Edit the main “Uncategorized” category to something else, such as “general blog” or whatever you want. You can have additional categories if you want more than one on your blog.
Don’t worry about not creating other pages and categories. You can add more as your blog grows and there is a demand for more. Less is always better at first.
Create 10-20 Blog Posts
The next thing you want to do is create content and post it on your blog.
But before you post the content, I have a great strategy you should consider undertaking.
Create 10 to 20 blog posts before publishing your first one. This strategy is excellent for multiple reasons, including:
- It helps you define the content structure you want to create.
- It helps you understand how long it will take you to write a post.
- It allows you to use different styles, such as “Top 10” and “How To” posts.
- It gives you enough content to keep your blog updated for a while.
- It allows you to stay ahead.
Number five is the most important for this strategy. You can stay ahead. Within blogging, the best way to blog is to blog consistently. This means you should post on a particular day and at a specific time and repeat this process every time.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by posting too much.
Most new bloggers will post once or twice a week starting out. Once a week is fine, but twice a week will typically give you better results with traffic.
But let’s say you choose to post once a week at 10:00 AM on Thursday. You need to post every Thursday at 10:00 PM. Consistency will show your audience when you post and when to come back for fresh content. But it will also show search engines when you post and when to come back to index your content for search engine ranking.
If you create 20 posts, that’s 20 weeks of content. You can use the scheduling feature on your WordPress blog and schedule each one once a week. Then you can continue to create new content when you have the time.
You’ll always stay ahead this way and be able to take a break when you need it, even if it means a few days to a week.
Get Readers on Your Blog
There are many great ways to start getting readers for your blog content.
Social media is one of the best ways to gain readers, but it takes a little work. First, you should create a few social profiles on a few channels to which you can dedicate some activity. Don’t choose too many of them at first. There is no reason to overwhelm yourself from the start. Once you develop a posting schedule for social, you’ll be able to take on more profiles.
With blogging, I find Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to be the best social channels to focus on.
But it takes more than posting a link to your latest post. First, you have to build an audience. Then, you have to turn that audience into a loyal community.
Social media algorithms are against people who post links and nothing else. This is because the social platform wants to keep people on its platform, so it will show your link post to fewer people, primarily if no one engages with your social content.
So, you should consider a 90/10 social media content strategy. 90% of the content is native, and the other 10% is your blog and post links. Native content is text-based posts, uploaded videos, uploaded photos, stories, reels, etc.
You will have to be active with your social media to get the most out of it for promoting your blog content. But once you have achieved a community on social, promoting content will be easy, and it can get a lot of traffic to your posts.
Take advantage of social media post-scheduling features like Buffer or even the built-in features provided by the platforms.
Additionally, you can comment on other blogs created by other people. Most of them allow you to include a link in your comment. This is an excellent way to spread your blog to other bloggers and people who read blogs. You must ensure that your comment is worth reading. Ask a question, contribute more to the discussion, or post something people will find helpful. Try to use a familiar name to get recognized and start developing your brand.
When you find blogs to comment on, consider asking the blogger if they allow guest blogging. Guest blogging is where you write a blog post for their blog, and in return, you can provide a link on the post to your blog. You need to make sure you post content that is worthy enough to be posted on your blog. The content needs to be just as good as posts on your blog. This will also help build your credibility and authority in your niche.
You’ll find more ways to promote your blog as you continue to blog. If you have a budget, don’t be afraid to try advertising or other paid promotional methods.
Make Money Blogging
To make money blogging, you must first get good enough content worth putting ads and affiliate links on.
So, you want to focus your first effort on a content strategy. I suggest blogging for about a year before you start to worry about making money.
There are several ways to make money with a blog, too.
- You can enable ads such as Google AdSense, which will pay you a percentage of ad revenue.
- You can sell ads directly and get paid all of the money made in the ad sale.
- You can use affiliate links to earn money when people purchase items using your links.
- You can sell physical products on a store on your blog.
- You can create and sell digital products like guides, eBooks, and templates.
- You can make courses and membership sites and sell access to them.
- You can sell sponsored blog posts.
- You could also ask for donations from your readers. This would be a great way to promise no advertisements if you get a certain amount of donations. Wikipedia has done this for years.
But as I stated above, if your content isn’t any good, no one will visit your blog to engage in the many ways you wish to try to make money.
Start blogging in 2023 but try to wait until 2024 until you’re serious about making money. This will give you plenty of time to get great content on your blog and decide how you want to monetize it.
More Blogging Guides to Enhance Success
I’ve created some guides and blog posts to help you better your blog. I suggest you read them, too, and use their advice to enhance your blogging experience. And be sure to revisit my blog in the future for even more guides like this one and others because I post something that will help you every single day.
Getting Started with Blogging
These guides and posts will help you get started with your blog and determine a niche:
- How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps
- How to Blog Once a Week by Writing Every Day
- Blog Topic Idea Strategy: Sub-topics
- 10 Content Creation Tools that I use for Daily Blogging
- The AIDA Copywriting Formula
Search Engine Optimization
These guides and posts will help you with blog SEO and ranking better on Google:
- 13 Free Blog SEO Tools
- Three Types of SEO you should use
- 10 Tips for SEO Writing Success
- How to Conduct Keyword Research
- Keyword Density Guide
Blog Marketing and Promotion
These guides and posts will assist you in the marketing and promotions aspects of your blog:
- 5 Great Marketing Podcasts to Help You Grow
- Twitter Marketing Guide
- Facebook Marketing Guide
- 10 Easy Niche Marketing Strategies
- How to Define Your Content Marketing Goals
Blog Profit and Business
These guides and posts will help you make money blogging and turn your blog into a business:
- 8 Ways to Earn Money Blogging
- 30 Ways to Make Money Blogging
- How to Become a Freelance Writer
- Your ROI doesn’t have to be Money
- Should your Blog have a Business Plan?
Blogs About Blogging and Marketing
Here are a few great blogs to read that focus on blogging and marketing:
Start Blogging in 2023 FAQs
Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions you might ask after you start blogging in 2023.
Should I Create a Free Blog or Use Paid Hosting?
Paid Hosting. Free hosting is unstable. If you use a free web hosting service, it will likely have periods of downtime and advertisements. If you use a free blog hosting service, most will have ads, but if they decide to shut down, you’ll likely lose everything. On the other hand, if you use a paid hosting service and install WordPress, you own your content and have more freedom to do things with your blog.
How Can I Get More Readers on My Blog?
Focus on creating a community with your blog. This is building an audience that you personally befriend and network with. Regular readers will come and go, but a community will be loyal enough to visit time and time again just to be close to you.
How Can I Make Money with My Blog?
The best way to make money blogging is to post the best content possible. Advertisers will want to pay for ads. Affiliate links will get used more. Finally, people will trust you enough to buy your services and products. But it takes time, and it takes creating the best content possible.
How Can I Become the Top Blog in My Niche?
You can become the top blog in your niche. However, it might be hard work. You have to create better content and build a more extensive community. But it’s better to have a goal of being one of the top 10 or top 20 blogs in your niche. You can have just as much success in those positions; they’re easier to achieve and hold than the number one position.
How Can I Blog Every Day without being Overwhelmed?
Maybe. I blog every day. I blog every day on THREE blogs. However, I like to write a lot. I use Grammarly to help me edit my blog posts, too. I stay a few posts ahead by creating enough content to schedule ahead of time. I always have enough time each day to write a little bit at a time. But I do take vacation days where I don’t write. So instead of a goal to write every day from now on, I suggest you write once a day for 30 days. It’s a simple challenge. You’ll learn a lot in 30 days, especially if it is an overwhelming task or not. If you ever decide to start writing every day, keep visiting my blog because I always give tips about daily blogging. And if you want some more motivation, go check out Seth Godin’s blog. He’s blogged once a day, every day since 2015.
And 5,690+ words later, that’s my ultimate guide on to start blogging in 2013. I hope this guide has helped you decide on whether or not to start a blog this year. If you did, congratulations and welcome to the club. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for even more blogging tips.
About the Author
Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing. Learn more about Shawn Gossman by clicking here.
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