• Blog Tutorial

The Blog Starter

How to Start A Blog in 2024 Create a Blog in 20 Minutes

Updated January 2nd, 2024

Are you looking for an easy guide on how to start a blog ?

The step-by-step guide on this page will show you how to create a blog in 20 minutes with just the most basic computer skills.

After completing this guide you will have a beautiful blog that is ready to share with the world.

This guide is made especially for beginners. I will walk you through each and every step, using plenty of pictures and videos to make it all perfectly clear.

If you get stuck or have questions at any point, simply send me a message and I will do my best to help you out.

How to start a blog for beginners

My name is Scott Chow, and I am going to show you how to start blogging today. I have been building blogs and websites since 2002. In that time I have launched several of my own blogs, and helped hundreds of others do the same.

I know that starting a blog can seem overwhelming and intimidating. This free guide is all about blogging for beginners , and will teach you how to become a blogger with just the most basic computer skills. So whether you’re 8 or 88, you can create your own blog in 20 minutes.

I am not ashamed to admit that when I was first learning how to build a blog I made a ton of mistakes. You can benefit from more than a decade of my experience so that you don’t repeat these same mistakes when you make your own blog. I created this free guide so that a complete beginner can learn how to blog quickly and easily.

So, just how do you start a blog?

Learn how to create a blog in about 20 minutes following these steps:

How to Start a Blog in 6 Steps

  • Pick a blog name. Choose a descriptive name for your blog.
  • Get your blog online. Register your blog and get hosting.
  • Customize your blog. Choose a free blog design template and tweak it.
  • Write & publish your first post. Share your thoughts with the world. The fun part!
  • Promote your blog. Get more people to read your blog with the proper marketing.
  • Make money blogging. Choose from several options to monetize your blog.

Should you start a blog?

One of the misconceptions about starting a blog is that you need to be a great writer to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. People read blog sites to get a personal perspective on things, so most bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style.

And because of the format, many successful bloggers will write about a variety of topics on the same blog.

In addition, you don’t need to be an expert on any of the topics you write about to have a successful blog. For example, visitors to a cooking blog don’t want to read a textbook from a food scientist, they want to hear the experiences of someone who has actually cooked some real meals, mistakes and all.

To be successful as a blogger there is really just one requirement: a passion for your topic.

At its heart, blogging is about sharing your knowledge with the world. Writing about things that you are passionate about makes the process of starting a successful blog so much easier. As long as you are writing about things that you are genuinely interested in, your passion will shine through and keep your visitors interested.

So why would you go to the trouble of blogging? There are a few reasons:

  • Share your story. A blog allows you to have a voice and be heard. You can share your story with the entire world if you so choose. One of the most common ways blogs are used are as a diary where the blogger writes about their daily experiences so that friends, family, and others can all be a part of their lives.
  • Make money from home. Blogging can be quite lucrative if done correctly. The top bloggers in the world obviously earn quite a bit, but even a part-time blogger can expect to make a nice profit if things are done correctly. The best part about it is that blogging is a form of passive income, since you can spend just a few hours a week writing a piece of content and then continue to profit from it long after the the writing is finished. I go into much more detail on how to blog for money later in this guide.
  • Recognition for yourself or your business. No, you probably won’t have paparazzi following you around because of your latest post. But a successful blog makes your idea into a reality, and can gain you a ton of recognition in your respective field. Many bloggers are known as experts just because of their blogs, and some have even gotten book and movie deals based on their blogs.
  • Find a community. Blogging at its heart is interactive. You write a post and people comment on it. This is a good way to connect with people who are interested in the same things as you are. Blogging allows you to teach these people based on your experience, and it gives you the opportunity to learn from your readers as well.

Ready to begin? Click here to go to Step #1 of the guide

What is a blog anyway?

In short, a blog is a type of website that focuses mainly on written content , also known as blog posts. In popular culture we most often hear about news blogs or celebrity blog sites, but as you’ll see in this guide, you can start a successful blog on just about any topic imaginable.

Bloggers often write from a personal perspective that allows them to connect directly with their readers. In addition, most blogs also have a “comments” section where visitors can correspond with the blogger. Interacting with your visitors in the comments section helps to further the connection between the blogger and the reader.

This direct connection to the reader is one of the main benefits of starting a blog. This connection allows you to interact and share ideas with other like-minded people. It also allows you to build trust with your readers. Having the trust and loyalty of your readers also opens up the door to making money from your blog, which is something I discuss later in this guide.

The good news is that the internet is exploding with growth right now. More people than ever are online. This explosion in growth means more potential readers for your blog. In short, if you are thinking about starting a blog then there is no better time than right now.

Let’s start your blog!

Step 1: Pick a blog name

If you are not sure what to name your blog, or what topic to blog about, skip to the next section .

If you’ve already got an idea for the name of your blog, you can check to make sure that no one else has already registered it:

See if your blog name is available:

Note: You cannot use any spaces or punctuation other than dashes in a domain name.

If you find that the name you wanted is already taken there are a few things you can do:

  • Try a different domain extension. If the .com version is already registered you may still be able to get the .net or .org version of the name.
  • Add small words. Words like “a”, “my”, “best”, or “the”. For example, this site is called TheBlogStarter.com instead of BlogStarter.com.
  • Add dashes between words. For example, scott-chow.com

How to Choose a Blog Topic & Name

If you don’t have an idea for a name already, the first step is choosing your blog topic.

If you’re not sure what to blog about, there are a few ways to find a good blog topic :

  • Life experiences. Everyone has lessons they have learned through life experience. Sharing this knowledge can be incredibly helpful to others in similar situations. For example, I recently helped a woman start her blog about being a fireman’s wife. She has a lot of experience and knowledge to share with others about this topic, and it has helped her connect with others in similar situations. Think about the things you have experienced in life. This could be related to your family (example: a blog about being a stay at home mom), work (a blog about experiences dealing with clients), or other life experiences (a blog about dealing with a troubling time such as a disease or divorce, or about a happy time such as preparing for a wedding or a birth of a child).
  • A personal blog. A personal blog is a blog all about you. This will include a variety of topics, from things you do on a daily basis, to random thoughts and musings. This is a great way to share your thoughts with the world without having to stick to just one topic.
  • Hobbies & passions. Hobbies or other interests you are passionate about are a great place to start. Cooking, travel, fashion, sports, and cars are all classic examples. But even blogs about more obscure hobbies can be successful, since the your audience is literally anyone in the world with the internet.

Once you have a topic it’s time to choose your blog name, also known as your domain name.

A good blog name should be descriptive so that potential visitors can instantly tell what your blog is about just from the name.

If you are blogging about one specific topic then you will definitely want to include that in some way when you pick a domain name. Try not to get hung-up on just one word though. For example, a cooking blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “cooking” in it. The words “food”, “recipes”, and “meals” would also let people know that your blog is about cooking.

If you are planning to create a personal blog where you discuss a variety of topics then I recommend using your name, or some variation of it, since your blog is all about you. For example, I own the blog scottchow.com. You can also add your middle name or middle initial if you find your name is already taken. Or you could use a variation like “Scott Chow Blog” or “Blogging with Scott”.

Can’t decide on a good name for your blog? Contact me and I will help you personally (for free)!

Once you have some name ideas you will need to choose a domain extension . A .com domain extension is the most preferred, but .net or .org work as well. It is also important to note that for the purposes of a blog domain you cannot have any spaces between words. So “Blogging with Scott” becomes bloggingwithscott.com

Step 2: Get your blog online

Now that you’ve got a name picked out it’s time to get your blog online. This might sound hard or technical, but the steps below will walk you right through and make the process easy .

Simple steps to help you create a blog easily

A blog host is a company that stores all of the files for your blog and delivers them to the user when they type in your blog name. You must have a blog host in order to have a blog .

You also need to have the software to build your blog. In this guide I will be showing you how to build a blog using the WordPress blogging software, because it is the most popular, customizable, and easiest to use.

The web host I recommend, and the one I show you how to use in this guide, is BlueHost . I personally use BlueHost and I recommend them for all new bloggers because:

  • They will register your custom domain name for free , making sure no one else can take it.
  • They have a 30 day money back guarantee if you are unsatisfied for any reason.
  • They offer a free, automatic installation of the WordPress blogging software (which I show you how to use in this guide).
  • They offer reliable web hosting that has been recommended by WordPress since 2005 and they currently host over 2 million blogs and websites.
  • They have helpful 24/7 customer service via phone or web chat.

Use any BlueHost link on this site to get the special discount price of $2.75 per month.

Disclosure: BlueHost compensates The Blog Starter when you purchase through this link , so my services are free of charge to you! In fact, if you have any trouble at all setting up a blog with this tutorial, just contact me and I will do it for you (free!) .

1. Click here to get the special $2.75 per month rate on BlueHost and then click “get started now”.

Web hosting special discount

2. Select your plan. I recommend that beginning bloggers get the basic plan. Click “Select” to choose your plan.

pick a hosting plan from Bluehost

3. Type in your domain name in the left box and then click “next” to start the registration process.

  • If you already own a domain name and want to use it for your blog, type your existing domain in the right box and then click “next”. Only use the right box if you have previously paid to register a domain!

choose a domain name

4. Fill out your billing details on the registration page.

Create an account

5. You will also need to choose your hosting package and options.

  • Every BlueHost account plan has everything you need to get your blog up and running, including a free custom domain name, easy WordPress installation, web hosting, and custom email addresses (e.g. [email protected]).
  • I uncheck the boxes next to the package extras except for “Domain Privacy & Protection” .  While not strictly necessary, domain privacy keeps your personal information (name, address, phone, email) hidden from the public database of registered domain owners.

Choosing your settings and package

6. You will then need to create your BlueHost account and password.

set up an account and password

Once you do that you will be taken to an installation helper.  Since you are following this tutorial you can just click “Skip this step” on the next few pages to be taken directly to the dashboard.

How to use the WordPress installation wizard

7. Install the WordPress blogging platform.

Now the system will install WordPress automatically. Once the install is complete click the “Log into WordPress” button on the top right to be logged-in to the administrator area of your blog.

WordPress blog installation complete at Bluehost

Having trouble installing your blog? Get help here .

Step 3: Customize your blog

The video above should answer a lot of questions you might have about how to set up a blog and get it customized. Here is a step-by-step break-down of some of things I show in the video.

If you are not already logged-in from the previous step, go to Bluehost.com and click “Login” on the top right to bring up the login screen.  You can then login using your domain name and the password you set in the previous step.  If you have misplaced your password you can reset it by clicking the “Forgot Password” link.

Login to your account and get started building your blog

Once you log-in you will be taken to your BlueHost Portal.  From the portal you can click the blue “WordPress” button to be logged-in automatically to your WordPress blog.

Changing your blog design

Once you login you will be in the WordPress dashboard. This is where you can make any changes you want to your blog.

Everyone has a different idea of how they want their blog to look. One of the great things about WordPress is that you can change your entire layout and design with just a few clicks.

In WordPress, blog layouts are known as “Themes”. What is a blog theme? Themes control the entire design of your WordPress blog. To change your theme you are going to click on the “Appearance” tab on the left menu.

How to choose a theme

You will see several free WordPress themes are already installed on your blog: Twenty Seventeen, Twenty Sixteen, etc. These are well-designed, clean-looking themes that can work for just about any type of blog. In fact, many of the world’s top bloggers use one of these themes.

Unless you have a very specific design in mind for your blog, I suggest you use one of these themes to start with . For our example, let’s use the “Twenty Sixteen” WordPress theme. In order to activate the theme on your blog, hover over the theme and click the “Activate” button. That’s it! You have changed the entire design of your blog with just one click!

How to activate the theme

If you don’t like any of the themes that are already installed you can easily choose from thousands of other free WordPress themes. To install a new WordPress theme, click on the “Appearance” tab on the left menu and then click “Add New Theme”.

How to install a new theme

Once the theme is installed click “Activate” to activate the theme on your blog. To see your new theme in action, go to your blog and take a look!

Changing your theme is the simplest way to customize your WordPress blog, but there are lots of other customizations you can do. Check out my full post on customizing your WordPress blog for an in-depth step-by-step guide . You can also watch the video above to see me completely customize a WordPress blog from scratch.

Step 4: How to write a new blog post & publish it

Now that your blog is up and running it’s time to actually do some blogging!  Let’s create your first piece of content.

Write your first blog post

You are now on the post editor screen. Enter the title of your post in the top box and then begin writing your post in the lower box.

If you would like to add a picture to your post, click on the “Add Image” icon and click “Upload” to upload a picture from your computer. You can make adjustments to the picture size on the next screen. When you are ready click “Insert into post” to add the picture.

Insert image in blog post

Once you have finished your post just click the “Publish” button on the top right side of the screen to publish the new post.

Content That Should be on Your Blog

There are two main types of content your blog should provide: static and dynamic content.

Static Content: Your blog should contain a few necessary pages explicitly designed to provide the visitor with the tools they need. The content on these pages is static, meaning – the content doesn’t change, or at least not very often. These are mainly top-level pages that can be accessed via a menu on your blog.

These static content pages should be in place well before you launch your blog to the world.

Important static pages to include:

  • About Me (Us) – This page should include a biographical summary of the author(s) as well as a mission statement. Think about the answers to these questions: How did your passion for the subject matter develop? What do you want to convey to the world? What is your ultimate goal?
  • Contact Me (Us) – A contact page provides the visitor a place to reach the author which, in turn, provides the visitor with the reassurance that you are a real and reachable author. You can add your physical address, phone number, and custom email address. Or you can utilize a simple contact form to keep your personal identifying information private. You should put links to all of your social media profiles here as well.

Aside from your blog, which is generally introduced on the home/main page, these two all-important pages should be visible on your top (header) menu and easy to access.  You can take a look at the top of this page to see how I have these pages included in the header menu.  See this detailed guide to customizing your blog menus if you need help.

Other static pages that are equally as important but less commonly thought of are:

  • Disclaimer Page : If you intend to monetize your blog, you must describe the ways you intend to generate income. This is an absolute must-have page that should not be overlooked, as per FTC guidelines. For example, if you are discussing and endorsing a product, and stand to profit by linking to the product, this relationship must be disclosed.
  • Privacy Policy : If you collect data from your visitors in any way, you are required to add a privacy policy page that tells visitors exactly how you are collecting data, how you are using it, and if you are sharing that data. If you implement Google Adsense or a Google Analytics account on your blog, a Privacy Policy must be used. This page is required by the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and is included by default on your WordPress blog.
  • Terms of Service : If your blog is also running a store or selling services, it is a good idea to have a Terms of Service page to lessen your potential liability.

These required static pages are typically linked to in the footer menu of a blog. They should, at the very least, be visible and accessible from the home page.  Again, look at the bottom of this page to see how this looks in practice.

There are other static pages you can choose to include depending on what suits your blog and business. Common static page examples are an advertising page to solicit paid advertisements, a donations page, a resource page to direct visitors to your favorite links within your field, and a page for submitting ideas and content.

Dynamic Content: Your dynamic content is your blog and the most important content you have to offer. This is where you, as the creator, will infuse the blog with your brand of informative content that supplies your audience with knowledgeable tips, facts, opinions, and stories. This is how you engage your visitors and keep them coming back for more.

Your blog content should be regularly submitted at specific intervals. Waiting months to create content will never build a following. Posting content weekly and driving traffic to these posts will help build your brand.

How to write great blog content

Each post should be lengthy, informative, and engaging. It’s not always easy to come up with new blog post ideas on a regular basis and you are free to mix up the tone and even the subject matter to keep things lively and interesting. It’s your space, after all. But there are a few elements that each and every piece of content should endeavor to include.

Define the Content: Create an alluring post title that stimulates curiosity and encourages clicks. Use the first paragraph of your post to clearly define the topic of your article and provide a possible hook to keep the reader reading.

The Longer the Better – But Break It Up : The more information and detail you include, the better. But visitors will begin to skim if the content contains lengthy paragraphs a mile long, and will pop out faster than they came in. Visitors enjoy tidbits. Keep your paragraphs short with spaces in between, use lists and standout quotes, use images, and always include headings and sub-headings so that visitors can find what they’re looking for.

Engage The Reader: At the end of each post, a common tactic used to engage visitors is posing a meaningful question to your audience and asking them to reply in the comments. This simple measure can increase engagement tenfold.

Original Content: Your content should always be original. Never plagiarize – you will eventually be called out on it and could even face consequences. Your content should come from your heart, your brain, your knowledge base, and your experience. You can get topic ideas from others in your field, but make sure the content comes from you.

Original Photos: While it is easy to include stock images from free image sites, it is even better to include your own photos and graphic work. Another idea is to take free images and manipulate them with a free photo editor.

Edit Your Work: Your blog content should be sufficiently edited. Nothing says unprofessional like several typographical and grammatical errors. If you need a few refresher courses in grammar, consider using a writing application.

Publishing Your Blog

Even after you have written a post your blog may still be showing a placeholder page.

When you are ready to make your blog public for the first time, just click “Home” at the top left of the menu in your WordPress dashboard, and then click “Launch with confidence”. Click the blue “Launch your site” button to remove the placeholder page and launch your blog.

launch your blog

Congratulations! You now know how to start your own blog and publish content!

Step 5: Promote your blog

Creating a well-designed blog and writing great content is just the start. In order to get visitors to your blog you will need spend some time promoting it, especially when you first start.

The strategies below will help get your blog in front of more readers. You don’t need to use every strategy – try out a few and see what works well for you.

Alert Your Inner Circle

The very first people who should become aware of your blog are your inner circle. This includes family, friends, and colleagues within your field. Encourage them to become followers, ask them to mention your new blog, and – most importantly – thank them.

Use Social Media

social media promotion

While you don’t want to overdo it, you still want to create accounts with the “biggies” like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.  You should post a link to your newest content on your accounts, but you can also post relevant news and links to other sources that your readers may find interesting.  Don’t forget to use hashtags and engage with your followers!

One of my favorite ways to get visitors to my blog is to post links on my social accounts, like Facebook and Twitter. This is great, because not only do your friends see the link, but if your friends share the link with their friends it automatically multiplies your visitors. If you have created high-quality content on your blog then social media is a way for your blog to go viral.

Comment on Other Blogs

Find other blogs in your community and engage with them. Using the comment section, introduce yourself and leave engaging and constructive comments. Many will allow you to leave a link to your blog. After creating relationships with prominent bloggers in your community, you will find yourself within their ranks quickly.

Engage with Your Visitors

When your readers leave comments on your posts, always engage with them. Reply to their comments and questions, give them “likes” and affirmations. When it is obvious that the author cares about his/her community and readership, visitors are naturally encouraged to return.

Collaborate with other bloggers

Become enmeshed in your blogging community by collaborating with respected members of your field. Collaborating includes guest posting, promoting each other’s blogs and products, and regularly interacting through comments and social media.

Post Regularly

Post content regularly. Create an editorial calendar and stick to it. A good blogger posts at least once per week to start. If you have long lapses between posts, your followers will drop off and your growth will be severely hampered. It’s not easy to post on a schedule, but it’s something you absolutely must stick to.

Create an Email List

promote your blog using an email list

In addition to getting new visitors to your blog, you will also want to make sure your current visitors are coming back. This is where email marketing plays a big role. By collecting the email addresses of your visitors (with their permission of course), you can then notify them when you post new content on your blog. This keeps people coming back to your blog, which not only gives you more readers over time, it also allows you to build a closer relationship with your visitors.

Email marketing is too big a topic to cover well here, so I created a separate guide to email marketing for those who are interested (hint: every blogger who wants more readers needs to read this guide).

Optimize your blog for search engines

You want your blog to appear in search results as soon as possible.

Google: Sign up for a Google Webmaster account and open the Search Console . To add your blog, click “Add Property” and follow the steps to add your blog.

Bing: Sign up for a Bing Webmaster account and add your blog.

Submitting your blog is the first step in process known as search engine optimization (SEO).

Keep in mind that with a brand new blog your traffic will be minimal to start with. However, this will change over time as long as you continue to add informative and relevant content on a regular basis.

To optimize this process, each page of your blog should include these fundamental elements:

add headings and subheadings

  • Permalinks: Each blog post “slug” is the end portion of the URL. You want to make sure each post has a defined slug and doesn’t end with an article number. You can easily change this in your WordPress dashboard by going to “Settings” -> “Permalinks”. Select the “Post Name” option and click “Save Changes”

There are many more factors relating to consider, such as installing something like the Yoast WordPress plugin , but these are the big ones that will help improve your search rankings sooner rather than later.

For more tips on promoting your blog make sure to check out my in-depth guide to blog promotion .

Step 6: Make money from your blog

Once you have put in the effort of creating great blog content and promoting your blog, making money from your blog is actually the easy part.

Blogs have the potential to be extremely lucrative, but don’t assume that you’re going to start making money in the first week, or even in the first month. It could take six months to a year to start seeing a steady stream of income. Blogging takes work and dedication, but once you develop a large enough audience, there are several methods you can employ to monetize your blog.

Sell advertising space

Once you have a popular blog, advertisers will be hounding you for the opportunity to advertise. The best way to take advantage of this situation is to use Google Adsense. Google finds the advertisers for you and all you have to do is place the Google Adsense code on your blog to start running ads. Google Adsense takes all of the hard work out of the process and just cuts you a check.

I go into the full details of how to set up Google Adsense for your WordPress blog here .

Sell affiliate products

An affiliate program is a commission-based way to advertise. When one of your readers clicks on a link on your blog, they get sent to an advertiser’s site and you earn a commission if they purchase. Affiliate links are a nice way to earn income through the use of product reviews. However, you must remember to disclose that you are an affiliate for the product.

Sell Products and Services

Selling your own products and services directly on your blog is a great way to increase your income. As your blog grows and you begin to see a wide audience, your products and services will begin to sell themselves.

Use the sidebar of your blog to increase the visibility of what you sell using visual images and a link to your storefront page.

Sell digital downloads

Ebooks, video tutorials, and e-courses are the most commonly consumed digital materials sold by bloggers. With little to no overhead and no shipping costs, you can keep the price low and inviting.

If you are extremely knowledgeable in your field, an ebook can practically write itself. Give it a try, you might surprise yourself!

Sell memberships

Another way to monetize is by creating membership options on your blog. This allows you to offer members more exclusive content only available with a paid membership. For example, you could offer unlimited downloads of digital goods, free consultations, a private network or forum where community members can mix and mingle, and private content available to members only.

There are many ways a blog can capitalize on popularity and traffic. Choosing the way you monetize from your blog depends on your goals and the purpose of your blog. Those who are selling services, physical goods, and digital goods, for example, may not want to participate in affiliate programs where traffic could be lost to another site.

For more information see my full guide to making money blogging here

Need more help?

I hope this guide has answered any questions you had on how to start your blog, but if any of the steps were unclear to you, you can find a more detailed version of each step by using the menu at the top right of this page (or at the bottom of this page if you’re on a smartphone).

More specific tutorials can be found on my blog page . Here are some of the most popular tutorials from my blog:

  • How to add custom logos or images
  • How to see how many people are visiting your blog
  • How to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
  • How to make a website with WordPress
  • How to automatically share your new content on Facebook and Twitter
  • How to choose the best website builder
  • How to link to other sites from your blog
  • How to change text size and color
  • How to make your blog private

Contact me if you have any issues at all and I will personally respond to your email. The step-by-step guide on this site should give you everything you need to get started, but if you run into some issues, or just want some personalized advice, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Blogging is my passion, and I would love to talk with you about it!

Blogging FAQ

Still have some unanswered questions about blogging?  Below are the most common questions I get about starting a new blog.  If you can’t find an answer to your question here, feel free to send me an email via my contact page , or leave a comment below.

Click on a question to read the answer:

What makes a successful blog?

What do you need to start a blog.

Time, passion, and a clear goal.

Blogging is nearly a full-time operation. A successful blogger commits to posting lengthy and detailed content at least weekly. Promoting the blog must also be done regularly across social accounts and through peer interactions.

Equally important is the passion behind your blog. To come up with great content on a regular basis your blog should revolve around a topic that you are obsessed with. You don’t have to be the leading authority on the subject matter. You only need to possess passion, excitement, dedication, and deeply rooted opinions.

What should my blog be about?

Answer these questions: What are you passionate about? What do you think about daily? What topic do you annoy all of your friends, family, and co-workers with on a regular basis? What do you find yourself dreaming about? What do you find yourself constantly researching? What do you read about?

If there is a common denominator in your answers to these questions – THAT is what your blog should be about.

How do I find a profitable niche for my blog?

If you know the general topic for your blog, a simple way of making your niche more profitable is by narrowing the niche to eliminate competition.

How do I name my blog?

This can ultimately be a fun exercise.

As an example, let’s say your blog will be about custom pet gift baskets. In this instance, let’s list all the main words this blog will be about.

name your blog

Now let’s list some variant synonyms of these words. Use a thesaurus if need be!

creating writing blog

Now list nouns and adjectives that apply to you as the creator.

creating writing blog

Now start putting words together, introduce new words, and keep playing around until you come up with a name you like!

creating writing blog

What do you do if your domain name is taken?

If the domain name you want is taken and the full web address is your trademarked business name, you can assert your trademark rights and privileges and eventually get this domain handed over to you. It is a lengthy process that will involve lawyers and hefty fees, but as long as the name is trademarked by you, you would likely win the domain name.

If your name isn’t trademarked, don’t attempt to buy the .info or .biz variation of the domain. Instead, try a slight variation of the domain name such as adding a dash between words, or inserting the word “the” or other nominal words.

Where is the best place to create a blog?

How much does it cost to start a blog.

You can make a blog for absolutely nothing. It doesn’t cost one red cent.

But let’s be realistic. If you want your blog to be taken seriously, you can’t just get a subdomain from one of the free blogging sites like Blogspot. You’ll want to pick a custom domain name and register it instead. Domain names cost around $15 per year, on average. So now you’re a whopping $15 in the hole.

But the best way to start your blog is through one of the many web hosting companies. The best web hosting choice is a WordPress hosting account through Bluehost which is $2.75 per month and includes free domain name registration, so your total cost for 1 year is just $33.

Do bloggers make money?

Bloggers have the ability to make a full-time income from blogging alone. Some bloggers make hundreds of thousands of dollars. While it isn’t easy to become a highly paid blogger, it is quite possible. As with any business, it takes a lot of hard work and plenty of time.

Many bloggers give up on their project after just a few months. They become discouraged when the money doesn’t come in right away, and it almost never does without an instant and immediate following that comes from being a high profile persona. Therefore, time and patience are needed to reach “influencer” status. Those who make money online are the ones who stick with it.

There are several ways a blogger can earn money:

  • Advertisements : As your blog gains traction and brings in a healthy amount of daily visitors, advertisers may pay good money for a well-placed ad on your blog.
  • Contextual Ads: With Google Adsense a small piece of code can be placed on your blog that dynamically shows ads related to your content. When one of your readers clicks on an ad the advertiser pays Google, and Google sends you a percentage.
  • Affiliate Programs: Affiliate ads are a very popular way to monetize a blog. These ads lead visitors to a product or service on another website. If a sale resulting from a click on your blog is made, you get a commission, and some commissions can be very high. Affiliate programs can be found on individual stores, or on large-scale platforms such as Amazon.
  • Sponsored Posts: Advertisers can pay a smaller fee to sponsor individual posts rather than advertising on the entire blog. This is a great method for making money on fledgling blogs.

How do bloggers get paid?

Bloggers are most commonly paid by advertisers. How the blogger is paid varies depending on what type of ads are used.

  • CPC: CPC or “Cost Per Click” ads generate revenue simply through clicks. CPC ads are generally highly targeted and rotational. Ads appear on specific blog posts and are related to the content of that post. The number of clicks you generate, which trends upward as your traffic increases, will ultimately determine the amount you are paid.
  • Flat Fee: If a blog’s traffic is high, advertisers may pay a monthly flat fee for ad space on the blog’s website. That ad space could appear all over the website, within a section, or just a few pages. The money comes directly from the advertiser.
  • Commission : Ads from an affiliate network use affiliate links. These links track visitors that come from your blog to the advertiser’s site. If a purchase is made by a visitor who originated from your blog, you receive a commission.

Should I start my blog on WordPress?

If you’re new to blogging and you don’t have much experience with HTML or coding, then yes – self-hosting a WordPress blog is the best choice for you! When it comes time to choose a blogging platform, the pros turn to WordPress.  And even though WordPress is used by millions of smaller blogs, it also powers many of the biggest sites on the internet.  In fact, WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in the world with over 75 million blogs and websites currently using it. And there are many reasons why:

  • Easy to Use : WordPress is remarkably easy to use. Theme customizers help to easily design your blog, change colors, and add images. Once your design is complete, all you need to do is write your content. The internal blog editor records your posts and displays them for you.
  • Blog Anywhere : As long as you have Internet access, you can edit your WordPress blog and write new posts. WordPress provides you with an administrative backend where you may log in and work on your blog from anywhere in the world using a PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone.
  • You Don’t Need To Know How to Code : WordPress gives you easy tools to set up a blog that looks stunning without knowing a single line of HTML code or hiring a web developer. This makes WordPress a great option for those who don’t want to deal with technical issues.
  • Built-in SEO : Google favors blogs built with WordPress. The out-of-the-box SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which comes packed with WordPress delivers impressive results over time in search engines. This translates to more readers for your blog.
  • Free Themes : The WordPress CMS is connected to a repository where thousands of free themes (blog layouts) are available to browse and upload. Directly from the backend of your blog you can browse a multitude of themes with varying styles and functionality. These free WordPress themes can be installed with one click, and then easily customized by a total beginner.

Is WordPress free?

Yes! A self-hosted WordPress blog is a open-source, which is completely free. And there are two different WordPress options, both free, but COMPLETELY different, which you should be aware of.  Choosing between them is one of the most crucial decisions you will make.

WordPress.org : This option is completely, 100% free.  WordPress.org is the blog platform I show you how to use in the tutorial on this page.  While it is completely free to download, it doesn’t run on its own. You will need a web host (see the step-by-step guide ) and you’ll also need to buy a new domain name. Because you need your own web hosting plan, this option is known as a self-hosted WordPress blog. So while WordPress is technically free, there are fees involved with getting your new self-hosted WordPress blog up and running (less than $3 per month).

How often should I blog?

If your goal is to eventually make money from your blog, you’ll want to start blogging as often as possible – at least once per week. Blogging can be casual if your goal is solely for personal pleasure. But if you’re seeking a large audience and wish to become a leader in your field, blogging weekly is a must.

While frequency is important, it should not come at the expense of quality.  Not every piece of content needs be 2,000 words, but all of your posts should be informative and of value to your audience. This is no easy feat. However, if you’re able to stick with blogging on a regular schedule, it will become easier! As with anything else, the more you do it – the more skilled at it you become.

Why do blogs fail?

Almost any blog has the potential to become a success, yet most blogs fail. And there are many reasons why. Here are the most common reasons why a blog fails:

  • Giving Up Too Fast – The most common reason why a blog fails is simply that the content creator gives up before his or her blog even has a chance to become recognized. Before you begin a blog, you should realize that most blogs take months and even years to gain traction. It’s quite an investment. If you fail to gain visitors or make money within a month don’t stop!  Continue to focus on creating quality content and getting your name out there via social media and networking.
  • Intermittent Blogging – When there are long “silent periods” between posts it is difficult to build a solid following. People looking for information on your topic usually want a steady stream of new information to keep them interested. When a blog fails to deliver fresh and updated content people get bored and look elsewhere.
  • Poor Content – Some bloggers think they can beat the system with auto-generated content or with duplicate content that is reworded. Readers know fluff when they read it. They know when an article has absolutely no value or when it is simply clickbait. A blog with poor content will never be successful.
  • Too Many Ads – Blogs with dozens of ads obscuring most of the content will deter visitors from returning. People don’t come to your blog to be visually harassed by ill-placed, blinking advertisements. They come for information. While ads a good option to monetize, don’t overdo it.

This was super helpful in getting my blog set up. I was able to get the basics done in a less than an hour, and then took my time over the weekend to tweak the design based on your instructions.

I am pleased with how professional it looks, and now I am starting to work on my content plan. Thank you for making this guide!

Very helpful! I’ve been wanting to create a billingual blog (french and english) but didn’t know where to start. Thanks for the detailed information 🙂

Thank you Scott for writing an excellent blog…I’ve been researching to see if blogging is something I want to get into…I am at a beginner level. I am looking for some guidance on where to start and your blog appeared. Very informative post. Thanks once again.

Hi Scott. Thanks for the valuable information. I’m concerned about the usage of images/licenses. Can we use creative commons images in our blogs if we are unable to take the photos ourselves? There’s a filter on Google when image searching for “Commercial” and then “Creative Commons” images and wondering which is the safest bet of images to use on a blog. Don’t want to get in trouble!

Yes, I would suggest only using images with a Creative Commons license to avoid any copyright issues. You can easily search for images at search.creativecommons.org

Your tutorials have been really helpful so far in getting my blog up and running. WordPress is tricky without someone to walk you through it. Thanks so much!

Hi Scott. I’ve been thinking about setting up a blog for a while now but didn’t really understand how to go about it. Your guide is really informative and has given me the confidence to give it a go. Thanks a lot 😊

Hi Scott, Thanks for the great info on starting a blog. I am about to set up a blog that will be mostly political commentary. I also have numerous papers and presentations I have written over the years that I would like to post and make accessible to visitors, apart from my periodic blogging. Do you have advice as to how I can upload them on separate pages?

If you have them in PDF format, then I would suggest embedding them into your posts. Here is how to do that: https://www.theblogstarter.com/how-to-embed-pdf-files-in-wordpress-posts/

I just found you on the right time. This is all I needed to start a blog. The very best informative tutorial I have found. Thank you Scott.

Thank you for such helpful content. I’m just starting my blog and your insight is greatly appreciated.

Number one for me in a new blog host is if it has autosave. I currently have a wordpress.com blog which has autosave. But I don’t like the ownership of wordpress.com, so I want to start a new home. Do you know of any blog hosts other than wordpress.com that offer autosave? Thanks, Susan

The process I show in the tutorial on this page will help you start a blog that is self-hosted with BlueHost. It has an autosave feature enabled by default.

I have finally started a food blog and I’m excited to learn more from here.

Thanks so much for this info. I am really wanting to start a blog, but I’m concerned about the legal stuff. How do I make sure I am doing everything legal?

You will want to make sure you include a Privacy Policy page on your blog. WordPress provides a Privacy Policy generator by default, so it is very easy to add when starting your blog. Beyond that, just make sure you are being transparent with your visitors if you are collecting any information about them.

You may have specific legal issues depending on the topic you are writing about, but for most people just adding a privacy policy page is enough.

This is wonderful! thank you so much for your helpful advice! I am going to try to do my first blog!

Hey Scott. I always wanted to start a blog but never had a clear idea how to do it. After reading this content, I feel so confident that I would want to start writing now. Thanks a lot.

Glad you found it helpful. Feel free to contact me if you have any trouble.

So far Bluehost is good. My friends told me to use them as well. I used another web host before, but now I see that Bluehost is much better than the web hosting I had before.

I just barely created my blog and I would like to make it organize by categories. How do I add that to my blog page? Ex: Place (one category), Family (one category), Home (one category) etc.?

Thank you so much for your insightful post.

When you are in the post editor screen of the WordPress dashboard you will see an option on the right-hand side to choose a category for the post you are writing. You can also create a new category for your post in that same place.

Let me know if you have any trouble finding it.

I had a suggestion (from my vascular surgeon, believe it or not) to start a blog. I imagine a bio theme (70 years). How would I protect the privacy of those I mention?

The simplest way would be to change their names and remove any other personally identifiable information. You may also want to consider the tips here: https://www.theblogstarter.com/how-to-blog-anonymously/

Thank you… I’ve been having a yearning to write. I am not a writer but when I do especially on my social platforms, people frequently comment that they wished I did it more. I’ve recently decided that I want to start blogging and have been doing tons of research. This is by far the best “how to” I’ve come across. Excited to follow theses steps and give it a try. I appreciate your willingness to be available to those of us ready to give it a GO!

Awesome Shauna! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

This is an excellent and very comprehensive tutorial, Scott. One of the best step-by-step how-to’s I’ve seen on the topic. I’ll be recommending it on my newsletter.

Thanks Rick!

Thank you very much Am starting my blog and what I read was helpful thank you

I would like to first of all say thank you for all the wonderful and great information you sent to all of us and this is very useful to me and I will and have been looking at this for a long time now but because of your information I really feel like I’m ready. Unfortunately I have a few very simple questions that you possibly can answer in a second but I need to ask them because of my lack of knowledge. I live in Japan and my blog is meant for Japanese and Europeans and Americans and for everyone really and I will probably be doing some translation at the same time so my question is this. is there a different way to registering a blog in Japan or blogging the rest of the world will my domain name be registered to me even in Japan or other parts of the world. If you have any answers for me please let me know. Yours truly, Yves Gagnon

Domain registration applies worldwide. For example, the domain name for this site (theblogstarter.com) is registered to me and can’t be used by anyone else. No matter where you are in the world, when you go to theblogstarter.com this is the site that comes up. I hope that answers your question.

Thank you so much for your blog. I found your explanations particularly clear, concise, and helpful.

I am setting up a blog right now and chose the plan with the lowest up-front cost.

Should I be concerned that the expiration for my basic web hosting is 12 months? Is there any way to alleviate the issue?

Hi Douglas,

You will have the option to renew before it expires. You can also extend your package for a longer duration at any time from your BlueHost account.

Hi Can you have multiple people belong to one blog And post at any time or is it restricted to a single blogger only, thank you

You can create multiple users for your blog. Just log-in to the WordPress dashboard of your account and then go “Users” on the left sidebar menu. From here you can add new users. You can also give each user different permissions if you so choose. For example, you could be the only administrator of the blog, while still giving other users the permission to write new content.

Hi Scott, can you use the wordpress from your laptop, tablet and phone to write on-the-go?

Yes, you can easily blog from any internet-connected device. For your phone, I would suggest using the WordPress.org app: https://wordpress.org/mobile/

Do I need a privacy policy on my blog if I am just a personal blogger? If so How do I go about doing that?

Hi Shannon,

It’s not strictly necessary if you are not collecting any data about your visitors, but it’s so simple to do that I recommend it for all new blogs. From the WordPress dashboard, go to “Tools” on the left sidebar menu and then click on “Prviacy”. This will take you to the privacy page generator and help you add it to your blog.

Very easy indeed. Thanks Scott. As a web designer, I often get asked how to start a blog. I’m definitely bookmarking this for sharing. 🙂

I would like to thank you for the information on your site. You have included a wealth if helpful information. This is my first search for how to start a blog, I have learned a lot from your presentation. I have learned a lot, I’m not sure that a blog is my interest or i need something different. I am 75 years young, and have never met, or talked with anyone who have experienced a lifetime such as I. I would like to get my story out there for entertainment, and comments from others who may be able to relate. Thank You for your very informative information. I assure you that I will come back to your site if I decide a blog would fit my purpose. Thank you very much for the great education you have served me.

Hi William,

A blog sounds the perfect medium for what you want to do. You can easily write your story and have others comment on it.

Let me know if you have any trouble getting started. I would be happy to assist.

Thank you for this very informative blog. When setting up the comments section of my blog, is it necessary to ask for a piece of personal info such as the email of the address of the person making the comment? If I let people comment anonymously, this may encourage more people to comment.

You can set it up either way. You are correct that you will get more comments if you don’t ask for an email address, but you will also get more spam comments as well.

Fantastic, and very help. Thank you for such a great help and guidance. You made something impossible possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for sharing

Can I start a blog with my phone?

Yes, the steps for how to start a blog are the same for phone, tablet, or computer.

Very informative post. I am grad student thinking strongly about starting a blog and wanted to know if you could speak to a respectful posting frequency and how many posts are enough before launching?

Can you point me to some form of blog management information? I am trying to determine if this is something I can commit to.

Thank you in advance

When first starting out I suggest posting once or twice a week. After you have built up a solid readership then you can decrease the posting frequency. Some really popular blogs only post every couple of months.

When you first start a blog I recommend launching it as soon as you finish your first post. This gets you started on growing your readership from day one.

Great synopsis Scott!

Great synopsis of a really BIG subject Scott! Good info for those looking to start blogging.

What an excellent blog… I’ve been researching to see if starting a blog is something I want to get into.. I’m retired and do crafts for friends and family. But ,don’t want to be limited to just blogging about that area. I’m also an author (inspiration-Christian) and wanted to know if you can have sections when establishing a blog?

Yes, the easiest way to do this is to categorize each post. Your post will then automatically go to the correct category page on your blog.

Hi Scott, This is some great help! But I have a question…. If I start a blog is it considered a “side gig”? Or do i have to register a “Business”? How would I report my income?

You can do it either way. Most people just start with it as a side hustle, and then as it grows you can consider setting up a business. It would be best to talk to a tax accountant once you get to that point though.

Hey Scott. I really appreciate the info, however, both you and BlueHost advertise the cost as “monthly.” When I went to sign up, it gave me a total cost which was the total cost for the contract. Before I give my payment information, I’d like to clarify if I’m paying monthly for the service, or if I have to pay a lump sum. Thanks.

Yes, you will pay up front for the full length of your plan. So if you do a 12 month plan then you pay for 12 months up front. You can cancel at anytime and get a pro-rated refund for the unused months on your plan.

Thank you for all of this information. I’m motivated to start blogging. I am confident that things will go smoothly with all the info that you provided.

Thank you Scott. I am so grateful for this enlightening information you have given to me here. I now know how to set up my own blog. But I have a question. Which method of payment does bluehost support when you are paying for the hosting service? And can you choose to pay monthly, or must it be paid yearly? Thanks once again. Please i am expecting your reply.

A one year package is the shortest option. BlueHost accepts credit cards or PayPal. Feel free to contact me if you have any trouble getting started!

Hi, Scott! Wow! I think this just might be what I was looking for. I don’t do social media. No tweeting, no Facebook, none of that…. But, I know many people that do. I think they can help get my blog out into the public. A couple of questions – will the basic set up allow for comments? can I prevent users from leaving comments and delete horrid comments? I am excited and want to be sure I can control some things before I get rolling…. Thanks!!!

Yes, comments are turned-on by default. You have full control over the comments on your blog. For example, you can have comments automatically approved, or you can choose to manually approve only those that you want. Of course, you can also turn-off comments completely if you prefer.

To change your comments setting simply go to your blog dashboard and go to “Settings -> Discussion”

Hi Scott, Thank you. This is very informative. Can you please help me with narrowing down a name and topics please?

Sure, just send me a message through my contact page with more details on the topics you are interested in.

Very informative and easy to follow! I read to the end and then watched video.

Scott thanks, the tutorial was most helpful. It took me a while but I got there in the end. Good stuff. I used the format you show as it seemed good for me.

Hi! Thank you so much for this! Your guide is so thorough that I am working on getting my blog up and running! Quick question: How do you create an email with your domain name? I Googled it, but I don’t see the same options in my side panel. On the WordPress article I read, it says to go to Store > Dashboard > Manage emails, but I don’t see that. Thank you for your help!

Hi Valerie,

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a custom email address for your blog .

Hi. Thanks for the tutorial.

Can you do this whole process for a blog with your smartphone?

Yes, you can do the whole process with your smartphone.

Hi Scott. Thank you so much for this info. I am very eager to make my own blog but really haven’t a clue where to start or what to blog about. Do you have any recommendations on how to figure out my niche? TIA!

The best niche for you is something you have an active interest in. Think of the things you enjoy spending your time doing and/or learning about. Travel, fashion, fitness, and food are all popular topics. Once you figure out what sounds most interesting to you, your job as a blogger is to provide your unique perspective and experience with that topic. For more detailed info check out this post on finding your niche .

Your tutorial was so helpful and you are so easy to follow and you have a very good speaking voice.

Thank you so much for taking the time to have this website, you tube and making yourself available for questions.

Hi Scott Thank you very much for taking the time to do this. I want to do a blog about fitness and health diet recipes but am not an expert or anything it’s just something i do on daily basis and I feel like I want to start blogging about it even though I know there are tons of fitness blogs out there but I know this is me being me and the routines i go through and I want to know what you think about it. Thanks

Hi Christiana,

A blog sounds perfect for your situation. People enjoy learning about things from someone who is actually doing it, not some armchair expert.

Yes, there are a lot of fitness blogs already, but that is only because there are also a ton of people who want to read great fitness and health content!

Best of luck, and let me know if you need any help along the way.

Newbie question: so what’s the difference between a blog and a website?? Some blogs seem to be “embedded” in a website. Should one create a website first? Then how do you connect the two? Thanks ahead.

A blog is a type of website. You are correct, you can have a traditional website and then have a separate section of the site for a blog. If you are looking for a more traditional website you can follow my guide to starting a website here . If you follow the tutorial on this page you will have a blog. No need to create a separate website first.

Fantastic, and very help. Thank you for such a great help and guidance. You made something impossible possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you so much for your blog. I have had so much fun setting mine up and it might never have happened without your blog. I particularly found the video very clear, concise and helpful.

Hey. I want a blog but have so many things it’s like to cover…I need help with a name… Could you help me?

Sure, just send me a message through my contact page with some more details on what your blog will be about.

Hi. I’m thinking I may have signed up for the wrong type of blog. I’ve just created a wordpress.com personal blog site (ancestry). I’m just starting the site but am getting notifications that to use ANY plug-ins I need to upgrade to a business account (yikes not inexpensive!). Should I have signed up for WordPress.org??

Yes, WordPress.org is what you want. Just follow the steps in the tutorial on this page to create a WordPress.org blog using BlueHost.

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Blog with the best.

More bloggers and independent creators choose WordPress than any other blogging tool. Tap into intuitive, flexible tools that put writers, bloggers, and creators first.

Simple, meet flexible.

Whatever you’re publishing. Whoever your audience is. WordPress.com makes it simple to get started. And easy to expand your site as your audience grows.

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Customize your blog’s look and feel in a couple of clicks with beautifully designed themes. Bring your writing to life with magical drag-and-drop layouts. Or put your fingerprint on every font, color, and element on the page.

From simple and clean to glossy magazine – whatever your publishing style, the intuitive block editor adapts to you. Drag, drop, and easily swap out your menu, punch in a pull quote, or make your post pop with a beautiful gallery. Just like that.

From video to audio, stories to GIFs, bring it all together—right from where you write. And with plenty of storage for every type of media, your content’s secure, easy to reuse anywhere on your blog, and owned by you alone.

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You do you.

You’ve got more on your plate than running a blog. WordPress.com meets you where you are.

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The Jetpack mobile app for iOS and Android puts total control of your blog a tap and swipe away. Wherever you are at the time.

With post-scheduling, you can catch your readers at the best time for them. And for you. Write up a post, set your publish date, and then leave it to your blog to hit publish.

Skim your blog stats with an at-a-glance dashboard. Or dig into the details of exactly what’s resonating with your readers with charts, graphs, and deep-dive data, powered by Jetpack.

See and be seen.

You made it. Now it’s time to get it in front of people. With baked in SEO tools, a bustling community, one-click social links, and a bunch of easy ways to get paid, you’re all set.

Get found faster thanks to built-in search engine optimization tools. Clean URLs, automatic sitemaps, and custom titles and descriptions help put your blog at the top of the stack in search results.

Find your audience

Say hello to a huge community of bloggers, creators, and avid readers, every time you publish. WordPress.com’s built-in Reader means millions of people can easily find, follow, and share your blog.

Take it to social

Put the word out on social media with no extra work. Set up automatic social updates once. Then leave it to WordPress.com to update Facebook, Tumblr, and LinkedIn every time you hit publish.

Get paid for what you made

Let your audience support your hard work with built-in monetization tools. From shipping out merch to selling downloadable content, taking donations to offering subscriptions and memberships. Everything you need to collect payments is baked right in.

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People love WordPress.com.

Over the years, I’ve acquired a gratifying number of readers and followers, with more arriving each day, and I owe much of that audience to the tools and opportunities that WordPress.com provides.
WordPress.com has allowed me to present my content in an attractive way. It’s given me a platform to reach thousands of people. It’s made people notice me and what I write… With my WordPress site, I feel like a professional.
My entire life has been invested in the written word, printing and publishing. WordPress.com is the best resource I have ever used.

You’re in control.

With WordPress.com, your content belongs to you alone. Count on us to keep your site strong, safe, and lightning fast, so you’ll never lose a site visitor.

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Blogs should belong to creators, not platforms. With WordPress.com, every word, every photo, and every thought you share belongs to you. And only you. That means you can easily export your entire blog and take it anywhere, at any time.

Your blog’s in safe hands. With a dedicated security team, firewalls, encryption, brute force, and DDoS protection. So when you blog with WordPress.com, security’s all in place. All by default.

WordPress.com focuses on doing only one thing really well: hosting blazing-fast WordPress sites, all over the world. So you’ll never lose a follower to a slow site or risk your blog going down with a sudden traffic spike.

Everything you need in one place.

Your WordPress.com site comes with all the most popular blogging tools—and then some.

Stats & Insights

Jetpack stats.

Monitor your site traffic and engagement from the moment you hit publish.

Google Analytics

Access in-depth data on how and why people come to your site without writing a single line of code.

Design & Editing Tools

Beautiful themes.

Kickstart your site by selecting from hundreds of pre-made, professionally-designed, customizable templates .

Block Editor

Use intuitive drag-and-drop tools to easily arrange, rearrange, and organize your content and media.

Advanced Design Tools 

Customize your blog’s design with extended color schemes, typography, borders, and control over website CSS.

Pre-Built Block Patterns

Create great-looking layouts simply by inserting elegant pre-built block patterns into your pages and posts.

Upload Any Type of Media

Create designer-worthy photo galleries, embed audio, video, documents, and more—with storage space to spare.

Get found faster with powerful built-in SEO tools , and access to premium plugins including Yoast and Rank Math.

Social Media Tools

Automatically send new posts to Facebook, Tumblr, and LinkedIn and create shortlinks, social icons, and open graph tags.

Easily insert a contact, appointment, event registration, or feedback form to your site.

WordPress.com Newsletter

Automatically send your new posts out as an email newsletter.

Connect with other likeminded bloggers —who might just be your next biggest fans, through our community hub.

Custom Domain Name

Get a personalized online address that’s easy to remember and easy to share—enjoy your first year free when you choose a paid annual plan.

Monetization Tools

Collect payments.

Accept payments for just about anything—from goods and services to memberships and donations.

Earn ad revenue by connecting your site with the biggest ad publishers, including Google AdSense, and more.

Paid Content Block

Create additional, premium content exclusive to your paying subscribers.

Paid Newsletters

Email premium content to paying subscribers.

Site Management

Post by email.

Publish blog posts on-the-go with the quick send of an email.

Post Scheduling

Schedule your posts in advance.

Spam Protection with Akismet

Prevent unwanted comments to ensure that your site remains professional and trustworthy.

Jetpack Backups and Restores

Easily restore or download a backup of your site from a specific moment in time.

Related Posts

Provide automated content recommendations to visitors based on what they’ve already read.

Jetpack Search

Deliver high quality, relevant search results to your most engaged visitors.

You asked, we answered.

You can always get started blogging for free with the WordPress.com free plan, which includes our best-in-class hosting. Our various paid plans unlock additional features perfect for personal use, freelancers, small businesses, and online stores.

Find the right plan for your blogging needs.

Your free website includes a subdomain: sitename.wordpress.com

You can register a new custom domain name or transfer an existing one to your free site, but you’ll need a paid WordPress.com plan to use it as your site’s main address.

Every paid WordPress.com plan comes with a free domain for one year when paid annually.

There are a lot of ways to earn money with your blog. You can earn ad revenue, share affiliate links, sell digital goods and services, accept donations and tips, create premium content accessible only to paid subscribers, and more.

Learn more about how WordPress.com helps you monetize your blog .

On WordPress.com we use “website” and “blog” as interchangeable terms. Any site you create on WordPress.com can be formatted as a static page or a blog. Some websites dedicate a separate section to work as a blog.

Yes! WordPress.com makes it quick and easy to import your content from other blogging or website platforms including Squarespace, Wix, Blogger, and more. You can also import your content from a self-hosted WordPress site.

Find out how to import your site’s content .

Yes, we have a custom web design service called Built By WordPress.com . You tell us about the site you envision, and we’ll work closely with you to design and build your site. The end result will be fully customized for you.

Check out our learning hub with a variety of courses and webinars, articles, and support guides for tips on getting started with your blogging journey.

Join the millions of creators publishing with WordPress.com.

Build your blog—and your audience—with the same tool that powers almost half the web. Built on lightning-fast, seriously secure, hassle-free hosting. That’s WordPress.com.


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How to Start a Blog

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The Minimalists

How to Start a Successful Blog in 2024

Learn how to start a blog in less than an hour. Become a blogger today by following the steps we used when starting our blog, which now has reached more than 20 million people and has been seen in the New York Times , TIME magazine, and on the TODAY show.

How to Start a Blog in 2024

You can start a blog in just 5 simple steps.

  • Choose your blog name and hosting.
  • Build your blog with WordPress.
  • Pick your design to make it your own.
  • Add SEO and track stats.
  • Write compelling content.

Do you want to start a blog fast?

This is a long essay and you may want to start your blog without all the detail.

This is the first how to quickly start a blog guidepost.

To start a blog fast simply:

  • Look for these boxes.
  • Follow the brief steps.
  • Click the link to jump to the next box.

Click here to go to the first step.

How The Minimalists started their blog

How We Started This Blog

Want to create something meaningful? Why not start a blog? Why not become a blogger? Creating this blog is one of the best decisions Ryan and I ever made. After all, our blog is how we earn a living . We make money blogging, but more important it’s how we add value to other people’s lives.

So you’re thinking about starting a blog, but you don’t have any idea where to start, right? Guess what—neither did we! Before we became “The Minimalists,” we wanted to start a blog to communicate our thoughts and express our feelings, but we were overwhelmed with options.

Clueless, confused, and confounded with choices, we had no idea how to start a blog or how to be a blogger. When should we start? How do we register a domain name? What is hosting? Which blogging platform should we use? How do we choose a blog theme? What should we write about? Heck, we could hardly spell HTML, let alone build a blog!

But good news: it turns out that starting a blog is much easier than you think. We’ve learned a ton of lessons during our ascent to millions of readers, and now you can learn from our pain and suffering to avoid much of the tedium involved in setting up a blog.

How to Become a Blogger: Video Tutorial

If you prefer to watch our process for setting up a blog, we’ve created a step-by-step start a blog video, How to Become a Successful Blogger Today , which shows the entire starting-a-blog undertaking. Otherwise, read on.

How to Start a Successful Blog in 5 Steps

  • Choose your blog name and get your blog hosting.
  • Start your blog by adding WordPress.
  • Pick a simple theme to make your blog your own.
  • Add two key blogging plugins to find your readers and track stats.
  • Write compelling content to create a blog that your readers love.

While there are other blogging platforms out there like Blogger, Squarespace, and Wix, nearly every serious blogger uses a self-hosted WordPress site because of its creative freedom and flexibility.

It’s not only because it’s the easiest blog to set up. The Minimalists uses WordPress because it gives us greater control over the look and feel of our blog—more creative control than any other platform. Oh, and WordPress itself is free !

How to start a blog in 2024

These are the exact steps we took when we created this website. If you follow these five steps, you will learn how to set up a blog in less than one hour.

Step 1 Choose your blog name and get your blog hosting

The first thing we did when starting our blog was go to Bluehost and register our domain, which is free with hosting. We’ll explain hosting in a moment, but let’s talk about your domain name first.

Blogging Quick Start – Step 1

In this first step you will choose your blog name (domain name) and buy your blog hosting.

  • Go to Bluehost and click the Get Started Now button.
  • Select the Basic plan .
  • Pick your domain name and enter it into the New Domain box.
  • Create your Bluehost account.

Click here to jump to the next step.

Choose your domain name

Your domain name is an important part of your blog because it creates a first impression—it is the name of your blog. Also known as your URL, your domain is also your address on the web. For example, our domain name is www.theminimalists.com.

So, what do you want to call your blog? Maybe it’s YourName.com. Maybe it’s YourBusinessName.com. Or maybe it’s a creative brand name you thought up. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a good domain name, try Wordoid , a wonderful naming tool that will give you plenty of great options. Just make sure you don’t buy the domain from them since Bluehost will give you a free domain. (If you’ve already purchased a domain elsewhere, that’s okay, too, because Bluehost will make it easy to transfer your existing domain during the setup process.)

Set up blog hosting

Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you’ll need to set up hosting for your blog. While WordPress itself is free (see Step 2 below), you need a reliable place to host your WordPress blog (your blog needs to be on a server somewhere on the Internet).

For hosting, we recommend Bluehost for several reasons:

  • We Use Bluehost. We personally use Bluehost to host The Minimalists . If you recommend a company, you better be willing to use their product yourself. We also use them to host several other websites of ours.
  • Great Pricing. TheMinimalists.com is a Bluehost affiliate partner, which means that in addition to using their service, we also receive a commission for referring new customers. To be fair, though, we would still use Bluehost even if we weren’t an affiliate—we’ve used them for a long time. Ergo, we don’t recommend Bluehost just because we’re an affiliate (every hosting company offers a similar affiliate program); we recommend Bluehost because they are the best, most reliable option. Plus, because we’re a partner, Bluehost offers a more than 50% discount for The Minimalists readers: only $2.75 a month for the first year.
  • Free Domain. When you sign up for hosting, Bluehost will give you a free domain name, which allows you to avoid the upfront and recurring fees associated with purchasing a domain on your own. If you’ve already purchased your own domain name, don’t worry; you can still use your domain with Bluehost (it’s just one extra step).
  • Money-Back Guarantee. Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk if you change your mind.
  • Reliability. Bluehost’s facilities are world class. They have their own custom-built 20,000-square-foot datacenter with enough backup generators to power a city.
  • Friends & Family. Many of our friends and family also use Bluehost to host their blogs.

Now that you’re ready to get started, go to Bluehost and click the Get Started Now button.

Step 1 - Get Started Now

Next choose your hosting plan.

Step 1 - Choose your blog hosting

You’ll see that prices range from $3 to $6 per month, depending on whether you want a basic, single blog hosting plan or a more robust plan that allows you to create multiple blogs.

Once you select your plan you’ll choose or enter your domain name.

Step 1 - Sign Up Now

If you don’t own a domain name simply enter your desired blog name into the New Domain box.

If you’ve already own a domain name simply enter that into the I have a domain name box.

Click Next .

Finally create your blogging account.

Step 1 - Create Your Account

And click Create your password to complete your blog hosting setup.

Step 1 - Welcome to Bluehost

Just like that you’ve nearly become a blogger!

Starting a Blog

How to Start a Blog Ebook

Pressed for time? Learn how we started our successful blog using this free ebook.

Step 2 Start your blog by adding WordPress

Next you will install WordPress, which is free. Don’t let the word “install” intimidate you, though. It’s much easier than it sounds and Bluehost does all the work for you.

Blogging Quick Start – Step 2

Next you’ll install WordPress.

  • Click the Log In button.
  • Click Skip This Step on the Pick a theme screen.
  • WordPress is now installed, click Start Building to go to your dashboard.

To begin simply click Log In .

Step 2 - Log In

Bluehost provides several blog design options, but simply scroll to the bottom and click Skip This Step (you’ll see why in a moment).

Step 2 - Click Skip This Step

WordPress is now installed. Simply click Start Building to go to your new blogging dashboard and continue to Step 3.

Step 2 - Click Start Building

Step 3 Pick a simple theme to make your blog your own

A theme allows you to pick a design for your blog without the need for coding expertise or design knowledge. In other words, a good theme helps you to design your blog exactly how  you  want it to look. If you’re not a coder (I’m certainly not a coder), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier.

Blogging Quick Start – Step 3

Next you’ll choose and install your blog’s WordPress theme.

  • Go to BYLT .
  • Purchase the theme that fits your style (we use the tru Theme).
  • Download and save your theme’s .zip file to your Desktop.
  • Return to your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Themes .
  • Click Upload and then Upload Theme .
  • Click Choose File , select your theme .zip file, and click Install Now .
  • Click Activate .

Our blog design is from BYLT, a platform created by our good friends at SPYR. They have several beautiful, simple WordPress themes to choose from, and, in fact, you can purchase the same theme we use if you like.

Simply go to BYLT and find the minimalist WordPress theme that best fits your desired aesthetic. Their themes are feature-rich; plus, once you buy your theme, you will have the same team supporting your work that we trust to support ours.

Step 3 - Blog Designs

Once you purchase your theme you’ll be able to download your WordPress theme (a .zip file) from your BYLT Dashboard . Save this file to your Desktop because you’ll need to upload it to WordPress in just a moment.

Step 3 - Download a Blog Theme

Remember how easy it was to install WordPress? Well installing your blog theme is just as simple.

First return to your WordPress Dashboard.

You should already be logged in, but whenever you are signed out go to my.bluehost.com , enter your new domain name (or username), your password, and click Submit .

Step 3 - Log In to Blog

From here, go to My Sites and click on Log in to WordPress .

Step 3 - My Sites

Next, in your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes .

Step 3 - Appearance > Themes

Next, click the Upload button.

Step 3 - Upload Blog Design

Then, click the Upload Theme button followed by the Choose File button.

Find the .zip file you downloaded from your BYLT Dashboard (this is your theme file) and click Install Now to install your new simple blog design.

Step 3 - Install Blog Theme

Finally, click Activate and your blog theme is installed.

Step 3 - Activate Blog Theme

Step 4 Add two key blogging plugins to find your readers and track stats

Plugins are third-party appendages that add additional functionality to your blog.

Blogging Quick Start – Step 4

In the final setup step you’ll install two plugins that will improve your blog’s features.

  • In your WordPress Dashboard go to Plugins > Add New .
  • Search for Yoast SEO . Click Install Now followed by Activate .
  • Click the Add New button to add one more plugin.
  • Search for MonsterInsights and click Install Now followed by Activate .
  • Click the Launch the Wizard! button to configure MonsterInsights.

It’s best to keep your number of blog plugins to a minimum and install only the best ones, because too many plugins—as well as unreliable plugins—can slow down your site. We use very few plugins at The Minimalists .

In this section you’ll install and activate the following free plugins:

  • Yoast SEO  is the defacto standard SEO plugin for WordPress. For details and everything you’d ever want to know about WordPress SEO read  Yoast’s Definitive SEO Guide .
  • Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights  allows you to track your blog’s traffic easily and with lots of interesting data: overall traffic, traffic sources, views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews.

In your WordPress dashboard go to  Plugins > Add New .

Search for Yoast SEO .

Step 4 - Install Yoast SEO

Then click Install Now followed by Activate and your blog will immediately have improved SEO.

Step 4 - Activate Yoast SEO

Next search for MonsterInsights .

Step 4 - Install MonsterInsights

Then click Install Now followed by Activate .

Step 4 - Activate MonsterInsights

Next click Launch the Wizard! and follow the steps to complete the MonsterInsights setup.

Step 4 - Click Launch the Wizard!

Finally, so people can receive our blog posts via email, we have an email newsletter. For a feature-rich email-subscription service we recommend ConvertKit (affiliate link). (By the way, if you don’t already, subscribe to  The Minimalists’ blog via email .)

Step 5 Write compelling content to create a blog that your readers love

Congratulations! You started a blog, and now it’s time to start blogging. This is where the fun begins.

Now that you have your own blog, you get to make it yours ; you get to turn your vision into a reality.

  • Content . Start writing and publishing the content for your basic pages: create an About Page, Contact Page, Start Here Page, and any other page you want in the header of your new blog.
  • Photo . Add a photo of yourself (pro tip: you can start with a well-lit selfie, but when you get a chance, get some professional photos taken; they’re well worth the cost because people identify with other people more than they identify with logos).
  • Logo . Create a basic logo using a program like InDesign, Photoshop, or a text editor (note: even though we have no design skills, we were able to use Apple’s Pages application to create our simple logo after downloading some free vector art  and choosing the typeface that best suited our aesthetic). Or you can find someone on a site like Fiverr or hire a designer like SPYR to create a professional logo.
  • Images . Spice up your blog posts with high-quality stock photos and images: Unsplash (free), Library of Congress (free),  iStock  (fee-based), Shutterstock (fee-based).
  • Comments . Determine whether or not you want comments on your blog; they are often a useful way to receive feedback and directly engage with your readers.
  • Social . Establish a social media presence on X (Twitter) , Facebook , or Instagram (or all three).
  • Publish . Start writing new blog posts. Publish at least once a week, especially when first starting a blog, so you can build an audience. Below you’ll also find 20 blogging tips to improve your writing in the How to Blog section, as well as 15 reasons you should start a blog and 3 reasons not to start a blog.

We hope you have loads of fun expressing yourself on your new blog. We’re certain it will be a huge growth experience for you during the coming months. You have now officially become a blogger. Wherever you’re going, make sure you enjoy the journey ahead.

How to Blog: 20 Blogging Tips to Improve Your Writing

We receive many emails asking how to blog, about blog topics, and about creating meaningful content. The bulk of this essay explained how to start a blog, but that’s just the initial step. Now it’s time to start writing and publishing your content.

Here, to answer the frequently asked “How can a beginner start blogging?,” are 20 tips for beginners on how to blog .

  • Find Your Niche . You needn’t have a niche, but it helps. When learning how to be a blogger, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re passionate about. Running? Cooking? Being a parent? Have you found your passion? If so, whatever it is, write about that. If not, then you must first find your passion . Note: We generally recommend that people don’t start a blog about minimalism or keto or any other heavily saturated topic. But what we really mean when we say this is: don’t create a blog about something unless you have a unique perspective. If you’ve embraced simple living and have a unique perspective, then by all means have at it.
  • Define Your Ideal Readers . Once you’ve found your niche, you need to know who will be reading your blog. For example, we blog about living a meaningful life with less. Thus, our ideal readers are people who are interested in exploring minimalism so they can clear the path toward more meaningful lives. If you want to write about your newborn baby growing up, that’s wonderful: your ideal readers are probably your friends and family. If you want to write about restoring classic cars, that’s cool, too. Tailor your writing to your readers (whether it’s your family or local community or whoever else will read your blog).
  • Add Value . Your blog must add value to its readers’ lives. You want to help people solve problems. This is the only way you will get great quality readers to your site (and keep them coming back). Adding value is the only way to get someone’s long-term buy-in. We both learned this after a decade of leading and managing people in the corporate world. With everything you write, it’s worth asking: Is this adding value?
  • Be Original . Yes, there are other blogs out there about the same thing you want to write about. Question: So why is your blog different? Answer: Because of you . You are what makes your blog different. It’s about your perspective, your creativity, the value  you add.
  • Be Interesting . Write interesting blog posts. Especially if you want people to share it with others.
  • Be Yourself . Part of being interesting is telling your story. Every person is unique, and your story is an important one. The important part of storytelling, however, is removing the superfluous details that make the story uninteresting. A great storyteller removes 99% of what really happens—the absorptive details—and leaves the interesting 1% for the reader.
  • Be Honest . Your blog needs to be authentic—it needs to feel real—if you want people to read it. You can be your blog, or your blog can be you. That is, do you really embody the stuff you write about? If not, people will see through it.”Be the change you want to see in the world,” is the famous Gandhi quote. Perhaps bloggers should build the blog they want to write for the world.
  • Transparency . Being transparent is different from being honest. You needn’t share every detail about your life just for the sake of being honest. Always be honest, and be transparent when it adds value to what you’re writing. (Because everything we write must serve the greater good, you won’t ever see pictures of us using the restroom—that’s simply not relevant.)
  • Time . Once you’ve learned how to start a blog, you’ll learn that blogging takes a lot of time, especially if you’re as neurotic as we are. That said, once you have your design set up, don’t tweak it too much. Instead, spend the time on your writing.
  • Vision . The reason our site design looks good is because we have a great host , we have a great theme , and, most important, we had a vision of how we wanted our blog to look. Once we had the vision, we worked hard to make that vision a reality. (Note: neither of us had any design experience before starting a blog.) It’s hard to create a beautiful blog if you don’t know what you want it to look like.
  • Find Your Voice . Over time, good writers discover their voice and their writing tends to develop a certain flow, one that is appealing to their readers. Finding your voice makes your writing feel more alive, more real, more urgent. For additional reading, check out our blog post about Finding Your Voice .
  • We Instead of You . Use the first-person plural when possible. Statements of we and our are more powerful than you and your , especially when talking about negative behaviors or tendencies. The first person comes off as far less accusatory. Think of it this way: we’re writing peer-to-peer—we are not gods.
  • When to Post . Question: When is the best day and time to publish a blog post? Answer: It doesn’t really matter. We don’t adhere to a particular time-of-day schedule, but we do publish at least once a week because consistency is important. You needn’t get bogged down in the details, though.
  • Social Media . Yes, we recommend using X (Twitter) , Facebook , and Instagram to help connect with your audience and other bloggers, but don’t get too caught up in it. Focus on the writing first, social media thereafter.
  • Ignore Negative Criticism and Stupidity . Sure, we get a lot of negative comments and stupid questions from ignorant people who aren’t really our readers (“You’re not real minimalists!”). We call these people seagulls : They fly in, crap on your site, and fly away. But we pay them no mind, because we didn’t start our blog for them. Delete their comment and move on.
  • Research . Spend time researching what you’re writing about. The reason we are able to use so many helpful, relevant links in our essays is because we put in the time to research our topics.
  • Keep It Simple . This is where minimalism can be applied to starting any blog, irrespective of its genre. No need to place superfluous advertisements or widgets all over your site. Stick to the basics and remove anything you don’t need—remove anything that doesn’t add value.
  • Picture . Put a picture of yourself on your blog. People like to see the face of the person who’s writing the blog. If two goofy guys from Dayton, Ohio aren’t too afraid to put their pictures on their site, then you have nothing to worry about.
  • Comments . If you’re going to have comments on your site, then read The Five Words That Kill Your Blog by Scott Stratten.
  • Live Your Life . You’re starting a blog about your life (or about certain aspects of your life, at least), so you still need to live your life. There are things that we always put before blogging: exercise, health, relationships, experiences, personal growth, contribution. Simply put, live a life worth writing about.

15 Reasons You Should Start a Blog

We were inspired to research and write this blog post after reading Joshua Becker’s 15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog , in which he discusses 15 great reasons why you should start a blog.

Why is the keyword here. Crucially, Becker writes about the purpose of blogging, not just how to start a blog. That’s what many of these other “blogs about blogging” seem to miss: they miss the purpose— the why behind starting a blog.

Here is a summary of our three favorite reasons from Becker’s list:

  • You’ll become a better writer . “At its core, writing is communication. It is about recording thoughts on paper and compelling others to agree with them,” writes Becker. “To that end, writing (just like every other form of communication that has ever existed) improves with practice. Blogging will not force you to become a better writer, it’ll just happen as you do it. And becoming a better writer holds important benefits for the rest of your life—whether you are creating a book, a presentation, a resume, or an anniversary card for your spouse.” Spot on! Writing blog posts is not only a great way to improve your blog writing, it’s a wonderful chance to improve everything you write—from business emails and text messages to that novel you’ve been dreaming of penning.
  • You’ll meet new people . “Whether it be through comments, emails, or social media, you may be surprised at how quickly you meet people online,” writes Becker. That’s true! The Minimalists’ blog is responsible for many of the most important relationships I’ve developed over the past decade—long-term business and personal relationships birthed from this very blog
  • You’ll become more confident . “Blogging will help you discover more confidence in your life,” writes Becker. “You will quickly realize that you do live an important life with a unique view and have something to offer others.” So true! Writing helps us better understand the lives we live and the consequences of our actions.

3 Reasons You Should Not Start a Blog

So now you have 15 reasons why you should start a blog, and we’ve shown you how to start a blog, step-by-step, based on our personal experience.

But after giving you those detailed instructions, which could save you hundreds of hours of wasted time, we also want to give you some good reasons why you should not start a blog. (Keep in mind that these reasons are just our opinions, and we do not pretend to offer them up as a collection of empirical blogging maxims.)

  • Money . You should not start a blog to make money. We need to get that out of the way first. If your primary objective is to replace your full-time income from blogging, forget about it. It doesn’t work that way. Do you think that Jimi Hendrix picked up his first guitar so he could “supplement his income”? No, he didn’t. Rather, he did it for the love of it, for the joy and fulfillment he received, and the income came thereafter—much later actually.
  • Notoriety . Don’t plan on getting “Internet famous” right away. Not every site grows as fast as ours did, but that’s okay. The truth is that we kind of got lucky. We found a great domain name, we cobbled together a logo and site design that people liked, we write fairly well, and our content connected with people in a unique way. We didn’t start this site to become “famous,” though. That’d be ridiculous. We started this site to become bloggers and share a message. Our popularity came as a surprise to us, and it was a result of a little luck and a lot of hard, passionate work.
  • Traffic . Not all traffic is good traffic , so don’t worry about getting thousands of readers right away. Spend your time producing meaningful creations and eventually the audience will show up if you are helping people solve problems. In other words, focus on adding value, not increasing traffic.

The funny thing is that all these things can happen. You could make a full-time income from building a blog. We do it and so do many others. And you could become an Internet famous blogger like Leo Babauta .

But if these are the sole reasons you start blogging, you’ll be miserable because it will seem like a job. And if it feels like a job, you won’t be passionate about it, so you’ll either hate it or fall flat on your face (or both).

Instead, become a blogger and write because you’re passionate about it…

4 Blogging Resources

If you want to learn more about blogging, publishing, writing, and SEO, then check out these additional resources:

  • What Kind of Media Counts?  (Seth Godin)
  • How to Publish an Indie Book (Asymmetrical Press)
  • How to Write Better: Online Class (Joshua Fields Millburn)
  • Some Funny Thoughts on SEO (Exile Lifestyle)

How to Start a Blog Infographic

How to Start a Blog

FAQs When Starting a Blog

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  • Do you have a question that we didn’t answer?

  • Creations . By building an audience who finds value in our message, we’ve been able to offer our three books and our documentary, Minimalism , to an audience who is willing to support our creative work. Consequently, all three books have been bestsellers and are now translated into more than a dozen languages; and thanks to Netflix, our documentary is available in 190 countries. (For more information about our book-publishing process, read this blog post series: How to Publish an Indie Book .)
  • Audience Contributions . Since we refuse to clutter our blog or popular podcast with ads, we depend on audience support to fund production of our podcast. With more than 5,000 supporters on Patreon and many others via PayPal, The Minimalists Podcast is fully funded with audience support, which means we’re able to pay for our podcast producer, filmmaker, and studio space without advertisements on our platforms.
  • Speaking . As we built our audience, many organizations, universities, and conferences began contacting us about speaking at their events. At first, we starting speaking for free just to build a name for ourselves. Then, we started charging a few hundred dollars per event. Now, we’re able to charge significantly more money because the demand for our talks is high. So far, The Minimalists have spoken at Harvard, Apple, Google, Allstate, SAP, SXSW, TEDx, and many other organizations. We speak about a wide array of topics, from simple living and “simple work,” to health, relationships, writing, publishing, social media, personal growth, and contribution—and it all started because we started this blog. (Anyone who is interested in hiring us to speak can visit our speaking page for details.)
  • Tours . Over the past eight years, The Minimalists, have embarked on eight speaking tours , including 2017’s 50-city “Less Is Now” theater tour, which attracted an average of more than 1,000 people a night, with considerably larger audiences in bigger cities. Our 2014 “Everything That Remains” bookstore tour spanned 119 cities in eight countries and attracted 75,000 attendees.
  • Writing Classes . I get countless questions about writing, so I’ve been able to transfer that skillset to help hundreds of students improve their writing over the years. I teach a four-week online writing class designed to improve the writing of people at any skill level—beginner, intermediate, or professional.
  • Amazon Links . If The Minimalists recommend a product like this photo scanner , and then a reader purchases that product, we receive a small commission for that sale at no additional cost to our audience. We’re careful about what we recommend, however, because, as minimalists, we want you to consume less and to consume intentionally.
  • Affiliate Sales . When we recommend services such as Bluehost and ConvertKit , we receive a referral fee. Once again, though, that’s obviously not why we recommend these services. Virtually every hosting company has an affiliate program, so we think it’s best to recommend the companies we trust.

Through these various means, Ryan and I are able to earn a full-time income through blogging. But it’s worth noting that making money from your blog is not the best place to start.

While there’s nothing wrong with making money—which you can do through affiliate links , advertisements , and your own products and services—the best reason to start blogging is because you have something to express.

If you make money along the way, that’s great. In fact, if you help people solve their problems, you’re all but guaranteed to make money from your blog—eventually. Let’s just remember there are at least four resources that are more important than money: skills, time, energy, and attention.

That said, let’s not kid ourselves by acting as if making money is irrelevant—it’s not. Making money from our blog is simply not the primary driver for our creativity or why we became bloggers. Although people often think of money as the ultimate resource, it is the least important of the five mentioned above.

Money won’t necessarily improve your life, but it will amplify your existing behaviors. If you have bad habits, then more money will make your life considerably worse. And if you’re already a generous person, then more money can help you be more loving, caring, and considerate.

Personally, I write one or two blog posts per week, usually in the evenings, or on weekends, so it doesn’t get in the way of my other activities. That’s the nice thing about blogging: you get to write whenever you want-no one tells you what to do, when to do it, or how much must be done. Within five months of learning how to blog, you’ll find your own rhythm that works for you.

Writing a blog does not require a degree or special training. In fact, all you need is a desire to communicate with an audience. If you have that, then starting a blog is ideal for you.

According to Wikipedia , a blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of “discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts).” The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on December 17, 1997. The short form, “blog,” was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in 1999.

Today, blogs have many shapes and sizes. Many are public journals people use to express their feelings. Others, like this blog, exist to help people think critically and solve problems.

There are blogs that cover nearly every topic, ideology, and interest—from sports and politics to religion and travel and everything in between. Even the world’s largest news organizations—ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC—all have their own blogs.

Here are five reasons WordPress is better than Squarespace:

  • Design (Themes) . Squarespace provides some beautiful templates, but they’re limited by the number of designs that are available. Since WordPress is a free, open-source blogging platform, there’s an ecosystem of tens of thousands of themes ready to satisfy every want and need. While this variety is a benefit, we know full well that too many options can lead to a paradox of choice. This is why we recommend starting with the premium themes designed and supported by our friends at SPYR. We’ve worked with SPYR since the early days of The Minimalists and continue to recommend their products and services. (This is not an affiliate link—SPYR just does great work.)
  • Features (Plugins) . While Squarespace has a rich feature set, no blogging platform can compare with the immense scale of features that WordPress offers. WordPress has a library of over 54,000 free plugins that can handle any task. While we suggest that you keep the number of plugins on your blog to a minimum, the level of customization provided by WordPress is unmatched. Plugins aside, one key feature that’s built in to WordPress, but not Squarespace, is version control. Version control tracks your changes and allows you to compare revisions and revert back to a version of your Page or Post from any point in time. I use this feature all the time because I know that if I’m unhappy with anything I’ve changed, I can quickly revert back to the previous version. This feature provides a failsafe that allows bloggers to compose, draft, edit, and publish their posts within WordPress itself, making it a complete blogging solution.
  • You Own Your Content . Owning your content means that you have full control over what you express on your blog—and complete access to take that content and use it anywhere that you wish. To enable the latter, WordPress provides tools to export your data for use on any hosting provider that you choose to use. With Squarespace you can never truly download a complete copy of your server files or database, but with WordPress you can create an exact replica of your blog, at any point in time. This is most valuable for maintaining backups or in case you choose to restart a blog with a new hosting company . With WordPress you have 100% ownership of your content, files, data, and design—and everything can be backed up.
  • SEO . Out of the box, both WordPress and Squarespace are search engine friendly. But with a single plugin WordPress elevates your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A plugin we recommend for every blogger is Yoast SEO . This free WordPress plugin allows deep customization of your on-page SEO, but, more impressive, it provides automated content analysis. This helps guide you to improve and optimize your content for better readability and improved reach in search engines. While SEO isn’t everything, we all start our blogs in hopes that people will read what we’ve written. Following proper SEO practices can be a differentiating factor in reaching new people.
  • Growth . WordPress is extremely robust and customizable. It allows you to build a blog exactly as you’d like. But what happens as your new blog grows? If you outgrow the off-the-shelf option, maybe it’s time to work with a design partner to create a fully custom website that’s tailored to match your brand and image. Since WordPress provides you with complete ownership of the platform, it also provides a designer with the freedom to build and create your blog design without restriction. Nothing is off limits.

The answer is in the question: the only way to become a blogger is to start a blog. This might sound overly simplistic, but that’s because it’s not that complicated. If you follow these steps you’ll become a blogger and start blogging today.

There’s an old truism, “Writers don’t like writing; they like having written.” I think the opposite is true for bloggers: because of the instant gratification of the WordPress “Publish” button, I find that bloggers enjoy writing because they’re constantly sharing that writing with the world.

The barrier to entry is gone, so start blogging if you want to become a blogger. It really is that simple.

While the lines have blurred over the years, the simplest way to put it is that a blog is a type of website, one that catalogues, over time, the personal or professional thoughts and beliefs of a person or organization.

As your thoughts, beliefs, and ideas change, so will your blog. It’s nice to have a time capsule of our thoughts, as they’ve evolved over the past decade.

No, blogs are not “dead.” In fact, blogs are more alive than ever!

As a matter of fact, our blog has grown every year since 2010 and now boasts more than 3.78 million readers and an email list that continues to grow every month.

Millions of people read our blog every year-and our audience continues to grow because, thanks to our blog, new people find our work every day. But it’s not just The Minimalists who are successful. Blogs are popular all over the world, and they are the simplest way to publish content without middlemen or gatekeepers.

Blogging is the opposite of a waste of time. If you have a genuine desire to share your creativity with the world, then it’s one of the best “time investments” you can make. Our blog is simultaneously our practice space-where we share new ideas and writings with the world-as well as an announcement board that keeps our audience abreast of any new developments in the world of minimalism.

Starting a blog is arguably more important than ever. Whether you want to publish your writing, build an audience, open a business, or start a podcast , your blog is the home for your creative projects.

Once you’ve started a blog, you are no longer reliant on other people’s platforms. There’s nothing “wrong” with having an Instagram or TikTok account, but those platforms are ephemeral. If they fall out of relevance, then so do you (remember MySpace). That’s not the case with a blog, though. Because you own your blog, it stays with you no matter where the culture sways.

The best time to start a blog was a decade ago. The second best time is now . If you have an idea you want to share, get started!

You don’t have to pick one over the other. You can start a blog and start a podcast. That’s what we did. After starting our popular blog, which is now read by millions of people, we started a similar podcast, which, at the time of this writing, has more than 100 million downloads. Frankly, our podcast would not have witnessed the same success if we didn’t also have a blog. So if we had to pick one, we’d start a blog. But thankfully, you can choose both if you’re compelled by both creative outlets.

No, you don’t need a business license to start a blog. Even if you start earning money from your blog, you can claim that income on your personal taxes under your name and social security number. It was several years before Ryan and I turned The Minimalists into a limited liability company (LLC).

Blogging is still a career for many people, a great way to make supplemental income for even more people. But Ryan and I don’t look at blogging as a career. Rather, for us, it’s an opportunity to add value to people’s lives. Of course, if you add enough value, income tends to follow. Blogging has also enabled us to showcase our books, podcasts, films, social media, and other projects that add value to our audience.

While new forms of media continue to enter the picture-podcasts, newsletters, social media-nothing replaces having a home for your creative work. The Minimalists have a podcast, an email newsletter, and several social media accounts, but none of them could ever supplant our blog. Instead, we use our blog to point to these additional resources.

We often hear people say that you should blog about what you’re passionate about. That’s great advice if you know what that passion is. Maybe it’s technology, finance, baking, music, or rock climbing. If so, write about that!

If, however, you don’t know what you’re passionate about, don’t worry. Passion isn’t simply stumbled upon; it is cultivated.

Here are six questions to ask yourself to help you determine what you should blog about:

  • What are your values? Whatever you write about, you want it to align with your values.
  • What excites you? There will always be drudgery, but if you find something that excites you, you will be able to drudge through the drudgery.
  • What makes you angry? If you aren’t excited by something, then anger is often a great motivator. If there’s something in the world you want to change, write about that. It will help inform and strengthen your values.
  • How can you solve problems? You will feel fulfilled if you can provide solutions to people’s problems. Coincidently, if you write about solving your own problems, that will help other people solve those same problems, too.
  • What if money wasn’t important? If money wasn’t a factor, what would you do with your life? Yes, you need to make money, but, just as important, you want to do something meaningful. Write about that.
  • Who is the person you want to become? Your writing should help you become the person you aspire to be. Write as if you’re writing to make your future self proud.

A blog is used for two things: to express and to communicate . A good blog is able to marry communicative writing and expressive writing to create blog posts that are informative and entertaining.

When considering how you want to use your blog to communicate and express yourself, ask these questions:

  • What message am I attempting to communicate?
  • Does the writing express the emotions I want to the reader to feel? What are those emotions?
  • Does this sentence serve a purpose?
  • Can I cut this line and still preserve my message?
  • How can I make this more concise?
  • Do I need all these modifiers and qualifiers? (Hint: no!)
  • If I killed the first two paragraphs, would this piece be better?
  • How could I restructure this sentence/paragraph to make it more climactic?

You get to define what success looks like for your blog. Maybe your goal is to reach a thousand true fans, publish a blog post every day, or build a large audience so that you can sign a book-publishing contract with a major publisher. It is possible to accomplish any of these feats with your blog (I’ve done all three). Blogging has brought me more success than I ever expected: New York Times -bestselling books, millions of readers, international book tours, an Emmy-nominated Netflix film, speaking at Harvard, and much more. None of these achievements fit my original idea of success, but as I added value to an audience, I discovered what was possible.

While it is best to blog about subjects that interest you, these are some of the most searched blog topics:

  • Relationships
  • Career advice
  • Local interests
  • Food and beverage

In short, what do you find compelling? Blog about that! Your blog is more likely to become popular if you’re passionate about the topic.

The good news is that starting a blog is free with WordPress. All you need to pay for is hosting, as outlined in the step-by-step instructions above .

There are also other “free” amateur services like Tumblr or Blogger that allow you to start a blog on those company’s platforms. Just be careful, because you may not own your content if you’re posting it on someone else’s website. That’s one of the many reasons why we use WordPress.

When talking to my writing students, I recommend writing every day and publishing a blog post at least once a week. We usually publish two blog posts per week on this blog. Seth Godin blogs every single day.

Whatever you decide, we recommend you stay consistent. Setting a weekly schedule helps you create accountability partners (your readership) so you feel compelled to write even when you don’t want to write.

Avoid grandiosity. Avoid throat clearing. Your first blog post needn’t be a grandiose mission statement. And your first blog post doesn’t have to be a vapid, self-involved introduction to your blog.

Instead, find one thing that interests you today and write about that. Use the prompts in the “What should I blog about” section above.

For reference, you can read the first blog post on this blog, circa 2010: Be on the Mountain .

Don’t worry about introducing yourself in every blog post. Instead, create an “about” page that new readers can reference if they want to learn more about you, your life, and the projects you’re working on. See The Minimalists’ About page as an example. Our friend Derek Sivers also has a wonderful Now page that could work for you.

There are at least three reasons blogs fail:

  • Some bloggers have poor expectations. If you start a blog today and expect a million readers overnight, you’re setting yourself up for failure. But if your motivation is sincere-if you want to add value to the world-then you’ll find your expectations shift.
  • Some bloggers don’t add value. Instead of metrics like subscribers or follower counts, The Minimalists focus on adding value to our audience. If you help people solve problems, the success will spring from that-not the other way around.
  • Some bloggers put money first. There’s nothing wrong with earning a living from your blog (we do), but it needn’t be the main objective. Good blogs make money; great blogs make a difference. Said another way: we allow money to have a seat in the car, but it’s never the driver.

Bluehost bills annually, so when you use our link to receive the discounted rate of $2.75 per month you will be billed for the entire first year.

That said, if for any reason you decide that it’s not right for you, Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

A blog (short for “weblog”) is a written communication by an author or creator that is meant to communicate with an audience; a vlog (short for “video log”) is a video version of a blog.

Blogs and vlogs are both excellent ways to reach an audience. However, a blog has a lower barrier of entry (no cameras, lighting, or microphones required), which makes it easier to start blogging today.

The word “blog” is an abbreviation of the term “weblog.” So the B in blog doesn’t stand for anything specific; it is merely a shortened form of the original term.

I’ve made significantly more money from blogging. Yes, The Minimalists create both blog posts and vlogs, but the dynamic nature of our blog has allowed us to reach more people and retain an audience, which is significantly more difficult with vlogging alone because with vlogs you don’t have direct access to your audience like you do with your blog.

It’s worth noting that we also use this blog to share many of our YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok vlogs with our dedicated blog audience, which amplifies our creations much better than social media alone.

Yes, you can make money solely from your blog. There are at least seven ways The Minimalists make money with this blog .

A blog can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. Successful blogs mirror the personality of their authors. For example, this blog is aggressively simple because, well, we are “The Minimalists.” Other blogs deploy bright colors and elaborate designs that mimic the quirky character, style, and disposition of its author. Either way, a WordPress blog grants you and your blog the flexibility to be as ornate or austere as you desire.

You do not need a license to run a blog. However, when you begin earning money from your blog, it can make sense to set up a separate LLC (limited liability company) for your blog. Alternatively, if you don’t want to establish an LLC, you can also claim any earned revenue from your blog under your personal social security number (I did this for the first few years of this blog, before finally registering The Minimalists, LLC).

You do not need to copyright your blog because you already own the intellectual property of everything you create. Your blog and all of its contents, blog posts, photos, images, and written words are already considered “copyrighted” the moment they are published. As long as you can prove that you are the author of a piece of content, a copyright is granted by public law without the need to file additional paperwork.

Unlike other blog and social-media platforms, your WordPress blog allows you to download and save all of your blog contents so that you can protect your photos and written words. Personally, I keep a backup of all my photos and written content on a separate hard drive, as well as a cloud storage account (e.g., Google Photos or Dropbox) for double redundancy. This isn’t required, but it gives me a piece of mind that I can’t get from social media.

Registering your blog name is free and easy. In fact, registration is a built-in part of the simple setup process outlined in the instructions within this blog post.

When you use Bluehost to host your blog, you’ll receive a free domain registration, which allows you to choose any blog name you want. If you can’t think of a good blog name, Wordoid is a free tool that can help you pick an effective name for your blog.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office , you are not required to register your trademark, but where or whether you decide to register your trademark can determine the scope of your rights. Specifically, you can rely on common law rights or file for state, federal, or international trademark registration.

Because of the monetary and time costs associated with filing a trademark, The Minimalists did not trademark our blog name for the first several years. Once we began selling products using our blog name (“The Minimalists”), it made sense to trademark that name because, according to the USPTO, there are several benefits of trademark registration, including:

  • Trademark is listed in USPTO’s database of registered and pending trademarks. This provides public notice to anyone searching for similar trademarks. They will see your trademark, the goods and services on your registration, the date you applied for trademark registration, and the date your trademark registered.
  • Legal presumption that you own the trademark and have the right to use it. So, in federal court, your registration certificate proves ownership, eliminating the need for copious amounts of evidence.
  • Can use your registration as a basis for filing for trademark protection in foreign countries.
  • Right to bring a lawsuit concerning the trademark in federal court.
  • May use the federal trademark registration symbol, ®, with your trademark to show that you are registered with us. This may help deter others from using your trademark or one too similar to yours
  • Record your registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). They can stop the importation of goods with an infringing trademark.

Yes, it is perfectly reasonable to use stock photos on your blog, as long as they are obtained lawfully from a creative commons website such as Unsplash or Pond5 . Just make sure you credit the photographer.

It is not acceptable to simply use Google Images on your blog; those photos are copyrighted. If you’re not careful, reusing photos from Google Images can lead to a costly lawsuit.

It is a good idea to use your full name and photo on your blog. Why? Because people connect with human beings, not faceless avatars. That’s why I use my full name—Joshua Fields Millburn—on this blog.

Alternatively, if you’re worried about maintaining anonymity because of your job, family, or the divisive nature of your blog’s content, then a pseudonym can be an adequate substitute for your real name. Just understand that blogging pseudonymously can make it more difficult to build trust with an audience. It’s not impossible to connect with others using a fake name, but it is an uphill battle.

While WordPress allows you to establish a home page for your blog, most blogs don’t need a home page because a home page creates one extra step for new readers to read your newest blog content. That’s why we removed our home page on this blog—we want readers to get right to the good stuff without any friction. Then, if a reader wants to learn more about our blog, they can always visit our about page.

Once your blog is public, anyone can see it. This is a good thing. As a writer, you want the opportunity to connect with new readers, even when you’re sleeping. A public blog is the best way to connect with a fervent readership.

However, readers can’t see your unpublished content (drafts, deleted posts, etc.); only your published blog posts are available for everyone to see.

Any sentence that makes the reader want to read the next sentence is a great sentence. The best opening lines force readers to ask questions. For example, how does the following sentence make you feel?

The average American household contains more than 300,000 items.

That sentence might lead to several questions and doubts in the reader’s mind:

Wait, what?

No way, that can’t be true!

Tell me more!

As soon as a reader is hooked, the sentence has done its job. I call this writing technique Narrative Urgency .

More Blogging Questions

Do you have a question about becoming a blogger that isn’t answered above? Post (Tweet) to @theminimalists with your question and a link to this essay.

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How to write a blog post: a step-by-step guide

  • Cecilia Lazzaro Blasbalg
  • 13 min read

Get started by: Creating a website → | Getting a domain →

How to write a blog post

When you create a blog , you have the opportunity to dive deep into your favorite topics, highlight your expertise and build a community of readers interested in your work. Whether you want to learn how to make a website and blog from scratch, or make blogging part of your business strategy, publishing content online is an effective way to share your knowledge and ideas with the world.

That said, composing a winning entry takes practice. In this A-to-Z guide, you’ll learn how to write the perfect blog post—from choosing the right blog topics and picking the proper format for your articles, to selecting strategic images that generate interest and engagement. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll have a clear idea of how to create strong blog content that effectively communicates your ideas and stands out from other articles on the web, other types of websites and within the blogosphere .

Ready to get blogging? Get started with Wix today.

How to write a blog post in 13 steps

Brainstorm blog topics

Refine your topic with keyword research

Define your audience

Create an organized outline

Write engaging content

Craft an irresistible headline

Choose a blog template

Select a blog domain name

Pick relevant images

Implement calls-to-action

Optimize for SEO

Edit and publish your blog post

Promote the final article

01. Brainstorm blog topics

When writing a blog post, whether you're guest posting for someone else or writing for your own blog, you’ll want to cover topics that bring value to your readers and fall in line with their interests, as well as your own. Rather than trying to find the perfect topic right away, start by jotting down different ideas that come to mind.

There are several places you can look to spark new topic ideas:

Browse other blogs within your niche with competitor analysis . If you’re starting a travel blog , for example, simply Google “travel blog” to see what your competitors are writing about.

Use AI tools at your disposal to generate topic ideas

Use Google Trends to find out which topics are trending.

Look for current events and recent news stories related to your field.

Find out what people enjoy learning about by browsing online courses on Udemy , Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning .

Once you find some interesting ideas online, think about the unique ways you can approach those topics. Consider the various ways you can play around with topic ideas to come up with something that isn’t only trendy and relevant, but that’s also original and fresh. You'll also need to consider making sure your blog post is up to date and this will mean including relevant data and statistics related to the topic.

Let’s say, for instance, that you want to write about chocolate chip cookies. There are a few different angles you might consider taking here based on your target audience and potential for website traffic :

A how-to post that instructs readers how to do something with clearly ordered steps (e.g., “How to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies from Scratch”)

A curated list that offers a set of recommendations for your readers (e.g., “The Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes”)

A tips and advice post that provides expert guidance and resources. (e.g., “Tips for Making Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies Extra Gooey”)

A definition-based blog post that helps explain the meaning of a term or topic (e.g., “What Are No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies?”)

A top trends article that highlights what’s currently popular (e.g., “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes From This Year”)

A personal or business update that lets you unveil something fresh or recently unknown (e.g., “My New Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Revealed”)

Get brainstorming with these best blog ideas , and check out our professional guide on how to start a blog for more helpful tips. You can also consider those close to you for feedback on your ideas, or branch out to a wider audience and get their thoughts.

an example of a story written on a fashion brand's blog

02. Refine your topic with keyword research

Part of writing a blog post involves keyword research. This crucial SEO practice is used as a marker to see which terms you can potentially rank high for in certain online searches.

Once you’ve chosen a direction for your blog post, and before you get started with the writing process, you’ll need to figure out the chances of its success on search engine result pages—which ultimately means getting more eyes on your content. In order to succeed, conduct keyword research to find the most relevant queries for your topic.

You can find keywords for your own articles by using various keyword research tools. If you’re new to blogging, you’ll probably want to start with free tools such as Ubersuggest and Google Keyword Planner . Afterwards, you may want to upgrade to more advanced tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs .

While conducting keyword research, keep in mind that the more specific the phrase, the more closely it will match your audience’s intent. On the other hand, broader keywords tend to have higher search volumes—meaning more people are searching for them each month.

Think about the benefits of opting for a broader phrase, like “chocolate chip cookies,” over a more precise phrase, like “how to make chocolate chip cookies.” Choosing the right keywords means striking a balance between high search volume and high intent.

Once you’ve selected your keywords, you can use them to shape the structure of your content. Google those phrases to find out which articles have successfully targeted those same keywords, and spend some time browsing their content. This will give you inspiration for your own article in terms of what to include and how to structure it. Don't forget to also tap into your own experience as an entrepreneur or writer, when choosing what to write about.

google query on how to make a chocolate chip cookie

03. Define your audience

Now that you know what you’ll be writing about , you need to find out who you’re writing for . Anticipating the kinds of people who will be reading your posts will help you create content that is interesting, engaging, full of relevance and shareable.

Of course, your audience largely depends on your type of blog . If you run a baking blog, you’ll probably be writing for an audience of people who love baking and are seeking recipe inspiration. Even more specifically, if you run a healthy baking blog, you’ll be writing for people who similarly love baking but who want to make their culinary creations healthier. It’s important to keep these nuances in mind when crafting your content, since your goal is to write articles that resonate strongly with readers.

So, how do you figure out your audience in the first place? Start by taking another look at the other blogs in your field. Consider who they seem to be writing for, and the kinds of assumptions they’re making about their readers’ interests and lifestyles. For example, you might find that most of the blogs address a particular gender or age group.

You can also use online forums to find the main questions asked by your audience, or visit Facebook groups to read what topics they like or talk about. This will help you create content that piques their interest, sparks their curiosity and answers their questions.

Whether you're starting a book blog , a fashion blog, travel blog or something else—defining your audience should come first.

04. Create an organized outline

The key to learning how to write a blog post is doing thorough research and planning before you create the article itself. After deciding on the topic and blog format , you’ll need to build the mold for your content. Creating an outline is critical, as it ensures your article will have a strong foundation that you can build on as you write your blog post.

Start by creating subheadings, which are the backbone of an organized outline, under which your paragraphs of text will sit. These small but mighty pieces of content help you break down your article into bite-sized sections, making it easier for you to write and more digestible for people to read.

If it’s a step-by-step guide or a list of tips, start building your outline by listing out all the main points clearly, as in the example below:

Outline: How to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies from Scratch

1. Gather your ingredients

2. Mix and knead the dough

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

4. Scoop mounds of dough onto baking sheet

5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Add bulleted notes within your introduction and under each of your subheadings. This will help you formulate your main points.

If you find yourself getting stuck, use one of these blog post templates to guide you through the outline process.

05. Write engaging content

Now that you’ve sketched out the blog post, you can begin typing away (or, use AI to write your blog posts ). Keep in mind that blog posts, like many other types of writing, typically include three main elements: an introduction, the body text and a conclusion.

Let’s start with the introduction. In the first few sentences of your article, you should already grab your readers’ attention. Begin with a relevant quote or statistic, tell a short story, or share an interesting fact. Then, set the tone for the article by sharing a brief summary of what you’re going to talk about in the body text. This gives your readers a reason to keep going.

Next, fill in the body text. In your outline, these are the bullet points beneath each subheading. This is the meat of your blog post, so it should be clear and compelling. Avoid fluff and repetition, and instead offer deep value by sharing your knowledge, research, and insights.

A concluding section isn’t always necessary—in fact, our blog rarely uses one—but it can be useful in the case of storytelling or when wrapping up a very extensive article. You can tie your main points together using a short bulleted list, or by sharing some closing thoughts in a few sentences. No matter the case, you’ll want to end on an engaging note.

At this stage you'll also want to consider your writing style, this is usually determined by your blog audience. If you're targeting a professional business crowd so you might want to consider adopting a more formal writing style; if you're writing for bakers, something more light and fun might be the best style. Within this consider your tone too, blogs, even formal business ones, are meant to open up communication and inspire conversation. Make sure your tone is relevant to your writing style and audience, but also use welcoming and inspiring language where possible.

Other important concepts to consider in your content creation process are:

Viscosity : essentially the ease with which a reader can understand and flow through a piece of text. It is akin to the "fluidity" of the writing and how smoothly the ideas and information are conveyed to the reader. High viscosity in writing implies that the text is dense, complicated, and difficult to read, while low viscosity indicates that the writing is clear, concise, and easy to comprehend.

Rhythm: the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables, sentence structures, and the flow of words that create a musical or harmonious quality in the text. It's the cadence and beat that give the writing a sense of movement and can make the language more engaging and memorable.

Creativity : the ability to express oneself imaginatively and inventively through the written word. It involves using one's unique perspective, original ideas, emotion, pathos and artistic flair to craft compelling stories, poems, essays, or any form of written content. Creative writing allows writers to explore their thoughts, emotions, and observations in an innovative and expressive manner. Storytelling is a huge part of writing a blog post and shouldn't be neglected.

Sentence and clause structure: fundamental elements of grammar that govern how sentences are constructed in the English language. They determine the arrangement of words (verbs, adjectives), phrases, and clauses to convey meaning and ensure clarity in communication. Understanding sentence and clause structure is crucial for effective writing and communication.

06. Craft an irresistible headline

When writing a blog post, you don’t only need strong content; you’ll also want a powerful headline . A great headline entices readers and enhances your blog design , ensuring that they actually click on your article in the first place.

Learning how to write a catchy blog title doesn’t have to be hard. All you need to do is keep the following points in mind: clarity, specificity and offering an answer or solution.

Writing a good headline also depends on how well you put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Use the title to promise readers that your blog post will provide valuable insight that will benefit them in some way, whether by satisfying their intellectual curiosity, teaching them something new or helping them solve a problem. This will increase the chances that they’ll click on your article and read it. Just don't go over board and remember to avoid clickbait, which is writing a hyperbole headline just to get clicks through to an article.

Here are some examples of headlines that we are quite proud of, to give you a general idea for your own content:

Create a Powerful Free Landing Page in Under an Hour

20 Best Time Management Apps to Organize Your Life

How to Design an A+ School Website (With Examples)

Make a Change: Using Photography as a Tool to Raise Awareness

If you're looking for inspiration to get started, try out this blog post title generator .

07. Choose a blog template

Writing your blog post may be your first priority, but you’ll also want to package it in an appealing way. Having an article with strong visual appeal is crucial for striking the right chord with your readers. The best way to customize your blog's design is by starting with a free blog template .

Professional designers have created all these blog layouts, and they're fully customizable to reflect your blog's messaging and tone. For inspiration, check out these blog examples to see how others have transformed these templates into beautiful, content-rich powerhouses.

If you’re writing a blog about organic ingredients, for instance, using a natural color palette on your site will set the right tone for the type of topics you’ll be writing about. This same color palette should also be used for your blog logo , as well as on your social media platforms.

example of a travel blog that uses a modern blog template

08. Select a blog domain name

You should host your well-crafted blog on your domain site address in order for readers to discover it. When it comes to naming your blog , you can gather ideas from a blog name generator and see if the domain name is available.

Spend time thinking about how your blog and domain name fit in with the blog post topics you will cover. Make sure that your name reflects your blog’s persona, topic and niche.

Once you have finalized your name, choose your domain name (also referred to as a URL, for example, www.wix.com). Typically, your domain name will be the same as, or at least similar to the name of your blog.

09. Pick relevant images

Likewise, you should also enhance your blog post with a few great images that illustrate your main points. It’s important that your pictures add value to the subject, rather than serving as placeholders. Pay extra attention to your featured image—this will be the main visual below your blog’s title, and it’s what readers will see when they browse your articles from your blog’s homepage. Infographics are also great to insert within blog posts to reinforce key points or ket stats.

Also consider inserting videos into your blog posts, the best ones are those you've created to match the topic and intent of the video, but you can also use those from third parties, to improve the user experience and engagement rates on your articles.

With Wix, you can add a professional photo gallery to individual posts and embed your own pictures within your articles. You can also choose from an array of media content from Wix, Shutterstock and Unsplash directly within your site’s editor.

10. Implement calls-to-action

In the same way a blog is meant to inform people about specific topics, it can also be used as an important tool that motivates readers to take a certain action. This includes everything from subscribing to your blog to making a purchase.

This element is referred to as CTA, or call-to-action, and is presented as an embedded link or button that states your objective in an alluring manner. Some of the most common call-to-action examples for blogs include “Subscribe,” “Download our e-book” or “Sign up.”

Using CTAs can help you transform your website traffic into engagement and, eventually, profit. While your immediate goal is to get more readers, you may eventually want to monetize your blog further down the road.

11. Optimize for SEO

When it comes to SEO for bloggers , a strong SEO plan involves optimizing your content both before and after writing the blog post. Not only does this include doing keyword research prior to the outline phase (mentioned in step 3), but it also includes using those keywords to polish your final piece.

This begins with sprinkling relevant keywords throughout your article. Let’s say you’ve chosen to target the keyword “business strategies.” Use this exact phrase in your headline, throughout the body text and one to two subheadings if it’s a natural fit.

Next, include this keyword in your metadata. This is the preview text you’ll see for every article on Google, and it includes a title (known as the meta title) and short description (the meta description). You’ll also want to add the keywords to the URL of your article, as well as in the alt text of your blog post’s images. Use these SEO features to give your blog an overall performance boost. Lastly, and make sure you know exactly how long a blog post should be to best rank your post.

12. Edit and publish your blog post

With so many common blogging mistakes out there, you’ll need to thoroughly check your article for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, repetition and any other unprofessional content. Furthermore, make sure your ideas flow coherently throughout each section, signaling a clear and purposeful message to readers. You can read about other essential aspects of blogging in this comprehensive blog post checklist .

We recommend asking a friend or colleague to give your blog article a once over before it goes live, as part of your proofreading and fact checking process prior to publishing. Direct them to look for any discrepancies or ambiguity. It’s also important to emphasize quality over quantity in order to keep your readers interested and to establish your credibility. Then, once you’re happy with your written work, it’s time to hit publish.

13. Promote the final article

Once you’ve written and published the blog post, take the necessary steps to make sure it gets read. Two of the most effective ways to promote your blog post and get readers are email marketing and social media marketing.

Email remains one of the most reliable platforms for marketing, as it allows for a direct communication channel between you and your audience. This highly effective digital marketing strategy involves sending out customized emails to prospective users with the aim of converting them into loyal fans. If you’re interested in getting started, this powerful email marketing service can help you send custom newsletters for your blog.

Beyond emails, sharing your article on social media can also go a long way. For example, if you want to accrue a wide audience, promote your blog on Facebook or Instagram, which have one of the largest and most diverse user bases.

Whichever channels you choose, make sure to actively engage with followers on a day-to-day basis. This will ensure that you not only write a great blog post, but that you get people reading your article, too.

Looking to really get your blog off the ground? Take a look at our Build Your Own Blog online course to get you started.

Example of a book blog that's promoting a newsletter

How to structure a blog post checklist

Headline: clear, catchy and relevant, includes keywords where relevant for SEO

Introduction: hooks the reader, answers search intent where relevant, outline's the blogs purpose and main point

Subheadings: organizes content into digestible and readable sections, follows a logical flow

Body: provides valuable information while supporting points with examples, stats and other evidence, conversational tone

Visuals: includes relevant images, infographics or videos that enhance understanding and reader engagement

Engagement: encourages reader interaction (comments, shares)

Editing: checks for grammar and spelling errors, edited for coherence and style, fact checked

SEO: includes relevant keywords naturally, answers search intent

Readability: uses consistent font and formatting, short sentences

Links: includes internal and external links for additional context

Social sharing: includes social sharing buttons and shareable snippets of information

Review: read through the post one last time before publishing and after published

How to write a blog post FAQ

How to write my first blog post.

Writing your first blog post can be an exciting but daunting task. To make it easier follow these basic steps - choose a compelling topic, plan out your post, hook readers with a killer introduction, provide meaningful content, hone your conversational style and include visuals where you can.

What are 5 easy steps to writing a blog post?

How to write a blog post with ai, how to write a blog post as a beginner, related posts.

How to write catchy blog titles: 12 tips and examples

The ultimate blog post checklist

Blogging for beginners: 20+ tips to jumpstart your blog

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Writing an Effective Blog Post

Use the guide below to learn about the elements of a blog post and how to gain an audience.

What blog posts can do Elements of a blog post Why having an audience matters and how to get one

What blog posts can do

Blogging, or writing short entries on a website, can allow you to offer opinions, share ideas, or do independent reporting, but most importantly, blogging can help writers have conversations with readers. What makes blogs so different from journalism, as the authors of The Elements of Blogging: Expanding the Conversation of Journalism suggest, is the discussion between writer and reader. Blogs can be a forum for writers to get feedback on half–formed ideas and emerging stances, and through comments, readers can talk with and back to writers and build communities. But what draws readers in? Read through the material below to learn how paying attention to a range of blog elements (including clear headlines, engaging pictures, and distinctive ledes) will help you build an audience.

Elements of a blog post

In The Elements of Blogging, Mark Leccese and Jerry Lanson dissect blog posts in order to identify and examine their key parts. Below are some of the elements they highlight as well as some examples from local blogs.

Headlines (Titles)

A headline or title not only helps draw in readers’ attention with an interesting hook, but by containing keywords that Google and other search engines use, the right headline can bring anyone to your blog. As Leccese and Lanson note, search engines work by creating indexes of the words they find on the web. By using keywords in your headline, there is a greater chance that more browsers will find your blog. Headlines, however, are more than just keywords. They need to be short, 10 words or less, and intriguing. Look at the headline on this article from University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Limnology’s blog .

creating writing blog

Through this blog, the Center for Limnology communicates with university colleagues, Madison residents, and students about current fresh water research and reflections. In this post center staff member Adam Hinterthuer writes about the presence of an invasive species in Lake Mendota. The post’s clear, engaging title uses keywords so that this post appears in the first several search results for anyone looking for information about “zebra mussels” and “lake mendota.” When possible, your headlines should be in the present tense, and you shouldn’t repeat the headline in the first lines of the post.

The first sentence of a post should have a conversational tone and articulate the main point of the blog post. Internet readers can easily navigate away from a post, so making your lede interesting and to the point is important. Look at the opening lines from University of Wisconsin–Madison Antrhopology professor John Hawks’ blog post “Bringing together climate and ancient DNA to look at a micro–instance of extinction”:

Ed Yong describes the results of a cool new study of mammoth extinction on Saint Paul Island, in the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia: “The Lonely, Thirsty, Final Days of the Doomed Alaskan Mammoths”.

Hawks’ post opens with his main point: how scientists determined when and how mammoths went extinct on the island and why it is a interesting case study of extinction. The assessment of the study as “cool” is conversational, and immediately mentioning this study suggests to the reader that this post will both summarize and highlight the methods scientists used. The title of the study itself is intriguing, invoking a dramatic scene. Even though both the study’s title and the content of the post could easily be in hyper scientific jargon, Hawks’ opening sentence previews his particularly accessible approach for talking to the public about science.

Pictures not only break up text on a page, but they can also help make your point clearer. Pictures tell stories, but they need to be part of the discussion. Include captions by your images that explain how the image adds to the point you are making. For example, look at these two images from Professor Elizabeth Hennessy’s post “Global Visions: Rethinking the Globe and How we Teach it” published by University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Edge Effect digital magazine:

creating writing blog

The blog post is an instructor’s reflection, summary, and analysis of an environmental humanities course and the resource website developed by the students as a final project. These images effectively communicate what the blog is saying about our knowledge of the world, which in greatest part is from maps. In teaching this class, Hennessy strove to have her students consider that “global space is a historical product rather than a planetary scale,” and thus, global space needs to be understood from the stand point that the “global” is produced by “histories of exploration and imperialism, uneven economic development, scientific inquiry, and environmental change.” The 17th century map that opens the blog and the telegraph cable map embedded further into the text emphasize history and imperialism’s role in thinking about what “global” means.

Hennessy’s caption for the telegraph map not only connects the image to her point, but it also provides copyright information. If you use photos on your blog you must give credit to the source. The Creative Commons on Flicker and Wikimedia Commons both have public domain images you can use while giving the photographer credit.

The photo on the above Center for Limnology post is interestingly composed and serves as an object lesson for the post as a whole.

Links give extra information to your readers. In Hennessy’s post, she often links to the site her students created and to the specific syllabi that encompass each of the four frames for understanding “the global” that her class analyzed. Having links that provide a direct route to information and resources allows your blog to make the most out of being on the web.

Block quotes

Block quoting gives readers’ eyes a break and bolsters the author’s credibility. Using a source’s words instead rephrasing shows that your points are well supported.

Final Words

Writing a good take–away can, as Leccese and Lanson point out, help readers remember and engage with your post. For the most part, Hawk’s blog summarizes and applauds the study of mammoths on Saint Paul Island, but he ends the post by saying:

However, I hesitate on one point. I would not so quickly assume there was never a short or intermittent presence of humans on the island, and that humans may have been involved in the mammoth extinction.

Questioning the study and the impact of humans is a provocative alternative view. It makes readers think more critically about the study and develop their own opinion, and in doing so, Hawk’s post invites a conversation.

A Note on Organization

Effective posts make at most two or three focused points and provide evidence to support them. Each of the three examples offered exemplify clear, brief points. “Global Visions” reflects on the class and the four frames of understanding “the global” the class used. Numbering in your post can help you as a writer limit your points and can help your reader understand the organization of your post. By clearly identifying what you want to analyze or argue and by providing support for your main points with research, anecdotes, or examples, you can establish a clear focus.

Why having an audience matters and how to get one

Blogs have the unique capability to allow readers and writers to interact. Thinking carefully about how to not only get readers to your blog, but also how to foster community and conversation are important elements of writing a blog. People often find blogs on the web through social media. UW–Madison student Ashley Hampton’s Raw in College lifestyle and food blog has reached nearly a million hits in part because it is linked to Hampton’s twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. Once readers have found a blog, they might check it once a week to see what’s new, but posting on Facebook about recent entries will help establish an audience.

Allowing comments on your blog will bring readers back because by engaging in conversation you build a network of people who are interested in your blog’s topic and want to continue thinking about it with others. Sometimes it can be hard to build up your comment section, so don’t be afraid to ask friends or family members to comment and get the discussion going. You could also end your post in a question.

Happy blogging!

Works Cited and Consulted

Lanson, Jerry. Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves: Telling Stories in an Age of Blogging. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011.

Leccese Mark, and Jerry Lanson. The Elements of Blogging: Expanding the Conversation of Journalism. Focal Press, 2016.

creating writing blog

Academic and Professional Writing

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Analysis Papers

Reading Poetry

A Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis

Using Literary Quotations

Play Reviews

Writing a Rhetorical Précis to Analyze Nonfiction Texts

Incorporating Interview Data

Grant Proposals

Planning and Writing a Grant Proposal: The Basics

Additional Resources for Grants and Proposal Writing

Job Materials and Application Essays

Writing Personal Statements for Ph.D. Programs

  • Before you begin: useful tips for writing your essay
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  • Get more help with your essay
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Resume Writing Tips

CV Writing Tips

Cover Letters

Business Letters

Proposals and Dissertations

Resources for Proposal Writers

Resources for Dissertators

Research Papers

Planning and Writing Research Papers

Quoting and Paraphrasing

Writing Annotated Bibliographies

Creating Poster Presentations

Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

Thank-You Notes

Advice for Students Writing Thank-You Notes to Donors

Reading for a Review

Critical Reviews

Writing a Review of Literature

Scientific Reports

Scientific Report Format

Sample Lab Assignment

Writing for the Web

Writing for Social Media: A Guide for Academics

Free Blog Maker

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Increase brand awareness with high-quality SEO content

Drive traffic and conversions with a free blog maker.

Starting a blog is one of the most efficient ways to drive traffic to your website and build customer relationships. However, creating a blog on a traditional CMS platform can be challenging — requiring third-party providers and manual security updates.

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HubSpot’s blog maker is available for free, with advanced functionality in premium editions of Marketing Hub and CMS Hub ( see pricing page ).

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How can I move my blog to HubSpot?

Suppose you’re moving your existing blog from WordPress or another provider to CMS Hub or Marketing Hub. In that case, HubSpot offers a variety of blog import tools to make the transition smooth, including smart import , a WordPress Connect import tool , a CSV import tool , an XML import tool , and blog API . 

How can blogging help my business?

Starting a free blog can benefit your business by expanding your digital presence. High-quality blog content can help your business show up for relevant queries on search engines like Google and Bing, and give prospective customers the answers they need to trust and recommend your brand.

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How do I start a free blog for my business with HubSpot?

Start by signing up for HubSpot's free website-building tools . Then log into your account and create your blog using professionally-built themes , a drag-and-drop editor, and on-page SEO recommendations.

What should I blog about?

Your business’ blog should provide value to your target audience by offering helpful information about the problems your business helps them solve. For example, a landscaping company may blog about the best native plants for yards in its service area, while a digital marketing firm may provide its predictions for social media advertising in the next quarter.  The key to producing traffic-driving blog content is understanding your audience’s pain points and using your expertise to help them. 

Can people subscribe to my blog and get notified when I post new content?

With HubSpot’s free blog tool, it’s easy to build an email list of blog followers using lead forms and custom CTAs. Whenever a blog reader fills out a form, they can subscribe to be emailed after every new blog post or via a daily, weekly, or monthly digest.

Does HubSpot’s free blog software include SEO features?

We want to make it as easy as possible for your target audience to find you when searching online.

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best creative writing blogs

Finding the Best Creative Writing Blogs on the Internet

Regardless how many books I’ve written or sold, if I’m not still educating myself about writing, I’m stagnating.

My late mother taught me the value of life-long learning. Not only was she a piano teacher into her eighties, but she was also a piano student. 

One of the most powerful learning tools today is the internet. But you could surf through endless writing blogs before finally finding which are the best for you and worthy of your time. 

So I asked my team to research what’s out there, and we’ve compiled a short list to get you started. But you also know how to search by specifying genres and areas of interest, so don’t stop here. Our list is by no means exhaustive, and I haven’t even included all the ones I enjoy. 

Here, then, are just suggestions of a few blogs you might want to check out to start your own list of writing resources —and we list them in alphabetical order:

creating writing blog

  • Become a Writer Today

Through his blog Become a Writer Today , Bryan Collins focuses on the needs of new writers. 

A non-fiction writer, blogger, and podcaster, Bryan writes on those genres, as well as on self-publishing . He’s written two 3-book series, “Become a Better Writer Today” and “The Power of Creativity.” 

A team of writers cover the business side of writing and such topics as writer’s block , formatting, and best practices. 

  • The Creative Penn

A New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author, Joanna Penn is behind The Creative Penn . 

She also writes books for writers—her 21 titles have sold more than a half million copies. She’s a speaker, an entrepreneur, runs Curl Up Press, and has been named one of the top 100 Creative Professionals in the UK. 

Joanna’s blog focuses on self-publishing, marketing, and writing. The Creative Penn podcast offers more than 350 episodes on writing.

  • Creative Writing Now

Founded by writing teacher Nancy Strauss, Creative Writing Now offers courses, tips , prompts, and information on writing contests. Writing teachers will find lesson plans as well.  

DIY MFA serves as a do-it-yourself manual for the equivalent of a Master of Fine Arts in writing without the expense. It centers on writing with focus, reading with purpose, building your writing community, and how to discover the writing tools available online and off.

Founded by author and podcaster Gabriela Pereira, the site posts on everything from playwriting to surviving rejection, travel writing, and many other writing topics. She offers a “ writer igniter ” that generates writing prompts. 

  • Jane Friedman

A must read for writers and publishers, blogger Jane Friedman is one of the leading voices in the digital age of publishing.

She has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, publishes The Hot Sheet (a newsletter for authors), is a columnist for Publishers Weekly , a professor with The Great Courses ( How to Publish Your Book ), and wrote The Business of Being a Writer . 

Jane’s blog offers how-to’s on publishing, writing a book proposal , finding a literary agent , and many other such topics. 

  • Helping Writers Become Authors

Through her website Helping Writers Become Authors , K.M. Weiland has published more than 1,200 blog posts educating writers on the ins and outs and dos and don’ts of writing and publishing. 

She offers a bi-monthly e-letter, a podcast, and a vlog. She writes historical and speculative fiction, as well as how-to books, including Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel .

  • Live Write Thrive

Novelist, copyeditor, and writing coach C.S. Lakin  created Live Write Thrive to help write your novel with posts like “ The Challenges of Believability in Writing Science Fiction ” and “ The 3 Ways to Show Emotion in Your Characters .” 

Bridget and Brendan McNulty and Dagmar Timler co-founded Now Novel , a platform designed to help you craft your story . 

The blog offers information for writers at every stage, a character writing hub, productivity tips, and help creating fantasy worlds. 

  • Pro Writing Aid

Pro Writing Aid is a desktop app you can use with programs like Scrivener , Word, and Google Docs. It catches grammar errors, suggests style changes, and even checks your work for plagiarism.

Their blog covers which writing apps are best, the writing process, blogging and content writing, grammar rules , and business writing. 

  • Write It Sideways

Founded by Suzannah Windsor, Write It Sideways is for aspiring and emerging writers . 

A team of writers answers questions budding writers ask, and blogs on things like writer’s intuition,“Confessions of a Writing Group Virgin,” and “Here’s the Type of Hate Mail Bloggers Get.” 

  • Writers Helping Writers

Authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi created Writers Helping Writers for new writers, seasoned writers, editors, and writing teachers. The blog offers advice on technique and strategy, as well as “Navigating the Changing Face of Book Promotion with Smart, Effective Strategies” and “ How To Stop Self-Doubt From Holding You Back From Writing .” 

  • The Write Practice

Joe Bunting started The Write Practice to help writers become better through practice. 

He offers writing prompts and provides a platform for fellow writers to offer feedback on what you’ve written. 

And of course you’re always welcome to visit me at JerryJenkins.com .

Over the last half century I’ve been an editor, a publisher, a nonfiction author, and a novelist—yet I’m still learning and growing like you. I offer a 20-Step Guide on How to Write a Book , How to Develop a Great Story Idea , Find the Right Writers Group and How to Write Dialogue . 

  • Time to Get to Work

The best mentoring comes from seasoned writers proven in their fields. So dive into these blog sites and commit to life-long learning. 

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31 Blog Writing Prompts to Break Your Writer's Block

Katrina Kirsch

Published: February 01, 2021

You've finally found time in your schedule to sit down and write a new blog post. But when you settle in, your hands hover over the keyboard. Nothing comes to mind. You stare at a blank screen in exasperation as the minutes slowly slip away.

creative writing prompts

Whether you write for a living or as a hobby, you'll experience writer's block at some point. The first thing to do is realize you're not alone. Everyone hits a wall that's tough to work around. Sometimes all it takes to get started is a few terrible sentences, inspiring blog writing prompts, or a blogging course .

→ Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post Templates

The point is, you have to find a way to break the block and let the words flow again. As Maya Angelou said, "Nothing will work unless you do."

31 Blog Writing Prompts

Write about values that matter to you., explain a problem in your industry and offer a solution., describe a time you were challenged and how you faced it., write about the idea of self-care and what it means to you., recount a tough lesson you've learned lately., tell a story about one of the following words: success, fulfillment, growth, achievement., write about how a mentor has changed your perspective., describe an event you remember from childhood and how it shaped your career., share a relationship that impacted you., write about the goals you'd like to work toward in the next five years., reveal a superpower you'd love to have and what you'd do with it., describe your definition of happiness., write about your opinion of the world., share a list of your best career tips., discuss how flaws can be seen as strengths., write about a time when you were incredibly happy or sad., share the most recent thing you've learned about yourself., choose three of your beliefs and why they matter to you., dive into life lessons you believe everyone can benefit from learning., describe your daily routines and how they impact you., imagine your own secret lair and explain what's inside., tell a story about achievement., describe the trip of a lifetime., share your ideal way to spend a favorite holiday., choose three photos with different scenes and create a story to tie them together., write about the ups and down of your first job., select a cause you're passionate about and explain why it matters., pick one of your dreams, and describe how you'd bring it to life., write about a person you admire., explain what makes you feel fragile or strong., write about something intangible: faith, magic, energy, power, or creativity..

So when you draw a blank, grab a fresh cup of coffee or tea and try your hand at blog writing prompts below. Choose one or two that stand out to you. Then, spend 10-15 minutes writing down whatever comes to mind.

If you can't think of anything in the first 30 seconds, move onto another one. The goal is to find an idea that interests you enough to write about freely, without feeling pressured to be perfect.

Don't forget to share this post!

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Writing Forward

Welcome to Writing Forward

Welcome to Writing Forward, a creative writing blog packed with tips and ideas that will inspire and inform your writing projects. You’ll find posts on grammar, good writing habits and practices, plus tons of writing prompts and exercises to keep your pen moving. Whether you’re looking for fresh ideas or trying to improve your writing, you’ve come to the right place!

Writing Forward’s mission is to share helpful and inspiring creative writing tips to benefit the greater writing community and to advocate on behalf of all writers and artists.

Writing Forward launched in September of 2007.

Meet Your Host

Hi there! My name is Melissa Donovan, and I’m a writer. I studied creative writing at Sonoma State University, earning a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing. Since then, I have worked as a technical writer, copywriter, professional blogger, and writing coach.

My poetry has appeared in convergence: an online poetry of journal and art , and my debut novel, Engineered Underground was released in March 2015.

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How to Write a Novella

How to Write a Novella

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Writing Quotes to Make You Feel Like a Writer

Here’s a list of writing quotes that I’ve found inspiring, motivating and thought-provoking over the years. These little snippets of wisdom can help remind you of the long and beautiful tradition of which you’re now a part! Writing Quotes ‘Songbirds do not study in

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100 Story Ideas

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A character arc is a simple way to visualise your character’s progress through the story, whether it’s a binary comparison of their beginning and end states, or a point-by-point graph of their emotional ups and downs… Last week we studied how characters change, and this week’s worksheet offers a simple method for visualising that change.

How to Write Your Fastest Story Ever

How to Write Your Fastest Story Ever

The knowledge that writing fast doesn’t mean writing bad, was one of the most important lessons I learned from NaNoWriMo. In fact, many famous novels and novellas were written in just a few weeks: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, Matthew Lewis’s The Monk, H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, as well as many other works

Since I have more story ideas than I can possibly explore in a lifetime, please allow me to offer some to you in this post. Pick the idea that excites you the most, and you’ll find that its momentum will conjure up a whole new story world, replete with fascinating new characters! Story Ideas Here

The Fool's Journey for Writers

The Fool’s Journey (Part 1)

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Plot Structure - Popular Plot Formulas & How to Use Them in Your Writing

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If you’re a new writer, a plot structure or plot formula is your shortcut to writing a great story. A plotting method can… Help you get an overview of your story. Help you figure out where to begin and end your story. Help you decide what happens next. Help you keep on track, know where

Show Don't Tell Techniques from Famous Authors - Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen & Sir Philip Pullman

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Here’s a list of writing quotes that I’ve found inspiring, motivating and thought-provoking over the years. These little snippets of wisdom can help remind you of the long and beautiful tradition of which you’re now a part! Writing Quotes ‘Songbirds do not study in a conservatory.’ – Saul Bellow ‘The only time a human being

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Here are enough romance story ideas to write a story a week for a year. I hope you find your spark! Romance Worksheets If you need help developing your romance story ideas, I have a bundle of 11 worksheets you can use.  Click here to download. Write a story about… Two time-travelling scholars who compete to

Ever since I published my first novella, my love of the form has only grown. I’ve also learned a thing or two about how to write a novella, how they compare to novels, and why they’re such a manageable, versatile choice for self-publishing writers. If you’ve always dreamt of writing a novel but have never succeeded

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Gatekeeper Press

10 Creative Writing Blogs to Find the Best Writing Advice

by GetPublished | Aug 13, 2019 | Writing

creative writing blogs

Each genre of writing has its difficulties⁠—nonetheless, creative writing can be a unique challenge!

Creative writing requires the author to depend on creative inspiration instead of not on real-world facts and information. The creative writer must figure out how to build characters and stories out of their imagination, which is no easy feat! That is why it can be very helpful for writers to make a practice of reading creative writing blogs and interacting with other authors to help get the creative juices flowing.

Join a Writing Community! ????

Writing can be a solitary task. Nevertheless, you’d be robbing yourself of a lot of support if you aren’t a part of a writing community.

Joining a writing company is beneficial for many reasons. For example, in-person writing groups or workshops allow you to find a support system in your local area. Additionally, web-based writing communities are a lucrative method to find diverse support.

Even more, there are a plethora of ways to get involved in online writing communities. To elaborate, interact in writers’ forums, follow writers you admire on social media, read the best creative blogs.

All in all, these are simple ways you can get involved in a writing community. And, as a result, learn from other writers, share your knowledge, and get tips to progress your creative writing career!

Get Inspired with These Best Creative Writing Blogs ????

Here are 10 creative writing blogs that you should consider reading for writing tips and support.

#1: Jane Friedman Blog

Publishing industry veteran Jane Friedman is the author of The Business of Being a Writer and The Hot Sheet. Additionally, she is the author of the Jane Friedman Blog ! Posts—some written by Friedman, others by guest bloggers—cover a wide array of helpful topics. From the nuts and bolts of writing (e.g. character building, creating context) to networking and finding a publisher, Jane Friedman’s blog will prepare you to succeed in the writing world.

#2: Writing Forward

Writing Forward is a creative writing blog that gives writers plenty to chew on! The blog includes musings like “What is poetry?” and “What makes iconic characters unforgettable?” Other blogs include in-depth grammar lessons, tips for setting writing goals and advice on avoiding clichés. To get your creativity going, there are also posts featuring storytelling exercises and writing prompts!

#3: Well-Storied

Fantasy fiction author Kristen Kieffer is the founder and author of blog Well-Storied . Well-storied is a compilation of Kieffer’s and guest author’s greatest tip for the trade. This reader-friendly blog uses bold graphics to highlight topics such as editing fiction, and writing motivation. While some posts focus on the crucial basics of writing, others get into meaningful aspects of the writing life.

#4: Peter Rey’s Blog

Author Peter Rey’s blog provides creative writing advice and reflections on writing through a more personal lens. Blog posts include a wide range of topics. For example, Ray’s pet peeves as a reader and what a recent move taught him about writing. Also, he offers practical writing advice like how many drafts are too many drafts.

#5: Writers Helping Writers

Writers Helping Writers ‘ mission is to provoke thoughtful commentary on creative writing to help you conquer common writing challenges. The blog features useful resources like its Descriptive Thesaurus Collection posts. Conflict, Character Motivation, Occupation, and so on are common topics that these posts are based around. For example, a recent Conflict Thesaurus entry on the plot point of “Taking Advice from the Wrong Person” provides dramatic examples, lists of potentially disastrous results, people who could be affected, resulting in emotions, positive outcomes, etc. It’s a great resource that essentially does your brainstorming for you!

#6: NaNoWriMo Blog

National Novel Writing Month, called NaNoWriMo by those in the know, is a popular annual event in which authors are encouraged to spend the month of November working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel. The non-profit behind the event runs a great blog that features news about it and other writing programs run by NaNoWriMo, also including relevant posts on topics like how to break through writer’s block.

#7: Writer Unboxed

Get a daily dose of creative writing advice from writers like yourself at Writers Unboxed , a blog about the craft and business of fiction. From contemplative pieces on the challenges of being a writer to more technical articles like an explanation of how to revise your manuscript in Scrivener (a well-known word processing program), Writers Unboxed offers a wide range of blog posts covering many angles of the writing experience.

#8: The Muffin

WomenOnWriting.com (also known as WOW!) is a global e-zine dedicated to supporting women through the creative writing process. Its blog The Muffin, which publishes new posts daily, provides tips and inspiration to readers through engaging interviews with writers, reviews and spotlights on books authored by women, writing prompts, editing advice, and much more.

#9: Creative Writing Contests

Writing contests can give writers an excellent opportunity to get their work out into the world, and possibly earn publication and prize money. But, it can be hard to hunt down these opportunities. Fortunately, the Creative Writing Contests blog does the work for you, posting about upcoming contests in creative writing and poetry, as well as other opportunities and information about fellowships, writing residencies, and grants.

#10: Time to Write

Former television writer Jurgen Wolff (Family Ties, Benson) brings his decades of hard-earned experience to his blog Time to Write . Posts include pep talks, advice on everything from brainstorming to creating characters, and a focus on screenwriting tips and thoughts that will be especially helpful for those of you hoping to write for film or TV.

Bonus blog! ???? Gatekeeper Press Blog

Not to toot our own horn, but we think the blog that you are reading right now is worth following! The Gatekeeper Press blog digs into several issues important to writers, like the cost of publishing and what authors can expect to earn . Gatekeeper’s blog features important writer topics such as self-publishing , eBook publishing , marketing , choosing a book title , and more!

What to Do When You’re Ready to Publish Your First Book

If you need guidance on the business of writing or are thirsty for inspiration, perusing these creative writing blogs regularly can help you along in your writing process.

And, once you have completed your book, Gatekeeper Press is ready to assist with your next steps, whether that is a need for editing & proofreading services or with publishing and distribution . Visit the website to discover how Gatekeeper Press can help!

Free Consultation

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The 7 Best AI Writing Tools to Use Today

Quick links.

  • Jasper (for Professional Marketers and Bloggers)
  • ClosersCopy (for Search Engine Optimized Content)
  • Rytr (A Multipurpose Tool for Everyday Use)
  • Writesonic (for Generating Content in Different Formats)
  • Copy.ai (for Brands and Teams)
  • Sudowrite (for Creative Writing and Storytelling)
  • Smart Copy (for Copywriting)

Whether you’re struggling with writer’s block or just hate writing, AI writing tools can come in handy. They can not only save you time in writing the first draft but also provide you with a ton of creative ideas. Here, we list the best AI writing tools you should check out right now.

1. Jasper (for Professional Marketers and Bloggers)

Powered by multiple language models (including GPT-4), Jasper is one of the most popular pieces of AI writing software . Whether you need to generate ad copies, blog posts, or social media captions, it has over 50 templates for you.

Designed for professionals in the marketing and content industry, Jasper makes it easy to create content for your entire campaign. Likewise, it has a long-form blog post writer with a focus on SEO. Before you begin writing, you can use the Jasper Chat to help you with the research phase.

To ensure a consistent tone across all your writings, Jasper learns and adopts your brand voice and saves the details about your project in its knowledge base.

Jasper has a great community and a quick support team, and it also provides free training on its website to help people make the most of the tool.

Arguably one of the best AI tools for content creation , Jasper has three paid plans, starting from $49 per month.

2. ClosersCopy (for Search Engine Optimized Content)

ClosersCopy is another awesome AI-powered writing tool with a focus on SEO-optimized writing. It has hundreds of pre-made marketing frameworks and workflows that can help you generate a killer copy.

What makes ClosersCopy a good choice for SEO writing is that it has built-in SEO audit and planner tools. The SEO audit feature compares your draft with top-ranking pages on Google and provides suggestions for improvement. Likewise, the SEO planner helps you create an outline for your blog posts using competitor analysis.

ClosersCopy has three different AI models: one for copywriting, another for articles, and the third for storytelling. Despite dozens of features, it has a clean, simple dashboard and text editor.

The price ranges from $49.99 per month to $99.99 per month. The Power plan (the cheapest one) allows you to generate content 300 times, while the other two plans offer unlimited writing.

3. Rytr (A Multipurpose Tool for Everyday Use)

If you're looking for an inexpensive AI writing tool that does the job, try Rytr. Whether you want to write blog posts, song lyrics, marketing copies, captions, scripts, or product descriptions, Rytr has templates for almost everything. Better still, you can use it to generate AI images and talk to its chatbot.

Rytr has an easy-to-use interface and the ability to generate text in 30+ languages. However, creating the first draft takes little time, thanks to the variety of use cases. You can adjust the output and use its editing tools to refine your first draft.

The unlimited plan costs $29 per month, while the Saver account costs $9 per month (100,000 characters). Rytr even has a free plan with 10,000 characters and five images per month. It has a Chrome extension that works seamlessly, letting you write while you browse.

So, if you don't want to splash out on AI writers, Rytr is perhaps your best bet. Though it doesn't offer all the bells and whistles, it's a decent, multipurpose tool that you can use for professional and personal writing.

4. Writesonic (for Generating Content in Different Formats)

Powered by GPT, Writesonic is more than just an AI writer. It has image and voice generators, the ability to create custom AI bots, and a chatbot named Chatsonic.

Writesonic has hundreds of different templates that let you create various types of written content—from articles and essays to landing pages and YouTube descriptions.

What makes Writesonic a standout is that it offers a long-form article writer even on a free plan. Just by entering a topic, a reference article, and your preferred tone, you can create a complete article with a single click.

Likewise, Writesonic's editor splits the screen into two sections, one for generating text and the other for editing and formatting it, making the writing process much easier.

Besides the free plan, Writesonic has three paid plans, starting from $19 per month.

5. Copy.ai (for Brands and Teams)

If you want every copy to reflect your brand's tone, Copy.ai is a great choice. Using your existing content, it identifies your brand voice. Likewise, there's an Infobase where you can upload details about your project—the tool then uses the identified tone and knowledge in its writing, adding a personalized touch.

Copy.ai has a chatbot-like interface for generating text, which you can then add to the editor and format your content. Moreover, it has built-in workflows designed for SEO, content, and sales teams that enable you to collaborate with your colleagues.

Copy.ai has free training and a ton of other resources to educate you about its tool. The free plan gives you 2000 words, while the unlimited Pro plan costs $49 per month.

It also has around a dozen free tools for creating email subject lines, captions, meta descriptions, CTAs, product names, slogans, etc. Best of all, you can use these free tools without signing up.

6. Sudowrite (for Creative Writing and Storytelling)

If you're a creative writer looking for a tool to help you in your writing journey, look no further. Powered by GPT-3 and GPT-4, Sudowrite's Story Engine can help you write a complete novel.

Before the actual writing phase, you can use Sudowrite to brainstorm ideas, develop story characters, and think of plot points. Once you've written a couple of sentences, you can ask the tool to continue writing, either on its own or by following your instructions. Better still, the Describe feature uses metaphors and senses to illustrate the scene to your readers.

Once the first draft is ready, Sudowrite can rephrase, expand, or shorten sentences to polish your story. It can even provide feedback on your story, highlighting opportunities for improvement.

Sudowrite has three plans, with the cheapest one costing $19 per month and offering 30,000 words.

7. Smart Copy (for Copywriting)

If you want to create manuscripts that reflect your brand image, try out Smart Copy. Part of the Unbounce family, this AI writing assistant can help you create engaging content for landing pages and copies.

It has a gallery of around 50 different templates, including templates for everyday things like email subject lines, thank you notes, and content expander.

The paid plan comes with a long-form editor called the Writer. This looks like a normal text editor, but after writing a few sentences (and setting the preferences), you can ask Smart Copy to continue writing for you. Once the tool has generated the initial draft, you can expand, remix, or add more sentences to your copy.

Other than blogs, landing pages, and product descriptions, Smart Copy can generate core values, taglines, and mission statements for your company. It supports dozens of languages and also has a free Chrome extension.

Smart Copy has a free and paid plan. The free plan provides 10 credits weekly, whereas the Essential plan provides 200 credits for $9 per month.

The 7 Best AI Writing Tools to Use Today

Writing blog posts

After you've created a blog , you can start writing your blog posts. Your posts can contain both text and images. You can choose to publish a post immediately, or else set a specific publishing date.

On this page

Add a post to your blog, edit a blog post, hide a blog post, delete a blog post, add an image to a blog post, display an excerpt from a blog post, add tags to a blog post, edit the search engine listing for a blog post.

  • From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Blog Posts .
  • Click Add blog post .
  • Enter a title for your blog post. You need to have a title to save the post.
  • Enter the blog post content. This field uses the rich text editor , so you can format your post content. You can also add an image , embed a video or other media, or insert a link.
  • Author : From the drop-down menu, select the name of the person writing the post. Only the names of the store owner and staff appear in the drop-down menu.
  • Blog : Select the name of the blog where the post will be published. If you don't want to publish to one of your existing blogs, then you can create a new blog in the drop-down menu.
  • Optional: Display an image on the blog landing page. In the Featured image section, click Upload image and then select an image to upload.
  • Optional: Include an excerpt from your blog post on the blog landing page.
  • Optional: Add tags to your blog posts to organize them by category or subject. Customers can click tags to find other blog posts in the same category. When a customer searches for a tag in your online store, matching blog posts will appear in the search results. Enter tags, separated by commas, in the Tags field. Tags can have up to 255 characters.
  • Optional: If you have created a custom template for blog posts , then you can select a template. In the Template drop-down menu, select the template that you want to use for the post.
  • Optional: Edit the search engine listing for your blog post in the Search engine listing preview section.
  • Blog posts are hidden by default and won't appear on your online store. If you're ready to publish the post, then select Visible in the Visibility section, or set a specific publishing date for the post. You can edit or delete a published blog post at any time.
  • Click Save .

You might want to edit an existing blog post to change the content, publish date, author, or other blog post details.

  • Click the title of the post you want to edit.
  • Make your changes to the existing content and settings.
  • Click the blog post that you want to hide.
  • In the Visibility section, select Hidden .
  • Click the blog post that you want to delete.
  • From the blog post's information page, click Delete blog post .
  • In the confirmation dialog, click Delete blog post .

Adding images into your blog post content can make the post more engaging. You can add images that you've uploaded to Shopify, including product images, or upload a new image for the post. The best file type for blog post images is JPEG.

  • Create a new blog post , or select an existing blog post.

Insert image button in the blog post **Content** section

  • Select the image to use in the blog post, or click Upload file to upload a new image to Shopify.
  • Select the size of the image from the Size drop-down menu.
  • Click Insert image .

You can display excerpts from a blog post on the blog landing page. Depending on what your theme supports, you might be able to include images, text formatting, and links in your excerpt. If you don't add a blog excerpt, then part of your blog post content will display instead, without any images, formatting, or links included.

  • Select one of your blog posts.
  • In the Excerpt rich text editor, add the content that you want to appear on your blog's landing page as an excerpt. The whole excerpt will be shown on your blog page, with a Read more link below.

You can use tags to organize your blog posts into categories or by subject. For example, you could add a tag to all the posts about summer to create a summer category. Customers can click tags to find other blog posts in the same category. When a customer searches for a tag in your online store, matching blog posts will appear in the search results.

  • Click the name of the blog post.
  • In the Tags field, enter tags, separated by commas. You can also select existing tags.

You can edit the text that appears in search engine results for a blog post. Descriptive titles and descriptions can help new customers find your online store and convince them to click the link. Learn more about search engine optimization .

You can preview a blog post's search engine listing and make changes to help new customers discover your online store.

Click the name of the blog post to edit.

In the Search engine listing section, click Edit .

In the Page title field, enter a descriptive title. This title will display as a link in search engine results. You can enter up to 70 characters in the title.

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Creating effective technical documentation

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Effective feature documentation is important in enhancing a user's experience with the feature. Good documentation is like a piece of the puzzle that makes everything click — the key for encouraging feature adoption.

To support you in creating effective technical documentation, this article provides an overview of the core principles of technical writing. It also highlights the best practices for creating clear and accessible documentation. Applying these technical writing principles helps us maintain the high quality of content on MDN. Whether you're documenting your own project or product or contributing to technical content in various settings, you can improve the quality of your work by following these best practices.

Adopt clarity, conciseness, and consistency

These three Cs form the core principles of technical writing. They can take you a long way in producing quality documentation.

For achieving clarity in your writing, apply the following guidelines:

  • Use simple words and clear language. Keep in mind the audience, especially if it includes non-native English speakers.
  • Be clear about who needs to perform the action. Writing in active voice is not strictly required. However, you should use it when you want to be clear about who needs to perform the action. For example, clarify whether a function is triggered by an event or if the user needs to explicitly call the function.
  • Clearly introduce and explain new terms. This helps to lay the foundation for concepts that are covered later in the documentation.
Tip : Replace "it", "this", and "these" with proper nouns if they can refer to more than one thing in the given context.
  • Aim for one idea per sentence to improve readability.
  • Stick to one main idea per paragraph. Each sentence in a paragraph should logically connect to the one before it. Imagine if each sentence in a paragraph was a link in a chain. If you pick up the first link, the other links in the chain should follow, forming a continuous sequence. This is how the sentences should connect to each other, ensuring a seamless flow of a single idea.


Keep sentences short. This automatically increases the readability and clarity of your document. It also helps in quick comprehension. Long sentences can be more challenging to understand quickly due to their complex structures.

Tip : Based on common readability standards, aim for 15-20 words per sentence.

For additional insights on sentence length and readability strategies, see Simple sentences (on https://readabilityguidelines.co.uk ) and Popular readability formulas , including the Flesch-Kincaid index, on Wikipedia.


Use the same terminology throughout your documentation to ensure a seamless reader experience. For example, if you start referring to "user agents" as browsers, stick with that term consistently. This avoids confusion that can arise from using words interchangeably, even when they share the same meaning.

Additionally, maintain consistent word casing and follow a uniform formatting style throughout your documentation. These practices not only enhance readability but also contribute to a professional presentation of your documentation.

Organize your content for maximum impact

Apply the same principles for organizing your content as you would for organizing your code: spend some time setting a clear goal and thinking about the desired structure for your documentation. Ensure that each subsection contributes to this goal incrementally.

Start with an introduction

In the introduction, first describe the feature you're documenting. Next, set the context by explaining why learning about the feature would be beneficial to the readers. This can include describing real-life scenarios where the feature can be useful. The more relevance you add to the topic, the easier it will be for readers to understand and engage with the content.

Progress logically

The following questions can help you ensure that your content is progressing logically:

  • Is your document structured to guide readers from foundational concepts to more advanced ones? Are there sections to introduce the " what " to establish a base before delving into the " why " and " how "? Consider whether the document structure mirrors the natural learning path for the topic. Aligning the document's structure with the natural progression of learning helps readers build their knowledge step-by-step and also enhances the overall learning experience.
  • Are there sufficient how-to guides or examples following the conceptual sections?
  • Consider the flow of the content. Is it following a logical sequence — from one sentence to the next, from one paragraph to the next, and from one section to the next? Does each section logically build on the information presented previously, avoiding abrupt jumps or gaps in the content?

Additionally, as you work on the draft, always ask yourself:

  • What reader questions am I addressing with this sentence?
  • Can I add a simplistic or real-life use case to explain this concept?

Include examples

Imagine sitting next to someone as you explain the concepts to them. Preempt their questions and address them in your writing. Use this approach to add as many relevant examples as possible.

When adding examples, don't restrict yourself to only code; include non-code scenarios to demonstrate a feature's utility. This helps readers understand the concepts better and also caters to different learning styles. Consider providing real-world scenarios or use cases to illustrate how the feature or concept applies in practical situations.

Optimize the document structure and length

Evaluate your documentation's structure to ensure it maintains a logical and balanced hierarchy.

  • Ensure that each section and subsection has a clear purpose and sufficient content.
  • Look for instances where a main section contains only one subsection (orphan), such as a single H3 section under an H2 section. This indicates that you need to reorganize your content or make some additions.
  • Check if there are lower-level headings such as H4 . Too many subsections can be overwhelming for readers, making it difficult for them to grasp the information. In such cases, consider presenting the content as a bulleted list instead to help readers retain the key points more effectively. This approach helps to simplify the hierarchy and also contributes to easier navigation.
  • While there should be sufficient content for each section, pay attention to the overall length. If any section becomes too extensive, it can be overwhelming for readers. Split large sections into multiple logical subsections or restructure the content into new sections and subsections. Grouping content into digestible pieces helps maintain focus and improve navigation for readers.

Proofread your writing

One aspect that cannot be stressed enough is the importance of self-reviewing and proofreading what you've written. Whether you're creating a large document or a short paragraph, this step is crucial.

Taking the time to fully review your work will help you identify sections that don't flow well or can be improved for clarity. During self-review, aim to spot and remove redundancy (repetition of ideas without adding value) and repetitiveness (overuse of words or phrases). These refinements will ensure your documentation is clear and coherent and conveys your ideas as intended.

Proofread and then take a break before you review again. Only then submit your work. While spell checkers can flag spelling errors, they might not flag incorrect use of words, such as an unintended use of "he" instead of "the". It's best to take a break and return with fresh eyes to catch any errors you might have missed. Pay close attention to identify inconsistencies in tone, style, tense, or formatting and make the necessary adjustments.

Additional tips

To improve the clarity and accessibility of your documentation, also keep the following guidelines and tips in mind. To go in-depth into any of the topics, feel free to consult our Writing style guide .

  • Bulleted vs numbered lists : Lists, in general, make documentation easier to scan. Use bulleted lists when there is no specific order of the items. Use numbered lists when the steps need to be followed in the specific order. Always include a lead-sentence before beginning a list to provide context.
  • Commas : Use a comma after an introductory clause to improve readability and to clarify the sentence structure. Use a comma to separate items in a list to ensure clarity.
  • Alt text : Always provide an alternative text for the images you add to content. This makes your documentation accessible to people using screen readers. In addition to images, ensure that video and audio files have accompanying descriptive texts.
  • Descriptive link text : Make sure each link text is clear even out of context and clearly indicates where the link leads. Descriptive link texts also help people using screen readers understand the destination of links. For example, use "Read our writing style guide to learn more" instead of "Click here to learn more".
  • Inclusive language : Make your documentation welcoming to everyone. Strive to use words that respect and acknowledge the diversity of your audience.

That's it for this article. I hope you found these tips helpful as a quick refresher on technical writing best practices. Remember that learning how to create effective and easy-to-use documentation is an ongoing process. It starts with understanding your audience and the goals of your documentation. By applying these technical writing principles and tips, you'll certainly be able to enhance the clarity and overall quality of your documentation.

Let me know if you learned something new or if there's any idea that resonated with you. I'd also like to hear if there are any best practices you use in your technical documentation workflow. Share with us on Mastodon or Discord .

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