How to Start a Blog: The Ultimate Checklist [2023]

Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by Azizi Katepa

“A blog, often short for “weblog,” is a website that features regularly updated content in the form of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries known as “posts. “A blog, often short for “weblog,” is a website that features regularly updated content in the form of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries known as “posts.”

Remember that a successful blog involves consistent content creation, engagement with your audience, and continuous learning about SEO and digital marketing strategies.

Keep these ultimate tips in mind as you embark on your blogging journey.

I’ve compiled this How to Start a Blog Checklist to ensure you don’t miss any essentials.

Starting with the first step of getting your domain name, this checklist will take you through the essentials for launching a fully-fledged, professional quality blog into the wilds of the Internet – ready to make money!

I’ll keep it simple with minimal details so you can see an overview of the whole picture. You should check out our How to Start a Blog guide for a detailed guide

How to Start a Blog

Let’s start.

1 – Generate an Ideas

You can use various online tools and domain name generators to generate ideas for a domain name.

  • Pick a blog niche/topic. Pick a blogging topic that you have an interest in, and that also has good keyword searching.
  • Look for more blogs in your niche: See what they are doing and how you can make your articles better than your competitors.
  • Brainstorm a strategy for your blog: Keeping your end goals in mind, brainstorm some ideas on how you will reach the goals you have set for yourself.
  • List down possible brand names: Go for a brandable domain rather than a generic keyword-stuffed name. Use a domain name generator tool like Nameboy or DomainWheel for ideas, and check out our guide to choosing a blog domain name.

2 – Get a great domain name

Your blog’s domain name is important. A domain name is something your readers will type in their browser to get to your website, for example,

You’ll need to register a domain name to get started. You can get a domain name for free with Hostinger if you buy their hosting plan.

Top tips for choosing a good domain name:

  • Make it as short as you can
  • Avoid using any hyphenated versions
  • Use your full name if it’s available.
  • Always use the dot com version.

Also Read: How To Register a Domain Name

3 – Get up web hosting

Hostinger blog hosting

You can choose from many hosting services, but I think Hostinger is the best. With Hostinger, you get a 77% discount and a free domain.

When starting a blog, it’s important to ensure it’s fast.

One of the best ways to do that is by investing in good quality, dedicated web hosting from the beginning of your blogging career.

It will cost more than shared hosting, but it’s good for blog hosting.

Here at WPWebTools, I have been using Hostinger to host my blogs. They’ve been with me for most of my journey to replace my full-time income with a blog. Hostinger hosting plans are extremely fast and reliable, with many handy features.

Moreover, the Hostinger customer support team is available 24/7 by email or web chat. They’re super responsive and do their utmost to help you with everything blog-related.

4 – Choose a right blogging platform

 I recommend you go for WordPress. It’s free and lets you have complete control over it.

Over 43% of all websites on the Internet use WordPress, including major brands such as Bloomberg, Nike, The New York Times, BBC America, Microsoft News, Sony Music, and many more.

You might be tempted to start blogging on something else, such as Medium, Blogger, Wix, Squarespace, or the built-in blogging platform from your domain name provider (e.g., GoDaddy).

None of these platforms have the flexibility and power of WordPress. They don’t have as many features. No one is building such a wide range of plug-ins for them.

Plus, most will host your content for you, so you don’t truly own your blog.

WordPress is the best blogging platform.

You can download and install a copy of the WordPress website or get your hosting company to install it for you – making the whole process a no-brainer.

5 – Install WordPress theme, free theme.

This can be a little complicated for beginners, but if you choose Hostinger as your web host, you can install WordPress with a single click.

Now, you should have a brand-new WordPress blog ready to go live.

When installing WordPress on your domain, you’ll start with the default theme, for example, Twenty Twenty-Two.

Installing a great theme and making your blog look fabulous are two of your first tasks.

My go-to theme is GeneratePress.

It’s solid, fast, and lightweight, with many great-looking starter templates. This is a lightweight WordPress theme known for its focus on speed, stability, and accessibility.

Here are some points of GeneratePress:

  • Lightweight Design: GeneratePress is designed to be light, ensuring that your website loads quickly, which is essential for a good user experience and SEO.
  • Stability: It’s built with a stable codebase, reducing the likelihood of issues or conflicts with plugins and other elements of your WordPress site.
  • Accessibility: GeneratePress emphasizes accessibility, making your website more inclusive and user-friendly for all visitors.
  • Customization: It offers extensive customization options, allowing you to tailor your website’s appearance and functionality to your needs. This includes both free and premium customization options.
  • Site Library: GeneratePress also offers a site library, which provides pre-designed site templates you can import and customize for your website.

The free version of GeneratePress is all you need to get started.

6 – Choose a starter template for your blog

Using a starter template is the fastest way to launch your new blog.

A starter template is a pre-built set of images, layouts, and text installed on your new theme.

Starter templates make life easy. All you have to do is replace existing content with your images and text.

GeneratePress has a great set of starter templates. Head over to the Appearance section in your WordPress editor, and you’ll find them on the dropdown menu.

You may have to download the starter templates from the plugin library. Search there for GeneratePress Starter Templates and install them.

Then, choose your favorite template, click install, and your starter template will appear – ready to edit.

With GeneratePress, you can easily customize your starter template with whichever colors and fonts you like best.

Select a template that aligns with your website’s purpose and style. You can easily customize these templates to create a unique website that suits your needs.

Also Read: What is WordPress? A Complete guides 2023

Permalinks are permanent URLs that are used to access specific pieces of content on a website.

They serve as the web addresses for individual blog posts, pages, categories, and other archive pages. Permalinks play a crucial role in website navigation and search engine optimization.

Each post and page has its unique permalink.

It’s important to properly set up your permalink structure before you publish any posts or pages on your new blog.

Google likes simple, short, and readable URLs. Your permalink structure should reflect that.

A new WordPress blog has a default permalink structure, usually containing a string of symbols and numbers.

One of our first tasks is to define a better, permanent, more SEO-friendly structure.

The following points are best describe the permalinks:

  • Permalinks provide a consistent and reliable way for users and search engines to access specific content on a website. They are essential for linking and sharing content online.
  • Well-structured permalinks, which include relevant keywords, can positively impact a website’s search engine ranking. They help search engines understand the content of the page.
  • Website administrators can often customize the structure of permalinks to make them more user-friendly or SEO-friendly. Customizing permalinks is a common practice in content management systems like WordPress.

8 – Set up your important pages

Once you’ve set up your permanent structure, you can start creating the important pages for the blog.

A new blog typically needs just a few static pages. You can always add more later as your blog grows.

But it’s best to keep things simple at the beginning.

Recommend starting with an About page, a Contact Us page, your Blog page (the archive where all your blog posts will live), a homepage, and a Privacy Policy page.

WordPress will automatically generate a blog archive page. Whenever you publish a new blog post, it will appear on this archive page.

If you look at the top menu on this blog, you’ll see the static pages I’ve put there.

The following points describe the core pages:

  • Identify Your Core Pages: The core pages are the most important ones on your site. These typically include the homepage, about page, contact page, services/products page, blog, portfolio, and testimonials. Identify which core pages are relevant to your website’s purpose and audience.
  • Create Compelling Content: Develop high-quality, engaging content for each core page. Ensure your content is informative, well-structured, and aligned with your brand identity.
  • Design and Layout: Pay attention to the design and layout of your core pages. They should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. Use consistent branding elements across all pages.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): Incorporate clear and compelling call-to-action elements on your core pages. Encourage visitors to take desired actions, such as signing up, contacting you, or purchasing.
  • Optimize for SEO: Implement on-page SEO best practices for each core page. This includes optimizing meta tags, headings, and content for relevant keywords to improve search engine visibility.

9 – Install important plugins

Plug-ins are small pieces of code that extend the features of your WordPress blog. WordPress plugins are like apps or extensions that enhance the functionality of a WordPress website.

Thousands of plug-ins are available, but don’t go crazy with them. You should avoid installing too many because they can cause the blog to run slow.

Sticking to essential plugins is best to avoid your site getting bloated or risk crashing due to a faulty plugin. I advise always checking a plugin’s reviews before deciding whether to use it.

The following are essential plugins to install:

  • All In One SEO (free) – for managing your blog’s SEO
  • Akismet (free) – for keeping spam comments away from your posts
  • LiteSpeed Cache (free) – for speeding up your blog
  • GeneratePress (free) – for adding additional customization to your posts and pages
  • WPForms (free) – adding a contact form to your blog makes it easy for your visitors to contact you
  • Google Analytics (free) – helps you track your visitors and see on what page they enter and how they behave once they are on your blog.

Also Read: A WordPress Plugin: The Complete Guides 2023

10 – Draft the first blog post

Another vital step on your starting a blog checklist is getting your first post drafted and published.

Drafting a good post starts with outlining. I like using the free tool Dynalist to outline all my posts quickly and easily.

Once the outline is in place, the way ahead becomes much clearer. You can then start to fill in the details of each paragraph.

Don’t worry if you’re not a fast typist.

Once you’ve drafted the full post, I recommend giving it a once-over with Grammarly to check for spelling and more.

11 – Optimize the Blog post for SEO

Next, ensure your blog post is set up for maximum SEO potential.

If you’ve installed the free All In One SEO plugin, you’ll have a sidebar in the WordPress editor that tells you how to optimize the post.

Aim for a score of at least 80%, but don’t stress too much about perfecting it.

To optimize a blog post for SEO, follow these key steps:

  • Keyword Research: Start with proper keyword research to identify relevant keywords for your content. Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to find keywords with a balance of search volume and competition.
  • Compelling Blog Post Title: Craft an engaging and keyword-rich blog post title. It should convey the content’s topic and incorporate your primary keyword.
  • Quality Content: Write high-quality, informative, and engaging content that addresses the needs of your audience. Google values well-researched, valuable content that provides answers or solutions.
  • Use of Headers: Organize your content using headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.). These help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your content, making it more digestible for readers and search engines.
  • Semantic Keywords: Include semantic keywords related to your focus keyword. This helps with SEO and provides additional context to your content, making it more comprehensive.
  • Optimize for Featured Snippets: Format your content to suit featured snippets. These are often displayed at the top of search results and can significantly improve visibility.
  • Readability: Write for humans, not just search engines. Ensure your content is easily readable, using short paragraphs, bullet points, and clear language.
  • Internal and External Links: Include relevant internal links to other pages on your website and external links to authoritative sources. This enhances the user experience and signals credibility to search engines.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure your blog post is mobile-friendly since Google prioritizes mobile-responsive websites for ranking.
  • Page Load Speed: Improve page load speed, as it’s a ranking factor. Compress images, use a reliable hosting provider, and minimize unnecessary code.
  • Meta Description: Craft an enticing meta description that includes your target keyword. This is what users see in search results and can influence click-through rates.

Also, for the best post, you should focus on the following:

  • The main keyword in the SEO title
  • The main keyword in the URL slug
  • Main keyword in the first 10% of the content, plus several times in the body
  • Featured image and at least one image
  • Include at least one external link, also known as an outbound link.
  • At least one internal link is a hyperlink that connects one page or resource to another within the same blog.

Also Read: How to Start Affiliate Marketing: Beginner’s Guide 2023

12 – Plan a worth of Blog posts

The last item on our starting a blog checklist is to make a publishing plan.

Increasing your content velocity will help to push it forward in the Google rankings. The more content you post, the more frequently Google crawls and indexes your site.

I recommend posting a new blog post daily for as long as possible. This is the best approach for building a profitable blog fast.

But posting every day is hard work. If you can’t manage it, start by planning every week’s post-publishing. This will help keep you on track and begin building the publishing habit.

If you need a detailed, definitive guide, check out how to make a WordPress website.

Final Thoughts on Blog Checklist

So, those are important things to consider when you want to start a blog.
In short, you need to do the following to get a blog:

  • the idea you want to work on,
  • get a domain name that fits your business or your idea,
  • Use Hostinger to get the fastest hosting plan that fits your needs, along with a free domain name,
  • Install WordPress, which is free and doesn’t cost anything,
  • change the WordPress per your needs,
  • Install necessary plugins per your needs (use free plugins),
  • and create important pages like a contact page, home page, about us page, privacy policy page, etc.
  • That all.

By doing so, your blog is ready to go live.

Let us know what you think about our list in the comments below!

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