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How to Start a Blog in 2023

Author profile imageLars Salling·May 13, 2023
A person sitting in bed with a laptop computer and a coffee

Blogging can be a very exciting and rewarding hobby to venture into and can with the right mindset and work become a stream of revenue. In this article we'll go into some of the different ways there is to get started with blogging.

This will not be a definite guide on how to set up a blog with a particular blogging software but rather a guide to figure out how you should go about creating your own blog, as there are a lot of different ways to set up a blog - each option having its own benefits and shortcomings.

If you are interested in finding out how to make your own cooking blog, you can read our article on how to start a food blog.

Different ways of setting up a blog

Seen from the outside, a blog can appear as a simple thing since it is just a nice way of displaying organized blog posts on the internet. Though that is not entirely correct, as there are often times a lot of things in play when setting up and running a blog, for example:

  • Optimizing your blog for search engines (SEO)
  • Having somewhere to write and manage your content
  • Managing technical aspects such as domain, hosting and assets (such as images and downloadables)

This is the reason why it is a good idea to first assess how much time and energy you are willing to invest in starting a blog, as different ways of building up a blog can require different levels of skill and patience. Let's go over some of the most common ways of starting up your own blog:

  • Using a hosted platform. This is one of the most easiest and most common ways of creating your own blog as it requires little time and effort while still ticking off the most crucial requirements there are when managing a blog such as an admin panel for creating and managing blog posts, plugins for search engine optimization and a prebuilt hosting solution. Some of most popular hosted platforms are, Wix and Squarespace.
  • Self-hosting your blog. This method of starting a blog requires a bit more technical skill as it involves aquiring your own hosting, setting up a blogging software and connecting it to a domain in order to make it publically available. This is for a lot of people a more attractive option as it is a more budget friendly way of going about creating a blog unlike hosted platforms which often have a higher price tag.
  • Building from scratch. Often done by people already in a technical field such as web developers or designers, building your own blog from scratch can be a learningful and rewarding experience and comes with the benefit that you have full control over the resources that you use to create your blog.

Listed above is some of the most common ways that you see people create their blogs (with 1 and 2 being the most usual ones).

Creating a blog on a hosted platform

Using a hosted platform such a, Wix or Squarespace can for most people be the easiest and most straight forward way to get started with your own blog. It often takes a few clicks in order to get a pre-built solution up and running which includes a frontend and an admin dashboard where you can write and manage your content. These platforms usually also have a mature and developed plugin ecosystem which makes it a breeze to cover features such as SEO, translations and additional requirements (for example recipe cards for a cooking blog).

The steps for creating a blog using a hosted platform are pretty straight forward:

  • Choose a platform. It is often the best idea to pick a well-known and mature hosted platform as there are often, as previously mentioned, a good and developed ecosystem in the shape of plugins, communities and tutorials, that can make it easier and more frictionless to use the platform.
  • Buy a domain name. When picking a domain name it can be a good idea to pick something that represents the style and personality of your blog. It can often be difficult to find a domain name that is not already taken, so it is also a good idea to get creative while still coming up with something that people will be able to remember. Some platforms allow you to buy and setup your domain directly through the admin panel which adds to the ease-of-use.
  • Make it yours. Hosted platforms make it easy to plug-and-play with different themes and plugins in order to make a blog that suits the personality and style that you wish for your blog. It is still a good idea to not get too caught up in small details when personalizing your blog as in the end it is gonna be the content that draws most of your audience - not that one fancy widget that you spent two afternoons implementing at the bottom of your page.

As it appears, creating a blog using hosted platforms does not take much energy and time to get started, but it usually comes at the price of a higher price tag (usually in the form of monthly or annual subscriptions). Both the platform where you are gonna create your blog is gonna cost you money but also plugins and themes can also come with a price tag.

Another downside of using a hosting platform is that you may not have as much control over some of the low-level technical aspects as you would if you would manage your own hosting - which leads us to the next way of creating a blog.

Hosting your own blog

An image of a router with plugged in cables

Self-hosting means to aquire and manage your own hosting for your blogging software and is often times a more budget friendly alternative to using hosted platforms. First let's swiftly go over what hosting essentially is and why doing it yourself can both have benefits and drawbacks.

What is web hosting?

Simply put, the internet is a connection between millions of computers that are able to communicate with each other through hundreds of thousands of kilometers of wire spanding across the world. Hosting a website then means to run some software on one of those computers which is then accessible by everyone else on the internet. The other computers connected to the internet mainly communicate by requesting files - which on the web are usually HTML, CSS and JavaScript files which makes up the structure, layout and functionality of a website. There is a lot more going on behind the curtains but we will not go any further in this article.

How to self-host a blog

When creating a self-hosted blog, you should be prepared to spend a little more time messing around with some more technical staff than if you used a blog hosting platform. This chapter will not go into too much detail on what and why when it comes to self-hosting your own blog (eg. going with shared hosting, a VPS or dedicated server). We advise that you do your own research in regards to this though still continue reading as we will still go over some of the most important tasks to go through when self-hosting.

Here are the most basic steps to take when starting a self-hosted blog:

  • Pick a hosting provider. While this is one of the most trivial task in the proces, it is also one of the most important ones as a bad hosting provider can lead to a bad experience for both you and the visitors of your blog. Picking a reliable and renowned hosting provider is important to ensure that your blog will not suddenly break due to outages and unstable servers. It is highly advised to do your own research and read reviews on various providers, as well as being critical towards larger sites and companies recommending specific providers as they often take advantage of referral and affiliate programs to gain money while not promoting the best providers possible.
  • Download and set up a blogging software. In order to get started with your own self-hosted blog, it is easiest to download a pre-existing blogging software and install it on your newly acquired server. A big benefit of hosting your own blog is that the software involved with self-hosting is often times open source (meaning that source code is publically available) and free. Some of the most popular self-hosting software is (not to be confused with their hosted solution,, Drupal and Joomla - all which are completely free to use and install on your own server.
  • Configure your server. This might include setting up a web server to make your blog available to the internet through something like Apache or nginx. You also need to set up SSL-certificates so that your website can be served over HTTPS - not doing this will have most browsers block your website or warn users when entering your site, which can have a significant effect on your visitor count

The benefits of hosting your own blog is that you have full control over your hosting and which software is running on it. Apart from that self-hosting is usually a cheaper option rather than using managed hosting platforms and you have the option to up/downgrade your hosting plans depending on your usage.

The drawbacks to self-hosting your blog is that it requires more technical skill and can become tedious and time-consuming if you run into trouble. You also have more things to look after and is usually the one being held accountable if something goes wrong.

Creating your own blog from scratch

A computer screen with programming code

While this is in somewhat the same genre as the previous chapter about self-hosting your blog, creating your own blog from scratch can be a whole adventure in itself and usually is for the more brave people.

When we say creating from scratch, we of course don't mean re-inventing the wheel on everything from the bottom up. The most common ways of creating your own blog from scratch are:

  • Developing your own frontend. Be it using technologies like PHP and HTML/CSS or going with a more modern stack such as React or Vue, creating your own frontend for your blog makes it so that you have full control over the look and feel of your blog with only the sky being the limit. The recommended way to go about creating a blog with a custom frontend is to use a headless CMS such as Sanity or Ghost which are both platforms that allows you to manage your content through an admin panel while serving your data through API's like REST or GraphQL to consume in your frontend.
  • Code it all yourself. While this is only recommended for people with a lot of technical experience, it can be a very learningful experience with the reward of being able to use your very own blogging platform. This would involve setting up your own database to store your blog posts, admin panel to administrate your content and a frontend to display your posts. Some of the most used technology for such projects are PHP, Node.js and Python which all together power most of the internet.

Just like the previous chapter about using prebuilt software for self-hosting, creating your own frontend (and/or backend) can have financial benefits over using a managed platform. A lot of developer-oriented hosting providers such as Netlify, Heroku or Vercel offer free hosting on their lower tiers which makes it possible to set up and run a blog on a very low budget. Like previously mentioned this comes at the cost of needing a lot of technical experience and can take away a lot of time that could have been spent writing and producing content for your blog instead.


There is rarely just one solution to anything when it comes to the internet and creating your own blog definitely not one of them. With different pros and cons to each option, it is a good idea to make up with yourself and do your own research before venturing into either using a more expensive hosted platform or developing your own blog from nothing.

If you are looking for a good way to start up your very own cooking blog, we advise you to check out Wasabee, which is the quickest and most purpose-built platform for creating, managing and making your own recipes visible to the world.

Ready to start your own food blog?

Wasabee is the easiest way to get up and running with a food blog and provides both hosting and an admin panel for creating recipes.

Get started for free

Frequently asked questions

What is a headless CMS?

Unlike traditional content management systems (CMS), a headless CMS comes without a frontend to consume your content and makes it possible to create your own custom frontend that uses the data of your headless CMS. A headless CMS often times also lets you define custom models and fields so that you can be flexible and in full control of your data.

What is the difference between and WordPress.Org?

The diffence between the two is that is a managed solution that allows you to setup a WordPress site in minutes without having set up your own hosting and blogging software. on the other hand is a way to download the WordPress software to be installed on your own server in order to self-host WordPress.

How to start a blog for free?

It can be difficult to start a blog completely for free as many hosting solutions, themes and plugins can often end up costing money. Some hosting providers offer free tiers that you can use, but staying on the free tier usually requires that your blog does not gain much traffic and has low bandwidth. Apart from the hosting there is a huge variety of free plugins and themes that can be utilized to personalize and optimize your own blog on a budget.