Blogging 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Set Up & Rolling

A blog is an awesome way for your business to share insights, helpful topics, resources, and industry updates to any site visitors. Not only that, but Google’s SEO approach has changed in recent years to favor sites that actually provide answers to questions that people are searching for in Google. This means that if your blog post has the answers to these questions, you’re increasing the potential traffic coming to your site.

First we’re covering the basics of how to write a blog post and what characteristics contribute to having a good blog post. Then, we’ll shift into the specifics of how to set up a domain, website, blog, and more.

Characteristics of a good blog post

  • It’s engaging and keeps the visitor reading and scrolling to the end (which starts with an intro that draws people in to want to find out more).
  • It answers questions your readers have.
  • It is informative and teaches your reader more about topics they probably knew little about.
  • It helps resolve a problem your reader is experiencing.

Now that you have an idea of a roadmap, you might be wondering how to write blog posts with these top characteristics and you start by understanding your audience.

Think about your existing and past clients and prospects and figure out what you know about them.

Some helpful ways to think about them…

  • What is their age range?
  • Are they mostly male or mostly female? Or a mix?
  • What point are they at in their life?
  • What challenges are they facing when they are looking for the type of services I provide?
  • What interests do they have and what topics do they care about?
  • Are they business owners?
  • Are they parents of young children?
  • Are they empty nesters?
  • What questions do they typically ask you about the products or services you provide?

In fancy marketing jargon, you’re determining your “buyer personas” or “target audience”. In plain English, you’re figuring out the similarities among the clients and prospects you serve so that you’re speaking to them where they are and in a way that resonates with the issues or challenges they are facing.

When you know what issues they face, you can cater your language and resources to serve their specific needs.

Before you can actually start picking your topics and writing your blog posts, you need to sort out some of the logistics around setting up a blog. You’ll find these different steps outlined below.

Do you have a website?

If you don’t already have a website where you can host your blog, it’s time to set up a simple website that will do the job.

Before you set up your website, let’s also cover some of the basics around getting and hosting your own domain. When you host your own domain, you get to have so much more control over your website. Some of our clients get a website from their brokerage, but those are often limiting and oftentimes don’t include a blog. If you’re allowed to do your own branding, then it’s time to lock in your own domain.

How to pick a domain

You want your domain to be related to your name or your company name and you want it to be easy to spell or easy to tell someone. Try avoiding dashes and cute, but incorrect spelling. Here are some simple examples from different industries


Now you have a lot more options when it comes to .com or .net. If your top name pick isn’t available as a .com, you could get creative there. Here are some fun examples of what business owners are doing these days

  • .co
  • .homes
  • .mortgage
  • .io
  • .me

And a few more here.

Where to buy a domain

There are many places you can buy a domain for less than $15 per year. We’ve included a list of options for you below.

What’s the difference between domain name and web hosting?

WPBeginner has an awesome explanation for what a domain name is and what hosting is.

“Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your website.

In other words, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.”

So, now that you have an address, you need to store your website files with a web host in order for you to have a functional website.

“Web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives…All websites on the internet, need web hosting.”

You can’t have one without the other and still have a functional website. You need to have a domain and a website host to get started.

Where to host your domain

Once you have purchased your domain, you have to host it. Just like your domain, you can turn to a number of different companies for your web hosting. Oftentimes the domain provider will also provide hosting services.

You can get your web hosting and your domain from different places, but keeping them under one provider is easier for getting started and also easier when it comes time to renew your services. When you stay with one company, you won’t have to change the domain name settings or edit DNS settings.

Here are 5 options that will cost you less than $5 a month. Yes, this may be an added expense, but $5 x 12 is only $60 per year and that is totally worth the branding and recall benefits it will bring you! 

How to set up a website 

You will find that some platforms offer you a personalized domain name with a blog site, for example. While this is an option when you’re in a real pinch, it isn’t part of best practices for branding your business. You want your name and brand to be easily remembered, so having a site like is not really serving you, but instead serving WordPress and their branding goals.

At the end of the day it is very beneficial to have a simple domain that is specific to you and easy to remember (and to spell out over the phone or in person).

WordPress is a really great blog provider, so we do recommend using a WordPress site, but making sure you host it on your own domain instead of on WordPress’s domain.

How to get started with WordPress

After you have your domain and a host, you can get started with your website.

This is a short video that will help walk you through the steps of getting started. It covers:

  1. Create an account
  2. Host domain
  3. Pick a look
  4. Basic pages you need

This video is an extensive step-by-step process of everything you need to do to get your WordPress site up and running including finding and getting your domain and web hosting.

Don’t get caught up in being super customized and particular. Readability is most important so the focus should be on a clear and professional looking blog.

Now that you’ve got your simple and classy website set up, now it’s time to jump back into blog planning and posting.

Blog Topic Ideas

You don’t have to be revolutionary to stand out. What you need is to be educational, resourceful, and an advisor so that you can help your readers avoid mistakes or prepare for a best case scenario.

You can do so much if you keep these types of blog posts in mind when coming up with blog topic ideas.

How to __fill in the blank with a certain result__

Example: How to Avoid 5 Biggest First Time Buyer Mistakes

Who / What / When / Where / Why

Example: What insurance do I need to buy a car?

Example: How can I lower my closing costs as a seller?

Lists of helpful information or resources

Example: Keys to Home Buying Resource List

An Ultimate Guide with extensive information 

Example: A Complete Guide to Closing Costs

If you need some inspiration, read through 10 Ways to Grow Your Email List with Lead Magnets to get some ideas you can use in blog posts as well.

Before you start writing don’t forget to do these 3 things

  1. Have a captivating first paragraph. This is all the real estate you get to grab someone’s attention to get them to keep on reading. 
  2. Explain what you’re covering in your post and how it will benefit the reader (this comes after your first paragraph)
  3. A handy content outline so you can have headers throughout your post that make key points stand out. This is especially important if you have a lot of information to share with your readers – you don’t want them getting overwhelmed and skipping out on you.

Now that you’ve got…

  • a topic
  • an outline
  • a captivating intro

… it’s time to write the rest of your blog by fleshing out your outline. You want to aim for 800-1,000 word count (minimum) per blog post. Remember to incorporate an ask from your reader so you can encourage a way to stay in touch and connected. Whether you want them to follow your Facebook or Instagram page, to join your monthly newsletter, or to schedule a free consultation, make sure you’re including this call-to-action (CTA) so you can remain connected and build your email list and followers. You can get more CTA ideas from our post 7 Call-To-Action Phrases That Get Visitors Clicking.

One of the final steps before posting your blog is to go through this final sanity checklist.

Final Checklist

  • Catchy title
  • Awesome intro
  • Knowledge to empower readers
  • Spelling and grammar check (use Grammarly for free for a sanity check)
  • Call-to-Action for another interaction

Once you can confidently check off all these steps, you’re off to the races!