Have you been looking for a simple step by step guide on how to start a blog? This free guide will help you learn how to create a blog that is not only functional but also beautiful.
Starting a blog can be intimidating and overwhelming. Using the most basic computer skills, you can create a great blog. It doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 77. Creating a blog takes less than twenty minutes. When I first learned how to start a blog, I made a lot of mistakes. Therefore, you’ll have a better experience because you’ll avoid repeating some of these mistakes. If you get stuck anywhere in this process, don’t hesitate to seek help.
In essence, a blog is a form of a website that mainly focuses on written content which is popularly known as blog posts. In our modern world, we often hear of celebrity blogs and new blogs. However, you can start a functional blog on any topic of your choice.
In most cases, bloggers usually write from a personal perspective. This allows them to connect directly with their audiences. Additionally, most blogs have a section where the audience can communicate with the blogger. Interacting with your audiences in this section will help you create connections and bond with their audience.
This direct connection is one of the major benefits of starting your blog. This connection enables you to interact and share your brilliant ideas with other people. Having the loyalty and trust of your readers will open up the door to wealth from your blog gradually.
Why start a blog?
One of the biggest misconceptions about starting a blog is you need to be an exceptional writer to succeed in the long run. People will read your blog posts to get your perspective on things. Therefore, most bloggers write conversationally and informally.
Additionally, you don’t have to be an expert on your preferred topic for your blog to be successful. For instance, audiences of a cooking blog don’t want to waste their time reading a complex textbook from a scientist. They want to know the experiences of someone who has done what they want to do.
To become a successful blogger, you have to be passionate about your preferred topic. In general, blogging is all about sharing your knowledge with your audience. Choosing a topic that genuinely interests and excites you makes the blogging process easy. Writing about multiple topics is great too. The most important thing is writing about topics that you are genuinely interested in.
Here are some of the best reasons to start a blog:
- To generate revenue: Blogging is quite lucrative if it’s done correctly. Some of the best bloggers earn a lot of money. Even a part-time blogger can make a substantial profit if he or she does things in the right way. The best thing about blogging is that it generates passive income. You can spend a couple of hours a week blogging and then continue making money from it after the blog post has been written.
- Sharing your story: A blog enables you to share your story and get heard. You can share your story with the whole world whenever you want to. Most people use their blogs as diaries. They record their daily experiences and routines so that their friends and loved ones can be a part of their lives.
- Recognition of your business or self: You probably won’t have journalists following you around because you published a blog post. However, a successful blog will turn your ideas into reality and help you get recognized in your chosen field. Most bloggers are usually recognized as experts simply because they have a blog. Some have gone ahead to get movie and book deals.
- To interact with the community: Blogging is a great way to interact. You write and publish a blog post. And people write comments. This is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests to you. Blogging allows you to educate people based on your knowledge and experience. It allows you to learn from your audience too.
The best part is the internet is growing at an exponential rate right now. There are more people online like never before. This exponential growth means more potential for your audience. If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog, the best time is now.
Starting your blog
As do my assignment service reports, starting a blog is pretty easy. As we said earlier, it won’t take more than twenty minutes for you to start a blog after reading this simple guide.
1. Find a blog name
The first step to starting a blog is picking a blog name. If you don’t know what to blog about, here are a few simple ways to find a good topic for your blog:
- Hobbies and passions: Hobbies and any other interests that you love are a nice place to start. It could be cooking, sports, fashion, cars, or travel. Even blogging can be a hobby since your audience is anyone in the world who can listen to you.
- Life experiences: Everyone has made mistakes and learned several important lessons in life. Sharing this knowledge will help others in similar conditions. There are a lot of things that you have experienced in your life. This could be linked to your work, family, or life experiences such as traumatic events or disease.
- A personal blog: A personal blog is entirely about you. This may include several topics ranging from your thoughts, the things you do every day, and your emotions. This is one of the best ways to share your thoughts and interests with the world without having to stick with one topic only.
A good blog name has to be descriptive. This enables the potential reader to tell what your blog is about instantly just by reading the name. If you are blogging about a specific topic, you’ll want to include it in your blog name in some way. However, don’t get hung up on one name. For instance, a cooking blog doesn’t have to contain the word “cooking”. You can use the words “recipes”, “meals” or “food”. If you are talking about different topics, you should consider using your name.
2. Get your blog online
After picking a name, you need to get your blog online. This may sound difficult and technical. However, we are going to share with you a few simple tips that will make this process easy. For your blog to function, you need two things – blog hosting and blogging software. The best part is these two things come bundled together.
A blog host is a company that stores all your blog files and delivers them when the user types in the blog’s name. To have a blog, you have to have a blog host. You also need software to build the blog. In this article, we are going to show you how to create a blog using WordPress since it’s the easiest to use, popular and customizable. Apart from WordPress, other alternatives include:
- Blogger – The second best thing after WordPress
- Tumblr– Half blog and half social media. Simple to use and interesting.
- Self-hosting vs Free alternative
This is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make during this process. You need to decide whether you’ll grab a free blog or pay for one. WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr all offer free blogs. It’s a great alternative for those who aren’t too serious about blogging. However, it has its disadvantages:
You won’t get your domain name. Most free blogs have an ugly web address. When you create a free blog with any of the services that above, you should expect something like:
- Limits: Free blog users have a lot of limitations. First, you can’t monetize it fully. And, there is no possibility of uploading all the images and videos that you’d like to share with your audience. Worse, you won’t have access to free themes offered by these services.
- You don’t own the blog: This might sound silly. But the truth is you don’t own a blog. You host it on someone else’s property on the internet. This means that they can delete it whenever they want to. They have done it in the past. And they’ll keep doing it in the future. This means that the time and energy that you’ve invested in the blog can vanish in seconds.
On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog, you will have your domain name. This means that you are the owner of your blog. You’ll have the power to name your blog whatever you want. You can also end it with any suffix of your choice such as .com, .net, and .org to name a few. You can also upload countless images, videos, and use free themes.
How much does it cost to host and have a domain name? Not as expensive as you think. The price ranges from $5 to $10 per month depending on the hosting provider.
3. Start a blog on your domain name
We are going to focus on WordPress because it’s the best service provider when it comes to websites and blogs. If you are still confused about self-hosting, let’s discuss it and the best way to set up one for yourself.
You’ll have to come up with a domain name and choose a hosting company. The domain is the URL of your site. For instance, Instagram.com or LinkedIn.com. You get it now? Simple!
As we said earlier, a hosting company is a company that puts your site on the internet so that your audience can see it. All your files will be saved here. Think of it as the internet’s hard drive. There are a lot of hosting companies online. Some of the most popular companies include BlueHost and Hostgator.
Once WordPress has been installed on your site, all you’ll have to do to start publishing content is to visit your admin page. At first, the layout will look confusing. But you’ll understand it quickly.
4. Design your blog
This is the best part. It’s time to make your blog look at how you envisioned it on your mind. To choose a new theme on WordPress, click on the Appearance section, and then on themes. You can also buy a theme for like forty bucks on premium sites like ThemeForest.net.
You should always go for something that is easy to customize and looks professional. WordPress has an awesome feature that enables you to change themes with a few clicks. Therefore, if your current blog template is starting to look boring, you can change it without losing your images or valuable content.
Keep in mind that the design of your blog should reflect your personality and the content of your blog. You don’t have to have a basketball-oriented theme if your blog is about football.
Apart from that, it should be easy to navigate if you want your visitors to stick around. If it’s difficult to navigate, no one will stay. After all, there are lots of other blogs that your target market can use to get the information they need. Nobody likes crappy websites. And they hate websites that are too difficult to understand.
5. Start writing and promoting your content
After designing and customizing your blog, you have to learn how to create content. In the world of blogging, content refers to valuable information that you share with your audience. Your content has to be valuable for people to sacrifice their time on your site and keep coming back for more. So, how do you create quality content?
1. Know your target market
Who are your readers? What do they expect from you? You need to know the wants of your audience before you start writing and publishing. Remember, you are not writing for yourself but for your audience. Define your target market and understand the problems that they are facing so that you can resolve them.
This is one of the best ways to get their attention and build a long-lasting relationship with them. Keep in mind that people spend most of their time thinking about themselves. Therefore, you can boost the performance of your blog by showing your readers that you genuinely care about their wellbeing.
2. Focus on what you’re qualified to discuss – don’t fake anything
If you are a mechanic and you start a blog about football or fishing, your readers will be skeptical. To become an authority in your industry, you need to be knowledgeable in the field. After identifying your niche, you need to go all-in and cover everything about it.
After conducting your research, you’ll discover your target market’s problems and help in solving them effectively. Publishing articles that are focused on solving your readers’ problems will help you get the attention of your audience and achieve your long-term goals.
3. Be original or come up with a fresh approach
To become a successful blogger, you have to avoid copying others. Copying others or publishing herd content is when you replicate the things you see on other sites in the same niche as you. You need to be creative to publish unique and high-quality articles.
Whenever you can, take the original approach. While there is nothing new under the sun, you can always find a unique way to approach your subject of interest. Some of the characteristics of a fresh blog post include:
- Unique voice tone
- Lots of data to support your theory
- Visuals and screenshots to make the post easy to consume
- Use of stories and analogies
- Your theory works from different angles
4. Answer your audience questions
The web is a huge source of information. And most people searching online want to be assisted. Searches are focused on solving problems that users face. Content marketing works by helping people, answering their questions, and offering comprehensive and practical solutions.
Articles exist to provide important information. An article that doesn’t answer questions or solve problems is of little value. And it’s not going to engage, inspire, or connect with your readers.
5. Focus on quality not and not quantity
Many studies have been conducted to find out the ideal length for an article. And most of them have shown that a long article gets more views than a short one. The logic behind this is longer posts get more shares on social media platforms and they are likely to get more views due to research and quality.
However, just because an article is long doesn’t always mean that it contains valuable information. It’s better to write a short and concentrated article than a long and vague one. Always remember – quality comes first.
After writing your first blog post, don’t be in a hurry to publish. You need to read it at least three times to spot spelling and grammatical errors. You should also consider sending it over to a friend or a professional to help you find more errors. After writing and publishing successfully, don’t forget to update the information as time goes by.
John Peterson is a journalist and writer with 4 years’ experience working in the London magazine “Shop&buy”. He is a professional mini-tennis player and he has written the novel “His heart”. You can find him on FB.