Have you been contemplating whether or not to start your own blog? Would you like to have a detailed and explanatory step-by-step guide on how to start a blog today? If you do, then today is the day you’ve been waiting for as we’ll go with you hand in hand into all the details you need to get your blog up and running in 2018.
While many of us who are already in the business will tell you it is a difficult journey, the truth is that many people often have to learn things the hard way especially since many of us do not have the opportunity of having a manual or something like this tutorial on our way through. This article will take you through all the steps you’ll go through and how you can get everything in order to achieve whatever goals may have propelled you to start this interesting adventure.
This article will help you as a beginner to easily set up your blog for success and fulfillment. While we may have decided to package this into an ebook to be sold to interested individuals, I’ve decided to keep it FREE to make it accessible to each and every one of our readers. So, right now, the ball is all in your court and today is the day you’ll get the ball rolling. You have nothing to fear, remember, I am always here if ever you get stuck and need a hand.
To start with this how to start a blog guide, how about we discuss what a blog really is? It’s such a simple question, right? Nevertheless, let’s start off with that.
What is a ‘Blog’ or ‘Web Log’ Actually?
It’s no doubt you must have heard those words a million times. The truth is that a lot of people can’t really differentiate between a website and a blog due to the great similarities between both. A blog may be described like a journal or diary that is mostly maintained by a person, the blogger. While many blogs are private, most are often available on the internet for others to see and contribute.
Blogs are usually updated regularly. This may be daily, weekly or monthly. The topic of discussion varies with different blogs and you can blog about just anything you like. Bloggers seem to be passionate a specific topic though and discussions always seem to revolve around this topic. If you find your passion or need to do something new, why not start a blog?
Should You Start A Blog Now?
While blogging is not for everybody, if you certainly have the will and passion, why not start? Most people I’ve spoken with have always tried to justify why they’re still holding back with reasons that lie around their inability to write quality and readable content among others. But hey! You don’t have to write with the prowess of Shakespeare before you can succeed as a blogger.
You also do not necessarily need to be an expert in your chosen field to become a successful blogger. All you need to start a successful blog has to do with your passion and will. With a little bit of learning and experience here and there doing what you are passionate about, you’ll be surprised at how far you would have arrived after a while.
Why then should you start a blog? Whether your intention is to start a blog and make money or you’re looking to share your passion with the rest of the world and people like yourself, there is a lot you stand to benefit when it comes to starting a blog. Let’s check out some of these.
1. Sharing your story with your audience
A blog is called a blog because it gives you the opportunity to share your mind with your readers and all. Through a blog, you can share your story with the world. You can bare your mind, voice out your thoughts, inundate your readers with your opinions about certain things and share your story with the world. This is especially great if you are passionate about your chosen topic of concentration as you can always get to share your story with like-minded people.
2. Making money from home
What can be better than doing what you love and getting paid for it? Nothing, really. You can also make a decent income from blogging like others. This does not matter whether or not you are fully into it as even part-time bloggers with the right amount of dedication can still find it lucrative if done the right way.
3. Finding a community
Want to find a community of people who share the same passion with you? Then you can as well create it. Blogging is meant to be informational and interactive. People with interest in what you do would normally comment on your blog posts. Regularly interactions between you and your readers will connect you to them as you share experiences and opinions with each other.
4. Recognition for yourself or your brand or organization
Blogging is great and the opportunities are endless. A blog can help you gain more recognition in your field while also helping you generate more awareness for your brand, business or organization. It will give you a kind of recognition in your field and you’ll realize how people will refer to you as an expert in your field when you actually started out on a lower note.
Don’t be held back with the thinking that your niche or area of specialization is saturated. The internet is growing every day just as there are more and more bloggers coming onboard with each passing a day. No time is better than now and with this very easy-to-follow step on how to start a blog, you can easily make a name for yourself in your chosen field.
5. How to Start a Blog in Six Easy Steps
To make things easy for you, we’ve come up with the six basic steps that will cover everything from picking your domain name to publishing your very first blog post and making money off your blog. These steps are listed below after which we’ll go into the details one after the other.
- Choosing a domain name
- Getting a web hosting plan
- Choosing a blogging platform
- Setting up your WordPress blog
- Creating a content plan for blog posts
- Writing and publishing your first blog post
Now is the time to pay maximum attention as we’ll go into all the necessary details as regards how you can easily start your blog within a little time. If you take your time to read this, you’d hardly have any problem with starting your blog. If in the middle you find anything confusing, just make your thoughts known and I’ll be glad to be of help.
Step 1: Choosing your domain name
This is where it all begins. You have to choose a good blog name for your blog. This is because it is your identity and you know quite well that a name can convey more than you can imagine. How then can you choose a good blog name for your blog? By making sure that this name speaks very much about what you blog about.
Your blog name should say a lot about what you blog about. It has to be descriptive and provide insight into what the blog is all about. Your blog name will also give you an idea of what your domain name should be. The .com domain extension is the most preferred among bloggers but the .org and .net extensions are also perfectly okay.
Remember though that there are a few rules to choosing a domain name. Using spaces or punctuations other than a dash (-) between domain names are prohibited. You’ll have something like ‘singingwithjane.com’rather than ‘Singing With Jane’. So, once you have an idea of the domain name and extension you want, you’ll have to check if this is available.
You can check here to see if your chosen domain name is available.
If it happens that your chosen domain name is unavailable, you can do a few things to tweak this so you can still have your way. One way to go about this is by changing the domain extension. If the .com extension has been registered already, you can try out the .net or .org extension. You can also tweak this by adding small words such as ‘a’, ‘my’, ‘the’ and more to the blog name to make it unique. Londontravels.com could become thelondontravels.com. You can also add a dash (-) in between the words to create a difference. This way, you are still likely to get the perfect domain name of your choice.
Step 2: Getting a Web Hosting Plan
How to build a blog after choosing the domain name? The next part is getting a web hosting platform. A web hosting company is literally the company that helps store your blog files and will provide these files to your users whenever they search or type your blog name. Bluehost is by far the best web host I would recommend for both newbie bloggers and professionals alike. Why?
Bluehost is the web hosting platform I use myself together with a lot of other experienced bloggers out there. A series of things makes Bluehost the best web hosting platform if you want to start your blog and become successful with it. First of this is that Bluehost will help you register your blog name for free and ensure that no one else takes it. Installation of the WordPress blogging software is free and simple as we’ll show you later on in this article.
With Bluehost, you also have a responsive and ever attentive customer service. There is a money-back guarantee in case you find the service unsatisfactory. The platform is recommended even by WordPress and hosts millions of blogs and websites on its platform. Registering for your Bluehost web hosting platform through my link here will also ensure you enjoy the special $2.75/month discount price, meaning that Bluehost will also compensate me for the free service while you also enjoy the discounted price.
Setting up your web hosting plan is simple and easy as I’ll show you right now.
First, click on the Bluehost link in here to get started.
Secondly, select your plan from the different plans. Bluehost have three plans, the basic, plus and prime plans. The ‘basic plan’ is the most affordable and it is the one I recommend for beginner bloggers.
Thirdly, you’ll have to type in your domain name in either of the left or right box after choosing your plan. For existing domain names, you’ll enter this into the right box. The left box is for registering new domain names.
Fourthly, you’ll then fill in your billing details to purchase your plan, at this month, you’ll then be asked to choose your hosting package and option. You can choose from the 12 months, 24 months or 36 months package. You’ll see some boxes next to the other products. I usually uncheck these at the signup stage because it’s easy to get any of those whenever you need them later.
After you complete your purchase, you’ll be asked to create a password. You’ll then click on the ‘create your password’ link to choose a confidential and secure password. Creating this password will then allow you to get started.
Step 3: Choosing your blogging platform
The next step involves choosing and installing your preferred blogging software. There are various blogging platforms such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and more from which you can choose from. Whatever one you chose would be like the kitchen where in you cook all your delicacies. If you want the best like so many other people out there, I recommend sticking with WordPress. This is because it is more flexible and functional and it also has the largest community of users which is great and beneficial to the sharing of ideas and tools.
Choosing WordPress gives you two options. You can choose from either a Hosted WordPress blog that is free but can limit your income potential or a Self-Hosted WordPress platform that costs a little but gives you unlimited opportunities for earning. You can easily download this software to your computer and get started with it.
Step 4: Set up your WordPress Blog
After you choose a hosting plan and install WordPress as your preferred blogging software, then the next step will be to get started with setting up your WordPress blog. After you finish with the web hosting by creating a password and choosing the design template, you’ll see two icons onscreen asking whether you’d want to access your BlueHost account or if you want to ‘Start Building’ your blog.
You’ll then need to log in to your blog to start with your blog customization and setup process. You can also enter http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin on your browser but replace ‘yourblog.com’ with your domain name. This will bring out your login screen for you to put in your login details. If you’ve forgotten this, check the email that was sent to you from BlueHost as it will contain this info. Once you are logged in, you’ll find yourself in the WordPress admin area, this is where all the changes, design and everything gets done.
Changing your blog design
When using WordPress, your blog layout is known as the theme. They determine the appearance and control the design of your blog. You’ll see the ‘Appearance’ tab on the left menu, this is where you can find plenty of themes already available for you to use on your blog. You can easily select from one of this unless there is another specific design on your mind.
To choose a theme, all you have to do is hover over the theme and then click the ‘Activate’ button. If by chance you don’t like any of the pre-installed themes, you can choose from thousand other free themes with the ‘Add New’ tab. You can even search for themes by filtering out what you want with the ‘Feature Filter’ tab. This will help you find new themes based on layout, color, and some other criteria. You can then check the boxes as you will see here and click the ‘Apply Filter’ tab. This will then help you search for themes that match your criteria. You can then choose whichever you like by clicking the blue ‘Install’ button. You can then activate the new theme by clicking the ‘Activate’ button.
As soon as these changes are made, it would reflect on your blog. Although there are a lot of other customizations that you can do, changing your theme is by far the simplest customization you can make to impact the layout and appearance of your blog.
Step 5: Create a blog content strategy
If one thing will help you succeed on your journey as a blogger, it is writing out and sticking to an effective content strategy. Apart from helping to increase your chances of success, a clear and precise strategy will save you hours of time which may have been spent righting on the wrong topics, working with the wrong influencers or running the wrong campaign strategies. How then can you create a blog content strategy that will help you drive home more traffic for much success with your blogging career?
A great blog content strategy should answer three important questions. It should answer questions regarding why you are creating the content in the first place, what content you’ll need and how you can get the content to accomplish your goals. Follow the following steps if you want to create a great content plan for your blog.
Define your goals
Set your goals, have definite targets, albeit realist. This is because your goal is your reason and the strength of your goal will impact your success.
Perform some market research
Since your audience is the target of everything you’d be doing, it is important to carry out a little bit of research. Ask yourself a few questions. Where is my audience most likely to be found online? What seems to be their biggest gripe at work and what sort of articles would they enjoy reading?
Come up with topic ideas and target keywords
Keywords are the foundation of an effective content strategy and without them, you’d find it difficult to climb the ranks on search engines. Find some of those keywords you want to rank for and write amazing and high-quality content on those. Work on getting backlinks to the article in a moderate way that won’t trigger Google. Also remember too that keywords should not take full control of all your content, do not let the obsession with keywords prevent you from writing other equally great topics.
Create a content calendar
Having a content calendar is great and will help you ensure your content is first class and always published on time. The calendar should also incorporate social sharing and email marketing information within it to ensure everything is done in an easy and organized way.
Build great content
After you’ve carefully observed all of the above, having clear-cut definite goals, know why and who you write for and having a great content calendar, then the next step with your how to start a blog successfully is to assemble and build amazing content. Don’t just write for the sake of it, put in all your effort, time and dedication into every piece.
A great content is one that is well-written with proper grammar and spelling while also avoiding the unnecessary use of complex words. Ensure it is highly researched and properly formatted. Do well to also make it media-rich with pictures, videos and more.
Step 6: Write and publish your first post
After you are through with the steps above, then the next is to get off to a great start. Write and publish your first blog post. How do you do this? Head over to the left menu and click on the ‘’Posts’’ tab. You’ll find out there is a default post in there already. Do not fret as that is the case with all WordPress blogs. You can easily delete this by clicking the ‘Trash’ tab just under the post.
To start with your new post, click the ‘Add New’ tab. This will then bring you the post editor screen where you can write in your topic in the upper box and your actual post in the lower box. Click on the ‘Select Files’ tab if you’d like to add media files such as pictures to your post. You can easily make an adjustment to the picture size on the screen. Just press ‘Insert into post’ when you’re ready to add the picture. Once done with the post, click on the ‘Publish’ tab on the right side of the screen to publish your post.
Your blog may still be showing a ‘Coming soon’ page even after writing a post. What you should do at this stage is to click the ‘Launch’ button in the administrator area of your Bluehost account. This will make your blog public and remove the coming soon page.
With the right content and effective promotion strategies, your blog is set forth on its way to achieving incredible success.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do People Blog About?
This is one the common questions people often ask along with how to start a blog. If there is anything you’re so passionate about, then you can easily blog about it. If you’re not really sure how to go about this, let me provide you a little expo.
You can blog about your hobbies and passion
If you’ve got a great hobby you’re passionate about, you can easily launch this into a successful blogging career. Think about how much you love the bike race, the football you’re fond of and just about anything that inspires you.
You can blog about life experiences
You can easily blog about your life experience in life as there are others in your shoe that would definitely have much interest in learning from your experience and sharing their own experience with others. Whether this experience has to do with your family, your job or other aspects of life, there is always that possibility of building a great blog around this if you are well-versed on how to start your blog and get it on to an excellent start.
You could start a personal blog
A personal blog would often include various topics from your daily life, your random thoughts, things and activities you do on a daily as well as your thoughts and opinion. This blog gives you the perfect avenue to share your thoughts with others without being confined to the space of one topic.
Why is Finding the Best Web Hosting Important
Choosing your domain name is not going to make your website live for everyone to see. This is the responsibility of your hosting company. You’ll have noticed how deeply we emphasized the issue of web hosting in step 2 above. It is because you would greatly need the best hosting company. For reasons that center around reliability and dependability, I can vouch for BlueHost from my own personal experience as well as from the experience and opinions of others all over the world.
That said, if you’re wondering about why a web hosting platform is so important, this part of the article is for you. Your web hosting company will provide you with server space. You’ll hire this server space and bandwidth on lease. Your purchase of the web hosting plan, therefore, means you’ve been allocated a space on the World Wide Web server wherein your multiple web pages with the content, pictures and all other files are stored and made accessible to the whole internet world. The best web hosting platforms provide your website multiple features that include;
Disk Space Allocation
This disk space is the amount of storage that your hosting company would often provide you for the storage of your blog content. This is one of the greatest and most important reasons why you should only go for the best web hosting companies as they’d guarantee you the needed storage space for all of your content.
Your hosting company’s bandwidth will determine the speed at which readers and your visitors can quickly access files and blog content on your blogs. The bandwidth is simply the amount of data a website can transfer and process over a period of time. More bandwidth, in this case, means more speed. And because the search engines love web pages that are faster, your chances of success would be further improved with the use of a web hosting company with excellent bandwidth.
Need to find your way out of a hitch or some technical issues, the best web hosting platforms ensure that there are always customer care workers always on deck to get you through whatever issue you may be facing at any time.
The uptime is simply the percentage of time that a hosting company stays up and running. This is another reason why only the best web hosting company would do for your blog.
Cost of the package
As much as you’d want the best, you’d also want the most valuable, when you compare the offers and pricing of most of the top hosting companies, BlueHost still offers the greatest value.
The best web hosting platforms would also allow you to create pages with programming languages along with the web hosting package. The opportunities are endless and it gets better by the day.
If you follow the procedures and guidelines above, your own story of how to start a blog will definitely turn out to be beautiful. Even though we are not guaranteeing it to be a bed of roses, you’ll surely have a great story to tell if you put in the right amount of work in the right places. I look forward to hearing your own story. If ever you’ll need a friend to help you along in your journey, I’ll always be here for you.