Do you want to know how to start a blog?
Well, it’s a quick process, and at the end of the day, it yields you some exceptional results.
But before you get into the step-by-step guide on how to start a blog, you need to understand what blog actually is and why it is crucial.
What is a Blog?
A blog formerly referred to as a weblog is an informal diary-style article or post that is published in a World Wide Web. The posts here are usually the written contents based on any topic of interest of a blogger with the aim of attracting readers and generating income. Blogs function as a commentary or information sharing platform, a showcase of arts, teaching hub, online personal diary, and in many cases an online brand advertising tool.
A typical blog is the combination of related texts, images, videos, and reference links to the related pages on the web. On a webpage, the blogs are published in a reverse chronological order where the most recent posts appear at the top of the webpage.
One of the major benefits of starting a blog is the direct connection among the blogger and readers that allow interaction and sharing of ideas about the topic. The building up of such connections also helps a lot in making money and is considered as part of the success of a blog.
Why Should You Start a Blog?
If you want to share your ideas and thoughts on a larger platform, the blog is for you. You can also start a blog if you want to build a community for any cause. It has also become a favorable platform for those who want to explain the working of their services and products to a larger community of people.
With the help of a blog, you can share the information about the latest update of your brand to your followers. Simply, a blog can help to educate, inform, promote, and sell your ideas as well as products to a larger mass of people connected through the internet. However, it can be fruitful only if you are clear about the purpose of your blog and the message you want to convey through it from the very beginning.
One does not need to be an experienced writer to become a successful blogger. The only requirement is a passion for your topic. You can start your own blog regardless of your age, qualification, location, and experiences.
Following are the several reasons that make blogging more enjoyable.
- It enhances writing skills:
Several studies have proven that writing blogs can positively enhance writing skills as well as the analytical skills of an individual. It has also been proven that the creation of blogs helps improve one’s vocabulary, grammar, and spellings along with their thought process.
- It increases expertise and self-confidence:
When you write about a certain topic regularly, you acquire a certain level of expertise in the very topic. More writing requires more research on the topic which eventually helps you gain more knowledge. Blogging also allows interaction with your readers which helps you gain different ideas and perceptions on the topic thereby increasing confidence in your topic area.
- It helps in making money from home:
Blogging can be quite profitable if done in the correct way. There are many top bloggers who earn huge amounts of money, but there are also part-time bloggers who earn a nice profit. One of the primary benefits of blogging is the passive income generated by every post. You can create a post spending certain hours and it can continue to generate money in the future.
- It allows sharing your ideas and stories:
Blogging allows a larger platform for your voice to be heard. There are bloggers who write about their daily lives in order to make everyone the part of their lives.
It helps you share your stories and personal experiences with the entire world which also opens a path for new opportunities on both personal and professional levels.
- It provides recognition for business or yourself:
A successful blog has a tendency to turn your business idea into reality and help you gain recognition in your field. There are various success stories of bloggers who have hyped their business profit with the help of blogs and also there are many examples of people who are offered to write books, movie scripts, etc. because of their blogs.
Steps to Start Blogging
For successful blogging, certain steps must be followed which are described below:
1. Selecting a Perfect Domain Name and Niche for Your Blog
The initial step in starting your blog is finding a perfect name and niche. The blog name is the first thing about your blog that a reader sees, so it must represent the topic you are writing about. For example: “yourblogname.com” gives the reader a general idea about what they are going to read in your blog. The name can also be changed later when you find your perfect groove as moving forward during blogging.
The niche of a blog is a general topic that you are focusing on the contents of your blog. The topics like food, lifestyle, fashion, travel, celebrities, technology, etc. come under the niche of the blog. You should have a clear idea about the niche you are adapting. You must be very sure about your topic so that you can be descriptive and the contents in your blog resemble each other. These niche blogs are very easy in monetizing as they usually contain advertisements, affiliate links, etc.
If you are indecisive about the topic to write about, here are some ways to find them.
Everyone has certain hobbies and interests like cooking, photography, books, traveling, fashion, sports, etc. You can explain about your experiences with these passions of yours and connect with your readers. You can provide information on these topics and become successful as there are a lot of readers with similar hobbies as your own.
- Life experiences:
Everyone in this world has a share of their life experiences and the learning’s through those experiences. You can start by sharing your experiences as well. Suppose you are a web developer then you can share about your daily work, courses you have taken for the role, hardships you have faced, etc. with your readers and connect with them and help those who aspire to become like you.
- Personal life:
You can also create a personal blog with different interesting areas of yourself. You can include various topics like your daily life, thoughts, family, interests, and you can also showcase your talent in the blog. This kind of blog isn’t limited to a certain topic so you can include every aspect of your life as your wish.
2. Getting Your Blog Online
After deciding on the niche and name, it’s time to choose the blogging platform to get your blogs online. The technical part starts from this step. There are two things needed for running your blog online: blog hosting and software for blogging. Usually, you can find these things in one place. Blog Host is a company that stores the files of your blog and delivers its content to the users whenever the user searches for your domain name. Similarly, the software is needed to build a blog. The most frequently used blogging platform is WordPress as it is easy to use and customize.
For the beginners, the blog host recommended is the Bluehost. It is mostly preferred because of the following reasons.
- It allows free domain registration for first year.
- It offers free and simple installation of the WordPress software.
- It is reliable and has been hosting millions of websites and blogs in today’s date.
- It includes customer service via chat or phone which is available 24/7.
- If you are unsatisfied with it for any reason, you can get a refund within 60 days.
To set up a WordPress blog with the Bluehost, the following steps must be followed:
Step 1: Get Started
You should visit the Bluehost site to get started. Now, you should click on the “Get Started Now” button.
Step 2: Select Your Plan
Now, it is time to select your plan. For the first-ever blog, it is recommended to select the ‘basic’ plan that costs you $3.95. You can change your plan to ‘plus’ or ‘pro’ as you succeed in blogging.
Step 3: Set Up Your Domain Name
After the selection of a plan, you are directed to the domain set up page. Here, you should type the domain name you have selected for your blog in the box named “new domain”. The BlueHost will show whether the domain name you entered is already in use or not. In case the domain name you have selected is not available, the BlueHost itself will provide you with similar names to choose from.
Step 4: Billing Details
After finalizing the domain name, you reach the registration page. You must enter your personal information including your billing information in the respective boxes.
Step 5: Options for Hosting Packages
You need to carefully select your hosting package which makes sure that your blog runs, includes free domain name, free and easy WordPress installation, branded email accounts, and web hosting. There are packages for 12 months and 36 months and you can choose among them according to your needs and budget. There are also other products with the pre-checked boxes which you can uncheck and can later add them according to your need.
Step 6: Create a Bluehost Account
Finally, you need to create a BlueHost account and confirm it through the email sent to you. Then you are redirected to installation and tutorials. You should click on the blue “WordPress” button in order to be logged in as an admin of your blog. After that, you are taken to the dashboard for creating your website.
3. Designing Your Blog i.e. Finding the Right Theme for Your Blog
After the creation of the Bluehost account, it is time for the customization of your blog. You can design every bit of layout (referred in WordPress as ‘theme’) of your blog be it the color of your blog to the fonts and many more. To achieve this, you must follow two steps; logging in and changing the design, which is described below:
- Logging In:
If you are logged in from the previous step then you can directly proceed to change the design. Otherwise, you must visit “Bluehost.com” and click on “login” which is located at the top right corner of the screen. Then, you should enter your login credentials. In case you forget your password you can always recover it by clicking on the “Forget Password” link. Once you are logged in, you get redirected to the Bluehost portal from where you can click on the “WordPress” button to get automatically logged on to your WordPress blog.
- Changing the Design:
After logging in, you find yourself in the administrator area of your WordPress. All the magic starts in this area where you can make every change that you want in your blog. One of the major benefits of using WordPress is that one can change the entire design and layout of the page with just a few numbers of clicks.
In order to change the blog theme, you should click on the “Appearance” tab on the vertical menu bar on the left side of your screen. Here, you can see different themes that have been already installed and from where you can choose one theme as per your preferences. Once you have decided on the theme, hover over it and click on the “Activate” button. You can now witness that the entire design of your blog has been changed.
If you did not like the installed theme then you can click on the “Appearance” tab and click on “Add New Theme”. You can also browse for the themes by clicking on “Add Themes” and can install the desired theme by clicking on the blue-colored “Install” button. In order to activate, you must always click on the “Activate” button.
Similarly, you can change the way your navigation menu looks by just clicking on the “Menu” option that appears after clicking on the “Appearance” tab. Also, you can customize the color, title, and taglines, header images, background images, etc. from the “Customize” option that lies beneath the “Appearance” tab. Not only this, but you can also change the URLs, user details, and also can add plug-ins as desired.
4. Writing Content for Your Blog and Publishing It
After all these technicalities, you finally reach the step for actual blogging. To write a blog post, you should click on the “Posts” tab on the left menu bar which lies some steps up from the “Appearance” tab. You will see the default post there which you can delete by clicking on the trash icon just below the post. You should click on the “Add New” link to begin your writing.
In the uppermost block, you should enter the title of your blog, and in the lower box; you can begin writing your blog. If you want to add pictures, you can click on “Add Image” and then on “Upload” in order to upload a picture from your computer. Here, you can also adjust the size of your image. After the adjustment, you can click on “Insert into Post” options to upload your image.
After you have finished creating your post, you can publish it on your site by simply clicking on the “Publish” button that is located at the top right side of the screen. When you are sure that your post is ready to go online, you should click on the “Bluehost” menu which can be seen in the administrator area. Then, you should click on the blue-colored “Launch” button. This step can also be carried out when there is a “Coming Soon” page showing after you click on “Publish”. Now you are ready to successfully start your first blog post and then publish it online.
- Contents That Must Be in Your Blog:
The two main kinds of content that every blog should contain are static content and dynamic content.
On the other hand, are the dynamic pages that contain the most important part of the blog i.e the actual content of your blog. These are the contents that readers are usually in your blog for. You should post your posts in a certain interval of time to gain traffic for your blog.
- Tips for Writing Great Content
- Every successful blog is informative and engaging to readers. The contents of the blogs must be interesting and lively. Few elements that every blog must include are:
- The title of every blog post must be alluring for readers and the first paragraph of your post must genuinely define the topic.
- Longer blog posts are preferred over the shorter ones as the longer are more informative. longer post does not mean that you create long paragraphs so make sure that you divide your posts into small paragraphs. However, you should not include unnecessary content to make your blog longer.
- Asking questions to the readers at the end of the blog keeps them engaging in your blogs.
- The text, images, videos, and every content in your blog must be original. You can take ideas from related articles but the final contents must be purely original. Otherwise, it could lead to various consequences.
- Your post must be free of grammatical and spelling errors as these speak highly unprofessional behavior.
- Some Do’s and Don’ts
- Your blog should always be well constructed so that it can attract many readers. Unstructured blogs are not preferred by users which can make you lose your readers and possible income.
- Your content must be very descriptive and be of some value for your readers. It should in any way never hurt your reader or anybody’s sentiments.
- You should always make your content look attractive and qualitative. It must also be made easily accessible without any attached links.
- Pop-up and giant banner ads are the biggest turn-offs for readers so make sure your content doesn’t include them. Otherwise, you may lose your readers.
5. Promoting your blog
The main purpose of creating a blog is only served when it is able to garner the attention of its possible readers. It can only be possible from the promotion of your blog especially when you have just started blogging. All of your hard work and interesting articles go in vain if no one reads it so promotion is a very essential part of blogging. Some of the activities that can be performed for the straightforward promotion of your blogs are:
- Inform Your Inner Circle About Your Blogs:
You can share the links of your blogs to your friends and families through messages and social media platforms. You can also ask them to share your blogs with their circles. In this way, you can create a chain of sharing for promotional purposes and gain a maximum number of reads.
- Collaborate with Similar Bloggers:
You can always collaborate with bloggers of similar niche as your own and work for mutual benefit. The ways of collaboration include promoting each other’s posts, guest posting, and regularly interacting through comments in each other’s posts.
- Create Social Media for Your Blog:
You can always create various social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter and add potential followers to those accounts. You can post links of your every blog in these accounts for your followers to read. One of the great and clever ways to increase reads of your posts is to use hashtags.
- Use Search Engines:
- Use Bookmarking Sites:
There are several bookmarking sites like Reddit, Quora, Scoop. It, etc. with a large number of users around the world where people/ readers search for various contents of their interests. These sites can allow your blogs to gain exposure to its potential readers in a larger platform who search for the contents from your niche.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization):
You can apply optimization techniques in order to gain more traffic from the search engines. You need to remember that the search engine result becomes better with time and with the addition of more content in your blog. More traffic leads to more audience for your blogs. Some of the fundamental elements of SEO techniques are wrapping of header tags, categorization of posts, and so on.
- Advertising for Paid Traffic:
Proper use of the paid media can help your blogs get more exposure which eventually leads to more audience. Some of the paid traffic platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Google AdWords, etc.
- Create an Email List:
Email marketing plays a vital role in increasing traffic on your blog. You can acquire email addresses of your readers and notify them about every new post on your blog with a simple email. This makes your readers come back to read your new posts increasing reads of your posts.
6. Making Money Through Your Blogs
Once the creation and promotion of the blog are finished, tiring and hard work is finished. Generating money from your blog is the easiest part of blogging. Every blog in this world has a tendency to become extremely profitable. However, money does not start to flow from the very beginning, it requires time and patience.
Creating content and getting audiences demands hard work and dedication but there are some easy ways to monetize your blog which are described below. You can consider possibilities for your blog and can select the right one for your blog.
- Advertising and Sponsored Posts:
A successful blog always attracts a certain amount of advertisers and sponsors hence it has become the best way of earning through blogs. The use of platforms like Google AdSense can be very advantageous. Google AdSense divides profit to itself and you but if you advertise products or services of private sponsors, earning can be all yours.
Creating a membership option on a blog is one of the methods of monetization through blogs. It includes making exclusive contents of your blog available to your readers only after certain payments. You can write private blogs for members and earn accordingly.
- Affiliate Programs:
Image source – hubspot
- Selling Your Services and Products:
You can always use your blog for showcasing your talent and entrepreneurial side and use it to sell your services and products. You can add plug-ins in your blog that offers shopping cart, product pages, payment, and checkout options from which you can use your blog as a personal e-commerce site.
In this world of the internet, every imaginable activity for entertainment and income generation has been possible despite your location. Websites and blogs are an integral part of the internet from which people are earning more than ever. Everyone with the simplest to complex hobbies has the ability to become a blogger without having extensive technical knowledge and experience.
It only takes passion for your topic, knowledge on hosting, and blogging platforms along with some traffic increasing and monetization techniques. WordPress and Bluehost are considered as the best blogging platform and Blog host which have also been recommended by top bloggers.
So if you are new to the world of blogging, guidance provided in this article can be very fruitful.