Blogging is many things for many people. For some, it is just a hobby. For others, it is a means to express their opinion. Then for some, it is a way to earn money. Blogging can be any of these things for you too. Blogging is not just for businesses. You can benefit professionally, personally and financially from it. Start a blog to help you reach out to millions of people who are connected to the internet and who are active on it.
Here is a graph from the State of the Blogging Industry report by ConvertKit that shows why people start blogging:
Blogs are a great way to share your ideas with the world. They have become a popular medium of expression and information sharing. Blogs give you great freedom of creative expression. You can share textual content, audios, images and videos, depending on what you want to publish, your interest area and your comfort with the publishing format. You can share anything you want with the world with just a few clicks, right from the comfort of your home.
The popularity of blogs has increased exponentially over the past few years. Figures from WordPress are an interesting read – WordPress states that an estimated 409 million people visit almost 23.6 billion of its pages every month. Bloggers write 69.5 million posts through WordPress blogs each month. This shows the widespread acceptability of blogs as the medium of expression and this popularity is not expected to wane any time soon.
Most of us know what a blog is because we read blogs all the time, and appreciate some of them enough to want to return to them time and again. In fact, that’s how bloggers earn money from their blogs. The more the blog readership, the more money they can make. Blogs are a continuing source of information for a wide number of people right from students to housewives and from tech enthusiasts to sports fans and more.
If you are somebody who wants to know how to start a blog and begin your blogging journey, you have come to the right place. We understand you don’t want to follow a complex process to make a blog, so we’ve tried to keep things as simple as possible.
The most efficient way to create a blog (From our own experience):
We have been in the business of blogging for many years and have started plenty of blogs right from the ground up for many businesses. This means that we are have immense experience in the way blogs are created and maintained. Our skills and practical knowledge of blogging have given us wonderful insights into the way things work online. This is why we know what the right way is to go about answering your question, “How do I start a blog?” We would love to share our knowledge with you. Our simple step- by- step guide will help you set up your own blog without much hassles. If you follow the instructions carefully, you will have a blog up and running within no time at all.
Here are the steps:
Select a name for your blog (Your blog title)
A good blog name is very important. It is the name by which people will recognize your content on the internet. It is your identity. A good blog name can singlehandedly generate interest for your blog, right at the start. It can bring more people to your blog.
Therefore, this is the first and the most important step, when you start your own blog.
For selecting a good blog name, you first need to know what you are going to write about. You need to choose your niche. You can blog about a variety of things like:
You can write your own experiences. Such a blog will be centered around you and your life. You can jot down random thoughts and share your learning. The experiences you share can be helpful to a lot of people. So, think about what you can tell the people, something that will help them connect to you and learn from you. And then pick a blog title that underscores what’s going into your blog.
Your blog can also be hobby based. If you are a music enthusiast then your blog can be about music or some aspect related to music; same will be the case if you are a sports enthusiast, art enthusiast or a food enthusiast. The content of your blog will help you engage with people who share similar interests or who want to develop interest in this niche. Your blog title can reflect this hobby of yours.
If you are an expert in some specific field, you can write a blog to share your insights. You can establish yourself as an authority in the niche. People will come to read your content because they know you are well qualified to write on that topic. You can write such blog posts to cater to the requirement of such an audience. Such a blog will enhance your professional image.
Once you have selected what you want to write about, you can start thinking about naming your blog appropriately.
The name should do two things
- It should be catchy.
- It should immediately tell the people what your blog is about.
Try to think of a unique blog name that can act as an umbrella to the content you post on your blog.
As a beginner, this is a good article on choosing a name for your blog. It will definitely help sort out your thoughts.
Thought of a blog name? Okay, let’s move ahead!
Choose a blogging platform
With the popularity of blogs increasing every day, many blogging platforms have mushroomed to capitalize on the need for people to create a blog. Platforms like Blogger by Google, Squarespace, Medium and Tumblr are quite popular. Here’s a list of free blogging platforms you can use when you are starting out. Each platform has its own pros and cons. You can check them all, if you want, but if you are a beginner and want to start your own blog, we suggest that you use WordPress. It is very simple to use and extremely customizable. You can easily create a free blog on it that looks professional and elegant.
Now we need two things for your blog: one is a web host and another is a domain name (in the preceding section, you’ve already “chosen” your blog title).
So let’s move on to choosing a web hosting service.
Choose a web hosting service for your blog
Do you know what web hosting is? If not, let us tell you. When you start your own blog, you need to store it somewhere (read: host). It won’t exist in a vacuum. Web hosting services offer you space on their servers to store your blog, and make it available on the World Wide Web. When a reader clicks on the link to your blog, they are connected to the web server that stores it. Your content is then displayed on their screens.
There are 2 types of web hosts available:
Free web hosts are the ones that offer to store your blog for free. For beginners, this does sound to be an appealing option. One of the greatest benefits is that it does not cost you anything. Yet, there are many disadvantages too:
1. One of the biggest downsides is that your blog name is followed by the name of the platform. For example: abc.blogspot.com or xyz.tumblr.com. This makes your blog name look unprofessional and it is likely that it won’t be taken seriously.
2. Your blog will be subject to their rules and restrictions. If they find that your blog violates their terms and conditions in any way, they will immediately remove your blog.
3. Other drawbacks of using a free web hosting service include limited space for your videos and images and restrictions on the number of advertisements you can place on your blog. The web host might even want to display their own advertisements. This takes away the earning potential of your blog.
If you’re serious about blogging, you need to stay away from this option and use some better alternative that a paid hosting service.
Paid web hosts charge you a reasonable amount of money to host your blog on their servers. You can look at some of their hosting plans and choose the one that meets your requirement and whose rates are within your budget. Just make sure that the web host you choose is reputed and offers a good quality service. Our personal as well as professional recommendation is that you use Bluehost. It is affordable, reliable and efficient.
Here is a step by step guide to create a blog on BlueHost:
Get registered with BlueHost
Getting registered with BlueHost is as simple as visiting www.bluehost.com and clicking on “Get started now”.
Choose a plan
You will be able to see three different plans on offer. Each plan has different features included in it. You can select any one of the available plans. The plan you choose depends on your requirements. We suggest, that as a beginner, you select the cheapest plan. This way you can save some cash in the beginning and if you feel the need, you can always upgrade later.
Choose a domain name
A domain name is the name of your website. It is the web address that people can use to access your website. Each domain name is unique. No other website will have the same domain name as yours. While choosing your domain name, try to make sure that it matches your blog title and that it is easy for people to remember. This will help people to search for your blog easily.
BlueHost offers you a very simple way to get your own domain name.
Along with a domain name, you need to choose a domain name extension. You can choose .com, .net, .org or any others that are available. Choose an extension that underlines your expectations from the blog. For e.g. if you want to attract a global audience to your blog, ‘.com’ should be the way to go.
Complete your sign-up
Now that you have selected the domain name and the domain name extension, the final step is to complete the registration process. There are 3 parts to this.
Enter your account information
Fill in all the details accurately.
Choose the right service option
You can choose any one the Account plans that you want along with its duration-12 months, 24 months or 36 months. You can also opt for add-ons such as Domain privacy protection and site backup pro.
Domain Privacy Protection hides your information in the public database of domains. The name of the registrant in the Public database will appear as Bluehost. This will keep you protected from spammers. You can un-tick this option though, if you want to save some bucks and don’t mind your information being Public.
Site Backup Pro keeps a backup of your site in case you mess up somewhere. It is always safe to keep backups. Site Backup Pro makes the process of maintaining backups quite easy.
Although these add-ons are quite useful, you can choose not to have them and save a few bucks.
Enter the billing information
The third part is entering your billing information. If you choose PayPal, you will have to fill all the usual details like the Credit Card number, its expiration date and the CVV code.
Once the payment is successful, you become the proud owner of your own domain name.
Once your Bluehost set up is done, you have reserved some storage space for your blog. Now you need to make your actual blog. You can install WordPress with Bluehost’s simple installation process.
1. You need to login at my.bluehost.com.
2. After you have successfully logged in, you will see your control panel. Search for the “Install WordPress” option and click on it.
3. Now you will see the page where you have to enter the domain name of your blog. There are two fields. Write your domain name in the left field and leave the right field blank for now.
Login on WordPress and Explore the Dashboard
You will have to login to WordPress with your username and password. Then go to the WordPress dashboard. Here, you will find a smorgasbord of features that you can add to your blog.
Just explore all the settings and customizations available. Take your time. You need to be acquainted with all the features available here because you are going to be using them a lot over time.
Adding your first blog post
Just click on the “write your first blog post” that you can see in front of you.
Write the title of your post in the “Enter title here” space followed by the blog content in the big box below. Once you have written the entire post, you can format it using the options provided just above the big box. You can also embed media in your blog by using the “Add Media” button.
The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. It is time to Publish your blog post. You just need to click on the “Publish” button and you are done. Now people can read your blog post across the world.
We know it is a proud moment for you. It does feel great to finally have a blog online. But this is just the beginning. You need to keep writing and keep posting regularly. Having a well- designed blog is not enough. You have to engage people to read your blog. You need to post content that is liked by people. Your readers should be hooked by your posts so that they come back again and again to read what new things you have written.
Promoting your blog
Although you have started a wonderful blog, it still has to rule the internet. For that you need to promote it. Promoting a blog gets you more readers. More readers mean more opportunities for you to earn money from your blog. So how can you promote your blog?
Social media promotions
With the mind-boggling growth of social media sites, they have become the easiest way to advertise your blog. As more and more people flock to these sites, you get amazing opportunities to direct them to your blog. You can use various social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote your blog. You can post links to your blog posts on these sites. You can also share third-party posts, interesting videos and images and share your opinion about them. Make sure that you interact with users of these platforms to increase your reader base. Something else you can do is be an active member of sites such as Reddit and connect with people who can be potential visitors to your sites. You can also answer questions on Quora and direct people to your blog for more information.
Social media promotions deliver the best marketing dividends, if you are persistent and do them right. You just need an active presence on all these sites and be accessible to people.
You can build an email opt-in list and send weekly newsletters to these email addresses about the new updates on your blog. This helps notify your target readers you have published a new post and they should come read the content. Remember, your target audience is sought-after and there are plenty of other blogs that are asking for their attention. It’s a ‘readers’ market out there and you must do everything to garner the attention of your target readers. Strategies like email marketing ensure you not only increase your blog readership, but also maintain it.
Search Engine Optimization of your blog
Blog optimization will help your blog appear higher in search results. When people look for anything related to the content of your blog, they will be able to see your blog immediately in the search results. A search engine optimized blog has the ability to attract more traffic than one that is not. You know how to make a blog, but if you want to know how to add SEO to your blog, why not log on to YouTube and look at videos like these to get an idea of what you should do.
Earn Money from you blog (at a later stage)
No blog will earn you money right from the first post. You first need a sizable readership numbers to earn significantly from your blog. Knowing how to start a blog is easy and monetizing it is difficult, especially right at the start. People do actually earn from their blogs and they earn quite a bit from their blogging efforts. For some, it’s their primary income.
You could do Affiliate marketing, product selling, CPC or PPC advertising or start a subscription service on your blog to start a constant stream of revenue or start selling ad-space on your blog. Over a period of time, your blog will start generating revenue by itself.
Getting money for doing what you love!!! Does the deal get any better than this?
So, don’t waver in your resolve and write those amazing posts that you always wanted to write. Blogging is a great way to connect with these people and to get your ideas out there. Blogs can help you to meet new people and forge new personal and professional relationships. Your interactions with readers will also give you a new perspective on things that you write about.
Blogging even helps to increase your own knowledge. If you want to write about some topic and you don’t know much about it, you are forced to study it. This is beneficial for you. You get to learn so many new things this way. Getting to know about something new also gives personal satisfaction, doesn’t it!
Blogging also helps you to organize your thoughts. When you start your own blog, you have to present your content in such a way that people understand it easily. When you create a blog and write on it regularly, you learn to compile your random thoughts in a systematic way. This helps you to present your content in a better way. Self- improvement and personal development are facilitated by blogging and you shouldn’t underestimate the power of blogs.
With so many benefits of blogging, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be blogging too. You can jump on the blogs- bandwagon whenever you want and be a part of something amazing. There is no one that can stop you from leveraging the freedom of blogging for your concepts and ideas. Blogs can give wings to your thoughts. You are bound to find someone who is very interested in reading your thoughts on a particular topic.
As time passes, you will become expert at blogging. Your blog might become famous if you work diligently on it. There is no limit to what you can achieve. But remember, the most important thing is the first step.
Now that you have followed our entire guide and know how to write a blog, it is time to start working on it. Get yourself a cup of coffee and sit in front of your screens.
Start thinking, organizing, writing and posting. There is something special about doing what you love. If you love writing, then blogging is definitely meant for you. So, what are you waiting for? Let your journey of writing begin…