There are many reasons you should start a blog today. You can start a blog to make money. You can start blogging to promote your business and find customers. If you love sharing information, you can start one to share information. You can blog to make impact. There are many reasons you should start a blog. On this page, you are going to learn how to start a blog.
To create a blog is not difficult. It is very easy! Were you thinking it is difficult?
No! It is not! If you read and follow this guide, you should be able to create a blog very easily in less than 20 minutes.
Before we focus on how to create a blog, let me explain some things about blogging.
What is a blog?
A blog is a website that publishes information regularly. The information could be business, fashion, sports, entertainment, politics, news, anything at all.
A lot of people wonder if a blog is different from a website. No, a blog is a website. A blog is a type of website that is all about publishing information regularly. Any website that regularly publishes articles is a blog. A traditional website is a statistic page, for example the website of a company. It is static with no information updated regularly. But a blog has new information that people can come back to read on a regular basis.
Why should you start a blog?
Some of the reasons you should start a blog includes;
- Money: You can make money from it. This is the biggest reason. Blogging is one of the most lucrative jobs anyone can do and it gives you lots of free time.
- Promote business: You can use it to promote your business by writing about it
- Fame: It can make you famous.
- Extra income: If you have a full time job and need some additional income, blogging can be the answer
- Impact: If you want to make impact then blogging can help you. 77% of internet users read blogs. Every month about 409 million people are reading blogs.
There are many other reasons!
Who can start a blog?
Anyone! Absolutely anyone can start a blog. You do not need to have any particular skills to start a blog. As long as you can read, write and can use the internet then you can become a blogger.
If you follow these guide, you will become a follower in less than 20 minutes.
What do you need to start a blog
One good thing about blogging is that you do not need a lot to start a blog. You probably already have all you need to start a blog right now.
The things you need include:
- A computer: This could be a laptop or Desktop. It is also possible to blog with a good mobile phone (tablet)! But might be a bit difficult and stressful.
- A connection to the internet
That is all you need to start a blog. If you have a computer with a connection to internet, you can start.
How to start a blog
Follow these steps to start a blog.
1. Pick a niche
This should be the first thing you do when starting a blog. A niche in this context means an area of focus. So to pick a niche is all about picking what you want your blog to focus on.
There are many niche you can focus on: News, politics, business, insurance, banking, personal finance, music, football, sports, marketing, dogs, cats, jokes, arts, your city or anything.
It is very important to have a focus when blogging. Do not blog about everything. Have an area that you are focused on. Dominate that area.
What is the best niche for you? There are many things that makes up a good niche. It should be a niche that you have experience or you are passionate about. That will help you a lot. Because writing is difficult. But when you are knowledgeable and passionate, writing becomes easy.
When you have decided on a niche, immediately think of a way you can make money from that niche.
For example, if you pick a niche like dogs. You want to be writing about dogs, you can write down many ways you will make money and how. You can sell pet dogs right from your blog. Sell foods or recommended others that do to make money.
Whatever niche you pick, sit down and think of ways you can generate income from it. Because at the end of the day money is good.
Yes, you can make money from every niche with ads network like Google AdSense but you need to think of others ways if you want to make a really BIG income.
2. Pick the right blogging platform
Without wasting your time, when it come to blogging, the Content Management System (CMS) to use is WordPress. There are many options but WordPress should be your number one choice if you are planning to make money and grow.
Over 30% of the blogs in the world is powered by WordPress. Most of the most influential bloggers in the world use WordPress. There are over 70 million blogs using WordPress.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to use another platform.
WordPress is the number one choice for people who are going into blogging to make money. So, the best decision you can make is going with what is best from the onset. Just so you know, this website is built with WordPress
There are two types of WordPress, there is wordpress.com and wordpress.org. WordPress.com is the free version of WordPress. You can create a free blog.
But there is a big disadvantage when you are using wordpress.com.
- You do not have control over your blog
- There is little or no opportunity to make money from your blog
- You cannot customize a lot of things
- There are too many limitations!
WordPress.org is the ideal version. WordPress.org is also free but you will need a web host to be able to make use of it.
Here are the advantages of wordpress.org
- You are completely in control
- It is easy to use
- You can customize as you please
- It is fast and secure
- You can monetize and make money without limit
- It is yours 100%
- You have every right to do as you please!
- There many plugins to make your blog look as you want
- There are many themes to make your blog look amazing
- You are in the company of millions of bloggers and the top bloggers
If you follow these guide, you will be creating a powerful blog built by WordPress in less than 20 minutes
3. Pick a domain name
The domain name choice can be give you headache but it should not be. In case you are a newbie, a domain name is the address of your blog. In this case, the domain name of this blog is BloggingTools.org.
When picking a domain name, make sure that it is:
- Easy to pronounce
- Should be easy to remember
- Easy to type
- Not too complicated.
A lot of people use niche specific domain. That is a domain name that is focused on their niche. This is where this blog falls. This has it own advantages.
Some others just combine words and create a domain name that has deep meaning for them. They can combine names, favourite colours, people and so on
Then there are those who use their name. This also is good.
But whatever name you go with, make sure that it is easy to remember and not too difficult to type. Simplicity is key.
After figuring out the domain, one last headache you may have is which domain extension to go with. A domain extension is that end part of the domain that reads .com, .org, .net or anyone out there.
The most popular domain extension is .com. But .org, .net, .co are also very popular. Any of these will be okay. The best decision will be to check first for .com, .org or .net if not available you can try the other top alternative. If you are running an organisation, online teaching and so on, it will make more sense to use .org
However, if your blog is targeted at a particular country, I will recommend that you use the top level domain of the country. If you target the US, you can use .US, India .IN, Canada .CA, Australia .AU, United Kingdom .UK and so on.
Once you decide on a domain name. Write it down and proceed to the next step.
You can register a domain name with many web hosts for about $13 dollars or over. But for the sake of this guide, I will help you register your domain name free! I mean 100% free with Bluehost.
4. Pick a web host
Here is a crucial step, picking a web host to host your blog. A web host is where you store your blog so that people all over the world can access it.
One of the biggest mistakes first time bloggers make is spending too much for web hosting. Unless you are generating big traffic and income, you should not be paying over $10/month for hosting.
When it comes to picking a good web host there are many factors you should look at, they include:
- Proximity to your target audience
- Up time
- CUSTOMER SUPPORT.
Above are the crucial area of importance. Generally, I will recommend Cloudways for WordPress hosting. But this is too expensive for a new blogger. It will cost over $10 a month.
For beginners, the number one choice is Bluehost. And in this guide, I am using Bluehost. Here is why Bluehost is a good choice to start a blog:
- Recommended by WordPress: Bluehost is one of the few hosts recommended by WordPress
- 99% server uptime: This means your blog will always be online
- Speed: They have fast servers to make your blog fast
- Easy to use: They have user friendly dasboard
- 24/7 customer support: If you have any problem you can reach-out to them 24/7 for support
- Free SSL certificate: You don’t need to buy an SSL certificate to make your blog secure, it’s free
- Established brand: Bluehost is one of the biggest name in the web hosting industry
- Cheap: Bluehost is probably the cheapest major hosting company.
- 30-days Money-back Guarantee: If you are not satisfied, they will refund your money!
The following steps will help you set up your hosting.
1. Visit the hosting website
Click here to visit Bluehost and get started. Once there you will see the option to get started. Click on the get started button. See image below.
2. Pick a hosting plan
You will find many options to choose from. As a beginner, the smallest plan known as basic is okay for you. That is what I recommend. There is no need to spend money on bigger plans yet. You can always upgrade at anytime if there is need to.
3. Register your domain
The next stage is to register your domain name. Remember the domain name I asked you to write down?
If you have written it simply write it on the “Create a new domain” box. And then click next. If domain name is not available, you will have to try another one until you find one that is available.
However, if you will love to pick a domain name later, click on “I’ll create domain later” on the bottom of the screen.
5. Create your account
In this stage you have to enter your personal information such as Name, email, phone number and so on.
Please ensure you enter the correct email and phone number as that is where you will be contacted should there be issues with your account.
Every information should be accurate. As a tip, on this page, you may get additional discount!
Next you will have to set your package information. You will notice that the longer the term, the cheaper the prize. If you pay for 36 months, it will be relatively cheaper than paying for a year.
The best thing to do here is to pay for at least a year. It is cheap paying for a year or more. You will get a free domain name. And you have peace of mind of having to be worried about renewing every month. And it is way cheaper. If you do not pay for up to a year, you will have to pay additional money for domain and it will be more expensive in the long run. At the end of the day, the choice is completely yours.
On the package extras, do not select any, you really do not need them.
After that you should be able to enter your card information, It is very reliable and secure.
Congratulations. Your hosting account is set up. You are now ready to start working on your blog!
6. Create your account password
At this stage you need to set up a password for your account. Enter your domain name and set a password. The password for the WordPress blog will be sent to your email.
That is it! Your have set everything up! You can now login into your Bluehost account anytime you wish. Just visit Bluehost and click on login on the top right corner of the screen. Input your information to login
5. Install WordPress
Now that you have successfully set up your hosting account, the next step is to install WordPress in your hosting account.
The good news is that Bluehost automatically installs WordPress for every new user! So you do not have to worry about that. You are covered. That is one of the little advantages of using a host like Bluehost.
Immediately you are finished setting up your password, you will be prompted to pick a theme. You can pick any. But I advice you skip this. I will cover theme later.
You will be directed to a new page. Just click on “Start building”
Once you click start building, you will be asked to select which type of site you are trying to create. Is it personal or business. You can select anyone that suit your need or simply click the “I don’t need help” below it.
On the Next step, just enter your site title and description.
Then you will see a new screen that shows potential layout of blog, you can skip this one.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress and ready to be a blogger! Try to make yourself familiar with the environment. Look around.
You can access your new WordPress dashboard anytime by adding /wp-admin to the end of your url. For example, If your blog is www.come101.com just add /wp-admin to the end. That will be www.come101.com/wp-admin.
If you get stuck at anytime, contact Bluehost Support and they will help you. Just click on the chat icon on top of the page. A new window will pop up, fill in your details and chat with their customer care. That is one positive side of using a good host, you can always ask for help anytime.
6. Install a WordPress Theme
The next step is to install a WordPress theme. A theme is a template that you install on your blog. The theme will determine how your site looks and behave in many ways. It is very important to pick a theme that is good.
What is a good theme? A good theme should meet the following:
- SEO friendly: A good theme is SEO friendly. This will help people find your blog
- Mobile responsive: A good theme should not just look good on desktop but should look amazing on mobile. There are more people using mobile phone to browse then desktop.
- Speed: A good theme should be fast loading. Slow theme will kill your blog. People hate slow sites and so do search engines
- User friendly: A good theme should be easy to navigate! If it is difficult, people won’t come back!
- Browser compatibility: A good theme should be compatible with all major browsers
- Plugin compatibility: A good theme should be compatible with essential plugins without breaking your blog
- Update: A good theme is updated regularly
- Simple: A good theme should be simple and light weight
- Support: A good theme should have a team that is willing to help when you run into trouble
There are free themes and there are premium themes. Both are good. There is what is called “freemium themes.” That is a theme that has both free and paid version.
Generally, premium themes are preferred to free themes. This is because with premium themes, you have more support when you run into problems. They are more likely to help you when you are in trouble. And their product is updated regularly. For a free theme, there is little motivation for them to support you.
My recommended theme is GeneratePress. No matter the kind of blog you are using, GeneratePress is good enough. It is the fastest WordPress theme that I have used. That is what is used to build BloggingTools.org They have free and premium version. I recommend the premium version as it has everything. You can check it out.
Another option is any theme from MyThemeShop. MyThemeshop is a team that build amazing themes and they provide support. I have used their themes and the results are amazing! They have some free themes too. I recommend MyThemeShop. You can check them out.
Once you have your theme. Download it it. On your dashboard, navigate to appearance then select themes. Once it loads, click add new on top of the screen.
On the next screen, if you are looking for free themes, you can search through the options and click install then activate. If you have a premium theme simply click on upload theme. Then select your theme and upload. Once uploaded, activate.
If you are buying a premium theme. most of them will come with installation guide, follow the guide.
Once you have installed and activated your theme you can start customising how it looks. Click on Appearance then click on customize. From there you can customize it looks. Some themes come with theme options to customise theme more. Take your time and look at different aspect. Add logo and all of that. Most themes have documentation, where you can find details of all the changes you can make. Look at the documentations. If you are stuck, contact your theme support.
7. Add important plugins
Plugins help blogs function better. They can make your blog faster and make a lot of things possible. Please note that it is not good to install too many plugins. Only install the ones you need. And make sure you update them when updates become available.
To add a plugin navigate to Plugins then click add new. Select any plugin you want. Click on install and then activate. You can also search for plugin by name. If you are uploading external plugin, click on upload plugin to add the plugin.
Here are some plugins you may want to add.
- Yoast: The SEO plugin that helps you optimize your blog for search engine. After installation and activation, follow the setup wizard to set it up. And whenever you are writing a post, look for the yoast tab and get as many green score as possible.
- Akismet Anti-Spam: Helps fight spam comments if your blog is accepting comment
- WP Super Cache: A cache plugin to help your blog load faster
- Autoptimize: Also helps to speed up your blog
- Google analytics: You should go to Google Analytics create an account. Pick one of the highly rated Google Analytics plugin and link with your Google analytics account. The plugin will help input the tracking code.
8. Fine tune settings.
You should be able to fine tune some settings. One of them is permalinks. Permalinks are the structure of your post links. It is very important for SEO. the default permalink structure is not good for SEO. Make sure you change it.
If you are writing a regular blog post with ever green contents, change it to post name.
Click on settings then click on permalinks to make changes.
Also try to change your comment settings. There are lots of spam comments on the internet. It is best for you to review comments before approving them. To do this, go to settings then click on discussion and change comment approval to manual. See screenshot below.
9. Create important pages
Make sure you create important pages to help your readers.
The two most important pages are the About Us page and Contact Us page.
The about us page contains information about your blog, it’s purpose, what people should expect and a little about you. The contact us page is a way for people to contact you. Both for business relationship and feedback. You can provide an email, phone number or a contact form.
To create a page click on pages on the left side then click on add new.
10. Publish your First post.
You are now ready to write your first post. Make sure you do enough research on what you are writing. Do not copy and paste. Write original contents.
To write a post. Click on posts. Then click on Add new. And write. Once you are done publish. If you are tired and want to return to it later, make sure it is saved as draft. Whenever you are ready to continue, just go to posts, you will see it there, click edit and continue. Click on feature image to add a feature image to your post that will appear anywhere your post is shared
Congratulations! You are now a blogger!!!!!
One of the best decisions you can make as a blogger is to start collecting emails of your readers. Email is gold. With emails you can keep your readers up to date on what is going on in your blog. You can contact them on new posts. You can market products, sell products and do a lot more.
Make sure you start off collecting emails from the first day.
Content is king
Remember, content is very important. Spend quality time to produce good contents. If you don’t have quality contents, you are mostly wasting your time. This is the backbone of blogging. There is no short cut. Write good contents
Do not copy and paste.
Consider keyword research
Keyword is what help readers find your post in search engines. Every post should have a primary keyword it is targeting. Getting a good keyword to target requires effort. There are free tools to help you. Number one among them is Google Keyword planner.
Make use of social media
You should create social media pages for your blog. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. Make sure you share your content on these pages. Interact with your followers so they stay engaged.
Social platform like Reddit can give you lots of traffic. Share your post there.
Always share your contents on social media
Make money from your blog
Making money from your blog is very important. Especially if that is your reasons for blogging. As you grow your blog, you will be able to make money from your blog.
The best ways to make money from your blog is by:
1. Selling your own products.
If you have products to sell, it could be eBook, goods or services, you can make money from your blog this way.
2. Using ad networks.
You can use popular and reliable ad networks to place ads on your blog and make money whenever anyone click or views ads. You should never click this ad on your own.
The best ad networks are:
3. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a very good way to make money from your blog. You can make more with it than you can make with ads. You can reach-out to companies directly to become their affiliates. Or you can join Affiliate networks to get ads.
The best Affiliate Networks are:
The kind of affiliate products you promote will depend on your niche.
4. Create online shop
You can add a shop to your blog. You must have seen some blogs with shop on the menu. When people click on your shop to buy, you make money. Even if you don’t have products. You can create an online shop with Shopify, copy products into your shop, whenever people click to buy, the order will go to the suppliers, they send goods to buyer and you get paid.
5. Create online course
You can create online course on any topic that you are good at. Promote the course to your blog readers. As they sign up for course, you make money. There is a chance that your followers will love to take your course since they love what you write on. You can create an online course easily with Teachable
Keep learning and growing
As a blogger, never stop researching and finding ways to grow. Google and other search engines keep changing algorithms regularly, you need to stay updated to new best practices.