So, you want to know how to start a blog, right?
First of all, let me congratulate you by saying that you have taken an excellent decision. Creating a blog allows you to know more about the topics you are interested about, and comes with several opportunities to earn some extra income.
You need to follow these basic steps to create a blog. If you are a beginner, you probably don’t know about these steps. Even if you have the basic idea of creating a blog, it won’t harm you to go through the basic steps one more time.
In today’s post, I am going to outline the essential steps to starting a blog. You can create a fully functional blog by following these steps.
How To Start A Blog Video Walkthrough:
Without further ado, let’s expand on the above steps mentioned.
The first step is to choose a blogging platform. Using a blogging platform makes the whole process a lot easier. If you don’t use such a platform, you have to create everything manually which is an unnecessary process.
When it comes to choosing a blogging platform, you have several choices. But really, there is only one platform you should consider. Yes, I am talking about WordPress. Being the dominant platform for creating new websites, WordPress powers 27% of all websites.
You can create any type of website with WordPress. There are lots of free and premium themes and plugins to help you. You will also find lots of step-by-step tutorials about using the platform. All these things make WordPress the best choice for creating a blog.
Picking a suitable domain name is very important in creating a successful blog. Ultimately, the domain name will become your brand. Therefore, you need to be very careful in choosing an appropriate domain. At the very least, the domain should provide a brief idea of what your website is about.
The domain name should be short and memorable. Your goal is to hit a balance between short and meaningful. In general, you should avoid hyphens, double letters, numbers, confusing letters etc.
Regarding the domain extension, you should aim for .com. Most people will assume that your domain has a .com at the end. However, if you can’t find a suitable .com domain, you can go for other extensions. If you choose any other extension, always include the full domain name on your marketing materials.
If you are having trouble generating domain name ideas, you can try tools like Softwarefindr name generator or look at our list of blog generators. Just provide your main keyword and these tools will generate thousands of domain suggestions for you.
Now that you have chosen the blogging platform, the next step is to find a domain and reliable WordPress host. Like the platform, there are lots of options here. However, you don’t have a clear winner in this case.
Hosting companies offer various plans like shared, dedicated, managed, VPS, etc. Assuming you are a beginner, I believe the shared hosting plans will be the perfect choice for you. These plans are competitively priced and offer everything you need to start a new blog.
When looking for a web host, there are some common questions. First of all, you need to make sure that your chosen hosting provider doesn’t have any bad reputation in the industry. Then, your chosen hosting plan should cover your required storage and provide enough bandwidth. Having reliable support is another important issue. Other notable things include one-click WordPress install, SSL support, full cPanel access, subdomain support, brand emails, email forwarding, etc.
I recommend going with:
But you can see the full comparison we did of the best WordPress hosting here.
At this point, you have all the technical aspects taken care of. Now you need to start designing your blog. You probably have a rough idea of how your blog will look like.
Designing Your Website Checklist:
If you have the budget, you can hire a web design firm to design and create the site for you. However, if you don’t have the budget, you can start with a free blogging theme like Point, Griffin, Finch, etc. You can always get a redesign once you earn some money from your blog.
For more niche specific themes I recommend:
It doesn’t matter which method you choose; the important thing is to ensure a good-looking site with the good user experience. ConversionXL has some useful blog posts about ensuring the best user experience on your website.
While all the steps mentioned above were preliminary steps, this is the most important part of your blog. You need to publish content which your target audience will love. To start on the right foot, you should target a niche and create a reader persona.
Do the necessary research to find out what type of content your target audience is looking for. You can use tools like keyword research tools, Buzzsumo, Quora, Reddit, forums etc. to find out these content ideas. Create a spreadsheet with the topics.
Before creating any content, do some research about the existing contents on that topic. Don’t just rephrase the existing information. Instead of focusing on quantity, focus exclusively on quality. This might seem a lengthy process, but this is a guaranteed way to create a successful blog.
You can write the content yourself, or hire freelance writers. Some popular places to hire writers include
My top recommendation for sourcing content:
Upwork – A marketplace where you can find freelance writers, developers, designers and everything in-between.
iWriter – Exclusively for sourcing content I use their service for creating the generic type of content like best hairstyle updos for example. the quality is not the best but in that niche, the readers seem to care more about the images.
Writer Access – A premium service where you can find a talented writer.
Problogger Job Board – For a small fee of $70 you can post a job to have talented writers apply to write for you.
Most beginners fail to understand the importance of promoting your blog. You shouldn’t make the same mistake.
As famous blogger Pat Flynn have found out, you need to spend 20% of your time creating time, and 80% of your time in promoting the content.
There are various ways to promote your blog. The first step is to create social media accounts for your blog. At the very least, you should create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. Each of these is capable of driving a significant amount of traffic to your website.
Blog commenting is another popular way of promoting a blog, at least the new ones. You should make a list of the relevant blogs which publish regular content. Leave thoughtful comments on their latest posts. The better your comment quality is, the more people will take notice of you.
The question answer sites is another potential place for promoting your blog. People are always asking various types pf question on places like Quora, Reddit, Yahoo Answers, etc. Instead of spamming, only share links to your relevant content.
These days, most people are creating blogs to make some extra money. While there are lots of getting rich quick schemes out there, you shouldn’t fall for them. When it comes to making money online, there is no shortcut. Only the most persistent and religious people can make money on the internet.
There are generally two ways to make money online –
Regardless of which method you choose, you need visitors to your site. Without the visitors, you will never be able to earn money. And to get visitors, you need to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is too big a topic to cover in a single article like this.
If you are a complete beginner to SEO, you should start with the beginner guides provided by Moz, Kissmetrics, Quicksprout, etc. And if you have the budget, you can hire someone else to do SEO for you. You will find SEO professionals on freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, etc.
Creating a blog takes a lot of planning and preparation. This tutorial covered all the basic steps for starting a blog. Now that you know which these steps are, you should get started with the first step immediately.
If you need any more help, feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below. And if you have found the tutorial useful, share it on Facebook and Twitter.