How to start a blog is a question that a lot of people encounter. This guide will be about answering all the questions that you might have.
In fact, starting a blog is one of the best things you can do nowadays. Whether you own a small business, an online shop, or simply feel like doing something new, blogging can bring lots of benefits:
- Personal growth. Many people start blogging as a way to express their ideas and deepen their knowledge. A well-established blog can be a showcase of your skills and expertise whenever you’re looking for a job or freelance work.
- Brand awareness. If you run a business, big or small, increasing your brand awareness is going to be an important part of the journey. With the right execution, a blog can take your business to new heights.
- Potential to be a user acquisition platform. When it comes to attracting new users, many premium channels require you to invest money (for example GoogleAds). While growing a blog may take time, once the traffic starts to kick in, you’ll have a solid platform that can drive new sales and grow conversions.
- Increased visibility in search engines. Blogging is one of the top ways to get more out of organic searches. Remember, maintaining a steady flow of traffic is a vital part of any online project.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know on how to start a blog and how to make it successful. A blog that brings a consistent stream of organic traffic and is able to get your name out there. Questions like:
- Which blogging platform is the best for a new blog?
- How to choose the right web hosting.
- How to set up your blog and succeed
➤ How to Start A WordPress Blog
The process of starting a blog can be broken down into steps:
1. Choose Your Blog Niche
If you’re running a project or business, blogging about the services, products, and company goals is a great approach. That way, you’ll attract the people that are actually interested in what your blog is about. A win-win for everyone.
In case you’re looking to start a personal blog, a more extensive choice for a niche is at hand. The options are endless, from travel, technology, and news, to food, music, and shoes – there are many choices that you can pick as your primary blog topic.
Since it’s one of the most important steps, try to avoid rushing your decision. Take some time to research your options, that way, finding your blog niche will be easier.
Ultimately, your best bet is to create a blog about something that you like. When doing something you enjoy, the results are always better. And your audience will undoubtedly notice.
2. Find A Good Web Hosting
When choosing a hosting company for your business or personal website, you need to know what features to look for and which types of servers are out there. Some web hosting companies offer great deals, including a wide variety of features in your hosting package price.
✔ Shared Hosting
One of the best places to start your first blog or website will be using shared hosting.
It houses multiple websites within one physical server. All the resources (such as disk space, RAM, and bandwidth) are shared among each site.
Nevertheless, the servers are neatly optimized and monitored around the clock to make sure each website is up and running at full power.
Here’s what you need to know if you plan to start a blog with shared hosting:
- It is affordable and easy to use.
- Uptime and server updates are handled by the host.
- 24/7 live customer support.
- It features a 1-click blogging platform installation.
- You’ll share server resources with others.
- There are limited configuration options.
- There is no root access.
✔ Cloud Hosting
Catered towards business owners and larger projects, cloud hosting aims to provide the power of a virtual server while maintaining the simplicity of shared web hosting.
It’s a solid and reliable platform for starting a blog, as you’ll have loads of resources to handle whatever traffic is coming your way.
In addition, all the resources are dedicated to your blog, and no others, thus you’ll have plenty of room for growth.
- Dedicated resources and IP address.
- 24/7 live customer support.
- Resources are fully dedicated to you.
- Features a 1-click blogging platform installation.
- Seamlessly upgrade from shared hosting.
- Higher pricing per month compared to other solutions.
- There are limited configuration options.
- There is no root access.
✔ VPS Hosting
VPS, short for a virtual private server, is a unique solution that brings more freedom and control.
However, if you’re not familiar with server management, this solution may be a bit tricky.
If your aim is to only start a simple blog, picking another solution would be better.
But, if you plan to launch several different projects, in addition to your new blog, having a virtual server will let you set up the perfect environment.
- It grants root access.
- There are dedicated IP and resources.
- It offers the highest flexibility out of all solutions.
- It gives you the most control.
- Has the ability to change any server-side settings.
- It requires technical knowledge.
- Server management skills are a must.
- It is unmanaged.
- It has a higher learning curve.
3. Register A Domain Name
Every website has a URL address otherwise known as your domain name. However, choosing one can be tough as there are many elements to consider. If you need help deciding check out these domain name generators.
Once you have figured out the perfect domain name, be sure to check it on a domain checker to make sure that it is available. After that, choose which extension you would like, and you’re done.
Take a look at how to buy a domain name guide for more in-depth coverage.
4. Choose A Blog Platform
Next, you need to choose a blogging platform. This is the software or service that you will use to publish your content. But before you do that, you need to decide if you will use a free blogging platform or a self-hosted plan. Below we will tell you a little more about each one.
✔ Free platform
The idea of a free blogging platform is often tempting for new bloggers wanting to try out blogging. However, when you start a blog on a free platform you will have restrictions and rules that you will have to follow. Not only will you have the platform’s website in your URL name (yoursite.blogplatformsite.com) but you may also have ads placed on your blog that either don’t fit your style or niche or that you won’t be able to monetize. Our recommendation is to go with a self-hosted platform.
✔ Self-hosted platform
Self-hosted platforms let you run your blog with your own domain name. Meaning you won’t have another website at the end of your URL. You’ll also have the choice of a Content Management System or CMS. The most popular are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. These CMS help you create your dream blog.
Having a blog that is self-hosted isn’t free though. Because you are using your own name and webspace you will need to pay a few bucks a month to a web hosting company. Then, you can use your CMS of choice, which is usually open-source and free, with it.
Not only that, but there are plenty of options to choose from, depending on the scale of your blog project. Let’s see what’s on the table
5. Set Up The Blogging Platform
The next step is choosing your blogging platform. Since blogs are mostly made up of content, you should consider using a Content Management System (CMS) for your first time.
With a CMS as your blogging platform, it will help you:
- Create a blog without previous coding knowledge.
- Easily publish and create new content.
- Allow you to focus on writing rather than technical aspects.
- Add new features easily with the help of plugins and modules.
- Find gorgeous website designs from libraries of free themes.
The top three blogging platforms that we recommend are:
This tutorial only covers the WordPress platform. The most popular and easy-to-use platform available today
Holding the title as the world’s most popular CMS, WordPress is a solid platform to start blogging. It’s easy to set up, use, and requires no coding knowledge.
- It is beginner-friendly.
- Choose from a huge library of free plugins and themes.
- There are easy SEO options and management.
- There are frequent updates.
- It requires maintenance from time to time.
✔ How to Install WordPress
Setting it up is quite simple. Especially if you’re using Hostinger. All you have to do is navigate to the Auto Installer section in the control panel.
✔ Admin Area
To make your blog management easy, WordPress provides an intuitive WordPress dashboard.
You can access it by typing yourdomain.com/wp-admin in the browser.
In the Appearance section, you can find many free WordPress themes and easily choose a stylish look.
The Plugins section offers a large library of free extensions. View them as add-ons that extend the functionality of your blog.
Here is a list of three essential plugins that every blog must have:
- Yoast SEO – this will let you optimize your posts easier with the latest SEO practices.
- Akismet Anti-Spam – this will keep your comment section clean and spam-free.
- Jetpack – offers a bundle of features related to security, performance, statistics, and more.
✔ Creating blog posts and pages
The Pages section lets you create more pages on your blog (such as About us, Contact us, etc.) Easily add new pages with a simple click.
Meanwhile, the Posts section will be your most visited area, as all new blog posts will be created there. Simply click Add New and edit your new post inside.
For a more detailed approach, check out this WordPress tutorial for beginners.
6. Publish Content And Grow Your Blog
✔ What should your content do?
Once you figure out who your target audience is, your content should provide them with the information they value. Your content shouldn’t feel demanding or ever give the impression that you didn’t care enough while writing.
Keep your content easily accessible so readers stay on your blog. Your readers should be attracted to the content you present and want to come back. Add photos, graphics, or other visuals, if it fits your style.
Also, encourage your readers to interact with you and with other readers through comments. Ask them for their thoughts and opinions about your blog posts, or what they would like to see in future posts.
Since content management systems help you create posts without much effort, your main focus should be posting as many good quality articles as possible.
Remember that it usually takes a while before new publications start showing any notable results in search engines and so the sooner you start, the better it will be for you.
Ideally, you want your blog to generate traffic and grow over time. To reach that goal, you’ll need to think outside the box and be prepared to work hard.
✔ Pre-launch content
Before you start posting to your blog, it is good to have your static pages ready. These are the pages that never move and are always available for your readers. You’ll want to include:
- About us – This is where you can tell your story, who you are, and why you have this blog. Depending on your blog, it can be personal, fun, or business-focused.
- Contact – This helps the readers stay in touch with you. It can be a simple page with your email, social media accounts, mailing list sign-up, or any other ways of communication you have.
- Sidebar/Menu – This is either a column or a bar along the top. Include your blog categories, ads, other static pages, etc. here.
✔ Post-launch content
- Blog post – This is your breadwinner. Where you post your content that is either text, photos, videos, or a combination of anything you like.
- Evergreen content – This content will stay relevant to your readers even after the publish date has passed. You should keep these up to date and make sure the information is correct.