How To Start a Blog – Beginner’s Guide for 2017
So, you want to start a blog huh? Great idea!
But confused why every other person you know is talking about online blogs? That’s because they know the power of blogging and how it can change your life.
What Exactly is A Blog?
A blog is your online diary where you can share whatever you feel, your thoughts, and freely express your opinions.Having a blog can improve your writing skills, your ability to understand online businesses and overall nature of yours.
Who Should Start A Blog?
Anyone can start a blog, but if you fall under any of the below categories then it’s a must for you to start a blog as soon as possible –
- Students who want to write about their hobbies
- Passionate Writers who want to share their thoughts.
- 9-5 Job Person who is fed up with low salary
- Homemakers who get a lot of free time
- Peoples who want to make money consistently
So, if you’re under any of this category then following this article is going to be a life-changing decision for you.
Why Should You Use This Guide?
This guide has been created with a primary focus to help nontechnical and inexperienced Internet users who want to start a blog.
If you have a basic knowledge of how to use a computer, then you can start a blog by following this guide alone.
Plus, you get to use the best available coupons and discounts on tools required to start a blog. Simply, use the links provided on this blog and you’ll start a thriving blog for the lowest price possible.
Why Should You Start a Blog Today?
Still in dilemma of whether starting a blog is right for you or not? Let me help you solve this confusion.
Here are 5 unbeatable reasons why you should start a blog today.
- Blogging improves your writing as well as verbal skills
- Blogging can help you live the ‘Laptop Lifestyle’ you always wanted.
- You can work part time on a blog and still earn good money.
- Having a blog, helps an online business to grow faster.
- Blogging can help you quit your day job and work from home with similar or better income.Wondering how and where should you get started? Continue reading.There are 5 necessary steps to start a blog. Don’t worry; I’ll walk you through each one below in-depth.
So, let’s get started with the first step.
Step 1 – Choosing Your Blogging Platform
The first thing you need to decide is to choose a blogging platform where you’ll be managing your blog.
There are few popular blogging platforms available that allow you to create a free blog. Some of these free blogging platforms are –
- Blogger by Google
- Medium and more.
However, there are certain limitations in terms of customization and monetization. For instance, WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to add ads to your site and hence you basically can’t make money off it.
Moreover, you don’t completely own your content and out of a sudden, these free blogging platform may delete your blog for no specific reason. All your hard work will be wasted and you will be left with nothing. You can’t even recover your blog in such cases.
That’s why I recommend WordPress.org which is the most popular content management system and currently powers around 26% of Internet Websites.
WordPress.org is again a free blogging platform but you need to buy web hosting to install and host it. I’ll come to it sooner.
Here are few reasons why you should use Self-Hosted WordPress over Free Blogging Platforms
Support Themes – You can choose from millions of paid and free themes.
Support Plugins – WordPress.org support plugins and you can install a plugin for almost every task. You’ll never have to touch a line of code.
Monetization Allowed – You’re allowed to monetize your website the way you want. You can put as many ads you want without fearing to someone who would delete your account.
You Own Your Content – In the case of Self-Hosted WordPress, you completely own your blog and its data.
There are more such awesome features if using Self-Hosted WordPress and I could go on and on. Here’s a quick comparison post between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Now, let’s move to the next part of this guide.
Step 2 – Choosing A Domain Name And A Reliable Host
Domain name is the name of your website and it has to be catchy and easy to pronounce.
If you can get your hands on a short and memorable name then the chances of free over the mouth advertising increase a lot.
Here is some best practice to find a great domain name.
- Make sure your domain name is available with .com extension
- Avoid copying other popular brands
- Keep it simple and short (often 2-3 words)
- Avoid using numbers or hyphens (-) in your name
- Check social media usernames before registering
If you follow above best practices then I’m sure you’ll have a great domain name with you in few minutes of work.
Price for a .com domain name varies from $8 to $15. However, you can get a FREE domain name if you buy web hosting from any of my recommended web host mentioned below.
A web host is the server space you buy to host your website data. There are tons of web hosting providers but not all of them provide the quality you need.
Here are few important things to check before buying web hosting for your WordPress site.
- Affordable (It shouldn’t be heavy in your pocket)
- 99% Uptime Guarantee (Because you can’t get 100%)
- FREE Domain Name (optional, but great if available)
- FREE Website Migration (must if you’re migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org)
- 24×7 Premium Support
- Money Back Guarantee
To save your research time, I have listed some of the best web hosting services available on the internet.
My Recommended Web Hosting Providers
BlueHost – Recommend Host by WordPress.org. Plans start for as low as $2.95/month with a Free domain name included. Their support is one of the best in the industry and you’ll surely love the quality provided for the price.
HostGator – Better knew for its awesome quality. You can get started for as low as 1 Penny using this link or get flat 20% off using this link. Free domain name is not included but you can buy for the regular price.
DreamHost – One of the trusted web host available for affordable price. Offer free domain and professional support. You can buy web hosting for $5.95/month (40% OFF on the regular price) for a limited time using promo code “HOSTING595COUPON ”. Also, DreamHost is the only host that provides massive 97-Days Money Back Guarantee.
All the mentioned web host allows one-click WordPress installer and thus you can start your own Self-Hosted WordPress blog within 5 minutes or less.
Moving on to the next step in starting a successful blog.
Step 3 – Customizing And Editing Your Blog
After installing WordPress next is time to customize it and make it beautiful and functional.
As mentioned earlier, WordPress allows you to install custom themes that are beautiful and full of functions. Alternatively, you can also install free themes available at WordPress.org repository.
To install a theme follow the below steps –
- Login to your WordPress Dashboard.
- Go to Themes > Add New
- Search for a free theme and install it or you can upload a zip file of a theme by clicking on ‘Upload’ button provided.
- Customize your theme color, menu, logo, and other stuff.
Next, we need to install some important WordPress plugins that will make your site feature packed.
To install a plugin do the following:
- Login to your WordPress dashboard.
- Go to Plugin > Add New
- Search for a plugin and Install, Activate it. You can upload a plugin using the upload button given.
Here are 10 most recommended WordPress Plugins you should install right away.
Yoast SEO – The best plugin to help you make every article Search Engine Optimization friendly.
Jetpack – See your site stats and visitors right into your WordPress dashboard.
Sucuri – Keeps your site secured from unwanted attacks and trojans.
UpdraftPlus – Free daily backup of your site to remote locations and online drives such as Google Drive, OneBox, etc. A must for you in the case of a website hack or system crash.
Tablepress – Instantly create tables for your site and display them anywhere using shortcodes.
Akismet – Filters spam comments and keep your site clean.
SumoMe – All in one tool. Show popup boxes, share buttons, welcome mats, observe user’s activities, and more for FREE.
SpeedSense – Display Google Ads automatically on multiple locations and help you earn more.
Contact form 7 – Lets you create beautiful contact forms and place them anywhere in post and pages with the help of shortcodes.
Affiliate Links Lite – Helps you mask affiliate links with your domain name included and lets you keep track on the number of clicks.
Install these plugins and your blog will have almost all the features required in a successful blog.
So, now it’s time to create some important pages for your blog and publishing your first blog post.
Step 4 – Creating First Post and Adding Important Pages
Let’s start with adding important pages first so as to make your site complete.
To add a page, 1. Go to Pages > Add New.
2. Give the title of your page and choose the URL of your page.
3. Enter contents of your page and publish it.
Here are five important pages you need to add which will make your blog complete.
- Contact Me
- Affiliate Disclosure
- About Us
Add these pages to your site and make sure you add them properly in your menus.
Next, to create a post, 1. Go to Posts > Add New
2. Choose the URL of your article. It is nice to keep it short and keyword targeted.
3. Enter the contents, select proper categories, and add related tags. Use proper heading tags and keep your paragraphs short and readable.
4. Create a beautiful featured image for your article. I use Canva (free tool) to create visually appealing images for my articles.
5. Enter Meta description under Yoast SEO, and make sure you get a green signal for both SEO, and Content.
6. Publish or Schedule your post.
Moving forward, the last part in creating a successful blog is to get traffic.
Step 5 – Getting Traffic and Making it Successful
Promoting your blog and getting traffic will be the toughest part of your blogging and you’ll surely struggle in this part.
However, if you’re smart and consistent enough then you can easily get traffic.
One suggestion I would like to give is to follow the popular 80/20 rule. What it means is to spend 20% of your time in creating articles and 80% of the time to promote them.
Below are some of the tips for you to bring traffic on your brand new blog.
Leverage The Power of Social Media – Create accounts on various social media channels and promote your latest article there. Don’t just keep promoting yours but do share others also. Try to create a good connection with bloggers in a similar niche.
Please Search Engines – Try to create search engine optimized articles and target proper keywords. Follow best practices and try to rank for many low volumes and less competitive keywords. Use SEMRush to find profitable keywords.
Participate Actively on Forums – Sign up to multimedia forums in your niche and try to participate as much as possible. Don’t spam all the time but do leave links to relevant articles while helping others.
Use Quora and Yahoo Answers – Quora and Yahoo Answers both are popular Q&A sites. Find the related questions asked and answer them with a link to your site.
Spend on Advertising – If you want quick traffic to your site without much work then spend some bucks on advertising. You can get started with Adwords and Facebook Advertising for start.
Few Words from Author’s Desk
Start a blog with the above guide and start your online presence. Don’t procrastinate and leave this task for tomorrow. Do it today, or I would say do it now.
Feel free to discuss any problem you may face during starting a blog. If you need a discount code for any other web hosting provider then feel free to reach me out using my contact page.
And don’t forget to share this post with your friends and followers.