Are you thinking of owning a blog and you don’t know what to do or how to start a blog? Do you run a business and you haven’t made up your mind if your business needs a blog? Ok, sit back I’m 100% sure this article will guide you on how to start a blog. And if you haven’t decided if your business needs a blog, I guarantee this will change your mind.
This easy free step to step guide will show you how to start a blog. Not only how you can start a blog, you will also learn how you can run your blog the right way.
Before we dive into it, I will briefly take you through a few things you should know about a blog. Knowing this few things will help you understand better about blogging.
First and foremost, What is a Blog?
See it as a journal, but in this case an online journal where you can go to read things like news, stories and articles of all kinds. I’m sure you have heard of news blogs, celebrity blogs, entertainment blogs and stuff. Well, what you are about to learn is not different.
Is it a website? Well it can be. Now why did I say that? I said so because most people use their blog as their website, because it represents their brand. And when you think about it, there is a very thin line between a website and a blog. They both share similarities in the sense that they both host contents (Information). On the other hand, a blog is often updated, but a website? Hmmm….. Rarely.
It is a very good practice if you own a website and you also run a blog. Yes it is possible and I repeat a very good practice. Wait is that possible? Or do you mean to say how is that possible? Yes it is possible. I will explain later.
Now most businesses often believe they don’t need a blog, after all they have a website. Well, maybe they don’t. But, in my professional opinion I always advise clients to add a blog section to their website. Why? Let me put it to you like this, a blog is one of the best way to engage your target audience. Every business is a solution provider, if you hope to solve the problems of your target customers, a blog is one way to achieve that.
Let me further explain it this way, let’s say you sell real estate, you may want to give important information. Like “important tips buyers should know before they purchase a land/property” or information on “mistakes they should avoid when buying a land/property”. Such information can help your target audience make the right decisions. It will build trust between you and your target customers and possibly they will seek out your services.
Basically, as a business, you definitely have information for your potential customers and a blog is one way to do so.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
There are a few blogging platforms you can use for blogging, but I will only focus on the 2 most commonly used.
WordPress: WordPress is CMS tool and when I say a CMS I mean Content Management Tool. That means it is a tool that is used to create a website and blog. It also makes it easy to manage your website or blog content.
WordPress powers 75,000,000 of the websites on the internet today. Some of which are CNN.com, BBC, Walt Disney and more.
One of the things that makes WordPress so great and easy to use is, it has over 42,000 tools in the official directory (WordPress.org) that are called plugins and extensions. With these tools you can extend the functionality of your website or blog by adding them to your website with just one click. Such functionalities are
- Social Media Sharing
- Online Store
- Affiliate Marketing and more
Oh my bad. I forgot to mention that there are also thousands of themes/templates in the WordPress directory (WordPress.org) you can choose from for your blog/website design and appearance.
Note: Some of the plugins and themes are free while the others paid.
WordPress comes in two different platforms, WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
The WordPress.com is limited version. Compared to the WordPress.org which is the recommended platform. The WordPress.com has a lot of limitations. It is only suited for
- Those who want to create a website or blog with no investment.
- People who are not concerned about using a paid domain
So if you intend to build your business around you blog and make money from it then you should go with the WordPress.org.
Blogger: Blogger is a free blogging platform. It is not as powerful as WordPress.org. It is one of the oldest blogging platforms. It is owned by Google.
You don’t need to go through any set up process before you use blogger. Since it is owned by Google, having a Google account automatically gives you access to blogger.
Just like WordPress.com blogger is similar, it provides you with a subdomain, such as yoursitename.blogspot.com.
However you can still use a custom domain. Blogger gives you the option to purchase a custom domain. Better still if you already have a custom domain from a domain registrar, all you have to do is link it to your blogger account.
You can contact your domain registrar for assistance.
Set up time for blogger is faster that any other blogging platform.
Blogger provides you with free themes for you blog appearance and design. But you can source for professionally customized blogger themes which I will recommend. Personally I don’t like the ones blogger provides.
And yes you can also monetize your blog if you uses blogger.
How To Start A Blog
Finally, Pheeeew! I was beginning to think we will never get to this part. That was long wasn’t it. That was nothing, you should see Neil Patel’s posts.
Ok, down to business. Now that we are clear on a few things we need to know before we start blogging let’s begin.
Starting A Blog requires more than just starting a blog, I mean you will have to ask yourself questions like am I ready for this? If I start is it something I will be able to sustain? How much time am I willing to put into this? Bottom line is blogging requires more than it seems. You need to be consistent. Ok enough for the self-assessment. Come let’s take a dive
To start a blog there are certain things that are required. So what are these requirements?
- Pick a Niche
- Pick a name for your blog
- Get a domain and hosting(Register your blog name your domain name)
- Install WordPress
- Install and Activate a Theme for your blog
WALA! Kapish you have your blog. Wait! do you think I was going to leave you like this? I have to explain the process.
Pick A Niche
Picking a niche is the first and the most important step to starting a blog. Just to be clear, a niche is an area of specialization, mostly I recommend that it should be something you are good at. An area or vocation that you know provide SOLUTIONS to people who are seeking it. For example, you are reading this because you looking for a solution on how to start a blog. That brought you to this article which I wrote. That’s because I specialize in this area.
A simpler way to put it is, a doctor or a nurse writing about health. Note you don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to write about health issues. If you have knowledge about certain health issues. You have been well educated about certain ailment or health issues and you have solutions, you can blog about it.
Just make sure the niche you have picked that you are very knowledgeable in it.
What if I am not knowledgeable in the area I choose to blog about? Well you will need good researching skills. Before you write about a topic under that niche, you must carry out a thorough research before you write about that topic. Gather different resources and already written articles on that topic, study them carefully, then craft your own from there.
Here are a few niches you can choose from
- Health and Niche
- Dating Niche (Relationship)
- Beauty and Fashion
- Real Estate
You can do a search on niches to get more
Pick A Name For Your Blog
The whole idea is to pick a name that is in relationship with your niche. If you choose to blog about heath you can decide to pick a name like Daily Health Guide or Health Daily. You don’t want to mislead you target audience. Make sure the name has not been used by anyone, if so you will need to change it. Just pick a name that relates to your niche because it will become your brand name.
Get A Domain Name and Hosting
Choosing the right domain name is very important. It must be in line with your selected niche. And you should use your blog name as your domain name. For example, if you decide to blog about Travel or Travelling, your domain name should look like this www.travelguide.com or www.travelexpert.com. However, there are cases whereby the domain name you hope to use isn’t available you can choose another. Just make sure it points to your niche.
There is also a factor of domain extensions like .com .org .com.ng .travel .health you are allowed to choose any as long as it also falls in line with your niche.
Now your domain registrar can also host your blog. That is if they provide hosting services. If they don’t you will need to find a hosting service provider.
After you purchase a hosting plan you will be sent details of your hosting plan to the email you provided during registration. The information contained in that email, you will use it to access what we call your Control Panel.
The Control Panel gives you complete access to your dashboard where you can install WordPress.
There are two ways you can get WordPress up and running. You can either install locally and upload to your hosting server or your install it online through the services that will be provided for you by your Hosting Service Providers in your Control Panel.
Install and Activate a Theme for your blog
After you have installed WordPress the next thing is to select a theme. WordPress comes with pre-installed themes. But I’m sure you will not like them.
Starting a blog doesn’t take more than 20 or 30 minutes depending on your internet connection. Just follow these steps and you are good to go.
To further help you with your blogging journey, I will write a series articles with pictures on how to carry out these steps one by one. From how to get a domain and hosting to how to install a WordPress theme.
And if you need videos on how to carry out these steps, feel free leave a comment and I will work on it.
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