Blogs are the latest and newest way of writing and publishing articles. Many writers are using blogs to sell products and written articles online. It has created a good presence for many writers and companies on the social media.
A blog can be used to sell products and items, written articles and so on. Today it is important to have an online presence for any writer. Even publishers prefer working with an individual who has an online presence. This is because many become known and it becomes easier to sell their work.
Do you know why you want to start a blog?
There are different reasons why you want to start a blog. It could be because you want to;
- Make some money.
- Get adventurous with your writing skills. Write for fun.
- Expose something you are doing like a business. A lot of people get to see you through blogs.
- Write a book. (Author). When you author a book, it is easier for you and the publisher to sell it because you already have an online presence.
Blogging is very scary and intimidating for any new writer and it looks quite complicated and you would expect the people who can do this are those with technical knowhow.
When words like domain, on line traffic and many other technical names are mentioned, you want to give up. It is quite easy to start a blog. Here is the step by step guide on how to start a blog.
Decide about the topic of interest
When you decide to do a blog, it is to write about something you have an interest in. It can be a hobby, a talent or something you have learnt about. It can be for fun or for making some income. You have so many topics to pick from. The list is endless. The decision lies on you.
If you are working for a company and you decide to start a blog for the company, then you should only put the products of the company in that blog. You should be selling and promoting the company and its products. You should use the blog to market the company.
Decide Blog name and book domain name and hosting plan
When choosing a blog name, a name using what you are going to write about is ideal. A lot of writers normally use their own personal names as their blog names. It is easy to use for the blogger; it is easy to search for someone who wants to get to your blog. When you use your name, it becomes very easy to remember.
To get your blog working, you will have to get a domain name and hosting account. There are many domain names providers in the market today for example, go-daddy, bluehost, ehost.com etc.
Bluehost is among the top domain name registrar and hosting provider with great customer feedback. The advantages of using Bluehost include –
1) WordPress has actually recommended Bluehost for domain host.
2) Bluehost gives you unlimited disk space to use.
3) Bluehost control panel is easy to use and also easy to access.
4) The customer support is comprehensive making it user friendly.
When it comes to the domain name extension, use the .com. unlike other extensions like .net or .org, it is the most common and the first to come to almost everyone when putting in an address on a web browser. Once you have finished with the registrations, you will need to choose which website platform you will use to manage your content.
Select the blogging platform
WordPress is an open source website creation tool. It is written in PHP. For website content management system (CMS), it is known to be the best and is also used for blogs. WordPress comes in WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Features of WordPress.com include:
- You can customize your domain
- Choose, plan and create the features you need.
- Has expert support
- Designs are available to choose from.
- Easy for website creation or blog.
Features of WordPress.org include:
- Gives you total control of everything from the start to the end
- Using a hosting provider you set up your own WordPress site
- Manage your plugins
- Manage software updates.
To start your blog, it would be much easier to use WordPress.com. All the plugins are built-in and are managed for you. They even help you with the domain registration and also host your site. You also get free software updates and your blog is secure.
- Many different and beautiful designs have been put for you to choose from. You can use them to customize your blog.
- It connects you to other wordpress.com users. Your site is also synced with Twitter and Facebook giving you more readers to your content. This gives you a wider audience.
- You will get all support you need through email, forums, videos, live chat etc and also, the experts will help you.
When choosing the platform you will use for you blog, you are allowed to choose between a free platform and a paid for platform. You are required to pay for the domain name and the hosting platform. Each one of them has different charges. The hosting platform has different offers put in monthly packages. It is important to look at the pros and cons of both platforms.
SET UP YOUR BLOG
You have now chosen a domain to use and a platform. The next thing to do is set up your blog. Make sure that the domain name is easy to use and remember, and also use the .com extension. It is easy to use for anyone. Avoid hyphens.
Now your account is registered. You will receive a message to your email address. Once you click on it, it will take you to a place where you now have to choose which you choose blue host as your host platform. Enter in your domain name and the password you choose when registering.
This takes you to your account control panel. Check where there are website builders.
- WordPress is one of the most used website builders. It is easy to use.
- You will need to register with them. Give a user name and a password. When you need to access WordPress, this is the information you will use.
- Give your email address so that a link to install will be sent to you via your email. Once you have received the mail, click on install. Once installed, you will access WordPress using the information you used when registering.
- You are now on the blue host page control panel. On the control panel, popularly known as the cpanel, you will find different windows. Look up on the one written WordPress and click on it. Then click on install. There is a drop down menu which gives the options on where you would like to install WordPress. Click on your domain.
- Its done
Select best WordPress theme or from marketplace or places like theme forest
There are thousands of themes available for use. Some are free while others are paid for. It is good to choose a theme that is close to what you are intending the blog to be for. Customize your blog. This is also done from the WordPress platform.
There is a place on the menu called appearance, Click on it.
Go to themes. Click ‘add new’ button.
On the next page, there will appear many different themes which you can choose from.
Put the mouse on the theme you like, and an icon, install, will appear, and Click on it.
Once done, another icon ‘activate’ will appear. Click on it and your theme choice will now appear on your blog screen. This will give your blog color and make it more appealing to the eye.
Plug-in – these help you add features to your blog. These include, contact forms, about us page, galleries, and so on. There are 46,000 WordPress plug-ins available to use for free.
- When choosing a theme, be sure to read what it represents. All themes come with this feature. So you can check for the one that suits your needs most.
- It is important to have a preview. It will give you an idea on exactly how it will look like.
- Themes are usually given rates by other users. Be sure to check on the ratings of the themes you choose.
- Google advises that you choose on themes that are responsive to mobile devices and desk top browsers.
Research about topics
It is important to research on topic. This will help you know exactly what people who are writing in your niche are using the most and what words the search engines are sensitive to in your niche.
You can use SEMrush or LongTailPro. Using either of these two will help you know which are the most searched for keywords in your niche. You can use these keywords as a guide when you are writing, so that your articles will rank highly with the search engines.
Write your first blog
Your blog is now ready and you can start to post. But before you do, it is important that you:
1. Learn how to use WordPress.
Once you are done with the setting up your blog, a back page, where you write and load all your content appears. It is under WordPress. That is why it is important to know a few things about WordPress. It will help you with your blogging and help you do the right thing on your blog. At least know the basics.
- Log in to WordPress.
- Go to new post window.
- Go to the ‘kitchen drop menu’
- Chose the heading
- Put your content or write your blog.
- Permalink will sometimes need editing.
- You can add media and also add links to your post.
- You can also add content using PDF, YouTube etc
- Give your blog post a category.
- You can immediately publish your post.
- You can also schedule to publish later or just save it if you are not ready to give it to the world.
Get to know a few tips and tricks about online writing. It will help you save some time and earn some money while making fewer mistakes.
Before publishing your content, it is important that you get to know and learn a few things about online publishing.
There are many online tutorials that deal in the different topics of all the things that we need to run a good and well paying blog. This include, how to create blog content, blogging tools and resources, choosing a domain name, promoting your blog, making money out of your blog post and so on.
It is important to gather as much information as possible. Learn from previous and existing bloggers. This will help you not make the mistakes they did when they started. This will make your journey in blog writing quicker and hence more lucrative.
Build your brand name and regular source of income
Now that you have your blog up and running, you will need to market your blog to give it a strong online presence. Make sure that all the content you are adding is top notch. Cut and create your niche. Once you have the best content, you will have an assured regular source of income.
I hope this information will be of help to you.