Starting a blog may seem hard when first starting out. There are so many questions involved such as “what do I write about?”, “how do I promote my blog?”, “who will read this blog?” or “where do I start?”
The thing is, you can write about anything you’d like and as long as your content is good, you’ll be getting visitors. I’ll be honest. The promotion is the hard part, but we’ll save that topic for a later article.
But why should you blog?
Actually this should be the first question you should ask yourself when thinking of starting a blog. Check yourself if you really have that motive to start one. But to answer that question, you’ll be getting a lot of benefits from it.
It is a great way of spreading/gaining knowledge and information. If you have any expertise or experience on different things, you could be the person that people would be looking to to find answers.
- You have the freedom to express yourself. You can literally write about anything you want, even if it’s very offensive (although we don’t condone this).
- The experience you gain from it is priceless. You learn so much from blogging. Things like marketing, advertising and how blogs work (obviously). You’ll also improve as a writer as time goes on.
- You can make money off it. The potential to make even more than a living is very high.
- So now that you have decided that you want to start a blog, it’s time to start making one.
STEPS TO STARTING A BLOG:
- Choose a blogging platform
- Choose a webhost for your blog
- Select a Domain Name
- Set up your domain for your blog
- Design your blog
1. CHOOSE A BLOGGING PLATFORM
The very first thing to do is to choose a blogging platform. There are tons out there such as WordPress, Blogger, Drupal, Tumblr, TypePad, etc….
As a newbie, your best option is to go with WordPress. Even people that have been in the blogging game for years use WordPress. It’s actually what the majority of site owners use. Even this site is based on WordPress.
Tumblr and Blogger are good easy alternatives too if for some reason you don’t want to stick with WordPress. But there are so many reasons why to stick with WordPress:
- It is extremely easy to set up
- It is free to use
- There are tons of themes/layouts to use (There are a lot of free ones)
- There is no lack of support
- It is very functional and customizable
- There are addon plugins you can install for added features
- Your content is easily shared
CHOOSE A WEBHOST FOR YOUR BLOG
Yes there are free alternatives. WordPress and tumblr have their own hosting, but your content is 100% controlled by them and you don’t get your own unique domain. For example, instead of antininefive.com, this would be antininefive.tumblr.com.
You’re also very limited to what you can do. You won’t have a large selection of what plugins you can install within a hosted WordPress blog. You won’t have the freedom to upload all the videos or images you want due to upload limits. Overall, you’re extremely limited.
You also don’t actually own your blog. All these platforms have and will delete blogs if you somehow go against their TOS. The worst part about this is that you can’t even monetize your blog. What’s the point in starting a blog now if you can’t get a good investment out of it right?
However if you go with your own webhost, you own the domain. You don’t have to deal with TOS and be worried about your blog being deleted. You can upload how much and whatever you want. And the best part…. YOU GET TO ACTUALLY MONETIZE YOUR BLOG.
One of the biggest reasons that people stick with free hosted blogs is because they don’t want to spend money on hosting. That’s where they’re screwing themselves over. But will webhosting break the bank?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. If you can afford to buy one Starbucks coffee per month, or a McDonald’s burger off the value menu, you can afford webhosting. It’s very cheap. Cheaper alternatives can go as low as $1 per month. However, it’s recommended to pick a high quality webhost and that should cost you around $3-$10/month
SELECT A DOMAIN NAME
Picking a domain name is the most essential part of starting a blog. This is the name that your readers will familiarize with. This is the name that you will build. Treat your domain name as a business name. You will be building up this name.
You want to make it somewhat short but catchy. Make it something that people will remember. Picking a name isn’t the only challenge however. You may run into the problem of people already claiming that name. There are options for you to get a .ca, .org, .net or any other TLD for that given name, but it’s better to just move on and find a different one.
There are many domain name providers out there. We highly recommend going with namecheap. They have monthly promo codes that you can use to get discounts and they offer free whois protection. They also provide hosting too.
SET UP YOUR DOMAIN FOR YOUR BLOG
This part is easy. First off, your webhost will provide you with a nameserver address. What you need to do is go to wherever you bought your domain from and change the nameserver address to what your host gave you.
The next step is to go to your admin panel on your webhost. On there, there usually is a “one-click” WordPress installation option. Select that, follow the instructions and you’ll have WordPress installed.
From there, it’s all customization, adding plugins and designing your site.
But once you log in, you can already get a head start and write your first post if you’d like.
DESIGN YOUR BLOG
This is by far the most fun part of starting a blog. This is where you’ll see your blog come to life and look professional. The first thing you can do is change your site’s theme. Check out ThemeForest.net for their huge selection of different themes/templates and use those for your site.
Choose something that will make your blog look good but professional. Also pick a theme that has easy customizability. You can always change themes in the future. We’ve done that quite a lot of times actually