Before I start telling you about how to start blog, let us take a minute to appreciate ya all for investing your time in researching how to start a blog.
Many of you have great ideas to share with the world with a touch of a creative writing flare, but are stuck thinking where to start from.
When people think about starting a blog and don’t take any action, the blogger community actually loses some really talented creative content makers.
So let this article be for all of the passionate and aspiring content makers out there who want to paint the world with their thoughts.
Things to consider before you start a blog:
#1 What will your blog be about? :
This is something that if you don’t make clear at the beginning you’ll find yourself lost after some time.
Select a niche that you think you can rock. Something that you are very well aware of and can creatively express yourself about.
#2 Domain name and hosting:
Choosing the right domain name is a crucial factor in this business. Your domain name should resonate with the content that you want to sell. It must be something catchy, memorable and that people would spell out easily.
Coming to the hosting for your blog, there are a few factors that play a role in deciding what host to go with. Are you looking for a cheap hosting with high-quality features and a great record uptime?
Then you could check my article where I have reviewed iPage, GoDaddy , BlueHost and other web hosts. You’ll definitely find the best host for your blog and also understand the role a host plays in your blog’s success.
Why do you need a good hosting?
- Well, there are many reasons for you to have a good reliable hosting, great Uptime being the major one.
- If your blog includes transactions like selling your stuff online to a bigger audience base, you don’t want your site to go down often.
- Having a host with 99% to 100% uptime makes sure that your audience can always reach your blog.
- Another thing about a good host is the software services they offer like one click WordPress installation.
- A blog without WordPress is like a body without a soul. Installing WordPress manually may seem a lot of work for the newbies if you have less or no technical knowledge. In such scenario, 1-click installation is really helpful.
- With a good host, you also get access to MySQL databases and phpMyAdmin that help you create databases for your WordPress blog and access, modify, add or delete the contents using phpMyAdmin. These databases serve you a lot when backing up your WordPress site.
- FTP feature in the cPanel lets you download or upload files to your server through an FTP client. Using an FTP client makes browsing your folders and files on the server, changing permissions and other stuff much easier.
#3 Blogging platform:
There are many blogging platforms out there like Blogspot, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal.
Choose the one which meets all the needs of your blog. I highly recommend WordPress (and that’s what I’m gonna talk about in this article) for the beginners.
You can read other articles on this blog to know why WordPress is the best content management system. Once you have signed for a web host and picked a domain name, it’s time to install WordPress.
Now, there are two ways to do this. First being the 1-Click WordPress installation that is provided by most of the web hosts and another way is manual installation. It might seem a little difficult to install WordPress manually if you are a beginner, but trust me, it is the best way to install WordPress on your site.
I have an article explaining in detail about how to install WordPress manually.
WordPress: Why is it the best platform for your blog?
So far I have been telling you to install WordPress to start your blog. If you’re wondering why, let me address your curiosity.
What is WordPress?
Basically, it is a CMS (Content Management System), the most powerful one for blogging. It allows content creation and management in a very easy and effective way.
Most of the top bloggers today, use WordPress which has helped their blog make a difference.
The beauty of WordPress is that you can create a stunning WordPress blog even if you have less or no html or php knowledge. Design your blog with WordPress is just a matter of few mouse clicks. It has got a lot of stuff to add functionality to your site and make it look cooler at the same time.
Choosing the right theme for your blog is the essential part when starting a blog.
A theme is what makes your blog look alive! The wide range of WordPress themes makes sure that you will find the best fit for you blog.
You can find themes for any and all niches ranging from education, business, E-commerce to music, personal blog and many other.
There are some best WordPress themes providers out there like ElegantThemes and ThemeForest where you can find both free and premium WordPress themes. They are the giants in the business. To get more insight about these theme providers, check my article on 20 hand-picked best WordPress themes.
A theme not only gives your blog the desired look but it also adds functionality to your blog. To name a few functionalities, Responsiveness and E-Commerce integration are the most essential and top functionalities.
A responsive blog or site is one which can be viewed on mobile, PC, and tablets. You definitely want a vast audience base for your blog for which a responsive theme is essential.
If you are planning to start an online store to sell your products, you would want to have a theme with E-Commerce integration.
Other cool features that you can add to your blog using WordPress themes is a search bar, a slider, a drop down menu to make your blog look professional.
Usually, when running a website or blog, you might need to add some html or PHP code to add more functions to your site. This can be troublesome if you have no experience with HTML programming. WordPress provides an easy way to do this- WordPress plugins
What are WordPress plugins?
WordPress plugins can be considered as functions that extend or add more to the functionality of your WordPress site.
How do they work?
There are many plugins offered by WordPress that enhances your site functionality. For instance, you want to start a community site using WordPress but have no clue how to write the code for such a functionality. WordPress’ got your back! It offers a plugin called BuddyPress to add functionalities like members’ login, messaging and other functions essential for a community site. All it takes on your part is a few simple steps to search the plugin in WordPress plugins directory, click install and then hit the activate button.
Another example is the plugin for Rich Snippets– a markup to make the search engines understand what your page contains.
You must have come across these Rich Snippets many time when you google search reviews on products. You will see many google search results with a star rating. There, right there is your WordPress plugin in action. When you write a review post, you can give a star rating for the product you are reviewing using the All in One Schema.org plugin by WordPress. It’s as simple as 1-2-3. At the end of your post, you can simply add the details of the review like a name of the product, reviewer, and the star ratings. This makes your post look legit in the Google search results drawing people’s attention to your post and thus driving in more traffic to your blog.
Most of the plugins are free, but you can also opt for premium plugins which offer 24/7 support.
Now that you have got installed WordPress got the right theme and necessary plugins, it’s time to optimize your content for SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The main purpose of your blog is to be able to connect to the audience all over the world. Most of the audience or quality traffic is the organic traffic- traffic driven from Google search.
To drive the people to search on Google to your blog, your content must be optimized for SEO. In simple words, your content must be liked by the Search Engines as well to make your post appear in top 10 Google search results.
How to get your post appear in top google search results?
There are many SEO techniques, to optimize your content for SEO. To get an in-depth understanding of these techniques, you can go through the articles in the SEO category on this blog. Here I’ll introduce you to two main factors- Keywords and Backlinks.
Keywords are those terms that people use while searching for a particular thing in the search engines. For instance to learn how to start a blog, you would go on google and search how to start a blog.
Now, if my post is about starting a blog, the content of my post should have the keyword “how to start a blog”. If I include something like “let’s create a blog” or “this is how you blog easily like a boss” which people seldom or almost never search for in google, in spite of my post having all the right guidelines, people would never find my post in google search results.
This should have given you a clear idea of keywords. With PokemonGo taking over the world, let me put this concept in the Pokemon way.
High paying keywords – gotta get’em all!
You can refer my other article on how to get high paying keywords.
A backlink to your page is basically a link from other website. Think of it as an incoming link; when some other website from your niche refers your page by providing a link to it.
These backlinks play a major role in SEO. They also influence your page rank. To check the stats of a website like backlinks, keywords, organic traffic you can use an SEO tool like SEMrush. Using such a tool is really helpful to optimize your content for SEO as you can check your competitor’s keywords using SEO tools. That is an easy way of finding high performing keywords and to outrun your competition by seeing which keywords are performing well for your competitor.
Know more about how to use SEMrush in the related article on this blog here.
Now, when addressing the key aspects of blogging, it won’t be a good idea to have the monetization part left out.
Monetizing your blog
Many of us who invest a lot of time and energy blogging expect monetary benefits out of our blog. This helps you take care of your hosting expenses.
There are many ways to monetize your blog, Google Adsense being one of the top ones.
When you sign up for Google Adsense, they find you the right advertisers for your blog depending on your niche. The money that you would make with such advertising networks depends on the traffic that your blog drives from search engines and also the geographical locations of these traffic sources. They provide you many plans like CPC (Cost per Click) which is the buck you earn when someone clicks on the ad. Other deciding factors are CR (Conversion Rate), CPM (Cost per Mile).
Other way to monetize your blog is by affiliate marketing. By becoming an affiliate to the companies selling products or services related to your niche, you can promote their products on your blog.
Every time someone buys that product visiting their site through your referral link, you get a good commission from the sale. This is the most used way of monetization opted by many of the top blogs in the community. Whether you choose affiliate marketing, third party advertising networks or you get direct advertisers for you blog, high traffic is the key to making money with your blog.
I hope you take away many things from this article and successfully start your blog. Welcome to the community. Happy blogging!