Start a Blog-A Complete Step-By-Step Guide
Congratulations! So, you want to start a blog, Yeah? Great idea!
Think yourself, why you need a blog? What you can do with it? Do you actually need a website or blog? Do you know what is a blog? Are you ready to create content by yourself regularly? or do you want to just showcase some of your creativity to the world? Are you ready to host your blog by yourself? or do you want to host it somebody and don’t want to pay a penny?
So many questions, find the answers…
The only thing that you know at this time is probably, you need a blog! Right, then this is the first step. If you ask me about blogging, I’ll say,
- It’s a great way to express yourself!
- It’s a fantastic way to share information with others!
- It’s creation, You’ll become a better thinker, a better writer!
- it’s a great way to connect with people!
- It can boost productivity and helps to establish authority!
- You’ll become more confident, inspire others!
- You can make a reputation and can make money with it!
Find Your Niche first. If you have some idea in your mind, ok, good. If not, select something you know and love. I am telling you to start a blog about what you’re passionate about. It is highly important because most of the bloggers failed due to lack of interest and knowledge about the topic that you are discussing.
Think, What are you passionate about? Why should write about things you are passionate about?
- You’re more likely to put your time and effort into your blog to make it more attractive.
- You’re less likely to run out of ideas, so less likely to abandon your blog in the future.
- You can feel that you are flowing, not just writing and your readers can also feel it. Get more readers.
Now, write about what?
- What are your hobbies?
- What do you enjoy reading and learning about?
- How do you spend your free time?
- What are you thinking about?
Blogging is all about expressing your ideas, thinking, and suggestions. Follow this approach, What do you think about a topic/subject? So you will soon fill up with tremendous ideas and thoughts. If you’re struggling with writer’s block, don’t get discouraged. Writing whatever comes to your mind about the subject. Ignore punctuation and silly grammar mistakes. Just write freely. Keep away your phone and unplug from the TV, just write about a topic, correct it (grammatically and technically), rewrite it. Do it regularly and you will be in the creative flow. Decide your topic of interest. Happy writing!
This is the second thing you want to ask. Don’t have any idea about it. I’ll explain it to you. Everything that we have seen on the internet is stored in somewhere. When we visit a particular website all the contents (including text, images, videos, and background scripts) are loaded on your web browser. For example, you are visiting a newspaper’s website. Say, ‘The New York Times’. What you will do. Simply search on a search engine using the keyword “The New York Times”. If you are a regular reader, you may know it’s web address (like our home address) “https://www.nytimes.com/”. If you know the web address, you can directly enter it on the browser. What happens when you hit enter, the newspaper page is displayed. Simple!
So, if you want to display your own page you have to store it somewhere, now onward, hosted it somewhere. Clear! Now the question is, do you want to host it on your own storage location (hosting space) or do you want to just use other’s storage location, you just want to create and display the contents?
If you need your own space, think about hosting. If you don’t want to host, think about hosted blogging platforms.
If you need a hosted blogging platforms, you can check these popular blogging platforms,
- Blogger – Check Blogger
Blogger has a selection of easy-to-use templates, you will get a free blogspot.com domain or you can buy a custom domain, Google AdSense (advertising) can automatically display relevant targeted ads on your blog so that you can earn income by posting about your passion. From blogger, I started my blogging journey. Most of the famous bloggers also started their journey from here.
- WordPress.com – Check WordPress.com
Wordpress powers 29% of the internet.you can get a custom domain, no ads. Choose your theme, pick a domain, select a plan and start building your blog.
- Wix – Check Wix
Wix offers templates, blog editor, custom domains, social and promotional tools, video & photo galleries and advanced SEO features.
- Weebly Check Weebly–
Drag and drop tools make starting a blog easy. The flexible drag and drop interface helps you build blog content quickly. Powerful design (free blog templates) and publishing elements let you focus on your content.
Self-hosted Content Management Systems (CMS) (Need a Hosting Account)
What’s a content management system (CMS)?
At this point, I want to give you some idea about CMS. A content management system (CMS) is a web-based application, that provides capabilities for multiple users with different permission levels to manage (all or a section of) content (creating, editing, archiving, publishing, collaborating), data or information of a website or blog.
- WordPress.org – Check WordPress
WordPress is open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app. 29% of the web uses WordPress, from hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online. This is the downloadable version of WordPress. You can extend WordPress with over 45,000 plugins, and a huge list of templates to help your website meet your needs. You had to update to new versions when it is available. Currently, we are using WordPress on all our sites. Tried and tested platform, blindly go for it.
- Drupal – Check Drupal
Drupal and Joomla are like WordPress. They are competing with each other for the first place. Launch, manage with the flexibility to build great websites.
- Joomla – Check Joomla
Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build web sites and powerful online applications.
- Ghost- Check Ghost
Ghost is a fully open source platform for building and running a modern online publication. It power blogs, magazines and journalists from Zappos to Sky News.
Decide your blogging platform, check the demo using the above links. Check the administrator dashboard and features by yourself, as you have to handle it regularly.
Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a name for a brand or a company. You have to consider a few things here. Your domain name is your blog or websites identity on the web. So do these things,
Keep it short-Be memorable
Make it easy to spell and easy to type. Don’t make any confusion to your users. If your domain name is too long and complex, there is a chance of mistyping or misspelling it. Try to avoid numbers and hyphens, it is not easy to say your blogs name to others, people who hear your blog address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (7) or it’s spelled out (seven) or they misplace or forget the hyphen. Your domain name is catchy and easily memorable to stand it out from the crowd.
Use an appropriate domain name extension
Extensions are suffixes followed by your domain keyword, you may notice it like .com, .org or .net, at the end of a web address. You need one. Each extension has specific uses, so make sure to choose one that matches your blog or website. The .com domain extension is the most popular one, but it is very difficult to get a short and memorable one. Check for expired or dropped domains list. You can use instantdoaminsearch to find a domain fast.
- .com: is a top-level domain (TLD), derived from a commercial for commercial organizations.
- .info : is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) for informational sites.
- .net: a generic top-level domain (gTLD) for networking technology organizations.
- .org : a generic top-level domain (gTLD) for non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
- .biz: a generic top-level domain (gTLD) for business or commercial use.
- .me: blogs, resumes or personal sites.
There are country specific domains (.us,.in) and premium domains are there, check this list. Pick your Domain.
Develop a content strategy, stick to a blogging schedule. Add new content on a regular basis, by adding the new contents regularly.
Incorporate a “Share” button into each of your blog entries (there are plenty of plugins or script available to do it). Encourage your users to share your content via email, Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn and other social networking platforms.
So you learned a bit about blogging. You have learned about several blogging platforms. Something about Content Management Systems (CMS)-it’s really makes your digital life simple. Now, you have to concentrate only on your writings and post it to your CMS. The rest of the things were handled by your CMS! There are plenty of free or paid templates or themes available to choose a skin for your taste. To improve functionally plenty of free or paid plugins and add-ons are available.
There are certain things that ruin your blogging journey. The lack of passion, lack of creativity, lack of goal, lack of personality, lack of concentration and the greed to earn more. You need a lot of patience and resilience to avoid turning over to the worst side and losing out to your greed. Try to provide something of value to the community and build a loyal readership. You won’t look back, your blog will gradually grow. Happy Blogging!