Want to learn how to start a blog?
If you’re looking for a free, easy and step-by-step guide to follow on how to start a blog, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to help guide you through this.
Don’t fear, starting a blog will be easy even if you have no technical experience – and I’m here to guide you through every step of the way. In about ten minutes from now, you have a brand new blog to call your own.
So, how do you start a blog?
What is a Blog?
A blog is a type of website where the content is presented in reverse chronological order (newer content appear first). Blog content is often referred to as entries or “blog posts”.
Blogs are typically run by an individual or a small group of people to present information in a conversational style. However, now there are tons of corporate blogs that produce a lot of informational and thought-leadership style content.
What can you write about in a blog?
Ask yourself “What do you love doing?”.
I like finding new ways of marketing online. I have been studying great ways to market products and services online for small businesses for over 3 years now, so I wanted to help others.
That’s when my blog got kicked off. You should always blog about what you love. So, try to brainstorm what you are good at.
- Are you good at making desserts or cooking?
- Do you just love talking about your lifestyle and your mum life?
- Are you good at selling?
- Do you love travelling?
- Are you a fashion junkie?
- Are you an expert in Photography?
Do you need to spend a LOT of money to start a blog?
Absolutely NOT. You can start a blog for a price as low as $2.95 per month (only through my link for a limited time!) That’s almost equal to nothing when compared to the possible income you can get from your blog.
You can start a profitable blog for that price which can earn more than that.
Bluehost is the hosting provider which I recommend, and you can start your blog quickly for this low price and get a FREE domain as well. Bluehost also has a money back guarantee, so you are stress-free.
Let’s get into the details of how to start a blog and make money,
1. Brainstorm a Good Domain Name
It is the first step you take when you start a blog. A domain name is pretty much like your address on the web. For example, my domain name is audiovisuallab.co.za.
Choose a domain name which relates to your niche, and this might take some brainstorming because not all domain names you want might be available.
I would suggest you go with Bluehost so that it’s not too complicated for you and you have both your domain name and hosting with one company.
You get a domain name FREE if you sign up with Bluehost for a 36 month plan.
There are free web hosting options like WordPress.com and Blogger.com, but if you are serious about making money from your blog, then you need to go with a self-hosted option.
With a self-hosted blog, you monetize it fairly quickly, and you own all your content. If you want to start your blogging journey on the right foot, then go with self-hosted.
I have hosted my blog with Bluehost, and I never had any issues with it. It offers the lowest price for hosting, and I am very pleased with their support.
2. Get started
After you go to the homepage of Bluehost you will see this screen, click on ‘Get Started now.’
Then you will come to the web page below, where you have three options for hosting namely Basic, Plus and Prime. I am with the Basic plan and that is more than enough for me. You can always update the plan later if you need.
Another reason why I recommend the 36 month plan is, you save a lot of money when compared to paying month by month.
It covers many things along with a FREE domain when you sign up for a 36 month plan, and this is just for $2.95/month!
3. Register or Connect your Domain name
Now is the time to register the domain name that you chose earlier. If you have your domain name with other hosting providers, you can always transfer it here.
4. Choose your Package
After you have given your details, you come to this screen where you have to choose your package. I started off with a 36-month plan at $2.95 per month. If you don’t want to go for a long-term plan, then you can go with a 12-month plan. It saves a lot of money.
As a beginner blogger, you don’t need to worry about the extras. If you need them, you can always update them later.
5. Install WordPress
And now for the best part, Bluehost automatically installs your WordPress after you sign up for hosting so that you don’t need to any techie stuff!
You just have to login with your WordPress credentials.
Your blog is ready!!
You need themes to make your blog look good. You have to log into WordPress and then go to ‘Themes’. There will be some free ones that are available to you.
You can always use free themes to design your blog, but if you want to go with paid themes, then I suggest Uncode. My blog is with Uncode theme and I highly recommend it if you want to go for a paid one.
Time to Start Writing for Your New Blog
The important thing I did and would advise you is, have rough drafts of at least ten posts before you launch your website.
That way you have your content ready, and you can work on the promotion when the launch happens.
Try to understand what your readers want, read their comments and know what they need. Writing and promoting go hand in hand.
Writing a post can be relatively easy when you know a lot about your niche but trying to solve a reader’s problem is something which is going to get returning traffic.
One thing I do is, go to forums and places like Reddit, Quora. There are discussions here, and they can be a gold mine for your blog post ideas. You can also sign up for Google Trends, you will get top trending news about your niche, which can be good post topics.
How to write a blog post & publish it
Now that your blog is up and running it’s time to actually do some blogging!
Go to the left menu and click on “Posts”.
You will see there is already a post there. This is a default post on every new WordPress blog, and we don’t need it. To delete it click “Trash” just under the post.
To begin writing a new post, click the “Add New” link.
You are now on the post editor screen. Enter the title of your post in the top box and then begin writing your post in the lower box.
If you would like to add a picture to your post, click on the “Add Image” icon and click “Upload” to upload a picture from your computer. You can make adjustments to the picture size on the next screen. When you are ready click “Insert into post” to add the picture.
Once you have finished your post just click the “Publish” button on the top right side of the screen to publish it.
Publishing Your Blog
Even after you have written a post your blog may still be showing a “Coming Soon” page.
When you are ready to make your blog public just click the “BlueHost” menu at the top left of the menu in your administrator area then click the blue “Launch” button to remove the “Coming Soon” page.
Congratulations! You now know how to start your own blog and publish content!
Step 6: Promote your blog
Creating a well-designed blog and writing great content is just the start. In order to get readers for your blog, you will need to spend some time promoting it, especially when you first start.
One of my favourite ways to get readers to my blog is to post links on my social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. This is great, because not only do your friends see the link, but if your friends share the link with their friends it automatically multiplies your readers. If you have created high-quality content on your blog then social media is a great way for your blog to go viral.
In addition to getting new readers to your blog, you will also want to make sure your current readers are coming back. This is where email marketing plays a big role. By collecting the email addresses of your visitors (with their permission of course), you can then notify them when you post something new on your blog. This keeps people coming back to your blog, which not only gives you more readers over time, it also allows you to build a closer relationship with your readers.
Email marketing is too big a topic to cover well here, so I created a separate guide to email marketing for those who are interested (hint: every blogger who wants more readers needs to read this guide).
For more tips on promoting your blog make sure to check out my in-depth guide to blog promotion.
Step 7: Make money blogging
Once you have put in the effort of creating great blog content and promoting your blog, making money from your blog is actually the easy part.
There are several ways you can make money blogging, from selling your own products or services, to getting paid to write reviews of products on your blog. But the easiest way to make money from your blog is to sell advertising space.
Once you have a popular blog, advertisers will be hounding you for the opportunity to advertise. The best way to take advantage of this situation is to use Google Adsense. They find the advertisers for you and all you have to do is place the Google Adsense code on your blog to start running ads. Google Adsense takes all of the hard work out of the process and just cuts you a check.
For more information see my full guide to making money blogging here.
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