Are you planning to kick off this 2020 with a blog? And do you see you have something that you desire to share with others?
It is not hard to start a blog. For those who postpone getting started, they may think it is overly confusing and technical. Or, they may assume that competing in a packed marketplace is not possible. Some refuse to consider it as they cannot determine certainly what they intend to blog about, while fear of failure holds some others back.
Believe it or not, those self-constructed roadblocks do not need to hinder you. The content that you produce in your blog will be unique and a fantastic way of delivering value to those who need it.
Having plenty of money or technical expertise is not necessary. All you need to do is get over no matter what has been preventing you from getting started.
The Essential Steps to Start Your Blog
Is it your first blog? Or is it a new start following other attempts? Are you becoming a blogger for personal or professional reasons? Either way, the most advisable approach is to simplify the process and just proceed with one step at a time.
We suggest starting your blog in just five straightforward steps:
- Choose a topic
- Buy a domain
- Select a blogging platform
- Choose the hosting and theme
- Plan for content
Read through below for the details about what to account for in each step.
1. Choose a topic
By any chance, are you creating a blog to generate a web presence for your existing offline business? Then, you have already done with the step of selecting your topic. For those who are starting from scratch, the high possibility is that you have no idea yet of the things to blog about.
A favorable approach to selecting a topic is to associate it with what you have the utmost passion about. Ask yourself, what do you keep reading or addressing to the point your friends wish you could put an end to that talk? What is so exciting to you that you desire to write about it daily without being bored?
If you go for a broad topic, you are likely to have a tough time competing with larger websites that have developed the content about a similar subject matter to yours. That is why narrowing it down to one specialty should be your wise move. For instance, you will be able to succeed in writing about losing belly fat compared to overall weight loss. Else, rather than blogging about every aspect of gardening, why do not you shed light on growing roses?
While for some people, it is simple to select a topic, others find it is more challenging. Do not let this step worry you for too long. In case you choose one topic and figure out that it is going nowhere, starting a different blog is always okay. What is crucial is to stop being reluctant and take the plunge.
2. Buy a domain
In case you do not know, keywords are the words that people type into Google or other search engines to look for information about a topic. Use a memorable, simple title for the blog rather than something hard to spell or complicated. Leaving hyphens out of the domain name tends to be better.
For the best, your domain should end with .com (dot com) instead of dot anything else such as .net (dot net). Readers will always type .com first when they remember your blog’s name yet not what follows the dot.
3. Choose a Blogging Platform
A couple of different blogging platforms are available to select, and they differ in the quantity of experience asked to use them efficiently. It is apt to rely on a platform that is flexible enough and will enable any changes you probably want to make in the future.
Some of your best choices should be:
- WordPress.org: This self-hosted blogging platform may be the most popular out of every platform for blogging out there these days. It provides numerous functionality, plugins, themes, aside from satisfying community support.
- WordPress.com: Beginners will not be able to get enough of this free blogging platform since learning it is a piece of cake while you first start your blog. Similar to other unpaid platforms, ads will show up on your site, and you do not actually own it. Sad but true, WordPress has the power to shut down your site in the event it chooses to.
- Blogger: If you do not have any blogging experience, this free platform will be a sure place for you to get started. Similar to WordPress.com, you are not the real owner of your blog and have limited selections for tools or support.
- Wix: This platform makes use of drag and drop gadgets to make the process of creating a website simpler.
- Squarespace: This platform will not disappoint beginners with its user-friendly drag and drop website building tools.
- Joomla: Like WordPress.org, this – This open-source system of content management is a self-hosted choice with many templates. The community support is not as much as WordPress, though.
If you do select a free platform to get started and earn some experience, bear in mind that ads will appear on your site – they may detract from your message. On a brighter note, with this path to go, you will not have to buy a domain name along with hosting.
On the other hand, professional sites had better count on a platform where you can host your own blog. In UGROW Marketing, we always choose WordPress.org!
4. Choose the Hosting and Theme
Now that you have decided on your domain name as well as your hosting, put up your site online and make a theme installation. Themes are known as the templates with the functionality of boosting how your blog will look. Your blog can access several free themes. You can either select one of them or buy a premium theme.
For those who go for WordPress as their blogging platform, they can visit a lot of tutorials readily available to learn how to install a theme. Not all, the supportive community can help you resolve any confusion that you may have.
What if you count on a different platform for blogging? No worries! The platform and your web hosting provider should be willing to support you through the technical part when installing a theme involves.
Plenty of different plugins are useful for enhancing the functionality of your WordPress blog. For example, some better the experiences of people who are visiting your site while others are a big help when it comes to managing the blog behind the scenes. Looking into the WordPress dashboard, you can find the type of plugins you need, say, an editorial calendar, a photo dropper, or a contact form.
Note that a few themes may come with the extra requirement – for example, some plugins are installed so that the theme can work. If it is the case, the theme will clarify which plugins are required to install. Two recommended plugins for almost any WordPress blog are Yoast SEO and Akismet. While the first will help make your site optimized for search engines, the latter save it from the overwhelming comment spams.
5. Plan for Writing Content
Have you finished setting up your site? Now, it is time to start writing. You can plan your content with an editorial calendar. Consider your target audience as well as what they wish to read about, and next, begin generating relevant content to your niche. No matter what you post, remain focused, and consistent; otherwise, your readers will lose their interest.
You may want to write posts in advance and leverage your blogging platform to schedule the posts to be uploaded on the time and date that you prefer.
Writing a blog post daily is not necessary, but it is excellent to blog regularly. Those interested in your topic and landing on your blog may expect to read new content from time to time. You will develop the following base faster if you post frequently.
Plus, the more you write, the more you can hone your writing skills, and the better you will know the stuff to write about. Be dedicated to your blog. You can interact with some other bloggers and pick up everything you can about the blogging world.
Follow these five steps to start your blog, and be sure that you post regularly, engage with people who reach out either through leaving a comment or social sharing. Above all, check analytics to have a better idea of the things that are resonating with your audience.
As a bonus, continuously practicing and posting will help boost your blogging skills.