Creating a website in 2018, is a piece of cake. You find tons of resources available in internet that teaches you basics of how to create your own website.
Once you get an idea, you can start making your site. But there are times when you need assistance while set-up.
In this guide, I have discussed a step by step tutorial to answer the question, ‘How to Start Your Own Blog?’.
Before I begin, you should know…
What is a blog?
Blog is a web-page with some content, written in a conversational style, which is regularly updated. It could simply be a review. informational content, university updates, press-release or any recent news.
Terms you should be familiar before you start blogging:
Blogger: Person who write blogs is known as blogger. A blogger can write personal experiences, share interviews, write reviews or just an update about any event.
Niche: Main category of your website or blog. Like you are writing about mobile phones, television etc. then your niche is Electronics. If you’re writing about places to visit, itineraries, travel plans etc. then your niche is ‘Travel’.
Domain: The website URL is known as domain. Like ‘theflyingpaper.com’ is my domain address.
Hosting: Web hosting is a store that allows any website accessible across the world wide web. A Web-host stores your website files including your codes, databases and every other important apps or data.
WordPress: Most powerful blogging platform, which is one of the easiest as well as best content management system.
Keywords: Phrases that defines your article or phrases that helps people to find your article, using that keyword to search on search engines. Like, if you want to read about making money tips for college students, then type the phrase as it is and you’ll find the result based on keyword search.
Hope you’re familiar with the basic terms of blogging. Now, let’s go ahead to understand the purpose of having a blog.
Important: It takes around 10 minutes to install any website using WordPress and if you have your content ready it will hardly take 30 mins to launch.
Why Do You Need a Blog?
Earlier days, writing columns in a newspaper was considered prestigious and even today the trend is similar. But online market has seized the trend and online magazines are seeking attention of the readers.
Blogging, on the other hand, has provided an amazing platform to the people so they can write about anything, from anywhere. Today, more than reading a newspaper column, millennial engage more interest in reading blogs and sharing it to their friends or various social channels.
Stats reveal there are….
These are the statistics of 2016, just imagine the numbers of 2018. If they are making it, why can’t you?
Let’s see some benefits of blogging, before I take you the process of creating your own blog:
- It’s a medium to Personal Branding.
- Platform to Share Your Knowledge to the people.
- Launch your own programs and start teaching people.
- Sell products and make money.
- Write reviews of your favorite product in your style and tell your experience.
- Make Passive Income.
- Write stories and poetry.
….and much more. If you’re convinced why you should start your own website, I have mentioned some steps below to make easy for you to set up.
How to Start Your Own Blog in 7 Easy Steps
Making your own blog could reap a lot of benefits. You will create your own Brand, have your own readers and no doubt, you are going to make some pennies with your blogging site.
Are you ready to set up?
Step 1: Choose the Best Platform For Blogging
Top 5 Platforms for Blogging:
As a beginner, you would like to go with such a platform, which is easy to set up and won’t require any coding skills.
You’d wish for a platform that offers you flexibility, so that you can customize your website, change the look, design and add multiple features for your growing audience.
Once you decide to choose a platform for your blog, switching it later would be a difficult part, so making a wise choice before proceeding is very important.
Also, with the goals of making money in the future, I would strongly suggest you to go with WordPress.org Platform. (Remember, WordPress.com is a different blog hosting service, offered for free)
Here are some benefits if you use WordPress.org for Blogging:
- Powerful Content Management System and a flexible platform.
- Can add various features like Forums, Online Store, Reviews, Membership etc.
- Download thousands of premium and free themes available in the marketplace. Customize your website according to your needs.
- Access to plugins directory to download over 4500 based on your website’s requirement.
- WordPress is Search Engine Friendly. You can easily optimize your website for a better SEO ranking.
You will also find majority of bloggers online use WordPress for blogging because it is affordable, easy to use and it saves time because easily accessible plugins and themes.
Step 2: Choose a Niche
Hope you have found the best platform for your blog. I have discuss ahead, the step by step process of creating a blog using WordPress.org
Note: If you find any other platform better than WordPress, you can still continue reading till ‘Buying a Domain’.
The most important factor that will determine the rate of success of your blog, is choosing a niche or genre.
Most of the bloggers fail and complain about blogging never makes money, because they fail in choosing a correct niche and directly set up their website.
Although, it’s no rocket science, but due to enough competition in the market, niche helps you to track the best audience for your blog.
But, before you find your niche. You should…
Find Your Interest & Brainstorm the Ideas
Many of you might seek interest in making money or owning a pet. Some of them might also have interest in reading books, while some of them are tech geeks.
Whatever skills you possess, the one you enjoy sharing with others is the best one to become your writing niche. Let’s say you manage your money well. Therefore, you are good in financial management and you feel your tricks and tips to make money or save it, would help a lot of people around.
Therefore you should start finding about blogs related to financial management or making money and list down your competitors. Find out what type of articles gets attention and narrow down your search. Because ‘making money online’ or ‘financial management tips’ is a very broad term and it has a lot of bloggers who will compete you.
Once you narrow down, you could write about:
- Make Money Tips for College Students
- Saving Money during Travel
- Trading using a specific platform
- How to spend money in daily life
- Lifestyle of rich people, etc.
After jotting down your ideas and sub-niche, find out what type of products are available in the market, which can help you build your business. Also, research about the crowd who can visit your website or what type of people should you target. The whole process is referred to as, ‘Market Research’.
Note: If you do a strong market research and find out all the dimensions your topic then you will definitely make a successful blog.
Once you brainstorm your ideas, decide sub-niche and find the market for your sub-niche, it’s time for you to find a business name for your blog.
Choose a Perfect name for your Blog or Brand
The most difficult part during your blogging journey is to find a Brand name that will seek attention of your readers.
In the competitive blogging world, choosing a perfect name is really difficult because most of the names you think about are taken. But here are few things you should note before you finalize your brand name:
- Name of your Brand should be catchy and unique.
- It should explain what your brand is all about.
- It should not be long and should not be messed up.
- Try Alliterations or find creative names like we did ‘The Flying Paper’.
Apart from the bullet lists, here is a printable Branding worksheet prepared by Melyssa Griffin, a famous Entrepreneur who has helped a many bloggers to grow their audience, build their network and earn income. I recommend you this worksheet because it will guide you to create a catchy name like her’s ‘The Nectar Collective’.
If you need some online tools like Business Name generators, hop on:
- Shopify Business Name Generator
- Anadea Business Name Generator
- Namelix: AI Powered Name Generator
- Cool Name Ideas
I believe the resources discussed above will help you find the best available name in the market.
Now, since you have found out how to choose your niche and find a perfect name for your website. We shall discuss about how you can buy your own domain.
Step 3: Choose A Domain name
I hope now you know how to find a best name for your business. But, what if someone else has already bought that domain with same name.
In that case you should always find out 2 or more related names for your brand and then search it on Namecheap or Godaddy. They are the best domain registrars of 2018, which will help you to find and buy your domain at an optimum price, with a good service support.
I suggest Namecheap and Godaddy because they allow you to search list of domain names for free and then let to buy your preferred domain name at a very cheap price.
- Namecheap lets you find a domain name for free and buy it at only $10.98 per year.
- Godaddy allows a free domain search and then buy a domain for only $10-12 per year.
Top marketers like Nate Shivar, recommends you to go for Namecheap if you’re planning to own a website for long run. While GoDaddy is the best option if you’re going to build your website right now and then ready to transfer it to another service provider in the next year.
Also, you can get a domain for free if you buy a hosting service plan with Bluehost.
So let’s find a best hosting deal for you. (Coupons Included)
Step 4: Finding the Best Host for Your Blog
Hosting a domain for your wordpress site will be a major investment. Never compromise in buying a hosting service.
Here are few hosting services you might use for your WordPress blog:
- Godaddy Hosting
Before deciding the best option, you should look for their customer service, server up-time, pricing, quality, storage and speed and a lot more factors.
I am using Godaddy hosting service to try it for the first time on this website and Hostgator, Bluehost for my other websites. I have had a good experience with Hostgator and Bluehost.
You can also try Siteground, which is recommended by top level marketers for their quality service and top speed blogs.
Here’s the pricing for website hosts:
- BlueHost: $10.99/ month
- Godaddy: $8.99/ month
- Hostgator: $9.95/ month
My Recommendation: If you’re a beginner, choose Bluehost for your Shared Hosting WordPress Site. Because:
- Launched in 2003, it has served for over 15 years.
- It offers you a best combo of speed, reliability and price.
- Hosted over 2 million domains in the market (with it’s sister companies combined).
- Cheap in price and 99.9% uptime.
- Free domain at purchase of hosting package.
- Best at service. No hassles while transferring your hosting.
So, once you decide your host and buy your package. Let’s discuss how to install your wordpress site.
Step 5: Installing Your Blog
I believe you understood how to choose a host for your website and some of you might have bought it, as well. Hence, the most laborious task has been done.
It’s time to create your business page.
WordPress is a powerful content management system that lets you to write blogs, sell products, make courses and sell, publish videos and a lot more.
Installation of your WordPress website is very easy. Follow the steps below that will guide you through the process (this is the guideline for Bluehost users, although the process is same for every other host):
- Login to your Cpanel account.
- Find the Website section and select Install WordPress.
- Click Install button.
- Choose the domain for which you want to host the blog.
- In the field next to domain, you can write ‘blog’ or any custom term, if you wish to create a subfolder. Leave it empty if you want, the main page of your website to be the blog.
- To edit the email address, password and username, click on ‘Advanced options‘. Although, you can also continue with the default values.
- Read the Service Agreement and Licences carefully, before you proceed.
- Click the ‘Install Now‘ button.
That’s it. You have successfully installed your WordPress.
No matter which hosting service do you use, the procedure will be same. If you find any issues with your wordpress installation. Write it down in the comments below so I can help you out.
Congratulations! You have just created your own website. It’s time to design it.
Step 6: Designing Your Blog
An attractive blog generates 10x times more interaction than any normal text and link based blogs. Designing is the core process of your business to drive more readers and customers.
It is your design that leaves the first impression in the mind of readers. WordPress comes with a handy feature of adding variety of layouts for your blog with its ‘Theme’ functionality.
Choose a best theme to make your website attractive
So, once you’re ready with your installation process. Follow this steps to add beautiful layouts to your blog.
- Open your Dashboard.
- On the left part of your dashboard, look for Appearance and point your mouse on it. Click on themes.
- You’ll find default WordPress Themes, ‘Twenty Seventeen’ and so on. Pre-installed. However, you can click on ‘Add New‘ button and search for themes, which you like.
You have just used a free option for your blog. But to create a better business with your blog. I would suggest you to choose premium themes, because they have customized options according to your needs.
I have listed few reasons why you should spend on premium themes rather than the free ones.
- Premium themes have more functionalities than any free theme.
- No support option available for free themes.
- Lack of customization when you use free themes, while you can customize it anyway with premium themes.
To get a deep analysis about Free theme vs Premium WordPress theme, read the guide prepared by WPBeginner.
Hope you’re convinced, why you should use a premium theme. So I have shortlisted premium themes marketplace for you to shortlist customized themes for your blog.
Note: However, if you’re a beginner and can’t invest much on buying themes, you can use the free themes available in WordPress Marketplace using the above steps discussed.
- Elegant Themes
- My Theme Shop
- Template Monster
Harsh Agrawal recommends Genesis Theme from Studiopress for a fast and reliable blog. Because it gives your website a professional touch and better experience to the users while exploring your site.
My personal experience: I have used several themes for my blogs and I’m still experimenting with different themes. Currently, I am using Newspaper Theme from Themeforest for one of my blogs and Socially Viral from my theme shop for this website.
Use Plugins for a Better Experience
Plugins are used to add new features in your blog. Since you have installed your WordPress and theme on your blog. It’s time to add functions based on what you want to do with that blog.
WordPress has a pre-installed marketplace that allows you to browse different plugins and install them for free on your blog.
In order to install a plugin, follow the steps below:
- Open your Dashboard
- Click on Plugins
- You will see a page that has pre-installed plugins. On the top-left corner you will find an ‘Add New’ button.
- Click on Add New. It will land you to the free plugins marketplace.
- Search for any type of plugin based on your requirements.
Here are some top 4 recommended plugins, you should install on every WordPress website.
- Akismet Anti- Spam: A very important plugin to protect you from spam. It will check for spam comments, users and logins and will report you with notifications.
- WP Super Cache: This cache plugin will help you to speed up your site. (Alternative: W3 Total Cache)
- Contact Form 7: A super easy and flexible contact plugin, to allow users contact you.
- Yoast SEO: Powerful plugin for all SEO solutions. It is free and versatile. It will help you to reach at the top in google search engine. (Alternative: All in One SEO)
Additionally, you should find plugins for social sharing (recommended: Sumo Me), page builders like Elemental Builders and many more.
If you want to sell your products, install WooCommerce plugin for all ecommerce solutions.
Need any help regarding plugin installations or any plugin recommendation? Feel free to ask me in the comments below.
Most Important: I haven’t discussed about creating a logo in this blog. But creating a logo will be a crucial part of branding. I’ll assist you with resources created by other bloggers on creating logo.
Step 7: Write Content
Congrats again! You’re just one step away to become a Blogger. It was a long journey. For beginners, it was surely a confusing one.
It’s not easy to shortlist your ideas and then decide which host, domain you’ll choose. Although I hope my recommendations will help you to begin your journey without any commotion.
The next major step is to write content for your website so that you can market your blog to your friends, audience and the upcoming readers.
Here are 4 (+3 additional) most important pages you need to create before you start sharing your blogs with your friends.
- Homepage: Home page is your landing page, which should include links to every other important page. It could have a magazine style layout to show your blogs directly, or have text and image composition to describe your product.
- Blog: Your home page could be your blog page. But if you want to have it separate that’s wonderful. Blog page should consist of all your latest posts, archives and categories.
- About us: This page is about personal branding or website branding where you tell people about yourself or the business. You should write all the details about your business in short, crisp and business style to attract audience.
- Additionally, you should create ‘Advertise with us‘ page if you wish to sell ad space to other companies or bloggers. Write for us page, if you want to allow guest blogging feature on your blog. Products page if you want to market any product directly.
Once you set up your pages and write all the details in a manner, you’re ready to show off your blog to the people around you.
Pareto’s principle state 40-60 principle, where 40% of your time should be spent on creating content and 60% of your time should be spent of sharing it.
You have come across a long journey. But there’s no full stop. It’s time to share so that you can gather more audience.
WordPress has hundreds of free plugins to allow social sharing. The best one I recommend is Sumo Me, which will let you share your articles on 20+ social channels without any effort. You can also use Buffer App to share posts from a single platform.
You should make account on every social channel (with a same brand name to make it easy to find)and share your resources on each one of them.
Don’t hesitate to ask for shoutouts to your friends or colleagues. You can also reach out other bloggers and collaborate with them once you have a good audience base.
Provide value to your readers and they won’t hesitate sharing it to their circles. If they like it, your content might get viral in no time. But it will require efforts from your side, as well. So, Good Luck.
Can You make Money blogging?
Now you’re done with creating your blog. You might wonder, “is it possible to make money with my blog?”
Although you will need some traffic and readers to monetize your site. But once, you start making money, there’s no looking behind.
Here’s an exclusive guide where I have discussed 8 Ultimate ways you can use to make money blogging. I suggest you to take a look and give it a try to convert your money making dream into reality.
Do you need any additional help on how to start your own blog, please feel free to comment and do not hesitate to share your opinions about the hosting services, domain services and theme providers I have listed above.