How To Start a Blog?
Starting a blog can be the most common thought on every freelancer’s mind, but not always the freelancers sometimes the “love-to-write” and “love-to-share” kind o people also take up the idea of starting a blog. So, no matter what’s on your mind triggering you to start a blog, here is a guide to give your thought of starting a blog a streamlined direction.
So, before you head straight to find out how to start blogging right away, give your thoughts some time and a precise direction to what is blogging and why you want to join the blogging community.
So, let’s figure out why we should create a blog and how to get started with it.
Why start a blog?
Like any other popular ways of communicating and spreading information, blogging has quickly become the easiest way to do the same.
It is considered as a fantastic way to share information.
The best reason you could find in starting a blog is making money.
You might have already known about all this, but did you know that there are millions of blogs out there and hundreds of them belonging to the same category, surely yours would be added to the list o hundreds, but definitely you can stand out practicing the right approach.
So, basically starting a blog might sound technical and difficult, but it’s definitely not and obviously not as difficult as setting up a website from scratch. So, in short, you don’t have to get your hands dirty with coding and technical stuff.
Overall, there are five steps you should count on when starting a blog. It’s all simple and easy if you properly follow the step-by-step procedure, and above all, you don’t have to spare more than 30 minutes to set up your blog.
Interesting and exciting, right?
So, why wait, let’s get started.
Step 1 – Choose your blogging platform
In the very first step, you need to be clear about where you want to build your blog.
You must already have an idea of which blogging platform is preferred a lot. If you have no idea then ret not. You can get some help here.
Ever heard of WordPress?
WordPress is the massive platform favorable for all your website and blogging needs. It is one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with numerous plugins and add-ons, super easy to set up, free to use, user-friendly interface and has 82 million active users.
Alternatively, you have Blogger and Tumblr following WordPress in the best blogging platforms list. So, find what feels the best for your blogging and decide on a blogging platform that favors you.
Step 2 – Grab a free blog or pay?
Well, this is the biggest decision you will have to make to proceed further. You have a lot of free blog options out there in WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr but generally, they are perfect or only those who aren’t much serious about blogging. If it’s free, then you should surely assume that it must have a few downsides as well. Let’s discuss why a free blog can’t be considered as the best option.
- Firstly, if you can’t get your own domain name, your web address looks a mess when you create a free blog, or instance if you have created a free blog on WordPress then your blog’s URL would look like this yourblog.wordpress.com. Something we can’t consider convenient right? While with a paid creation you will get to add your domain name and make things work your way.
- Secondly, you are confined to boundaries when using free blogs. You can’t fully monetize it and have complete access over the blog. It’s all limited and annoying.
- Lastly, but not least, you don’t actually own your blog when using the free blog. It is hosted on some other web property and can be deleted without any prior knowledge.
So, probably you don’t want all your efforts and hard work vanish in seconds. Right? If so, then a self-hosted blog is the far better option and does not cost you the fortune. Usually, it works out to about $5 to $10 per month but it totally depends on your hosting provider.
Step 3 – Start your blog with your custom domain name
So, now you know that a self-hosted blog is a lot better than the free ones, wait no more and get a domain name you like and also choose a hosting company that can host your blog. Before that, let’s get clear with the terms.
DOMAIN, it is basically the URL of the website and HOSTING is the company that will put your blog or website on the browser allowing it to be visible to everyone. Like the WordPress is the most preferred blogging platform, Hostgator is the most preferred hosting service you can rely on. It is the cheapest hosting provider out there costing you less than $3 per month and gives you the free domain name for first year. Like earlier, you can choose nay hosting provider you feel bets or your needs. Again most o the, but not all have a “one-click” WordPress install solution.
All you need to do is sign up with your hosting provider, choose your plan and a domain name you like or the one-click WordPress install button on the admin panel.
The WordPress gets installed and you can start blogging by adding a new post on the WP-Admin page. The layout at the beginning may look bewildering but ret not, you will figure things out easily.
Step 4 – Design your blog
Now is the time to have some fun with your blog and make it look the way you want it. Choose a theme or you blog. You again have two options, you can either choose a free theme or get a premium theme or around $40.
In WordPress, the whole gamut of choosing a theme is just the matter of a few clicks and most importantly, it allows changing of themes, without you having to lose your content and images. So, any time you feel bored with a template, change it without hesitation.
Always remember that your blog’s design and aesthetics should reflect your blog’s niche. And above all, your blog should be easy to navigate if you have visitors sticking around. Remember that the design is a subjective art and people like innovations and stuff that is unique but easy-peasy.
Step 5 – Add-ons and Plugins or your blog
The primary interest of any blogger is traffic and visibility. As far as traffic is concerned, there are a lot of plugins offered by WordPress to generate and capture leads. A few of them are listed below.
WPForm (WordPress Form) plugin can help you capture leads effortlessly if you have a WordPress website or a blog. WPForms stores the leads and helps you access them from the WordPress dashboard to analyze your metrics and stats. It features a drag and drop builder and various forms of the field to help you create customized lead capture forms. The WPForms is free to use and paid plans range from $39.50 to $199.50.
- WordPress Call to Action
WordPress Call to Action is an amazing plugin to add a call to action button on your blog. It allows you to strategically add the CTA buttons in various places on your blog and improve your conversion rates. It is an ideal plugin if you want your readers to start a free product trial or download an ebook.
SumoMe is another WordPress plugin that is growing faster and is more of just a lead generation tool. It is a full suite o product that are designed to grow the traffic o your WordPress blog or website. This plugin will grow your traffic while collecting valuable leads and fascinatingly, more than 300,000 WordPress blogs and websites are using SumoMe to grow their traffic.
All you need, when you are not a developer (but this is useful for developers also). You can do almost everything in a single click. Some of the features are,
- One Click Site Reset
- WP-CLI Compatible
- Database Snapshots
- Database Diff Viewer
- Selective Reset Tools
- Webhooks Integration
There are more features in WP Reset you would like. And from the same developers, there is another plugin.
I think you know what it will do, and this will be useful for many users. You can redirect your users from 404 page.
So, these were few plugins you can count in grow your traffic and increase your conversion rate. If your primary motive of blogging is making money through your blog then these plugins will prove to be of great help!
Kudos! You have successfully built your blog with all the basic and essentials you might require at the beginning. With all the steps mentioned above, you should probably be ready and confident with the successful setup of your blog, which is up and running.
But do remember, it is not it. You still have a lot of things to enhance and improve as you grow. But for the newbies, this is more than what you can ask for! Also remember, that your blog won’t reach heights or flare-up high at the very beginning or as soon as you start blogging. Things take time to grow and with the right practices and plugins integrated you surely will stand out. It takes time, right approach, patience, efforts and little investment (of course).
Until then, happy blogging!
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