How to Start a Blog – Beginners Guide

You’ve learned about blogging and its uses in the previous post. Now, in this article you will learn how to start a blog with step by step explanation. Before we discuss about how to make money with a blog, we should know what we need to start a blog. This article aims to instruct beginners and newbies to guide them to start their own professional blog on WordPress CMS. I will post detailed WordPress guides and money-making guides in upcoming articles. This article is just a starting point to guide you on the steps in creating a blog.

I don’t mean to say that we should blog only for making money. There are many bloggers who don’t care about earning money and keep on posting good articles useful for others and there are some who blog as a hobby and to share their personal experiences. It is left to us whether we take blogging as a profession or hobby. But, this article is written keeping blogging for money in mind.

How to Start a Blog

Six Steps to Start a Blog

Step-1: Decide Your Budget and Purpose to Start a Blog

If you want to start a blog this is the first step. You can create a blog without spending a penny. There are some free blog hosting services available and Blogger is the most famous one. But professional bloggers prefer self hosted WordPress platform than creating blogs on Blogger.com. As I’ve said in my first blog post, WordPress has rich SEO features and Blogger.com has not. That is why every successful blogger relies on WordPress and we should follow their footsteps. That does not mean that one could not make money using the Blogger blogging platform.

There are some bloggers who make huge money from their Blogger blog. But, if they use WordPress they will earn more than the current earnings. Because, WordPress has plugins to make all tasks easy. But, in Blogger.com we need to do them manually, which is a time-consuming one. There are some other blogging software available. But, WordPress is installed by millions and has a huge number of plugins and thousands of tutorials online to learn.

So, to start a professional blog we need to invest some amount that will be discussed in the next article. Hobby blogging doesn’t need any investment. You can create a blog for free at Blogger.com by following this guide.

Step-2: Choose the Topic You are Going to Blog

One should not create a blog just for the sake of making money and posting articles that are unnecessary for the readers. A blog should have a content theme, the articles should be focused on the niche and of course they should be useful for others.  Choose the topic you plan to blog about and try to make hints about the important concepts for future reference which will help to write articles fast. Think about the topics you love and choose one and try to learn more about it before starting to blog. If you have an interest or passion on any subjects, it is a good idea to choose topics related to them.

Some are really genius in some fields. If you are one among them, your knowledge will help others and there are many internet users who seek an expert’s guidance. So, starting a blog in your area of expertise is the key to succeed. For example, if you know very well about HTML and CSS or if you are working as a web designer, you can start a blog to help others on web designing, explain about HTML and CSS, your experiences and the problems faced while developing web applications. This will surely be loved by others and your blog will become a successful one.

While browsing, you might have come across many hot topics. Some of them may very well-known to you. You can choose them to blog. If you have no idea about what topics to choose to start a blog, analyze the internet to find it. For example, Yahoo Answer is a community driven website where users post questions to get answered. If you browse this website you will get loads of ideas. So, choosing a topic to start a blog can only be done by finding and analyzing your interests and demand in the internet.

Step-3: Register a Domain

After deciding why you want to blog and the topics to blog, register a perfect domain. If you want to register a top-level domain like .com and country domain like .co.in, you have to buy it from a domain registrar. There are some free domain providers giving fourth level domain extensions free. But, these domains are treated as spam and may not be indexed by search engines. So, never think of it. You have to get your domain from a top domain registrar like BigRock and Godaddy.

Which TLD (Top Level Domain) is Suitable for Search Engine Optimization?

All TLDs will be treated like same by search engines and there is no priority given while showing search results. Yet .com and .net are famous TLDs and user-friendly.

Tips While Registering a Domain:

  • It should not be too long. Recommended length is maximum 20 letters.
  • Use a demanding keyword in the domain name.
  • The domain should be memorable. So, use simple words and never use more than three words.
  • The domain name should be grammatically correct. Using misspelt words will create a negative impression among visitors.
  • Register .com, .net, .org and .info domains as visitors can easily remember them. I suggest always go for .com domain name as this is the famous one and there are some people who still thing a website means “domainname.com”.
  • Never use free domain extensions as they are not suitable for a genuine business.

Step-4: Buy a Hosting for Your Domain

After registering the domain name you have to get a hosting space to host your domain. This hosting space is needed to host your blog files. WordPress needs to be hosted on a server to make it live. We can host it on our own server or hosting on a server that is purchased from a web hosting service like HostGator. There are some websites providing free hosting. But, they are not reliable and have many limitations. Some of the limitations are Bandwidth (The monthly transfer limit), hosting space and CPU usage limit.

Three years back, I didn’t want to spend money to create websites and I hosted my sites on free hosting services. I was facing many problems with them. My websites would be down for at least two hours per day as those hosting services limit the resources. After three or four months the websites were getting deleted by them. The reason they said for the deletion is over usage of resources. Almost I tested 20 free hosting services. No one is reliable and genuine. Later I moved to Blogger which is highly trusted by millions. Now I moved to WordPress and I am hosting this blog on HostGator. This is because, Blogger lacks in SEO and to become a professional blogger one should have full control on one’s blog.

Why You Should Host Your Blog on a Paid Hosting Service?

  • It is reliable. As paid hosting companies want to get a good reputation, they offer good services to their customers. This will help them to get more customers.
  • Reputed companies won’t harm their users. You will get great service as you pay for that.
  • Free hosting services may delete your site at any time if they want. But, in paid hosting services you own your website and have the full control.
  • Paid hosting is much safer than free hosting.
  • Free hosting will shut down at anytime. A successful paid hosting service will never go out of business.
  • Paid hosting services give great support. If you face any issue, you can get a solution from their customer support team.
  • Search engines don’t like sites hosted on free hosting servers as most of them are used by scammer to cheat others. So, never host your blog on free hosting. Only trust reputed paid hosting services. As I am happy with HostGator, I will always recommend it.

Step-5: Customize Your Blog

After installing WordPress you need to customize it by adding some plugins, changing settings and the look and feel. You have to install a professional theme to attract visitors. Error free theme will improve your search engine ranking. I recommend you to purchase a theme from a premium WordPress theme website like MyThemeShop.

Step-6: Start Posting Articles

After setting up all the things, your blog will be ready and you can start posting articles. You will get readers and they will comment on articles. Like this way you will build an online community and a reputation for your blog. The articles you post should not have copied content from others’ websites. You write your own articles based on the needs of your members. The guides how to write articles and how to write better articles will help to start posting articles.

Your Turn

You learned about how to start a blog. I am sure this will be helpful for the beginners to create a blog. Detailed guides on how to get hosting and installing WordPress will be coming soon. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment.

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