I get asked all the time about starting a blog. If you've been wondering how to start a blog, you'll want to read on. This is a very exciting step you are about to make. Many people have already begun blogging and it’s not looking to end any time soon but it’s not too late to get in on the action. Whether you’re starting a new blog, or your very first blog, I’m going to guide you through the process right now.
There are so many wonderful reasons to start a blog. You might do it to help you earn some extra side income while working from home. You could do it to share information about a topic you’re an expert on, or to tell your unique personal story. You might decide to blog about something you’ve experienced in order to help others. Or maybe you just do it because you want to write. You have something you want to talk about and there is no better time than now to do it. There’s no better place than on a blog!
So, what do you need to get started?
What You Need to Start a Blog
You might be surprised to know that it doesn’t really take very much to get started with a new blog. Most of the work lies in deciding what to blog about and setting up your blog/website. Once that is done, all you need to do is write regularly and promote your posts to keep the readers coming in.
Here are the basics steps:
- Decide your blog topic
- Choose your blogging platform
- Choose a host
- Install WordPress (or your content management system of choice)
- Design your blog
- Start making posts
What are you going to blog about? Deciding on your topic is the most important step you will take. You want to choose something you are passionate about that you will enjoy writing about for a long time. You also want to choose a topic that is narrowed enough that you don’t have loads of competition but at the same time, you want to choose something that enough people will be interested in reading about.
Once you know your topic, you need to decide where you want to blog. There are many platforms available but a popular choice is WordPress. You don’t have to go with this but they use a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor that makes it very easy to create your posts with formatting and there are many themes and plugins available to design your blog. That’s one of the main reasons WordPress is so popular.
You want to choose a domain name based on your topic and then you will also need hosting. Hosting is like rent for your digital space. You’re paying a service provider to host your content on a space on the web. There are many places out there to find blog/website hosting. Personally, I like NewBlogHosting.com. It’s only $35 a year. You can’t beat that! If for some reason, you try it out and decide blogging isn’t for you, then you really haven’t lost anything.
Once your domain and hosting is set up and you’ve installed your CMS, it’s time to design your blog. If you’re using WordPress, this means you can pick a theme. There are many free and paid themes to choose from and you can also customize them how you wish so your options are limitless. If you’re using a different platform, there are also themes available but you will have to choose from what is offered by the platform you’re using. This will vary but you can still get a nice-looking blog to work from. If you’re really struggling with the design, you could always hire someone to help with this part. Graphic designers and virtual assistants often have the skills needed and can work with your budget to get the design how you want it.
Beyond the Launch
After you’ve set up your blog, you should also create social media accounts for it. Even if you don’t use them all at the start, it might be a good idea to reserve your name on the social platforms first. You can then focus on only 1-2 social networks at a time for promoting your blog and once you master one, you can add another to the list if you want. You should also try to network with other bloggers. Not only will they help you learn more about blogging, but it can help boost your traffic when you’re new.
Research your niche and post regularly to keep your blog fresh and interesting. If you want to make money from your blog, it helps to monetize from day one. However, it’s not a requirement. You can always go back later and add things to your blog to help you make money from it; it just might take a little more work. Whether you’re starting with an existing blog or a new blog, it is possible to make money from your blog. I’m going to show you how in my next post on this topic so stay tuned.