Creating a blog is a great way to share your thoughts and expertise with other people. It’s also an ideal way to build or expand business if you take the right steps and promote it smartly.
Blogging is also one of the best among the many ways to make money online, and as evidenced by many successful blogs, you could even earn a living from a single site. If it serves as motivation, some bloggers earn over $10,000 a month! The truth is, that is easier said than done BUT it can be accomplished. As a successful blogger, you could work from the comfort of your home, travel all over the world, and live free of schedules.
Also, read: How to make money Blogging
You too can start making money from blogging; and with this article, we will guide you step by step on how to set up your blog successfully.
How to Start a Blog
Before embarking on your blog building journey, you must decide on the following:
- Your Niche
- Domain name
- Blogging platform
Choosing a niche
The internet is a vast virtual world, and there are thousands of sites offering valuable information to the population. Thus, it could be challenging to stand out, especially for the newcomers. The good thing is that there are hundreds of millions of internet users, and each one of them has specific areas of interest. That said, it is impossible to have a blog that can appeal to everyone. Hence, it is essential to choose a particular focus area for your blog, so that you can provide your target audience with quality content.
Among the several Blog niches, the ones that stand out the most are Technology, Science, Entertainment, Health, and Business related. Also, many successful blogs owe their success to focusing on a sub-niche. For instance, the health niche has ‘nutrition’ as sub-niche. Choosing a niche or sub-niche allows you to focus more intensely on topics; Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to pick a niche in which you are knowledgeable or passionate about, and if you are both, your chances of being successful will be higher.
Choosing a domain name
The domain name is an essential aspect of your blog. In simpler words, it is the name you wish to call your blog; also known as the web address. Don’t use your name, unless it is part of a brand or a portfolio. Think of a name that can be easy to appeal to and make sure that it reflects the purpose of the blog. For example, the domain name for this website is SelfImprovementPlace.com, and our mission is to help others improve their life.
Choosing a blogging/ hosting platform
When it comes to blogging platforms, there are many great options like Blogger, Squarespace, WordPress, Medium, etc. However, our preferred platform is WordPress, and for the sake of illustration, we are using the mentioned platform. I like WordPress because of the flexibility in design, and the availability of numerous customization options.
If you are asking yourself: “why do I have to pay for hosting if there are free options available?”. Despite the abundance of free blogging platforms available, those who are serious about building a professional looking site, choose a paid premium platform to host their blog. Using a premium platform is also the recommended way to go when you intend to monetize the blog. Unfortunately, free blogging platforms offer insufficient features needed to take your blog to another level.
If you decide on a paid-hosting service (as advised), then you will have to choose the hosting platform that will be housing your website. There are several reliable hosting platforms, but we recommend you go with BlueHost because they are among the best and they have been hosting one of my sites for many years now.
Please do not confuse the terms Hosting platform with Blogging platform; the first will be in charge of storing all the data for the latter. To be specific, a blogging platform is a content management system that you use to publish your content onto the internet.
STEPS TO CREATE YOUR BLOG
Step 1. Domain Name & Hosting
The first thing to do when creating your blog is to acquire a domain name and hosting. For illustration, we are using Bluehost.
Free domain: If you sign-up for a one year plan or above, you will qualify for a free domain name. You can also use an existing domain name if you already have one. The hosting plans start at $2.95 a month.
Go to the Bluehost website [www.bluehost.com], and click on the “get started now” green button.
Then you will see two options: Get a “New domain” or “I have a domain.”
If you have an existing domain, enter it on the second box and click “next.” Otherwise, enter your new free domain, choose the extension (.com, .net, etc.) and then click “next.”
Follow the prompt and fill out all the required information, and choose a hosting plan that suits your budget. The costs differ depending on the features that you need.
Next, you will need a debit or credit card to pay for your hosting. Fill out the forms with your credit/debit card information and click “submit” to complete your registration.
(OPTIONAL) Connect your domain to your host
If you bought your domain-name from Bluehost, then you should skip this step. However, if the name is from another registrar like Godaddy.com, then you can follow these steps to connect your existing domain to your new Bluehost hosting account.
- First, Login to your Go daddy account (for instance).
- Click on “manage domains” and select the domain you wish to use,
- Then click on “Set Name Servers.”
- Enter the name server information for Bluehost in the provided space. It should be like this; ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com, and then click “saves changes.”
Note: Since this post focuses on new domain names, we are not digging deeper into this topic.
STEP 2. Install WordPress
Installing WordPress on Bluehost hosting is very simple. Once you have purchased your hosting plan, you are just a few clicks away from getting WordPress installed for you. In fact, Bluehost will walk you through all of it.
- First, sign in on your Bluehost account, and under “hosting” click WordPress “website.”
- Then locate WordPress and click the “install now” button below it.
- On the install now page, click “install” under “do it yourself (FREE)”
- Next, you have to choose a domain; select your domain and click “check domain.”
- Read terms and conditions and click “install now.”
- It will take a few minutes for the installation to complete, and that’s it. Congrats, you just installed WordPress as your blogging platform.
Note: The steps mentioned above might slightly change depending on your hosting plan. If you subscribed to a WordPress hosting plan, then WordPress will come pre-installed, and it will be easier for you to set up your blog.
STEP 3. Enhance your blog’s appearance by installing a theme
A theme allows you to control the look and feel of your blog, and you don’t even need to know a single line of code to accomplish it. Although it helps if you know some HTML & CSS coding if you want to customize it further. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of free themes available; that makes it easier for you whenever you which to change the design of your blog.
To install a theme for your blog, first, log in to your WordPress dashboard (domainname.com/wp-admin). Then go to appearance, themes, and click on install themes. Whoops!, before you install a theme you need to find one. Just use the search bar where you can find hundreds of themes. After installing a theme, go back to your dashboard and click on “activate,” to start using it.
STEP 4: Experiment with your blog’s design until you are satisfied.
Now that you have successfully created your blog. It is time to customize it to your liking; as I mentioned before, you don’t need coding experience to do so. Although, for some tasks, you may need to hire someone to do it for you. One example is the logo creation.
Things that you need to do to set up your blog for success:
• Create a logo for your site.
• Experiment with various colors for the pages.
• Add relevant stock photos to your posts; you can get free photos from websites like “Unsplash.com.”
• Create and link your social media accounts and be active with them.
• Turn on commenting and engage with your readers.
• Publish new articles frequently, and at least once a week.
Note: There are many free tutorials on how to set up a blog, but if you feel uncomfortable doing these tasks yourself, you could outsource the creation and set up of your Blog on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. If you insist on doing it all yourself, there are tons of free tutorials on youtube.
Here is a helpful tutorial that I found for you:
In summary, creating a blog is very easy, but you need to get busy. Owning a blog can be so much fun, and with consistent posting, you will experience a massive growth within a few months(or weeks).
Thanks for reading!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.