Guide On How To Start a Blog for Beginners
If you are interested in blogging and happen to be a newbie in this field, then it’s essential that you understand a few things about what a blog is, how to start a blog and how does it generally work in the big scheme of things.
Once you have a basic understanding of what a blog is, you can then move on to find out:
- How to actually start a blog and make money?
- How to allow your readers to read about the subject you are blogging about?
- How to make money blogging as a new blogger with no clue?
- How to make money from blogs to supplement or replace your income?
- How much money can you make blogging realistically?
- How much does it cost to start a blog?
- What are the best tips on how to start a blog?
- What essential tools and resources are needed to start a blog?
There are many ways on how to start a profitable blog on the internet.
This article aims to provide you with the following quick guide on how to start a blog for beginners in the right way step by step:
#1: What Is Blogging?
Blogging in it simple definition is basically a platform for an individual or a group of individuals to:
- Entertain or
- Express knowledge, views, opinions, information and thoughts
on a particular subject or issue using the web platform.
The main difference can be described as follows:
A blog requires more content to be updated frequently and to keep it fresh so the intended audience can come back for more inspiring information without losing interest.
A website, on the other hand, performs a specific function and tend to have static content that doesn’t require to be updated as frequently as a blog.
A blog offers more user engagement and tends to have specific elements, such as comments, categories, archives and authorship.
A bit similar to what I am offering with my blog here.
The people doing the blogging are called bloggers just like myself as I attempt to communicate and engage with you on various issues pertaining to:
- Online entrepreneurship
- Business & marketing strategies
- Inspiration on self-development
These topics are very close to my heart and wanted to share them with my readers in the hope they will get value out of it and will help them in their business’s journey just like how they have been helping me in mine.
In essence, by me blogging about online entrepreneurship, we both get to learn and share essential:
- Business strategies
- Tips and tricks of online businesses
- Blogging and content creation strategies
- Digital marketing strategies
- Business mistakes and
- The ups and downs of starting, building and scaling online businesses
Your topic of blogging may be completely different to mine.
It all depends on your interest, passion and what you really want to share with your audience.
This is related to choosing a suitable blog niche, business idea or topic for your blog.
We will touch a little bit more on this subject later on in the article.
#2: How to Choose a Blogging Platform
First thing first, you have to start out by choosing a platform for your blog.
This is where you are going to host it.
You have a choice of hosting your blog for free or paying for it with a hosting account of your own.
There are some very distinct differences between using a free platform and one that comes with your hosting account.
Note: If you choose to go with a free blogging account you will have fewer options for customization, and you will not have or own a unique domain name which is highly recommended.
Now, if you are an internet marketer, blogger or entrepreneur, it is imperative that you understand the importance of owning your own domain name.
Partly, because it is a way to brand yourself and also a means for getting higher rankings in the search engines.
This can lead to more traffic, which translates to more money in your pocket.
Those that choose to spend a little bit of money on getting a hosting account can also get their own domain.
This is the best way to start blogging for beginners because it is not expensive and it will help you see more success from your blog.
There are many blogging platforms to choose from, some are free and some are paid with full or limited features as outlined in the table below:
You are free to choose whatever platform that takes your fancy, however, I strongly recommend you choose WordPress as your primary choice.
Feel free to share this table on your site just remember to kindly attribute it back to my article.
WordPress.org has so many benefits in comparisons to the free platforms.
As a business owner, you want to make sure you have full control of your site and the freedom to make important decisions to help grow your business with no limitations being placed upon you.
After you have selected your blogging platform, you will need to choose a niche for your blog.
The blog niches you select will provide a basis for writing articles that you are going to share and engage with your audience.
I highly recommend you choose a blog niche or blog idea that:
- Resonates well with you and passionate about the topic you are writing about
- Can dedicate yourself writing good quality content for a long time
- Has a high demand and lot of interest in the marketplace
- Beneficial and offer tons of value to your audience
This will make it easier for you to fill your blog with content that your readership wants to read.
It is also always advisable to choose profitable blog niches or blog ideas that will make you money in the long run.
After all, you are investing valuable time, money and effort to some extent and will want to reap the rewards for your effort.
#4: How to Choose a Domain and Web Hosting For Your Site
I am going to assume that your intention for starting your blog is for business purposes.
Where you intend to create awesome content to share with your audience as well as being able to monetize your site to grow your business and make a profit from it.
If that is the case, then you need to think about the following points:
- Choosing a relevant specific Domain Name based on your chosen niche or business idea that will feature your business and the brand it carries
- Choosing a Hosting company that will host your site to make sure it is fully functional, supported and operational 24 hours, 365 days with no problem.
- There are a number of things to consider when choosing a domain and hosting:
- Cost of a domain
- Cost of hosting
- Technical Support
- Backup of your site
There are tons of companies available in the marketplace to purchase your domain and web hosting.
Some are good and some are not so good.
Do your homework and read reviews on each company before deciding on your purchase.
Ensure the hosting plan you select offers the best solution for you, in terms of the services provided, the length of the contract and the ability to meet the needs of your business.
Depending on where you are in the world, you will find there are a lot of companies to choose from, offering different deals.
Choose the packages that are best suited to the needs of your business, affordable and come with a reliable service.
I use Wealthy Affiliates to host a number of my sites including this one.
If you decide to join Wealthy Affiliates and become a premium subscriber at a cost of $49 a month, you will get:
- Excellent training program on how to start, build and run a successful online business
- A supportive online community to engage with and support you whilst learning and developing your online business
- Free web hosting
- Security and full protection for your site from hacking and spamming
- Fast loading times
- Access to excellent Technical support
- Will get 25 free domains to own and host-associated with Wealthy Affiliates site ruby branding
- Will get to host 25 domains of your own choice on their platform
- Free SSL certificate for each of your site
- Automatic backup of your sites at no extra cost to you
Once you have chosen a domain and hosting, you will then create an account to be used in your WordPress site.
#5: How To Install WordPress
The next step you need to take is to install WordPress for your site.
Depending on the hosting company you select, you will follow the installation instructions as given.
The video below demonstrates how to install WordPress using SiteGround control panel.
A lot of pro bloggers use SiteGround and I hear a lot of positive vibe from the blogging community about it.
This can also be an option for you when considering to purchase a domain.
#6: How to Choose a Good Design
If you have chosen a free platform you will not have many choices for design, but if you go with WordPress.org you can download and install one of the many free or paid themes for your design.
This makes the design of your blog much more professional and you can get a theme that fits your niche much better as well.
You want to make sure you choose a design that is attractive, functional and offers a good user experience for your readers.
Your design should be lightweight, responsive and mobile-friendly.
It should also support an array of digital devices such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Examples of companies whose word press themes are very popular with the blogging community include:
I use MyThemeShop for this blog and found them to have a good selection of free and premium beautiful well-designed word press themes to make any site shine.
#7: How To Brand Your Blog
After choosing a blog niche, you will need to create a brand for your blog.
Based on your chosen niche, blog idea, domain or business name.
Think about a blog name that you like.
Ensure the blog title is:
- Not a mouthful
- Catchy and Memorable
- Closely aligned with your chosen niche and blog idea/name
- Conveys your brand‘s message, mindset, and values to your
- Colour scheme is consistent with your blog theme design
- Unique and stands out
Draft the design for your logo. This can be fun, that is if you like to experiment and don’t mind getting your hands dirty.
Tools like Canva are ideal, and come with pre-loaded templates ready for you to hit the ground running with no time.
If designing is not your thing, you can always hire someone else to do it for you.
Basic design can start
See what works for you and go for it.
You can always change your design at a later stage if you don’t like what you have got.
#8: How To Write Quality Content
One of the final steps is to write and post quality content on your blog.
This may be one of the last things you do, but you will want to do it consistently for a long period of time.
This is how you will get traffic because your posts will hopefully get listed in the search results for any keyword phrases you are targeting.
There is a whole science to content creation.
A skill I hope you will learn to develop as you start your blogging journey, ranging from:
Researching the article you are going to write about.
Quick tip: Before you start to write your article, ask yourself if this is something your readers would want to read and can benefit from it.
- Will they learn any lessons from it?
- Will it solve the problems they are having?
- Will it answer the questions they are asking?
- Will, it educate, inspire and inform them about the issues you are writing about?
- Is there a point in writing the article in the first place?
Other things to take into consideration include:
- Keyword research
- Choosing an appropriate headline for your article
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) your articles to make sure they get chance of being indexed, listed and ranked high on search engines so people can find your content online
- Adding essential info such as About, Sign-Up, FAQ and Contact pages
- Reviewing and proofing your article
- Image, video, infographic selection to be used in your article
- Blogging schedule
- Consistency in blogging
- Publishing your article
Note: It is important to make sure you adopt certain checks before you hit the publish button such as Blogging and SEO as mentioned above.
This is so to make sure your article is in full compliance with blogging and SEO rules.
It will also help you avoid a lot of headaches down the road.
Watch this video from Data Driven Lab to see how you can create a new post using the new Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0.
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#9: How to Promote and Market Your Blog
The final piece of the puzzle is to promote and market your blog to the masses out there.
After all the hard work you put in, you want to make sure you share and showcase your creative writing to your intended audience.
There are many methods you can use to promote your blog.
However, since this is a gentle quick guide on how to start a blog for beginners.
I would say It is better to stick with writing articles and submitting them to article directories and posting them on your social media channels as frequently as you can.
This is known as article marketing.
When you use this method you will not have to spend any money on marketing per say, especially when you are starting out.
Keep you expenditure as low as much as you can, and only invest in tools or software when it becomes absolutely necessary.
Utilise all the available free strategies, before embarking on the paid methods as you try to experiment and honing your blogging skills.
#10: How To Monetize Your Blog And Make Money
If your primary purpose for creating a blog was for monetization, then you will need to learn how to write your content strategically.
You must write your content is such a way it:
- Offers good value for your readers
- Satisfy their intent when they consume your content
- Answer their questions and solve their pain points
- Equally allowing you to make money at the same time.
There are a number of things you can do to make money from your blog.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Online Advertisement
- Selling Digital Products
- Coaching & Consulting Services
- Freelance Services
We will cover a little bit more on monetization techniques in our future articles.
Watch this space…
#11: How To Build an Email List
Start building your email list as soon as possible.
This is the most crucial part of your business and blog which many new bloggers tend to leave out till the last minute.
You need to start capturing your target audience very early on in the funnel, partly because it is an effective way to communicate and engage with your subscribers and potential customers for life.
SEO and social media may come and go, but your email list will hopefully remain with you for a long time.
As long as your subscribers have freely agreed to opt into your email list, you will be able to give value, engage, sell and promote your offers to them over and over again.
To create an email list you will need to follow the following steps:
Step 1: Join an Email Service / AutoResponder
I recommend choosing ConvertKit.
It is what I use to capture my emails for this blog.
I find it to be very easy to use and it’s ideal for bloggers.
It will allow you to create basic opt-in forms, integrate into your WordPress site, automate, tag and segment your emails.
Step 2: Create an Incentive Offer
Create an incentive offer to freely give it to your subscribers in exchange for signing up to your email list.
The free offer could be an email course, video or a PDF download that gives high value to your target audiences such as a workbook, cheat sheet or an e-book.
Step 3: Create an Opt-In Form
Display an-opt in form for the sign-ups in different locations on your blog.
Such as a pop-up that displays at set times when a visitor visits your site, on your sidebar, at the beginning, middle or end of your blog posts.
From my experience with this blog, I found pop-ups to have much higher conversions.
You can use ConvertKit forms or third-party ones.
Get a free basic version from SumoMe to get you started quickly without incurring any costs.
Decide what is best for you.
If you feel, you are in a position to invest for a paid service then go for it otherwise, I will advise you to first try out the free version.
Note: Some of these vendors can
Step 4: Create a Welcome Sequence
Once your subscribers have joined your list, you have to start communicating with them on a regular basis so they don’t forget that you exist.
Aim to give value as much as you can.
You can offer the latest updates, tips, news, quizzes, promotions, challenges, and inspiration based on your niche.
Learn how to sell to your target audience but don’t overdo it.
Strike the balance between giving value and occasional selling.
#12: Blogging Engagement
After you have written your article, you need to inform your target audience
Aim to get engagement and feedback from what you have written as soon as possible.
This is very important, do your best not to ignore it.
Doing so will help to confirm if your article and online content is helpful, resonating with your audience and there is an appetite for this sort of information.
If the response and engagement
Lisa from Lisa J has explained this topic very well in her video featured below.
Based on the feedback you get back, you can then expand on the topic by producing another peace on a similar or related subject.
Alternatively, you could also consider creating another medium of the same material but present it in the form of a video, e-book, infographic or a guide.
The ideal scenario will be to eventually create a digital or physical product that you could sell to your target audience relating to the very topic you have written but with a more detailed in-depth helpful information.
If it is good enough, your readership will most likely not mind b
This is why it is very important to establish trust from the beginning.
Enhance your credibility by showing that you care and genuinely want the best for your readers.
This can be achieved in 3 ways:
Send an Email To Your Subscribers
Write an inviting email to your email list and tell them that you have just released a new post.
Leave a link pointing to your new post.
Post To Your Social Media Channels
Create engaging social media posts and post to your social media channels as frequent as you can.
If you are in a position to invest in a tool that will do the posting automatically for you then this will be ideal.
Comment on Blogs and Social Media Posts
Part of being a blogger requires you to engage and network with
Aim to build relationships and friendship by genuinely and sincerely offering value and support to your fellow bloggers and target audience.
You learn something from them and they learn something from you.
This will help form a basis of building great opportunities to collaborate on something together or do guest posting on each other’s blogs in the near future.
Develop a regular habit of visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs and social media posts.
Join social media groups and pages relating to your niche. Like and share their posts or leave comments.
If you are allowed to leave or promote your links do so but aim to engage and contribute to these online communities as well.
It is all about giving and taking, supporting each other so that everyone can succeed with their ventures.
#13: Blogging Best Practices Checklist
There are many pitfalls that you must do your level best to avoid when you start
If it happens, don’t worry too much about it. You will get better at it as times goes by.
We’ve all had to start from position zero.
Learning as we go along, perfecting our craft as we get more proficient, skillful and confident over time.
The following are a list of things you must try your best to implement and avoid whilst blogging:
The Dos’s of Blogging
Know the purpose and mission of your blog, and what value you hope to bring to the market place.
Figure out who your target audience is and where they hang out.
Always aim to be authentic, genuine, sincere and truthful.
Be your self and don’t try to be someone else.
Write from your heart, the juicy content will flow out of you
Give awesome value to your readers and write content your readership wants to read and can benefit from it.
Follow a cohesive consistent structure for your entire blog.
Build and maintain good relationships with other bloggers and like-minded entrepreneurs in your industry.
Keep learning how to write and produce quality content. The more you write the quicker you will improve.
Write clickable interesting titles that will give you higher engagement and conversions.
Include a strong call to action at the end of your articles to guide your audience to the next stage in the sales funnel.
Such as to leave you a comment, sign up to your email list, contact you, follow you on your social networks, read articles you recommend, take a survey, watch a video, give feedback, buy something, etc.
Check the terms and conditions of each and every service you subscribed to.
Read the guidelines and ensure you do not violate the rights of the services.
This is to help you avoid your accounts being shut down or getting suspended.
For example, social media accounts, YouTube, Ads networks, other people’s images such as those downloaded from Google unless they have been specified as free.
I was alarmed to learn that this happens quite a lot.
Keep maintaining and promoting your blog posts.
Keep it fresh and up to date by updating old posts, headlines, landing pages, images, and videos.
When the time is right, start doing guest postings on yours and other people’s blogs.
Also, reach out to influencers who could help give you more exposure to your work.
Do not ignore your site, emails, landing pages
Plan to release your own digital or physical products to sell.
Whilst affiliate marketing and other business models can make good money for you, you want to make sure you produce something that you can call your own.
This is so you can earn 100% profit from it and will be in full control, where the odds are not against you.
Keep learning and experimenting by honing and perfecting your blogging skills.
Always respond to comments even if it is just a one-liner. This is the perfect opportunity to engage and connect with your audience.
Aim to be different.
Use your own unique voice and style.
The Don’ts of Blogging
Don’t choose the wrong niche.
Don’t forget to send regular emails to your subscribers.
Don’t blog blindly.
Don’t copy other people. It is also not professional.
You cannot call yourself a worthy blogger if you do that.
Get informed, inspired and empowered, but do not steal from other people’s hard work and effort.
There can only be one you.
Write your own take on something that has inspired you from someone else’s work and where due give credit or cite where you got the information from.
After all, we have all been gifted with our own talents, abilities, brain, and creative thinking.
It was a major shocking call when I discovered my work was being copied by other bloggers, in some cases word by word or sentence by sentence even by the so-called experienced bloggers.
The people who do this don’t realize that they are doing a de-service to themselves.
They don’t know my intentions nor my thinking or what I intend to do in the future on the pieces I have written.
Don’t be like these people.
When you are starting out you may not have all the skills, be rest assured you will learn and get better at it over time but never plagiarise.
You are destined for greater things ahead of you,
Take Home Message
I hope this introductory guide has given you a feel for how you can start a blog, be it for business or a hobby of your choice.
However, I must emphasize that this is not a complete guide on how to start a blog for beginners.
You may have to fill in some of the blanks where necessary, but be assured that there are many great tutorials out there that will show you how to use WordPress in the correct way for free.
As time goes by I will be releasing more content on blogging tips and tricks to help you on your blogging journey.
Meanwhile, please refer to the following awesome site for further information on blogging.
Sign Up Below To Download Your Copy Of Blogging Best Practices Checklist!
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Have you started your blog yet or are you thinking to create one? I would be interested to hear your story on blogging.
Leave me a comment below.
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