How To Start A Blog – Learn Steps By Steps.
Blogging is a very attractive and easy way to express yourself. You express your thoughts, your views, your knowledge on things and people read and admire it.
In this article, I am going to teach you that how to start a blog and what are the main points you need to know. It is very important to know the few things before thinking to set up a blog.
Following are the steps which we will discuss in this post:
- How to choose a topic/niche for your blog
- Picking a right blogging platform
- Choose a domain name
- Picking a right web hosting
- Design of your blog
- Other tools and services to enhance your blog
Let me explain you each step one by one
1. How to choose a topic/niche for your blog
A very important part of your blog “Your Niche Of Blogging”. You must be very clear in that what topic you would have on your blog.
Now a question comes to your mind that what would be your topic? How will you choose this?
Believe me, it is very easy. Your blog topic is near to you, your blog topic is within you.
Ask a question to yourself that which type of knowledge do you have?
Most of the people start a blog on the basis of their knowledge. They would have knowledge of web designing, they would have technical knowledge, they are expert in cooking.
Similarly, they are a food lover, they are fond of traveling, They share life experiences, They teach people etc.
There are lots of topics, you only need to recognize an area where you are strong.
I always believe that we should make a blog related to our hobby, things around us and our life experiences. If you make a blog related to a hobby, things around you and on your life experiences; you would have lots of thoughts and of course a good command over the subject. By doing so you can produce quality contents. People will enjoy your contents because you are a master of your subject.
At the same time, you could have a business/company. You can write a blog for your business as well.
It is not necessary to write a blog yourself. You can hire a freelancer to write a blog for you, for your business. But it will cost you.
2. Picking a right blogging platform
There are many blogging platforms available. It is up to you which you have to choose for your blog.
Following are a few popular blogging platforms.
1- WordPress.org (CMS): WordPress is a very popular blogging software (CMS) worldwide. It powers more than 30% of websites. It is a self-hosted and easy to handle. You can customize it per your requirement.
2- Blogger.com: Blogger is a very old free blogging platform owned by Google. You don’t need any technical knowledge. It is very easy to set up and completely free. You can’t customize it per your requirement and you don’t have full control over your blog. However, you can use a custom domain on blogger but you need to buy it.
3- WordPress.com: WordPress.com is another popular blogging platform. It is very limited for you. You can’t do any changes on its free platform.
4- Tumblr.com: Tumblr is a mixup of blogging and micro-blogging concept. It has a very simple interface. It is free but same as others you can’t customize it per your requirement.
5- Drupal (CMS): Drupal is a content management system. It is free and self-hosted blogging software. It doesn’t provide domain name and hosting, you need to buy both. Drupal is not easy to handle everyone.
6- Ghost: Ghost is a blogging software and it is downloadable like WordPress.org. You can download it and host it anywhere you want. It also has a premium version which comes with hosting.
7- Medium: Medium is a blogging platform cum a publishing platform. People share their stories on various topics on Medium. We can’t say that Medium is a full blogging platform but a kind of.
8- Weebly: Weebly is a hosted blogging platform. It allows you to create a blog to an e-commerce website. You can say that it is a hosted website tool. It has dozens of pre-designed templates to use.
9- Wix: Wix is a user-friendly blogging and website builder. It has plenty of templates and apps to power your blog and website.
10-Squarespace: Squarespace is hosted blogging and site builder service. It has enough templates to design your blog or site.
Why you should not prefer free blogging platforms
If you are really serious about your blogging journey so you should not prefer free blogging platforms. I will never recommend you to use any free blogging services like Blogger.com or WordPress.com.
However, you don’t require any technical knowledge to start a blog on free blogging platforms. It will not cost you a single penny. There are no restrictions to create a blog on free platforms but few concerns always remain there.
⇒ It’s not your blog
You got it right, it’s not your blog. You create a blog on free services, they only give you a platform to write Not To Own That Platform. Got it? Your blog is not a freely hosted blog, actually, it is a subdomain of their (service provider) domain. You get URL like myblog.blogspot.com or myblog.wordpress.com. In both examples, you will see that you don’t own your blog’s URL. It is only a subdomain of the main URL.
These free blogging service providers can shut down its platform or can remove you from their platform anytime. They have all rights. You will lose your blog and contents where you spent countless hours to write a blog.
There are lots of restriction on customization on a free platform. YOU strictly need to follow the standard format of a free platform. You probably can change colors and can add some widgets only, if permissible. Blogger.com provides few (Planty options in free) customization options but wordpress.com gives you Nothing.
Security is a major concern of free versions of blogging platforms. Your blog security is not in your hand. You are fully dependable on your free blogging service providers. You don’t know that how secure they are. We can’t implement some security actions if we are blogging on free services.
⇒ A BIG NO for making money
A BIG NO or limited options to make money on your blog. Many platforms don’t allow you to monetize your blog. Although few of them like Blogger.com has the option to add Adsense on your blog, most of the free platforms don’t allow you or take some percentage of your earning through advertisements.
I recommend WordPress.org, a self-hosted blog
I strongly recommend you WordPress.org to start a blog. Do you know around 31% of websites/blogs are powered by WordPress? WordPress is a very powerful, reliable and secure content management system. You have access to all parts of your blog. Either you have to change its look and feel or you have to monetize your blog.
WordPress.org and WordPress.com both are different platforms. WordPress.org is an open source and self-hosted blogging system and WordPress.com is not an open source and is not completely free service.
2. Choose a good domain name
Choosing a right and a relevant domain name is very important. Try to pick a short, catchy and a name which people can remember easily. You must first consider grabbing a .com or .net domain. If you don’t get it, try to obtain any other but carefully.
If your blog is focused on any particular country and area so you can also take country based extension like .co.in, .us, .co.uk etc or even industry based extension like .travel, .news etc. Unfortunately, these are not so popular. You can read my another post on that how to choose a domain name.
3. Picking a right web hosting
Web hosting is a home of your blog and at the same time an engine of your blog. It runs your blog. Choose a best rated, a reliable and secure web host. While choosing a web host, keep in mind that how is their security and uptime rate as well.
I personally recommend and use SiteGround.com to host my blogs. It is reliable and secure web hosting for WordPress. WordPress.org also, recommends SiteGround as an ideal web hosting. Some people advise you to use Bluehost but I never tried Bluehost so don’t know too much about that. Although, WordPress.org recommends it too. (DreamHost as well).
4. Design of your blog
Look and feel matters :). Buy an elegant theme for your blog which should be well SEO optimized, reliable, secure and fully responsive. Don’t depend on free themes they have limited functions, less reliable, less secure and sometimes they are not optimized for SEO and also not responsive.
I use and recommend MyThemeShop.com. They have excellent themes and support.
5. Other tools and services to enhance your blog
Although you have bought a good web host, theme, you still need a few third-party applications/plugins to enhance your blog performance. You must use an SEO plugin, a security plugin, a cache plugin etc to increase performance. You can also use a few more tools/plugins according to your blog.
Apart from above, you can also do your own analysis, read others blogs as well to see that what they say, read reviews of services which you are going to buy. Starting a blog is really very easy but continuously writing posts and keeping your audience engage is not an easy task for everyone.
I suggest you keep writing and improving your contents.
Good Luck with your blogging.