Blogging is a very attractive and easy way to express yourself. You express your thoughts, your views, your knowledge of things and people read and admire them. Some people start a blog as a hobbyist but blogging is no more a hobby, it has become a business. Bloggers are earning more than salaried person.
Why do you want to miss this opportunity? Earn with your hobby!!!
How To Start A WordPress Blog
In this article, I am going to teach you how to start a blog and what are the main points you need to know. It is very important to know a few things before thinking to set up a blog.
Following are the steps which we will discuss in this post:
- How to choose a niche for your blog
- Choose a domain name
- Picking the right blogging platform
- Picking the right web hosting
- Design of your blog
- Other tools and services to enhance your blog
Let me explain to you each steps one by one
1. How To Choose A Niche For Your Blog
A very important part of your blog “Your Niche Of Blogging”. You must be very clear on what topic you would have on your blog.
Now a question comes to mind that what would be the topic of my blog? How will I choose this?
Believe me, it is very easy. Your blog topic is near to you, your blog topic is within you.
Ask yourself a question, what type of knowledge do you have?
Mostly, people start a blog on the basis of their knowledge. They would have knowledge of web designing, they would have technical knowledge, they are experts in cooking, etc.
Similarly, they are a food lover, they are fond of travelling, they share life experiences, They love to 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 your knowledge on a particular topic, related to a hobby, things around you and 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 content. People will enjoy your content 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. How to Choose A Good Domain Name
Choosing the right and relevant domain name is very important. Try to pick a short and catchy name that 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 .in, .us, .co.uk, etc or even industry-based extension like .travel, .news, etc. It is totally up to you how you want to run your blog. You can read my post on how to choose a domain name.
3. How To Pick The Right Blogging Platform
There are many blogging platforms available. It is up to you which you have to choose for your blog.
The following are a few popular blogging platforms.
WordPress.org (CMS): WordPress is a very popular blogging software (CMS) worldwide. It powers more than 30% of websites. It is self-hosted and easy to handle blogging software. You can customize it per your requirements.
- Type: Free
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 like WordPress.org. However, you can use pre-built blogger templates but those are also limited in functions. The drawback is you don’t have full control over your blog. However, you can use a custom domain on blogger but you need to buy it.
- Type: Free
WordPress.com: WordPress.com is another popular blogging platform. It is very limited in the free version. You can’t do any changes on its free platform. In the paid version, you can customize it per your requirement.
- Type: Free/Paid
Tumblr.com: Tumblr is a combination of blogging and micro-blogging concept. It has a very simple interface. It is free but the same as others you can’t customize it per your requirement.
- Type: Free
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 for everyone.
- Type: Free
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 that comes with hosting. Ghost claims that it is faster than WordPress.org
- Type: Free/Paid
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.
- Type: Free
Weebly: Weebly is a hosted blogging platform. It allows you to create a blog for an e-commerce website. You can say that it is a hosted website tool. It has dozens of pre-designed templates to use.
- Type: Free/Paid
Wix: Wix is a user-friendly blogging and website builder. It has plenty of templates and apps for powering your blog and website.
- Type: Free/Paid
Squarespace: Squarespace is hosted blogging and site builder service. It has enough templates to design your blog or site.
- Type: Paid
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 never recommend using 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 their platform or can remove you from their platform anytime. They have all the rights. You will lose your blog and content where you spent countless hours writing a blog.
There are lots of restrictions on customization on a free platform. YOU strictly need to follow the standard format of a free platform. You probably can change colours or can add some widgets only, if permissible. Blogger.com provides a 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 hands. You are fully dependable on your free blogging providers. You don’t know 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 WordPress.org to start a blog. Do you know around 30% of websites 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 open-source and is not a completely free service.
4. How To Pick The Right Web Hosting
Web hosting is the home of your blog and at the same time an engine of your blog. It runs your blog. Choose the best rated, 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 once tried Bluehost and my experience was so bad with them.
Although, WordPress.org recommends it too. (DreamHost as well).
5. 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.
6. Tools And Services To Enhance Your Blog On WordPress
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.
Tips To Write SEO Friendly Blog Post
Starting a blog is really very easy but continuously writing posts and keeping your audience engaged is not an easy task for everyone. While writing a blog post keep the following tips in your mind.
#Decide what to write: First of all decide what to write today. How much value it is adding for your blog and readers. Whatever you write must be valuable for readers.
#Research your topic: Whatever topic you have selected to write, research it deeply and try to understand yourself first.
#Research keyword for your topic: You have selected the topic and researched it. Now time is to research keyword for your topic. Keyword research is very important for ranking in the search.
#Use headings in a proper way: All heading throughout the post must be in a proper way. You should not use too many H1, H2 headings. Headings help search engines that how your topic is moving.
#Use Images, the infographic, Podcast, etc in between post: Use appropriate images in between post. If possible use the infographics and podcast in the post so that readers can understand it easily.
#Ending post: At the end of the post try to come to the conclusion, don’t complete the post suddenly.
#Make your blog post title and description very attractive: You blog post title, a description must be attractive. Try to add numbers and other attractive words such as Awesome, Best, Tips, etc in the blog title.
#Revise your post and correct grammatical mistakes: Revise your blog post before publishing it and correct any mistake you have made such as grammatical or typo mistakes.
#Feedbacks: Always take feedbacks from readers and try to improve the post.
Apart from the above, you can also do your own analysis, read other blogs as well to see that what they say, read reviews of services which you are going to buy.
I suggest you keep writing and improving your content.
Good Luck with your blogging.