Starting a blog may seem a bit confusing to people because they believe that it requires technical ability, however this is only a misconception. Creating a blog is immensely easy and you don’t need to have any coding (HTML) skills. The entire process is somewhat automatic and requires minimal effort. Follow these easy steps for setting up your blog.
1- What Do You Want to Blog About?
The first thing you need to do is select for a topic or concept for the blog. Is there something you are passionate about? Pick something that you find interesting and enjoyable because you will have to write about it on a regular basis and come up with something new and fresh each time. Get your creative juices flowing and think of unique ideas and concepts. There are no restrictions or limitations. You can write about cars, food, movies, gaming, politics and/or your business.
2- Check on the Competition
Before starting a blog check the blogs operated by competitors and get an idea of the kind of content they publish and the response they get. This will help you structure the right blog content strategy.
3- Choosing a Blogging Platform
Two of the most popular websites for blog creation are Blogger and WordPress. The former is owned by Google and is easy to use and maintain. Moreover, it also allow you to benefit from Google’s traffic management tools. Most blogs on the internet are made on WordPress and I would suggest this platform for ease of use. Some of the wordpress key features are;
- Variety of themes and layouts.
- Writing blog posts and adding images and pictures to them is easy.
- A custom menu can be created as blog posts can be categorised.
- Blog can be shared and commented on
Keep in mind that although creating a blog on blogger.com and tumblr.com is free, these platforms have some limitations:
● The domain name given to people is actually a subdomain, which could be a bit clumsy. For instance, if your domain name is latestfashiontrends.com, then it would look like latestfashiontrends.blogger.com.
● There are not many layout options, themes and plugins offered. A substantial cost is charged when additional themes and plugins are needed.
● The ‘owner’ cannot control the blog and it can be deleted without permission by the moderator if they decide it’s not up to their standards, meaning all hard work is wasted.
● If your blog makes money these platforms will put a stop to it or take may request 50% of the income as their cut.
4- Self-Hosted Blog
The better option is having a self-hosted blog on your own domain as it gives a professional outlook and gives you complete control. This option is also quite reasonably priced. Domain names don’t cost more than $10 a year and hosting services charge about $4 to $7 per month, so the cost is somewhere between $50 to $60 annually. Hosting services also provide money back guarantees if they don’t meet your standards.
5- Domain Name and Hosting
Do some research for finding a good domain name. It should be catchy, unique and easy to remember because you want to build brand loyalty. It is best to get the domain name and hosting from the same place because it saves time and money. Hosting services also have tools to help people in choosing a domain name for their blog. Some popular services include Bluehost, Dreamhost, Hostgator, Web Hosting Hub, etc.
6- Launching a Blog on WordPress
Go to WordPress.com and click on the Get Started link to, well, get started. An online form will appear which needs to be filled out. It requires people to enter the email address, password, username and domain name. Click the option of ‘Create Blog’ when the form has been completed. A confirmation email will be sent to the listed email address. The link in the email should be clicked for completing the verification process. Then people can use their username and passwords for signing into WordPress.
It is time to select a theme for the blog. The appearance and layout of the blog is determined through the theme. There is a ‘Find a Theme’ button that can be clicked if people want to search for themes they can use. It is also possible for people to browse themes based on criteria like the most popular themes or the trending themes etc. After selecting a theme, the General Settings screen has some fields that need to be filled. Bloggers have the option of uploading a photo or image by clicking on the ‘Choose File’ button. The next step is deciding whether you want your blog to be public or private. A public blog can be viewed by any internet visitor while a private blog is only visible to the friends and family of the blogger. Beneath the ‘Settings’ tab, there is a ‘Reading’ link that can be clicked on for choosing the appropriate settings.
Finally, you can write your first post by clicking on the ‘New Post’ tab. The body and title of the blog should be entered. Videos, photos and links can also be added by using the appropriate buttons. Click ‘Publish Post’ when the post is completed. The blog will be online and people can use social media and other ways to promote it on the internet to get greater exposure and visitors.