So, you want to start a blog huh? Great idea! As little as I can recall, the best career choice I’ve ever made is to learn how to start a blog and am glad that you are about doing the same.
But for the fact that you continued searching and landed here shows that you aren’t satisfied with the information you read on other blogs, maybe because their guides are so confusing or filled with grammar that gets you more confused and make the whole thing complicated.
Just forget about them I got you covered.
Way back in 2016 when I launched my first blog, then I was a newbie in fact I knew less than nothing about blogging. But now I can boast of so many things in this field, please don’t get me wrong I never claim to be some sorts of Gurus, but I certainly know the basics well which you may need for now before advancing.
You don’t need to be a tech savvy to start a blog because am not one, You don’t need to know how to code or design a website to build your own blog me too I still don’t know how to.
The guides in this post are step-by-step instructions with Do It Yourself (DIY) easy-to-follow screenshots that will light your path toward launching your new blog and actually profit from it.
For you to start a profitable blog in 2019, I have further categorized this guide into ten distinct sections that’ll light your path through the process of launching your own blog today.
- Choose a Blogging Platform (CMS)
- Choose Your Blog’s Name.
- Pick a Hosting Provider.
- Install WordPress.
- Choose a Theme and Design Your Blog.
- Create Your Essential Pages (About, Contact, Hire)
- Develop Your Content Strategy.
- Writing Your First Blog Post
- Promoting Your Blog/Site
- Monetize Your Blog
STEP 1. Choose Your Blogging Platform (CMS)
For complete newbies, the whole process of picking a blogging platform could be confusing with so many choices out there. Or you might not even understand what is a blogging platform. A blogging platform is a type of software or service that helps in creating a blog so that you can publish your content online.
WordPress is the go-to platform for bloggers. Why? Because WordPress is a free software this means it does not require any payment to use this online software. With WordPress you can also create any kind of website.
Why You should Create Your Blog With WordPress
- It is a free software for everyone.
- WordPress is Easy to Customize with Themes and Plugins.
- It is easy to manage.
- It is SEO friendly.
Reasons Why You Should Not Start a Blog On A Free Platform
A free blogging platform is a platform that allow you to register with them, get a free domain name, setup a blog without spending a dine.
However, if you want to start a blog, become a famous author and make a stack of money from it, Then we have to do things the right way so as to increase our potential success as a blogger.
- No Custom Domain Name – If you are using free blogging platform, you are going to have an ugly domain name in the form of http://yourname.wordpress.com or http://yourname.blogspot.com.
- Poor Customization – A free platform alternative only grants you access to a handful of themes and functions, which will only result in less engagement and more users leaving eventually.
- Limited Monetization – Using a free blogging platform you will be provided with a limited number of bandwith, memory space for videos and images, and as well your ads displaying option is limited.
- Loss Of Content – The company feels you are violating the terms of service agreement, they can simply delete your site with no warning.
If you have the ambition to start a successful blog, then you must pick solid foundation. According to our survey, 90 percent of pro bloggers recommends and use for their blogs WordPress.org content management system (CMS). And we advise you give it a try!
STEP 2. How To Choose A Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a business name and it is one of the most important thing you can do for your website, In addition your domain name will communicate important information to both human visitors and search engine bots.
Incase you don’t know what a domain is, a domain name is your identity on the web for e.g my domain name is mackiestdon.com so make sure you choose the right domain name.
The first step to finding a good domain name is choosing your topic. If you’re not sure what to blog about, there are a few ways to find a good blog topic:
- Hobbies & passions. Hobbies or other interests you are passionate about are a great place to start. Cooking, travel, fashion, sports, and cars are all classic examples. But even blogs about more obscure hobbies can be successful, since the your audience is literally anyone in the world with the internet.
- Life experiences. Everyone has lessons they have learned through life experience. Sharing this knowledge can be incredibly helpful to others in similar situations.
- A personal blog. A personal blog is a blog all about you. This will include a variety of topics, from things you do on a daily basis, to random thoughts and musings. This is a great way to share you thoughts with the world without having to stick to just one topic.
Once you find a good topic for yourself, choose a good domain name that suites. Try to incorporate some of the keyword related to your blog topic in your domain name.
Again you can use your name as a your domain as I did and still focus it on a particular topic.
Take note of these few things while choosing a domain name:
- Choose an easy to remember domain name.
- Choose an easy to pronounce domain name
- Make sure your domain name is from the range of 6-12 characters
- Do not include special characters such as @#$%
- Go with the popular domain extension such as (.com, .net, .org) and so on.
Once you come up with an idea on what your website will answer, you can go ahead and search it below to know if it’s still available.
If the name you wanted is already taken there are a few things you can do:
- Try a different domain extension. If the .com version is already registered you may still be able to get the .net or .org version of your blog name.
- Add small words. Words like “a”, “my”, or “the”. For example, themackiestdon.com or mymackiestdon.com
STEP 3. Host Your Own Blog
We have completed the domain name search quest, I believe at this point you suppose to have your domain name ready.
Now that you have gotten a domain name we will go ahead and host your domain online, I know this will sound somehow awkward but don’t worry I got you covered; I provide you with a step by step procedure to make the whole journey a successful one.Warren Buffett once said, if you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die. Blogging is one of the few ways to make money even while you sleep. Learn How To Start A Blog An Make Money From It In… Click To Tweet
What Is A Web Hosting?
A web host is a company that stores all your blog file, keep it online and make it accessible to user when they search your website name or domain name. getting a web hosting is a must do aspect of these whole blogging setup.
For your blog to be up and running, there are two main thing required and they are domain name which we have gotten and hosting plan which we will discuss here and these are the only two things that requires your money while starting a blog.
There are thousands of webs hosting companies today but out of these companies are few selected ones that are performing well and are recommended.
Many cheap hosts overload their servers which means your blog will be slow, which means updating it will take longer and it will take longer for your visitors to load it.
The host my blog is running on is Namecheap and I recommend it for beginners because:
- Free Custom Domain – They include a 100% free custom domain name.
- Easy WordPress Installation – Installing WordPress takes less than 30 seconds.
- 24/7 Customer Support Service – No matter what happens, they are available to help.
To get started go to Namecheap.com, choose a plan and click get started (Stellar plus plan recommended)
Go ahead and click on purchase new domain to buy a new domain or if you have an existing domain with another registrar just choose correctly
On the next page, you need to enter the domain name you decided on earlier.
If you have not decided on any one before go ahead and write your preferred domain name in search box by your right
Cross-check to ensure there is no typo error in the domain name spelling and Click on Add new domain to cart and click on Continue at the right hand side of the web page
On this page you can skip over all of the Website Essentials upsells on the package information page.
There is no need to buy any of the extra things they offer you.
Just skip over all of this and click Confirm Order
Once you have filled out that form you’ll then need to wait for Nameheap to send you the login information.
Sometimes they may ask for extra details for verification so just go through that process with them until you find yourself back at the dashboard.
You will receive an email containing your Cpanel login credentials.
The important details on these are the cPanel username and cPanel password.
Once you take note of your cPanel username and cPanel password. You will need to go to your cPanel login page.
STEP 4. WordPress Installation
WordPress has been the most popular website builder in the world. It powers over 91% of all websites on the internet. The main reason for that is because WordPress is a free to use software and also easy to install which makes it easy for anyone to create a website.
Namecheap web hosting company allow you to install WordPress with just few clicks. In most circumstances, installing WordPress is a simple process that takes less than five minutes to complete.
Therefore in this section, I will focus is to give you a complete WordPress installation tutorial for beginners and advanced users alike.
To kick start this process you will need to login to you cPanel using the information
Your cPanel login url will look like something this: http://mackiestdonguide.com/cpanel/ i.e https://yourdomainname.com/cpanel
Basically it is your domain name followed by /cpanel at the end.
- Go to your cPanel login page and login using the cPanel username and cPanel password you received in your email
- Once you landed on this page locate the Softaculous App Installer click on it to take to take you to the next page
- On the next page you will see a bunch of CMS softwares where you can run your blog go ahead and click on WordPress
You’ll then be asked to select the domain that you want to install WordPress on.
Here you just need to pick the domain that you chose earlier.
The next thing is to give your site a ‘Title’, provide username and password credentials,
You will use the credentials to login to your WordPress dashboard after the installations.Zoom Image
- After the installation you will be taken to a page that contains the link to your WordPress dashboard and your blog homepage: https://yourdomainname.com
Administrative URL : https://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/
- When you visit the WordPress Admin URL, you should then see the following screen. It is on this screen that you need to enter in your login credentials that you either created, or were given earlier.
STEP 5. WordPress Customization
Installing A WordPress themes
At this point, you have launched your new WordPress website that’s it is available for the world to see. Now we are going to install a WordPress themes.
Here are points to take note of while choosing a WordPress theme:
- Consider Responsiveness: Make sure that the themes adjust their layout across different screen sizes and devices.
- Strive for Simplicity: Look for a theme that has a design layout that helps you support your goal.
- Speed Optimized: Ensure that the themes loads fast when a visitor comes to your site
- SEO Friendliness: SEO optimized themes helps your site’s performance on search engines.
There are thousand of free WordPress themes you can use, but also bear in mind that support is a very important factor to consider when selecting a theme. Free WordPress themes do not come with guaranteed support and updates.
How To Install A WordPress Themes
To install a WordPress themes, from the WordPress admin dashboard go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
On this page you will see different free WordPress themes, just glance through them to know the one that best suites your need. Hover the mouse on it to get a live preview or install and activate.
After activating the themes, navigate to Appearance > Customize and tweak things like logo,color & fonts easily-
Again if you are looking for a themes that have all the above listed qualities, That will make your blogging journey an awesome one I recommend then you can download my themes here.
What is a permalink? A permanent link or permalink is the part of a web address that is added after the domain name. For example, check out the URL for this blog post https://mackiestdon.com/how-to-start-a-blog/. The domain name is mackiestdon.com, and the permalink is how-to-start-a-blog.
Making changes to your permalink is a major undertaking when customizing a WordPress blog for the first time, An optimized permalink structure can potentially have an impact on your SEO .
- To change your permalink simply navigate to Settings > Permalinks
- Change it to post name.
Installing The Necessary Plugins
While creating a WordPress blog website, installing WordPress blog themes is quite easy. But, you need to be careful during adding the plugins.
Plugins are a small set of software tools that are used to enhance the functionality of your WordPress site.
You can install many plugins to add additional features to your site without any coding skills.
WordPress literally offers thousands of plugins with different functionalities, including for email marketing, enhancing the SEO of your site.
This can help the website owners as well as the readers to properly navigate through the website. Most plugins are developed for multiple purposes while some are developed only for specific purposes.
You should add only the plugins that are necessary and would help with your blogging journey while starting your blog.
Installing too many Plugins on your website is not advicable because they are bound to slow down your website which in turn affect your blog performance for your visitor and search engines.
In the following list, we have collected a number of best plugins for blogs in WordPress to make sure that the quality of your blogs is an ace. These plugins are tested with their latest features and have been proven to work quite well to enhance the blogs.
- Yoast SEO: If you start blogging, you’re not going to go very far without a good search engine optimization. Yoast SEO is one of the most used and best plugins for blogs regarding search engine optimization.
- Akismet: Using Akismet will help you a lot to omit the spams out of your entire blog website. It automatically analyzes the website and drops out the contents that might occur as spam.
- Classic Editor: I’m not a huge fan of the new Gutenberg editor and find the Classic Editor much easier to use and more error-free.
- Easy Social Sharing: This a social media plugin which enables your readers to share the contents of your website in their social media. This is one of the best plugins for blogs when it comes to sharing the contents on social media.
- WPForms:This plugin help you to add Contact Us Form to your websites so that your readers can easily contact you. Contact forms seem like a very common feature that every website should have.
- Thirsty Affiliates: ThirstyAffiliates is a WordPress affiliate link management plugin. It allows website owners to add, manage, and easily insert affiliate links into their post and pages.
As you know that most affiliate links are lengthy and look like this:http://www.example.com/index.php?productid=xxxxxxx&affiliateid=xxxxxxx&blah=trueUsing ThirstAffiliate you can use your own domain name with a prefix of your choice and it will seamlessly redirect your users to the affiliate link. For example, you can convert a lengthy affiliate link into something like:http://www.mackiestdon.com/refer/product
STEP 6. Create Your Essential Pages
Now you are done with customization and all your setting are properly configured, I assume you have a clear idea what your blog will be talking about therefore you will go ahead and create your important pages like.
To create these, go to Pages > Add New. Give your page a good title because that’s what a visitor will first look at before considering to read the content of the page
Then write the content of the page below your page title, It mustn’t be superb at the beginning you can edit it and make changes any time. Don’t forget to publish once you are done
STEP 7. Writing Your First Blog Post
You have reached the most interesting part of the whole tutorial on how to start a blog, At this stage you will be writing your first blog post.
Putting together a blog content can be a bit daunting a times.
Firstly you’ll need to learn more about your audience, and what works well for other bloggers in your niche.
And lastly, remember to make it conversational and interesting. If you picked a niche that you care about, remember why you care about it. People want to hear your voice and your take on things.
Once you decide on an article for your blog.
First you have to login to your WordPress admin dashboard (yourdomain.com/wp-admin) then go to Posts > Add new
You will land yourself to a page like the one below
- Title Area: Write a catchy title that will explain the content of the post.
- Image Area: Use a clear image that will add meaning to your post.
- Article Area: Put down your mind and remember to make it interesting and easy to read.
- Publishing: Use the publish button to make your post available for everyone to see.
- Other: Create relevant category for your post or upload a featured image. If you don’t know what tags are then don’t worry about them.
STEP 8. Promoting Your Blog/Site
I understand how important it is to promote a blog. I have seen many bloggers quitting and telling others that Blogging is not worth trying. I spend 30% of my time in creating great posts and 70% of my time in promoting them. After all your post is nothing if it doesn’t reach the right audience.
- Subscriber List: Your subscribers are your real followers. They are the ones who are truly benefited from your posts and so they come back.
- Social Media– Social media helps to promote any kind of content no matter if it’s from a blog or and e-commerce website. You need to select 2–3 platforms according to your niche, where you’ll get most of your targeted users.
- Share Your Content On Other Platforms – Use platforms like Medium and LinkedIn Pulse, and add a link back to the original post. You’ll get a chance to promote it to a totally different group of people who might be interested in your content.
- Answer at Quora– Don’t think the Quora is just an answering platform but it’s a lot more than that. Answer relevant questions and give a link back to your website, if you’ve something related to it.
- Guest Posting– Find websites that allows guest posting, exclude the ones who are having less than 30 DA. Now create a post related to your niche and get published, this will allow you to engage with new audiences.
- Blog Commenting– Easiest way to promote a blog. All you need to do is find websites of your niche, pick an article that is related to any of your post and comment with you post’s link. Don’t be jerk about it and just comment to relevant posts only.
- PPC Marketing– The most effective way of Promoting a blog. Use ads from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn or whatever platform you prefer.
And now the most important point- Create great content. Without quality contents, none of the above tips would work.
STEP 9. Monetize Your Blog/ Make
Affiliate: Affiliate marketing is like refer and earn money. The More you refer, the more you earn. Join that affiliate marketing program which is related to your blog niche, then you will get more clicks that means more income you earn.
Merchandising: Sell your product through you blog like eBooks, Online Shopping Gift Cards or stuffs.
Sponsored Posts: These are apost that a blogger or website owner is paid to publish on their own sites by companies, businesses, and brands related to that site’s niche or topic,
I think these are some popular ways to grow and earn higher for you blog