Blogging is the best way to grow an audience and connect with your readers. It’s also one of the most effective ways to build your brand online, whether you’re a startup or an established business.
Besides Facebook and Twitter, blogging is arguably one of the easiest ways to build a digital platform for yourself. The best part about it? You don’t need any coding skills or knowledge about web development, which makes blogging accessible for everyone!
You can start a blog very easily in no time! But if you want to take things seriously and start a self-hosted blog - this guide will help you set up your website step by step so that you can start writing as soon as possible!
Pick a good name for your blog
Your blog’s name is your brand and you want to make it as memorable and as unique as possible. Don’t worry if the name you choose isn’t exactly descriptive of what your blog is about. You can always pick a tagline to go along with the name. For example, if you are planning to create a technology blog, you could use something like:
Technology News for Techyheads (TechyNews)
It doesn’t matter what your blog is about, there are some rules that every good domain name should follow:
It should be short, sweet and easy to remember - This will help people find your site easily through search engines or word of mouth. It also makes it easier for people to recognize when they want to link back to your site. You can also use the same name on social media sites so that everything ties in together well.
Nobody else has it - This prevents confusion and keeps things simple when trying to come up with a good URL without needing any extra letters or numbers after the main one chosen. We have many more available than just .com so there are plenty options out there! Just be sure not already taken before purchasing anything new! If you're unsure about whether someone else has an existing domain for their website then check at whois dot net first please though! Also think about future growth too especially into other countries such as China because they do use different extensions :) Happy creating everyone!
Use WordPress to build your blog
When you’re starting a self-hosted blog, WordPress is the easiest platform to use.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world and currently powers more than 28% of all websites on the internet.
Not only is it the most used blogging platform, but it is also SEO friendly. This means your blog has a better chance of ranking higher in Google search results compared to other platforms such as Blogger.com or Wix.
Furthermore, WordPress is very easy to use and manage – even if you are not tech savvy. It has an intuitive user interface which makes it super simple for new bloggers to get started with their blogs. Plus, there are thousands of free themes and plugins that can take your blog from zero to hero in no time!
Another reason why WordPress makes for a great blogging platform is because it’s absolutely free! You can download it directly from WordPress.org or have your web host do this for you (recommended). Either way, you won’t need to pay anything out of pocket – something non-techies will be thankful for!
What’s even better about this awesome blogging software? It offers so much flexibility! There are literally hundreds of thousands of plugins available on WordPress that allow you customize and extend your blog’s functionality without having any coding knowledge whatsoever!
Take care of the technical stuff
To teach you how to start your blog, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up your blog and some technical tips for getting the most out of your website.
First, it's important to find a web host that has lots of storage space (if you run out of space and have to delete posts or images, you'll be forced to pay for more storage). We recommend HostGator.com because they offer a free trial period with no credit card required, and their features are easy to navigate. Of course, another option is Bluehost.com, but their customer service is not as good or as varied as HostGator's.
After choosing a good web host, it's time to set up your blog domain name. Our advice here is not to go with a generic word like "blog" or "newpost" because these words are usually taken by other sites in order successfully get found by search engines—and if they aren't successful in getting found by search engines then they don't pay any money from Google when someone searches for them! The best way to get top rankings on Google is by selecting an unusual domain name that relates well with what you write on your blog (our suggestion: use the last four digits of our dongle number). For example…
Set up email marketing, analytics and other tools
Once you have your blog set up, you'll want to measure the results and build your audience. For starters, consider...
Google Analytics. This free tool will help you understand what's working and what isn't by tracking the traffic to your site via its analytics dashboard. Google Analytics is an excellent resource that can help you grow your business by showing you exactly where visitors are coming from and which content they're most interested in.
Email marketing. Set up a newsletter to let people know when a new post comes out or offer them exclusive content in exchange for their email address (like a guide or ebook). This is one of the easiest ways to build your audience because it's something that people opt-in for rather than having it shoved down their throat like advertising on social media sites like Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc (which I cover below). You can do this through Mailchimp, Convertkit etc which both have free options depending on how many subscribers you have - I used Mailchimp until my list grew enough then upgraded to convertkit which offers more features including tags + sequences so it's easier to segment audiences into different lists based on their interests / needs etc but both work perfectly fine if all need is send emails when posts go live haha!
Make sure you have a solid design
Now that you know what kind of blog you want, it's time to think about the visuals. How will your site look? What colors and fonts will you use? What images will you showcase? All of these decisions are important, as they will help to shape the brand of your blog.
Your design needs to work well with the content type chosen in step one (i.e., a fashion or food blog probably won't do well with a plain white background color). It should also be attractive and easy to navigate, so don't forget that less can sometimes be more—the layout should be organized and simple.
Your design must also be responsive, meaning it works well on mobile devices in addition to desktop computers. And if possible, your design should be optimized for search engines (SEO). You can check this using tools like Google Insights before publishing your work live on the web.
Craft quality blog posts
Good content is what will set your blog apart from the hundreds of thousands of blogs out there.
So, how do you craft good content?
Get great headlines that are searchable. Make your posts easy to read and scannable. Your posts should be filled with valuable information and images, with links to other posts on your blog and other websites.
Create an editorial calendar and stick to it
It’s a good idea to get any writing done in advance. Write your posts in a tool like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Then, when you are ready to post, you can simply cut and paste the text into WordPress.
This is one of the best ways to ensure that you write consistently. Create an editorial calendar with the dates of your planned content and stick to it! You can use a simple tool like Trello or Asana (or even a spreadsheet) to create an editorial calendar for your content.
Decide on a posting schedule and stick to it:
If possible, aim for 2-3 times per week (we recommend 2x/week). It’s better to post consistently than once every 3 months!
Be consistent with your content production
There are a number of benefits to having a consistent publishing schedule. First, it keeps your blog from going stale. If one day you publish a joke about the US government shutdown and then two months go by before another joke appears on your blog, two months is an eternity in the internet age. With that much time between updates, your readers are likely to forget they even subscribed to your blog's updates in the first place!
Second, as people get accustomed to seeing new content from you on X day at X time, their expectations will increase each week. (This is assuming you can maintain quality standards over the course of many weeks.) As those expectations rise, so will readers' engagement with your blog posts: they'll read them more thoroughly and share them more often.
Third, consistency helps build awareness for you as a blogger in your niche or industry. Each new post gives people a reason to read about you again (and hopefully tell their friends about it), which means more exposure for you and your brand/blog.
Promote, promote, promote!
The Internet today is all about numbers and stats, which can be intimidating for a new blogger. But there's one specific stat that makes the most impact on your blog's success: the number of unique visitors to your site per month. This metric gives you a good way to judge whether or not you're reaching your potential readership and growing your blog organically. In our case, we started out with a small number of niche followers but didn't have enough targeted traffic to generate income through advertising, so we had to seek out additional promotional methods.
When it comes to promoting your blog, there are tons of channels you can use to get eyeballs on your content—and they seem limitless at first glance. We've found that promoting one or two posts per week is enough for us—and will save us time too!
starting a blog takes more than just writing a few blog posts. There's the design and tech side of things, as well as the promotion.
The first step is to get your blog set up and running. This means securing your domain name, picking a web hosting service, and setting up your blog.
The next step is to decide on your blog's design. Your blog's design includes the overall look of it, as well as the functionality.
After that comes content production. Content production means creating content for you to publish on your site, so then you can share it with others through social media platforms.
Finally, you need to promote your blog and build a community. Once people start reading your articles and engaging with them (through comments or social media), that’s when you know that you’ve created something special!
We started with a look at the difference between self-hosted and free blogs, before moving on to why you should use a self-hosted blog.
We then covered what a hosting account is and how it can help you build your online presence.
Next, we looked at how to set up your domain name and a hosting account at Bluehost. The process was straightforward, but if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below this post or reach out on Twitter.
Finally, we discussed how to install WordPress using HostGator and Bluehost. Both were easy processes that will enable you to start blogging right away!
There are many different ways that people choose to go about starting their own blogs. The important thing is that you do it your way because only then will you be able to express yourself freely with all the ideas coming from your heart, mind and soul! That is why I recommend doing what feels best for YOU!