So you are here to know how to start a blog for yourself..? And sometimes to make money out of it, right? Relax. It’s not rocket science.
With this post, I’ll help you set up a blog from scratch. I’ll also tell you the factors that you need to keep an eye on while creating a blog.
Ready to start a blog? Before we begin, make sure you have answers to these questions.
Make sure this one is something that interests you. If you choose something that you don’t like, you are most likely to abandon your blog.
How often can you write on your blog?
Remember this. You are going to have followers and so they would expect to read your article.
This doesn’t mean that you need to write daily. Maintain a schedule for posting content. Something like “a post every tuesday” would be fine.
Text or Image?
If you are going to write about fashion(quite popular nowadays) or photography, make sure your photos express your meaning. A few lines of text to supplement it would do great.
In case you are focusing on guides or some textual content, make sure you be as descriptive as possible. Do not write articles with less than 600 words, as it won’t reach much people.
News articles can be short but 300–400 words is recommended.
Tip: Before starting up, think in the readers perspective. Determine how you are going to add value to a reader. Having a good clarity about this would take you a long way.
Time to start now!
You blog’s name will eventually be your identity. So you need to be cautious about choosing a name. You can take your time and come up with a unique blog name as it becomes your identity.
Some tips for choosing a good blog name:
- It should be easy to remember (for first time readers)
- Search on Google and make sure you have less references to your name. It would help you rank much faster.
- Some odd word also works well
- You can also use two or three words together that would define your blog type
Heard of keywords? They are a collection of words that describe your blog topic.
If you are writing about gadgets, you can use keywords like “technology”, “mobile phones”, “Google nexus smartphone” etc.
Create a good blog description varying from 60–120 characters and include one of your keyword in it. This would boost your SEO.
There are a lot of blogging platforms out there. WordPress and Blogger being the most famous ones.
There is also a new one, Medium, which is also good for sharing your knowledge.
All these platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages. So its up to you to decide what would suit your need.
Note: If you ask me to recommend, I would suggest you go with WordPress(Self Hosted).
Wait, Self Hosted? Yes. Let me explain.
WordPress has two different versions. One is the platform that allows you to instantly start writing WordPress.com. It is simple to start and you don’t have to maintain it. But you’ll have to pay to get full advantage of the platform like using your own custom domain name(Website URL).
Another version, also called the self-hosted one is an open source software that you can take and install it on your own server… Yes, you need a server. Don’t panic. Its simple because there are a lot of hosting providers that you can use.
You will have a shell out some cash for the hosting and if you want a good domain name, you have to pay for that too. But, believe me, this is the best you can do to get your blog on the road. Self hosted wordpress installation also allows to modify each and every bit of it and also extend the functionality with the use of plugins.
There are also a lot of themes out there for this version of wordpress to make your blog look attractive.
Hold on. I forgot to mention about Blogger.
Blogger is a service owned by Google, giving you the ability to set up blogs for free. It is also very popular among new bloggers. But eventually most of the bloggers move to wordpress as the features of blogger cannot be expanded. When it comes to showing advertisements, blogger only supports for Google’s Adsense. You will have a hard time incorporating other Ad networks.
But if you are really new to writing and does not have time to manage the blog on your own, it is better to go with blogger.
Remember that you don’t own your content when you go with free platforms as it is ultimately hosted on that company’s servers. And usually if something is given free, then something else is implicitly taken(mostly its privacy).
And if money or building a brand is not your goal, then I suggest you post on Medium as it would increase the reach of your article.
How to actually create your blog
Blogger or WordPress.com
Head over to either of the websites and create an account. For blogger, you can use your Google account as well.
After logging in, you will be provided with options to create a new blog. Enter all your details such as blog title, description etc. After filling it, you are ready to go. Hit the new post button to start writing your first post.
There are a few other things that you need to take care of, which I will discuss in a while.
Coming to WordPress(Paid) version, you will need a domain and a hosting.
For starting up, let me offer one of you a free domain name to begin with. Sign-up in the form at the link below to be the lucky one(ends on 10th of September).
Hostgator also is a good option to look for is your are under the budget. Check out the advangates of hostgator in our review.
If you want Free Hosting, head over to x10hosting. There is nothing better than this one. But I don’t recomment going with a free hosting service.
Why should you carefully choose a hosting provider?
Because it affects your blog and so your visitors.
Every reader who lands on your blog would expect the page to load fast and always available(without errors). When you go for a less reliable host, your website might go down for few minutes or hours every month and readers won’t be able to access it. And once gone readers never come back again.
Some hosts also take more time to load your webpage. (For DNS lookup — finding your host’s ip on the Internet)
Buy the domain name for your blog(just a matter of few clicks). You will also need to enter your personal details in order to register the domain. Go with popular extensions like “.com” or “.org” or even your country specific ones like “.uk” or “.in”. I recommend you go with “.com” as it is familiar.
Once the payment is done, you will now be able to access the settings for that domain. You can decide where your domain should point to. Usually it is the name server of the hosting provider you are going to choose.
As the domain part is now ready, let’s get on with the hosting.
What ever the hosting provider you chose, they would have a number of plans. Choose the plan that you require for your blog. You can always scale up at any time for a little extra cost.
After choosing the plan, you would be asked to enter the domain name or register a new one. Just enter the one you just bought.
Get the hosting
You can also buy domain from your hosting provider itself but it need not be good enough. We have companies who are the best domain providers but their hosting plans are not that great. The vice versa is also applicable. Thus, choose a good domain seller for buying domain and a good hosting provider for hosting your wordpress.
Skip adding all the addons like site lock, code guard etc for now.
After purchase, you will get mails on how to access the CPanel(for linux hosting) or you would be greeted with the CPanel itself.
Check out the host’s name servers by a Google search. There will be two: NS1 and NS2.
Now go to your domain settings and update DNS option. Below, you will have an option to edit the nameservers. clear the previous ones and add the new nameservers.
It will take around 2 hours for your domain updation to propagate over the Internet.
Once this is done, your domain and hosting are now linked and you are ready to install your blog.
Next step? Install WordPress. Since you are greeted with CPanel, you will have a auto-script or fantasco installer option.
Hit it and select wordpress, and the rest would be done by your host itself.
Once installation is done(usually takes less than 5 minutes), go to your domain. WordPress opens up an installation screen and you will be able to set up your login username and password. Sometimes this step also is carried out by auto-script installer of your host.
What next? That’s it. You have your own wordpress blog.
The Post-Installation Settings
- Customize your blog’s theme/template. Add your own logo(if any). Add some widgets in the sidebar. And set up your navigation menu.
All these can be done easily as the options for the same will be available on the left side of the blog admin page.
Check out the must-have Wordpress olugin for blogs in 2017.
Change the permalink. Permanent link is the structure of the url for your post. Tip: www.your_website.com/link-to-post is the most recommended one. There will be some which contain the published date in it, but that suits only for news websites.
Make sure your blog is indexed by Google. You can find this option in the settings tab.
Now it’s time for you to show your magic! Yes, your writing.
Click on new post and start writing. Once you finish, publish it and share it on social media to gain readers. Don’t forget to include some images in order to catch reader’s attention.
Till then, happy blogging. Feel free to contact me regarding any doubts or problems you face in the contact page.comments powered by Disqus