Are you looking to start your own business or be a full-time blogger? A website is crucial and sometimes the factor that differentiates your business from the most successful ones. Follow the guide to see how to take your business online/ be a blogger and create a community of your own. Don’t procrastinate to follow your passion and start your blog today.
Now you can start blogging too and start earning passive income from it. And you can do that from the comfort of your home. Also if you want to start your online career and create an online footprint, then it should be the first step.
I have been blogging for different websites over many years to achieve various objectives. This is a new website that I have been working on. But I can share valuable tips that I learned along the path to getting here.
The reason to start your blog could be any of these:
- Looking to make Money Online.
- To become famous.
- Creating a community and share information.
- Write your personal thoughts.
- Reviewing products that you like.
- To create an online business.
If you’re starting up anew you will have a lot of questions such as:
- How to start a blog?
- Where do I get a domain name?
- Where should you buy hosting? How to decide?
- How to design a new blog?
- Writing a good content post for your blog?
- How to promote your blog and make it reach others?
You can get answers to all your questions including these by reading on. I have put up a comprehensive guide to make things easier for you and you don’t have to search anywhere else.
This guide is beginner-friendly. So if you are just learning the ropes, this guide can help you started on your blogging journey.
How to Start your blog (Beginner level):
Step 1: Choose a niche topic that you like.
The first and foremost step is to decide what your blog will be about. It is highly recommended to choose a niche topic that you like to blog about and something that interests you. Be sure to choose one niche that you like to blog and you can add your own values to it.
- Write down the topics that you like and focus on more niche ones. For example: If you choose broad topics like Technology, Finance, and Travel, try to go deeper and select a niche that is like a sub-topic: Teaching finance for single mothers, Travel hacks that focus on backpackers, etc.
- The topic should interest you before it interests others. It should be something that you like doing. Remember, this is going to be your way of life going forward.
- When you do something that you like, it will show up in your way of writing. And will pass on to your readers too! Spread the word!
Step 2: Pick a suitable domain and blog name.
A good domain should be:
- Easy to remember and type.
- Catchy, so it stands out from others.
- Able to represent the purpose of your blog.
Sometimes the name of a website can make or break the success. So it’s important that you pick the right one for you. Since each visitor will use the domain name in their URL bar to visit your website, decide on a one that suits your needs.
A custom domain like www.hangonlife.com can cost anywhere around $11/year. Yes, you have to pay for it yearly or depending on the plan you choose.
Here are some of my tips that will help to make your choice easier:
- Prefer .com over any other domain as it suggests that you have a global presence.
- Don’t use long domain names as it’ll be tougher to type and will eventually not rank in Google as you’d like to. Keeping it down to 10-13 characters is optimal.
- Don’t use numbers in your domain name as sometimes it may lead users to think of it as spam.
- Use a good domain name suggestion tool online to decide when you’re in trouble.
I came up with this name ‘Hang On, Life’ from a similar tool. This tool provided me a lot of fancy suggestions. Be sure to give it a try if you’re stuck!
Step 3: Pick the right hosting for your blog.
Web hosting is having a server running with your website hosted on it 24*7 where you keep all your data on it. Web hosting has to be reliable and fast enough to rank up in Google.
Hosting is really cheap these days and there are a lot of hosting companies that offer decent packages that are really worth it. While there are a lot of hosting providers, the ones that stand out from the others are SiteGround and BlueHost.
SiteGround is as close to the perfect host as you could get – speed, uptimes, support, features, and pricing are all phenomenal.
Some of the cutting edge features of SiteGround are:
- One of the best hosting providers, even recommended by WordPress!
- Full SSD storage (Improve web-hosting performance by 3X)
- Free SSL Certificate
- Support up to PHP 7.3
- SuperCacher for great speed. Works with WordPress & Drupal
- WP-CLI enabled (Good for developers)
- Staging for WordPress & Joomla Websites (Only on GoGeek plan)
- Daily backups
If speed & reliability are your topmost priority, then SiteGround is your best bet. Apart from these, they have a pretty responsive & friendly technical customer support. For a growing website, they also offer Cloud hosting & dedicated hosting.
BlueHost offers everything you need for setting up a blog. Some of its best features include:
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- A Free domain name (Saving of $12/year)
- Easy to use cPanel.
- Live chat support
- 30 days money-back guarantee
If you’re looking for affordable and reliable hosting, while compromising speed (a bit), BlueHost is the way to go. It only costs $2.95/month.
Step 4: Installing WordPress.
After you buy the domain and the hosting you like as shown above, the next step is to install a blogging platform. BlueHost sets one up for you automatically. But it is not that hard even if you opt for other providers and is fairly straightforward.
WordPress is the popular blogging platform and mostly preferred by bloggers as it’s simple to use. There are other blogging platforms that you can choose as well. Here we are implementing a self-hosted WordPress blog.
The hosting provider will send you instructions to login to your CPanel (Dashboard) which has a lot of features. You can enable CDN, create subdomains and setup mail forwards. Now you have to choose Install WordPress and follow through the process on the screen. It will be quick and once it’s done, now you have a running website. Good work!
Step 5: Choose a theme/design for your blog.
Good design makes your blog really stand out from the other blogs. WordPress gives you a lot of options to choose from. Visitors will appreciate it if your blog looks clean and well optimized. Using a good WordPress theme comes with a lot of added advantages such as better SEO optimization (to rank well in Google), integrated features such as widgets and other customizations. I recommend using a lightweight theme as well as the benefits are much higher.
Lightweight/ minimalistic themes have faster page loading times. Users will leave your blog if it loads like a snail. And lost visitors are lost for good, most of the time. Here are a couple of themes that I recommend, but you don’t have to use them if you don’t like – as there are thousands of themes to choose from.
Generate Press – There are over 20 GeneratePress Sites to choose from and there’s a free version available too. Be sure to check it out.
Divi WordPress theme – Only has a premium version available but certainly worth the price as it offers a lot of customization.
Step 6: Add some good WordPress plugins.
WordPress plugins add a lot of features for your blog that brings in added advantages. Plugins can improve your SEO to rank up well in SEO, increase the website loading times, provide valuable insights on how your site is progressing and a lot more.
Some of the plugins that I recommend and use are:
- Yoast SEO – To optimize your site for better visibility in search engines and your content can rank higher as well.
- JetPack – Provided stats on your website, CDN, lazyload image feature to make image loading faster and a lot more features.
- WP Rocket – Creates a cache for your website so to make page loading quicker. It is a paid plugin, however, if you’re looking for a free plugin then Autooptimize deserves a mention.
- ShortPixel – To enable compression and image optimization to enhance page load speed.
- BackWPup – It’s a backup plugin to completely safeguard your website content in a .zip format and push it to external storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. It is a must-have for every WordPress site.
Once you have installed the plugins, it’s time to get some blog posts in. The more and better the content, the better it looks to search engines!
Step 7: Writing compelling blog posts.
This is where you start writing articles for your blog and resonate with your readers. A good blog has unique content that engages your readers to come back to read the following posts. Weak, monotonous content won’t stand out from the established ones. Make out a plan of action and follow that schedule to post regularly to keep the visitors engaged. Google ranks your website higher for the number of visitors it has.
Here are some of the pro tips that I follow to date whenever I write an article:
- Make use of Yoast SEO’s readability and analysis results under the blog editor. It will present tips on the content you’re writing to make it SEO friendly.
- Content is King! so write content that counts and usually articles that are unique and have 1000+ words have a lot of keywords to rank for and have better visibility in search engines.
- Use images from ‘Unsplash‘ or any other royalty-free websites but not from Google as an image from the internet may be subject to copyright and you should be wary of it.
- Don’t copy content from other websites, it doesn’t help you rank and the content will be subject to copyright. Come up with your own content.
Step 8: Add important pages to your blog.
All the websites should have these important pages. This will add credibility and help you connect with your readers easily.
- About Page: It creates transparency between you and the visitors. Use it to write about yourself and how you came up with this website. Check out my about page.
- Contact Page: Often has a contact form on it embedded. Anyone can reach you through this form.
Step 9: Drive traffic to your blog.
The next step is to bring in visitors to your site. It will take time for a website to rank in Google. If you have followed everything up until now, you should have a good SEO friendly site. The site should be optimized with these techniques usually:
- On-Page SEO: Focus keyword, content quality, page authority, and a lot of factors.
- Off-Page SEO: Backlinks from other sites, writing guest posts for other websites.
- On-Site SEO: Google search console, allowing crawlers to index your site by generating an XML sitemap. (Yoast SEO needs to be configured but it has them all in-build).
Promoting your content on social media by creating fan pages, Instagram profile and Tweeting about posts regularly can get you a good fan base if you follow it consistently. Also, you can go for paid promotions such as paying to influencers to do a shout out, display Ads about your website. But I recommend adding a lot of content before you go for paid promotion.
Step 10: Monetisation of your blog.
You can use your blog to earn some passive income. But it needs visitors checking in regularly, so make sure you have the other steps implemented before coming to this point.
A good site can open up doors for many possibilities of income such as:
- Google Adsense
- Affiliate Marketing.
- Amazon Affiliate Program.
- Sponsored posts.
- Selling your own products.
- Online reach for your business.
You don’t have to display a lot of Ads on your website as it will look spammy and visitors will avoid coming back. Instead, display targeted ads or opt for affiliate marketing if possible.
If you’re just starting out on your blogging journey, this guide will surely help you out to get started. Most bloggers don’t start or give up too early if they don’t see results. When it comes to blogging, patience is essential and it is not a race. But you will surely get there. Remember to keep adding new content regularly (Like 3-4 posts a week) and make sure it is of good quality. I wish you all the best to follow your passion!
Consider sharing this post with others who are looking to get started with their website and follow their passion. If you have any questions regarding anything, let me know I’ll be glad to help a fellow reader out!