Do you want to learn how to set up a blog? Blogging can be a great creative outlet for many. It also enhances your writing and thinking skills. Today we will learn how to set up a blog in 9 easy steps. Let’s get started.
What is a blog?
A blog is an online journal where people can express their views and opinions. It is also used for education, information and sales.
Today the main purpose of blogging is connecting to your relevant audience, boosting traffic to your website, and monetizing it. Once your blog gains fans and an audience it is possible to sell your own products and services. You can also run ads on your blog to make money, but that isn’t highly recommended.
Why are you starting a blog?
It is important to know your ‘why’. Without a solid ‘why’ it might not work. Your intentions should be clear from the beginning. So take some time and figure out the message and purpose of your blog.
Check out my extensive guide on how to be a freelancer and how blogging is an integral part of it.
Now let’s dive right in!
1. Select the Perfect Niche
Once your intentions are clear and you’re ready to start, the first thing is to come up with a topic and then narrow it down to a niche. If you’re already an expert in a particular field then that’s a great start. You can also choose a topic you are most drawn to and learn as much as you can about it. This process can take place while you start. You don’t have to be an expert to start.
2. Pick a Domain Name
After you have selected your niche you need to pick a domain name that is relevant to your topic, short and easy to remember. Your domain name is your unique address on the internet. Domain names ending in dot com are recommended. If that is not available you can go for other extensions as well. Before buying a domain name consider which host or platform you will be using. More on that later. The reason being, some hosts or platforms will give you domain names for free for the first year.
3. Get Web Hosting
Selecting good hosting is one of the most important decisions you will make. Do your research thoroughly. The performance and functionality of your blog depend on your host. You don’t want to lose traffic because your site keeps going down. I recommend Siteground Bluehost or Flywheel.
4. Get SSL
An SSL certificate allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Some hosting providers include them with the hosting plan you buy. But some don’t. So check what you’re getting. An SSL certificate is important as Google will drastically drop the rank of your website if you don’t have one.
5. Choose a Blogging Platform
At this stage, you’ll want to decide what platform you want to use to build your website. The most popular platform (also known as Content Management System or CMS) is WordPress.org.
Wix and Squarespace are other popular options that are much simpler to use. Research them all and pick the one most suited to your need and budget.
6. Choose the Perfect Theme
Choosing the perfect theme is usually a fun process. The design of your theme, fonts and colours is what will make or break user experience on your website. How the information is laid out is also another factor to consider. When in doubt go with the simpler option. Also, make sure the theme you select is mobile responsive.
7. Start Writing Content
Now that you’re all set up, start writing. Fill in your About and Contact pages. Customise your Home page. And start writing blog posts.
When you write blog posts make sure you research the content, do keyword research and get your SEO Title and Meta Description right. Download an SEO plugin, preferably Yoast SEO. You will need to prepare content for the SEO titles and description tags of each page.
Use images where required. Make sure you fill in the alt text when you use an image.
It is best to plan your content in advance and set up a schedule you can follow. Write one blog post everyday. Create original and quality content.
8. Promote your Content
Start submitting your blog to search engines. It will help get your blog indexed. For Google use Google Webmasters.
Use bookmarking sites like Scoop.it and Reddit to submit your blog every time you write a new post.
Use social media like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube to get the word out there and promote your blog. You can also use paid avenues to get exposure and attention to your blog. Google AdWords and Facebook ads are popular.
9. Monetize your Blog
After you have gained considerable followers and subscribers you can think about monetizing your blog. Remember your blog is not always about making money. It’s about producing great content for your readers.
A few ways to monetize:
- Run ads on your blog
- Affiliate programs
- Selling your products and services
- Writing and selling an E-book
- Sponsored posts
There you have it! The more you write the better you get.
Figure out your ‘why’! Once your intentions are clear, go ahead and pick the perfect niche. Get yourself a domain name, hosting and a website. And start writing! It is that easy. And a lot of fun! Some days you will be frustrated figuring things out but most days will be awesome as long as you keep writing.
So, are you ready to set up your own blog?