‘I want to start a blog!!!’ jumped my friend in excitement. She said I need some pointers as to how to set up a blog and make it popular. I gave her some guidelines, which I thought of sharing with you.
There is too much information on the internet about blogging, so you don’t know where to start. I remember the day I heard about blogging from a friend of mine, I just started off without any guidelines or tutoring. My friend just mentioned blogging and I started off.
It’s been quite some time since then, and my blog is doing well. I am an avid blogger so you can trust me, in fact I know a hell lot of things about it. OH YEAH!
This is going easy and simple. No technical stuff, just basics. Good enough? So, let’s start.
Why do you need to start a blogging? Before you take the plunge into the blogging, I would like to tell you why you need to do so.
- Blogging is catching up as a mainstream media of communication and it’s a popular platform to communicate information and news. There are millions of blogs online but you can still have your blog and make it stand out.
- It is an awesome platform of self-expression and is a fantastic way to share your ideas with the world.
- You keep writing since you want to keep your blog alive, so you become a better writer, also especially because you read others’ writings too.
- As you share your ideas and thoughts you become a seasoned writer and a great person too as you interact with your co-bloggers.
- And the last but not the least you can make money out of it.
Also read: Benefits of blogging
Creating a blog on free platforms takes around 30 to 45 minutes. So, pick up a cup of coffee or juice and let’s get started. During this setup procedure if you need any help, then just shoot a question to me and I am here to answer them. I will try my best to get back to you fast.
There are five steps you need to understand while setting up a blog. Follow these 5 steps and you can set up a blog in 60 minutes. It’s not as difficult as setting up a website right from the scratch. Don’t worry; you don’t need any technical knowledge to set up a blog. You don’t need to know any coding for setting up a blog.
How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps
- Choose your blogging platform
- You have to choose if you need to self-host or a paid domain, or you want to choose a free blog.
- You can have self-hosting and custom domain i.e. set up a blog on your own domain.
- Design your blog
- The useful resource for blogging
Step 1 – Choose Your Blogging Platform
This is the first thing that requires your attention. There are different platforms available for you to create your blog, most popular are Blogger and WordPress. These are biggest blogging platforms in the world and an extremely popular.
WordPress, being an open source blogging platform has many plugins and add-ons that can help you to have a nice blogging experience. Themes give you a varied choice of design and layout for your blog. WordPress powers close to 25% of all websites (including self-hosted option). Isn’t that massive?
Blogger- surely it is the best after WordPress.
Other Blogging Platforms Are:
Tumblr.com – It is partly a social network and partly a blog. It is extremely interesting and easy to use.
Wix.com – Wix.com is a cloud-based web development platform that allows you to create your own website or blog using drag and drop widgets.
Now that I have given you two more alternatives to WordPress and blogger, I would like to quickly run into the reasons why I prefer WordPress.
- It is super easy to set up a blog on WordPress
- Free themes and many layouts are available
- In case you have queries and you get stuck, you have a massive support forum to fall back on. Nonetheless, you won’t need it but just in case you do it’s pretty nice
- Hardware is impressive and your blog loads super-fast
- Your posts get shared, reblogged, commented. It is an interactive platform
Step 2 – What Would You Choose Self Hosting Or Free Alternative?
Now, let’s slow down a bit here. This is the most important decision you got to make before moving further. You need to decide if you will pay for the blog or opt for a free one. WordPress, Blogger & Tumblr are free blogging platforms for everyone. They are all perfect for those who are not super serious about blogging. But, they have their disadvantages:
- You do not have your own domain name:
You won’t get a blog web address or URL with your own domain. Believe me, it looks ugly. If you create a free blog; it looks like this:
It’s not personalized and looks ugly.
- Limitations to free blogs:
You cannot fully monetize it. You cannot upload all those photos, images and videos you want to share with everyone. There is a limitation to it. You won’t even have an access to all wonderful and beautifully designed WP themes.
- You cannot own your blog:
Now, this sounds stupid. Isn’t it? You can not own your blog. It is hosted on someone else’s server and they can delete it when they wish to, which means that all the hard work that you put into your blog, the excitement of posting articles and the countless hours of writing will all be wasted in just a matter of few seconds.
While a self-hosted blog has your domain name and you are the owner of your blog. You can name your blog in whichever way you want or example: Yourname.com or myawesomeblog.com. You can also end it with .com, .net, .org etc or with any other suffix. You have an unlimited bandwidth for videos and images and content, along with free themes.
So how much do you pay for hosting and a domain name? Not much as you may think. It is around $4 to $20 per month, and this depends on your hosting provider. If you pay any more than this, you are being overcharged.
Step 3 – Setting Up Self Hosted WordPress Blog
I make a choice on your behalf and move ahead with WordPress (self-hosted). But, if you haven’t used WordPress you should because it is the best platform.
Let me explain what self-hosted blog is and help you set up one. Choose a domain name and a platform to host your blog.
What is a domain? It is the URL of the website for example; google.com, Facebook.com.
What is hosting? It is the company that puts together your website on the internet so that everyone can see it. All your content, pictures, images, and videos are saved on it. To put it in simple words it is like a computer hard drive where your blog is saved.
I use Google Cloud Platform hosting provider. It charges only less than $14 a month. The domain name would cost around $12 per year. They are the hosting company that I have been using for all my blogs. If you don’t wish to choose GCP you can choose any hosting company you wish to. But, they should have one-click WordPress install on the admin panel because this button automatically installs WordPress on your blog.
For beginners, I suggest that you go with Bluehost, Hostgator or Siteground.
Website essentials aren’t needed but, I think privacy is vital. You got to keep all your details private and should have automated backups. This will save everything that you have put on your blog just in case it disappears so that you won’t lose anything.
What next? Start writing blog posts. In the beginning, the layout might be a bit confusing but, after some time you will understand it quickly.
Step 4 – Design Your Blog
Now comes the fun bit. You have visualized your blog so now let us make it exactly the way you want it to be. Choose a new theme by choosing Appearance and then the Themes option. I prefer something that is professional and easy to customize. You can also change the theme with just a few clicks. If you get bored with your present theme template, you can choose something else without losing your content or images.
Let your blog design reflect both you and your personality. But, along with this, it should match the essence of the blog too. You cannot, of course, use a football oriented theme if your blog is about cricket.
When the visitor visits your blog, it should be easy for him to navigate through and visitors should feel like sticking around. If the theme is difficult to navigate they would leave quickly. Make it easy for the visitors. The design is subjective so it’s hard to please everyone but, keep it simple.
Step 5 – Useful Resources for Your Blog
Just in case you get stuck with setting up a blog, ask me and I would surely answer your queries. It is pretty easy though.
Now put in content, post regularly and enjoy your blog!!!