Do you want to learn how to start a blog? This article is only 5 minutes long, but it contains everything you need to know to create a money-making blog in the simplest ways possible!
My name is Tomiwa, and I’m a Nigerian. I’ve been blogging for over six years and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Blogging has enabled me to connect with a large number of people while also allowing me to earn money online.
Many people love to write. Many people know stuff, and do not realize that the knowledge they have is valuable. Some people who discovered that they are great writers simply write in physical notepads, without realizing that they can immortalize their creative thoughts, and even make money off it!
So if you are like that, and you have been wondering how to start your blog, I am writing this simple guide for you.
In fact, I have written something on 5 steps to starting a blog, but honestly, it might not be the simplest guide to read. That is why I decided to rewrite the article in a simpler and easy-to-understand format. If you can stay to read and digest this article, you will discover for the next five minutes, the simplest and easiest way to create a very profitable blog – all by yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions on Blogging
What is a Blog?
A blog is a frequently updated website that publishes fresh information on a regular basis, usually in an informal or conversational tone, with the objective of drawing readers and earning money online. You’re currently reading my blog, and this step-by-step instruction will show you how to start your own blog.
Can you start a blog without being an expert?
Yes, even if you aren’t an expert in any topic, you can start a blog. You can write about your personal experiences, give your thoughts on a variety of topics, or provide information on a specific issue. But, in order to be able to give correct and up-to-date information, it is better to conduct a little on your topic before writing your blog articles.
Should You Consider Starting a Blog?
Yes! One of the simplest and most accessible ways to start your own business and earn money online is to start a blog (from anywhere in the world). To blog and succeed, you don’t need to be a professional writer or web developer, nor do you need any qualifications, years of experience in your field, or a degree. Regardless of your age, region, or skill level, you can start blogging and establish a thriving internet business.
How do Bloggers Make their Money?
As a blogger, you can earn money in different ways. Serving advertising on your website or signing up for affiliate marketing programs are the two most popular methods.
What is affiliate marketing and how does it work? Here’s how it works: when someone visits your website and clicks on a link to a product, they are directed to the affiliate’s website, where they can purchase the product you’ve recommended. As a result, a commission is earned on the sale. This can be a profitable business strategy for blogs with an engaged audience interested in product advice.
How to Start Your Blog: The Beginners Guide
Now that I have answered some of the questions you might have had about blogging, let’s get right into how you can set up your blog by yourself!
This guide (that you are currently reading) has a wealth of important information; however, don’t be overwhelmed; simply follow the steps and you will be successful in blogging. To save your precious time, I will make a list of what you need to do, and then explain them well, one after the other.
- Decide what niche you will focus on, and pick a blog name.
- Choose a blogging platform that you will use
- Buy a domain name and web hosting
- Set up your blog
- Use a nice design for your blog
- Optimize your blog for SEO
- Promote your blog
Step 1: Decide what niche you will focus on, and pick a blog name
First and foremost, you must choose a name and a niche for your new site.
Because the name of your blog (such yourblog.com) is the first thing people will see, it should be something that people can easily identify and remember—or it could be your own name, the name of your business, a clever combination of words, or something else entirely.
When picking a domain name, it is best practice to avoid complex stuff like using numbers, hyphens, symbols, et Cetera.
What is the meaning of ‘niche’? Your niche is the general topic area on which you’ll be focusing your material is your blog’s specialty. Topics such as travel, food, fashion, lifestyle, technology, and others are examples. Incorporating a word or two in the name of your site (like fashionbyfelicia.com or makemoneywithtomjoe.com) that clearly conveys what your material is about can be very helpful to your potential blog visitors.
Think about what you’re passionate about and who your target audience is.
Starting a food blog, for example, if you have good cooking skills and want to share recipes with others, is a good place to start.
If you’re not sure where to start, blogging about anything as broad as technology or politics is a good place to start.
There’s a possible economic opportunity waiting for you as long as there’s an audience willing to read it.
What topics would you like to write about? What kind of folks are you aiming for? If you want to generate money online, you’ll need to find a specialty that you’re interested in.
For example, if hiking with my family and friends is one of my passions. I’d start a hiking blog where I’d discuss the stuff I use on my hikes, such as water bottles, hiking gear, backpacks, and so on.
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform to use
There are so many blogging platforms out there, but I’d recommend WordPress because it’s the most popular and it’s open-source, which means there is a lot of stuff (plugins, integrations, etc.) that work/are optimized for WordPress.
You can choose between wordpress.com’s managed option and wordpress.org’s manage it yourself option, which I suggest. Even though it may be a little more difficult (depending on how good/bad you are at googling any problems you may encounter along the route – it isn’t very difficult), it provides a lot more flexibility. You’ll want to start customizing it more and more down the road, and you’ll want to have that option.
Below are usage statistics showing the distribution of blog technologies in the United States.
Even if you haven’t done this before, don’t worry. The next two steps will show you how to get started with WordPress.
It’s tempting for many new bloggers to create a blog on a free hosted platform like Blogger.com, WordPress.com, or Tumblr.
It’s crucial to remember, though, that “free” always comes with a catch:
The first issue is that you will have to work with a subdomain for your blog (examples: “yourblog.blogspot.com” or “yourblog.tumblr.com”).
Second, you will be bound by their rules and limitations.
When it comes to trying out a blogging platform, free options come in handy. However, if you’re serious about launching a blog, you’ll eventually have to start paying for web hosting and a personalized domain name.
Step 3: Buy Domain Name and Web Hosting
You’ll need two things to start your blog using WordPress.org- a domain name and a web hosting plan.
Whatever topic you choose, your domain name will be the name by which you will be recognized online. It’s your blog’s one-of-a-kind Internet address.
Here are some things to think about when picking a name:
It should be short and memorable, as well as easy to say and type. You can also use a combination of your first and last names (e.g. tomjoe.com or tomiwa.blog).
The most common rule is to get a “.com” domain, however other extensions can also be used too. “.net” or “.blog,” for example. After all, it’s all about making things simple, so if a different extension helps you stand out, go ahead and break the rules!
Where can you buy a reliable domain name without breaking the bank?
You can buy the cheapest domain names from Namecheap, which is a web hosting company I recommend (I’ll explain why later).
Don’t worry if you can’t locate a domain name you like. Namecheap will help you with suggestions. All you have to do is type!
After deciding on a domain name, you will have to buy web hosting.
Now that you understand that your domain name is the address of your website, which means if they want to visit your blog, they need to visit that address, your web hosting is the piece of land that you need to buy and build your website on.
Where you buy your hosting will have a serious impact on how well your blog performs. They make sure that your blog can be easily visited by anyone, at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world. A good web host makes sure that your site is online 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.
If you’re a beginner, I recommend Namecheap hosting. In fact, you can even buy web hosting on Namecheap and get a free domain when you follow this link!
This is why:
- Ease of use: With Namecheap, you can set up your blog in a matter of minutes.
- You get dependable service at a good price.
- Namecheap provides exceptional customer service at a fair price.
- Security: A free SSL certificate is offered and pre-installed to protect the data of your blog’s readers.
- Many people use: I personally make use of Namecheap, and all the websites I build are hosted by Namecheap.
It’s very easy to get your web hosting from Namecheap. All you have to do is to visit their website and hover over their Hosting segment. You will see many options as seen below. Click on Shared Hosting and you will be taken to a fresh page where you can select options from.
You can choose WordPress hosting too, it is much more beginner-friendly.
Click here to head over to Namecheap and hit the blue “Hosting” button.
You will be taken to a place where you can select the kind of Hosting plan you desire to purchase. Depending on your budget and how smooth your website should be, you should pick one of the options. If you are new to blogging and it’s a basic blog, you can go for the Stellar Plan. If you already have a blog and want to import an existing blog to WordPress, go for the Stellar Plus plan (which I currently use).
I usually advise that you pay for hosting for at least a year ahead, so you do not have to worry about monthly renewals. For the domain name part, you must pay for at least, a year.
Click on Get started, proceed to cart, and make payment for both domain name and web hosting.
Step 4: Set up your WordPress Blog
I’ve been running most of my blogs on WordPress since I first started writing over a decade ago, and I couldn’t be happier with the amount of freedom, control, and long-term growth potential that WordPress has provided me.
Now, one thing you need to be careful of, is that there are two different kinds of WordPress blogs. There’s WordPress.com and WordPress.org. They have almost the same name, but there are differences between the two.
While the choice is yours, WordPress.org is the ideal option for you if you want to get the most out of your site, have it grow with you, and eventually make money from it.
To set up your WordPress blog on the Shared hosting plan that you just bought from Namecheap, watch the video below:
Step 5: Use a Nice Design for your Blog
Design is not a problem in WordPress at all, because there are thousands of themes that you can install on your blog. Some are free and some are paid. When you’re just starting a blog, I don’t usually recommend buying a paid WordPress theme right away. When you build your blog to a point where you have a large audience that can justify the investment, then it’s okay to choose a paid theme with more features and options.
For now, focus on getting people to discover your blog and read it often. But I am not saying your blog should look dead. Good blog design builds trust between you and your readers. It tells people that you care enough about your blog to make it look nice.
If you can’t find a theme that you absolutely love, do not be bothered. Use the one that you like, and you can always change it in the future.
Once you install a theme, don’t be surprised if it still doesn’t look okay yet. It is just a skeleton of a blog. To make it appealing, you’ll have to fill it in with content (text, photos, videos, etc.).
Step 6: Optimize your Blog for SEO
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. When your blog has a good SEO, it will show up on Google whenever someone searches for something that you have already put on your website. According to recent studies, 53% of all traffic for websites comes from organic searches.
SEO involves many different methods. As a blogger, you will have to get used to them.
Read my guide on SEO to learn more about Search Engine Optimization.
Step 7: Promote your blog
The craziest thing about blogging is that you can write the most compelling content in the world, and design a blog interface that would sell people their own shoes. However, if no one sees the content you are creating, all of your hard work is in vain. So, you need to know how to promote your blog.
Talk to the people in your circle. Be proud of your blog. Make a merch, and so on. Blogger communities are a good way to connect with other bloggers in your niche. You can engage with them, and they will engage with your content in return.
Congratulations! You’ve now figured out how to start a blog. Your blog is up and running, and you have your own domain name and hosting space. To become a successful blogger, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard, make needed adjustments, begin content development, and promote your blog. Wishing you all the best!
If you have questions or comments, please share them below.