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How To Start A Blog
In 2020, it seems like there are a million uses for blogs. If you’re wondering how to start a blog, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re launching a vegan recipe site, solving crime, promoting your business, or just showcase your writing skills, a professional-looking blog can get you found and followed.
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably wondering how to start a blog for free or how to start a blog and MAKE money. Don’t worry – we’ll get there. Consider this your “How To Blog For Dummies” guide to greatness.
Here are our tips on how to start a blog successfully!
Why Start A Blog?
Good question! You might have some idea of how a blog might benefit you. But let’s take a look at the big picture benefits of beginning a blog:
- You can spread information and ideas to a wider audience
- You can promote your business or services and showcase your expertise
- You can share your creative writing with the world
- You can earn extra income
As with most things, a good blog starts with a killer idea. That is, you’ll want to choose a topic! A sure way to get burned out and frustrated with your blog is to wander around in the wilderness with no direction. Whether it’s dream interpretation, yoga, or Corgis-doing-crazy-things, you want to know your topic, your audience, and the primary point of your blog.
Are you looking to entertain, inform, educate, or organize? Get your topic and your intention down on paper. Once you do, you’re ready for the next step.
Pick A Name
Your blog’s name is important. This will be the public’s first impression so it needs to be a good one. You’ll want to choose a name that’s short but sweet, unique, and reflects the content that will be expressed by your blog. If you’re stuck on this step, we love the free domain-naming tool Bust A Name.
Choose A Free Platform
One of the first steps to start a blog is choosing a place for it to go. Although you certainly have the option to self-host, we’re going to focus today on choosing a free platform. This is probably the best choice for true beginners.
There are a lot of various free blogging platforms out there. To keep things simple, we’re going to stick with the most popular and user-friendly.
WordPress is one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world. You can really get creative with designing and creating a unique, eye-catching blog. WordPress is free, easy to use, and highly reputable.
A good host is a blog creation tool and platform that’s optimized to meet the proper security and performance needs of WordPress. One highly recommended WordPress host is:
Bluehost managed WordPress hosting is a solid choice for your first blog. The dashboard is intuitive and user-friendly and they come highly recommended by WordPress.
While it’s not completely free, you can choose from a tiered selection of plans to find one that suits your needs. Remember, you’ll likely have to spend a little money if you’re looking to get paid down the line.
Design Your Blog
This is probably one of the most fun steps in the process. You’re going to have thousands of options to choose from in terms of layout, design, and aesthetics. This is where you get to express yourself creatively and feel out exactly what type of space you want to make online.
Your design starts with your Theme. You can change your theme at any time. While there are loads of free themes, you can also upgrade to a paid theme. Then, you can further customize the design so it reflects you, your personality, and your chosen topic.
In addition to being reflective of the subject matter, you want your blog to appear professional, non-cluttered, and easy-to-navigate. Remember – the blog is for visitors and, hopefully, loyal subscribers.
Popular places to buy themes from:
Most people who are just getting started with a blog don’t know anything about code. That’s where plugins come in. Plugins can help you with things like:
- Reducing SPAM comments
- Improving SEO rank
- Speeding up your site
- Adding social sharing buttons for Facebook and Instagram
- Website security
- SSL support
The more you play around with your blog, the more you’ll come to understand what plugins might be necessary or useful for you.
Add Your First Pages
There are certain pages you want in place before you launch your blog for all to see. While it’s all right to be new, you still want to establish a certain sense of legitimacy. Here are some of the pages to focus on when you’re first getting started:
- About Us/About Me – This page tells your reader who you are, what your blog is about, etc.
- Contact Page – This page is important so readers/clients/businesses have a way to get in touch
In addition to your first few pages, you also want to create a custom email address and set up a mailing list. Emailing people is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog!
Create Regular Blog Content
It can be confusing to know exactly how often to add new blog posts and how long they should be. In the beginning, it’s a good idea to get 10-15 blogs together.. This way, when people get to your blog, it seems relatively established.
Once you’ve got your foundational 10-15 blogs in place, you want to create a consistent posting schedule. Remember, quality is always more important than quality. Check out some of your favorite bloggers and see how often they post.
You want to post frequently enough to keep people engaged but not so often that you overwhelm them. A lot of bloggers find that once or twice a week is a good pace.
There’s a sweet spot with length, too. At one time, 300 words were the recommended length for a blog post. That is no longer the case. 1000-2000 words seem to be a good length for most posts. This gives you enough room to express ideas and extend information thoughtfully without being too drawn out.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What do you need to start a blog?
Really, all you need to start a blog is an idea, a computer, and content. As you can see above, you’ll also need a host for your blog and some patience in setting it up!
How to start a blog with no money?
Yes, you can start a blog for free using domains like WordPress. However, most successful bloggers do end up investing in certain services or add-ons to improve the quality of their blog.
Does blogging cost money/how much to start a blog?
Some of the things you might spend money on with your blog:
- Upgraded themes
- Plugin development
- Social media marketing
These expenses can vary greatly and depend on the purpose of your blog.
How to start a blog and monetize it?
There are several ways an established blog can bring in money:
- Placing ads on your site like CPC (cost per click)
- Putting affiliate links in your blog
- If you’re marketing your own business/service, you’re bringing in new clients
- Selling E-books
- Selling memberships to exclusive areas of your blog
In 2020, it seems like there are as many blogs as there are drops of water in the ocean. But don’t let that discourage you. Focus on what makes your blog or service unique and concentrate on creating an inviting, engaging space for visitors and followers!
While you’ll likely have to make some kind of investment, you can start a blog for free and feel things out from there. WordPress dashboards and customer care can help guide you through the starting stages so you can move on to the fun stuff – designing your blog and getting your words out into the world!
The video below was created for FREE using Canva.