Blogging is now a full-time business and there are thousands of successful bloggers earning their full-time income from blogging. I also started blogging in my college (back in 2010) just for sharing my knowledge. With the time, my blog grew and I decided to earn a full-time income from blogging rather than joining a corporate job.
After seeing several successful bloggers, many people think of start blogging and earning. So, I decided to write an in-depth guide on “How to start a blog?”. The primary reason for putting this guide online is to prevent you people from committing mistakes I did while making my first blog. I know people learn from mistakes but what is the point of doing mistakes and learning when you can learn from other people’s mistake. You can save your time and effort both.
Should you start a blog?
But before I start talking steps of creating a blog, let’s discuss if a blog is still relevant in 2019 when people take more interest in video content. Yes, that’s true. People take more interests in watching videos than reading boring long blog posts. That has made YouTube channels and Instagram videos equally important. But blogging is still not dead. If you are ready to work hard and produce high-quality content, blogging has a scope to achieve big goals.
For having a successful blog, one thing is really important. That one thing is “Passion for your topic”. If you are not passionate enough, you cannot make a good piece of content. There are billions of web pages on the Internet. Thousands of web pages are already there about the content you may write on your blog. If you want people to read your blog, you will have to give people something different and better content than already available on existing websites.
I have been blogging for more than 9 years now. I have seen several ups and downs in SEO and have survived several Google algorithms. Made several blogs on topics I love, failed in some blogs but also tastes success in a few. But I was passionate to learn and share my knowledge with people using the blog. That has always helped in writing awesome blog posts and connect with people.
If you are starting a blog just with a goal or earning, you shouldn’t. You can only earn when your blog gets good traffic and you need to have a blog with awesome content for getting good traffic. Awesome content is only possible when you write about things you know very well.
Now sit and think what kind of content you can produce. When you have an idea of niche you can start with, you are ready to read how to start a blog.
There are basically 5 easy steps to start a blog.
Selecting the blog name is the first but most important step. You need to think about a name that is easy to pronounce and write. It looks easy but it is not. Most of the name you will think are already being used by existing blogs. Don’t just think any random name. Check if the domain and social media handles of the name are available.
That’s the first mistake I did when I started blogging. I selected the name “Techlomedia” for my tech blog and instantly registered the .in domain because it was cheap. As a student, I didn’t have much to spend and I selected the budget-friendly way. After purchasing the domain, I realized that a blog with the same name is already running on the .com domain. That blog also owns social media handle of the name. That means, techlomedia.com was already up and twitter.com/techlomedia was also in use.
But I already bought the domain, so decided to keep using Techlomedia.in and selected twitter.com/thetechlomedia.
Whenever I tell someone about my blog techlomedia, people end up visiting techlomedia.com. Search for techlomedia on Google was also showing results from techlomedia.com. Even after working hard for 4 months, I didn’t get techlomedia.in above than techlomedia.com on google search results. Luckily the person who was running techlomedia.com decided to shut the website. So, I got a chance to keep my content updated and rank better.
Even if I got the organic visibility, it didn’t solve the problem. Many people still open techlomedia.com when I tell them about my blog techlomedia.
There is another problem with the name. When I tell them ‘techlomedia’ they assume it to be ‘tecnomedia’ because Techno makes more sense. That’s not their fault but mine.
After reading my pain with the blog’s name, I am sure you now know how important it is to pick a unique but easy to pronounce blog name. Now, look at the names of my other websites. Triponzy, Use This Tip or Wheelyard. All these names are easy to understand in one go with no confusion of spelling. As I have .com domain for all these, I won’t miss any of my traffic.
I also recommend you to check namecheckr.com. This is an awesome website that helps in selecting a good name for your blog or website. Think about a name and then search for it. It will tell you if .com domain is available along with the availability of username on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and several other social media websites. So, you won’t have to manually check on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms for the availability of the name.
See the screenshot. I checked for name “DeepankerTech” and found that .com, .net and .org domains are available. The name is also available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and several other social media sites. But the name is not available on Spotify and a few other websites. Green tick sign on the icon confirms availability but the block sign shows unavailability.
When you are set with a blog name, the next step is to buy the domain name and hosting. Always buy .com domain name for getting good exposure on Google.com. If you buy a country based domain name like .in domain, your website will get good exposure in that country but not the same in the global level. For example, my website techlomedia.in ranks well on google.co.in but not on google.com. Getting local traffic is good but getting global traffic is better.
You can purchase the domain name from Godaddy or Bigrock. I use both the websites, but My first domain was registered on Bigrock. Depending on available offers, you can choose any of these two domain registrars.
After getting a domain name, the next step is to take hosting.
You can go with a free blogging platform like Blogger.com, WordPress.com or Wix.com. Self-hosted WordPress is my recommendation. I began with Blogger and used that for around 2 years before moving all my websites to Self-hosted WordPress.
Blogger.com is a free blogging platform from Google that is easy to use. It offers templates, to select the design of your blog. Then you can start writing posts. Wix.com is also a good platform that lets you create stunning websites. You get a website build called “Wix Editor” that lets you choose how your website should look. You get a ready-made template, video backgrounds, parallax, animation, and more.
Same goes for WordPress.com. But I recommend self-hosted WordPress for getting more control and flexibility. When you use self-hosted WordPress, you get full control of your blog. You can move it to any other host when you want, use any plugin, modify anything on the code level and even monetize the way you want. You are not restricted to policies of your host like you have in Blogger.com or Wix.com. I also wrote a blog post explaining Why Is WordPress Best Blogging Platform?. You can read that article to have more idea of WordPress.
If you have decided to use self-hosted, you should know a bit about hosting servers. You need server space to put your WordPress installation and use it for your blog. There are several kinds of hosting plans, but you don’t need to care much about all. You just focus on shared hosting. It is cheaper and good enough for a new blog. I recommend Bluehost shared hosting. If you want a cheap option, try Hostinger.
You also need to learn how to set up a WordPress blog on your hosting, install the theme, install the plugin and publish your first post. I wrote several guides on WordPress that will help you in learning WordPress basics. You shouldn’t miss those articles if you are selecting WordPress.
If you do not want to learn WordPress, you can go with managed WordPress hosting options. WP Engine and Bluehost are my recommendations for Managed WordPress hosting. In this, you get dedicated support for WordPress. If you want a cheaper option, you can contact me for a free WordPress setup. I can do this for you for free if you buy hosting using my Bluehost affiliate. A Win-Win for both.
When you have bought hosting and have a WordPress running on your website, you also need to set up a good theme, customize the look and feel as per your choice. Even if you are using a managed WordPress hosting, you will have to learn a bit to properly use WordPress for publishing blog posts. Installation of themes and plugin is really easy. Most of the themes come with easy options for customization. You have options for selecting a layout, font, color scheme and more. There are hundreds of free theme, but you can also go with premium themes for better layout and experience.
This is how the WordPress dashboard looks after you login.
You can see the menu options on the left side. In the Appearance section, you get an option to select from free themes or upload a new theme you downloaded from other sources.
Here are some recommended links for you to read.
After you have installed WordPress and made the layout as per your choice, the next step is to write your first blog post. No one can tell you what you should write. I have already told you to write about things you are passionate about. Things you know and can explain better. When you are ready to write, Go to Posts -> Add New to open the post editor.
Here’s how this section looks like. You can add title and then start writing the blog post.
At the left side, you can see categories that I created for my posts. You should also create categories as per your blog. It varies from blog to blog. In my tech blog, I have categories like smartphones, tablets, laptops, headphones. This blog is related to blogging and marketing, I have categories related to that.
After publishing the post, click on the Publish button. Your post will be live for other people to read.
That’s how you can start a blog. After publishing your first post, you can start working on the next post idea.
Now when you have a blog, it is your responsibility to let the world know about you. You cannot just sit and wait for other people to find about your blog. Google also takes time in searching new web Pages and your new blog post will not go and rank at the top. So, you should think about promoting your blog to get some readers for your blog post.
You can share your blog post on your social media profiles. A few of your friends and followers will surely click and see your blog post. Twitter and Facebook are the easiest for promoting blog posts. If your blog post is impressive enough, few of the people visiting your blog post will also share your article with their friends and followers. That means the quality content you post, the better traffic you can get from social media.
Along with social media promotion, you can also learn SEO to get better ranking for your blog post. Blog promotion is in itself a big topic to explore. There are several things like email marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. You will have to learn these things to improve your blog. I will be writing more articles on blog promotion.
Here are few links for you to read:
I have tried to explain things simple words. I hope this guide was good enough to give you an idea of how to start a blog. I have also added links to buy a domain, hosting, themes along with links to learn WordPress basics. If you still find anything tough to implement, you can always leave a comment below or contact me to get help. I am mostly available to reply on my social media profiles. I recommend Twitter for getting an instant reply. Follow me there.