How to start a Blog – Complete guide

Do you want to start a blog for the first time? Great Idea! Starting a blog is a reliable path to support you and your family but Before starting a blog, you should know that how can I start the blog? There is so much info out there and everyone’s telling in a different way which definitely confused a newbie that which source is trustful and who do you listen? Some people say that blogging is not all rainbows and butterflies, it needs hard work and some people say that just a little bit of guidance and by using different tools you can have your own personal blog. So, which one is saying true? Should you start a blog for your business?

Well, hold up. I will give you the complete guide which will be helpful for both the newbie and for those who have started their blog but they don’t know the direction.

How to start a Blog – Complete guide

In this step-by-step guide, I will try to cover all the procedure which will help you to set up your blog and make money from it, and to avoid the common mistakes new bloggers tend to do. Sound good?

How to start a Blog - Complete guide

Awesome, let’s move on.

How to Pick a Topic for Your Blog

Finding a blog topic is not an easy task you must take it seriously because this is the first point where everything can go right or wrong. If you select a topic about you have a lot of knowledge and you personally interested in this topic then your chances of success will be higher than choosing a topic because you think it may be commercial.

Many newbies think they have to find a new and unique topic that no one else has written about. As a result, they failed after spending hours of Google searches because everyone has already written about everything.

Sometime no amount of research, but your external or internal analysis will help you more. Only the market can give you a real exact result. I believe the key to a successful blogging carreer lies in what I call, Jeff Nali’s 3Ps (PPP). Passion, Patience, and Persistence. Here are some guidelines for selecting a successful blog topic.

  1. Take a Topic You Enjoy Researching
  2. Take a Topic Which Should Not Highly Controversial
  3. Know About Your Target Audience
  4. The Topic Should have the Potential to Make the Money
  5. Take a Topic You Enjoy Researching

One of the best aspects of any blog is to provide fresh and meaningful content about a wide variety of topics. For your blog success, it is necessary that you should enjoy reading about your blog’s topic and know about the ongoing event related to your topic. This is the way through which you will make your blog interesting and relevant to your readers.

1. Take a Topic Which Should Not Highly Controversial

As your blog grows over a period of time and more people reach your blog then some people agree with you and some people strongly disagree with you and they may attack you personally in the comment. You need to avoid these comments rather than opposing their opinion, stay away from hot topics.

Political or religious topics attract these kinds of readers. They are not interested in discussing the subject they just opposing you and blaming you without knowing any reason. So, try to avoid choosing highly controversial topics or be prepared to state your reason for your position on your topic.

2. Know About Your Target Audience

Everything comes down to your audience. I think, there is nothing more important for blog success than knowing your target audience. I know this is not an easy job for a new blogger to know about their audience but with the passage of time, when you write your blog, the better you understand your audience.

One of the best ways to know about your reader is to define your audience. Defining the audience is easy for the established business, simply talk to them. Whether it’s online or phone conversation. But if you are just starting a new blog then simply you get to decide who it is you want to reach and how can you reach them.

Once you know about your target audience then it is easy for you to pick the best blogging topic.

3. The Topic Should have the Potential to Make the Money

Most of the new blogger wants to start the blog because they want to earn money. Do you want to make money from your blog? Then pick the topic with the potential to make money. This means select something that has services or products related that you can either create or promote.

4. How to Select the Name of Your Blog

Naming anything is a hard challenge. If you select a name that is completely irrelevant to your topic then it will not be giving any favor. You need the best name for your blog. For your blog name, it is not necessary that you hire any professional, you will just need to do a bit brainstorming and you will find a perfect blog name.

At this stage you should remember these things:

  1. Your Blog name should be short
  2. It should be memorable
  3. Highly relevant to your niche
  4. Blog name should be unique
  5. Available as a Domain name.

I recommend you write your topic on white paper and start thinking of words that relate to your topic. In the end, you will have a bunch of words and then you can combine them in many different ways to create a blog name.

Once you have some names then you can check the domain name for all of them and select the domain name which will be available.

How to Set Up Your First Blog

I am going to walk you through the 9 steps to start a blog, which is especially helpful for beginners who have never created a blog before.

Step #1: Choose a Blogging Platform

Step #2: Finding the Domain Name

Step #3: Choose a Hosting Provider

Step #4: Install a WordPress

Step #5: Pick Up a WordPress Theme to Start Your Blog

Step #6: Install the Essential WordPress Plugins

Step #7: Set Up Home Page and Others Essential Blog Pages

Step #8: Write and Publish Your First Blog Post

Step #9: WordPress Blog SEO – Where to Start

Now, Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of starting the blog.

Step #1: Choose a Blogging Platform

The first thing comes up in your mind after deciding your niche, where to build your blog and which blogging platform should I use? This is a tough choice because of several platforms available in the market. How do you select which platform is better for you? Don’t worry I will help you to choose the best blogging platform by going over the pros and cons of the most famous blogging sites.

While there are many blogging platforms available but we take a look at some popular and most common platforms.

  • WordPress.org
  • Gator
  • Blogger
  • WordPress.com
  • WIX

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the world’s famous blogging platform. WordPress.org is a free blogging platform that allows everyone to build your blog or website. WordPress.org is also a good option for those who plan to upgrade a self-hosted blog in the future.

Pros:

  • Offer self-hosting
  • Search engine friendly
  • Simple to use
  • Great Support

Cons:

  • First, need to buy a domain name and hosting
  • You have to perform a routine backup and manage your own security

Gator:

Gator is the platform created by HostGator, the popular hosting company. Gator offers a drag and drop tool that help new blogger to develop a perfect blog with no coding knowledge.

Pros:

  • Easy to use (drag and drop)
  • Quick Set-Up
  • Backup and performance handled by HostGator

Cons:

  • Not provide a free account, but they provide 45 days money back guarantee.
  • A limited number of extensions

Blogger:

Blogger is a Google free blogging platform but blogger is not nearly flexible as other platforms. Since it is easy to use and this platform is helpful for the beginners just learning the ropes.

Pros:

  • Free Platform
  • Easy to use without any technical skills
  • Integrate well with other google product-AdSense and google analytics because it’s owned by Google.

Cons:

  • can’t self-host
  • Does not receive frequent updates
  • Fewer theme and storage space

WordPress.com:

WordPress.com is the world’s most popular site builder. WordPress is extremely flexible and it is a popular choice to build a site. We recommend you use this platforma as it has numerous advantages over the rest.

You can use it to start a blog, create an online store and more. There are thousands of free WordPress themes available you can use to build your blog or site.

Pros:

  • Free set-up
  • Easy to use and manage
  • Thousands of themes to choose from
  • Mobile friendly

Cons:

  • Limited functionality unless you pay for the upgrade
  • Looks less professional

WIX:

Wix.com was founded in 2006 as a platform and now it has over 90 million users worldwide. Wix is helpful for small businesses to build a website by using drag and drop tool.

Pros:

  • Quick and easy setup
  • Flexible drag & drop editing
  • Third party integration

Cons:

  • Lack of customization
  • Ecommerce tools are not very advanced

Step #2: Finding the Domain Name

Your domain name will be the name of your brand and it should be unique. Your domain name will have a significant impact on the success of your blog. You will need to buy your domain from the domain registrar.

The low-quality domain will be the few 1000$ and a high-quality domain with only two words can go more than 10,000$. Your best bet is to keep searching until you find a domain that you like and can buy directly from the registrar at less price.

You should try to buy the domain which is easy to pronounce, short, memorable and SEO-friendly. For many sites, .com is the best choice because it is easy to remember but it’s getting harder and harder to find .com domain at less price. But if you have trouble finding the .com domain then you can go to the others, such as .net, .info and .org.

Once you find the suitable domain name that works, register it immediately. Even if you are not confident it’s the best domain for your business, it’s better to secure this domain while you look for other ideas.

You can buy your domain from the platform mentioned below:

Step #3: Choose a Hosting Provider

There are many different options for web hosting and every site needs a web hosting provider. Hosting providing company stores your site on its server and make your site available for the visitors who visit your site. The important thing is the great hosting boils down to the 3S: speed, security, and support.

If you are getting started a small business then try to choose the service ranging from 10$ to 50$ per month.

The best hosting provider in 2020:

  • Hostnali.com
  • Bluehost.com
  • HostGator.com
  • DreamHost.com
  • A2hosting.com
  • Webhostinghub.com

Now you all know how to get your site up on to the internet. So, go forth and build your blog.

Step #4: Install a WordPress

Now, when you have your blog domain and hosting, it’s time to set up WordPress to manage your blog. Depending on your hosting WordPress installation may vary a bit but don’t worry, no matter which hosting you choose your site should be live and ready for blogging.

Once you complete the installation process, you can access your blog dashboard by going to domain-name.com/wp-admin. From the dashboard, you can access the settings and when you hover over the Setting menu item in the sidebar then you will see multiple options.

General WordPress Settings

On this page, you can see the “Site Title and Tagline”. You will have to change them and write your own site title and tagline but first, you have to understand that what is Site Title and Tagline.

The Title will probably just be your blog name and Tagline describes what your blog is about. You can give your business email address for admin purpose and you can also set the date and time format from this page if you want.

Step #5: Pick Up a WordPress Theme to Start Your Blog

Now when you have set up everything in WordPress, the next step we select the theme which makes our blog more attractive than the default appearance. The theme is like the skin of your site which totally changes the look of your blog and the interesting part is you don’t need to know any CSS to use it.

How to Choose the WordPress Theme

There are thousands of themes out there, both free and paid versions. WordPress themes are of three types:

  • Parent Theme
  • Child Theme
  • Theme framework

Parent Theme:

All the WordPress themes have parent themes by default and from the parent theme, you create your child theme.

Child Theme:

The child theme is the sub-theme of parent theme but it inherits all of its functions from its parent theme. The child theme is useful but not necessary for the beginners.

Framework:

A theme framework is the code library which facilitates the theme development. It might be the plugin you install and it will change the way of WordPress work. It helps to build your own theme in the word press.

Best Places to Find a WordPress Theme

Let’s look at some sites where you can find the quality theme for your blog.

  • Themeforest.net
  • WordPress.org Theme Repository
  • Elegantthemes.com
  • Cyberchimps.com

Above mentioned sites are top theme marketplace to browse.

How to Install a WordPress Theme

Once you have chosen a WordPress theme then by following these steps you will need to install it.

  1. Download the WordPress theme in .zip file
  2. From the dashboard, hover over the Appearance and then click on Themes
  3. Click on the Add New button at the top
  4. Upload the theme
  5. Click Choose File button and select the downloaded .zip file
  6. Click on the Install Now button
  7. Active the installed theme

These steps may vary a bit depending on your theme.

Step #6: Install the Essential WordPress Plugins

Plugins are the piece of code that you install in the word press for the new feature and to enhance the functionality of your site. These plugins can be simple or complex.

These are some plugins that are essential for beginners to install.

  • Yoast SEO
  • Akismet
  • Contact Form 7
  • WP Super Cache
  • Updraft Plus

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the plugin helps to handle a bunch of SEO tasks for you and also it makes On-page SEO task easy.

Akismet

Akismet helps to filter out the tons of spamming comments and it required for every blog.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is the plugin that can manage multiple contact forms and it will email you when someone fills your contact form.

WP Super Cache

The best plugin that increases your site speed

Updraft Plus

This is a backup plugin that automatically backup your WordPress site. It helps to ensure your blog data is safe no matter what goes wrong.

Step #7: Set Up Home Page and Others Essential Blog Pages

WordPress blog consists of a range of various pages but you should know the most important pages that you must have on your blog. WordPress has two content types called pages and posts. Pages have the content that is not the part of your regular content while posts are used to write a routine blog article.

Pages content is completely separate from your blog post, pages are normally used to add static content. For Example, About Us page.

Let’s take a look at some essential pages that you can use for your blog.

Home Page

Create a dedicated home page as the first page among all your blog pages. You can display your latest blog posts on your home page if you didn’t make it static. You should put a clear headline that describes your blog, a little bit about you and your latest posts on your home page.

About Page

About is one of the most common pages in the blog. About page helps build trust among your audience and you can tell people about both the blog and your own background and people know that what your blog is about.

Contact Page

The contact page allows users to contact you immediately without leaving a public comment on your blog. If you don’t have any contact it means you don’t exist. By putting your contact details, you can create a powerful connection with your audience.

While establishing your contact page, don’t forget to use a nice contact form.

Blog Page

If your home page is statics then you will need to create a separate Blog page to show the list of your most recent published blog post.

Step #8: Write and Publish Your First Blog Post

Now it’s time to actually write your first blog post. Before getting started to keep one thing in your mind when you are writing a blog post for WordPress, it’s good to write directly in the WordPress. Some people because of no experience write their blog in Word or other similar programs first but when they copy their content and paste in WordPress then they face the formatting issues.

To get started, click on the post and then click on Add New and you will be on the dashboard where you can start writing. Your post format should be readable both for human readers and Google Search Engine bots.

Professional Formatting for Your Post

Once you have created your content then your content should be properly format. For formatting, you should take care of these things.

Add Proper Heading and Subheading

You should add heading for every post because it helps the user to understand the flow of your post. Your main heading must be in the H1 tag and other headings should be in H2 and H3 tags.

Break Up Your Paragraph

One other thing is to make your blog post attractive, break your text into a short paragraph. Your paragraph should be one to four sentences.

Pick Up the Perfect Font and Font Size

For the best screen legibility pick up the nice font. Make sure that consistently you are using the same font for all of your blog posts.

Another important thing is the font size you choose for your blog post. Use the font size which attracts the readers. Don’t use font size so big or too small. The size will look different but it depends on the font you have chosen. So, use the font size that you have found looks right.

Use Table of Content

Make things easy for your readers by using a logical layout. One way to provide ease to your readers is by using a table of content (mentioned earlier).

Use Lists

A number or bulleted list attracts the eye, helps break up long chunks of text and help readers to understand a similar concept.

When you write your blog post properly then publish your post and start promoting it.

Step #9: WordPress Blog SEO – Where to Start

When you are starting a blog then you can’t skip search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is crucial for your WordPress Blog if you want more people to visit your blog. SEO is an advance topic and it is hard to complete everything in this article but I will give you the short introduction of SEO to get more traffic.

SEO help to rank better in the Search engine. There are 3 parts of SEO:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Off-Page SEO

1. On-Page SEO

On-page SEO helps optimizing web page content for both user and search engine. On-page SEO is the practice to put your target keywords in a strategic location on your target page. On-page SEO include optimizing the URLs, tags, content and internal links.

You Should Use Your Primary Keyword In:

  • In URL
  • In Title Page
  • Main heading
  • Subheading (h2 & h3)
  • In Alt Text of Image
  • In the Meta Title
  • In the Meta Description
  • In the Post Content

Yoast SEO is the best all in one solution that helps you to put your keyword in the right places and it warns you if you are doing something wrong.

2. Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to optimizing for crawling and indexing and help to improve organic ranking. If your site has some technical problem then it may affect your ranking in the search engine.

In the technical SEO, you submit your website to the webmaster and then google bot crawl your site and start indexing your site.

3. Off-page SEO

If you want to drive massive organic traffic then you must need some effective off-page SEO practices. It’s very difficult to rank only on the merit of your content, you need to build some high-quality links to rank in the search engine page.

Link Related Off Page Factors

Link building is one of the most critical part of off-page SEO because google search is built on the basis of the “Page Rank” algorithm. Page Rank is the algorithm that looks both quantity and quality of the of backlinks pointing towards your web page.

There are two types of backlink:

  • Do Follow Backlink
  • No Follow Backlink

Do Follow Backlink

Do follow backlinks are most important because they have worth and they allow the search engines, to follow them and reach your site. Do follow backlinks will pass the benefits of the website where it is built to your site.

Do follow backlinks which built on high DA/PA site will pass the link juice from the website towards the hyperlinked site.

Where to Build Do Follow Backlinks

There are plenty of places you can find online where you can build do follow backlinks. If you want to achieve the desire results then it is important to diversify your backlink sources.

You can build do follow backlinks at places such as web 2.0, forum submission, article directories, and high DA/PA blogs.

No Follow Backlink

No follow links are the hyperlinks with rel = “no follow” tag. No follow backlinks do not influence the search engine to rank the destination URL.

Most of the new bloggers want to rank their site by submitting link blog comments like” visit my blog” but this comment will count spam and instead of ranking their site they lose their site current position in the search engine page.

You can do blog commenting but try to comment which should be relevant to the topic and look like genuine comment. Try to do a blog comment on the high authority sites because high authority pages pass more authority.

Conclusion

I hope this guide has shown you that it is easy to start a blog with a little bit of effort and make money from it. Creating a successful blog takes time but if you are willing to put in the work then you will see that everything will be easy for you.

If you have any difficulty or any query in your mind then you can drop a comment below and I will try to give an answer.

Do share this blog with your friends who are interested to create the blog.