Massive internet usage over the last couple of years has created so many opportunities that didn’t exist 50 years ago.
Now, we can boast of fields like social media management and marketing, online business consulting, etc. But you know one of the best things the internet gave us?
You don’t have to become a 21st century Shakespeare or have a cult-like following before you can share your information and knowledge with the world. Now, you may be wondering,
“I can’t start a blog. I don’t know how to code!”
Technology and innovation have also made blogs super easy to create and maneuver. Building a blog may look intimidating to you, especially as a newbie, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s easier than most people think.
But not to worry! This article has got you covered.
I am going to show you how to build your blog from scratch even if you’ve no experience. But first, why should you start a blog?
Why You Should Start A Blog?
Here are five reasons why you should start a blog, and how one can drastically change your career prospect. Each year thousands of people are being able to get rid of their 9-5 jobs and enjoy freelancing life using the power of blogging.
A few months back, I managed to leave the 9 to 5 life behind and I’m now completely location independent (I can work without a pant from my home and some time on Armani jeans from the seaside cafe).
I am now living on my fulltime blogging income. (Apart from marketing optimist, I run a travel and a tech blog)
🟦 Your writing skill will improve
This is a no-brainer.
The more you write on your blog, the more you strengthen your writing abilities. It may feel a bit awkward and cheesy at first, but with time, your work will be written in a clearer and better-structured form.
The words will flow efficiently, and you won’t have to struggle with inspiration/ideas because you’d have built an audience that’ll help you craft topics.
Furthermore, receiving feedback based on your blog posts gives you an idea of what your target audience loves to read. This way, you can narrow down to a sub-niche.
🟦 Inspire people
What is that thing that fires you up whenever it’s mentioned? What are you passionate about? What injustice gets to you? What childhood anger can’t you get over? If you could help anybody in one way, what would it be?
By answering all these questions and channeling them into your blog posts, you’re going to create an audience of people that consistently gain value from your articles.
You can solve one problem for them that they’ve been battling with for years, inspire them to promote social justice and change, make better use of their days, and empower them to help other people.
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity.
🟦 Builds your online brand
If you want to be an authority in a field, building an online brand by creating a blog is the best way to get started.
Most people in this digital age hardly resort to books to get information about a field. They rely on blogs, guest posts, or magazine articles because these give them condensed, easy-to-understand, and fast answers to their questions.
Once you’re consistent in giving out value through your works, your blog automatically becomes a reference source in a particular niche. This is how most “influencers” are made. If you take blogging seriously, you just may become one.
🟦 Opportunity to learn new things
Blogging is multi-faceted, especially when you’re starting. If you’re running your blog alone and you need to promote it, you have to do other things asides blogging. Starting a blog teaches you new skills like email marketing, social media marketing, content writing and management, best practices for SEO, website hosting, website graphics, WordPress, etc.
So, even if you decide to diversify later on, you already have enough experience in other fields.
What could be better than this?
🟦 Make money online
Yes. A blog with massive traffic is a great source of income. Sadly, most people create blogs just as a passion or a hobby, so they focus less on monetizing and more on writing things This is wrong. If you want to earn money from blogging you should not blog as a hobbyist, but, as a business blogger.
Starting a blog for money should be the last thing on your mind. Your main aim should be to get your ideas and thoughts out there. Let the revenue be a reward for hard work and consistency over the years.
The first thing you have to figure out is what niche you should specialize in. While some are easier to make money than others, it’s still possible to make a living out of your blog. Most of the richest bloggers you see now have been honing their craft for several years.
Now, that you have good reasons to start your blog, how can you do it?
Starting a blog has never been easier
Starting A Blog With 8 Easy Steps
- Discover your niche
- Give your blog a name
- Create an editorial calendar
- Decide what blogging platform are you going to use
- Purchase web hosting
- Setup the blog
- Publish the post
- Monetize your blog
Let’s look at them
Find your niche
This is so important. The niche you choose will determine your success or failure as a blogger. You can’t name a blog and build a site without knowing what it’s going to be all about.
You should never choose a niche that has no monetizing potential. If you want to blog about whatever you want, that’s perfectly fine, but that approach doesn’t lend itself well to monetization. Instead, you’d be spending time as a hobby.
If you check all popular blogs online, they are in a specific niche. It doesn’t matter if they diversify into different sub-niches as long as they remain within that niche.
Over the years, they have carved a name for themselves in that area.
These questions can serve as a guide to what you can do long-term. Don’t be scared that you don’t have a conventional taste or that people seek your advice in little things. The internet is no one’s monopoly. It’s such a diverse space that you can make money reviewing little things like peanut butter.
If the answer to your question delves towards one path, then that’s most likely it. If you streamline the answers to two things, you can consider working on a more popular one, before delving into another.
After all, who said you can’t own more than one blog?
Buy a Domain: Giving your blog a name
This is an important aspect you must consider, but you shouldn’t spend so much time here as there are more important things to worry about. Once your blog gains massive traffic and becomes popular, the name won’t matter so much as long as readers are getting value.
The name of your blog should give people a slight idea of what the blog is about. You can’t be writing about creating different streams of income online and you name your blog after a sports car.
For instance, if you’re starting a finance blog, your blog name could be like “Money Man”, or “Financially Fit”. That way, people have an idea of what your blog entails. On the other hand, if you want to use your name, remember that you are now a brand. YOU are the brand.
There are lots of domain search tools you can use. Input the domain name and find out whether it’s available. There are also domain name generators, so getting a name should be super easy.
Goto www.whois.com, enter your target domain name and hit the search button.
While you’re looking for domain name availability, don’t forget to search for available domain name extensions you can buy. The most used extension is .com and gets more trust and attention from audiences. .net or .co are also good options when .com name is already taken.
When buying, you may be attracted to .biz or .info. Most times, these extensions look like spam or the audience doesn’t trust such extensions easily., so better go for a .com domain to get the most out of domain name.
Once you’ve got the right domain name and extension, proceed to the next step.
Create an editorial calendar
You have identified your niche. You have chosen a blog and domain name. You have bought an appropriate extension. Now is the time to plan your content.
You may be asking, “This is my gift. Why do I have to create a schedule of what to write? I have enough topics to write about. The inspiration flows…”
This is where you get it wrong.
There are days when you have lots of ideas to share, but what happens to days when you return home tired and your brain can’t process lots of thoughts? Or days when you don’t know what to write, but you just have to for consistency?
This is where an editorial calendar comes in.
An editorial calendar is every blogger’s best friend. It helps you to set publication dates, track topics, decide the type of contents, and determine the distribution channel to be used on a day.
It’s simply a planning tool that keeps you on track and helps you post consistently. It could also help you to track ideas when “inspiration” comes suddenly.
How can you create this calendar?
- Write down all the holidays and observances that are related to your niche. For instance, if you have a travel blog, you should take note of September 27th, World Tourism Day. You could write a blog post on the topic- “Top 10 Countries that Support Tourism”
- List the main ideas you want to cover and begin to brainstorm for topics surrounding these ideas. Keep writing them until you run out of ideas. Note whether they are related to a certain season, time, or year.
- Check out top magazines’ editorial calendars on their site. This should give you an idea of what readers want.
- Schedule these topics on a calendar. It can be a physical or digital calendar. Just make sure it’s easily accessible.
Decide which blogging platform to use
There are different blogging platforms and software available for use. There is nothing like the “best choice”. You should focus on what you want and what works for you.
How can you choose the right blogging platform? Here are a few things to consider:
- What platform is easy to navigate?
Most blogging platforms are fairly easy, but you have to choose one that’s easy for you to navigate and does most of the work for you.
- What platform will help you achieve your long-term blogging goals?
Look at the progress rates of different blogging platforms? Are they going to be there for the long-run?
- What blogging features are essential to you?
Different blogging platforms have different things they offer. Choose one that provides the best features in your opinion.
The first option you should consider is a “drag and drop” website builder. This builder helps you to select templates, customize the site to your taste, and aid blog post publication. They are perfect for people with zero technical skills, and are very fast.
The second option you should consider is WordPress. It is a content management system that helps to schedule and publish your blog posts. This is, by far, one of the most widely used blogging platforms in the world because of its versatility, speed, and efficiency. Once you learn the basics, you could do a lot more on the platform.
Get hosting service
A blog that is live on the internet needs a solid web host system. You have to sign up for a hosting plan.
What does this mean?
By signing up for a hosting plan, you rent server space that allows you to store your site’s files. Without it, you will have a blog and domain name without an actual website. There are several hosting options with unique features to consider.
When starting your blog from scratch, it is recommended that you go for shared hosting.
This is because it’s relatively inexpensive and it gives your blog the necessary server resources. Once your site grows and starts gaining massive traffic, you can upgrade. But shared hosting gives your site the foundation it needs to survive.
Setup your blog
The most anticipated moment is here- Once your domain is set up and you have a hosting account, now is the time to build your blog!
Building a blog is the same as building any other kind of website. Just that you need to ensure it has features that allow you to blog.
Remember, there are two approaches you can use to build your blog- through a drag and drop website builder or WordPress
- Drag and Drop Website Builder
Look for website builders that help you build the blog in the least possible time, and most importantly, one that is beginner-friendly. You don’t have technical skills, so you don’t need a builder that involves a single line of code.
To select a template, there is a search space where you can type the kind of theme you want, or simply scan through the collection of themes the builder has. Note that these websites are not only used to build blogs, so there are hundreds of themes suited for different purposes. Choose one that’s designed for blogs.
The next step is to customize the theme to suit your blog. It may take a little time to get comfortable with this tool, but you’ll be able to build your blog in no time.
There are two ways of creating a WordPress blog. You can either use WordPress.org or install the plugin from your hosting provider.
WordPress.org is self-hosted, so it’s free to use, allows you to install plugins without stress, customizes the blog to your taste, and most importantly, helps you monetize the blog faster.
Note that there is a difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. In summary, WordPress.org is open-source, free, easy to use, customizable, helps you make money from your blog, and allows powerful tools like Google Analytics.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, is simply a hosting service designed by WordPress’s co-founder. It’s for bloggers that write as a hobby. It’s free for a limited time (and filled with distracting ads), expensive to maintain when you switch to a paid plan, and worst of all, you can’t upload plugins except you’re on the VIP program.
It’s not healthy for you as a beginner.
Write your post
You’ve got your blog and domain name. You have a hosting account. You have an editorial calendar. You’ve built the blog.
You’re officially a blog owner. Congratulations!
But your success won’t be complete unless you have blog content. One mistake newbie bloggers often make is that they promote their blogs too soon without having substantial content. Use the first month to load your blog with content. Promoting your blog with only one published post won’t be very interesting.
This is the point where you’ll appreciate your editorial calendar even more. Select about 3 topics and write on them for the first week. If you can or want to, hire a group of writers and create a content timetable.
Now, you must be wondering, “what should an ideal blog post have?”
It must have the following:
- A catchy, attention-drawing title: Without this, no one will click on your article.
- Interesting pictures that explain the topic: Visual contents are easier to understand than written content. Add at least one picture under a heading to explain the concept so that it’s more relatable.
- Brief and informative paragraphs: Most people don’t read through blogs. They scan through headings to see whether the blog is worth reading. If it is, your paragraphs should be short and informative enough to go through quickly.
The golden rule is that you shouldn’t write more than four lines before giving space.
- A powerful “Call-To-Action”: This urges people to do something. Your call to action may be to sign up for your email list.
- Links to other information: adding links to other related information helps to boost SEO. No man is an island.
How long should an ideal blog post be? It depends on you.
Most blog posts are 1000 words long. But for SEO sake, 2000 words (and more) long blog posts are recommended.
Publishing the posts
Whether you’re using a website builder or WordPress, the process for publishing posts is often the same. You can go to Blog or Post, click on ‘Add New’, copy your blog post from MS Word to the page, and edit the work.
Editing includes writing a powerful meta description, setting featured images, add titles and headers, add social media handles, add both internal and outbound links, etc.
Once you’re done and seen that it’s good, proceed to click “Publish”. Your post goes live!
Maximize SEO and use Google Analytics
As a beginner, it’s so important that your blog gains traffic. You should use off-page and on-page SEO so that your blog can be discovered by readers easily. One of the best SEO plugins is Yoast SEO.
Google Analytics helps you monitor your blog’s performance, and to see what posts gain the highest traffic.
So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen!
Starting a blog has numerous benefits, asides from being a stream of revenue. Setting it up isn’t as hard as people see it. Once you have chosen a blog and domain name, gotten a hosting account, built the blog, written your blog posts, and published them, you have become a proud blog owner!
See you at the top!