Have you ever wished to start a blog?
If you are a writer, you might at least once have come across the idea of starting a blog. It is a perfect solution; you can use it to express your skills, you can use it as an author platform, and you can even market yourself as a freelance writer and get clients. If you are looking for a platform to share your thoughts, I would suggest that it is the right time to start your own blog.
What is a blog?
A blog is a website that includes write ups from authors on a particular niche, or topics of general interest of the author. It is a right place to begin with. When blogs were first introduced in 1994, they were more like a personal diary of the writer. Today, blogging has altogether reached new heights. People want to express their views in front of the entire world, and so they write blogs and publish it on the internet so that everyone can consume it.
There are more than 570 million blogs on the internet; still every blog is different in various aspects. It is no doubt there is competition. But with the right guidance and determination, you can excel and begin the best blogger of all time.
Why should you start your blog?
There can be many reasons behind writing your own blog. They can be written for leisure interests, business purposes, building one’s brand, or as a proof of work. But usually, people write blogs to earn money and rank higher on Google, i.e., to increase the visibility. People who want to be known by their thoughts and perspectives are the ones who write blogs more often.
A blogger must be accustomed to the use of internet and Google (or any other search engine) to get the most out of his/her blog. It includes equipping a website with tools that make writing, posting, linking, and ranking easier on the internet.
Blogging has gained so much popularity in the last decade. It has become a main source of information and also, people like to read about others thoughts. The main reason why blogs have become famous is that the audience consume such kind of content better. It has become a positive way in which the businesses improve the satisfaction of their customers. The more the people visit your blog, the more trust your brand is supposed to get.
Niche bloggers write blogs that have the potential to reach specific customers and targeted branding is made possible. It is the most important feature of a blog; it is available for those who are interested in the subject. In this way, people connect by sharing their perspectives too. Travel blogging, food blogging, fashion and lifestyle blogs, marketing blogs, etc are examples of niche or personal blogging where authors write about a particular subject in their blogs.
Step by step guide to start your own blog
1. Select a niche
Niche is a specific area or subject that you or your blog targets. People have blogs about random topics to, but selecting a niche will help you run a systemic and well appreciated blog. You must make sure that the niche you choose is the subject you are interested in. If you are not interested, blogging will feel monotonous. You must also ensure that the niche has an audience. That is the audience is interested in that topic. If you will not have an audience, your blog will not be successful.
2. Choose an apt platform
There are many sites that allow you to start a blog. At this stage, you need to look at all the platforms and analyse the pros and cons and then choose a perfect platform for you. There are hosted blog solutions that have free services but they are limited. Blogger.com and Tumblr.com are examples of sites that let you have a blog for free. You domain under these will appear as “yourblog.blospot.com” or “yourblog.tumblr.com”.
There are self hosted solution too like WordPress.com that has own content management system and allow you to use your own domain name and hosting.
Free software comes with limitations. So in the beginning, you can use the free tools available, but in the long run, it will be beneficial to get paid services.
3. Pick a domain name
The domain name is the name by which you are known online. It is the address of your blog. It will be yours as far as you pay the annual fee related to it. You need to have a domain name for your audience to recognise you easily. The can reach you without hassle if they know your domain name. Search engines also have to recognise you so a domain name is a must.
4. Get a web hosting
Selecting a web hosting account will be the next step. After the domain name is finalised, you need to focus on the development of your website. A web host makes your website easy to function and manage its availability. Many web hosting sites provide you with a free domain for a specific number of years if you buy their services. You need to understand the importance of website development and then select a host. A wrong host may altogether dump your blog. So research and analysis must be carried out properly. Hostgator, Hostinger, Bluehost, are some of the web hosting websites that can be trusted.
5. Customise your blog
Every platform allows you to design your website, choose a theme, select a display etc. You can customise your bog according to your niche. The theme you select showcases your ideology. These websites have 1000s of existing themes for your blog. Even if you don’t like the currently available themes, you can always ask your web developer to design a theme for you.
6. Install plugins
Plugins are tools that make the technical work much easier. These are best for people who do not want to investmore time on technicalities. These plugins help manage your website hassle free. Some of the plugins are as follows.
- Contact form 7
- Yoast SEO
- Google Analytics
- WP Super Cache
- Hello Bar
7. Design pages
Your blog must contain pages like About, Contact, Support, Porfolio, etc. Initially, you can start with the basic introduction of yourself and steadily develop other pages too. These pages will be static and will be visible on your websites for readers.
8. Create your first masterpiece and start your blog
Once you have completed the above mentioned steps, you can freely write your first blog on the topic you have selected. A write up that is optimised for search engines will be easily visible to and liked by the audience. This will help you rank higher on the search engine and you can set up your brand image.You are now ready to publish your blog.
Monetising your blog
When you start a blog, your focus is to gain an audience. Once you have setup the audience and you have established a blog that is running successfully, you can now monetise your blog. Monetising can be done at the initial steps too, but the effectiveness comes only after your blogs perform well. There are various ways through which you can monetise your blogs. Some are mentioned below.
- Affiliate marketing
- Email marketing
- Digital Products
- Online courses
We all know, blogging is a tedious task. But with deterministic approach, you can see great results within a short span of time. Today’s era is the time of internet. People like browsing and knowing about other people’s thoughts. Customers consume the content that bloggers create and they give a positive response.
The key to success is focus, value, quality and engagement. Once you start your blog and keep these things priority, you will surely get results.