Creating a blog is a great idea for people wishing to share their opinions, hobbies, or work portfolios. Even if your technical expertise is minimal, you can still start and manage a successful blog thanks to the ease-of-use of most blogging platforms. Starting a blog may seem a bit daunting, since it requires several steps. But with some patience and something to say, you can set up a blog from the start in no time.
Here are four specific steps on how to set up a blog from start to finish:
Pick Your Blog’s Topic and Tone
Before you do anything else, write down a game plan for your blog. Start by answering some basic questions. What will be your blog’s topical focus? Who will be its target audience? What will your tone be? How frequently and lengthy will your posts appear? These answers do not have to be set in stone, but it is very helpful in the long run to clarify the direction you hope to take. After all, your blog will have to maintain consistency to attract a devoted reader base.
Also, when you’re picking a topic, try to be very specific. For example, there are millions of blogs about dogs. However, there are fewer blogs about some specific breeds, meaning less competition. If possible, choose an in-demand niche that doesn’t already have millions of blogs devoted to it.
Choose Your Blogging Platform
You have several choices here. One of the most popular and versatile options is WordPress. WordPress.com allows you to create and host a blog for free, while WordPress.org allows you to download the platform and undergo a simple 5-step process to upload it to your personal domain. If you choose to register a domain name and wish to host your blog yourself, then WordPress.org is your best bet.
If you simply want to create a blog and do not care about owning a domain name, Blogger and Tumblr are popular options. However, you must keep in mind that hosting a blog on a custom service like Blogger or Tumblr may make it harder for you to generate a profit, fully customize your layout and link it up with a domain name.
Domains only cost about $10/year and hosting for a small blog is only a few dollars per month. This investment is worth it in the long run, since advertising revenue from a popular blog will more than pay for the hosting and domain fees. If you opt for free services over self-hosted blogs, you will lose the advantages of ad revenue and general customization. Self-hosted blogs have significantly more benefits and are worth the minimal additional investment.
Buy a Domain and Hosting
Domains are easy to purchase, and services like Oqobo offer dual hosting and domain packages that make the integration as easy as possible. The staff at Oqobo makes it easy to install WordPress, which is extremely helpful for users weary of installing WordPress manually. This easy install ensures that your blog will be hosted on a domain name. You can still take advantage of monetization and customization even if you didn’t install it yourself.
Write Your First Blog Post
Blog installation depends on what you choose above. Blogger, WordPress.com and one-click WordPress installs on web hosts are simple and require little to no further action beyond registration and a single click. As for a self-hosted and self-installed WordPress client, the 5-minute install should do the trick.
Once your blog is set up, it is time to introduce yourself to the masses. Begin with an introductory post explaining your blog’s aim and who you are and use this as your ‘About’ page. Then, immediately follow up with an engaging post that will appeal to readers within the niche. After you publish several posts, begin to promote them to friends on social media and strangers via social network platforms like Reddit and Twitter. Hiring a SEO company can also help drive visitors to your new blog. Also tinker with the design and create a unique header image.
Your blog will be ready to see an enthusiastic following after you have followed all of the steps above. If you have something to say, don’t be afraid of learning the ropes of blogging. With easy-to-use and inexpensive services, everyone can create and manage a great blog. To help gain some traffic, try creating a retentive infographic or a top 10 list that might go viral!
Do you have advice for new bloggers? Leave your comments below!