You can’t go online these days without landing on a business or a personal blog. Possibly from a website link or from your favourite social media platform.
There are torrents of advice and reasons online why you should join the fast growing community of bloggers – making extra cash on the side, passive income, fame, exit your 9 – 5 job etc.
Whatever your reason is, blogging has its many rewards.
To start your own blog, the first thing you need to do is to decide – decide to start. When is the best time to start? Now! Stop procrastinating. Putting it in the hands of tomorrow might never get your blog up and running.
See a few reasons why you need to start blogging.
- Engagements – blogging helps to attract and convert traffics into leads and leads into clients/customers
- Your thoughts are better framed and also get to learn what you don’t know.
- Makes you an authority – blogging on related and important things to your audience and community establishes you as an authority in that sphere.
- Meeting People – blogging attracts people to you. You’ll meet lots of people not only from your community but from the billions of people online
- Making Money – You can make blogging a full-time job and make a living out of it or if you like your day job, make a little extra on the side.
Ok, let’s get you started!
- Choose a domain name, your preferred blogging platform and hosting choice.
- Install your blog
- Design and customize your layout
- Get plugins for your blog.
- Write compelling content that adds value to readers.
First Step: Choose a domain name, your preferred blogging platform and hosting choice.
Registering a domain name is very important. It’s one decision you must take seriously. The right domain name can make you and the wrong one can break you. Brainstorm, choose a unique name, easy to type and pronounceable. Make it short and brand-able. Target your area and make it memorable.
The next thing to do is to choose what platform to build your blog. I am at this point guessing that you’ve heard of WordPress and if not. Let me tell you.
It is huge! It tops as the biggest blogging platform in the world, with innumerable plugins and add-ons and many ways to design your blog.
WordPress runs 27% of the entire internet. 60% is WordPress share of the global Content Management System (CMS). This makes it the best bride of them all.+
CMS Platforms by Market Share. Source: www.w3techs.com
WordPress is amazingly easy set-up. It has tons of free themes and layouts. The amount of support forum is unbelievable. With WordPress, visitors can interact with you easily and content can be shared, comments made.
Making hosting choice is something you have to give a bit of thought or a big thought I should say. You need to decide whether to get a free one or paid one for your blog
WordPress like most top CMS, offer free blogs to just everyone. This is cool if you are not all that serious with your blogging because it has some disadvantages: –
- Your blog isn’t your blog – How is this? Free hosting service is hosted on someone’s space. They can do whatever the like. Delete! Maybe if they don’t like your face and all your hard work is gone.
- Can’t get your own domain Name – You can’t get your own domain name on a free hosted service. It will most likely be a subdomain or an extension of your host domain. Your domain becomes unnecessarily long or looks bad. E.g. yourdomainname.wordpress.com
- You’ll not be granted control – free hosting services have too many limits. Your blog will not be given access to the full collection of features that you need to become successful. You can’t make a profit and won’t have the possibility to upload videos and images that are necessary to drive traffic.
If you’re serious and want to be on top of your game, self-hosting your blog is the real deal – it’s the same software (WordPress) without restrictions!
Second Step: Install your blog
I assume you’ve settled for WordPress (self-host). If you haven’t, you should. It’s the best! At least for now!
So with your domain name ready, choose a hosting plan from a web host. – A web host is a company that places your blog on the internet where everyone else can see it. Whichever hosting company you chose, like most of them, have a “one-click” WordPress install button on their admin/control panel. The button will automatically install WordPress on your blog. It is as simple as that.
As soon as WordPress is installed on your blog you need to start designing and customizing the layout. It might look confusing at first sight, but you will get your way around it in no time.
Third Step: customize your design and layout
When I was tasked with putting up my first blog and got to this level, I was super excited because, now, I can make my blog look exactly the way I want. To customize your blog design and layout you need to choose a theme. WordPress has tons of themes both free and paid.
Go to Appearance on your WordPress Admin page and click Theme to install any free one of your choice or use the search to get more options. I advise you to select something with a professional look, easy to navigate and customize. You can try as many as you can. WordPress has made the feature easy, just in case you’re bored with your current template. Tweak it as you want and as often until you get the desired professional and beautiful look for your blog.
The look of your blog ought to be a mirror of your personality and the content you are creating. Your blog shouldn’t be hard to navigate. Users don’t like navigating through a difficult blog.
Fourth Step: Get Plugins for your blog.
Plugins are a great way to add functionalities to your theme. Plugins are software modules that can be installed on the installed theme of your blog.
An example of a plugin is: social media floating bar. They are easy to install. They take just a few seconds to install once you’ve started your blog.
Picture of plugin
Fifth Step: Write Compelling Contents that add value to a reader.
This is where all the passion, dedication and hard work truly begin. First-time visitors and regular community member will only keep coming back to your blog if you provide quality content and if you are dependable.
Start writing and uploading content for our blog pages: i.e.: Home Page, About us, Services and so on. If you are good with graphic design, you can design a logo for yourself or get a professional to do it.
Upload a picture of you. This is vital because people relate better when they see the face of who they are connecting with if you are setting up a personal blog.
When creating content, don’t exclude key information, don’t make users wait for information. Decide what you want users/readers to know and present it to them early.
For specifics and details use bullet points to make it easy on the eyes to probe. Use images, videos, GIFs, infographics, etc.
Did you know that over 2.5 million blog posts are written daily according to worldometers.info/blogs and that internet users have a short attention span partly because they have instant access to a wealth of information from numerous sources according to a recent Pew Internet study. Users are always looking for quick fixes and instant gratification and if yours is not saying it fast and good, the next blog isn’t more than a click way.
Tell the reader what they need and want to know and nothing more. This may sound simple, but I’ve seen lots people ignore this rule. The fundamental of being a good blogger is to be able to write compelling and engaging content regularly.
At this point, I want to welcome you to the community of bloggers. I believe that starting your own blog shouldn’t be scary, complicated and expensive as you might have thought
If you encounter any problem or have questions you’ll like to ask me, please feel free to do so. My email address is: email@example.com or leave a comment as well and I will get back to you. Don’t forget to connect with me on social media.