[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of the most frequently asked questions I get from friends and readers is How To Start A Blog. So… I’ve decided to share this post on How To Start A Blog for any niche to help breakdown the FAQ’s in just a few simple tips for those starting out. I will share the basic fundamentals of building a blog from registering your domain, setting up your hosting and installing WordPress.
Before you dive into the excitement (and stress) of creating your blog you should be PREPARED. I can’t stress this enough. If you want to turn your blog into a lucrative business, blogging is a full-time job. If you are just starting out choose a niche that you love. Since you will be producing consistent content focus on things that excite you so you don’t become uninspired or bored. Share topics related to your niche while remaining authentic. I started out blogging about things I enjoy and/or things personal, special and unique to me. Find inspiration from other bloggers but don’t replicate someone else’s work because of their popularity. Your readers and followers are interested in what makes you different. Share how you stand apart from other bloggers and post topics you’re passionate about. Recently I have been posting a lot of content related to topics I find myself constantly researching because if I am searching the web for how-to’s someone else is probably doing the same thing. The key is to know your audience and listen to them.
There are several blogging platforms but I prefer WordPress. I will focus on WordPress.org since it is the platform I use and I recommend. WordPress is a self-hosted platform. This means you will need to purchase your own domain (aka blog address). Why WordPress? WordPress offers a lot of features for customizing your website. If you’re considering selling products I highly recommend WordPress.org as well as a shop on your blog. WordPress.org is a free service but you will have to pay for your domain and set up hosting for your blog to use it. The fee’s vary from providers however you can typically get a reduced rate if you purchase a bundle of products or longer hosting plan like the 3 and 5 year plans. If you are new to WordPress and want to focus on blogging for fun you can sign up for a free blog via platforms like Blogger or WordPress.com.
Once you have bought your domain you need to sign up for hosting. There are several hosting providers that are great. I use Godaddy. You can’t beat Godaddy’s 24/7 customer service. I recommend buying your domain from the same provider you’re planning to host with. This will help you in the long run if you upgrade packages, add features or worst case, experience complications down the road. If you’re just getting started you can host your blog for as little as $2.95 a month.
SSL Certificate secures you website. The SSL Certificate is a must because Google prioritizes HTTPS websites. This means that if your blog is not secure with an SSL Certificate (in other words if your blog address starts with HTTP not HTTPS), you’re risking your blog being marked as “Not Secure” by Google. I recommend starting with a StartUp plan in the beginning. Talk to your hosting provider for logistics on how to help get you started.
Now that you have created and secured your domain and setup your hosting you are ready to install WordPress and begin creating your website. If you go to your domain you will see a blank page. You need to install WordPress. The backend also known as your WordPress dashboard is where you’ll be doing your blogging. Your host (Godaddy) will be your service provider that keeps your blog running. Your host will store all of your files, run processes and backups, etc. To clarify: WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com), is a free service but you need the web hosting (Godaddy, SiteGround, Bluehost) in order to run it. Once you have registered your domain and signed up for your hosting you will receive an email confirmation. This email will include a link to your user name, password and control panel. Access your control panel by clicking on the link in your “welcome” email and enter your username and password to log in. If it’s your first time working on a self-hosted website you can watch an online tutorial for your preferred host or call your host to help walk you through it step-by-step. For Godaddy users here is a link and video to install WordPress.
Now you are ready to begin blogging! Have fun and be creative! In my next post I will share the tools you will need to help you find the best template for your blog, design, create and send newsletters, as well as, efficient tips to monetize and drive traffic to your blog.
If you have other tips or recommendations please share them below in the comments section below so we can help each other grow together! xoxox