How To Start A Blog

How-To: Start A Blog

Want To Start A Blog?

If you’re like I was during my first attempt to start a blog, the only problem is HOW do you start a blog?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

I have over 10 years of experience in blog design. It started way back in junior high school when I created my first blog, a community blog for a popular massive multiplayer online (MMO) game. Some of you may be familiar with Club Penguin — anybody? A lot has changed since junior high – I now own a digital marketing company helping entrepreneurs to develop their brand’s online presence.

The system however remains the same!

So Where Do We Begin?

While you might be excited to dive right in and get started creating your first blog post, truthfully the first step simply begins with having a great concept in mind! This matters for a number of reasons. For one, you need to decide whether you will be posting content for personal use: for yourself, friends, and family OR if you plan to post content for business purposes.

If You’re Blogging For Business, Here’s Some Things Worth Consideration:

  • What Topics Will I Focus On?
  • Am I Passionate About This Subject?
  • What Is The Competition Like?
  • How Will I Get Paid?

Keyword Research

Once you’ve come up with a good concept, the next step is to decide whether you wish to use a branded name or a concept based name. A branded name is usually one’s own creation and may be a completely made-up word or set of words. In contrast, a concept based name generally entails the use of keywords in the domain itself. You will want to research key words which pertain to your concept. This is important for helping you rise in search engine results.

Choosing A Web Hosting Provider

There’s no shortage of web hosting providers to choose from. Some of the most well known ones include 1&1, Blue Host, DreamHost, FatCow, HostGator, and Liquid Web. Usually you will have several types of plans to choose from which may include…

Shared Hosting: This is generally the most economical option in which your website will be hosted on the same server as other websites.

1&1 – Shared Hosting
Blue Host – Shared Hosting
Dream Host – Shared Hosting
FatCow – Shared Hosting
HostGator – Shared Hosting

WordPress Hosting: This is an excellent option for bloggers using the WordPress content management system. Generally these plans offer faster page load times as well as automatic back-ups and updates.

1&1 – WordPress Hosting
Blue Host – WordPress Hosting
Dream Host – WordPress Hosting
FatCow – WordPress Hosting
HostGator – WordPress Hosting
Liquid Web – WordPress Hosting
Servously – WordPress Hosting
WP Engine – WordPress Hosting

Dedicated Server Hosting: This option is usually most appropriate for larger enterprises with heavy traffic.

1&1 – Dedicated Hosting
Blue Host – Dedicated Hosting
Dream Host – Dedicated Hosting
HostGator – Dedicated Hosting
Liquid Web – Dedicated Hosting

Registering Your Domain Name

It’s generally easiest to register your domain name at the same time you pick your web hosting plan. Some plans will even allow you to claim your first domain for free or at a discounted price upon sign up. That being said, you may purchase your domain elsewhere… just be prepared to go through a few extra steps to point the DNS to your web hosting provider. You might also have to wait up to 24 hours before your website is up.

You will have options when it comes to creating a domain name. If it’s a personal blog, it could simply be your name if you wish! If you’re blogging for business, you’ll want to decide whether you want to create a brand or if you want to identify the subject of your content. For example, Twitter is a registered trademark of the social media website. While the word “Twitter” is not a real word identifying any particular subject, it is easily recognizable by almost anyone who has access to the internet thanks to successful marketing of it’s social media platform. In contrast, this site was not created with a brand name in mind. We simply wish to reach anyone searching online for help starting a blog and our domain reflect that.

1&1 – First Year Only $0.99 – Domains Only $9.75/yr
HostGator – Domains Starting At Only $12.95/yr

Setting Up Your Website

Often times your web hosting provider will allow you to build your website with what is called a “one-click install” which will prevent you from having to upload the website’s files to the server yourself. This will be the foundation from which you can then customize to your preference. You’ll want to structure your site with a theme that complements your content. It wouldn’t make any sense to have a product showcase at the top of your website if you are primarily posting photos of your travels would it? Of course not! That’s where themes come in.

Choosing A Theme

WordPress offers no shortage of themes for you to choose from. When choosing a theme, think about what you’re trying to achieve. Some themes are more geared toward e-commerce and are built to best showcase products. Others are geared toward organizations. You might also consider a theme with dedicated advertising space if you’re planning on generating advertising revenue from your site. If you’re focused primarily on blogging, choose a theme that will put your blog posts front and center. Whichever theme you choose, you’ll want to make sure that it is SEO optimized to ensure your website gets the best placement in search results.

ThemeIsle – WordPress Themes
StudioPress – Themes for WordPress

Customizing Your Blog With Plug-Ins

Another benefit of going with WordPress is that there are many developers that have created plug-ins to enhance the functionality of your website. Want to collect contact information and have it conveniently organized and emailed to you upon submission? There’s a plug-in for that. Want to minimize spam in comments with the implementation of a CAPTCHA? There’s a plug-in for that also. Plug-ins will help you build upon the functionality of whatever theme you choose to make your website run more smoothly and make your life a lot easier! One plug-in I highly recommend is Elementor, which will help you design your pages with greater ease, eliminating time spent coding custom elements.

AppPresser – Build Mobile Apps
WP Forms – Drag & Drop WordPress Forms

Making Your First Post

Congratulations! Now that you have everything set up, it’s time to write your first blog post! Remember, the number one way to increase organic traffic to your website is to post regularly. This will allow you to rank higher in search engine results as well as generate repeat to your blog. You can then begin building a subscriber base and branching out however you choose. The sky is the limit!

Hopefully you’ve gained some value from this blog post. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below or send me an email.

Likewise, let me know in the comments below once your site is up and running. I would love to see the end-product!

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