Are you thinking of owning a blog but you have no idea where or how to start? You are not alone in this dilemma because that is the story of most bloggers when they started, myself inclusive. Before i started my first bog, I was just as clueless and at that time, there were not much information available to me as there are today. So, you have a good head start.
I am here to hold you by the hand and show you How to Start a Successful Blog. These steps are from my own personal experience, so, you also definitely won’t go wrong in following these steps because if they worked for me, they can also work for you.
So, let’s kick of immediately. Here’s how i started my first blog a few years ago.
The 6 steps to start a blog
- Decide on a Blogging Niche
- Choose a Domain Name
- Find a Domain & Hosting Platform
- Choose a Blogging Platform
- Pick a Theme.
- Design and Make changes to your Blog
- Create Unique Content
Decide what to blog about
Before you start a blog, you have to decide what exactly you want to blog about. Is it about your daily experiences or a particular topic?
If you belong to a business or company, your blog should ideally be related to the products and services offered by the company. However, if you’re blogging as an individual then you have more flexibility when choosing a niche. But there are some basic principles that you need to adhere to.
- Blog about something that you are passionate about. If you choose a niche for the sole purpose of making money, i can assure you that you will get tired and uninterested with time.
- Blog on a topic with ample room for discussion. You need to choose a niche that is broad so that you will not run out of things to talk about. It is necessary because blogs need as many content as it can get to get people interested.
Choose a Domain Name
A domain name is a website address that uniquely identifies your Blog. For example www.WebGritty.com is a domain name.
Make sure you choose something catchy, interesting and closely related to your niche. If you are having a tough time coming up with a domain name, you can also use your name.
Find a Domain & Hosting provider
When i started my first blog, i went to Namecheap and registered a Domain Name (e.g yourblog.com). Then i hosted the domain with a web hosting company. I used Hostgator at the time and i also recommend it till this day.
Another way to go about it is to register the domain and Hosting with the same company. The advantage of doing that is that, a lot of times, they offer you the domain free as long as you’re buying the hosting from them.
Your domain may either take immediately or 48 hours to propagate depending on the registrar and other factors.
Choose a Blogging Platform (WordPress)
Chances are that you either know what WordPress is or you’ve heard of it.
WordPress is a CMS or Content Management System that is used to manage a blog. So, that is what we will be using to administer our blog. Another popular blog platform is Blogger. But we will be sticking with WordPress because it is the most widely used and more robust than other blog software in the market.
When you install a WordPress Engine, it allows you to make a post, create pages, add users and do just about anything that you typically see in blogs.
In some cases, you may need to install a 3rd party software, called WordPress plugins to activate a unique function. But in this article, we will not be going deep into plugins.
Pick a Theme
A WordPress Theme or template is what gives your blog the look and feel and gives you the freewill to make changes to the way your blogs look. With a theme, you don’t need to create a template from scratch especially if you have no experience in web programming. It makes your job very easy because the most difficult part of the job has already been done for you. All you need to do is change mundane things such as colors, logo and a few things you think needs to be changed.
Every wordpress installation comes with free templates that you can use. But if you need something more robust and fully featured then you can buy Premium Themes. I’ll suggest you take a look at Genesis Framework/Theme or Elegenat Themes.
Modify Your Blog
Once you are done with the Domain and Hosting, WordPress installation and Theme selection, it is the time to get the desired look and feel for your blog. When i started my own blog, I made sure I tweaked the available theme at the time. I even tweaked it some more to make sure I got the desired output.
In modifying the blog, you need to pay a special attention to the website title or logo by changing it to what you want to use for your blog. Also don’t forget to change the colors which can be done from your wordpress admin account.
For some other forms of modification, you will need third party plugins.
Select your preferred Plugins
Plugins have become an intrinsic part of blogging because without them, we’ll be limited in what we can do with our blogs. Basically, plugins help provide those extra features that make your blog stand out. For instance, if you need your post to be shared on facebook and twitter every time you make a post without doing it manually, there’s a plugin that handles that or if you want to add a contact form on your blog without having to hard code anything, there’s also a plugin for that. So, you see, there are plugins for just about anything you can think of blog-wise.
Create Unique Content
There’s no gain over-emphasizing the importance of content to a blog. More importantly, unique content has a far reaching advantage to your blog because that is what sets your blog apart from others and even search engines such as Google can detect a unique content which invariably increases the importance of your blog.
But before you delve into creating compelling blog post, don’t forget to create an About page, Contact pages and those basic pages that your blog needs to give it that credibility it deserves.