Simply put, a blog is a tool that can help develop an online presence, attract leads, and engage with an audience. It’s often a series of editorial content centered around a central topic that demonstrates industry expertise — for instance, a catering company might write blog posts like “The 11 Best Appetizers to Serve to a Crowd” or “Stress-Free Dinner Parties: Recipes that are Prepared Ahead of Time”.
Blogs can help drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads, establish authority in your industry, and ultimately grow your business.
So here I am going to share a few steps that will help you to start your own blog.
Step #1: Select a perfect niche for your blog
To start and run a successful blog, you have to select the right niche for your blog.
First, make sure to pick a niche that you are the most interested in – the one you are passionate about. That way you will follow your passion and enjoy your blogging journey.
Second, you must pick a niche that has enough audience interest. Once you select a niche, I also suggest you validate it: Check niche size, Explore competitors, and analyze monetization potential.
Step #2: Choose a blogging platform
At this stage, you’ll need to look at the best blogging platforms out there and determine the type of blog management software you are going to use.
When it comes to popular blogging sites, you have the following options:
Hosted blog solutions (free or freemium plans).
Self-hosted blog solutions (free open-source software)
Step #3: Pick a domain name
Your domain name will be the name by which you will be known online, no matter what niche you choose. It’s your blog’s unique address on the Internet.
Users who know your domain (/URL – uniform resource locator) can simply type it into their browser’s address bar. Others will be able to discover you through search engines such as Google and Bing, so you definitely need to find a unique name.
Your domain name may be the highly popular “dot com”, or it may be country or niche-specific. The general rule is to go for a “dot com” domain, but some of the other extensions can work. For example, “dot net” or “dot blog”.
Step #4: Get a web hosting account
After choosing a domain name, selecting a reliable hosting service will be one of the most important decisions you make.
To a great extent, the functionality and performance of your site will depend on your blog hosting. The host makes sure your site is available 24/7 to potential readers and it’s where your contents and files are stored online.
Step #5: Select a theme and design your blog
The first thing your blog needs is a face (design and layout).
The look and feel of your new blog rely on the theme you choose. Your readers will first notice the overall appearance of your blog before they even take a look at the content. Select a theme that looks great, but also works for your specific content needs
You can also add a plugin to your blogs. Plugins are bundled pieces of code that affect the way your blog looks and functions. They can add new functionality to your blog, extend your theme’s capabilities, and customize your blog as a whole or in part.
While the majority of plugins are free, many are offered for a fee, based on their unique functionality.
Below, I’ll show you some suggested plugins that you should be using.
MonsterInsights – Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, to monitor and analyze your website traffic.
Yoast SEO – A comprehensive SEO plugin for your blog, to optimize your content for search engines.
WP Super Cache – Helps with the load time of your WordPress blog and delivers content to your readers faster.
Akismet – Protects your comments and contact form from spam and prevents your site from publishing malicious content.
Contact Form 7 – A contact form with flexible email options. It supports CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering.
Disqus – An alternative to the basic WordPress comment system with advanced administrative and comment capabilities.
YARPP – Creates a related posts list at the end of each of your posts automatically to encourage people to continue browsing your site.
Step #6: Write content and promote your blog
So far, you’ve established a domain name, chosen your blog hosting site, set up the blog theme, and you are ready to go. Your framework is complete.
Now comes the moment of truth. You must learn how to write blog content. In the blogging world, any useful information that you share with readers is called “content.” Your content must be something valuable that people will want to interact with and come back for more.
Wondering how you can create quality content? It’s simple.
Here is a simple 3-step approach to making great content of any type:
- Point – State your main idea and point you are covering.
- Prove – Give an example of the idea you are covering.
- Perform – Give a simple way to execute the idea.
There are two blocks you need to worry about, pre-launch and post-launch contents:
Before you start writing your day-to-day blog posts, you will want to make sure that static pages (such as About us, Contact, etc.) and other parts of your blog (Sidebar, Footer, etc.) are filled with suitable information. Let’s explore each of those content areas:
- Homepage – This depends on what type of blog layout you choose. As I described above, when customizing your blog you can choose to display the homepage of your blog as a static page. In that case, you will have to prepare content for it.
- About us – The most traditional page on any blog is the About Us page. This page tells new visitors to your blog what it is all about, who you are and why you run a blog about your niche topic.
- Contact – This page allows visitors to your blog to communicate with you. It can be a straightforward page with your email address plus your social network links, or you can use a simple contact form that visitors can use to communicate with you.
Posts – A blog post is an entry (article) that you write on a blog. It can include content in the form of text, photos, infographics, or videos.
Pages – A blog page provides static content or information to the readers. Standard pages that bloggers use include Products, Services, and Resources. A blog page also can be a cornerstone (or evergreen) content with information that continues to be relevant to its readers. For example, this guide you are reading right now.
You are now all set to start blogging, just sit back relax, and write from the core of your heart. Once your blog starts getting viewership you can also monetize your blogs and can make money with your creativity.