How To Start A Blog
Are you looking to start a blog or website? We got you covered! Blogs are excellent for self-expression, marketing, and interacting with your culture/communities.
Starting a blog may seem like a daunting process. While there may be a lot to learn, getting started is very easy! In this article, you will find our step-by-step process for starting a blog or website.
1. Pick A Topic
Creating a blog means you will be writing…a lot. Picking a topic that fascinates you is an important part of the blogging process. The question then becomes:
What are you passionate about?
If you are not passionate about your topic, you may find yourself experiencing burnout or a lack of motivation. This is why choosing a great topic is so important.
Choosing a topic also gives a great user experience. When people visit your blog, they are expecting to see pieces of writing on a specific topic. You don’t want your audience wading through a sea of unrelated articles to find what they are looking for.
Pick a blog topic that important to you, that you can focus on, and dig deep into. Don’t worry if your topic doesn’t come to you right away. Take some time to think about what is important to you, and what you will be comfortable writing about.
2. Pick A Platform
There are a variety of blogging platforms out there. If you are an avid podcast listener, you most likely have heard endless advertisements for companies such as Squarespace or Wix.
While these all-in-one companies may seem attractive, they often do not give you the control you need. There are also many free blogs out there that suffer from the same issues.
The internet is a vast and ever-changing space. As things change, you want to have the control to adjust and adapt yourself instead of waiting for company updates.
We use WordPress here at Effective Nerd. This platform allows you to choose your own hosting provider and has endless customization options.
My favorite part about using WordPress is the access to plugins. If you need your blog to do something specific, there is most likely a plugin available. In the past, I found that other platforms do not offer these options.
3. Picking A Host
Hosting is an important part of running a blog or website. Your host will store your website’s files on their server. People who visit your website will access it through your hosting providers. Many web hosts also handle other operations, such as email clients.
Effective Nerd uses Bluehost as our hosting provider. We love this provider because it automatically integrates your site with WordPress. They offer a variety of subscription options to fit your needs.
My favorite part about Bluehost is their customer service. I have run into many obstacles while learning how to run a website. Any time I had an issue, Bluehost was there to help. They have a plethora of helpful articles as well as a live chat.
4. Setting Up Your Bluehost Account
Setting up your account with Bluehost is a painless process. After picking a plan, you will be prompted to register and pay for your web hosting. Bluehost offers yearly hosting plans and there is no month-to-month plan currently available.
After your account is set up, the next step is to create your website and install WordPress on your temporary domain. Using Bluehost’s temporary domain allows you to design your website before you get your domain name.
Once your Bluehost account and temporary website are set up, you can now navigate through your Bluehost account. Though you will be using WordPress for your blog design, the technical aspects of your website are handled directly through Bluehost.
Through Bluehost, you can customize many aspects of your website, such as:
- Email Accounts
- DNS and Domain Options
- Privacy and Security Settings
- File Management
- Account and Billing Changes
5. Purchasing A Domain Name
Your domain name is one of the most important parts of your website’s branding and identity. Is it what people will type in to get to your site. It is also how they will understand your website’s concept and focus.
Many good domain names are already taken, or available at a premium price. However, with a little creativity, you can create a name that is both available and effective.
When picking a domain name, spend some time coming up with a list of ideas that speak to you. You can also run these ideas through a thesaurus to generate more ideas using synonyms.
Once you narrow down a list of ideas, run them past your friends and family to see how they like them. Ask them what their initial thoughts are when hearing the name, and what type of website they think the name represents.
After choosing a name, head over to your Bluehost account and purchase the domain name. Most domain names are available for as low as $11.99 a year.
If the domain name of your choice is available, go for it! You may want to check if your blog name is available on social media platforms as well.
6. Choosing A Theme
Your theme is the base style for your website. This includes the menu style, sidebars, picture sizes, and more!
There are many free themes available through WordPress. There are also companies that sell premium WordPress themes, including framework themes and child themes.
Find a theme that fits your needs. Keep in mind that the font, colors, and a lot of the site organization are customization. What you are looking for is a good core to build your site.
7. Setting Up Your Site
Now we get to the fun part, you get to start designing your blog! With our domain, hosting, platform, and theme taken care of, it is up to use to develop our blog.
There are many steps to setting up your blog website, including:
- Site Title/Branding
- Menus and Navigation
- Sidebar and Footer
- Integrations (such as Google Adsense and Analytics)
- About and Contact Pages
WordPress offers easy and customizable methods for developing your website. This part of starting a blog is probably the most time-intensive as far as setup goes. This is especially true for those new to WordPress. However, there are plenty of resources online to help you on your way.
8. Write A Post!
With your site set up, it is time to start blogging!
You can start by writing an introduction post to your site, or just dive right into your site’s content. However, you want to do this is up to you! Writing a blog post can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
If you are starting this website with the intent to monetize your blog, I would suggest doing some research first. Look at what other bloggers in your niche are writing about. You can also do some seo keyword research to see what your potential audience wants to read.
RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide To SEO
I hope you found this blogging tutorial helpful! Here are some of my favorite resources to learn more about blogging and WordPress:
- WPBeginner – A great source of WordPress tutorials and lessons
- StudioPress – A excellent source of premium themes
- Reddit: Blogging – An awesome subreddit for bloggers
Get out there and make high-quality great content!
What Do You Think?
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