How to Start your own Blog: Beginners Guide to Blogging

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(Last Updated On: June 15, 2018)

It is logical for a beginners guide to blogging to start with information on how to start a blog. However, first let me give you a brief introduction so that I can make you understand what is a blog and it’s fundamentals.

What You Will Learn!

What is a blog?

what is a blog, how to start your own blog step by step

A practical definition of a blog is simply an online journal or newsletter that is frequently updated and is open for public reading in which one can express his/her feelings, thoughts, and opinions or even advertise his/her products.

Why should you start blogging?

In this era, if you’re good at writing to want to showcase your creativity to all over the world or if you’re good at something and like to share your knowledge with others, it is hell lot easy to do just – Start a blog.

what should you start blogging, start you own blog step by step

Many people use a blog as their online journals whereas other bloggers write blog posts about their hobbies or interests like cooking, gaming etc.

While some use blogging as a platform to share their opinions and views on politics, social and other related issues.

These days many bloggers have started blogging to write and share tutorials and DIY(do it yourselves) stuffs on various topics.

Moreover, by doing blogging, people are now have found an alternative way of making money online as a side an income or a side business because many people have become a part-time/ full-time blogger.

Blogging is an excellent platform for generating income, many bloggers like Neil Patel, Harsh Agarwal, Matthew Woodward have transformed their blog into a six-figure earning business model.

Basic components of a blog are:

Title: The name of your post that you’re going to publish.
Category: Use an easy to understand category system to archive past posts so readers can find the topics they are looking for.
Body: It is the main content writing area on your blog.
Trackback: This feature allows other sites to link back to your blog via blog comment(not very helpful).
Permalink: This is the URL(universal resource locator) structure of your blog that goes with every post that you write and pages that you will add.
Comments: This feature enables your readers to leave comments on your blog posts.
– Include links to related posts within each of your posts(this is called interlinking).
– Showcase your most popular posts in the sidebar (optional).
– A search box that allows readers to search your blog will also be useful.

Advantage of Blogging

There are numerous types of advantages of blogging but that solely depends on your purpose of blogging.The reason why you should start blogging is that it can be both an ideal medium for you to express your frustrations, opinions, criticism or excitements and as well as profitable at the same time.

Blogging for business

Blogs are an excellent medium for advertising, FAQs, and testimonials what you have to offer to the wide range of online users.

blogging for business, make money from blogging, start blogging india

Blogs are good outlets for gaining knowledge or information about specific topics like technology, gadgets, games, fashion, health etc or products and services, and you can use this to your own advantage.

This will help you to educated your visitors about your products and convert them into customers.

If your business model is an online one say any service provider or e-commerce store, you can use a blog to write about your products, answer people’s queries doing all this can actually make people trust your business. Blogs are important for online based businesses.

Summary,

A blog for a small business owner means, more traffic generation to website >> more customers >> getting more valuable feedback from the customers >> increased value to customers >> ultimately more revenues.

Blogging as a Part-Time Hobby

As we have discussed earlier that many people of all ages nowadays have started blogging to as their part-time hobby writing about random stuff or what they like the most, some are taught online.

Now, let us check out the top blogging platforms.

Top Blogging Platform(Free & Paid Both):

top blogging platforms in the world, logical nerds, start your own bog, what is blogging

Blogger(free) – [Estimated Traffic – 200 million] It is the platform where newbie bloggers start blogging, minimalistic design, HTML and CSS design templates, simple look and easy to use. Blogger is owned by Google.

WordPress.com(paid/free) – [Estimated Traffic – 1.1 billion] WordPress.com is itself a huge community of bloggers it is both free and paid.

Free comes with a subdomain, plugins and with some free themes. It allows blogs, business website, and e-commerce sites.

WordPress blogging is good if you want to keep your blog within wp.com community chances for scaling up is low.

WordPress.org – [No traffic because it is a software] Anyone can start blogging with worpress.org it is highly recommended, here you want the full control over your blog.

It provided you with numerous blogging resources and free tools to grow your blog.

Tumblr(free) – [Estimated Traffic – 773.7 million] Tumblr is a great blogging platform which is also a blogging social networking site with 383 million registered Tumblr blogs.

Tumblr is great for Stories, photos, GIFs, TV shows, links, quips, dumb jokes, smart jokes, Spotify tracks, mp3s, videos, fashion, art, and deep stuff.

Medium.com(paid/free) – [Estimated Traffic – 139.5 million] Medium is a great place to share ideas, thoughts, knowledge and to write about any topic you want.

Medium more like an online journal than a blog. Posts from medium ranks well on google search.

Quora.com(free) – [Estimated Traffic – 462.6 million] Though Quora is a question/answer site but it also lets you create a blog. Limited reach only within its community

Other notable Blogging Platforms:

Over-blog(free) – [Estimated Traffic – 80.8k]

Wix.com(paid/free) – [Estimated Traffic – 62.7 million]

Weebly.com(paid/free) – [Estimated Traffic – 140.2 million]

Ghost(paid) – [No traffic because it is a software]

Livejournal(paid/free) – [Estimated Traffic – 160.5 million]

Typepad(paid) – [Estimated Traffic – 18.5 million]

Squarespace(paid) – [Estimated Traffic – 45.8 million]

Blog.com – [Estimated Traffic – 820.9k]

Choosing the right blogging platform:

Choosing the right blogging platform is sometimes confuses people that which one they choose to start. If you’re confused no problem I will help you out with that.

So the first step in choosing the suitable blogging cms is by answering one simple question “What type of blog you’re gonna start” like for example photo blog, cooking blog, etc.

Secondly, are you willing to pay for domain name and web hosting? (if you don’t know what is domain name and web hosting, worry not, I have provided some details below)

So, these so question sums up the entire scenario.

Now, back to choosing part –

If you’re going for Photography Blog or a blog with video content – this type of blog consumes much space and if you do not optimize your blog properly it will take more time to load.

Solution:

If you’re willing to use free blogging platforms then Weebly.com, Webs.com, Tumblr.com Wix.com are best for you.

Paid Blogging platforms such as wordpress.com and wordpress.org (self-hosted) are good options.

And if you willing to start blogging on topics which are reviews, inspirational, DIY stuff, things which require more writing than high-quality images or videos then go to:

Free ones:

top blogging sites, top free blogging sites

Blogger

WordPress.com

Medium

Tumblr

Quora

Livejournal

 

Drawbacks of free blogging platforms are no control over your blog, you’ll get subdomain i.e. yourblog.blogspot.com or yourblog.tumblr.com, limited themes, zero plugins, limited option of customizations and most importantly all the content that you’ll write will be owned by them so if someday they decided to shut off their blogging services then all your contents will be gone.

Paid ones:

WordPress.org
WordPress.com
Typepad
Ghost
Squarespace

If you have made your decision then let us proceed further.

Choosing a Niche for Blogging:

What is a Niche?

A small, specialized topic for your blog that you’ll be interested in like cooking, sports, gadgets, technology, Fashion etc.

How choose a niche?

If you search on google about “how to choose a niche for blogging”, you’ll probably get tons of search results.

In all those blog posts that you will get, there will be one thing in common in all of those posts and that is always go for a topic that you love, like your hobby, our profession etc.

Why not going after lucrative niches and the ones that you know nothing or less?

Simple, they are overcrowded and if you know nothing or less about those niches then you won’t be able to create good and compelling contents.

Over time you’ll feel bored and might stop blogging.

How to create a Blogspot Blog:

Here is a how to create a blogspot blog video tutorials for beginners.

Now, we’re going to discuss Worpress.org self-hosted platform

Why Should You Choose WordPress as your blogging platform?

wordpress best cms for blogging

 

Basically, in today’s world, WordPress is the right blogging platform for newbie bloggers for several reasons WordPress cms(content management system) is simple, flexible, and easy to use.

WordPress is also a free and open source blogging software.

Benefits of using WordPress as your blogging platform/cms:

  • Easy to use blogging platform
  • Perfect for doing SEO
  • “SEO-friendly” permalinks
  • SEO ready themes
  • Change the theme of your blog with one click
  • Lots of Plugins(free/paid)
  • Numerous themes for various topics(free/paid)
  • Large community support
  • Categorize and tag your blog posts

WordPress provides you with the option of utilizing its various free tools and blogging resources associated with this popular open source blogging software.

A Walkthrough on how to register a domain name, setting up web hosting and installing WordPress on your blog.


Registering a Domain Name

What is a Domain Name?

Domain name is nothing but the name of your website or blog. Domain name is the address by which people can directly find and access your blog/website online.

find good domain names

A domain name can be any combination of letters and numbers. Remember no two websites can have the same domain name because each domain name is unique.

Ex. www.myblog.com here my blog is the domain name and .com is an extension you can use a wide range of TLDs or extensions for your blog like .org .net .co .in .us etc.

Domain names have to be renewed every year it’s not a lifetime deal.

Some domain name suggestions tools to help you select a good name:

  • https://www.namemesh.com/
  • https://www.domainit.com/domain-suggest-tool.mhtml
  • www.domainsbot.com/
  • www.leandomainsearch.com/
  • https://www.namestation.com/domain-search

Where to buy and register a domain name?

Always go for quality sites, check review online.

Here is the list of top domain name registrars

  • Godaddy.com
  • Hostgator.com
  • Name.com
  • Namecheap.com
  • Bigrock.com

Visit any one of the websites and buy your desired domain name.

Pro tip:

Always look who is providing domain names at a cheap price.
Are they providing any freebies?
What is the domain renewal price?

Now, choosing the right web hosting for your blog

What is Web hosting and how does it work?

Web hosting is service that allows an individual’s or any company’s/organization’s website to go online that can be accessed by people through the internet.

A web host or web hosting service provider provides you services, technologies and space on their servers that are essentials your website/blog to go online.

Types of Web Hosting:

Free Web Hosting Service – Some web hosting companies offer web hosting services for free, in return, they will show ads on your website/blog.

Most servers are spammy, provides low disk space, no tech support, and most importantly low bandwidth & CPU usage.

Free you want to try out web hosting just to gain knowledge then you can out free web hosting services otherwise it is not recommended.

Shared Web Hosting Service – It is the most common type of web hosting service used by many bloggers and website owners.

Dedicated hosting/server, Managed/Unmanaged – Here you own a dedicated web server, which either managed by the web hosting company or unmanaged i.e. you’ll have to manage your web server either by you or your team.

This type of service is required by social networking, e-commerce websites who get millions of traffics each day.

VDS/VPS Virtual Dedicated Server/Virtual Private Servers – It one of the most expensive web hosting service, VPS is also a type of shared hosting but with a limited number. Here the server is divided equally among other users. Must for websites which gets more than 10k visitors.

Reseller Web Hosting – Reseller web hosting is nothing but by web hosting services provided by third parties.

Read more in detail here Web Hosting Guide 101

So, which web hosting is right for you?

As a beginner, it is recommended to go for shared web hosting as your scale up the daily traffic of your blog then switch to higher hosting plans or go for VPS hosting.

top web hosting companies

Top Web Hosting companies:

  • SiteGround
  • Bluehost
  • Hostgator
  • Resellerclub.com
  • Globehost.com (I’m using it)

Tips for selecting the best web hosting service:

  1. Compare the plans of multiple web hosting companies, see who’s giving more web space, bandwidth, email accounts, SQL databases and automatic backup service.
  2. 99.9% guaranteed uptime. (important)
  3. WordPress Optimized hosting (recommended, if you don’t find one then also any problem)
  4. 24/7 tech support
  5. Free SSL certificate (optional)
  6. Free Whois Protection (optional)

 

What after getting web hosting?

Just wait for a while till your hosting account gets active, they will mail you your account details like cPanel login address(URL), username, password and nameservers(important).

Now, log into cPanel

cPanel

what is cpanel?

It is the dashboard of your web hosting account, don’t be worried you won’t be using this dashboard much as because we will be using WordPress to manage the blog.

If you want to know more about cPanel then read here cPanel (scroll down)

We will learn how to install WordPress through cPanel.

There are basically two ways to do it:

  1. By using softaculous or any other auto installer provided in cPanel.
  2. By uploading WordPress files directly into the public_html folder of File manager inside web hosting account.

Now without wasting any time let us install WordPress our blog.

Steps:
Log into cPanel
Scroll down and search for softaculous or auto installer or some directly show wordpress icons in the dashboard find whichever you are getting.
Click on it
They’ll show a variety of options like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc.
Choose WordPress from them
Fill all the required info.
Click on Install.
Congratulations you’re wordpress is installed on your blog.
After successful installation, it will provide you with WP dashboard login URL and your blog URL.

 

How To Make A Profitable WordPress Website Step By Step From Scratch

Buy Domain Name

The first thing you have to do is buy a domain name for your blog. Domain name is the name of your blog, for example, http://www.yoursitename.com here “yoursitename” is your domain name.

register domain name for your blog

Go to sites like Godaddy or Namecheap or Bigrock to buy a domain name for your blog or website.

Use their custom search your domain name feature to see if your desired domain name is available or not.

After selecting the ideal name for your website go on and purchase it.

Now next step…

Get Web hosting

Now time for you to buy hosting for your website/blog. Web hosting is the service that enables you to make your website go live on the internet.

To buy web hosting you need to go to web hosting providers like Bluehost, Siteground, Hostgator etc.

Go to their website check out all their web hosting plans and select one that suits you. For new website go for any starter plan.

Select your plan >> Put your website name >> Buy the hosting >> optional Whois guard or Whois Protection >> Make your purchase

Choose the standard plan for newbie blog!

get web hosting for your blog, how to blog, blogging india

 

As you already purchased a domain name hence select the second option “I will use my existing domain”.

get web hosting for your blog, start blogging, start a blog, how to blog, blogging india

Now, wait till your hosting account is activated. They will mail you all the web hosting details like cPanel login URL & Password and nameservers.

Login to cPanel

Now, as you have all the web hosting details use them to login into your cpanel. After successful login the first thing you need to do is log in to your domain registrar account, find your domain name under active services section or any related terms like that because it varies from company to company (or some domain registrar show the service you have bought from them in the client dashboard only no need to find it under services).

After finding your domain name click on it would take you to another page where you can find “nameservers” option, now copy the nameservers your web host has provided you something like this ns1.nameofthewebhostingcompany.com & ns2.nameofthewebhostingcompany.com and paste them in the place of domain registrar’s nameservers and click on change nameservers.

Go to domain registrar account >> login >> find your domain name >> click on it >> find nameservers >> click on it >> change the nameservers with ones provided by web hosting >> click on change nameservers. DONE.

Note: It is necessary to change the nameserver of your domain with your web host’s nameservers otherwise your website won’t point out to your hosting account, you won’t be to do anything and website will not go live.

Install WordPress and login to dashboard

 

To install WordPress you will need to login into your web hosting account and find WordPress and click on it will take you to the installation wizard fill in the all the required information like Blog title, blog tagline, admin name, password and then click on install WordPress. It will take few seconds to install WordPress.

how to install wordpress from cpanel

After completion, the screen will display the admin URL i.e. URL of the wp dashboard something like this http://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin and the URL of your blog i.e. http://yourwebsite.com/

You can view your blog/website by clicking on the URL of your website.

Now it’s time to set up the WordPress website correctly, tweak some setting and doing some customization.

To perform the following steps you will need to log into your WordPress dashboard.

Assuming that you have logged into your wp dashboard. You’ll find so many features don’t panic I have you covered, just follow my instructions.

To change the theme you will need to go to Appearance >> Themes >> Add New >> Choose or upload a WordPress theme.

First Step >> From Aprreance go to Themes

How to change theme in wordpress step 1

Second Step >> Click on Add new

how to change theme in wordpress step 2

Third Step >> Select a theme

how to change theme in wordpess step 3

Fourth Step >> Install the theme

how to change theme is wordpress step 4

Fifth Step >> Activate your theme

how to change wordpress theme step 5

Last Step >> Visit your site to see the newly install theme

how to change wordpress theme step 6

P.S. ignore the steps recorder :p

To add a logo go to Appearance >> Customize >> Header >> Add a logo. Upload your logo. The logo must be at least 192 x 60 in dimension or if you’re familiar with web development then you can add you know custom logo with the desired size refer here.

Deleting The Sample Post

Let us delete the sample ‘Hello world’ blog post.
In the left side of the dashboard look for Posts then go to Posts >> All Posts >> Select the sample post >> Move to trash

After this you can permanently delete the post by going to >> trash >> delete permanently

Creating Our “HomePage” and “About Us, Contact Us, Privacy Policy” Pages

On a WordPress website there are types of homepage style:

  1. Static Page (recommended for business website owners)
  2. Show your latest blog post (recommended for new bloggers)

To create a custom static page for your WordPress business website you need to refer to your theme installation and setup guides because static page styles differ theme to theme.

WordPress homepage setting default setting is set to “ your latest blog posts”, so you won’t need to do anything.

Follow these steps to set your wp homepage to static mode:

WP dashboard >> Settings >> Reading Settings >> Your homepage displays >> A static page.

To create new pages go to >> Pages >> Add new >> Give a name to the page a little description, images or videos if applicable>> click publish

That’s it. Very simple.

Installing Plugins

It is very easy to install plugins, you’ll find the “Plugins” options on the left side of the dashboard. Hover over plugins and click on “add new”, it will take you to the plugin directory, you can install plugins from there.

how to install plugins in worpress

how to install plugins in wordpress

how to install plugins in wordpress

List useful plugins you must install after installing wordpress:

  1. Accelerated Mobile Pages
  2. Contact Form 7
  3. WP Super Cache / W3Total Cache / WP Super Cache / WP Rocket
  4. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP)
  5. Google XML Sitemaps
  6. No Self Pings
  7. Ultimate Nofollow
  8. Yoast SEO / All in one SEO
  9. WP Smush
  10. WP Sitemap Page
  11. Auto Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
  12. Any WP backup plugin like Updraft plus, WP time capsule(i’m using it)
  13. Sumome / AddThis (both are great social sharing, social analytics, and lead collection tools)

Creating Menus & Contact Forms

Two ways of creating menus for your blog:

  1. By using the pages of your blog
  2. Using custom links (for linking to other domains, subdomains, posts etc.)

To create menus, you need to create some pages first(for method 1). The steps as follows:

  • Then go to appearance and then to menus.
  • Give a name to your menu.
  • On the left side of the page, you will see the page, post, categories and custom link options, choose from them.
  • Hit save menu.
  • Click on manage location, choose the main menu from the option and save it. Done

how to create menu in wordpress

Most WP Themes support up to four different menus, create as many menus as you want using this way.

First Step >>

how to create menu in wordpress step 1

Second Step >> This step shows how to add category to menu

how to create menu in wordpress blog step 2

Third Step >> This step is for adding custom links in your menu

create wp menu using custom link

Final Step >> Now go to manage location to set the newly created menu as your primary menu.

how to create menu in wp website

How to create contact us form for WP blog?

For this, you have to install a plugin called contact form 7. Install the plugin and activate it.

Now, create a contact us page, after doing it go to “Contact” option on the left side of your wp dashboard. Copy the shortcode from the page and past it on the contact us page and publish the page.

how to create a contact us page for wordpress

Your contact us page is created.

WordPress Settings

The WordPress Settings we will work with are:

  1. General
  2. Writing
  3. Reading
  4. Discussion
  5. Permalinks

In General settings – You can change your Site Title, Tagline, Site Address (URL), Timezone etc.

In Writing setting – You can change the following Default Post Category (before this create some categories) and update WP ping services.

Reading – can change the follows “Your homepage displays”, “Blog pages show at most” (keep it under 7), “Related posts” tick all,

Discussion – Not much here just tweak the “Avatars” settings.

Permalinks – Change the URL structure to “Post name”, it is good for SEO.

permalinks setting wp dashboard

Customize the look of the website

When you install WordPress, the default wp themes come with the installation, to delete the present wp default theme, first, you’ll need to install a theme.

To install a theme you need to go to Appearance >> themes >> add new >> you will find thousands of theme in the WordPress theme directory >> choose a theme >> click on install >> active the theme. Done

Now go to appearance >> themes >> delete all the default themes, to delete click on the theme >> delete.

Creating and Editing Posts

Create your first blog post on the WordPress blog.

So, how to create a post on wp?

It is very simple head over to post section in the wp dashboard and select new post.

Now, the wp post editor will open which looks like this. {screenshot}

wp post editor, start blogging, start a blog

Write a title for your post that must be within 70 characters limit, edit the permalinks if it exceeds more than 4 words google usually does not index more than 4-5 words in an URL.

Tips: Always keep the permalinks/URL of the posts short and precise.

Create a lengthy post with images, screenshots, infographics, list-based contents, keeping in mind the page loading speed.

Provide meaty information through your content, so that people share it on social media, other bloggers might link to your post.

Creating Categories and tags

Creating categories is very simple same as creating posts, there are two ways to create a category.

Directly from the WP Post Editor, i.e. where you write post your blog.

By navigating to categories section in the dashboard (recommended).

Why is the method (2) recommended?

Simple because we’re lazy (well some of us like me), if we create category directly from post editor, then probably we will never correctly edit the category ever.

Still not get it?

Well, I meant to say that categories also rank in the google search, so if you don’t edit them probably you’ll miss that opportunity to get free traffic.

The category editing consists of Title, Description, and SEO descriptions. Sometimes we’re way too lazy to perform these things. But it’s important.

Final Checking and Finishing off

At the end check for any misconfiguration of any settings, is the homepage of the blog all right? Are all plugins working fine?

Check the page loading speed use sites like this tools.pingdom.com, for further website speed optimization use a CDN.

Open a free account on Cloudflare and configure your blog/website to use their CDN. You can also install a free SSL certificate from them. Free for lifetime.

Conclusion

Everything you need to know about the blog before you make a decision to “How To Start Your Own Blog“. There is nothing left for you to know, all you need to do is come up with plan furthermore the right niche you will like to blog on.

So, start your own blog and be the boss of your life. Say no to 9 – 6 / 10 – 7 job.

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