The importance of Creating a blog
What comes to your mind when you hear the term blogging? and How to make money with a blog ?
If all you think about are the beautiful DIY projects on Pinterest or some flashy designer outfits, then you should try to catch with the pace of technology and change your perspective.
A more significant portion of the blogging platform is mainly made up of fashion blogs and information about lifestyle and smart devices.
However, blogging comes a medium that packs tons of marketing advantages to anyone and any industry.
And that is even made better if you are looking to start a personal blog.
Be it looking for the first client or visitor to your blog to share in your thoughts and other posts, or you are a pro that is looking to broaden his/her scope, here are some reasons why blogging is essential.
It gives you a good workout session
The writing part of the brain acts like a muscle that needs regular exercise and training to get better and in good shape.
That idea alone has spawned millions of articles and blog posts about why people should write regularly.
Some may believe that you should take some time off, which is not bad at all, but the concept here remains the same.
The more you practice, the better you become.
You may be naturally talented with the skill of putting words together, but if you slump on training and practicing consistently, you may end up not getting better at what you do.
And the moment your skills are not improved, you can forget about attracting many people.
If you want to share your ideas and be heard by millions of people, then you should start blogging.
Blogging keeps creativity flowing
When you are confined to the idea of writing to earn a living, you may end up leaning on a specific direction or type of writing that limits creativity.
If you take a look at some blogs, you will notice a pattern that has three to four lines or sentences as the introduction to every article they do.
Then the body comes with five to seven sections or paragraphs, and lastly, a conclusion of at most three sentences.
This pattern is most effective in marketing the service of some clients. But the formula approach that comes with it makes you feel like there is nothing new in your posts.
Creating a personal blog allows you to tweak your content with the right tone, structure, and topics that you feel suit your style.
This way, you can broaden your scope of how you like and become more creative in the process, unlike writing for someone’s publications.
Blogging positions you as an expert in the field
If you want people to take you seriously, you should start practicing putting your ideas down in writing and inviting them to share and review.
You may have great ideas about interesting topics that can get you some reasonable contract offers.
But if you cannot put them down in writing for people to see and evaluate, you people may not have the opportunity to know your capabilities and ability to implement the strategies that you have in your mind.
In other words, your blog should reflect who you are or what you want people to know about your capabilities (but you are not restricted to that idea).
If you are passionate about sports, write about the latest highlights, the rumors, scandals, and scores on and off the field and tracks.
That way, someone will get to know your expertise and gauge you against others in the area, which makes you an expert in what you do.
The more post you rack up in your blog, the more authority you claim and wield as a pro in the industry.
The status you will achieve will not only help in branding you but also get you paid for your work, and get paid big.
Blogging samples your work and thoughts
Experts can confirm that they always get job offers because someone saw their blogs and like the tone and style in which they communicate their ideas.
And that they would like the same for their products or businesses.
Many bloggers land some lucrative deals by writing about something that catches the attention of employers or people who want the same services based on the samples they have seen.
When blogging, write the kind of content that would attract people you look forward to working with.
If you want to attract the attention of a politician, write about election strategies and development programs and agendas that can be included in a manifesto.
If it a food industry that you want to grab, talk about the trends in manufacturing minimally processed whole foods. In general.
let your blog be a platform that people would like to visit to see what you have new about the topic you have chosen to dwell on.
Make it a place that samples what you can offer in the real world.
This tactic will give your clients a taste of what they are subscribing to, and it may also save you the time of searching for jobs because it is a job on its own if you do it better.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Blogging gives more credit and value to your niche
It is undoubtedly that your opinion about things differs from those of other people within the same niche.
Sharing your perspective in your unique way through a blog post adds more value to the ongoing conversation that gives you an edge over your competitors, especially when you look at things through a different lens.
Look at this example. Up to 75% of people prefer the initial idea.
Giving it a better tweak raises that number to almost 80%. And if your version of the story stands out, you get the figures going up compared to other people with the same boring version.
The value that you give your post will attract more readers while at the same time retaining the initial clients when there is something new.
And that is How to make money with a blog and how creating a blog can add value to your niche.
Blogging is not always about sharing the prevailing ideas on the internet.
You can create your exciting topics and generate content that would attract more people to your site.
And remember, the more people you have following your content, the more bucks you add to your account.
Make that first step, and you are guaranteed that you will never think about hunting for any other job.
And the better and most impressive of it all, you work on your couch, sipping your favorite drink and not worrying about what your boss will think about it: you are the boss.
Choosing the right blogging platform
At this point, you are looking to start your blog, but finding How to make money with a blog and the right blogging platform is something that poses a challenge.
There are many platforms out there, and getting to figure out the right one might be a little tricky. So how do you find out the one that will suit your specific need?
Here, you have the opportunity of going through the most common platforms and evaluate the one that would be right for you.
By the end of this post,you will have gone through some of the best and have essential tips that would guide your selection.
To make the work even more comfortable, there are recommendations about the right site, according to its performance, as rated by other users.
Below are some most popular blogging platforms that are compared and How to make money with a blog is discussed in this post.
- Constant Contact Website Builder
What to look for while selecting the right blogging platform
The list is broad, and some are not included here. But before going for any, it is essential to have in mind the things that you should look for when choosing a blogging platform.
The first thing that you need as a beginner is a platform that has no complicated setup procedures.
That is to mean, it must be easy for you to create your blog with low learning curves and no coding skills at all.
The second thing to keep on mind is the type of blog you want to create at the moment and in the future too.
The reasoning behind this idea is that your blog will require additional changes and more features as it grows with time, and your audience base becomes bigger.
In that case, you will have to go for a blogging platform that offers flexible options that can accommodate such changes.
Going for the wrong platform may make it difficult for you to make the necessary transition in the future.
And the last bit is that you must have smart strategies to make some money off your blogging.
Even if it does not cross your mind at the moment, you will have to think about it later on as your blog grows.
So have in mind a platform that would enable you to make good money from your blogging activities.
With all these considerations, let us take a look at some platforms and compare them to see the right fit for you as a beginner.
WordPress.org is currently the largest and most popular blogging platform around the globe.
It hosts and supports more than 30% of all websites on the internet, having started in 2003. It is an open-source, free blogging platform that gives users the chance to create their websites and start blogging right away.
Before creating an account, you will be required to sign up with WordPress hosting provider since it is a self-hosting platform.
It is the best option if you are looking to have full control over your site in the long run.
It is worth noting that there are WordPress.org and WordPress.com, and the two should not be confused. Later on, we will look at WordPress.com.
- WordPress.org gives users full control over the site and every aspect that come with it.
- The platform is designed to allow users to grow their blogs by adding more features, such as forums, online stores, and many more. This makes it the best blogging platform that you can use to earn some decent money.
- The site comes with many themes for users to apply to their blogs. You can choose items that make your website attractive and appealing to your clients. The best part is that you can also add some third-party themes as plugins.
- If you go for wordpress.org, you will have instant access to more than 50,000 plugins that are designed to make the website easier to manage. Some plugins also allow you to add media to your blogs, such as videos.
- The site is extremely friendly to search engines. For instance, you can create URLs that are compatible with an SEO, categories, and even tags for the blog contents that you create and publish on your site. Additionally, there are SEO plugins that you can add to the weblog as features.
- The process of managing a weblog comes with a particular need for some basic knowledge.
- Managing your backups and security is your task because you have full control of the blog.
The software is free, but to start any site, you will need a domain name and some hosting fees.
For the domain name, you will be charged around $14.99 per year and $7.99 per month for hosting services.
For a beginner, you can use Bluehost at a monthly fee of $2.75.
Bluehost is an officially recommended hosting provider for WordPress that new users can go to to get a 60% discount on hosting and a free domain name.
Constant Contact Website Builder
This platform is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and allows users to create free blogs, online stores, and business websites in a matter of minutes.
To get started, you are required to go through the extensive collection of templates and customize the site how you would like it to look.
You are then to design other aspects of the website by dragging and dropping the interface.
In addition to that, the site software gives you access to additional features like the logo maker, professional stock photo library that has more than 550,000 images, among other amazing features.
- You can drag and drop the website interface quickly as it requires no technical skills.
- The setup process is easy and takes less time since the software hosts the website for users.
- Some free plans would require users to try out some features like building online stores before they can decide to purchase the feature.
- The software comes with a free domain name and an SSL certificate for all paid plans.
- The scope that the developer operates in is small, and therefore there is no provision for most plugins compared to WordPress.org.
- There is limited access to third-party platforms, which may limit the way you share your ideas.
- The process of exporting the website to another platform is very complicated and challenging.
This is one of the most generous blogging platforms that offer a free plan that allows bloggers to set up websites and even online stores.
To upgrade the starter plan, you will have to pay a monthly fee of $10, which will give you a free customized domain name, SSL certificate, and additional features such support for the platform on the phone.
Compared to other website builders, phone support is a big plus due to its efficiency.
For the business plan and other ecommerce features, you will pay a monthly subscription of $20.
For starters and small businesses that do not want to use WordPress for blogging, then Constant Contact offers a good alternative, especially with the prices.
This is a website builder and blogging platform that was developed by HostGator.
The company also used to host WPBeginner websites.
It offers a feature that allows users to drag and drop interface when creating any given type of websites, blogs, online stores, and any other business site.
Gator builder and HostGator are different in the sense that HostGator can be used to host WordPress blogs (in other words, HostGator is a hosting service provider).
On the other hand, Gator offers the non-WordPress blogging platform solutions all in one software.
- The website builder interface is easy to drag and drop, thus making it easy to design the website as you want.
- There are no technical skills required for the setup phase.
- All the backups, securities, and the entire performance of the blog are handled by the provider to free you some time to focus on other aspects like creating better blog posts.
- There are free domains and SSL certificates for the plans you pay for.
- There are possibilities of adding an online store to your blog, and that is just a click away.
- The site does not offer any free account. However, you are given a 45-day money-back warranty.
- The features that support ecommerce are only restricted to plans that attract higher payments.
- The number of apps and extensions are minimal.
For the WPBeginner, the users are given a 55% discount on all the plans.
The starter plan goes for a monthly fee of $3.46, and it has all the features that a user needs to set up a bog successfully.
It also comes with a free domain and SSL certificate.
This blog hosting service is offered by Automattic, which also created WordPress.org. The company is a co-founder of Matt Mullenweg.
The site offers web hosting services for free. However, the services are limited to the basics.
If you want additional features and options such as a customized domain name, extra storage space, and other premium services, then you will have to pay for them.
The platform was established in 2005 to enlarge the audience of WordPress.
This is among the best platforms for bloggers who do not want the extra features offered by WordPress.org, such as self-hosting.
- There is no setup required to have your blog running.
- The site is easily manageable, and its use is also not complicated.
- If you are okay with the subdomain it offers, then it comes ultimately free of charge. In that case, the free website name will be something like this: https://name.wordpress.com.
- The site provides minimal options that you can use to expand and extend your blog. For instance, there is no room for plugins and other third party features that can be used to customize the site.
- If you decide to use this platform for your blogging activities, then forget about running advertisements. In that place, WordPress will run their adverts on your website instead.
- The account can be suspended at any given time if you go against the terms and conditions of use. That means you do not own the site.
WordPress.com offers a basic account free of any charges. In that case, the account will have WordPress adverts and brandings.
There is an option to upgrade to a personal plan, and it comes at $4 per month (it is billed per year).
This feature will ensure that the WordPress logo does not appear on your site, and all WordPress ads are removed. Your domain name is also customized to something like www.name.com.
There are even more features and design tools offered for a plan that goes for $8 per month but is billed annually.
Always beware of the tool you go for. Some people often mistake WordPress.com for WordPress.org and end up getting services that they never wanted or lacking the features they needed.
You don’t have to start your blog and switch later when you notice the difference.
This is one of the oldest blogging platforms.
It was initially developed by Pyra Labs in 1999 but was later bought by Google in 2003 and redesigned to be given the look and features it has today. It is a free blogging service that does not require any technical knowhow to get started.
It easy to get started, as all that is required is a google account to create a free blog.
- It is free to create a blog on blogger.
- Managing the blog is easy, as it requires no technical skill.
- The platform is owned by Google, which gives it robust security and a decisive advantage over the other ones.
- Google has a terrible history of abandoning their projects without prior warning to the user.
- An example is Feedburner. With this in mind, your account can be suspended or canceled at any given time, should you go against the user policies or if Google decides to cancel the service altogether.
- There are limited options to design your blog, and few templates are offered. Additionally, the third-party features available for Blogger are often of low quality.
- Frequent updates and new features are minimal.
- There are no options to add extra features, even when your blog grows. In general, Blogger offers essential blogging tools without upgrades.
In most cases, bloggers often start by using Blogger because it offers free services. But as their blogs grow and their audience becomes more significant, they switch to WordPress to access more features and more control of their sites.
The services offered by Blogger are free, and it comes with a subdomain like https://name.blogspot.com. In case you want a customized domain name, you can purchase them from a third party domain registrar.
This platform is a bit different from the other platforms in some ways. I fact, it is a microblogging platform.
Tumblr offers some unique services like additional social networking features that allow users to follow other blogs and reblog.
It also comes with built-in sharing features and tools, among others.
- The site is free if you want to use its subdomain that comes in the form of https://name.tumblr.com. There is also an option to go for a premium domain name, which is charged.
- The setup process is easy and manageable to many.
- The platform comes with a unique feature that incorporates social media components.
- Since the site is mainly a microblogging tool, logging videos, GIFs, audio, and any other media is easy and fast.
- The site has limited features and does not allow users to expand and extend their blogs as they grow and have a more significant audience.
- The many themes that are available for download on Tumblr do not have additional features.
- The process of backing up a Tumblr blog is very complex and challenging. The same applies to move it to another blogging platform.
There are no charges when using the Tumblr primary subdomain. In case you want a custom domain name, then you will have to pay for it from a third party.
There are also third-party themes that you can buy and use to customize your blog.
Medium has grown over the years since 2012 and is preferred by many bloggers, writers, and other experts. Using Medium is pretty easy, and it comes with limited social networking features.
This site works more like a social media platform in the sense that it allows users to create an account and start posting their articles straight away.
After signing up, users are given a profile address that takes this form: https://medium.com/@name.
In contrast to other platforms, users cannot use their custom domain names on Medium.
- You do not need to have any coding skills to set up and use Medium. The entire process is easy and onetime.
- The medium allows a blogger to reach out and share with the existing community of people with similar interests.
- Instead of taking the time to design and customize your site, you are allowed enough time to focus on creating your blog content.
- On Medium, you do not own the audience, which means that the moment you lose or close your account, you also lose the followers you had on the platform.
- There are minimal features in the sense that you cannot design your account according to your preferences.
- The medium does not let you have a custom domain name. All you have is the profile page name, like in the case of Facebook.
- Making money from personal ads is not possible on medium.
Medium services are free to use.
For someone looking to make money off your blogging activities, Medium is one place you do not want to create your blog.
Avoid this by all means possible.
Using simplified drag and drop tools, users can create beautiful websites on Squarespace.
The site is mainly meant for small businesses and starters looking for an easy way to get a right online presence. For a beginner, it offers one of the best solutions on matters, creating a blog.
The site is steadily growing and supports millions of websites on the internet.
- For beginners without technical skills on matters technology, Squarespace is the place to start your blog.
- The site comes with beautifully designed templates to customize your website.
- The site also offers separate customized domain names with SSL/HTTPs as well as online stores.
- The proprietary platform of Squarespace has limited inbuilt features.
- Adding more features is limited to some few services and tools.
The site offers different pricing plans for its websites and online stores.
For a personal website, you will have to part ways with $16 every month.
In case you decide to pay for the entire year in advance, you have to pay $12 monthly.
If you want to have a business plan, you will pay $26 per month or may have to pay $18 per month if it is billed yearly.
For the online stores, the platform offers a plan that ranges for $26 to $40 per month, depending on the services you want.
Due to the expensive pricing, you may want to reconsider using this platform to host your blog.
This a hosted platform that allows users to build their websites.
It was initially founded in 2006, and it offers the possibility to design creative and beautiful sites without any coding skills.
To add a blog to the Wix website, you have to use the Wix blog app. It currently supports more than 110 million websites on the internet and allows users to build their sites by simply dragging and dropping interface.
- There are many templates and third-party apps that users can utilize to customize the appearance of their sites.
- You only need to drag and drop the interface to create a weblog. There are no coding skills required to make this happen.
- The process of setting up is easy and faster.
- The account that is not charged has limited features and comes with Wix adverts and brandings.
- Third-party apps are limited, especially if they offered free of charge.
- There are options for changing a template once applied. This means you are stuck with one design.
- The blog features are minimal compared to all other sites listed above.
- Ecommerce features can only be accessed if you pay for the plan. And even in that case, the features are still limited.
The essential services are provided free of charge. In this case, you will be given a free subdomain name that takes the following form: https://name.wixsite.com/name.
You can also have a customized domain name that comes at $4.50 per month.
If you opt for the premium plans, you will have to pay a monthly fee that ranges from $8.50 to $24.50.
This is the most straightforward blogging platform that concentrates solely on writing blog content.
The company was founded in 2013 and is up to date available for users who want a platform that can host their websites. It also comes as software that can be installed and self-hosted.
- The site is solely focused on blogging and creating blog content.
- The user interface is spotless and intuitive.
- For the hosted version, you will not require setting up the interface.
- The process of customizing the site with other apps is very complicated.
- Options are minimal since the interface is super simplified.
- Themes are limited; hence changing the appearance of the site is not easy.
- In case you install the software yourself, you will have problems setting it up.
If you go for the self-hosted version, you will have to pay an annual subscription of $14.99 for the custom domain name and a monthly fee of $7.99 for hosting services.
The hosted version prices start from $29 per month (the page view limit for this plan is 100,000).
The best blogging platforms
Of all the platforms discussed in this chapter, WordPress.org offers the best services and features for bloggers looking to earn a living off their contents compared to the rest of the web hosting and building tools.
WordPress.org is not only sturdy and easy to use but also offers affordable rates and is flexible to changes whenever you want to make any.
The other blogging platform that offers excellent services for beginners is the Constant Contact Website Builder.
The free AI-powered drag and drop tool makes it easy to set up and is suitable for any type of website, not only a blog.
The steps of creating blogs
Back in the days, creating a blog was so complicated and was an idea left for the few tech-savvy who could navigate the complex set up procedures.
The situation as it is in the current era is different. It is much easier for anyone to start a blog practically, and the case is much proven by the thousands of blogs cropping up on the internet daily.
But how can you create a blog? For a beginner, there are some things that you must get right for your blog to be successful.
For instance, there are tools that you need to have things off the ground. People looking to start blogs often ask many questions about the right boxes to click and the vital tips to get them started.
This post tries to cover the basics of how someone can create a blog from scratch.
There is also an example of getting started using Bluehost, which is among the most commonly used web hosting tools.
In a nutshell, the chapter will be looking at two steps:
- Step by step mini-course on starting a personal blog
- Practical steps for getting started on Bluehost
Step by step mini-course on starting an own blog
Many online and offline sources have the basic knowledge of how you can start a blog quick.
However, there are some misconceptions as some may be lengthy, while some try to simplify the process to look more natural than it is in real sense.
Here, you have the process broken down into five simple steps:
Step one: Decide on your niche
The first question you need to ask yourself is what you want to write about. Choosing a blogging niche to target may require that you do some self-reflection and introspection.
The best idea is going for an area that you are well versed in, and if not, then you must be passionate about the topics you want to cover.
The moment you opt to blog to share some knowledge with other people, you must have more than the basics of the subject you have chosen to dwell on.
The challenge of blogging about something that you are passionate about is that you might lose interest in the long run, and may even quit blogging altogether.
Some blogger has opted to take the notion about blogs being “online diaries” literally and end up turning their weblogs into personal spaces where they rant and rave about mundane things.
In that sense, they talk about everything under the sun. In most cases, such blogs end up becoming unsuccessful. So the first thing you need to do is narrowing down to a particular topic to give your blog a sense of focus and direction.
Go for a niche that you have more interest in because it will inspire you to keep going, and you will enjoy what you are doing.
Be it technology and smart devices, cooking and everything culinary, or event photography, pick what makes you enjoy your work. That would be your starting point.
Step two: decide on the blogging platform you want to use
For a successful blog, you must get the blogging platform and the web hosting service right.
The blogging platform
This tool goes a long way to differentiate an official website from a blog. The medium (software) is what turns a site into a useful weblog.
As discussed in the previous chapter, a blogging platform has features that help in the management of the blog page in terms of posting new articles, general management, and search engine optimization, among other essential services.
For the right blogging platform, you should consider the following:
The cost: make sure that the money you spend is worth your while. But the good news is that most of these platforms are free unless you want additional features or premium services.
The simplicity of the interface: for a beginner, it is advisable to go for platforms that have customization options. You will not want to run into complex processes that are not manageable for someone without technical coding skills.
Appearance: you may have an idea about how you want your blog to look and feel. Some platforms can make your blog have a professional or personal appeal with the customization options at the offer.
Go for a medium that would give you the right themes and designs that suit your preference.
Security and reliability: some blogging platforms do not offer effective backup options and are more prone to security threats.
Go for one that provides proper security features to ensure that your contents are safe.
Availability of technical support: no matter how knowledgeable you are, some snags need support from the service providers and ones that you will need help to navigate.
It would be better if your platform offers technical assistance in time.
The Webhosting service
A web hosting service provider is a software that offers you space to conduct your blogging business on their server.
They will make your blog accessible on the internet. In simple terms, they give you space on the worldwide web to parade what you have.
Bluehost is one of the most affordable and effective web hosting software programs for beginners. You can also choose to use some free alternatives, but they will not allow you to have a custom domain name.
If you want to make blogging your primary source of income, then it is better to go for self-hosting instead of the free hosting options.
Paying for premium services gives you the ability to have your preferred domain name and full control of your weblog.
All the hosting software has different rates, features, and additional options. Here are the things to consider when choosing the right one for your blog.
Amount of web space provided: your blog is sure to grow at some point.
That means that you should have a provider that can grow with you.
The webspace on offer should more than enough to extend your weblog and activities.
The cost of hosting: you are willing to pay for the hosting services, and that is okay, but how much are you ready to part ways with?
It is crucial to compare fees and decide on the one that will not become difficult to manage. Your willingness to pay must be in line with your capacity to do so.
Availability of customization tools: the right web hosting platform should come with a degree of control for the user.
You should go for the type that offers better customization tools, features, and security aspects that will suit your preference.
Compare all the available tools before you pick one.
Other vital aspects are security measures, uptime, and the speed of the server.
You do not want to run into many breakdowns when you are just getting started.
That would take your time and might cost you in the end.
If the blog does not load fast enough, your audience may find alternatives, so the speed is equally essential.
Step three: design and tweak the blog how you want it to look
After choosing a blogging platform and the right web host, the next step would be to create the blog.
There are practical steps of setting up a blog with Bluehost at the end of the chapter.
It should guide you into getting things right. The first thing would be to register your account, then follow these tips:
- Choose your domain name
The domain name may be the URL or a string of words that users need to type in the address bar to get a view of your blog.
The name is also an identity of the blog, which should trigger some brainstorming to get it right and catchy. You can go for a name that reflects what you have to offer.
Alternatively, you can have a domain name generator do the work for you.
For instance, Namemesh is a domain name generator that requires you to only feed in your ideas and keywords; then, you will have some great combinations that you can buy for a domain name.
Here are some issues that you should consider when picking a domain name:
Your pick should be simple and memorable. Some people tend to go for complicated domain names that are difficult to type in the address bar when browsing.
Pick one that your users will not have a hard time searching for when trying to find your blog.
A good trick would be going for short names that are catchy and easy to spell out. That does not mean that you go something so obvious and too simple.
You can to join two words like on Facebook, play with words as seen on Pinterest, or come up with something new altogether (Etsy).
The second aspect is ensuring that your domain name and the niche you have chosen to work on are identifiable and relate well to each other.
If you decide to go keywords, ensure that they have an accessible register with your audience in the sense that they will immediately get an idea of what to expect in your posts by simply reading the domain name.
The extension you use for the domain name should also be specific and relevant. Some of the most used extensions are .com, .info, .net, and .biz.
- Design the look and feel of your blog.
At this point, you will want to give your blog the best appearance by designing it to look how you want. Here are some tips:
Choose a good theme: go through the customization tools and all available design options and templates.
If the blogging platform offers a range of themes like in WordPress, then you have half of the work done for you. All you have left is choosing the right theme and applying it to your interface.
Tweak the features to get the right look for your blog. Your weblog must be catchy and attractive. On the other hand, it is also crucial to go for simple themes that would not make your site too colorful for no god reason.
If you are well versed with coding knowledge, then tweaking your blog should not be an issue.
But if you have no technical skills, you can also get going by applying the StudioPress theme that is based on the Genesis framework found in WordPress.
Genesis offers some professional help that helps in designing weblogs.
Tweak the blog: the fun part of setting up a blog is getting to tweak things the way you like. After choosing the theme, you will have to modify the theme and other aspects that would give your weblog a good look.
You can play with the fonts, color, images, and any other feature that would influence the appearance of the site. Blogging platforms with customization options make it easy to have all these done.
Choose the right plugins to add: there are many plugins available for use, and you may be tempted to go around picking anything that you can lay your hands on.
However, you should only choose what is right and necessary for you.
The best plugins for a beginner should be the share-button ones that allow you to link your weblog to social media platforms, the calendar plugins, the ones that filter comments and spam, and database and backup options among others.
Step 4: Make the blog live!
You have gone through the basics steps of setting up your blog. Now it is time to get things running: to launch the blog.
You can set a specific day for the event then share then good news with some friends and family.
Letting the people close to you know that you are about to launch a blog should be the first step in marketing your brand.
Step 5: Put up some great content.
Everything is all set, and it is that time you fill the blog with exciting headlines and engaging content that will get your visitors glued to your blog and coming back for more.
And as they say, good content is okay, but great content is everything.
Your content should be creatively done and great to read.
Additionally, you must ensure that whatever appears on the blog is always compelling, relevant, and add more value to the lives of your readers.
The content should either instill some knowledge, update on new things, or solve existing problems.
The presentation of the content also matters a lot. If possible, add some media to the content such as images, videos, or GIFs that go well with what you have written.
The media add some value to the content and makes it more appealing to the visitors.
Your contents should also be updated regularly and in good time to ensure that your visitors do not wait long for the next issue.
You have this done by scheduling your updates or linking your blog to your email to enable you to publish directly from the email.
Always remember that an active blog will get you more clients and add extra cash to your pocket. In contrast, an inactive one will not attract many people.
- Practical steps for getting started on Bluehost
Bluehost stands out as one of the most used and trusted web hosting providers. The platform was launched in 2003 and has grown over the years to become one of the best in the industry.
For beginners, Bluehost is the best site to get started. The rates offered for the services are pretty low, and the setup procedure is easy, simple, and requires no technical expertise to navigate through.
And the most impressive thing is that it partners with WordPress to provide some impressive features.
For $3.95 per month, you can have Bluehost to host your weblog plus a free custom domain name, website builder, and WordPress installation with just a simple click.
The provider also offers technical support around the clock through chats, email, or phone. Here are some steps that will get you started in just five minutes:
- Create an account with Bluehost
Go to the Bluehost site and click on the “get started now” button. Proceed by choosing a plan that you feel will suit your needs.
There are three plans you can choose from: BASIC, PLUS, and PRO. For a beginner, BASIC would be a great plan. You can upgrade to PLUS or PRO later on as your blog grows and requires additional features.
For the BASIC plan, you will have to pay $3.95 per month at the package comes with a 50GB storage space for a single website, a custom domain name, and five email accounts, each having 100MB storage space.
After that procedure, you will have to provide a domain name. In case you already have one, you can just sign up with it.
There is another option box that gives you the chance to fill in a new domain name. If the domain you requested is available, you have directions to lead you to the next step. Additionally, you get to choose an extension of your preference.
- Fill in the forms that are presented to you
These are some of the information that you will be requested to provide:
Account info: this includes all personal information, such as your address and contact details.
Package information: here, you will have to fill the duration of the plan you want and the price. It is about choosing an account plan for your blog.
You can also add some add-ons like SiteLock security, privacy protection, constant contact, among other options. All the options will go for will indicate its corresponding charge.
The best thing to do for a beginner is ignoring all the possibilities. Just uncheck all the boxes until that time when your blog has grown and needs these features.
Next, you will go to the billing option, which requires you to choose a payment option you prefer.
- Agree to terms and conditions
Confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions of Bluehost. It is essential to read the terms and understand what you are signing up for. After going through the terms, click submit.
The next page will give you additional options for upgrades and other features to buy. It is better to skip them for the time being by clicking on Complete.
And there you go, you have successfully signed up to a Bluehost account.
You will receive a confirmation email via the email you used to sign up. Confirm if you can access the account successfully. After that, create a password for the account. Remember to follow the parameters that make your password secure enough.
- Log in to the account
Using the password, you have created a log into the account. You will see a welcome message popping up, followed by two options. You can either choose to get started on your own or let the Bluehost team do it for you. But it is better to do it yourself. That way, you get to familiarize yourself with the dashboard and learn some essentials in the process.
- Install WordPress
Bluehost has a one-click step for installing WordPress, which makes it easy for users even without some technical skills.
The Install WordPress icon is found at the bottom of the home screen. Once you click it, you will be led to the page with INSTALL. Click it.
The next step is adding the name of your blog, your username, and the password for your WordPress after clicking the Show advanced options button.
Lastly, click the option indicated INSTALL NOW and wait until the installation process is complete.
MOJO marketplace will send you an email with the URL of your site, the URL of your WordPress admin login, and the username. You can keep this email for reference.
Login to the WordPress account to familiarize yourself with the dashboard, learn the basics, and start designing your blog.
Select the themes you would want to apply to your blog under the appearance option and add them to your WordPress blog.
You can customize the theme to have a better look according to your preference. Additionally, you can upload some plugins to make the blog look more appealing.
Once everything is set, and you are satisfied with the look that you have given your blog, you can save the changes and activate the site. You are now free to start posting your articles and keeping your weblog active.
Creating a blog is easy!
Additional resources and useful tools in starting a blog
Some blogging platforms like WordPress provide some, if not all, the tools that are needed to start a blog.
That should give you a good head start. The blogging platform and the web hosting service provider are the essential tools that you require to get started.
However, some other tools and resources can make the entire process easy and enjoyable. They enhance the appearance and performance of the blog. Below are ways on How to make money with a blog:
Google Analytics: to become a successful blogger, you must have this tool. Utilizing the power of Google Analytics can help you enhance the performance of your blog.
Graphic design tools: you will need these tools to design your logos, images, and any other visual element that you may want to add alongside your posts.
Tools on How to make money with a blog and how manage your social media platforms is a must: if you want to incorporate your social media platforms to the blog, you will have some tools that manage those aspects for you.
Content management tools: it is essential to have tools that can manage your content and plan for your publishing unless you write everything by hand.
Even so, you will eventually grow, and figure out on How to make money with a blog and to ensure that your content is always posted in good time.
Extra tips on starting a blog
The first thing to keep in mind is that your blog will grow at some point in time, and you will have to upgrade. And in the process of blogging, you will make mistakes.
It happens to pros. What you have to do is count on the errors. Ensure that you can identify where you went wrong. Catch the mistakes and learn from them so that you will not repeat the same in the future.
It is not sinful to ask questions or seek help from other bloggers. Comment on their posts and share ideas. Whenever you are stuck, you can always turn to the many online solutions or call a friend for help.