Starting a blog can be a very rewarding experience. A blog is one of the best ways to establish your expertise in your niche. It’s also one of the cheapest forms of marketing for your business since it can boost your organic traffic.
If you’ve been toying with this idea and wondering how to start a blog, you’re in the right place. In this post, I’ll walk you through the process of starting a blog, from deciding on the blog topic to setting up your blog. Let’s begin!
What is the Process For Starting A Blog?
Starting your own blog is not difficult. In fact, all it takes is eight easy steps outlined below.
1. Choose Your Topic
The first step when starting a blog is deciding on its topic. Ideally, your blog topic will be related to your business or more specifically, your products or services.
Any content you create for your blog can help you make a connection with your potential customers, overcome their objections, and encourage them to take the first step toward working with you.
Consider the following questions to help you narrow down your topic:
- What are you selling?
- What does your customer need to know about your offers?
- What do you want to learn more about your industry that you could share with potential customers and clients coming to you for a solution?
Once you’ve narrowed down your niche, you can move on to the next step which is developing your content plan.
2. Develop Your Content Plan
If you’re serious about making sure your blog is a success, it pays to do a little planning and brainstorming first to develop your content plan. For starters, you can come up with a few different categories that will help you organize your posts.
For example, if you’re starting a blog for your interior design company, one of your categories could be general interior design tips. You could also have more specific categories like kitchen design or living room decor.
After you have a few categories, try to come up with a few blog post ideas for each of these categories. Your topics can include tips, tutorials, inspiration posts, case studies, and similar.
To come up with blog post ideas, think back and consider what questions people ask you over and over again about your blog topic. Another way to come up with blog topics is to go through your social media profiles and see if there are any specific questions or comments that keep cropping up.
You can also enter your topic keyword in Google and see what comes up in the “People also ask” section and similar searches.
These can give you a nice start on the first few blog posts you should write for your blog.
Finally, the last piece of the puzzle here is to decide on how often you’ll publish new blog posts. According to Hubspot, if you want to increase your organic traffic, you should publish three to four times per week, whereas if you want to increase your brand awareness, you should publish between one and two blog posts per week. While these benchmarks are good to know, the most important thing is to be consistent. If you can only swing one post per week, then do so but stick to it. If you can post twice a week, post twice a week consistently.HubSpot: You should publish 3-4 times per week for organic traffic, whereas you should publish between 1-2 blog posts per week for brand awareness. Click To Tweet
3. Decide On The Blog And Domain Name
Once you have your topic and you’ve developed your content plan, it’s time to come up with your blog and domain name. If you want to build brand recognition and generate leads for your business, going with your business name and using it for your domain and blog name is a safe bet.
However, if you’re looking to build a personal brand, then another option is to use your own name. A few tips to keep in mind when choosing your domain name include:
- Make sure it’s easy to pronounce and spell – if your domain name is too complicated to spell, it will be harder for people to remember it and type it in correctly.
- Keep it short — overly long domain names (longer than 15 characters) can also be hard to remember and type in.
- Explore other domain extensions – if .com is not available. .net, .me and .blog are viable options to consider nowadays.
4. Choose Your Platform
The next step in your blogging journey is to choose a blogging platform. There are several platforms out there that make it easy to create a blog for free. If you use any of them, your content will be hosted on a third-party platform over which you have no control. This means you’ll be limited in terms of customization options, not to mention the platform can shut down your blog at any point in time.
Another downside to these free platforms is that they will often display ads on your blog which can hurt your reputation and distract your blog readers from your own products and offers.
As such, the best platform to create a blog is WordPress. WordPress can be downloaded from the official website for free and you can install it on any hosting company’s server. In fact, almost all hosting companies come with the option to install WordPress with a single click.
WordPress comes with several benefits:
- It’s one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) out there, powering 37.8% of all sites on the Internet.
- It’s used by many business owners, authors, freelancers, and even news companies for blogs and even starting online stores.
- WordPress comes with thousands of free and paid themes and plugins which means you can create an attractive blog with tons of features such as social sharing, contact forms, email opt-in forms, and more
- Thanks to its popularity, WordPress has a large and active community so there is not shortage of tips, tricks, and tutorials to help you out
With that said, it’s time for the next step which is purchasing a hosting plan.
5. Purchase A Hosting Plan
Purchasing a hosting plan essentially means buying space on a server where your blog files will be hosted. This will also allow your blog to be visible to the rest of the world.
If you search for blog hosting companies, you’ll quickly notice that there is no shortage of options. A good majority of them offer affordable hosting plans and have tools that make it easy to get your blog up and running as quickly as possible.
In addition to that, you’ll be able to purchase a hosting plan and register your desired domain name at the same time.
Given that there are many hosting companies to choose from, this might be the hardest step on your path to starting a blog. Luckily, there are several hosting companies that are recommended by WordPress and they include BlueHost, SiteGround, and DreamHost.
You can read the reviews on all of them and compare their plans and then decide which company is most appealing to you.
Once you’ve decided on a hosting company, visit their website and select the plan that fits your budget. For example, if you decide to go with SiteGround, visit their website and click on Web Hosting Plans. You’ll notice that they offer three plans:
- The StartUp plan which allows you to host one website and is suitable for ~10000 monthly visits
- The GrowBig plan which allows you to host unlimited websites and is suitable for ~25,000 monthly visits
- The GoGeek plan which allows you to host unlimited websites and is great for ~100000 monthly visits.
If you’re just starting out, the StartUp plan is a good choice so select it and you’ll then need to enter the information to register your desired domain name, enter your billing information, create your account and submit your payment.
Shortly after you submit your payment, you’ll get an email notifying you that your account has been created and they’ll also send you the login information for your hosting account dashboard. Click that link and you can move on to the next step which is installing WordPress.
6. Install WordPress
Most hosting companies come with the option to install WordPress with a single click. If you’ve chosen SiteGround, login to your hosting dashboard and click on Site Tools. Locate WordPress in the sidebar menu and click on Install and Manage. You’ll then need to fill out the basic information about your site.
You’ll need to choose the folder where WordPress will be installed. You can leave that setting as default and after that, enter your desired WordPress username and password. You’ll use those to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Click the Install button one more time and wait for the installation to finish. You’ll see a success message when it’s done and you can then log in.
Once you’re in your WordPress dashboard, you can visit your site and see how it appears to your visitors by hovering over your blog’s name in the top left corner of the Admin bar and clicking Visit Site.
If you’re not happy with how your blog looks, you can search for and install a different theme by going to Appearance > Themes > Add new.
Each theme can easily be customized by going to WordPress Live Customizer. You can customize colors, fonts, logo, and more. You can also add various widgets to your sidebar such as recent posts or social follow and share icons.
When you’re happy with how your blog looks like, it’s time to publish your first blog post.
7. Publish Your First Blog Post
To publish your first blog post, go to Posts > Add new. You’ll be taken to a page where you can enter the title of your blog post and then the contents of it. Since version 5, WordPress uses the Gutenberg editor which allows you to easily add text blocks, images, video, and other types of media when creating content.
You can also categorize your blog post, add a featured image, and schedule the post to be published in the future. When you’re done writing your post, publish it and it will be live on your site.
8. Promote Your Blog
The last step in starting a blog is to start promoting it. After all, just because you started a blog, that doesn’t mean people will come flocking to it. You have to tell them that your blog is live.
The best way to do that is to add a link to your blog in your social media profiles. You can also share your blog post and encourage your followers to go read it and leave you a comment.
Share your great content on your personal and business Facebook profile, tweet about it, share a screenshot over on Instagram or post an Instagram Story about. You can also sign up for Pinterest and create a pinnable graphic that you can share and that will take Pinterest users directly to your blog post.
Don’t forget to include sharing icons below your blog post to make it easy for your readers to share it with their followers.
Make it a habit to regularly promote new posts and pretty soon, you’ll see your audience grow and you’ll be on your way towards running a successful blog.
Starting a blog may seem daunting but once you follow the steps laid out in this article, you’ll have no problem setting it up and confidently publishing your first post. Once you get your blog going, remember to keep up with a consistent posting schedule and promote your blog on social media platforms to gain traffic and visitors. Happy blogging!