Guide To Starting A Blog 2017.
How To Start A Blog.
Want to start blogging? You will be needing a guide as you are just starting out. Here is the neccessary details and guide to start your first blog:
1. Choose a blogging platform.
The first step is to pick a blogging platform. The two types of blogging platforms are the free and self hosted types.
Free blogging platform include: blogger, tumblr, pinterest and wordpress.com. Free blogging platforms provide free hosting and a sub-domain name but they are limiting, you can’t do as you like with “your” blog because it is not your property and this means that it can be taken any time if you violate a policy, your earnings are also limited as a result of regulating terms and conditions upon income producing sources.
The self hosted blogging platform is WordPress.org. WordPress is an open source platform, the CMS software itself is free but you take care of your own hosting and domain name.
Why use WordPress?
•Wordpress is easy to use and manage for nontechnical people. You will pick up the learning curve fast enough
•Wordpress is open source. This means it is free from commercial limitations and restrictions. You can blog about whatever you like on WordPress without the fear of it being taken down.
•Wordpress is search engine friendly.
•Worpress has various functionality and can be used to create good-looking and well designed blogs/sites of different types such as e-commerce,forums, business websites and normal blogs
•Wordpress ia fully customizable anytime.
•Hosting and domain name is managed by you. This is good because you get to pick your own domain name unlike the sub-domain given to you by free platforms.
2. Pick a niche
Picking a niche is very essential part of blogging because you want readers. When you have a niche, readers know what they are getting from your blog and will stay longer. These are some niche ideas under fashion, technology, health and food. Pick the best suitable one for yourself.
3. Pick a web hosting plan and domain name.
A web host gives your website/blog server space and good web host is super important and necessary for blogging. A good web host is fast, gives plenty of storage and helps you save money in the long run.
Bluehost is fast, reliable and saves you money on your blog. You also get a free domain name upon signing up. Go on to bluehost and select the best suitable plan for your needs.
There are three kinds of plans; the basic plan with 1 website, 50GB web space, unmetered bandwidth and 1 free domain included; the plus plan with Unlimited websites, Unlimited web space and bandwidth and the prime and ultimate plan with domain privacy and site backup pro.
You can pick the basic plan when you are just starting out.
Select a memorable, suitable and non-spammy domain name. Your domain name doesn’t have to be exact match with your niche, just be creative.
4. Set up your blog.
Install WordPress with 1-click installation from bluehost by logging in to your cpanel and clicking on the WordPress icon under website builders. Choose a username and a strong password.
5.Design your blog; Themes and Plugins.
WordPress has about 3-4 default themes already installed and 1 activated. If you don’t like the look of the theme activated, you need to get a theme installed either by searching the free directory or buying a premium theme.
Themeforest has greatly designed, responsive and affordable theme options. Purchase, upload and install your theme and activate. The kind of theme to use depends on the kind of blog you want to have. There are a wide range of theme options at themeforest; magazine theme, review and comparison themes, personal blog themes, photography or food blog themes.
Plugins give added functionality to your blog/website. Different plugins have different uses and functionality. Plugins’s usefulness include; added speed and performance, easy navigation, easy social media sharing, to enable interactive discussion, e-commerce, seo and so on.
You get plugins by searching for them on the directory. Premium plugins are also available. Some plugins you should search for, install and activate include; W3 total cache, yoast seo, Social media feather, google analytics dashboard for wp.
6. Add pages and start blogging.
Start publishing your posts. Set up social media pages, link to them on your blog and add social media sharing buttons via a plugin for easy sharing.
After you have a handful of posts, you can submit your website to google and verify your web property (website) using google webmaster tools. Once verified, add your website’s sitemaps to get your site indexed. You can always find your sitemap using yoast seo plugin. Indexing means your blog/site will show up on google when searched for.
Get google analytics for your blog to monitor site traffic.
Anything else you want to know? Leave a comment!