Start a blog today

How to start a blog.

Start something new is always confusing no matter what are you going to start. There are thousand of gurus and professional who are sharing their experience about how they get their success. But it makes us confuse and create some question in our mind.

  • How did they do this, can I do the same?
  • today situation is different compared to their situation will these tactics still work?
  • What is the guarantee of my success?

these same question came in my mind when I started this blog. So, How did I find the answer to these question, how I started this blog. How can you do the same? In this article, I have written answers in simple English so that you can understand easily. Still having the problem, you’ll get a contact form below in this post. Just simple click on that and send me your mind’s words.

Before, get started let me explain you “what is a blog.”

What is a blog?

A blog is a discussion or information website. where anyone can get information to their query through content, article, infographic, video and podcast. To learn more about what is a blog click this (source)

SO TODAY QUESTION IS HOW TO START A BLOG ?

When I plan to build this blog I had zero experience. I don’t know “what is a blog, how to start”. I started to google until my eyes got pain. But, I could not find all information, in one place that is easy to follow for a beginner like me and you. So, I write this guide in simple English. Keep only one thing in mind, this is easy for you to follow. I am 100% sure if you will follow this guide then in next 1 hour you have a blog.

before, we start you’ll have to find the answer to one more question.

why should you start a blog?

There are many reasons you can start a blog but these are 4 main reasons to start a blog.

Make money to do what you love. I am earning a full-time income from this and lot’s of other do the same. making money from the blog is very hard work to do. But the barrier to entry is low. it’s making a low risk.

If you are running a business. you can use the blog for brand awareness, or to let people know about your product and services. what you are offering.

If you are an author. If you are an author you can create your blog, to reach and connect your audience. You can sell your book if you have any.

Just write your experience. If you love to share your story, encourage other, help other or want to build your community. The blog is best to do that.

Already decide why should your start a blog. Let’s get started….!

The 6 simple steps to start a blog.

  1. Decide what to blog about.
  2. Select a blogging platform.
  3. Find a hosting service.
  4. Register a domain name.
  5. customize your site.
  6. Publish your first post.

Step 1. Decide what to blog about. 

If you are a business or organization or offering any service it’ll be easy for you to decide what to blog about. you can do the blog for your brand awareness or build your community or explain people about your services.

But, to select a topic for a blog you need to keep these bullet points in your mind.

  • Blog about what you enjoy to learn and talk about.
  • Select a niche where you can establish yourself as an authority.
  • Select a niche that has plenty of terms to the discussion.

the goal for any blog is to solving people’s pain for its topic or niche.

Step 2. Select a blogging platform.

There are many services you can use to start your website or a blog for free. But, I’ll recommend you to not go with the free service. Otherwise, you will be limited. it’s just like body with no hands. You’ll not have control on your site. your service provider will sell your space for their ads. Better go with paid service so that your car’s steering must be in your hand. It’ll not cost you much.

I recommend WordPress. Here are some facts why I recommend you to use WordPress.

  • Over 74.6 million sites depend on WordPress.
  • 22% of U.S registered domains name run on WordPress.
  • 6 New WordPress post every second.
  • WordPress is most popular with business websites.

There are too many services you can use but WordPress is easy to use and most popular (source)

I use WordPress by myself. it’s very easy to use, thousand of plugins makes work easy to finish. WordPress is not just about a blog, you can create any types of website using WordPress.

Within WordPress, you have to option. don’t get confused I mention here.

WordPress hosted. WordPress hosted website referred to “wordpress.com”

Self-hosted. Self-hosted website referred to “wordpress.org” (recommended)

This guide is for the self-hosted website.

Step 3. Find a hosting service.

Hosting service is the storage device for your website. It stores all the files, images and folder of your website so that it easily available to your audience. If anyone types your domain name in the search bar your host will show your page to your audience.

For example – If you type www.playwithword.com you will be redirected to this website.

I will recommend you to go with Bluehost. since I am using Bluehost and don’t find any problem. This website is easily visible to you and my other audience. It means Bluehost provide faster speed. Customer service is excellent you can connect via chat, mail, and phone. If you are facing any problem you are just one call away to connect to an expert. Not just that it is easy to use and provide one click install WordPress.  Bluehost provide 30 days money back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the service you can get your money back. So you have nothing to lose at least not for 30 days.

how to select a hosting plan.

Disclosure: some of the links below in this post are referral links, It’ll not cost you any extra amount. I will earn a commission if you make a purchase.

click here to go to Bluehost. the page will appear in a new window so you can process your work easily.

This image may not appear when you will click. The reason is Bluehost is always improving their site. Do not worry about this you will find the get started now. Click on get started now. Select a plan that suits you.

Bluehost provide you three plan basic, plus and prime. if you are tight in your budget go with the basic plan. You can easily upgrade to plus or prime any time. But as you know better plan you select more unlimited features you will get. Personally, I am using plus plan and getting most of the unlimited feature.

note! all plans come with a free domain for one year. playwithword.com was also free for one year. Choosing a domain name will not take more than one minute.

step 4. Register a domain name.

Domain name is the address of your website. For example, my website address is www.playwithword.com and this is easy to remember. find a domain name which defines your niche. if you are confused go with yourname.com it a better option instead of selecting any other name which is totally different from your niche or topic.

Once you select a plan for you next screen will appear to select a domain name or add a domain name.

If you already have a domain name type in the right box and click on next blue button. 

if you don’t have a domain name yet, type text related to your niche. Select a domain name which is related to your niche and not having too much competition. for example, if you are writing about the travel don’t use a world travel because it is too common and lots of competition. Instead of that you can use backpacking that is unique and pronounce related to your niche.There is not too much competition for this.

Please remember these bullet points while selecting a domain name written below.

tips for select a domain name
  • any domain name is perfect if it is easy to remember for anyone.
  • Try to avoid number or hyphen if not really necessary.
  • While selecting a domain name you should use common words instead of using fancy words.
  • if possible use your niche in your domain name.

After selecting a domain name, please fill the account information correctly and fill the email address that you are already using because Bluehost will send you login detail through email.

next is package information this is the details about what you are going to pay for. remember that, the amount you will pay today you don’t have to pay again for next 12, 24, or 36 months. plan price maybe reduces if you go for 24 months or 36 months instead of 12 months.

don’t select any extra add-on feature just select domain privacy protection because it will protect your information to go publically.

Note! You will only get domain privacy protection feature when you purchase a domain name from Bluehost.

next, you will be asked to select best payments option for you to select which is best for you, check the box and click on submit.

finally ! now you have done your 50% of work. Now you will get a mail to your inbox with login detail. once you get that go back to Bluehost home page and click on login.

after that, you will be asked to fill login details which you have already received through the mail.

fill the details in the box and click on blue submit button.

submit your details, therefore, you will able to see your Cpanel. Now, this is the time to install WordPress.

How to install WordPress.

So, you Cpanel look like this.

click on WordPress icon to install WordPress.

click on install icon which appears above. it will provide you recommended option.

choose Domain to select your domain name.

provide your site name and site description. For example, my site name is Play with words and my site description is Start a blog today. if you are not yet decided don’t worry you can do it later leave as it is.

Also, provide admin username and password. which you will use later to log in to your WordPress website.

next,

now click on install, you are done from here.

Step 5. Customize your site.

Don’t worry it will not take more than 10 minutes to customize your site. In this guide, I will focus on the topic written below.

  1. how to select a theme.
  2. how to customize a theme.
  3. optimize for search engine traffic.

if you want to learn more about customizing a WordPress theme here. before, we get started login to your WordPress site.

to log in to your WordPress site type www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin

Note! I used .com if you have any other extension you can put in the place of .com.

after typing the text mention above press enter and you will redirect to this page.

give the username and password. which you gave before while installing the WordPress. after that click on blue login button. next, you will see your dashboard. It is little confusing for beginners. just in next 10 minutes, you will be an expert.

So, your dashboard will look like this image.

To start a site, first of all, you need to install a theme.

How to install a theme.

To install a theme go to appearance and click on themes.

WordPress allow the smart search to select the theme which is best for you. To select a theme that is best for you click on feature filter.

next step feature search option for you here you can select what you want in your theme and select category as well. If you have a blog select blog or you want to start an e-commerce store select e-commerce.

Just check the box according to your need and click on apply filters. finally, you have 100 of the theme to select. Select what you like before you select any theme click on preview so that you have an idea how your site will look. Once you satisfied with the theme click on install.

How to customize a theme.

the customize words sound like, you need to be technical for this. Don’t worry it’s super easy to customize a WordPress theme.

Note ! If you want to edit some feature in a theme you need to learn CSS to do that or select another theme which is coming with all feature which you need on your blog.

To customize the theme go to appearence>click on Theme. You will the theme which you installed before. to customize the theme click on customize.

the customization menu option will be vary depending on what theme you choose. But necessary category to edit is “site identity.”

click on site identity. here you can give your site title and tagline once you are done click on save and publish.

Optimize for search engine traffic.

SEO is a multi-billion dollar industry today.

SEO is the process to optimize your website to be found on the search engine for particular keyword and phrase.

If you are new to SEO, then you will be little confused about this.

This major factor will decide how much time it will take to achieve your goal. Depth optimization, the better result on the search.

WordPress made this work easy to done. there are many plugins to use to optimize your search engine traffic. Yoast SEO is easy to use.

you can get started to download Yoast SEO.

to download Yoast SEO click on plugin option>click on add new and search for Yoast SEO.

You will get a search bar there. Simple, go to search bar and type Yoast SEO. Next, click on Yoast SEO plugin and click on install now. In this tutorial image, you will see the active button. The reason, I am already using this it’s simple to use you just have to type text and click. Just that simple.

After installation click on Active. After activation, you will find Yoast SEO icon on your dashboard menu bar.

Customize SEO for your site.

Click on that icon to customize SEO for your site. So, that you can make sure you are going to be in limelight. Your Yoast SEO dashboard will look like this image. click on your info to give your site name and alternate name (that is the tagline of your website). Select whether you are a company or person. Click on Save changes.

Next, verify your site through google. Go to webmaster tools and click on google search console. Login to your google account.

If you already log in to your google account, you’ll get four option to verify your site. Click on Alternate methods and select HTML tag because it’s super easy to verify through this method.

On next, Screen you’ll get a verification code copy the selected area of code. See image below to get an idea of selecting code.

Copy that code and paste in the google search console box.  Don’t forget to click on Save changes.

Once, you’re done click on verify to verify your site. 

Optimize your site for Yoast SEO.

As you build a shade around in webmaster central you will gain a wealth of data-driving such as keyword phrases what you rank for, errors of your blog and ability to give google a push notification when you publish a new post.

To do that, go to general and click on Open the configuration wizard. You’ll get the ten step for this.

The first step is a welcome step, skip this step. next, the step is to select the environment for your blog or site. basically, you’ll select production because your blog or site is live now.

Step 3 is about your website type. select blog and click on next.

On step 4 select you’re a company or person. We have already done before, so you can skip this step.

Next, add your social profiles. Once, you finished, click next.

Step 6 is about post type visibility. The default settings are fine to use. Click visible your post and pages and hidden media.

Step 7 is about telling Yoast that you’ll have multiple authors or you’re the one responsible for all. If you wish to have multiple authors you can change this setting later. For now, select now and click next.

If you wish to have the Yoast SEO plugin to fetch data from google step 8 to do It. Click on “Get Google Authorization code.”

 

Now, Login to your google account which you used before for site verification.

Next, google will ask for your permission to allow. Click on “allow.”

After that, you’ll get your authorization code copy that code, paste in the box and click on “Authenticate.”

Step 9 is about selecting title separator. It will decide how your blog posts title and website name will separate in the meta title description. This is what the google searcher will see when finding your post in the search query.

For example, if you found this post in search result You might have seen ” How to start a blog – play with Word.”

Select the First hyphen and click next.

The Final step is about a congratulation message confirming that you have successfully Optimized your blog’s SEO settings.

Set up XML sitemaps.

the last step of Yoast SEO is to enable an XML sitemap for your site. An XML sitemap is a file that lists the Url for your blog.

It helps search engine to easily crawl to your site. Fortunately, Yoast SEO has a built-in feature that automatically updates your sitemap. Just all you have to do is enable the XML sitemap.

to enable Sitemap,

click on the features tab and enable all three option. click on save changes. You’re done from here.

Set up permalinks.

Permalinks are direct links to your post or page. by default, WordPress set your permalinks to yourdomainname.com/postid. But, it’s recommended to set permalinks to your post name.

to do that, click on settings and select permalinks.

select the post name option and click on save changes.

after settings your permalinks to your post name. It’ll automatically add your post title or page name in the permalinks.

Step 6. Publish your first post.

Post are the backbone for your blog. it decides that your blog will stand or fall. No doubt, as much as your backbone will stronger as a long time you can stand.

there is a nutrition to make your backbone stronger.

Get a notebook and a pen and start writing about the topic and that you want to blog about related to your niche.

Once you have done go to google and search for a topic that you have written down in the notebook. Save three article that you found interesting.

Next, read those three articles and outline the topic that you want to include in your post.

Before start writing makes sure that all stuff that you need to going in on your table.

Now think like a chef. You have all ingredients that you need to cook an awesome dish. just you need to mix those well.

What makes a post-masterpiece.

keep in mind these bullet points while writing your first masterpiece.

  • Don’t use fancy words it hard for other to understand what you want to say.
  • Don’t teach them like a Professor otherwise, they will get bored. instead of that explain them as a friend and try to help them as much as you can.
  • Make up a hook for your post so that people get arrested for reading your post.
  • Start your blog post with an example or a story, tell them what happen to you.

For example, if I want to write a post about “how to find an idea for the the blog.”

I will start my post with a hook my post hook will be

When I started to think about having a blog. I need to find an idea for that. I read that blog about what you enjoy to learn. But, there are many things I enjoy learning about. How can I decide what to blog about?

Sound interesting!

now, in my main body, I will write about what I did to find an idea to blog about.

and then a call to Action. “signup and learn more about finding an Idea click below.”

now, you know what you exactly need to write a post.

But how will you publish a post? the final step of this post is all about how to publish a post.

How to publish your first post.

To write your first post click on Post and click on add new.

click on the toolbar icon to get more option to editing option. this toolbar is mostly used for adding subheading into the post.

 

next, give a title for your post and start typing body of your post on large text area until you happy with your content.

To add media like image and video to your post click on add media icon. Select any file that you want to add in your post and click on insert into post. Click on upload to upload any file from your PC.

After finish typing, click on the preview to check if there is any mistake, any point that you forgot to mention or anything that you want to change before you publish the post.

Finally, if you are 100% satisfied with your article click on publish.

Note! don’t think on earning from the first day of your blog it takes time. first, build your audience and then monetize your blog.

The conclusion of this post.

Starting a blog is easy. Creating a blog that will be successful requires hard work, dedication and time.

But, rewards is more than the risk.

Blogs are affordable and more accessible today than they have ever been before.

Everything you need to start a blog in mention in this post.

While starting your blog journey keep in mind that you’re talking to a human beings.

Be you, be adventures, be honest and transparent to your audience.

As you will write great content people will come to you, listen and respond to you.

But, it will take time.

Need help! simply contact me.