You still have great ideas, even though it’s a new calendar year. It’s time to share your ideas and make that dream – “What if I started my blog?” a reality.
You can start your blog right away, whether you are starting it as a hobby or looking to make it a business. You never know what your hobby might turn into a popular platform.
We know that this is what has happened to us. Website Builder Expert began as a hobby blog reviewing website builders in 2010 and has grown tremendously. Last year, we had over 4.5 million visits!
Are you wondering how to start a blog? You don’t have to wonder any longer – this guide will walk you through the eight most important steps.
Table of Contents
How to create a blog
- Select your blogging platform
- Register a domain name
- Choose a template for your blog
- Add key pages
- Write and plan your posts
- Promote your blog
- Optimize for search engines
- Make money with your blog
Below, we’ll go over each step in detail. Now, relax and get ready for that blog.
- 1 Choose your blogging platform
- 2 Get a domain name
- 3 Pick a blog template
- 4 Add key pages
- 5 Plan and write your posts
- 6 Promote your blog
- 7 Optimize for search engines
- 8 Monetize your blog
- 9 How to start a blog: Final thoughts
Select your blogging platform
You first need to decide on a platform for creating your blog. There are many options, including Squarespace, Weebly, and WordPress. We endorse WordPress because it powers Website Builder Expert. Additionally, 34% of the entire internet is also powered by WordPress and many experts recommend it.
WordPress is excellent for blogging. It’s a Content Management System, which means it is primarily focused on managing content. An active blog can generate tons of content with a platform such as this. Squarespace and Wix are both website builders. This means that their main focus is on building the visual elements of your site rather than managing its content.
WordPress requires more technical knowledge than other popular blogging platforms. WordPress requires you to code at a minimum a little. Don’t worry – Almost everyone uses WordPress. This means that any problems or issues you have will be solved on Quora and other Q&A forums.
WordPress is a self-hosted blog platform. This means that you will need to select a web hosting provider to power your WordPress site. It’s worth it – your blog will have its web host. Hosting is very important for every website on the internet. A hosting provider will ensure that your website can grow and maintain its speed.
Site speed is crucial, as even a one-second delay can reduce customer satisfaction by 16%. Hosting providers have more internet space for site storage and can store more files and content.
Shared hosting is the most common way to host your blog. A shared hosting plan is the best way to start your blog journey. Most of them offer unlimited bandwidth. Some hosting plans offer automatic or one-click WordPress installation.
Other popular blogging platforms, such as Wix and Squarespace, fall under the category of website builders, which is different from CMSs. Although they don’t have the same scalability and functionality as WordPress, they are easier to use and can still create fully functional blogs.
Different website builders have different strengths. It is important to weigh your priorities before choosing a builder. Squarespace is the best site builder for blogs that are simple to read. Our users rated it 5/5 in design research
Website builders typically cost between $5-15/month for basic to intermediate plans. This would usually cover the requirements of a new site. The price includes both the website builder as well as hosting. Many website builders offer free plans. These are great for getting used to a new platform or learning the interface. However, to scale your blog and reach a wider audience, you will eventually need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Register a domain name
The essential thing to consider is your blog’s domain name. Your domain name is like the address of your blog in internet-land. It should inform readers what to expect from your content.
How do you choose the right domain name? You can think of topical phrases or words that might relate to your blog. If you get started a blog about cooking, tastyrecipes.com and healthymeals.net might be good options. Many of the easiest domains are already taken, so why not?
Domain.com and GoDaddy both have search bars that allow you to find the name you are looking for. You can use the search bar function to find out if your first choice isn’t available. If it is, you can take this as an opportunity for creativity. Your domain name will be more memorable for your readers if it is more unique (but still relevant).
As you can use your real name or a variation thereof as your domain name. If you are interested in blogging about something broader than travel or lifestyle, this is a great idea.
When you blog through a website builder, you will usually receive a custom domain as part of your paid plan. You can search for and choose a domain name right from the website builder. It’s easy to link a custom domain to your website builder if you already own one.
After choosing a domain name, you will need to purchase it through a registrar. For top-level domains (TLDs), such as.com,.net, and.org, registration costs typically range from $10 to $15 per year.
Choose a template for your blog.
choosing a template for your website is very important, so you will need to select a template to help you start your blog. This template will be your design guide for your blog. You can choose from many templates, regardless of whether you blog using WordPress or a web builder.
For your convenience, many WordPress templates (or “themes”) are preinstalled in your account.
Because you will enjoy the same features, we recommend using a free theme to start your blog. As you become more familiar with the blogging community, your blog will develop a unique style. That’s when you should consider investing in a paid theme.
WordPress has a large selection of free themes.
You will find many websites that sell paid themes. A quick Google search will allow you to locate a variety you like. MOJO Marketplace and Theme Forest are great places to start. The cost of a paid theme is typically between $20-60 and represents a one time payment.
If you’re sticking to free website builder themes, you’ll be able to view templates specifically built for blogging, like on Squarespace’s template page:
Squarespace has the best-designed templates available.
While your blog template should be focused on your content, it should also reflect your style. To find the best template for you, you can “demo” several templates. You’ll then have the option to change the background, color scheme, font, and background if you wish.
It’s good to be informed: A website builder makes customizing your template easy. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping content on the page. This is similar to assembling a PowerPoint presentation. WordPress customization is more complicated. You’ll need to have basic HTML knowledge to make many simple changes. Many WordPress sites use free themes. This is why many people end up buying premium themes from third-party sites. It’s easier to get something unique.
Add key pages
After you have created a template, you will need to create two pages to customize your blog. These are an About page and Contact page.
A page called “About” is essential because it tells readers who you are and your mission. A well-written About page will show readers why you care about the topic. Katie has this to say about The Latte Lounges About Page:
“I wrote what I felt. “I wrote about why it was started, and why I was passionate about helping women in this way to offer solutions and points for discussion.”
You feel like the teacher has just asked you to share some fun facts with the class. We’ve created a guide to help you get started the Perfect About Page for your website.
Your captivating personality has captivated readers, and they will no doubt want to contact you. To make this engagement as simple as possible, you’ll need a Contact Page. There is no need to put too much content on this page. You should be focusing on the most important things. You’re good to go as long as your name, email address, and links to social media profiles are visible to readers. Make sure to include a submission form so readers can easily email you from the page.
Write and plan your posts.
What should I blog about?
You likely already know what topic you want to blog about. You don’t have to worry about making your topic niche. It’s a broad web, and there is an audience for every topic. It’s essential to stick to a few topics on your blog. Otherwise, your site will become cluttered and unorganized, and visitors searching the internet will not be able to understand what to expect. Darren Hockley of the DeltaNet International blog explains:
“As tempting as it is to just write about what comes to mind on our blog, but it doesn’t make business sense to go off-topic so much. We create compliance and safety eLearnings for businesses. Therefore, it makes sense to explore these topics on our blog, which we update every week. It’s essential to show your brand values and personality, even if you are a personal brand.
DeltaNet International offers many courses in compliance and health for businesses. Blog content from the company ranges in mental health, cyber security, and data protection.
You have a brilliant idea and are passionate about it. Next, you need to make it into something unique and worth talking about for an extended period.
You can add unique value by contributing something to the topic you choose. Although it sounds lofty, you have already chosen a topic that you are passionate about. Now, it is just a matter of speaking from your heart. Are there any tips you can share that is only possible from your own experience? You might have a funny story to share. This is the time to bring some color!
- Practical Strategies to Find What to Blog About
- Step-by-step help on How to Write a Blog Post
Planning is the first step to ensure your blog lasts. You should avoid picking a topic that is too urgent to ensure that your posts are relevant. Avoid being too specific about your blog’s theme or topic – you won’t be writing content for many years, so don’t limit yourself to one approach. You might wonder…
How do I keep my content fresh?
First, remember that passion is what will make your content stand out. If you don’t have a passion for the topic you are writing about, you wouldn’t be asking how to start your blog.
The next thing to remember is that content must respond to a preexisting need. Is your content answering a question people already have? Are you contributing to conversations that are already being had? Yes – some tools can help you find this answer.
is the best method to find out what your audience is thinking.
Keyword research refers to the identification of the most popular search terms that people use in search engines. This information will better understand the content people are searching for and help you decide what questions your blog should answer.
We interviewed SEO (Search Engine Optimization Executive) Lorenzo Corazzin, who shared his insights:
“Keyword research is essential, not only to drive traffic but also because it allows you to connect a blog post with a specific category of your website. This can be expanded by using the related keywords you found during your research.
This means that you can create a whole section of your blog around keywords people search for. You can then use this information to create different sections on your blog about healthy living. For example, you might see that “healthy recipe” is ranked at around 90k and “easy healthy recipes” at 18k. There’s a lot of demand for easy-to-make healthy recipes within the general topic of healthy cooking.
You might now be curious about where these numbers came from and how you can get them. These figures refer to search volumes or how many searches a keyword has received within a given time (usually per month). High search volumes indicate that keywords have the content people are searching for. These keywords also indicate competition. Many relevant websites will vie for the top spots in the SERPs (Search Engine Response Pages) for high-volume keywords.
How can you determine which keywords have high search volumes and what are the best ways to find them? These figures can be accessed with keyword research tools such as SEMrush or BuzzSumo by clicking a button. These tools will cost you a lot to use. SEMrush is an excellent tool for developing a blog budget, but BuzzSumo has downloadable versions for free.
We will talk about SEO success for your site later.
Planning and scheduling posts
It might seem overwhelming to you that there is so much to write about now that you have an idea of your audience’s needs. It’s a good sign that you have chosen a multi-layered topic. This also means that you will need a content planner.
A content calendar helps you plan and organize your blog posts. You don’t just need to post regularly. You must also post with relevance. So that your content calendar is topical and timely, keyword research should be done.
You can’t predict what news items and trends will be most popular in the months or even weeks to come. Your content calendar is a guideline to help you structure your blog and not a to-do list.
Google Sheets or another similar platform allows you to create a content calendar free of charge. These are some columns you might consider including:
- Brief description
- Relevant SEO keyword(s)
- Draft due date
- Post publish date
This simple visualization will help you see the relevance of posts and which topics should appear before or after other topics.
Promote your blog
Now that you have your posts, it is time to promote them. You deserve to be heard!
We live in an age of instant gratification, so we will start with the fastest way to increase your blog’s visibility. If you have a small following, social media can be a powerful tool. You can post content using relevant hashtags and follow accounts that have similar content to your blog. In no time, you’ll be integrated into this community! You can then share your blog posts via social media and watch engagement grow.
To gain exposure in your blogging community, you can also write a guest post. Guest posting is when you pitch and write an article for another website or blog. It should be similar in content and focus to your blog. You will gain more readers and a backlink to your blog. This will help increase traffic and authority in Google’s eyes.
We love guest posting at Website Builder Expert. Here’s Lucy’s author bio for a recent web design article she contributed to the Shopify Blog.
Search Google for blogs similar to yours to find guest posting opportunities. To narrow down the list of blogs accepting guest posts, search Google for a related keyword + “guest post,” such as “healthy cooking.” Your persistence will pay off.
Will Hatton, a founder of the popular travel blog The Broke Backpacker, told us how he learned the importance of guest posts and links firsthand:
“In particular, the link-building aspect of SEO helped. Through outreach to other travel blogs and linking up with them, I was able to gain a lot of readers. This helped me rank for the relevant keywords people were searching for about travel.
The Broke Backpacker is an award-winning travel blog featured in Forbes, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, and others. Will Hatton, founder, writes about his travels around the world on a budget.
Optimize for search engines
Will’s knowledge of keywords and links brings us to the seventh step: Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of getting your blog pages to rank higher in the SERPs. This means that when people search for these keywords, your site will appear first. SEO includes everything, from the tags that you use for your article to the meta description you provide.
SEO elements that need to be concise and succinct include the post title, URL, snippet, and meta description. Sometimes the snippet is taken from your post title and URL before you publish it. Other times, it is taken from the content of the post. You need to be careful about how your content is structured to ensure relevancy.
Lorenzo says titles and H1s (primary headings) are essential because they tell search engines about the content.
You can optimize your content once you have strong headings, titles, and subheadings. Darren draws on his DeltaNet International experience:
Quality blogs are essential for solid SEO because they’re usually content-rich and contain quality information that search engines love. They are great for natural keyword optimization, i.e., Brands that wish to target long-tail keywords will find them even more helpful.
Long-tail keywords can be more specific about what you sell or do (think “how to set secure password” instead of just “password”) and will drive people to your site who are interested in it.
You can optimize your blog posts’ images to help them rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
compress images to speed up your site’s loading speeds. (Compression reduces file size but doesn’t affect the quality). Countless free tools will let you easily compress images at the click of a button – we use ImageResizer.com to compress ours!
Alt tags should be added to images. This is the text that replaces the image if it cannot be displayed. This can happen, for instance, if a reader has disabled images from their browser. Search engines will recognize helpful, relevant image alt tags with a page keyword, which helps rank the page higher.
Make money with your blog.
This is an optional step and won’t happen overnight. If you started your blog as a hobby project, you might eventually see the potential to make some money. This can be done through affiliate partnerships and ads, which marketers pay for to place on high-traffic blogs. Affiliate marketing is a way to earn a commission for promoting a company’s product on your site. This can be done by writing a blog post about a product and linking to the best place to purchase it.
Will explains why The Broke Backpacker was so profitable:
Some bloggers can make their entire income from blogging. It’s a great goal to have, but it is a gradual process. You might make a few more dollars each month. If you’re thinking about this, check out our guide to making money from a website for a full breakdown of the process with tips and strategies.
Alternatively – if Will’s history of ‘broke backpacking’ has got you inspired – why not start up your travel blog? This step-by-step guide will help you get started in no time.
How to start your blog: Final thoughts
Congratulations! You are now ready to create a blog.
Once you have the basics down, you can focus on the fun parts – sharing your ideas and thoughts with the world. These are the eight steps to get there.
- Select your blogging platform to start a blog
- Register a domain name
- Choose a template for your blog
- Add key pages
- Write and plan your posts
- Promote your blog
- Optimize for search engines
- Make money with your blog
Start now, and you will be on your way to digital fortune and fortune (or at least fun). We’d love to hear about your brilliant blogging ideas.
Oh, and if you’re still in need of inspiration, we’ve pulled together a list of the best blog examples we’ve found on the web. Check it out!