Start a High Quality Blog in Less than 30 Minutes
Blogging, which started out as a form of online diary in the 90’s, has quickly evolved into a much larger, more widespread form of communication.
In 2019, a blog could be anything from a collection of short stories, news articles, travel experiences, how-to tutorials, recipes guides, business advertisements, or personal off-the-cuff rants!
Should YOU start a blog?
Yes, I believe that everyone should start their own blog!
Worst case scenario, it’s a fun journal or a creative outlet for your life. It will give you an online voice that help’s you spread ideas.
And who knows? It could take off and become wildly popular! Potentially even a source of income for you. But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. First, let’s go over the basics!
Here are 8 simple steps to get you in the game:
1. Finding a niche
Do you have an idea for blog? My guess is that you do, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be here right now. But if not, no worries!
First, we should identify why it is you are starting a blog in the first place. Are you looking to monetize your blog in the future? Or are you simply looking for a creative outlet?
If you are looking to monetize your blog, you may want to take a more analytical approach to this. Start by making a list of all the things to which you are knowledgable or passionate. From there, use the Google Keyword Planner to determine how much traffic these search terms are getting. More traffic = more potential revenue. But be careful, because with more traffic there will likely be more competition, which will make it more difficult to rank your articles.
If you are just looking for a creative outlet, then perfect! I would recommend creating something more tailored to what you are passionate about because that will make the entire process much more enjoyable!
2. Choosing a name
Now that you have a niche, it’s time to choose a name!
Your name is your identity. It’s your website url and is how people will remember you. It’s important that your name accurately represents what you will be blogging about, while also remaining catchy and SEO friendly.
Here are a few tips:
- Don’t pigeon hole yourself.
If you want to start a blog about the adventures of a 30 something year old bachelor, naming your blog lifeat34.com may sound cool and be accurate right now, but once you turn 35 you might as well toss that right in the trash!Instead, you could do something like lifeafter30.com which still gets the same message across, while remaining more open ended.Or, if you would like to keep your blog even more open ended, you may want to consider doing something simple like YourName.com.
- Be professional.
In order to monetize your blog, you are going to have to work with other businesses. They won’t want to associate with you if you blog seems sloppy or immature, so avoid any references to unsavoury things like drugs, alcohol, or profanities.
- Check the availability.
Whenever I’m choosing a name for a new blog or website I like to use the BlueHost Domain Search tool to see if the domain is available. Type it in and tweak it until you find something that that works.Ideally, you want a domain with a .com ending, however, these can be difficult to find nowadays. More and more people are flocking to alternate url endings like .net, .blog, and .co., which is totally fine too!It’s also a good idea to search and claim your social media handles at the same time too to ensure that your branding is consistent. Social media can be a great medium to help promote the blog later on.
3. Domains and hosting
So you have a niche, a name, you’ve searched and found an available domain, along with the corresponding social media handles. So now what?
It’s time to pull the trigger and register your domain!
I would recommend BlueHost.com. I’ve tried multiple hosting companies in the past and so far BlueHost has been, by far, the best. BlueHost is simple to use, professional, and affordable. And not to mention, they have amazing (and free) customer support.
You can register your domain here!
4. Installing WordPress
BlueHost makes it extremely simple to link your website up to WordPress.
WordPress is an open source website and blog development software and is currently the #1 blogging platform on the planet.
To set up WordPress, login into BlueHost and proceed with the following:
WordPress Tools >> New Install >> Select Domain >> Install WordPress
This will create a backend login for you where you can edit and add content to your new website/blog.
If you ever need help finding it, remember this link:
5. Selecting a theme
It’s now time to start building your blog by selecting a theme!
Your theme is the visual framework for which your blog will cohere to.
There are a million different themes to choose from, both free and paid, but to start, I would recommend selecting a free theme, and you can always switch it up later.
To select a theme, login to WordPress and proceed with the following:
Appearance >> Themes >> Add New >> Popular >> Install
You will then see a large list of multiple themes pop up. Feel free to browse a few, and once you’ve found the perfect fit, go ahead and install it.
If you’re not happy with any of these, feel free to try a paid theme from either ThemeForest.com or CreativeMarket.com.
6. Adding plugins
Plugins are bits of software that you can add to improve the performance and functionality of your website.
To add a plugin to your site, proceed with the following:
Plugins >> Add New >> Popular >> Install
To start, I would recommend adding WP Super Cache and Yoast SEO, which will speed up the page loading time and help search engines crawl and rank your blog articles!
7. Customization and pages
It’s time to make your new blog look all nice and pretty!
To customize the look of your blog, proceed with the following:
Appearance >> Customize >> Publish
This takes you to the theme editor. Most themes will allow you to tweak up the style by adding a logo and changing the fonts and color scheme.
To create a new page for your site, proceed with the following:
Pages >> Add New >> Publish
The “About” page should explain who you are and what your blog is about. Try to make it fun and engaging for your readers!
To add your new pages to your site menu, proceed with the following:
Appearance >> Menus >> Add to Menu >> Save Menu
8. Your first blog post
Wohoo! You made it!
It’s now time to write your first blog post!
To create your first blog post, proceed with the following:
Posts >> Add New >> Publish
Get creative and have some fun with it, and when you ready, go ahead and publish your post, making it available for every human being on the planet with an internet connection to see!
Well, there you have it.
Whether it’s a business blog, a creative outlet, or collection of personal rants, there is no better time to start a blog!