You landed at this website looking for an answer for the question “How to start a blog?”, didn’t you?
First, I would like to say that starting a blog is an easy task if you exactly how to do it properly. When I started my own blog in 2009, I knew nothing about blogging. I did a lot of searches online to find the best way to start a blog. However, due to lack of knowledge, it took me 3 days running around to take my very first steps to start a blog online.
After 3 years and over 50 blogs started, some are good while the others are failure, I have learnt a lot about blogging. Now, I am happy to share with you my guide about How To Start A Blog originated from my 4 years experiences with blogging.
This guide will save you a lot of time because you won’t be running around like me, but go straight to the most important tasks and eliminates unnessary ones.
How To Start A Blog – Quick Guide
If you don’t have too much time and want to go straight to most important things only, I have a quick guide for you. These are my top recommended resources to start a blog. Of course, it’s just a quick start, so you should stay here and read through out this post before you can make full use of these tools and services.
Just a quick note that these tools and services will help you blog better and easier, but they are NOT REQUIRED to make a successful blog. Remember that the first thing brings people to your blog is its content.
1. Brainstorm your niche: list your favorite or topics (everything you can think of), consider between these choices. Pick the most suitable ones for you.
2. Domain Registrant: Namecheap.
3. Hosting Provider: HostGator (Use coupon to get 25% discount or 1 cent hosting).
4. Premium Themes: Genesis Framework
6. Email Marketing: Aweber | Mailchimp (free) | GetResponse
It is not compulsory to start your blog with all of these tools. I suggest at least you get a reliable hosting service and good domain name before getting started.
Pick Your Topic and Message
It doesn’t matter what you say, the only thing that matters is how you say it. Some people limit themselves in making money or blogging niche because they saw thousands of people doing the same exact things. Moreover, these niches are where lots of “gurus” come out with big paychecks and earning proofs making them irresistible.
Everyone is rushing to making money niche, and if you are rushing to this niche to, you will get thousands or millions of competitors. You have to stand out from the crowd and find a unique way to connect with visitors. This will consume lots of time.
Let me tell you my story, when I get started, I choose blogging niche. Yeah, there are plenty of blogs about blogging and they are making money, a lot of money. It’s no doubt that this niche seems to be lucrative for me like I can start a blog, telling how people make money from blogging and offer them a lot of things to buy and get rich.
After 1 month, I dropped. I kept talking about the same old school outdated posts like how to make your comment remarkable, how to register a clickbank account… I wrote these articles because I thought that they would get me rich. Of course, they don’t. It’s also not my passion, so dropping is an easy choice.
You don’t have to follow to same old track to be successful. Instead, you can try other niches, things that you love not things that you think people will love and make money.
It sounds hard at the beginning, but I have found a very good way to brainstorm niche ideas for your website:
- List down 7 interests.
- List down 7 fears.
- List down 7 hobbies.
If you don’t have enough ideas, ask your friends, your family, and your neighbors to fill in the list. 7 is just my own interest, you can start with 10 or more, write everything comes to your mind freely on a paper.
You can also visit Google Trends or Twitter Trends to find latest trends around the world.
Narrow down your niche
Now, you have a couples of niches to choose (wow), let’s examine them:
- Do you feel passionate about the topic? This is the most important factor.
- Are there any affiliate program and products to review?
- Can you brainstorm at least 10 articles for this topic?
- Are there any specific forums for your topic?
- Take a look at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and see if people are talking about the same niche.
Then, sit down and examine every niche until you find the most attractive ones. First, you have to be passionate with your niche because it will guarantee that you will follow your blog and not abandon it after a few months.
After choosing the niche, you MUST determine your main message to the audience. Picture what they need, what you can offer, and what differentiate your blog from others. A message is like a slogan and you MUST follow it consistently.
Choose Where To Host Your Blog
There are, of course, several free blogging platforms like WordPress.com or Blogger.com. They are easy to use for beginner, have a strong community and, most importantly, FREE.
However, you don’t have control over your blog and it can be deleted at anytime. You can’t add any themes you want and if you want to add more features, it will cost more for you. As a result, if you are serious about blogging or want to make a successful blog with professional works, you should stay away from free services and install blog your own.
Before getting your blog online, you need a place to store the files, so people can access to your files everywhere around the world. A hosting provider is a company that offers online storage for your blog.
I have used several hosting providers. Based on my real experiences, HostGator is the best choice for you. It offers quick support, easy to use panel and the speed is pretty decent. With more than 9 million websites hosted, HostGator knows how to treat their customers well.
At present, HostGator is offering 25% discount coupon for your first invoice. If you want to try this hosting provider at cheapest price, this is the chance for you. Click the coupon below to copy and use it right away.
Here is my quick video to guide you how to sign up for your hosting at HostGator.com
Brainstorm & Register A Domain Name
How to choose a good domain name for your blog
A domain name is extremely crucial for your blog. Think about it. When people want to go to your blog, they have to type the domain name in. If it isn’t remarkable and tell exactly what your blog is, chances are people will forget it easily.
You can start with either a generic domain name or a branded one. For example, if you want to start about about cars, you can choose blogcars.com or you can choose a unique name like Carsolophy.com. It depends on you, but I prefer branded domain names since generic ones are very hard to get. Beside, branded domains result in longer impression.
If it’s too difficult for you, you can list down 5 top keywords that best describe your blog, then play around with these keywords using domain generator tool like LeanDomainSearch.com until you find the most suitable one.
How to register a domain name
The only domain registrant that I recommend is Namecheap.
Many websites will tell you that GoDaddy is a good place to register domain names. In fact, it sucks. You’ll be bombarded with several popups, ads and expensive products from this provider. What’s worse, the domain manager panel loads very slow and put you into a maze of information.
Namecheap, on the other hand, is pretty simple, easy and light. It also offers Whois Guard (protect your registrant information) for free in the first year. Namecheap also releases coupon codes every month saving you $1 on each domain registered. At present, new customers can get their first domain at Namecheap for $0.98 only.
Register a domain name for your blog at Namecheap, step by step guide:
Step 1: Enter your domain name in the big search textbox on homepage
Step 2: Check out cart.
Step 3: Enter your Domain Nameservers (found at welcome email from hosting providers) and Turn on WhoisGuard.
Here is a quick video showing you exactly how to register a domain name at Namecheap.
Install WordPress (Step By Step Video Tutorial)
Install WordPress from your hosting control panel is pretty easy. In this case, I will show you how to install WordPress and start your brand new blog in HostGator Panel in less than 5 minutes. Other hosting services will have similar steps.
Get A Professional Theme
A recent research shows that visitors take around 8 seconds to decide whether to stay at your blog or go away. Before they can enjoy your content, you MUST have an eye-catching and professional skin to make them, at least, stay at your website.
I used to spend even a week choosing a good theme for my blog which is a pretty complicated process. It was not until I found Genesis framework that I have simplified my process. Genesis Framework is solid, with strong foundation and a variety of skins for your website. It also supports SEO features, responsive design making your website “fit” in any screensizes from smartphones to widescreen.
Write Content & Get Started
Now, you have choose your topic, have a house for your blog, have an online address (domain name), and a very good skin for your blog. It’s time to get started.
People always say: Content is King. Content is the core value of your website and without it, you can’t be successful even though you have invested a lot of money in hosting and skin.
Usually, I will write 5 posts for my new blog, and have 3 posts scheduled before I start to promote it. It is because you are more likely to get excited at the beginning, but it won’t last long except your main reason to start a blog is what you are passionate about.
With a base of 5 posts published, when you reach out for visitors, they will have something to read and learn more about your blog. It’s the first step to build your own audience. To maintain and develop more readers, you MUST be:
- Unique: Make people remember of your name. Don’t make to generic articles. In case you have to write a generic article, make it unique, add something your make like an image, a video.
- Responsive: Be active engage with your current readers and maintain it.
- Reach out for more connections: You can’t blog alone. Blogging is a long journey where the more friends you have, the more fun you get, the more successful you are. Try to comment on other blogs, engage with people sharing
- Write, Write, Write and Never Give Up: It sounds dumb, right? However, it’s the most important thing that you MUST carve into your mind. Keep writing for your passion, your audience and make your blog a special place where people share and discuss.
That’s all you need to know for starting a new blog. If you need any helps, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try my best to answer your problem for the question: How To Start A Blog.