How To Start A Blog
Use this guide to learn how to get your own blog up and running today.
Step 1 – Create a topic for your blog
There are two types of people that want to start their own blog;
- People who want to blog but don’t know what to say:
- People who know what they want to blog about but don’t know how to get started:
It doesn’t really matter what type of blogger you are, this page will help you get started.
Step 2 – Pick Your Blog Name
When choosing your domain you want to choose something that is short and memorable. So if you want to blog about golfing and your name is Mike. You might want to call your blog mikesgolftips.com. Or you could choose a really generic name like golfinglessons.com.
Your blog name really depends on what domain names are available.
In you go to the link below I show you how you can get a Free domain name and save up to $25 per year.
Follow these steps to choose your blog domain name choose now.
Step 3 – Get Blog hosting.
Once you have chosen your domain name you need to get blog hosting so that you can put your blog on the internet. We will then use the blog hosting the you purchase to build your blog using their software.
Hosting is going to cost you around $150 per year. However if you use the hosting service we recommend you can get yourself a free domain name.
After you have purchased your hosting there is a tutorial on how you can use your hosting to setup your own blog.
Find the best options for your blog hosting get hosting.
Step 4 – Build Your Blog
By purchasing blog hosting this allows you to use the special blog building software form the hosting company. By using this software this will save you many, many hours of learning how to make a blog. All you have to do is click a few buttons and the special software will build your blog fo you using a blog platform called wordpress.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world. That is why we recommend it. Also this website is made with wordpress and you can view our blog page here.
Follow these steps to build your blog click here
What is a Blog?
Blogs have become very popular due to their efficient way of attracting a readership and their easy method of delivering information. The definition of a blog is a website that one or more people use to record opinions, provide information, and communicate with their readership on a regular basis. When you visit a standard typical blog, you will notice that you see the most current post first, then can continue to find previously added posts. This is because every post should be its own, while most blogs are focusing on a certain subject or niche, the posts should not be related to each other directly and should provide the reader useful information within each separate post.
Types of Blogs
Since the start of blogs, they have evolved into many different types which have all proven to be very efficient. Blogs can be categorized by the following types:
- Personal Blogs
- Corporate and Organization Blogs
- By Genre
- By Media Type
Personal blogs are blogs completed by just one individual who enjoys to express themselves by posting about their personal thoughts. They can be public or just kept as a private diary. These have proven to be very good at communicating with a large group of friends, asking your readership for advice about certain situations, and to just practice your writing skills.
Micro-blogging is best recognized and related with Twitter. It is when someone posts very small pieces of information or content on a regular basis that can entertain their readership. The content can be pictures, text, short videos, and any other types of content. Usually any text that is used within micro-blogging doesn’t go past 50 words per post. This type of blogging can be used in so many different ways, such as keeping in touch with friends, coordinate business meetings with multiple people at once, share useful information or links, and is used by celebrities and politicians to keep involved with their fans and supporters. There are many different types of programs that promote micro-blogging, and many of them provide additional add-on programs that can enhance the posts.
Corporate and organizational blogging usually consists of business related information and helps promote the business. There have been many success stories of newly formed businesses increasing their sales by providing their readership with quality information. These blogs usually consist of multiple different authors that can provide information about the business or industry that it is in. These blogs can be used to promote products or services, help increase the brand of the company, be used to provide important information to consumers, and much more.
Blogs can also be categorized by the specific genre or subject that it covers. Every individual, business, or organization is going to be different and have a different writer, but some of them might be covering the same subjects. There can be niche blogs or general subject blogs, this category is almost endless.
Blogs can also be identified by the type of media it prefers to use. Such as a video blog, best known as Vlog, which is a site that posts videos on a regular basis to cover information that interests the viewers. Photoblogs are also pretty popular on websites such as Instagram, where people will post pictures regularly regarding a certain subject and followers will be able to view and comment about them. Another very popular way of providing information is from a podcast. A podcast is a vocal recording of one or more people expressing their mind about a certain subject without any video or text that is then uploaded on a website for people to download and listen to. Often times the creator will allow people to listen in on the podcast live, and have it at the same time on a regular basis.
History of Blogging
The first blog, which was known as a Weblog, was created in 1997. The term weblog was soon shortened to blog and was used to promote the website and the information within it. The original style of blogs were usually posted in a forum type of setting and the author would create new threads for each post. There was no content management systems such as WordPress when blogs first came out, so they had to improvise. The forum style blogs worked, but required a lot of additional maintenance and also the content wasn’t presented in the same fashion as it is today.
Before blogs became known for getting a large readership and promoting content, they were mostly used as personal diaries that no one ever saw. This was soon changed once someone started publicly posting their thoughts and communicating with the people who read them. By posting their thoughts for everyone to see, they saw a large number of readers and then more people started to catch on.
Once people started to figure out how to create their own websites and blogs, there was a dramatic increase in blogs that were just manual updates within a website, not the forum style posts. There still wasn’t any type of content management systems, so it was much harder to update the website for the average person. You had to be a tech savvy webmaster to be able to present the information how you wanted it to be seen. Due to the fact the people were still learning how to update websites and there still wasn’t all of the tutorials there are today, most blogs that were created by the average person, didn’t have much of a visual appeal and it was also hard to find the newer posted content.
Blogs started to be considered mainstream and really popular in 2004, once politicians and celebrities started posting their own content. At this point, blogging was much easier because content management systems started to emerge and people were able to easily start their own blogs if they wanted to. There still wasn’t all of the add-on programs and a lot of the different options we have today, but it was much easier than before. After people started to realize that blogging was going to be the next big way to reach out to people, almost every type of business started coming up with their own blogs.
It started to become harder and harder to find new and interested readers once everyone started to create their own blogs, so people started to become creative with them. They started video blogs, pod-cast, starting niche blogs, and many other ways to increase the appeal of their content to their readership. Today, you can find almost any type of information on any type of media outlet possible.
Over the years, blogs have been used for all types of reasons. From promoting businesses, increasing exposure for politicians, and even political blogging in countries where there is no free speech. Due to the fact that blogs can be used for almost any situation, they have become one of the best ways to produce quality content that can appeal to almost any demographic.
Paid Vs Free Blogs
You can either make a blog for free on certain websites, or you can pay to have your own blog on your own website. Although it might seem like paying for your website will give you the most benefits, there are actually benefits for using the free blog services as well. First let’s review what you get with the free services such as Blogger.com.
There are many different website options that you will have if you go the free route, and they can all provide similar blogging services with different aspects and limitations on each. So the first obvious benefit of using these websites, is that they are free! If you are brand new to blogging, then this is a great way to test the waters and understand exactly what it means to blog. You will be able to get the hang of things, then if you decide you want to have your own website, you can start blogging over there. The only bad thing is, you usually won’t be able to transfer the blog and current readership to your new website.
Using a free website, usually gives you some good tutorials about how to set up your blog and will show you how to design it. It is most likely very limited and will only give you a few options, but it is a great place to start. Once you understand the basics of how you want your blog to look and the specific layout you enjoy, it will make it much easier if you decide to start your own blog on your own website.
A lot of free services will help expose your content to other readers within the same site, which can really help if your brand new and don’t understand what search engine optimization is. The only bad thing about this is that they will only help a little and within that specific site since they want to keep people reading within their website.
Now, let’s go over the benefits of paying for your own blog. The first thing everyone should know, is that the entire process of getting your domain, hosting, and blog set up… really isn’t too expensive. It all depends on which hosting company you go with and which plans you choose, but in reality, you could have your own website and blog setup and running for less than $20 a month. A lot of people think that having and maintaining their own website is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
So the most important benefit of paying for your blog is going to be all about your brand. By having your own domain name, you are able to promote and benefit from having that specific website. For example, if you are writing a business blog, when people read the blog, it is attached directly to your business’s website which can help convert readers into sales. The more people that get to know your blog, the more your overall website domain will be known, which can be used for more than just blogging.
You are no longer limited when talking in reference to design and layout options, like you were using the free services. You can customize and update your blog anyway you would like. You have access to countless amounts of different themes, which can be used for all types of blogging purposes. The only downside to this is you might have to know the basics of HTML and CSS. It isn’t required to know HTML and CSS, but it would help in many different situations. While it might take some time for you to understand and get the hang of these, it will be worth it in the long run.
Plugins! You can now install any plugins you want, unlike the free websites that usually do not allow most plugins. These can be used to add all types of things to your website, such as forms, visual appeal, social networking interactions, tracking your blog’s statistics, and almost anything else you can think of. You will have no problems finding exactly what you need.
Another benefit is the multiple different content management system options that you have. Although WordPress is usually the recommended system, you will have many different options that will be able to make sure and fulfill your blogging needs. Each system has their own unique way of managing your blog, so it all depends on your preference.
What is WordPress
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems and blogging tools that is free and considered to be open source. It uses PHP and MySQL which is used on the web hosting service to produce the blog and databases. Over 20% of all new websites on the internet are managed by WordPress due to its flexibility and customization options. Not only do blogs use WordPress, but large websites can now use it as well due to all of the plugins, theme options, and additional customization options that have been added.
If you are new to WordPress, it can be quite simple, but the longer you use it, the more you will notice can be done. It is a great system that allows you to easily complete basic tasks, but also allows you to do in depth changes if you desire. There are plenty of pre-made themes that can be installed with ease, or you can code your own and make your website completely unique.
Plugins are one of the main reasons WordPress is such a popular tool. Due to it being open source, any developer is able to make their own plugins and then provide them to the WordPress community to give them a better overall experience. With over 25,000 different plugins, you will be able to find anything you need to make your website exactly the way you want it. You will find plugins that will give your site visual appeal, record statistics and information about your site, help with search engine optimization, or even upgrade navigation bars, there is no limit to what can be done to a WordPress site.
Another popular benefit of WordPress is the use of Widgets. Widgets are drag and drop customization methods that make your overall layout much easier to manage. If you find a theme that you like but don’t enjoy the original layout, you can simply just place certain widgets where you want them and within minutes you will have the layout you want. Although most themes will give you unlimited access to changing your widgets around, some do restrict you to only a few. Remember, if you don’t like how a certain theme lets you change it, you can always try another theme.
WordPress allows multiple different users to post on the site. With the user databases installed, each user can have their own user name and password. When they log in, they are able to complete certain tasks that have been allowed by the administrator. This really helps almost all business types because once the blog because very popular, it might take a few people to manage the whole site. The main administrator is allowed to give access to other people, then also limit those people as to what they are allowed to do within the WordPress site. Some of the largest WordPress sites have over 50 people managing them.
This content management system is also mobile friendly, allowing readers and administrators to use the website from mobile devices of all types. With all of the new phones and tablets that come out, it is very important that all websites be friendly to those types of devices to help bring in traffic and keep readers happy.
Why We Recommend WordPress
WordPress is great for beginners and experts. It doesn’t matter what reason you are starting your blog or website, WordPress can make sure you get exactly what you want. It is such a versatile system which allows its users to easily update their websites and keep up-to-date with online technology.
If you are new to the thought of having your own website, then you are most likely not aware of how to update your websites with languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, and many others. WordPress takes most of the coding away, giving you access to many different options with just a click of a button. You won’t need to learn the exact codes to be able to make your site do what you want, or to add new posts. Although you might still need to learn the basics of the system, there are thousands of tutorials to help new users get used to WordPress.
If you are a developer or an experienced webmaster, you will still have the options to make any of your updates or changes the exact way you want to. You will be able to make your own plugins, code your own themes, and change everything about your website through coding.
WordPress is also used by almost every single major hosting company. Due to it being so popular, you will have no problem finding a hosting company that will install WordPress onto your website domain for free. The hosting companies also usually provide tutorials on how to make sure everything is set up correctly or how to make certain changes once it is already set up. It isn’t too hard at all to get used to make those changes, but it is always good to make sure your doing them correctly.
Once you have had your WordPress site up for a while and you have posted multiple different pages, it is always smart to backup your entire website, just in case something bad happens. If you encounter a virus, mal-ware, or a hacker then it is always great to make sure you have an easily accessible copy of your website so you can minimize the overall downtime of the site. WordPress allows you to back up your site with ease. There are many different options you have to back it up, so it all depends on your preference. It is recommended to back any website up at least once a week.
Another reason why WordPress is recommended by us is because of the search engine recognition. There are plugins that assist with search engines, to allow your website to be ranked higher, giving you more exposure and traffic to the website. This can be one of the hardest aspects of having your own website or blog, because if no one knows about it, no one will go to it. There are multiple different aspects to search engine optimization, but WordPress can make it much simpler and easier to reach your overall goals.
Choosing a Topic to Blog About
Choosing the right topic to write about can be one of the hardest decisions to make. Unless you already know exactly what it is your going to write about, you will need to take some time to sit down and think about this. It is always good to start thinking about what you truly enjoy and what interests you have. If you decide to pick a topic that you’re not passionate about, then odds are, you’re going to stop writing after a short period of time. Either that or you are going to deliver horrible content that won’t attract readers anyways. You should picture yourself a year from now, would you still be interested in writing about that specific topic? If the answer is no, then move on to the next topic selection.
Once you have found a topic that you actually enjoy, now it’s time to see if other people enjoy it as well. You have to be honest with yourself and research whether or not other people actually want to read about your topic. Although it can be very helpful writing about a niche topic, it won’t be helpful if no one is even looking to read about the subject. You don’t need to choose a topic that every single person would be interested in, but just make sure there is a sizable audience that is looking for the information you are able to provide.
OK, so now you found a subject you are passionate about and you have confirmed that people want to read about it. The next big step is to check and see if it is still going to be readable in the near future. Popular topics change all the time, so you have to try and predict whether or not the subject you are writing about will still be useful in 12 months. The reason why I keep bringing up a year in the future, is because when you first start to blog, you won’t have many readers. So if you write about a topic for 12 months, then finally start to get an audience that is loyal, what happens if the topic you chose becomes obsolete? Make sure to always think ahead when it comes to blogging.
Next step, research your competition. Although almost every single subject nowadays will have competition, it is easier to write about some subjects than others. A major reason why a lot of bloggers fail is because they try to start blogging about a subject without any regard to their competition. If you start blogging about football, you are going to notice that it is very hard to get readers due to the amount of football information already being pumped into the internet. Why would someone read your football blog, when there is a more reputable blogger making posts about the same thing? It might be easier to choose a topic you love, but always consider what you’re going up against. Try writing about niches that don’t have such a large reader base, but at the same time, doesn’t have as much competition. You will find that it is easier to get readers from those niche topics, than major topics that everyone writes about.
So now you’re feeling confident about the subject you are going to write about, so what next? Now, you continue to still research your competition even further. Now that you know you have a chance against them, try and see if they are missing anything. Go through all of their content, find ideas that you can implement into your own blog. If they are missing content, make sure to cover it so that readers are getting something completely new and unique from your blog. The more research you do, the more understanding you will have about how they became successful. The type of readers they have are most likely the same target audience you are looking to get, so if they have a good amount of readers, you will be able to learn what they like about your competition.
Another large aspect of choosing a topic is to make sure you will have enough content to write about. This is an easy problem to overcome, but it is still very important. Blogs are known to come out with fresh content on a regular basis, so if you stop providing the content, your readers will move on to another blogger who can give them what they want. An easy way to overcome this problem is to do what I previously mentioned, thoroughly research your competition. If you are having a hard time coming up with a new post, try checking what your competition has been up to. Although this method can help spark some ideas for you to write about, you never want to copy anything from another blogger. If you choose to copy someone else’s work, you will not only make your blog look bad, but can even be taken off of search engine rankings which will hinder your overall traffic dramatically.
The last thing you should put some consideration into, is if your topic will be able to generate any streams of revenue. Although this might not apply to everyone, most of us like extra money. Blogs have an amazing potential for making money, but some topics will do better than others. Like I stated before, you might not be blogging for the money, but if you are, think of ways you would be able to generate income. Most blogs can implement some type of advertising such as Google Adsense or something similar, but other blogs might profit more from having private banner ads placed from a specific company. It all depends on what your writing about and how your audience feels about the actual advertisements. You always want to make sure your audience comes first. If your blog is still new and barely has a loyal readership, then placing advertisements might end up driving them away. Wait until you have a larger readership and test which advertisements they respond best to. Once you have established which advertisements they don’t mind, then not only will you keep them as readers, but they will also interact with the advertisements even more. Usually, the more leads that a advertisement generates, the more money you will make, so picking specific advertisements what your audience likes will increase your over all blog and income.
11 Excellent Free Blogging Sites to get Started
If you are interested in learning more about blogging, but don’t want to invest any money into it yet, then check out some of these links. They will all give you a different blogging experience but each and every one is a great place to learn what blogging is all about. If you get into a site and don’t really enjoy what they have to offer, try the next one!