How to create a blog? First, you want to be known on the internet for your story and content. That is why you decided to start a blog. Maybe you want an extra stream of income, or you want to substitute your job by monetizing your venture. The truth is many economic and social benefits result from sharing what you know. Starting a venture can become cumbersome if you don’t see what you’re doing. The solution to this is to follow a proven set of steps. This means you now have a structure to support your decisions.
Remember that the steps I’m about to show you are just guidelines. You can inject your creativity wherever you see fit. Maybe you’ve read about a particular way of doing things; then you can improve each step and make it yours. Of course, if you follow the steps I indicate, you will be up and running in no time. Another benefit of following predefined actions is that you’ll save valuable time by not guessing what to do next.
Each project follows the same indications, but the results will be yours. This means you can differentiate yourself from the very start (which is a good thing.) Now, I will mention the steps needed to make your blog:
1. Choosing a domain name
The first step is to choose a domain name for your blog. I recommend finding a .com. Of course, you can choose from different website suffixes such as .org, .net, .info, and other top-level domains, but people will usually try to remember the domain name and automatically add the .com at the end. It is the most popular top-level domain, and nearly 50% of sites visited by Google use the .com suffix. Unless you have a particular reason to choose otherwise, yourdomain.com is the best bet.
Your branding starts with your domain name. Your domain is usually the name of your blog, brand, or company. This means you have an excellent opportunity to make your project memorable for visitors from the very start. Follow the next steps, and you’ll have the domain name you need:
- Create a list of possible domain names (the more ideas you have, the better)
- Try to use the main keywords of your blog
- Think about creating a made-up word (this will assure your dot com is not previously registered)
- Try to keep your domain name short
- Check if the domain name is not registered previously
- Register it quickly once you make your decision (somebody from the other side of the world may have the same idea you’re having. That’s not statistically impossible.)
2. Choose a Content Management System (CMS)
You started your project the right way; the first step in How to create a blog was to choose the right domain name. Once you know you can register, the next step is choosing a CMS.
This is where many soon-to-be bloggers choose a company where they can get the tools to blog ASAP. They want an easy-to-use platform. You will have to wait for a little until I explain why you should choose self-hosted WordPress as your go-to solution.
With other platforms, your website is not yours. If you want a little customization, you must accept what you’re given. If you (unknowingly) break the terms of service, you may be kicked out of the platform just like that. All your work will be gone.
With self-hosted WordPress, you own your blog. You can post everything you want to post (within reason.) It’s an easy-to-use platform that powers around 35% of websites worldwide. What does it mean to you? That you will have options regarding training, designs, add-ons, etc. If you need to hire someone down the road, it won’t be an arm and a leg because they know how to handle an obscure or less marketable solution.
Now that you know the benefits of WordPress, what’s next? First, you’ll need a place to host it.
3. Choose your web hosting company
What is web hosting? It’s a company that offers you the service to allocate space on a server on the internet so you can store files. This is the basic definition. However, it is also essential to notice that most hosting providers will allow you to use their professional email services, Secure HTTP (HTTPS.) These will give your visitors a secure browsing experience, and other perks vary among service providers.
It’s crucial to mention that you can buy your domain name first or wait until you buy your hosting package. It’s normal for your package to include a free domain name. This has pros and cons. You will point it to your hosting server if you buy it separately from a domain registrar. If you change hosting providers, this will be no problem since you will point it to the new company’s servers. However, if you pick the domain included option, you’re stuck with the hosting company.
You may be thinking: “Oh, more work for me.” But first, let me introduce you to the One-Click Install option for WordPress installation found on virtually every cPanel (The software that allows you to access most of your web hosting features.) When you use this option, you can install a working WordPress in just a few minutes.
A common question, especially among developers, is, “should I use a custom server to host my blog?” The short answer is no. The long answer is no because you will then have to pay a bit more to set up your professional email, and you will have to provide support for the server, including security. Those are a few reasons you shouldn’t use a custom server. Most importantly, you want to do things more efficiently and focus on content creation and marketing. Letting the technology side of things be taken care of is smart.
Be aware, if you plan to generate large amounts of traffic from the beginning, that most economical options mention they give you unlimited resources. In my experience, you are limited to a few concurrent users on your site. You will do well by choosing WordPress-specific hosting, where they mention how much traffic your current plan can handle.
4. Taking care of the design
There is a reason why working with WordPress is effective. You are using layers of abstractions to do what you would do in a much longer time and with more effort. If you were to do custom design, the following are just some of the elements you would have to master or at least take into account:
- Web design principles
- Information Architecture
- Cascading Style Sheets
- Typography for the web
- Page layouts
- Box properties
- Tables filled with data
- Color theory
- Responsive web design
As you can see, not only would you have to take these elements into account, but you would also have to mix them to have a functional website. Then, if you wanted to update your website, you would have to juggle a series of Html pages or create a custom solution, which would take some time.
Fear not. To continue creating your blog, you don’t have to master all those subjects. WordPress themes are exactly what you need. Themes usually include design best practices and many elements you need to have a professional presence on the internet.
There are options for every budget. In addition, you will be able to find free themes. These free options are usually secure and provide regular updates. Sometimes, theme options are limited, but you can begin using them and upgrade to a premium version.
You can also find themes you pay for; these are known as premium themes. Again, the name is usually on point because you will benefit from a wide array of theme options. This will allow you to customize your design more closely to your taste or requirements. Another benefit is that you will differentiate more since not everybody in your niche will pay for a professional WordPress theme.
You can start with a free theme and upgrade to a premium version. That’s an option. Perhaps your budget lets you improve your visible results from the beginning. You will be able to find pro themes for every budget.
You will be spoiled for choice regarding design variety in WordPress themes. ¿What should you choose? I’ll tell you the category you should seek since it’s the logical way to go. You should search inside the Blog category. This way, you will ensure your content shines, supported by good design and adequate features.
One element I find frequently is that bloggers try to design their websites perfectly the first time. This is a mistake since you can improve iteratively. That means you can get up and running fast and add features or design elements to your project. A well-guarded secret is that your website’s content is the most important thing. This means that theoretically (but something you shouldn’t aim for), your site could be ugly design-wise, but it would still succeed because your content provides value to your readers.
The key points to take from this section are:
- You don’t need to be a designer to have a great-looking blog
- Search themes in the “blog” category
- You can install a theme in a matter of minutes
- You can find WordPress themes for every budget and need
- You can improve your site’s looks and functionality iteratively
- You should put more energy into content
5. Create Search Engine Optimization (SEO) articles
In this article, How to create a blog, we reached the final section. If you’ve followed the steps above, you now have a solid foundation to succeed with your blog. This is a crucial section since a lot of what you’ll be doing in blogging is writing content your audience wants. You’ll be following marketing’s golden rule: Give your audience what they need. You may be wondering how to find out what this is. The first step is to provide your unique insights and experience about a particular subject or market niche.
This alone creates a lot of value for your audience because you will not be rehashing the same information a lot of your competitors will be sharing. Creating SEO articles is a crucial aspect of succeeding online. What is the difference between a standard article and an SEO article? The first distinction is that one of these articles includes precisely what people seek on a search engine. Search Engine Optimization, in general, encompasses a lot of activities and refers to methods used to increase the position of a webpage inside the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
These SERPs can be found on sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. These search engines have unique technology to identify the required information on the web, ranking it in relevance and quality.
You can find the number of searches a particular keyword or keyphrase has in a period somewhere in particular. Perhaps you may want to target specific (long-tail) keywords instead of general ones. Choosing this way provides you with benefits such as:
- You’ll have less competition.
- Targeted traffic
- You’ll conversion rates will be higher
- You’ll be more competitive
The following step is to create content related to those keywords. Think about all the value you can provide with your expertise or research skills. By researching what content to write, you’ll be sure your work will be widely read, and It will not sit there “gathering dust.” More importantly, this way, you’ll serve your readers, which is, or should be, one of your main goals. It goes without saying that if and when you decide to monetize your blog, you’ll find it natural and easy.
Think about your headlines. They should include your desired keywords and hook your audience. You want to call your readers’ attention and, at the same time, be truthful. I mention this because there is a noun called clickbait, which means you attain attention to your content through devious means. The term is related to fake news and scams. To avoid this, your headline should tell upfront what your article is about.
Although there is much more to SEO than what I have covered in this section, it is also true that high-quality content is still the king when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Therefore, you will futureproof your blog by writing high-quality, engaging, illustrative content as one of your blogging pillars.
Once your content is ready, publishing it with WordPress is easy. The more you use it, the easier and faster you can do your blogging activities. Don’t forget to include the right visuals to accompany your piece of content. You get extra points for using the right images, icons, pictures, or photographs to accompany your text.
You can profit from your passions and knowledge. Blogging is a perfect activity to achieve this. While, at first, you may be stepping out of your comfort zone, this series of activities will keep your brain young by thinking about the steps and how to execute them. The steps on how to create a blog are tried and true, and you can choose to be online with your personal or commercial project in no time.
Now that you learned how to choose a domain name, this name will accompany you through your journey in the world of blogging. Then, you saw the benefits of using WordPress as your CMS. This decision will free you to focus on your value-producing activities while you tap into a pool of high-value resources. Next, you chose a web hosting company with everything required to be up and running in your new venture. Next, you chose a blogging theme to have a great design. Finally, you began creating high-value SEO content to futureproof your venture.
Greatest of luck with your endeavors.
Now that you’re in the blogging business, take a look at MY 7 FREE (and freemium) BLOGGING RESOURCES to save money down the road.