If you clicked on this post, it must mean you want to make a blog. Yay! Welcome to the blogging community! I’ve done a ton of research to help you get started on kicking-off your blog, especially if you want to make a profit off of it. There’s a ton of advice out there for how to start one. It can be a lot to sort through. So I’ve found the basics of what you need to do and I’ve provided some quick resources to make things easier and less time consuming for you, ’cause I figure you don’t want to spend hours and hours sifting through dozens of guides, wondering which ones are the best and who you should trust.
Starting a blog is pretty simple in theory, but there are a lot of different platforms out there and it can be hard to know which one to choose. Basically every guide I came across recommended WordPress.com as their #1 choice for novice bloggers. It’s the easiest to use and navigate, and because I use and love WordPress myself, I can vouch for it. There’s no complicated computer skills necessary for using WordPress (fortunately for me!). But if you’re curious to know what the other major popular platforms out there are, here are a few examples:
- Joomla (This one has some pretty steep learning curves)
- Drupal (difficult for beginners as well)
If you want to see more and know more about each, check them out here.
It’s suggested by makeawebsitehub.com that you self-host your blog. This means you buy a domain for your website and pay a small fee, some as low as $5 a month, to host your blog. You’ll especially want to do this if you’re planning on making any money from blogging. Most free blogging platforms won’t let you put up ads or sell affiliate links, so there’s basically no chance to start making a profit. Also, free platforms look unprofessional and you could lose your content at any time with no chance to recover it. Makeawebsitehub warns that your site could just be deleted for a minor indiscretion and you’d have no way to contest it. So if you’re planning on having a lasting blog that you control, you should consider self-hosting.
To pick a domain name, choose something that’s catchy, unique, descriptive, and easily remembered. Ending it with “.com” will make your site trustworthy and more easily remembered, according to Makeawebsitehub and amylynnandrews.com, but “.org” and “.net” work pretty well, too. Try to describe the blog in a couple words and make it fun!
So what is web hosting? It’s where your blog will be stored online. There are a ton of different hosting companies that offer an array of different hosting options for all kinds of different websites. The WordPress platform is free, but you’ll have to pay a couple dollars a month for the web hosting and domain registration. Bluehost.com is the recommended place to buy your domain and web hosting by Makeawebsitehub. He says it’s a simple installation process, it’s got great customer service, and it’s reliable. There’s also a money back guarantee if you don’t like it. It’s everything you could want! This site teaches you to use Bluehost.com and how to install WordPress once you have it. I would suggest going down this route. This blogger has looked into most platforms out there and knows what’s the best and will guide you through anything you get stuck on personally.
If that site doesn’t work for you, this one will also help you install your blog!
The next thing you’ll want to do is set up a theme, and Makeawebsitehub will help you with that too if you wish. Some theme platforms he suggests are:
- WordPress Library
Your theme should reflect what your blog offers. If it’s more of a business blog, it should look professional and clean, but if it’s an artsy blog, you have more room to be creative.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is making a great “About Me” page. This will be one of your site’s most visited pages. Your first line for your “About Me” page should be a hook sentence or it should tell your reader who your blog is meant for. So if your blog is a business blog that’s selling a certain product and/or meant to help people who are also in the business field, you would let your audience know that. Let your readers know that your blog is there for them. Your “About Me” page is really there to convince your reader that you’re reliable and you’re the one they should come to for advice over your competition. You want your readers to trust you, so also show them who you are. Be yourself. Share your values and beliefs and tell them why you made your blog to begin with. But keep it short and relevant. No one wants to read a page full of boring backstory. And if you have any online testimonies that you can screenshot to help prove how reliable you are, this is the place to put them. Startbloggingonline and Melyssagriffin go more in-depth with how to make a perfect “About Me” page and this site will show you examples of great “About Me” pages. Check them out if you want to see more!
Those are the basics for starting a blog. You’ll want to check out my post about how to make it popular if you’re wanting to monetize your blog or develop a wide audience. But now you know how to get started!
Photo courtesy of Sophieja23..