How To Start Your Own Blog Site
Have you been thinking about starting your own blog, but are not sure where to start? Well you have come to the right place to find out all the info. I am going to go through all the steps on how to start your own blog site.
Starting your own blog isn’t that difficult, but I am going to take you through the steps you need to follow and point you in the right direction for the extra information you need to know. I will assume you know what type of blog site you want to start. If you don’t know yet you really need to look in to choosing your niche before you go any further.
Step 1 - Choose Your Platform
There are a few different platforms you can use for your blog. However, I think the clear choice is WordPress. WordPress is the most popular platform for blog sites. This is because:
- It is free
- Simple to set up
- Updated regularly
- Simple to use
- A whole industry of developers and plugin providers to make customisation and creating functionality easy
There are two ways of using WordPress:
- WordPress.com – This is where your website is hosted and looked after by wordpress. This is free to start, but there are things that you will need to pay for later on.
- WordPress.org – This is where you are in full control over your website. You host it on a server, have your own domain and control how it looks and how you want to manage it.
Using WordPress.com is easier to manage, but you don’t have full control over your own blog. This limits how you customise it and how you monetise it.
Therefore, I would suggest that you go with WordPress.org, so you have full control of your blog. The only downsides are that, you have a bit more work to do and there are some small payments you will need to make. However, in the long run this will be the best choice to make.
Step 2 - Set Up A Domain And Hosting
In this next step you need to choose a domain name. This is the address of your blog, for example, the domain name of this website is www.adventurousaffiliate.com. Choosing a domain name is actually quite difficult, I go in to more detail in my post on how to choose a domain name. But in summary, you domain name should:
- be a .com
- be brandable
- be short if possible
- be easy to type
- be easy to say
- not contain numbers
- not contain hyphens
- include niche keywords
- not limiting for expanding in to different areas in the future
- not be in use
You can type your potential domain name in to a domain registrar to see if it is available. Depending on where you buy your domain from will determine how much it costs. However, unless it is a particularly ambitious one, it should only cost a few dollars per year.
Once you have a domain name, you need to get it hosted. Many people search for the cheapest hosting they can. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best tactic. Many of these cheap hosts are poor quality, not secure and often cause downtime. This is really bad, if you are planning on making money from your blog or maintain a good following.
Therefore, I recommend that you check out Bluehost. This is a low cost, tried and tested hosting service that can be relied on. Bluehost also acts as a domain registrar, so you get convenience with signing up too.
Step 3 - Set Up Your Blog Site
Setting up your blog site is pretty easy. If you decide to go with Bluehost, you should check out the video below to talk you through the simple process.
By following the video above, you will have a fully hosted WordPress website. Then you will be able to get going with your blog!
Step 4 - Customising Your Blog
Bluehost have put together a series of tutorials to help you configure and customise your blog. By following these, you will have a blog that looks great and performs well.
Earlier I mentioned plugins. These are downloadable “apps” that give your WordPress blog different features and functions. Plugins are the easiest way of getting your blog to look and perform how you want it to. There are many free WordPress plugins that are essential to the success of your blog. You can pay for upgrades to these plugins, but in most cases it is not necessary.
Another powerful benefit of choosing WordPress, is how you can easily determine how your blog looks. You do this with downloadable and customisable themes.
There are thousands of themes to choose from and many of them are free. You may want to pay for a premium theme later on, but personally I don’t think you need to do that in the early days. It can be quite fun choosing and customising themes to fit in with your brand, but don’t spend too much time doing this, as they are simple to change later on.
One top tip I will give you here though, is to make sure that your theme is “responsive”. This means that it works well on mobile devices. I made the mistake of choosing an non-responsive them on my first website, which made a poor user experience for people browsing my website on their phones.
Step 5 - Get Blogging!
Before you start typing, you need to make sure that what you write is actually going to be found by your intended audience. If you just start blogging, you are shooting in the dark. Therefore, you need to start off by creating content that people are searching for on the internet.
There are two different types of content that you need to create:
Pages – pages are pieces of content that your are unlikely to change. Examples of pages are the “about me” and “contact me” pages.
Posts – Posts are what you will be creating as blogs. These will appear on the front page of your website. They are more dynamic than pages, as they are likely to encourage engagement with your audience via comments.
Other Things You Should Know About Blogs
Once you get a good following there are a number of ways you can make money from your blog. Examples of monetisation are:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling digital products
- Selling physical products
For more information, check out my post on how to make money from a blog.
You Won't Get Rich Overnight
If your main reason for starting a blog is to make money, that is great. However, you really need to be patient. It takes time to build up a following and to then build up your audiences trust enough for them to buy through your blog. But if you want to learn more about the best way to monetise your blog, you should look in to affiliate marketing.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products and services in exchange for sales commissions.
This is by far the best way of making money from your blog. Your blogs can include:
- Personal experiences
All of these can be monetised with affiliate links. These reward you when people buy through your blog. They are super easy to drop in to your content and can reward you with up to 75% of the sales price. My post how to learn about affiliate marketing explains all the ways you can get in to it.
That Is How To Start Your Own Blog Site
Making your blog successful isn’t technically difficult, but it does take hard work and dedication, while learning new skills. But hopefully from this post you can see that it is well within your ability. If you have any thoughts or questions about starting your own blog site, please leave them in the comments section below.