So, you’ve decided to start a blog—congratulations! There are many ways a blog can be used for personal or business purposes. But before you can start sharing your stories and knowledge with the world, you have to learn how to start a blog.
Here are 5 simple steps to get your blog up and running.
1. Find a Niche
“Niche” is a word that you’ll likely stumble upon as you begin researching how to start a blog.
For example, travel is a niche for a blog but you may want to choose something even more specific. If you say you have a “travel blog” it doesn’t fully communicate exactly what type of information you share or who your target audience is.
Instead, narrow your focus. In the example of a travel blog, you could focus on families who enjoy traveling abroad. This specifies the topics you write about and makes it easy for readers to identify if your blog is a good fit for them.
If you’re struggling with the idea of narrowing your niche and targeting potential readers, read this article to learn more: Why your blog needs a niche and how to find the right one.
2. Choose a host and CMS or platform
Now that you know the niche for your blog, it’s time to choose a platform and web host. A platform or a content management system (CMS) is the foundation of your blog. It’s what you will use to build your blog. A CMS is much more flexible than a blogging platform. A blogging platform is typically for one specific type of content (blog posts), while a CMS can help you manage virtually any type of content like static or dynamic pages, pages, ecommerce, contact posts, private areas. Both store your blog’s content on servers and make it possible for you to manage your blog.
Here are just some of the popular blogging content management systems and blogging platforms.
- WordPress (most popular)
If you want to build a WordPress blog, there are many hosting options to choose from.
Examples, of some popular WordPress hosting options include:
When choosing a hosting provider, do your research! This can make a noticeable difference in your experience and the overall performance of your blog.
3. Choose your domain name
Now it’s time to choose your domain name. This is the URL of your blog. The domain or URL you’re on right now is my.blog.
Consider the following when choosing a domain name:
- Spelling and memorability: Choose a domain that’s easy for people to find. For example, use common spellings of words instead of clever alternatives.
- Ranking keywords: Using keywords you want to rank for in your domain name can help you build your SEO rankings. Make sure these keywords are directly related to your niche.
- Social media: Using social media can help you build your blog following. When choosing your domain, make sure there are social media handles that relate to it so you can build strong branding. Even if you don’t want to use social media right now, claim the handles so you have the option in the future.
- Consider the domain extension: While .com has been one of the most popular, there are advantages to choosing a newer TLD such as .blog which immediately communicates to readers your website’s purpose.
Here is a list of our registrar partners where you can register a domain name.
4. Decide what you want your blog to do
In addition to choosing a niche, it’s important to think about how you want to use your blog. There are many directions you could choose including:
- Sharing information: This could be sharing your personal experiences or general information around your niche. Example: Providing reviews and information about the latest products in the tech world.
- Creating a community: Blogs are a way to connect with people around a shared interest. Example: Including a forum that allows readers to interact with one another.
- Selling products or services: Your blog could help you market your business and humanize your brand. Example: Highlight ways customers can use your products to design fun crafts.
- Creating a space to engage with users: Blogs are a great way to stay in touch with customers. Example: Providing your current customers with a way to further engage with your company.
- Teaching others: Your posts could focus on showing how to do something related to your niche. Example: Teaching others how to succeed at raising chickens.
5. Design your blog
The exact process of how you design your blog will depend on the platform you use. But in general, your blog design includes choosing a theme or template for the design. Typically there are basic free options but you can also pay for blog template design as well.
For branding reasons it’s also wise to choose blog colors and even a logo. Doing so can make it easier for your audience to recognize your content online.
It’s also helpful to use images on your blog to make it more visually appealing. Breaking up long sections of words with images also makes it easier for readers to scan and read.
Aside from the visual design of your blog, it’s important to consider the user experience you’re creating. Make it easy for readers to navigate your site. If they have to work hard to find what they want, they’ll leave and find an easier-to-use blog.
While you’re designing, don’t forget to create About and Contact pages. The About page helps your audience connect further with you. And the Contact page makes it easy for people to get in touch with you. Many bloggers overlook adding a contact page which could lead to lost opportunities for you in the future.
As you work on designing your blog remember it’s OK to start simple and make changes as your comfort level grows.
Getting started with your blog posts
Now we’re onto a bloggers favorite part of getting started—writing blog posts! You want to have some content published and ready for readers before you launch your blog.
As you get started, it’s also helpful to create a plan for making time to write new blog posts so you can consistently provide readers with fresh new content.
One way to make it easier to stay consistent is to create a content calendar. This helps you to know what you’re going to write about when you sit down at your computer to get started.
If you’re excited to have a blog but are still unsure of the best way to write a blog post, we share 10 different blog formats you can use here.
Let the adventure begin
As you get started, don’t get caught up in the comparison game thinking your blog needs to look and operate like blogs that have been up and running for years. Get started where you are and continue to grow and develop your skills as you go.
Following these simple steps will get your blog up and running. Before you know it, you’ll have your own little piece of the internet to share your stories with the world.