Blogging has become favorite profession now a days and to became own boss.
Lots of bloggers earning in millions as full time blogger. Millions , it sound cool ? Yes, but earning money from blogs is not an easy task. A lot of dedication required to run an successful blog.
But for a newbie it’s too confusing How to start a blog. So i a going to share free guide about blogging for beginners.
So, what is blog , Blog is regularly updated website that is run by individual or small group that is written in an informal or conservative style. Blog posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Blogs have comments so that user can share their views by comments. Comments are good way to interact with blog viewers.
So, are you wondering that you need any technical knowledge to start the blog?
Answer is NO. Just follow the steps that i am going to share and you will be able to setup your first blog.
So, Why start a Blog ?
So, have you ever thought why you want to start a blog. Because your friends are doing blogging or inspired from any pro blogger.
First clear your vision otherwise you will be just wasting time and some money too. No, i am not discouraging you. i have seen people who just start blogging and after 1 or 2 months they stopped. Consistency s the key of Success. So, reasons to start a blog could be –
1- You want to share knowledge with others
2- You want to grow your network
3- Of course, you want to have a passive income
4- Blog can make your resume better and you will be have opportunity
5- You want to be a great author in your niche.
Common questions beginner blogger always ask –
What platform to choose – Of course WordPress, don’t think much to choose the platform. Go for WordPress, it is covering 30% of world wide web and more than 70% of blog websites.
What nicheto choose – That’s up to you of course, chooses niche that you hold command over it. Unless you are not expert in that niche, you can’t explain to readers.
What Domain Name to choose – Ah, sometime difficult thing to come up with right domain name. But i will advice to choose short name that will be easy to remember and of course related to your niche will be an add on.
What Hosting to choose – That is something you need to choose wisely. A bad hosting can make your all efforts zero. We will discuss about few best options later on in this post.
What should be 1st year expense – How much money i will need to start the blog, such question arise in beginners bloggers mind. So if i include both domain and Linux shared hosting for your blog the minimum budget will be approx 2200 INR (30 USD) for First Year only.
Can i start a blog for free – Yes You can..
But i will not advice to go for free blog service platform like WordPress.com, Squarespace, Blogger, Wix, Weebly etc.
Because blog monetization will not be possible in free blog platforms or you need to upgrade by paying to start monetization our blog.
Features are limited and not useful for long term
Lack of support or limited support available in free blogs services.
Switching is not easy from free blog services to personal host blog. It will take extra money , time and complex work for non technical bloggers.
You can not have personal domain name with free blogging services. You need to buy it.
So, assuming we are on same page that We are going to use self hosting WordPress (https://wordpress.org/) blog with domain name.
So, i am going to cover below points to start your first WordPress blog. It will take up to 30 minutes to set up your first blog –
Select a perfect niche for you blog
Choose a perfect domain name and register domain name
Choose the best web hosting provider
Install new theme and design your blog
Install required Plugins
Publish your first Post
Select a Perfect Niche for the Blog –
You are eager to start the blog and looking to set up the first Blog.
But wait, have you decided your blog niche i.e topic on which you are going to write. Blog can be on anything like your hobby or interest like sports, games, gadgets, yoga or any life experience or professional skills , technology blogs, travel, finance, cooking etc.
Always choose a niche that you know and understand very well. And can write and explain to others and share knowledge.
For newbies, it can be difficult to choose niche so list down all you choices and then brainstorm on your capabilities and skills which niche you should start a blog.
Good luck for niche brainstorming . 🙂
Choose a perfect domain name and register domain name –
So next part after selecting your blog niche is to choose perfect domain name for your blog.
Domain name should be less in characters and easy to remember. And should have keywords related to your niche but this is not mandatory but can help on optimizing your domain name.
Always go for .com domain name
Domain name should be easy to remember and pronounce
Domain name should be less in characters
Don’t use .info , .net domain name extensions , If .com not available then choose .org
There are lots domain name registrar available to register the domain names. You can check if your domain name is available or not.
Go to any domain registrant like Blushost, Bigrock, Godaddy etc. and try finding your domain name. See image below, i tried searching for my domain name ecomspark.com , And this domain name is showing already taken but there is other option also available. So choose a domain name that is available and have .com extension, .Com extension not mandatory but good to have.
So go ahead buy your domain name, domain name registrar will ask you to add some extra features also But it will cost you some extra money. So for now as a beginners no need to buy add on features with domain.
Choose the best web hosting provider –
Now, I am assuming that we have finalized :
Blog platform i.e WordPress
Blog Niche is final
Domain name is finalized
So, now time is to choose best web hosting. You will see many hosting provider says that they have 99.99% up time and 24X7 availability. But don’t go blindly, do a detail research before buying hosting.
I will suggest you to go Linux based hosting that is good for WordPress Blog. Also, try to buy domain and hosting from one provider as a beginner you might find it difficult to have some settings to map your domain name from different hosting provider. All hosting provider also sells domain names.
You can go with any hosting provider in Bluehost , Go daddy or Big rock etc. All are good and i have used all of them.
There are lots of others hosting provider also that provides hoisting on cheap prices. But i will suggest not to go with cheap web hosting because it might cause trouble in after sales services.
Lets see Prices of Bluehost, GoDaddy and BigRock.
Bluehost Linux Hosting Prices –
As a beginner, you can go with Basic plan for now. When your blog grows you can go on upper version.
GoDaddy Linux Hosting Service Prices –
GoDaddy also gives a WordPress specific hosting at $4.99. WordPress hosting comes with WordPress specific features like lots of free themes to use. You can also go with Basic plan of $2.49.
BigRock Hosting Plans –
BigRock could be a option if you want to go with India web hosting company with 100% up time. Prices are lower as compared to GoDaddy and Bluehost.
i am assuming after going through hosting details and prices, now you have decided with which hosting to go with. Always try to search coupons before doing any payments as you will find hosting coupons available up to 30-40% off. Web hosting companies offers more discount for 1st year hosting to attract customers.
i am assuming, you are smart enough to purchase hosting with online payment options like Credit /debit card , net banking or money wallets.
If you face any issue while purchasing, you can ask in comment section.
Install WordPress –
So, you have purchased web hosting. Upon successful purchase, you must received an email from hosting company with the c panel details.
You will also get an email to change your domain name’s DNS to map it with your web hosting server.
For Big Rock, login with your credentials in to your account. You will see list of all you purchased domains. Click on the domain to see the details page :
Click on Name Servers and change Name Server 1 and Name Sever 2 with your hosting provider name servers that you received on your email on contact with support for any issue.
So now you need to install WordPress on the server. But if you have purchased WordPress specific hosting then you don’t need to do anything. WordPress will be auto installed. And you are good to go with your first blog post.
OR If not purchased WordPress specific hosting plan, then Login to c panel. There you will find auto installer available, that you can use to install WordPress on one click on your domain name. In a minute of time, you are ready to use your blog with WordPress default theme.
You will receive WordPress admin and database credentials from auto installer on you registered email id.
Install new theme and design your blog –
So, now you have WordPress installed on your domain name and ready to publish your first blog.
But do you like default theme design or is it like that you wished for. If answer is NO then you need to change the theme or make changes in the default theme as per your thoughts.
But making changes in theme is not easy, Are you a web developer ? If Yes, go ahead and do the changes in the theme’s template files. And make it more beautiful and user friendly.
A nice design of your blog is an asset for you because visitors don’t like bad design and difficult user navigation.
You can hire a designer also for you blog’s theme development. But if you have tight budget go for free WordPress themes available.
Login to your new installed WordPress and you will find default theme installed like Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Fourteen, Twenty Thirteen etc.
For free theme, Go to theme section under Appearance and click on Add New. You will be on a screen from where you can search new free themes or you can upload themes also from Upload Theme.
If you have some budget, you can also go for paid themes. There is lots of paid theme available on WordPress theme development websites –
Try above links and choose the theme you like and want to have for your blog.
Finding right theme can be difficult but i can share some basic thoughts that you should take care while go for paid themes –
Theme should be simple
Theme should be Responsive
Theme can work for all browsers
Theme must have supported inbuilt plugins
Theme should have SEO friendly features
Always do a detail research of the theme like feedback from previous buyers.
Install required Plugins –
There is lots of Plugins available in WordPress. WordPress have large community so for every custom feature there is plugins available. i am going to list down plugins that are basic need for a Blog –
SEO Plugin like SEO by Yoast or All in one SEO
Cache Plugin like W3 Total Cache
Contact Form 7
Always keep in mind that unnecessary plugin can make your blog slow. You can install and activate plugin from WordPress dashboard itself. There is always a settings option for the plugin, you can learn more about plugin from plugin’s documentation and support section.
Publish your first Post –
So, after installing theme and basic plugins, you are good to go with your first blog post.
As we discussed initially about blog niche, hope you have done your home work and start to publish your first blog. Don’t copy content from others blog and keep your post content unique and should have 800+ words length.
Try to publish 2-3 blogs per week and have images, videos, links ,info graphics in your blogs.
i tried to cover all basics to start your first blog. Hope it will help to start, for any questions please write in comment section.
Also please share you blogging journey and any challenges if you faced any to start the Blog.