These days anybody with a computer and an internet connection can become a blogger. You don’t need to be tech-savvy or know anything about web design. With a blog, you can slowly create an audience and put your ideas, opinions, and expertise out there. At the same time, you can earn an income while working with a flexible schedule.
Like any startup, you need to start at the beginning. There is a lot that needs to be done, from choosing the blog niche and name to creating a website and attracting followers, all with very little money to spend.
In this article, we will take you through the basics and help you get your first blog site up and running in no time.
Steps for starting a blog
1. Choose a blogging platform
After you’ve decided to build a blog, the first thing you have to figure out is what you to build it on. There are numerous blogging platforms available, and you’ll find both free and paid options. Some of the popular choices including WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Medium, Tumblr, Wix, and Ghost.
Unless you are on a very tight budget, we wouldn’t recommend a free blogging platform. Not only do free blogging platforms look unprofessional but also they provide few customizations and may be costlier in the long run. Most do not offer custom domains and as such lack the uniqueness that can help your blog stand out from the crowd.
A premium blogging platform will allow you to have your custom domain and give you full ownership of your blog and content. You won’t have any limitations, and you will be free to monetize your blog with ads and affiliate links.
2. Pick a niche
There are a wide variety of niches out there. Some are more popular and easier to make money in than others. It’s advisable to pick a niche you have a real interest in and develop a content strategy.
Remember, there are millions of blogs on the web, but only a fraction is still active. Even many successful blogs don’t stick around for long. If you pick something you have a passion for, you won’t struggle to create content, and you’ll have an easy time maintaining the blog.
3. Choose your domain name
After you settle on a specific niche, you will now need to pick and register a domain name. Your blog name will be your identity on the world wide web and will play a huge role in the success of your blog. On its own, the blog name has the potential to drive traffic to your site.
When choosing your domain name, go for a name that’s unique but at the same time easy to remember. It should also be descriptive enough such that people can instantly tell what your blog is about from the name only.
4. Get your blog online
Now that you have decided on the blogging platform and the domain name, it’s time to choose a web hosting solution. Again there are numerous options available, and you can easily find one that meets your needs and budget. But instead of purchasing a dedicated web host, we recommend starting with a shared web host and scaling up as your blog grows.
5. Anonymous or not?
There are many reasons why some people might want to blog anonymously. Some may want to hide their identity to prevent their blogging life from affecting their everyday life. For others, it may be simply an issue of creativity and artistic freedom.
Even when using a self-hosted blogging platform, your privacy is not guaranteed. ISPs, hackers, and government authorities can intercept your online communications and monitor your blogging activities.
Fortunately, with a VPN you can secure your internet connection and protect your identity. All your internet traffic will be encrypted and routed through an intermediary VPN server making it impossible for any third-party to access your details or pinpoint your location.
According to VPNpro Private Internet Access is one of the top VPNs out there. It’s reliable and offers excellent security and privacy features. PIA’s connections are ultra-fast, and the provider has over 3335 servers in 53 locations across the world. The VPN has simple, intuitive clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Also read, On-Page SEO Tips for More Conversions
6. Design the blog
Once everything is up and running, you can now log in to your admin panel and customize your blog site to give it an awesome look. Choose the plugins you need and select a theme and layout from the options available. Most blogging platforms do not impose design restrictions, and you can change your theme and edit your menu as often as you like.
If you are using WordPress, you can also customize a packaged theme or even create your very own theme if you have the skills. However, there is no need to go to such lengths as the free packaged themes can do the trick.
7. Launch the blog
Your blog is finally ready. Now it’s time to launch it and make your content available online. I. Depending on your niche, you can choose to post using your real name or blog anonymously.