HOW TO START A BLOG
I can bet you have lost counts of the number of times you have heard or come across the word blog, blogging or a blogger and how to start a blog and make money.
What then is blogging ?
Blogging, as the name implies; it is one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information or news. It serves as a way of expressing oneself and a fantastic way to share information to others.
What is a Blog really?
Since we know what blogging is all about, you may be wondering about the meaning of a blog, well a blog is a discussion or an informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary style text entries or posts.
So who is a Blogger ?
One who owns, runs and update a blog. Simply, one involved in the process of blogging
The above is a very simplified and elaborate definition of the three basic terms, but I have a feeling the definition doesn’t really cover your intent of being here or the solution you are seeking.
There are many ways you can be a blogger; you can start by creating your blog or you can join some blogging company and join their team of bloggers or become a freelance blogger.
Blogging makes you become a better person and a better writer, however, it takes time before it starts to make money for you, so don’t just jump into blogging thinking it is a money-making business. The initial period is full of hard work, dedication, time consuming and sometimes frustration. So, I will highly advise that you should not leave your day job before making money from your blog.
Many people are confused over what constitutes a blog and a website. Part of the problem is that many businesses use both, integrating them into a single web presence.
But there are two features of a blog that set it apart from a website.
- Blogs are updated frequently but websites might occasionally have new information, but for the most part, the offer static, rarely changing information
- Blogs allow readers engagement whereby readers can comment and have a discussion with the blogger and others who read the blog
Below are my pros and cons of blogging, you can easily connect yourself to these points.
Advantages of blogging
- Become your own boss
If you are blogging you don’t need to work from 9 to 6 hours. You can work at anytime of the day and work with ease. You are free to do anything. You can plan your work and easily work on it.
- Blogging makes you become a better person and a better writer
- Blogging provides an easy way to keep your customers and clients up to date
- It allows you to build trust and rapport with your prospects.
- It can serve as a means of revenue
- Blogging is flexible and portable
- It increases new business
- It helps to gain influence
Disadvantages of blogging
- It requires a great deal of time
- You may feel alone: well this is common among the full-time bloggers. They miss their earlier colleagues. They even miss those people who create problems during work. You have to work alone until you struggle hard and find a new opportunity to expand your work so that you can hire other people.
- You need ideas to write about: to keep your blog updated, you need to have ideas what to write about. The good news is that you don’t need to write it all, you can hire a guest writer or a freelance writer
- The payoff isn’t immediate: one of the biggest frustrations about blogging is that it is time consuming and the payoff isn’t immediate at the beginning. It takes time to build a readership and momentum
You are only interested in knowing how to start a blog and make money doing it to. Well, I have a good news for you.You are in the right place at the right time.
If only you would stick around with me to the end of this ultimate guide , I would unveil to you all the practical steps on how to start a blog, while also revealing amazing and practical tips to do it right and turn your blog into a money spinner in a short time.
“Good, this is exactly what I am looking for“. You just said to yourself.
Then let’s do it
Before I proceed, let me warn that this post may not be valuable to you if
- You’re are looking for magic trick to turn a millionaire overnight blogging. There is no such magic in this business. You got to look somewhere else . If you find it, do let it know. I might be interested too. Lol
- You are too lazy to commit to doing one thing for sometime and see it work
- You are not ready to follow all the clear steps and act on the actionable tips I will be sharing with you
- You cannot sit behind a computer for at least two hours everyday
- You are Mr. or Mrs. freebie who cannot invest a dime to secure your financial future. (this guide is free though)
If you fall into any of the above categories. You may save yourself the time and quietly back out. Better still, you might just want to go down a little bit, you may most likely find a reason to stay after all.
Congratulations!!! You made it to this place
STARTING YOUR BLOG
Like every other thing, starting a blog and one that will make money for you requires a great deal of adequate preparation and some basic tools that will help in the smooth running of it.
Basically, you require just three important tools to get started
- A personal computer ( though you can do the updating with your phone after designing your site)
- A good internet connection,
- and ultimately,
- A determined and resilient spirit
STAGES OF HOW TO START A BLOG
Starting a blog comes in stages. Here I will walk you through each of the stages extensively.
Stage 1. Choose a Niche
A niche is simply a specific or a particular narrow section of a market. In this case, it’s the area or topic you want your blog to be focused on. What you prefer to talk about.
This is one of the most important stages of starting your blog. It is the foundation of your blog. And just as any building with a wrong foundation would collapse easily, so will your blog if you didn’t start it on a solid ground.
Granted, all blogging niches are lucrative and many people are doing well in all. But some niches may not work for you. There is also no denying the fact that some niches are more lucrative than others especially for beginners.This will depend largely on your target location though
For example in Nigeria. The entertainment and news niches seem to be presently overcrowded. So starting a blog on such niches is not a very wise move for beginners targeting Nigeria audience. (that is not to say it’s not possible making it in such niches, it simply would take a longer time and usually too much of extra work). So you want to chose a niche that’s is not overcrowded in order to achieve your aim of making money quicker.
Here are two major factors to consider when deciding on your niche
- Your personal interest and
- The market availability
Although those who are blogging for fun and pleasure will do just fine with the first factor. The second is very important in fact much more important if your sole purpose of blogging is to make money.
Many people preach that you choose a niche that you have a passion for. While this is a great advice. It has its downside. What if the niche I am passionate for is not lucrative or overly crowded?.
That’s why I advise otherwise, choose a niche with a sizable market, not too crowded, and develop a passion for it.This is not me saying, go into a niche that you have totally no knowledge about.
However, if you get to choose a niche that’s lucrative with moderate competition and that you have passion for, then I should congratulate you because nothing can beat that. It’s just the best.
Don’t let just your passion be your only determining factor
Another instance. Say I have passion for poetry in Nigeria, I wouldn’t go into that niche targeting Nigerians if I ever intend to make good money easily with my blog.The reason for this is that there is such a small market for it. Making money from such niche would take an unusually long period of time.
Blog about topics that many people will be interested in especially ones that have related products that your reader may likely want to buy. In all, make research on niches and ensure to balance your passion and the market availability .
Stage 2. Choose a Domain Name
A domain name is simply the name of your website or blog, what people type in their browser to enter into your particular blog or Web pages.
pressnews.com.ng for example is my domain name.
It’s like an address through which people pass to get to you. So you want to make sure to be clear with it so that people who seek you find you.
Some SEO evangelists preach that when choosing a domain name, it’s a good SEO strategy to include the theme of your blog into your domain name
While this is cool to some extent. Do not be stucked with this method . Allow your muse to get even more creative bearing in mind that content is still king.
Here are some great tips to follow when choosing your domain name:
- Let it be easy to remember. You don’t want to have a domain name that users will have to rack their brains to remember example.pressnewsng.com.ng, ogbongeblog.com, smartblogger.com are quite easy to remember
- Let it be brandadble .You want to have a domain name that is unique and more of a brand than just a name. for example Amazon, twitter, Microsoft etc are great examples of brandable domain names.
- Let it not be too long. You don’t want to use something like this easywaytogetadmission.com or anything as long as that.
- Avoid using numbers and hyphens. Using such domain names as example.How2make-money-online.com is a total joke.
Stage 3. Hosting your Blog
This is simply making your blog available for users in the internet to see.So a web host stores all your blog files and make it available for users all over the world to access. Let’s make it even clearer. A web host is like your physical store or shop that houses your goods or products, where people can come to get them.
There are many web hosting companies littered all over the internet with all of them priding themselves to be the best. So it becomes necessary that you make a good and thorough research by reading up reviews online, so as to make a wise decision when choosing your web host.
Let me tell you that though there are great and popular web hosts out there, there is no best web host as many reviewers will make you believe. It all boils down to you, what you want and what your budget is saying.
If you are a beginner blogger and on a very tight budget, you could go for a cheaper but highly reliable hosts out there.I strongly recommend Namecheap. With less than $25 or # 9000, you will have your domain name registered,your blog hosted and running smoothly.
Namecheap has a lot of positive reviews out there and a lot of happy customers too ( I am one of them). You may want to try it.Their support is second to none.
Aside that, other great hosting networks to consider include
- GoDaddy etc
Bear in mind that more cost some sometimes isn’t more value.
You might like read wpbeginner’s review of 10 best hosting networks
At the end of the day, the decision is all yours to make but this is what you should look out for when chosing your web host
A good web host should have the following
- A good Uptime : That is the period of time your blog is up and running. 99.99% uptime is always the best. You don’t want your site always going down.
- A great loading speed: You want to ensure that your blog has a maximum loading speed. Nothing annoys users more as a slow loading website or blog.
- A great customer care support: Until you run into a technical difficulty, you may not understand why a good support is highly important. Ensure your choice web host has a maximum customer support
- A strong security: You don’t want hackers to ruin all your hard work and keep you depressed. Every business needs good security
Stage 4. Installing WordPress and designing your blog
I ultimately assume that WordPress is your choiced blogging platform owing to its popularity and the great possibilities it can offer. You can however launch your blog in any other platform such as Blogger, Wix etc. Though I strongly recommend WordPress if you’re starting a blog in 2019.
The advantages of WordPress are too numerous to be ignored. It is the God of web designing today especially for non techy users.
Below are reasons why I highly recommend WordPress over others.
- It is super easy to use : You don’t have to write any single line of code to install WordPress. Gone are the days when you have to be a coder or pay a huge amount of money to a developer to design a blog for you.
- It’s very secured: Security is the last thing you want to take lightly about your blog. WordPress offers strong security to your site and still provide you with additional plugins to improve on the security of your blog
- It’s rich in features: With its thousands of beautiful themes(free and paid) and amazing plugins(free and paid) , you can never go wrong with your blog’s design and functionality
- It’s completely free: I know you like this one, you don’t have to pay any dime to anybody to use it. It’s an open source software . You just have install it, install a theme and play around with the design. Then you install some plugins, activate and set up them up and you are good to go.Do ensure though to install using wordpress.org and not wordpress.comCheck out the difference between wordpress and blogger, so as wordpress.com and wordpress.org
Bonus Tip: Always have a blog or two whose design you love and let it guide you in designing your own blog. it doesn’t mean you should create exactly the same thing but let it guide you ultimately to making your work easier and faster.
You have successfully set up your blog
Go ahead ,write your first post and publish it . Keep writing and publishing cause the blogging business have started. you are now full blown blogger.
“It’s all good, thanks so far, how then do I make the money?”