It’s great to keep in touch with friends and family via social media, but what happens when you have more to say than you can squeeze into your Facebook or Twitter posts, or if you want a bigger audience for your thoughts? Blogs are perfect for allowing you to write extended pieces about what interests you, and the good news is that starting one is easier than ever. Let us guide you step-by-step through the process of setting up and running a new start a blog.
Table of Contents
1. Identify the topic you want to blog about
One of the great things about blogging is that it provides a forum where you can air your views on absolutely anything under the sun. It could be a journal-like space where you write about what you’re doing in your everyday life or a place for you to voice your opinions on subjects that are important to you. Whatever topic you choose to blog about, this will be your own corner of the internet to do what you like.
To get started with a blog, it’s helpful to think about why you want to start one and what your goals are. There could be several reasons why you would want to start a blog, including:
- Establish your authority– A blog gives you a chance to show your expertise on a specific topic, which can lead to a lot of unexpected opportunities. As an example, established bloggers are increasingly asked to contribute to news pieces, TV shows, and so on.
- Making money from blogging – there are several ways to make money from blogging, and we’ll discuss them later on in this post.
- Social activism – By blogging, you can spread awareness about issues that are important to you.
- Attract potential employers– Blogging is a fantastic way to demonstrate your expertise in a particular field or your passion for a particular field.
- You can appeal to university admissions tutors –when you’re applying for a competitive university course, blogging intelligently about the course will show your passion for it, which will be evident on your UCAS application.
However, you might just want to start a blog for the simple reason that you enjoy writing – and that’s fine too. However, it’s important to know your reasons for blogging because they will influence everything from how your start a blog looks to what kind of content you post.
2. Select your platform.
As a beginner blogger, WordPress.com is the best platform because it is easy to edit posts and you can choose from literally thousands of free themes to make your blog look great. Other popular options include Blogger, Medium, and Tumblr, and although services such as Weebly and Wix are more suitable for building business websites, they can also be used to start a blog.
WordPress.org offers greater flexibility and user-friendliness than WordPress.com while providing you with greater control over your blog. If this appeals to you – for example, a wider selection of themes and plugins – you should consider it. Unlike WordPress.com, WordPress.org requires you to install it on your hosting platform and it is usually straightforward since most web hosts offer a ‘one-click’ install, however, it still requires a bit more technical knowledge than the alternatives.
Choosing the right platform depends on what you hope to accomplish with your start a blog. As an example, if you want to reach as many people as possible, Medium’s built-in audience may appeal, while bloggers with a younger target audience may prefer Tumblr, which is popular among younger readers.
3. Get a custom domain name.
You can create a blog using platforms like WordPress and Blogger by creating a domain name that includes the name of the platform, for example, ‘[YourBlogName].wordpress. com’. Nevertheless, these can be rather confusing and are harder for people to remember, so you should get your own domain name.
By choosing a UK domain, you give your blog a trustworthy feel, show your readers that you’re based in the UK, and may also increase your search engine rankings. In addition, if you buy a UK domain, you have the option to protect your personal information; this means that if someone looks up your domain name with one of the many domain lookup services out there, they won’t find out your home address.
In order to make your start a blog more personal, you can buy your own domain from many domain registrars, but you may have to try a few different names before you find one that is available.
4. Choosing web hosting
Renting space on the internet where you can display your website is known as web hosting. In general, beginner blogging platforms include web hosting, meaning you won’t need to pay extra or go to the trouble of finding a reliable company.
If you self-host your start a blog, you’ll find there are a variety of hosting companies to choose from (if you search for your domain using our search tool, you’ll find most domain registrars also offer web hosting). Typically, a good hosting company will preinstall your preferred platform (such as WordPress) on your domain, so you won’t have to worry about technical details.
5. Decide on the design
The thousands of pre-built themes – or templates – that provide an easy template to work with, make it easy to create a great-looking blog even if you have no design skills. Look for themes for your chosen blogging platform on Google (“WordPress blog themes”, for instance), and you’ll find many to choose from. When choosing a theme, you will often see examples of websites that use the theme so that you can get an idea of what your own website will look like once you add your own content.
There are a few common functionalities from one theme to another, but depending on what you’re writing about, you may prefer one layout to another. A photography start a blog, for instance, would be well-suited with a site with prominent photo features – such as a big slider on the homepage. Maybe a magazine-style layout would be best for you if you plan on starting a lifestyle blog.
6. Get started writing
Your blog can be launched with just a single post, so once your blog platform has been created, you can immediately get started writing. It is a good idea to add an ‘About Me’ page to your blog before you let the world know about it, or write and publish start a blog posts before you start sharing your work on social media.
7. Make sure you promote what you write.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be writing purely for your own pleasure – and that means you’ll need to share what you publish and promote it.
Your blog will begin to attract traffic from search engines once it becomes established. Using SEO to find search engine traffic is a good start, but a good way to start getting visitors to your blog right from the start is to share your posts on social media every time you publish one. Social media hashtags will help you expand the audience for your blog posts, as well as your social media presence. You can find a lot more information about how to promote your start a blog here.
8. Blog development
Creating your content in advance makes it easier to stay consistent about when and what you post, especially if you’re looking to build your readership. Creating a content calendar will enable you to plan an interesting range of topics and avoid having posts about the same subject matter repeatedly. This is helpful when you want to write about time-dependent subjects – such as posting something for Earth Day, for example.
SEO (search engine optimization) will boost the rankings of your start a blog on search engines, which should help attract more readers. Learn more about how you can grow your blog with SEO.
In addition to developing your blog as it grows, you may wish to monetize it. Here are some areas where you can monetize it:
- Revenue from advertising
- and affiliate marketing
- Influencer marketing involves working with companies to promote their products or services in exchange for payment in cash or free products.
Before such opportunities come knocking at your door, you’ll need to establish a big following, but if making money is your goal, you might want to check out our advice on how to monetize your start a blog.
Learn more here.
Starting a blog is only the beginning. These useful links for further reading will provide you with countless tips on growing your start a blog.