Creating a blog is great online venture. It allows you to write about anything you want – usually something you are interested in or an expert in, and potentially profit from doing so whilst providing readers with valuable content. If you’ve never owned a website or done any web design, its also the perfect place to start off and teach yourself the skills for future website management. It will also give you valuable writing experience. You may be thinking that it will cost hundred of pounds/dollars to create a professional looking blog, and this isn’t worth it. But the reality is that due to software like WordPress today it is easier and cheaper than ever to create a professional looking blog.
Your first step is to choose a niche to write about. This shouldn’t be too difficult as you presumably had an idea in mind when you thought about setting up your blog. Bare in mind that a niche can be very wide or specific, but for maximum exposure it should be somewhere in the middle. For example, this blog focuses on online businesses, which is a single facet of the entire topic of business. If the entire blog was devoted to dropshipping, then it would be too specific. Make sure you have lots of content you can write about. If you aren’t sure on what topic to use, write about something you know, sports and hobbies are very doable. A blog should share expertise to the reader. If you aren’t confident in what you write about, then visitors to your site certainly aren’t going to return. You as a blogger have to create value in your posts to earn your viewership.
Your next step is to choose a hosting platform. Ideally you want one which includes a domain to save you from having separate accounts and platforms for managing your site, these are unnecessary complications that will make life harder especially if you have little experience in running websites prior to this. My personal recommendation and the platform that this very blog is hosted on is SiteGround. SiteGround makes setting up a blog particularly easy due to its built-in installers. You also get a domain with its hosting making it great value for money. For Domains, domain.com is the cheapest around. You can also use their tool to check if your domain is available.
Other hosting options include GoDaddy and HostGator, but there are many others. These do not usually include a domain, sometimes they will run an offer which includes one though. What do we look for in a hosting site? Well speed is an essential, as you want your site to load quickly – the vast majority of users will click away from a page if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. Ease of use is another important factor. You want to be able to write away and not be held back by behind the scene problems. Having used all three of SiteGround, GoDaddy and HostGator previously, I can say that SiteGround is the easiest user experience I’ve had and the least complicated.
Once you have decided on where you are hosting your site and purchased your domain, you want to install WordPress. WordPress is free and allows you to run a great looking site through their use of themes which essentially dictate the look and feel of your site. You can purchase themes on the envato theme market to customise your site. The level of customisation will allow you to make your site exactly the way you want it. Plug-ins also allow you to add functionality to your site and make things like SEO far simpler. WordPress themes also include mobile-optimised sites which mean you don’t have to worry about creating anything separate for mobile. On Siteground, its as easy as choosing the WordPress installer during setup. It will automatically get installed for you and then you can immediately start customising your site.
Now you can start writing! Do not be deterred by any lack of readership for anything up to the first 6 months of blog ownership, this is completely standard. You won’t get ranked on Google for a while and it requires a site which continually updates. Remember to spellcheck and grammar check your content. Only consistency and perseverance will lead to people viewing your blog regularly. Remember to vary your content!
If you want to learn how to increase traffic to your blog in the long term, check out this guide.