Do you hesitate to start a blog or not? Of course, start! Currently, blogging is a powerful tool to boost your business, promote your product, establish expertise, and just earn money. Yes, there are dozens of purposes to keep a blog.
So, if your dream is to be a blogger, then it can come true TODAY! Here we are to help you on your way, providing this easy guide on building a blog in 2020-21. Following the tutorial, even a newbie can succeed. Here we’re going to prove that it’s easier than you think. Herewith, keep on reading to make sure of it by yourself.
Before proceeding ahead- learn what is a blog.
Start a Blog Today in 7 Easy Steps
It’s always a little bit frightful to be a beginner. There are a lot of things to learn, understand, and do before you develop a reputation. Yet, remember that every influencer and famous blogger used to be a newbie one day. Besides, here we prepared a step-by-step instruction that covers all the aspects to mind when launching a blog that is bound to clear the process. Only 7 easy steps are between you and your dream. Let’s move on!
Step #1. Define a blog niche and name
Before we go to launching a website, here are two more things to define first:
- The main topic of your future blog;
- The name or it’s better to say think over the URL.
Everything depends on your goals. So, if it’s a personal blog then pick your bailiwick or theme you’re a true expert in. It’s the only way to bring value to the readers. When you aim to boost the business, then it’s obvious that the blog must be relevant and demonstrate what you do/offer. Otherwise, what’s a point? You just confuse people and they’ll leave.
However, the blog entirely must be unique and useful. Don’t just follow anybody or mime somebody, share your expert commentary, experience, vision, knowledge, etc. to capture and retain the customers.
As soon as the niche is determined, it’s time to give the blog a name. It’s a domain that the visitor sees first. That’s why it should represent:
- Either the main topics you’ll be writing about;
- The trading name or your first/last name, or the mix of both;
- A quirky and/or amusive word combination, etc.
It should be unique, eye-catching, and easy-to-remember as well as easy-to-type, easy-to-pronounce. Also, you should better opt for the short domain name. Doing that, you’ll simplify the process of building a brand, promoting the blog, and, as a result, monetizing it.
Step #2. Pick the CMS and get your blog online
The platform plays a key role. Thus, the right CMS chosen affects all aspects of your project: from creation smoothness and up to the way you maintain it. Currently, WordPress.org is the unquestionable leader among the platforms used for blogs. Though, Blogger, Ghost, Tumblr, and some other CMSs offer you a wide range of tools for building unique and well-working blogs too.
Today there are two main kinds of CMSs available to choose from:
- Free ones are tempting for newbies. They offer a wide range of tools, features, and are easy to use. Yet, mind the fact that you won’t be the blog owner but the service. What’s more, you inherently agree to abide by the rules and restrictions of the platform. Besides, you’re not allowed to use your domain. All that isn’t the best variant in case you’re going to profit from it.
- Self-hosted platforms allow using your own domain. Plus, here you’re a boss and it’s you who rules everything, you’re fully in charge of the site and the contents you add there. And that’s all in addition to the wide range of the features and tools provided to build the best blog ever. It’s a better variant for a blog as a business.
If you select the latter, then it’s critical to utilize trust-and-true hosting. Mind the fact that all the blog files (images, videos, text, etc.) will be held there. Besides, it’s the server to keep the website reachable for the users 24/7. That’s why it’s important to select a stable server. BlueHost is a widely used service for blog sites. However, you can pick any that suits your budget, demands, purposes. Just compare several hosting services before making a final decision.
Step #3. Design your blog
“The first impressions are most lasting”. If your blog looks like an amateur’s one or it’s not nice enough, no one will trust you and close the site before reading. The competition is tough. Herewith, it’s critical to create a pro-looking website. The blog design must be recognizable. It’s to appeal to your users and grab their attention. But how to manage that?
Commonly, platforms have a library of free and paid themes/templates to use. Hence, for instance, WordPress provides a number of ready-made themes. Herewith, even if you’re not a designer or you can’t afford to hire one, you can use any template and make a pro-looking site. Yes, such templates simplify and hasten the process.
Make the next 4 steps and you’re ready to go:
- Select the theme/template that suits your idea most of all;
- Add your content;
- Preview and test the site — visit every page, tap on each link, menu, etc.;
- If everything is okay, then launch the blog.
Anyway, designing the website, take into consideration its usability. It’s crucial for the navigation to be intuitive, the interface to be user-friendly, thus, the users can find any piece of information with no sweat even at the first visit. Yes, it must be beautiful but practical at the same time.
Besides that, check the responsiveness of the theme chosen to be sure that your blog looks good on mobile devices as well. Adaptive site is not a recommendation but a MUST-HAVE. It’s a well-known fact that mobile users are prevailing nowadays. Herewith, if your blog doesn’t adapt to smartphones or tablets, then customers will leave it. So, test your blog on various mobile gadgets before launching and after any changes implemented.
Step #4. Build a content strategy and create your first blog post
A good content strategy is required to succeed. Hence, before writing a word, you’re to plan out the content pipeline for the coming weeks/months. Do the following things:
- Define your goals and set business objectives;
- Research the niche — determine your leading competitors, learn their strategy, and just do better;
- Learn your users, their needs, reveal their pain points to create appealing and competitive content that will work.
After gathering and analyzing the data, sit, and create a list of topics to observe. You can use tools such as Trello, Google Docs, Airtable, and others to map out the content and don’t miss a thing. All the static content and pages? Including but not limited to About Us, Contacts, Footer, Market Kit, Sidebar, etc. must be added to your plan. Such content is very important too.
Only after that, turn to your first post. Deciding on the topic for the article, keep in mind that it’s an introduction. Thus, a few crucial facts about you/company, idea, and blog are to be covered in the post.
Write for and to people, not bots. Blog — is a long conversation and discussion with your users. Each piece of content added to your blog is to reflect that. Talk to the visitor as if he/she is sitting next to you.
Step #5. Use the visuals and videos of the premium quality
Just imagine our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Yes, plain text doesn’t work anymore, people will leave your blog without reading a line if there is not a single illustration added. It’s a weighty argument to add some infographics, images, charts, GIFs, animations, videos, and other visual content to the posts. Yet, the quality DOES matter — it must be premium.
Don’t panic! Presently, there are lots of solutions and services to use for creating eye-catching and captivating blogs. We recommend using Crello. It’s an online editor with 25 000+ ready templates in 45 design formats, 500,000 premium images, 100,000,000 HD stock photos, 8,000+ animated designs, etc. on offer.
There you can find/modify and/or find visuals to meet your demands and achieve your objectives. No skills are required. Follow the instructions and enjoy the results.
Step #6. Set a publishing schedule
It’s crucial to plan what and when you’ll write. Publish articles constantly, your readers will be more likely to revisit your blog and stay engaged. Scheduling various posts on different days, you can test what kind of content works and appeals to your users better. Constant updates of your blog are good for SEO as well.
All the tools mentioned in step 4 are useful on the stage too. Use them not only for mapping out the content but for tracking the status of the tasks and measuring the quantity of work.
Step #7. Market and monetize your blog
Promoting is the starting point. Select out of a litany of ways to market the blog via social media, ads, SEO, etc. Utilize all the channels to make your site visible. Therefore, it’s a way for driving traffic to a website, telling the world about you, gaining credibility.
Just when you’ve managed to attract enough visitors, monetize your blog website. Here are our tips on increasing lead generation and raising money on blogging:
- Sell personal products/services — it can be courses, apps, knowledge, etc.;
- Use advertisement space of your site;
- Sponsored content;
- Brand partnership;
- Affiliate marketing;
- Network with other bloggers.
You’re not limited by only one way to choose. The best variant is a combination of all the ways. One more piece of advice for you: always learn, test, and verify the products and companies you’re going to partner with. Better not risk the credibility of the readers. Reputation is everything for the blogger. Just bear in mind that.
Blogging provides a myriad of opportunities in 2020. Besides, today it’s much easier to get started than ever before thanks to the wide range of tools available to utilize and simplify the process from creation to service. This step-by-step instruction covers all the aspects to mind when launching a blog. It’s created to help you to succeed, motivate you, and guide you on starting your professional blog today. Good luck!