So, you want to start a blog in 2020? Great!
Starting a blog is so much easier now than it was when I first started 5-6 years ago. There are so many tools available now that would help even a complete beginner build a blog in less than 30 minutes.
No technical experience or a super geeky coding skill required. Instead, what it requires of you is a little ounce of patience and a burning passion to get your work published online.
In this beginner’s guide, I will teach you all about the basics of blogging and a step-by-step guide to creating your very first website.
Let’s get started.
What is a blog?
A blog is a type of website that mainly contains written content, otherwise known as blog posts.
It’s an online avenue where bloggers share information or news, talk about an interesting perspective on a certain topic, or interact with people who share the same interests and hobbies.
Why start a blog?
Here are the top reasons why you should start a blog today:
- Make money from anywhere in the world. The beauty about blogging is that you can earn money from your content wherever you are in the world. You can directly work with brands or advertisers, promote direct professional services, or sell online courses.
- Share your story. Have you experienced something and successfully overcome it? Write a blog and share your story. You won’t know how many people think and live the way you do and are waiting to hear from you.
- Represent your brand or organization. Be an online authority in your industry to represent your brand. You can publish in-depth blog posts about a certain topic or write detailed information about your products or services.
- Find a community. The ultimate essence of blogging is building a community. You connect with people by making your blog posts helpful and informational, inspiring, or thought-provoking.
What is a free blog and a self-hosted blog?
Generally, there are two ways to start a blog in the internet today. You can have have a free blog or a self-hosted blog. So, what’s the difference between the two?
As the term suggests, a free blog means you won’t have to pay for it. It’s free. It’s a blog usually hosted by popular platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogger.
But, it’s not a platform I recommend if you’re serious about blogging and you’re looking to monetize your content in the future.
Why I don't recommend a free blog
✗ because you don’t own your blog and you can’t monetize your content.
✗ they can delete your blog whenever they want to because they own it.
✗ you have limited creative freedom with how you want to design your blog or how you want to promote it.
✗ potential brand advertisers aren’t going to take you seriously because a free blog is rarely seen as a professional blog.
✗ you can’t personalize your blog name because it’s always attached to theirs like this:
And it’s not pretty, right?
Simply put, a self-hosted blog is a blog you own. It’s hosted on your own server or through popular web hosting sites like Siteground and Bluehost.
A web hosting means a service that puts your blog or website up and running on the internet.
Why I recommend a self-hosted blog
✔ you fully own your blog and you can ultimately monetize your content.
✔ you have limitless creative freedom with how you want to design your blog or how you want to promote it.
✔ you can directly work with brand advertisers for paid content, sponsored reviews, or brand awareness campaigns.
✔ a self-hosted blog is seen as your professional portfolio and brands are more likely to work with you.
✔ you can personalize your blog name however you want to – and it looks pretty like yourblogname.com
Now that you know what a basic blog is and what the benefits are in creating one, here’s the fun part, it’s time to create your very own blog.
It’s only going to take around 30 minutes and if you get stuck along the way, feel free to let me know in the comment section and I’ll help you.
How to start a blog in 7 easy steps
Choosing a unique blog name is one of the most important things in starting a blog because it’s going to be your permanent address on the internet.
It’s all about building a strong brand. Your blog name has to represent who you truly are or what your brand truly represents.
Keep it unique yet simple. Don’t make it too long or hard to spell. It has to be easy to remember.
For example, The Poor Traveler is a catchy blog name and easy to remember. Their brand is all about affordable travel guides and itineraries for people who want to travel the world.
Once you have selected your blog name, it’s time to register it as a domain and select a web hosting service.
A domain is your blog’s permanent address on the internet while a web host keeps your blog on the internet up and running.
In selecting a web host, it’s important that you consider this criteria:
It has to be fast. Do you know that people leave your page if it takes more than 5 seconds to load? You don’t want to waste all the hours you pulled to write an evergreen content only for people not to read it because your blog is slow.
It has to be secure. As a website owner, you want to take your security pretty seriously. You don’t want malicious bots or hackers getting into your files or private site information.
It has to be easy to use. A simple interface makes your blogging journey so much easier. It saves you time and money from having to hire web developers to do the job for you.
That’s why I only recommend Siteground as a perfect web hosting service for your blog – it’s faster, safer, and better.
How to get started with Siteground
Siteground has three pricing plans. If you’re a beginner, I recommend you start with the StartUp plan. It allows you to register and host one website and provides you 10 gigabytes of web space.
After you choose your plan, it’s time to register your blog name or domain name. Siteground will prompt you if the name is still available.
After you proceed, I recommend that you also purchase extra services such as Domain Privacy and Site Scanner.
Domain Privacy hides your personal information from the public who will look you up on whois services, an internet directory. While Site Scanner protects your site from malicious codes or hackers.
Then, review and complete your purchase.
WordPress is a leading platform where you will do most of your blogging activities. It’s simple and very easy to use.
After you complete your purchase with Siteground, you should receive an email that contains instruction on how to launch their setup wizard. Click the launch button in the email and wait for the setup to complete.
After the setup is complete, you should receive another email that contains a link to your WordPress dashboard. Make sure to bookmark this on your browser since you will be using this to log in to your site.
And voila, your blog or website is now live. But, wait, it’s still empty.
Now, here comes the fun part. After setup and installation, the second part of creating a blog is the design and creation of your blog pages and posts.
A blog theme is the visual appearance of your blog when a visitor visits it on the web. You can use free WordPress themes under Dashboard > Appearance > Themes.
However, WordPress themes can be very basic. If you want to level up your blogging game, you can purchase a blog theme from Theme Forest, a leading marketplace for digital products and assets.
If you’re into travel and lifestyle, I recommend using the Hawthorn Theme by SoloPine. It’s beautiful, clean, and simple.
A blog contains basic pages such as Home, About, and Contact. You can add additional pages however you like under Dashboard > Pages > Add New.
Now, your most awaited part, start writing your very first post. It can be something about why you started your blog. Share your story. Tell people more about you and your brand. You can do this on Dashboard > Post > Add New.
Congratulations, you’ve just created your full site.
It’s time to launch it and let people know about it. Share it on to friends and family on your social media pages. Stay tuned for my next post about how to effectively promote your blog.
For now, happy blogging!
START A BLOG NOW!
Need a website but don’t know where to start? Launch your dream blog right with Siteground – it’s faster, safer, and better.