Starting a Blog in 2016 in 5 Easy Steps

So you are starting your online journey with starting a blog? And you are in blues and wondering how to start a blog and where to start from? Worry not; I will help you with this step by step guide on staring a blog in 2016. No matter what your technical knowledge is or whether you know anything about HTML or not, simply follow these five easy steps and at the end of this guide you are at a position to create your own blog easily.

Starting a Blog
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Creating a blog is easier than you think. Up till now you must have thinking that one must poses the technical knowledge to get started, however it’s totally opposite to that you even don’t have to have the technical knowledge to start your blog. Here’s how you can get started, step by step guide to building a blog from scratch, get insights and follow these simple and easy steps to start your online journey:

P.S.: while following below steps, if you ever stuck while creating your blog, get in touch with me, I am more than happy to help you.

1. Decide Blog Topic

First of all you need to sit and decide what topic you are going to blog on. Is the blog you are starting is just a hobby, starting a professional blog or you just want to get online and blog about daily on daily life or something. I was passionate about tech blogging and helping people to learn what they don’t know about tech world i.e. hosting, creating blog and web designing etc. Its highly encourage that you either have the expert in the topic you are starting to blog on or some specific field or an industry or anything you are passionate about and wanted to share everything about that topic via blogging, that way it’s much easier for you to write on articles and posts about topic(s) you’re interested in. However, if you unaware and walking in blues wondering which topic or niche you want to blog about, think about your hobbies or just start blogging about your daily actions, unforgettable moments or simply about everything.

2. Choose Blogging Platform

Choosing a Blogging platform is vital task and should be choose wisely. There are a ton of blogging platforms available online, but the most famous and widely used are WordPress and Blogger. Blogging platform can either free or paid. Free blog platform can be good option and you can get started in moments on site like WordPress.com, Blogger.com or Tumblr.com, but there are some issues with free blogging sites which are mentioned below:

  • Your blog will be a sub domain instead of your own independent domain name, suppose you started your blog on WordPress.com, your domain name would be YourBlogName.WordPress.com instead of YourBlogName.com, which is both an awkward and not so user friendly.
  • The default theme and design are limited with free blogs, there isn’t much of the add-ons/plug-in available, if you want these advance features or more customization, then you have to pay someone to do that (If you aren’t a web designer or web developer).
  • You can’t make money with these blogs. Most of the blog won’t allow you to monetize you blog and those which allows get their commission cut from your earning (which normally is 50%) and some platform do not allow third parties advertisers of your likening.
  • Last but on least, though you are the admin of your blog but technically you are not a owner of your own content! As your blog is hosted on their website/server, they are the owner of your blog! Later in the future if their terms of service change and your blog is not complaint to those terms, they can get your blog offline or delete it altogether! Although it doesn’t happen frequently but you always have that risk hanging around your blog.

These are the cons of free blogging; however, if you are to look at the pros then it’s a good way to getting started with them, and later you can always move to paid (self hosted) blogs. If (for example) you are limited on budget and/or not going to blog frequently then using these free blogging platform is a good option.

Now the other option you have is a self-hosted blog, this is your own blog, hosted on your own domain name i.e YourBlog.com, which is totally in your control and far better option. Now as you own the full control of your blog, you can do what you want with your blog. You can put your own advertisement or third party ads and you can earn money from it. Go with this option if you want to blog long term, consistently and get your name out there as an expert in the topic you are blogging.

In this step by step guide to starting a blog, I am going to show you how to start a blog on the later i.e self hosted environment. Note that if you are going to create a blog on free blogging sites i.e. Wordpress.com, you can skip step #3 and #4 and can directly go to step #6.

3. Get Domain Name

It’s a most critical part and you should invest great deal of time in deciding the right domain name (site name) for you blog for 2 reasons, first this is the one time setup, once you decided a name you can’t change it, second it’s important that the domain name should reflect some sort of relationship with the topic of your blog, and the decided name should be free to register. All these takes a while but it’s worth the time.

Pick a domain name which is easy to pronounce, memorable and short. But short domain names (1-2 word domain names) are hard to get and if you desperate to get them you have to shell out millions of dollars to get one! Look at here the most expensive domains of all time.

Go here to know how to choose the best domain name for your blog.

If you are short on ideas, this tool will generate a ton of domain name ideas for you.

if you are still confused, simply get a domain name based on your own name i.e. www.michaeljackson.com (off course if it’s not taken by someone already)

Where to register a domain?

Here is a list of best domain name registrars, you can read their short review and decide which one to go with, all of these domain registrars are great and successfully doing business for years. By the way, If you ask me, I would recommend you NameCheap.com.

4. Get Hosting

If you don’t have enough technical knowledge and don’t want hassle of managing hosting and domain registrar account separately, then go and host your blog on the same company you register you domain with, most of the companies provides both the services. Such as BlueHost or GoDaddy.

But it’s not a wise decision in my personal experience. If you ask me, I would suggest hosting your blog on a different company then the one where you register your domain.

In either case choose a Host which provides these services

  • 24/7 Support - If you need them, they will be there for you at any given time of the day or night
  • Server Uptime Record - It should be 99%+
  • Backup - Make sure web hosting service should provides adequate backup
  • Accessibility - Make sure host you choose gives you access to the server so that you can manage your hosting account yourself i.e. creating new email accounts, make site wide changes etc

If you are using WordPress for creating your blog, then BlueHost is the best option (read our Bluehost review here). You didn’t even need to set up a WordPress, since Bluehost does all that for you. (Use this link to receive a 50% Bluehost discount & a free domain name).

I highly recommend you go through this best web hosting comparison chart before choosing a web hosting service for your blog. No matter what company you go with make sure they offer unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space, so that if in future you need more, you won’t have to face any problems later on.

5. Start Blogging

Once you find the perfect domain name for your blog and chosen the right web hosting company, selected the theme you are going to use, you have to spent lot of time tweaking the theme to get the look and feel we wanted. Once you are done with setting up the theme properly and installed all the add-ons and plug-ins it’s time to start and shot your first blog post on your very own blog which you just created yourself!

One more thing before you start blogging you should setup and write content for About Page, Contact Page, setup social accounts, install required plug-ins etc. Finally start writing new blog posts, share with your colleagues and like-minded people.

To conclude this, regardless of the topic you plan to blogging about, there are already a ton of blogs competing/blogging on the same topic, to stand out from others you need to provide quality and consistent writing schedule, the essential rule remains the same: Content is King.

Note: If you ever get any issues while starting up your blog, get in touch with me and I’ll be more than happy to help you out. You can also send me your issues via Facebook or Twitter (to get a quick reply).
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