Welcome to this comprehensive 06 step guide on how to create a blog!
You do not need to feel confused about it anymore because I will tell you everything that you need to know!
Are you feeling anxious or overwhelmed? I can relate because I’ve been through the exact same feeling.
You will be having a blog of your own by the end of this article and, I will guide you through each step, one at a time.
Yes! Blogging is for you if that’s for you’re thinking and, Yes! You will be successful if you are willing to put in that amount of effort and sincerity.
Imagine that you’re going to build a house for yourself.
The land you purchase is your Hosting,
The house you build on it is your Website, and,
The address of this house is your Domain.
Let’s dive right into the basics that we need to begin with:
There are mainly six blogging platforms:
Firstly, let me clear out the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org:
Now, I will tell you the Pros and Cons of the six platforms that I stated above:
WordPress.com, Tumblr, Blogger, and Medium:
- Free-of-cost to start.
- You can get connected with other like-minded people in these already established communities.
- You have very little control over how your website looks.
- Hard to monetize.
- Your account could be shut down at any given time on these platforms due to many varied reasons (scary!)
- You have a ton of options to customize, with a variety of plugins for SEO, e-commerce, security, etc.
- There are a lot of resources available for free to get you set up in no time.
- Start-up cost.
- A bit of a learning curve.
- A one-stop-shop for setting up your website.
- Aesthetic and beautifully curated templates.
- A lesser amount of options than WP.org
- It’s great for setting up an e-commerce store but is an average, but still considerable option out there for starting out blogging.
Note: Graphilio is a blog that is powered by WordPress.org.
We would highly recommend checking out WordPress.org and Squarespace if you are looking to invest your time and energy into your blog and convert your passion into a profession!
This is the perfect time to invest a little in your business because I can promise you that it will be unbelievably rewarding in the long run if you stay dedicated.
STEP 01: CHOOSE A BLOG DOMAIN (NAME)
Choosing a blog name, in the beginning, can be a little intimidating.
A blog name should be such that it should resonate with your personality.
Pick a name that you will be able to relate to even after a couple of years.
A few suggestions that can help generate some ideas are:
- Your name
- Your niche (The main things that your blog will talk about)
- Your name + You niche
- Something innovative indicating what you write about the most
- Go for a “.com” extension because it is standard and the easiest to remember and relate to.
Things to avoid while choosing a blog name:
- Don’t use complicated or unusual words.
- Don’t pick a name that is hard to remember.
If you’re facing a creative block and need some inspiration, check out this free tool BustAName for some ideas!
Note: You can always come back to Step 01 at any given time, and you can move onto Step 02 for now.
STEP 02: CHOOSE A BLOG HOST
Before we begin, download this FREE checklist on the questions to ask before selecting a hosting service for WordPress!
Keep it somewhere handy and refer back to it when you’re ready.
Why should you go for a self-hosted platform for your blog?
As I cleared the difference between a free-hosting platform like WordPress.com and a self-hosted platform like WordPress.org, I stated that a free hosting platform is for somebody looking to blog as
- A hobby, or
- For showcasing a fun vacation to their friends and family, or
- Have a resume built online.
But, if you want to take your blogging seriously and potentially convert it into
- A long-time, scalable business
- Eligible for monetization at some time, or
- Want full control over the customization of your website, or
- Not afraid to go through a slight learning curve (which is not at all difficult, I promise);
Then, you’re going to need a self-hosted platform.
Self–hosted platforms are decentralized, meaning you aren’t dependent on any centralized service and are free to choose your hosting service.
The only deciding criteria to invest in a host is to ask yourself if you’re willing to take your blogging to the next level because it will start paying for itself in no time!
Hosting can start from as low a price as $2 per month.
I know it can be daunting for you to get into this technical stuff if you’re like me but, that’s okay. There are several resources and a few which I would suggest, to walk you through the process of setting up and installing WordPress with the host you choose!
The hosts that I suggest:
- Bluehost: Bluehost is the perfect place to start for most people because it does not burn a hole in the pocket and, it’s efficient!
How to set-up and install WordPress with Bluehost?
Other options for you to check out that we love and recommend are:
Note: Graphilio is self-hosted on WordPress.org by Hostgator.
TASK: How to choose the best host for your needs?
- Write down your goals?
- Figure out what kind of a blogging/business model are you interested in the most?
- Connect your needs with the resources that your host providers are offering.
- Contact me if you’re still confused, we’ll figure it out 🙂
STEP – 03: BLOG DESIGN
Phew! The technical part is out for a bit.
This step is my favorite, and here we will design the perfect blog for you.
In WordPress, a theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website.
It can change the whole game of design for you!
I highly recommend two main places to look for the themes that will add personality to your content!
- ThemeForest by Envato: There is a theme for each category of a blog, which can be for e-commerce, marketing, simple blog feeds.
There is a perfect fit for every niche, be it, a photographer, a fashion & lifestyle blogger, an online coach, a poet, a content creator, and so much more.
- Bluchic Themes: Bluchic creates feminine WordPress themes and design templates to help female entrepreneurs and bloggers build a beautiful and professional online presence.
It’s a great move to invest in a beautiful theme at this point because that will create the very essence of your blog.
The main goals that you should keep in mind while designing your blog:
- Your website should be easily navigable.
Imagine going to a beautifully curated website but, you’re having a tough time finding what you need in there. That can be quite upsetting and you will move onto the next address on the internet.
The Fix: Ask someone who does not know much about the web world, preferably a layman like your grandparents to see if they can easily make out what your website is about and if they can easily find what you’re trying to present.
- Don’t overwhelm your visitors!
Simplicity attracts the most attention. You do not want people to come on your site and get overwhelmed about a hundred things happening, and abruptly leave without even absorbing your message.
- Have a limited number of pages of your website (we will talk about this in this next step!)
- Do not overdo with advertisements or promotional content.
- Make it very simple for your ideal clients to go from one place to another. Connect the dots smoothly! Don’t complicate anything – neither the content nor the design.
- Make the website as if you were having a one-on-one dialogue with your visitor!
- Add graphics, and then add some more!
Graphics are a great way to engage with your visitor for a longer period and on a deeper level.
A tool that I use to create graphics, all the time is CANVA.
You should try it, it’s for free and, you’ll be able to create magical graphics without any technical requirements.
TASK: Take a piece of paper and make a list of top 8 blogs that you love, or find out new blogs in the area of your interest,
Pick out the common points between those blogs;
- Why do you like their style?
- Which visual components are attracting you the most and, why?
Super important note: While you are doing your research, do not get intimidated by other bloggers whom you find a slightly more established than you, because they were exactly where you are right now, at some point. But, they took action! They “started”.
If you think there are too many people doing a similar thing that you want to pursue, take it as a positive sign.
It tells you that you have a dedicated audience and a market, and there will be many people out there who will be connecting to your style.
You must take action!
STEP – 04: ADDING PAGES FOR TO BLOG
The pages that you add to your blog is completely dependant on the type of content or service that you want to provide.
I am going to enlist 4 basic pages, relevant to any blog-type:
- LEGAL PAGES:
This may sound overwhelming but, creating legal pages from the get-go is supremely important in the long run.
You do not want people stealing your original content and not having a way to get back at them (because sadly it happens all the time but we need to be prepared right from the start!)
Three main pages that are required: (LINKS)
Note: You can use my legal pages as a template to start your own, don’t forget to go through the terms and edit the same according to your needs
- ABOUT PAGE:
Whenever I come across an interesting article or blog, I am always curious to know a little more about the person behind the same.
You must have an “About Me” page so that people who are seeing this beautiful website that you created, can connect with you on a personal level.
It will not only make them emotionally inclined towards you, but this will also increase the credibility and trust in your brand value.
You don’t have to be prim and perfect here.
Check out my About Page for some ideas! 🙂
- CONTACT PAGE:
It’s quite frustrating when I am looking to connect with the author of a blog, or to the person behind a website and, I just can’t seem to find a way to do the same.
So, even if it is a contact form or a simple email, you must plant it on your website and make it easily accessible so that you do not lose any potential offers or clients.
Or, even random feedbacks and questions, because you always want to keep engaging with your audience.
The page can be named anything according to your content but, the bottom line is to have a page dedicated to your most popular/new content, similar posts into categories, etc.
You must have one page where your visitor will find all the information and value that you are trying to pump out.
TASK: Take out the list where you enlisted your top 8 favorite blogs, and write down the pages that are on their websites.
Try to figure out their plan of action and why have they formulated certain pages on their websites and how can you incorporate the same in your model.
STEP – 05: SOCIAL MEDIA
In the world that we are living in right now, it is a sin to have a blog that you want to convert into a business and not be on social media.
You can write good quality content but, to get more eyeballs on it, you have to promote the same, promote again, and then promote some more!
The easiest way to get your message across masses of people is through social media!
Below, I will talk about some popular social media networks and their benefits/statistics:
It is not advisable to be active on all the social networks out there!
It will exhaust you and, you will eventually burn out.
So, it is the best advice to focus on 1 to 3 channels and give your 100% to the same.
Now, the question is:
How to choose the right channel?
- Research about the type of audience active on the channel.
- Compare it to the type of content that you are creating and, the ideal client that you want to target.
- Study the psychology of the user base present on a particular media.
Review the research studies already conducted by websites like LINK
- Social Media Examiner
The first plan of action to have after getting on social media:
- Be consistent on each account!
Have the same profile picture (of yourself or your logo), write a similar indicative description, and most importantly, have a well-crafted branding.
These are the things that will make you memorable and hard to ignore while you’re still new.
Check out this article for more on that:
- You can change your action plan at any given time according to whatever that is working in your favor, so do not forget to have fun on the way!
It is completely okay to be confused at first, but you have to get yourself together and put your authentic self on the forefront.
So many people will be able to connect with you and, it will be beyond the numbers you’ll expect for yourself.
TASK: Create one imaginary person in your mind who is your ideal client. Name her “Mehar” (haha), now compare this data to the kind of people who are present on different social media (derived from research).
Then, enlist the top 3 social media channels in order of preference and make your accounts there!
Leave a comment under the article linking to your social media accounts if you have made them already, and we will come to see you there!
STEP – 06: CREATE QUALITY CONTENT:
Before I dive into this, please remember three golden principles of content creation:
- Content is the king!
- Perfection is overrated and, it hinders your creativity,
- Quality is always preferred over quantity.
There are going to be days when you aren’t going to feel your creative best but, we all go through that and, it’s okay.
You must practice creating content daily by giving yourself worthy breaks in between.
Anatomy of a perfect blog post:
- Catchy titles: No matter how much value you provide in your article if the title is not grabbing enough attention, nobody is going to click on your post.
Use the classic “How-to’s” or “List of top 5 ___” etc.
- Hook people in with your introduction so that they do not deviate away without even reading what you have to offer.
- The body of your content must be very easy to skim. It must contain short paragraphs, lists, sub-headings, etc.
- Do wrap up the post with a conclusion: Most of the time people will just skim quickly through your article just to read the conclusion, so you want to provide the same at the end.
- Shoot a question if you must! Not only will this increase your engagement with your visitor, but also, you will get new ideas in the form of their answers for more content!
- The most important tip: Add Graphics!
Have a posting schedule!
It is the most valuable tip that I can give to the new bloggers like you is that please be consistent!
To juggle between the content creation of your social media and website can be daunting. But, you can use a tool like SocialPilot to schedule your content everywhere!
It can be intimidating to keep pumping out quality content when you’re not necessarily having a wide audience to interact with already, but remember that it is the only way in which you can grow!
It is important to devote 70-80% of your time into blogging and creating content for people to form a trust on you, and to build a community.
Starting a blog may seem a challenging task at first, but it will be the most rewarding thing that you’ll ever do if you put your whole heart in it.
Once you get the technical part out of the room, then it is only your own imagination that can limit your creative potential.
YES! Starting a blog is the greatest idea and you can do it.
Do not hesitate in sending me a text via email if you need anything, I will answer.
I am so excited for you!