How to Start a Blog in 2019, with Tools and Resources
Have you been thinking about starting a blog for months, or even years, without taking the plunge?
You might think that there are so many popular blogs out there, yours will never be a serious contender. Or you might be put off by not knowing exactly how to go about starting a blog – maybe you think the process will be complicated and technical.
Here’s the good news: starting a blog isn’t hard. In fact, in 2019, it’s easier than ever, with lots of user-friendly improvements to the popular blogging platform WordPress, and with web hosts that make the setup process very straightforward.
The benefits of having a Blog
Before getting into the steps to actually create your blog I want to summarize the benefits you will get by having a blog.
First, having a blog is a great way to develop the writing habit, and it will allow you to better organize your thoughts around a particular topic and also to expand your knowledge about that topic.
Second, your blog might help to establish yourself as an expert on a given topic or niche. This, in turn, can lead to new professional opportunities such as writing a book, providing consulting services and so on.
Third, a blog is a great networking tool. You will get to know and exchange ideas with your readers and with fellow bloggers.
Finally, if you put some effort into promoting your blog you will be able to build an audience, and then you can leverage that audience to launch related products or services.
Sounds great, right? Then let’s get right into the steps you need to follow to get your blog up and running today!
Step #1: Decide What You’re Blogging About
What are you going to blog about? Perhaps you’ve got a particular hobby that you want to write about just for fun, or maybe you want to build an online platform around a professional interest. Don’t start a blog on a topic that you feel indifferent about, just because you hope it’ll make money – you’ll likely have a lot of work ahead before you get to that stage.
Here’s a quick test you can do to figure out some potential topics for your blog: what is a subject that if you could you would talk for hours and hours without getting tired of it? Answer this question and you have one or more potential topics for your blog.
One Blog and Many Topics, or Many Blogs with One Topic (Daniel Scocco, Daily Blog Tips)
How to Choose a Blog Topic That’s Pre-Programmed for Success (Jason Gracia, ProBlogger)
Step #2: Choose a Hosting Platform
Your blog needs to be “hosted” – stored on big computer servers that can make it available 24/7, all around the world.
You have many options available for this step. For example, you could purchase a hosting plan and configure the technical aspects yourself or you can use a content platform like wix.com where the configuration was taken care for you. Both options have benefits, so it is a matter of personal opinion.
Step #3: Pick a Domain Name
Your website needs a domain name – an address where it can be found on the web. It’s up to you what you choose: popular options are using your own name (e.g. neilpatel.com), a branded name (e.g. copyblogger.com), or a descriptive name (e.g. planningwithkids.com).
(If you’re using WordPress.com, you can pay to use a domain name, or you can create a free domain name with “wordpress.com” in it, like yourname.wordpress.com.)
You’ll normally choose a domain name as part of setting up your hosting account.
5 Ways to Pick the Perfect Brand Name (Joe Williams, Tribe SEO)
The 7 Characteristics of Good Domain Names (Daniel Scocco, Daily Blog Tips)
Step #4: Install WordPress
On most web hosts, installing WordPress is as simple as clicking a button or two. You’ll get an email with further instructions once WordPress has been installed on your site. Then you can login and start working on your blog.
How to install WordPress (Bluehost)
How to Install WordPress (HostGator)
Step #5: Choose a Theme for Your Blog
Your blog will come with the WordPress default theme – which in 2019 is (perhaps unsurprisingly!) the Twenty Nineteen theme. You might prefer a different look and feel for your blog, though, and there are lots of themes available through the WordPress Theme Directory.
You can add new themes by going to Appearance ? Themes in your dashboard and clicking “Add New” – just search for the name of the theme you want.
While setting up a blog might feel really daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before, it’s actually quite a straightforward process. Take it step by step, and your blog could be up and running in less than thirty minutes. Drop a comment below to let us know how you get on!
My blog is online, now what?
Congratulations! Below you will find some tips to make sure your blog will grow and attract readers:
- Publish new content regularly, for example twice per week
- Make sure your blog posts are relevant and valuable to your target audience
- Network with fellow bloggers on your niche so that you help each other to grow over time
- Leverage social media to extract new readers to your blog
- Make sure your blog posts contain images, videos and other type of media to engage your readers
- Allow your readers to subscribe via email, as this will allow you to notify them whenever you have new content available
Now roll up your sleeves and get to work. Good luck!
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