HOW TO START A BLOG IN 2020
People have different reasons why they wish to start a blog. On Google, most blogging related questions, are either “How to start a blog” or how to make money blogging, and sometimes “how to drive traffic to my blog”.
This shows a sequence, firstly, it was how to start a blog and the need to grow arises. Today and every other day, someone somewhere thinking about starting a blog and you bet, everyone wants to start a professional blog for free or maybe to an extent, get things done without paying a whooping sum of money.
What is a Blog?
A blog is a space on the web, where you create contents, grow an audience, share your ideas, skills or day to day activities in other to make a living, entertain or motivate. Most bloggers combine motivation and making money as their goal or reasons for starting a blog.
Arfa of Shemeansblogging defined a blog as a place online to publish new content, build an audience, and make a living income. Every blogger has a different reason for starting a blog.
In this blog post, we will learn reasons why you should start a blog, how to name your blog, how to choose your content management platform, how to pick a blogging niche,
Reasons Why People Want to Start a Blog
Reason #1: My friend owns a blog, and sometimes makes a whooping sum of money from her Blog. and that’s why I want to be a blogger.
Reason #2: My blog will be in the form of a mini-diary and maybe a personal diary where I hope to share my problems, experiences, success and thoughts with others.
Reason#3: I have no idea what a blog is all about but, I heard that most bloggers are online influencers, they make money and, I would like to become a blogger.
Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog
1. Blogging creates a platform that allows you to do what you love yet to make money from it.
Angela of Stray Curls is a blogger and Curly hair comic illustrator. She shared that, before moving from building websites for others to creating curly hair comics, she has always wanted a platform that will allow her to share her Illustrations as she wasn’t getting any form of satisfaction from just building websites.
she created a blog where she shares funny and creative comic illustrations and by the way, she runs a business blog. Her blog is one of the best mixtures of passion and purpose I have seen so far.
Blogging should not make you change from who have always been to someone else, and that is why most bloggers suffer from depression and lack of motivation. Because they are stuck doing all the things hate in the name of blogging.
Some bloggers are always in a “rut” because they chose a blogging niche they felt will make the most money without considering if that is what they will love doing (passion) and after some time, they are back to crying again.
2. Blogging affords you the luxury of working from home
If you are looking forward to dishing your 9-5 pm job, then blogging may be the perfect road to take off from.
If you have a special skill you feel people could pay you for, then a blog may be the right place to grow an audience and sell your ideas to them in order to create a passive income.
Do not say my skills may be too small to market, everyone with a skill is very valuable. I stumbled on a home decor blog where the author of the blog charges $45 just to teach how to style your book.
So what are your skills?
Top 8-Myths about Blogging
These are the most common blogging myths especially when you are just starting a blog;
1. My Blog name doesn’t matter
2. Branding as a beginner doesn’t matter.
3. Making things look professional is not necessary
4. I really do not have to read, pay for courses and start out professionally.
5. Blogging is an easy way to make money
6. Once you open your blog, you do not need to apply much effort. You can start making money almost immediately.
7. Blogging entails just posting content.
8. My blogging niche doesn’t really matter
There are a lot of other myths attached to starting a blog. As as a beginner, what other thing do you think about blogging right now? I want to know.
Well, You Have Been BUSTED!
Those myths about starting a blog, your mentality about blogging and the level of success you will achieve as a blogger is dependent on your knowledge as a Blogger.
Blogging is lucrative but it is a business of strategy and information. Your success in blogging will be so dependent on the kind of information you have access to, your passion and strategies put in place.
I will tell you plainly, your blogging goals are not achieved based on just putting them down. What forms the basis of your Blog success is you PURPOSE and this is what many people leave out when they tell you about “101 ways to make money” and “How to make 2-millions within a blink of an eye”.
If those myths about blogging in one way or the other resonate with you then my friend, you have been busted!
It is important to start your blog professionally and at some point, if you want to grow you will need to pay for some products such as e-courses, books and materials that will help you grow.
Blogging does not entail just posting or writing contents, you need to put your content in front of as many persons as possible.
Who can start a Blog?
This is another question that may be in the minds of many. Some persons have the required skills their potential audience need to solve their problem but maybe scared of starting a blog because they feel they are not fit enough to start a Blog. Their common fears may be due to;
1. Impostor Syndrome.
2. Lack of good grammatical command.
3. Poor writing skills.
4. How to attract the right kind of audience.
5. Difficulty in choosing a blogging niche.
So many persons are already doing, why should mine be any different?
In a nutshell, anyone can start a blog. You do not need a Masters degree in English or a degree in writing to start a blog. When you keep practising, you will discover over time, you will start to write better.
For grammatical errors and corrections, I used Grammarly. (Read this post, how to become a more productive blogger, it has answers to these questions).
All you need is to surround yourself with the right set of persons, right materials and be on the right platform.
Now we have identified the Myths and Common Mistakes People make when starting a Blog and also, we have answered the question who can start a Blog. let’s delve down to the steps in starting a professional blog in WordPress.
Steps to Start a Blog
No.1 Steps to Start a Blog: Pick A Blogging Niche
Niche in blogging is the act of creating a blog with the intent of using it to reach a specific kind of audience and maybe to sell your products to a specific market.
A Niched blog may apply to a particular type of audience, tribe, location. It spans across different classes and components that make a society. Your blogging niche = your passion +your skill+your targeted audience.
You can also read 3-questions you need to ask yourself before picking that blog niche.
In my free E-book (The Kangaroo Guide to a Profitable Blogging niche), I covered the top secrets about choosing profitable blogging that suits your personality, your passion, how to choose a niche that makes money, how to discover your target audience that will become raving fans.
This workbook “Guide to a profitable blogging niche will also guide you on step by step until you get your niche in 5-minutes).
Right now, with the success stories attached to that workbook, I want to call myself a small genius. lol.
No. 2 Step to start a Blog: Choose a Name for your Blog
When you want to start a blog or any business, one of the most important steps is naming your Blog. What will your blog be centred around?
What will you like your blog or brand to give off when mentioned. Is it quality content, Badass professional or dis-organised?
PS: What you want to blog about or your niche should be considered when you are trying to start a Blog.
People often get confused when it gets to naming their blog. Blogs are usually named in different ways, some with the name of the blogger attached to it, while, others reflects what they do.
Example; A travel blog was named Digital Nomad, a business blog was named Your blog mentor. The name of my blog is Faith Ola’s Blog and pro-blogger Melyssa Griffin started with the name the Nectar Collective but, along the line, she changed the name of her Blog to Melyssa Griffin. While Arfa has her blog name as shemeansblogging.
Melyssa’s blog is centred around her as she is the brand not just her Blog. One of the thing about Melyssa Griffin is that you easily connect with her because she made her Blog centred around her.
While Arfa’s blog “Shemeansblogging” is unique, she succeeded in separating her personality from her Blog and at a glimpse, you know Arfa’s Blog is all about Blogging.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Blog Name
Now, when naming your Blog the things you should consider:
1. The type of audience do you want to attract
2. Are you building your brand around you?
3. Your blog name should be easy and very simple to remember.
I have stumbled upon some beautiful blogs but, I have difficulty remembering them, and I guess, that has happened to you.
When I started blogging, my blog was named Oladosu Faith’s Blog and people kept complaining about how difficult my name was to remember.
Later, I decided to use a less complex name, and I renamed the blog “Faith Ola” coined out of Oladosu Faith. I think that is one of my best decisions so far.
Main Tips: Your blog name should be short, easy to remember, and straight to the point.
No.3 Step to Start a Blog: Choose a Self Hosted WordPress Blog
We have different kinds of content management systems such as WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Joomla and even Wix. The commonest types of content-based management system were WordPress and Blogger until recently we started hearing about Wix and Squarespace
On WordPress, there is a self-hosted WordPress blog that is WordPress.org and a WordPress hosted blog that is WordPress.com.
Let me explain this a little.
In a self-hosted blog, you are using the WordPress.org platform but your site is hosted properly in a host of your choice and your URL will be something of this nature yourblogname(dot)com or whatever you choose to call yours. E.g (Nectar(dot)com, Nectar(dot)org, nectar(dot)net) just whatever you choose to use that suits you. Your blog belongs to you and you have total control over it.
WordPress.com platform: Hosting your blog on a WordPress.com your URL will be yourblogname.wordpress(dot)com and buddy, a site like this is totally controlled by WordPress which means they could decide to bring down your blog if you break their community guidelines.
Pros and cons
Pros: you do not need to pay for hosting or domain name as it comes to you free but with lots of limiting factors
You cannot make money from your blog because it will be controlled by WordPress, and most advertising companies will not want to work with you.
It makes you look unprofessional: people will appreciate a blog with a proper name such as the moneymakingblog(dot)com over a blog with themoneymakingblog.wordpress(dot)com.
No.4 Step to Start a Blog: Buy and Choose a Domain Name:
I got my domain name from Web for Africa and I am hosting on Namecheap, if you are in Africa you may want to consider Web for Africa. Namecheap also sells domain name and hosting and they have a very good customer service, cheap and affordable plans starting from $2.
How to Choose a Domain Name
1. Avoid using ambiguous words, make your blog name simple and easy to remember.
2. Avoid putting special characters in your domain name E.g Yourmoney-makingblog.com or yourbloggingchick4money.com this is a very poor practice.
3. A dot.com domain name works better in blogging better than any other type of domain suffix.
Whenever you think of a domain name what comes into your mind first is thatblog(dot)com not thatblog(dot)net or thatblog.ck. Avoid using names that people will find difficult to remember.
No.4 Step to Start a Blog: Choose a Theme For the Blog :
If you want to look professional, you must avoid using generic themes, these are the that comes with WordPress or blogger, you need to purchase a theme, this will help you look professional.
The difference between you and someone who started blogging some years back is that he does not have access to the kind of information you may have access to and the competition in blogging keeps getting bigger each day.
You have to give your readers 101 reasons why they need to stick to your blog, instead of the next blog, and this starts with the entire outlook of your blog.
These days, people are so interested in the visuals of the blog, before delving in to read anything on your blog. You need to make your blog visually compelling, clean and very responsive.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Blog Theme:
1. Responsiveness: Most blog themes are faulty, this means they are not very responsive. I have experienced how frustrating and difficult it is to use a theme that is not responsive.
2. Your blog theme should be warm and welcoming: Most persons tend to feel most warm themes are just feminine looking and there is this stereotype that men should use a bolder and louder theme.
My friend, you are not the one reading your blog, think about your audience, make your theme visually compelling and warm as possible.
3. SEO: some blog themes are built in a way that makes Search engine optimization (SEO) easier.
Search engine optimization is a very important factor in blogging if you want your blog to be found by various search engines. You should not use a theme that makes SEO your number one problem before the main blogging problem hits you.
You can get beautiful themes from Creative market, Bluechic, Envato Elements at a cheaper rate. They have a list of beautiful WordPress themes, and in this post “12-frugal budget hacks for bloggers“, I stated how and where you could get themes, page builders and templates at a cheaper rate.
How to start a WordPress Blog Using Namecheap:
Head on to Namecheap.com, purchase a domain, that’s domain has been verified that it is vacant (not used currently by anyone.
Go to the New C-panel given to you after you purchased your hosting and domain name. the C-Panel is usually tied to your hosting. Log into your C-Panel with your username and password.
The C-Panel username and password are generated when you purchased your hosting and is normally sent as an email to the mail you used when purchasing your hosting.
After logging in, scroll down till you see apps or software and look for Softaculous. If you don’t see app or software, check if you will see Softaculous as a group on its own.
If you see Softaculous under Software, click on it, and then click on WordPress or if you see Softaculous as a group on its own, click on WordPress.
Fill in the basic details needed such as your domain name, the name of your blog, your custom email address and every other information listed. you can also fill in a directory if you want the blog to be installed in a directory.
Ps: However, this is not recommended for the main installation of a blog.
Then you can scroll down to where you will see themes, pick one of the themes or you can purchase a custom theme from Etsy, Envato elements or other good theme shops. You can read this post on how to save more money purchasing themes and templates.
You can pick a theme or skip that process and click on Install. When it has fully installed a success message will be shown to you with your dashboard login details.
For a WordPress blog, you will be shown a URL like “yourblogname.com/wp-admin. Click on that URL and you will be directed to your WordPress dashboard.
Customize Your Blog:
When you click on that URL, you will be redirected to your WordPress blog, customize your font, upload a new theme if you want one, make your first post and try to get conversant with WordPress.
Customize Your Blog: When you click on that URL, you will be redirected to your WordPress blog, customize your font, upload a new theme if you want one, make your first post and try to get conversant with WordPress.
Congratulations you have succeeded in creating your blog!
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ #1- How many Post do I need to have to start a Blog
You do not need many contents when you are just starting a blog, but if you have from 5-10 blog post, it will help you set your blog on the right path as you wouldn’t be starting with a scanty blog.
What You should do is create a posting schedule: When starting a blog, you will have a lot of things seeking for your attention at the same time, just focus on creating a quality content bank.
Please note, it is better to have a blog with just 10-quality blog post than a blog with 20 crappy blog post.
During the first 3-months of blogging, focus on growing your traffic, building a blog with committed audience and content rather being everywhere because you will be distracted.
Choose at least 2-days or a day in a week, when you will consistently post a new blog post, the emphasis is on consistency, because that is one of the key factors guiding a successful blog, yet it can be easily overlooked.
FAQ #2: Do I need to Have a Blogging Niche before starting a blog or go with the flow?
If you want to make money blogging, I mean create a blog with a vision, a blog that will be successful, you need to define your long and short term goals.
Do not start a blog believing you will go with the flow, you need to define your target audience and create the right contents strategically and specifically to reach them.
This can be done only when you have decided your blogging niche, and I explained all about picking a profitable blogging niche with illustrations, examples in my free E-book ” The Kangaroo Guide to a Profitable Blog Niche“.
I also created a Workbook that will guide you step-by-step to pick a profitable blog niche that suits your personality, yet allows you to make money.
The reason why I created this Workbook is to guide bloggers like me on how to do things they love and still make money, instead of choosing the wrong niche, doing all the things they hate and constantly getting into a rut.
You can also read this post” Three Questions before picking that blogging niche”.
FAQ #3- Do I need to Start growing an Email List Immediately:
Yes please, you don’t have to wait when you become a “Guru” before you start growing your email list. your blog. When making plans on launching your blog, while preparing those post you will put up before officially opening your blog, also make a freebie, even if it’s a checklist, a small PDF put it up on your blog.
In this post “10-proven Hacks to Grow Your Blog in 2020” I explained why you need an email list, how to create one and to make freebies that sells.
FAQ #4 – How to Drive Traffic to Your New Blog:
Consistently creating new contents will not be the problem, but creating contents that will be opened or read will also motivate you.
If you take a poll, ask 100 bloggers what is their biggest blogging challenge right now?
Over 60% of them will tell you that they want a blog that is receiving traffic. One of the easiest ways to drive valuable traffic to your blog is by using Pinterest and Tailwind.
In this post “How to grow your blog in 2020” I explained how to use Pinterest and why you should be using it to grow your blog.
Set your blog and keep it running and profitable with the posts below:
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