How To Start a Blog?

How To Start a Blog? – Beginner’s guide by Lawrence Abraham

Do you want to start a blog? Great idea! In fact a wise, intelligent, and wonderful idea too!

Hold..,hold on, how do I get started? You may ask! Yes, you’re right. If you are reading through this blog you’ve already want to know how to begin a blog.

Everybody is saying, it’s easy and wonderful. But how do I build my first blog? Are you overwhelmed with the loads of information on the web about “how to start a blog?”

Probably one of the largest search results from any search engine you get is the result you get when you enter the keywords “how to start a blog?”

There is so much info out there on the web and actually it’s an overload of information if you are a novice on Internet. It can be a bit confusing for any body who is new to Internet. Everyone’s telling you to do different things. Who do you listen to? Where’s the starting point?

Damn it, maybe I should just forget it – it’s too confusing!

Well, hold on. I used to be a blogging newbie too. I had the same problems. I too had the same confusion when started my first blog, www.lawrenceabraham.com and I didn’t much about blogging either. In fact it was a total new way of life for me and I was quite amused by the idea of making money with a blog. I had to start from the scratch. I was curious and want to know, how anybody could make money with a blog.

Now I know a lot of things about blogging. Now I have several blogs and websites on the Internet. I make money online with blogs. My blogs and websites are performing well. All websites attract a lot of unique visitors per month, and some of the attract hundreds of thousands of visitors per month which makes me consider myself someone you could listen to and learn from when it comes to building your blog.

I certainly do know the basics about blogging, content marketing, sales funnels, Internet marketing strategies, web traffic, email marketing, social network marketing, SEO, PPC and lot other things concerning your online presence. I use my websites to do my businesses in a better way.

I got my real estate business running online. I built up my home based businesses exclusively using online strategies and are doing extremely well. I also own and operate an IT firm, www.ascentinfosys.com that builds exclusive, attractive, communicative and interactive websites and blogs. At Ascent Infosys we plan and execute Internet Marketing Strategies for our clients. At Ascent Infosys we make sales funnels, set up auto-responders (email marketing), social media marketing, do SEO, etc. for our clients on a commercial basis.

I promise it’ll be simple to understand, relatively easy to do procedures, and definitely easy to follow step by step guidance to make your first blog created and running. Sound good? Awesome, let’s move on.

I’m going to outline exactly what you need to do to get started and set up your own personal blog. Before we dive in though, I really want to talk about WHY you should build a blog.

If you already have a vivid idea of the whys, then skip this and go right ahead with the guide.

Blogging over the past twenty years has become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).

Blogging is a great way to express yourself and also a fantastic way to share your views, ideas and information with others.

When you blog continuously you become a better person and a better writer. If you want to be a good writer you need to read a lot, learn many things,and that makes you a better person.

The best and the premier reason is that you can make money doing it!

I bet you already knew all of that, but it’s nice to be reminded.

One very last thing before we get started:

Creating your own blog can take a little while, and let’s get moving. If you need any help during the set-up process, get in touch with me here and I’ll help as best I can and answer any questions you might have.

The Steps Covered In This Blogging Guide

There are 7 main steps you need to go through in order to set up a blog. If you follow this guide and the seven steps, you’ll have your own blog set up in a few hours time.

(There are people claiming that you can set up your first blog in 30 minutes or less. I don’t agree with them fully. Reason being, I don’t want you waste time on trying to figure out every software code, I don’t want you keep getting caught up in all of the technical stuff that goes along with starting a website… HTML, CSS, FTP, PHP and a dozen other things you have to have to know to get a website online and making you money. I can agree with them if you got everything ready with you:

1.    If you are a tech savvy person with extra ordinary capabilities.

2.   If you have a hosting account already set up, if your hosting company has a system that has integrated a WHM (Web Host Manager) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and other necessary software to run the website.

3.   Registering your domain name with a domain registering company, then transferring Name Server DNS (Domain Name System) to your hosting company (normally it takes 24hrs).

4.   If you are decided about your blogging platform and have a minimal knowledge: how use it (WordPress for example) you may do it. If you have some ready contents to post.

I think it is just like saying you can make the tastiest food in 30 minutes. You know it for sure that only an expert chef or your mother can make it in 30 minutes. Same way if you are an expert person in all these field, you too can make a website in 30 minutes. You get me!)

I’m not telling it is an impossible task to set up your blog or website from scratch all by yourself. It doesn’t mean that. All mean to say is that it requires more time and you requires to learn the step by step process of building your first blog.  (there’s very little technical ability needed here). In fact, there’s no coding required by you. Good news, huh? There is a short cut: Learn

Read on to get the step by step procedure.

The 7 Easy Steps to Starting a Blog:

1. Deciding the purpose

2. Choose web hosting for your blog

3. Choose your preferred blogging platform

4. Setting up a blog on your own domain

5. WHM account integration with FTP account and Blogger Builder

6. Designing your blog and add a suitable and attractive theme

7. Start Blogging . Content writing. Let the fun Begin!

Step 1: Decide the Purpose: 

This primary step is extremely important and unavoidable because how your are going to design your website, what you are going to write, how important it is for you to start the blog or website all depend on this primary step.

What to blog about? Why do you want to blog? How to start your blog or website? Know your whys.

Why you need a website or Blog? That is knowing your purpose. When you know your purpose it is easier to go ahead.

Why you should create a blog, join the blogging community and possibly make some money with your blog? Answer this question with at most clarity and honesty because it decides your success.

Bring more clarity to your plan. It is advisable that you do a plan for you website. If it need you draw a chart, how your home page should look like, about the blog name (website name), what are the pages your need, how the content column should look, how the widget placed, select a mobile friendly theme, navigation details etc. before you approach your webmaster.

(If your website is intended to be a commercial one get a professional help in programming, designing and hosting. You can spend your valuable time in making your content and learn how to add pages and content to your website. I strongly recommend this. To get your first website created Free in next 48 hrs, CLICK HERE)

Step 2: Get your Hosting Account.

Setting up your own server or a Paid Hosting Account with a Web Hosting Company. Server is the place the website or blog lives.

The next question is a Paid-hosting or a free alternative?

Really it’s a major decision and you are going take the decision on some basic questions. This is the biggest decision you’ll have to make before we go any further. You need to decide whether to pay for your blog or grab a free one.

WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger all offer free blogs for anyone. Awesome, right? It’s perfect for those of us who aren’t super serious about blogging. But it does have downsides:

First of all you won’t be able to get your OWN domain name, but would be able to use a subdomain.

That is to say on a free blog, your blog’s web address (your URL) would be bit odd. Really odd  and not interesting. In short, create a free blog with any other the above free blog services and it’ll look like this:

yourblogname.godaddy.com

yourblogname.wordpress.com

yourblogname.blogspot.com

yourblogname.tumblr.com

First of all, it’s odd and ugly right?

Secondly, monetization of your blog not possible if you going for a free hosing with a sub-domain. You can’t fully monetize your website, and you don’t have the facility to upload all those videos and images you want to show everyone – it’s all limited.

Worse still, you won’t even have access to the free themes offered by WordPress.

Thirdly, you DON’T OWN your blog

It might sound silly at first, but you don’t actually own your blog. It’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can delete it if they want so. They have done so in the past, and keep doing it in the future. Which means all your hard work on your blog, all those countless hours of writing blog posts might be vanished within seconds. Sad…

On the other hand, with a paid hosting service with your own domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example “YourName.com” just like I have created one of my blogs on my name www.lawrenceabraham.com  Or you can select a name like YourAwesomeBlog.com.

You can end it with .com, .co.uk, .net, .org, or virtually any other web suffix. Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images and content plus the free themes and you have a winning combo.

So how much is hosting? Not as much as you’re thinking, fortunately. It usually works out to about $5 to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider which is less than a couple of coffees.

Paid Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will be saved.

Personally, I use GVO (for my blog domain and hosting), and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. It’s probably one of the cheapest (less than

GVO has a special hosting package for beginners – Host Then Profit  Package. GVO provides Internet Marketing Tools for free with their hosting account. Big smiles for that! They’re the providers I use for all of my blogs, including the one you’re reading right now.

If for any reason you don’t want to go with GVO, feel free to choose your own hosting company. Most, if not all of them, should have a “one-click” WordPress install solution on their admin panel.

That button will automatically install WordPress on your blog. Did I say it was simple or what?

All you need to do is sign up with GVO (or your chosen provider), choose your hosting plan and a domain name and look for the one-click WordPress install button on the admin panel.

WordPress essentials aren’t often needed, but I’d recommend who is privacy (that will keep all your personal details private) and definitely automated backups (this’ll save your website just in case anything fails or disappears, so you won’t lose any or very little of your blog).

I have a more in-depth tutorial on building a blog with GVO Hosting and Internet Marketing Tools here.

Start a Blog with GVO today and get exclusive internet marketing tool kit free for life.

Once WordPress is installed on your website, all you have to do to start blogging is go to your WP-Admin page usually www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin and start writing by adding a new post.

Start a blog on your own domain (if you chose self-hosting and a custom domain)

At the start, the layout looks confusing, but it gets very understandable quickly. Don’t worry!

If you still have questions, here’s some further information for you to look at:

Step 3: Register your domain name.

The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple!

It can be something like yourname.com, yourname.net or any extensions like .org, co, you can also choose from country specific extensions like.us, .in, .uk, .aus 

Now you can also choose from occupation indicative, profession indicative domain name extensions like;

.info, .com, .org, .club, .guide, .business, .training, .fitness, .sale, .forsale, 

.auction, .vodka, .work, .space, .news, .tax, .partners, .design, .actor,

.wedding, .lawyer, attorney, .party, .fashion, .global, .dentist, .engineer, .press 

.science’, .kim, .ltda, .marketing, .email, .co, .guru, .online etc 

Step 4: Start your blog or website. Creating your account with WHM (Web Host Manager)

I recommend cpannel for your web hosting account. GVO has an integrated WHM with cpannel.

GVO guides you with simple to understand video tutorial for every step you should follow to create a new web site or blog.

Blog is nothing but a small website with a predominance of content. Even though a blog may look very small in starting during course of time it grows into a large website. Blogs are usually updated daily, weekly, monthly or at an irregular period.

Step 5: Choose your preferred blogging platform

Choose a blogging platform. Blogger Builder Process.

Choosing where you want to build blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I advocate. It’s massive.

It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.

There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress = a lot, basically.

wordpress

There are other alternatives however, and they are listed below:

Blogger – Definitely the next best thing to WordPress.

Tumblr – Half social network, half blog. Interesting, and very simple to use.

Even though WordPress is bigger (and probably better) than those two, here are my reasons why you should still go with WordPress:

Super easy set-up and is free to use

Tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there’s gazillions).

There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).

Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look Functionality and form – perfect!

People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.

WordPress blogging platform

I’m going to push ahead based on the premise you’ve chosen WordPress, and if you haven’t, you should. Seriously, it’s the best.

If you’re still a little confused by what a self-hosted blog is, allow me to explain and how you can go about setting one up for yourself.

You’ll need to come up with a domain name you like and also choose a hosting company that can host your blog.

Here’s an article about different blogging platforms (including WordPress), give it a read: How to Choose a Blogging Platform – (updated 2015)

Now, Step 6 (see, we’re moving fast now!)

Step 6: Design your blog. Select your Theme, create your pages.

Designing your WordPress blog

Let’s make your blog look exactly how you want it to. To choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance -> Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a theme for around $40.

I usually choose something that looks professional and pretty easy to customise. WordPress also has this awesome feature that allows you to change themes with just a few clicks. So if you start getting tired of your current blog template, you can just switch to another one without losing any precious content or images.

choose-blog-theme

Remember, your blog’s design should reflect both you and your personality, but also what the blog is about. There’s no point having a football-orientated theme if your blog is about tennis, understand?

On top of that, it should be easy to navigate if you want people to stick around. If it’s tricky and difficult to move around it, people won’t stay. Design is a subjective art; meaning everyone likes different things.

But no one likes ugly websites, and they especially hate websites that need a university degree to navigate. Make it easy for them.

For more reading, I’ve put together 3 blog posts about designing your blog. Feel free to check them through.

Blog Design: Keep It Clutter Free and User Friendly

Advice for Blog Design and Blog Goals

Is there any software I can use to make my own graphics, button, and banner?

Last step! Woo!

Step 7: Start blogging! ( content writing and publishing)

Now, the fun begins! Start add contents to your website.

Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years.