Blogging is for anyone who loves to write. Back in the 1990’s blogs began as a medium to pen down mainly feelings, sentiments, wishes, desires, and pretty much everything else. People who’d write blogs (called bloggers) weren’t typical writer stereotypes. The majority of bloggers were and still are , ordinary folks going about their daily lives. Blogging simply helps them write and pretty much vent out , whatever's on their mind.
Not to say, that blogging is useless to professional writers or those aspiring to write better. Blogging helps you to start writing small but organized and interesting pieces. As you write more, not only you write better but also develop a unique writing style.
- Most blogs share some standard features and structure:
- A Header with a menu or navigation bar
- Main content area with latest blog posts on top
- Sidebar with social profiles, favourite content, or call-to-action
Why Do People Blog?
What Do People Blog About?
- Fashion – makeup, clothing, hair, and beauty products.
- Travel – vacations, tourist hotspots, personal travels, restaurants, entertainment.
- Technology – software, programming, web development, web design, and start-ups.
- Business – industry news and statistics, real estate, expert tips, and best practices.
- Content marketing – business marketing & promotions, SEO best practices,mass mail campaigns.
- Food – recipes, restaurant reviews, kitchen equipment.
- Finance – Financial news and views, asset management, budgeting.
- Health and Fitness – sports equipment, nutrition, exercise, dieting
- Lifestyle – gardening, home improvement, decoration.
- Personal Development – time management, health awareness, stress management
- >Parenting – child care, product reviews, education.
- Professional & Academic – expert discussions, peer based reviews , domain specific knowledge sharing
- Instructional – tutorials, walkthroughs, how-to’s, guides.
- Entertainment – humour, memes, video, music, podcasts.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick kind of profession. You need to build both your Google Search Ranking and your niche specific content, before your blog starts to make any money. This takes plenty of time, effort , along with unique quality content. Money-making won’t happen until you’ve gained some trust and loyal readership in the field.
Now here’s how top-ranked niche bloggers make money:
Want To Start A Blog On Your Own?
Pick A Web Hosting
1 What does it cost per month?
2 Page Loading Speed
4 Technical Support
Features Important For Blog Hosting
- Disk space and bandwidth - depending on the amount of traffic (visitors) your website is expected to receive
- Security - malware scanning, daily backups, and 24/7 site monitoring.
- Simplified One-click installations.
- Uptime guarantees - against server crashes and maintenance issues.
- Speed and performance – for best user experience.
- Tech Support contacts such as email, support ticket, and live chat.
- Affordability – quality web hosting doesn’t come for free.
Which Blog Hosting Is The Best?
A leading web hosting solutions company, founded in 2003, Bluehost provides comprehensive web hosting solutions to millions of users throughout the world. A Premier Partner for WordPress Blogging Platform...
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HostGator is a global provider of web hosting and related services.Founded in 2003, with humble beginnings, HostGator has grown into a leading provider of Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated web hosting. HostGator is headquartered in Houston and Austin, Texas, with several international offices throughout the globe.
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SiteGround is one of the largest independently owned hosting companies with more than 2,000,000 domains, processing 1500+ tickets, 1000+ phone calls and 3000+ chat requests per day.
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Started back in 2001 , A2 hosting has grown as a user friendly web hosting provider, featuring swiftserver technology platform to enable upto 20X times performance enhancement. A2 also offers full money back guarantee in addition to the uptime commitment.
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Pick a Domain Name
It should be:
2 easy to spell
4 short, if possible
Think about the keywords and phrases that people might use to search for your content, and bear in mind that, you can’t use spaces or punctuation (except hyphens) in a domain name. Most web hosts also offer domain registration services along with their cheapest shared blog hosting plans.
Pick a Blogging Platform
To start, maintain and post updates on your blog, you need a blogging platform for your website. WordPress is the most popular and widely used blogging platform worldwide.
WordPress: The World’s Most Popular Blogging Platform
WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform and CMS (content management system). It powers 33%+ of all websites online today, and an even larger percentage of blogs.WordPress is used by everyone from digital experts to tech-illiterate commoners.
- It’s free
- easy to install
- Lots of themes & plugins for customization
- Tons of free help online
- Simple enough for beginners, but powerful enough for experts
- Mobile Friendly & Responsive
- SEO Compliant
WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org
There are two WordPress platforms to choose from: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Here are the key differences:-
The WordPress app is free, but you pay for hosting.
Self-hosted, meaning you can choose any hosting provider you want.
Installation required, but is quick and easy
Free, but you're limited to a subdomain like "mysite.wordpress.com."
You can choose and purchase your own domain.
Choice of plugins can be limited
Depends on the hosting provider.
Tech Experience Needed
Beginner to Expert
Who is it best for?
Those who want to try WordPress out before you purchasing their own hosting.
Setting Up Your WordPress Blog
WordPress is famous for their “5-minute install”. Many hostingThe only decision you need to make at this stage is to give your blog a name. You can change it later though...Just follow the step-by-step instructions – and it works!
Once WordPress is installed, you’ll receive an email with your:
|Username:||(“admin” by default)|
|Password:||(whatever password you entered)|
|Wordpress Login URL:||(This will look something like like ?your domain?/wp-admin/)|
If you can’t find the email, check your spam folder.
Using The Dashboard
After login, you’ll see the control panel for your blog, called the Dashboard. This let’s you handle everything from the design to publishing blog posts.
- The Essential Controls
A. Check Your Blog’s Name:
You choose this when you install WordPress – now’s your chance to make any changes (if required). In Settings > General, customize your:
- Site Title
- Tagline (displayed below the logo in many WordPress themes)
B. Verify Your Email Address
Check if your email address is correct, for a time when you may need to reset your password in the future. If there’s a typo, you’ll be locked out of your blog!
C. Set Up Permalinks
“Permalinks” are the strings of words that appear in the URLs of your blog. They help search engines, like Google, find and understand your blog posts more easily.Whatever permalinks you choose, be prepared to stick with it: changing them once your blog is gaining popularity can ruin your blog traffic!
In Settings option of the left-hand menu, go to Permalinks. They’ll be set to “Plain”. We suggest you use:- “Post name” (eg, blogging.com/sample-post/).But if you prefer, you can opt for one of these combinations:-
- “Day and name:”
- (eg, abc.com/2017/12/03/sample-post/)
- “Month and name:”
- (eg, abc.com/2017/12/sample-post/)
Choosing A WordPress Theme
WordPress has countless free themes to help you get creative, with look and feel of your blog. Its super-easy to change your WordPress theme whenever you like, hasslefree.So should you use a free theme or pay for a premium WordPress theme?
New Blogger? Use A Free WordPress Theme
If you’re not used to using WordPress, we recommend using a free theme until you know which features matter to you most. You can install them right from your dashboard; just click on “Appearance” and then “Themes".
Most popular free WordPress Themes...
- Twenty Seventeen
- Twenty Sixteen
- Twenty Fifteen
Experienced Blogger? Upgrade To Premium Themes
Premium themes offer a more stylish look out of the box, with least amount of tinkering required. A few sites to buy premium WordPress themes include:-
- StudioPress.com is a suite of several dozen premium themes
- Envato Elements. 1000s of premium WordPress themes for one monthly subscription – like NetFlix for themes!
- Elegant Themes
The Twenty Seventeen Theme
- Installing A New WordPress Theme
1. Access WordPress dashboard,and then go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
2. You’ll see all of the featured themes. Choose one of these or search for the names of themes you’ve heard about.
3. To narrow down your search, use the Feature Filter to select the layout, your desired features, and your blog subject.
4. You can preview, a selected theme with your content. If you don’t have any website content or the plugins necessary for the theme, this preview might not look like anything like the final product.
5. Once you’re sure, just click Install and Activate, and you’re done!
All of your blog content will appear in the new theme.
Customizing WordPress With Plugins
Plugins are extensions that add features and unleash the true power of WordPress.
- What can the plugins do?
# Improve SEO (making your blog appear higher in the search engines)
# Speed Up Your Site with “Cacheing” (making your blog faster)
# Add fancy forms
- Popular Free WordPress Plugins
1. Akismet: to prevent junk comments filling your blog.
2. WP Super Cache: to speed up your blog.
3. Yoast SEO, which makes it really easy to optimize your blog for search engines.To narrow down your search, use the Feature Filter to select the layout, your desired features, and your blog subject.
- “Must Have” Premium WordPress Plugins
1. Jetpack, which is also developed by the WordPress team, and adds features backups for a small fee
2. Sucuri, a security plugin that protects your blog against hacking and malware. It’s owned by GoDaddy
- Installing WordPress Plugins
1. Click Plugins > Add New from your WordPress dashboard
2. Check out the featured plugins on this page for the most popular options.
3. Use the search function to find plugins for the specific features you want to add to your website.
4. When you find a plugin you like, just click Install Now.
5. Activate the plugin and you’re good to go!
- Staying Safe While Using Plugins
A. Speed: Too many plugins will slow WordPress down A LOT. That makes it difficult for your readers to navigate, and for search engines to crawl it.
B. Security: Out-of-date plugins are a security risk that could get your blog hacked.
Figure Out Your Content Plan
Blogs exist on almost every subject between heaven and earth, right from bitcoin- cryptocurrency to alien conspiracy theories.A blogger should have a good idea of what they want to write about before they start. However, content planning isn’t rocket science. Let’s walk you through it, one step at a time.
Who Is Your Blog’s Target Audience?
If you need to be clear about what you want to say, then you must know who your audience will be. Pick a topic that you are truly passionate about, and think about the needs of your blog’s readers.
- Some helpful questions to ask yourself:
1. Are you talking to men or women ?
2. Children or adults? ?
3. Where do they live ?
4. What activities do your audience members participate in ?
5. What type of work and hobbies do they do ?
6. What does a typical day in their lives look like? ?
- Example: Say you're creating a blog for “dog lovers”
i They can be of any gender.
i They can be of any age.
i They can live anywhere in the world.
i They love to do things with their pets, like walking dogs or playing with cats.
i They consider their pets to be part of the family, more so than those who merely call themselves “pet owners.”
i Significant chunks of their daily lives involve interacting with their pets (walking, feeding, playing, snuggling).
Choose a Niche For Your Blog
Niches are pretty important for your blog.
Some big websites, magazines, and newspapers can target huge audiences because they have massive amounts of content and a building full of writers to create it. You’re not going to get far competing with competition, so you need to drill down and focus on a smaller group of your audience. By narrowing your focus to a niche, you stand a chance of building the best blog on that topic.
How to Write A Blog Post?
High-quality content is critical to attract readers to your new blog. If your content is mediocre, you won’t get much attention – or even none at all! There are millions blogs on the internet. You need to make yours stand out from the competition.
Now let’s look at exactly which buttons to push to get your first blog post online.
1. Create A New Blog Post
In the WordPress dashboard, you’ll see a sidebar with menu items that will take you to various parts of your website. To start a new blog post, click Posts > Add New.
This will take you to the WordPress editor screen, which is where you will do your writing.
2. Draft Your Blog Post
Write a headline for your post in the title section.
Next, write some content in the body of your blog post. You will notice that there are two tabs, one labeled “Visual” and the other labeled “Text””.
Stay within the Visual editor if you are new to blogging and are not familiar with HTML code. This will give you a more “visual” look at what you are drafting when it comes to header sizes, font styles, and formats.
How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
The length of content is an open topic on the internet. Word-count is a key contributor to your search ranking results. Longer content typically ranks higher on Google. In fact, the longer the better when it comes to search ranking. This is because longer articles will contain more keywords, more topics, headings, links, and pictures.
At a minimum, your blog posts should be more than 300 words for Google to rank it. The ideal length of a post for general reading is 1,000+ words.
Just make sure that your long posts are easy to navigate and read. But feel free to experiment and find what works best for you and your audience.
3. Add an Image
If you want to add an image, click on the Add Media button. This will bring you to the Media Library where any images you have downloaded onto your site are saved for use in blog posts.
After you click on Add Media, select the image you want to insert into your blog post.
Don’t forget to fill out things such as the title, alt text, and description so when your website is indexed by search engines, your site is ranked properly in search engine results and potential visitors find you.
You can also add a caption if you want a short description to appear on your blog explaining the image to readers.
Click on Insert into post.
Your blog post will now look like this after adding an image:
4. Add Categories and Tags
Categories and tags help organize your blog so readers can find what they are looking for.
Look to the right-hand side of your editor and notice the two boxes, Categories, and Tags.
Categories describe the topics that can be found on your blog. For example, if you have a personal blog, you may choose categories such as Music, Travel, and Food.
Tags are more specific descriptions of your posts that help readers drill down to smaller topics. When you write a blog post, you first choose a category.
Simply click the category you would like to use for your blog post, input tags you want to assign and click on Add.
After you have created your blog post, you can preview how it will look when you publish it by clicking on the Preview button in the Publish box. This will open the public face of your blog, and show you what site visitors will see when they visit your website.
5. How To Publish Your Blog Post
If you are satisfied with the preview of your blog post, head back to the WordPress editor and locate the Publish section.
Here you can either click on the Publish button and post your blog immediately, or schedule to publish it at a later date. If you choose to publish it at a later date, simply choose the date and time and save your changes.
And there you are! You’ve started your blogging journey into the exciting unknown. Good Luck and Godspeed!
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