Are you interested in starting a blog but not sure how to get started? In today’s digital world, you might have come across several ways how to create a blog. However, skeptical of whether they have covered all significant areas required to do so. In this article, I will be walking over through the detailed steps on how to create a blog within 30mins.
1.Choose the Right Niche
“Should I build a blog on things that I am passionate about?”
“Oh, someone’s making a lot of money from this specific niche. Shall I build something similar?”
Invest your time to build on a blog where there is zero demands, zero visitors, zero profits resulting in wastage of time, effort and money.
Instead, pick a niche that you are passionate and at the same time has good value in the market.
The question is, how do you determine this? How do you find a profitable niche?
Suppose you select your niche as Home Gym Workout.
Go to GoogleTrends and type the selected niche.
This shows interest not so high and not so low and will continue to surge over time.
You could also observe the potential to drive traffic.
A blog with high competition keywords has already taken over the market. So, pick a niche with low competition. This increases your odds of winning the niche.
What is the most common mistake people in the blogging industry do on starting a blog?
Writing contents on multiple niches – you don’t have to feel confined within.
No wonder you get this freedom of writing whatever you feel like.
But let’s be honest – did you think how your audience would feel?
“Hey there. Here are 10 facts you should know before driving a car. Or How to make money while traveling.”
This shows the confusion you create in the minds of your blog visitors.
It’s not enough to create a blog solely on what you want.
You also need to consider the eyes and minds of your audience as well.
Your blog is like a blank page when someone visits your website for the first time.
You need to familiarise them with a particular content type.
You need to create content by providing value in the interests of both you and your target audience. The more realistic and valuable your content, the better.
Consider SmartPassiveIncome website. This blog focuses on how to make passive income online. It’s easy to navigate to this website on passive income concerns.
Next time when you think of passive income, you will come back to this site for sure. In turn, building connection and trust.
2.Select Domain Name
If you are planning to take your business online or create your brand presence, its good to have your domain name for your website.
Metaphorically speaking, a domain name is like the name of your house.
So, while choosing a good domain name, you need to consider a few criteria:
Easy to type: Pick short and simple keywords that represent business and makes it easy for your audience to search.
For example: If your business is taking care of pets, name it as petcare.com so that it describes your business.
Avoid using numbers / special characters / complex words: Causes error while typing and in turn misleads your customer to a different website.
High search volume and low competition: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner / KWFinder.
Appropriate domain extension: Give preference to .com if available as the audience finds it more reliable in comparison to rest.
Your main goal is to target region-specific such as India. Pick .in as your search engine can geotarget your websites.
Unique and Memorable: Take the earlier example SmartPassiveIncome. It’s quite memorable, isn’t it??
3.Buy Domain Name
Once you select the domain name, go to your domain name registrar to buy it.
My go-to place for domain registration is Namecheap for its good package:
- Reasonable price range. Vary from $8 to $24.
- Easy to checkout. The process takes max 2mins.
- Free privacy protection. Entails “WhoIsGuard” feature which prevents your contact info from being public.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- 2hr ticket response time.
4.Buy the Hosting Provider
Many people attend to assume that buying a domain name is enough for a website to go live.
But, what they fail to understand is that domain name is just the name of your website.
There is a difference between buying a house and naming your house.
Buying the hosting provider is nothing but renting space online to host your website.
There are both free and paid hosting providers. But free plans have a lot of drawbacks and isn’t worth your time.
With so many hosting providers out there, I highly recommend Siteground.
Several reasons why I suggest this:
- High uptime, zero download issues
- Fast load time
- Free site builder
- Free SSL & HTTPS
- Free Cloudflare
- Great customer support
- Wide range of hosting types and plans
- Migration to siteground from other hosting provider is free of cost
- 30 days money-back guarantee- if not satisfied.
It’s difficult to find a package that covers all in one.
However, if you are not happy with the recommendation, it’s completely okay.
You can always find other providers out there which could offer similar features.
How to buy Siteground Hosting Provider
On navigating to the Siteground site, you will see 3 different options:
For a beginner, I recommend the StartUp Plan.
a. Click Get Plan.
b. Enter your domain name.
c. Fill relevant details.
d. Untick the extra services.
e. Click Pay Now.
You have successfully purchased the hosting provider.
5.Setup Namecheap domain on Siteground
Once you login, your home screen provides you with 2 options:
Either create or migrate your site.
Since we are here to create our website, click on “Set Up Site”.
On the next screen, I recommend you do the following:
a. Enter the domain name you purchased.
b. Select Start New Website.
c. Click WordPress.
d. Enter your credentials.
e. Click the continue button.
f. Click Finish.
You have successfully launched your domain name on Siteground. And, the WordPress application.
6. Point Your Domain Name to Your Web Host
Why do you need to point, what happens if didn’t?
Without attaching your domain name to host provider, it would be impossible for your audience to access your website.
Link your Namecheap domain name to Siteground hosting provider as follows:
a. Login into Siteground account. GoTo Cpanel section, copy the nameservers listed.
b. Login into Namecheap account. Click Manage next to your domain name. Go to Nameservers section and change from Namecheap Basic DNS to Custom DNS and paste the nameservers. Now save the changes by clicking the green tick mark.
Generally, Namecheap notifies saying it takes 48 hours to reflect the changes.
Based on my personal experience, it hardly takes 10mins or less than that.
7.Log Into WordPress Dashboard
To login into your WordPress site, type
on your web browser address bar. You will be taken to your login page of WordPress.
Enter your credentials i.e. your username or email address and password used to install WordPress earlier.
Now you are logged in. This is a place where you can control your website.
Next, you will be learning how to design your website.
8.Choose WordPress Theme
Your website theme represents your brand/ business and plays an important role in your search engines as well.
Checkout the website SideHustleNation mainly helping entrepreneurs on how to be financially independent. If you observe, the theme is very simple, elegant, no cluttered content and unnecessary navigation.
There are tons of both free and paid premium themes available. It’s confusing when you have too many options.
My recommendation would be:
- Astra for free WordPress theme.
- Astro Pro for premium WordPress theme.
- If you would like to customize your content, activate Elementor Pro.
If you ask me, what’s the difference between Astra paid and free? For paid ones, you get more control over your site for customisation.
As per my personal experience, the free version here has all the necessary features required to build your website.
Pick one whichever fits best for your needs to create a blog.
9.Install WordPress Theme
To install the theme:
Ø Go To WordPress Dashboard.
Ø Click on Appearance.
Ø Select Themes.
Ø Add Theme.
You have two ways to install:
a. Already existing WordPress Themes.
- Browse and select your favourite theme.
- Click the Install button.
b. Third-party Themes downloaded using Google search.
- GoTo Upload Themes section.
- Click on Choose File. Here, pick the theme file from your desktop that you would like to upload for your site.
- Click the Install Now button.
Now the theme is installed on your website.
10. Install WordPress Plugins
Having plugins installed on your website adds additional features to your website. This simplifies our tasks and delivers a better user experience.
For beginners, it’s tough to decide which one to use and which one not. Installing too many plugins also not advisable as it would slow down your site.
Here is the list of must-have plugins to start your blog and keep it secure, attractive, simple and optimized :
Classic Editor: Although the default Gutenberg version is very cool with advanced features, it’s not so user friendly. You can opt for Classic Editor instead. Switch back and forth whenever required.
Yoast SEO: This has features that make your website more google search friendly and allows you to rank higher in google search results.
Contact Form 7: Used to insert the fast-simple form into any post or page with spam protection.
Wordfence: One of the best security plugins out there. It detects and stops the potential viruses, hacks and other malicious programs. Also, notifies the owner in the case of a security breach.
Updraft Plus: Good for scheduling regular backups and pushing backups directly to the service of your choice. For ex: DropBox, Google Drive, etc.
Autoptimize: Loads your website faster by reducing the size of the web pages.
11. Blog Set-Up
Currently, your blog is pretty generic.
You need to update a few settings for your blog before its live.
Once you navigate to the settings tab, update the following:
General: Ensure to have the Site Title, Tagline, WordPress Address, Site Address, valid email address, Time zone, Date Format, Time format, Weekday updated.
Writing: Controls to format the posts.
Reading: Controls how the posts should be rendered to the audience.
Also, do confirm the highlighted in the below picture is unchecked. This enables search engines like google to find your site.
Discussion: controls how people interact with your articles. Edit and update as per your convenience.
Media: Enable the default size of your article or web page.
In addition to it, have the below option checked to keep the content organised.
Permalinks: controls the way URLs are generated for each post.
Apart from the above, there are one more additional settings you need to do:
- Install SSL Certificate:
Why you need an SSL Certificate:
- Assures your audience that your website is safe.
- Protects your data from mischievous hackers.
- Build customer trust.
- Google has made this mandatory and flags those websites who don’t have SSL certificate installed. This would affect your search rankings as well
How can you tell whether your website has SSL installed or not?
Check whether your website has top left green locked key sign and https:\\ in your website URL.
If yes, only then your website is secure.
How do you install one?
Your hosting provider is Siteground.
Login into Siteground account.
Navigate to cPanel, Security -> SSL Manager -> Install -> Let’s Encrypt.
Click on Get.
Within 1-2mins, Siteground will automatically set the certificate for you.
Usually, hosting providers like Siteground provides a free SSL certificate. If not, Cloudfare provides free SSL certificates.
You are all set to start your blog!!
12. Create Your First Blog Post!
a. Login into WordPress account.
b. Hover to the Posts section, click on Add New.
c. Enter the title of your post in the first section.
d. Write content below your title box with images, videos, etc.
e. Once done, hit the Publish button.
Congratulations. You have done a wonderful job in acquiring the knowledge to publish your first blog post.
What are some useful tips for writing a blog?
- Write and create a blog on what you know and understand well.
- If you wish to write an article that you have limited knowledge of, do thorough research on the topic and then go ahead with your article.
- Read your competitors blog on the topic that you are planning to write. See how they are creating a blog, what they are covering and what not.
- Include relevant links which would enhance the audience experience.
What do you have to do if your domain name is taken?
Use the same name with a different extension.
Append the selected domain name with a new word and then buy.
Use “Domain wheel” for the list of available domain names for purchase based on a typed keyword.
Suppose you are running a business of same domain name and you really need the website, then contact the owner of the website. Offer them a good deal and see if they are interested in selling their domain name. Then buy it.
Why is the copyright written at the footer of almost all websites?
Under copyright law, your work is secure as soon as you publish your content online. It is mentioned so as to deter visitors from copying.
Would it be okay if I begin blogging with a free account and decide to host a blog later on?
With a free account, you don’t have enough liberty of optimising your blog post to drive traffic.
If your plan is to create a brand or monetise your business through the site, then host your website. Blogging with a free account, in this case, would be a complete waste of time.
What Can I do to stop users from spamming horrid Comments?
Here are few settings that you could take as a precautionary measure to avoid spam:
In the Settings section,
- Uncheck the “Allow link notifications from other blogs(pingbacks and tracebacks) on new posts”. Whenever someone includes a link to your post, a notification and a comment are dropped on your post. Spammers sometimes use this as an opportunity to spam your posts with comments on an infinite loop.
- Check “A comment is held for moderation”. This would give control over your comments before going public.
- Include words like “subscribe” or “link” or any other which bloggers often spam by promoting their content in the comments area.
Is it worth investing your time in building an email list through your blog?
Most prerequisite requirement for any businesses to be successful is building an email list.
The most efficient way of building a loyal customer base in no time.
To begin with, there are multiple email marketing service providers for free.
One such is Mailchimp. It’s free until you have 2000+ subscribers which are a pretty good deal for beginners.
Do I need to get a logo designed for my blog?
It depends situational wise.
For solely writing blogs, it isn’t required. You could just use the domain name as logo.
But, you are providing a service and promoting the same in social media websites like Instagram / Linkedin. You have to use an image as a logo to build the brand presence.
I personally use Canva to build design one. It’s completely free and the best one I have used till date.
What is a Sitemap? Is it compulsory to submit URL to google search console? How does it benefit our website?
A Sitemap is an XML file that contains all the URLs of your blog.
No, it’s not mandatory to create a blog and you won’t be penalized on not submitting.
But by submitting your site to google search console, it makes google easier to crawl and index / rank your website efficiently.
How to submit URL to google search console?
- Go to Google Search Console.
- Click Start Now.
- Login with your Google account.
- Add property and enter your website’s URL. Click continue.
- You will get a pop-up window for verifying the ownership of your site.
- That’s it. You can also good use this console to measure and improve your site performance.
Can you make money from a blog?
Yes, Ofcourse. Some of the most popular ways are:
Affiliate Marketing: Promote product from another company through your articles by affiliate links and earn a commission.
Ads: Place ads on your blog. Keep in mind that too many ads will drive your customer away.
Sponsored Content: Companies notice you on driving good traffic to your websites and send good sponsorship offers.
Freelance Writing: Once you build a good brand presence, you could use this for your portfolio to grab freelance projects.
What are the benefits of having a blog?
Connect with Other Bloggers. You will get to meet amazing minds and will have a good influence on your growth as a blogger.
Build Credibility and Reputation. People begin to learn your work based on the quality of content you produce. This shows your expertise in that particular niche which would benefit you in landing exciting opportunities in the future.
Expands your knowledge base. When you are focused on a particular niche, you have the urge to grow more. You do extensive research to produce good quality content.
Make Passive Income. With the amount of research, time, energy and effort that we have invested in delivering good content will reap the benefits in time. It’s one of the great ways to have financial stability.
Generate Leads. It’s proven over time to time the good quality content has 10 times more scope in generating leads for your business.
On coming to the end of the article, you have learnt successfully how to create a blog by scratch. I have done my best to cover all the steps required to start blogging. Its easier to create a blog, but harder to remain consistent. With every content you deliver, the more value you provide to your audience, the more connected they grow towards. It’s main key for you to grow as a successful blogger. Happy Blogging!!