Starting a new blog is both exciting and scary at the same time. Here is my guide to help you with setting up your first blog and choosing the right tools, that will help you on your journey to successful blogging.
#1 Choose your blog name and main topic
You want to write a blog, perhaps you already know what will be your main topic. You should write about something that very interests you and you have a good knowledge of. I don’t believe you should choose only one niche for your blog. If you like travelling, food and fashion, write about all of these, just make one your main topic and try the rest to fit your blogging style.
Choosing your blog name can be more difficult. Think of something that represents your blog. For example, if your blog is mainly travel related your blog name could contain words like ‘nomad’ or ‘adventure’ or ‘journey’ and match it with your name or something that represents you. Make it somewhat short and memorable. Also make sure it is available as a domain name, which brings us to the second step.
#2 Purchase a domain and hosting
Now you have to purchase a domain and hosting. I highly recommend using Bluehost that is a very reliable hosting service. Go to Bluehost, click the Get Started button and choose a plan. If you plan on having only a one blog/website, the basic plan that includes free domain and 50 GB website space will be enough. Then choose your domain that should be your blog name. Try to stay away from using hash in your URL. If you already purchased your domain elsewhere, don’t worry, you can migrate it to Bluehost for free.
#3 Install WordPress and choose your theme
Okay, you don’t necessary need to use WordPress for your blogging but it is the number one blogging platform, that is easy to use, wildly supported and user-friendly.
If you are using Bluehost as a hosting service it is way easy to instal WordPress – they will actually do it for you. Once you are logged in to WorPress you can start customising your blog.
There is also thousands of WordPress themes to choose from, that are highly customizable. You can start with the free themes offered by WordPress or choose one of the many at Creative Market. The prices vary from $12 to $80.
#4 Download useful plugins
WordPress is full of useful plugins that will make your blogging life easier. Here are the ones I love and recommend using.
Akismet Anti-Spam: Protects your blog post from spamming comments. This one is a must, trust me!
Instagram Feed: Display beautifully clean, customizable, and responsive Instagram feeds.
Jetpack by WordPress: Enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users. Also will make it easier for people to comment on your blog if they are using WodrPress or same plugin, without logging in every time.
Pretty Link: Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website. Great if you are using affiliate links and want them to look nice.
Sumo Me: For growing your email list, adding buttons for sharing your content and creating a nice landing page.
Updraft Plus: Backup and restores your blog, if something happens to it.
Yoast SEO: The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
Always make sure, the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress.
#5 Register your blog name on all social media
One of the main ways to promote your blog is via social media, so don’t forget to register your blog on all of them. Especially register your blog for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
#6 Create pages
Pages make your blog cleaner and user-friendly. It will help your readers to find better the content they are looking for. Try to put your posts into different categories. Create About Me page and page where you will feature your contact information or have a contact form.
#7 Create valuable content and write constantly
It is easy. A valuable content means more returning visitors and better visibility.
Try writing constantly, especially if your blog is new and you want to attract more readers. Some people blog three times a week, some less some more. See what works the best for you but don’t post less than once a week. If you already have some viewers they might get disappointed by the lack of your new posts and never return back.
What next? Write posts and share them over social media. Join few facebook groups in your niche and connect with other people. Don’t forget to share content of others, sharing is not only caring but will make you more visible and interest more readers. Grow your audience and then start thinking about monetizing your blog. You are putting a lot of effort and time into your blogging so it’s time to get something in return.