How to start a blog in 2022 - A Beginners guide
How to start a blog is a question often asked by friends and acquaintances. There are many folks who are eager to start a blog. However they are not sure how to go about doing it, the things to consider, and the technicalities involved. This post outlines the steps on how to create a blog in a very simplified way.
*Please note this post contains affiliate links, I recommend the products here only because I find them useful. The opinions in this post are all my own and based on my blogging experiences *.
Before you start a Blog
Why blog and choosing blog niche
If you plan to start a blog, for sure you have something to write about and share with your audience. Probably it is what you are naturally good at. It could be your passion or a new skill that you want to learn. In the process of learning, you may want to share what you learned and help others in their learning journey. Views on topics like current affairs, health, sports, personal finance, fitness, beauty, technology, lifestyle, and so on are all great subjects for blogging as well. There are infinite topics to choose from.
When I first thought of starting a blog, food recipe was on my list and a priority. One of the main reasons was to have a one-go-to location for all tried and tested recipes. There were many thousands of food blogs online. It was natural to wonder if my contribution by creating a blog in the blog world would be significant and if it would make any difference at all.
Today a couple of years later, it is very encouraging and gratifying to see some of my posts ( search for "paneer tikka pan-grilled", "kayappam", "Kozhikodan chicken biryani", "Vellappam", "Why shooting in Aperture Priority Mode is better than Manual Mode for Beginners?", "positive affirmation quotes" and many more on Google ) ranked among the top 10 in the SERPs from search engines. It is wonderful to get organic traffic from these posts.
The takeaway is not to be disheartened with already existing content out there, just get started. Every blogger is unique in their own storytelling and presentation of matter. All you need is to create engaging content and follow your intuition. Then, of course, to grow there are important strategies like SEO, keywords, and social marketing to follow which will help in the long run. Most bloggers usually start with a single follower/audience of one and slowly build up their audience base.
Single or Multiple niche?
This is a dilemma that most bloggers face before starting a blog unless they have already determined and made up their minds to have only one niche. I had similar thoughts too but had decided to write on multiple niche topics that I was passionate about. There are some points to keep in mind when writing on multiple niches. It is preferable that the topics are not so diverse that your audience feels a lack of connection and interest when they visit your site. Else it might drive them away and even stop visiting your site again.
Single topic niches are said to be better for SEO and to rank higher on search engines. This helps for monetization as most ad companies prefer that as well. However, there are many multi-niche blogs that are successful. If the topics are related in some way, for instance, InspiresN is a lifestyle blog with topics on food, photography, blogging resources, and inspiration which has worked ok so far.
Some other combinations that I have seen are travel and food, housekeeping, beauty and fashion, and so on. It is important that these topics interest you as the writer and that way you have various topics to write about.
Find a Blog Name
Finding a name for your blog is an important step. If you have difficulty coming up with a blog name, you can use blog name generators online to help you find a creative and descriptive name for your blog. There are some blogs that simply use the blogger's name, some have a combination of names that showcase the content they write about. In my case, inspiresN is what inspires me N, where N could stand for my name Nisha or inspiring N number of people. Taking some time to research what may work in the long run will help.
If it does not work, you do not have to be stuck with it . You can always change it at a later time and have a redirection set so that you don't lose your old subscribers. There are times you will find that your blog name has already been taken. The workaround options are to use different domain extensions like .net or .org or add some prefixes and suffixes, so it almost matches the one that you originally preferred.
Steps to create a blog
Now that you decided on your niche and blog name, there are two main steps you need to do to create a blog:
-Register your domain name.
-Get a Web hosting service.
If you are wondering what a "domain" and "web hosting" is, there is a simple analogy to understand the basic difference between the two. If you consider the domain name to be a home, then hosting is the land where the home resides. The domain name is the address or the URL (like https://inspiresn.com) which will help a visitor find your website. You will need to reserve a name or in other words, register your domain. This is typically done for a year or a couple of years for a fee and then renewed thereafter.
A web hosting service is responsible for storing your website files, data, and the content seen by the visitor. Hosting Services also provide user-friendly tools to manage your site with minimum technical experience. They help with customer support, site maintenance, and keeping the site safe and secure from malicious attacks.
When you purchase a website hosting service, you have an option to purchase a domain from them (but this is not usually recommended). The preferred option is to use the domain name that you decide to purchase from other sources. Some of the popular choices to purchase domain names are goDaddy.com, domain.com, and Name.com.
Choose a Website hosting provider on basis of some of the criteria like load time, downtimes, security, costs, and customer support. Here are some popular hosting services.
I have been using "Siteground" as my web hosting service for a few years now. They meet all the criteria mentioned above that most people are looking for. The company’s hosting services come with exceptional features which are exclusive and not offered by other web hosts.
For beginners, the start-up plan should be good enough. It can host 1 website, has 10GB of Web Space, supports 10,000 visits monthly, and has all essential features. For the period between February 10 and February 17, 2022, all new clients can grab any annual shared hosting plan with a whopping 75% discount!
Disclosure: When you purchase through this link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Follow the steps to purchase, enter your domain name, and once your hosting account is created, login to the account and you are all set.
Configure site and Install WordPress
These links below from Siteground have details with screenshots on website configuration and WordPress installation. Follow the steps to configure your site. They are pretty straightforward.
Customize your blog
Once you log in to the site, navigate to the link https://<yoursite.com>/wp-admin. From here you can customize your blog, add new themes to change the look and feel of your site. Here is a link that has some popular topics for beginners on creating a WordPress post, adding multimedia to a post, creating new categories, managing WordPress comments, and installing and customizing themes
Promoting your blog is an important strategy to grow. To reach a wider audience, promote your blog on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and through email marketing lists.
Once you build an audience and gain considerable traffic you can choose to monetize from your blog if you wish. There are many ways to monetize and some of them are affiliate marketing, advertisements, and sponsored content.
Hope this summarization of how to start a blog will help beginners and folks looking for such information. I will be more than happy to help with any queries and point to resources if needed. Thanks for reading and have a good day!