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How to start your own Blog 101

Learn how to start a blog in less than an hour. Are you looking for an easy guide on how to start a blog?

The step-by-step guide on this page will show you how to start a blog in less than an hour with just the most basic computer skills. After completing this guide, you will have a beautiful blog to share with the world.

What is a blog anyway?

A blog is a website that focuses mainly on written content, also known as blog posts. It can be thought of as a diary or journal that is (mostly) maintained by one person but may also be maintained by a blogger group. You must have heard about news blogs or celebrity blog sites, but as you’ll see in this guide, you can start a successful blog on just about any topic imaginable.

Bloggers often write from a personal perspective that allows them to connect directly with their readers. Besides, most blogs also have a “comments” section where visitors can correspond with the blogger. Interacting with your visitors in the comments section helps to connect the blogger and the reader further.

This direct connection to the reader is one of the main benefits of starting a blog. This connection allows you to interact and share ideas with other like-minded people. It also allows you to build trust with your readers. The good news is that the internet is exploding with growth right now. More people than ever are online. This explosion in growth means more potential readers for your blog. In short, if you are thinking about starting a blog, then there is no better time than right now.

How to Start a Successful Blog

If you follow these steps, you will learn how to set up a blog in less than one hour.

Step 1: Select a perfect niche for your blog

To start a blog and make it a blogger, you have to select your blog’s right niche.

  • First, make sure to pick a niche that you are the most interested in—the one you are passionate about.
  • Second, you need to make sure a niche has enough audience interest—topics people are searching for.

That way, you will follow your passion, find your readers, and enjoy your blogging journey.

Step 2: Choose your blog name

Your domain name will be the name by which you will be known online, no matter what niche you choose. It’s your blog’s unique address on the Internet. Your domain name is an important part of your blog because it creates a first impression—it is your blog’s name. Also known as your URL, your domain is also your address on the web.

A good blog name should be descriptive so that potential visitors can instantly tell what your blog is about just from the name. If you are blogging about one specific topic, then you will definitely want to include that in some way when you pick a domain name. Try not to get hung-up on just one word, though. For example, a fashion blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “fashion” in it. The words “design,” “clothing,” and “wears” would also let people know that your blog is about fashion. If you are planning to create a personal blog where you discuss various topics, then I recommend using your name, or some variation of it, since your blog is all about you.

If you can’t find a domain name you like, Bluehost will let you choose one later. You can also check to make sure that no one else has already registered it.

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Note: Do not use space or punctuation other than dashes in a domain name.

If you find that the name you wanted is already taken, there are a few things you can do:

  • Try a different domain extension. If the .com version is already registered, you may still get the .net or .org version of the name.
  • Add small words. Words like “a,” “may,” “best,” or “the.”
  • Add dashes between words—for example, mine-see.com.

Step 3: Set up blog hosting

Once you’ve decided on a domain name, selecting a reliable hosting service will be one of the most important decisions to make.

To a great extent, the functionality and performance of your site will depend on your blog hosting. The host makes sure your blog is available 24/7 to potential readers, and it’s where your contents and files are stored online. Most hosting companies will also provide you a free domain for the first year when you buy their services.

The wrong web host can cause many problems with your blog. Just imagine choosing a mobile company that has no reception. Your web host is a major piece of the puzzle to having a blog that is well functioning. Therefore, you must choose a reliable provider.

In the opinion of many blogging experts, Bluehost is a top choice.

Step 4: Register on Bluehost and add WordPress

This section provides detailed information to help you sign up for your web hosting account and install WordPress software.

  1. Visit the Bluehost homepage.

Go to www.bluehost.com website. Then click the green “Get Started Now” button.

  1. Select your hosting plan

You will start by picking a hosting plan. If this is your very first blog, you can go with the Basic plan. Later, you can easily upgrade to a Plus or Choice Plus plan once your blog starts growing. Explore what each plan offers. If your budget allows, go with the recommended plan.

  1. Set up your domain name

Your domain name will be your blog’s address, so you should take your time to come up with something unique and memorable. Just type in the desired name in this “new domain” box, and Bluehost will show you whether it’s available or not.

If you have already purchased a domain name somewhere else, you can use that name. Just type it into the “Use a domain you own” box.

  1. Register with Bluehost

After choosing your domain name, Bluehost will take you to the registration page, where you can manually fill in your personal info or sign in with your Google account to make the process even easier!

Add your account information.

Start by filling out your personal information.

Select your hosting package

At this point, it’s time to select an account plan from the available options. Bluehost offers 12, 24, and 36-month packages.

With a 12-month package, you will have to pay a lower amount upfront, but you will get a better deal with the other two packages if you are ready for a longer-term commitment.

Package extras

Review your package extras carefully. Not every extra is essential, and by unchecking the boxes of extras you don’t need, your total amount to pay will decrease.

You can always add extras later if you find that you need them. I do suggest that you keep the Domain Privacy Protection box checked. This service will hide your personal contact information from the global database, which is publicly visible to anyone on the internet.

Payment information

Now, enter your payment information. Check the box that you have read and agree to the TOS (Terms of Service), and click on the green “Submit” button. Bluehost will send you a confirmation email when the payment goes through. You will also receive an email to verify your email address to activate your domain name.

Next, you will set up the Bluehost account. You are one step closer to starting a blog!

  1. Create your account

Let’s create your account with Bluehost.

  • Step 1. Click the “Create your account” button.
  • Step 2. Enter your password and complete the account set up.
  • Step 3. Your account is ready to go. Click the “Go to login” button.
  • Step 4. Fill in the fields “Email or Domain Name” and “Password.”

You are all set. Next, you will start working on creating your blog.

  1. Create your WordPress blog with Bluehost

After you log in to the account, Bluehost will offer a 4-step process to help you create a blog. I suggest you go with that procedure if this is your first time starting a blog.

You can also click the “Skip this step” button and work on blog formation from scratch on your own inside the Bluehost hosting account.

Four steps blog set up assistance process:

  • Step 1. You will start the process by answering 3 questions: What kind of site? What type is it? And who is it for? You can select the same choices or pick what fits your individual case.
  • Step 2. With this step, you can pick what else you would like to add to your site. Bluehost gives you a few options to choose from.
  • Step 3. In this step, you need to answer a few questions, such as your blog’s name and how comfortable you are with creating websites. Note, you can always change this later.
  • Step 4. Check out the chosen themes by Bluehost and see if you like any of them (if you don’t see a theme you like, skip this step). You can always change it and use a different one later. More information on this further on.

Once you complete setting up your blog with these 4 steps, you will be taken to your Bluehost account page. At this point, the WordPress software is installed, and your blog structure is set up!

  1. Launch your blog

Inside your Bluehost account, you will see options to customize further your WordPress blog site based on Bluehost’s recommendations. These options are here for you to do some pre-launch customization to your blog.

After you click the “Launch My Site” button, your blog will go live!

If you open your website in a web browser, don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t look quite right. It is just the first draft. Inside the WordPress dashboard, you will have to apply a few changes and add content to make it look polished and complete.

You can access the WordPress blog dashboard from your Bluehost account by clicking the blue “WordPress” button in the top right corner of your screen.

Step 5: Write a new blog post & publish it.

Now that your blog is up and running, it’s time actually to do some blogging!  Let’s create your first piece of content.

Go to the left menu and click on “Posts.”

You will see there is already a post there. This is a default post on every new WordPress blog, and we don’t need it. To delete it click “Trash” just under the post.

To begin writing a new post, click the “Add New” link.

You are now on the post editor screen. Enter the title of your post in the top box, and then begin writing your post in the lower box.

If you would like to add a picture to your post, click on the “Add Image” icon and click “Upload” to upload a picture from your computer. You can make adjustments to the picture size on the next screen. When you are ready, click “Insert into post” to add the picture.

Once you have finished your post, click the “Publish” button on the screen’s top right side to publish the new post.

Content That Should be on Your Blog

There are two main types of content your blog should provide: static and dynamic content.

Static Content: Your blog should contain a few necessary pages explicitly designed to provide the visitor with the tools they need. The content on these pages is static, meaning – the content doesn’t change, or at least not very often. These are mainly top-level pages that can be accessed via a menu on your blog.

These static content pages should be in place well before you launch your blog to the world.

Important static pages to include:

  • About Us – The most traditional page on any blog is the “About us” page. This page tells new visitors what it is all about, who you are and why you run a blog about your niche topic.

How to start your own Blog 101

  • Homepage – This depends on what type of layout you choose. As I described above, when customizing your blog, you can choose to display the homepage as a static page. In that case, you will have to prepare content for it.
  • Contact Me (Us) – This page allows visitors to your blog to communicate with you. It can be a straightforward page with your email address plus your social network links, or you can use a simple contact form that visitors can use to communicate with you.

Other static pages that are equally as important but less commonly thought of are:

  • Disclaimer Page: If you intend to monetize your blog, you must describe how you intend to generate income. This is an absolute must-have page that should not be overlooked, as per FTC guidelines. For example, if you discuss and endorse a product and stand to profit by linking to the product, this relationship must be disclosed.
  • Privacy Policy: If you collect data from your visitors in any way, you are required to add a privacy policy page that tells visitors exactly how you are collecting data, how you are using it, and if you are sharing that data.
  • Terms of Service: If your blog is also running a store or selling services, it is a good idea to have a Terms of Service page to lessen your potential liability.

These required static pages are typically linked to in the footer menu of a blog. They should, at the very least, be visible and accessible from the home page. 

Dynamic Content: Your dynamic content is your blog and the most important content you have to offer. This is where you, as the creator, will infuse the blog with your brand of informative content that supplies your audience with knowledgeable tips, facts, opinions, and stories. This is how you engage your visitors and keep them coming back for more.

Your blog content should be regularly submitted at specific intervals. Waiting months to create content will never build a following. Posting content weekly and driving traffic to these posts will help build your brand.

Publishing Your Blog

Even after you have written a post, your blog may still be showing a placeholder page.

When you are ready to make your blog public for the first time, click the “BlueHost” menu at the top left of the menu in your WordPress dashboard, then click the blue “Launch” button to remove the placeholder page and launch your blog.

Congratulations! You now know how to start your own blog and publish content!

Step 6: Promote your blog and content.

Creating a well-designed blog and writing great content is just the start. To get visitors to your blog, you will need to spend some time promoting it, especially when you first start.

The strategies below will help get your blog in front of more readers. You don’t need to use every strategy – try out a few and see what works well for you.

Tell your inner circle.

Get started by informing everyone you know about your blog. The very first people who should become aware of your blog are your inner circle. This includes family, friends, and colleagues within your field. Encourage them to become followers, ask them to mention your new blog, and most importantly, thank them.

Optimize your blog for search engines

Having a website indexed on search engines is an important and useful task. You want your blog to appear in search results as soon as possible.

Google: Sign up for a Google Webmaster account and open the search console. To add your blog, click “Add Property” and follow the steps to add your blog.

Bing: Sign up for a Bing Webmaster account and add your blog.

Submitting your blog is the first step in the process, known as search engine optimization (SEO).To optimize this process, your blog’s page should include these fundamental elements: header tags, categorization & permalinks.

Be active

Get active on relevant blogs, forums, and social pages. Blogger communities are a good way to connect with other bloggers within your niche. Become enmeshed in your blogging community by collaborating with respected members of your field.  You can engage, build friendships, and help each other in spreading content. Commenting on other relevant blogs is a great way to build relationships with top bloggers within your niche.

Be active on social networks.

Your business is unique, and you should make use of the social media avenues that best fit your own niche and style. Please choose the one (or ones) that best fit your needs and become an expert at leveraging them to help reach your goals. You can post a link to the newest content on your social media accounts.  Don’t forget to use hashtags and engage with your followers. Some of the most popular social media networks that bloggers use daily are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Start building your email list.

After starting a blog, you will begin attracting new readers and visitors. In addition to getting new visitors to your blog, you will also want to make sure your current visitors are coming back. This is where email marketing plays a big role. By collecting the email addresses of those who want to be notified of new blog posts you publish or offers you have. This keeps people coming back to your blog, which not only gives you more readers over time; it also allows you to build a closer relationship with your visitors.

Step 7: Make money from your blog.

Once you have put in the effort to create great blog content and promote your blog, making money from your blog is actually the easy part.

Blogs have the potential to be extremely lucrative, but don’t assume that you’re going to start making money in the first week or even in the first month or year. It could take six months to more than a year to start seeing a steady stream of income. Blogging takes work and dedication, but once you develop a large enough audience, there are several methods you can employ to monetize your blog.

  • Sell advertising space
  • Sell affiliate products
  • Selling Products and Services
  • Sell digital downloads

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to start a blog. You have your own domain name, hosting space, and your blog is set up. You can check out our other articles on 20 blogging tips to improve your writing, 15 reasons you should start a blog

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