So you’re thinking about starting a blog? What a phenomenal idea! Blogging is an excellent way to express yourself and your thoughts.
Your blog might also become a source of income in the future – if you choose.
Now, I know that starting a blog can seem overwhelming in the beginning. But don’t worry, it’s not that complicated. We are living in 2017 with tons of templates, so you can quickly start a blog without any technical knowledge required. Before we begin with how to start a blog, let’s go over why you should start one in 2017.
Why start a blog in 2017?
A blog can allow you to build your personal brand. Let’s face it; job security is gone. Your parents and grandparents lived in a time where they could easily get and keep the same job for the rest of their life.
That’s not the case now. Just think about how fast technology is changing. A company can quickly become obsolete if it’s not adaptable. A few examples of such enterprises are Blockbuster, Kodak, and Pan-Am.
We are living in an entrepreneurial era. Combine that with the fact that people are doing business with people they trust and like – and you might get an idea of why blogging is so powerful in 2017.
Blogging can allow you to be seen as an authority. That can open up opportunities for you that you can not imagine. There’s a saying that goes;You can make money from your blog, but you can also earn money because of your blog Click To Tweet
So for example, you can make money from your blog via ads, affiliate marketing, etc. But people may also contact you for speaking engagements, freelance jobs, partnerships, etc.
If you want more reasons to start a blog, check out 17 Things To Keep In Mind Before You Ditch Blogging.
Why you should go with a self-hosted blog via WordPress
I was thinking about naming this subheadline “Choose a blogging platform.” But I quickly realized that the biggest obstacle when starting a blog is feeling overwhelm and confusion.
Therefore, why not just tell you what we did, and explain why we chose a self-hosted blog via WordPress.
A self-hosted blog means that you get your own domain. So for example, instead of having the domain freedombasedbusinesses.wordpress.com – we can have freedombasedbusinesses.com since it’s a self-hosted blog.
Here are a few downsides that you’ll get if you do not choose a self-hosted blog:
1. The long and somewhat ugly domain as we covered above.
2. Limits on monetization, uploading videos and images, etc.
3. You don’t own your own blog. WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr own your blog if you do not go with a self-hosted blog.
Now, why should you work with WordPress and not Blogger, or something else? The reason why we use WordPress is that it’s what most major sites are using.
WordPress is exceptional when it comes to search engine optimization. It has a lot of great plugins such as Yoast SEO and WP Super Cache, among other features that benefit search engine rankings.
WordPress is also free to use and very easy to set-up. You will get a lot of beautiful themes to choose from when you go with WordPress. There are more reasons to go with WordPress above any other platform, but now we’ve covered the top ones.
Choosing a name and the step by step of starting a blog
I hope that the information above has enabled you to get clarity about what type of blog to start and where to start it. Now you might be wondering how to set everything up.
Since I don’t see the point in repeating myself, I will just guide you to an article that we wrote earlier this year. It’s called How to Create a Blog With Bluehost and WordPress (A Free Step By Step Guide).
Or, you can watch the video tutorial below.
We decided to go with Bluehost as a hosting company for our blog. Their prices are very reasonable, and they provide you with a free domain once you sign up.
You can always change the hosting company later, but for now, I recommend that you start with Bluehost.
When choosing the name for your blog, I suggest that you think about the following:
Can people get a sense of what your blog is about by reading the name? It’s very beneficial to have a blog name that tells your readers what the blog is about. It’s not always possible to achieve this, but at least try.
Is it easy to remember? Do not add dashes or anything like that to your domain. That’s hard to remember, and it can confuse a lot of readers if a competing/similar domain name pops up.
Is the name too long? Try to get a come up with a name that has 1-3 words, no more.
What to NOT focus on immediately after you’ve created your blog
Hopefully, you’ve now followed the guide above and created your own blog. Now it’s time to get some readers for your blog. But first, let’s go over three things that you should not worry about in the beginning:
The design. Most people will not care about the theme for your blog. They care more about the content that you’ll publish. Also, in the beginning, no one is visiting your blog, so why bother with that now? Therefore, do not put your focus on perfecting the design when you’re just starting out.
How to monetize your blog. To make money from blogging, you need blog traffic. And as we’ve covered above, you won’t have any readers at the beginning of your blogging journey. It might feel as if you’re writing to yourself, but stick with it, and that will change!
Getting traffic from the search engine. Google rewards domains that have been around for a while. Therefore, do not expect to get any search engine traffic within the first months of blogging.
Getting your first readers
To be successful with blogging, I recommend that you create goals for your blog. Now, some people immediately start writing down lofty goals like “getting 100 000 visitors per month within one month.”
A more clever way to approach goal setting for your blog is to begin small and slowly work your way up. So for example;
- Milestone 1: 10 visitors per day on average.
- Milestone 2: 50 visitors per day on average.
- Milestone 3. 100 visitors per day on average.
The timeframe for achieving each milestone will depend on your experience, your commitment to learning and the time you spend on your blog.
To track the traffic that your blog gets, install Google Analytics. There are many free guides and videos online that can help you do this.
The first step to take after you’ve set-up your blog is to create a profile on Twitter, Facebook, etc. with your blog name. Do it immediately since people can steal your name later if you procrastinate.
The chances are that your first visitors will come from a social media platform. Therefore, start sharing your posts by using hashtags and keywords.
You can use the follow for follow method on platforms like Pinterest and Twitter to get your first followers. Simply search for people that are interested in your blog topic and follow them – and hopefully, some of them will follow you back.
When you first start your blog, it’s also wise to share it with your family and friends. Ask them to like your Facebook page and perhaps some of them will also share your articles to help you out.
Another strategy to get your first visitors is to be active on forums where you can add a signature to your profile that links back to your blog. Start helping people and they will become interested in what you have to say.
Now, the absolute best way to get massive traffic to your blog is to write amazing content. If you have an educational, inspirational or motivational blog – it’s important to understand that millions of blogs are competing for attention.
The best way to stand out is to put extra effort into your articles. Instead of writing a 500-word blog post with no pictures, you should go with a 2000-3000 word blog post that includes helpful images.
When you do this, people will want to share your article because of its value. Let’s take an example from our blog; we used to write blog posts like “10 ways to make extra money.” Those posts got little to no shares.
But then we said, what if we write a post about 100 ways to make extra money, will that make a difference? You bet, our social shares went from zero to almost 200. That can make a big difference in the traffic that your blog gets.
So in conclusion; focus on high-quality articles. Huge list-articles work well as a traffic generator. Also, make sure to make it a habit of sharing your posts on social media – remember the hashtags and keywords. It’s also good to share your posts on bookmarking sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon.
If you want more ways to get blog traffic, check out the article 17 Sneaky Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic.
Other resources to help you on your blogging journey
I have already shared a few links to our other articles throughout this blog post. But let me give you a few more so you can feel confident in your blogging.
☆ 33 Ways To Immediately Improve Your Blogging
☆ Top 3 Reasons Why Most Bloggers Don’t Make Money from Their Blog
☆ 12 Ways To Write Awesome Headlines So You Can Skyrocket Your Traffic
☆ How to Make Sure Your Blog Will Crush It In 2017
☆ 7 Lies Bloggers Need to Stop Telling Themselves About Blogging
☆ SEO for Beginners: How to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
☆ How To Find Keywords and Optimize Your Blog Posts for the Search Engine
I believe that if you read all of those blog posts, you will know more than 90% of all bloggers.
Once you start becoming a more advanced blogger, you will also want to create an email list so you can have direct contact with your readers. Here are two blog posts about email marketing:
Do drop a comment below to let us know if we can help you on your blogging journey. Also, include a link to your blog so we can check it out!