You’re probably here, simply because you’re looking for free guides on how to start a blog, or let’s say, how to start a successful blog rather, in 2020, and many more years to come right?
Well, no doubts that you’re probably at the right place, and in just a few minutes, and with just a few easy to follow steps, we’ll be showing you how you can set up and start running your own successful blog, in no time.
So without further, let’s get started… #Enjoy
But before that, let’s first of all, take a quick look about what a blog, and blogging is all about on the surface.
What is a blog?
Now i don’t think there is any finite definition to this blog thing, but personally, I’d say a blog is more or a less a website, maybe owned by a single person, or just a small group individuals, where they come to share and upload stuffs (mostly written articles), that people can read or view, gain knowledge from, and even share them to other persons.
There are no doubts that there are a lots of blogs today, scattered all over the internet, and that covers many various topics.
We have the popular tech blogs such as this one, there are the celebrity and gossip blogs, travel, news, politics, entertainment, and so on and so forth.
So in starting a blog, the first thing you should do is decide under what topic that your blog should be under, and in this case, we call it a niche, or a blogging niche rather.
Now this decision is not just something you do casually. It is a decision that is being made by heart, because a lot of people have one or two things that drives them, this is called PASSION.
You don’t go into a particular blogging section or niche, because you have a friend who is into that section and he/she is doing well.
No, you go into a blogging niche, because it is something you always love to do, or something you’re always talking or discussing about.
For example, what made me go into the tech niche was because right from when i was little, i have always loved smartphones and tech gadgets.
As i was growing up, i discovered that i was going through the internet always, to search for what was the latest smartphone, and what made each one differ from the other.
So i thought to myself, since this is something i love to do always, why not start writing about them yourself, so people can also come to read your stuffs, and that was how and when i took my first step into blogging.
So like i said up there, don’t just go into, or start a blog because someone else is into it, and even if you must, don’t just go into a particular niche, because you heard a lot of people are in it, and they’re doing great.
Remember, the more concentrated that a niche is, the more competitive that it will be, but that will be a topic for another day.
So the low down here is; if you don’t have passion for blogging at all, or if you don’t have passion for a particular niche, don’t even venture into it at all, cause you’ll end up being frustrated in the long run.
One of the things that drives success in a blog, is the passion for it. If you don’t have the passion, then there’s no need venturing into it at the first place.
But if you’ve made that decision to go into it and you have the driving passion, then let’s move over to the next couple of steps.. #Shall We?
Guides on how to start a blog in 2019 in 10 easy steps
Here is everything you need to keep in check, when starting a blog in 2020..
- Decide on what niche you want to go into.
- Choose a blogging platform.
- Choose and get a suitable domain name for your desired niche.
- Depending on what platform you chose, invest in a reliable hosting service.
- Setup your blog and design it (whether with already-made themes, or hiring a web developer to do that for you).
- Start writing and publishing your contents.
- Submit your blog to popular search engines, such as Google and Bing search console.
- Promote your blog using social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Finally you can decide to make money with your blog, or leave it that way. (it all depends on what your decision for venturing into blogging was at the first place).
Now having listed the steps out, let us take some more of our time, to discussing them intensively, one after the other..
We already talked about making decisions on what niche you want to go into, while discussing what a blog is, so we’re not gonna be repeating everything we’ve said again in order not to bore you.
We’re just gonna go ahead to the next step, to decide on what is the best blogging platform to choose when starting up a blog in 2020.
1. Choose a suitable blogging platform.
Now when it comes to choosing your blogging platform, there are a lot them that you can choose from, with the most popular ones being WordPress and Blogger, while others include Wix, Joomla, Tumblr, Medium, etc.
When i started this blog, it was on Blogger. I started it on Blogger because i thought WordPress was expensive and too complex for me to use.
Although you would not blame me at that time though, because i was just a novice then, who was still trying to find his balance in the blogging community.
I’m not saying that Blogger is that bad though, all I’m saying is, there are a lot of benefits you’ll stand to gain while on WordPress, that you wouldn’t get on Blogger. And with that, let’s see the differences between Blogger and WordPress.. #Shall We?
Differences between Blogger, and WordPress
Like i said before, Blogger and WordPress, are the first two of the most popular blogging platforms that you can get today.
In fact, blogger was even here a long time ago, before WordPress came around. Blogger is owned by the world’s most popular search engine, Google.
And with that, you might be thinking that “Oh, since it is owned by Google, then i have nothing to worry about, because their service will be top notch, and everything i need will be provided for me”.
Well it is true up to an extent, and at the same time, it is still not true, up to an extent. Here, I’ll explain why.. “Hold my beer…”
What Is Blogger?
Blogger is a free blogging platform, that is provided and managed by Google. It is a free blogging platform, in the sense that, you don’t have to pay for your hosting, and you can even decide not to pay for your domain name as well.
You can decide to make do with the pre-provided domain name that will be issued to you depending on what name you choose for your blog.
But note that all free domain names from blogger, usually ends with an extension of “.blogspot.com”.
For example, if you’re planning on starting a food blog, and you chose “Food Culture” as your blog name, your domain name will be “www.foodculture.blogspot.com”, instead of just the easy to pronounce “www.foodculture.com”, if you had purchased your domain name from an external domain registrar (web hosting company).
So if you don’t want to make use of the pre-provided domain name, which is not a good idea by the way, you can purchase your own domain name from any external domain name registrar, or web hosting company.
We’ll get back to choosing the best domain name for your blog in a minute, but first of all, let’s talk about WordPress.
What Is WordPress?
Unlike Blogger, WordPress is also a free to use platform, but in this case, you’ll be the one paying for, and totally in charge of your hosting, and domain name.
The benefits that WordPress has over Blogger, cannot be overemphasized. For example, almost everything that you’ll be doing on your blog are being controlled and automated by plugins, unlike Blogger where everything has to be done manually.
On WordPress, there are thousands of both free and paid professional looking themes that you can choose from for any type of blog you’re trying to build, and you can find dozens of tutorials on the internet for anything that you’re trying to do on it.
So in conclusion, the best place you should probably start building your blog as a beginner, is on WordPress. There is simply no two ways about it. You can ask anyone.
And if you’re still in doubt, you can check out these free guides as to choosing between Blogger and WordPress, from some of the most popular blogs in the world.
• Key differences between Blogger and WordPress, and how to choose the best blogging platform for yourself – Themeisle
• Between WordPress and Blogger, which one is better for you? Pros and Cons – WPBeginner
• Blogger vs WordPress, which is better and why? – ShoutMeLoud
Now having known about what platform to choose when starting your blog, it is time to choose your domain, and here’s how to do that.
2. How to start a blog in 2019 – Choosing a suitable domain name for your blog
While choosing a name for your blog, you should make sure that the name you chose, reflects the primary purpose of your blog.
For example, you can’t be a tech blogger, and your blog’s name will be “www.sweetsensation.com”.
I mean, technically it is not a big deal nor does it pose any problems after all, but using a name that reflects the purpose of your blog, helps people hearing your blog’s name for the first time to know what the blog is all about, without waiting for someone to tell them so.
And when it comes to choosing domain names also, there are a lot of domain registrars, or web hosting companies, where you can get (purchase) your domain name from.
We got our own domain name from a Nigerian web hosting company, HUB 8 (now Gigalayer), but you can also make your choice from the endless list of web hosting companies available today, such as BlueHost, GoDaddy, NameCheap, HostGator, etc.
Now since we’re making use of WordPress, we’re gonna be needing our own hosting service right? So let’s see how we can choose the best hosting service for our blog.
3. How to start a blog in 2020 – Choosing the best hosting service and plan for your blog
The word hosting, comes from the word “host“.
Your host is like a virtual computer that lives on the internet, and this where all the files contained in your blog will be stored.
Just the same way you have a physical computer where you store your files such as documents files, MP3, videos, etc.
This is exactly the same way that your blog needs a computer, where all its files will be stored, and in this case, it is referred to as hosting.
Now when purchasing your hosting, there are some factors that you need to consider, factors like the server response time, speed, renewal prices and the overall size of the hosting plan you chose.
Right here on our website, our files are currently hosted on the same HUB 8 servers where we got our domain name from.
But you can as well decide to choose from other web hosting companies, like the ones we once listed above.
All you have to do is go to their individual web pages, and compare their various prices and benefits you stand to gain while choosing one against the other.
But for those who reside in Nigeria, i think HUB 8 is simply the best, because they offer you the best value at unbelievable prices.
For beginners, you can even start with their one-month plan to test out their service before subscribing for a full year or even 3-months plan.
Alright so far so good, now that we’ve successfully purchased our domain name, and have as well successfully gotten a reliable web hosting plan, i think it is high time we start setting up our blog, and start designing it as well, to make it look good and professional.
4. Setting up your blog and designing it.
No matter what hosting company that you got your domain name and hosting from, they should provide you with a medium from where you can setup and start building your blog, and in this case, it is called “a CPanel Login”.
The web hosting company will provide you with both the username and password that you can make use of to login to your CPanel dashboard. And it is from this CPanel dashboard, that you can begin your blog installation and setup.
And to learn how to do that, we’ll be referring you to this free guide by “WPBeginner“ on the best easy way to install and setup your blog on WordPress.
This was the same exact guide that we used in setting up this our current website when we were trying to migrate from Blogger, to WordPress.
So you should head over there right now to see things for yourself. But wait, before you go, have you learnt how to write your first blog’s article?
I guess you don’t, don’t worry, I’ll show you how to that in a minute..
5. Writing and publishing your first blog’s article or post, on WordPress
Every blog niche has its own different style of writing. The way an article will be written in a news or politics blog, will not be the same way an article will be written in something like an entertainment, travel, or even a food blog.
So you need to learn and master the style of writing articles, for the particular niche you have chosen.
And not only should you focus on the style of writing for that niche alone, you should also focus on your own personal style of writing, because this is what will make people get acquainted to you easily, and build a relationship with you.
Don’t try to copy other person’s style of writing, but instead, try to build and develop your own. But the best possible way that you can get people revisiting your blog daily, is to add a little bit of humor to whatever it is that you’re writing.
But don’t make it look or sound too playful, except you’re running a comic or comedy blog, and at the same time, don’t make it look or sound too official or serious, this will definitely chase people away, except you’re running a news or political blog.
So keep that in check, and before you start writing and publishing your articles, make sure you have made out some time to learn the basics of On-page SEO.
The word SEO is an acronym for “Search Engines Optimization”. In other words, if you want your contents to be found on places such as Google search results and Bing, then you should have a basic knowledge about SEO, before proceeding.
These free guides for beginners from popular SEO blogs will set you on the right track, and help you get started..
• What is SEO for Beginners? – WPBeginner
• Ultimate WordPress SEO Guide for Beginners (Step by Step) – WPBeginner
• SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2019 – Neil Patel
• Learn SEO in 2019 – The beginner’s guide even your grandma would understand – Mangools
6. How to start a blog in 2020 – Promoting your contents through social media platforms.
The benefits of social media platforms just can’t be overemphasized. I mean these are places where lots of people choose to hangout on daily basis.
You can get a lot of visitors from places such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc, by just creating a little write-up and including a link to one of your blog posts in them.
You can even leverage the power of Facebook, by creating a page for your blog, where you can post links to every new articles that you publish on your blog daily. The more your page grows, the more visitors you’ll be getting on every new link that you post.
Or you can leverage the power of Twitter hashtags to make thousands of people see your posts, by including the current trending hashtags to your tweets.
While for Reddit, you can sign up, join some of the most popular Sub-reddits that are related to your blog, and when ever you publish a new post which you think is worth sharing, you can post it to the sub-reddits, and watch how visitors will flood your blog in no time.
But one thing you have to take not of about promoting your contents on social media platforms is that, you should not over do things.
Over doing it is considered as spamming by most of these social media platforms such as Facebook and Reddit, and might get your accounts banned.
Sharing maybe one or two links per day, is ideal. Anything more than that, will be overkill.
Alright so now that we’ve promoted our blog, and we’re probably getting tons of traffic, don’t you think it is best if you use those people visiting your blog to make some cash for yourself?
You do think so right? Alright let’s see some of the ways that we can monetize our blog, to start making money on monthly basis.
7. How to monetize your blog, to start making money monthly.
Monetizing a blog means using the blog as a source of income for the owner. And when it comes to monetizing a blog, there is not just a single means of doing so.
I mean there are a lot of methods that you can choose from while monetizing a blog, with the easiest and most popular, being making use of Google Adsense.
Other means includes affiliate marketing, doing sponsorship posts, selling your own products such as Ebooks, Media.net advertising, and so on and so forth.
On this blog we make use of Adsense, because it is easy to setup and make use of. But getting into the adsense program might be very challenging for many, especially for beginners, but I’ll recommend that you should focus on building your blog’s traffic and reputation for now, making money from it can come later.
SIDE NOTE: When setting up a new blog, aside from the driving force which is passion in this case, and your technical know-how, one thing that is required from every beginner, is patience and consistency.
As you already know, there are a lot others who were already here before you, and are already striving in what they do.
So getting to that same level where others are, is not a one-day job. It takes really a lot of time, hardwork and dedication, before your blog starts getting the type of traffic and recognition that it deserves.
In fact, you don’t even have to beat or get to the same level where others are, before you become the best, or before people begin to know you. You just have to focus on building your own community of readers, who are always ready to read and share whatever thing that you’re writing and publishing on your blog.
A forest was not made in a day, and little drops of water, makes an ocean. So with that, i think we’ll be calling it a day here, just make sure you follow every steps given in this article, and don’t do anything that might get your blog penalized.
I wish you all a very happy blogging journey, and as always, I’ll see you all tomorrow, #Peace Out…