How to start a Blog?
How often are you on the internet?
Oops!!! Wrong question.
The first thing that many people do in the morning is to check their phone. Don’t you agree? From the latest news to cooking recipes, everything is available on the internet. See you’re also reading a blog to know how to start a blog. Amazing, right? Blogs are also websites but they mostly focus on the written and visual content. You will find everything in blogs, there are different types of blog sites from celebrity blogs to investment blogs. There are many bloggers who actually write their personal opinions, review products, etc. As you see bloggers can create blogs on any topics.
Blogs create a direct connection with their audience. The audience can tell their opinion about the blog posts in the comments. One of the main benefits with the blogs is that bloggers can actually create a connection with their audience and interact with them. Apart from this, they can also make money from blogs. Many bloggers use blogging as a passive income source for others; it’s more than that.
With all this being said, do you want to know how to start a blog? In this article, you will have a guide that will provide you with details you need to start a blog.
Since you’re quite keen on learning how to start a blog then let’s do it right. This guide will provide you with all the guidance you need. To make it easy to understand, this topic is divided into three sections i.e.,
What are you waiting for? Let’s start it then.
Ready to start a Blog
As you’re ready to start a blog then let’s start with the three steps that will help in creating a blog, in this section let’s discuss the basic things that need to be addressed. If you go for a suggestion to others regarding your plans about the blog. Ten people will give you ten different suggestions and each of them may differ with each other. There is no right order or wrong when it comes to starting a blog. But Zeen has come up with steps that will make creating a blog simple and easy. In this section the steps that you will be learning about are
- Step 1: Choose a Domain Name for your blog
- Step 2: Choose a Web Hosting for Your Blog
- Step 3: Choose a Design For your Blog
Although these steps may seem simple and the most basic things, there is so much you should know before you make a decision regarding them.
Step 1: Choose a Domain Name for your blog
How important do you think is the domain name for a blog? Highly important, right? A domain name is what makes your blog memorable for your audience. Frankly speaking, there are times people click on a blog or website just because they find the name interesting. You don’t want to lose your audience in the initial stages. Who knows when they visit your blog because of the name they may end up staying because of your content. Possible, right?
It is proven that domain names have an impact over the click-through rate, be it on search engines, social media, advertising or branding. Your domain name represents your brand and its personality and its online marketing. Simply put, be it a new business that you’re starting or taking your offline business to the online, domain name is highly important. This is the first step to start a blog, so take it seriously.
Wondering how to choose a domain name for your blog? Don’t worry anymore, here are a few tips that will help you in choosing a domain name.
Reflect your brand personality
As the domain name is most important for a blog. Spend more time and pick wisely. Your domain should reflect the personality of your brand or blog and most importantly it should give them a glimpse about what your blog is about or talks about. For example, if your blog is about styling, grooming or beauty tips then it is advisable to have something relating to them in your domain name. As you see for an audience to reach your blog, they will be given any preview. They will only see a link and also the website address underneath the link. So if they’re not aware of your blog then your domain name will do the magic to bring them to your blog.
Short and sweet
Next thing that you must remember while choosing a domain is that it should be short. The logic behind this is that names that are short can be easily remembered by everybody. Not only that if you have long complicated names, but it could also be harder to remember, as it is hard most people altogether avoid talking about it. So having a short name will help your blog as people can easily share, type and say it.
But one thing you must remember is that your domain name should be unique and represent your blog. Another important thing is social media. Now every business has a social media page so that they could get closer to their targeted audience. Keeping the name short will allow people to understand your name in a glance. Simply put, your domain name will also become your social media profile name, so choose carefully. Always remember short is better.
.com is superior
Another important thing to remember while choosing a domain name is the TLD extension. Yup, you heard it right. TLD extensions are also quite important. The superior of all the extensions is .com. No matter how many extension options are available people still have a bias towards .com. Undoubtedly it is one of the most accessible and recognizable extensions. Why .com? The answer is simple, familiarity and easy. As most people will click on links that they are familiar with or easy to remember.
Around 43% of domains have a .com extension. And not to forget .com is still the most recognizable extension. So having a .com extension will help you in building a successful brand. If .com is not available then the next best option available for you is .net, known ccTLD, or .co. A known ccTLD is an extension that represents a region. For example, .it for Italy, .in for India, .ca for Canada.
Avoid hyphens and numbers
As you already know it is better to keep your domain short and easy to remember. Another important thing that you must not forget is that your domain name doesn’t include hyphens or numbers. As you see using numbers and hyphens in your domain name can be quite confusing for your audience. So make sure that you avoid using hyphens and numbers. The key to reaching more people is that your domain has only letters and is smooth and easy to pronounce.
Include “Niche” keywords
Another important thing about a domain name is that it must include keywords of your Niche. With the help of keywords, you can improve your SEO. So why check for domain names make sure that you check domain names that have keywords related to your niche. Make sure that you include the keyword into your domain name as naturally as possible. In case you have decided to include keywords in your domain name, always remember to include it at the beginning of your domain name. Wondering how to find keywords? There are many tools out there that will help you in finding keywords that will help you in the ranking.
Always remember to check whether your domain name is available or not. Before you move further with any domain name this is one of the important steps that you must follow. Checking the availability of the domain name in social media platforms will help you in avoiding legal issues surrounding the trademarks or copyright issues.
If you get a particular domain name without checking whether any other blogs or websites exist with similar names then you will be in trouble. As you see, if there are already existing blogs with a similar name, it may seem that you’re luring their targeted audience, intentionally or unintentionally. If you want to avoid such issues make sure that you check before proceeding. Because if you want to build a brand, your domain name should be the same on the blog and social media pages.
Tools to the rescue
There are many tools out there that will help you in finding the right domain name with keywords related to your niche. Not only that apart from the tools there are many platforms where you can check and purchase domain names without worrying about a thing. To name a few there is Godaddy, Bluehost, etc. On Godaddy, you can check the availability of the domain names and purchase them. Also if you want to get a free domain then you can try Bluehost.
Step 2: Choose a Web Hosting for your blog
The second step to starting a blog. This step will help you in preparing your blog by choosing a web hosting for your blog. There is no doubt that this is one of the most important steps that need to be considered seriously. As you see web hosting will provide you with a place to store all the data related to your blog in a data center server. It works as a bank that stores and manages all the important data of your blog.
Have you heard about WordPress? You must have, right?
Even if you’re not planning on starting a blog, you must have heard about it. WordPress is a server where all the content i.e., blogs, images will be stored. Not only that this is the server from which you can post your content online. This server never sleeps 24/7 online. Web Hosting will help you in installing WordPress. It will keep your website running all day every day. Fortunately, Web hosting is not costly. How to choose the best Web Hosting platform? Are you wondering? If yes, then check out these tips that will help you in making the choice.
Reviews are one of the most important things to consider. You can’t just blindly choose a platform without checking any reviews. Check out the reviews of all the platforms, because they are given by genuine users. So you will get the real review of the product i.e, fro, features to pricing they genuinely leave their opinion. So checking these out will give you an option to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
Another important thing that you must consider before you make a decision is what are the features it is offering. As you see there are times that there will be platforms that offer similar features at different prices. So check the features they are offering and the pricing to make a better decision.
Connection & reliability
If your blog takes a lot of time to load then you should be prepared to lose visitors. A good host will give a faster connection. It provides users with a good user experience. So check out the connection of the web hosting. And another important thing is that your web hosting platform should provide you with 99.99% uptime. Make sure you consider reliability and connectivity before you make a decision.
Mark this as the most important. Never ever forget this step. Once you make the decision on which platform to choose don’t just go back and make the payment for it. If you do then there are chances of you regretting it in the future. As you see, one must compare prices before making the payment. Who knows if there is a platform that offers all the features you’re looking for at a lower price. It will be your loss right? So to avoid such situations make sure you compare prices.
These are a few things that you should know before making a decision on a web hosting platform. There are many web hosting platforms available in the market. So it is important to do the research before coming to a conclusion. And Zeen has conducted detailed research to see whether there is any other amazing web hosting platform that is perfect for people who are just starting their blog.
After research Zeen has found that another popular platform for Web Hosting is Bluehost. This platform has been in the market for a long time and is the best option for beginners. BlueHost is offering features such as unlimited bandwidth, Free SSL, Easy to use cPanel, Unlimited Storage, etc. It offers different options (plans) for the users to choose from. Wondering how to get this web hosting service? No problem, just follow the steps below.
Let’s check out the steps
Step 1: First things First, visit the Bluehost website and you can find the get started now button.
Step 2: Once you click on that the plans available will be displayed. Since you’re a beginner, it is beneficial to choose the basic plan and once you understand it and like this web hosting platform you can upgrade your plan. There are even plans that will help you in hosting more than one blog.
Step 3: Once you select the plan then you can go to claim your free domain name. If you don’t want the free domain name then click on choose later. This way you will get more time to get a domain name.
Step 4: Then proceed to the next step, you have filled out all the information relating to you.
Simply put, fill in all the contact information. Also, this is where you have to choose package extras. Choose wisely to save some extra money. Expect Domain Privacy Protection, don’t choose anything else. Fill in the payment details, give your card details.
Step 5: Once the payment is done, your blog will be created in a matter of 10 minutes, Cool, right.
With Bluehost, you can start a blog fast. Who knew creating a blog is this simple and easy. Hope that you have understood the above-mentioned steps. Just follow them in case you want to purchase a Bluehost web hosting plan.
Step 3: Choose a design for your blog
When visitors visit your blog, what do you think first catches the attention of them? Design. People don’t immediately stay on your blog. You must agree on that, it takes them time to get to your content. But the thing that first attracts them is the design of your blog. You can consider it to be the first impression. If their first impression is good about your blog then they will be interested to check out further about your blog. So this buys you time and also takes them to the blogs and if they find them interesting they can stay on your blogs and slowly become your regular visitors.
Design is vital for blogs. You can consider this as something that will leave an impression on your audience and help them in remembering your blog for a long time. You don’t have to worry much about designs because many themes will help you in finding a design that will suit your targeted audience aesthetics. WordPress also offers themes, you can select from these readymade themes.
But if you want more options, no issues, there are many sites such as ThemeForest, Elegant themes, etc. You can find quality themes here and select the ones that will give your blog a more definite feel and look. As you already know, all the blogs are hosted on WordPress and they have a different feel and look that is because of the themes.
Themes are really important for a blog because they represent the persona of your blog. And also plays a major role in converting your targeted audience. So choose premium themes. Zeen recommends two themes of sites that will offer you the best themes. They are ThemeForest and elegant themes.
Elegantthemes is one of the most popular theme sites across the globe. More than 7,00,000 business owners and web design professionals have joined this site. It is home for DIVI, which is a flagship theme and visual page builder. But one thing you must remember is that it is more than a theme. Because it helps professionals in building websites without any coding, plugins, etc. Yup, you heard it right, now people who don’t come from technical background can also create websites. From educational institutions to non-profit organizations it provides themes for different sites.
Themeforest is home for thousands of website templates and WordPress themes. From WordPress themes to blogging templates and themes you will find everything in this site. One of the main reasons why many people are interested in this theme site is that they can find unique, amazing templates and themes within their budget. Yup, you heard it right, they have themes and templates for every budget. You can also find the featured templates that are hand-picked by their staff. And Themeforest is the largest theme marketplace in the world as you know their themes are created by the best creators out there.
Why don’t you give them a try, you will be able to find the best themes that will suit your blog perfectly. With all these things said, you must be wondering how to find the perfect design for your blog. Or how do you know if the design you found is perfect for your blog? Don’t worry. Here are a few tips that will help you in finding the perfect theme that will suit your blog.
Let’s go then
Always remember that the theme you choose should be customizable. Before choosing a theme get your content ready. Because there are times that you choose a theme and then you find that it is hard to fit your content into it. It is better to choose themes in which your content will fit in naturally. Pre-made templates are best because you don’t have to do any work and you can just upload them on your WordPress. But pre-made themes do not have your touch.
Yup, they miss the personal touch. As you see, your designs reflect the personality of the blog. Nobody knows about your blog better than you. So pick a design that reflects that personality to your audience. You can either choose to make the design from scratch. But don’t you think it is too much work. This is the reason why you should choose customisable templates. This way you don’t have to work from scratch and also can make the changes according to your vision. So always remember that whenever you’re choosing a design remember to prefer customizable templates.
Simple is the best
Most of the time people go for designs that attract their eye. But the problem with this is that they have to think from the point of view of their audience. Your design should grab the attention of your audience, so you would be able to choose a perfect design if you think from their point of view. Most people think that bright colours will attract the attention of visitors, but the truth is it will be more beneficial if you choose simple colours and layouts. Complicating your design will not help you anyway. So choose a design that has soft colours and a simple layout.
There will be times when you want to go wild as you want your blog to stand out from others. But don’t do it, you will regret it in the future. As you see, keeping your design will be best for you. Don’t put more than three colours in your design. Also always choose contrasting colours because they blend well. Coming to fonts also don’t keep more than three fonts i..e, for the subheading, headings and body content. Always have blank space in your design. It will balance out the colours and make it look more professional. Don’t be afraid to embrace the white space. But just remember to highlight it with the borders.
Make sure it is mobile responsive
People spend most of their time on a mobile phone. It has become important for businesses to have an online website. This has become as important as offline stores for businesses. So it is important that your design is mobile responsive. As most of your visitors will visit your site from their mobile, it is important for your designs to be mobile responsive. If your design is not responding, they will leave your website as soon as they come. Keep a note, the images in your site should also load faster.
Easy to install
Another important thing to consider when choosing a design is how easy it is to install. In case you’re not someone who is from a technical background you would need help to install the theme in WordPress. So you must always choose a theme that is easy to install. And also read the premium themes instruction beforehand. Because in case you need support you can know from the start.
Paid themes or free themes
This is one of the most common questions that haunt designers or bloggers. Free themes don’t cost money but premium/paid themes do. So what to do? Just because of the budget most people choose free themes. Although there are pros from choosing the free themes there are cons too. So you must carefully consider.
As you see, the free images may not offer what exactly you’re looking for, there are times you will have to compromise with the needs in case you go with free images. Also, quality is one that will surely be the difference between free and paid themes. Paid themes have more variety and quality compared to free themes.
Apart from that some of the sites even provide you with support, so that you can install them easily. There are pros and cons for both of them, so all you can do is take your time and choose by considering all the factors before you make a decision.
Before you start a blog
Now that you’re ready to start a blog, you must be prepared too. So in this section let’s discuss the things that you must do before you select a blog.
- Selecting Blog Topic-Niche
- Selecting a Blogging Platform
Selecting Blog Topic- Niche
Selecting your blog’s niche is not an easy task because everything you do from here will depend on this one factor. Also, it plays a crucial role in the success of your blog. One wrong step can pull your game plan upside down so make sure that you’re going in the right direction.
Since you’re new to this, you may have doubts on how to select the niche and what to do? Don’t worry, Zeen will help you. Your blog niche will determine your target audience and on which ideas you should focus more on. So in this section, you will be knowing more about blog niche. What is it? Why is it important and how can you find it?
Before going into the topic you must know what is a blog niche first. A niche can be considered as a part of a broader topic. For example, if Food is a topic, then different cuisines i.e., American, Indian, Mexican can be considered as a Niche. So niche is part of the border topic, but it is related to a specific section of the main topic that has an audience of its own.
Now that you have understood what is a niche, then it is time to know why it is important. One of the main reasons is, when you have a broader audience, it is really hard to improve the search engine rankings of your blog. Not only that it is quite hard to get affiliate sales or increase in traffic. If you focus on one thing that you are well versed or know everything about, you can create content faster.
Also you basically you’re an expert in that particular field your content can attract the attention of the users faster. Simply put, you will get more traffic. There are many sites that work with a broader audience. If you choose to go with it then you must know that you’re up for a huge competition.
With a niche, you will be able to focus on a particular group of audience. So you will be creating content that is related to those people. You will be able to find the topics that will bring you traffic. This brings us to the question, how to find the blog niche?
Let’s go then.
There are many profitable niches such as Fitness, DIY, Technology, Make Money Online, Dating & Relationships, Beauty, Finance, etc. But before proceeding further you must know that all these topics have a broader audience. In case you want to work on any of these niches, it would be better for you to divide your niche and find a specific topic. As you see all these niches have broader topics, so it is quite hard.
Here are the things that will help you in finding the niche for your blog.
Know your interests
You may not realise this, but it is vital for blogging. The reason behind this is, you are the one who is going to be contributing content for the blog, so it would be beneficial for you to write something that interests you. Also considering your niches will help you in narrowing down your niche. If you’re someone who has lots of interests then it is better for you to write them down. Yup, make a list of all the topics that interest you. Also, don’t worry about making the list long.
You can add as many things as you want. Most people are confused about whether they should choose a niche that brings profit or a niche that is their passion. See this is totally your call, only you understand yourself better than anyone else. So it would be unfair to pick one of the two. You can either pick a niche that brings you money or the one you’re passionate about. If you’re unable to pick one of the two then you can find a niche that is a combination of both.
Are you the expert & Niche size
Once you make the list, it is time for you to take off the interests that you are not well experienced or know much about. Anyway writing on topics that you know will guarantee more success. You may think that along the way you will learn about the topics. It will take a lot of time to learn and write, don’t you agree? But it is not the case when you know the information you can write content easily and provide your audience with solutions that you know will work. If you don’t know your niche well, then you will have to research, which is definitely time taking.
Now narrow down your list to 5 interests that you’re sure that you know a lot about. For someone who is just starting out in blogging, content plays a vital role your blog will be successful based on your content. The more valuable content you’re offering to your audience, the more successful your blog will be. Another thing that you must consider while narrowing down your interests is whether or not you can build a blog based on it i.e, whether you can produce a lot of content on this topic regularly. Simply put, your blog niche should be something on which you can get content easily.
Remember to check the size of your niche too. To know the niche size, you can start by checking the popular keywords relating to the niche. Because sometimes there is a chance that even amazing niche ideas may not help you in attracting an audience.
So it is better to check beforehand. Finding hard to find the keywords? There are tools that will help you in finding keywords like SEMRUSH. If not whenever you search for a particular niche or topic you will find relevant searches at the end of the Google page. This is also an excellent way to find keywords. Checking the volume of keywords related to a particular topic may also help you in understanding the niche size.
Now that you have picked the niches, next what? If you think you are directly going to start your blog then you are making a big mistake. When you’re selecting a niche you must check the competition surrounding it. If you don’t, you may regret it once you start your blog. There are certain niches that have huge competition and it is impossible to fight them and come on top in search results.
But if you know this after starting your blog, then it will be too late for you to go back. So you have to check the competition before you start your blog. This doesn’t mean that you should go with the topic that has zero competition, because it means that there is no demand for that topic. Do you get it? What is the point of choosing a niche that has zero demand or high competition? Our suggestion for you is to choose a niche that strikes the balance between these two. So your niche should be something that interests you, has good competition so that you can generate good traffic.
Long term potential
Whatever niche you select, always remember that it should have a long term potential. If money is the strong reason behind blogging for you then you must make sure to select a niche that will help you in making for a long time. Some niches may bring you traffic, affiliates, sales and money for a point of time, but after some time it will not be the case.
So while choosing a niche you should be careful, because you have to find a niche that is timeless. Be it five years or ten years, you can still create content or reap from the content you have already created. This should be one of the criteria for you to consider while you’re narrowing down your niche. You can choose topics that have a high shelf life. Making a blog on current trends will work out best, but remember that it should hold value even in the future too. If you want to find current trends you can check out the Google trends.
Select the blogging platform
The CMS you select for your website plays a crucial role in how you manage your website. This software makes it easy for users to edit, maintain and manage their website pages. Even people without technical knowledge can also do it quite well. Yup, Content Management Software has made content management easy for people with zero technical skills.
There is a wide range of platforms in the market currently it is hard to pick one. Some of the popular CMS platforms include Wix, Joomla, Squarespace, Weebly, Drupal, Shopify, etc. But one must remember that based on the type of website you’re creating you have to choose the blogging platform. And each of them has its own pros and cons. So don’t just commit to the first one you come across. Take your time, check and compare each of them to find the best one that matches your requirements.
Here are the top CMS platforms.
WordPress is everywhere whether you’re a blogger or a non-blogger you will know this name. This is one of the best platforms for beginners. It is beginner-friendly. It offers hosting services for free. If you’re only looking for good blogging platforms without any additional advanced features then this platform is perfect for you.
It has many amazing themes both paid and free. All you have to do is just install them. If you’re okay with subdomain WordPress you don’t even have to buy a new domain name. The setup of your blog is also hassle-free. Another important thing about this platform is that it has been in the market for a long time. Since its inception in 2005, this platform has made blogging easy for many people.
However, if you want to customize your blog, limited options are available on this platform. WordPress has full control over your free blog. In case you need extra options to make your blog more accessible then you can add plugins to the platform. For e-commerce platforms, it offers advanced features like shopping carts.
Also if you want to improve your search engine rankings then WordPress is the best because it evaluates the site ranking based on search engine best practices such as permalinks, meta description, image optimization, XML sitemap generation, etc. Around 76.5 million blog sites use this platform across the globe.
Gator is the blogging and website builder platform of Hostgator. This platform is one of the best blogging platforms out there. From online stores to blogs, build anything with this platform. Hostgator is web hosting whereas Gator is a blogging and website builder platform. One of the reasons behind its popularity is its drag and drop feature, which has made it easy to build a blog or website. It allows you to customize your blog or website design any way you please.
Also, it is easy to set up, no technicalities needed. You see even non-technical people can set up their blog with zero help. In all of its plans, it provides users with a free domain and SSL certificate. If you select this platform, you don’t even have to worry about hosting, performance, Hostgator will handle backup and security as all this. One thing you must note that it has a limited number of extensions and apps. Also, remember that there is no free account. But don’t worry in case you’re not satisfied with the platform you can get your cash-back in 45 days.
Blogger is a free blogging service that is offered by Google. This is also another blogging platform that is created with non-technical users in mind. It is one of the earliest blogging platforms available. It was the beginning of blogging platforms. The best thing about this platform is that it is free. Even if you’re a non-technical person you can easily step up and manage your blog.
Also, you cannot forget that this platform belongs to Google, so you will get all the best features of it. But you should know that it doesn’t have a large variety of designs or templates. It lacks in that section compared to other blogging platforms. It is quite rare that there is a new feature or update. But if you want to test out your skills before starting a blog you can try out this platform.
Joomla is one of the most popular blogging platforms on the market. This is also an open-source platform similar to WordPress. This platform uses an MYSQL database to store the content. From small business sites to e-commerce platforms you can create everything on this platform. You don’t have to worry about coding, as even people without a technical background can also easily work with this platform. The proof that this platform has around 2.5 million sites running.
It has around 4.5% of the market share. Undoubtedly this platform is one of the most popular platforms in the world. You will find templates instead of themes in this platform and it offers an advanced user management system. But this platform is quite difficult compared to WordPress. If you master it you don’t have to be stuck to the specific layouts or looks, as you can flexibly build different types of content types. Also, you don’t have to worry about the installation too. Because it has a one-click installer. Simply put, you can install the CMS and start working with it all thanks to its Cpanel. Also if you want you can install manually too.
Drupal is also an open-source platform. If you can hire a developer to build your website/blog then this platform is perfect for you. It is a perfect platform to use in case you are looking to build a customized website. The content types on this platform are flexible, not only that it has a lot of options too. So it is easy to add content to this platform. The user management is also quite simple. It has an in-built system that makes it easy to manage as you can create specific roles and the permissions too. But one thing to be noted is that it is not as beginner-friendly as WordPress. It has a market share of around 2.9%.
Drupal also has around 2,700 themes and 38,000 themes, so users have a lot of options to choose from. Around 1 million sites are using Drupal as their CMS platform. One of the main reasons behind its popularity is because it is easy to install. Also, you must note that most of the websites by this platform are highly customised, so it will cost users quite a lot of money.
After you Started a blog
Now that you have found your way around how to start a blog and successfully started your blog, if you think your job is done then you’re highly wrong. This is where your real job starts. If you want your blog to reach more people then you must follow up with great work. In this section, you will understand what to do after you start your blog.
Wondering what are the things you must do after your blog starts.
Create great content
One of the most important things that can make or break your blog is content. Yup, you heard it right. You have put emphasis on every step and created your blog, but what is the point if your content is not great? You will not get a lot of traffic. The design, look and feel of your website or blog are quite important. However, if you want more people to follow your content and improve your conversions then having great content is a must. Your blog will go nowhere without good content.
Here are a few tips that will lead you to create great content.
Topic and research matters
Start a blog, done. But what about content? It is always advisable to choose topics that interest you. Wondering why? Because the creative process will not be hard. It doesn’t mean that for all the topics outside your interest the creative process will take time. It completely depends on the topic. As you see, some topics are quite interesting, when some are not.
So you must choose a topic that is in alignment with your audience interest. You can only do this if you understand your audience better. Simply put, you have to know your audience picks the right topic. There are many tools that will help you in finding content ideas. So in case you’re out of ideas you can take help of these tools to get more ideas.
Another important thing that you cannot slack in is research. Your research will shape your blog. Yup, the more material you gather through research, the better your article will turn out. Once you decide the topic don’t just dive in to write it. RESEARCH FIRST!!! Make this your motto to understand better about the topic you’re writing. Research gives you grip over the topic you’re writing. Even if you don’t know much about the topic with the research you can write. Research also allows you to check the facts relating to a topic.
Headlines are vital
What do you think is the first thing that catches the attention of your audience? Headlines. A compelling headline grabs more attention, the good headline will take your post a long way. You see, people naturally gravitate towards things that grab their attention. If your post headline is interesting they will click it open. So, headlines are crucial for the success of your blog.
Also, always remember to add the keyword in your headline. It is advisable to have more than one headline. Because there are times you come up with a strong headline in the first attempt. Sometimes it may not be the case, so it is always better to be prepared. If possible, take opinions of other people on your post so that you can improve them. Your headline should always convey your topic and pique the curiosity of your audience. There are many tools out there that help you in analyzing your headline. Use such tools to get feedback on your headlines and improve them.
People connect to images faster than written content. This doesn’t mean that writing content is not effective. Writing when combined with images can be quite effective. It can drive a lot of traffic to your blogs. Also when reading a post, if it is only text there are times when your audience may feel lost interest. No matter how amazing your writing for some people reading for a long time may not be their thing. So adding images to your content may actually capture their interest. Images make an understanding of complex topics simple and easy.
Also, who doesn’t love images that convey the gist of the post? There are times when people are in a hurry and want to get the gist of the blog first and then read the blog in their free time. So having images in your blog may prove to be effective for such people. Adding memes to your post can make it funny and relatable to your audience. It is possible that they may even bring more shares. But one thing you must remember while adding images is that, don’t ever use images from Google. There are sites like Freepik, Unsplash where you can download the free images. You can also create images from scratch and use them. It is totally your call.
Editing on point
Editing is an important part of your writing. If you think everyone posts their first draft then you’re highly mistaken. People don’t just post what they write, it is because there may be many mistakes in the unedited posts. If you want your blog post to be perfect error-free i.e., grammatical and spelling errors, then editing is a must.
Don’t ever skip editing because you will regret it badly once your post goes live. No audience will be interested in spending on an article that is full of errors. With editing, you can avoid those mistakes. Because when you’re in a hurry to finish your article unintentionally you end up making a lot of mistakes. So with editing, you can put an end to those errors.
Editing helps you in understanding the point of improvements in your writing. It is more of a self-reflection thing. As you see, when you’re reading you will be able to pick the mistakes that you frequently make, it gives you a perfect opportunity to correct those errors and make your writing better. Review your blog more than once to make sure it is free of errors and is on point without any repetition. You can also take the help of your colleagues or friends to read your blogs because there are times you may not be able to find errors in your writing as you’re used to it. So taking help from others may work well for you.
Structure your article well
Another important thing that will make your content pop is structuring it well. Yup, structuring makes a lot of difference. If you don’t divide your content into subheadings it can be quite confusing for some audience. So if you want to avoid such confusion always structure your content into subheadings and bullet points based on the requirement. One more important thing is to make sure your posts have shorter sentences and paragraphs. Because this way it is easy for your audience to read.
The shorter your paragraphs the more your audience will keep reading. Don’t be afraid to remove unnecessary paragraphs while editing. Write without word count becoming your primary concern. As you see while editing if you think something is off with a paragraph remove it completely. Also always include a table of contents, so that your audience can easily view all the subheadings so that they can directly click on the subheading they want to read.
Install the best WordPress Plugins
WordPress Plugins are important if you want to make your blog as effective as possible. Similar to the themes and designs, WordPress has a lot of plugins that will help you in making your blog more functional and effective. But the question is, in all the plugins that are offered by WordPress which are most effective? There are chances that you can get this doubt. But no worries, in this section you will be able to find the best WordPress Plugins to be installed on your blog.
Here are a few plugins that need to be installed in your blog’s WordPress. These plugins will ensure that your blog is as effective as possible.
If you want your blog to rank top in the search engine, then Yoast SEO is the perfect plugin for you. This plugin is the best out there when it comes to SEO. Many sites across the globe trust this plugin. And the best part about this plugin is that it is frequently updated based on Google’s Algorithm. Not only SEO it provides many other functionalities such as optimising your keywords, analysing the readability of your blogs, calculating your flash score. You can even set primary categories of your posts. Simply put, this plugin will help you in covering both on-page and on-site SEO. Yoast SEO comes in both free and premium versions.
Jetpack is undoubtedly one of the most installed plugins in WordPress. Why not? It is offering so many features too. If you install more plugins that are necessary your blog will take a lot of time to load. Honestly, people hate waiting, if your blog takes a lot of time to load they will naturally leave. But what if you had a plugin that offers several features? Awesome, right. That is what Jetpack will do for you. From tracking statistics to social sharing, it has everything.
Some of the features it offers are tracking search queries and page views, monitoring downtime of your site, social sharing, prevention from hackers, daily backs ups, showing related posts, creating a site map, etc. You will find it in your dashboard when you install it with all the features. And the best part is that all the core features are absolutely free. WordPress hosts all the features of this plugin, so you have nothing to worry about. If you want more advanced features then you can add them with the plans they offer. With this one plugin by your side, you can ditch the headache of having so many plugins on your WordPress site.
Be it a beginner or an experienced blogger, nobody likes it. Once your site goes live along with your targeted audience your comments section will also become home to spam comments. There will be times when your comment section will be filled with spam comments. These spam comments affect the user experience. There are times where these comments may lead to malicious or spammy sites. So if you want to protect your site from such spammy links then Akismet is perfect for you.
This is a plugin offered by WordPress parent company Automattic. If you’re someone that has newly started your blog then the first and foremost thing you must do is install this plugin. It has more than 35 million downloads. Spam comments can reduce your visitors and there are high chances of your brand value reducing. Install this plugin and save your blog from spam comments. You can either go for the free version or premium version. If you want a higher level of security then the premium version is perfect for you, if not the free version is also good.
Google XML Sitemaps
If you want to reach more people then your site should rank well in the search engine. This is really important for blogs, especially for new blogs. Great content alone will not take your blog there. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a blog that will help you with indexing? That is what Google XML Sitemap is for.
A site map file will help the search engine in crawling and indexing a website. If you don’t have one your ranking in search engines may take a serious plunge. So if you want to avoid it then you must submit a sitemap to the search engine. But doing this manually takes a lot of time and effort. So it is better to install Google XML Sitemaps plugin. It creates a sitemap that is compatible with search engines like Bing, Yahoo and Google. It allows you to notify the changes in sitemap to the search engine.
Push Engage is another unique plugin that needs a place in your WordPress site. This plugin will help you in driving more traffic to your website. Wondering how? It has new technology i.e., web push technology. This is a new way to ask people to subscribe to your blog. Wondering how it works? Well, it is through sending people automatic push notifications. Yup, it sends personalized browser push notifications.
It basically sends all the readers that use search engines such as firefox, safari and chrome browsers notifications to subscribing to get regular updates relating to your blog. And once they do, whenever you post they will receive push notifications. This way they don’t have to go to social media to know about your blog updates. Because they can receive notifications on their search engine only.
These are only a few plugins that need space in your WordPress. However, there are many other plugins such as WP-Rocket, Thirsty Affiliates, Easy Social Sharing, Smush, User Registration, WP Forms, OptinMonster, Mailchimp, Newsletter, Popup Maker, etc. Install the plugins that you think are necessary for the effective functioning of your blog. But remember don’t overdo it, as it will affect your site loading speed.
Set SEO and analytics for your blog
Next step is to optimize your blog for search engines. If you want to appear on top in search results then you must optimise your site for the search engines. Although search engines crawl and index the sites, having a little help is never a bad right. SEO provides that support. SEO is what will help you in making that happen, so setting SEO is the most important for your blog. As you already know a search engine is the most important source that brings your traffic.
Here are a few steps that you must follow to optimise your blog for search engines.
Install the WordPress plugin that will make sure all your posts are optimised. Yoast SEO is the most used plugin for many people on their sites. So before anything else, install the WordPress plugin for SEO. If you’ve just started your blog then Yoast is perfect for you. But you must know that there are many plugins that will help you in improving your sites SEO. These plugins will come with many features that will help you in getting better results for your site.
Optimise your Theme and images
This is the most important thing you must do to boost your SEO. Themes are vital for the website as they attract the attention of the viewers. NOt only that they determine the layout and appearance of their website. But one thing you must remember is that they have an effect on the loading speed of your blog. Also the code it is developed will also make a difference for the SEO because it gives your site the best chance in SERPs.
So why pick up your theme make sure that they are built with SEO in mind. Adding images to your content has a lot of benefits. They make the content more readable and it also has an impact on SEO. The size and quality of your image may impact the loading speed of a page. Also, search engines will look at the information attached to the images such as alt text and file name. So make sure that images are also optimised.
Google Analytics code
Don’t ever forget adding Google Analytics to your blog. It is really important, as you can see, you can track the page views, visitors at any point in time. Not only that it also tells you information such as which keyword or which page is getting more traffic. It also provides you with other data relating to visitors such as their interests, demographics, devices from which they have accessed the blog. So if you want to stay on top of all the blogs and know what is working and what is not then you must install Google Analytics on your site.
Permalinks are the permanent URLs. These usually point towards the site’s posts, pages and other content. People will get back to your blog or refer your blog to others using these links. If you want search engines to crawl your blog then make sure that your links are clear and are describing your content. Because this way they will easily be recognised. So you can create your permalink with your headline, as it will convey most information. You can change your permalink for each post.
Categories and tags matter
Most people think that adding categories and tags are not important. But you must know that this is how WordPress organises content on their blog. Also on your site people can easily find posts related to a specific topic if you add tags and categories. Why is it important for SEO? If you create categories and tags WordPress will automatically create separate archive pages for content posted with them. So always make sure that you add tags and categories because they will become valuable in future.
Promote your blog to drive traffic
Finally, you have made it to the end, this is the last thing that you need to know about before you start a blog. Most people think that writing great content and posting it will do the job i.e., will bring traffic. But the question is how will they know your blog exists if you don’t promote it. Don’t wait for the search engine to crawl your website in top searches. Do your bit by promoting your blog.
Here are a few ways to promote your blog
Stop, if you’re about to say guest posting is dead, then don’t. Guest posting is still one of the hottest methods to promote your blog and drive traffic. Although because of blackhat SEO techniques and changing Google algorithms it is not the same as the past. But it is still effective. It provides you with a chance to tap into a new audience pool. Yup, when you post your content on someone else’s website their audience will definitely view, right? See there are chances of you gaining a new audience. Since Start a blog is off your list now all you have to do is promote it well.
Well, the first and most important thing that you must do once you start posting content on your blog is to create social media pages for it. In this digital era, people are on their social media platforms 24/7. Also, it has become a new space for people to find new interesting things. Your targeted audience is also waiting for you there. So create pages and promote on these platforms to reach more people and drive more traffic to your blog.
This is also one of the best methods that will help you in promoting your content. It is one of the smartest methods to promote your content. What is this method? It is simple, you can reshare your content on platforms such as Medium and LinkedIn. As you see there are platforms that have a huge audience base and will help you in attracting a lot of attention towards your posts and drive traffic to your blog.
Stay active in forums
This is another interesting way to promote your blogs. See there will definitely be forums related to your niche. Why not promote your blog in those niches. This way the audience will find a blog that discusses topics of their interests and you will also receive organic traffic. Win-Win situation don’t you agree? So focus on niche forums too.
Since you’re some who is just starting out, you must make use of all the ways available. Blog commenting may not bring a huge surge of traffic. But it is definitely a good move. You can comment on the blog of a similar niche. This way you can get to introduce your blog to more people. Also, there are chances you may get some traffic too.
Although you have just started blogging, it doesn’t mean that you can’t try out your own merch. Once you start getting traffic. You can get your own merch with your blog name and cool designs. It is the best way to promote your brand. You can gift it to people or sell it on your website. No matter what the case is, it will truly help you as more people will be able to know about your brand when people wear them and go around. Mouth publicity is the best and you can include merch in that list as it gathers a lot of attention.
Finally Started a Blog
You have made it to the end my friend. Hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to start a blog. Although there are thousands of blogs on the internet people are still craving for good content. All you have to do is provide the best content to your targeted audience and they will take your blog to new heights. What is waiting for? You now have all the basic information you need on how to start a blog. So move forward without looking back.