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The team here at Website Builder Ninja has lots of experience building blogs and writing blog content. So, we sat down together to brainstorm how we could break down all the information needed to create a successful blog. This step by step guide is suitable for complete beginners or for anyone who has a blog and is looking to find best practices and useful tips to help them optimize.
We’re going to talk through why you should start a blog, how to start a blog, and something everybody wants to know, how to monetize a blog. We know that when you’re first starting out, creating a blog can seem overwhelming. We’ve compiled our years of experience into this useful step-by-step guide so you don’t have to make the same mistakes we all did when we first launched our blogs.
A blog is a regularly updated web page that hosts a series of content, articles, or blog posts that are usually centered around a niche topic or theme. Blog content usually includes text, images, videos, and animated gifs. The content can literally be about anything. So, you could be a marine biology expert looking to share your experience with an audience or you could really like cats and decide to create a blog dedicated to sharing cute cat pictures. Trust me when I say that the cute cat pics idea has been exhausted, so you might want to think of something else…
Blogs are created for many reasons, but ultimately they help individuals and businesses develop an online audience, attract new leads, and grow an online presence or brand awareness. When done correctly, they can be an effective method of driving traffic to your website.
You don’t need to be a great writer or an expert in a particular field to start a blog. You just need to be passionate about your subject, business, or lifestyle and be able to offer an interesting or new perspective on that topic. Often the most popular blogs are written in a very informal, easy, conversational style that’s fun to read. The aim of the game for any blog is to attract an audience, so making it enjoyable to read is often the best strategy.
You might already know why you want to start a blog. However, if you’re unsure whether you should take the plunge, we’ve pulled together a shortlist of blogging benefits and reasons why you should start blogging today.
I hope you’re feeling in the mood to blog now that you know the variety of benefits you can tap into. So, now it’s time to get into the detail of how you actually go about creating a blog. Whether you’re creating a blog for yourself or your business, the fundamentals are the same. In this list we’re assuming that you already know what you’re going to write about, so make sure you have a topic in mind before starting this checklist.
The first thing you’ll need to do is pick a name for your blog. Although it might be tempting to rush this step, it’s worth taking some time to get it right because you’ll want to include the name in your domain name, and changing your domain name once you’ve created a website and you have established backlinks is a big no-no. It can do damage to your SEO and brand awareness so it’s best just to get it right the first time around.
A great blog name will do the following things:
If you’re struggling to think of blog names, you can use one of many free blog name generators like this one from Wix to give you some ideas.
Before you get too excited, make sure that the blog name you decide on has an available domain name. There are lots of options when it comes to deciding on the ending for your domain name. However, best practice dictates that ideally, you want a domain name with a .com or .net ending. This is because consumers trust .com and .net sites the most from years of surfing the web. So, they are most likely to click on those types of domain names. However, if high website traffic is not your main aim then you can have some fun with domain names that end in things like .pizza, .sexy, or .LOL.
If you’re using a website builder then you can usually purchase your domain name during the sign-up process and pay for it in the same bill as your first subscription. However, if you’re going to build a WordPress site or use a website builder that requires you to purchase a domain name somewhere else, try sites like Dreamhost or Bluehost to register your domain name.
I won’t go into too much detail here because the best thing to do would be to check out our list of the best website builders for bloggers page. We’ve tried and tested the best website builders and ranked them based on how good they are for creating and managing a blog. There’s a detailed review of each brand for you to find out more information on any platforms you are considering. The top two brands in our best for bloggers list are Wix and Squarespace, here’s how they compare:
A web template is great for speeding up the process of creating your blog. Most website builders will have a blogging category on their web template listings page. So, the best thing is to head there and pick the template that suits your blog the best. Make sure you list the features you need before you get to this stage so you can find the template with everything you need. For example, if you’re going to start a blog to talk about your photography business, make sure you pick a theme with great image galleries.
Make sure that your web template is mobile responsive to cater to mobile readers too. Most templates are automatically mobile-friendly, but it’s worth double-checking to make sure.
Here’s an example of a lifestyle blog template from Wix:
Here’s an example of a food and travel template from Squarespace:
Once you’ve decided on your template then it’s down to you to populate the pages with your images and text to get your site ready for your first blog post.
So, you’ve chosen a blog name, a website builder, a web template and you’ve populated it with images and text. It’s now time for the fun part, it’s time to start blogging! Your content is what will generate your audience, provide you or your business with a platform, and give you opportunities to monetize. Great content will vary depending on your niche. Some niches require highly researched scientific articles, whereas others demand picture focused posts with very little text. Whatever your content strategy, great blogs will keep the following things in mind when writing content:
If you want to monetize your blog at any point, you’ll want to brush up on your SEO skills before you get started. This way, you’ll begin to make SEO gains the moment you launch your blog. You’ll thank yourself later! A good place to start would be to read our post, SEO & website builders – everything you need to know for a detailed rundown of what you need to think about. However, if you haven’t got time to read another article right now, no problem. We’ll go over the basics now:
Okay, so, unfortunately, you won’t get a ton of traffic as soon as you hit publish on your first blog post. The internet makes you work hard for web visitors and you will need to spend some time promoting your blog to get visitors, especially when your first start out. Here are a few things you can do to starting building an audience:
It’s important to stress that taking the time to get the previous steps right will help you to maximize the potential revenue you could achieve when you monetize your blog. A sloppy blog with poor SEO and crappy content is never going to earn any money. Spend some time crafting great copy and working on the design of your blog and worry about the money later.
Once you have a following of regular visitors and have started to build a mailing list you can start to think about monetization. Here are a few ways you can earn money through your blog:
Hopefully, this article has answered the questions you might have had about how to create a blog. If there’s anything else you would like to know, leave a question in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.
If you’re still not sure about which platform to choose to create your blog, go check out our list of the best website builders for bloggers and read the detailed reviews to get a low down on the pros and cons of each brand.
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