How to Start a Blog: A Complete Guide to Blogging
Blogging is one of the most popular method of making money as well as building a great reputation online. If you are new to the blogging world and wondering how to start your first Blog, then this handy guide is for you. There are lots of guides online on how to start a blog but most of the guides are not well organized and easily understandable for a newbie. Hope this guide will help you to learn blogging in a better way.
Here you will learn how to build your first blog, complete blogging method, tips and tricks and various monetization techniques to earn a handsome income each month. So, have a look from the scratch.
WHAT IS A BLOG
Before explaining in details, have a brief idea on the basic difference between website and blog.
- A website generally contains a number of static pages with information in the form of text, image, audio and video.
- A blog is somehow similar to a website, the basic difference is that in blog you have to list articles in chronological order with newest article coming on the top so that readers are engaged with your fresh update all the time. New contents are added weekly or even daily in a blog.
Benefits of Having a Blog
- A blog with quality contents engaged readers with tips, tricks and solutions.
- Readers are encouraged to visit more to see the latest update of the blog.
- People make comments and engage in social activity and interaction.
- Blog helps to promote quality personal and affiliate products to its loyal readers, which is known as affiliate marketing.
- Direct and 3rd party advertising like Google Adsense and other monetization techniques help to make handsome income to blog owners.
- Search engine loves fresh content. That is why blog tends to rank higher than static website.
Types of Blog
To start a blog for the first time, you have 2 options to choose from:
Free Hosting Blog
- You get a free account at blogger.com or wordpress.com
- Your blog address will look like this- yourdomain.blogger.com or yourdomain.wordpress.com
- You have limitations in your freedom as someone else is hosting your blog
- If you are blogging as a hobby, then you can go with this option.
Self Hosted Blog
- You will have your own domain name and need to host your domain to a hosting provider
- Your blog address will look like this- yourdomain.com, which seems to be more professional and unique
- You have practically no limitation on the amount of content, design and other things
- If you are serious on blogging to make money or other, then you must have to go with this.
HOW TO BLOG : WHY WP
Before discussing how to blog with WordPress, have a brief explanation why WordPress is the best to start a blog. There are many reason why WordPress is a must!
- WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) for creating blogs
- In fact it is such user-friendly and powerful that you can even built high quality static websites with it
- You don’t need to be a expert, anyone with basic computer knowledge can start with wordpress
- Lots of beautiful themes and cool plugins are available to give your site a cool look
- Thousands of articles are available online that will help if you need tips, advices or suggestions
- Once you build your first site or blog with wordpress, you can make hundreds of next.
HOW TO START BLOGGING : 3 Step Guide
Now its time to start building your first blogging site. Here is a 3 step guide to build your blog:
- Step 1 : Domain Registration
- Step 2 : Web Hosting
- Step 3 : Website Design
How to Start a Blog? – Step 1: Domain Registration
The first task is to register your domain name. Domain name is the identity of your website. For example, www.example.com. You have to find a available domain name for your site and register it through a domain registrar. The most popular domain extensions are .com, .net, .org, .info and .biz. Among all the extensions, .com is the most popular & my suggestion is to register your domain name with .com whenever possible.
For domain registration, we’ll go for Godaddy. Why Godaddy?
Godaddy is the world’s largest domain name registrar with more than 30 millions domain registration. They provide excellent features and state-of-art support. They also have their own hosting service, domain parking and monetization service. Domain registration costs around $12/year for .com.
Apply following coupon code during checkout. This will avail $7.99/year .com registration instead of default $14/year.
Register a free Godaddy Account
Domain Name Research
Before registering your domain, spend some time to think and research your suitable domain name. Some important tips for choosing your domain name:
- .Com is the best extension. It should be your first priority for domain registration
- Choose a domain name that is easy to spell and remember
- Choose a domain name that represents the content of your website
- Stay away from numbers and hypens. They decrease the domain name value
- Use a Real Email Address When Registering
- Keep the potential for branding in mind
- Avoid Trademarked Terms
How to Start a Blog? – Step 2: Web Hosting
Once your register your domain name, to start a blog the next task is to setup your Web Hosting. A web hosting company stores your web files. They allow to publish your data to the internet & provide features such as hosting space, email support, database, bandwith etc. The finest thing about most hosting plans is that the package can be upgraded later if needed. So better to start with the economical one first.
There are basically 3 types of hosting provided by the hosting companies.
- Shared Hosting: Ideal for almost all blogging sites where you can host unlimited number of domains with huge capacity of file storage and bandwidth. It normally costs $4 to $12 per month depending on your package.
- Vps Hosting: When your blogs get thousands of visitors per day which effect server load as well as site speed and available resources, you can think to upgrade to higher one like Vps. Normally costs $20 to $200 per month depending on the different Vps packages.
- Dedicated Hosting: This is mainly for the giant sites that need to handle hundreds or thousands of visitors at the same time, huge client base and lots of resource allocation. Dedicated server usually costs $120 to $300 per month or may be more depending on the package.
Ok, to start a blog for the first time, we’ll choose shared hosting initially. We can upgrade to Vps later if we need.
For hosting, there are some alternatives but Hostgator is my #1 choice. Why I love Hostgator? There are many reasons.
Hostgator is occupied with modern technologies, 99.99% uptime guarantee and 24*7 days award winning technical support and many many more.
They have 3 types of Shared Hosting plan: ‘Hatchling’, ‘Baby’ and ‘Business’.
Hatchling plan starts with only single domain hosting, so we’ll start with Baby shared hosting which supports unlimited domains so that we can add additional domains too.
In the checkout menu, apply following coupon code to avail 25% discount for TTB visitors –
Register for Hostgator Hosting
How to Start Blogging? – Step 3: Website Design
After you have registered your first domain & purchased a reliable web hosting, finally you have to go for designing your blog/website.
We have already explained earlier why more than 60 million sites have been built with WordPress. So here we’ll be also using the same.
How to change Nameserver or DNS
Before installing WordPress, you need to set NameServer or DNS which tells the domain where files are hosted. You can also change the nameserver later after installing wordpress.
If you have registered your domain with Godaddy, follow these steps for changing NameServer.
Login to your Godaddy account> click on ‘My Account’> Click on ‘Domains’> Click the ‘Launch’ button on the right side of your registered domain.
After launching, click on ‘Set Nameservers’ and then click ‘I have specific nameservers for my domains’. Set Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2 and click OK (Information for your nameservers should be received from your hosting company through email).
Now you can logout from Godaddy. Nameserver should automatically be updated within 48 hours, generally they are updated within few minutes in most of the cases.
If you have registered domain with different registrars other than Godaddy, the basic procedure should also be the same like above. If you face any problem just give us a comment or contact us through contact form.
In the process of start a blog, now its time to install WP.
First you have to login via control panel (cpanel) provided by your hosting company. It should be something like this- www.example.com/cpanel.
The cpanel login information should be provided to you through email, after you purchased the hosting.
Once login to cPanel, you will notice many services and icons. Find the icon QuickInstall (or Fantastico De Luxe) under software/services. You can install wordpress by using either QuickInstall or Fantastico.
Hostgator provides both option to its customers. I normally prefer QuickInstall though Fantastico De Luxe is more popular. Though this is nothing important which option you use to install WP.
Ok, after clicking Fantastico De Luxe you will land on a page where different CMS(s) are available for installation. From the menu we’ll choose WordPress>> New Installation.
Here you need to apply the following information:
- Install on domain: Your basic domain will be highlighting if you haven’t added any additional domain.
- Install on directory: Always keep it blank unless you want to install WordPress in additional directory, say www.mydomain.com/mydirectory. If nothing is entered, wordpress will be installed in your root directory which is normal for everyone.
- Username: Provide your desired username which you will use to login to your wordpress dashboard.
- Password: Your desired password for login.
- Admin nickname: The nickname for admin.
- Admin email: The email for corresponding and sending login details. This is the primary email, but it can be changed later from wordpress user menu.
- Site name: Give your site a name, such as Webs Plan.
- Description: Give a description for your site.
Note: If you want to install wordpress through QuickInstall, then the procedure is almost same. Just give a try and you can do it yourself!’
After providing above informations, click on Install WordPress>> Finish installation and you are done! Congrates!!
Now check your site: www.example.com. You should see a new look with wordpress installed in it.
Note: If you still cannot see any change, wait for few minutes to hours. Sometimes it may take time for updating the new nameserver you provided, so make sure to check it in regular interval.
If your nameserver has already updated, type www.example.com/wp-admin (here ‘example’ should be your installed domain). Give username and password which you used during WordPress installation and you will be logged in to wordpress dashboard, where all the customization and editing need to be done for your website or blog.
Now we have learned the primary part of how to start a blog. After installing WordPress few customizations and settings need to be adjusted as per your need. Before going to that part we’ll briefly discuss about the dashboard.