Most people who want to learn how to start a blog for whatever reason find themselves quitting just after they get the information on how to do so or they quit after partially launching a blog that looks half baked. If you have been a part of this trend then know it’s not difficult at all to start a blog.
And you may be saying to yourself this very moment that you may have found it very difficul in the past. Or maybe you had wanted to learn how to start a blog but could not deal with the amount of confusing information out there online. Just know; you are not alone on this one! 🙂
However creating a profitable blog is the best thing you can ever do for your business and brand both online and offline. Most people tend to think that a blog is a very hard and tedious thing, but the contrary is so true. You see, it’s all about having a routine and a work flow that work for you and most people simply do not have the know-how.
How to Start a Blog That Makes Money Even If You Don’t Know Web Design
I was one of the people that used to believe blogging was a very hard thing to do. I did everything I could to stay away from doing work and focus on shortcut methods and quick-fixes. Until I discovered a few thing I will be sharing with you in future posts regarding blogging.
In as much as there are a lot of fears and misunderstanding about blogging most people still have the desire to start a blog. Hope fully by the end of this post you should have ‘busted’ through all those fears and ‘forged’ ahead to a solid blog and brand that will generate you income on a regular basis.
So in this post, I will be sharing with you 7 concise steps that all top earners online utilize to create a lasting brand that keeps building their business.
So let’s get straight to the point!
Summary of The 7 Steps on How to Start a Blog for Results
- Know Your Why
- Purchase Your Domain Name
- Purchase Your Hosting
- Install WordPress
- Choose a Theme Start Customizing
- Start Customizing
- Start Creating Content
Step #1: Developing Your Why
Knowing you why is in my opinion is going to be the make or break of your business online. Think about it this way; there are so so many people online today selling “their stuff” to everyone they come across online. They stop at nothing to “shove” their next “shortcut” money system in your face without remorse.
So take a moment and think about the number of people doing that online and then think about “how you fit in”. If you are doing what the masses are doing; chances are you are wasting time doing the wrong thing and wasting your efforts. Why? the masses are not making money, they are promoting quick fix problems and providing no solution.
So knowing your why keeps you in check and ensures you are playing to your strengths and talking to people who are ready to listen to you. So why do you want to get started blogging? And there is no right or wrong answers. This is not time to get all “spiritual” about it just to decide your why is to make money – LOL. You see, depending on WHY you want to get started learning how to start a blog that actually makes money you would choose your products, posts, programs and other affiliations with care.
Example: my main purpose of starting my blog was to use it to brand me as a business person and an entrepreneur. This means that I am NOT at liberty to post aything and join any odd program when I feel like it. I owe it to me, my audience and target makeket to ensure my brand in on point at every point in time.
Why should anyone listen to you? and most important what solution do you have and why should they buy from you? These are important questions that can only be addressed by yourself. No one can answer your questions for you and develop your why. This is what sets most people behind in setting up any business whether online or offline.
The major problem I had at the beginning was starting without a clearly defined goal and focus and most people do too. We fail to develop a strong WHY and who we are looking to serve. So let’s break this down.
In business, you are providing value in exchange for money. So the first thing to do before venturing into anything at all is to know your why. Starting off by going straight to creating a blog aimlessly is a guaranteed 90% fail.
So the first step is to know why you want to start a blog and that will set you apart in the market place.
Read this blog post to give you a good understanding on how to start creating your brand for effectiveness. Here are some reasons why some people start a blog;
- To make money
- To promote their products
- To promote their brand
- For charity
Step #2: Do Your Research and Purchase Your Domain Name
Now we get to the nitty-gritty of bringing our blog to life. Depending on your focus you want to purchase a domain that will promote your business. Think of your domain name as the name of your business. Have you ever come across a local business or shop and you wonder, “what on earth do they do?” or you are looking to buy a phone (just as an example) and you walk past every single maplin shop you come across and walk straight into a carphone warehouse. Now although maplin do sell mobile phones and well known for electronics, carphone warehouse on the other hand calls out to you when it comes to buying a phone. For a long time I had no idea what Maplin traded in until I saw their full ads and leaflets.
Let’s just assume you know nothing about these two companies and you need to purchase a phone. Which one of them are you most likely to step into first if they were located next to each other? Based on their names – its obvious right! Even if the shop next to Maplin was labled “A & J’s Electronics” and thier speciality was mobile phones you would still would be more inclined to go into carphone warehouse just because of the names.
Its obvious that carphone warehouse has something to do with phones. That is how you need to see your domain name. It brings search engines and people looking for you and your service down to you. So make it count!
Rule of thumb: apart from your name as a domain, if it sounds uncomfortable for you to remember or type in your browser, chances are that you need to choose another domain name. See your domain name as the name of your business. It needs to be catchy, witty and carry a message and image straight to your audience. Think of what is easiest for your target audience. This is not done by a lot of people who want to know how to start a blog for profits and leads. I have added a video below to guide you on how to select the best domain name for your business or brand. You can also refer to my blog post on how to chose a domain name.
Also, check out this GoDaddy article; How to Choose the Perfect Domain
Step #3: Hosting
Next is to sort out your hosting in learning how to start a blog. When personal websites was a very rare thing, there were people/businesses that had a pc strickly dedicated to their websites. This pc would have been hooked to the internet and servers would have been installed on them. You see, when you type a domain name into your browser, it passes this information online to find IP addresses that would host those files. Your domain is simply the name on your websites folder which is assigned an IP address and a Domain Name Servers. It allows people to find the files on the internet. Servers are software that serves up your website filess when it is called. Here’s a full definition of what a server is;
This is where your blog and website would be stored so others can view it. Overtime offering hosting services have become so popular ordinary people with knowledge and skill can provide their own hosting services due to technological advancements. Today, you can fit a server underneath your desk. I recently met a young man that provided his own hosting service from home. He obviously had all the ‘gear’ needed to keep these computers cool and under control right in his spare bedroom. He provides hosting services for small business who could afford it but needed it badly.
Although, it is not such a dramatic thing if you lost your blog you do not want to loose your hardwork and start over.
If you did not know, think of your hosting as the land on which you build your house. Hosting companies or individuals would provide you with space on their servers and equipment to make your blog available online. For as long as you have paid for hosting, that space belongs to you. So it’s important to know whose servers you want to host your hard work on. Choosing the right hosting company is just as important as building your blog.
It is one of the costs of your online business you absolutely need to get unders control because it is a must if you are serious about your business and your brand.
Most people will go ahead and start a blog with free hosting. In as much as this is not bad it restricts you because you have not paid for the service. Legally it can be taken off anytime and it is also highly restricted. Below I have outlined the difference between the self-hosted blog and the free hosting based on wordpress. This will give you a good understanding of what to go for when it is time to purchase your hosting.
Self-Hosted vs WordPress Hosted
Most people get confused when it comes to self-hosted wordpress sites and wordpress hosted ones. The difference is quite clear and simple and you need to understand this very well to learn how to start a blog the most effective way. A self-hosted wordpress site is when you purchase your own domain and hosting and install wordpress which is a free software on wordpress.org
WordPress is a free website creation tool built and is currently the best blog and website creation tool out there. It is a non-techy and the easiest blogging platform online today but yet the most powerful due to its flexibility, layout and open source nature.
It is my most preferred blogging platform and this blog is built on wordpress.
According to Wikipedia WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL.
However, wordpress has provides another service via wordpress.com where you create your site on wordpress. By doing this you create your blog directly on wordpress.com and although this can be a good way of learning how to start a blog it may not be the best. This limits you a bit as you are blogging on someone else’ platform and there are lots of restrictions. So it is always highly recommended to self-host for branding and money making purposes.
There are a few hosting companies out there you can get hosting from however I will be sharing with what I have used and have worked well for me, my students and clients in the past. Here are two of the best I have used and still use;
I use SiteGround to host my blogs and websites for the major reasons.
- Free SSL: this is a “Secured Server Locket” provided on websites to make them safe and secure. This is especially useful if you will be collecting personal details from site visitors. Unlike most other hosts, this is free with SiteGround.
- Daily Backup: Daily backups are essential. Especially if you are always updating and making changes to your blog. You will find this as very important the more you create content on your blog.
- Customer Service: Being able to pick up the phone and speak to someone on the other side of the telephone is a great feature to have. Although live chats are a trend today nothing compares to a one on one conversation.
Step #4 How to Start a Blog – Connecting Your Domain Name to Your Host
This is important if you bought your domain name separate from your hosting. Personally, I prefer keeping my domain names separate from my hosting for various reasons below;
- I am in control of both of them
- keeping them seperate
If you own your hosting separate from your domain name you have to link them together. Linking them together points your domain name to your hosting where your website files are stored.
The down side to owning your own domain and paying for your hosting is responsibility. It forces you to be responsible and learn and grow. Which means you will have to learn a few skills along the way. This in itself is a good thing but does take you time to learn a few skills. This is why I created my course on “The Step by Step Guide on How to Create a Profitable Blog” to help you sift throught the noise and safe you time and hussle.
Step #5 How to Start a Blog – Installing WordPress
After you have chosen and purchased the perfect host, the time is now right to start building and the first step is to install WordPress on your hosting. Installing wordpress is a very easy process and most host would tell you how to install wordpress on your hosting. In case you do not know how to do it just refer to the instructions below this step and that will give you a guide. You would To do this you need to ensure your hosts provide you with cPanel. This makes your life easy and allows you to install WordPress on your hosting in just a couple of clicks. All the host I have used in the past uses the same process of installing wordpress.
Step by step guide on how to install wordpress on your hosting.
While logged into your cPanel you want to head on to wordpress tools > wordpress installer > install then follow the prompt on the page to install wordpress on your host.
Step #6 Choose a WordPress Theme
After connecting your hosting and domain name you can now start designing your blog and website. Prior to wordpress we had to load file to our website using ftp’s (also known as file transfer protocols). But it is hardly in use today unless you are a hard core web developer.
Since wordpress works on a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) basis. It has made life so easy. WordPress comes with a couple of pre-loaded themes you can start working with straight out of the box. On first installation, wordpress gives you access to three free themes. These are basic themes and you can use them in a very limited way but a great start if you want to learn how to start a blog. The secret here is to make it look like your own by creating a great brand message and image.
However, I always prefer using themes I have purchased and there are a few reasons why (which I will explain to you later in this post). Meaning you can purchase themes created by other web developers. These are fully functional websites created out of the box for you. And although they can be customised and edited; they come with all the functionaility you need. Every theme is different so you would want to choose based on how you want your site to look like.
Using ThemeForest I get to buy some of the best themes out there and use them to my advantage. It is great to start with your free WordPress theme just to get a good hang of things. However, going for a purchased theme is definitaley a plus that will give you more flexibility and make your site look more professional.
Here are some of the best wordpress themes out there if you wanted to purchase your very own theme to start with;
Step #7 Customize Your Theme
This is you personalize your theme and make it your own. Customizing your theme heavily depends on your brand and your message. From headers and banners to menu items and all the way down to the type of content you write on a daily basis everything needs to be planned. This gives congruency on your blog and easily builds trust with your audience. Your audience is always looking for an expert they can trust and your blog puts you in the position of an expert ready to deliver. Make it count!