savvynuggets.com | 7 easy steps to set up your blog

How To Start A Blog As A Beginner In 7 Easy Steps

A blog allows you to share your expertise, increase your online visibility and hone your writing skills. For your blog to succeed, what you write about should be a nexus of your expertise, passion, and what interests your readers. You should write in a conversational tone that showcases your voice.

Do you want to set up a blog but you are wondering where and how to start? You are in the right place. You can set up your blog in a day. This post will give you the 7 easy steps you need to take to start your blog easily, even if this is your first time blogging and you do not know a line of code.

If you have a computer and an internet connection you are set to go. Once you have made up your mind to start, just do it… take action. This post is to make it as simple as possible for you to start even if you are a beginner. So let’s get to how to start a blog as a beginner in 7 easy steps.

 

How To Start A Blog As A Beginner In 7 Easy Steps

1. Know “Why” You Want To Start A Blog

2. Choose Your Blog Niche

3. Plan Your Blog Posts

4. Choose Your Hosting Platform

5. Set Up Your Blog (WordPress)

6. Monetize Your Blog

7. Become A Business

 

1. Know “Why” You Want To Start A Blog

Contrary to earlier held beliefs that blogging is just you journalizing your random thoughts and musings, it is not… at least not anymore. It might have attracted readership in the early days of blogging but this is no longer the case. Your readers want answers. They seek solutions to their personal or business dilemma… and you need to provide such solutions better than anyone else for them to come back.

 

Google rewards your well-written content that answers users’ search queries by listing your post at the top of the first page. Almost everyone that posts any content jostles to be at the top of that page in their niche areas. So you have to be intentional about your blogging journey and what you want to blog about. It has to be something you are passionate about and you have a level of expertise in even if it is just more than that of the people you want to help.

 

Before you start you need to ask yourself why you want to blog and what you want to ultimately achieve. To address search queries you either have to provide answers that solve a problem or that assist in getting a result. If you can do one or both well, your readers will return for more of the content you offer. So, take some time out before you start and clarify the mission of your blog. You can try this little exercise below. It will help you to clarify the purpose of your blog.

 

Clarifying the purpose of your blog:

Fill in the gaps:

My blog will provide _your blogging solution_ which helps _your target audience_, who _define them_ to _state the result you want for them_ so that they will _state the transformation or ultimate benefit for them_

 

For example;

My blog will provide _personal development tools and resources_ to help _young professional women _, who _fear job loss_  _boost their self-confidence and embrace life changes_ so that they can _rise easily to positions of leadership in their organizations.

 

2. Choose Your Blog Niche

The next step is to choose your niche. What is a niche in blogging? A blog niche according to Wix is, “a specialized topic area that you’ll be focusing on when writing content”. Having a niche allows you to narrow down your audience and create content that is much more relevant to them. When you do that, it is easier to get them to subscribe to your emails or newsletters.

 

Your niche choice is guided by the purpose of your blog. In the example above, your blog niche will fall under “personal development”. Since this is a broad area, you niche down further to either focus on a subject niche like “self-confidence or courage”. Your niche could also be audience-based like “young professional women”. It could also be industry-based, for instance on “leadership”. All these suggestions are from the example given above.  To help you further, check out the 120 most profitable niches you can choose from. This article will act as a guide for you as you choose your blog niche.

 

Your Action Step:

Choose your blog niche using the information above. 

 

3. Plan Your Blog Posts

You need to have a constant posting schedule so your readers know when to expect new content. Creating content is not easy. It requires that you research and write with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. SEO simply means that you use words (keywords) that align with the search terms your readers key into Google when looking for a solution.

 

Using our example above, when you key in “personal development” as a keyword you get about 3.9 billion search results. When you narrow it to “personal development for youngsavvynuggets.com | blogging scheduleprofessional women” get 586 million search results. When you narrow it further to “personal development for young professional women with fear of job loss” you get only 84 million search results. This tells you that if you focus on this area alone as your niche, it would be easier for you to gain authority and position yourself as a thought leader.

 

Therefore plan to create content that addresses issues in this area. When you have generated a list of topics then you can create a schedule to help you post them periodically such as daily, bi-weekly, three times a week, and so on. This is dependent on what works for you. When you post frequently and consistently your blogging success comes faster.

 

Your Action Step:

Create your posting schedule using the guidelines above. This can be a simple schedule with your posting dates and proposed post titles written beside the relevant date.

 

4. Choose Your Hosting Platform

Choosing the platform that will house your blog is an important step. Since the location will be online, you need to consider the level of hosting support that will be provided, downtime, and internet security, amongst other things.

 

As a beginner, you should test the waters with a shared hosting plan. DreamHost is the way to go. My choice of DreamHost was based on their higher ranking against other alternatives recommended by WordPress in the area of security. To start with DreamHost you can choose the Shared Starter Product or the Dedicated Hosting option. Also, add the DreamShield Protection to guard against malware.

 

Your website builder is also extremely important. Most people build their websites with WordPress. You can read my post on 7 Things Every WordPress Blogger Should Know for more on this. Also, you can easily build incredible websites with WordPress using the Genesis Framework and 35+ premium StudioPress themes.

 

Your Action Step:

Choose your hosting platform and your blog name. Your blog name should be catchy, reflective of your niche, and unique to you. Then get ready to host your blog on the platform. 

 

 

5. Set Up Your Blog (WordPress)

You are now ready to set up your blog on WordPress. It’s time to get your hands dirty setting up your website. You do not need to know any line of code to do that. You can also choose from available free themes, such as the Astra theme if you’re on a budget. Your choice of Astra will give you a nice-looking, lightweight theme already optimized for search engines.

 

You can build your blog with DreamHost using WordPress. A note of caution, WordPress has a .com site, which is free but not recommended for serious blogging. You will not be allowed to use your domain address, which is one of the requirements for getting approved by Ad networks. If you take the free account you will have WordPress attached to your blog name, which is not good for your blog’s credibility, except if you want to blog privately for yourself.

 

You should use WordPress.org instead, which allows you to host your blog with your domain name through one of three WordPress recommended hosting providers – DreamHost, BlueHost, and SiteGround. You can use DreamHost because they are the best in security and affordability. Register your domain with my DreamHost link to get your discount.

 

Let’s get started;

a) Get Your Domain Name

You now understand how to name your blog with a name that is catchy, reflective of your niche, and unique to you. You can use two to three words that will be easy for your audience to remember when put together. Get about five different blog name options in case the one you want is already taken. When you click the DreamHost link it will take you to the DreamHost page where you will input your blog name, which if accepted, will be your domain name. Make sure you choose the .com option so your site will be https://www.yourblogname.com. If the name has been taken, input another one from your other options until you get one approved. This is the page you see.

 

savvynuggets.com | DreamHost Domain Name Registration

 

b) Get Your Blog Theme

Your DreamHost panel is intuitive and easy to use and it looks like this;

savvynuggets.com | dreamhost panel

You control everything about your blog from here. Your gateway to WordPress is from here. Click on the WordPress sign in the drop-down menu within the control panel. You will see the “one-click WordPress install” instruction. Install WordPress and follow the setup procedure.  You will get into the WordPress Dashboard, which looks like this;

savvynuggets.com | WP Dashboard

Go to “Appearance” from the drop-down menu on the left and click themes. Choose your preferred free or paid theme from the different themes displayed and activate. Make sure you have only one theme activated at each point in time. Unused active themes can be the route for cyberattacks.

c) Create Your initial Blog Pages

Typically you will have a Home page, Blog Page, About Page, and other preferred pages relevant to your niche and what you want to offer. Go to “Pages” in your dashboard and create the pages you want. Go back to “Appearance” and build your menu for the pages you created.

d) Keep Your Blog Legal

You have to put legal pages on your site to protect your users. These pages are the Privacy Policy, Disclaimer, and Terms & Conditions pages. Your legal pages have to be GDPR compliant to accommodate privacy requirements for users from the EU. You can get these legal templates here if you do not have a lawyer to draft them.

e) Create Your First Blog Post

Go to “Posts” in the dashboard and click “New”. You will be taken to a page to create your posts. You will have the choice of writing on the plain page or using blocks, which are pre-written templates to guide your writing. Make sure you save your drafts and preview your work before you click the “publish” button.

f) Optimize Your Blog For Search Engines (SEO)

Your site needs to be optimized for search engines like Google. To help you achieve this you need a tool like the All-In-One-SEO (AIO SEO), which keeps you in line with your snippet preview, meta description crafting, sitemap, and other SEO rules to observe when writing your post. Most importantly it provides an SEO analysis amongst other functions, by allocating a score to different components on your site that you need to watch to ensure your website ranks high for SEO.

g) Add Blog Game-Changers

You need certain additions to your blog to propel you to success in the shortest possible time. Get game-changers. Go to “plugin” on your WordPress dashboard and click “add new”.Use the search bar to choose what you want when the window opens. For instance, to grow your email list, get more leads, and increase sales you need the no. 1 most powerful conversion optimization toolkit in the world… OptinMonster.

savvynuggets.com | optinmonster

You also need the no. 1 Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress – MonsterInsights, so you can set up Google Analytics on your WordPress site in minutes with just a click. Your business must have powerful analytics set up to help you grow.       

savvynuggets.com | monsterinsights 

h) Enhance Your Blog With Plugins

A plugin is software that helps you extend the functionality of your site when it is plugged in. Plugins have been configured to work in a complementary fashion with WordPress, helping it do what its site cannot ordinarily do without this complementary tool. For you with a WordPress site, most of these plugins are free although you have the option to upgrade to a paid plan if you want more functionalities.

As a beginner, the free versions have all the functionalities you need to start your site.

Some of the free plugins you need are;

1. Updraft

This plugin has the important responsibility of keeping your site backed up. You can ensure that your database, plugins, themes, uploads, etc are stored safely offsite preferably in the cloud. You can sign-up with a storage provider such as IDrive, Backblaze, DreamObjects, etc to store your backed-up data in the clouds. Site backup is one of the most critical activities you should not neglect. You can retrieve the last backed-up version of your site if there is a website crash when you constantly back up. 

 

2. Smush

Your blog pictures are minified by smush so the site loads faster. The plugin will optimize and compress the particular pictures to be shown when uploading images to your site. It also activates lazy loading which ensures that offscreen images are not loaded until a visitor scrolls to them. The content delivery network, otherwise known as CDN converts huge images uploaded to smaller sizes so your site pages can load faster.

 

3. Akismet

You need this plugin. It helps to detect and protect from spam, especially in your comment section. It can discard the worst and most pervasive spam so you don’t even see it and it can also put spam in a spam folder for review if you indicate so.

 

4. Wordfence

Your blog security is top of the list. This is a security plugin, which adds a greater layer of security such as anti-virus, firewall, malware scan,  brute force, and blocking of suspicious IPs. It is important you have it to mitigate the likely risk of cyberattack.

 

5. WP Fastest Cache

Your site speed and page loading speed are critical. This plugin primarily ensures site speed and page loading speed. This is done through managing your cache, Gzip compression, which minimizes files sent from the server and minifies CSS, HTML, and Javascript. It also reduces HTTP requests through the combination of CSS and Javascript files.

 

6. Site Kit

You need this plugin for Google Analytics, Search Console, and AdSense. Site Kit uses these tools to monitor your site speed, traffic growth, performing content, and other stats.

 

 

6. Monetize Your Blog

Most likely you want to make money blogging. If this is one of your goals there are many ways bloggers are monetizing their blogs. Some of these ways are listed below;

i) AdSense. You can participate in an Ad program run by Google. Website publishers such as blogs can feature text, images, video, or interactive media ads targeted to their audience and site visitors. Your site needs to be approved by Google before you can show ads.

ii) Full-Service Ad Management Platforms. You can have Ad management companies serve ads to your site if approved, such as Mediavine, AdThrive, Monumetric, etc.

iii) Affiliate Marketing. You can enjoy a compensation model whereby publishers such as bloggers are rewarded for generating traffic or leads to a company’s products and services by either the company or an affiliate marketing company like ShareASale.

iv) Sponsored Posts. You can promote sponsored posts. This is when a third-party publisher such as a blogger promotes a post on their site showcasing the products and services of another company for profit.

v) Digital Products. You can sell digital products you created such as Printables and ebooks on your site.

vi) Online Courses. You can create and sell courses around the main theme of your blog to teach and educate your audience.

vii) Membership Sites. You can also run community-based membership sites that take subscription payment from your audience to access higher-value content that is not accessible for free on your site.

 

7. Become A Business

It is time to scale. In due time you will grow to become a full-fledged business if you want to. You can build a team to help you run your coaching program, podcast, membership site, or an eCommerce site selling your products from your blog thereby, creating multiple income streams over time. Many successful bloggers make a full-time income from their blogs and are living the life of their dreams.

 

Conclusion

Setting up a blog should not be difficult. How To Start A Blog As A Beginner In 7 Easy Steps is meant to simplify the process of starting your blog. Follow these steps chronologically to greatly simplify this process.

 

Blogging gives you the platform to express yourself and help people find solutions to their problems. Yours is to provide answers that move your readers forward. Be dedicated and committed to the process. It is a rewarding endeavor but requires patience as you learn, implement and grow. Google and social media algorithms change from time to time, so you have to learn constantly to keep abreast of any change.

 

Once you know your “why” you can choose your niche and hosting platform. Plan your posts ahead of time so you can stay focused and committed to consistent posting. After you set up your blog, provide quality content to help your readers. Monetize your blog gradually as you grow and turn it into a viable stream of income over time. The best time to start your blog is now!

 

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