So you want to start a blog in 2020? Wow! that is a pretty much a good idea! But how the heck do you get started when there are so many information on the internet with everyone telling you a total different thing to do? you know, with different information it can be very confusing on which one to choose or listen to right?
Or maybe you should just ignore everyone and keep trying till you succeed? damn, this is just so annoying! and I know how clumsy that can be, yea.
Oh well, i understand how it feels and I’ve been there and done that, i used to be a new blogger that had the same problem as you. I have been on the blogging scene for a long time now but I actually did bought a domain name and hosting to start my first professional blog less than 5 years ago and before then i literally don’t know much about blogging. I started on the grounds of trials and failures and for the many times that i failed, i learnt new things.
Now i have learnt quite a lot and much about blogging because the times that i failed thought me the best lessons no one will ever teach me and my blog is doing pretty well for the past years now which is why i see myself as someone you should learn from when it comes to successfully building your own blog.
I really don’t want to give you a similar information just like the jargons you read on the internet, with me it is something straight forward, simple and most importantly absolutely easy to understand. I promise i’ll keep it that easy, really.
So let’s get started.
Why Start a Blog in 2020
Blogging gives you a voice and a creative platform to share your ideas, real life experience and passions. It’s just like having your own magazine where you are the writer and also the editor. Being the writer and editor, you get to choose what goes into your online magazine. I do not buy the idea of people who claim blogging is dead, don’t worry at all, because you can make yours stand out and get noticed! infact if you start a blog in 2020 it might just be the best thing that happened to you especially with the right tools you definitely will succeed.
What is Covered in This Blog Creation Guide
On this blog creation guide we have covered the basics of creating a successful blog on any platform especially WordPress. Starting a blog with a self hosted WordPress is not so difficult as setting up a website from scratch because there’s little to no technical ability needed here, you do not need to write any code just some really simple set ups… Sounds good?
How to Start a Blog in Quick Easy Steps
Below are the easy steps to start a blog in 2020 which we’re going to cover on this post.
- Choose a Blog Niche
- Choose a Domain Name
- Choose the best blog platform
- Choose the best web hosting for your blog
- How to Set up a blog on your domain
- Customize your new blog
- Helpful resources for blogging
Below, i have explained all of the step accordingly, If you follow my steps carefully, your blog should be up and running in a couple of minutes, let’s start by talking about how to choose a suitable blog niche first.
Choose a Blog Niche
Coming up with a blog niche is usually one of the first things to consider before starting a blog, this is necessary because if you choose a blog niche that is not suitable for you, you may end up losing interest on the long run, so when you decide on your blog niche, you need a clear understanding of what you want to blog about and who your target audience is.
I know that It is sometimes confusing to choose a blog niche, because it is possible that you have passion for many things and getting to choose the right one to blog about can leave you confused. No worries we can help you get started with tips on how to make the right decision.
Tips on Choosing the Right Blog Niche
To decide on the most suitable and perfect blog niche for you, you need to answer this questions:
What is your Obsession
The very best decision you’ll ever make is to blog about your passion in this sense it should be a passion you’re obsessed about because being passionate and obsessed about a thing will keep you going and even broaden your knowledge because if you don’t love the topic you want to blog about, you will not enjoy writing about it.
What are The Interest of Your Audience
This is somehow a tricky question, but let me break it down in a way you will understand it very well. When i say what is the interest of your audience, it is just like a sub category for example you are blogging about Fitness and we all know that fitness have a pretty much broad audience like mental fitness, physical fitness, plus healthy exercises to stay fit, exercises to burn fat or stay in good shape and even spiritual fitness.
So you just need to choose the path/topic that appeals to a much bigger audience.
Choose a Domain Name
When it comes to choosing the perfect domain name for your blog, you need to give it a deep thought. Remember to keep it simple and short. More especially a short and simple domain name. A short domain name is easy to remember and this step is critical to your blog success. If you choose a long domain name or a domain not related to your business/blog, there are possibilities that your blog readers and visitors will mistype or misspell it. A long and complex domain name might make it harder for customers to remember your blog name.
Help in Choosing the Perfect Domain name
So we have shared some really helpful guides to choose the perfect domain name for your blog, make sure to follow them.
Avoid Using Numbers in Your Domain Name
There are huge database of registered domain names running into hundreds of millions, you must make your domain look unique, to achieve this; one of the important thing you need to do is to avoid hyphens and numbers by all means because hyphens are often misunderstood same with numbers.
Use Keywords in Your Domain Name
Use your services/business keywords when registering a domain name, this keyword should be able to tell what you do and present your business to the right audience on search engines. So you see, a good domain is supposed to contain at least a keyword of what you do as it describes your business and the services you offer. For example, if you’re into car repair business, you may want to register carfix.com or autorepairs.com.
Choose the best blog platform
Another critical step when you want to start a blog is choosing the perfect blogging platform. There are plenty of blogging platform to choose from, of which few of them are Medium, Ghost, Linkedin, Blogger, squarespace and tumblr.
Your niche will depend on the platform you choose, but we’re going to focus solely on WordPress – which is the king of all free blogging platforms as you can see below, WordPress is the first platform of choice among the worlds top 100 blog so i’ll focus more on WordPress.
Why Start a Blog With WordPress
I prefer to blog and create websites with WordPress because of it’s simplicity and flexibility. With WordPress you have full control over how your blog looks and functions, as well as how you make money from your blog.
WordPress software is completely free, open-source, and very easy to use, you can create a new blog post or page, upload and edit images, videos, documents, etc. without the need for additional HTML. It is not a new thing that search engines love WordPress blogs because the codes behind WordPress is pretty simple and super clean.
With wordpress you are in charge and can control the designs of your blog, give it whatever look you want and can even extend functionalities with plugins
When i talk about WordPress on this post, i am referring to the self hosted WordPress.org and not WordPress.com
So we’re going to focus solely on starting a blog with wordpress, this is where Bluehost comes into play.
Choose the best web hosting for your blog
When you want to start a blog, your choice of web host also plays a crucial role in the success of your blog. Most recommended WordPress hosting so far is Bluehost. Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress, they provide a lot of solid features including 50GB of disk space, a free domain name, free ssl certificate, unmetered bandwidth, free email storage per account, etc. Currently Bluehost is one of the cheapest and best WordPress hosting. With Bluehost you also get access to marketing services, tools, and paid ad credits to boost your website’s global reach.
How to Set up a blog on your domain
It’s time to set up a blog on your custom domain, if you used bluehost they offer you free domain name for almost all web hosting plan remember we’re focusing on WordPress so our blog set up will be more on it.
- To install WordPress on bluehost you just need to login to your cPanel account.
- Navigate to the Softaculous Website installation section and select Install WordPress.
- Click the Install button and choose the domain name to install it to.
- In the field next to the domain, enter a subfolder like ‘blog’ or leave it blank if the site’s main page will be the blog.
- Edit the email, username and password.
- Read the license and terms of service, then check the boxes and select the Install Now button.
That’s it! you have successfully installed WordPress on your new blog, time to make some customizations.
Customize your new blog
Now you have installed WordPress, it’s time to give it an outstanding look especially the one that represents your business, blog or what you do. One of the best things in WordPress is that, there are millions of free themes available in the WordPress repository. We hope you make the right choice of a good WordPress theme.
On toomakesense, i use Generatepress premium theme but as a beginner with low budget, you can always start with free wordpress theme.
To get access to free wordpress themes, navigate to your WordPress dashboard, click on appearance and select themes from the slide options on the right.
On the WordPress theme repository, you will definitely find a suitable WordPress theme for your blog free of cost. You can select from Featured, Popular, Latest and Favorites. You can also use the Feature Filter to search for theme or simply search for a theme on the search box.
I assume you must have installed your desired WordPress theme by now, time to customize it
Customize WordPress Theme and Layout
The layout of your blog is one of the instrument that will help retain visitors and leave them wanting to come back for more information, a good look is hard to resist and same goes to good blog design.
Some of the new WordPress theme may contain sections that host a wide array of content. However, not all themes are designed the same way. While a particular theme may have different header and top-page control options, others may not have.
To customize your WordPress theme, go to the WordPress dashboard, and navigate to “Appearance” on the right slide click on “Widgets.” It should take you to the widget edit section and most of the changes you will want to make will be done from this screen. You should see something like the header, footer, right sidebar, left sidebar and other sections. Any changes you make here will reflect on your website.
You can also edit your theme from the customize option, to locate it go to Appearance > on the right slide menu you should see Customize. Click on Customize, it should take you to full home editing page where you can do a lot of changes like edit your blog logo, colors, layout, text and font sizes, menu and a lot of other changes. Make sure to click on publish when you’re done making any changes and below is how my customise layout looks like.
Lucky you! this seems hard at first but it ended up being super easy right? i strongly believe that your blog set up should be ready to go and finished by now!
So that’s all folks! I hope that my guide on how to start a blog will go a long way to help you start your own blog successfully, it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or already blogging for a while there’s always a room for more learning and improvement.