Blog. You’ve heard the word repeated so many times, that you want to know what it’s all about.
Simply defined, a blog is your online journal that you frequently update depending on your schedule. A place where you share your thoughts, showcase your creativity and even hone your passion. It is your website and can be whatever you want it to be. ‘Blog’ is a term derived from the word Weblog.
When you launch a blog, you are known as a blogger and your online journaling activity is referred to as blogging.
Blogs have evolved from being just a place where people write and share their day to day activities. They’ve become platforms of influence and change and today you’ll find millions of blogs covering every topic that you can think of and even those one’s that you didn’t imagine.
Anyone can be a blogger and maybe you should consider it too.
How to set up a great WordPress blog is the challenge most aspiring bloggers face when they make the decision to start blogging. The entire process of self-hosting a blog could be simplified by following these 6 easy steps outlined below.
Create useful content for your anticipated readers.
Step 1: Choose a platform for your blog.
There are many blogging platforms available out there that can help to get your content online, but I would recommend using the WordPress platform. If your goals include earning income from your blog, then a self-hosted WordPress.org site is highly recommended.
WordPress is popular, easy to install and user-friendly. It has been around for many years and has a robust, secure system with a lot of tools that will help you to develop and customize your blog.
WordPress blogging platform offers two categories:
WordPress.com – a platform where WordPress host’s your blog and takes care of the backend while giving you access to have your blog on their domain. You can start your blog free of cost, but there are options to upgrade to use various elements at a cost.
WordPress.org – a platform where you have complete control to self-host your blog, decide how to configure and run it, its appearance and how to monetize your site. You need to organize your own hosting, domain, plug-ins etc at a cost dependent on the service provider.
If one of your primary aims is to earn from your site, my recommendation would be to go with self-hosting on WordPress.org. It might need a bit of setup work at the early stage but in the long run, it would probably be more worth your while.
Step 2. Domain name and Hosting for your blog.
There are various hosting platforms that you may wish to consider; WP Engine, BlueHost, GoDaddy and many others.
You need to find a suitable domain name for your online abode, that will be your address and before choosing a name there are several factors to consider:
What your domain name would insinuate in a readers’ mind from a brand perspective.
How SEO friendly is it? Are there keywords that would help to rank in high in a search?
Is it a name that could be easily recollected?
Is it available to use to guard against copyright and Trademark issues?
Domain names are not too expensive to secure. I got “The art of beautiful expressions,” from GoDaddy for $11.34 for a year and for my blog hosting, I use WP Engine personal plan.
Step 3. Set Up Your Blog.
Depending on your hosting provider, installing WordPress is super simple and most of them create a simple video to show you step by step how to do it and if you meet challenges during this process, there’s also live chat support system that answers all your questions and assists you to get it done.
The team at WP Engine have series of tutorials and videos that walk you through the process of configuring your blog and that even the most tech-challenged person like myself was able to do it without feeling entirely overwhelmed. Their support garage also assists through a chat session.
Once your blog has been set up, you’ll need to design your blog.
Step 5. Designing your blog.
There are thousands of free themes out there, but you’ll want to invest in a theme that works for you. You would want to choose a theme that creates the impression that you seek. Impressions do count and you want something that makes your blog’s individuality stand out.
Preferably, a premium theme that’s simple, classy and clean, that would allow you tweaking room as you over time would be my choice and these days, there are many tutorials online that can teach you the skills of customizing your theme. The important thing is to set up your blog and evolve as you go.
Step 6. Creating Useful Content for your anticipated readers.
Now comes the fun part of blogging – writing and publishing your posts. After going through the steps of setting up your blog, what counts most is your blog’s content. An empty blog will not keep anyone’s attention, so, go right ahead and start churning out your interesting posts.
The two basic contents that you create on your blog are your pages and your blog posts. Your blog pages are static pages that won’t change much – except you edit them from time to time. They are pages such as “About Page, Contact Page,” while you create your blog posts on a regular basis depending on your writing schedule. Your published posts will turn up at the front page of your blog, with a date to show when it got published.
Congratulations. You are all set to go and my hope is that you’ll enjoy the beautiful experience of blogging. You can check here for tips on how to monetize your blog.
I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to let us know about your blog and any suggestions on how this guide can make the start-up process easier is most welcome in the comments below.
Subscribe to receive useful tips and tutorials to help you build a profitable blog and make the most of your creativity.
Thank you for subscribing to The Art of Beautiful Expressions.
Blogging is immensely satisfying and you don’t need not be a professional writer to start a blog. There are various niche types of blog out there and the process of blogging offers valuable benefits that range from business values to professional as well as personal benefits.
Blogging is something that I would recommend any day to someone and below are some of the reasons why I think you should start blogging
Blogging inculcates discipline.
Depending on your frequency of publishing blog posts, maybe once, twice a week or daily, it requires discipline and patience which are important skills to settle down to write consistently. This helps you to appreciate your time and to learn that some of the best things we receive in life most times arrive as delayed gratification and the art of writing cum blogging falls into such category.
Blogging teaches you introspection.
Starting a blog causes you to look inwards consistently. It helps the person to crystallise the things that are important and even rethinking their lifestyle, their approach to work and what they want to do with their lives.
Blogging attracts an audience.
There are billions of people who use the internet these days and blogging is a method of reaching out and attracting an audience who would find value from your blog.
Blogging gives you a voice.
Each of us has a story and something to say even if we consider our oratory and writing skills as mediocre, our blog gives us a platform that’s free from censoring to empty our thoughts and possibly find other like-minded audience.
Blogging helps you to build authority.
Blogs are becoming the new call cards for any serious professional out there. Your blog posts that add value to for your readers enhances your profile and even projects your reputation as an authority in that area.
Blogging opens up doors of engaging and interacting with others.
Part of the beauty of blogging is that you get to interact with a lot of people who you may not have been opportune to know and chances are that your blog could turn such traffic into customers who would be more receptive towards you if they read and received worthwhile value from your blog posts. Some even get to become friends over time.
It helps you to organize your thoughts.
The process of blogging forces you to learn those things that you didn’t know, how to articulate the things that you do know and make them more presentable. The act of articulating these things leads you to research, internalize and become more familiar with your topic of interest.
Acquisition of knowledge and honing your creative skills.
Consistent blogging about your topics of interest encourages you to keep abreast with developments in your direction of interest as well as helping you hone the latent skills that you already have. The cliché practice makes perfect is true enough and the better you get at what you do, the more you stand out from the crowd.
It offers a platform to tell your story.
You don’t have to wait for a publisher, journalist or any publication before you can tell your story. You are your own media house and it’s up to you to decide how you want the story written and when. The journey of blogging and telling your story might even open doors to getting noticed and clinching a publishing deal if that’s your interest.
Brings you certain validation and ability.
Your blog serves as a form of resume that could be viewed to see your style of writing and blogging about a topic that you are passionate or well versed in, can show your reading network, future employer, a publisher how knowledgeable and skilled in your craft.
Generating residual income.
If your blog receives a lot of traffic, this could be an opportunity to monetize your blog as an extra stream of income which will be tremendously beneficial for the blogger. It could serve as payment for the time put into blogging as well as to support your blog.
We are living in interesting times where a lot gets done online these days and you can benefit from the virtual trend through blogging.
After an amazing year of active blogging on my maiden blog a cooking pot and twisted tales, writing and publishing my first poetry book Out of the silent breath, a journey that started as an avenue to hone my writing and other creative passion and to connect with like-minded people, has continued to metamorphize and this blog is an offspring birthed from the desire to build a resource centre for others like me who are equally on a quest of self-discovery to unleash their talents as well as finding profitable fulfilment from such venture.
I know that it will be a worthwhile adventure and learning curve. It would be awesome if we walk this path together.