Guide to Start a Professional Blog
- What is blogging
- FAQS for starting a blog.
- Benefits of blogging
- Starting a Professional Blog
- What should you be blogging about
- Selecting a good domain name
- Registering a domain name
- Purchasing a web hosting
- Setting up WordPress
- Choosing and customizing the WordPress Themes
- Best wordpress plugins for blog
- Creating a page in WordPress
- Creating wordpress blog posts
- Integrating Google analytics and Search Console
WHAT IS BLOGGING?
Before a blog used to be known as an online personal journal containing text, pictures, videos however its now more than that. People use blogging to express their creativity, express their ideas about their expertise so that it is useful for other people. Not only people but Nowadays every company have their own blog because it has numerous benefits for the company as well. .Blogging use to be just a hobby but now blogging as become a professional career. And In this guide, I will be teaching you how to create your blog in a professional manner.
If you are here that means you are interested in starting a blog and you are in the right place as I have tried to explain in the easiest way to start a blog in this guide.
Benefits of Blogging
Blogging has numerous benefits for both companies or even for an individual. Lets look at some of the benefits of blogging.
- Blogging helps you to connect with your potential and existing customer and maintain positive relationships.
- Blogging helps you rank in search engines so that you can enjoy free traffic to your websites.
- Blogging helps you to build trust and credibility regarding the selected topic and become the authority in the related subject
- Blogging helps to build your fans and followers and influence your thoughts.
- With blogging, you can enjoy the free marketing of your products and services.
- Blogging also helps you build your online Identity
- Blogging helps you to educate others as well as yourself.
- Blogging helps you to Improve writing, explore vocabularies and expertise in the related subject
- Blogging can help you to get a job regarding your subjects.
- You can become expert in your related field and Earn by selling related items or even through sponsored advertisements.
FAQ’S ON STARTING A BLOG
Do I need to be good at writing?
This is a most common questions that comes while starting a blog. You need to have a decent English skills if you want to do it in English. This would not be a problem for native speakers while for someone who are struggles writing in English, I recommend to start a blog where you are proficient at. But you need to make sure that there are plenty of audience will to read your blog.
How long does it take to start a blog?
With this guide you can start your own blog in less than 10 minutes. Technically, its not much difficult as usually people may think it is.
Blogging platform to select?
There are free hosting service and self-hosting options.
If you are looking at free hosting then you could do with blogger, Tumblr medium etc. However those platform does not provide you flexibility thus I do not recommend it since there is lack of freedom.
Should I write content on my own?
It is recommended that you start writing your own content in the niche that you love. Later you can also choose to outsource blog content to quality writers if you wish.
Should I start multiple blogs?
Blogging is a tedious work and takes loads of time and if you are creating multiple blog then it would be difficult in concentrating on both . For that reason , It is highly recommended to focus on blog at start and later you can create multiple blogs.
Do I need to know to code for starting a blog?
No you donot need to know coding to start a blog. Now a days creating a blog have been so easy that your blog gets ready in just few clicks. As you keep reading this blog you will set up a blog for you in no time. Having said that , Its good to have a basic knowledge of html and css if you like to customize your blog in your way.
What does it cost to start a blog?
For starting a blog, you need to have a domain name and hosting. There are some cases where you can get your domain name for free. Most of the domains costs around 3$ for 1st year and then recurring 10$.
Another expense would be hosting plan. And a hosting plan usually starts around 3$ per month.
What content should I write?
Initially , you will need to learn about keword research and competitor analysis in order to the find the topics to write about. Later after finding the topic to write , you can refer to top ranking articles and prepare outline that you want to include in your article by adding your own experience and examples with the content you refered.
How long does it take to start getting traffic?
Since your blog is new , you will need to concentrate on creating quality content for around 3 months . And you need to promote your blog through different social media platform and get referral traffic. When you have more content you are more likely to get more traffic.
How much money can be earned with blogging?
Its difficult to say exactly how much can be earned with blogging but there are many people who are making six figure or even seven figure income through blogging but it does takes a lot of smart work and persistence.
STEP 1 : SELECTING WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT
What topic to blog about?
One of the most common question that newbies ask is what to blog about. You have to find a niche to blog that you are comfortable with.
To find the niche you need to find out what you are really passionate about and can be monetized in some way. If you are blogging in something that you are not passionate about then you will quit doing it in some days which is definitely going to fail. When you love about the topic you are blogging you will find the motivation to blog about it from your inner heart.
A Quick guide to find your Passion
- What things I cannot stop talking about? Example: Technologies, Health,Politics, Fitness, Cooking etc. Could be anything.
- If friends were to ask for advice, what would they ask you? You might have consulted any of your friends regarding any subject.
- What do you want to learn more? You can blog as you are learning so that it you learn in more effective way.
- What excites you in life? Think about in life when you feel extremely excited about.
Blogging can be very time consuming. Make sure you can monetize your blog and make a living out of it.
A Quick guide to find profitability of niche:
- Are there plenty of affiliate products in the niche?
- Are there profitable keywords US people are searching for on Google?
- Can you create an informative or digital product in the niche?
- Can you offer a consultancy on the topic?
For instance, I love digital marketing and affiliate marketing and I’m extremely passionate about it and also it’s profitable and hence I chose this niche. While digital marketing is a very broad niche I am further narrowing into affiliate marketing to build myself as an authority in affiliate marketing niche.
As a beginner, It is not advisable to start a multi-niche blog. Selecting a niche is very important.
Advantages of selecting a niche.
- Topic relevance advantage – Google takes you as an expert in the niche
- Loyal readers (when you are writing in a niche, your audience will stick reading your blog), and as a result, there will be more direct traffic
- The rate of conversion will be high as it is more likely that people trust you as an expert in the particular niche
And also, for a single niche blog, the content publishing frequency can be low. But in the case of multi-niche, it’s often advisable to have multiple writers as the content publishing frequency will be more as you’ll be covering multiple topics.
STEP 2 : SELECTING THE BLOGGING PLATFORM
Self Hosted Blog Vs Free hosting service
There are many platforms where you can easily setup your blog in just few minutes. some of the most popular free blogging platforms are bloggers, tumblr , medium . However in this blog , I will be teaching how you can easily set setup your blog using wordpress in a professional manner. WordPress is one of the most popular platform for making websites and blogs because of its simplicity and customizability. On the top of that there are many communities so you can get support for wordpress easily . I highly recommend using wordpress for your blog.
Self Hosted Blog
- Requires hosting fees
- Full Control over website
- Custom themes and layout
- Customized domain name
Free Blog Platform
- Free to start
- Less proffesional
- Less flexible
- No custom domain name
Thus I highly recommend you to start with self hosted blog if you look to be professional blogger.
STEP 3 : SELECTING GOOD DOMAIN NAME
What is a domain name ?
A domain name is the name of the website. It is an address where Internet users access your website. If you look at Facebook, “facebook.com” is the domain name of the company. Similarly, “google.com” is the domain name for Google. It’s a very simple one but I am explaining for those who don’t know it.
There are people who say that domain name is not very important, content is the one that matters but I donot completely agree on it because the domain name is the initial touchpoint of your audience.
There are multiple extensions of the domain names. The most popular one is “.com” obviously such as “facebook.com “, “google.com” and these are more suited for an international audiences. If your target is a local audience such as since I am from Nepal “.com.np” is the local domain. For India, its “.in” and Similarly “.co.uk” for UK local domain. If you look at my case my primary audience will be Nepali and therefore website address is “sahanmaharjan.com.np” because its free and you also get an advantage in seo among local audiences. If you want to develop your personal brand then you can go with the domain name with your name such as mine. Since my primary audience will be Nepalese I am using .com.np domain.
Branding is one of the top factors for Search Engine Optimization (SE0) for google. It is best if you could name your domain the same as your brand name.
If you are wondering if you should have a keyword in the domain name then well having a keyword does not give any seo advantage. Its the relevancy of the content you publish when it comes to ranking.
Tip: Don’t go super-super specific when choosing a domain name because it could be hard for you to expand to the other similar niches.
After you have finalized your domain name then you can go with any of the domain name registrars NameCheap, Name.com of Godaddy.
You can go with any of those site. However, I personally like to use Namecheap.com as it provides great support, price, and free whois privacy.
Note : Some of the hosting providers provide free domain name for a year while buying hosting space so if you are buying hosting from such hosting space you might not need to buy from this.
STEP 4 : SELECTING WEB HOSTING
What is a web host?
A web hosting is a service that enables you to store all your files regarding your website and share your website to the world through the internet. You need a place to store all the files and folders on the internet. Actually websites are just a directory of files and various folders that are rendered through a server or particular domain name. So whenever you are thinking of starting a blog you need these two important things. i.e. a domain name and Web hosting.
Now there are different varieties of hosting available such as shared hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated hosting.
Shared Web Hosting (Recommended for Blogging)
- Shared web hosting service allows multiple websites to share a common physical webserver and its resources among hosted websites.
- Multiple websites utilizes a single server.
- Limit on total amount of resources.
- Cheapest Option
- Cloud hosting service provides hosting on virtual servers which pull their computing resource from extensive underlying network of physical web servers.
- Multiple connected servers.
- Reliability and Accessiblility, Seamlesss Scalability and Cost Efficiency.
- Should be established websites that need more resources.
- Dedicated hosting is an internet hosting option in which physical server is dedicated to single business customer.
- Get your own server. But need someone to manage your server.
- Customize according to your need.
- Extremely Fast and can handle enormous traffic.
- Suitable for big companies that drives millions of traffics.
Now let’s talk about free hosting. There are some free hosting companies however I donot recommend using those because they are not work it. You will face into various problems and there wont be any support. There are a lot of times you need to consult with the supports and you might end up clueless going with free hosting. Later they may charge you more as well. The prime difference between free and paid hosting is shown below.
- Only So called Free but not actually free.
- Limited server resources.
- Unstable Performance.
- No technical support.
- Hidden fees.
- Expensive renewal fees.
- Unlimited Space, bandwidth and email accounts.
- Free 1-Click Installation of WordPress
- Money Back Guarantee 24*7
- Experienced WordPress support
- Cheap and Affordable
- Highly Recommended.
Now I hope you have decided to go with the paid hosting. Now there are number of hosting provider such as Godaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, Siteground and many more. I have used many hosting and based upon my experience and other experts I found highly recommend to go for siteground hosting because it is best known for support and speed. I have talked with many support of different hosting and I just have to say that I love the supports of siteground and the performance is excellent as well. Well my second option for hosting is blue host which is quite decent compared to other hosting.
For me the Top two hosting companies are:
For this guide, I will be taking an example of siteground hosting.
If you are sure that you will be making only one website then you could go for startup plan however if you plan to host more than website then it is highly recommended to go with Grow Big plan . Most of the people go for Growbig because usually people host more then one website in their hosting.
Recent Update: Siteground has come up with the new offer because of corona outbreak. Inorder to ease people to start with website siteground is offering new startup plan which is 0.99$ for first 3 months. Its the best time to utilize your time.
Note: Your could go with the Startup plan only if you are in short of money now. However after 3 month you will have to pay the full price of the hosting at the regular rate. Still if look to have multiple websites then Growbig is the option.
If you have not bought your domain name yet then you can buy from siteground as well but its costlier than namecheap.com. If you want to register with siteground then choose “Register a New Domain” else if you already have a domain you can choose “I already have a domain” and enter the domain name and click proceed.
Next step is registering your account and entering payment details. Make sure you fill out all the required details of your internationally recognized card and you will have your own hosting purchased.
STEP 5 : SETTING UP WORDPRESS
STEP 6 : CHOOSING WORDPRESS THEME
STEP 7 :INSTALLING WORDPRESS PLUGINS
STEP 8 : CREATING WORDPRESS PAGES AND Posts
STEP 9 : INSTALLING GOOGLE ANALYTICS AND SEARCH CONSOLE