How Do I Start My Own Blog? A Comprehensive Guide!
If you are looking to start generating passive income and need an outlet for your creative genius, then a blog might be right for you.
If you are looking for a free, easy, step-by-step guide on how to start a blog, then look no further. This guide is a very basic and beginner level instruction manual on getting started.
This completely free guide on how to start a blog will show you step-by-step ways (with pictures) on how to create a functional money making blog.
Ready to start the simple step-by-step tutorial?
Hello everyone, I have recently started writing blogs on a few different platforms, and I am going to walk you down the same path I am going down with GoPakistan.com. This is the second blog I have ever maintained in my life and the first one was for another business I owned, however, GoPakistan.com is the first primary blog company I have started.
Starting a blog hasn’t been that difficult, however, there is a lot to keep up with. My free guide is all about how to blog for beginners, and I hope to teach anyone how to blog even if they have the most basic of computer skills. No matter what age you are, you can begin a blog in under 30 minutes.
I have made several mistakes while starting my blogs, and to help you avoid making the same mistakes I would love to share my experiences with you. I have sat down to create this free guide so anyone can learn how to blog quickly and easily (yep you guessed it that was a keyword insertion!)
So what is a blog?
In short, a blog is a website that primarily has written content, which are known as blog posts. You can pretty much start a successful blog on any topic your heart desires. Just make sure you have a passion for it, or you might burn out quickly.
Like many others, I tend to focus my blogs on personal experiences. This allows me to keep them updated easily and my readers can see my passions come across. Also, most blogs contain a “comments” section at the end where their readers can message the author. If you maintain a strong interaction with your readers in the comments section, then you will keep them engaged and coming back.
Having a direct connection with your reader is one of the most important aspects of having a successful blog. You are able to interact and share ideas with other like-mind individuals which allows you to build trust. Earning your reader’s trust and loyalty opens the door to making money from your blog later. This connection allows you to interact and share ideas with other like-minded people.
Is starting a blog for you?
Most people think you need to be a great writer to start a blog. Wrong! One reason people read blogs is to see someone else’s personal perspective on a particular subject. Most blogs write in their own style which is more conversational in nature. You do have to have excellent grammar skills however, if you want to be taken seriously.
In addition, being an expert in your particular topic isn’t all that necessary. People like to learn from the mistakes of others, so don’t be afraid to admit you’ve made a few errors along the way. This again helps build trust and build a loyal following.
What is the main ingredient to being successful writing a blog? Being Passionate About Your Topic!
At it’s core, blogging is about sharing your passions and experiences with the world. You have to chose a topic that excites you. As I mentioned earlier, if you are passionate then you are more willing to write the blogs and the blogs are easier to write. If you are wanting to write about several topics, then make sure you chose topics that interest you. You passion will always come out and the reader will enjoy reading or listening to you.
With internet growth exploding in Pakistan, there are more readers than ever for your blog. What are you waiting for? Let’s see how to get started!
See Related Article: “How To Make Money From Blogging“
Time to start your blog!
Step 1: Choose a Topic and a Name:
You have to pick your topic before you can pick a name.
What are your:
- Favorite things to do and what are you passionate about? Starting with your hobbies or anything else that might interest you is the perfect place to start. People write about cooking, sports, health, traveling. However, it is also very good to write more niche targeted blogs that might be more obscure type of hobbies. Maybe you’re the only person in the world that loves Pokemon figures riding on Ferrari’s and you have a whole blog dedicated to it. Don’t steal my idea! Or do, I’m not going to use it.
- Your life experiences! This one is something I enjoy. We all have learned lessons from mistakes and experiences, so it’s great to share this knowledge with other people that might also be in the same situation. I recently moved out to the country from the city, and I could write a whole blog about all the things I have had to learn about country living verses city living. Experience blogs are great and really add a lot of value for your readers.
- Maybe you want a personal blog. For the egocentric ones, these blogs are all about you! Write about your daily experiences, write about things you like to do for fun. Or you can write about random thoughts or something funny you heard on the radio. You don’t really have to stick with one topic on these types of blogs because you are the center piece.
Step 2: Now Let’s Get Your Blog Online For The World To See
After getting your name registered, it is now time to get your blog online via a web host. I will walk you through the steps below so it won’t be too difficult. The goal of this post is to make it as simple as possible to get you up and running.
You will need two things before you go live. You need a place to host your blog, “web host” and a blogging content management system or CMS for short. You can typically find these things packaged together like on GoDaddy.com.
A web hosting company is one that stores all of the files associated with your blog and serves your pages to a user when they type in your domain name.
You will also need to set up WordPress which is the top blogging CMS available in the world today. For this guide, you will learn how to use WordPress to setup, build and maintain your blog.
Let’s use the company BlueHost to set up your blog. They will make the job of setting up the blog the easiest because they have many of the setup tasks already built into the setup wizard.
Here is a list of things BlueHost can do for you right from the get go.
- You can register your domain through them for free!
- They will automatically install a WordPress instance on your account. (No Programmer Needed)
- WordPress loves BlueHost and has recommended them since 2005.
- I have used their customer service many times and it has always been responsive and helpful.
- If you are not satisfied, they have a no-risk money back guarantee.
1. Click here to register with BlueHost for $3.75 per month. Then click “get started now”.
2. Select your plan. You can just start off with the basic plan and then build up as you grow more traffic.
3. Domain name section of the BlueHost signup process.
If you do not have a domain name yet, then enter that on the left side of the screen. If you have a domain name, then enter it on the right side of the screen. If you want a domain name with a .pk extension, then you will need to go to https://www.pknic.net.pk to register your domain name.
4. After the domain page, you will need to enter your customer account details on the next page.
This is very self-explanatory, just fill in your name, address, etc.
5. After you enter your customer information you will see the options below.
You can select any account plan you wish to do. Of course the longer time frame you select the cheaper the monthly price.
For now you can just unselect all the options. You can always add them later if you want to.
6. After creating your password, you will then have the very beginnings of a blog! You will need to select a theme to start with, don’t worry this can be changed at anytime.
This is when your instance of WordPress will be installed. WordPress is the engine that will power your blog! Once WordPress is installed completely, click “Start Building” and you will be logged into your blog.
You will also receive an email with your WordPress login credentials. (Your WordPress admin login will be different than your BlueHost admin login credentials.)
Step 3: Now let’s customize your blog.
First let’s log in to the admin dashboard.
Go to http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin and you should see the login screen. Screenshot below. Bluehost should have sent you this information via email.
Change Your Blog Design (Theme)
After you login, you will see the dashboard area. It can be overwhelming at first, but you will just need to concentrate on a few key areas first. After you get the hang of the areas I show you below, you can branch out and start customizing other sections.
With just a few clicks, you can completely change your blog’s look and feel. See the screenshot below to configure your theme. A theme is what WordPress designates as the website’s entire design and layout. So items that look the same on each page such as the header, logo, menu and footer will be a part of your theme.
To change the theme click on the Appearance Menu Item on the left.
WordPress already has a few themes installed on your account. You can easily select one of these and publish it as your theme. These are basic, very clean and many bloggers do use these. However, since many bloggers do use them, you won’t really stand out from the crowd very well. So, after you get familiar with blogging and using WordPress you can always buy a theme from ThemeForest.com and install it later.
When you are ready to change the theme to one that is already installed, you will just hover your mouse over the activate button and it’s done!
If you do want to install a different theme that is not listed in your selection, you will need to click “Add New” (see screenshot below).
After clicking “Add New”, you will be able to upload a new theme or search other themes in the WordPress universe. Apply different filters to get the exact look and feel you are wanting.
When you find a theme you like on ThemeForest.com, you will need to purchase it and download it in .ZIP format. After that, you will come back to this screen in WordPress and select “Choose File” and “Install”.
After the theme is uploaded and installed, you will hover over it and click the “Activate” button. Your new theme will instantly be available for the world to see.
Changing your theme is very simple, and even after you change your theme, there are still a multitude of customizations you can do from there. You will go into the Theme settings and make selections that suite your taste. You can change the font, font size, theme colors, menu options, etc.
Step 4: Let’s start writing that first blog post!
Now it’s time to write your first blog post.
To start, you will go to the left menu and click “Posts” and then “Add New”.
You can go ahead and delete the “Hello World” default blog article. Then click “Add New”. You will then come to the post editor section. Enter your blog title in the title field and then start writing in the body section. “Sections are marked on the screenshot below”.
Click the “Add Media” button to add images or videos to your blog post. You can save a draft of your blog post, or if you are finished with the blog post, you can press the Publish button!
Time To Publish Your Blog
If you still see the “Coming Soon” page on your website, then you will need to go the BlueHost menu item on the top left. Just click the blue “Launch” button and this will launch your website, thus removing the “Coming Soon” page.
Great job! You now have a live blog!
Step 5: Now It Is Time To Promote Your Website
For you to get readers coming to your blog you will need to promote it. If you want to keep visitors coming back over and over, you will need to write great original content. Focus heavily on adding value to people lives by writing how to articles, recipes, compelling arguments, your experiences, and many other interesting topics.
One of the main ways I am using right now to bring awareness to GoPakistan is by posting links of my articles on LinkedIn and Facebook. I have amassed a large following on LinkedIn over the years and this is a perfect place to post links to GoPakistan content. If you don’t have a large following built up on your social media channels, then you may have to pay to promote some of your articles.
If you create super high-quality content, then your readers will share your blog posts to their friends, and your articles have a chance to go viral. I have written several viral pieces over the years and that is why my follower-ship on LinkedIn is so high.
Getting new readers to your blog is not enough to support you long term. You also need to make sure your visitors keep coming back over time. To do this, you will need to nurture an email subscriber list. Have an email subscriber popup on your website to try and capture subscribers, when you are collecting their emails, you can notify them every time you have a new blog post. This keeps people coming back and when you have a large enough email subscriber list, you can start sending them offers to goods and services.
Step 6: Make money blogging
Getting your blog setup, writing great content and promoting your blog is the hard part. Making money is the easy part. After you have established a name for yourself and established a large follower list, then you can sell anything. Traffic is the name of the game, if you have it, then you have unlimited options.
See Related Article: “How To Make Money From Blogging“
Focus your first few years on getting traffic and becoming popular. Once your blog becomes famous, advertisers will flock to your website to get their brand seen by your followers.
I will continue to expand on all the topics of blogging in later post, such as:
- Monetizing Your Email Subscriber List
- Setting up Google Adsense
- How to Professionally Promote Your Blog
- How to Attract Advertisers
Stay tuned to GoPakistan for more!