How to Start a Blog from Scratch in 10 Easy Steps
If you’ve always wanted to know how to start a blog, here are ten easy steps you can take to build your blog from scratch.
Blogging can be a fantastic way to build your brand, get your voice out there, and – with dedication – earn money.
A lot of people have that driving urge to start a blog but never get started because they don’t know where to begin.
Well, my friends, it’s time to demystify blogging once and for all. If you’ve always wanted to know how to start a blog, here are ten easy steps you can take to build your blog from scratch.
1. Choose Your Niche – With Google’s Help!
You may have a penchant for organic gardening or a love of new tech, but will that interest translate into a passion that you can write about consistently for months or years? A great way to really hone in on what you should blog about is to download your Google data and take a look at what you spend your time focusing on online already.
This is a foolproof trick for picking a sustainable niche for you. The goal is to choose a niche that you are familiar with and that you have the will and desire to become a thought leader in.
When you look at your past search history, you may uncover some interesting trends, giving you the ah-ha moment you need when it comes to picking a niche that excites and inspires you.
2. Get Granular with Your Niche
Now, it's time to take that niche and turn it into your own thing. How can you narrow down your chosen focus? The more focused your topic, the easier it will be for you to stand out in the online world as an original voice.
For example, instead of creating a general organic gardening blog, brainstorm what type of organic gardening applies to your interests, values, and experience.
Then, organic gardening can transform from something basic into a dynamic, colorful, totally-you subject that no one else is writing about – for example, you could become the blogging expert on:
Organic community gardening and a million ways to give back with food
Organic gardening solutions for urban dwellers who are passionate about green living
How organic gardening is changing the world, one garden at a time – news, trends, and inspirational stories in the world of organic gardening.
Don’t these topics sound way more exciting than ‘organic gardening’?
Once you determine your granular topic, it’s time to move on to the next step.
This is where the fun and creativity begin because it’s the first time you truly take ownership of your blog. This is the seed moment – when you create your domain name and buy it.
Come up with a domain name that:
Matches your niche and, if possible, includes a keyword related to your topic
Is shorter rather than longer – short domain names, such as two or three words, are catchier, which means your audience is more likely to remember it
You are proud of – take the time to choose a domain name you’re really happy with. You may want to make a shortlist and then sleep on it. If you wake up and are excited about your domain, it’s a winner.
Is original – when you go to buy your domain name, you’ll only be able to purchase a name that doesn’t already exist.
You can buy a domain with an established domain registrar such as Namecheap, Bluehost, GoDaddy, or HostGator. You don’t need to register your domain name with the same company you choose to host your website with. In fact, you’ll have more flexibility if you want to switch hosting providers in the future if you use different providers.
Once you register your domain name, you can sign up with a web hosting provider. Again, stick with reputable companies – most of the domain registrars listed above also act as web hosts. Take the time to compare the advantages of different web hosts to pick the provider you’re comfortable using.
Start writing content for your blog. You can do this yourself, or you can hire freelancers to create the content for you on sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. Try to create a publishing schedule for your blog, such as posting three times per week or once a week. Consistent posting helps you to stay committed to building your blog, and it also helps your blog rank well on search engines.
Just because you publish posts on your blog, it doesn’t mean anyone will be able to find it. You’ll have to submit your sitemap to Google, keep an eye on your data with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, and continue to refresh your content to get the most out of every post.
You can tap into your existing networks or create dedicated social media pages for your blog. Use your social media sites to share your blog posts and other relevant content that relates to your topic. This is a great way to build your blog’s authority and to establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
Once you’ve published a few posts so people can get a feel for what your blog is all about, you can start signing up with affiliate programs. There are major affiliate networks like Commission Junction and Amazon Associates that will connect you with a variety of brands.
You can also sign up as an affiliate directly with some brands. Choose the ones that align with your blog and your blog’s mission – for example, if you are writing about organic gardening, you don’t want to sign up as an affiliate with a company that sells chemical fertilizers.
One of the most powerful steps you can take to improve your blog’s SEO is to create organic backlinks. To do this, reach out to other websites in your niche and ask if they’d like you to write a guest post. You can also engage with other bloggers and content creators in your niche, posting comments, sharing their content on your social media channels, and linking to their content. This can help to encourage the same engagement with your blog, especially as you continue to build your site with quality content.
10. Keep It Up!
Great work – you’ve started your blog, and it’s chugging along. Now, the objective is to keep moving forward and learning along the way. Post and update your blog frequently. This helps with SEO and gives your readers a reason to keep coming back.
Now that you know how to start your blog, there’s nothing stopping you. So, whip up a cup of cocoa, throw in a couple of marshmallows, and start building your dream!