Starting a blog for the first time can seem like a daunting task. Once you launch the process, you will see it is not a hard thing to do, and the benefits to your business will be immense. Following these five steps will help you create a great blog in 2017.
Step 1: What do you want to blog about?
If you want to start a blog for your business, then it is easy. You will blog about your field, products or services you provide. Blogging is not only for businesses though; individuals can find many uses for a blog. As a personal blog, you can take more liberty in the topics you choose to blog about.
- Topics you enjoy
- Activities you do in your free time
- Pick a niche and establish yourself as an authority so that people will turn to you for advice
Step 2: Decide on what platform to use for your blog
I will not go into much detail here; there are a lot of different services out there. If you are blogging for fun, then you may want to choose one of the many free services such as WordPress. Although with the adage “you get what you pay for” does apply here. With a free service, you will be very limited in what you can and cannot do. Whether you choose to blog in your free time or for your business paying for a platform is not very expensive.
For my blog, I self-host using WordPress. One benefit of WordPress is that it is open sourced so if you are technically minded you can edit your source code. However, if you do not want to mess around with coding, you can install plugins or themes built by other people.
Step 3: Decide on the name of your blog
You want to choose a name that is relevant to what you blog about. A name in most cases will also be your domain name. You do not have to self-host to have a domain name with WordPress, for a fee you can buy an URL and use map it for WordPress. If you are blogging for your business, then you would integrate your blog into your site.
Step 4: Decide where you will host your blog
If you use the free version of WordPress, then you will be hosting on WordPress servers at wordpress.com. Although if you decide to self-host, you will have to find someone to host your blog for you. For self-hosting, some of the more popular options are to use Bluehost or what I use is Flywheel.
Step 5: Design your blog
Now that your blog is up and running, you are going to want to start customizing your layout. This can be one of the most exciting parts of starting your new blog. On WordPress, there are thousands of themes you can choose from. If you do not like one of those themes you have the option of uploading a custom-made theme. You can do this by buying a theme, or you can hire a web designer that can create a unique site for your needs.