Starting a blog is a great way to connect with other people. It allows you to share your experience, your thoughts, and knowledge to your readers.
Also, am I the only one who sometimes starts to talk to myself like some crazy lady? I figured that instead of becoming the crazy lady who constantly talks to herself, I thought why not create a blog and share all this wisdom (one might argue), random, and crazy thoughts with all of you people.
At first, I thought that starting a blog was just writing about your hobbies and interests. But boy was I wrong.
Starting a blog needed a lot of work.
And that’s just the real, cold truth. Especially if you’re planning to create a successful blog.
I was once in your shoes too – no knowledge about blogging and was somewhat overwhelmed with the process of starting one.
So in this post, I’ll be explaining how to create a blog for beginners! I’ll try to make it as detail as possible, as well as sharing with you guys the mistakes I’ve made along the way – that will save you guys a lot of learning curve.
When I started, there were terms that I was unfamiliar with and processes that I was new to, so I hope that this guide will help you on your blogging journey soon.
So, if you’re ready, let’s get started 🙂
How To Create A Blog For Beginners
1. Brainstorm First
First things first, write your ideas down.
Get a piece of paper and write several topics that you’re into. Don’t think about it too much, just instantly jot down what’s on top of your head. This is important because you can’t set up a blog and constantly change the topic – you’ll leave your readers confused.
So right from the start, you should know what topics you are going to write about.
Here’s a question to start you off:
What do you enjoy doing? – do you like sports? Fashion? Arts? Technology? Answering this question will make this process easier. Everyone has a topic they love talking about.
If you end up choosing a topic that you only kinda like and not really love, you’ll be giving yourself a hard time in writing quality posts.
Why? Because when you’re writing about a topic that you’re really interested in, trust me, the flow of your writing will come naturally. This will produce excellent content and you’ll be more satisfied with the outcome.
I created ThatMillennialGirl, to help my readers generally improve their finances.
I love helping my friends with theirs and I wish to help more people out there who are looking for answers when it comes to personal finance.
I’ve read a ton of financial books, and I’ve learned so many strategies and ideas from them. So I figured why not share those learnings to the world? Plus, the idea of helping someone financially through my blogs brings me so much joy!
(Is this the feeling that teachers constantly get?! ?)
If you explore my blog, you’ll see that I don’t just write about money but I also make contents about life and career! I’m very passionate about those things as well.
So write about what you love and what you’re interested in!
My advice is NOT to dwell on this as much.
Yes, find something you love to write about. But don’t think about it for over a week. This process should be just a day maximum, just for you to sleep with the idea.
2. Choose A Web Hosting Platform
There are tons of blogging platforms out there. But the most important question that you should answer is should you go for a free platform or a self-hosted (paid) platform?
I) Free Blogging Platforms
Although free blogging platforms is the easiest and simplest route to take on, these type of platforms has its own limitations.
Some of the limitations would be:
1) No unique domain name – If you’re serious about blogging, a domain name that states only your brand or blog name is the way to go. It’s professional and adds credibility to your blog.
Examples of domain names under a free blogging platform would be:
Doesn’t look legit right? Let’s say you’re searching for a finance blog and you have two choices:
Which one are you going to choose? I’m pretty sure you’ll end up clicking the first link.
2) Restrictions – By using a free platform, you will be abiding by their rules and restrictions.
Some platforms might not allow ads on your website, but they’ll allow their own ads. Other restrictions would include, limited storage space and media usage.
Even if you’re not really serious about blogging for now, and you just want an outlet to write about the things you like, I still suggest you get a self-hosted platform.
II) Paid Blogging Platforms
With a self-hosted platform, you get to run a blog using your own domain name. You get to use FinancePro.com – which makes your brand more legit!
You also have more room to work with. You’re now fully in charge of your content and media. You’ll also be granted a lot more storage for your blog as well.
What I use is SiteRubix by Wealthy Affiliate! Not only does their premium account allow me to host 25 websites but their platform also gives out the necessary tools to make money off my blogs! If you’re looking at a course that teaches how to blog and monetize through affiliate marketing, I highly suggest Wealthy Affiliate because of a few main reasons:-
- Very detailed training, done for beginners in mind
- Comes with website hosting
- You can get a FREE self-hosted domain name
- You’ll get access to Jaaxy keyword research tool – which is extremely important for all bloggers out there
Another thing that I love about Wealthy Affiliate would be their customer support – it’s the best one out there. This is important for me because when I was new in website making, every question I threw at their customer support was answered quickly.
So quick they answered me in literally 2 minutes. Yes, 2 minutes. Check out my conversation with them today when I was having some problems uploading my new website theme.
This is definitely one of the reasons why I’ve become a member of Wealthy Affiliate for 2 years now. The community (both members & founders) never disappoint!
If you’re not looking to join Wealthy Affiliate, and you want to get another hosting, a lot of bloggers out there are recommending Bluehost and it’s great if you’re just starting out because of the price. It’s probably the cheapest one out there that you can get.
However, I have heard that once your blog gets bigger and you get more traffic to your blog, Bluehost can sometimes crash.
I have never gotten any problems with my website crashing – ever with Wealthy Affiliate. So if you’re going with Bluehost, just keep this in mind. You can get your website restored (if you back it up properly), by the way. But it’s just a hassle and trouble whenever that happens.
Another suggestion other than Bluehost that you can take a look at is SiteGround. I have personally used both Bluehost and SiteGround before I joined Wealthy Affiliate and I can tell you that both are good. Bluehost has never crashed on my website, but I have read and heard it’s crashed on other people’s websites before.
That being said, of all the complaints I’ve heard about Bluehost, many of Bluehost’s ex-customers now went to SiteGround. Just putting it out there so you can make a better decision.
My pro tip is, if you’re not sure how far you’ll go with the blogging world, you can join Wealthy Affiliate as a FREE member and enjoy creating 1 website using their hosting platform.
3. Create A Domain Name
Your domain name is your blog’s name or…. well, close to it. This is important because this will be your address on the internet.
This is what people will write on their browser’s search bar to find your website.
Take time in choosing a domain name because it will be tied to your blog and brand. An excellent domain adds credibility and makes your blog look professional.
So what are some of the characteristics of a good domain name?
1. Simplicity – you want your domain name to be simple so that people will remember it easily. Try your best not to add any complicated and uncommon words.
2. Length – a good rule of thumb when it comes to lengths of a domain name should be 2 to 3 words. We want our readers to easily remember our website.
3. Keywords – this is an important factor since we want the website visitors to know what our blog is all about. Are we a finance blog, a fashion blog, or a lifestyle blog. So adding a keyword that reflects what your blog is a great addition to your domain name.
If you’ve exhausted your brain power, there are websites that can help you generate a domain name. You can also check out those websites to get more ideas on what you can call your blog.
Pro tip: Put time and effort into creating the name for your blog. List down your name ideas first and you can start picking from there.
4. Build Your Website
Once you’ve chosen your domain name and title, there will be an option to let you continue on building your website.
In the case of using Wealthy Affiliate, it will instantly provide you with the domain details.
Wealthy Affiliate allows you to build a website by using SiteRubix which is a website builder that was developed by the Wealthy Affiliate‘s team themselves. SiteRubix uses WordPress as its content management system (CMS).
Using the domain details, you will now have access to building your website. To change the theme of your site, you can click “appearance” on the side tab and click on “themes”.
Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can click on “activate” and then click the “visit site” above.
(You should delete the theme that you’re no longer using, just to save some storage space. I clearly didn’t at this time. But I had deleted a lot of them now. Don’t make my mistake)
Picking the right theme can take up a lot of your time since there are thousands of available themes at WordPress.
If you’re a beginner, the number 1 theme I’ll ever recommend is Generate Press (like you’ve seen in the screenshot above). Because it’s sooooo fast. Having a fast website is really crucial for your website’s overall performance. You can check out Google’s Pagespeed Insights to check your website’s speed.
When I first started blogging, I wanted to have the prettiest blog out there, without taking into account my website’s page speed. And because of this, it’s been so much harder for me to get ranked on Google, even though I’ve tried every single SEO optimization out there (I clearly didn’t get the memo of page speed before).
On top of that, if you are planning to promote your blog on social media, you need to make sure you have a fast performing website because if not, you’ll end up with a very high bounce rate OR no pageview at all.
There’s a free version of Generate Press as well as paid. I personally went with paid so that I can get a bit more customization on my website. But the free version works fine too.
But, if you are looking for a website theme that can give you a lot more customization AND beginner-friendly too, you can check out Divi theme. This is what I’m currently using on my website right now.
It gives a lot of customization that you need and they have a 30-day money-back guarantee! They only have the paid version, and you can choose whether to go for the annual or lifetime plan. I would advise you to choose the annual plan FIRST. If you feel like you’re gonna stick through Divi after a year, then you can just upgrade to the lifetime plan.
There are a lot of customizations that you can do in a WordPress blog, but for now, let’s stick with only customizing the theme – since it will be the dominant layout that the viewers will see on your website.
5. Write And Publish A Blog Post
To start writing a post, click on “Posts” on the left menu.
Once you’ve clicked it, don’t be surprised if there’s already a post. It’s a default post whenever a new WordPress blog is created. You can just click “Trash” to delete it.
Once you’ve deleted it, you can click the “Add New” button at the top and left menu button, to finally start writing!
It will take you to the writing page. This where the magic happens. The magic isn’t the layout of your website, but it’s the content that it provides to the readers!
So put your title for the blog on the top box, and type the contents of your blog post on the bigger box. Don’t worry you can still save this as a draft and preview it – check the right-hand side of the screen for the buttons.
If you want to add an image, you can simply click add media and select the file from your computer. You can also add a thumbnail for your post by clicking the “featured image” option on the lower right side of the screen:
And if you’re done editing and checking your post, then it’s time to publish it! Just click the “publish” button on the right side. Once you’ve done it, there will be an option at the top “view post“.
And there you have it! You just posted your first blog on your website!
I know that some of you might be wondering how did I get back the Classic editor of WordPress and why is your dashboard looking differently?
The thing is, WordPress’s current update is called Gutenburg and many website owners (including me) don’t really like it. It’s supposed to be better at User Interface (UI) but I just really like and had gotten used to the old WordPress editor. Therefore, if you’re also looking at how to get the Classic Editor back, you can simply install the Classic Editor plugin to your WordPress. And that’s it 🙂
What To Do Next?
Aside from customizing your website, you should also put your focus on creating valuable content for your readers.
But as you go on with your career in blogging, you would realize that writing quality content isn’t enough. You should also aim for ranking in search engines so more traffic will go into your website as well as promoting your websites on social media platforms.
Why Did I Choose Wealthy Affiliate?
I chose to be a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate because it’s the all in one package. Not only can they host websites, but they also provide lessons to help you start a blog and monetize it.
If you’ve read reviews about Wealthy Affiliate, you can see that people praise them for their up to date training modules and their weekly live video classes and a lotttt more. They also provide a keyword research tool with unlimited searches. A tool that’s important if you want to keep your blog relevant in your niche and also to rank high in search engines.
Wealthy Affiliate has been around for 15 years already. And its community is filled with success stories. Plus, the platform is designed so you can ask around the community members in an easy way.
To see the side by side comparison of the starter and the premium account, you can check it here.
As I’ve mentioned at the start, blogging can be a lot of work. But it’s the type of work that’s fun and exciting!
So when are you going to start your own blog? 🙂