The ultimate blogging guide for beginners: How to start a blog

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When I thought to write on a procedure of blogging for beginners, I had no idea how long it will take to word it down. I summarized the whole story behind blogging and came up with this post. I have explained all the important points in detail so that at the end of your reading you will be able to create your own blog. So just don’t get afraid of the length. It is a blog post written on my own experience.

What is blogging

In this globe, people are always ready to learn, excited to try new things and appreciate creative things. Blogging is an activity through which you can show the world what you have. If you have something that can make people’s life easy or better, you can offer it to them. And the fun part is, that “something” can be anything, people will accept you anyway.Blog

There are some techniques and ways to bring traffic to your service and make it productive. That’s why you should know about few beginners blogging things because you don’t want your hard work to go waste.

Isn’t starting a blog hard??

Nope, not at all. At the age of 18, trust me I had no clue from where should I start, how to start, what’s gonna happen next. But as I was highly inclined towards my passion I did some real depth research on blogging and today, here I am. I came across many obstacles during my process as I had no guidance. It took lots of time to understand me the hacks of blogging. That’s the reason why I am going to talk about this. Because I don’t want you to do the same mistakes I did when I started blogging first. I really want you to grow wasting no time.

Whenever you heard the word blogging, does HTML, JAVA or CSS comes to your mind?? Relax, I promise you don’t need to know any single of these. If you have zero knowledge of coding, it’s certainly cool. The only thing you need to know is basics of computer.

I started blogging at the age of 18. It was very difficult for me to understand the mystery behind the word “BLOGGING”. Again in India, I found no proper course or tutor to learn from scratch. With lots of fall-rise and experiences, after 3 years, today I am a regular blogger of my profitable blog Kiyashmi.

Be positive towards your goal

You want to start a blog?? I am sure there are multiple questions in your head.

  • Will it hamper my study life? 
  • What are my friends and family gonna say about it?
  • Do I write well?
  • How come people will get to know about my blog?? etc.

I am a Mechanical Engineer and have a pressure of a variety of subjects, exams, and assignments of every semester. But I had a magnetic attraction towards blogging and started it. Today I run a blog along with my final year engineering courses simultaneously. I have never seen any negative impact of blogging on my studies. Starting a blog has given me a plethora of new skills, a wonderful and supportive circle of friends, and a hobby that is super fun and also profitable.

Well, let me tell you something. Before starting a blog, be confident in yourself. Love your own work and have faith in it. Because blogging is not just a copy-paste work. Your blog is gonna be your identity where you will speak your heart out to the world. And believe me, only then you will be appreciated by the people.

To start a blog, you don’t need to be a pro in writing. If your ideas and feelings are reflected in your words, people will accept you anyway. In various blogging platforms, you can create your contents easily which will be discussed later on.

If you have something really very interesting to offer, let me tell you, people are hungry for knowledge and your popularity will depend upon your publicity.(I will discuss it too)

Soo, If you have an extra half hour then you can set up a blog today. I am going to try to make the process as easy as possible for you all. Let’s start it.

Step 1:

How to choose a proper niche:

As you have made up your mind now to start a blog, the next question is –

What niche you should choose to write?? Very first and very important.

  • whenever you are going to start a blog, imagine yourself in next three years.
  • Keeping that in mind, take a notebook and a pen.
  • Write down your strength, capabilities, and creativity.
  • Now, just stretch all the points. Which point you are able to stretch to no limit??
  • Congratulations, you have found your blog niche.

The niche of your blog can be anything. If you can cook make a food blog, if you are a photographer make a photography blog, If you have some talent of swing machine make a blog where you can teach people to operate it. Blog niche has no criteria.

But make sure, when you choose a blog niche, you won’t be tired of working on that. Personal Lifestyle blogs take more time than other blogs (Although I own a lifestyle blog) because you have to attract people towards your lifestyle and that is not easy at all. I am not saying it is bad. Once it gets established you will have some huge money and large fame.

Another point you should keep in mind while choosing your blog niche is-

If you want a profitable blog in future, make a revenue model of your blog. A bigger and clear vision is most required when you thinking of monetizing your blog.

Step 2:

Domain and Hosting:

 

Why you should go for self-hosted??

Let us take an example If you search in google and there are two options pop up. which one would you prefer- loveforfashion.com or loveforfashion.wordpress.com?? Ofcourse loveforfashion.com right?? You definitely don’t want some word press or Blogspot in between your name and .com. That’s what I always wanted before starting a blog, but that’s not FREE. As I am a college student I started saving some money and finally invested in my own domain and hosting. I could have chosen word press or blogspot hosting as I was a fresher in that field. But why I chose to invest some money in domain and self-hosting?? Let me reveal you the reasons-

  • You have full right to your own contents. When you use free platforms like blogger or word press, they control your contents, which you definitely don’t want to.
  • Tell your readers that, yes you are a serious blogger. You chose loveforfashion.com over loveforfashion.wordpress.com because you lost few drops of faith on the free wordpress hosting website. Thus if you choose free platforms to work with you will not be able to reach your deserved traffic, which is, of course, a great loss.
  • Initially, I wanted to start with a free platform to check whether it will work for me or not. Drop that stupid idea. Because when your mind will change and you want to switch your site to a self-hosted blog, trust me, it is extremely disgusting and a long way. Rather I chose to invest a little money on self-hosting at the beginning only. It is a small investment that is worth spending.

Your head is gonna spin if you count the number of hosting sites on the internet. As a beginner and a student, I always wanted a site which provides the best service under my budget. I certainly won’t recommend you to invest hundreds of dollars at the very beginning. After lots of research, I came up with an excellent web hosting site Bluehost.com

 

Almost 80% bloggers including me use their service and by far I have not faced any problem with it.

Recently Bluehost has introduced to a new offer with 30 days money back guarantee. Which I think absolutely great to start with. 

-View their Domain plans.

 

 

While choosing the domain name for your site, remember few things:

  • Nitushmita.com looks more attractive and professional than Nitushmita5467.com.
  • Choose a domain name that meets your vision and topics you cover. Your domain name is the identity of your blog and that is the main thing which is gonna pull traffic to your blog.
  • If your name is already taken, go by your own name and customize it creatively.

 

As now you have a domain in your hand, you can invest your WORTH TO SPEND money on it. To checkout, I have chosen the Hostin plan as per my budget. Being a college student and beginner I don’t have to spend lots of money. So I have chosen a plan that cost $5.45 which is almost 360 Rs. Well, I can obviously spend that much money which is gonna give me a lot in return.

 

 

If there is no any different idea in your mind, I strongly recommend you to stick with .com

 

Now, you have a registered domain and hosting site in your hand.

Step 3:

Come to the fun part now. You are just a few steps away from creating your own customized blog.

Dear readers, be patient!! The time depends on how much you wanna play with your word press site. Not necessarily you have to follow the exact same steps. I am gonna guide you through word press and you will choose everything according to yourself.

You have a domain and hosting in your hands now. Login to word press and click on the Dashboard. Your Dashboard will look like this.

(This is what my Word press looks like. That’s why you can see the red numbers after updates and plugins). There are a lot of things in word press to learn, but once you get into the basic, you will actually find it easy.

Let’s start it

Appearance:

Here the most important thing begins. Appearance is what your website will look like.

 

Themes:

Decide your theme as per your niche, something where you will invest time and money. Inside themes, you will see a huge number of themes. Install the theme which matches your niche and also look good when someone visits your site. Don’t worry, you can change your theme at any time if you do not like what it looks like.

I spent a lot of time deciding on my theme and I almost installed 30 + themes which are totally crazy. Now I am working with Activello and by far I have no plan to change it. From my research I found some beautiful themes which you can go for. these themes didn’t meet my niche but may meet your blogging niche.

  • BLOG INN
  • OMEGA
  • PLACID
  • SERENTI
  • SYDNEY
  • VERITY

Customize:

You can click on customize and have a live view. This can save your time. If you do not like the appearance, you can change it in the same tab.

 

Widget:

Under widget you will have four section- Sidebar, Footer Widget Area 1, Footer Widget Area 2, Footer Widget Area 3. Now widget have a very important role in your website. You can customize it like the way you want. Today, I will talk about 4 must needed a widget for your website.

For better appearance, I recommend these widgets to use in the sidebar. All you need to do is drag the following widgets to the sidebar.

  • Blog subscription: Its important for your blog to collect e-mails. People who lands on your website, you definitely want them to subscribe and have a relationship with your blog.
  • Gravatar profile: Your small introduction should be appeared on your Home page. People would love to know about the author before falling in love with the content.
  • Recent post extended: Your one post will pull visitors to your other published posts. This widget links your older posts on your Home page.
  • Text: In this widget, you can post any ads, and referral link to monetize your blog.

Next you need to work with Menus:

Menus:

Menu is where your pages and categories lie. You want basically two menus for your site- Home menu and social menu. Home menu will be your primary menu and it will appear at the top of your site. This is how my Home menu look like-

 

Let me tell you how I made this menu.

STEPS:

  1. Go to Pages and click on Add new.
  2. Create pages Home, about and Contact.
  3. Go the Post on the dashboard and click on categories.
  4. Create all the new categories
  5. Now, come to appearance and click on the menus. 
  6. Click on the create menu and keep adding page and categories.
  7. Your menu is ready and click save menu.

Now you have a website with a menu and widgets.

Lets talk about some important plugins you must install:

  • Contact form 7 : This is the plugin with the help of which you will make the Contact form.

Steps

  1. Install contact form 7 plugin and activate it.
  2. Go to the plugin settings and copy the shortcode.
  3. Paste the shortcode on your contact 7 page and save it.

Your contact page will look like this.

  • Google Analytic Dashboard for WP: This plugin shows your site performance and statistics. You can analyse your site activities with this plugin and it is very important for the growth of your site. This is how google analytics analyses my site.

  • Recent post widget extended: I have already discussed about it in the widget section. For that, you need to install the plugin and activate it.
  • Sumo me: This is my favorite plugin. :) . It builds my subscriber email list, creates subscription pop up and analyses shares of my site. This plugin is very user friendly and therefore I highly recommend it to beginners.
  • WP socializer : This plugin connects your site to your social media accounts which a site can not grow. It adds native social media buttons, icons, floating sharebar, follow us buttons, profile icons, mobile sharebar and selected text share popups easily with complete control and customization.
  • Yoast SEO: This is gonna be your most efficient tool. With the help of this tool, you can work with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) easily and help your post to appear at the front page of google.

You can obviously find many more plugins in word press. These are just basics. Explore the plugins and find those which will be beneficial for your blog.

Let me tell you one most important thing

I forgot to build my subscriber email list at the beginning and that was one of my biggest mistake. Because I lost many visitors.

Why this is important:

Suppose a visitor liked one of your post. He expects more contents from you so that he can read it. But it is not possible for a person to visit your blog daily. You have to notify them via email so that they get to know about your new content and be your repeat visitor. That is why the collection of email is very important. 

I am using Elucify- a free software currently. The software saves my time. I can find any email address related to my blogging business easily.

And here you have it, you are officially a blogger now

You have got a self-hosted word press site including all necessary plugins, widgets and a beautiful theme. Now you have to work on your content. Create post regularly and make a relation with your readers and other bloggers. Make sure, an efficient network and communication is very important for a blog to grow.

If you have any question to ask and query in mind feel free to reach me out. I would love to help you in setting up a blog, creating excellent posts and pictures and most importantly a blogging network. 

I hope you have some basic ideas about blogging now. Start today and live your dream, I am soo excited to see your blog. If you liked it, please leave a comment below and encourage me to write more for you all.

If this guide helped you out, please pin or share!

Do you have any questions about creating a blog? What surprises you about blogging? 

REMINDER: If you use my affiliate link to start your blog with Siteground, as a thank you I’d love to help you get your blog started! After you use my link send me an email at kiyashmiblog@gmail.com letting me know what type of plan you purchased! Then we can schedule a 7 steps schedule where I can help you get your blog set up, as well as themes and plugins installed. If you don’t need any help with that, we can chat about your vision for your blog and a marketing plan to truly elevate your blog and push it forward.

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kiyashmi

Hello, I am Kiyashmi , a 21' blogger living in North east of India,Assam. I empower soul searchers about this revolution of :Twenties and Lifestyle. I write contents to make a healthy and happy life through hobbies and travel. if you hit that 'subscribe' button - a new friend!!

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