In the Previous Article, I have written a Detailed Explanation about Blog, Blogger, and Blogging. After reading that article, you might have a question in your head about the next step. That is, How to start a Blog in 2020. So here is the Best Step by step guide to start a BLOG.
I have been blogging for 3 years now and I really enjoy every step of Blogging. From making a Blog to making Money from it. I love the process it takes to get to that point. But the most Interesting and Exciting Step of Blogging is to create your First Blog.
I can understand that you are very excited about starting your Blog. You are stepping out and understanding different terms and skills that require to start a blog and make it successful. So before your Excitement gets down, let’s Get into it and learn how to start a Blog in 2020.
We will cover everything from Selecting your Niche, selecting your Domain for you to Monetizing your Blog. But if you still think I missed something, your questions in the comment box are really appreciated and I am desperately waiting to answer all your questions. 😍
So first thing first, Lets have a Look at the basic terms. I assume you already know that. But still I don’t want you to miss-interpret any meaning. 😊
What is Blog?
A blog is a type of website that is frequently updated with the latest and relevant information where new content is commonly published by writers or a group of writers, which is generally written in an informal way to attract readers and achieve specific goals, whether its community-building or growing a business. You can read in detail by clicking here.
You read blogs every day without realizing it, even at this time.
Purpose of starting a Blog
Why are you starting a Blog? There may be many reasons for blogging. Whether you want to share some ideas with the world or want to build a targeted Community. Creating a Blog may be the thing you should do. It may be for personal use, business use, or to rank your website higher in Google SERPs, increase your visibility, or anything else which might bring you money or Leads for your Business.
The exact purpose of creating a blog is to reach the threshold of the relevant audience and boost your organic traffic and generate leads for your websites.
Step by Step Guide to Start a Blog
As I already stated, starting a Blog consist of multiple steps. So here are all the steps involved to start a Blog.
Finding your niche (Most Important step to start a Blog in 2020)
Finding a niche means finding your passion, but it is not enough, it must be profitable and medium neither much in competition nor less demanded.
Choosing a niche having high competition will be beaten by giant websites, and picking a less demanded niche will not help you achieve your purpose.
Often it happens that bloggers quit blogging because they get bored with it. So choose the topic you are passionate about and most interested in, and you love talking and reading that.
Apart from that, do proper market research that there is a demanding and profitable market for your niche or not. Only choose that Niche which is already having a Market and audience who is searching for those Topics.
Selecting a great domain
A domain name is the address of your blog or website. Like digitalboys.in. Here, Digitalboys is domain name and .in is the domain Extension. Selecting the domain name is an essential thing for creating the website for your Blog. The success of your blogging career depends upon choosing the right domain for your Blog.
It should be noted that changing the domain name later may create a hassle and severely affect your website’s ranking in SERP. It must be chosen carefully since the beginning. So you don’t need to change it later.
There are plenty of domain name extensions to choose from. Including .com, .org, .in, and niche extensions, there are so many domain extensions you can choose from. But it is highly recommended that it must be a .com domain as it is the most commonly used domain extension and easy to remember. Other aspects which must be considered while selecting your domain are:
- Use of ranking keywords (according to your niche)
- Easy to pronounce and spell (People must not forget that)
- Unique and excellent (That could form a Brand)
- Avoid hyphens in the domain name (Not good for SEO purposes)
Best platforms for blogging (Most Crucial step to start a Blog)
For blogging, you need a website to publish your Blog. For the creation of a website, fundamental needs are hosting and domain name for your Blog.
Hosting is the Virtual Space in a Computer server to store the files and content of your Blog. You can buy this from Various Hosting service Providers like Siteground, Bluehost, or any other Provider.
You should go with the paid hosting service provider but if you don’t have a budget to buy a hosting, you can go with the Free hosting Providers. But it is highly recommended that you must go for Paid one for various Reasons like Security and support.
Here are Some of the famous platforms are described below to help you select a Platform for your Blog. WordPress is most popular platform that holds the highest internet share as more than 38% of total websites are running on WordPress.
Product of Automatic Inc, established since 2005, WordPress has been the most suitable platform to create your free website and publish your work. They claim that more than 38% of websites on google has been created on WordPress.
WordPress is one of the favorite Blogging Platform for Bloggers as it is an open-source Programme and has so many Customization options available. Various functionalities can be added by simply Drag-and-drop and by using Plugins.
Creating a website or a blog with WordPress is so easy that you only need drag and drop elements and need no coding Language. But to create a Website with WordPress, you will need to buy a hosting plan to store your Website Files and content. We will talk about this in Further Points.
WordPress is also a product of Automatic Inc. You can create a completely free blog or website with WordPress but you have to make it over their Subdomain like digitalboys.wordpress.com. Having limited Free themes but can’t use any Plugins for any special functionality.
Medium.com is well established, free for all, platform with Millions of traffic per day. You can start Blogging on Medium without any Programming Languages or technical language. Medium was launched by Evan Williams in 2012, allows you to publish your Blog just on one click.
This platform enjoys more than 60+ million readers. You can simply create an account and start Writing for the pre-built user base.
Blogger.com (Good to consider to start a blog in 2020)
Blogger is an open-source blogging Platform by Google itself and Ideal for those who wants to start with zero investment. You can also map a custom domain with your Free Blogger Blog. You won’t have much more Customization options for your Blog. If you want to create a FREE and simple Blog, you can go with Blogger.com.
You need to sign-in with your Google account and Create a Blog wit Subdomain like digitalboys.blogspot.com. But later on, you can connect your custom domain with your Blogger Blog.
Purchasing web-hosting Service
Purchasing a web-hosting is also one of the most important parts. Whether to start a Blog or others. A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.
Hosting is the virtual space in any computer virtually to store the files and content of your website. Web hosting is a business that provides the technologies and the services for a website to be viewed on the Internet.
Some of the famous sites for purchasing hosting are as follows:
Purchasing Hosting is as easy as online shopping. You just need to decide the hosting provider according to your need, visit their site, select the Hosting Plan, and proceed with the Payment and you are already done.
Map domain with your hosting
Domain mapping is similar to sticking the nameplate in your house or simple words connecting the address to the site. It allows you to control your name settings. You can map the domain name to that hosting in the following ways.
- Login to your hosting account.
- Go to CPanel. And search for Domains.
- Click on Add Domain. And Enter your Domain and Click Proceed.
- Now go to your Domain Registrar (From where you have bought the domain name).
- Go to the ‘Product Settings’
- Click on the Manage DNS.
- Add the Nameserver of your hosting in DNS (you can find that in your Hosting Cpanel).
- Click Save and wait for a few hours.
Updating DNS may take 15 Mins to 24 Hrs to set up correctly. Now sit back and wait for the email confirmation of DNS Update from the Domain Registrar. Once updated, follow the next step that is to install an SSL certificate for your website.
Install an SSL certificate
The SSL certificate ensures that your website runs on a secure Internet protocol of HTTPS which stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secured. Without an SSL Certificate, your website will run on an Unsecured internet Protocol that is HTTP only.
An unsecured version of your website may lose the trust of your potential customer as it is not good for security purposes. Also, Google won’t rank your website without an SSL certificate because they want their user to be very safe from Internet Intruders.
Most of the time, your hosting providers are providing a free SSL certificate. Here is the process you need to follow to install a free SSL certificate:
- Login to your CPanel.
- Search for Let’s Encrypt or SSL/TLS in the search bar.
- Click on the option available either Let’s encrypt or SSL/TLS.
- Now click on the ‘Install Certificate’ button.
Wait for sometimes and your website will start running on the secured https protocol. It may take upto 1 Hr to install an free SSL certificate for your website.
Install WordPress (Core step to start a Blog in 2020 and onward)
Now, here you are at the very exiting step as you are going to get your website live with a single click. Hurrah!
You can simply follow these steps and in the next few clicks, you will be able to see the first look of your website. 😍
Here is the easiest way to install WordPress from your hosting panel.
- Login to your hosting Cpanel.
- Now look for the Softaculous in your dashboard.
- Now you will find Multiple options there. Select WordPress.
- Now select the protocol as https from the dropdown and then domain from the next dropdown.
- Choose Username and Password. Also, type your email address (That email will be your admin Email for your WordPress website).
- Click on the Install Button.
Wait until the progress bar hits 100% and you get a success message on your Screen. Keep in mind that it may take upto 15 Minutes to Install WordPress on your website depending on your Hosting Provider.
You have now successfully Installed WordPress. Now you can have a look at your website by Visiting your URL or Login to your WordPress dashboard to customize your website.
Installing theme and customization
Now as you already had a look at your Fresh new website. You may have noticed that it’s quite boring and sounds very unprofessional. So you need to change that and make your website looks good for your readers. WordPress themes play an essential role in your site. Look and feel of your website is the first impression on readers of your Blog.
So your WordPress theme should be selected very carefully, which suited to your Blog Niche and Purpose. WordPress offers various free themes but you can also use custom Paid themes for your website.
Premium themes provide extra features and more support and better customization options. Here are the steps you need to follow to install themes in WordPress.
- Login to your WordPress Dashboard and go to Appearance and then Themes.
- Click on add themes and select the Themes appearing there or search for the items by applying the filter.
- Now click on the preview to see the demo or directly click on the install button.
- After installation, click on the Activate button, and your theme is installed.
- Now to customize your theme color and fonts, you need to click on the Customize button.
Uploading logo and favicon for your website
A logo is a symbol made up of text and images that identifies the purpose of the site. Favicons are the small icon that appears next to the website names. It may also be used in other places such as browser bookmarks, is home screen buttons, and other areas.
It is an essential part of your site, which will help the audience in recognizing your site. Before few years, only ICO files could be used for the favicon, but now all the browsers support ICO, PNG, and GIF files for a favicon.
To change the Favicon or Logo, you need to follow this path: Dashboard-> Appearance-> customize-> Site Identity.
On the site identity option, you can upload the logo and site icon. The image uploaded on the site icon will be used as a favicon of the WordPress website. The logo will be visible on your website header.
Basic settings of WordPress to start a blog
Okay. Now we are already done almost everything that we need to do while starting a Blog. But there is still something left that is important in this process.
So we have done a lot of work, Purchased a domain, purchased hosting, mapped the domain to our Hosting and after installing the SSL certificate, we Installed WordPress. Now, there are a few basic settings that must be done to work for WordPress better.
Here the list below is inclusive, not exhaustive. You must do this setting that is better for your WordPress website or Blog. Have a Look:
- Delete default post, page, and dummy content: Dashboard > Posts > Select All Posts > Select Delete from Bulk action > Click Apply.
- Set your time zone: Dashboard > Setting > General > Timezone.
- Homepage settings: Settings > Reading (Select the custom page from there or show your latest post).
- Set WordPress discussion settings: Settings > Discussion (Must enable comment Moderation to avoid spamming)
- Add Google Analytics (we will talk about this in a future post in detail).
- Add SEO plugin: Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search for Yoast or All in one SEO)
- Setup WordPress Permalink: Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks (Post name is recommended permalink type)
- Enable or disable user registration:Dashboard > Settings > General.
- Setup user profile: Dashboard > Look for your username in the upper right corner click on edit user Profile. Add image to your Gravatar, add social links, and write about Yourself.
- Optimize your images: You can use WP Smush it Plugin to optimize your Images.
These were the steps you need to perform after installing WordPress for your website.
Installing Essential Plugins
While creating a WordPress blog or Website, installing the themes plugins must be chosen very carefully. And in this part, I am going to recommend you few must have Plugins for your Website.
Plugins enable you to add some extra and important features to your website without any coding knowledge. Plugins are Pre-built programs for your website that is just like the Apps in your Smartphone, to add an extra feature. It may be for multiple purposes or specific purpose.
You should choose plugins very carefully that is necessary for your website according to the functionality you want to add to your website. Adding unnecessary plugins that you don’t need might harm your website and also can increase the load time of your website.
Here is the list of essential Plugins with their features. Select according to your Need.
- Jetpack: Powerful Plugin by Automatic Inc. itself with multiple features like Statistics, Image Lazy Loading, and a few other essential Plugin.
- Yoast SEO: Helps you to Optimize your website for Search Engines like Google or Bing.
- WP Forms or Contact Form 7: For building the contact form for your Users or Visitors to contact you via your website.
- Elementor Page Builder: The best Page builder. You should consider this if you want to make custom pages.
- Akismet: Extremely secure backup and restore processes. It also keeps you informed with any unusual activity like failed login attempts detected on your website.
- Autoptimize: This plugin helps you cache your webpages in the user’s browser and helps your website loads even faster.
- Easy Table of content: Helpful for Blog website for easy navigation and also in SEO perspective.
- Smush It: Helps to optimize images on your site automatically.
Apart from this, many plugins can be useful for your blogging website. Like social share Plugins. You should choose Plugins wisely according to your need.
Writing your first blog post
You can start writing your first Blog when the niche is selected, and WordPress is installed. Now the success of the Blog depends upon the style of your writing and creativity. As you already have heard the famous prologue “Content is King” and content is actually the King. So you must decide the content even before starting a Blog in 2020.
Once you have decided what to deliver to your audience, you will be able to deliver much more value to your visitors.
To write your First post on your First Blog, You need to follow these steps:
- Login to your WordPress dashboard.
- From the left hand menu, Click on Posts.
- Now in the next window you will be able to see all your Posts. but as you haven’t created any post, you need to click on Add New Button on the top.
- Now in the text editor area, Put the heading and start writing in the Content Area.
After writing the content and inserting relevant images, you hit Publish Button in the right side.
Infographic – How to Start a Blog in 2020
Here is the Info-graphics you should share with your Friends:
Let’s wrap it up
Oh my God! Now I can say that you are really amazing. You put yourself in and created your First Blog.😲😲 You Know what? Most of the People won’t start their First Blog just because of the effort it takes. But you are really one of the hard-working people who put their effort and built their first Blog. Kudos to you!
Here is the summary if you missed something out. So at very first, you decided that you should start a blog. You decided, what niche you should start in. Then you figured out what domain name should your blog suit and without wasting time, you booked your Domain name before it gets booked by someone else. Thereafter you Purchased a hosting for your Blog to store your website content and files.
Mapping your Domain to the hosting you purchased may have puzzled you a bit because its a bit tecnical but you did that too. That’s great. Moving forward, you installed SSL certificate to secure your website and Installed WordPress to manage your Blog or website.
After doing some basic Setting for your Blog, You Published your First Post on your First Blog. Now its time to share that post with your friends so they could see your hard work and all those efforts you have put together to get here.
Once again, I want to thank you for Creating your Blog. Now you are a part of Content Creators and that really great. Also thanks for reading, If you loved this post, consider sharing it with your Friends. Cheers!