If you’re wondering how to start a blog, then you’ve reached the right place. In this guide, I will show you everything you need to know when creating your own blog – everything I wish I knew when starting my own blog four years ago.
If you want to jump straight to the parts that you need, you may click on the links here:
Let’s get started!
Part 1: Finding A Profitable Niche
If there’s one thing you want to be known for, what would that be? Would that be cooking Filipino dishes like Panlasang Pinoy or would you want to be known as a great travel buddy and guide? So, how do you find a profitable niche?
1. Find a general topic you can talk about
When starting to blog, try to find a niche that you already know a lot about. That way, you can get started easily with a lot of topics. You would know a lot about your target audience, too.
But if you want to be known for a topic you don’t have a lot of experience with yet. I would suggest you learn everything you need to know about the subject. Answer questions in Quora, or follow forums and check out what are the frequently asked questions. Then start blogging. Earn your right to talk about the topic. That way, your writing won’t sound robotic, as if you were pulling everything off from the books (unless you write really well). It makes a difference when you know a lot about the topic. When creating videos, you can spontaneously explain topics – the right way.
You could also try asking questions like:
- Which industry do I work in? e.g. Finance, Manufacturing, Retail
- What are my interests? e.g. Fashion, Makeup, Skin Care, Technology
- (If you own a business) What topics should I talk to in order to establish my authority within my industry?
- (If you are in sales) What are the needs of my customers, and what topics do I write in order to better educate them on their buying decisions? e.g. Healthy & Wellness, Real Estate Investing
2. Dig deeper
Now that you have your general topic, it’s time to dig deeper.
What do I mean by this? Here are some examples:
Example 1: Personal Development
Say, you want to talk about personal development. You want to empower individuals to become the best version of themselves. But here’s what you need to know. There are a LOT of subtopics categorized as Personal Development.
What you can do is to pick 2-3 subtopics you want to focus one.
For example, you can focus on teaching productivity and time management.
Or, you can write about motivation and confidence (e.g. the confident mustache)
Example 2: Finance
For example, you want to teach Filipinos to build businesses and become wealthy. So you want to talk about Finance. But, Finance is an even broader topic than Personal Development.
You can try to talk about budgeting, stock market investing or even real estate investing. You can focus on helping your readers build a business or you can teach us about the economy.
Why can’t I just talk about anything?
You can. I’m not telling you to stick religiously to one topic. What i’m telling you is to nail your topic, and then move on to nailing other topics.
I have no issues with multi-tasking or wearing too many hats. But in blogging, most successful personal blogs (a blog run by an individual) succeed by becoming the go-to resource for a single topic! And it makes a lot of sense. It is so much better to be in the top 5 for a group of keywords than being in the last page of every group of keywords.
It takes a lot of commitment to nail a single topic, too.
Part 2: Quick-start Guide using WordPress
Creating a blog using WordPress is not as technical as you think. You can be a caveman and still launch a blog within 24 hours. And by that I mean you don’t need an IT expert nor do you have to become one. Whatever industry you are working, you can start a blog. The learning curve is a little bit steep, but there are dozens of resources online, and all you need is a little bit of faith and patience.
WordPress is one of the easiest ways you can start a million dollar blog, and here are the simple steps you need to follow:
1. Domain and Hosting
Definition #1: A domain is the URL you see in your browser.
I told you it’s not that technical, right?
Definition #2: A web Hosting service allows you to make your website accessible via the internet.
Get your credit card ready because we are going to purchase your blog’s domain and hosting!
We are going to use a popular blogging platform called WordPress and in this guide we will be hosting it in Hostgator. I personally used Hostgator for 4 years, and I chose them in the first place because of their superb Customer Service!
You can fire up a live chat and then have your problems fixed within minutes. No technical expertise required!
The best thing about HostGator is that their basic plan (Hatchling) will only cost you less than P150 per month and it already comes with a Free SSL Certificate!
Click that Buy Now button to get started.
If you’re thinking of launching more than one blog in the future, then I would recommend you choose the Baby Plan or the Business Plan. But if you’re just starting out, then go on and choose the Hatchling Plan.
The initial annual investment you need to launch a blog for a Hatchling Plan is more or less P6000. That amount could easily be taken care of once you start landing more clients for your business.
Reminder: If you are not yet ready to throw in some pesos yet, then you can always choose to host your blog in free platforms like wordpress.com, medium or even pinterest! The downside is that it won’t appear as professional as yourbusinessname.com
Finish off that order, and welcome to your hosting’s dashboard!
The next step you need to do is to simply click on their WordPress installer. Choose the domain you created, click next and then click on install! Wait a few moments and then your WordPress blog is finally live!
Read carefully the instructions written on each page especially after the installation process is done. Remember, whenever you are stuck, you can always tweet me @RoselleEbarle or you can open the live chat in Hostgator.
Once your blog is live, you can login at the details provided in your email and on the screen. This is what your WP Admin should look like:
Now pat yourself in the back for being brave enough and reaching this far out on your journey.
2. Install a theme
After your WordPress site is live, it already comes with FREE themes you can use to get started! But if you want to fancy everything up a little more you can choose to purchase themes that are even more elegant and would match your niche.
Some sites I would recommend:
- Themeforest – Themeforest by far has the most extensive collection of themes. The cost varies and would definitely match any type of budget you have in mind.
- Elegant Themes – They have the best page builder out there! You practically create anything out of their Divi theme without the need for a web designer!
Part 3: Blogging FAQ
1. How frequently should you post?
The frequency doesn’t matter. What matters is consistency. You may post a blog post daily, weekly or even once a month but once you decide on the frequency, you need to make sure that you consistently deliver the content! If you decide to blog once a month, make sure you post your blog every month for the rest of the year.
One thing you must not do is to decide to blog daily this month and then switch to weekly publishing the next one. Decide early on how many hours you can commit to writing that blog post, and stick to it!
2. How much does a blog cost?
If you go with Hostgator, the least investment you need to make up front to buy that domain and hosting is PHP6000. If you wish to purchase a premium theme, that would cost you at least $49 (P2500) for the best one. Or you could go with free themes.
3. Can I start a blog for free?
YES! My friend used to create a blog using a facebook page. She wrote her stories and experiences on her posts (creative, right). Here are other places you can publish a blog:
Do you have any questions you need me to answer? Post your questions in the comment box below!
My blogging journey was not easy. I faced a lot of bumps and just like any endeavor, you often lose the motivation that got you started in the first place. But, just like any SUCCESSFUL endeavor, you do not rely on motivation. Once you get started, you need to build the habits that would propel you to finishing your journey.
So start that blog you’ve been dreaming of starting, and write down all the goals you want to achieve a year or even ten years down the line. Build the habits that would bring you to your goals, and just do it.