Starting a blog is an essential part of today’s online world. Whether you are a charitable institute spreading education or a hard and fast business, you will need blogs nevertheless. Hence, it is important to know the small details of how to blog.
So what is the best blog to start? It remains a vital question, especially for those that want to start blogs. Hopefully, you will have a lot of information on blogs in the next paragraphs.
Another vital question is how to start with a blog site. We will try to answer this question easily in this article as well. We will also include some of the best platforms to start blogs and how to start such a blog. Let’s get started.
What is the best platform to start a blog?
Blogging has become very easy in recent years. And the credit for this goes to today’s different sophisticated blogging platforms. The services these platforms provide are versatile.
However, like all other types of services, there are good and bad in this sector as well. While some of the platforms offer average or below-average service, some offer top-notch services. Besides, not all platforms are perfectly suitable for beginners.
Hence, we have come up with some best platforms to start a blog. We will try to compare their services as well so that you can pick the suitable one for you. But before that, let’s evaluate some factors that you should be looking for while choosing blogging platforms.
As you are a beginner, we assume that you do not have any or much coding skills and surely do not want to involve in it at the beginning. Hence, your choice should be a platform, which does not require any such skills. You will also want it to have an easy setup process.
Your blogging won’t be only for a few days or weeks. Instead, you will carry it on for years. At least that is the common scenario. In that case, you may want to change your blog’s theme after every while. Therefore, it is better to choose such a platform, which allows easy customization. Such flexible platforms that offer free themes should be at the top of your choice list. Nevertheless, if you choose the wrong platform, switching to another one may get very difficult later.
Monetization should be your concern as well. Even if you are not blogging for money now, you never know what opportunities you will have shortly and may want to earn money from blogging. Hence, the better choice is to choose a platform at the very beginning that allows monetization.
It is impossible now to talk about blogging platforms without mentioning WordPress. Yes, WordPress is the most famous blogging platform now across the world. It started its journey in 2003. And now, it covers 41% of all websites on the internet. You can call WordPress the king of free blogging platforms. Some people get confused between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
However, although their names are the same, their services are different. WordPress.com is a hosting service provider for blogs, which is also a preferable hosting platform.
On the other hand, WordPress.org is an open-source blogging platform or website builder that allows its users to build their blog or website within a few minutes for free.
However, as mentioned before, WordPress.org does not offer a hosting service. Therefore, you need to self-host. It means you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider. If you are looking to have full control over the blog, WordPress is the best choice for you.
Most bloggers choose WordPress as their website builder for the same reason. Furthermore, you can add so many extra features to your blog, including paid memberships, forums, and so on.
Another lucrative advantage that WordPress offers is its thousands of free themes. As themes are the ultimate design of your blog, you can design your blog extraordinarily with WordPress. Besides, these themes feature built-in customizations, which give users full control over the design of their blogs. On top of that, you get access to the 58000 free WordPress plugins, which you can use to add different features.
The next in this list of website builders is Wix. It is a hosted platform, offering website hosting. Since its introduction in the market in 2006, Wix is now one of the leading blogging platforms with over 100 million users around the globe.
Wix is a solution for small companies looking to build a website. In terms of blogging platforms, you can add the Wix Blog app, which will allow you to add blogs to your website. Nevertheless, Wix has some limitations as well. For instance, you cannot change the template you chose before.
Also, the free version limits your activities. The same applies to its access to free third-party apps. Another disadvantage of the free version is that your site will have Wix ads and branding on it. On top of these, you won’t get Ecommerce features unless you are on a paid plan.
But for beginners, it is a great platform. The setup process is very easy and quick. You can easily build your website with the easy drag and drop tools. And like all platforms in this list, you won’t need any coding skills to build your website.
Besides all these, you get the option to customize your website with the different available templates on Wix. The basic version of the Wix website builder is free, but you will get a subdomain instead of a domain to yourself.
It is another top-level blogging platform and website builder. Its mother company is HostGator, popular for web hosting. Gator offers all types of website building, ranging from blogs, online stores to business websites. Some people get confused between Gator builder and HostGator.
However, the prior one is the website builder that we are talking about, and the latter one is a hosting service provider. HostGator can be used as the hosting service provider for your WordPress blog.
However, if you are not into WordPress and looking for some non-WordPress platform, Gator can be a suitable option for you. There is not technical hassle with Gator. You do not need any coding skills or so. HostGator will see your backups, performance, and so on. You also won’t have to worry about security. HostGator will take care of it all.
Despite these advantages, Gator has some cons also. For instance, it does not offer any free account like WordPress. You get what you pay for. It has a money-back guarantee for up to 45 days. Besides, without higher plans, you won’t get access to eCommerce features. There is a limited number of extensions and apps accessible, as well.
Talking about tech services and there won’t be google, that is completely impossible. And that is why Google has also made this list with its blog-related service- Blogger. Besides Google’s common services for tech-savvy users, the company has come up with this blog platform for non-tech-savvy users. In terms of introduction in the field, Blogger is one of the oldest ones.
It was first launched in 1999 by a company other than Google- Pyra Labs Google then acquired Blogger in 2003. The platform was then redesigned to its present look. To start a free blog on Blogger, all you need is a Google account.
Like other platforms in this list, Blogger does not require any technical skills- coding or so. Being a service by Google, Blogger has the extra advantage of Google’s reliability and security services.
However, it comes with its own disadvantages. For example, it is a very basic-level service provider. As your blog grows bigger and more popular, you may want or even need to add new features to your blog. But Blogger won’t let you do that. Blogger has fewer templates than most other similar platforms like WordPress. And the third-party templates that Blogger offers are often very low quality.
Compared to WordPress and Wix, Medium is comparatively new in this field. While WordPress came into existence in 2003, Medium joined the competition in 2012, almost a decade later.
Since then, Medium has become a community involving writers, journalists, bloggers, and so on. The platform works quite like a social networking platform, which requires you to create an account and publish different types of content there.
However, with a limited number of social networking features, this platform for blogs is easier to use. Just like your accounts on social media platforms, you won’t have a domain of your own. Your profile address will have the name ‘Medium’ in it. Similar to other platforms in this list, no coding or other challenging skills are necessary.
‘Medium’ allows you to reach a particular group of people, a community connected to you via your Medium account. If you want to invest yourself solely in writing, Medium is one of the best choices for you.
On the other hand, if you are more of a designing person, Medium may not be the platform you have been looking for. That is to clarify that Medium offers a limited number of features in terms of the outlook of the blog.
Another disadvantage is that your audience solely belongs to Medium. As a result, if you somehow lose access to your medium account, you will lose your followers as well.
Unnecessary to mention, that is a massive setback. Also, Medium does not allow monetization. Hence, if you are looking for earning money through your blogs, Medium is not at all suggested. Some of these top disadvantages make bloggers switch from Medium to WordPress.
The year 2003 is a golden age for blogging platforms. Platforms like WordPress were brought to existence that year. Squarespace is another platform in this list, which joined the competition the same year.
It is another website building service provider that features easy drag and drop tools to create extraordinary websites. Like other similar platforms, Squarespace has based its services on small business owners or beginners.
In short, it is for those who want to have a somewhat online presence and wants to have a blog serving that purpose. One of the demerits of using Squarespace is its lack of customization. It is to indicate that Squarespace offers only the built-in features.
When you want to upgrade your blog in the future, you won’t get this opportunity much. However, if you can make use of its professionally design themes and templates, you can expect good hooks for your audience. On top of these, Squarespace offers you a domain name while ensuring security. You can also start eCommerce stores with Squarespace.
Now comes an even newer platform. Starting in 2013, Ghost has managed to make this list in this short time. One of the primary reasons for that is its entire focus being on blog posts. Ghost provides both services- a hosting platform as well as software.
Although that makes it easy to use for beginners, the options for advanced services get limited. For the same reason, Ghost does not offer plenty of themes, which may result in a monotonous look for your blog.
Weebly is a website builder with quite some similarities to Wix in terms of its drag-and-drop editing elements. As a result, you can easily customize your blog with only a few clicks. You can use content from your photo galleries, slideshows, and so on. All you need to do is simply drag them to your page and customize it accordingly. Weebly comes with its built-in analytics and provides many plugins and add-ins like sidebars, forms, ad spaces, social media icons, and so many more.
However, its free version does not include much. You only get a Weebly subdomain, only 500MB storage, five custom pages, and ad spaces with the free version. Upon accepting a paid version, you will get some additional services, which include but are not limited to your own customized domain.
I can tell you didn’t expect this one. Well, that is because LinkedIn is not so popular as such a blogging platform. However, it offers something and can help you a lot as a beginner. How is that?
Firstly, you have a ready-made audience to whom you can share with your blog posts, which is not the case for traditional blog sites. More importantly, this audience is not like the random visitor you get on other conventional blog sites. The audience is highly business-oriented, professional, and so on. As a result, you get easy exposure. And after all, that is what one blogs for. Now let’s come to the publishing part.
How does that work in LinkedIn? Well, it is as easy as possible. You need to go to your feed and click on the ‘Start a post’ widget seen at the top. And if you want to convert this status into a full blog post, you need to click on ‘Write an article on LinkedIn’.
It will open the full-screen editing window. You can then do the necessary editing you did on conventional blogging platforms- text formatting, adding images, and so many more.
What should you pick?
Well, as you have seen, most blogging platforms are quite close in terms of the services they offer. While some of them include a bit more in their free version, some offer more customization. Now, what should be your pick? If you are emphasizing the ‘blog’ part rather than the ‘site’ part, you may choose the blog-oriented platforms.
For example, platforms like ‘Medium’ and ‘Ghost’ might be suitable for you. You can just create regular blog posts and get going. Also, if you have a LinkedIn account and are not interested in ‘sites’ now, you can easily share your thoughts by publishing blog posts there.
Now comes the other part. If you are interested in the ‘designing’ of your website just as you are in writing blog posts, you may want to go for the more sophisticated platforms. And regardless of anything, WordPress.org should be your platform. If you compare all services offered by similar platforms, you will find how true it is.
However, as WordPress.org does not offer hosting services, you will need to have your website hosted by another platform. Some people think of WordPress.com at this point as the solution to the hosting problem.
However, as you already know, WordPress.com does not allow monetization and some more services. In this case, the better option is to stick with WordPress.org as your blogging platform but have a better WordPress hosting provider subscribed.
Many websites offer such hosting services. Bluehost is such a hosting site. It will store all your information while you can edit and customize your blog site with WordPress. Besides, it costs quite low compared to many other hosting solutions. The easy interaction between these two sites makes it more convenient.
How to develop a blog site?
Starting a blog may seem intimidating and overwhelming. But once you get started, you will find it exciting and interesting. In the next paragraphs, we will share the easiest way to start a blog. It is one of the freeways to start a blog, as well. You may need to pay a little for blog hosting, though.
Step 1: Pick a domain name
Many beginners hesitate and fumble while choosing a domain name for their blogs. Well, if you are not sure what you want to name your blog, or what topic you will write on, skip this step and get to the next. And if you have a name on your mind, check whether that name is already registered. Blogging platforms and website builders will help you check that.
A domain name must not include spaces or punctuation marks except dashes. If your expected domain name is already registered, you can still have it with some changes. One trick can be a different domain extension. For example, if .com is registered with the domain name, you can still get the .org or .net version. If you want to stick with the .com version, you can add one or more letters to the name part.
For instance, you can add a, y, etc., at the end of your domain name. If the blog is based on your life, you can easily add ‘my’ to the actual name you thought. And finally, you can always use dashes in between letters to make it unique.
Choosing a blog topic and name
Choosing the right topic for your blog may get quite tiresome. Especially, if you are a beginner and asking how to start blogs, this would surely remain a headache for quite some time.
Basically, your blog topic should be what you want to share with the audience. If you still don’t know what you want to share with the audience or what you could share, hopefully, the following paragraphs will help you know how to start blogs.
Life experiences: It is the most common type of blog post you will see. That is because we can share with people only what we have experienced in our life. In most cases, the topic in such blog posts is based on the profession of the writer.
And with these posts, they usually try to either make the audience aware or advance their relevant skills in some way. Personal life: Influencers and successful people usually come up with such posts as their blog content. As people vastly follow them, they try to keep in touch with people through their blog posts. If you don’t know how to start blogs on any topic, this could be it.
However, you should keep in mind that such blog posts usually work better for people who already influence some kind. As a beginner, that might not be your case.
Passions: People like to follow blogs that include their passions. And as an individual, you have your passion. So why not use it? Blog posts with such topics usually hook in people of the same interest quite easily. For example, if your passion is cooking and you know a great deal about it, you can easily reach out to people with it.
Step 2: Make the blog online
Once you have picked the domain name and extension for your blog, it is time to publish it online. Making a blog online sounds technical. Well, publishing a blog site online is not as technical or as hard as other websites. Many website builders easily offer this service. You need two things to make your blog running.
One is blog hosting, and the other is blogging software. Usually, both of them are offered by most blogging platforms or website builders together. First comes blog hosting. In terms of websites, hosting means storing information. Therefore, a blog host company is the one that stores your files and delivers them to your blog browser.
Without a blog host, you cannot have a blog site. Next comes another must-needed tool to build a blog, blogging software. Several such apps are available now. WordPress is such a leading blogging software. We have already discussed some best blogging platforms in this article. Find the one most suitable for you and let’s get to the next step.
Step 3: Customize the blog
Now that your blog is online, you want to give it the look you prefer, and that is customizing your blog. At first, you need to visit the hosting website and log in to your blog using the domain name and previously-set password.
Once you are logged in, you will find yourself on the hosting portal. You will find there the button directing you to the blogging platform. As ‘WordPress’ is the most used free blogging platform, we will share the steps of customizing blogs with it. Once you click the ‘WordPress’ button from your hosting site, you will be directed to the WordPress dashboard.
One of the reasons WordPress is popular is its simplicity. With just a few clicks, you can completely change the outlook of your blog. Blog layouts are called ‘Themes’ in WordPress. Themes are the complete design of your blog. Go to the ‘Appearance’ tab. You will find some WordPress themes already installed for your blog.
You can choose any of these well-designed themes for your blog. They are designed as such that they can go with any type of blog. As a starter, you can stick with these primary themes.
However, if you have a specific design in mind for your blog other than these basic themes, you can check the thousands of free WordPress themes available.
To find themes more easily, you can click on the ‘Popular’ tab, and select one from those. To install from these themes, click on the ‘Appearance’ button at the left and click on ‘Add New Theme’. Now, as you want to apply any of these newly installed or previously installed themes, you just need to go to the theme and click ‘Activate’. With just this one click, your blog will have a completely new look.
Step 4: Write and publish your blog post
Once you have given your blog the desired look, go to your blog and check it. Here comes the most fundamental part of blogging-writing blog posts and publishing. Just the moment you add WordPress, there will be a default post by WordPress. You will find it in ‘Posts’ in the left menu. You can then delete it by clicking the ‘Trash’ button under the post. To add a blog post to your blog, click on ‘Add New’. You will find yourself on the post editor screen. You will see two boxes.
The title will go in the top box, and the content will be in the lower box. To add images to your post, click on the image icon and upload images from your device. Then, click on ‘Insert into post’ to add the picture. Now that the necessary content is added to the post, click on the ‘Publish’ button on the right side to publish the post.
Even when you click the ‘publish button, your post may move to a placeholder page instead of being public. To make it publicly available, you will then have to go back to the blog host from WordPress and click the necessary button. In the case of ‘Bluehost’ being your blog host, you will need to click on ‘Launch’. And voila! Your blog content is public now; your audience can access it.
Step 5: Blog promotion
Like any other business, blogging also requires promotion. Yes, your blog will still have some views without promotion. But as a beginner, it won’t be as much as that of experienced ones.
And if you do not promote your blog, your number of visitors won’t change that much. Hence, as a beginner, you should spend some to promote your content. Even if you are an experienced blogger, promoting your content is never useless. The more you promote your content, the more your audience will be.
So how to promote your content? Well, there are so many different ways. And based on your accessibility to these, you will prefer your medium or media of promotion. Primarily, you can alert your close circle about your blog. We all have a close circle that supports us no matter what.
As a starter, this circle should be your first and foremost audience. Your close circle includes but is not limited to friends, family members, colleagues, and so on. You can comment on posts of other blog sites to get noticed. There are a lot of examples available now where new content creators are getting noticed from their exclusive comments.
Different social media platforms can be another useful medium for promoting your content. If you are already known a bit among your friends about your writing skills, you can just share your blog site with them, and they will start following you shortly.
And if you are not that much known for your writing yet, you can share the link of your first few contents on your social media accounts. People will get encouraged and follow you. Good content will result in the immediate following. Hence, you must strive for good-quality blog posts.
Writing top-quality content
Believe it or not, your content quality is the ultimate decider of your success. Your audience does not know or have any interest in what blogging platform you used to reach them. All they are interested in is the content you share with them. If it is below average or just average, they won’t engage much no matter how popular the website builder you used.
Similarly, if your content quality is top-notch, it will make up for all other imperfections you have. Here are some of the tips you can follow to come up with quality content.
Give importance to the title
Many blog writers don’t come into the limelight just because of the title. Writers usually want to start blogs of their own when they are confident that their content is up to the mark. So there is not much of a difference in the actual content.
But what creates a difference in the visitor number is the title. Hence, give importance to the title and come up with an alluring one, which will hook your audience in right at the beginning. The first paragraphs of your post should also be similarly engaging.
Engage in an interactive way
Keep in mind that your blogs are there to connect with people. If your content frightens them away or cannot lure them in, it is not your target. Therefore, try to be as interactive as possible.
You can throw questions at them at a regular interval. You can ask your audience to answer the questions in the comment. It will make them feel connected with you and promote your post at the same time. You can also use a different type of content in your blog post. For example, if you can include relevant pictures and videos in your post, that will increase your audience’s excitement.
As photos and videos have come into discussion, let’s talk about visualization. Try to visualize your content. Keep in mind that photos and videos stay longer in our minds. Hence, if you can visualize your writing, it is much more influential. However, don’t forget to use photos and videos you own. And in case you use photos and videos of others, don’t miss to credit them for it.
In this modern world, you are not the only one with posts no matter what niche it is. Our audience will compare you with others nevertheless. Hence, it is better if you can remain original at what you offer them.
For example, try to come up with original photos that you know your audience has never seen. You can also take the advantage of different photo editing tools to come up with such photos.
Your written content should be original as well. You will get marked right away for plagiarism. Also, if you are looking for SEO, you must ensure that your work is original and not plagiarized.
Step 6: Monetizing your blog
Believe it or not, blogging has become a great way to earn in recent years. With the huge progress of the online world in recent times, blogs are most demanded than ever. Therefore, it can be an easy way to earn money. But how does monetization work for blogs? A common and easy way to earn money through blogging is selling advertising space.
If you know the statistics, you will be amazed to know how highly potential advertisement is for monetization. You can make it work for your blog to earn money. The most advantageous way in this regard is using Google AdSense. You won’t have to find advertisers. Google will find it for you, and you will get paid for running these ads on your blog.
Affiliation is another common method of earning from blogs. It is another type of advertisement, based on commission. Your blog will include a direct link to any service or product from another company or just direct them to another site, and you will get paid upon their purchasing that product or service.
If your blog is based on product reviews, affiliation can be an easy income process. But you must disclose to your audience about this affiliation. Selling products, services, and memberships are also common in terms of earning through blogs. It is most common for online-based services.
For example, if you are a video editor and you have a blog site, you can write a blog post regarding video editing and offer your services through hyperlinks throughout your blog post. Although selling offline products is a bit uncommon, there are still some examples. If you are an influencer, you can take advantage of it by selling your customized products through blogs.
Some people may think that it is easy to start blogs. However, if you know how to start one, you surely know how challenging it might get. You must know a lot of information about website builders, hosting, different platforms, and their services.
Most importantly, you must know how to come up with top-quality blog posts. Hopefully, at the end of this article, you now know how to start blogs and can start one of your own.