More and more people are choosing to start blogs these days. There are plenty of reasons for this – it’s certainly a very exciting experience, albeit rather stressful at times. Blogging as a hobby can give you a space to express yourself and be creative. It’s a way of getting your views out there, meeting like-minded people, and sharing advice with others. Of course, you can also make money from blogging (which will always be a reason to give it a go!).
Before your blog can be successful, it needs to get up off the ground. So…how do you start a blog in 2022 and beyond? Now, there are a fair few steps involved, but the good news is that none of them are particularly complicated or challenging. Anyone can start a blog, and your journey begins today! Read on to find out all the key things you need to know:
Find a blogging platform
Before you start writing anything, you need a platform to broadcast your voice to the masses. A quick Google search will show you there are loads of different blogging platforms out there for you to try. This includes WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix, LinkedIn, Drupal, Weebly – and many others. Effectively, all of these platforms act as a content management system where you can write and edit your content, publish your posts, etc.
Which one of these is the best? It really all boils down to personal preference. Take some time to research the different platforms, play around with them if you can, and see which one agrees with you the most. Having said that, for anyone starting a blog for the first time, WordPress is often a popular choice. This is purely because it has plenty of plugins to help you enhance your blog, and it’s an easy platform for beginners to get used to.
Find a way to host your blog
Your blogging platform is simply where content gets edited and produced, but this means nothing if you don’t have a host for your blog. In simple terms, hosting is how your blog appears online for everyone to see and enjoy. You join a server, get a domain name, and your site is ‘hosted’ within that server. Yes, this sounds really techy and complicated, but it’s actually very simple.
There are two options: firstly, you can opt for a blogging platform that includes hosting. SquareSpace is an example of this, offering you a content management system and server host all in one package. Secondly, you can choose a blogging platform then find a separate host. This is what most people on WordPress do, setting up their blog on the WordPress platform, then looking for a separate hosting provider, like Bluehost.
Yes, there is a slight elephant in the room that we need to address. Hosting and setting up a blog will cost money. Well, it costs money if you want to take it seriously. You can use WordPress for free, but many of the best features are locked. Likewise, you can host your blog for free, but you have no control over your domain name, so it looks unprofessional. If you’re serious about blogging and making money from the blog, you need to spend a bit of cash to get good hosting options. Luckily, we’re talking about a few dollars per month – it’s nothing too crazy! You’ll also have to pay for your custom domain name, which is the address of your site. Again, this is pretty cheap, and you only pay per year to keep the domain.
Think about the content you want to produce
Once you’ve gone through the first two steps, you should have a blog set up and ready to rock & roll. All that’s missing is some content. So, your biggest challenge is deciding what type of content you want to produce. What is your niche? What are you going to blog about?
Obviously, this is the most personal and individual aspect of starting a blog. Nobody can tell you what content to produce; it has to come from you. Think about things that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about, or consider what content people might be interested in reading. The best tip is to choose a niche and settle on a target audience. This helps you think about the genre of your blog and the categories you might have on it. It’s better to have a blog that focuses on one specific topic than one that just writes about everything.
Set your theme
Choosing your niche and figuring out the angle of your blog will help you choose a theme that best represents your content. Essentially, a theme is the design of your blogging site – it’s what people see when they land on it. All blogging platforms have a plethora of themes to pick from, so browse through the options on your chosen platform to find the perfect one for you. Remember, it should align with your blogging brand! For example, if your target audience is moms or young women, the theme should appeal to them. That was a random example, but it’s the easiest way to express what we mean by this!
Market your blog
At this stage, you have everything in order to start producing your first blog posts. There’s just one problem; who will read them? Getting your posts out there to as many people as possible is the key to monetising your blog and making money. Most people assume that SEO is the main way to generate traffic for bloggers. However, we wrote a whole post on why this isn’t necessarily the case, and you can check it out here for more info.
Instead, social shares are the main way to generate traffic, so focus on sharing your posts on social media platforms. It’s a good way to target your niche as well, seeing as you can use hashtags to ensure the right people find your social media posts and click through to your blog. An excellent marketing strategy helps you generate traffic, improving the popularity of your blog. When this happens, you can monetise it more effectively – you get more money from ads when you have more web traffic, and brands are more inclined to talk about sponsorships if you have a large audience.
There you have it; how to start a blog in 2022. These are the important steps to know, and you can have a successful blog up and running in no time at all!