Starting a blog for your business, or even a personal blog, is a great way to produce and distribute engaging content. This post will set out the different steps in how to start a WordPress blog from beginning to end, so you can start producing great content for your site.
Many small businesses and individuals have at least thought about the idea of setting up a blog – but have perhaps stalled at some stage during the process. Maybe they are not so tech savvy. Maybe they ended up devoting time to something else.
Whatever the reason, this post on how to start a WordPress blog should clear up any doubts and let you get on with putting out entertaining and informative blog posts.
The best thing about starting a blog is that is a very low risk marketing tool for your business. It can be done for free (we wouldn’t advise this, especially if you want to make money via your blog) or very cheap depending on the hosting plan you choose. That said, it very often pays in the end to ensure your hosting plan is a quality one, as it is guaranteed to keep your visitors happy.
Why WordPress you say? We will go in to this point later in the article, but basically it is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in the world, and for very good reason. It powers more than 30% of the websites out there today globally, with much of those dedicated to blogs, both personal and business blogs.
Without further delay, here is your ten steps on how to start a blog.
Decide what your blog will focus on
Of course, you could actually start a blog first and then later decide what the focus of the blog will be. However, in the majority of cases it makes sense to look at what content is already out there on your subject and then try to outperform it or bring something completely new to the table. If you belong to a company, what content do people who are interested in your product want to read?
The ultimate goal for any blog should be to become the go-to resource on the topic you decide to write about. So it should be something you (and your business) are very familiar with. As blogger Amy Lynn Andrews puts it:
“You probably won’t be the first person to blog about the topic you choose. It’s almost guaranteed someone else has thought of it before you. Don’t fret about this, come up with a unique angle.”
Set goals for your blog
What are your objectives? This is an important question. It will affect how you approach the rest of the process in every which way. If you’re wondering how to start a blog just for some content to share with family and friends, your goals will be highly different to that of a large company hoping to use its content to augment sales. Get these goals down on paper and you will have a platform to work off.
Think of a domain name
Many a blogger and business have given too little thought to their domain (the address you give to your website) and ended up regretting it further down the road. A domain name should be something simple and that will reflect your blog accurately. Use one of the available tools to check if the domain you want is available, and you’re good to go. If you’re building your site on WordPress this part can be done via the platform.
Find a host
When you start any website, you need to find somewhere to ‘host’ it. What that means in terms of how to start a blog is that your site will be maintained on a server. There are various ways you can host a website, including shared hosting, dedicated hosting and cloud hosting. At Cloud With Me we specialise in cloud hosting solutions, which combine the affordability of shared hosting with the increased specifications of dedicated hosting.
The hosting solution you choose will have a profound effect on how secure your blog is, how fast it loads and its overall performance. So choose wisely!
Choose a blogging platform
This really should be the easiest thing to do on your list. While the likes of Wix and Squarespace do offer simple platforms to set up your website or blog, the wealth of tools and flexibility available on WordPress means it is a no-brainer. You can choose your own theme and install a variety of plugins which can tailor your blog exactly how you want it.
You can see on WordPress’ own website the amount of blogs and posts published via its platform is almost unfathomable, while the amount of views on these posts is even more impressive. In July 2018 posts on WordPress sites were viewed more than 21 billion times.
Once you set up WordPress you can migrate your blog to Cloud With Me in order to make the most of a premium hosting solution.
Think again if you have any other CMS on your mind.
Customise your site
Choosing your theme on WordPress is a critical decision when setting up your blog. As mentioned previously, this is affected by what the purpose of your blog is and who is going to be reading it. While there are a number of free themes available, if you want maximum ability to adapt your blog and a slicker design it’s recommendable to plump for one of the paid themes. This generally will give you more access to support from the theme’s creator as well in case there’s an issue you want to bring up.
Installing the right plugins for your blog is also of utmost importance. From the likes of security plugins to ensure your blog is protected, and SEO plugins to help it get ranked in Google, the right combination will boost your site’s performance.
Write your first post
It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty! Your blog should be all about great content that is relevant to your visitors. By this stage you probably have lots of great ideas for posts, so get stuck in and put your strongest foot forward. It’s a good idea to focus on quantity initially, but as your posts develop the more quality you add to posts will be appreciated – both by your readers and by Google.
If you need some tips on how to write great blog post content, this article from Huffington Post breaks it down into an easy-to-follow process.
You can read a lot of content on how to start a blog (like this one!) but what it really comes down to is turning everything about your blog into an engaging experience for your visitor. At least engaging enough so that they will read to the end, or engaging enough so they will check out other stuff on your site, or engaging enough that they are willing to buy a related product or service you have. So put a lot of work into your content and think of ways to do things that other people wouldn’t dream of.
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