How To Start A Blog And Choose The Best Template Theme To Make It Successful
Blogging is rather popular and trendy nowadays. More and more people are interested in keeping their blogs and sharing something special with others. As we can see, it has become almost a mass phenomenon. So, what makes people start blogging? There are various reasons why they opt for this activity in their lives.
First of all, it contributes to the personal development. Before putting some information for others to discuss and comment upon, you have to carry out a research or, at least, analyze the facts you want to include in the post. Thus, you have to learn a lot and develop critical thinking. Moreover, it is possible to improve your writing and communication skills. What is more, one of the benefits of keeping your own blog is an opportunity to promote your products or services.
Thus, there are numerous and various reasons for starting a blog. Bloggers choose for themselves what to use the blog for: either to express themselves, earn money or help people. If you have come up with the idea to start your own blog, the first question that you may have is how to do it properly. In this article, we are going to discuss this issue.
You have to follow several steps:
- choose an appropriate blogging platform;
- opt for a domain;
- find a reliable web hosting provider to register it;
- select the theme for your blog and set up the blog itself.
Let us consider all these steps in details.
STEP 1: CHOOSE A PLATFORM FOR YOUR BLOG
It is not a secret that the first step is always a crucial one as it determines a future course of actions. Thus, we need a blogging platform. There is a variety of platforms that can be used for blogs. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages. You do not want to spend time and make efforts starting your blog on one platform and then find out nearly at the end that it is not the one that you need, do you? Therefore, it is advisable to consider your goals, as well as pros and cons of the offered platforms before making your choice.
As you only start your blog, you definitely want something that is easy to use, right? Moreover, it should be something that is not very expensive but provides the opportunities to expand your blog in future. Therefore, taking all these factors into account, we would like to recommend you WordPress which is one of the most popular blogging platforms. It is widely used by both newbie bloggers and startups.
Why Do People Prefer WordPress?
1) It is incredibly easy to set up. Even if you have never created anything before, building a blog or a website with WordPress will be fast and enjoyable. Basic computer skills are more than enough to do this.
2) It is almost free of charge. Yes, you do not have to pay anything for the software itself. However, you will need a small investment in hosting and domain name.
3) It has all the necessary themes and plugins. When you start your blog, it is advisable to consider such issue as the design. Therefore, one more reason to opt for this superb platform is its awesome inbuilt functionality. First of all, you will find proper themes for your blog. They are both free and premium ones. Moreover, there are a lot of useful plugins to add more power to the blog. Most of them are free of charge and can be easily integrated with WordPress.
4) It is secure. This blogging platform is considered to be the best CMS when it comes to the issue of security. It is constantly updated and protected that makes it almost invulnerable. You may control the access to your blog, for instance, either let the subscribers and guest writers write or edit something or restrict their actions. Moreover, there are some plugins that back up all the files and data in case of necessity.
5) It is SEO-friendly. You want people to find and read your blog, do not you? Therefore, besides the design, you need to pay attention to SEO issues, as well. However, with WordPress, you do not have to worry about it. First of all, this platform uses a highly optimized code to enhance SEO performance. Moreover, even if you want to increase it, there are various helpful plugins at your disposal.
6) It gives you an opportunity to monetize your blog. Do you plan to make your blog popular? We are sure you do. Once you manage to attract a lot of subscribers, why not use this and make your blog financially profitable? WordPress opens all the doors for you! The more people read your blog, the more traffic you get. Thus, it will be possible to generate income from it. One more option is to use advertisements in your posts.
7) WordPress themes are responsive. More and more people browse various websites, using their smartphones. Therefore, making your blog responsive will contribute to increasing the number of subscribers. Most WordPress themes are mobile optimized. If you select the one that is not, you will have no difficulty customizing it according to your needs.
Therefore, as you see, WordPress is a user-friendly blogging platform that is ideal to start a blog, especially if you are a newbie.
Sometimes people cannot resist the temptation to build a blog, using a free blogging platform. Yes, this option is also possible. However, it has more disadvantages than advantages in itself. First of all, you are limited almost in everything, starting from the number of images and videos that you may upload to your blog and finishing with the number of people who can read the posts. It also refers to the design of your blog, as you are allowed to use only basic templates. Moreover, your blog can be deleted at any time and you will have no opportunity to prove anything.
Do you want to be trusted and respected by your audience even if you are a new blogger? Say no to free blogging platforms!
STEP 2: SELECT A DOMAIN
Choosing a domain is also a very important step in the process of creating a blog successfully. It is impossible to imagine any blog or website without it. Any domain consists of a name which is followed by an extension. It is advisable to choose both segments wisely.
Let us start with the domain name. It is worth mentioning that it is vitally important to pick a perfect domain name for your blog at once because it will be almost impossible to change it. Well, actually, it is possible to change. However, in this case, you will have to say goodbye to your regular subscribers, traffic and, of course, high search rankings, as you will have to start everything from the very beginning. We are sure you do not want to do this, do you?
How To Choose An Appropriate Domain Name For Your Blog?
- Keywords are the solution. If you want to use your blog to promote some products or services, it is advisable to reflect this in the domain name. For example, you may compile a list of keywords that are relevant to your blog’s topic and choose the one that perfectly describes your activity. In this case, you have to decide whether you want an obvious domain name or a creative one. If you opt for the obvious one, it will be easier for people to remember it. However, if you want to introduce something unique, it is worth thinking about a creative domain name that has all the chances to become a brand in future. It can be a made-up word that has no dictionary meaning or a combination of words.
- Make it simple. The primary goal is to make your domain name memorable. Therefore, it should be catchy, short and easy to spell or pronounce.
- Try to avoid numbers. Numbers may be rather confusing in the domain name. For instance, people want to share the information about your blog and have to spell or pronounce the domain containing them. It may not be clear whether it is necessary to type numbers as they are or as words.
- Do not use the words written with hyphens. The situation with the hyphenated domain names is also puzzling. For example, let us take the domain ‘smart-machines.com’. If the users type it without a hyphen as ‘smartmachines.com’, they will be redirected to a different blog. That is why there is a risk of losing your subscribers if they forget about hyphen and open different blogs instead of yours. Moreover, hyphens are considered to be a sign of spam.
As for the domain extension, there are various options to choose from. However, it is recommended to use a .com extension which is the most reliable and memorable. Moreover, it is easy to recognize. As a result, it will enhance your online presence and help increase the number of potential subscribers. What is more, it will be easier to build a personal brand with this domain extension, as it works perfectly for marketing.
STEP 3: REGISTER THE CHOSEN DOMAIN
Have you ever considered the question where all the files of different websites are stored? They are hosted on one or another server. If you want people to access your blog anytime, it is recommended to look for a reliable web hosting provider to register your domain.
It is not worth taking risks when selecting a hosting company. For instance, if your blog goes down unexpectedly, the subscribers will not be able to read your posts until the provider fixes the downtime. If the hosting company is unreliable, this process may take much time. As a result, you will lose traffic and sometimes even your readers. If the blog continues going down, your SEO rankings will be seriously affected. Moreover, your website may be hacked. In this case, if the data is not backed up, it may be impossible to restore it. Thus, you may lose everything. As we can see, it is necessary to think twice or even more before choosing the provider.
There is a variety of web hosting companies that offer their services at a wide range of prices. However, the price is not the only factor you have to take into account. It is advisable to pay attention to the following:
- uptime track record. The host must guarantee maximum uptime. Of course, no company will offer you 100% uptime. However, 99% uptime is quite possible;
- customer support. The service must be excellent, fast, knowledgeable and provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
- ability to scale. As you write an interesting content for your blog, it will attract more and more people day by day. As a result, it will lead to generating more traffic. Therefore, your web hosting provider should be ready for your traffic growth to accommodate it;
- reputation. It is essential to find out how long the company has been providing its services, as well as to look at the testimonials from other clients. Moreover, it is also advisable to check downtime statistics;
- email features. It is recommended to have an email address that is associated with your domain name. It will look more professional and contribute to creating a brand in future. Web hosting companies with a good reputation provide this opportunity.
We would like to recommend you to take advantage of the services provided by one of the most respected hosting company HostGator. It is perfect for beginners, as well as for experienced bloggers. The company offers a very strong uptime up to 99.99%. It has an excellent support in the form of a live chat. If you have any questions, you will receive help in less than 4 minutes. And you pay from $2.75 per month for hosting.
STEP 4: CHOOSE A THEME AND CUSTOMIZE YOUR BLOG
Finally we have come to the last but not the least step in setting up your blog. So, you need an appropriate theme that will help to make it successful.
How Do You Select The Best Theme?
There are several points to take into consideration. It should:
- enhance the content of your blog. If you focus on social issues, the theme should contribute to improving the readability of the content. If your specialty is photography, you need eye-catching pages with astonishing elements to showcase your portfolio.
- be simple. A lot of templates have been designed with various color palettes, types of animation, complex layouts, etc. However, your main goal is to help people find the information they are looking for, not to disorient them or make them get lost. Thus, it is advisable to make your blog easy to navigate;
- be easy to customize. You should have an opportunity to edit everything you need while adding your content;
- be responsive. Nowadays responsiveness is not an optional feature anymore. Thus, it is recommended to pay attention to this point to let people use any device to view your blog posts;
- be SEO-friendly. It will let the search engines rank your blog as high as possible.
You may start with free templates. All of them are multifunctional and have up-to-date layout designs. Moreover, they are fully responsive, cross-browser and flexible. It will be easy and enjoyable to set up any free template from the collection.
Free themes cannot be used for commercial projects. However, it is a good opportunity to try writing your blog posts to see how it works. You may also practice adding some elements or editing the theme. Having tested everything, you will be ready to start an awesome commercial project. In this case, there are a lot of premium blog WordPress themes to choose from that have much more useful features. In fact, you get a fully functional website that may be customized in a few clicks and satisfy even the most demanding customer.
To sum up, as you may have noticed, it is not difficult to start a blog. Just follow the described procedure, select a proper theme and customize it according to your preferences. If you are ready to provide people with the valuable content, blogging will not only become an enjoyable activity, but also a profitable one.