‘How To Start a Blog in 2019’ felt like the most legit title for this article since, you know, we have a bunch of resources available today that our forefather’s of yesteryear may not have had. (Toilet paper. Running water. Google. You know, important stuff.)
Truth be told though, starting a blog now a days is a bit like buying a camera and calling yourself a photographer – anyone can do it. It has become the hobby/part time job of choice and the thing is this: it’s pretty easy to catch the knack thereof, but you kinda need to be born with a certain je ne sais quoi for it, or else you’ll bore easily.
But, if you had to ask me (and so very many of you have asked me, hence this post) how to start a blog (in 2019) I would probably offer you these very simple tips.
(Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional anything (professional parent? is that a thing?) but these are some of the things I did when I started this very blog right here.)
Right, so first things first. What is a blog?
Well, I like to call my blog my online diary. But essentially it’s a website (usually a personal one) that contains a lot of written content (think: articles). Your blog can can be a resource of information, it can be a go to spot for tips and tricks or hey, it can simply be a place where you share your deepest thoughts. The cool thing is that it’s YOUR website and you can pretty much design it the way YOU want to. I think that this is the main benefit of having a blog… it’s a tad more personal than a business/news website because readers are able to link your face/personality to it.
How To Start a Blog in 2019:
1. Decide on your blog niche. This means: figure out the type of topics your website will cover. There are a variety of options and you could pretty much have NO niche/genre and still be successful. But I’ve found that when you have identity, you kinda have vision… and when you have vision, you are more motivated to make a success of the thing.
2. Decide on your blog name. Remember that your blog name is, in essence, your website’s name/address. You would want to make it something that will be able to encompass you, as a brand. As I mentioned before, calling it “Single Girl in PE” is a cute idea, except that it may be limiting since you could actually get married and move out of PE one day. Choose a name that will still be relevant after a couple of years.
3. Choose a blogging platform. There are a variety of options (Blogger, Tumblr, Wix) but I’ve found that wordpress.com is the more popular and user friendly option. There are no start up costs, you don’t need to know coding and the themes make it really easy for you to get the look you want. However, keep in mind that because it’s a free option, you may be a bit limited on the design front AND your website will be owned by WordPress.
4. Create the blog. If you’ve decided on your blogging platform (step 3), all you have to do is register (duh). It’s pretty easy and straightforward. Once you’re registered you can choose your homepage layout, select a theme and create a free blog name domain.
Your blog name domain is the name of your website/URL. BUT it will be owned by WordPress, since it’s hosted on their web property. This means that your site will have the phrase “.wordpress” in its URL/address like so: www.girlintheworld.wordpress.com
You could totally roll with this free site (aka your wordpress hosted domain.) But if you wanted to go a bit more profesh (and get that “.wordpress” phrase out of your website address) you could purchase a domain. Buying your own domain is like paying for the space on the interwebs for your blog to live. Owning your domain kinda secures it and makes you look a bit more serious about what you’re doing. You can check out who the service providers are in your neck of the woods. I use Axxess. Other options include: Afrihost and MWeb.
(If you plan to not spend money on purchasing a domain, you can totally skip number 5.)
5. Buy your domain. (Clip note, you could do step 5 before step 4, I did it the other way around) Once you’ve purchased your domain, log into your domain’s admin panel (that means, go into your profile on the domain website). Okay, breathe girl, I know it looks overwhelming, but it’s not! Right, so most (if not all) of these websites will have a one-click option that will automatically instal your WordPress. Click on it, get that WordPress installed and then simply log into your WordPress using the details you’ve used in step 3 and Bob’s your uncle. Unless you really have an uncle named Bob… then you’ll have two uncles named Bob. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. For everything else there’s Google.
6. Appearance. You can now spend all of your days (okay maybe not ALL your days, but a large chunk of it, because this can get really interesting) designing and redesigning your website until you’re happy with it. Find a wide range of ready-to-use themes on WordPress under the Appearance>Themes option.
7. Plug-Ins. Instal plug-ins (that’s like apps) on your blog (under Plugins>Add New) that will help you to safe guard your website, help to track your readers behaviour and a bunch of other cool stuff. Plug-ins that I use include: Wordfence, Akismet Anti-spam, Jetpack and Yoast).
8. Blog, you blogger! Yep… you’re pretty much set up. Now you can start creating that quality content that the world needs to see! Remember that Google and Youtube is your best friend… you may feel as if you need to have an I.T. boffin by your side throughout this whole ordeal, but truth be told fam, my Hubstopher is an I.T. boffin and he literally did ZERO work on my website. I figured it all out myself and with the help of Google and Youtube. And friends, if I can do it, believe me, so can you.
Extra tip: A great idea would be to register social media accounts in your blog’s name. Hint: You would want to make the name similar across all accounts, making it easy for your readers to find you. Social media accounts, for your blog, is a great way to keep people informed with your latest posts. It is also a great way to build community with your readers and to see what people are interested in hearing about.
So there you have it. My very doable, very easy ‘How To Start a Blog in 2019’ guide. You’re welcome.
Other articles that can help you on this blogging journey:
Choosing a blog niche
How to start a blog
More on ‘how to start a blog’
A huge thank you to Odette of Confidently Insecure for reading through my post to check that I’m not a raving lunatic, giving you guys inaccurate information!