There are plenty of blog posts on starting a blog but what we wanted to give is a quick summary that will last in your memory, while also being easy on the eyes. With that being said… let me introduce you to our “How to Start a Blog in 7 Simple Steps” infographic, based off our original series found here.
Each step in this infographic breaks down the necessary components of a successful blog — such as choosing a topic, registering a domain and even promoting your content to drive traffic back to your site. In short, we cover everything you need to know about how to start a blog. You can view all 7 steps (in detail) in this series through the URLs below.
- Choosing a quality topic for your blog
- Setting up your web hosting and domain name
- How to install WordPress in just a few simple clicks
- Customizing the look and feel of your WordPress site
- How to create the best content for your audience
- Best SEO plugins and how to rank in Google
- Driving massive traffic back to your blog
How to Start a Blog Infographic
Step 1 – Choose a Topic and Domain for Your Blog
Topic = Passion
Choose a topic that you are comfortable and passionate about. Blogging for an income may take time so it is prudent to select a topic that you will not get bored. Passion can guide you through the rough seas so take your time on this very important step up front.
- Narrow Your Topic – Health is a category and it is too broad. A classic example of a narrowed down topic is ‘how to lose weight’ or ‘how to lose belly fat’. Think about how to drill further on a topic that interests you. Think about – ‘how to lose belly fat without exercising’.
- Look at the Online Market for that Topic – If you are starting a blog to make money then it is prudent to see if your topic has an online market. You can do this by searching Google for other blogs in the same topic. Competition is a good thing as the topic has interest and proved to produce an income. You can also search Google to see if there are any affiliate products that you can promote. The existence of affiliate products can further strengthen the case for the chosen topic.
- What Monetization Options Best Fit You? (Advertising, eBook, Affiliate Products or Services) – Blogging income greatly depends on what you have to offer and how much time you are willing to put in order to offer a product or service.
Domain Name = Relevant and Simple
Once you have a topic it’s time to register a domain name like YourName.com or YourTopic.com
You can use a provider like NameCheap.com as they don’t have too many upsells like GoDaddy has.
Keep your domain name relevant to your topic and keep it simple so people can remember it.
Register Your Domain
It’s time to commit to blogging by registering your domain for a minimum of one or two years.
More Details: Step 1 – Topic and Domain
Step 2 – Choose a Website Platform and a Web Host
Platform = WordPress
You need a platform that runs your website – where you can create and manage content. WordPress is used widely and powers more than 20% of the internet. There is more than 15 million WordPress blogs. Here are some of the most common reasons people choose WordPress.
- Most Popular
- Responsive Themes
- Easy to Use
Select a Host and a Hosting Plan
Once you have a domain name and have selected to use WordPress to manage your website, you now need somewhere to keep the content and all the files – this is why you need a WordPress web host.
- Start Small – to keep costs low.
- Consider Cost and Performance – Speed is a Google ranking factor and the web host is a major factor in page load times.
- Compare Support and Features – when starting out you don’t need bells and whistles; you can always upgrade to a higher plan when required. If you need help with anything related to your hosting you need a provider who responds fast hence you should take support into consideration.
More Details: Step 2 – Website Platform and Host
Step 3 – Install WordPress
All major hosting providers have an easy WordPress installation process; some may even do this for you free of any cost.
Update Blog Post Permalink Structure
After WordPress installation, there are a handful of basic housekeeping activities you need to get sorted; the 1st one being your internal URL structure. By default, WordPress throws some numbers for each new post like: YourSite.com/Post=123 and this is not good for the website user or search engines. So you need to change it to YourSite.com/PostName under Settings -> Permalinks
Install Essential Plugins
Plugins provide additional features to a WordPress blog and here are few to start with. Try to keep an eye on website performance when selecting plugins.
- Akismet – Quite possibly the best plugin to protect your blog against spam.
- Yoast for SEO and Sitemap – A plugin that does more than one thing. An SEO plugin is a must to better manage your SEO affairs.
- Google Analytics by Yoast – If you are going with Yoast remember to add the Google Analytics plugin as the Yoast does not have this feature like ‘All in One SEO plugin’.
- WP Cache – A plugin that caches your site to speed up loading times.
- Ewww Image Compression or Similar – Websites require images and over time they can slow your site down so it is a good idea to have a plugin that compresses images.
More Details: Step 3 – Install WordPress
Step 4 – Find a Theme
This is a simple and fun step. Play around with a handful of themes to see what best fits you. Remember you can always change the theme any time. Here are a few things to look out for when selecting a theme.
- Easy to Customize
- SEO Ready
More Details: Step 4 – Selecting a Theme
Step 5 – Create Awesome Content
The only way to get attention is to create amazing content that is valuable to the target audience. Here are a few places you can look for content ideas and keywords to start with.
Content Ideas and Keywords
- Google Trends
- Google Search
Format Your Post
Checkout some of the top performing posts using BuzzSumo for your topic and you will see they are mostly well formatted. Posts that are broken into paragraphs with sub headings are easier to read. It is also a good idea to include a few attention grabbing images that are relevant to keep the readers engaged.
- Use Subheadings, H2 and H3 Tags
- Include Images – Here is a guide to 28 awesome free image sources.
- Make the Content Easy to Read by Formatting the Text
More Details: Step 5 – Creating Great Content
Step 6 – On Page SEO Components for Organic Traffic
For a new blog focus on internal SEO elements for rankings. Once your blog is a few months old you can look at building backlinks to boost your rankings and traffic.
- Title – 60 Characters
- Description – 150 to 155 Characters
- Use Keywords (in title, description and body of the blog post – Yoast SEO plugin can help with this)
- Link to Valuable Content Externally and Internally
More Details: Step 6 – SEO Plugins and Keywords
Step 7 – Content Promotion to Build an Audience and Traffic
This is an important step most new bloggers either ignore or underestimate. Content promotion does not stop with sharing your content with your family and friends in social media.
- Build a Mailing List – Number one mistake most new bloggers make is not building a mailing list.
- Create a Social Media Following – Share great content from others and follow influencers.
- Use Hashtags – To multiply your content spread.
- Email Bloggers – If you have an awesome piece of content then reach out to fellow bloggers so they can either link to it or socially promote it. You can also ask for a guest post so you can start building your backlinks.
- Get on Forums
More Details: Step 7 – Drive Traffic
Wrapping it up
This is a visual summary of the major steps involved in starting a blog. Don’t get overwhelmed, take action one step at a time. With experience you will master some important elements like link building and content promotion. Each day is challenging and exciting. Why not show the world your creative side?
Ready to get started with a blog of your own? Click here and get a free domain name!