HOW TO START A BLOG IN 2021 - THE FINAL GUIDE

HOW TO START A BLOG IN 2021

January 03, 2021





There are so many things to consider when starting a blog. Most times we don’t even know where to begin. Blogging can seem difficult at first because of different reasons. Starting a successful blog can be a lot of money or it cannot. This guide will teach you how to start a successful blog on a budget, the steps to take and you will see your blog just looking as classy as the blog next door.


To be a blogger you need to have both the flair for writing and determination to succeed because life won’t go easy on you. We would be looking into details all the things required for a good blog and even how to monetize your blog.


This is a long read so click on the image below to save for later;






Some of the links below are affiliate links, so we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through a link. Check our disclosure for more information. Thank you for your support!


WHAT IS A BLOG?


If you are reading this I want to believe it is because you want to start a blog. Well, have you ever thought of what a blog is?

 

The answer is NO! I am also guilty of that.


A blog is a website that allows users (us) to reflect, share opinions, and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal, sometimes letting readers comment on a post. Now that we know the meaning of a blog let’s dive in;


A blog can be written in two ways. It can be written in a formal tone or an informal tone. According to researchers’ most readers prefer blog posts that are written in an informal tone. This is because most readers feel they can relate to the author. The same way readers also feel they can trust an author if he gives some information about himself, although this is optional. A blog entry is called a post or posting.







CREATING A BLOG


When creating a blog for the first time there are important things you need to consider.

  1. Good niche
  2. Domain name
  3. Choosing a web hosting provider and website builder.
  4. Theme and Blog structure
  5. Content 
  6. Keyword research and analytics
  7. Social media
  8. Monetizing your blog


GOOD NICHE


There are different kinds of niches ranging from health, fitness, finance or food. Niche in blogging is basically what your blog content will be about. It is very important to select a profitable niche for your blog. Most blogs out there fail because there aren’t many people interested in what they blog about.


There are several kinds of niches. You must find the one just for you. We must remember that whatever you blog about must be of interest to us [bloggers] and must also solve our readers' problem. If you had a hard time selecting a niche like I did then this guide is just for you.



HOW TO SELECT THE PERFECT NICHE FOR YOUR BLOG.


Niches are grouped into two. We have the Evergreen niches and the Primary niches. Evergreen niches like the name state mean exactly it. They are niches that are always popular and do not go out of fashion. Evergreen niches include

  • Health
  • Fitness
  • Relationship
  • Finance
  • Making money
  • Pets
  • Beauty
  • Food
  • Self-improvement
  • DIY- Crafts

Primary niches on the other hand are like subcategories of evergreen niches. Examples of primary niches are;

  • Health

- Diabetes

- Pregnancy

- Therapy


  • Fitness

- Losing weight

- Upper body workout

- Cardio workouts

- The art of jogging


  • Relationship

- Marriage

- Dating

- Parenting


  • Finance

- Car finance

- Mortgaging

- Personal finance

- Saving

- Credit cards


  • Making money

- Freelancing

- Blogging

- Small business


  • Pets

- Dogs

- Cats

- Exotic birds

- Reptiles


  • Beauty

- Self-care

- Makeup

- Hairstyles

- Nail art

- Skincare


  • Food

- Baking

- Thanksgiving meals

- Coffee

- Wine



NOTE; Niches like Health and Finance must meet the E.A.T terms and conditions set by Google in the year 2018. E.A.T stands for; Expertise, Authority and Trust. Google refers to websites in the health and finance niche as “your money or your life”.


We must also remember that whatever niche you end up selecting must perform well on google trends. You must pick a good niche if you want to make a profit of it.



DOMAIN NAME



Now that you have selected a profitable niche for your blog, the next step is to pick a domain name. A domain name is a unique name given to every website on the net. The domain name of a blog holds great value as that will be known by your reader. When picking a domain name you need to take your time. A domain name cannot be easily changed if your blog is already thriving. Domain names are very affordable and can be used for a year before the renewal of payment. It sometimes ranges from 10$ to 20$ depending on the extension chosen. There are several domain services to buy a domain name from. Examples like

    1. GoDaddy
    2. Namecheap
We recommend Namecheap as the perfect platform to purchase your domain name from. They offer great customer service and also a great user experience.

Purchase a (dot) com domain name through this link for just $8.88/yr only! 


FEATURES OF A GOOD DOMAIN NAME

    1. A domain name should be easy to remember as well as spell. Your audiences must be able to remember the name of your blog.
    2. A domain name should not possess any form of special characters or numbers. To be honest it is very confusing, most times I always forget where the underscore is placed. DON’T.
    3. A domain name should have a good and popular extension like .com, .uk, .ng, .info
    4. A domain should be able to tell your readers what they should expect. Blogs like Making sense of cent or Dollar sprout are easily identified as finance blogs.

I would recommend not to name your blog after yourself except it is a personal blog or lifestyle blog. Naming a blog after one's name might be difficult to sell if that is what you might consider doing later in the future.



CHOOSING A WEB HOSTING PROVIDER AND WEBSITE SERVICE PROVIDER


We have selected both our niches and domain name. The next obvious step is to choose a website service provider and a Webhosting service. It is to be noted that both work hand in hand or should I say web on the web. Website service providers are innovations made to make the creation of a blog or website easily. They are so many widely approved website builder that one cannot help but get overwhelmed. Worry not; this blog post on comparing website builders would put your mind at ease. The website builders I will be referring to in this post are wordpress.com and blogger. 


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORDPRESS AND BLOGGER 

We would be looking at the comparison between WordPress and blogger. 

  • WordPress allows more features in creating a blog, while blogger is limited in features.
  • WordPress has both a free and premium plan, while blogger is completely free.
  • WordPress requires paid hosting services; the blogger does not require hosting services.
  • WordPress allows its users to add special plug-ins to improve user experience, plug-ins are not allowed in blogger although HTML codes or java scripts are allowed in both.
  • WordPress users have to embed Google Adsense to their blog while blogger users need not worry about that because it comes with the application.

 

 

WEB HOSTING PROVIDER


Webhosting providers are services hosting a website or blog on the internet, making it viewable by other users. There a lot of webs hosting services out there but we need to be smart in making the right choice. When searching for a web host there are some features we need to look at;

  • Storage space; this is the amount of space given to you on the host web server to store your files. We must remember, the larger the storage space, the higher the money you pay.
  • E-mail hosting; most hosting services offer its users email hosting along with web hosting. E-mail hosting is used to host your e-mail mailboxes and also allow the user to use their custom domain name as their email addresses. E-mail hosting is not free.
  • Operating System; this refers to the operating system on the web. Its users are usually given two choices; Linux or Windows.
  • Technical assistance; some Webhosting services offer good customer care assistance. If you have an issue assessing your site or setting up your hosting they will be available at your disposal 24/7.
  • E-Commerce; some hosting services offer plans that allow its user to host her online store on the internet. The services usually include features like credit card authorization and other payment methods. Most times this hosting plan is usually expensive. 
  • Website Analytics; this is statistics that tell the user how many actions, or views he gets on his blog. Although, most times it is preferable you add Google analytics to your blog to get a better result. 


At thefinalguide.com our recommended web hosting service provider is Bluehost. There is a reason why WordPress recommends it.


Get your very first hosting plan with Bluehost for just a small fee of $3.95/month. Sign up here!


Other hosting services include; Hostgator, Siteground……



THEME AND BLOG STRUCTURE


Good blog structure or theme is making the user experience friendly on your blog. Most blog theme by default makes the recent post appear on the front page, which makes it easy for your users to see the latest postings. When considering the structure of your blog there are some key features we need to look at;

  1. Layout
  2. Colour scheme
  3. Font face 
  4. User experience

 




  1. Layout; the layout of a blog is very important. It makes the user experience positive. There are some features we might want to include on our blog;
  • Header; this is where the logo, name and description of the blog will be placed.
  • Navigation; this will lead you to other static pages like terms of use, categories of your blog, home, contact page…
  • Post; this will display a few of your popular posts or anyhow you decide to set it.
  • Static content; this is can be an about us page or an about me page, whatever you decide.
  • Follow by email; this is important to have on your blog, it allows your readers to offer up their email addresses to receive emails from you.
  • Search; this is another feature that gives a positive user experience. It allows the user to search the blog using specified keywords.
  • Categories; this allows the users to easily assess each blog post when they are in groups.
  • Archives; this is previous blog posts.
  • Widgets and plug-ins; these are special features allowed on a blog. Like following a social media account.
  • Footer; this is the end of a blog. It usually has followed by email widget placed there for email subscriptions.

 




Having considered the features to have on a blog the next thing is the blog structure. The most common and most popular blog structure, which having been tested to have good usability is to have the header at the top of the blog the main content at the left, the sidebar at the right and the footer beneath. Most Successful website uses this layout like Google (this is visible on desktop screen).

 

2.COLOUR SCHEMEMost blogs comes with minimalist designs, while some blogs come with vibrant colour schemes like neon, pink, yellow, purple and other colours. It is not wrong to want to add two or more colours to your blog but you need to consider visibility. It will be difficult to read a yellow text on a white background. When choosing colours you also need to follow a scheme. Do not choose random colours. If your blog logo has colours try to minimize your colour palette to just three or four colours. Some online tools help with this. 


Some blogs use just the white and black colour scheme which usually comes out looking chic and classy. When choosing background and text colours you need to look at the contrast. How visible are your postings? Users are there to read not get blind, I would advise not to add background images to your blog but it is optional.


3.FONT FACE; This is another important consideration for your blog. It is important to remember that they are thousands of fonts available to use but some are made specifically for web design. 


The three common and most important font types are; Times new roman, Serif, Georgia. The font size and colour are of importance. It is no secret that the bigger the font, the easier to read. It is no rule that you are allowed to use one font for your blog. 


A good mixture will be nice but do so with moderation. The script and calligraphy kind of font is not generally advisable as it can be difficult to read.

Remember when choosing a font for your blog,

  • It should be large.
  • The rule of contrast must apply. Don’t use a bright coloured text on a white background.
  • Mix the use of font type properly. Two different font types are okay.
  • Avoid the use of script font type. It is difficult to read.

 




4. USER EXPERIENCE; the User experience is very important if you want to rank high on Google searches. People use different devices to search the internet; phone, desktop, tablet. Your blog must be optimized to fit all screen types making it easy to use. The loading speed of your blog is of utmost importance if you want to have less bounce through rate and high dwell time. The top navigations placed on your blog are to give the readers easy asses to blog post. The main point here is to make your blog easy to use and less complicated.




Theme


We have considered the blog structure of you’re the blog, the next obvious step is how to implement it. This is done through themes. Most website building site comes with default themes. Most times you might want something different or some features lacking in those default themes. You are allowed to install custom themes for your blog. When choosing a custom theme there are certain things you need to pay heed to;

  • Social sharing icons; If you decide to use a blogger template, you need to be on the lookout for this. Social sharing and follow buttons are important to have on a blog to grow its followers on social media and also increase the sharing rate of its posts. For WordPress users, you can always add plug-ins to solve these problems.
  • Responsiveness; Most internet searches are performed through the mobile device, so your blog must be mobile responsive. You can find out how mobile-friendly your blog is through this link. A blog theme must look great on all devices and as equally respond properly.
  • SEO ready; Most templates are search engine optimization already, although this won’t guarantee your blog performing well on Google ranks.
  • Loading Speed; if you want your blog to perform well it must be able to load in seconds. Humans generally are impatient beings and won’t wait for your 60Mb image to load. Make sure the theme loads fast using mobile data and not wifi connection. Check the loading speed of your website here.

 

NOTE; if you are having large size images you can always use online tools to compress them. It will be advisable to post your blog videos on YouTube and not on your blog. Large file size slows the loading speed of your blog.



Content; 




This is the writings, images and videos you add to your blog. Good writing takes time. You might feel pressured and unsure at first but in the long run, you will get comfortable with it and also improve your style of writing. To relieve some of your worries, you can install Grammarly. Grammarly is an English checker. It corrects grammatical errors and is helpful 80% of the time.


Good content must include an attention-grabbing headline. An attention-grabbing headline should be able to evoke a reaction from the reader, either emotions or actions. A headline should be concise and straight to the point. Do not create clickbait headlines just to have more views and clicks on your blog. The recommended length of your blog post should be 2000 words and above if you want to rank on Google. It’s no secret that Google prefers long articles to short articles. And short paragraphs to long paragraphs.


If you want to get good at blog writing you need to post frequently and not once in a week. You should be having up to two blog posts going out each week minimum. But you need to figure out what works best for you, do not rush it or post half baked articles because you need to post frequently. 


As a blogger you are sharing information to your readers, which is why you should also add links from other people’s blog to yours. When writing a blog post you should also add internal links, links from your website to your website. It is also important to set your tone and voice when blogging, I mentioned earlier of two styles of writing; you can choose what way you feel will convey your message to your readers best. Apply tags and categories to your content. It is known as labels on blogger. Categories help your readers search your blog properly.



KEYWORD RESEARCH AND ANALYTICS



You have put so much effort and energy in making your blog look nice, the next step is how to get it in front of your target audience. Search engine optimization is the art of getting your blog to appear on the first page of a search engine results. This can be made possible through strategies, practices and using the right tools

Keywords are commonly searched words or phrase on the internet. If you want your blog to rank high, you need to use the specific words people are searching for to create a post. We can use tools to tell us how many searches with a specific keyword monthly or yearly. The good part is you can use these tools to get the keywords and create your content around them.


For example; If I want to create a content on “piano tutorials for beginners” and I want it to rank number 1 on Google; the things I will do are;

  • Use keyword research tools to get up to fifty different keywords associated with “piano tutorials for beginners”.
  • Download the keywords and study them. Select a few.
  • Use keyword research tools to analyze the top 10 pages that are ranking first on Google
  • Combine both found keywords and analyze again
  • Create a detailed content on “piano tutorials for beginners” using those keywords as much as possible; but not in a clustered way.

Remember long-tail keywords are several words and these keywords are easier to rank for than shorter keywords. Keywords should be added to titles, description and permalinks.

 

There are both free and paid keyword research tools, at thefinalguide we use and highly recommended SEMRUSH. Other tools are google keyword planner, ubbersuggest, keyword shitter……

 

WEB ANALYTICS




This measures the amount of traffic, impression and actions are taking from your blog. Web analytics helps a blogger understand how well or how bad a blog is doing and if there is a need for improvement. Some tools help analyze a website and give you insight on what you need to do, adjust or stop. 

To track the performance of your website you need to sign up for free with Google Analytics and Google web console. There are other great tools out there that perform great functions in adjusting your blog.

Web analytics is so good that it helps track your traffic up to where you get more views to from whether from mobile devices or desktop; it also tracks up to the country. Learn how to add Google analytics to your blog to get a better insight on your blog performance.

Remember you need to rank on google search engines result to be able to get a lot of organic traffic.
 

SOCIAL MEDIA; 




The social media platforms have more than five billion users monthly. We can take advantage of these people. It is important to create a social media account for your blog; it helps lead people back to your blog. There are different social media platforms a blogger can sign up for. You don’t need to sign up for all. The popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.


Out of all the social media platforms, my favourite is Pinterest. Pinterest is said to have four hundred millions of visitors monthly, and there have been a lot of testimonies from bloggers saying they get up to 50% of their traffic from Pinterest. 


Facebook is also great in getting traffic to your blog, as a person I am generally not a fan of Facebook and I think it is for old people and I am pretty young (lol). Facebook is great if you want to have a one-to-one conversation with your readers. Facebook allows the creation of groups, most blogs have this. If you plan on creating a Facebook account you should also create a group.


Instagram is also for creating and for sharing snippets of your blog posts and sharing your blog images. Twitter on the other hand is great for tweeting your blog posts, just to get it out there. YouTube is for hosting your blog videos and sharing tutorials.

 

We must remember that if you should create a social media account, you must be consistent in your posting to grow your followings and also reply to your followers and comments.

 

MONETIZING YOUR BLOG; 



As your blog traffic continues to grow, money comes in. There are different ways you can monetize your blog either by selling ad spaces, selling e-books, affiliate marketing, selling products. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you pick what makes you happy. Don’t try to do all at the beginning; making money is a gradual process.

Do not rush into making money when you start your blog newly.

 

Enjoy your new blogging journey!

 

Pin this image to your "How To Start A Blog For Beginners Board" to save for later;




 

 


You Might Also Like

1 comments

  1. Love that you mentioned website layout and colour scheme here! It can make look our blogs look professional since the beginning!

    ReplyDelete

Popular Posts

Join the family!