Blogging is one of the most enjoyable things that I do, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I’m not as dedicated as some other bloggers. I haven’t built a personal brand or turned my blog into a high-flying career (unless of course you take into considering the numerous companies I run social media accounts for, or the reams of copywriting I do, which without this blog would never have happened), but I love it anyway. It’s an outlet where I can talk about anything I want and have a little piece of myself on the internet. A lot of people want to start blogging, but they’re not sure where to start. Should you try and make money from it or keep it as a hobby? Should you write about whatever comes into your head or pick a theme and stick to it? If you want to set up a blog, here are my essential first steps to get you started.
Choosing a Focus
The first thing you need to do is pick a focus. Some people will blog about just about everything under the sun, but it’s best to narrow your focus at least a little. It might be hard to find an audience if you’re talking about engineering one second and healthy eating the next. But that doesn’t mean your focus has to be small. You could pick a broad topic, such as lifestyle. If you want to make money from your blog, choosing what to write about is a bit more involved. You need to research keywords to find out what people are looking for.
Naming Your Blog
When you know what you’re going to write about, you need to come up with a name for your blog. It should be something memorable that represents what your blog covers. This task is something you should do before registering a domain, as you want something to match it. If you’re struggling, you can try using blog name generators to help you. They can give you suggestions based on what your blog is about. You should take available domains into consideration when you pick a name. For example, you might pick myblog.co.uk because myblog.com already exists. But then people might end up accidentally going to myblog.com all the time. If you can get several domains with the same name, it’s even better.
Hosting and Installation
You need to find hosting for your blog and a way to build it. Many bloggers choose to use WordPress and a specialist WordPress host. All you need to do is register your domain and pay for hosting, then you can install WordPress with the click of a button. It’s one of the easiest ways to get your blog set up. You have lots of options for WordPress hosting, including GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator, and more.
Once you’ve set up your blog, you can make it your own. If you’re using WordPress, you can choose a theme to start with. You can customise the layout, fonts and colours to get it right. You might also want some graphics, such as a personalised header image. If you don’t have any skills with creating these yourself, you can pay someone to do it for you. You could also try using some basic tools and teaching yourself to make the images you need.
Setting up your first blog is quite easy. You’ll find that it’s everything that comes after that’s more difficult.