How To Start A Blog — The Complete Beginner Guide
So you want to learn how to start a blog? This article will show you everything you need to know on how to start a blog successfully with no technical experience or knowledge required in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, across Africa, or anywhere else in the world.
Blogging has overtime proven to be an income stream for thousands of people around the world. The concept in itself has shown how faithfully sticking to a hobby can generate high monthly incomes if executed right.
With the success of millionaire bloggers like Linda Ikeji, Bellanaija, TMZ, Mashable, and many more that have proven that almost anyone can make money blogging, people have come to realise its potentials and are now doing everything possible to learn how to start a blog, so they can position themselves as the next big things to happen in the industry.
While many may wish to make money blogging, few know how to, and several individuals have taken advantage of this by helping thousands of people and businesses setup blogs for a fee. The more people who want to learn how to start a blog or make money blogging but don’t know how to, the more web developers create blogs as a service, and the more money they make.
If you want to learn how to start a blog in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, across Africa, or anywhere else in the world, and are looking for an effective way to setup one in less than 20 minutes, read on.
Why Start A Blog?
There are a wide variety of reasons to start a blog. While motives are different, it is important to only start a blog if you intend to add value to people’s lives by sharing useful tips, writing smartly filtered but hot news, or even reviewing various businesses to help people make better purchasing decisions.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog or not, here are a few reasons you probably should start a blog in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, across Africa, or anywhere else in the world in 2017:
1). You Want Your Voice To Be Heard:
If you’re an expert in a field, an activist who wants to be heard, or a person who has some knowledge to share, starting a blog is a great bet for you.
2). You Want To Improve Your Writing Skills:
Starting a blog helps in improving the writing skills of every individual over a long period of time. Almost every blogger has at some point been embarrassed by their early blog posts. The texts would look out of place and the use of english is usually not as authentic as they’d have wanted it to be. This is perfectly okay, because you’ll get better as a writer after publishing a series of blog posts.
3). You Want To Make A Difference:
You could make a difference by teaching people how to better manage money, how to live healthy lives, or how to raise great kids. If you believe you can make a difference, you could learn how to start a blog and start posting rich contents that would add value to the lives of everyone in your society.
4). You Want To Start A Publishing Career:
In the publishing industry, starting a blog can serve as a great portfolio for your writing and research skills. Even if you never want to work for a publisher, your blog could start-off your independent publishing career, and help you build a brand that would be a force to reckon with in the society.
5). You Want To Make Money Blogging:
This is probably the most common reason people want to learn how to start a blog. The art of making money from blogging has been in existence for over 10 years around the world. While it has only recently picked up momentum in Africa, especially Nigeria with the success of millionaire bloggers like Linda Ikeji and BellaNaija, thousands of people worldwide have already been making hundreds and thousands of dollars monthly.
If your reason for starting a blog is only because you want to make money blogging, then you’d have a problem reaching your goals. But if your first and most important reason is to add value to people’s lives and the second is to make money blogging through that, then you could turnout successful on the long-run.
The 7 Simple Steps On How To Start A Blog
1). Choose What You Want To Blog About
2). Choose A Blogging Platform
3). Choose A Web Host
4). Pick A Website Name For The Blog And Get Hosting
5). Install WordPress — Your Blogging Software
6). Start Blogging
7). Make Money Blogging
STEP ONE: Choose What You Want To Blog About
This is the most important step when thinking of how to start a blog. Instead of following the crowd and getting lost in the mix, focus rather, on what blog niche you’d love to write about.
It is important to pick a blog niche in an environment you’re very familiar with. Instead of pursuing the norm and doing what every other person is doing, choose a category that has a very large market, but is largely untapped.
Some questions to ask yourself before you choose a blog niche to focus on are:
- Do I enjoy learning and writing about this topic?
- How many other people are interested in starting this type of blog?
- Can I write up to 300 articles on this topic?
Some great niches to start a blog on are:
- Mother & Childcare
- Men’s Health
- Health & Nutrition
- Personal Finance
- Legal Issues
- Fashion & Beauty
- Business Reviews
And thousands more.
STEP TWO: Choose A Blogging Platform
When setting up a blog, you can either go with the free blogging platform option or the self-hosted WordPress option.
The Problems With Free Blogs — Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs Vs Free Blogs
Anything that’s FREE suddenly gets the attention of everyone, but in the end has a lot of drawbacks that will definitely come back to haunt the person who used them.
When thinking of how to start a blog, it is best to stay far away from the free blog option. The problem here is that the free option will end up becoming one of the largest blogging mistakes you will probably make.
Here are a few reasons you should take to your heels if anyone tries to convince you to go with the free blog option:
1). The URLs Are Long And Ugly:
The URLs of free blogs are usually very long, difficult to remember, ugly, and never user friendly. It could be something like freeblogforeveryone.wordpress.com or freeblogforeveryone.blogspot.com, instead of freeblogforeveryone.com. These names are usually very difficult to remember or spell, and will be a major deterrent to the growth of your brand on the internet.
While some professional bloggers like Linda Ikeji successfully got away with this, thousands of others have failed woefully at it. Even the Queen bee of gossip blogs eventually had to move her blog to a self-hosted platform and renamed it to lindaikejisblog.com.
2). There’s No Control:
The blog host could wake up the next morning and pull down your blog and every other blog on its database. A host that’s very popular for this kind of behaviour is Google. They penalise blogs easily on their free Blogspot platform and even brought down Linda Ikeji’s blog in 2014. Apart from pulling down blogs on a regular basis, Google has a reputation for shutting down a lot of their platforms. Sometimes, they buy companies just to shut them down, and other times, they discontinue a service they used to offer.
Creating a free blog then leaves you with a totally uncertain fate. If you’re thinking of how to start a blog in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, across Africa, or anywhere else in the world, stay very far away from FREE blogs.
3). Very Limited Ways To Make Money:
It is extremely difficult to monetise a free blog in a vast number of ways. For instance, the only feasible methods of making money from free blogs is by putting Ads and publishing sponsored posts. This is dramatically sad.
Even affiliate companies won’t approve your blog to join their affiliate programs if they notice it’s a free blog, and still, affiliate marketing remains one of the most lucrative ways to make money on the internet; especially if you want to start earning up to $1,000 a month very fast.
If you have an eBook for sale for instance, plugging in advanced sales funnel platforms like Click Funnels, SamCart, Zaxaa and several others to explode your eBook sales, is almost impossible if you’re running your blog on a free platform.
If you’re starting a blog especially to make money, you must create a self-hosted WordPress blog from day one! So you’d have access to hundreds and thousands of methods to monetise your blog.
4). The Websites Are Ugly:
Free blogs only give you a limited amount of themes to choose from, and they’re usually all very ugly. Self-hosted WordPress sites on the other hand gives you access to hundreds of thousands of amazing themes and plugins to make your blogging experience an exceptional one.
If you’re trying to build an online reputation through blogging, getting an amazing theme to represent your image well from over 100,000 beautiful Wordpress themes on the internet is one great advantage self-hosted WordPress sites have over free blogs.
If you’re looking for a place to get a beautiful WordPress theme for your blog from thousands of stunning themes, these two amazing websites listed below are your best bets:
5). No Custom Emails:
You can’t use a custom email like firstname.lastname@example.org in a free blog. You’re limited to the publicly available email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and the likes. But with a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can have any available domain name you want to end your email addresses.
For example, if your blog’s url is www.example.com, you can create a custom email address on a self-hosted WordPress blog that’d look like email@example.com, which is a lot more professional.
6). Poor Security:
The internet is a very dangerous place and a lot of people are prone to hacks and identity theft. If you’re using a free blog and fall into the category of those who get noticed by a hacker, they could steal your domain name and you’ll never get it back again.
This is one reason you should always stay far away from free blogs. It is not worth risk, no matter what type of blog you intend to start.
It is always better to get a self-hosted WordPress blog, even if you have to pay a small token of $3.49 a month. It ensures you own the domain name, and that the security of the blog is well managed on your behalf by the domain hosts.
7). It Is Not Even Truly Free:
Some free blogs, especially free WordPress blogs, always come with hidden charges. For instance, you can’t put an advert on a free WordPress blog, and upgrading some features come with hidden charges that you’d have to pay for no matter what.
The sad truth is that free blogs exist to make the company offering you the free blog money. They make a large revenue off your sweat and hard work and they put up Ads without your permission on your blogs, except you pay them a fee to block out Ads, which is still another way to make them even more money.
A self-hosted WordPress blog saves you from all these hidden charges and puts you in total control of your blog and income.
In a nutshell, here are the differences between a self-hosted WordPress blog and a free blog like Blogger
- Google could easily suspend your Blogger site just as they did to Linda Ikeji in 2014, but with WordPress, you control your full rights. This makes Blogger a mirage and nothing solid.
- You can do extremely limited things on Blogger, but on WordPress, the unlimited availability of plugins makes almost anything you think of possible.
- Blogger themes are very bad looking and few, but WordPress themes are not just in their millions, but a majority of them are beautiful.
- Moving your Blogger site to another platform is extremely difficult, so most of the time, you’re stuck. But for WordPress, moving it is extremely easy.
- There’s a limited support for Blogger sites if you run into issues, but WordPress has a vast community that provides solutions for everyone.
- Google could decide to shut down the Blogger platform for everyone, just as they did with many of their other services. But WordPress is self-hosted, so your WordPress blog is not going anywhere unless you want to pull it down yourself.
- WordPress sites are a lot easier to monetize than Blogger sites.
STEP 3: Choose A Web Hosting Company
When choosing a platform to create your self-hosted WordPress blog on, there are several web hosting companies to choose from. Some of the most reputable web hosting companies to setup your WordPress blog on are:
If you’re starting a new blog or moving your blog from an existing host to another, out of all these web hosting companies, I strongly recommend that you go with Bluehost, because they have the most powerful infrastructure and offer exciting web hosting packages that go for as low as $3.99 per month.
The amazing benefits that Bluehost offers makes them one of the most outstanding web hosting choices to make. Some of them are:
- Bluehost is very easy to use. ABSOLUTELY ANYONE can create a WordPress blog easily by following the tutorial below.
- Their web hosting service comes with an amazing technical support.
- They are extremely affordable for everyone because of their amazingly cheap web hosting. With Bluehost, you can easily have a blog of your own and the only cheap expense you’re going to pay is a ridiculously low cost of $3.49 per month.
- With Bluehost, you get a FREE blog domain of your choice, which you would have paid about $15 for through many other blog web hosting companies.
- Setting up your WordPress platform on Bluehost is FREE. All you have to pay for is hosting.
- They make it easy for people that change their minds about hosting their blogs on their platform by giving an unconditional guarantee to the person paying, such that, if for any reason you are unsatisfied with their service, you can cancel the hosting and get your money back.
- They will make your blog self-hosted, so you can easily start making money from it. With a self-hosted blog, you can monetize it at any time.
- They will make your blog and you the blogger, appear more credible and professional to people that read your blog. But you wouldn’t get this benefit by creating a free blog on Blogger or anywhere else.
Because of the several amazing benefits they offer, with just a few listed here, many bloggers choose Bluehost as their preferred choice to easily create and host a WordPress blog of their own.
Since you’re aware of the countless benefits of hosting your new blog or moving your existing blog to Bluehost, here’s how to start a blog on Bluehost in less than 20 minutes:
STEP 4: Pick A Website Name For The Blog And Get Hosting
A). Get A Domain Name For Your Blog
The first thing you have to do when trying to create a WordPress blog is to determine the domain name you’re going to use. Coming up with the right name is crucial to several factors like; how easily people can remember the blog’s name, how easy it is to type the name, and how it relates to what you intend to blog about.
After coming up with a domain name you deem perfect, getting it on Bluehost makes the whole process easy, because you get the domain name FOR FREE for the first year, as long as you get at least 12 months of web hosting (which is far cheaper than paying $15 for a domain name). By acquiring 12 months of domain hosting on Bluehost, your WordPress blog expenditure comes down to an extremely low value than it would have been, if you had tried to set it up some other way.
B). Get Hosting Space For Your Blog
You have to get web hosting so you can setup your WordPress blog completely. Getting hosting for your WordPress blog gets easier and more comfortable with Bluehost.
Here are a few things you need to note so you can get the best WordPress hosting deal:
- To take advantage of the cheapest plan available on the blog, choose the “Basic Plan”. In its entirety, it’s the lowest plan and all you need, to create a robust and secure WordPress blog. It costs only $3.49 per month. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free website domain (originally worth $15), a free site builder and a 30-days money-back guarantee if you get, at least, 12 months of blog hosting. This saves you a lot of money and gets your blog running in no time.
- Getting only the “Basic Plan” is all you need. You can move on to the Plus or Business Pro plans in the future as your blog grows, gains huge traffic, and starts to surpass your expectations. So there’s no need to get what you don’t need for now.
- Remember, when you create a blog on Bluehost, you’ll get your domain FOR FREE (originally worth $15).
The amazing part of Bluehost’s commitment to creating a great platform for people to setup WordPress blogs, is they can give you your money back within 30 days if you’re no longer interested.
How To Get A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog Hosting In Summary
These are the 5 easy steps to get your WordPress blog hosting and get it up and running in 20 minutes or less:
- Go to the Bluehost website and click the “Get Started Now” button.
- Click on the blog package you are interested in getting.
- Type in the domain name you have previously registered with or sign up for a new domain name.
- After you make payment, enter a password. Ensure your password is secure, so no one close to you or even a stranger doesn’t steal your details and log into your account.
STEP 5: Install WordPress — Your Blogging Software
After getting your self-hosted WordPress hosting and FREE domain name, the next step is to log into your Bluehost account to install WordPress in just one click. You can visit this link to access Bluehost, then click the login button.
Here’s what the login page looks like:
After signing in, you should click the Install WordPress button in the image below:
Then you choose the name of the FREE domain (originally worth $15) Bluehost gave you when you registered, and click “Next” to install it.
Then you set your WordPress login details and click the “Install” button to complete your WordPress site setup.
Now your WordPress site setup is complete. It’s that easy!
STEP 6: Start Blogging
The next step is to log into your WordPress account by visiting your blog url. E.g www.example.com/wp-login.php. For instance, if your blog’s website name is www.ilovesweetfoodeveryday.com, you’d have to type www.ilovesweetfoodeveryday.com/wp-login.php to get into your dashboard.
Before you publish your first blog post, first use these set of questions to determine what your blog topic should be about:
- What will get my readers excited?
- What common problems do my readers usually experience?
- What kind of people are my readers?
- What do my readers like best about my blog niche?
- What do my readers hate most about my blog niche?
By asking yourself these questions and providing genuinely researched answers, you can come up with the best topics to write that would intrigue your readers and get them excited about your blog content. If they love what you write, they’ll share it on their social networks.
The blog post title must also be highly actionable. It must motivate people to want to click and read, else, you may have a very low click through rate.
It is important to note that blog titles, and not the content, go viral.
A powerful method to write compelling blog titles and articles is to use the AIDA method. It is the most powerful way to structure your blog posts and even your sales copy.
The full meaning of AIDA and their explanations are written below:
- Attention: Get the readers attention with magnetic headlines.
- Interest: Connect with their problem.
- Desire: Make them feel the transformation and need to learn more or get your product.
- Action: Lead the reader into taking action like leaving a comment or making a purchase.
The most engaging types of articles to write are lists, common mistakes, asking questions, and how-tos. They focus on who, what, when, where, and why, which are the highest pointers for engaging readers.
An important tool you must also have on your blog is the Grammarly tool. It will help you identify errors as you type your articles, which will save you the embarrassment of publishing poorly written content. It is entirely FREE and you can get it here.
STEP 7: Make Money Blogging
At this point, while others are still battling with figuring out how to start a blog, you’ve already long passed that stage and are headed towards a very important part of blogging, which is “how to make money blogging”. This is the area many find challenging and spend a lot of time trying to figure out.
Since you’ve been able to figure out how to start a blog on WordPress and have created some valuable content, here are some highly effective tips on how to make money blogging:
1). Sell Physical Products:
If you run a fitness blog for instance, you can start your own weight-loss product line, and sell it on the right hand corner of your blog at a price that beats the popular competition and also works effectively for your readers.
2). Sell Information Products:
You can put together an eBook, a video series, or some digital products that contain highly valuable information that your readers would want to do anything to have access to. You can price them at an affordable rate and offer them to your readers.
3). Affiliate Marketing:
This is the fastest way to make thousands of dollars every month, even if you have very little traffic. By recommending products from affiliate merchants to your blog readers, you’d get paid a substantial sum for every successful sale you bring in by the affiliate company.
If an affiliate company is offering $25 for every successful sign up, you’ll earn $25,000 if you can get 1,000 people to sign up, and $2,500 if you can get 100 people to sign up.
Remember: Over 90% of affiliate sites world wide only accept self-hosted WordPress blogs on their affiliate programs. You can create one here now.
4). Sell An Online Course:
You can put together an online course on a subject your readers are really interested in but find it difficult getting an experienced offline centre to tutor them on. When they see you’re selling this online course for a modest price, the chances of a lot of them paying for the course increases.
This involves putting up private Ads that companies and brands will pay you for, or putting up Ads from content distribution networks like Google Adsense, Media.net, and several others.
6). Sponsored Posts:
These are written posts that brands, organisations, and individuals could pay you to publish on your blog. You could charge a fair or substantial sum for this and in the process make a substantial income from this channel.
While these are some great ways to make money from your blog, there are hundreds of other methods to make money from a self-hosted WordPress blog. Getting a WordPress blog should be your only option when learning how to start a blog, and you must stay totally away from free blogs, because they do more harm than good on the long run.
Figuring out how to start a blog has never been easier. Instead of letting people attempt to rip you off and claim a chunk of your money by offering to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog for you, following this guide on how to start a blog will not just have your blog up and running in a very short time, but will help you gain amazing benefits like A FREE domain name (originally worth $15) and many more amazing benefits no other domain host would offer.
Simply reading about how to start a blog will never help you succeed in blogging. Growing a successful blog starts with the decision to try.
If you have questions or challenges on how to start a blog successfully on Bluehost, you can leave a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be happy to respond to you and help out.
What are your thoughts on this complete beginner guide on how to start a blog in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, across Africa, or anywhere else in the world? Let me know by leaving a comment below
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