The reason why I made this guide is that recently, blogging has started to become extremely popular. More and more blogs (100,000 a day!) are launched on daily basis and there’s a lot more to come. So if you came to my site with an idea to start a blog, keep reading.
I’m Robert, Blogging enthusiast.
Been blogging since 2007…
So, what I need to do to get started?
Choose your blog topic.
A lot of people who are starting with blogging, do this one simple mistake – they pick wrong topic… and this can be crucial. For example, I recently got an email from a visitor who told me that he has started a technology blog, but don’t know what to write about. While technology blogs are interesting and lucrative, the blog author didn’t have any experience with tech at all.
And when I asked him why did he choose that topic, he answered: “I just heard that you can make a lot of money with a technology blog“.
Yes, you can make money with blogging (if you get enough visitors), many people are, but there’s no correlation between blog topic & money.
Pick something that you are interested in! The rest will come later… I remember that day when I launched my first blog in 2007 (almost 7 years ago!). I actually didn’t have any specific niche, I just wrote about nearly everything that caught my eye or sound interesting. Eventually I understood that my blog visitors were mostly interested in fitness and health posts, so I moved on with those topics.
As you can see, when you first don’t have any idea or niche you want to blog about, just write something and see what interests your audience. However, it’s better when you are focused on a specific topic from day 1.
Most popular blogging topics in 2013/2014
Many people who email me, are usually unsure about their blog name or blog topic. I did some research and found out the most popular blogging topics. I’ve listed them (in case you are interested):
- Do it yourself blogs
- Fashion blogs
- Mommy blogs
- Gaming blogs
- Tech blogs
- Health/fitness blogs
- Entertainment blogs
- Photography blogs
- Writing blogs
… but you can always be unique and start with something that is not so saturated yet. Here’s a link to a great blog post from Gregory Ciotti: 50 Successful Blogs That Prove You Don’t Have to “Blog About Blogging” To Create A Winner
Get your hands “dirty”
So, once you have an imagination of your new blog, you can start creating it. Creating blogs and setting up blogs is pretty easy to say the least, but there’s one thing you need to know.
Free blog or self-hosted blog?
Another option is create a self-hosted blog on your own domain.
Back in 2007 – 2010, most of the blogs were created using free blogging services. Nowadays trends are a bit different. A lot of bloggers who started with a free blog quickly moved on to the self-hosted version and in addition, the blogs that are made now (2013) are also mostly self-hosted.
Self-hosted vs free blogs comparison (cons & pros)
Here’s a comparison chart
|SELF-HOSTED BLOG||FREE BLOG
| Control over your blog
||You are the owner of your blog. You can do whatever you want, there’s no limitation at all.||You have a very little control over your blog. If moderators see that your blog is not within their TOS, they can easily delete it all together.|
||You will get your own domain (yourblog.com)||Your blog is hosted by a free blogging service and it will be accessible from yourblog.freebloggingservice.com (for example: www.techblog.blogspot.com)|
|Free space, storage||Usually unlimited, you can upload your pictures, videos and larger files.||Usually limited. If your content gets bigger, you might have to pay some fees.|
|For self-hosted blog there are almost 2000 free layouts to choose from. In addition, you can install free plugins that make your blog look more unique and “cool”.||Around 100 themes and handful of plugins.|
|Earning money with blogging
||Place ads, sell stuff, gather e-mails. Do what you want…||Some of the free blogs allow advertising, but most of them don’t. And even if they do, it’s very limited and has to be within their TOS.|
||No more than 15 – 20 minutes.||Around 5 minutes – you just need to sign up.|
||You will need a domain that’s $10 a year and a hosting that is $4 a month. All together, it will be around $50 per year.||Free…|
As you can see it from the comparison chart, the self-hosted blog is much more flexible and way better option than the free blog. If you want to start a professional self-hosted blog, you can feel free to continue reading. If not, then check out free blogging services.
Setting up a self-hosted blog
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog. You may think: “What is WordPress?!?!”
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world. It’s being used on millions of blogs and it’s getting more and more popular. It’s getting really famous since it’s very user-friendly for everyone:
- Drag and drop videos and pictures
- Free themes to make your blog unique
- Format your blog posts like in Microsoft Word
- Ability to share on Facebook and Twitter
Get a domain name and hosting
In order to set up your self-hosted blog, you’ll need two things: Domain and Hosting.
Domain is you personal web address, where people can access to your blog. For my site, it’s: supportblogging.com. You can come up with your own name. Just make sure it’s not too long.
Hosting is services that “hosts” your blog. Without hosting you are not able to set your blog online for others to read.
I’m suggesting to get a domain and hosting from the same provider. In that way, you’ll save money & time. I have to admit that I’ve “tried” many different hosting and domain providers, such as: HostGator, GreenHost, MonsterHost, Dreamhost, but none of them weren’t that good. In the past two years, I’ve only used Web Hosting Hub. I recommend you to use that too. If you go with them, you will get a hosting and a domain for ~$50 a year.
If you don’t like them for some reason, you can go with any other hosting as well, but make sure they offer you unlimited bandwidth and 99,9% up-time. In that way you won’t run into problems later….
Here a quick video that explains setting up your WordPress blog using Web Hosting Hub
P.S.: If you use this link, you will get a domain & hosting 50% discount.
Once you have set up your blog, you should learn some of the basics. WordPress is actually easy, so I suggest you to discover all the opportunities and possibilities by yourself. However, here are few great resources that I find extremely throughout and comprehensive. Feel free to take a look at them.
WordPress How-To – YouTube video, 90 minutes long (starts at 16min.)
Getting started with WordPress – Official documentation
WordPress Beginner Videos – by Syed Balkhi
If you need any help, drop me an email to email@example.com
If you are here to find an educational blogging wiki, please visit supportblogging.org