How to Start a Blog, What do you need to know before you start a blog?

What do you need to know before you start a blog?

The Evolution of Blogging
  • 2016
    Today, news blogs rival mainstream media
    Social media has made blooging more interactional
  • Niche blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch brought blogging to the mainstream in the 21st century
    2001
  • 1999
    1997
    The invention of the word was a joint effort between John Barger, who coined the term “weblog” in 1997 as a shortened version of “logging the Web,” and Peter Merholz, who truncated the term to “blog” in 1999.
  • 1994
    The first blog is credited to a Swarthmore College student named Justin Hall, who in 1994 created the site Links.net. However, the term “blog” didn’t enter our lexicon until several years later.
This section provides background information to help you understand the basics of blogging. We also describe a number of different benefits of blogging, how to choose your niche and blogging topic.

What is a blog?

A blog (shortened from the phrase "weblog") is known as many things—a digital magazine, diary, newscast, collector's meeting place, a showcase for your art, information sharing, teaching hub, place to learn and...well, almost anything you want it to be. A typical blog combines text, images, videos and links to relevant pages and media on the Web. Blog readers can leave comments and communicate with the author. In fact, dialogue and interaction are a popular part of a blog's success.

The benefits of blogging

Become a better writer and thinker

Once you start blogging, you'll find yourself becoming a better writer and thinker. Mastering content takes creative thought. When you become immersed in creating great pieces of content for your blog, your writing, thinking and research skills improve in the process.

Establish yourself as an expert


6.7 million people blog on blogging sites and
12 million people blogs via social networks
Blogs are wonderful tools to help people establish themselves as experts in a field or niche. We all have some kind of interest and expertise to share with others. If you’re able to produce great content on your blog and/or have a unique point of view on the topic, then be assured that your future audience will recognize it and reward you for it. With a bit of effort, you too can become an authority in the area of your interest.

Increase your self-confidence

The more involved you become with blogging, the more your creative juices will flow. That's one reason why blogging is so popular. As you gain knowledge about your topic, the confidence you’ll build in your followers and most importantly, in yourself, will soar. All of this leads to increased creativity. Keep an open mind and enjoy your new-found confidence in your own abilities!

Make friends and have fun

With practice and a little effort, you can easily build your base of blog fans and followers. As you become known as an expert in your niche, you can inspire, encourage and help your followers make a difference in their own lives. Along your blogging journey, you will make new friends and connections throughout the world. If you like to travel, that means a lot of couches are available for you to snooze on while winging your way around the globe!

Make money from your blog

Blogging would become your passion but you can also have financial benefits. Many authority bloggers are able to make a living from blogging. There are many ways to monetize your blog. You can place ads and receive compensation from the companies by promoting their products and services. Or you can sell your own digital products and merchandise.

How to choose a perfect niche

Before you start your own blog and move forward to become a successful blogger try to attain the highest form of knowledge in the niche/topic of your choice. So pick the one that appeals to you—the one you are passionate about and most interested in. Aspire for success, happiness, security and recognition. By choosing your niche of interest and having your own point of view you’ll be able to position and differentiate your blog from the competition.

Brainstorm to find your topic

Following is a process that can help you determine which niche is best for you:
  • Make a list of your interests or hobbies. Which topics fascinate you? List them all, for instance: golf, fishing, yoga, playing games or cooking.
  • Next, list accomplishments you are proud of, such as musical talent, artistic talent or sports achievements.
  • Now, list difficulties you have overcome or defeated, such as: losing a significant amount of weight, recovering from a financial setback or managing a disease.
During the course of this exercise, you will get a better feeling for the topics that resonate with you. The ones that you are most passionate about are the best candidates for your niche. Read this article on How to choose a niche for more information.

The 5 easy steps to launch a blog successfully:

  • Choose a blogging platform (self-hosted recommended)
  • Decide on a domain name
  • Get a hosting plan
  • Install blogging software (CMS)
  • Pick design and layout (theme)

Choosing a blogging platform

At this stage, you’ll need to determine the blog-management platform/tool you want to use. We recommend that you set up your blog on one of the self-hosted platforms. But before you make the decision, let us describe each option below in more detail and talk about the pros and cons.
For in-depth reviews of different blogging platforms visit this page.
When it comes to starting your blog you have the following options: free, freemium and self-hosted (recommended) platforms.

Free platforms

For many new bloggers, the availability of free blogging platforms such as Blogger or Tumblr is tempting. The benefits include being free and quick to start. But having a blog name in this form—yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.tumblr.com, is the sign of an inexperienced beginner who likely won't be taken seriously.
Top in Blog usage in the United States
WordPress95.56%
Blogger4.06%
MovableType0.19%
Ghost0.1%
Tumblr0.06%
Blog Engine0.02%
Svbtle0.01%
Posthaven0%
Anchor CMS0%
Silvrback0%
Stats as of 05.02.2016 Source: builtwith.com
By keeping your blog on a free platform, you let the platform own your name. You’ll be subject to their rules and restrictions, they may limit or prohibit ads on your blog, or they may even place their own ads on your blog. If you're serious about blogging, you’ll want to move away from this option.

Freemium platforms

Freemium means you’ll have a trial period before you have to start paying (costs vary from $5 to $30 per month). Several platforms are available. One of the most popular is TypePad. This platform focuses on ease of use for writing, but customization options are limited and it lacks certain features of value to bloggers.
By default, your TypePad blog name will look like this: yourname.typepad.com. It's not always the best option if you’re trying to build the name and brand for your blog. However you could point your own domain (purchased through any domain registrar) to TypePad blog.

Self-hosted platforms

Self-hosted platforms allow you to run a blog on your own domain. Aside from following your domain registrar and web hosting company's rules, you’re fully in charge of your blog and its contents.
You have number of choices when it comes to a self-hosted blog system (also called Content Management System or CMS).
The blog set up is called self-hosted because you will use your own web hosting space and name for your blog. This normally costs $4 to $8 per month for the web space (hosting account), depending on the company you choose, and $12 to $15 per year for the name (domain). The actual CMS is usually open-source and free.
Although we mentioned some free blog-hosting options, the best course of action is to own your blog, especially if you will be using your own copyrighted material (articles, drawings, photos, etc.). Pay a small amount of money every month, about the same as a Starbucks coffee, and you will build your own equity. If you plan to sell products, services, music or anything else via your blog, then paid hosting is the best way to go. Many hosting providers can help you maintain an ecommerce blog.

One of the best and most well-known self-hosted content management systems (CMS) is WordPress.org, powering 25.4% of all websites in the world and responsible for over 76.5 million blogs, also recommended by 99% of the blogging blogging experts we’ve surveyed

How to Set Up a Self-Hosted Wordpress Blog

To get your new self-hosted blog started, you need to decide on two important things: a domain name and a web hosting provider.

Domain name

Your domain name will be the name by which you will be known online, no matter what niche you choose. It’s the unique address of your blog on the Internet. Your domain will be yours as long as you continue paying the annual fee ($10 - $15 for .com domain).
Users who know your domain/URL (uniform resource locator) can simply type it in their browser's address bar. Others will be able to discover your blog through search engines such as Google and Bing, so you definitely need to find a unique moniker. Make sure you love your original domain name—you’ll face a number of challenges if you decide to change it down the road.

Types of domain names


299 million domain names registered globally
Up to 75% of all websites are “.com” domains
Just as you and your business have a physical address, your domain name needs one too. It may be the highly popular "dot com" or it may be country or niche specific. From .us (United Sates) to .co.uk (United Kingdom) and from .guru (yes, for life coaches) to .sport (for sports related domains), these top level domains (TLDs) are added to any domain name in order to point to their location. The general rule is to go for a "dot com" domain, but some of the other extensions can work. For example "dot net" or "dot me."
In the end, it's about being memorable, so if a different extension or country code helps you be memorable, then break the rules!

Web hosting

After choosing a domain name, selecting reliable hosting services will be one of the most important decisions you make. To a great extent, the functionality and performance of your blog will depend on your hosting provider. The host makes sure your blog is available 24/7 to potential readers and it’s where your files are stored online.
Most hosting companies also offer domain registration services. Some people keep their domain name with the registrar company, separate from the hosting account. We recommend keeping it all under your hosting account for hassle-free management and maintenance