Updated: Jul 17, 2020
If you are looking for the easiest way to start your blog with minimum investment, we got it covered. Be it a hobby, or your passion or your new carrier option, blogging has always been one of the best ways to make money online without spending thousands of dollars.
My name is Snehasish Nayak, and I have been experimenting on different blogs for years. Recently, I have decided to share my knowledge with others. While the topic covering starting a new blog is fascinating, this post is purely for the beginners. If you are an advanced blogger, you can still guide the beginners by commenting in the comment section.
1. First, decide where to blog.
With the digital revolution coming into the picture, there are plenty of options to start your blog. There are free options (like Wordpress.com, Blogspot ), and there are paid options. If you are just getting started with blogging and don't know much about it, you can choose the free option.
You can go to any of the mentioned websites and create a free account. Set up your blog on a subdomain of those websites, and you are good to go. It does not require much technical knowledge, and the investment is zero. Later, you can buy your domain name and map it to your free blog. This article does not cover much about it, because the process is quite easy and self-explanatory.
The second way is self-hosted blogs. While it takes a little investment and effort to set up the blog, it has some advantages over the free blogs.
You have full control over the blog and its content.
You can customize the features and designs quickly.
Best for branding and SEO.
Gives your blog a professional look.
There is plenty of free software available to start a self-hosted blog; however, WordPress is the leading one. Let us discuss how you can start your own self-hosted blog using WordPress software.
2. Think about your niche and target audience.
Before getting started with a blog, the first thing you need to do is, decide your niche and target audience. Niche is basically the topic you want to cover in your blog. It may vary from daily fitness to business-related topics. Some people find it very difficult to decide on a niche and start writing mixed content on their blogs. While you can write about a wide range of content, sometimes it upsets your target audience, because the target audience visits a blog for a particular type of content. So, it is quite essential to decide the niche before starting your blog.
Here are the top 10 blogging niches of 2020, but I would recommend the topic you are expert at, instead of following the trend. Because, if you are a subject matter expert, you can find more topics to discuss.
Gym and Fitness
3. Decide a name for your blog and register a domain name.
Once you have decided on a particular niche, the next step is to determine a name for your new blog. The name is quite essential because it reflects what you are trying to tell the world. For example, a blog with the name Mumbai Foodies, says the world that the blog is entirely about food and foodies in Mumbai. Apart from that, a name with keywords helps the blog in getting well ranked in search engines.
While choosing the blog name, you have to make sure that the domain name for the particular domain name is available. And I would always suggest going with a DOT COM domain name over any other for multiple reasons.
If you are not sure how to choose a name while keeping the domain availability in your mind, you can make your work easy. Namevine is one of them. You need to go to the website and search for the desired keywords. It will give you a wide range of name suggestions with the domain name and social media handle availability at one go.
Once you have decided on the blog name and the domain name, the next thing is registering the domain name. You can buy the domain name from various internet registrars like Bigrock, GoDaddy, Hostinger, etc. The domain name would cost you around $10-$15 a year, and you can easily find some discounts available for first-time purchases.
4. Buy and set up hosting and install WordPress on it.
The next thing you need to do is buy a good hosting once you have purchased the desired domain name. While the domain name works as your blog's online identity, the hosting works as the place where you are going to keep all your blog content. While purchasing hosting, you have to look for a few things;
Bandwidth and webspace provided
The reputation of the service provider
99% uptime guaranty
Better customer support
If you ask me which hosting provider you should go for as a beginner, I suggest you go with Hostinger. They provide all of the features mentioned, and the pricing is pretty cheap as well. And when it comes to customer service, they are best in class.
Once you have made the purchase, you need to map your domain name with the hosting service by changing the DNS details. If you are not sure how to do it, you can contact me, I would love to support free of cost. It will take some time for the DNS penetration to complete. Once it is done, you will see the default page loaded on your domain name once you visit your domain. Once you start seeing the default page, the next thing you need to do is, set up WordPress on it. Installing WordPress is not a hectic task because the auto-installers have made the process hassle-free. You just need to open your hosting and then go to the Auto Installers section and install the software on your hosting, and you are good to go.
While installing the software, the installer would ask for your admin user name, password, email id, etc. Those are the credentials for your newly created WordPress blog. It would take nearly two to three minutes to complete the installation. Once it is done, you can log in to your WordPress site by visiting yourdomainname.com/wp-admin (replace yourdomainname with your actual domain name) link.
4. Install a theme, and start blogging!
Once you have completed the above steps, you have already completed ninety percent of the process. The next step is adding an excellent design to the blog to make it look more professional. You can choose from the free themes available in the WordPress repository, or you can purchase a premium item from websites like ThemeForest.
So, let us sum up the total expenditure to start a self-hosted WordPress blog:
Domain name - $10-$15 per year
Hosting - $30-$40 per year
WordPress - Absolutely free
If you go for a premium theme (which is not required) - $50-$60 (One time purchase)