How to start your blog within 20 min

How to start your blog?

If you are new to blogging, then starting your new blow might seem overwhelming and complicated.

However, the truth is that it isn’t. Anyone with a basic knowledge of how to use the internet can start his/her blog, even within 20 min.

Quick fact: There are over 1.3 billion websites on world wide web.

Before I start this post on how to start your blog, I would I like to answer few most frequently asked questions, which might clear many of your doubts.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Is ‘coding’ skill required to start your blog?

No. You do not need to learn HTML or any web-development languages to start your blog. Absolute ZERO-CODING skills are required for blogging.

Should you start a blog if you are not a good writer?

A ‘big’ Yes!

Even, I’m not a good writer. You’ll hardly find any ‘sophisticated’ word in this post. This is because I am not a writer. I just ‘write’ in the way I ‘speak’ in my day-to-day life.

You do not need to be a good writer to start your blog. All you need is a passion for your topic.

How much does a blog cost?

Although the price varies for different bloggers depending on the web-hosting and plans they choose, however, in general running your blog will cost you somewhere between Rs 200-400 per month. 

Don’t worry. This price is even less than the round trip of your ‘uber’ ride in your city. You can easily afford it and it’s definitely worth investing.

Why should you start your blog?

Here are few of the major reasons to start your blog today-

  • You can make money online from home.
  • No location constraint. You can blog from anywhere. All you need is your laptop and an internet connection.
  • You can share your experience/story.
  • Starting your blog will help you to create your social presence and build your own community of followers & blog readers.

I hope I have answered most of the major questions that you might have before you start your blog.

Now, as I already stated above, creating your blog isn’t a complicated process.

There are only three steps that you need to take to start your blog:

Step 1: Choose

Step 2: Design

Step 3: Create

Don’t worry if it doesn’t make much sense to you. I’m going to explain everything about how to start your blog from ‘scratch’ in this post.

This is going to be a long post. However, I promise it will be worth reading. So, without wasting any time, let’s build your blog.

How to start your blog?

Step 1: Choose

The first step to start your blog is to choose your blogging platform, domain name and web hosting. 

Now, let’s discuss each one of them in detail.

A) Blogging Platform

There are a number of blogging platforms available to start your blog and it’s really important that you choose the right one. Here are the few common blogging platforms available to start your blog- WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, Wix etc.

I will highly recommend you to choose ‘WORDPRESS’ as your blogging platform. 

Most of the successful bloggers use WordPress to blog. WordPress powers 25%+ websites online today, and have over 75 million active users.

Here are few of the main reasons why you should choose WordPress as your blogging platform:

  • WordPress is super-easy to use. You will find it very similar to MS Word or Google docs while writing blog posts.
  • It is totally ‘FREE’ to use (including themes, plugins, layouts etc).
  • WordPress is highly customisable. You can easily customise your blog for how it should look.
  • The security features of WordPress is amazing. It is very secured platform to blog.
  • There are tons of ‘free’ help available online for WordPress. If you face any problem while using WordPress, simply google it and you’ll easily find the solution.

On the contrary, if you’re ‘not’ using WordPress and using a different blogging platform, you might face a number of difficulties. Here are the main disadvantages of using other platforms:

  • Not much control: The other platforms are controlled by their providers. They may delete all your contents and ‘kick’ you out anytime if they feel that you are violating any of their rules. You do not have much control over those platforms.
  • Limited space: Most of the other platforms have limited space, say 3 GB. They won’t allow you to host large files or videos.
  • Long ‘forgettable’ URL address: www.yourname.blogspot.com How does it sound? Or www.yourname.wordpress.org is it better? Most of the other platforms will add a suffix to their URL address to promote their platform. The long URL address for these platforms makes them easily forgettable.
  • Not much customisable: Most of the other platforms has a theme constraint or limited themes. You cannot design the layout of your blog as you have thought in your mind.
  • Monetisation problem in future: Many of these platforms won’t allow you to monetize your blog. Monetization is a big issue while choosing other platforms.

Because of all these reasons, it is highly recommendable to use ‘WORDPRESS’ as your blogging platform to start your blog.

B) Domain Name:

The domain name can simply be your blog name.

For example, the ‘Name’ of this blog is “MONEY 24 HR’. And that’s why the domain name of this blog is www.money24hr.com

While choosing your domain name, the golden rule is to use your blog name.

However, you can choose different domain extensions. For example, few of the possible domain names are:

www.yourname.com
www.yourname.org
www.yourname.in
www.yourname.net
www.yourname.biz

domain name extensions

Here are two basic tips for choosing your domain name:

1. While choosing your domain name, always prefer “.com” domain.

Why? Because while searching any website, this is the first preference by any person.

Let’s say someone heard your blog name but doesn’t know your domain address. The biggest probability is that he/she will type wwww.yourblogname.com. It’s quite rare that he/she will enter www.yourblogname.biz (.biz).

2. Keep the domain name short and rememberable 

Try to choose the domain name under 11 letter.

Keeping it short and rememberable will help your blog readers to easily get back to your blog.

Choosing a good domain name might take you some time. Most of the ‘simple’ domain names that might come to your mind would have been already taken.

You can check the availability of your desired domain here: HOSTGATOR

C) Web-hosting:

If the domain is the address, then hosting is the home.

This is a place where all your blog files will be hosted.

The domain name will tell you the address of your blog. But if that address is empty, what’s the use. You need your house to store the things.

Hosting is required to store different files like images, logo, content, themes etc.

Further, if you are using WordPress as your blogging theme, all the WordPress files (like themes, plugins, contents etc) will be installed and hosted on your web host.

Where to buy domain name and hosting?

You can buy domains from different domain provides such as Godaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost etc.

The price of buying a domain name is quite cheap compared to the price of web hosting. For example, you can buy a domain name for Rs 199 for the first year.

On the other hand, your web hosting might cost you somewhere between Rs 200-400 per ‘month’.

While choosing your web hosting, here are few points that you should consider:

1. Cost: The hosting cost should be within your budget. You do not need to pay for the ‘whole year’ at one. You can start with a ‘3 months’ plan. However, if you determined about your blog then it makes more sense to buy a year plan.

This is because of two reasons. First, if you take a longer plan, you will get more discount. Second, most of the blog easily take 6 months to a year to get real traffic. If you take a longer plan, you’ll be motivated for a long term. If you take a short-term plan, you might want to ‘bail’ in between.

2. Fast page load speed: No one likes a slow website. The page load speed for your website should be fast.

3. No downtime for your blog: Many a time, you will notice that few blogs/website doesn’t open for a while. This may be for 5-min, 15min or sometimes even for more than an hour. This is called downtime.

You do not want your blog to be ‘down’ at the peak time when most of your readers visit your blog. This might result in you to lose some of your audience.

4. Technical support: The easily available technical support is a ‘MUST-HAVE’ point to look while choosing your web host. You are not a web developer and although WordPress is super-easy, still there might be a few time when you will need technical support. Therefore, there should be a  trustable technical support in your web hosting service.

After looking at all the above points, the web hosting that I will recommend is – HOSTGATOR.

Here are the reasons why I recommend HOSTGATOR to my readers:

  1. Hostgator has a reputation for good performance.
  2. The page load speed for Hostgator web hosting is really ‘fast’ and there is hardly any downtime.
  3. There is ‘One-click-install’ feature for WordPress which means that you can easily Install WordPress on your blog with a single click.
  4. Hostgator has an excellent customer support. The ‘live chat’ and 24×7 ‘phone call’ feature for technical support makes Hostgator really reliable.

Overall, because of all these reasons, ‘HOSTGATOR’ one of the best web hosting providers in India and I highly recommend you start your blog with Hostgator.

How to Set up self-hosted WordPress blog?

In the next 5 minutes, I’ll show you exactly how to set up your self-hosted WordPress blog using your own domain name and hosting.

At the end of these 5 minutes, you’ll have a fully working WordPress blog.

Please note that here I’ll teach you how to set up your WordPress blog using HOSTGATOR.

In case you are using some other platform, for example, godaddy, Bluehost etc, still you can set up your WordPress blog using these steps as most of the domain and hosting provider follow a similar procedure for their set up as that of ‘Hostgator’.

Step 1: Go to www.hostgator.in

Step 2: Click on get started now.

hostgator 1

Step 3: Choose the best hosting plan to start your blog. I will recommend you to start with the basic ‘HATCHLING’ Plan. You can upgrade the plan in future, wherever required.

hostgator 2

Step 4: After selecting the plan, it will ask whether you have a domain name. If you have already purchased a name, select ‘yes’. Else select ‘No’.

hostgator 3

Step 5: If you selected ‘No’ in the previous step, that is you haven’t bought a domain name yet, then this pop-up will open.

Step6: Enter the desirable domain name.

Step 6: ‘Uncheck’ all the other add-ons. You do not need these features while starting a new blog and you can save money here.

hostgator4

Step 7: If no one has bought that domain already, it will show ‘is available’ status. Click on ‘Add to cart’ and then ‘Checkout’.

hostgator5

Step 8: After clicking on ‘Checkout’, you’ll land on the ‘Order Summary Page’. Recheck the order details. Make any changes if required. Then click on ‘Continue’.

hostgator6

Step 9: This will take you to the ‘Sign In’ page. If you already have a Hostgator account, then simply ‘Sign in’ using your ‘email id’ and password. Else ‘Create an account’.

hostgator7

Step9: If you select ‘Create an account’, then fill your details and create an account.

hostgator8

Step 10: The last step is to make payment. Select the desired payment option and pay for your order.

hostgator 10

Once your payment is complete, you’ll receive a conformational email (within few minutes) stating that your account is ready.

The email will contain the URL address for the control panel of your Hostgator account, along with few other details like username, name server etc

Once you log-in to your Hostgator control panel, select ‘Get started with WordPress today’ on the top.

hostgator 11

After clicking, you will be redirected to a page, where you have to select ‘install’ WordPress.

Once you select ‘Install WordPress’, it will start loading and eventually, it will tell you that your WordPress blog has been installed, and you’ll see your log-in credentials.

That’s all! You have successfully set up your WordPress blog on ‘HOSTGATOR.

Please note that if you face any problem to install your WordPress site or need any technical support, feel free to contact Hostgator customer service.

They will be more than happy to guide you step-by-step to set up WordPress.

Further, if you want, you can even ask them to set UP WORDPRESS ON YOUR BEHALF and they will do it for you.

Step 2: Design

Once you have set-up your WordPress blog with your own domain name and hosting, the next step is to design your blog.

In the last step, you would have received credentials for your WordPress blog.

To enter in your WordPress blog using that credentials, you have to go to the following URL: www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin

Just add ‘/wp-admin’ to the end of the domain name that you have purchased and visit the URL. On the same page, enter your username and password of your WordPress account.

1 wordpress login

Once logged in your WordPress account, the webpage might ask you fill some simple details like Blog Title, tagline, select a default theme etc. It will hardly take you 2 minutes to fill those details.

After you have entered the details, you will land on the WordPress dashboard, which will look like this.

2 wordpress dashboard

Please notice the menu present on the left side on your dashboard.

Let me give you a brief description of the different options available on the WordPress dashboard and their functionality.

Dashboard – This is the main page that you will see right after you log in.

Posts- On this option, you can write and publish new blog posts. Once you have written few posts, you can view and edit those old posts.

Media– This is the library which displays all the uploaded media files like images, PDFs, videos etc. You can add new media files here or delete the old ones.

Pages – Using this option, you can write and publish new pages or view and edit old ones. For example, you can create pages like about, contact, services etc.

Comments – Whenever someone posts comments on any of your post or page on your blog, it gets stored here. You can reply, delete or edit the comments on your blog posts here.

Appearance – Here you can edit how your blog will look. You can customise, change themes, add menus etc using appearance.

Plugins – Here you can add and remove plugins, which add functionality to your blog. For example, if you want to add a ‘contact form’ on your blog, you do not need to write a code for that. You can just download a plugin for it and add the form on the page with the help of that plugin.

Users – Here you can add users to your blog like admin, editor, author, subscribers etc. For example, if you have multiple authors for your blog, you can create different user credentials for all your authors.

Settings – Here you can edit your blog’s settings like general setting, reading, writing, permalink etc.

Here are few things that you need to need to design first for your WordPress site:

1. Select your blog theme.

There are over 20,000 free themes available on WordPress. Select a good theme depending on your blog niche. Make it look exactly how you want it to look.

Check out different available themes and install the one that you like the most.

How to find and install a new theme?

1. Go to appearance and select themes.

3 wordpress apprearnce theme

2. Click on ‘Add new’

4 wordpress theme add new

3. Install the one that you like.

5 wordpress add theme

4. ‘Activate’ the theme.

Done. You have successfully activated a nw theme.

2. Customize your blog:

After selecting the theme, next, you need to design your blog like adding blog title, tagline, favicons, menus, header, footer, sidebars etc.

You can customise your blog by going to
Appearance —> Customize 

6 wordpress customize menu

3. Install Plugins

There are few ‘must-have’ plugins that you should install on your WordPress site. Few of them are- Akismet, Google Analytics, Yoast SEO, Jetpack, WP Super Cache etc.

How to install plugins on your WordPress site:

1. Go to plugins.

8 wordpress add plugin

2. Click on ‘Add new’.

3. Search the plugin using the search bar.

8 worpress plugin add new

4. Install and activate the plugin.

Done! New plugin has been successfully activated on your wordpress site.

Step 3: Create

Once you have designed your WordPress site, the next step is to write amazing contents.

However, before you start to write blog posts, you need to create few pages such as ‘ABOUT’, ‘CONTACT’, ‘PORTFOLIO’, ‘SERVICES’, ‘START HERE’ etc.

A) Adding a new page.

Here are the steps required to create ‘pages’ on WordPress.

1. Go to pages and select ‘Add new’.

9 wordpress add new page

2. Write the post ‘title’ and post ‘content’

9 wordpress add new page 2

3. Add media files like images.

12 wordpress add new image

4. Hit ‘PUBLISH’

You can change the font size, colour, attributes etc from the same page. Further, you can also add a number of items in the page like tables, links, featured image etc.

Do not worry, doing all these are quite simple. Once start using WordPress, you will find it very easy.

B) Adding a new post

Adding new post is similar to adding a new page.

However, first of all, you need to understand the difference between adding ‘pages’ and ‘posts’.

Pages are a just static page which gives different information about the website like ‘about’, ‘contact’, ‘services’ etc.

On the other hand, ‘post’ is used to write a new article. The benefit of adding a post is that you can categorise different ‘posts’ in different categories and show them at a specified place. For example, you can write a post of different categories like ‘blogging’, ‘marketing’, ‘social media’ etc.

On the other hands, ‘pages’ do not have any category and they are neutral for the blog.

That’s why it is really important that you add the new articles in only ‘post’ not ‘pages’.

How to add a new page to WordPress?

The process of adding a new page is similar to adding a new ‘page’. Here are the steps to add a new post to your blog:

1. Go to post.

2. Select ‘add new’

10 wordpress blog post

3. Write post ‘title’ and ‘content’.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 4.31.05 PM

4. Add images.

5. Select the category. If the category not present, then make a new one.

6. Hit ‘Publish’.

That’s all. Add few posts on your blog and your blog is ready. Easy, right?

Conclusion:

Let me quickly conclude the process to start your blog:

Step 1: Choose

Choose your blogging platform (WordPress), domain name and hosting. Once you have decided and purchased your domain name and hosting, install WordPress.

Step 2: Design

Select the desirable WordPress theme for your blog. Customize your theme with blog title, logo, header, footer, menus, sidebars etc. Install plugins to your WordPress site.

Step 3: Create

Add required pages to your blog like ‘About’, ‘Contact’, ‘Start here’ etc. Start writing amazing blog posts.

That’s all. 3 Simple steps to start your blog- Choose, Design and create.

Next steps: Start growing your blog

Once you have written few good blog posts, your next steps will be to grow traffic and to monetize your blog. Here are two important posts on blog traffic and monetization-

Blog Traffic: 11 Insanely Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Monetization: 9 Tested Ways to Monetize Your Blog- #6 is My Favourite

I hope you enjoyed this post on how to start your blog and is useful to you.

Further, I’d be happy to answer any of your questions in the comment section below!

#HappyBlogging

Disclaimer: This blog post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you buy something through that link, I will get a small commission. #BeingHonest

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