Last Updated on March 20, 2018 by John Zakaria
Unless you live under a rock, you must have heard about the term “blog.” Maybe you knew blogging after hearing how people are making money through it, but today I will make it clear to you about that all you need to know about a blog and Blogging for Beginners.
Back in my college years, a lot of my peers used to speak about blogging and how it was the “next big thing” those days, but just like many, I never bothered to dig deep and know what it was all about until sometime in 2014.
Fortunately, I now manage and publish many different blogs, and I can comfortably explain to a little kid what blogging is. They say, if you cannot explain it to a 6-year-old-kid, then you don’t understand it, right?
Before I dive deep into what blogs and blogging entail, allow me to give you a definition of what a blog is.
So, What Is a Blog?
According to Wikipedia, a blog is a web page or personal website on which a person records links to other sites, opinions, etc. regularly.
This is a boring and too professional definition. Life should not be that professional (serious). Should it really?
Here is my definition. In fact, it is an explanation.
A blog is quite similar to a website:
I would term a blog as a journal or diary that is commonly maintained and updated by one person who we call a blogger. Usually, blogs are often updated, once a day, week, or a month. You can privatize it, but most are made public for other people to see and read them.
Blogs have certain topics. For instance, mine is “blogging” and “how to set up one”- I’m helping beginners set up a blog, attract visitors, and much more. You can have other topics, many of which you should be knowledgeable in or passionate about.
Blog posts are the spine of a blog:
Every blog you see on the internet is composed of different blog posts created by a blogger. They can contain content, images, videos, different sub-headings, bullet-points, and so on.
They can be shared on social sites, and people can comment on the blog posts.
Blogs can attract a lot of visitors, especially when they start becoming popular and have enough posts. Traffic comes from social networks, search engines like Google, and from other sites as well.
Terms Used in Blogging and Their Meaning:
- It is an online diary or journal.
- The person who owns a blog. The individual who keeps the blog alive by posting new content, information, sharing the latest news, opinions, case-studies, etc.
Blog Post (n):
- Content or article that is inside a blog. For instance, what you are reading right now is a “blog post” that I wrote for my blog.
- To create a blog, to find a blog, to keep a blog- I will find a blog about fitness and health
- The act of writing or maintaining a blog. When blogging, I’m able to share the information that I feel is helpful, interesting, or helpful for others.
To make this blog post more compelling and interesting, I talked to several popular bloggers whose blogs are doing well and asked them what a blog is.
As you will see, their definition is very different from what Harvard Law School or Wikipedia gave.
“A blog is a channel you use to share your thoughts. View it as a diary, journal, or even your personal book. You can share quick updates, personal thoughts, and also educate others.”
· Neil Patel.
“For me, a blog is a hub where people share their thoughts and a home for anyone to learn new ideas about topics shared by bloggers.”
· Rand Fishkin.
“Blogs are the new business card, the new resume, and new advertising billboard. They are quickly becoming an excellent source of income for many.”
Now that you understand what a blog is, let’s move on.
Reasons You Should Create a Blog and Join a Blogging Community:
In this section, I’m just going to outline why you need to set up your personal blog;
- Blogging has become one of the most popular ways of spreading news and information and also communicating with your audience. There are millions of blogs on the internet, but this should not scare you as you can make yours stand out and attract visitors.
- It offers a platform to help you express yourself and to share information with others.
- You become a better writer and better person overall.
- The best reason? You can make good money blogging
I know you already know all the “whys,” but it’s good to be reminded
Why Should You Join a Blogging Community?
Back in the days when I had a lot of free time and more concerned about my health, I would devote to maintaining my “gentleman” figure.
I joined a health and fitness club, and I would work out weekly.
I found out that hanging out with folks whom we shared similar interests and goals served as a great support system and a great motivator.
The same thing applies to bloggers who wish to connect with other like-minded individuals in their specific niche.
As one person said, “there is strength in numbers.”
If you want to get more exposure, build helpful alliances, learn from people who have walked that path before you, blogging communities and forumscan strengthen your blogging experience.
Here are a few reasons you should join blogging communities;
- Many blogging communities offer “member benefits” such as promotion of your event, book, or course for free, or at least at a discounted cost.
- The connections you will get can help increase traffic to your personal blog thereby providing you with greater visibility
- Success by association- associating with people who have achieved great levels of success such as prominent business people, authors, and internet influence can enlighten and motivate you to succeed
- You can get answers to your questions and clarifications through community chats and bulletin board, thereby minimizing the need for broad online research.
That is exactly how a helpful blogging community will benefit you;
How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps- Blogging for Beginners Guide:
Contrary to the misconception of many people, setting up a website is very easy. In fact, you need very little technical ability as there is no coding needed. This must be good news for people who dislike coding and decoding.
So, how do you start a blog?
There are five main steps involved when starting a blog. Follow this exact guide, and you will have your own blog in less than half an hour;
- Choose a blog platform
- Choose a web hosting
- Set your blog on your domain
- Design your blog
- Additional resources
Step 1: Choosing Your Preferred Blogging Platform
The first thing you need to do is to choose where you want to build your blog. I’m going to guess you’ve already heard of WordPress because this is a platform I advocate. It is massive.
It is one of the biggest blogging platforms with countless add-ons and plugins, and endless ways of layouts and designs you can use to customize your blog.
With more than 82 million active users, WordPress is one of the best blogging platforms you can use.
However, there are other alternatives;
- This is the next big thing
- Half blog, half social network. It is very simple to use.
Even though the above two are also competitive, here are my reasons why you should go with WordPress;
- It is free to use and super easy to set-up
- Has countless themes and layouts (they are literary countless)
- They have great customer support in case you get stuck
- Your blog will be swift and will look professional and perfect
- It makes it easy for people to interact with you, share your content, and comment on blog posts
We are done there, see how things are moving first. On to step two now.
Step 2: Choosing Between Self-Hosting or Free Alternative
Which is which now? One of the biggest decision you will need to make before proceeding any further is deciding whether to pay for your blog hosting or go with free hosting.
WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are all free blogs for anyone, and this is awesome, right?
They are perfect for people who are not serious about blogging, but they do have cons:
1) You will not get your own domain name:
On a free blog, your URL (blog’s web address) will be very unprofessional. In fact, it will be butt-ugly. If you create a blog with any of the above three free blog services, it will look like this;
Damn ugly, right?
Free blogs have a lot of limitation. Firstly, you can’t fully monetize your blog, and you do not have the freedom to upload all those images and videos you want. Secondly, which for me is the worst part, you won’t even have access to free themes and layouts offered by WordPress.
3) Basically, you don’t own your blog:
Sounds ridiculous, right? But the truth is that you don’t actually own your blog as it is hosted on someone else’s online property and they can hit delete button any time they feel like. These are common happenings, and they can still happen to you. This means that all the effort and time you invested might be vanished in seconds. Sad…
Conversely, with self-hosting on your domain name, you are the real owner of your blog. You can give it your preferred name and end with .co.us, .org, .com, or virtually any web suffix you want. Don’t forget the unlimited bandwidth for images, content, and videos plus the free themes.
How much will it cost to self-host your blog? Not as much as you might be thinking. It is usually $5 to $10 per month, depending on the hosting provider you choose.
Step 3- Start a Blog on Your Domain (If You Choose a Self-Hosting and Custom Domain)
Assuming you have chosen WordPress, which is, of course, the best choice, let’s push ahead.
I know you might be stuck on the self-hosted blog. Allow me to explain how you can set up one yourself.
- This is the URL of your website. For instance, Google.com is the domain of google.com.
- This is the company that puts your blog up on the internet.
- Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog content will be saved.
There are many hosting companies you can choose from.
However, ensure it has a “one-click” WordPress install feature on their admin panel. That feature will automatically install WordPress on your blog.
Once WordPress is installed, all you need is to go to your WP-admin page and start writing a new post.
You may find the layout confusing at first, but you will get used to it. Don’t worry.
On to the fun step now;
Step 4: Designing Your WordPress Blog
This is meant to personalize your blog as per your preference. You get to choose a new theme where you can either access them on Appearance>Themes and install a free one, or you can buy a premium theme from websites such as ThemForest.net for around $40.
It is good to choose something that is easy to customize and professional. WordPress offers an awesome feature that allows you to change themes with a few clicks.
If you get tired of your current blog appearance, you can choose another one without losing any of your content or images.
Keep in mind that your blog’s design should reflect your personality and what your blog is about. A football-oriented theme on a tennis blog will not work out.
Also, ensure it is easy to navigate to avoid losing traffic.
If you install a sophisticated theme that is difficult to navigate, people won’t stay. Make your visitors stay on your blog by having a clutter-free and user-friendly design.
On to the last step. I told you this thing is easy.
Step 5- Additional Blogging Resources for Beginners
No matter how many articles and guides you have read about how to start a blog, there is always room for improvement and more learning.
These articles may help you avoid common mistakes beginner bloggers make when it comes to setting up their first blogs.
Woo! That is all for today. I’m more than confident that you can now set up your first blog quickly.
Enjoy your new blog!