So you want to set up a blog – well this is the place to start.
This article is about setting up a blog site from scratch. As previous visitors to this site will know my website is designed for writers who are interested in promoting their own work and or writing for themselves and managing their own website and…
….the most obvious place to start promoting your work, is on a web site.
This article will guide you through this process step by step. All of the skills taught here can be used and adapted for anyone hoping to set up a blog site, either as a hobby or to start to earn an online income.
What Is A Blog Site?
A blog site is basically a website that has the technology to allow regular posts or articles to be published and categorised.
It started out by people posting a journal or log about their daily activities, the name was eventually shortened from web based log down to ‘blog’.
The world of blogging has developed quite a lot from these early days and now there are a wide variety of themes to choose from, so the website can look as sophisticated or a simple as you wish.
Blogs have also progressed away from being purely about personal stories and sharing experiences, into professional businesses, that can earn their writers a full time income.
A Few Questions You May Be Asking.
The world of blogging is quite new and you may have heard lots of stories about people earning thousands of dollars whilst working a couple of hours a week. Well unfortunately life isn’t that easy in blogging.
If you are doing this as a hobby then it probably doesn’t really matter how much time and effort you put into it, you want to enjoy it and do it in your spare time.
However, if you are planning on earning money from your site, then a lot of time is required, and you must be prepared for very little financial return during the first few months.
So what other questions do you have about blogging, possibly some or all of the following?
- Do I have to be a good writer?
- Do I need good IT skills or be able to use computer code?
- Is it expensive to start?
- Can I earn money from my blog?
Well to take the questions one by one;
- No you don’t need to be a good writer; nowadays blogs can promote all types of content including video, podcasts, reviews of products as well as writing articles.
- No you don’t need a lot of IT skills; you do need some, but anyone familiar with using Microsoft Word and basic word processing should easily understand blogging platforms.
- No it isn’t expensive in fact some blogging platforms are free to set up and establish which can be a great way to get started.
- Yes, you can earn money and there are a number of different ways in which this can be achieved.
Having answered those questions perhaps the next one to ask is… So How Do I Start?
STAGE 1 – Setting up a Blog
The first thing you need to do is to find a blogging platform and a web hosting service.
A Blogging Platform & Web Hosting
A blogging platform is the software needed to write and publish your blogs and a web hosting service places them on the internet, so that they are visible to others.
Many bloggers choose to use WordPress as their blogging platform, simply because it is one of the largest and most reliable platforms available.
WordPress has a simple interface which is not too difficult to understand. Even though it is more basic than a word processing site such as Microsoft Word, this can also makes it easier to use.
I am involved with the Digital Marketing University at Wealthy Affiliate who have developed the Siterubix website builder.
So this is the service that I am going to recommend, which is a combined web hosting and WordPress platform, so you don’t need to source a separate web hosting company.
If you already have a WordPress site or have your own domain name and want an independent web hosting company, then this article on business web hosting services provides more information on this option.
Siterubix offers a free hosting service which is ideal for beginners. Unlike other free hosting companies Siterubix also offers paid web hosting, which has a number of advantages when you are looking for a free account.
Many free web hosting services are vulnerable and have often suddenly closed, leaving site owners struggling to access their content. Many bloggers recommend only using a paid service, because it is more financially secure. It is also a good indication that the company is constantly investing in the quality of service provided, because this is their main business.
Siterubix offers both options of paid and free services. So you have the advantage of a company that is well established and investing in its development and yet offers a free service to allow you to get started.
"your website deserves to be running optimally at all times. To make sure this happens, we limit not only how many other sites share the server, but how loaded the servers are." - Carson, Owner Siterubix
Setting up a Siterubix site is very simple and easy to do
Siterubix is a site builder, in other words it sets up the WordPress site for you, you don’t have to manually add any code or do anything techie, as the diagram below illustrates.
There are four simple stages to setting up the website, and the owners of Siterubix claim that you can set up a blog in 30 seconds following this process (personally I think you need a lot longer, especially when looking through the themes and thinking of a name for your site).
There is more information in this article How to Build A WordPress Website including a link to a video showing you how this can be done. The four main stages are;
- Decide whether you want a free site or if you want the premium paid version.
- Choose a name for your site and check that it is available (i.e. nobody else has that current name).
- Choose from any of the free theme options available in WordPress, to make your site look professional.
- Let the site builder start the process.
It really is that simple, in fact if you already have a name for your blog in mind, here is the direct Siterubix link so that you test now whether the name is available.
The Siterubix free site provides you with a sub domain name, in other words your website url will look like this;
If however, you own your own website domain name, such as howtowriteandetpaid.com then you need to find a hosting service that will allow you to host your own name, or pay for the premium version of siterubix.
Domain names can be purchased at sites such as Namecheap or site domains at siterubix and then taken to hosting companies.
STAGE 2 – Learning About Blogging
The next stage is to start blogging, i.e. writing about what interests you most.
This is equally true whether you are blogging as a hobby, or whether you are planning on making money and setting up a a business.
What is Your Blog About?
No matter what your blog is about it needs to be set up in roughly a similar way. You need to have three basic pages;
- An About Page – explaining your blog, who you are and why you are writing about this topic.
- Content Page – Outlining the topics that you hope to cover and introducing the kind of content that you will be producing over the next few weeks.
Your blog will then start to produce regular content, so that your readers know when to expect new pieces from you – either every week, every two weeks or daily depending on the type of blog you are doing.
The length of the posts will vary, depending on what you want to write on. This article on Writing Blog Posts explains the different length options in more depth.
STAGE 3 -Getting Paid for Your Blogging
So now you have a blog site and you have the basics set up to continue developing your site and beginning to build a following.
There are obviously lots of other skills that you will want to learn along the way depending on the type of blog you have established. If you are interested in earning money through your site then this resource page might be useful Make Money Writing.
I have also listed some other resources below that you may find useful if you are serious about blogging and want to learn some of the more advanced writing and marketing skills that are needed.
Resources For New Bloggers
There are lots of articles on this site that can provide support to bloggers and SEO content writers, and below I have selected a few of the key articles. As you have probably gathered by now most of my blogs will contain relevant links to other sections of the website as you read through.
- How To Turn Your Blog Into An Online Business
- 12 Challenges that All New Bloggers Have to Face
- 9 Ways To Enhance Your Blogging Skills
- 8 Steps That Show How To Write Your First Blog Post
Getting Support For Your Blog Writing
It is very hard to keep focused on writing content no matter how passionate you are about a topic. It can also be quite lonely spending so much time in front of a computer screen.
For this reason I would strongly recommend finding support from some source that works best for you. I have written before why it is that I believe that Every SEO Content Writer Needs a Mentor, and I have also made suggestions about where to source a mentor.
If you are setting up a blog site and need more advice or information please feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively look through the site and the search bar to find specific topics on areas of interest.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found the content useful, any further suggestions please add below.