When you have that epiphany of creating a platform that voices your ideas or something you are very passionate about- a blog might be the first thing that comes to mind. But a lot of people almost always run from that idea because setting up a blog seems a little techy. Well, I am here to simplify how you should be setting up your blog! Here are 10 simple but practical steps you need to follow in order to set up your blog.
Table of Contents
- Choose a Blog Name
- Buy a Domain Name
- Host your blog
- Choose a Content Management System
- Assign writing and Editing roles
- Have a Content Creation Calendar
- Learn Basic SEO
- Never stop reading about blogging
- Familiarize yourself with basic blogging tools
- Create a sitemap for your blog
Choose a Blog Name
As unimportant as this appears because it is something that sounds like you can come back to, it is actually one of the most essential things in setting up your blog. As long as you don’t want to operate a wordpress blog but a blog you host on the internet and buy a domain name for.
You need to choose a name for your blog as this is the only way you can get a domain name purchase at a Domain Company. Choosing a blog name should not be hard. It is usually something related to what you want to blog about. For example, if you want to blog about fitness, you may decide to name your blog “The Fitness Master”, or “Keeping fit with Me”. Some people even name their blogs after them so as to make it a personal brand thing.
However, you have to make sure the name you choose has not been used before or currently exists.
Buy a Domain Name
The second step is buying a domain name at a domain company. A Domain Company is an organization that sells domain names to people. Here, domains are used to refer to the names of blogs or websites. For example: CNN, BBC, Premium Times, The Guardian- are all domain names that were purchased from a domain company.
Purchasing a domain name is not a hard task at all. Companies like Truehost, Bluehost, GoDaddy, NameCheap and even GoogleDomains offer these services. All you need to do is visit their website and search for the availability of the domain name you wish to purchase.
Host your blog
Remember that I mentioned how there is a difference between a wordpress blog and a hosted blog. A wordpress blog is one that is not hosted on the internet but hosted on wordpress. For example: buidlingup.wordpress.org. If the website were to be hosted on the internet, it would just be buidingup.org.
This then brings us to the question: “What does it mean to host my blog on the internet?” Hosting is usually done through “Web Hosting”. Web Hosting simply refers to “buying” a space on the internet which allows your blog to be featured or ranked in search results on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo etc.
Through web hosting, your blog is made available online and everyone in the world can see whatever you post as long as the post gets ranked by search engines on Search Engine Result Pages.
Hosting your blog is usually done by a Domain Company as the service usually goes hand in hand with Domain name purchasing. You can choose a yearly or monthly plan based on the company or your budget.
Choose a Content Management System
A Content Management System, as the name infers, allows you to easily create content for your blog, edit and upload relevant images. The most popular Content Management Systems are WordPress and Blogger. There are a few differences between both but the difference is majorly based on function rather than design and editing. Whichever content management system you choose, be assured it will help you create content as seamlessly as you want it to.
Assign writing and Editing roles
If you want to build your blog into a big scale one, then you must definitely have plans to have a team of writers and editors. This is where you create an account for each one of them on your blog. Also, you begin to assign writing roles to them so that content creation flows easily.
Meanwhile, if you have no plans of having a team yet, it doesn’t matter if it’s just you. As long as you are committed to it, there is no rule that says that your blog won’t be as successful as those that have a team. It may take a double effort, but commitment triumphs at the end of the day.
Have a Content Creation Calendar
The importance of this can never be overemphasized. The excitement of starting a blog will eventually wear off when you are faced with the reality of creating content continually. You don’t have to upload content everyday for your blog. But you should definitely have a content reaction calendar that reminds you of what to write, when to write it and when each content should be uploaded.
The basic truth is that when your blog is left unattended to (in terms of content), the possibility that it ranks on search engines dwindles everyday.
Learn Basic SEO
Honestly, if you do not have the money to hire an SEO Consultant, you will have to learn basic on-page Search Engine Optimization skills. The reason for this is not far-fetched. On page SEO helps your rankings based on the content you create and how you create it. You can hire someone to do your off-page SEO for you as that can get a little techy. On-page SEO helps you in driving traffic to your blog organically i.e. through search engines. Social Media traffic can only take you so far.
Never stop reading about blogging
A lot of people get so overwhelmed with blogging that they don’t have the time to check out what is going on in the blogging world anymore. This is not their fault, but they will have to keep up because there is so much information out there that could really help them ease their blogging journey.
Popular blogs to follow are Search Engine Journal, The Ryan Robinson Blog, and Nick Patel etc.
Familiarize yourself with basic blogging tools
These basic blogging tools are: Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Yoast SEO and Google Analytics. Of course, the blogging tools you need are more than these, but these are the most important. Google Search Console helps you monitor your website in terms of links that are crawled and found by Google so they can be ranked eventually. Bing Webmaster does the same thing- specifically for Bing Search. Yoast SEO guides you on how to get your on-page SEO right while Google Analytics helps you monitor the number of visitors on your website, how quickly they leave, and their interaction with your most read pages.
Create a sitemap for your blog
A Sitemap is literally the map of your site. You can generate a sitemap on Sitemap Generator for free or get an automatic one on Yoast SEO plugin. A Sitemap helps search engines understand your website better. They know where to crawl and what pages need the most attention.