Blogging has given me freedom to express my views and opinions to different people across the globe. Want to start your own? Whether it is about blogging or about promoting your next enterprise, you are in the right place. This detailed guide will show you how to start a blog and start making money.
To build a website you don’t need to have particular skills on web development and designing or coding. In this guide you’ll learn how to make a professional website and also a hobby website. By hobby website I mean, a website that you’ll only work for when you are free during your part time, a website that doesn’t need much consideration.
By following this simple step by step guide you will be having your own website running today.
What Do I Need To Start A Website
Basically, there three most important things that you’ll need to make your website accessible to the public. These include; a Domain name (your web address), a Web Hosting account and a Website Building Platform like WordPress. Both of these we’ll discuss below. So let’s get started.
1. Choose Your Niche
The very first thing you need to consider before starting your website is to pick a niche. Consider this as your genre or the genre of your website.
This where you decide what you’ll be blogging about. It could be lifestyle, travelling, news, sports, entertainment, tech or business.
2. Pick A Name For Your Website
The website name here will be your domain name, for example you say your website/blog will be called “Purple Flix”, so your domain name will be “purpleflix.com”.
Your website’s domain name should be short and memorable, this means it should be very short, easy to type, easy to remember and easy to share. The best way to come up with a genuine and catchy name is by brainstorming by writing down your domain name ideas on a notepad. Choose a name that best fits your niche.
Another way of coming up with a great name is by using Thesaurus, or ask for suggestions from friends and family.
Some things to avoid while picking a domain name is the use of numbers, hyphens or symbols. This is because it will be hard for you to direct potential audience to your site.
For instance you’re trying to tell someone about your website which is “purple-flix7.com” and you are like “Hey Papi, visit my site at purple hyphen flix seven dot com”. Honestly speaking, it wouldn’t make any sense.
More tips on picking a name for your website:
- Determine who or what your audience will be. If your target is international audience, then go for a “.com”, “.net” domain name extensions. If you are an organisation, then opt for “.org” domain name extension. And if your audience are specific and country-based, then opt for local domain extensions like; .fr, .in, .ke, .uk etc.
- If you are starting a website for your business or organisation, let the website name match the name of your business or organisation.
3. Get Web Hosting For Your Website
After picking up a genuine website name, the next thing to do is getting yourself a hosting platform for your website. Most website need to be hosted so that they can exist on the internet, consider this as a renting space. A web host stores all your website’s data, files, photos and videos so that people around the world can easily access it when they search your domain name.
Hosting can be very cheap and very expensive depending on your preferences.
However, if you are starting out as a blogger I would recommend subscribing to a cheap package and then upgrade later when your website has started growing in terms of audience.
4. Installing WordPress Blogging Platform
Now that we have secured a great web hosting platform, the next thing to do is to set up a blogging platform. By default, a WordPress software resides on your hosting company’s servers.
Remember, the WordPress software in your websites control panel is a little different from the free wordpress.com, the software is a self-hosted WordPress account. This means your website will be “MyDomainName.com” and not “MyDomainName.WordPress.com”.
The added benefit here is that:
- You own your data and you have full control
- You can install plug-ins and custom themes
- You can advertise on your website freely
- You can also use tracking tools to analyse your site
WordPress is the most trusted blogging platform used by most professionals like BBC and Times.
Once you have installed WordPress software, you’ll now be able to log in to your WordPress dashboard with your username and password, and start building your website, customising it and installing the necessary plug-ins.
Remember, your WordPress Login credentials are the ones you created while installing WordPress in your Control Panel. To login to your website, type “YourDomainName.com/wp-admin” in your browser. And Congratulations! You now have a website!
5. Understanding WordPress
Now that we have a blog and have installed a world class platform, which is WordPress, it is time to figure out how to use it, my first time experience with WordPress was so confusing, I almost hoped I never created my website at all, but then I came to understand it, a day at a time. I would recommend you take a day or two studying the WordPress dashboard and watch YouTube tutorials. And eventually you’ll learn how to post articles like this.
6. Downloading A Theme
Your new WordPress blog comes with a few standard themes for your site. Most of these themes are usually by default to get you started. However, you should opt to installing a new theme that best fits your niche.
There are many theme options on WordPress to install from the free ones to the premium ones, my recommendation is that you start using a free theme and after things are turning out successful you can upgrade to premium themes.
7. Installing Basic Plug-ins
Plug-ins give your blog additional features. Most of these plug-ins are usually free, while others are premium, which means you have to pay for them.
To download new plug-ins on your blog, you will have to navigate to the “Plugin” section on your WordPress Dashboard.
While there are many plugins you’ll need to install on your way, here’s my basic recommended list to get you started:
- Akismet – It helps protect your blog from spammers leaving comments on your posts.
- WordPress Statistics – It helps get you an overview of your website’s traffic.
- Yoast SEO – A very important plugin for optimising your articles for Google search, plus integrating Google Sitemaps and Analytics.
- Sassy Social Share – For nice social media sharing buttons for your articles.
- WP Rocket – A great caching plugin that speeds up your WordPress blog.
- Imagify – Automatically optimises your media library.
Now that you have learnt the basics of starting and making a website, it is time for you to raise the bar and inspire other people with your voice and vision on a global scale. Remember, starting a website is just the beginning, the next big thing is to start driving traffic into your new website. We’ll discuss that real soon.