Starting A Blog

Hello readers, welcome to the realjema blog. I’ve meant to start this blog for a while now but due to one or two reasons but mostly (procrastination) I am only able to do so now. Nevertheless! Better late than never at all, so here am I with my very first blog post, there are a lot of things I want to talk about with the world, so much I want to share with everyone who will be reading this.

Blogging is listed as one of the most prominent side hustles out there which is an additional incentive to want to do so but I think the main reason I want to start a blog is as a store of knowledge. I have had sometimes the problem of finding articles which have been very helpful to me in the past but because I didn’t bookmark them, I ended up losing them, and it became difficult to find them again. Its also a means for me to store and share my knowledge with the world, am sure my future self will be reading some of these articles in the future for reference and also other people out there who might find some value to my words. Lets get right into to it then.

Why you should start a Blog?

I’m sure there are many reasons out there you can find on why you should launch a blog, I can’t go through each of them but I encourage you to do additional research. What I can tell you is simply that a blog is a means of expression like so many others out there, for example; all the people dancing on tiktoks, all the vloggers on youtube, all the shows on Tv, the music on the radio etc all those are means of expression, even when you were talking with your parents this morning, you were expressing yourself. So the question here is not if you can start a blog but rather why you should choose this form of expression above every other one.

I think a blog is one of the most long lasting forms of expression, it is comparable to books. If you know anything about history today, its not because of the videos you watched or the songs you heard but rather from all the books you read. Books travel through time with so much ease, till date you still have books which were written in the 1800s, thats quite a fit. I’ll say if you like talking and writing then you should start a blog, just convert your words into letters in a computer and thats it. Now if you are wondering if you have something interesting to say then I’ll say yes without a doubt.

How to start a Blog

A blog at its most reduced form is simply a website with some text on it, what you are going to be doing is to create a website and simply start writing onto it like I am doing right now. You could recruit a professional to get your website all setup but thats really unnecessary in recent times, technologies just get easier and cheaper, everybody can get a blog up and running in no time. I will spare you all the complex computer jargon which might scare you and divide all what you need to know and do in the following;

  • Webhost
  • Domain Name
  • Website
  • Posting

Step 1: Webhost & Domain Name

Don’t get scared from this word, it is simply the computer which holds your website and gives access to everyone on the internet. An illustration of this is like, if your website is a movie then the webhost is like netflix, I hope you get the illustration. So you get the choice of either being on netflix or any other movie provider out there. Now the differences between webhost comes down to the pricing and the features they off, for a blog those features don’t matter that much at the start. So just choose a webhost, pay for the hosting and put your website on there. Some Examples of webhost are;

  • Bluehost
  • Namecheap
  • Godaddy
  • Globexcam (a local one)

and so much more, just search for webhost with the best pricing.

The Domain name is simply how you want your website to be called.

Step 2: Website

This is how you want to create your website, there are many options out there but the most full proof method which has existed for the past decade is WordPress. These are the advantages of wordpress and why so many people use it all around the world

  • small learning curve (even a child could learn it)
  • Millions of pre-built templates & designs
  • Millions of additional plugins and modules you can add
  • Optimized for blogs

If money is not a major concern for you then I’ll refer you to https://wordpress.com/ to setup your blog in minutes and start posting there. Many people don’t prefer this method simply because there are better prices using other methods. The other method is for you to setup your website using a webhost of your choice. Most webhost now come with a default wordpress installer, so look through your webhost interface you should find the option for installation of wordpress.

Just click on the wordpress installer and the rest should be straight forward.

Step 3: Changing your blog design

Once you login into your wordpress backend, you should see the interface below. WordPress is easy to use and you can change alot of things just by a click of a button. There are countless templates and to change the whole design of your website takes only a couple of clicks. Open Appearance>Themes menu, you should see all the themes currently installed.

How to choose a theme

These are ready made themes which come complete already and they are fully customizable as long as you know your way around modifying them. Unless you are looking for something very specific, there is always a theme which will meet your needs in the millions of themes out there.

You can easily choose from thousands of other free WordPress themes if you don’t like the current themes. To install a new WordPress theme, click on the “Appearance” tab on the left menu and then click “Add New Theme”.

How to install a new theme
How to change your theme

There are millions of themes to choose from and to find a theme you like, I suggest you click on the “Popular” tab and start browsing. When you find one that you like click the blue “Install” button.

Once the theme is installed click “Activate” to activate the theme on your blog. To see your new theme in action, go to your blog and take a look!

Step 4: Writing Posts

I’m sure you know what posts are, they are like news articles for people to read every day, and you are currently reading one. There are traditional websites which have static information which don’t change but for a blog, it has new information daily and these types of information are called posts. Now that your blog is up and running it’s time to actually do some blogging!  Let’s create your first piece of content.

Go to the left menu and click on “Posts”.

delete the Hello World default post

You will see there is already a post there. This is a default post on every new WordPress blog, and we don’t need it. To delete it click “Trash” just under the post. To begin writing a new post, click the “Add New” link.

add a new post to your blog

You are now on the post editor screen. Enter the title of your post in the top box and then begin writing your post in the lower box.

If you would like to add a picture to your post, click on the “Add Image” icon and click “Upload” to upload a picture from your computer. You can make adjustments to the picture size on the next screen. When you are ready click “Insert into post” to add the picture.

Insert image in blog post

Once you have finished your post just click the “Publish” button on the top right side of the screen to publish the new post.

Congratulations!! you just wrote your first post 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Step 5: Promote your blog

Creating a well-designed blog and writing great content is just the start. In order to get visitors to your blog you will need spend some time promoting it, especially when you first start. The strategies below will help get your blog in front of more readers. You don’t need to use every strategy – try out a few and see what works well for you.

Use Social Media

One of my favorite ways to get visitors to my blog is to post links on my social accounts, like Facebook and Twitter. This is great, because not only do your friends see the link, but if your friends share the link with their friends it automatically multiplies your visitors. If you have created high-quality content on your blog then social media is a way for your blog to go viral.

Comment on Other Blogs

Find other blogs in your community and engage with them. Using the comment section, introduce yourself and leave engaging and constructive comments. Many will allow you to leave a link to your blog. After creating relationships with prominent bloggers in your community, you will find yourself within their ranks quickly.

Engage with Your Visitors

When your readers leave comments on your posts, always engage with them. Reply to their comments and questions, give them “likes” and affirmations. When it is obvious that the author cares about his/her community and readership, visitors are naturally encouraged to return.

Collaborate with other bloggers

Become enmeshed in your blogging community by collaborating with respected members of your field. Collaborating includes guest posting, promoting each other’s blogs and products, and regularly interacting through comments and social media.

Post Regularly

Post content regularly. Create an editorial calendar and stick to it. A good blogger posts at least once per week to start. If you have long lapses between posts, your followers will drop off and your growth will be severely hampered. It’s not easy to post on a schedule, but it’s something you absolutely must stick to.

Optimize your blog for search engines

You want your blog to appear in search results as soon as possible.

Google: Sign up for a Google Webmaster account and open the Search Console. To add your blog, click “Add Property” and follow the steps to add your blog.

Bing: Sign up for a Bing Webmaster account and add your blog.

Submitting your blog is the first step in process known as search engine optimization (SEO).

Keep in mind that with a brand new blog your traffic will be minimal to start with. However, this will change over time as long as you continue to add informative and relevant content on a regular basis.

To optimize this process, each page of your blog should include these fundamental elements:

  1. Header Tags: Section headings and subheadings should be wrapped in header tags.  To do this, click on the left item of the block you are writing in and change it to “Heading”.  You can then choose from H1, H2, H3, etc.add headings and subheadings
  2. Categorization: Your content should be clearly categorized into specific and relevant categories.  In the post editor screen, click on “Document” on the right menu, and then go down to “Categories” and “Add New Category”.assign a category to your new post
  3. Permalinks: Each blog post “slug” is the end portion of the URL. You want to make sure each post has a defined slug and doesn’t end with an article number. You can easily change this in your WordPress dashboard by going to “Settings” -> “Permalinks”. Select the “Post Name” option and click “Save Changes”

There are many more factors relating to consider, such as installing something like the Yoast WordPress plugin, but these are the big ones that will help improve your search rankings sooner rather than later.

For more tips on promoting your blog make sure to check out my in-depth guide to blog promotion.

Step 6: Make money from your blog

Once you have put in the effort of creating great blog content and promoting your blog, making money from your blog is actually the easy part.

Blogs have the potential to be extremely lucrative, but don’t assume that you’re going to start making money in the first week, or even in the first month. It could take six months to a year to start seeing a steady stream of income. Blogging takes work and dedication, but once you develop a large enough audience, there are several methods you can employ to monetize your blog.

Sell advertising space

Once you have a popular blog, advertisers will be hounding you for the opportunity to advertise. The best way to take advantage of this situation is to use Google Adsense. Google finds the advertisers for you and all you have to do is place the Google Adsense code on your blog to start running ads. Google Adsense takes all of the hard work out of the process and just cuts you a check.

I go into the full details of how to set up Google Adsense for your WordPress blog here.

Sell affiliate products

An affiliate program is a commission-based way to advertise. When one of your readers clicks on a link on your blog, they get sent to an advertiser’s site and you earn a commission if they purchase. Affiliate links are a nice way to earn income through the use of product reviews. However, you must remember to disclose that you are an affiliate for the product.

Selling Products and Services

Selling your own products and services directly on your blog is a great way to increase your income. As your blog grows and you begin to see a wide audience, your products and services will begin to sell themselves.

Use the sidebar of your blog to increase the visibility of what you sell using visual images and a link to your storefront page.

Sell digital downloads

Ebooks, video tutorials, and e-courses are the most commonly consumed digital materials sold by bloggers. With little to no overhead and no shipping costs, you can keep the price low and inviting.

If you are extremely knowledgeable in your field, an ebook can practically write itself. Give it a try, you might surprise yourself!

Sell memberships

Another way to monetize is by creating membership options on your blog. This allows you to offer members more exclusive content only available with a paid membership. For example, you could offer unlimited downloads of digital goods, free consultations, a private network or forum where community members can mix and mingle, and private content available to members only.

There are many ways a blog can capitalize on popularity and traffic. Choosing the way you monetize from your blog depends on your goals and the purpose of your blog. Those who are selling services, physical goods, and digital goods, for example, may not want to participate in affiliate programs where traffic could be lost to another site.

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