How to Start a Blog Online

Starting a Blog
Starting a Blog, image: pxhere.com

Starting a blog in this day and age is very simple – the question that one might have to ask is do you want a premium domain blog or a free subdomain blog. Either way, you can start however you want. In most cases, people start a blog in hopes of making money online for a living. That’s great, but I do have recommendations of my own.

Why do you want to start a blog?

Nobody starts a blog for no reason, even when the answer is “just for fun” that’s enough reason for me.  I bet almost every website has a blog, even business websites. Blogging is a way of engaging with potential customers when running a business, or potential readers that will keep coming and begging for more content. Isn’t that wonderful? However, having a successful blog requires one to work really hard on a daily basis.

There are millions and millions of people around the world, who blog for a living, most of which are successful and making thousands and thousands of dollars every month – and yes, it can be you too. If you want to blog just for fun, regardless, the aim is to run a successful blog with a very satisfying number of monthly readers.

Starting off…

You can start a new blog by using free services like (www.blogger.com) and still be able to monetize your blog for free (We will talk about monetization in a bit).

However, I am going to skip on free services and talk about the real benefits of having your own domain name.

Owning a domain name

You can choose from a range of domain names and domain levels (.com, .co.za, .co, .org, etc.) whatever name that’s available for your TLD domain level. The fun fact about owning a domain is that you can do whatever you want with it without any limitation except for the usage policy of the hosting company.

You can post whatever you want, and no one can ever tell you otherwise. You can include all the ad networks that you want to include on your website, usually, I keep it at a minimum of 3 (Three) Ad Networks.

Your domain represents you and your business; you own it and nobody can take it away from you unless you sell it.

Free Subdomain Website for Blogging

Just as I said, with www.blogger.com you can monetize your blog with AdSense as soon as you qualify (Qualifying will be determined by the number of posts just as with your own domain name).

You can only advertise with AdSense and not any other Ad Networking.

You can blog about anything that won’t get you disqualified for monetization with Google; the same applies with having your own domain name.

With subdomains, you don’t own the domain, just the subdomain and can be deleted at any time.

Good Domain Names

You need a good domain name for your blog. It can either be a unique name or the name can be related to what you blog about.

  • The shorter the name the better to remember
  • I bet you will remember iBusiness.co.za
  • If you have a blog on your name, that’s not a problem as long as you focus on your niche.
  • A great blog is made up of great content

With billions and billions of domains in the world, believe me when I say, yours can stand out whether it’s an international (.com) website local South African TLD domain level like (.co.za), your website can still reach a massive audience.

My focus is a South African Audience, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t reach an international audience, as long as my content is real and unique, I will get the traffic I deserve and so should you.

It takes a lot of patience for a new domain to be recognized or to start ranking on Google, however, sometimes when you are lucky you rank faster than expected, but no matter how long it takes, just keep writing as each day passes, you will notice a difference in traffic every month.

Steps on How to Start a Blog

I have summarized 20 steps on how to start your own blog. You can do everything in a couple of days, there’s no rush – you can give yourself a month or 2 or every 3 months before your official launch. Let’s take a look at the 20 Steps on how to start a blog in minutes before the launch.

1. Think of a name and a niche for your website

It is imperative that you concentrate on your website niche. Choose just one subject that you feel comfortable with that best suits you. You can call it “yourname.com” or any other name related to your website niche.

Even when your site has multiple categories, the subject can only be one. Is it okay to include a few unrelated categories?  The answer is both Yes and No (You can start something that you won’t maintain – Don’t include categories that you will eventually fail to keep updating)

The name is very important; choose a simple and memorable name. It is important to keep it clean, short and to the point.

TLD Domain levels are no longer important from how I see things (my opinion) whether it a .com or a .co.za just make sure you have good content and you love your domain. If you love the sound of a .com, then it’s okay to go for it.

2. Note ideas down

Noting your ideas down is equally as important as writing your life goals. It amazing what a pen and paper can do in just a minute of brainstorming with you, and your inner-self and your deeper soul.  Write it all down, I don’t believe in bad or stupid idea, I believe in all ideas. Make a move and your idea can just make you the next best online business entrepreneur.

Yes, blogging can also be seen as a business, you can make money using your blog, and I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here are my 3 B’s – Be Creative, Be Unique, and Be You.

Blogging made fun, that’s when you put your personality in it, and thus people fall in love if you and your blog.  Now you have your ideas for your blog and your blog name.

3. Register a Domain Name

Registering a domain name is easy. All you have to do is to choose your IS (Internet Solutions) service provider, whose services includes if any, a domain registration. GoDaddy has an amazing domain name search tool that offers suggestions and alternatives when your domain name has already been taken.

At this point, you have secured a domain name with your service provider. Domain registration can be from as little as $1 (R14.50) – believe it or not, that’s how much some country code Top Level Domains cost.

Domains are renewable every year for the same price of purchase.

4. Secure your own Hosting

You will need a hosting company, and I often tell people that it’s often best to host with the same company you purchase the domain from.

Hosting services come in a range of different plans and you can choose a plan that works for you, especially as a beginner. You don’t need to choke yourself with an unnecessary pricey plan, you can upgrade as you grow.

Hosting services are typically paid every month, but you can choose to pay quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly.

5. Install a Blogging platform (I recommend WordPress)

Now that your domain and hosting service is ready, you get a cPanel from your hosting. But let me recommend a few things:

  • When purchasing a hosting plan especially when your main purpose is to blog, I suggest you get a WordPress hosting plan.
  • A WordPress hosting plan is specifically designed to cater to the needs of a WordPress platform and so you will get it pre-installed or will be auto-installed when adding your domain to the plan.
  • A hosting plan gives room for growth and thus you can upgrade anytime you want at no questions asks.
  • You will get all sorts of benefits that come with the plan, some WordPress Hosting Plans come with a Free SSL, and this will depend on the service provider.

However when navigating and installing WordPress from a cPanel

  • You will have to use the Softaculous, which provides easy setup and performance for your CMS and e-commerce platforms. A blazing fast 1-click WordPress installation.
  • Manually you can download the WordPress, upload it to your public files, unzip it, and run the installation – this might require you to create a Database, and all credentials separately. (This is unnecessary – NOT RECOMMENDED!!!)

6. Buy or get an attractive theme for your blogging look

Every business has a look – and the look is very important, it part of branding your blog. There might be changes every now and then but most bloggers maintain the same look. You can purchase an attractive theme and edit it from there, or find someone to edit it for you.

Or get the theme’s developer to help you for support. They might need your temporary FTP credentials to help you get it however you want. Or you can do it yourself if you know your way around WordPress and child themes.

When you are happy with the look, you are certainly ready to proceed to the next step.

7. Secure your Blog (Security Plugins)

You might need to secure your blog with security plugins to help prevent unforeseen circumstances like your site being hacked, and spam attack or worse. You need to take advantage of security plugins like Wordfence, All in One Security, and take advantage of Ghost plugins to hide your files and login pages – Use the Askimet plugin to avoid spam comments.

There are plenty of plugins to choose from, test them and see which one works best for you.

8. Get SSL for your blog

When you have already decided to have a blog, please consider getting an SSL Certificate for your website. SSL Stand for Secure Socket Layer. It simply validates the website’s identity and encrypts the information visitors send to or receive from your site.

Also, it plays a role in Google rank, as Google suggests all sites should be using SSL, although, this initiative is going to take some time.

Once you have secured your website, you are good to go, hence I was saying, it is imperative to compare WordPress Hosting Services from different companies and chose a reputable WordPress hosting service that comes with a free SSL.

9. Write Articles offline (Real Unique content as a start before the launch)

Why not? You have this beautiful website under construction with no content, you will have to write your content, either way, I suggest offline because it will give you time to really work on your niche.

Writing articles requires time and I often hear people crying out loud looking for unique content for their websites. Why not do it yourself. The first 50 – 100 Articles in a month or two before the launch isn’t a bad idea. You can take your time really crafting your work to the best of your ability.

It’s my suggestion – and besides, Google AdSense will only accept your blog for monetization if there is sufficient content.

10. Do some basic SEO before the launch

Now that you have written your articles offline, it’s then time to do some basic SEO before the official launch.

I believe SEO is still very important – however, you can do your basic SEO once you have useful content for readers.

Finish up your SEO from articles and categories and the overall of your website and then when you are done, you can definitely go the next step without hesitation.

Remember you can use the WordPress Yoast plugin for your SEO.

11. Get an attractive Logo (You may get someone to do it for you)

Nothing says “Hello!” like an attractive Logo, if you can’t do it, please don’t force it, it’s only going to look more horrible.  Or alternatively you can use 3rd party online logo services to create a beautiful logo at an affordable price for your website.

Logos are as important as the look of your website, respect the logo as much as you respect each and every aspect of your website. No parts are smaller, every part is equally important.

If you can’t afford a logo at the moment, I see no point in launching your website or rather try free logo services and if you like the outcome of their logo templates, then it’s okay to use one. I am grateful for mine, it’s simple and to the point – yours too can be as attractive.

12. Launch your Blog

I have every reason to believe that, at this point in time, your blog is ready. LAUNCH! Have a snack, celebrate, you did it! You deserve to have an outing, you are now live. Tell your friends about your launch right away; publish on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Send emails to your cousin in Cape Town, Let everyone know.

Growth starts with your friends and family. Keep them posted and enjoy your blog. You did it.

13. Write Articles and keep the same schedule

It is important to keep track of your articles, don’t forget to link your articles together, update your website regularly because that will boost your rank on Google.

Decide on which days to update if it’s every day; make sure it really is every day. It’s okay to miss a day here and there without making it a habit.

Keep your articles original still and be consistent.

14. Share your articles across social network

Never cease sharing your articles online and on social networks across every platform. Keep busy, do this and that, share even old articles, that’s how you keep an active blog.

However, don’t abuse the use of a social network, the last thing you need is for your website to be deemed as Spam on a social network. That would suck even for me.

15. You are now a Blogger

By the time you reach this step, your work is technically done. You are officially a blogger, you did it all, Branding, SEO, linking, and (Something now just crossed in my mind – Don’t forget to Backlink your site)

‘Backlinking’ is simply commenting on other bloggers’ websites with your website link, for a better ranking on Google.

However, as much as it works, do it at least once a week, but put your main focus on rich content (and by rich I mean informative)

16. Reach out to AdSense and Register for Monetization

Now that your blog is receiving some traffic, you can apply for monetization for your blog with AdSense. I recommend AdSense because it pays well and it’s 100% fair.

You get relevant ads on your website and this will increase your revenue massively. Okay, so AdSense is a pay-per-click ad service, which pays a few cents or more per click.

You can reach out, register and your website will be reviewed, after some time, you be accepted or rejected, if rejected, they will provide you with a reason to help you re-apply, because AdSense needs and cares for you.

17. Place Ads on your website

Monetize your blog
Monetize your blog, image: pxhere.com

There are a number of other advertising networks in the world such as MGID, Taboola, etc. You can also apply to increase your revenue stream.

Once AdSense/MGID/Taboola/any other ad network approves your website, you will be given codes to put on your website and so the ads can start showing on your blog.

Usually, with AdSense, they will start appearing within seconds after adding the code.

18. Make Money and maintain your website

Now you will be making money on a month to month basis depending on the growth of your blog if any, this is your responsibility – do all the work to get all the money you need.

Blogging when you start it isn’t easy at all, and I am not discouraging you, but in fact, I want you to be ready.

19. Fight for growth

If you want to grow in this business, consistency is very important, your unique content is very important, your interaction with users is very important.

20. Don’t lose focus

Never lose focus and neglect your website. We’ve seen a lot of websites grow and suddenly lose ranking. If one were to ask why, it will be because of lack of updating, once you go live, your job is to update and monitor your site on a regular basis.

Author’s Notes

Well, there you have it.  I believe I covered everything that’s important. However, having said that, there might be a few tiny bits of information that will continually be updated.

I believe in newer and updated information – I will keep on checking for updates as we dwell too deep in the biz world, the world that understands one language, “Money”. You are just a few steps from becoming the best at your craft.

The information rendered here is crafted with love, and so this takes me to a quick recap.

  • Domain names are important, remember that
  • As well as picking a reliable domain registry of your choice
  • I recommend a WordPress Hosting Plan to make things easier and reap all the benefits that come with it.
  • Get a logo for your site (This is important)
  • Get SSL for your site (I’ve said it, some hosting companies offer a WordPress Hosting Plan that comes with a free SSL)
  • Purchase a theme, or get a free one you can edit, there are plenty of them.
  • Put your Website under construction until you are ready to launch
  • Write articles offline.
  • Get your SEO ready using the Yoast Plugin. The Free Version is also very useful.
  • Backlink your website with comments (You may get backlinks from reputable websites as you grow)
  • And you are good to go.

That’s all it will ever take – With that, that’s how you start a Blog online.

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Isaac More

Blogger at iBusiness
Founder and Writer of iBusiness Blog, (born June 28), a South African aspiring Actor and Blogger. A native of Ventersdorp, Mogopa Village (SA), often referred to as Zack. Let's talk iBusiness.
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    Updated on October 20, 2019

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