You’ve probably heard that you can start a successful blog for free and start making money online out of it. But to what extent is this statement true? And how much exactly does a blog cost? Well, in this guide, I’ll answer all your queries regarding blogging.
Why do you need a blog in the first place?
There are many reasons why you should shart blogging, some of which include;
- Attracting a larger audience
- Show or establish authority
- Boost your writing experience
- Creates endless opportunities
- Potential to make money
A blog helps you share content on diverse topics within your niche, thus attracting more readership. However, you may consider starting a youtube channel as well for even better results.
Now that you understand why blogging is important, let’s get into the steps you should follow to start your first blog.
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Before you start a Blog, do this…
Decide what type of blog you want to create. Is it a blog about food, digital matters (like mine), or celebrity gossip? Or even news or educational websites?
Find something that you love, and stick to it.
Then, based on your niche, select a domain name. You’d want to make sure the domain you’re choosing is available and it’s not more than 10 characters or two words.
More so, you should confirm the availability of social media usernames. Not forgetting to check if there is any mobile app registered under your proposed name.
You can use Namecheck.com for that purpose, and it’s free.
1. Buy Domain and Hosting Package
Now that you have a domain name (website name), you have to purchase it. Remember, you should renew your domain name annually.
Then, find a company that you’ll buy the domain from, as well as website hosting.
And one thing I love about Dreamhost is that you can get a free domain for the first year, as long as you purchase a hosting package for 1 year or 3 years.
The company sells a .com domain for $7.99/year. However, .org and.net are a bit more expensive than .com, and .blog is even cheaper.
You can as well get an affordable hosting package from Dreamhost.
Web Hosting is the process of renting or buying space to house a website on the World Wide Web.
DreamHost charges a monthly fee of as little as $1.99 per month (limited time offer).
Or you can check out BlueHost as well, which charges hosting from $2.95/month.
And the good thing about these two hosting companies is that you can install WordPress and create your website for free.
You can also check more web hosting companies on the web before deciding which one to buy a domain and hosting package from,
Check their reviews on TrustPilot or social media pages like FaceBook just to understand what its users are saying.
Alternatively, you can as well consult an expert or web developer in your region for more guidance.
So, how much does buying and hosting the Edifid.com domain cost? Or how much does it cost to start a website?
Well, if I settle with DreamHost, I’d need $7.99 for the domain name and $1.99/month ($23.88 per year) for a shared hosting package. That’s a total of $31.87 (Ksh 3,500).
However, the final cost depends on the domain extension you use (.com, .net. .org, .co.ke), the offers available, and the hosting package you use.
2. Install WordPress and Themes
Can you guess how many websites use WordPress today? As of 2021, over 455 million websites use WordPress builder, and the number continues to grow.
Yet there are about 1.3 billion websites across the internet. Meaning that over 30% of the websites used WordPress – that’s an impressive number. Isn’t it?
And the good thing is that most hosting packages have preinstalled WordPress, so all you have is to activate it and start to create or build your blog for free.
But, you’ll have to find a WordPress theme that interests you or meets your website’s requirements.
There are over 4,700 WordPress themes that you can choose from.
Alternatively, you can install Starter Templates and use builders like Elementor to create your website.
You’ll have some templates to choose from, some of which are paid and others are free. Now, that depends on your budget.
Although I suggest you start with the free ones.
You can watch the following video on how to use starter templates to build your website on your own.
3. Install Basic WordPress Plugins
Simply put, a WordPress plugin is a piece of software that “plugs into” your WordPress site.
Plugins may add new functionality or extend existing functionality on your website. And some of the most common ones include:
- CAPTCHA 4WP – helps secure your site against scammers
- WPForms – form builder for email marketing
- All in One SEO – Best WordPress SEO Tool
- Contact Form – enable visitors to contact you
- Email Subscribers – get email subscribers (key to email marketing) and send messages to them.
- Icegram – create a campaign on your website – like email subscribers
- Site Kit by Google – set up Google Console, Analytics, and Adsense on your site
- Yoast SEO – helps with an SEO analysis and makes your content readable
4. Start Writing your First Blog
Now, you’re set to write your first blog. This is how mine looks:
As seen above, Yoast SEO is very helpful while writing your website content or blog.
It tells you whether you have used outbound links (linking to other websites), images, internal links, and key phrases in the introduction (first block or paragraph).
The plugin also shows you whether you have used the target keywords a few times and included them in title tags and meta descriptions.
If you’re new to writing, you can read other blogs to get ideas on how to write effectively. But don’t procrastinate, just start writing, and with time, your skills will improve.
More so, make sure you write in short paragraphs and include visual aids like videos and images. I prefer writing a maximum of 3 sentences per paragraph – just to make my blog readable and organized.
You better divide your content into a few subtopics (H2, H3, H4, or H5 tags) to help your readers find information more appropriately.
Once your blogs start getting readership, you can include affiliate links or sell your products or services and make money.
Now that you understand how to start a blog, go ahead and create one.
Remember, you need to decide what type of website you want to create and the target audience. I’d suggest you do so before settling on a domain name.
For instance, if your website is on digital marketing, your target audience is majorly website owners or people seeking to start an online business.
And if you want to create a website on your own, do this;
- Find a niche and select your domain name
- Buy the domain and web hosting package
- Install WordPress and find a theme
- Install the most basic WordPress plugin
- Write your first blog
- publish your blog and learn how to market it
- Keep updating your content
Now, go ahead and find more content ideas to write on.
So, are you ready to start blogging?