Blogging for Beginners: How to Start a Blog in 2018

Blogging for Beginners: How to Start a Blog in 2018

  • Bharat Sharma
  • 2018-10-27



If you are here, you must be seeking answer(s) to this question –

“How do I start my own blog and use it promote a hobby, skill or business online?”

In this post, you will find the answer to this (and many more) questions.

As a blogger and marketer, I would be happily sharing my strategy on how to start blogging. I am going to walk you through the ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of blogging in the digital age.

So, if you are ready to start your own blogging journey – let’s get going!

What is a Blog?

 

Anything that captures your thoughts on the internet in the form of text, images, videos or any other media is a blog.

Basically, by definition - a blog is a web page or a form of personal website that can be used to share information (called content) on the Internet.

When you post multiple entries in a blog, they are called ‘posts’. 

Typically, a blog can be run by one person or multiple people. Blogs are also used by companies and brands to connect with customers.

A blog also has the feature to accept comments and discussions by audiences.

What do people Blog about?

 

Honestly, there is no definitive answer to this question.

Personally, I like to blog about learning, hobbies, self-improvement and similarly, every blogger has their own way of blogging.

Usually, bloggers choose from a variety of subjects – reviews (food, products, services), fitness, travel, technology, latest updates, social commentary, personal opinions, parenting and so on.

In case you are wondering, yes, two or more bloggers can choose the same niche or topic to blog about (and that’s totally fine). Some bloggers even choose multiple subjects to write about.

But if you want to make money with your blog, let me tell you the golden rule – don’t go blogging about anything or everything.

A lot of beginners make that mistake and then lose motivation to keep updating their blog regularly.

Wondering how to find the right blog topic?

Take my advice - Don’t waste time finding the perfect blog topic.

Instead, take some time to find the right blog niche.

What is Niche Blogging?

 

 

Niche blogging is the act of starting a blog that caters to a specific audience or ‘target’ group of people. These people will be your audience and ultimately, the people that will read, follow and share your blog content.

Therefore, a blog niche is your way to connect to a certain industry, age group or type of audience that could be interested in the same thing that you want to blog about.

Ultimately, your niche becomes your voice.

In the world of internet, where more than a million blogs are updated every day, finding your voice is crucial to be successful!

The key aspect about blogging is – find something that you are truly passionate or interested about.

 

For example – if you have a hobby of dance or music, your blog should be about performing arts. Similarly, if you are fond of baking or cooking, you should definitely start your own blog about recipes, ideas, tips and tricks and so on.

This way you don’t lose motivation to continue blogging about things or stuff you love!

In case you aren’t sure about how to choose a blog niche - here are 7 blog niches that get good traffic (and make good money).

 

Why do people Blog?

 

I am glad you asked this.

Most people blog because they have something to say, share and express.

As humans, we love to hear, read and absorb stories. We love to be heard and that’s one of our basic needs.

As readers, blogs solve that purpose for us.

Be it an informative blog, an inspirational blog or a funny one, a blog by nature consists of information, experiences, perspective, reviews, thoughts (or all of them).

Following are few reasons why do people blog (or what are the benefits of blogging) –

  • Attract an Audience
  • Organize your Thoughts
  • Share your Opinions
  • Meet New People (Bloggers)
  • Earn Money
  • Promote Business/Brand
  • Establish Your Unique Identity
  • Educate People

 

Does that mean anyone can start a blog?

 

Well, technically yes. Since, you only need an internet connection and a computer/smartphone to blog today.

But here’s the catch.

If your blog sounds just like everyone else, your voice will be drowned in the sea of information that is available on the internet.

The key here is to blog in a way that it has your personality, your style and your stamp on it.

That is the only way to stand out among the crowd and build an audience that loves to read, see and absorb what you have to share.

Let me give you an example – Kinshoo Agarwal is a mother-turned-blogger who likes to share her experiences of parenthood with her blog ‘Mom Learning with Baby’. Her blog captures her journey as a mom who wants to promote creative thinking with fun activities.

Pretty straightforward, right?

Here comes the ‘unique’ part - Kinshoo is also a DIY craft enthusiast who gives her readers a personalized view into her world, by sharing her thoughts on creativity and how her son loves to practice and create new things!

 

So, what lesson can we learn from her?

The only way to make your voice heard in the noisy world of internet – is to say something uniquely!

Before you even start your blog, think about how you can give your content a personalized touch.

As I said – people love stories, not walls of texts.

Hopefully, I have successfully conveyed to you the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ part of blogging for beginners. Let’s move to the ‘How’ part of blogging.

How do I start a Blog?

 

Once you have found your blog niche, the next step is to choose a blogging platform.

Deciding between dozens of blogging platforms isn’t easy.

If you are a complete beginner to blogging, let me help you choose from the different free blogging platforms available today -

 

#1 WordPress

Among the top free blogging platforms, WordPress is the world’s most favorite (and famous) one.

Simply put, it is an online platform (or space) where you can easily build your blog. WordPress.org allows you to choose your blog layout, design, theme and every other aspect easily.

You also get access to hundreds of plug-ins (or tools) that will be useful in your blogging journey.

When I started blogging, I too chose WordPress as my blogging platform. It is simple, easy-to-use and best of all, free!

Plus, you can also make money using with your WordPress blog, isn’t that amazing?

If you are all set to start your own blog on WordPress, here is a helpful on how to setup a Wordpress blog from scratch for beginners.

 

#2 Blogger

Using Blogger, you can easily create a blog that is yours. It offers a simple, quick and easy way to get started with blogging without having too much technical knowledge.

Just like WordPress, Blogger is also free and customizable with templates, themes and layouts. That means, you can give your blog a unique look and feel that matches with your thoughts.

If you want to start a blog to make money, Blogger will allow you to do that easily.

Blogger comes pre-integrated with Google Ads (one of the most popular advertising platform used by money making bloggers) – thus, you can easily monetize your blog by showing ads on your pages.

Ready to start? Check out this useful step-by-step guide on how to create a blog using Blogger.

 

 #3 Tumblr

A popular micro-blogging and social networking website, Tumblr is home to some of the world’s most creative, engaging and useful blogs.

Tumblr is especially popular among bloggers who rely on graphics and visual posts than text-based content. So, if you have a hobby of arts, design, fashion or beauty, you can make good use of how Tumblr handles media.

Just like WordPress and Blogger, you can also customize the look, theme and appeal of your blog on Tumblr.

For bloggers who are social-media savvy, choosing Tumblr as a blogging platform can become more profitable and engaging. Why?

Because Tumblr allows other users (or bloggers) to like, follow and re-post your blog easily on their feeds.

All set to start a blog on Tumblr? Read this guide.

 

#4 Weebly

Next up on our list of free blogging platforms for beginners is Weebly, an online platform that allows you to create a blog, a website and also integrate other features in it.

Starting a blog on Weebly is simple and quick. With its easy-to-use interface, anyone can build their own blog and have full control over the design, structure and other customizable aspects.

More than a blog, Weebly is a site-builder using which you can easily install an online store in your blog. Plus, the built-in hosting feature is an added bonus for bloggers who want a simple and intuitive blogging platform.

Thus, if you are a blogger with a long-term plan of selling products and goods online, Weebly is one of the best solutions for you.

With that being said, I would also like to highlight that at the free level, you will have restrictions in terms of storage and features.

 

#5 Medium

An online publishing-cum-blogging platform, Medium was started in 2012 and it has quickly emerged as one of the go to places for bloggers.

Simply put, Medium is a free network for writers and bloggers who have something to say.

Medium is social – you can like (or clap), repost articles, comment on other people’s content and share it with your followers.  Plus, you can also follow publications and bloggers that you find useful.

Another amazing reason why you should choose Medium as a free blogging platform is because it lets you import your content from anywhere on the web. However, note that it doesn’t allow any design or theme based customizations.

For bloggers, it is also important to know who is reading their content, how many times it is being read and how many people are reading it. Medium gives you real engagement metrics that will help you fine tune your blogging strategy and reach even larger audiences on the platform.

Personally, I love the simple, elegant and ad-free interface and that is why I like to blog on Medium.

If you are ready to jump in the pool, here is a handy guide on how to use medium for blogging.

 

In conclusion, you can choose among any of these popular blogging platforms to create and launch your own blog.

Hope this answers your question on how to start a blog for free!

 

Tools for Bloggers

 

 

A good craftsman knows his tools like the back of a hand.

To become a good blogger, you will need the help of blogging tools to write, promote and engage better.

Be it content, graphics, SEO, analytics…there is a long list of blogging tools for beginners that you can put to good use.

Let’s get to know them in detail.

 

#1 Grammarly

Nothing screams inexperience like bad grammar. To make sure your content is effective, engaging and clear, it is important to get a good grasp on grammar.

No, you don’t need to buy a grammar book to start blogging – Grammarly is a tool to help you ensure that your words, sentences and paragraphs are accurate and concise.

It automatically detects grammatical mistakes for you and also suggests changes and edits.

Pretty awesome, right?

Wait till you learn about the next impressive blogging tool for beginners on our list.

 

#2 Canva

 

 

They say – a picture is worth a thousand words.

Do you know blogs that use images and graphics get more traffic and engagement?

There are many reasons to use compelling and descriptive images in your blog.

Firstly, images help you get traffic from the web, which ultimately, affects your blog rankings and revenue.

Secondly, blogs with images get more social media shares, therefore, boosting your traffic and ultimately, revenue.

Thirdly, images and graphics can help you communicate complex ideas in a simple and concise manner. That’s exactly why bloggers love to use infographics in their content.

In case you are wondering - Canva is a free online tool that lets you create beautiful images, graphics, banners, flyers and so much more.

Using Canva is easy and quick and anyone can start (whether they have a design background or not).

With this tool, you can create images for your blog posts. Personally, I love using this tool and it has helped me get better at designing images for my blogs.

 

3 Pixabay

Before you add an image in your blog or create a graphic using it, it is important to find the right image. 

As a blogger, I have always felt that finding the perfect or most suitable image to complement my words can be a tough task. Also, not everyone can afford to pay for an image all the time.

Enter Pixabay – a free tool for bloggers who want to search from a large repository of stock images.

With Pixabay, you can search from over 1.5 million royalty free images (photos, vectors, illustrations) and videos.

Yes, you can easily and freely use them to your heart’s desire in your blog posts too!

 

4 Google Trends

 

Coming up with new blog ideas to write about can be challenging. Especially, if you have chosen a blog niche that is relevant to a specific activity or area of interest.

Google Trends can help you solve this problem. It is a free information explorer that you can use to search for trending topics and ideas around the world.

Basically, Google Trends enables you to see how many people are searching about specific information or topic and you can use this tool to your advantage.

For example – if you have a hobby of dancing and have a blog about dancing, you can run a search on Google Trends to find out if there are people interested in anything related to dance. If you find a trending story similar to your blog niche, you have a hot topic to blog about!

Combine this free tool with Google Alerts and you can automatically monitor the web for interesting content. As a blogger, it is always a good idea to read about blogs that are similar to your niche.

 

 

Simply set up a Google Alert on any topic that you want to be updated about and watch the magic happen!

In short, if you are not using these free tools for blogging, you are missing out on opportunities to increase your blog traffic and income.

 

#5 Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator