I started blogging a few years ago and it has grown a lot since those initial years. I remember when I first started this blog, I would barely get any views but now I am hitting over a thousand views a month and still growing! This is without marketing or anything. It’s all organic traffic coming mainly from Google. Take a look at the bar graph below of my traffic for the past few years. As you can see, it is consistently growing and I am hoping to cross 200,000 views this year.
The thing you have to remember about the internet is that it rewards creativity and uniqueness and punishes redundancy and repetition. This is why if you are going to blog, then make sure that it is your own material and not some copied and pasted work from somewhere else. Plagiarizing other websites can hurt your site traffic and keep it from coming on top of search results. Successful blogging is all about being yourself and presenting your own unique perspective on things. If you can do that, then you will begin to see your traffic grow slowly God-Willing.
Many who want to start a blog often do not know what to talk about. The internet is a wild beast of every idea so what can you talk about that isn’t already being talked about? The short answer to this is ANYTHING. The best thing to blog about is something you are very passionate about. Something you can talk about for hours, something you can research long hours and still feel excited about, etc. This is the best type of thing to blog about.
So you need to do a bit of introspection and figure out what that thing is that you are so passionate about? How can you contribute to that conversation in some way? There are billions of people on the internet, you are bound to find some market for your ideas. That’s just nature the of the internet. But just remember, the internet rewards creativity and uniqueness and punishes repetition.
For me, it has always been religion and spirituality, hence, the existence of this blog. Recently, as my blog has grown, I am beginning to find other topics that are attracting my attention so I have been writing about them as well (health, exercise, family, finance, etc.). In this post, I wanted to write a quick piece about how to start a blog for many of those who are interested in the subject but cannot find good guidance on it. I have tried my best to keep the guide below as simple as possible. If you still have question, please let me know in the comments section below and I will be more than happy to respond God-Willing!
Step 1 – Find a Hosting Company to Start a Blog
The first thing you need to do when starting a blog is to find a hosting company that will “host” your blog on their server for people to access it across the web. There are many companies out there that provide hosting services but I suggest your try Bluehost. They are affordable (starting at just $3.95/mo), their customer service is top notch, and many professional bloggers vouch for them!
Step 2 – Install WordPress
The next thing you need to do is install WordPress. This is the software that you will be using to publish your blogs just like the one you are on now! Why WordPress and not some other software? Simply because WordPress is the #1 website creation software in the world. Powering over 25% of the internet, it provides everything you need to create a beautiful and powerful website. It is also very customizable, a feature you will desperately need as your blog grows.
Don’t know how? Don’t worry because in addition to offering reliable and affordable WordPress hosting, Bluehost installs WordPress automatically upon the completion of signing up for an account. You don’t need to worry about finding the correct version of WordPress, Bluehost always installs the latest version so you have the most recent features available for your website.
Step 3 – Write Your First Blog!
So you have your hosting company and have installed WordPress. Now you are ready to write your first blog! In WordPress whenever you want to write a new blog, you create a new post. You can view the video at the end of this post for instructions on how to do it. It’s very simple. Once you publish your post, it will immediately appear on your website for the world to see. Just remember the rules I mentioned above about being unique and creative in your writing. Bluehost also has a series of small videos on how to work with WordPress that are worth checking out.
In the beginning, you do not need to worry about logos, website design, graphics, etc. Just focus on writing quality content on a topic of your interest or a topic that matches your blog’s theme or purpose. For example, if your blog is about fashion, then write a piece about fashion providing your own input and opinion on the matter. As for length of the blog, then it is best practice to not make it too long. Around 1600 words or so is good enough. As you begin to get a following and regular readers, then you can try making it longer.
Step 4 – Market It
Now that you have written and published your first blog, it’s time to tell others about it! It’s useful in the beginning to share your blog posts to help bring traffic to your website. Following are some of the ways you can help bring traffic to your blog:
- Share it with family and friends and ask them for feedback and also request them to leave comments under your blog posts. This helps get the conversation going.
- Go to other blogs that are similar to your blog theme and comment on their blogs and also let them know that you’ve also written something on the topic that the author and other readers of the blog might find useful. Then provide a link to the blog piece. This helps bring people from other blogs that have similar interests as you to your own blog.
- Share on your social media accounts!
Some Points to Keep in Mind
It is good practice to include some sort of image(s) in your blog in order to make the post appealing to the eyes. Just choose any image that relates to your article. However, you should not use copyrighted images by just downloading them from random websites or Google images. This is not good practice. You have three options: download images online from image banks that provide them for free, use your own images (camera, graphic designs, etc.), or purchase them legally for a fee. This last option could get a bit expensive and this is why most bloggers stick to options 1 or 2.
I personally use Pixabay, a website that provides millions of free downloadable images to use for any purpose. No license required or anything. Just type the subject of your article in their search engine and choose an appealing image(s) and post it on your blog. The picture you see on top of this page is from Pixabay! There are other similar websites that provide the same service as Pixabay, just Google it!
Once you start getting comfortable with your blog and begin to get followers, then you can think about getting a logo or professionally designing the website. You can either do these things on your own or get a professional to do it. I personally recommend Fiverr. You can find thousands of people on Fiverr who will do it for you for a really low fee. They have everything from getting a logo done for $5-10 to having your whole website designed for less than $20! You can even hire people to write short articles for you, in case you are afflicted with writer’s block. They have people on that site for almost every skill that you can of and they’re all selling it for a really low fee! I use it all the time even for work when we have budget restrictions!
So that’s it! It’s really that simple to start your very own blog and begin influencing the world with your brilliant ideas! If you still have questions, please let me know in the comments section below!
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I am a Pakistani-American Muslim blogger. I hold a B.S. in Information Technology and a B.A. in Islamic Studies. I am also a follower and a student of the Hanbali school of Islamic law. Read more