I started my first blog in 2017 when I decided I needed an outlet to openly journal about my natural hair journey and personal adventures. While I shuffled sharing snapshots and single-line captions on Facebook and Instagram, I still found myself sharing more detailed experiences away from those social media platforms. Having a blog enabled me to create a cornerstone on the internet for myself and I’d like to show you how to start a blog too.
STEP ONE: DEFINE YOUR INTERESTS & OUTLINE YOUR AUDIENCE
The very first step you need to make when exploring the idea of owning a blog is to think and reflect on the kind of content you are interested in sharing publicly on your blog. You may also have to define is who your target audience. After I decided to start blogging, I created posts on hair care tutorials, events I loved, and words of encouragement that I felt would resonate with others who have similar interests. What do you enjoy doing the most? Trying out new skincare, stationery, or home improvement products? Writing poems, prose, or fictional stories? Telling stories through street photography or private/public events recordings? Once you are able to identify the kind of content you are interested in sharing on your blog, you’re off to a great start.
It’s also important to know that you can decide to not have a target audience. This works best in situations where you are primarily interested in just having a digital journal where you can always come to share any type of opinion or experience. However, if you are interested in making your blog an additional stream of income at any point in time, take out time to create a niche on the type of content you’d like to put out and the kind of community you’d like to build so that you’re able to build the kind of blog community you dream of having.
STEP TWO: PICK A BLOG NAME
It could be a nickname, a creative name, a pseudonym, or your social media handle that you use across multiple platforms. You could also use a combination of your real names if you’re trying to build a personal brand image. Whatever name you eventually choose to go to, ensure that it is one that you’re comfortable using publicly (long term) and is one that is available across multiple social media platforms. This is something to strongly consider as it might help people with similar interests identify you easily on the internet. Once you decide your blog name, check domain sites likes like Google domains and Whogohost and the social media platforms you use most frequently to see if it is available.
STEP THREE: SELECT A HOSTING PLATFORM & WEBSITE THEME
The next step after you’ve created a blog name and you’ve confirmed it’s available is to select a hosting platform and a website theme. Although this step can get technical, there are ‘1-step’ solutions available to make the process easier. I’ll share the platforms I use and how I decide what kind of theme to purchase.
I use Whogohost because it is one of the most reliable and affordable for bloggers like me in Nigeria. I enjoy using it because it has a 1-step WordPress installation process. Its customer service support is quite responsive whenever I have errors and issues with my website. Whogohost hosting has two billing options – as low as ₦1,800 monthly or ₦18,000 annually – and also comes with a free domain name for the first year.
You can also choose to get your hosting package via the WordPress brand. I strongly recommend getting one on WordPress.org and not WordPress.com. The latter is more difficult to customize and monetize. There are several good hosting options available to choose from, so select the platform that caters best to your preferences.
Move on to selecting a visually appealing WordPress theme. I have found and used minimalist themes from Etsy, Lyrathemes, and ThemeForest. You can also select from a library of over 9000 free themes on WordPress. I highly recommend using a theme that provides ‘Demo import’. This function will allow you to adopt the template as seen in the theme preview. It may also reduce the number of things you would need to customize.
STEP FOUR: DEFINE YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY
Great! Now you have your own personal blog! What next? You have to decide how frequently you attend administrative activities, create content, and respond to comments & emails. You will also need to decide the formats you will utilize to deliver your content – articles, videos, and/or lists. Also, consider how much (real) time you need to create cohesive posts consistently in order to grow organically.
Audit your current lifestyle and personal schedule. Figure out what strategy works that you can easily integrate into our schedule. Also, utilize productive tools and apps that make the content creation process easier.
STEP FIVE: START PUBLISHING & PUBLICIZING YOUR CONTENT
You have your domain name, blog, and content strategy so it’s time to hit publish! Start writing drafts and explore the writing styles of your favorite bloggers. Use that as a guide to creating blog posts if you don’t have a writing style of your own. Write a few posts on things that spark joy. Be sure to share blog post links on your social media platform and try making new connections.
If this post has been helpful, share your blog name in the comment section so we can connect.