How to Start a Blog in 2019 – A Beginner’s Guide

If you’re reading this post, I bet you want to start a blog but don’t know where to start. When I started blogging way back in 2016, it was mainly a hobby. I started nderisarah.wordpress.wordpress.com  when I was still in Uni. 

Over the years, I have made blogging and writing a career, gone ahead to self-host my blog and can comfortably say I have the authority to speak on the subject.

1. Choose a Blogging Platform

  1. WordPress 

I started with a WordPress subdomain. For two years and some months, my blog grew fairly slowly and then towards May 2018, I started getting a lot of traffic from google. I was sitting on potential and I did not know it.

I started looking for ways to self-host and being a student and broke, all I could do was dream.

2. Blogger

After I noticed the surge in organic traffic (358 Users a Week even when I wasn’t updating the site), I looked for ways to grow the site and thought Blogger would be a great fit.

However, I was just moving from one subdomain to another, and I still had my old blog at WordPress. Eventually, I had to delete that and focus on going pro with my WordPress site. 

3. Medium

A friend introduced Medium to me and I have been writing there ever since. Medium is home to my articles with no home. I am a prolific writer, writing on my many sites and when I want to write just for me, I write on Medium.

It’s possible to earn $100 from Medium a month if you have grit and learn how the system works.

Read More:How To Earn Money as A Writer in The Medium Partner Program

Of all these platforms, I would advise you to choose WordPress as the platform. Inasmuch as you’re earning from Medium, you don’t own Medium. As with any other platform, Medium changes a lot. 

The only way to use Medium to your advantage is having an email list or a landing page where you collect emails from the platform. Otherwise if Evan – decided to wipe out the platform, or mess with the algorithms, there goes your hard work.

Of all these platforms, I recommend WordPress simply because of the user experience I have had with WordPress, not to mention that it powers 34% of the internet.

2.Choose A Niche, A Domain Name and A Hosting Partner

My site is in the lifestyle category.  I chose not to go with any niche as I am still discovering who I am as a writer and whom my writing speaks to.

In addition, I find niching down very limiting and boring but on the other hand, it’s very good for SEO and monetization purposes. I am a multifaceted person and so are my readers. Going for a particular niche felt limiting in terms of writing and the content that I could share with people.

For domain and hosting, I chose Kenya Web Experts. They have great customer service and always respond on time to any queries I might have. I have seen other site vouch for Siteground and Bluehost. I have never used any of them.

Bluehost charges $3.95 a month. When you’re a new blogger, you don’t have this kind of money considering that hosting is not the only platform you’ll be spending money on. In addition, Bluehost requires you to a pay a year’s worth of hosting so this is something to think about.

For my Kenyan bloggers, I very much suggest using Kenya Web Experts until you’re knowledgeable enough about hosting and your site is returning all your income with profits.

3.Design Your Blog

Since you chose WordPress as a platform, designing your blog is going to be very easy. You can use WordPress Themes and Templates or you can buy one of your own.

I bought my theme from the Envato market and it comes with a child theme. The reason as to why I chose to buy a theme is because I had done my won research back when I used to try and make a blog from Blogger and on my WordPress subdomain blog. The themes did not bring into life what I had in mind.

So I went big and purchased a theme from Envato. Themes go from as cheap as $25 so it’s not hard to get one.

As for designing a blog, I had a web designer do it for me. Being a statistician by profession with little and manageable tech knowledge, It was easier that way.

I was able to focus on other things that were more my area of expertise than coding will ever be. If you can afford to, have a web designer do all the designing as you write killer content. Your theme will be brought to life by your content. 

4. Add 10 Blog Posts and Optimize Your Site

As I said before, blog posts will help your theme take shape. In addition to this, your site starts getting Google’s attention.

Optimize your site by adding your social media icons and installing the Yoast Plugin to help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Your 10 blog posts should be evergreen content, 2000 plus words that are SEO optimised. My biggest mistake was having short, 300-500 words articles. Having migrated my old blog to my new blog, this was bound to happen.

However, if you’re starting a new site, create great articles that are SEO optimized to gain Google’s attention.

Conclusion

If you follow these 4 steps, your blog will start getting visibility from Google and from there, you can focus on creating more content and integrating your site with tools and platforms that will help you manage your site as a business.

Related

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

A Guide to Blogs: Blogging as A Hobby and Blogging as a Business

How To Increase Email Open Rates and Click Rates

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