So you are thinking of starting a blog, however, you have no idea where to start or the things you need to do before you start, this article is for you.

I started my blogging journey seven years ago and just like you, I had no idea where to start from neither did I have anyone who was willing to hold my hands. The only information I had about blogging was that there was a platform online where I could blog. I searched on the internet and found the “blogger” platform. That was how I registered my first blog. From that moment on up until today, I have made several mistakes than I could keep track of and if there was anything I wished I did differently, it was that I had someone to put me through.

I am glad that you are ready to blog and even more glad that I can hold your hands in this journey you are about to start. It is always a great thing when you have someone who can put you through.

Blogging is not for the faint-hearted and the journey is more of a marathon than a sprint. I have heard of some people who achieved tremendous success with their blogs within six months while many more had to wait for 1, 2, 3, 5 or even 10 years. Your success rate will depend on many factors most important of which is to make sure you get started on the right note.

[Read: How to go from Multiple Ideas to Gaining Clarity in 5 Easy Steps]

 

10 Steps to Launching a Successful Blog

1. Pick a niche: When I started my blog, I knew I wanted to write for small businesses and startup. I was and still is extremely passionate about small business success. Because I knew what I wanted and the audience I wanted to serve, it was easy for me to write a cohesive content that my audience couldn’t wait to devour. However, I have met many business owners who started with the mindset of wanting to write about everything. There is a problem with this and the problem is, trying to capture everyone’s attention in the marketplace is extremely difficult and mostly a waste of time, effort and energy.

One of the best decisions you can ever make before you start blogging is to have a niche.

Don’t say “I want to write about everything.” You may be good in a lot of things but you can’t be great at everything. Having a niche separates you from the crowd, helps you cut through the noise and attract the right audience who truly need to hear your message. Ask yourself, “what topic areas fascinates me the most?” “What can I write about and I’ll not get tired even if no one is reading?

Blogging is not for the faint-hearted neither is it for those who cannot withstand the pain that comes with patience.

It is not something you do with the mindset of just testing the waters. If you are only trying to test the waters, blogging is not for you. However, if you truly want to make an impact and build a platform that will become a force to be reckoned with, blogging is for you.

[Read: 3 Steps to Getting Customers Who Will Pay You]

2. Choose a Content Management System: Once you pick a niche, the next thing you’ll need to decide on is choosing your content management system. I do not want to confuse you but some of the most content management systems out there include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, ExpressionEngine and Text Pattern. Out of all these, I recommend WordPress.

I started using WordPress in 2014 after making so many mistakes on my journey to building a great blog. Why do I use WordPress?

Based on market share statistics, it is the most popular content management system. It is used by over 28% of all websites on the internet, and by 59% of all websites using a known content management system, followed by Joomla and Drupal.

WordPress has two versions and these are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. If you are serious about building an empire from blogging, you need to create an account with WordPress.org. However, if you are yet to do so, don’t open an account yet, instead keep reading.

[Read: Yet to Register Your Business? Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should]

3. Secure your domain name: Your domain name is the URL you will give to people when they ask for your website. For example, if you asked for my domain name, I will tell you, it’s theonpointsuccess.com. For you, it will definitely be different. No two domain names are the same and when you are choosing a domain name, be sure to use a simple name that can be easily spelled by anyone. There are many platforms where you can secure your domain names but it’s preferable if you secure your domain name from your hosting provider.

4. Choose a hosting platform: In order for your website to function, you need a hosting provider to provide you with a hosting platform. Examples of hosting platforms include Site Ground, Blue Host, Go Daddy, InMotion etc. Most of these platforms are already compatible with WordPress and they offer one-click install option for your website. If you need a step-by-step direction in getting your domain name and getting started with your blog, here’s one.

[Read: Practical Ways of Reducing Your Overhead Costs and Increasing Your Profit Margin]

5. Choose a theme: The great thing about using WordPress is that you can buy a theme and determine the look and feel of your website. A theme is a template of how you want your blog to look and feel to users. Most themes are priced between $30 – $50 although there are premium themes that are priced way higher and if you do not have enough funds, you can use the inbuilt themes until you are ready to invest.

6. Find great topics: Once you have established your website following the steps I described above, it’s time to find topics to write about. Great topics are excellent ways you can use to drive traffic to your blog. Without traffic, the purpose of your blog will be defeated. No matter how small your blog or big your blog is, it is important you find out about great topics that your audience will love. My favorite ways of finding topics is to check focus Facebook groups, ongoing trends in my niche or even better still, I conduct a survey and ask people on the topics they want me to teach about.

7. Use a content plan: Your blogging success will depend on how well you plan your content. It is not how much you write but how well you write. Using a content planner will replace randomness with intentionality, help you prevent being overwhelmed, helps you stay on task and gives you the ability to recognize when your actions do not align with your vision.

A content plan is like the GPS that is leading you to your intended destination.

Always remember that as you blog, you are leading your readers on a journey to an expected end and once you derail, an average reader will notice it and they will stop following you. A content plan does not have to be complex and there are many content planners out there that can help you if you need help with that. But if you are operating on a lean budget, you can come up with your own content plan using your calendar.

[Read: 6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity]

8. Create an email list: Proximity is power and one of the best ways to have access to and influence your loyal followers is by creating an email list. When you have a list of your loyal readers’ emails, it gives you the power to influence them and impact them in ways they can never imagine. If you are yet to get on my email list, I invite you to join so you will never miss a post from me. In order to create your own email list, you have many options and these include Mailer Lite, AWeber, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Convert Kit etc. Out of all these, I recommend Mail Chimp for a start. It gives you the flexibility of creating a list of 2000 subscribers for free and I believe their plan is the best for starters. Once you start growing and your email subscribers exceed the 2000 limit, then you may start considering other options if you wish.

9. Create Blog Posts: Once you create your email list, it’s time to start creating your blog posts. Always remember that the internet has no restrictions and that there no limit to where your blog posts can reach. When you create your blog posts, have it at the back of your mind that your reader can come from any part of the world. Create quality blog posts that will be educative, instructive and compelling.

[Read: 10 Reasons Why No One is Reading Your Posts on Social Media]

10. Launch your blog to the public: Starting a blog is a lot of work and therefore it is highly imperative that everyone knows about it once you are ready. If you need a step-by-step guide in setting up your self-hosted WordPress blog, here’s one.

As you start your blogging journey, always remember that success comes from consistency. For your blog to succeed, you need to be consistent. Do not expect to become successful overnight. Focus on working hard and keep doing all you can do to make things work. In the end, everything will take shape.

 

Thank you for reading. Have you started blogging? What other questions do you have about the steps to take to get started with blogging? Ask your questions below and remember to share this post with a friend.

If you have a passion for writing and sharing your valuable thoughts with the world, there’s no better way to unleash than to start a self-hosted WordPress Blog! Blogging is a tedious but rewarding journey when done right. On the flipside, it can also be a fruitless effort if you are not planning to go the extra mile.

If you are reading this and you want to start a Self-Hosted WordPress blog, you are in the right place. All you need is to follow the step-by-step instructions below and your self-hosted blog should be ready in 30 minutes or less. Isn’t that exciting?

A self-hosted WordPress blog is free to use and it’s where the top industries and brands host their blogs and websites. WordPress also gives you the flexibility and opportunity to customize your blog to your preferred look and feel. With all these competitive advantages, why would you build your blog anywhere else?

WordPress, though free, requires that you get a domain name from a service provider or host. Examples of hosts include Blue Host, Site Ground, Go Daddy, Dream Host, WP Engine etc. Out of all these, my top recommendation is Blue Host most especially with its one-click install WordPress system.

Now, let’s get started with the tutorial.

1. Click here to go to the Blue Host home page and click get started now as highlighted in the green button in the picture below.

 

2. Once you click the green button, you’ll be brought to the page below where you’ll need to be prompted to select a plan. You have three choices to select from namely Basic, Plus or Prime. Prime offers you the full benefit and you should consider choosing that. However, if you don’t have a big budget, you can choose the basic option which allows you to get started. As you grow and gain clarity, you can always upgrade your plan to fit your needs. Click the select button highlighted in green at the end of your preferred plan option.

3. After you select a plan, the next step is to choose your domain name. Your domain name is your online identity. It is that name you tell others when they ask you what your website/blog site is. Put great thought into choosing the domain name that is right for you. The first thing to put into consideration while choosing a domain name is that the name must speak to the essence of what you do, must be easy to remember and free of hyphens. Avoid names that are too long or names that contain numbers.

What will yours be? Enter it without spacing or .com in the box to the left below where it says “new domain”. Once you have entered your domain name, click NEXT.

With the new Blue Host package, your domain name comes free. However, if you already have a domain name, enter it in the box to the right where it says “I have a domain name.”

4. Upon clicking next, you will be brought to the page below where you’ll enter your account information.

Here, you’ll have the option of paying for hosting for:

12 months

OR

24 months

OR

36 months

The 36-month option is preferable because it saves you money while not having to worry about making a payment for 3 whole years. How cool is that!

5. Next, you’ll be brought to a screen as shown below where you’ll be required to input your payment information. Enter your payment card information and then click the “submit” button in green as shown below.

6. Congratulations on getting your own domain name! The next step is to create a password. Please click on the green button that reads “create a password” as shown below

7. Once you click that it takes you to the screen below. Enter a password that you can easily remember but cannot be easily duplicated by others.

8. The next screen you’ll get after you input your password is the one below where you’ll be prompted to login. Click “login” as shown in the image below.

9. The next page that comes up will look like the one below. This is the super exciting part because you get to choose a theme. A theme is like the interior decor of your house. How you want it to look and feel is totally up to you. You can choose from any of the themes or you can purchase your own themes. For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll assume you want to pick a theme from any of the ones below. If you pick a theme and you find out later that you do not like it, that’s not a problem, you can come back to change it.

If you pick a theme and you find out later that you do not like it, that’s not a problem, you can come back to change it.

10. Next, you’ll a screen just like the one below will pop up after choosing your theme and at this point, you should give yourself a pat on the back for the ability to do what you previously thought was hard or out of reach. Click “start building” to start customizing your WordPress site

11. At this stage, you have the ability to continue to customize your site based on your purpose and preferences. For example, if your website is for business purpose, you may click the “business” tab or if it’s for personal purpose, you may “click” the personal tab and you may also bypass it altogether. And click on any of the tabs on the left (as shown below) to begin your customization process.

12. Once you are done, the screen below will appear and it’s your opportunity to showcase your hard work to the world. You can click “add new post” in the “content” section on the left side to write your first blog post or introductory post and as I stated previously, you can click on each tab on the left to customize your settings. Your blog/website project is an ongoing one and not something you’ll do once and forget about. For this tutorial, click on the “launch” button below and bingo, you are live!!

13. The next step is to give your site a name and description. For example, the name of my site is “Onpoint Success” and my description is “helping women entrepreneurs build profitable brands online”. Go ahead and type in yours. Click “next step” once you are satisfied.

14. Bingo!! You made it!! Congratulations!!! The screen below is your last step and it’s showing you your Blue Host account C-panel. From here you can decide to log out or login into to your WordPress account for further customization or simply blast the message out to everyone about your exciting new website.

 

Thank you for following this tutorial. If you used followed the steps to create your self-hosted WordPress blog, leave a comment below. If you have any question about your self-hosted WordPress blog, feel free to ask below. Remember to share this post with a friend.

Starting a blog can give instant credibility to your brand no matter the industry you are but if you don’t know the options you have or how to go about it, it is very easy to get lost in the blogosphere world. That’s why I decided to let you know what your options are in terms of blogging so you can make an informed choice.

Let me quickly digress.

Few weeks ago, I wrote about “5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog” and since then seven people have reached out to me that they used to think that starting a blog was out of reach but now are on board. I’m not sure how many more people have silently started their blogs as well but I feel blessed that my write-ups have awakened the giant in my readers. That’s what the Onpoint Success movement is all about. It’s about raising the next generation of women who will not only succeed in business but also prosper in life.

When you have a message to share with the world, a blog is always a great place to start and depending on your budget, there are two main options to choose from. You can either choose to start with a FREE blog or a PAID blog.

I will explain the difference in a bit but I wanted to first emphasize that before you commit to blogging you must be ready to be CONSISTENT. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort and if you are not consistent with it, you will continually get frustrated. I built my brand with blogging and through my consistent efforts, I’ve gotten speaking engagement, consulting offers and even started my own quarterly training for power women who want to build a profitable brand online. All these, however, wouldn’t have been made possible if I threw my hands up in the air at the slightest form of obstacle. Now, let me explain the difference between a FREE blog and a PAID blog.

FREE BLOG

This is exactly what it is. It is absolutely free! However, using a free blog implies that you do not get full access to a whole range of features that the blogging platform has to offer. That is expected, right? If you are getting something for free, you should not expect the full juice. When you start with a free blog, it means that you cannot have your own full domain name. The hosting platform’s name will be included in your domain name. Domain name is the web address people need to type in their browser to get access to your blog. Why are these hosting platforms doing this? It’s a form of advertisement for them and also they understand that there’s a high chance of you becoming their customers.

Why You Should Consider Starting With a Free Blog

Like I stated earlier, it depends on your budget. However, other than budget, I encourage power women to start with a free blog because it gives you room to make lots of mistakes without feeling like you are throwing money down the drain. Also, starting with a free blog helps you to refine your message and gain your footing in the blogging world. Many hosting platforms like Wix, WordPress, Blogger etc. offers great themes that are just right for starters. In case you are wondering, I’ve used all three platforms in my journey as an entrepreneur and WordPress is my recommended platform.

 

PAID BLOG

A paid blog is when you pay for hosting and you can have your own “online home” without having to use the hosting platform’s name in your domain name. When you opt for a paid blog, you need three things.

  1. Domain name: this is what you’ll name blog and you’ll need to pay for it month after month. Think of it as a lease instead of a one-time payment. If you default in payment, your website/blog will cease functioning
  2. Hosting platform: this is where your domain name is hosted and that’s why they are called hosting platforms. You also need to pay for hosting and there are two types of hosting namely shared-hosting and managed-hosting. Shared hosting is cheaper than managed hosting and there pros and cons for both depending on how much traffic (amount of people who visit your blog) you get on your blog. My blog is hosted on WordPress through Blue host.
  3. Theme: this is how you want your blog to look and feel. Themes are usually one-time payment and most themes average $50. Once you purchase your theme, you can either set it up yourself or have someone set it up for you.

Why You Should Consider Using a Paid Blog

When you use a paid blog, it automatically signifies commitment. It shows that you are ready to give it what it takes to work else you’ll be throwing money down the drain month after month. A paid blog also validates your brand because it tells people you mean business. Using a paid blog will give you access to more options which can help you customize the look and feel of your blog. So it’s something you should definitely consider. If you are ready to start your blog, here’s a step-by-step tutorial that can help you set up your blog in 30 minutes or less!

In terms of setting up your blog either free or paid, you have three options.

  1. Learn it by yourself. It’s one of the reasons I encourage people to start with free. You can learn by trial and error. Starting with a free blog gives you plenty of opportunity for that.
  2. Have someone teach you: it has been said: “if you want to get somewhere faster, have someone who’s been there before show you the way”. I’m known for asking people to teach me. Why waste time trying to figure things out by myself? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you want to learn how to build a blog, have someone who can teach you in a language you’ll understand. Even if your plan is to eventually hire someone, it’s important that you know what blogging entails so that web developers won’t cheat you by using their confusing techno jargons.
  3. Hire someone to do it for you: this is ideal if you know blogging is not your area of strength. While I encourage learning how to do things by yourself, it all comes down to putting your efforts where it counts. I’ve spent countless hours trying to build my blog myself and at the end of the day, it was not worth it. Why waste 6 months trying to build something someone else can do in one week?

Whichever option you choose, it’s totally up to you and what you are trying to achieve with your message. It’s best when you know how the backend of your blog works so you can create your blog post yourself without having to run to the web developer each time you need to make a change. And if you are wondering or asking, “is blogging a right option for me?”, I’ll say as long as you have a brand, you need a blog. The best part? You do not need to be a writer to own a blog. If you are more comfortable with pictures, you could make your blog more about pictures or if the video is your thing, go for it. No entrepreneur should own a brand without a blog.

Thanks for reading! Do you own a free blog or a self-hosted one or are you planning to start a blog? Leave a comment below and share this post with a friend.

Disclosure: Onpoint Success uses affiliate links. If you signup for any third-party service using the links on the blog, Onpoint Success will get a small commission but at no cost to you.