Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 1 – How to Start A Blog

August 22, 2014 | Filed under: Blogging — Tags: , , , , , , @ 1:00 am

Beginner's guide to blogging - how to start a blog

Do you want to Start a Blog to promote your business or share your views about any topic that interests you? Building a blog is not really difficult only if you know what it takes to build one. In this beginner’s guide to blogging part 1, I intend to show you how to start a blog.

In this guide I will cover:

1) Choosing Your Niche: What to consider before setting out to start a blog and what to blog about. Because, before you start a blog you have to first decide which niche will best suit your need for blogging, who your target audience is.

2) Domain name: What is a Domain Name?, How to choose the right domain name for your blog and How to register a domain name. I will also explain the difference between running a free subdomain blog and running it on your paid domain, and help you decide whether to use a free subdomain blog such “Yourname.Wordpress.com” or “Yourname.Blogspot.com” or even “Yourname.Tumblr.com” etc. or your own .com/.net etc.  So here I go…

1. What do you want to blog about? Selecting Your Niche!

untitled1

This is where most bloggers get it wrong at first and when you choose wrongly at this point then you have started failing as a blogger, even before you begin.

In choosing what to blog about, you must ensure to “choose something you are passionate about,  something you have in-depth knowledge about so you don’t ever run out of ideas to write about. It can be as simple as writing about making Small Chocolate Cupcakes.

When you choose a niche or topics you don’t know much about, you may find it difficult coming up with post ideas, this may also affect the quality of content you publish.

Even, the essence of blogging as Google Hummingbird update has enforced is to solve your audience’s problems or provide them with useful and detailed information about anything.

Also Consider: Why do you want to blog?

Why do you want to blog
This is another factor you must define before you set out to start blogging. Understanding why you want to start a blog will give you a clear view of what you are supposed to do at all time.

There are several reasons why people start a blog such as solving others problems by publishing insightful and detailed tutorials about problems and how to solve them, motivate and inspire others, teach or educate others, humor people, promote their business to improve sales, promote others business to make money etc,  but for whatever reason(s) you may want to start a blog, ensure you have a clear understanding of it so you don’t mix things up for yourself.

When you have defined what you want to blog about and why you want to blog about it, the next steps will then be getting started with building your blog. For that you need a domain.

2. Domain Names – Your Address on the Internet

domain-image

Here I will cover in detail, What exactly is a domain?,  Why you need it & everything you need to know before choosing a right name for your website or blog.  I have tried my best to write about this topic in a way that will help new people on understanding  it & also provide new insight to those who already think they know all about domains.  If you still think you are already familiar with domain names, then you can skip this part, i won’t get mad at you.

What is a Domain Name?

Domain name is the name of your Blog/Business/Company on the Internet. Simply see it as the address by which people find you on the internet.

Choosing the right domain name for your blog/website is one of the first steps to building a successful blog or website.

Let me list the basics of a Domain Name for you.
1) A domain name is typically written as www[dot]Your-Domain-Name[dot]com.
2) Domain names are organized right to left with the general descriptors to the right and the specific descriptors to the left.
3) In the above example, the www part is simply referred to as the Third-level domain; the Your-Domain-Name is referred to as the Second-Level Domain while the .com (domain extension) is the Top-level domain. See the image below.

Domain Name Structure

There are several domain extensions on the internet today with newer ones getting approved from time to time.

Popular domain extensions such as .com, .net, .biz, .info, .com.ng etc are common to see, there are yet other domain extensions such as .engineer, .guru, .tv etc.

You must ensure to choose only to domain name and extension that best represent your business or purpose of blogging.

Why do I need a domain name?

Domain name is your medium to introduce your blog to someone who doesn’t know what your blog is all about. Your domain name can tell someone what your blog is all about, so in choosing the right domain name for your blog you should consider the following;

1. Does your domain name reflect what your blog is all about?

2. Is it unique and easy to remember?

How to choose the right domain name for your blog:

To choose the right domain name for your blog, there are some factors you have to put into consideration.

1. Use a name that reflects what your blog is all about. You can’t be blogging about cars when your domain name is www.house.com, you must ensure to use a keyword that reflects what your blog stands for in your domain name.

2. Domain names should be unique and easy to remember. Don’t choose domain names that will confuse people with other sites. Imagine the case of Flickr.com and Flicker.com. You may lose your traffic if you make such a mistake.

So ensure to choose a domain name that is unique to your blog alone but at the same time easy to remember.

Keep is short and avoid numbers, hyphens and symbols if possible.

If you don’t have a clue of the domain names to choose from, you can use domain name suggestion tool like NameTumbler to create domain names.

Domain name suggestion tool

Simply enter the keyword that best describes your purpose of blogging and generate domain names to choose from.

For example: Let’s say you want to build a blog for your beauty salon business, the keyword here is beauty salon.

Enter “beautysalon” into the space labeled “Enter A Keyword”. Choose to either combine your keyword with other words like adjectives, nouns, names of places etc on the “Combine Keyword With” section. For the purpose of good ranking leave the “Add Keyword” section as it is (To Beginning) and avoid hyphens just like I mentioned above, choose the extension that best suits you and click on the “Check Domains” to generate domain names you could choose from.

Here are the suggested domain names from your search above.

suggested domain names

You can the pick ones you like & then check the availability of the domain names at the Registrar to find the one you will use for your blog.

Options Available For Registering a Domain

Now that you know the name that you want to register, its time to get it. There are two ways you can go about building your blog. You can either:
1. Use Free blogging platforms such as blogspot.com, wordpress.com or even tumblr.com with their free subdomains or,
2. Spend money to host your own blog.

1. How to build a Free Blog:

If you do not have a budget you can still start a blog. Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr provide free blogging platforms. You can host your blog on any of these platforms without spending a dime though you can also upgrade at a cost to be able to customize your blog if you want.

These free blogging platforms provides useful tools to design a free blog and publish your contents. The only catch here is that you can only use their free subdomains and may not have the flexibility and freedom to customize your blog as you would like if you were running a self-hosted blog.

In subsequent articles I will cover in great details how to build a free blog on Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr. But for today let’s continue with how to start a blog, remember to come back always for the rest.

You can also choose to register your own paid .com/.net etc domain.  So this is what i’ll talk about next.

2. Registering Your .com Domain Names:

domain name registration

Domain registration is your first step into the Blogosphere. All we have discussed above comes down to this point. And owning a domain called “BabaJoebakers.blogspot.com” or “RyanShoes.wordpress.com” is nothing like owning “BabaJoebakers.com” or “RyanShoes.com”.

There are many benefits of having your own .com/.net domains over having a subdomain on a free blog creation websites. I’ll try to list some here.

Benefits of Owning your own Domain Name over Free Subdomains for a Beginner:

While it may be easy and free to choose a free subdomain such as blogspot.com or wordpress.com for your blog without having to spend a dime, there is a downside to it.

Ever wondered why all the established bloggers chose their own domain names? The reason is simple – Brand Recognition and Freedom. Also to list some more:

1. Free subdomains have limited features that may hinder the growth of your blog and business.

2. Another reason why you should choose your own domain name now even as a beginner is because it will be beneficial to you in the long run when you must have established your authority in your niche.

3. Owning your own domain name adds professional appearance to your blog. This helps promote your business in lots of ways as people can easily remember your blog with its domain name easily.

4. Another reason why you will want to own your own domain name is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purpose. Sites with their own domain tend to perform better than those running on subdomains in search engine results.

5. Owning your own domain name will make it possible for you to create a custom email address such as you@yourdomain.com.

6. Another reason you may want to register your own domain name now is Google Adsense. If you intend to make money from your blog through Google adsense someday then you have to register your own domain name now because Google only approves Top Domains, they won’t even approve their own blogspot subdomain anymore.

There are a lot more. One can even write a big post on this topic. But for now lets just focus on what one needs to register the domain of their dreams, haha.

What do I need to Register a Domain Name?

If you have chosen the perfect domain name for your blog, the next step will be to find the best domain registrar to register your domain. Just like purchasing anything, you need to find a domain registrar with credibility to register your domain.

In addition to credibility,  price and availability of the domain name are also other important things to consider while registering your domain name. And once you find that Registrar you need the following to buy your domain.

To register your domain name you are required to supply:

1) Your Contact Information such as your Name, Physical Address, Phone Number and Email Address. This information is filled into public online directory – WHOIS, registrars also provide domain privacy if you are worried such information will be made available to the public. This may cost you extra few dollars though.

2) You also have to specify for How Long you would like to own the domain. You can renew yearly if you do not have the money to register it for longer than a year.

The process of registering a domain takes just few minutes to complete, within a day or two your registered domain name will be available and activated for you.

Final Thoughts

Now Once you are registered, you aren’t quite set-up to begin blogging. At this point, you should then turn your focus toward web hosting.

So, In the next episode of this series I will cover what web hosting is, its importance, what to consider before choosing a web host, types of web hosting plans and probably recommend some for you to use.

Till I come your way again, use the tips I have shared in this guide to find a perfect domain name for your blog now.

If you have any questions or contributions, please I will love to hear them. Use the comment section below to share with me.

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Nwosu Mavtrevor Desmond is a blogger and web designer. He owns and writes for Netmediablog. among other blogs.

12 Comments

  1. […] A Beginner's Guide to Blogging – How to Start A Blog. In this article i have explained how you can start and build a WordPress site from scratch. Click to read.  […]

    Pingback by Beginner's Guide to Blogging 1 - How to Start A... — August 22, 2014 @ 1:23 am

  2. Thanks for sharing..! that is almost the important basic blog blogging..! :)

    Comment by Kimsea Sok — August 22, 2014 @ 6:16 am

  3. Thanks Kimsea, hope newbies or people who are looking to start blogging can read and learn from it.

    Comment by Nwosu Desmond — August 22, 2014 @ 7:04 am

  4. http://www.aktwall.com/post/1370/beginners-guide-to-blogging—how-to-start-a-blog

    Comment by Izhari Ishak Aksa — August 22, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

  5. This is a well thought tutorials and its amazing to know it is the first of a series. Now i can’t wait to learn from Desmond. This is quite insightful and i bet anyone with blogging interest will definitely find it resourceful. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Jennifer Douglas — August 22, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

  6. Thanks you Jennifer for your awesome contribution. By Sunday we will be publishing the second part of the series. Keep a date with us.

    Comment by Nwosu Desmond — August 22, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

  7. […] before choosing a Web Hosting provider. This article is the continuation of the first series “Beginner’s Guide to Blogging – How to Start a Blog Part 1”, so if you haven’t read the first part of this series, I suggest you do […]

    Pingback by Beginner's Guide to Blogging 2: How to Choose a Web Host | DK Community Blog — August 24, 2014 @ 12:03 am

  8. Hi Nwosu!

    It’s another blogging tip and this time for beginners. You never fail to amaze with your takeaways and informative guide.

    Maybe, the beginner/reader already running a business writes a book, raising children, and trying to have a life. Blogging isn’t going anywhere and that’s one advantage that I can see why you/they need a blog. Like, if you’re a business owner, it’s a great way to connect with customers and a place where you can get better things done.

    Comment by metz — August 26, 2014 @ 10:00 am

  9. Thanks Metz for your awesome contribution. As more and more people joining the blogging industry, it is important we guide them to avoid making same mistakes we made.

    Comment by Nwosu Desmond — August 26, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

  10. […] episode of our “Beginner’s Guide to Blogging” series. In previous episodes, I have covered “Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 1 – How to Start A Blog” and “Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 2: How to Choose a Web Host”. I expect that you have […]

    Pingback by Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 3 – How to Build a Wordpress Site | DK Community Blog — August 27, 2014 @ 12:01 am

  11. Thanks for your contribution, you can follow the series for more useful articles to help you set up and get started with blogging.

    Comment by Nwosu Desmond — September 9, 2014 @ 9:47 am

  12. You should try WordPress SEO by Yoast, its great for on-page optimization.

    Comment by Nwosu Desmond — September 30, 2014 @ 6:51 pm

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