How To Start A Blog For Free In 20 Minutes (A Step By Step Guide For Beginners)
January 20, 2018
If you have landed on this page, it means that you have finally decided to get off the couch and make use of your talent.
I know that even thinking about where to begin in creating a successful blog is in itself an overwhelming task not to mention very intimidating.
This guide is designed for beginners to help you in that first step of starting your own bog for free.
The good news is that you don’t have to have a fancy IT or computer science degree to start your own blog. With basic computer skills you can have your own blog up and running in only 20 minutes.
There is no shame admitting that when I was starting out, I was where you are and it didn’t help that I was making tones of mistakes and not knowing where to begin.
And being that this was all new to me, this guide will help make things easy for you and before you know it, you will have your won blog within not time.
I have been a digital marketer for close to two years now, working with one of the biggest websites in Kenya to create content and brand awareness through content, social media and email marketing.
So believe me, you re at the right place.
Let’s start by looking at what a blog is
A blog is simply a kind of website that focuses on written content on different topics. You can choose one niche and go with it and start making money online easily.
People create all kinds of blogs all the time, from celebrity blogs to niche blogs like fashion, food, travel and the likes.
You are actually on my blog right now.
Bloggers create compelling content that allows them to connect in a deeper way with their target audience while building loyalty to keep people on their blogs.
Why start a blog?
One of the biggest misconceptions that limit people is the belief that you actually have to be the most perfect writer to start a blog. This couldn’t be far from the truth. While writing skills are important, you don’t have to be a published writer to own your own blog.
People who visit food blogs for instance, are not looking for some complex knowledge from someone who has studied Food Science in depth.
They actually want to get insights from someone who has cooked something.
To run a successful bog, all you need is passion for the topic you want to talk about. You are more likely to connect with your audience if they can relate to you through your passion than mastering some complex analogies.
So why go through all the trouble of creating a blog first?
1. It’s a good way of making money
This is the most common reason people blog. To make money! And if you are ambitious and want to have an extra source of income, why not use what you are already passionate about?
Most people go through all the trouble of looking for business ideas without realizing that they have right there under their noses a means of making money.
The way you make money through blogging is by creating a blog first, writing good content to drive traffic to your site and then connecting your blog to Google Adsense.
If you generate enough traffic you can also approach companies and become an affiliate marketer. This means, using your blog to market someone else’s products and services.
2. You get to share your story
A blog is an easy and free way to have a voice and be heard. Share your story with the world. Advocate for courses that you are passionate about.
I am sure you have come across bloggers who write about their experiences in their life, whether it’s journey through motherhood or whatever other topic, blogging is a great way to help you share your life with the people you love.
3. You get to become an expert at something
Some of the greatest bloggers I know have created a name for themselves by blogging about a topic they have experience on.
I am a digital marketer by profession and my blog is just one of the ways I get to help people who want to understand this field more.
Sure you won’t become a celebrity but it’s a great way to build your portfolio online.
4. It’s all about building a community around you
Besides digital marketing, I am also a fiction writer and my blog contains short stories that I write. Through the comments, I have been able to build a little community of my own by connecting with people who are interested in the same things I write.
Be it guys who want to master SEO or aspiring writers, the community you build through your blog will come in handy one day.
The internet is an expansive ocean of possibilities and continues to grow now more than ever.
Today we have over 2 billion online users daily in the world meaning that if you are looking to start a blog, there is no better time to do it than now.
How To Start A Blog In These 6 Easy Steps
In less than 20 minutes through this guide, you can have your blog up and running on any platform of your choice.
1. Select a blog name
This is the very first step in starting a blog. Finding a good name lies in choosing the best topic to blog about.
Remember what we said about passion? What do you want to blog about? Are you passionate about travel, food, fashion, education or simply digital marketing?
Not really sure how to choose the right blog niche?
I did an article earlier on blog ideas that will get you traffic & help you make money that you can refer to.
Basically hobbies, passion and experiences make the best blogging niches.
A good blog name should be descriptive and help readers know what your blog is all about at a go.
2. Choose a blogging platform
Now that you know what you want to blog about, it’s time to go online and make your blog a reality.
The first step is choosing a blogging platform that you are comfortable with. I personally recommend Word press as its not only easy to use but it the most preferred blogging platform.
Word press makes blogging easy with countless number of plugins as well as ad-ons and so many themes to design your blog.
There are over 82 million active word press users which mean a lot for someone starting out.
Other alternatives include blogger, Wix, Tumblr and more.
3. Choosing self-hosting or free alternative hosting
Hosting is in two ways, self-hosting or free alternative.
When you are thinking about creating a blog, this is one of the things you need to think about critically – to pay for a blog or run for free?
Word press, blogger and the others offer free blogs if you are just starting out. The down side is that you won’t have your own domain.
A domain is basically the URL of your website and if you choose free hosting on word press, your domain will read something like www.yourdomain.wordpress.com.
You cannot also monetize your blog with free hosting and let’s face it, you don’t really own your blog if it is hosted on someone else’s website property.
On the other side, with a self-hosted blog, you get your own domain, you are the real owner of the blog and no one can use your domain name, and get this; you can monetize your blog by linking it to Google Adsense.
With self-hosting you can name you blog whatever you want it to be like www.yourname.com or www.myamazingblog.com. And add to the combo access to thousands of free themes, you are on your way to creating a really awesome site.
You can buy hosting from websites like Siteground, Hostgator, Blue Host or even word press itself.
4. Starting a blog now on your own domain
Assuming that you decided to go with word press, but if not, you should seriously consider it, you can now create a blog on your own domain.
Let me explain further what self-hosting means and how you can go about setting one up.
First and foremost, you need to come up with a domain name that you prefer and then choose a hosting company,
Hosting on the other hand is all about the company that is responsible for putting your website on the internet for visitors to find it.
I personally use Siteground with hosting going for as low as $3.95/month and they offer a one click installation of work press on your site.
5. Get you blog online
This comes after you have either purchased hosting or have chosen free alterative.
If you chose self-hosting, create an account with your hosting company, choose a hosting plan, create a domain and then fill out payment details.
After the transaction is complete you will now have access to your dash board after the one click install of word press.
6. Customize your blog
Now you have a blog, you have a domain and can now start customizing your blog.
To begin you will need to log in your blog dashboard first.
Just go to www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin/ or www.yourblogname.wordpress.come/wp-admin/. This will take you to the dash board where you can start customizing your blog by choosing your blog name and themes.
Everyone has an idea of how they want their blog to look like and this means choosing themes that you like.
Word press gives you a list of already installed themes which you can begin with unless you have something very specific in mind, then you can install other themes that are available for free if you choose self-hosting option.
7. Publish your first post
Now that your blog is up and running, it time to publish your first blog post.
To begin with a new post just click, “All Posts” then “Add New”.
If you want your post to have a picture, click on “Add Media” depending on where you want your picture to go.
After you are done, you can now go ahead and click “Publish” and your post will be up.
8. Promoting your blog
Once you have a blog up and running and have published you first post, you can now start generating traffic and this means letting people know that you have a blog they can visit.
Begin with social media and promote your blog there. Creating a link on you social media profiles is one way of making people click and visit your blog.
You can also ask other bloggers you know to re-blog your article or share the links with their network. This is one of the easiest ways of generating your first blog traffic.
As you can see, learning how to start a blog is not rocket science. All you need is a computer and following this guide and you are good to know. Now go ahead and create your own blog and once you have the necessary traffic, check out this article on tips on how to make money blogging.