A Blogging Guide for Beginners: Everything You Need To Know To Start a Blog

A Photo of Mike Wallagher, author of A Blogging Guide for BeginnersMike Wallagher is a professional blogger and internet marketer who helps beginners to make their blogs more successful. When he is not behind a computer, he is probably in the woods taking pictures of nature.

Starting a New Blog Can Be Confusing… Really Confusing!

But trust me, it’s easy. Especially when I’m here to help you on every step of your blogging journey with this brief blogging guide for beginners. Blogging is a great way to express your opinion about different matters, help people all across the globe with your personal experiences, find new friends, build a community of loyal followers and, of course, make money online.

In this post, without wasting your time with unnecessary details, I’m going to show you exactly how you can start a new blog, and set it up for long term success even if you’re a complete newbie with no prior blogging experience.

Here are the simple steps you need to follow.

Have a Clear Objective for Blogging

There’s nothing wrong with starting a blog without a clear objective. In fact, if you’re blogging for the first time, it’s good to play around with different ideas and explore things.

But in the long run, you need to be clear about the core objective behind your blog.

There can be several reasons for starting a blog. For most people, though, it’s usually one or more of the following reasons.

  • To make money online
  • To find clients
  • To build their brand image
  • To update customers and business stakeholders
  • To manage PR
  • Or… just to have fun and express themselves

As a beginner, you might not be very clear about your objectives at the start, since you’re still learning the tricks of the trade. But with time, you’ll have a good idea of how to make your blog more meaningful. My advice: Even a vague objective is enough. The important thing is to get started first.

Choose Your Niche Carefully

To achieve any long term objective from blogging, you need to be consistent in the topics you cover. So it’s really important that you pick your niche carefully.

But here’s the fun part.

There’s absolutely no limit on the niches you can target. You can write about your passion for health and fitness, share tips on productivity, or teach people a valuable skill you know. The choices are limitless.

However, to succeed in the long run, I suggest you keep the following points in mind while choosing a niche.

  • Choose a niche that you’re passionate about. This is important because it can be really hard to regularly blog about something that you don’t care about. If you combine your passion with blogging, you’ll get results much faster.
  • Zoom in on a niche and try to be specific. For example, instead of targeting the health and fitness niche, target health and fitness for people over 50. That’ll bring more focus to your content and help you attract a specific audience.
  • Make sure the topic you choose has depth. This is important because you’ll want to create lots of great content in your niche so it needs to have room for it.

Apart from these key considerations, don’t waste too much time on choosing a niche.

Choose the Right Blogging Platform

I’ll make this really easy for you – choose WordPress!

A pie chart showing WordPress accounts for 52% of the top 100 blogging sites; Published in: A Blogging Guide for Beginners by Mike Wallagher

It’s by far the most user-friendly, flexible, and powerful blogging platform (and the easiest for beginners). After all, there has to be a good reason why an overwhelming majority of professional bloggers use WordPress.

There’s just so much to like about WordPress, especially if you’re just starting a blog.

  • It has thousands of multi-purpose, fully responsive, and extremely attractive website themes that can be activated with a single click. You don’t need to pay anyone to design your website.
  • WordPress has a seemingly unlimited range of plugins that can be used to add new features and functionalities to your website. So, for example, if you need to add a pop-up email subscription box to your blog, you don’t need to go to a website developer – just install a plugin!
  • WordPress has a global support community that is always there for you whenever you’re stuck or need help configuring something.
  • It’s just so easy to use!

There are other platforms like Blogspot and Tumblr, but they’re no match for the simplicity and powerful features of WordPress.

Choose a Domain Name and Web Hosting Service

You need two things for a website,

  • A website domain name (URL).
  • A webhosting service to store your files on the internet.

While choosing a domain name, you need to keep your objective and your niche in mind. In general, choose a domain that:

  • Can be branded effectively: It should reflect your niche and the core idea behind your blog. For example: SmartPassiveIncome.com, a blog about generating passive income from blogging.
  • Can be easily remembered: Don’t use a domain name that is too long or too complex to remember. Use simple words that people can remember easily. For example: StartBloggingOnline.com
  • Unique: It should not remind people of someone else’s blog.

Domain names can end with .com, .net, info, .org and several other top-level-domains. However, it’s best to choose from either .com, .net, or .org. You can purchase a domain name and a website hosting account from any web hosting service. Some recommended services are: Hostgator, BlueHost, and DreamHost.

And most of the top web hosting services allow a single click WordPress installation to your website. You can learn more about purchasing the right web hosting service and installing WordPress here.

That’s it!

That’s all you need to know to start a blog.

Of course, there are many other things you’ll learn over time, like email list building, creating high quality content, and different ways to make money from your blog.

But, as I’ve said before, getting started is the most important thing.