A blog (a shortened version of “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological order, with the latest posts appearing first, at the top. It is a platform where a writer or a group of writers share their views on an individual subject. The more frequent and better your blog posts are, the higher the chances for your website to get discovered and visited by your target audience. This means that a blog is an effective lead generation tool. Add a great call to action (CTA) to your content, and it will convert your website traffic into high-quality leads. A blog also allows you to showcase your niche authority and build a brand.
As a business, you rely on consumers to keep buying your products and services. As a new business, you rely on blogging to help you get to potential consumers and grab their attention. Without blogging, your website would remain invisible, whereas running a blog makes you searchable and competitive.
If you want to create a blog, you don’t need a revolutionary idea. But your blog should be focused on something specific.
Remember that no idea, no matter how good, is truly unique.
But you have unique experiences. You have a distinct voice. And, you probably have a vibrant personality that will attract others like your family and friends.
When it comes to choosing your blog’s niche, there are 2 key questions to ask yourself.
The appearance of blogs has changed over time, and these days blogs include a wide variety of items and widgets. However, most blogs still include some standard features and structure.
Here are common features that a typical blog will include:
- Header with the menu or navigation bar.
- Main content area with highlighted or latest blog posts.
- Sidebar with social profiles, favorite content, or call-to-action.
To set up your blog on a personal website, there are a few things you’ll need to sign up for as you set up your blog, so it’s good to see how they all connect before we get too deep.
- First, there’s the domain. This is the URL of the website. Think of it as the address for your business. You’ll need to buy your domain from a domain registrar. This is the company that you’ll use to buy your domain and hold it for you. They don’t host your site or anything — they just store your domain and point web traffic to your site which will be on your web host. Use Domain.com (they are my favorite) and get 25% off with coupon code “QUICKSPROUT”.
- Second, the web host. This is the company that hosts your site. Your site will be on its servers. Here is my updated list of the best web hosting companies overall and I also dive into specific WordPress focused hosting companies in more detail below. The quick answer though is for most bloggers the best choice is BlueHost
- Third, the tool to build your site. Very few sites are built by hand using raw HTML and CSS these days. Almost all of them are built using a tool. The tool handles a lot of heavy lifting and makes building a site substantially easier, especially if you have no idea how to code. This is how you’ll configure your site and publish your blog posts. For blogging, these tools are called content management systems (CMS) and the only real option is WordPress. Once you’ve installed WordPress on your host, you’ll be able to start building your site.
To recap, you’ll buy a domain using a domain registrar, install WordPress on your host, then start building your site. I’ll walk you through how to do each of these things step by step.