*Read on and learn How to build your own blog – a step by step guide by Guest Blogger – Rachelle from www.reviewsbyrachelle.com
How To Build Your Own Blog – A Step by Step Guide:
Why did I decide to make a blog?
- I created my own blog to have full control over the design and content without restrictions, and to have the ability to capture subscribers (potential customer list). No one wants to be at the mercy of social media rules and algorithms.
- To have the ability to capture and grow a list of subscribers is the most valuable outcome from social media. Capturing your audience will enable you to monetize your efforts, you can educate and sell useful products to them (get the return on your investment).
5 Steps To Make Your Own Blog
We are doing the fast track version of how to make a blog. Read on learn how I built my blog – A Step by step guide
STEP 1 – CHOOSE A URL (or commonly referred to as a DOMAIN NAME)
A domain name is referring to your website URL for example www.reviewsbyrachelle.com. This URL enables people to access your website. Choose this URL wisely as it is time consuming to change it after your website is set up.
These domains usually cost around $10 AUD a year, and you want to make sure you have it on auto-renewal (don’t let it expire otherwise someone else could buy it, and then you could end up paying a lot more than $10). It’s usually good to have a ‘broad’ URL just in case if you want to change your niche in the future and are not restricted to certain keywords in your URL.
Why did I decided to pay for website hosting instead using a free option?
With a paid platform, you will not be limited, paid platforms offer choice, customisation, ability to scale up and down, security and a custom URL that ‘does not look free’
If you are invested and willing to play the long game, set it up right from the beginning! Do your research. Plan for success. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.
What is a blogging platform? Gartner states, blogging platforms are broadcast-style communications systems that enable authors to publish articles, opinions or product reviews (known as posts), which can be delivered through stand-alone websites, email, feed syndications systems and social networks.
STEP 2 – FIND A HOSTING PLATFORM FOR YOUR BLOG
This where you secure your slice of internet ‘property’ your blog needs to be hosted somewhere on the web. I choose wordpress. There are many platforms where you can launch a blog. Examples include WordPress, Tumblr and Joomla.
Most blogs are set up using WordPress as the website ‘infrastructure or skeleton’ is easy to use and customise. You can choose from free and premium hosting options. WordPress in built functions make it ‘easier’ to have a blog, it offers the option to use plugins to enhance your blog. They have plugins for Search Engine Optimisation, Photos, Ads etc.
WordPress also enables you to view your site stats for free. Even if you don’t use Google analytics, you have the ability to view the following:
- Views per pages and blog posts
- Views per author
- Referrers (where did your audience come from? Youtube, Instagram etc.)
- Views per country
There are two blog hosting options:
- Free blog hosting: Free hosting has URL limitations. You will be able to select a portion of the URL however, it will have the URL of the platform included in you domain name. For example, www.reviewsbyrachelle.tumblr.com.
- Paid blog hosting: Premium option where you have complete control to customise and scale your blog. You will also have the ability to choose your own domain name without any hosting site name.
WHAT AM I USING?
I’m using BlueHost paid ‘Basic’ option. It can upgraded later on if required. I later realised ‘Choice Plus’ makes your website faster. You can set up and launch your own wordpress website.
*For a step by step instructions on BlueHost click here
STEP 3 – SELECT A WORDPRESS THEME
A WordPress theme is the design element of a website, it sits on top of the WordPress skeleton and makes it look ‘pretty’, You can download free WordPress themes, or you can buy premium themes. Premium templates usually provide support if you need help installing or customising it.
17th Avenue themes are amazing in style, and easy to use. Why 17th Avenue? Refer to reasons below:
- If you are not a ‘techy’ there is an option where they can install and set up the theme for you for a small one time fee (I highly recommend this, if you have not done this before).
- They also offer lifetime support with your theme YAY.
- If you don’t want to pay for installation, they have PDF guides on how to install and customise the style. Their instructions are easy to follow – I followed their instructions to set up my blog
STEP 4 – IMPLEMENT GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Why is google analytics useful? Google analytics will enable you to collect useful information on your website, analyse which pages are the most popular, track how many people are visiting your site, find out where your readers are based geographically and much more!
HOW TO GET YOUR GOOGLE ANALYTICS CODE
- You need a Gmail account to sign up for Google Analytics. Refer to image below for instructions.
Get your Google analytics code
- Click on > Admin
- Next Click on > Tracking info
- Then Click on > Tracking Code
- Select > the ‘Global Site Tag’ code and copy it (Ctrl + C)
- Paste the code into your WordPress theme header section of the code.
- Don’t forget to save
Check out this link for Step by Step Instructions : https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008015?hl=en
STEP 5 – LAUNCH YOUR WEBSITE
The last and the most important step in this Step by Step Guide on how to make your own blog is actually launching your site. I recommend to have an ‘ABOUT’ page and introductory post ready and published before you launch you Blog or website. Once these steps are done, you site is ready for launch! Don’t spend too much time wanting it to be perfect, it’s better to keep your progress consistent (following an 80/20 rule). After you launch you can always customise and edit.
Full disclosure of my blog expenses to date:
- Total cost of my BlueHost account is under $300 AUD, I purchased 12 months of hosting with SEO tools and my URL. You can get cheaper or more expensive options depending on your needs.
- Cost of my WordPress theme is $59 USD
I hope this Step by Step Guide to build your blog was useful to you. If you have any more questions or concerns, feel free to ask me anything via direct message on Instagram @reviewsbyrachelle
Check out this post for a step by step guide on how to create a content calendar for you blog.