Marketing 12 min read

A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Personal Blog in 2020

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Are you considering starting a personal blog? Here’s a guide on the essential steps to take, from picking a domain name to promoting your blog online.

If you’re wondering how to create a personal blog, you’re not alone.

The first major personal blogger — Justin Hall — started posting content about his life as far back as 1994. At the time, most people dismissed blogging as a novelty.

Over two decades have passed, and blogs have grown to become one of the most dominant forms of web content.

According to 2013 reports, there were over 152 million blogs on the internet. Since then, the number of blogs has continued to grow. Today, you’ll find more than 500 million blogs online.

Yes, it all seems mind-boggling. But wait, there’s more!

Aside from the growing popularity of blogs, creating and publishing new posts has also become relatively easy. This has led to a level of content creation that would have been unimaginable back in 1994.

Recent statistics suggest that publishers upload a new blog post every 0.5 seconds. What’s more, bloggers publish almost 2.75 million posts every day on WordPress alone.

As overwhelming as it may sound, this unprecedented number of posts also tells a bigger story.

It says that an untold number of people are now comfortable with sharing their passion online with others. Similarly, reading this article suggests that you’re ready to join this growing number.

But before we delve into the details, let’s address the obvious question.

What is a Personal Blog?

Personal blogs are about the person who runs the blog.
Image Credit: StockSnap | Pixabay.com

Personal blogs are about the person who runs the blog.

Unlike other forms of blogs that focus on the users or readers, the blogger is the center of interest in a personal blog. It’s about sharing their ideas and thoughts with the online community.

As a result, these blogs usually consist of opinions and beliefs, as well as content that varies from inspirational to comedic. Some bloggers even use their platform for promotion, whether they’re trying to sell a book or advertise other services.

Over the years, private blogs have evolved from just written content.

After setting up a blog and finding an excellent hosting platform, many bloggers naturally progress to creating vlogs or podcasts. But that’s a tale for another day.

Right now, let’s address a popular misconception.

What is the Difference Between a Website and a Blog?

Navigating anywhere from your web browser will almost certainly land you on a website — whether it’s Facebook, Google, or YouTube.

A website is a collection of web pages and related content that’s identified by a common domain name. Blogs, on the other hand, are a subset of websites.

Think of websites and blogs as cars and race cars. Although they’re both vehicles with engines and four wheels, race cars serve a more specific purpose.

The primary motive behind a blog is to share individual articles, news, or stories. And bloggers rely on Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress to manage their blog posts.

Websites, on the other hand, can present their content in whatever manner they want. While they can work with CMS, sites also use static, HTML-only documents built by a web developer.

Now that we’ve cleared that confusion, let’s explore further.

5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Personal Blog

Here are some things you need to ask yourself before you start that blog.
Image Credit: ID 742680 | pixabay.com

Here are some things you need to ask yourself before you start that blog.

1. Is this my Passion?

Here’s a truth that you may not hear every day; blogging is very challenging.

Although personal blogging mainly involves sharing your everyday life, opinion, or belief with strangers online, it’s a learned skill. As such, you must make a conscious effort to work at it.

That means you may have to pay for some essential blogging tools and take some online courses.

So before you invest money and time, it’s crucial that you first identify your interest. Are you that passionate about food that you would want to share your thoughts with the world? Or is it just a passing fancy?

It’s easy to follow through on a topic that you’re passionate about, whether it’s dirty videos or antique collection. Stay true to yourself, and find your passion.

2. Do I Have the Right Tools?

The most likely answer to this question is “No!”

The internet is filled with lots of noise. In 2018, about 31.2 million bloggers in the United States alone updated their blogs at least once every month.

Since the U.S. accounts for 30 percent of the population, that suggests that there are over 104 million bloggers worldwide.

Yes, that’s a lot of potential competitors. To cut through this noise, it’s vital to deploy the right marketing tactics.

Consider learning more about search engine optimization and social media marketing. Also, you may want to invest in some AI marketing tools such as BufferHootsuite, and INK.

Manually conducting digital marketing can be draining. However, if you trust these automated tools to handle the visibility aspect, you’ll be able to focus on the actual blogging.

3. Do I Want to Use Stock Photos?

Photography has always been an integral part of blogging.

When we hear a piece of information, we’re likely to remember only 10 percent of it three days later. But, pair that information with a relevant image, and the number jumps to 65 percent.

Here’s the question: do you want to use stock photos on your blog?

If the answer is yes, you may want to consider sites like UnsplashPixabay, and StockSnap.io.

The photos on these sites are free from copyright restrictions. So, not only can you copy them, but you can also modify and upload the images into your blog without asking permission.

However, some of these photographs still require attribution. As such, you must do your research to find out how to use these images correctly.

Another option is not to use stock photos at all. Instead, you can take your photos. Armed with a good camera, photo editing software, you’ll be posting breath-taking photos of homemade lasagnas in no time.

4. Do I Want to Work Alone?

As a writer, your first instinct might be to work alone, but that may be a bad idea. In blogging, the community can count for everything.

For instance, if you’re a food blog owner, you’ll need to review expensive restaurants every night. That means sometimes involve developing a good relationship with the food community as well as restaurant owners to get in for free.

Also, being part of a community could enable you to guest post for popular publications in your niche. You’ll also be able to attend popular conferences and give talks in respectable food events.

Finally, being part of a community ensures that you don’t lose heart and give up on your blog. It gives you the energy to keep pushing.

5. Do I Want to Blog Under My Name?

Blogging under your name should be a no-brainer.

But it’s not that simple. For instance, when blogging about sensitive topics like race or equality, using your name may be a problem.

If you choose to blog under an alias, you must commit to a name that makes you happy or represents something. Alternatively, you can choose to blog using your blog’s name.

If you have answers to these questions, then you’re ready to ask the most crucial question.

How do you create a private blog?

6 Simple Steps to Help You Start a Personal Blog

Follow the simple steps outlined below to create your blog.
Image Credit: Pixelcreatures | pixabay.com

Follow the simple steps outlined below to create your blog.

1. Pick a Blog Name

At this point, you have identified your interest and intend to build a blog based on this passion. Now, you have to pick a name.

It’s not nearly as simple as it seems

A good blog name is descriptive. It must reflect the topic such that potential readers can instantly know what to expect.

However, it’s easy to get hung up on one word while trying to pick a name that includes your topic. Since you’re starting a cooking blog, the term “cook” must appear in the name, right?

Wrong!

Rather than waste time trying to incorporate the word “cook” into your blog name, consider other similar alternatives. These include “meals,” “recipes,” and different related keywords.

If you intend to create a personal blog to discuss various topics, you may want to use your name or some variation of it. It tells readers that the blog is about you.

2. Register Blog and Get Hosting

You need two things to get your blog up and running, and these are blog hosting and blogging software.

A blog host is a company that stores all the files for your blog on its server. This way, anyone that types your blog name into a browser will have access to your content.

Examples of some blog host companies include BlueHost, HostGator, SiteGround, DreamHost, among others.

Aside from the blog host company, you need a software application to create, manage, and modify your blog content. Some examples of these blogging software include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magneto, etc.

With that said, we recommend building your blog on WordPress. It’s easy to use and customize.

Also, WordPress is the most popular CMS on the internet, with 60.4% of the market share. As a result, it has a vast number of pre-built plugins and themes.

Besides, the astronomical community will prove useful when you hit a roadblock.

3. Make Your Blog Feel Personal

We all have different ideas of how we want our blogs to look.

Luckily, WordPress offers the option to change your entire layout and design with a few clicks. With hundreds of thousands of free blog themes, you won’t be stuck with the pre-installed looks.

Navigate to to “Customize” section within the “Appearance” menu to preview how your content looks with a specific theme. You can also tweak several other options to get the perfect look.

These include:

  • Fonts and font size (Sans-Serif Fonts are best suited for digital content)
  • Your color palette of choice
  • Your logo and navigation menu
  • To add or not to add a sidebar

Other customization options include installing plugins that offer dark mode options — for example, Blackout and WP Night Mode.

Whatever customization option you may pick, you must consider how it affects your page speed. Thirty-seven percent of visitors bounce when a site takes more than five seconds to load.

Do not sacrifice page speed for customization.

4. Write and Publish Your Content

The first question here is simple: what makes a blog post enjoyable?

The answer is relevanceNinety-four percent of people share blog content because they think it might be useful to other people.

It begins by creating something interesting and educational. Your articles should answer a reader’s question and help them solve a problem.

More importantly, you must provide these solutions in the most exciting way possible — offer actionable steps while being engaging. For example, your introduction should compel readers to continue reading the post. Then, provide examples and statistics to give more depth.

A blog post can contain an overwhelming amount of information, and that’s fine.

The trick is to ensure that the content length and amount of information don’t intimidate readers. Such an organization can take multiple forms, such as sections, lists, tips, etc.

When you finish writing, go back, proofread your post, and fix any formatting issue. Also, consider optimizing your blog post for search.

Why is this important, you ask?

5. Promote Your Blog

It’s pointless to create a personal blog and write great content if no one ever gets to read it. That’s why you must optimize your content for search.

You could learn about how to perform on-page search engine optimization. However, the smarter option would be to use AI-powered writing software such as INK to optimize your content for search.

The writing app can suggest ways to make your content search engine-friendly. What’s more, it could help you avoid cramming keywords into a post, which could lead to the Google penalty.

Aside from the search engine, other channels to promote your blog post include social media, comment on other blogs, collaboration, email lists, among others.

6. Monetize Personal Blog

Some bloggers simply want to share their passion with others or pass across some useful information. However, most do it for the money.

Roughly 67 percent of people say that their main reason for blogging is income. Unfortunately, not many of these people make money from this venture.

In fact, only 31 percent of them make any money whatsoever from blogging. The reason for this varies from a high level of competition to new bloggers not having a monetization plan.

So, how do you monetize your blog? Consider some of the options below:

  • Monetize with CPC or CPM
  • Sell private ads
  • Include affiliate links in your content
  • Sell digital products
  • Use your blog as a content marketing tool for your business
  • Sell memberships

Making money from blogging requires a lot of persistence. However, it can pay-off in the long run if you do it right.

If you’re still unsure how to monetize your blog, consider what other people in your niche are doing. Start from there, and work your way up.

Final Note: Start Your Personal Blog Today

Creating a successful personal blog boils down to one thing — passion.

It’s easy to write exciting content when you’re passionate about the topic. While interest is essential, the best way to connect with people is by creating something relevant.

So, identify that topic that you get your blood running. Then, use that passion to create exciting content that addresses people’s issues and be consistent at it.

When you do this, site traffic, monetization, and everything else will follow.

Read More: Importance of Having a Blog Site for Your Business

First AI Web Content Optimization Platform Just for Writers

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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