Loads of people have heard about blogs, read them, but don’t understand why they are important. You would be surprised how many people have their lives changed by starting and running a blog. So what is a blog? Why is it so magical?
In this article, we will answer all the questions you could ever have about blogs.
So grab your coffee and let’s get started.
What is a Blog?
A blog is a regularly updated website, that shares content. The content is usually anything from text to pictures, videos, GIFs, and audio files.
Blogs can be run by an individual, or by a business. They can be a part of any niche and cover any topic you could think of.
You can look at it as an online journal or a diary. Except that over the years, it evolved to be a lot more.
History of Blogs
The term “weblog” was created back in the 90s. However, it quickly changed to just “blog.”
Blog popularity rose fast, and loads of useful tools emerged, to make blogging even more accessible.
In 1999, one of the most popular blogging platforms blogger.com launched. And back in 2003 WordPress took the world by a storm.
With the power of the internet growing, so did blogs. While back in the day it was just a form of self-expression, today it is so much more – a marketing tool, a full-time job, or a way to connect with like-minded people.
Blog vs. Website
So how are blogs and websites different? Simply speaking, a blog is a type of site. The primary difference between the two is that blogs get continuously updated with new content, displayed in reverse chronological order.
Websites, on the other hand, are usually static and showcase the same information and pages. Most of the time, they only get updated to renew information.
Remember, a blog can be a part of a website. Just like here on 000webhost.com – we have a one, where we post content regularly.
We, like many other businesses, use our platform to educate people and help them improve skills related to the field of our expertise.
Simply speaking, a blog can be a part of a website, but not all sites are blogs.
Post vs. Page
When using WordPress, you might notice that you can create two types of content – a post and a page.
On a blog, all posts are displayed in a reversed chronological order – newest to oldest, showing the most recent post on the top.
A blog page is a static piece of content – for example, the “About Me” page.
You write a bio, make a page and leave it alone. It will always be displayed in the same spot, for example, your sidebar.
Why do People Blog?
Each blogger has their reasons.
Some want to connect with like-minded people and share their interests. Or use blogs as an excellent outlet for creativity, especially if you have a knack for writing.
Blogging is great for sharing ideas, showcasing your talents, even make money.
When it comes to businesses, creating blogs, helps educate customers, rank better on search engines and attract new customers. It is an essential part of any marketing strategy for companies.
Blogging helps anyone showcase their talents and creativity, win authority in the industry, make money, socialize and engage their audience.
Can Anyone Start a Blog?
The short answer is – absolutely yes! If you have internet access and some free time, you can become a blogger in no time.
Back in the day setting up and running a blog was a hassle, today it is not the case. There are plenty of tools and blogging platforms that turned this task into a pleasure.
Not only is it easy to set up and start a blog, but you will find thousands of tutorials, tips and tricks, courses and other resources for learning the trade.
If you put in some work, you will reach a wide audience and interact with loads of people. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to make money with your blog and maybe even turn it into a full-time job!
Great blog examples
There are a lot of factors that make up a great blog. Content, of course, is one of the main points to look for.
However, a good theme, appealing visuals, frequent updates and a user-friendly experience all play a big part in the quality of your blog.
Here are a couple of great examples:
Kotryna Bass is a Lithuanian blogger, who turned her passion for blogging into a full-time job.
Her content combines great reads about her personal life with tips on how to turn your blog into a business. Kotryna’s blog has everything – great visuals, amazing content and useful information.
The Wired blog writes in-depth content pieces about new technologies and their effects on our culture, economy, and politics. If you’re a tech-savvy person, you’ll genuinely enjoy their content.
Their blog is super easy to navigate and offers a great user experience.
Chronicles Of Her
This is a great example of a fantastic fashion blog. Not only can you see all the latest fashion trends and get inspired by amazing women from all over the world, but you can buy the clothes you see.
The blog itself is very aesthetically pleasing and provides readers with high-quality content.
Roads and Kingdoms
Travel blogs are a great way to get inspired for your next vacation destination. Roads and Kingdoms create amazing content about all things traveling – food, drinks, locations to visit, what to visit when, etc.
They stand out by writing superb content and not being afraid of exploring topics that can be seen as controversial.
How to Start a Blog
So if you decided to have your own blog, where should you start? No worries, we got you covered!
Here are six simple steps to start your blog:
- Choose your niche
- Pick a blogging platform
- Choose a hosting provider
- Register a domain name
- Set up your website
- Publish your content
Let’s look through all of them to make it more clear, shall me?
Choosing Your Niche
This is crucial, as choosing your niche will determine everything from your brand’s name, post topics to your theme and marketing strategies.
If you are a business, your niche is obvious. You should blog about your products or services, showcase your expertise in the field, educate your customers, etc. This will help you to bring more attention to your brand, build trust and engage better with your audience.
If you are an individual who wants to start a blog, think about what you have to say about the most. Maybe you’re really into fashion? Or maybe you’re a fantastic cook? An expert in photography? Or perhaps you traveled a lot and have plenty of tips to share?
When you pick a niche – stick to it. If you start a blog about fashion, don’t create posts about cat food. Trying to appeal to everyone, will result in appealing to no one.
Picking a Blogging Platform
Nowadays, there’s a lot of blogging platforms to choose from. However, we always recommend going with the time tested choice and pick WordPress.
It is the daddy of all CMS – Content Management Systems – and blogging platforms. Not only is it easy to use and powerful, but it also is a great website builder.
First of all, WordPress is an open-source, free to use CMS. This means you don’t need a big budget to set up a beautiful, perfectly functioning website. Even the plugins offered by WordPress are either free or surprisingly budget-friendly.
Besides, WordPress is continually getting updated so you will have access to perfected and time-tested functions. Moreover, WordPress has a huge community and excellent customer support, that provide plenty of help when needed.
Creating a blog for the first time can feel intimidating. One of the reasons for WordPress popularity, is it being very beginner-friendly.
WordPress requires no coding skills to set up a quality website. It has an easy-to-use admin dashboard that won’t be a problem navigating.
Creating and managing content with WordPress is quick and easy, and even more advanced tasks like customizing settings or installing themes and plugins won’t be a hassle.
Picking a Hosting Service
Picking a hosting provider is a significant step, as this will be responsible for your website’s performance.
Before picking a hosting provider and a hosting plan, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- What is your budget?
- How much traffic do you expect on your blog?
- What support do you want?
When picking out a hosting plan, you can choose between a few options.
One could compare shared hosting to a student dormitory – it houses multiple websites on one server. All the resources, such as RAM and bandwidth, are divided amongst its users.
If you are a complete beginner and don’t expect a lot of traffic on your site, we recommend going with this option. It is cheap, easy to maintain, and easy to use.
However, with shared hosting, you will have limited configuration options and won’t have root access.
This type of hosting provides the power of a virtual server but keeps the ease of use of shared hosting.
This means that you have more power and resources for your website, yet still maintain the same control. What is more, you get all the resources for yourself – no sharing with anyone.
However, just like with shared hosting, cloud hosting doesn’t provide root access and has limited configuration options.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This means that with VPS you have the ultimate control of your website.
With VPS hosting, you will have root access, the ability to change any server settings, and loads of configuration options.
One thing to keep in mind is that managing VPS hosting requires a lot of skill. So if you are a complete beginner, you should choose a different option.
If you are just beginning your blogging journey, you might not have a big budget. The great news is that you can start a blog with cheap web hosting or for free! You read that right!
At 000webhost.com you can get free hosting and set up your website in no time.
Hosting services at 000webhost are easy to use and don’t cost anything to set up. It is an excellent choice for beginners or for those who want to test out their abilities in blogging before actually investing in their website.
Registering a Domain Name
Just like every website, your blog needs a domain name. It is a significant step and a crucial piece of your overall branding.
Your domain name should be catchy, short, and memorable. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a great name, you can use domain name generators to help you come up with the best option.
These tools are quite simple to use. All you have to do is type in a keyword, and you’ll be presented with a list of possible domain names. You can use Hostinger’s domain name search tool, which is one of the most useful domain checkers available online.
And if you need further instructions, our sister page Hostinger.com has an awesome tutorial on how to register a domain name.
Setting Up a Blog With WordPress
When you sign up for your hosting services, you will be able to access your control panel, where you can finally start setting up your website.
The good news is that setting up a blog with WordPress is a no-fuss process.
With different hosting providers the setup can be slightly different, but here is a short tutorial on how to install WordPress with 000webhost.com:
Log in, choose WordPress as your site builder and click Install Now
Enter your admin details
And that’s it!
Now you will be able to reach your admin dashboard where you can add content, customize your theme, settings, etc.
To reach your dashboard simply go to www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin
To choose a new theme, on your WordPress dashboard go to Appearance >> Themes.
Press Add New and choose the theme of your liking. Press Install and then Activate.
If you want to customize your theme further, go to Appearance >> Customise. You will be redirected to your customization area.
Publishing Your Content
When you are happy with your site’s appearance is time to start publishing content.
Make sure that you always publish excellent quality content – never aim for mediocrity. We’re here to achieve great results!
One important thing to keep in mind – for the first few weeks, your content might go completely unnoticed. To shorten this limbo period, make sure to promote yourself and work on your SEO.
Always remember – running a successful blog is 20% content creation and 80% promotion!
How to Make Money With Your Blog?
This is the big question everybody asks themselves before starting a blog. It would be nice to be rewarded for all the extra time you spend creating content, right?
The good thing is that the possibilities of your blog are endless. Not only can you make a little extra cash with it, but you can also turn it into a full-time job and make a full wage.
Here are some of the ways to make money with your blog:
To put it simply, affiliate income comes from displaying a link to a product that is for sale on someone else’s site.
For example, hostinger.com has an amazing affiliate program. They provide you with a unique affiliate link, and you get a percentage of every sale made with it.
One of the most popular ways to monetize a blog is by putting various ads on your site. As the number of your visitors grows, so will the amount you get paid by advertisers.
This technique might not be beneficial in the beginning, but as you grow traffic on your blog you will start noticing an increase in your income.
Selling Products or Services
This can seem like an obvious choice. Selling your products or services is one of the easiest ways to make money.
As you grow your audience and build trust, you can start selling online courses and tutorials; if you are a photographer – you can sell presets for Adobe Lightroom; if you are good at coding – you can start making and selling WordPress templates.
The possibilities are endless. You don’t have to be a professional craftsman to sell your products online.
Besides, setting up an eCommerce store is super easy and doesn’t have to cost you a dime!
Charging for Exclusive Content
When you have built a wide and loyal audience, you can expand your content options and include paid memberships.
This means that people who choose to pay to support your work will get something extra — for example, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, personalized posts, etc.
There are even platforms like Patreon that are dedicated to this cause.
As you build up your credibility, you might get offers from companies to write about their products. They get promoted to a wide audience, while you get paid for blogging.
One thing to remember – always stay true to your audience. If you start advertising questionable products or poor services, you will lose readers. People come to read blogs to get unbiased, valid information.
Don’t sell out, because it can cause your downfall!
Having a blog is a great idea whether you’re an individual or a business.
It gives you the opportunity to express yourself to a wide audience, attract new customers and interact with them, showcase your talents, etc.
Nowadays you can start one in a few simple steps. It’s easy and doesn’t cost much. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost you a dime.
What is great, that running a successful blog can turn into a full-time job!