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Beginner’s Guide: How To Start A Blog In 6 Easy Steps

Beginner’s Guide: How To Start A Blog In 6 Easy Steps

Blogs are big business. Everywhere you look on the internet, you’re faced with weird and wonderful blogs of all different types and conveying lots of great information. You can seem like a small fish in a big pond when it comes to starting a blog, but that by no means should be a reason to not start one. Blogs are a great outlet for thoughts, advice, and creativity, and can even be used to make money.

If you’ve always wanted to start a blog but just weren’t sure where to start, then I’m here to tell you that it’s actually very simple and can be achieved in as little as 20 minutes.

The thing that throws most people off is deciding which platform to build your blog on. There are a plethora of different domain name companies and hosting accounts to choose from which can all seem daunting and can cause you to give up and just “do it later.”

If you want to learn how to start a blog, here are some simple steps to highlight what to expect from the process.

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Step 1: Decide Your Reasons For Starting A Blog

We all start blogs for different reasons. Perhaps it’s an added feature of your business, you have a unique issue that you want to talk about, as a way to allow people to better understand something you’re doing, to offer advice, or just to get yourself published and practice your writing skills.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to know for yourself why you want to start a blog, as this will give you a better drive and sense of direction.

Step 2: Choose A Blogging Platform

This is the most daunting part of how to start a blog as there are many many blogging platforms to choose from. There are two differences when choosing a platform and that is whether or not you want to make money from it or not.

There are sites like Tumblr and Blogger which you can check out but WordPress is by far the most popular. This is because they offer both a free platform and a self-hosted platform and is already used by millions.

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  • Free blogging websites: Free to use and almost no fuss to set up but if you want to make money then this prevents you from doing so. Your blog domain name will usually have the hosts name stuck on the end. Fr example, myrunningblog.wordpress.com.
  • Self-hosted platforms: These cost money to set up and it takes a bit more time but they give you the freedom to make money from them through placing ads and you will pay for an own your own domain name such as myrunningblog.com.

It really depends on whether your blog will be purely personal or if you intend to build it up and make some income from it. The latter will give you greater freedom. If you just want to play around and get a feel for blogging then the free option is probably best. It is possible to transit to a self-hosted platform down the line but this can be a bit tricky (but doable).

If you want to go for the free option then visit any of the blogging sites and sign up for their free options.

wordpress-org-vs-wordpress-com-infographic
    infographic via bluchic.com

    Step 3: Choose a Domain Name

    If you’ve opted for the paid self-hosted platform, then this is where it starts to get exciting. Thinking up a domain name is what will be the first thing that people see and represents your blog and potentially what it’ll be about. For example www.myrunningblog.com is simple and self-explanatory. It’s always a good idea not to pick a name that’s too long – you want people to be able to remember it.

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    Head over to a domain hosting site like DreamHost.com. This is a great site because they set up your domain name and web-hosting at the same time. Alternatively you can choose separate sites for each; it may be cheaper that way but it can be easier to have it all under one hosting umbrella.

    If you want to choose a domain name separately then NamecheapGoDaddyName.com and HostGator are all great places to head to. Some of which also set up web hosting too. You can pay as little as $10 a year for your domain name but prices vary depending on who you decide to go with.

    Step 4: Set Up Your Web Hosting

    Web hosting is basically connecting your domain name to the internet. You are effectively renting space on the world wide web and allowing people to have access to your blog.

    If you haven’t opted for a contained domain name and hosting package then there are a lot of web-hosting sites to choose from. The top three are DreamHostHostGator and BlueHostBlueHost is particularly recommended for WordPress sites and regularly do lower monthly prices. You can pay as little as $4 a month for web hosting. All these have excellent customer service as well so if you need a bit of extra support then they’ll be on hand to help you out.

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    The web-hosters will point you in the right direction for installing your site and if you’ve opted for WordPress this will be really straight forward.

    Step 5: Log in and Set Up Your Theme

    This is where it gets creative! Once you’ve logged into your new site you will be faced with a blank canvas so it’s now that you need to think how you want your blog to look. There are numerous free themes to go for while you think about it, some of which are pretty nice and stylish.

    You can opt to buy various themes and get extra plugins thrown in for free. Take your time to navigate your way around and get used to it all. It may seem over-whelming but just spending a day or two thinking and planning about the way it’ll look will allow you to come to a concrete conclusion to move forward with.

    Step 6: Write Your First Blog Post

    Once you’ve set up your theme and written an About page introducing yourself and what your blog is about, then it’s time to write your first blog post. Here are some tips on how to write the perfect blog post:

    Good-To-Great-Infographic-edit-750x3208
      infographic via webhostingsecretrevealed.net

      Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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      Jenny Marchal

      A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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      Published on November 12, 2020

      5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

      5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

      What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

      Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

      Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

      While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

      Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

      1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

      When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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      Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

      In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

      • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
      • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
      • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

      While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

      2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

      Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

      Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

      Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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      However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

      3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

      Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

      But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

      It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

      4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

      Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

      Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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      5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

      Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

      For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

      How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

      The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

      If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

      Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

      It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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      Final Thoughts

      If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

      If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

      It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

      More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

      Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

      Reference

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