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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 October 8, 2019

      How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

      How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

      The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

      The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

      By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

      1. Define What Success Is for You

      There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

      Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

      2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

      Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

      Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

      3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

      It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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      By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

      4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

      A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

      One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

      5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

      You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

      Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

      6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

      If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

      Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

      7. Pick Up Some New Skills

      Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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      By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

      8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

      Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

      If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

      9. Make Yourself Indispensable

      Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

      It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

      10. Get Off the Fence

      People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

      If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

      11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

      If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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      Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

      12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

      If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

      Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

      13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

      Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

      Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

      14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

      Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

      A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

      15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

      The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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      Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

      16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

      Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

      Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

      17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

      It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

      Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

      18. Join a Professional Organization

      The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

      Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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      Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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