Behind the Blog: Things You Need to Start a Website
Every person and their dog have an online presence these days. As we witnessed the boom of the influencer era, we’ve seen thousands; maybe even millions of blogs come to be. Some of them we’ve watched with awe as their follower count grew to the size of small countries. Many more we’ve seen come and go, visited once and forever lost to Internet obscurity. As easy and fun as it looks, blogging takes hard work and the best blogs took years of toil to achieve their celebrity status.
If you’ve always dreamed of setting up your own blog, as they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Here’s your definitive checklist of the things you need to start your own website.
Your Blog Identity
Knowing and deciding on your blog identity is a crucial step that many fail to realize and act on. Some people set up their blogs, buy their hosting and domains, design their websites, and invest on the latest blogging gadgets only to go completely directionless on what their blog is about. Content is king and finding your niche will help attract an audience to your corner in this saturated blogging world. Narrow your focus on your top interest and find your content naturally flowing from there. It’s best if your blog domain gives everyone a clear idea of what your niche is, too.
Let’s face it, blogging is not exactly the cheapest line of work. While you can start a blog for free, keeping your content hip and fresh requires a bit of investment. If your goal is to make blogging more than just a hobby and you’re in it for the long haul, getting the right gadgets can give your blog a nice jumpstart. Note that you don’t need the most sophisticated tech but you do need a trusty laptop and camera to keep your blog running. You can sell your old Macbook and upgrade to a laptop that can smoothly run your editing software and handle the amount of storage you need. You don’t need to get the latest SLR but good quality visuals do keep audiences coming back.
Web Hosting and Design
Once you’ve settled on your domain name and have the gadgets to create your content, it’s time to get your website up and running. Think of web hosting as your online blog storage. When you start choosing your hosting provider, consider the traffic you’re expecting to host and the tech support you’ll need to keep your blog running. Most people start with free hosting, but we recommend getting shared hosting from the get-go. There are many cheap web hosting services that you can get for under $5 per month. If you’re serious about growing your blog, hosting will support your blog traffic with good speed and reliable uptime.
If web hosting is your blog storage, then web design is your blog display. Nobody goes to an ugly shop when they can go to a nice, clean, beautiful store. The same goes for blogs. Customize your blog design to fit your personality and content. Thankfully there are many free design templates that you can use and tweak around to your liking. You can always pay a good web designer later on when you start upgrading your website.
Now that your website is all ready to go, you need to start filling it up with content. Your blog posts are the heart and soul of your website so make sure to write with love and passion. Without your posts, a catchy domain name, beautiful web design, and eye-pleasing photos will be nothing but fluff. High-quality content is what attracts the audience and keep them there. Without great blog posts, the blogging business would not have grown to the billion dollar industry it is today. If you want a slice of the pie, work on your story writing and make sure you’re using great photos to boot.
The term SEO or Search Engine Optimization comes up a lot when you ask the Internet for tips on blogging. Simply put, SEO is the practice of increasing your blog’s traffic through a number of activities such as link building, keyword research, adding image alt attributes, and producing meta titles. See, the World Wide Web is vast and wide, and you can’t possibly reach out to all of your potential audience by personally letting them know about your blog. SEO helps drive traffic to your website by showing it to the people who are specifically looking for it through Google, Yahoo, or other search engines.
Now that you know the basics behind the blog, hopefully, the thought of starting your own website has become a little less intimidating. The journey is tedious but the rewards are undoubtedly sweet!