How to start your very own blog

Courtesy of Jess Bailey on Unsplash

Paige Mountain

Blogging is a versatile way to reach a large scale audience. 

Blogs are typically composed of content relating to a certain niche; however, they give the freedom and ability to focus on anything. 

Even if writing is not your strong suit, blogging can be a fun and easy way to stay connected with family and friends or to explore your passions in a deeper sense. Not to mention that blogs can be created in various ways that do not involve much writing—if any at all. 

How to use a blog

Many people have the assumption that blogs are simply for writing and displaying personal content online. However, there are many different reasons to start a blog. 

Life Updates

Many people choose to start a blog to keep family and friends updated with their lives. 

Whether it’s updating family and friends on study abroad adventures, informing long distance relatives about your career updates or simply just telling fun personal stories, blogs are a great way to easily communicate with others and reach people near and far. 

Inform readers on a topic

If you are passionate about a certain topic or consider yourself an expert in a specific field, informing others via a blog allows you to put this knowledge to use while also educating others. 

You can start a blog on almost any topic you want, ranging anywhere from sports and activities to arts and crafts and cooking; the options are boundless. 

Academic or Professional Purposes

While blogs are a great outlet for creating content that you consider fun, they can also be a great tool for academic and/or business purposes. 

When it comes to academics, there are multiple ways a blog might be beneficial. You might use one as a platform to share your research, or you can use them as a portfolio tool to showcase all your best work you have completed in your academic field. 

If you are a small business owner, one of the best ways you can reach a larger audience is by running a blog. With a blog, you can draw more traffic to your business website and any other platforms you might use. It also allows readers and potential clients/customers to get to know your business on a deeper level and gain a deeper connection to it.  

Personal Outlet

Arguably the most common reason many people start blogging is for a personal outlet to write about anything they choose. 

Whether you want to start a blog detailing your personal life or just want a platform to display some fun writing pieces, blogging is an easy way to escape and have some fun away from the pressures of everyday life. 

How to create a blog website 

Starting a blog is simple and easy. Below are four steps detailing how to create a blogging website from scratch at minimal cost. 

  1.  Decide on the direction you want to take your blog

Before you begin constructing your website, you want to map out how you plan to use your blog and what you wish to get out of it. While you don’t have to have every detail planned out, it is important to have somewhat of an idea before going forward in the building process. 

Decide on the use of your blog, such as one of the examples listed above. Also consider your “niche.” This will help once you get further on in the process and are beginning to format your site. Once you decide on the direction you want to go, begin to brainstorm ideas for your blog name, as in the next step you will choose a domain. 

  1. Find a website host and blogging platform 

When it comes to actually creating your website, the first step is to find a hosting service. A website host allows your site to be visible to other users online. There are many hosting options available, so it’s important to do research beforehand to find a provider that matches up with your specific needs. 

Bluehost is one example of a website hosting provider that is popular with many blogs just starting out because it is cheap and user friendly. A basic “shared hosting” plan with Bluehost starts at only $2.95 a month. 

When setting up your website with Bluehost, you will create a domain name for your blog, but this can always be changed later. 

Along with a website hosting service, you also need to choose a website builder. This platform is where you will actually create, structure and publish content for your blog. 

Some popular website builders include sites like Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. One of the most popular blogging platforms for beginners is WordPress, as it is free and easy to use. It is also compatible with Bluehost. 

Once this step is complete and your site is up and running, you can begin to work on formatting and creating content. 

  1. Format to your needs

Now that your site is up and running, it is time to start formatting it to your liking. 

Many website builders have a variety of layouts you can choose from, and many are even free. Once you come across a layout that works for you, you can tailor it to your taste and start structuring your blog. 

  1. Start creating 

Once you are happy with your site, you can begin the most important step: blogging. 

Alternative ways to blog 

If you are not ready to commit to running a website, or just want to blog in a different medium, there are many other options to contemplate. 

One of the most common ways to start blogging not with a website is by using social media. With social media’s ever growing popularity, everyone has the opportunity to reach a large audience simply through social media apps. Simply creating an account on a platform such as Instagram or Facebook allows you to share your thoughts and ideas with many other users, and you do not have to go out of your way to create and maintain a website. 

If you are looking to get your ideas out to the world but aren’t interested in the writing aspect, consider making videos or even podcasting. Although they are not the typical blogging format, video creation and podcasting are basically the same thing as running a blog—just with a different approach.

You can still discuss your passions, business or academic achievements through video creation and podcasting, just in a different way that may be more suited to you.