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Do you want to know how to start a blog online? You are fond of writing articles and want the world to read them. Perhaps you’ve heard of people who make money blogging and you want to create a blog and make money.
Maybe the Lord has blessed you with excellent writing skills and you want to know how to create a blog on WordPress and share your Christian faith online or start a Christian blog for your ministry.
You are not alone. How to start a blog is one of the most searched phrases online. There are many who seek to make money online, as a secondary source of income and some even become full-time bloggers.
Some have other reasons to start a blog, like a hobby, sharing experiences, expertise, knowledge, outreach, recipes, etc.
Many Christians would like to know how to start a Christian blog, so they can preach the gospel if God has put it in their hearts. You can watch a short video on how to start a Christian blog on our YouTube channel.
Whatever your reason may be for wanting to know how to start a blog, I am here to help you every step of the way.
Although this article is intended for Christians, the details in this article can be used by anyone who wants to start a blog online and be successful.
The information I am about to share has been learned, tested and proven. I have been blogging for several years and am sharing all of my knowledge and experience so that you can start a successful blog.
How to start a blog step by step.
- Choose an awesome domain name.
- Register a domain name.
- Sign up for a good hosting plan.
- Choose an awesome theme for your blog.
- Choose and install the best-required plugins for your blog.
- Make your blog super fast.
- Write and post awesome articles.
- Submit your blog to search engines.
- Promote your blog through social media.
- Monetize your blog.
How to start a blog. Choose a good domain.
This is by far the most important step when you create a blog. Your domain name should be short and easy to remember.
For example, if I want to start a Christian blog about the many Christian vacation destinations around the world and write about my travel experiences, I would choose a domain name that has the keywords Christian, vacation, destinations, travel, experiences in it.
Now no one likes long domain names. They are not easy to remember. So you can pick and choose no more than 2 keywords.
Choose a domain name wisely and take your time, as once you register it and start your blog, there’s no turning back.
How to choose a domain name for your blog?
Your domain name should be:
- Easy to remember.
- Short – three words maximum.
- Related to your blog.
- Good for branding.
- Without any hyphens.
There are many domain lookup tools online. You can search on Bluehost, but don’t buy one yet, I’ll show you how to get it for free for your first year.
How to start a blog. Register a domain name.
Now that you have chosen your domain name, it’s time to purchase and register it.
It’s best to purchase and register it for a longer period of time, like 3, 5 or 10 years, so that you don’t fall victim to an expired domain.
It’s also advisable to purchase and register a domain name that ends in a .com extension as opposed to .net and other extensions. If your blog is a non-profit organization, feel free to use the .org extension.
Continue reading below and I will show you how to get a free domain name for your first year, as part of your web hosting plan.
How to start a blog. Choose a good web hosting company.
A hosting company will host your blog on their servers.
Now before we dive into blog hosting let’s talk about which blogging platform you want to use for your blog.
What is a blogging platform?
A blogging platform is a software and content management system that will enable you to publish your content to the internet in the form of a blog post.
What is the best blogging platform to start a blog?
Feel free to test each blog platform and choose the best for you and your business.
Lookup Google for each blogging platform and learn more, compare and decide which best fits your needs.
Here at Mindonjesus.com, we use WordPress.org. To us, it is simply the best blogging platform. WordPress powers about 30% of all internet sites.
It is a robust platform, stable and capable of withstanding massive internet traffic.
With WordPress, you can add numerous plugins to enhance and take your blog to new heights.
The WordPress community is extremely large and there are thousands of websites that offer WordPress help, tips, tutorials and resources.
Our advice is to go with WordPress as your blogging platform. We totally love it and have never looked back.
Now back to choosing the best hosting when you create your own blog.
Hosting your WordPress blog can be done in two ways.
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
What are the pros and cons of using WordPress.org?
- 100% open source and free for anyone to use.
- You have full control over your website and can customize it to fit your taste.
- You own all of your website including all data and can install any amount of WordPress plugins.
- You get to keep 100% advertising revenue and can sell advertising to anyone.
- You can create your own membership site or an online store and sell your products, ebooks, etc.
- You can choose who to host with and change your website hosting provider whenever you want.
- You are responsible for all updates on your WordPress site and have to fix things if something goes wrong. However, there are many sites online that provide such WordPress maintenance services.
What are the pros and cons of using WordPress.com?
- You are not allowed to sell advertising directly to other clients. You have to use ads from WordPress’ own advertising program unless you go with their business plan.
- You are not allowed to install your own plugins unless you have signed up for their higher paying plans.
- Your blog can be deleted anytime if it violates their terms.
- You cannot install an online store to sell your products unless your a business plan customer.
- You have limited themes to choose from and limited customization options unless you upgrade to their higher-priced plans.
- Easier to manage if you are not tech-savvy.
- Best suited for those who do not have time to manage their blogs technical aspects.
If you prefer to create your own blog with WordPress.com, by all means, do so. It is an excellent web host. You can signup here with WordPress.com. Plans start at just $5 a month.
Our advice is to go with WordPress.org when you start a blog and install their blogging platform on the web hosting server of your choice. Scroll up for a list of benefits.
You do not even need to install the WordPress platform yourself. There are many hosting companies online that offer to install and even maintain your WordPress installation for you.
Such services are called managed WordPress hosting. Hosting companies that offer managed WordPress hosting will install WordPress for you.
What are the benefits of managed WordPress hosting?
- Free automated backups
- Content delivery network for faster website speed.
- SSL certificates to make your site secure.
- Protection against malware and hacking.
- Fast support anytime you need help.
- Peace of mind, knowing your website is in good hands.
Which is the best-managed WordPress hosting company?
There are many hosting companies online that provide managed WordPress hosting.
We had along the years different experiences with many managed WordPress hosting companies. We changed our hosting companies often as required.
We have now found a web host that meets all our requirements and have been happy since switching to them.
Below are some of the best-managed WordPress hosting companies.
You may have to spend a little more with a higher paying plan but the end results will be much better in terms of security and speed of your website. Cheap is not always the best.
The managed WordPress hosting companies below also include a free domain name when you create a blog.
Nothing better than something free when you decide to start a blog.
All the hosting plans below and heavily discounted and come with a risk-free money back guarantee.
Don’t forget to install WordPress once you have signed up with a web host. Most web hosts like the ones above have one button install feature.
How to start a blog. Choose a good WordPress theme.
A WordPress theme is simply your front-end design and style of your website. It lets you pick the colours, font style, widgets, layout and other appearance details.
Feel free to develop your own WordPress theme if you know how to code. If not you can choose a free theme from the WordPress admin area.
Ready for a better, more stable WordPress theme when you start a blog?
If you want a perfect WordPress theme which is built with superior coding, stable, always updated and has awesome reliability then below are three of the best places to buy a WordPress theme.
Each of these companies sells awesome themes for every type of blogger. There are themes for business, real estate, gaming, food, recipes, and so on.
Each theme will have different colours, designs, layouts, options, widgets, and more. Choose a WordPress theme that suits your taste and purpose. If you have signed up for WordPress.com hosting, depending on your plan, you will have access to free and premium themes.
If you want to start a ministry blog then Church Themes is a good option.
Once you have installed your WordPress theme, play around, choose your colours, font styles, layouts, widgets, etc.
How to start a blog. Choose and install the best plugins.
What are WordPress plugins?
A WordPress plugin is a software, written in a programming language called PHP and can be uploaded to your WordPress site.
Depending on which WordPress plugin you upload, it can add new features to your WordPress site.
For example, say you want to have a link at the bottom of your blog post that will give your readers the ability to share your blog post on their Facebook page.
In this case, all you have to do is search for a Facebook sharing plugin, inside your WordPress backend and install it.
Depending on what extra features you need for your website blog, there most probably will be a plugin for it.
Below is a small list of the necessary and highly recommended plugins to get you started and give you a solid heads start when you start a blog. Check out this article on how to install a WordPress plugin correctly.
What are the most popular and recommended WordPress plugins?
1 – WordPress SEO by Yoast
This plugin will help you organize your website, write better blog posts and optimize your WordPress blog for search engines to index them quickly.
2 – Video SEO for WordPress
If you will be making and uploading videos to your blog, this plugin is for you. It will help you index your videos with search engines.
3 – Getresponse
Want to collect an email list? Collect your visitor’s emails and send them a weekly or monthly newsletter. This plugin helps you build traffic, revenue and keep in touch with your website visitors.
4 – ThirstyAffiliates
This plugin will help you easily add affiliate links to your blog posts. Good for affiliate marketers and anyone who wants to promote an affiliate program and make money.
5 – Jetpack
This plugin is written by the WordPress team and is loaded with awesome features like site security, backup, social sharing, preventing spam, and so much more.
6 – CleanTalk anti-spam.
This plugin will protect your contact forms from incoming spam. It will save you a lot of time and prevent spammers from attacking your website.
7 – Social Warfare
With this plugin installed, your readers will be able to share your blog post on their social media accounts. This will increase the number of visitors to your website.
8 – WP Total Cache or WP Super Cache
Don’t you hate slow loading websites? These plugins will help you speed up and optimize your website, so it is fast and performs better. For optimal website speed, we recommend WP Rocket.
9 – Ad Inserter
This plugin is for managing your ads. If you want to put ads on your blog to generate some income, this plugin will help you with ad placement and management.
Some of the above plugins have free options. Some of them have pricing plans.
How to start a blog. Make your blog super fast.
No one likes a website that takes longer to load. You will lose a lot of visitors if your website takes long to load.
How to speed up your blog?
Here are some tips to speed up your website.
1 – Do not install a lot of plugins. Just the ones you absolutely need.
2 – Choose a good reliable web host. I have written a few names above.
3 – Choose a fast theme. Under the theme section above I have written down three trusted theme companies.
4 – Cut down on the number of widgets on your site.
5 – Cut down on the number of ads on your website. More ads – slower speed. Fewer ads – faster speed.
6 – Install a cache plugin like WP Rocket on your site.
7 – Clean and optimize your WordPress database often. You can install a database optimization plugin for that.
8 – Optimize your images on your site. Download and install a good image optimization plugin from the WordPress repository.
9 – Install the AMP for WP plugin. This will almost instantly speed up your site.
How to start a blog. Write awesome blog posts.
Showcase your talent when you create your own blog. Write articles that are clear and easy to understand. Your blog posts should always have a heading, main information and summary.
Define your goals and what you want to communicate to your readers.
Keep your sentences short with no more than three sentences in a paragraph.
Ask questions in your blog posts. Use words to grab the attention of your readers.
Make your blog posts personal and engage your readers. Make them laugh, make them guess, surprise them, teach them, give them the information they were looking for.
Be honest in your posts and do not copy from another person’s blog posts. Be on topic and use your topic keywords in your posts.
Write frequently, help others and enjoy life.
How to start a blog. Submit your blog to search engines.
How will people find you unless you are listed in major search engines like Google and Bing?
Use the links below to submit your site to search engines. Submit your blog sitemap and resubmit your site every now and then. We have also written an article on how to rank well on google and bing.
When you start a blog, you need to promote it. Social media is a great way to promote your blog posts.
How do I promote my first blog post?
Sign up for an account on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and others.
Share your blog post on these social media sites each time you publish new posts.
You can also re-share your blog posts again on a periodic basis.
As you start to get a lot of followers and friends on these social media sites, your blog posts will reach more readers.
Your followers and friends can also share your posts on their social media sites thus bringing in more readers to read your articles.
Install a WordPress social media plugin on your site. With this plugin, your readers can easily share your blog post and increase traffic to your website.
Share your post often. Engage with your followers. Curate other similar content articles from other blogs and share on your social media pages.
How to start a blog. Monetize your blog.
Some bloggers prefer not to monetize their blogs for personal reasons and that’s awesome. For the rest who wish to make some money selling ads on their blogs, you have two options.
How to make money blogging?
1 – Sell ads to potential advertisers directly from your website.
With this option, you are fully responsible to find advertisers, process payment and provide reporting analytics to your advertisers.
You keep 100% of your income and you can choose which advertisers to accept or decline.
2 – Join ad networks and show their ads on your blog.
With this option, all you have to do is copy a simple ad network code to your website and you are done.
Revenue is shared with you the publisher and the ad network. Different ad networks have different revenue sharing programs.
There are many benefits to joining ad networks. Plenty of advertisers, no need to gather reports, no need to accept payment.
You can also block certain advertisers from showing certain ads on your website. This is beneficial for Christian and like-minded bloggers.
Below are some of the best ad networks to join. Make sure you have the required traffic requirements before applying to the ad networks.
I hope the above article will help you in your quest to start a Christian blog. As you continue on your journey you will learn more and more and gain insightful skills and knowledge required to start, publish and maintain a WordPress blog.
I wish you all the best and may your dream of starting a blog not only materialize but prosper.
Mind On Jesus Webmaster.