What would start with the idea of a blog, something like a digital personal diary has long evolved into one of the most successful and far-reaching forms of publication. Meanwhile, the so-called bloggers are much more than fans of writing, since, often, they are advertising media, influencers, or experts on some subject.
If you dream of your own fashion, gastronomy, or travel blog, you are in the right place. We will answer you every question about What do I need to create a blog, where to do it for free, why write it, or what is the best way to design it, discover in our step-by-step manual on how to start a blog.
Free Blogging Platforms
In the search for the most suitable platform for how to start a blog, a large number of free offers are usually found. The most popular providers, and the most attractive to beginners because they allow you to create a free blog, are WordPress, Blogger.com, and tumblr.com.
Its implementation is relatively simple and users do not need technical knowledge in topics such as servers, hosting, or web design. Issues such as updates, backups, or anti-spam protection are also the responsibility of the provider.
All this means that creating a blog is not linked to large costs or long sessions at the PC.
There are, however, some limitations to be taken into account: in the case of free platforms, the URL or page address is the advertising medium of the provider and therefore always contains its own name (e.g. blog name. wordpress.com).
The diversity of plugins and themes is also usually quite limited, as well as their customization options.
Create a free blog: which platform is the best for me
We have concentrated on the three best-known platforms, although it is up to the user to distinguish them as the best since all the options have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the objectives.
WordPress brings together free software and a hosting and creation platform under the same name. For the most impatient, just register to start blogging. It has a wide variety of free themes which offers the possibility of editing the graphical presentation of the page and the most important standard extensions (so-called plugins), such as statistics, SEO, or security, are already installed.
Those who want to install their own themes or plugins then have to host the blog on their own. In its basic version, WordPress is usually free, but if you plan to have your own domain or more memory and, above all, banish advertising then you will need to upgrade it.
As in WordPress, here it is also possible to start after simple registration and after a few steps but, unlike that, Blogger is completely ad-free. In return, its variety of functions is somewhat more limited. Although it has different customizable templates or even allows you to create new models, its variety is not very extensive for newcomers.
Those who aspire to monetize their project, however, are in the right direction because, unlike WordPress, “Make money” is one of the slogans with which the platform aims to attract the most ambitious users. It not only allows the use of commercial blogging but actively encourages it. Google, in addition to operating a search engine, also includes advertising among its many tasks, offering with Google AdSense the contextual advertising that we have all seen at some point in search results of the search engine.
In order to make the project profitable, you just have to register with Google AdSense and integrate the platform’s advertising into the blog. Google’s advertising blocks show ads that are related to the content of the web: if it is a blog about animals, the ads could automatically show advertising about animal feed products. Whenever a user clicks on one of these ads an income is generated for the blog.
Compared to the previous two, it is obvious, especially in a different way of using it, that Tumblr is a relatively young platform. Already its name of Anglo-Saxon origin reveals in part the type of service it offers, and that is that “Tumblr” comes from the verb “to tumble”.
Precisely here lies its greatest specificity because, although it allows you to create a blog and publish content, it is also easy (and encouraged) to share posts from other blogs. In order for “Reblogging” not to run into legal obstacles and avoid damaging copyright, it is necessary that the author publish it openly and allow its free use. Tumblr thus fosters a culture of the free flow of information, which is actually one of the conceptual foundations of the Internet.
Own hosting for your blog
When the project has a professional character from the beginning and you want to avoid these obstacles, the balance should be opting for a blog with its own accommodation. In addition to being able to freely choose your own and individual domain name, you also have full freedom in other configuration aspects.
Creating a blog and hosting it autonomously guarantees you have all the customization options at a price, although this is affordable given that the costs of hosting with your own domain are kept within a reasonable framework today.
Next, we show you step by step how to start a blog, choosing the domain name to define the blog structure.
How to Create a Blog
Choose a domain
Picking the right domain name is the very first step on how to start a blog.
It is important to consider the audience that the blog is aimed at because the name is essential to attract the reader’s attention.
To find out if a domain name is available, you can use the hosting provider’s domain checker.
Apart from the domain name itself, its termination is also a relevant factor when choosing it. Along with geographical endings such as .es for Spain or .mx for Mexico, there are also general ones such as .com for commercial pages and blogs or .info for informational portals. These so-called top-level domains (TLDs) are almost as old as the network of networks itself and therefore their capacity is running out, so you are going to need a lot of creativity in the case of these popular endings.
New Top Level Domains
With the new top-level domains (TLD), the variety has been gained, since now the domain name can be combined with specific endings such as .online or .web that have not exhausted all their possibilities, as in the previous case.
While it is true that these endings are more expensive, it must be considered that there are still many available and given their peculiarity they are better distinguished from the rest of the domains.
Register the domain and rent the webspace
When the right name is found and available, you have to register with the provider. Blog hosting rates and packages vary by provider and typically include web space, database, and domain. In the case of complete packages, you usually also have access to a large number of tools and software solutions from the provider.
A website is nothing more than software that is installed on a server. This means that, in order to create a blog, certain technical conditions must be met which, in turn, depend on the selected system, these three being the ones shared by the most used systems:
a) Sufficient free webspace
Webspace is where the software files are stored, similar to space on the local hard drive on a home computer. As an example, the WordPress blogging system needs approximately 30 megabytes in the unzipped version. To this must be added space for themes, plugins, images, etc. In the case of managing a travel blog, you probably have a good handful of spectacular photographs that you want to share with the public, so it will be necessary to reserve a lot of space for them.
PHP is a language for scripting and is the basis for most blogs’ programming.
Although as an author it is not necessary that you know how to program, the server must understand this language so that it can execute the functions of the blog, including the display of comments, for example.
It is not enough that the webspace supports this language, but the correct version must be installed.
c) MySQL database
Drafts, posts, or comments should be saved in a structured way to make processing easy and efficient. For this, databases are used that we can understand structurally as a table in each of whose rows an entry with all its components could be saved.
Each row consists of several columns, so you can save the text in one of the columns, and save the comments in the next column. In this way, you can quickly display comments on articles.
When you create a blog, the different tables of the MySQL database are automatically created in the background in which the information will be saved later.
Create your own blog with WordPress
This CMS, based on the b2 / catalogue system and published in 2003 is the most popular of the blogging systems. When it was launched it stood out for being very easy to use and to expand and shortly after the publication of its first version there were already numerous extensions from independent developers that allowed the layman to create their own blog and expand their project easily with many functions.
The system also supports managing a forum as well as adding an electronic storage system and the blog image can be easily customized without having to master the art of web design.
Structure of a blog
You have achieved the most difficult first step in how to start a blog. Before feeding it with texts, it is convenient to take into account how a blog is structured in its most basic form. Here we quickly go through the essential components of any blog to use:
Once the blog is created, the first thing that appears on the screen once the account is entered in the control panel, the command centre from where the blog is managed. In this interface, to which the author has access as an administrator, texts are written, edited, or deleted, readers’ comments are published, the design of the blog is modified or new plugins are installed, expanding the spectrum of the blog’s powers. . Some of these plugins allow information and data about the blog to be displayed in the control panel.
When a blog is created, the first blog user has also created: the administrator, who is in possession of all permissions. If the blog has to be managed by several people, then at any time you can add more users or give them the opportunity to register in it, and then organize their permissions and roles. If your blog software does not include this function, you must implement it with the corresponding plugin.
The popularly known as plugins are programs that add extra functions to a blog if it did not include them as a base. Currently, there are more than 45,000 plugins for WordPress blogs, for example: from security extensions to spam plugins, through forum extensions, there is almost one extension for any function that you want to integrate.
Themes are the design files responsible for the blog image. Each program usually contains a small selection of themes in the basic installation, one of which is chosen when the blog is created.
You can always download another one, free or charged, and install it in a similar way to installing a plugin if you are not happy with either of them.
Those with creative talent and programming knowledge, on the other hand, have it all to create an attractive design that gives their blog a personal touch.
A comment section is an exchange tool with blog readers included in the software. By default, readers can post their opinions and comments on the articles in this section without having to register and they appear at the bottom of the text. In addition to comments, so-called trackbacks or pingbacks can also appear, which are simply automatic notifications that take place every time the article has been mentioned in another blog.
Most blogging systems contain the so-called Web Feed or News Feed, a function that allows readers to stay up-to-date with the content that is published.
If the reader subscribes to the feed, they receive an automatic message each time it is published.
Just like you subscribed to our newsletter, you will receive an email about how to start blog article.
After the creation of the blog and before publishing any entry, it is convenient to edit and review the permanent links, since they are the ones that define the structure of the URL and those that will lead to the articles. The permalinks are generated automatically when an entry is written, but if you want to personalize it with the date or the article category, you have the permalink settings to do so.
Although the blog is already in full operation even recently created, you can still adjust it more to your idea in the “Settings” point of the menu in the control panel. Here you can define the language, the time zone, or the visibility of the blog.
Set up the blog
Once installed, it is time to customize your blog. As mentioned above, WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal are open source systems, which not only means that their installation is free but also access to a large number of themes, plugins, and other extensions.
Blog personalization means focusing primarily on the visual aspect, the design, and its effect on the reader. To define the basic structural design, you can resort to a catalogue of themes that can be further customized if you have some knowledge of HTML or CSS, and then the basic technical structure is configured and the primary installation is expanded by means of some basic extensions such as security plugins, backup solutions, and online marketing tools.
Structure and Planning
Now that the blog is ready and you have learned how to start a blog. Now you can start with the part that many are looking forward to: start blogging.
However, it is wise at this time to first outline the basic structure and develop a content plan.
When talking about structuring a blog, reference is made to elements such as categories, pages, or tags. In the initial euphoria, many would like to write about all those topics that interest them, but this, if not done in a certain order, does not lead anywhere.
It is essential to define the topic in which the blog is going to specialize since what guarantees its success is to find a thematic niche, become an expert and build a solid community of followers who trust the content so that it is possible to spread this knowledge about how to start a blog.
This was all about how to start a blog. Always consider your blog as a business if you want to make good money out of it. Don’t hesitate to invest in your blog for scaling your business. If you have any questions regarding how to start a blog then feel free to ask.