So yeah - you can create a blog on just about any topic as long as you have the knowledge and a special spin to put on it. Better yet, you can do this for free.
However, there are various ways how you can create a blog - and there are plenty things to consider before you start. In this article, I’m going to run you through a step-by-step on how to start a blog for free:
- Step 1 - Choose a niche for your blog
- Step 2 - Pick a memorable name for your blog
- Step 3 - Build an online presence for your blog
- Step 4 - Assign a domain name to your blog
- Step 5 - Customize your blog
- Step 6 - Create unique content for your blog
- Step 7 - Do basic SEO to make sure your blog reaches your audience
1. Choose a Niche for Your Blog
When learning how to set up a blog, you first need to find your niche. You should aim to write about a topic that you’re an expert in. This could include the industry you work in, a hobby, or even your experience having a family or owning a pet, for example.
Whichever niche you choose, it needs to be interesting and you mustn’t find it hard to come up with topics to write about. You also need to make sure that there is an audience out there that will find your blog topic engaging.
Remember, however, that there are now also thousands of topics that have been written about time and time again so you need to stand out if you want to make an impression.
Some of the most saturated niches include marketing, general lifestyle, personal finance, as well as health and fitness. However, despite being popular topics, they’re still worth delving deeper into as there are always new tips you can offer readers. Simply put, whatever niche you go for, put your own take on it and make sure it stands out from the rest of the internet.
2. Pick a Memorable Name for Your Blog
When you’ve chosen your topic, you must think of a name for your blog. Your name should be memorable and unique. Whatever you do, don’t copy someone else's. Do your research to find out what others in your industry are doing and what they’ve named their companies.
Remember, this name represents your entire platform. It will be on your website, visible on social media, and in your domain name. Try and choose a name that you’re not going to get bored of in the long run.
Overall, choose a name that will be easy to pronounce, write, and remember.
3. Build an Online Presence for Your Blog
In truth, free blogging exists if you’re happy with a domain name that isn’t completely unique and quite limited customization options.
The most popular self-hosted pieces of blogging software still is WordPress
That said, there are other popular free blog platforms that also host your site for you. These also give you a free domain name. The main issue is that the ending will include the platform’s name. For example (www.example.wordpress.com).
Whichever one you choose, make sure that it comes with the right customization features for your blog. It also needs to allow you to scale your blog as your platform grows.
This means you need to be able to add as much content and media as you like.
Furthermore, check for monetization opportunities. If you’re looking at growing a following and making an income from your blog, you want to be able to do this without having to transfer your blog from one platform to another.
With this in mind, check that you can insert paid ads on the platform you choose.
Most of the blog providers come with a selection of plans that you can choose from. It's up to you if you prefer a totally free version or paid. If you'll decide to buy a custom domain, there are many great blog website hosting options that will help you create and launch your presence online.
4. Assign a Domain Name to Your Blog
If you’ve gone for a self-hosted blog builder like WordPress and already paid for a hosting subscription, you’ll most likely gain access to a free domain name. Other platforms like Wix, for example, request you buy a domain for your site. The price of your domain name depends entirely on its popularity, authenticity, and the platform from which you’re buying it.
Moreover, you need to choose a name that aligns with your blog. I suggest you go for the name of the blog with your preferred domain ending. For example, 'www.exampleblogname.com'. You can also choose from '.org', '.net', and various other Top-Level Domain (TLD) endings.
5. Customize Your Blog
Now, you need to make your blog yours. This means choosing a relevant color scheme and theme. You want your blog to be visually appealing while also being simple enough for your readers to navigate through it.
To do this on WordPress, click on "Customize Your Site".
Then, you'll be redirected to an editor which will allow you to change various aesthetic aspects of your blog. This is also where you can choose a new theme altogether.
Moreover, it’s important you choose a theme that allows you to add all the media you want in the right format. It also shouldn’t be too busy in order to not take away from your content. The majority of blog builders come with a selection of free and paid themes for you to choose from. On some platforms, you may also be able to add your own if you’ve had one professionally designed.
6. Create Unique Content for Your Blog
When your blog is up and running, make sure you leave it bursting with engaging, relevant, and SEO-ready content for your readers.
Here, you can write about any topic you believe your readers will find engaging. The key is to give it a unique spin not seen elsewhere on the web.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of writers that either copy other platform’s content or recycle it with a slightly different spin. While the latter will ensure you don’t get penalized for plagiarism, it doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd.
To find new topics, ask your audience what they want to read about. You can do this by having a look at some of the comments they leave on your blog. You could even send out a questionnaire or a poll on your social media channels to get their input.
7. Do Basic SEO to Make Sure Your Blog Reaches Your Audience
The final stage of creating a free blog is to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to boost your blog’s audience in an organic way. If you have a basic understanding of SEO, implement what you know and do your own keyword research to help your content rank higher on the likes of Google and other search engines.
Alternatively, you could install a plugin like Yoast on your site. Yoast is available for WordPress.org users and uses a traffic light system to rate your SEO efforts. The plugin is a great tool that tells you what you’re doing well and what you need to improve to increase your search engine ranking.
Additional Steps on How to Start a Blog for Free
Once you've created a well-designed blog and started adding content, you need to promote it so that it reaches your desired audience. There are various ways you can do this, but some of the most effective include:
- Sharing links on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, for example.
- Creating email marketing campaigns
- Networking with other bloggers by commenting on their posts and contacting them
- Backlinking to other blogs and websites
- Creating guests posts for other platforms
- Sharing your post links on relevant forums
The promotional tips above will help ensure that your blog is read by the right audience. In time, this will allow you to monetize your efforts, thus turning your (almost) free blog into a money-making machine.
Have you used a different method to create a free blog? If so, please tell me about your process in the comments below.