— Click here to read this article in italian language.
Start a blog: why should i do it?
After reading my blog article in which I explained why I decided to start a blog , many readers of my blog were intrigued and started writing me to ask me for clarification on creating a blog from scratch. They were really intrigued, and for this very reason I told them my story, which you can read here .
As I wrote in the presentation of my blog, at some point I decide to read up on the creation of a blog, I use my printables that until then had remained in the archive to organize the information and I start studying the sector: which are the first steps I need to take to build my blog from scratch and as a beginner ? which hosting and which theme can I choose for my blog? and above all how can I do so that my blog maintains the simplicity that is so close to my heart?
It may seem strange to you but in the end, after so much effort, after a thousand questions and (almost useless) conceptual maps, I started the process for creating a web space, and in just over an hour I had my blog! It took very little time to see my small space on the web! All that remained was to try to put into practice the first useful steps for the correct management of my blog and my digital products.
Surely, if you are reading my words right now, you will think that they are a bit exaggerated and full of doubts, problems, anxieties and uncertainties: it’s true!
Deciding to create a blog or a shop from scratch is very difficult and certainly when you decide to create one it is necessary to have at least one point of reference to lean on.
So, if you are also reading these words, let me say that I understand you very well , I have lived the same situation as you, I have been through it. I understand your emotions and your fear of failure and of not being able to fulfill your “small and big” desire. I understand you and maybe I can help you achieve what you want.
Precisely for this reason, I decided to write this article in a sincere and objective way because I believe it is right to give a little concrete help to all those who intend to carry out an online project.
In this article you will find the essential and fundamental steps you need to create a successful blog from scratch (even if you are a beginner) and which essential tools and services to use for the creation and management of your blog and posts in your social media. Consequently, here you will find everything you need to create a blog.
So, as you have already understood, this article is aimed above all at beginners , and in particular it is suitable for all those who:
- They would like to start a blog (or online shop) but have no idea what the first steps are to create one;
- They would like to learn how to monetize their blog;
- They would like to read some additional information on how to increase their blog traffic;
- They would like to read some additional information on how to use their online shop around the world.
If you also fall into one of the categories listed above, then you are in the right place. Keep reading.
step 1: choose a domain and hosting plan
The first step in creating a successful blog is to think about the name you want to give it.
So, take a pen and paper for a moment. The questions you should ask yourself when deciding on your blog domain name are as follows:
- What topic do I want to cover in my blog and therefore what will it focus on?
- What kind of hypothetical readers is it aimed at?
- Do I want to address mainly readers from my own country or primarily international readers?
- Will it be mainly a blog where I will write my articles or do I want there to be an online shop (or just the latter)?
Here, once you have jotted down some ideas, you can think about turning your name into a web domain and registering an actual domain .
The domain is nothing more than the name of your blog. Practical examples: loshopdianna.it, fashionstyle.com, tecnoblog.it.
The examples mentioned above are invented names that I have chosen to make you understand what a domain is.
The main types of domains are generally two:
- Top-level domains: these are all custom domains that can be purchased, for example www.iltuonome.it or www.mypersonalshop.com;
- Second level domains : on the contrary, they are all the domains that you can create for free within a platform, for example www.ilmionome.wordpress.com. In this case your domain cannot be fully customized, because you created it for free within the WordPress platform, as indicated in the domain. Generally, this type of domain has some limitations.
Attention: once you have registered your domain, you can no longer change or modify it (except by moving your entire site to a new domain in the following years), so pay attention to the name you want to choose. This article is for anyone looking to create a top-level custom domain . Creating a top-level domain can have enormous advantages: it acquires more credibility and authority in the eyes of the reader, it outlines a precise identity and above all it is always accepted by affiliate marketing platforms, such as the one I will talk about in this course (which accepts top-level domains only).
So, if you want to try to build your own shop or you want to try to monetize your blog, then you must necessarily buy a top level domain, otherwise you cannot do any of this.
where can i buy a domain?
You can decide to buy a domain individually and keep it aside or you can associate your domain with a hosting service to create your blog or shop.
If you want to create your blog, buying hosting (or space on the web) is also essential. As we will see shortly, almost all hosting services now offer affordable prices to everyone: with about 3 euros or dollars a month you can create your blog and have your own domain + hosting, even in most cases, many hosting services they give away the domain for the first year , charging the customer only for the hosting service (for one year). Go on.
The second step for those starting from scratch is to choose a hosting, or a space (of several gigs) on the web that will have the task of hosting your website.
You know when telephone companies offer different subscription rates which include a gig number? Here, the hosting is more or less similar. The hosting plan you purchase includes a preset number of gigs and a number of important features.
Both within my course and in this article, I have grouped the following services according to these criteria: importance, price, versatility, reliability.
domain + hosting:
So, you can buy your domain and hosting service from one of these two websites below. My choice falls on two of these hosting used all over the world, in my opinion among the most suitable and performing to create a website or blog. So here’s my list of the best wordpress hosting:
- SiteGround : among the most reliable and used hosting at affordable prices (the first starts at 3.95 euros per month with 24/7 assistance in each language, as I wrote to you here ). Below, I leave you the general screen of the types of Siteground offers. This is among the best hosting in Italy and in the world . For more info on this hosting service click here . [RECOMMENDED]
- BlueHost: also cheap and fast with different subscription plans (again the first starts at $ 3.95 per month). This is one of the most used worldwide hosting for blog creation both in Italy and abroad. Support is always available, but with one limitation: it is in English. So if you know the English language or live in an English speaking country, you can safely choose this hosting. [RECOMMENDED]
step 2: choose the platform
Once you have chosen the hosting, the next step is to choose the platform with which to create your blog. For example, if you create an email address with Gmail then the platform that will host it will be Google, and so on. Again, my choice of the best platforms to create a blog, portfolio or website falls on one in particular:
- WordPress is perhaps the most used platform in the world for creating blogs and websites and therefore the most suitable for creating a blog. It has a very intuitive and well-organized interface, numerous features and, as we will see in the next lessons, if you had to choose to create a blog on wordpress you will have many themes (even free) that can be adapted to your blog. So when you choose a hosting service, you will find different offers that include blogs on wordpress. Install WordPress within your hosting space.
step 3: choose a theme for your website
Once you have created the blog, all you have to do is choose the design (or “look”) suitable for your blog, and therefore the theme you want to use to make your blog unique. As for the blogging aspect, there are so many websites that offer a wide range of wordpress blog themes.
I wrote a whole article about best feminine and minimalist themes for wordpress. The websites that I have grouped within my blog are currently among my absolute favorite websites for versatility, price, feminine design and professionalism. My favorite websites are Pix & Hue and Hearten Made, but you can find a very long detailed list here.
step 4: add these essential plugins
Having a blog is certainly a great and beautiful opportunity for everyone but it is also an activity that requires a lot of time and dedication. Technology has now made many strides, thus helping bloggers to make the management of their blogs a little more “light”. Precisely for this reason I would like to recommend plugins and additional services that can help you better manage your blog and automate some work .
- WooCommerce – is the most used plugin to create an online shop. This is a mandatory plugin if you want to open an online shop and insert a shop inside your website, just install this free plugin inside your WordPress website and configure it according to your needs. It is a plugin that allows you to sell digital and / or physical products.
- Easy Digital Downloads – another important plugin. It is a plugin that allows you to create an online shop within your website and to sell only digital files within it. It is the second plugin in order of importance for the creation of a digital shop.
- DMCA – is a service that automatically adds a watermarker (or logo) to all the photos on your website / blog in order to protect them from theft or unwanted save. So the copyright of your photos is safe. Very useful, right? I would say essential to protect your photos online, especially if you decide to open a photography blog.
step 5: essential extra services
The following services are not mandatory for the creation of your website, but they are particularly essential and useful when you decide to take the next step for the correct management of your website, blog or shop. It is not necessary to use all of them, but they can help you, for example, to reduce your “stress from social networks” by automatically scheduling your posts for the following months, they can help you create professional pages or collect the email addresses of your visitors . Let’s see what they are together.
- Tailwind – is a real backbone of all of us bloggers and fans of social networks. As I have written several times in my blog, this service allows you, for example: to schedule your posts on Instagram and Pinterest, to increase visits to your blog thanks to Pinterest and its groups , to create an effective grid for your posts on Instagram and so on. Among other things, Tailwind also has a free trial period before choosing whether to continue or not, you can activate it directly by clicking here . The service is among the best purchases I have made for my blog, useful and super reliable.
- OptinMonster – this is also a really great service for creating email lists, I have mentioned this several times on my blog. Among its many features, it allows you, for example, to insert pop-ups to increase the sales and visibility of your shop by collecting the email addresses of your visitors to send them periodic offers (for example the game of the wheel of fortune that gives coupons and offers for shops).
- WPEka Club – another well known service that has all the extra features for creating email lists. Thanks to this service you can create your blog newsletter in a few steps and update your readers via email about the news of your blog.
- Elementor – one of the most used services (and plugins) in the world for the “design” of your blog and for the creation of landing pages . The plugin is available in a free version (Elementor free) with limited functionality or in a paid version (Elementor Pro) with extended functionality. Simply download or purchase the plugin from here and import it into the plugin section of your WordPress blog wall. But if you still don’t know what a landing page is, I’ll explain it to you right away.A landing page is simply a web page that allows you to collect information from visitors to your blog, through a form (or fields to fill in). Landing pages are essential for a blog in case you want to highlight a certain article on your blog, in case you have to sell a certain product of your blog or simply in case you want to create a personalized homepage. This, in fact, is a really fundamental plugin when you decide to create a blog. It is really very simple to use in both versions, as it also offers ready-made pages that you can customize and use in a few minutes. I recommend that you buy the license of the paid version of the plugin (Elementor Pro) as it has hundreds of features and extra pages that you can use for every need. By the way, this is one of the plugins used by professionals and by those who create websites for profession.
- Animoto – another add-on service for beginners that I love that allows you to quickly and easily create videos for your social channels using ready-made templates. There is really a lot to say about this service, in fact I have deepened the subject here .
step 6: create a consistence brand identity for your website
As I explained to you here in detail , in simple words, brand identity is the set of graphic and digital elements that define a brand in the eyes of its audience. Generally the brand identity of a brand, website or blogger is composed of the following essential and fixed elements:
- One or two logos;
- A color scheme palette;
- A couple of precise fonts that define the typography of your website well;
- A clear brand identity – a kit that act as the “curriculum” of your project and website and allow your audience to understand what they can find on your website;
- Templates for your posts on social networks;
- A custom voice over for your YouTube videos, podcasts and more;
- Guest post services to increase views and authority of your blog.
step 6: how to make money with your website (extra section not mandatory)
This is not a fundamental step for your blog, in fact I have explored the subject numerous times in my blog. If you are interested, you can read the following articles which will explain everything to you in detail:
- How to make money with a blog thanks to affiliate marketing;
- How to sell online all over the world if you have a personal brand.
I hope this article was helpful to you. Otherwise I will be happy to answer your questions or clarifications that you can leave below in the comments.
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