Starting a blog or an online business brings in plenty of benefits like working from home, setting your hours, focusing on a niche you are passionate about, and avoiding physical start-up costs.
While starting a blog or an online business is more accessible today, to grow and maintain your credibility and online presence, you need to follow a certain process and have an ecosystem in place. To help you start blogging or an online business, I lay down 7 impactful steps that will benefit you in the long run.
7 Steps to start blogging or online business.
1. Find a niche
To start a successful blog or online business, you need to select the right niche. Firstly, ensure that you pick a niche that you love. That way, you can follow your passion and enjoy this journey. Secondly, you must also pick a niche that has a good audience.
Once you have selected your niche, you must validate your idea by following a three-step process –
- Check niche size.
- Research and explore competitors.
- Analyze and understand the monetizing potential.
These three steps will help you get a clearer idea of the targeted audience base and what your competitors are doing.
2. Buy a domain name and hosting
Your domain name is the name by which you will be known online irrespective of your niche. This is your blog or online website’s unique address on the internet. This means that users who know your domain can simply type it in their browser, and others can find you through search engines like Google. This is why you should find a unique name for your domain.
Your domain name can have an extension of ‘dot com’ or can be specific or your country. The general idea is to opt for ‘dot com,’ but if that is not available, you can also choose from ‘dot net’ or ‘dot blog.’
Now that you have chosen a domain name, you need to select a reliable hosting service. This is one of the most important decisions that you have to make, and it will immensely impact the performance and functionality of your business’s website or blog. An unreliable web host can cause a lot of problems.
Your web host is a major part of the puzzle to creating a blog or online business, and therefore, we highly recommend choosing Bluehost.
Go to the official Bluehost website and click on the ‘Get started now’ button.
Now select your hosting plan based on your requirements. For example, if this is your first blog or online business, you can opt for the basic plan. However, the Choice Plus plan comes with Domain Privacy and other benefits if your budget allows.
Since you’ve already decided on a domain name, type in the desired name in the ‘new domain’ box and Bluehost will give you a list of names to choose from.
Now that you have selected a domain name, Bluehost leads you to the registration page to fill out your personal information, select the hosting package you desire, and enter your payment information.
Bluehost will then send a confirmation for your payment.
Next, click on the ‘Create your account’ button and enter your password to complete the setup.
Your Bluehost account is now ready to go and click on the ‘go-to login’ button. Enter your credentials and other details, including ‘domain name.’
You are now all set with your domain name and Bluehost as your hosting service provider.
3. Design your website on WordPress
Once you have logged into Bluehost, you will be led through a 4-step process to help create the website for your blog or online business. We recommend that you complete this process, and once done, click on the ‘launch my site’ button. Your website for blogging or online business is live now!
You can now access the WordPress dashboard from your Bluehost account by clicking on the ‘WordPress’ button on the top right corner. You must now install and set up WordPress the way you desire your blogging or online business goal.
The first step is to install the Astra theme for your website. From the WordPress dashboard, click on ‘Appearance’ and select ‘Themes.’ Here, you will find many free page themes.
You can directly search for the ‘Astra‘ theme from the search block and then click ‘Install.’
The next step is to install the WordPress page builder – Elementor Pro.
From the WordPress dashboard, click on ‘Plugins,’ select ‘Add new’ and choose ‘Elementor.’ Once Elementor is installed, click on ‘Activate.’ To take advantage of Elementor, you will need Elementor Pro. Visit the official website and purchase the Pro version. Install and activate it in the same process as above. Once Elementor Pro is installed, you will need to enter your license details by clicking on ‘Elementor’ and then selecting ‘License’ from the WordPress dashboard.
You can now use Elementor Pro to design and edit your website as desired. You will notice that Elementor uses sections, columns, and widgets to create layouts of pages. You can edit all of these elements and populate them with the font, style, color, content, and more customized to your requirement.
4. Publish mandatory pages
Now that you are on familiar grounds with Elementor Pro and the variety of templates it offers, you need to now create and publish some mandatory pages for your website.
The homepage is where your visitors land and the structure of your homepage determines whether your visitors will stay or leave. When you create a design for your homepage, think from the customer’s perspective. They should be able to navigate your website easily. Consider adding your brand’s logo and CTA on your homepage.
The about us page is where you can showcase your brand’s vision and accomplishments. Keep your statements bold as that will help discuss your goals with customers or potential clients. This page should emotionally connect with storytelling.
Communication helps you build strong relationships with your customers. You learn their pain points and desires. It also opens doors to receiving feedback. Your contact page is a kind of customer support tool. You can share your business’s physical address, contact number, or simply add a contact form.
The blog page is a major component of your brand that lets you directly connect with your audience. Your blogs must capture attention and take your readers on a unique adventure.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions are the legal terms defined by the owner of a website. It includes the rules governing the activities of the website visitors on the website. The page should detail all the policies and procedures conducted by the website and gives the owner the opportunity to protect themselves from potential legal exposure.
5. Create a logo and social media pages
Logos are important, whether it is for your business or your personal brand. It forms a part of your brand’s identity.
Canva is a great tool that offers a pre-made logo and many more elements.
To use these logos and get unlimited access to Canva’s templates, image, and video library, you should opt for Canva Pro. Once your design is ready, consider downloading it in PNG format as that is universally usable across all platforms.
Your blog and the content you create for your business is unique. You should make use of social media avenues that best fit your own niche and style. Choose the ones that best fit your needs. This will help you focus on them and become an expert in leveraging them to reach your goals. Some of the most popular sites that bloggers and businesses use are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
6. Write blog posts for your blog or online business each week
Blogging is consistently important if you want to increase visits to your website. Blog post traffic is compounding. This means that it gains organic results over time. Writing blog posts consistently gives you more reads, recognition, and more subscribers.
To produce quality blogs, you need to have originality and imagination. Start creating content for your blogs that you feel comfortable with, and that is right for your readers.
7. Apply digital marketing tactics to gain more traction
You can write the most compelling blogs, whether for your personal brand or for your business. But if nobody sees or knows of your content, your efforts will not pay off. The success of your online business or blogging career depends on your ability to promote and engage with audiences. Let’s take a look at some of the basic digital marketing tactics you can execute to gain more traction.
Let your connections know about your blog or online business.
Ensure that everyone you know is aware of your new venture. Include your blog or business URL in your email signature and across all social media profiles.
Submit your content to bookmarking sites
Bookmarking sites have great potential to drive viewers who are looking for content in your niche. Consider doing this every time you publish a new blog or any new content for your business. Consider bookmarking sites like scoop, Reddit, etc.
Consider writing blogs for another website. Only ensure that your work is represented on reputable sites, and the content is related to your niche. Guest blogging is a great way to build an online presence.
Build your email list
Once your blog or business content gains followers or subscribers, you should start college emails of those who agree to be notified from your brand. As people start trusting you, they respond better to your promotional efforts.
Advertise on the web
Smart use of paid media helps you gain exposure and attention before your organic traffic grows. Paid traffic can include Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, etc.
There are also many other ways to help promote your content on the internet. Your authority will come from providing content that is valuable to your readers and followers.
If you have followed me so far, you will now have your own domain name, hosting space, and your website for blogging or online business set up! All you need is to get familiar with the WordPress dashboard, make the changes you desire, and create impactful content!