Blogging is not only a medium to showcase your voice, but it’s also a career option. Many youngsters are jumping into the blogging to earn passive income. Starting a professional blog, requires lots of things, and if you are planning to earn from it: You need to have a business plan for your blog and all essential professional elements on your blog.
This is a part of our question and answers series, where Anil asked me: How he can start a professional blog?
Here is exact query that I received, and find my answers after the question:
Here is the first question from Anil
I am blogging on free WordPress.com now, and I want my professional blog for blogging.Can I
Move from WordPress.com to a professional platform and I want to know how much it cost to create a new blogging website & how much to pay per month. And what is hosting, etc. Where to start from and whom to contact:
Starting a Professional Blog:
I’m sure Anil, is not the only one facing this problem, and many of you want to jump from casual blog to a professional blog. Now, before I start answering Anil’s query: Here are few question which you should ask yourself:
- What makes a blog look professional?
- What’s the difference between your blog and a well-established blog?
- What are you doing to reach there?
I will answer all the questions in following answers:
Best platform for Blogging:
There are many blogging platforms out there. Most of the newbies, starts from BlogSpot or WordPress.com, as they require zero investment. Though, a professional approach would be getting a self-hosted blog. There are many platforms out there, but if you wish to make it big, select which is the best.
I advocate WordPress as the best platform because it not only meet all our blogging need, it also helps us to extend it’s capabilities. The best thing is, doesn’t matter what platform you are in: You can always migrate to the self-hosted WordPress blog with an inbuilt importer.
You can also migrate your WordPress.com blogs to self-hosted blog by keeping it searches engine friendly. You need to pay $15/year to WordPress.com to maintain the 301 redirection.
How much will it cost to create a new website?
From Anil’s question, I believe he is asking about the cost involved in starting a Blog. For a self-hosted WordPress blog, it all depends upon how much is your expertise, and how much you want to spend. From a newbie perspective, $75 is the minimum cost involved.
69$ is something that you will be paying for hosting + domain. (List of budget WordPress hosting). After that you can start with a free WordPress template or premium WordPress template. You will get more insight about free vs. premium in my previous post on Free WordPress theme VS Premium WordPress theme. Here is a list of Premium WordPress theme clubs.
WordPress is easy to learn, and understand. You can do various things yourself. You can refer to my WordPress guide to getting started with WordPress basics.
What is hosting?
A hosting or Web hosting place where you website will be hosted. In the simple word, this is where your website will be stored. You will have remote virtual access to it, and you can perform everything from remote.
How to start With (blogging)?
If you wish to start a professional blog, you need to get a hosting and a domain name. You can start with Bluehost.
Here is a video guide, to learn how to buy hosting for your blog:
But before buying hosting you need to select a domain name for your blog. Here is some guide that will help you to get a good domain name.
I have domain name and hosting what next?
So once you have a domain name and hosting, you can refer to following tutorials on how to get started after that. I have written a tutorial on installing WordPress on different hosting.
I have installed WordPress what next?
So after installing WordPress there are many things which you need to do. Here are guides which will help you to make most out of WordPress.
- 8 essential settings after Installing wordpress
- How to Install WordPress plugin from Dashboard
- Submit your blog sitemap to Google webmaster tool
- Submit your Blog sitemap to Bing
- Add Google analytic to your blog
- Burn your feed using Feed burner
WordPress Theme Resources
There are various WordPress theme resources. I will note down some of the best which I like, and you can select your Dream wordpress theme from there.
So, I assume you have your blog setup, and ready. Now, when I talk about a professional blog: We talking about a Well-maintained branded blog. Your brand value is the most important thing you have, and which you need to grow over the time.
Here are two articles, which will make you understand about Social media branding and branding of your blog:
You need to maintain a proper publishing frequency, and your articles need to be better than what others are offering. Plan out a strategy for your blog and treat it like a real-business. When I say, the business that means you need to work on improving the quality, getting new readers, and more marketing and advertising of your blog.
We will cover more in upcoming posts, meanwhile if you have a query: Feel free to ask me via comments.