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Start a Blog in 2021 [Beginner’s Guide] Get Better Content Marketing Results

26 Mar, 2021

Seriously, there’s too much information on the internet about how to start a blog in 2021—and it can be a tad bit confusing.

Starting a blog can be overwhelming.

If you’re an entrepreneur, a business owner, or a content creator, you most probably know that blogging is one of the tools that will help you increase your content marketing results.

But where should you start? Who should you listen to?

Before we proceed to how you can start your blog. Let’s first understand what a blog is, how it relates to content marketing and the reasons why you need a blog.

 

Blogging vs Content Marketing

 

Most people think that blogging and content marketing are one and the same thing because they both involve creating content. While this may be partly true, blogging barely scratches the surface of content creation. 

Blogging is the act of frequently updating a website with articles created to engage, educate, or inform an audience. 

Whereas content marketing is a marketing approach that is focused on creating and distributing relevant, consistent, and valuable content to engage with and grow your target audience — to build trust so they eventually buy your products or services.

Content marketing comprises different forms of marketing which include blogging. Other forms of content marketing include:

  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Whitepapers/studies
  • Podcasts
  • Social media
  • Project features

Further reading: Content Marketing Strategy Explained [With Content Marketing Plan Template]

 

6 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog in 2021

 

We have highlighted 6 benefits of starting a blog. If you need to read about these reasons in-depth, we have covered that in this article and video.

6 reasons to start a blog are:

  1. Blogging creates value for your customers
  2. Blogs boost your brand visibility and exposure
  3. Blogging increases lead conversions
  4. Creating a blog asserts your authority as an industry expert
  5. Blogging helps you to rank higher in search engine results
  6. Blogs generate backlinks

If you want to dig deep into some blogging statistics you can read this article.

Now let’s dive into how you can have your blog up and running in about 20 minutes.

 

If you prefer to watch the video click here or check it out below.

Watch now – How to Start a Blog in 2021 [Part 2] Beginner’s Guide

 

 

If you’re continuing on the blog, let’s get into it.

 

How to Start a Blog in 2021 in 8 Simple Steps

Step 1: Select the Right Niche for Your Blog

 

Wondering how you would go about choosing the right topic or niche for your blog? Here are two important things to consider:

  1. You need to ensure that you select a niche that you’re interested in and excited about.
  2. Pick a niche that many people are searching for answers to. A topic that has an existing audience. Don’t try to be too unique.

This way, you’ll get to find your readers, follow your passion and relish your blogging experience.

Once you’ve selected your niche, I recommend that you validate it for success. Here are 3 ways how:

  1. Check niche size.
  2. Research your competitors.
  3. Analyze the potential for monetization.

If you want to have a blog that generates passive income and drives traffic, then you’ll need to select a viable niche that has a chance to thrive.

 

how to pick the perfect blog niche in 2021

 

Step 2: Find a Blogging Platform That Suits Your Needs

 

There are free blogging platforms that you can use when you’re starting a blog. They can be a great place to start before setting up a fully-fledged blog.

Some of the free hosted platforms are platforms such as:

But when you’re ready to make money online and build an audience, you should consider having a self-hosted blog, especially for increased content marketing results.

Self-hosted platforms allow you to set up your blog using your own web hosting and domain.

You’re basically in charge of your blog and the content you create. It’s normally quite inexpensive. Just a few dollars and you’re up and running. 

For instance, most blogging platforms start with a package that’s less than $4 per month. The annual package can be about $25 depending on what your objective is.

As you can see from the image below, Gator offers different packages ranging from $3 to $10 per month. Quite affordable, don’t you think?

 

Website blog pricing

 

So if you’re looking to have complete control of your blog, sell services and products, and run ads, then having a self-hosted blog is the best option.

As indicated in the chart below, WordPress.org is the most popular blogging platform.

I highly recommend it too because with the help of plugins like Yoast you can optimize your content for SEO.

 

top blog distribution

 

Step 3: Choose a Domain Name for Your New Blog

 

Regardless of the niche you choose, your domain name is the name that you’ll be known with online and how you will separate yourself from your competitors (all the other blogs in your niche). 

Your domain name is your unique address for your blog on the internet and usually costs about $10-15 annually. It could be a “dot com”, niche or country-specific.

I’d advise you to get a “dot com” domain as it’s still the most universal domain. However, there are still other extensions you could consider such as “dot blog” or “dot net”.

 

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog

 

Here are three tips to find the best domain name for your blog:

  1. Name the topic – If your blog is focusing on a particular topic, find a domain name that clearly describes it. For example, PaleoHacks.com and womenonbusiness.com
  2. Name the audience – This is one of the simplest ways to get a crystal clear domain name. Examples: AFineParent.com and CouchPotato.com
  3. Name the benefit – Ask yourself the reason why people will read your blog or the benefit they will be deriving from it. Examples: MakeALivingWriting.com and BeABetterBlogger.com

Here are some domain name registrars that you can purchase your domain name from:

It’s also worth noting that if you are hosting your blog on your business page, you don’t need a whole different domain and domain name for your blog. For example, on simonecunningham.com my blog page is called ‘Blog & Videos’. Your page might be titled ‘Our Blog’.

 

Step 4: Get a Web Hosting Plan to Make Your Blog Live

 

Now that you have a domain name, one of the other key decisions to make will be choosing a reliable hosting service.

A web host is basically like a warehouse for websites.

For approximately $200 a year, you can get a hosting service that backs up your website, manage your website’s security, offers customer support, and so on. To a large extent, the performance and functionality of your website will be dependent on your web host. 

Most web hosting companies offer a free domain for the first year after buying from them. 

Some of the web hosting companies you can choose from are:

Pro tip:

Don’t purchase a yearly subscription upfront. As you upload more and more content you’ll get an idea of how your hosting provider handles the heavy load of text and images.

Some websites and blogs will become very slow. I recently had to change hosting provider as my website was taking too long to load and my bounce rate was going up. Monitor your blog loading speed for at least 6 months before you commit to a yearly plan.

 

how to start a blog web hosting

Step 5: Design Your Blog From the Themes Available

 

Now, let’s get to the fun bit.

It’s time to customize your blog and make it have the appearance you want.

A theme represents the ‘face’ of your blog (layout and design).

Most blogging platforms provide free themes.

Alternatively, you can purchase premium themes from websites such as ThemeForest.net. Which if you asked me, isn’t necessary especially in the early stages of setting up your blog.

I would recommend going for a professional yet easy-to-customize kind of theme. With a platform like WordPress, you can easily switch to another theme without losing your content. WordPress has over 3,000 themes available, so I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

 

WordPress blog

 

It’s important to remember that the design of your blog should reflect your personality.

So please don’t choose a business-theme when your niche is food and call for some creativity.

In addition, the theme should be easy to navigate. If it’s too complex, your readers won’t stick around for long, which will ultimately affect your content marketing results.

 

Step 6: Write and Publish Your First Blog Post

 

At this point, you have chosen a niche, selected a domain name, chosen a web hosting company, and picked a theme for your blog. 

I’ll be the bearer of the good news: you’re now all set to write your first blog post!

We call it content creation in these streets.

It’s time to convert the ideas in your head into words and share them with the world. But how do you do that? How can you structure it?

I’ll show you how in a few seconds. 

Before you start writing and publishing posts, you’ll need to ensure that you have created content for the common static Pages on your website. Most businesses have the Home, About Us, Contact Us, Products & Services pages.

Now let’s take you through creating your first blog post.

 

How to Structure a Blog Post

 

Here are 5 steps to help you structure your blog post:

  1. Think of a catchy headline
  2. Write a compelling introduction
  3. Ensure the body content delivers on the promises made by the headline and introduction.
  4. Conclusion and Call-To-Action (CTA)
  5. Proofread and edit

Now you are good to hit the ‘publish’ button. 

 

Pro tip:

Remember to preview what your post looks like before hitting that publish button so you can fix anything that doesn’t look right. If you find a mistake after publishing, simply go back into your post, edit it, and then hit ‘publish’ again.

 

Step 7: Customize and Optimize Your New Blog

 

It’s important to remember that you’re writing for the web. So having search engine optimization (SEO) in mind is vital. SEO helps to drive traffic to your website, boost readership, and rank higher in search engines.

Further reading: Increase Website Traffic With Content Marketing [12 Actionable Tips]

To optimize for search engines you’ll need to at least include:

  • Metadata
  • Keywords
  • Links both internal and external
  • Visual content

 

how to start a blog for seo in 2021

 

Ranking a website or blog is only getting harder, so by addressing each of these elements you’ll be optimizing your content to the best of your ability.

Pro tip: Make sure to install plugins to help with SEO. There are many free options to choose from. I use Yoast on my website but there are other plugins available to help improve your writing for SEO.

 

Step 8: Promote and Share Your Blog Content

 

Now that you know how to write and optimize your blog post, you need to invest in promoting your content. 

Social media is a great way to get more traffic and grow your audience. Share and post your blog content on the platforms where your audience hangs out often.

Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, or Instagram can be a valuable source of traffic for your blog. Don’t forget to answer their questions and comments. It’s about supporting your readers, which will in turn grow your audience.

Further reading: If you want to learn how to use social media to increase your content marketing results, here are two articles detailing that. 

In the end, hard work and consistency are needed to create a successful blog. Regularly post engaging and helpful content, optimizing and sharing with your networks — and you’ll soon begin to see your blog blossoming and so will your content marketing results.

 

Time to Start Your Blog

 

Finally, we’ve had a look at how to start a blog to increase your content marketing results.

Congratulations! 

You now know how to choose a niche, a domain name, a web hosting, and blogging platform, a theme, how to write a blog post, customize and optimize it, as well as promote it for better content marketing results.

However, if you’re feeling you’d love to concentrate on building your business and you’ll barely have the time to create content for your blog, I’m here to lessen the load. 

My name’s Simone. 

 

For 20 years, I’ve been creating compelling content and marketing for entrepreneurs, big and small businesses.

 

I’ll help you turn your traffic into loyal customers and return visitors. As well as create valuable content your audience will love!

 

Let me show you how to manage it effectively, create authority, and generate leads.

 

I have also created courses and resources to aid you in this journey. No need to fly blind anymore!

In our upcoming blogs and videos, I’ll be answering most of the questions you might be having regarding blogging as a form of content marketing. Including:

  • The best blogging tools
  • The best blogging platforms and what to look out for
  • The best niche for blogging in 2021
  • How long should blog posts be for SEO?
  • How do bloggers use content marketing?
  • How to make money blogging

So be sure to keep your eye on this so that you don’t miss out on all this juicy stuff. Cool?

 

In the meantime, I’d like to know from you—what are some of the steps you have used to create your own blog to increase your content marketing results? Are there any that you think I have missed out on? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to shoot.

 

As always, thank you for dropping by, for reading my blog posts, and for subscribing to my YouTube channel. Thank you too for watching my videos. I feel the love. 

 

I bet I’ll be seeing you at the next one — yes?

 

Now let’s create valuable content!

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Simone Cunningham

Simone Cunningham

Director & Content Strategist

Simone is a content marketing strategist, and the Director and Founder of eWords Agency. For 20 years she’s been developing communications and marketing strategies for written and video content, and partners with businesses, government, and not-for-profits as an industry authority.

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