Your 2017 Guide on How To Start a Blog | SavingsPinayApril 24, 2017
Are you ready to start a blog this 2017?
If yes then this 2017 Guide on How To Start a Blog will be your best friend. Starting a blog is one of the best decision I have ever made in my life. To date I’ve been a blogger for four years and counting.
I went to hiatus a couple of times because of hectic schedule at work and event business, but I always come back to my true love – Blogging.
And so today I decided to share the love and give you a definitive guide on how to start a blog. Being a blogger is more than just ordinary hobby. It can be a career and it can be an income-generating passion for anyone!
I want you to know this post will be a resource page on the blog. It will be updated from time to time to be as relevant as possible. I highly suggest for you to bookmark this post and/or to pin this on Pinterest so you can always come back for the updated version.
As you read this post you can expect to
- Learn what a blog is and what it means to be a blogger
- Learn why you need to start a blog NOW
- Learn the tools and essentials you’ll need as a blogger
- Learn the six steps on how to start a blog
What is a BLOG and what it means to be a BLOGGER
Before I begin to reveal how you can start a blog, let us talk first on the basic definitions. A BLOG is an online journal or diary. It is a platform to voice out your thoughts, ideas, experiences, pictures and notes over the web.
Typically a blog is in the form of writing but others have also started creating blogs in the form of videos a.k.a. VLOGS on YouTube [WATCH: The Power of Alkansiya] as well as audio a.k.a. PODCASTS.
A BLOGGER, on the other hand is a person who keeps a blog. Bloggers are the people who, just like me, are passionate in writing and sharing a fraction of themselves on the internet.
Bloggers are categorized into beginners/newbies, seasoned and influencers.
Beginners/Newbies – Those who just started a blog in the last three to six months.
Seasoned bloggers – Those who have already been blogging for a year or more.
Influencers – Those are either a newbie or seasoned blogger who found great following online.
You might be wondering: What does it mean to be a blogger, anyway?
As technology advances and years pass by, the role of bloggers also progresses. Blogging or the act of writing a blog has become more than just one’s pastime. There are bloggers who turned their blog as a full-time job.
Bloggers who gained popularity and given the privileges to go places or to experience new things for free. Bloggers who made a big difference by providing content that encourage people to act. [READ: How Blogging Changed My Life for Better]
Being a blogger is more than just having a blog.
- It is a profession, a paid occupation, a career and a calling for some.
- It is having an outlet as a platform to voice out opinion and a way to connect to others.
- It is now a tool used to promote, to support and to boost small and medium businesses online presence.
Type “how many blogs are there” in Google and you will find out there are over 152 million blogs that exists on the internet. This number further shows how easy starting a blog can be.
In fact, as you read this definitive guide on how to start a blog there is one or two new blogs being launched. And so my question is:
Why should you start a blog, too?
First, it’ll become your new found hobby
Having a hobby is essential to anyone. It makes our leisure time productive and it gives us an opportunity to learn new skills. Blogging works just like that. It teaches you everyday new technique on how to write, how to publish, how to market and how to make money on your blog.
If you are looking for something new to do in your extra time then why not start a blog.
Second, it’ll be your own personal journal
A blog can serve as your personal journal too. You can write about your amazing trip in Baguio over the summer or how you started your career in let’s say hosting events. It is a good medium to record your adventures and to inspire others (your readers) on your own journey. [VISIT: Olanap.com – a blog started by my older brother on trending news online and how-to guides]
Third, it’ll lead you to a more intentional life
Having a blog can serve as your purpose, your motivator in life. You will learn to set intentions on how you manage your time and efforts. You will eventually become a goal-setter, a dreamer and a mover whether you like it or not. The blog will shape you as a person and will eventually become part of your identity.
Fourth, it’ll give you a chance to earn money
And by that, I mean good money. Have you ever considered getting a side hustle? Well then, a blog maybe a good suggestion for you. My decision to start a blog helped me land freelance writing gigs, helped me become affiliates to companies like Lazada, TravelBook, Pangalan, etc., and helped me earn money through ads and sponsored posts.
Although what I earn isn’t big compared to others still I am earning something out of what I am passionate about. And that may be a good enough reason for you to start too. [READ: How to Blog and Earn in the Philippines]
Lastly, it’ll drastically change your life
I am certain blogging will change your life just like how it changed mine. A blog will make you more interesting, more confident and more productive as a person. It will will enrich your life as it challenge you to do better everyday. At times it is a source of stress with the sleepless nights writing and editing, but trust me, it will also be a source of joy and meaning to you too.
[clickToTweet tweet=”It takes more or less 20 minutes to start a blog but It takes time, passion and effort to become a blogger.” quote=”It takes more or less 20 minutes to start a blog but It takes time, passion and effort to become a blogger.” theme=”style1″]
So let’s get started!
What Tools You Need To Start a Blog
Starting a blog is absolutely free. I started both SavingsPinay and IzzaGlino without spending any money at all. All I have was a computer and access to the internet. It will also be nice to have a laptop so you can blog on the go.
Now this depends on what type of blog you will do. My beauty and lifestyle blog, IzzaGlino, depend on pretty pictures a lot so I did invest in a Canon EOS M3 for it. SavingsPinay on the other hand istext-based blog so I usually use online photo editors to include photos on the blog. If you don’t have a camera you can as always use your smartphone to take photos for your blog.
Softwares and Online Tools
Publishing one simple blog post involves a lot of process. That’s why having reliable softwares and online tools are important once you start a blog. Below are my recommendations.
- For writing blog posts I use either Microsoft Word, Google Docs or Evernote.
- For editing photos I depend a lot on Canva.com. Also check PicMonkey.com.
- For social media I have an Instagram, Facebook Group or Page and Pinterest.
- For affiliate marketing I partner with Lazada, Zalora, TravelBook and Pangalan.
- For ad placements you see on the sidebar I use Google Adsense and Media.Net
Here are helpful links and resources you can also check out as you start a blog. I hope these links help you too just like this post.
- How To Set Up Your Blog in Blogger (step by step w/ pictures)
- How To Start a Beauty and Lifestyle Blog in the Philippines
- 10 Things Your Blog Needs But You Keep Ignoring About
- How To Blog and Earn in the Philippines
- How I Achieve Blogging Peace with a Full-Time Job
5 Easy Steps To Start a Blog
Below are the simple steps you need to do to start a blog. And no worries because I will walk you through each step in this guide suggesting further readings and giving side stories.
Step 1. Decide your blog topic
Step 2. Choose your blog platform
Step 3. Secure your blog domain name and hosting with Pangalan
Step 4. Design your blog
Step 5. Write and Publish your first blog post
Step 1: Decide what you want to blog about
This step is a no-brainer when it comes to blogging. Of course you need to know what to blog about before you even start a blog. Your blog topic will help you decide the name of your blog as well as the content you will be writing.
My main suggestion is this:
[clickToTweet tweet=”Blog about something you enjoy. Once you find a topic you really enjoy you’ll have plenty of room to discuss it. ” quote=”Blog about something you enjoy. Once you find a topic you really enjoy you’ll have plenty of room to discuss it. Hindi ka mauubusan ng iba-blog. Trust me.”]
Step 2: Choose your blog platform
Now there are many blogging platforms you choose from to start a blog. These platforms are made available to make blogging easier for everyone. With your chosen platform you can build your own blog, write your first blog post and publish it to the public.
Currently, there are two main blogging platform you can choose from. Both platforms I have used and still using for my blogs.
WordPress.com – This is like the “Iphone” of all blog platforms. It is simple, straight to the point and easy to use. The versatility WordPress offers is beyond what you can imagine and makes your blog SEO-friendly. If you are looking on how to start a blog and make money I say go for WordPress.
Blogger – This is like the “Nokia” of all blog platforms. It is way simpler and straight to the point plus easier to use than WordPress. One of the advantage of Blogger is it how Google-friendly it is. Almostl all Google products like Adsense work seamlessly with it. If you are looking on blogging as a hobby I say go for Blogger.
I use WordPress for SavingsPinay and Blogger for IzzaGlino and I like to keep it that way. I have no intention whatsoever in moving IzzaGlino to WordPress since I am already used with said platform plus I want to keep the said blog more of a hobby. SavingsPinay on the other hand is where I invested because I see a lot of potential in it a resource blog to help young and young at heart towards their financial journey.
What’s the bottom line?
[clickToTweet tweet=”Your platform is just a small part to determine whether your blog will be successful.” quote=”When it comes to blogging platforms the choice is definitely yours. Your platform is just a small part to determine whether your blog will be successful.”]
Step 3: Secure your blog domain name and hosting with Pangalan
I recommend using Pangalan for your domain name and hosting especially if you are a blogger from the Philippines. Why?
- Pangalan brings in quality services to Filipinos from domain registration to reliable web hosting, domain forwarding or website creating and management.
- Easy payment terms even if you don’t have Paypal or Credit Card. You can call their customer service and ask if you can pay over the counter.
- Their head office is located in Makati City, Philippines so you can always pay a visit if you are experiencing problem and wanting personal explanation.
- Excellent customer service. If you have any question or technical difficulties setting up your domain and hosting on either WordPress or Blogger you can call their hotline and receive immediate action. A e-ticket will be sent to your email to confirm the issue has been resolved.
Register your domain name
To make it simple your domain name serves as the very name of your blog. This is what your readers will type to find you.
You want a name that is easy to remember, relates to your chosen topic and is unique enough to get interest. If you are into lifestyle then why not secure the domain of your name like plain www.yourcompletename.com. Name your blog after yourself will totally make sense to your readers plus you have the flexibility on what you will blog about.
[SIDE STORY: I started IzzaGlino – a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays because of my love for makeup and skincare. It became my online diary to share what I use and what I recommend when it comes to beauty products. Then after a year my interest grew and I became passionate about blogging so I decided to add blogging tips as well. After another year I blogged about the bullet journal and so on and so forth.]
Now, as much as I want you to take time in coming up with the name of your blog, I have to tell you there is a sense of urgency at stake in securing a domain. Others may locked in the name you want and start a blog so be extra cautious. Again the step-by-step process in securing your domain are as follows:
- First, click here to find out if your domain name is still available.
- If it is available, choose your blog extension. Do you want .com, .net, .org extension? [MORE about domain extensions IN THIS POST]
- Once you are done selecting the best domain name to suit your blog or business click Add to Cart
- Pay for your domain registration by clicking Check Out.
You need to create an account with Pangalan in the Checkout process then you can conveniently proceed to payment. Use Paypal and credit card or find out where you can pay via over-the-counter.
Set Up Your Blog Hosting with Pangalan
As soon as you secured your domain it’s time to lock in your hosting plan. A hosting works as a space where your blog will stay. To put simply, getting your blog hosted allows others to find your site over the internet. Pangalan provides budget-friendly plan to help you get started.
- If you are a blogger go with the basic Hosting For Bloggers plan. Individuals who wish to start a business can go with PN Sakto while Pinoy enterprise must choose PN Laki.
- Save more money by getting a 12-month hosting plan. Although it looks like a ton of money doing the math will reveal you got the best deal.
Below are the steps to start a blog with a hosting plan.
- Go to Pangalan and select Web Hosting under Services.
- Choose your desired hosting plan and click the Sign Up button.
- Order the subscription period you are interested in.
- Click Add to Cart
- Pay for your domain registration by clicking Check Out.
How to Connect Your Domain Name and Your Hosting
Because I am least technical person you will meet when it comes to blogging, I chose Pangalan over the other leading domain and hosting providers available. If you bought your domain and hosting directly through Pangalan then fear not because they don’t hesitate to do the whole technical side at no added cost to you. Now that’s value-added service!
[SIDE STORY: For the longest time I didn’t think of getting my domain name and continued blogging for free in savingspinay.blogspot.com. Then in 2016 a company sent me an email inviting me for a sponsored post opportunity in a “name my rate” policy!!! Whoah!!! I was so happy and sent a reply. Then the next day I received an email saying the sponsored post can’t push through because I don’t have my own domain. It was a wake up call for me. I realized if you want to be taken seriously in the blogsphere you need to own your domain name. A .com is a must whether you are small or big bloggers. Quoting my Kuya from Olanap.com “Hindi ka nila sineseryoso kasi ikaw mismo hindi mo siniseryoso yung blog mo!”]
Step 4: Design Your Blog
Another crucial step to start a blog is to think about your blog’s design. This includes the color scheme of your blog, the template you’ll use and the flow of the sidebar.
To start a blog on WordPress you can choose countless of free professional themes. [CLICK: 50+ Free WordPress Themes from Colorlib.com for some suggestions.]
For Blogger blogs there are also a number of blog themes you choose from. Blogger even released a good theme this 2017 which is simple yet elegant to the eyes. Also it is easier to customize with a Blogger theme based on my experience.
If you are a beginners I suggest giving much of your attention in writing quality posts rather than wasting time finding the perfect theme. All my blogs even SavingsPinay have gone to major revamps over time. As long as your blog looks sleek, polish and responsive that’s what matters.
Step 5: Write and Publish your first blog posts
Okey now you know what topic is (Step 1), you have chosen the right platform (Step 2), you have secured your domain and hosting needs (Step 3) and you have gone over the design (Step 4); it is time do some actual time-consuming work — publishing your first blog posts.
There are two types of content found in any Blogger or WordPress blogs. First are main pages and second are posts.
Main Pages are the static pages commonly found at the Header of any blog. They work as sort of menu or navigation for your readers to easily click and find. These type of post are not time sensitive and you can publish it once and just update it every now and then. Your main pages can include the following depending on what you blog about:
- About Page
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact Page
- Work w/ Me Page
Posts are the meat of your blog. Your content will what bring you readership and traffic as you blog. Your first blog post can be as simple as “Hello post” for your readers. Introduce yourself, why did you start a blog and what we (as readers) can expect from your blog. From there start building high-quality or evergreen contents to make others hook in your site. [CLICK: My very first post in SavingsPinay]
CONGRATULATIONS! You now have your own blog.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
I’ve been blogging for the past four years now, and it has been the most wonderful four years of my life. Yes, you will find yourself waking up an hour or two earlier just to write a post or take photos or connect to your readers. Or have sleepless nights for when you badly need to publish a new post or answer emails/inquiries.
But, everything is amazing worth it. I can’t think of any hobby that made such a huge difference in how I live.
Thanks to blogging I got invited to attend events, I won a blogging contest and went to Caramoan, I took the goal to actually see places, I gained new friends and I developed other hobbies. It is honestly hard for me to imagine my life without a blog.
Whatever it is that hinders to start a blog whether it be fear or thoughts like you don’t know to write — forget it!
I encourage you to start a blog now and let 2017 be the year you’ll never forget.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a tiny portion if you make a purchase using this link at no added cost to you.
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Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org