How to Start a Website or Blog on the Internet in 2018
Have you always wanted to start a website or blog but you’re not quite sure where to start? You’re not alone! Many people have some great ideas that they would like to share with the public.
The problem is that some people may not have the technical understanding they need in order to create their own website or blog. But this doesn’t mean you should give up your dream of doing this. Creating a website or blog just takes some basic knowledge in a few things such as how to create good content, designing a logo, and other things. In this article, we will look at some of the information you need to start a website or blog, how to proceed with designing and creating it, and how to maintain a successful blog.
Step #1: Where to Start: Collecting Content
Before you try to get your website or blog together, you need to start by thinking about what your blog will be about. What will be the focus of your blog? Will you talk about specific topics or will the topics vary? What types of topics do you think you will focus on in general?
These are all important questions that you should ask if your site will be focused on your blog content. Some website owners create a website for their main content and then add a blog page on the site. Another option is to create a blog on another site other than your website. Either one is fine, but you need to think about what the purpose is for your website and whether you want people to find your blog right on your page or to send them to another site for your blog.
As far as Google is concerned, you may get higher rankings if you have your blog on another site since this would be concerned “off-site content.” But the advantage to having an on-site blog is that more people would read it who are already on your site. It would also keep them on your site rather than sending them to another page.
Purpose of your site
The reason it is so important to determine the purpose of your site is because you need to decide if you want them to act on something such as signing up for a newsletter, commenting, adding your blog or YouTube channel to their favorites, or buying a product. If any of these things are your goal, you will want to put a good “call-to-action” on the page and include your blog on your website as a separate page on your site rather than sending them to another site.
If your website purpose is more informational, then it’s fine to have an off-site blog. You can give people information on your business and other information you want them to know, then send them to your blog as your call-to-action. There’s no harm in sending them to an off-site if your site has served its purpose when people land on your site. But, if you need them to stay long enough to see a video in its entirety or to perform some action on your page, your goal should be to keep them there.
Once you decide where your blog will be, you can start collecting content for your website and blog. Your website can house any content that tells people what your company or organization is about. If it’s a personal page, that’s fine, too. Just tell people about yourself and include contact information where they can contact and engage with you.
The content you collect to put on your page should be informative, interesting, and engaging. It should hold some level of value for the people who come to your site so that they feel it is paying off for them to visit your page. You want to focus on getting repeat visitors as well as new people so that you can grow your following.
Step #2: Find a web host
Once you have some content and plan what you are going to post on your blog, you need to find a good website host. There are many different website hosts out there who offer various types of perks and features. So it helps to do some research before you decide which one you’ll use.
Remember that the good news is that you do not have to be a tech expert to build a website. Long ago, when the internet was first created, the first websites had to include raw code. Admittedly, I’ve coded a number of sites this way myself because of the creative freedom it gives you. However, the average person doesn’t have the HTML or other programming languages in their head to refer to, so you can use online platforms instead.
Most web servers today offer a combination of drag-and-drop features and raw coding capabilities. This allows you to use the best features of the web server you are using and combine it with the raw coding options to create your site however you want it.
When looking for a web host, you’ll want to consider some of the following things:
- Amount of space you’ll need (including bandwidth and drive space)
- Amount of multimedia capabilities you’ll need for video and audio files
- Cost of the server on a monthly basis
- Domain name (see if they offer a domain name on the server)
- Business email registration
- SEO and Google Analytics capabilities
- Design templates and overall look and functionality
Use this list as a basis for choosing your web server and any other features that you want to use on your website. It’s a good idea to start a free trial before committing to a full website package to make sure you are going to be happy with the results. Try out the server by doing a test page to see how it will look and think about how it will work with your content.
Check out the information on this site to see how you can get a free domain name when you sign up with Bluehost. You may want to consider this platform since they offer a great price and feature many of the things you’ll need to create and maintain your website or blog.
You may have heard about WordPress before. They are a very popular blogging platform that many publishers, business owners, and individuals use to start their blog. Their easy-to-use platform coupled with their plugins and other features allow you to create a blog that reflects the values you hold for your website or blog while offering a number of other features that help you create your own blog quickly and easily.
The great thing about this is that you can host your blog on WordPress.org while hosting your main website with Bluehost, which is fully compatible with this platform. This gives you a content management system with WordPress that will allow you to have multiple contributors to your blog while hosting your main website on your web server.
Step #3: Getting Your Domain Name
Obtaining a domain name is one of the most important things you will do when creating your online presence and web content. Your domain name is important and should reflect your business name as closely as possible. It is always best to choose a name that is exactly the same as your business name. But, if you cannot do that, get it as close as possible and make it something people will easily recall when looking for your site.
Remember that your business name will also complement your logo so you should be thinking about how you will do your logo at the same time that you are working on your website and choosing your domain name. Most people go through a variety of domain names before they decide on the one they want.
There are many other domain types now since the creation of the original .com type names. So you have many other types to choose from now. Think about seeing your domain name and logo everywhere including your business cards and other personalized business materials and make sure you can envision having this for a long time.
Step #4: Design Your Logo
Your logo is another important aspect of your website and you will want to have it prevalent on your site when you design your website. Sketch out some ideas before you decide which design you want to use. You may also want to hire a professional designer or logo design team to help you with this.
There are some online sites that allow you to create a logo but these may not offer the best quality. So be sure to try several and create an original logo that no one else has ever used.
Step #5: Create Media Assets
People want to see dynamic media content when they come to a website. Don’t bore your viewers with text and pictures only. Pictures are good and they are useful in your blog. But also be sure to include a variety of other media assets such as infographics, videos, and podcasts, to name a few.
Many website owners have been able to successfully build a blog in their niche area by utilizing weekly podcasts and videos that appeal to their audience in a unique way. This type of content can also be shared more easily with social media outlets, thereby increasing your potential audience.
To create an original video, you have a number of options including hiring a videographer to do it for you, creating online video infographics, or animations, and many others. Podcasts can be created on a low budget using a high-quality microphone and your computer sound card. Upload content on a server such as YouTube or BlogTalk Radio to be able to copy and paste it or embed it within your website.
Step #6: Decide How Often to Post on your Blog
Blog lovers like fresh content on a regular basis. This is the best way to increase your overall viewers and leads. If you post only at intermittent times that are unpredictable, you may not get the attention of your target audience as well. By announcing about how often you’ll be issuing new posts or video or media content, you’ll improve your potential to reach your audience.
There are various ideas on how often to post. Whatever works best for you is fine. But it may help to ask your audience how often they would like to see a new post.
Step #7: Getting it All Together
Once you have an idea on the type of digital media, content, and other content you want to use, you can start building your pages and uploading it to your chosen web host. Organize your content in folders on your desktop before uploading as this can become confusing if you have planned much of your content ahead of time.
Mistakes Website Owners Make
Many website owners make mistakes the first time they create a website that we can learn from. One mistake is that many people upload content before planning when to release it. It’s always a good idea to have plenty of content lined up for several weeks ahead of time. Making a list of topics for your blog, for example, will keep you focused on what you plan to release to your public long before you actually upload the content.
This involves some forethought and lets you plan ahead. This takes a great deal of organization and it helps to learn how to organize your content before you start building your website.
Below are a few tips on how to organize the content you plan to use for your website and blog so that you’ll have a starting place before actually uploading the content. It’s easier to plan better at the front end than having to go back later and make changes. However, editing is part of the website creating process and you will want to do some of this to keep your site updated at all times.
Organizing your content
In order to organize your web content, you will want to start with your media. Keep your videos in one folder, podcasts in another, and separate other types of media into appropriate folders, as well. Blog articles can be written in advance and you can plan titles according to what you think will be the best received by your target audience.
A simple list of titles on a legal pad or in Word is fine to organize your blog titles. Just make sure you write the articles according to a schedule that you can stick to so that you can continue to put out regular content.
Once you have your content organized, you should make a calendar that tells you when to release certain types of content. You can base your decision on when to do this on seasonal aspects if you are a retail shop owner or based on the topics that you think people will want to hear next. A good tool to use for this is the Trello.com app. It allows you to schedule your content or projects according to the day of the month and also allows you to add mini tasks that you check off as you go.
How to Build Your Blog
The main thing you need to do with your blog is to build a following. You do this by creating a high level of engagement among your viewers and creating content that will hold a high value for them. If you have certain content ready for a certain week but you notice a large amount of comments on a certain topic, you may want to consider continuing this topic more in your next blog articles since there is a high level of interest in this area. This will show your audience that you care about what is important to them and that you want to provide the best experience for them.
Most Important Aspects of a Website
Once you get your content together and have a pretty good idea of what you want to do with your website and blog and have your server picked out, study this list to see how well your site matches up with these important aspects.
- Get a good web server/host and a domain name– The first thing you need to do to start a website is to decide what your website will be about. Then get a good web server and host where you will host your website. You’ll also need to secure a domain name that is unique to your brand that people will remember. Think about your domain name as it is just as important as your logo and brand name. It is what people will recognize when they first see your brand online.
- Getting a good blog platform (CMS)– In addition to a website platform and host, you’ll need to decide on a CMS (content management system) that you will use to store your data, files, and produce your blog content. WordPress works nicely as a content management system due to its high level of versatility and compatibility with a number of website platforms including Blue Host.
- Deciding on content– Deciding on the right content to add to your blog or website is not a one-time decision. It is something that you will continue to decide as you grow your site and your brand online. It can also fluctuate based upon the needs of your customers and your business goals.
- Collecting media– Collecting media that you will use for your website and blog is important because it helps you to line up content that you will use in advance. This creates a higher degree of planning that should result in a better return on your statistics and return on investment.
- Creating a blog posting schedule– By creating and sticking to a schedule, you can keep the content coming that will delight your customers and audience. They will want to come back to find out what you will post next and you will improve your rankings in Google because you have regular content. Fresh content alone will improve your results in many cases. You can also use keywords in your blog posts and web content so that you will further improve your search results for keywords. Just make sure the content is natural and that you avoid the temptation to use keyword stuffing.
- Create a logo and other graphic images– Graphic images are a major part of your website and blog. Your logo is the most important but you also need to create other graphic images that will catch the eye of your target audience. Infographics can fit in here nicely so that you can share important information about important aspects of your website.
- Choose a website and blog template– Choose a web server and blog template that is easy to use and quick to make edits with. WordPress is a great blogging site because you can assign multiple users and you can go in and make changes quickly to your content. There will always be times that you need to make changes quickly because of a change in circumstances or customer demand. Making changes to graphics and other content will also increase your rankings. Use the template chooser on both of these platforms to determine which type of look you want for your website. Choosing a web server like WordPress or Blue Host allows you to have an already created template that is professional-looking for your site and blog without knowing one line of code.
- Update content regularly.– Your main website content may not change as often as your blog content. But you should still evaluate your web content regularly to see if it is becoming stale. Content that is static or doesn’t change over time can make you lose some standings in the search rankings. Just a small change can make a big difference when you are trying to increase your rankings in the search engines.
- Look into affiliate marketing or other revenue sources.– If you want to find ways to make money on your site, you can create an affiliate marketing campaign on your website or incorporate it into your blog. Affiliate marketing allows you to create a passive income for your website or blog simply by linking out to someone else’s site or product. If the person who clicks on your link buys the product, you will get a percentage of the sale. You can get started with affiliate marketing by going to an ad network portal site such as Clickbank to get started.
- Use Google Analytics or other tools to check your progress.– Google Analytics is a great tool to use to test the progress of your site or blog. In order to track your site, you can copy and paste your Google Analytics code for that website property into your HTML of your page that you want to monitor. Then you will be able to go into your Google Analytics account anytime to see how it is doing. It will display things like the time spent on your page, where visitors are coming from, behaviors of your visitors, and much more. Only by measuring your progress and keeping up with how your site is doing will you be able to figure out what your next move should be.
What about eCommerce?
If you want to build an eCommerce site, that’s a great way to make more money. But you need to choose a platform that is friendly to eCommerce and setting up a payment gateway so that you will get paid. Some people choose a platform such as Shopify to start their online store. But most modern web hosting servers such as Bluehost.com also offer the capabilities to tie your eCommerce store into your online website platform.
To create an online store within your web server, you need to read about the features of your web hosting solution and contact them if you have questions about how to do this.
Every web server is different so you just need to do a little of your own research to learn more about what each one offers.
Comparing Various Platforms
There are so many web servers out there that sometimes it can be confusing as to which one will do the job you need for your website or blog. A good way to get started is to use this comparison chart to do your own research. This comparison chart lists some of the most popular servers where you can compare and contrast them side-by-side to see which ones fit what you want.
One server that is not listed in this comparison is the Blue Host server. Blue Host makes hosting your website simple and they offer a lot of support to their users. Some other reasons people prefer this format are listed below.
Why Blue Host?
There are thousands of people who like using Blue Host. But why is it so popular to set up a website? Some of the most popular features are listed below.
- Domain management-Manage your domain and host your website in the same place. This makes the process easier to manage and allows you to also get help when you need it without having to go somewhere else to find the solutions.
- Business email-Get business emails associated with your account when you join the Blue Host plan.
- Security backups-There is extra security in using a Blue Host server due to the extra security backup system that is offered here.
- Cloud servers– Cloud servers are available to house and store your content when you need it. You can increase your space by increasing your package if you choose to.
- Resource Protection– If you are using a shared server, the technology with Blue Host will automatically use the resources with the most power so that you have a lower risk of server ‘downtime.’
- Scalability– The Blue Host server allows you to grow with your customer need by upgrading your features as needed.
- Enhanced cPanel– The enhanced control panel allows you to use additional tools to manage all of your web properties in the same place.
Ask a Blue Host customer service representative about any or all of these features. They can tell you more about how each of these features will benefit you as a website owner and how it will help your bottom line, as well.
The cost of Blue Host is also an attractive reason that so many decide to use it for their website server of choice. You can start a website for only $2.95 on this robust web server!
We’ve talked about WordPress a bit earlier but it bears mentioning again. The WordPress platform is a robust platform also that allows you to create and maintain loads of website content complete with all sorts of extras such as media files, videos, podcasts, articles, and other features. WordPress is used by millions of people in every type of industry so you can choose a web template that will go with your industry and complement your brand.
The Finished Product
We hope this website building resource will prove to be a great reference for you as you brainstorm and start to create and design your website. If you decide to host your site with Blue Host, you can contact us anytime to get started. In fact, we will even design your site for you.
The best idea is to start right now! The sooner you get started, the sooner you will be up and running and building your empire in the sky.