How to Start a Blog for Free
A well-managed blog helps you establish a reputable online presence, whether you use it to unleash creative thoughts, earn money from a hobby, or promote your freelance services. You can create your own blog for free, even if you don’t understand HTML or have web design experience. Launch a blog in just one day by following these easy steps.
Determine a niche.
Focus on a specific niche if you want to build a following or brand yourself as an expert. Readers value consistency, and 27% of women say they abandon blogs with inconsistent posts. If you want to break a niche into categories and subcategories, use customizable menus or widgets to organize your posts.
Not sure which niche you want? Consider the following:
- Target audience – What interests the readers you expect to follow your blog?
- Hobbies – Can you create regular content about one of your hobbies?
- Knowledge – What valuable information can you share with your readers?
- Self-Promotion – What services/skills can you offer potential clients?
- Interests – Are you passionate about politics, social causes or volunteer work?
Many readers expect engaging, actionable content that answers questions or offers solutions, so choose a niche that interests you and benefits your readers.
Brainstorm multiple names.
The name of your blog should represent your niche or incorporate your business or personal identity so new readers know what to expect. Keep the name short and simple so followers remember you.
Make a list of your top 10 or 20 choices for a blog name in case your first choice is unavailable. If you want your blog’s name to match its domain name, perform a free domain name search at a site such as WhoIs.net to make sure it isn’t already in use. A domain name is the URL that directs readers to your content.
You may not have full control over your initial domain name if you are starting a blog on a free platform, but you have the option to switch to a paid domain name and transfer your content when you’re ready.
Select a hosting platform.
Choose a user-friendly hosting platform with customizable templates if you’re new to the blogging scene. WordPress, Blogger, Wix and Weebly offer basic templates for bloggers who are not familiar with HTML or CSS.
An important thing to consider before publishing content via a free hosting platform is that you do not own your own blog. The hosting platform owns your content and can delete it, impose topic restrictions, or limit the amount of images or videos you add. If this concerns you, choose a self-hosted paid plan instead.
Tweak your layout.
After you select a platform, customize your blog by changing its font, header, background image and layout. This requires very little technical expertise, as many blogging platforms offer drag-and-drop customization or detailed popups with step-by-step instructions.
Your theme should be easy for visitors to navigate and view. Here are some design tips:
- Avoid tiny font.
- Do not use pale text.
- Limit the use of bold or neon hues.
- Choose a solid color or simple pattern for your background.
- Include a search box and menu.
Choose a theme that complements your niche. A blog about food or hobbies may benefit from a Pinterest-style theme that showcases recent photos. If you want to promote freelance writing or editing services, consider a static homepage with a menu that takes readers to different parts of your portfolio.
WordPress is one platform that lets bloggers choose different theme designs. Reviews from other bloggers help you make an informed decision, and you can preview a theme before installing it.
Publish a unique post.
Launch your blog with a well-written post that effectively conveys your desired message without patronizing readers. Consider adding an “About Me” section to your blog’s menu so you can dive right into your chosen niche during the first post instead of introducing yourself.
Make sure you only publish content that you created yourself or have permission to share. Plagiarism is unethical and often has consequences.
Here are some potential issues associated with plagiarized blog posts:
- Legal ramifications
- Blog shut down by your platform
- Online shaming by other bloggers
- Loss of trust and credibility
- Removal from Google’s search index
Establish an identity as an honest, dependable blogger by filling your site with unique text and images.
Starting a blog requires no out-of-pocket investment or advanced technical skills. Try the tips above to create a professional blog quickly and easily, whether you’re advertising your fiction-writing services or sharing your knack for knitting.
Missy Nolan is a single mom who is too tired to come up with a clever bio at the moment. She has been a professional writer for more than 10 years and loves staying home with her 3 kids. Well, most of the time. Connect with her at Make It With Missy, where you’ll find healthy recipes and grocery deals.