In this tutorial guide, you will learn how to create and start a blog in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and various other African countries or elsewhere in the world.
It’s a great idea you want to start a blog in Nigeria or wherever you are. Not only can you make money blogging, you can also express and share your ideas online.
Not just that, blogging can also be a means to expand, promote and accelerate your existing business.
If you are a total newbie to blogging this guide is going to be a lot of help to you. It’s going to help you avoid some irreversible and silly mistakes I made while starting my own blog.
Just so you know, this article is over 3000 words. This is because I really took time to go into details to make you understand every single bit of what needs to be done.
All you need to do is get comfy and order a pizza or bookmark this page in case you think you can’t read through now.
As promised, your step by step tutorial guide on how to start a blog
- Choose your blogging platform
- Get a domain name and a web host
- Install WordPress
- Customize and choose a blog theme
- Add your first post and pages
- Traffic = money
Step 1: Choose Your Blogging Platform
I assume you knew what you wanted to blog about, so we shouldn’t waste more time on that.
Before anything else, you need to decide your blogging platform. There are several platforms online to choose from (Blogger, Tumblr etc.). But don’t be carried away WordPress is still the best.
Even the popular Facebook website is built on WordPress.
Why WordPress Is Recommended For Starting A Blog
- It’s totally free plus you also get free themes, plugins that other platforms do not offer.
- Easy to setup
- It has a helpful support forum
- Always updating their software
- Highly customizable.
Why You Should Avoid Creating Your blog on a Free Blogging Platform
It’s not like you can’t create a free blog. You can, but it will be limited in terms of what you can do with it; in fact, you can count professionalism out of it. Because no way can you have a standard blog with a free platform.
Additionally, everything about the blog will be dull, the theme, URL, interface etc.
These are the major reason you shouldn’t go for free blogging platform:
- You have no control – using a free blogging platform is actually ironical. In the sense that you think you are in control while in the actual sense you are not. They can shut you down anytime for any reason. You can ask Lindaikeji.blogspot.com.
- Unattractive URL – their URL’s are ugly, long and hard to remember, which will be bad for your readers. Imagine a reader trying to get back to your blog but find it difficult to put the URL together. They will make your URL look something like ‘myfreeblog.wordpress.com or myfreeblog.blogspot.com.
- Limited ways to make money – you can make money with free blogging platform but it takes time and it’s very limited. In fact, most, if not all affiliate programs don’t accept blog that is not self-hosted.
- No Customization – it’s extremely difficult to customize your blog while using a free platform. There is no access to plugins or good themes to stand you out.
- Limited in terms of capacity – you will be given only 3GB for posts, images and probably videos too. That’s way too low.
It will be wise not to create a free a blog, especially when you mean business. Most times people think they can start from the free platform then migrate to self-host account later.
Doing this could cost you a lot, not only can it cost you your follower it’s also time-consuming and a daunting task. So it’s always better to start the right way.
Step 2: Get a domain name and a Web host
Now the whole process is just getting interesting! You need two things to create a blog. This is your domain name and a web hosting. These are actually the only thing you have to pay for while creating a blog.
Your domain name will be your unique blog address where people can easily find you online. For example, Facebook domain name is www.Facebook.com. Your own domain name will be (www.yournewblogname.com).
Your domain name is very important because:
- It defines your brand
- Like the popular saying goes… the first impression matters a lot. It’s your first impression on your readers.
- Most importantly it will affect your blog rankings in search engines
So it’s always good to put some thought into choosing your domain name but not too much thought though. Always go with what comes to your mind within the first 10 minutes.
I’ll advise you go for a branded name, catchy and easy to pronounce domain name. This will make your blog stand out. Most domain names usually cost around $10/per year.
Just like your domain name is your blog address, your web host is the actual house your blog will be living online. Just think of it as the house while the domain name is the address of the house.
If you don’t have a web host, it will be impossible for you to set up your blog and neither will you be able to use your domain name.
Web hosting is one the most important part of creating your blog. If you are ever going to face any issues with your blog it’s most likely to be from your hosting company.
Most of my installations are done by their customer service, so don’t worry even if you don’t know coding you can still run a blog. Hosting your blog will cost around $2-$5/month.
How and where should I get my blog domain name and web hosting?
Like I said earlier there are hundreds of different domain name and web hosting providers with similar price. But among them all, I can gladly recommend NameCheap and HostGator because I know what they offer and I want you to benefit from it.
This blog you are reading from is run by different domain name provider and a separate web hosting. This is what I’m about to guide you through.
But before we start, I want you to know some of the reason why it’s always better to use a separate domain name and web hosting provider for your blog website:
- Security – it’s not a new thing that website can get hacked easily these days. Although hosting providers like HostGator has gone into extra miles in protecting their client website. However, when your domain name is separate and your site was hacked your domain will still be safe, which mean they don’t have full access.
- Registrar–locking – Maybe in the nearest future you decided to change your web hosting provider due to some reason or the other. You could lose your domain name. This is possible because your domain has the potential of getting locked with your hosting provider if you are using a single provider. Although, most hosting and domain name providers are reputable and such will rarely happen. But it’s always better to be prepared
That’s just a few of what could happen. However, you can still use a single provider if you think you can’t go through the process.
Back to where we left off.
The first thing you have to do now is to get your domain name. So head over to NameCheap.com and check out your domain name.
Once you’ve got your domain name, scroll down to view your cart. You will also get a domain name privacy protection added to your order for free.
This could cost over $10 from other providers.
After this, you need to confirm your order. Create a free account with NameCheap and enter all your billing address.
Good Job! 👍You getting closer.
The next thing now is getting your web host. To do this you need to visit HostGator.com. Just like their name, they are one of the best hosting providers out there because their service actually precedes them.
Upon your visit to HostGator.com, you will see three different plans. They include:
You can go with the Hatchling plan and later change as time goes on.
Once you’ve chosen the plan you can proceed to the next page where it’s going to ask for your domain name.
Choose ‘I already own a domain name’ and enter your domain name from NameCheap.
Next, you need to enter your billing information.
Since am familiar with HostGator I’ve been able to get a discount price for my blog readers.
When you use my discount link, you’ll get a discount on your purchase up to 60% discount.
Additionally, you do need to unchecked all the add-on boxes they’re good but not necessary.
It will also prevent you from paying additional fees. Using the discount link will automatically validate your coupon code for your discount.
Finally, to finish setting up your Web hosting and domain name, you need to point your domain name from NameCheap to your hosting provider – HostGator.com.
To do this, head back to your NameCheap account and log in.
Once you there, under the Dashboard section you will see your domain name. Click on “Manage“.
After doing that, scroll down to the ‘Nameservers‘ section.
Click on the drop-down menu and select “Custom DNS“.
You would have receive the nameserver details from HostGator after checking out.
What you need to do is go to your email inbox and copy the nameservers details.
Once you’ve copied it, paste them accordingly in your NameCheap account. Like the image below.
Click on the green check-mark to save your changes after pasting it.
Nice job! You’ve just pointed your domain name to HostGator.
Step 3: Install WordPress
HostGator will send you your control panel login details after checking out. Check your inbox to get your login details and login.
Once you’re inside the control panel locate the WordPress icon and click it to install WordPress.
If you can’t find the icon, click on get started with WordPress today at the top of the dashboard.
Fill all the required option and click install WordPress.
Once you’ve done that you will see a loading bar on top of your page that will notify you upon completion that your installation is successful.
Once completed, click on “my install” to reset your WordPress Admin password. Always choose password with numbers and special characters.
Next, you need to login to your WordPress Admin dashboard. To do that, go to www.yournewblog.com/Wp-admin.
Congratulations 🙌! You’ve just built your first blog.
Step 4: Customize and Choose a blog theme
By now, you already have a blog, but what you have is a blank blog.
To see how your blog look like, you can enter your blog URL on your brower (www.MyNewBlog.com). This is what you’ll probably see.
This is the default theme for all new blogs on WordPress.
What you need to do now is log in and customize your blog. To do that, visit www.MyNewBlog.com/wp-admin/.
Once you’ve login, you will see the welcome page of the admin panel. You shouldn’t be intimidated with the dashboard area after tweaking around for a while will get you used to it.
At this stage you need to customize your blog and choose a new theme. But before that, let me give you the details of the WordPress admin area:
- Dashboard – this is the entire wordpress admin area.
- Posts – You can publish your new blog post here and also edit old ones
- Media – the media contains everything that has to do with media; images, videos etc.
- Pages – write and publish your static pages and edit old ones too.
- Comments – here you can handle your post comments with your readers
- Appearance – you can change the appearance of your blog here.
- Feedback – this allows you to handle your feedbacks from your reader. This is mostly through the contact form page.
- Plugins – you can easily add and remove plugins. Their purpose is to add functionality to your blog.
- Users – you can also add users to create post along side with you.
- Settings – this aspect covers the settings section of your blog.
Customizing your blog for Search engine friendly
You need to make your blog URL search engine friendly in other to rank high for your blog post.
Unfriendly and ugly URL to search engine looks like this… https://yourblog.com/2018/02/author/post-topic.
While clean and friendly URL looks like this… https://yourblog.com/post-topic.
In order to change your URL to search engine friendly. Go to “settings” >> “permalink” and click post name.
Choosing a theme for your Blog
This part is very interesting, i remember changing my theme countless times.
Using WordPress gives you access to hundreds of free themes, so choosing one at times can be confusing.
To change your theme, login to your WordPress dashboard. At sidebar click “appearance” >> “theme”.
The next page will display already installed theme, if you don’t like them click the “Add new” button to Search for new theme.
Watch the video to learn more.
Before choosing your theme, here are the things to look out for:
- SEO – always for themes that are SEO friendly, before you install, check the features to see if it’s SEO friendly.
- Responiveness – the theme must be responsive to various kind of device. Pc tabs, mobile device etc.
- Simplicity – clumsy theme makes navigation difficult.
- Customization – the theme should be easy to customize.
These are just few of what you should look out for in a theme. As times goes by you’ll get used to the system yourself.
It’s no news that Premium theme is still the best. To see one visit themeforest.com
Step 5: Add your first post and pages
This is where the actual blogging begins. In this step you will learn how to write your blog post and at the same time get familiar with the WordPress admin interface.
As usual, login to your WordPress admin area by visiting … www.YourNewBlog.com/wp-admin. Once you’re inside at the left side bar click “Posts >> Add New” or “Pages >> Add New”.
Clicking it will bring you to the editor screen like the image below.
I’ll break it down for you in other to make it more simpler.
- Title: The title area is where you write the title for your post.
- Content Board: This is where you compose your post or page content. You can also add video or picture in this area by clicking “Add Media” button
- Editing Tools: Just like Microsoft word, you could also edit your content with options like – bold, italics etc.
- Publish Area: After writing your content you can publish it by clicking the big blue “Publish” button or preview it yourself before publishing it.
- Organizing tool: This where you can place your blog post in categories. e.g fashion, health, money etc. you can place similar blog post in the same category.
Adding Images to Your Post
Search engines always like post with images and it also bring life to your articles.
To add an image, click on the “Add Media” button at the top of the content board.
Next, it will bring a pop-up page. Click the “Upload Files” button on the left side bar, after that choose the Select file button in the middle of the board.
This will then take you to your file document. Choose the image you want to upload and click the “Insert into Post” button at the lower end right corner.
Adding Links to Your Posts
linking out to other quality content is a sure fire way of telling Google you know what you are doing.
Not just that, it’s also a great way to build relationships in the blogoshpere.
To add links to your post, highlight the word or sentence you want to insert link into, then click on the chain icon in the editing tools area.
On the pop-up, enter the link URL and insert it.
Note: before you click the insert button, click the setting icon to tick the “Open link in a new tab” at the next page.
Adding Headings to Your Post
It’s always a good idea to use headers in your post content, it helps you structure your content and makes it easier to read.
To add heading, click on the Paragraph drop-down menu on the left side of the tool bar. Select the one you like to use for your headings.
Once you’re done with the content, click the “publish” button to submit your article online. After that you can click the ‘View post’ link to view your post live.
It wasn’t so hard, was it?
Congratulations! You’ve just publish your first article.
Step 6: Traffic = Money
This is the last step about blogging. It actually depends on your reason for starting the blog in the first place. But whatever the reason maybe you still need traffic.
Either you want to make money with your blog or its just for hobby, you still need a lot of traffic to accomplish your goal.
How can you generate traffic?
- Writing quality content that people actually want to read.
- Sharing your post on social media
- collecting emails for re-visit
- Writing for other blogs
- Learning SEO
- Writing on forums etc.
Once you’ve started generating traffic, here are few ways in which you can monetize your blog:
- Advertisement – This involves putting a paid advert on your blog side bar.
- Sponsored posts – You can be contacted for a sponsored post on your blog if you have a reasonable amount of traffic.
- Affiliate Marketing – You can get paid writing reviews about products on your blog. you can visit my review page to learn more.
- Sell Ebooks – You can put together information that will provide real value to people and sell it on your blog.
In case you have it in mind, if it’s possible to make money blogging just think of the reason I’m writing these long article.
It’s Time to Set Up Your Blog
Here is what you need:
- Sign up for your domain name at NameCheap
- Get your Web hosting at HostGator – you don’t have to pay much for being my blog ready. I’ll get you 60% discount using my discount link
- Point your nameservers from Namecheap to Hostgator.
- Install WordPress
- Choose your blog theme and in case your want a premium theme… visit themeforest.com
- finally, write your blog post.
Wheew! that was something.
Trust me I invested more time into these article, please share with your friends if you find it interesting.
And if you find it really good, feel free to buy me a pizza here!
Are you serious about starting a blog? If yes, you can begin yours here