Many blog enthusiasts blog to have a platform to speak their minds. Amateur blogging has become an outlet for many to express themselves and gain appreciation from their followers. In the blogging world, many successful bloggers have been able to make blogging a full-time career.
If you’re new to blogging, you might be overwhelmed by all the blog content on the internet. But with consistency and hard work, blogging can become a great way of self-expression that also helps you earn money.
There are several amateur blogs out there that help newbies understand the basics of blogging. This blog will provide amateur bloggers with tips and tricks on how to start a blog the right way. Beginner bloggers can avoid common mistakes most beginners make.
What is amateur blogging?
- Amateur blogging is a type of blogging that is done without the intention of making money.
- Amateur bloggers tend to focus on topics they are passionate about rather than topics that will bring in money.
- Amateur blogging often occurs on platforms like WordPress, Medium, Blogger.com, and other free platforms, social media sites, and discussion forums.
- Amateur bloggers don’t typically have formal training, writing, or media production background.
As a result, amateur blogging is often done casually and sporadically. They may post content without much thought or planning or post without meeting blogging best practices.
While amateur blogging can be a great way to share your ideas and experiences with others, it's important to have a plan and a clear goal for your blog before starting it. Plus, it's important to stay focused and consistent in your blogging journey.
7 Steps to Getting Your Amateur Blog Live
Starting a blog doesn't have to be difficult. Blogs evolve over time, and many changes must be made for a blog to succeed. Don't feel everything has to be perfect for your new blog to discover success. Your path to success will be different than others. The sooner you embrace this fact and move on from it, the quicker you'll carve out your niche and have success.
Here are seven essential steps to getting a blog live on WordPress, the most popular platform for bloggers.
- Choose your niche
- Choose a domain and name for your blog
- Choose a web host
- Select a blogging platform
- Get your website designed for your niche
- Install key plugins (assuming WordPress)
- Create some initial content
- Test and launch
1. Choose your niche
Choosing a niche for your blog is the first step in creating an amateur blog. This can be considered an optional step if you never intend to make money with your blog. You can write about any topic, multiple, unrelated topics, or anything else if you want a personal journal online. You don't need to choose a single focus topic, but it might benefit you, in the long run, to focus on something you are passionate about.
Once you have chosen a topic to focus on, it's time to develop a blog name. Your blog name should reflect your topics and be catchy enough to draw in readers.
2. Choose a domain and name for your blog
Choosing a blog name and domain are sometimes synonymous and sometimes not. Many blog advisors want you to personalize your blog by choosing your name as your domain and brand. This can certainly work, but it isn't a niche. You may be able to use your name to your advantage, but it may also set you back. Think about what you want your blog to do for you and choose accordingly.
For example, if you choose your name as your domain, you may find it harder to sell your blog should it ever become a source of income. Selling digital real estate is a big thing and will only grow bigger. You might find buyers are reluctant to purchase something tied to someone else's name and personality.
There are other ways to personalize a blog with your identity other than naming it after yourself. We advise choosing something specific to your niche under 15 characters and no more than 2-3 words.
Let's say you want your blog's focus on hiking gear and adventures. You might decide to look for a domain that has hiking as part of it or perhaps adventures. You can use a domain search tool like instantdomainsearch.com to look for domains across all domain extensions.
In the example below, the domain hiking.com is taken. Still, you can see other options highlighted in green, i.e. hiking.blog or hiking.bio might be decent options for a personal blog.
3. Choose a web host
If you blog on WordPress (the .org version), you will need to establish hosting to get an instance of WordPress setup. Many web hosting companies offer affordable shared hosting plans to choose from. Choosing a hosting company and related plan can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Choosing a reliable hosting provider that offers you a WordPress website as part of a pre-built package is an easy way to get started on WordPress without much effort.
Here are three providers that offer a WordPress-based website builder tool.
DreamHost – A drag-and-drop website builder within WordPress, 200 starter sites to select from, and a money-back guarantee.
4. Select a blogging platform
WordPress isn't the only option to select from when building your amateur blog. Still, it is powerful, built for blogging, starts free out of the box, has the most plugins to add features, and can be monetized quite easily if you ever decide to go beyond personal blogging. Below are some other viable options to consider if you are only looking to blog occasionally or don't want the overhead of hosting and other WordPress needs.
Website builders offer a complete package of hosting, domain, website builder tools, blogging tools, SEO tools, and other options to get you going. You pay a monthly fee, and that covers everything. Some logical options to consider if you choose this direction are:
There are also third-party blogging platform options that you can consider. Most are free to start and offer additional options to personalize your blog with your own domain or other essentials. Some of the most popular options are:
WordPress important settings
Bloggers use WordPress as a blogging platform to share their work online. It is a popular platform for amateur bloggers due to its flexibility and ease of use. You can customize the blog's appearance to suit your unique blogging style and niche. There are various settings available in WordPress, such as privacy and security, themes, plugins, and more. These allow you to tailor the blog to your audience’s needs.
This tutorial assumes you selected WordPress (.org) as your content management and blogging system.
5. Get your website designed for your niche
You want a website designed in concert with your chosen niche if you selected one. This will align your design and content and create a better user experience for those visiting your blog. The design can easily be accomplished using a theme from a quality theme provider or by purchasing a template from a marketplace. Some options for shopping for themes, both free and paid, are listed below.
Envato – Envato has a large marketplace for WordPress themes, plugins, and other essentials. You can find premium themes starting at $19.
aThemes – aThemes features two really impressive and high-performing themes for WordPress, Sydney, and Botiga.
Superb Themes – ST offers several beautiful, responsive, and high-performing WordPress themes, free and paid. Two of our favorites are MinimalistBlogger and Blogrid.
6. Install key plugins
Next, you'll need key plugins to run your site effectively. Certain essential plugins for WordPress should not be ignored. These help secure your site, speed up your site, offer SEO optimization and tracking, and cover other essential functionality within WordPress. Here are the plugins you should have installed on any WordPress website.
Website Builder – If you don't want to use the Classic editor or Gutenberg editor, you'll need a builder plugin. We recommend Elementor.
Security Plugin – To protect your website, you'll need a lightweight security plugin that does not slow down your website. We recommend Sucuri.
Site Speed – Keeping your website fast is critical for earning organic rankings. We recommend FlyingPess.
SEO Optimization – You'll want a free SEO plugin at the minimum to help optimize your content and website. We recommend Rank Math.
Analytics & Tracking – You want to measure your traffic and your audience's overall experience on the site. We recommend MonsterInsights.
Website Backups – If your web host doesn't back up your site routinely, you'll want a backup plugin. We recommend Backup Buddy.
You might need a contact form plugin, a social media sharing plugin, and an email subscription plugin. Click to read our complete list of the best WordPress plugins.
7. Create some initial content
You want to ensure your site launches with some initial posts published. You may not need for than 3-5 total, but you may also decide to have more. Some sites launch with 10 published posts and 10 additional posts scheduled. The point is not to have a blog launched without any content.
Since this is a personal blog, you typically will not have site pages, i.e. no about us, no contact page, and no service or products pages. If you choose your homepage to be your posts, you won't need a homepage either.
Alternatively, you can choose a static page as your homepage with some featured blog posts added and then have your blog in a subfolder called /blog/.
8. Test and launch
Lastly, you want to test your website on multiple devices and screen sizes to ensure it works without issue. This means enlisting friends or family to tap away on their phones to ensure you've covered all the essential devices someone might use to access your blog.
This process should be relatively straightforward and uneventful if you have invested in a premium version of a theme, which comes out of the box responsively coded to work across screen sizes and devices.
If you opted for a free theme or chose to customize a theme, you will want to spend some extra time to ensure nothing breaks when people go to read posts or access any of the content on your blog. Here are some of the common devices to test on.
- Desktop or laptop with a screen size greater than 1200 pixels.
- Tablets (horizontal and vertical) with a screen size between 680 pixels and 1200 pixels.
- Phones (horizontal and vertical) with screen sizes between 280 pixels and 1180 pixels.
5 Points of Emphasis for Beginning Bloggers
Whether you keep your blog personal or eventually try to generate passive income through blogging, you'll want to ensure you focus on these five areas. These are essential to ensure your blog gets as much traction on the internet as possible over the time you commit to growing it.
Know the importance of SEO
Amateur blogging is a fun and creative way to express yourself on the internet. It is also a great way to make money if you can attract an audience. Before you start blogging, you should familiarize yourself with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is important for ensuring that your blog posts are visible and easy to find in search results.
As with any online activity, amateur blogging requires research and preparation, so be sure to take the time to learn about proper blogging etiquette and best practices before you post your first blog post.
Treat your blog as a business
Amateur blogging can be a valuable professional and personal resource. To make money with your blog, you must treat it as a business. You must develop a content strategy to help you create quality content that keeps readers coming back for more.
You'll also need to promote your blog on social media and other channels to drive traffic to your website.
When starting a blog, be prepared to put in the work and dedication to make it successful. Remember, amateur blogging is all about working hard to create high-quality content, so be patient and consistent in your efforts.
Create relevant & quality backlinks from the beginning
Creating backlinks is a great way to increase the visibility of your blog and help it rank better on search engines. When creating backlinks, it's important to focus on quality links from relevant websites. This will help you build credibility and gain trust with search engines.
You can use tools such as Google Analytics and SEO audit tools to track the performance of your blog and identify areas for improvement. Finally, it's important to keep an eye on industry trends and new developments to stay ahead of the competition. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your blog continues thriving and provides valuable content to your audience.
Patience is the key to success
Creating a successful blog takes time and effort. Patience is key if you want your blog to stand out and be successful. It can take some time and work before you start seeing results. You must be diligent in regularly creating content and promoting your blog across social media platforms.
Look for niche topics that pique your interest and create compelling content to post on your blog. The best way to promote your blog is by continuously blogging about what you’re passionate about and engaging with your readers.
Persistence pays off
Most amateur bloggers who wish to make money fail because they expect immediate returns and do not persist with their efforts. If you have designs on earning from your blog, understand it will take time to build momentum and enough content and links to stand out from the crowd. You'll need persistence to stick with it to see your goals through.
15+ Amateur Blogging Mistakes You Must Avoid
If you’re new to blogging, you must know that blogging is a great way to share your ideas and opinions with the world. But if not done correctly, it can be a huge time-sink and frustration. That’s why you must avoid amateur blogging mistakes as much as possible.
Here are some of the common mistakes amateur bloggers make:
1. Choosing the Wrong Platform
Choosing a blogging platform that best suits your needs as your blog grows is important. Using a free blogging platform can be limiting, as it may not have all the features and functions you need or want as your blog grows. Paid platforms offer more storage space, SEO options, social media integration, and other features that help make your blog successful. When choosing a blogging platform, consider the cost of a paid platform and its features. It may be best to start with a free platform and see how you like it before investing any money into a professional blogging platform.
Consider researching different blogging platforms and deciding which one best suits your needs and interests before investing money into a blogging platform.
2. Using a Free Blog Name
Using a unique domain name is important to ensure that your blog is easily identifiable. This way, readers can search for your blog online and find it quickly. It will also help with search engine optimization, allowing your posts to rank higher in search results.
A unique domain name can also help with social media marketing and blog promotion. Don't settle for a subdomain of the platform you choose to start your blog. For example, you don't want myblog.blogger.com to be your domain's name, it will not work over time.
You will want to find and purchase a custom domain name that clearly identifies the blog, such as “BLOGNAME.com.” Using a unique domain name shows that you are serious about blogging and have invested time and money into making your blog look professional.
3. Failure to Buy Good Hosting
When choosing a hosting service for your blog, it's important to find one that provides sufficient bandwidth and storage space. This will allow you to run your blog smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, free hosting services may have limitations that can lead to slow loading times and technical issues.
Instead of taking risks with free hosting services, invest in reliable hosting with unlimited bandwidth and storage space. This will ensure that your blog can run smoothly and look professional to readers.
4. Not Paying Attention to Website Loading Speed
Blog loading speed is essential for success. A blog that takes too long to load can frustrate readers and lead to decreased engagement. Slow blogs can also lead to poor results in search engines. Therefore, amateur bloggers should pay attention to optimizing their blog loading speed.
Improving blog loading speed often requires careful website content, images, and video optimization. It also requires effective caching strategies, such as hosting content on a server near user traffic or using a content delivery network (CDN).
5. Poorly Designing the Blog
Blog design is important as it can affect how readers perceive your content. Using a template or pre-made theme can give your blog a professional look but make sure to customize it to reflect your own style.
Another important feature of amateur blogging is ensuring that the design of your blog is easy to navigate and doesn’t distract from the content. Include social media integration, search engine optimization, and analytics to ensure you get the most out of your blogging efforts.
6) Failing to Research Topics
Failing to research blog topics can be a mistake for new bloggers because it can lead to them not having enough knowledge and experience to write a quality blog post. Researching blog topics allows you to understand the topic better, gain insights into what is already out there, and ensure you are not repeating the same content.
Researching blog topics also help create fresh, relevant, and interesting content to readers.
7) Poorly Structuring the Content
Poorly structuring the content is a detriment to any blogger. If the blog post is written without a clear structure, it can be difficult for readers to understand the main ideas and follow the narrative. Without a logical flow of ideas, readers may get lost and be unable to find the information they are looking for.
Additionally, poorly structured posts can lead to reduced engagement, as readers may not be interested in sifting through paragraphs of unorganized thoughts.
As such, new bloggers should strive to create a clear outline of their posts before they begin writing and make sure that each paragraph has a clear purpose and transitions smoothly to the next idea.
8. Posting without Keyword Research
Blog post keyword research is important in ensuring your blog post reaches the right audience. Without keyword research, it's possible that your blog post could be overlooked or receive little traffic. It's also important to balance keyword density, as search engine algorithms can penalize overly dense blog posts.
By conducting keyword research before blogging, you can ensure that your blog post targets the right audience and gets the most exposure possible.
9. Copying Content
Bloggers often make the mistake of copying content from other websites without giving credit. This can lead to plagiarism and damage your credibility as a blogger. To avoid this mistake, research the topic thoroughly and write unique content free from copyright infringement.
When referencing external sources, always credit the blogger who provided you with the information you used in your post. This will show your readers that you have researched and are a credible blogger. You can use tools like Grammarly or Copyscape to check your writing to ensure it is not plagiarized.
10. Not Writing Consistently
When it comes to blogging, consistency is key. With blogging, consistency means consistently publishing content regularly. This means posting blog posts regularly, and search engines like Google tend to favor websites that post content regularly.
Having a consistent blogging schedule is important for SEO purposes. Another thing you can do to ensure consistency is to create an editorial calendar. This can help you organize your blog post and ensure that you post regularly. It also helps you prioritize and streamline your blog post-writing process.
11. Scared To Invest
Many amateur bloggers are scared to invest in their blogs, whether in content creation, marketing, or website design and development. This can lead to blog stagnation and failure. If you want your blog to succeed, it's essential that you invest your time and maybe a few dollars.
You can start by investing in high-quality content that will attract readers. Next, invest in a domain name and hosting services, create a good-looking blog layout, use social media marketing strategies, and invest in keyword research.
12. Avoiding Social Media
Don't avoid social media. Social media platforms are a great way to interact directly with your audience, build relationships, and gain valuable feedback. Interacting with your audience on social media can help you get to know them better so that you can create content that is tailored to their needs.
Additionally, engaging with your audience on social media will help you build your brand's presence and increase your visibility, which is essential for any new blogger.
Lastly, interacting with your audience on social media will help you build trust and loyalty, which are key to growing your blog and keeping your readers engaged.
13. Blogging Anonymously
One of the biggest mistakes amateur bloggers make is blogging anonymously. Anonymity can give amateur bloggers a sense of freedom while blogging, but it can also mean they won't be able to build a reputation or gain any recognition for their work.
Using your real name and contact information to build credibility and trust with your readers is important. Additionally, amateur bloggers often fail to properly promote their blogs, which means they may not get the exposure they deserve.
14. Not Linking To Others
When amateur blogging, it’s important to build relationships with other bloggers and link to their content. This helps increase your own visibility as a blogger while showing your participation in the blogging community.
It is also important to link to relevant, high-quality content when possible. Linking to high-quality resources is another way to show that you've done your research and that other credible and trustworthy sources support your ideas.
15. Not Actively Link Building
If you want your content to rank in SERPs, you'll need to build backlinks. You can earn backlinks passively over time, but it will take quite a while to amass enough to start ranking.
If you want to speed up the process of earning organic traffic to your blog or have designs on earning passive income, backlink building must become a central focus of your blogging efforts. Without it, you'll have difficulty showing up for relevant queries.
Amateur Blogging Wrap-up
Ultimately, blogging is about creating relevant and valuable content for your target audience. When you blog regularly and create high-quality content, search engines will notice you and your blog will get traffic.
Whether you choose a personal blog or work towards monetizing your blog, that decision will shake out over time. The important thing is to get started. If you continue procrastinating, you might never start and never realize the benefits amateur blogging can bring you.