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Create a Blog in 2021: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners
You made the decision to create your own blog.
But there are thousands of questions buzzing around in your head:
What blog platforms are there? Where can I blog for free? How do I find the right topic for my own blog? How do I get visitors? And how can I even earn money as a blogger?
Do not worry!
Because this is the tutorial I would have liked 8 years ago when I wanted to create a blog myself (and it was absolutely haphazard).
In this guide I'll show you Step by stephow to start a blog.
I'll take you by the hand and answer all the important questions so that you can reach your goal more easily and avoid typical beginner mistakes (if your questions are not answered in the course of the article, please write me a comment!).
1. Choose a blog platform
You may be inclined to post your blog on services likeBlog spot, WordPress.com, Tumblr, Wix or Jimdo to create.
After all, it's free. And you can just write straight away.
But, if you're halfway serious about blogging, I advise you urgent from these services.
I recommend running your blog on its own web hosting package instead. With a self-installed, configured and maintained WordPress installation and its own domain.
Getting started with WordPress is a bit more difficult. But you are much more flexible and can design and expand your blog as you want.
There you are owner and not tenants.
That might play a secondary role at the beginning, but if at some point you want to offer your visitors more, you look down the tube. And a later switch to a self-hosted blog is always associated with a lot of work, stress and loss of visitors ...
So don't be stingy or comfortable. Do yourself a favor and host yourself!
And no, the whole thing is not expensive either:
For around € 5 a month, you can take part (that's less than a Venti Caramel Frappucino from Starbucks).
What is WordPress?
WordPress (.org) is free, open source software that allows you to easily and quickly create a blog. Meanwhile, over 39% of all websites worldwide (!) Are operated with WordPress, which makes it by far the most widely used platform. With the help of themes and plugins you can design and expand your website completely according to your wishes.
The service WordPress.com is also based on WordPress, with the difference that it is less flexible, offers fewer functions and you cannot intervene in the source code, which is why I advise against it.
2. Choose the right topic
The question is easy to answer:
Something that you are passionate about. Something that you really and truly care about. Something you for burn.
Take a moment to answer the following questions:
- Can you imagine dealing with the topic every day?
- Can you imagine making videos on the subject or writing a book about it?
- Or give lectures about it?
- If you sit down with pen and paper for half an hour, do you come up with 20 ideas for potential articles?
- Do you tell your friends about this topic often and a lot?
If you have all or most of the questions Yes answer, the topic is the right one.
Being able to make money on a topic is also an important factor. Especially if you want to become a full-time blogger.
However, it should always come second. Because you can earn money in many areas. Even more so if you are an expert in your topic and can deliver brilliant content to your readers.
It is also beneficial to find a niche within your topic. You can then use them as a unique selling point for your blog. At Blogmojo this is z. B. Search engine optimization and data protection for blogs.
Little website multiplication table
Here you can find the most important website terms and their meanings:
- Website: Totality of all content on a domain
- Website: Subpage of a website
- Homepage: Homepage of a website
- Blog: Website with (mostly) chronological display of articles, often also part of a website
- Url: Complete internet address that appears in the browser (e.g. https://www.blogmojo.de/blog-erstellen/)
- Domain: https: // www.blogmojo.de/ blog-create / (part of the url marked in red)
- Sub-Domain: https: //learn.blogmojo.de (domain subordinate to a domain)
- Permalink: https://www.blogmojo.de/ create-blog / (the part of the URL that comes after the domain)
- Host / Hoster: Service provider who provides the server on which the files and databases for your website are located
3. Find the blog name and domain
If you want to create your own blog, your blog needs a name (e.g. Blogmojo).
And a domain with the same name, such as B. blogmojo.de. This is where your blog and its articles are later available in the browser (the pink part of the URL):
When choosing a blog name and domain, you should pay attention to the following:
- The shorter the name, the better (preferably under 16 characters)
- It is best to avoid umlauts (ä, ü, ö) or eszett (ß), because the rendering in the domain name is unsightly (e.g. unsoen.de or heiss.de)
- The spelling of the name should be clear to most people
- The blog name should show what your blog is about
- A .de domain is best for a German blog (.com and .net are also acceptable)
One more word of warning before you get started:
Please don't make the mistake of spending too much time choosing a name.
Your blog name doesn't have to be super creative and clever.
A clear and easy-to-remember blog name is preferable to a clever one 99% of the time.
And if after a few weeks you find that you no longer like the name, you can always switch to another domain.
3.1 Your own name as a domain?
In some cases it can make sense to choose your own name as the domain for your blog or website.
Especially if you yourself stand in the foreground of your blog as an expert or person, e.g. B. as a coach, consultant, freelancer, artist, model or author.
Choosing your name as a domain helps you to build up a personal brand and also has the advantage that you are not restricted to thematically.
However, it is better to choose a fantasy name if:
- You run your blog as a team
- You want to keep the option open to sell your blog or online business later
3.2 Is your domain still available?
You can check very well at Markenchk.de whether domains are still free for a name or whether you may be infringing trademark rights as a result:
4. Find hosting
Did you find a suitable domain?
Now it's time to find the right hosting provider.
You can choose between two different providers for domains and hosting. The easiest way, however, is to purchase both from a single source.
But be careful:
Don't make the mistake of going to one of the big mass hosts like B. IONOS, DomainFactory, HostEurope, Strato or One.com!
Bulky hosts attract with low prices, but in the end you pay for it. For example, through high downtimes and slow loading times, as my web hosting comparison has shown. Or because customer service lets you down when you need it most.
I've been a customer of the German hoster webgo since 2016 and couldn't be happier.
The prices are fair and the hosting packages are well equipped. The customer service is friendly, competent and answers lightning fast (via live chat within a few minutes).
And so far I haven't had a single server failure.
For beginners, I can recommend the CMS Pro web hosting package. This is a special tariff with a very good price-performance ratio.
It offers 40 GB of storage, an unlimited number of SSD databases, free SSL certificates (an absolute must for your blog!) And an inclusive domain. So everything you need as a beginner to start building a WordPress blog!
As a new customer you get the first 6 months free of charge and then only pay € 4.95 per month (including VAT).
Start now with webgo CMS Pro!
5. Install WordPress
Once you have booked your hosting package, you can start installing and setting up WordPress.
This should take about half an hour.
The following steps are necessary for this (do not worry, it is easier than it sounds at first):
- Set up an SSL certificate
- Create database
- Download and unzip WordPress files in German as a ZIP file
- to rename and enter the access data for the database (database name, database user and password)
- Transfer all files to your FTP server with the FileZilla program (in the directory assigned to your domain)
- Go to your blog url and follow the installation instructions
Here you will find instructions in which I explain all the steps to you in a simple and understandable way: Install WordPress: The foolproof instructions (including trouble-shooting!)
Described with many screenshots and down to the smallest detail for beginners.
At the end of the guide you will also find a troubleshooting section with common problems and their solutions. So nothing can go wrong!
6. Configure WordPress correctly
Do you have WordPress installed?
Then it's now time to design your WordPress blog and configure it correctly.
First you should do these 4 things in order to be able to work optimally with WordPress and not get into trouble with it later:
6.1. Delete standard plugins (Hello Dolly and Akismet)
WordPress delivered with two pre-installed plugins:
- Akismet (an anti-spam plugin)
- Helly Dolly (a pointless plugin that displays quotes in WordPress)
You should delete them. The former is not in compliance with data protection regulations. The latter is absolutely useless.
To do this, go to the sidebar on the left Plugins, check the box in front of both plugins and choose further up Clear out:
6.2 Delete sample page and post
So that content is actually displayed on your new website, WordPress creates an example page and an example post during installation.
You should delete this demo content (or alternatively fill the relevant page or post with sensible content).
You can find the example post (with the title “Hello World”) under Posts> All Posts:
You can find the example page under Pages> All Pages:
6.3. Set permalinks to post name
The permalinks determine what the URLs of your blog posts look like. By default, these contain the publication date and look like this:https://www.blogmojo.de/2018/01/01/titel-deines-blogbeitrags/
This is problematic for a number of reasons. For one thing, it makes your URLs longer, making them harder to remember. On the other hand, the URL of your post changes every time you change the publication date.
We want to avoid that, so we put the permalink structure below Settings> Permalinks on Post name around:
After that, your urls will look like this:https://www.blogmojo.de/titel-deines-blogbeitrags/
Looks nicer doesn't it?
6.4 Install WordPress plugins
WordPress plugins are used to supplement or change the functions of WordPress.
Plugins are one of the many reasons I love WordPress!
And there are plenty of them.
There are over 54,000 free plugins in the WordPress repository alone. There are also tens of thousands of free and paid plugins that are offered outside of the repository.
Of course, you don't need most of them. However, some are required to get the most out of your blog:
- Rank Math (to optimize your blog for Google, e.g. meta settings and sitemaps)
- Antispam Bee (for automatic detection of spam comments)
- Shariff Wrapper (for displaying data protection-compliant social sharing buttons).
- Updraft Plus (to set up automatic backups)
- Cache Enabler (for caching your website, improves the loading time by 10 times!)
Depending on what you plan to do with your blog, you may need additional plugins. You can find a good selection in my article The Best WordPress Plugins.
7. Find a WordPress theme
Once you have made the basic settings for WordPress and installed the most important plugins, the next step is design!
First of all, you should choose a nice theme that you like and that fits your blog topic.
The three themes Twenty Nineteen, Twenty Seventeen and Twenty Sixteen are installed by default.
You can find a huge selection of free themes in the WordPress theme directory.
You can do this by going to the WordPress admin area Design> Themes go and there on the little button Add above the theme selection or the large plus button Add a new theme click in the theme selection:
Then available themes will be displayed directly in WordPress:
To make it easier for you to find the right theme for you, I have put together a practical preselection for you in my article 29 ingenious WordPress themes for your blog.
8. Create important pages
There are certain pages that every website and blog should have.
- Create an "About Me" page to show your readers who you are and what you can offer them.
- An imprint (the “legally required provider identification”)
- A contact page with a contact form (optional)
- A “Work with me” page (optional if you offer services through your website)
You can create a page by clicking in the right sidebar in the WordPress admin area pages click.
Then click on Create in the sidebar or on the button Create next to the title of the page overview:
As you can see in the screenshot, a page for the data protection declaration is created by default with the WordPress installation (however incomplete and only as a draft).
Pages vs. Posts in WordPress
You use posts in WordPress to write blog articles, news or announcements. They are sorted by date and displayed on the start page. They can also be classified into categories and keywords.
You use pages in WordPress for generally valid content without a date reference, such as B. Imprint, data protection declaration, lexicon entries, about-me-page, contact-page or the like. You cannot classify pages in categories or keywords, but you can define their hierarchy (e.g. as the top or bottom of another page).
9. Frequently asked questions
Here I have put together the answers to the most frequently asked questions:
9.1 Why WordPress as blog software?
There are a variety of reasons why you should choose WordPress as your blog platform.
Here are the 8 most important:
- It's easy to install.
- The software is completely free to use.
- WordPress hosting is available for a few euros per month.
- WordPress is extremely well documented. There are thousands of guides on the various WordPress features.
- Since 38% of all websites worldwide run on WordPress, there is one huge
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