Learn about building a blog, along with some resources to help get started

Welcome to Startup Essentials 101—a no-holds-barred guide to high-growth startups and how they work. ☺️

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to start a blog, but there are plenty of other reasons why you may not have the time, energy, or resources to build an entire website. The good news is that you don’t need to spend much time learning how to build a blog if that’s what you decide. Regardless of your motivation for wanting to create a blog, the fact is that there are several tools out there that can help streamline the process so that you can focus on other things.

Many sites see bloggers as a good way to extend their brand. Bloggers can either be influencers or loyal customers who help promote their content. You can also drive traffic to your business by having your own blog. Having an active blog will help establish you as an expert in your industry and will provide opportunities for others to search for and find your content. It’s for this reason that many startups build their own blogs and usually create a section on their site where they post blog posts.

What is a Blog?

A blog is a website that contains content in the form of articles and commentary. Posts on a blog are usually displayed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent post shown first. Most blogs contain links to other blogs, and often to other websites. The main idea behind a blog is to present information in a briefer and less formal manner than traditional media such as newspapers and magazines.
The most popular blogging platform is WordPress. It is an open source blogging tool that can be installed on any web server for free. WordPress is easy-to-use, comes with many customizable themes, and has social network integration, which allows you to easily share your posts across multiple platforms.
Many bloggers use WordPress to create their website because of its ease of use. However, some bloggers don’t like it because they feel that it takes away from the uniqueness of their site by giving it a generic look or feel.

How Blogs Work

If you’re thinking about starting a blog, it’s important to understand how they work.
A blog is essentially an online journal or diary. The blogger (that’s you!) posts regular updates about anything and everything of interest to readers. Blogs can cover anything from politics to personal finance (like this one), technology, parenting, travel, health or just about any other subject you can think of. There are also specialized blogs that focus on topics like memes or viral content.
The main thing that all blogs have in common is that they’re regularly updated with new content. A blog post is basically the same thing as an article in a newspaper or magazine — it’s just published on the internet rather than in print. And if the content is good enough, your audience will come back again and again to read what you have to say.

How to Build a Blog

If you're looking for practical tips and advice on how to build a blog, you've come to the right place.

Building a blog for your startup is important to share your story and educate potential users on the value of your product. If you don’t have a blog, you can still gain some traction by creating an online presence using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but having your own blog is a must if you want to build a loyal following.
*Steps to building a blog:

  1. Find a Domain Name – Get a domain name that’s easily recognizable and easy to spell. For example, I used “My Digital Life” for this site because it was memorable and easy to type out.
  2. Set Up Your Blog – The process of setting up your blog will vary depending on which blogging platform you choose to host it on. Several of the most popular options include: WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Weebly.
    BloggerGoogle’s blogging platform is pretty straightforward and offers more options than most other free services out there.
    WordPress – This platform is great for those who want full control over their website’s look, features and functionality. It has a steeper learning curve than smaller platforms, but offers full customization options that aren’t available with free providers.
  3. Write content – You can write articles, create video tutorials or upload a PDF.

See samples of different types of blog design.

The easiest way to build your own blog is to use one of the free blogging services on the Web. The most popular of these are Blogger, TypePad, WordPress and Moveabletype. This is the first step in creating your own blog.
If you don’t want to deal with setting up your own blog, you can use a free hosted blog service like http://www.blogger.com or http://www.livejournal.com. With these services, you can set up a new blog within minutes and start writing right away without having to worry about technical details like hosting or domain name registration.
How to Get Your Blog Noticed
BlogSpot, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress. For more information on how to get traffic to your blog, see Traffic Generation.

Features on Blogging Platforms

There are a lot of free blogging platforms out there, but in my opinion, WordPress is the best one. It’s easy to set up and easy to use. It has a massive plugin directory with tons of free and paid-for plugins that can add many premium features to your blog without paying a dime.
How much does it cost?    
WordPress.com is the free version of WordPress, hosted by Automattic (the company behind WordPress). The free version comes with some limitations, such as the number of posts you can host and the size of your storage space. However, these limitations should be more than enough for most bloggers and small businesses.
Here’s a list of some paid-for features you can add to your blog:
Additional Storage Space – $5/month
Automatic Image Sizes – $12/year
Custom Domain Name – $18/year (or $7/year if you’re on annual payment plan)
Premium Themes – From $60 (but there are many good ones for free)
Domain Mapping – Free (but only available with hosting plan)
Ad-Free Blogs – From $5/month (but only available to premium users)
Online Backup & Security – Free (but only first year)

Tools to Help You Build Your Blog

There are many tools available to help you build your blog. These tools can be easy to use and setup, so you can start blogging within minutes. Some of the most popular blog building tools include:
WordPress – WordPress is at the top of the list because it’s a free tool that is easy to use. It’s also highly customizable. WordPress has a lot of plugins that allow you to do a lot more with your blog than a typical blog would allow.
RSS Feeds – This is a form of content distribution, where someone can subscribe to your site through an RSS feed reader. When new content is added, they will receive an email notifying them of the update.
Editorial Calendar – An editorial calendar helps you plan out the topics and articles for your blog in advance. Once completed, it allows you to schedule when each topic will be published and who will write it.
Social Media – Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are great places to promote your blog posts and drive people back to a website or landing page.

Get started blogging without spending time learning how to build your own site.

If you’re a blogger, chances are you’re going to want a website. But if you’re a busy person, setting up a blog can seem like one more task on your to-do list.
You don’t have to spend hours building your own site from scratch to get your blog online. Instead, use free services such as WordPress and Tumblr to set up a blog in no time.
From choosing hosting services and writing posts to picking the right theme and installing widgets, we’ve got you covered.
We’ll walk you through how to:
Set up a domain name and hosting for your blog
Write, edit and publish posts
Add images and videos to your posts
Customize your blog’s appearance with themes and widgets
Manage comments and track traffic

Building a blog is an essential part of living a digital life. Blogs offer ways for you to connect with the people in your life and the world at large, and they provide a platform for you to share your opinions and interests.