How Can You Become a Blogger and Create a Website?

Become a BloggerOne of our readers once asked me two questions in the comment section upon visiting our website. “How can I become a blogger? Secondly, how can I create a website?

I tried to respond to him, but I didn’t exhaustively answer to satisfy his need. It kept on haunting me, and I know many other people need a comprehensive guide on how to become a blogger. It’s the reason why I have come up with a step-by-step tutorial on this subject.

Although blogging isn’t our core business, we use it purposely to market our engraving business online and to fulfil our corporate social responsibility of providing our readers with free useful information on business ideas, marketing and personal development. The information we post here is from our hands-on experience over several years.

How Can You Become a Blogger?

Before we dive in, it’s essential to know right from the beginning that at the end of this tutorial, you will be able to understand:

  1. The meaning of a blog
  2. Why you should start blogging
  3. How to set up a Blog/Website with WordPress
  4. How to become a successful blogger
  5. Tips for writing winning blog posts on the internet

To jump straight to each of the sections listed above, click on it.

1. The Meaning of a Blog

A blog is an online journal which presents information sequentially or chronologically with the latest posts appearing first on a page. The key points to note here include the following:

  • A blog is a regularly updated website. The frequency of adding information on it depends on the preference of the person(s) managing it. It can be, for example, once every day, once or twice a week, once a month, etc.
  • One person or a group of people run a blog, who add new information written in an informal and conversational style. They share their views on a particular subject related to their niche.
  • To create a blog, you need a blogging platform, which is a software with communication systems that enable authors to publish content which they deliver to their readers through websites, emails, social networks and feed syndication systems. Another term bloggers use for blog platforms is Content Management Systems (CMS). These CMS include WordPress, Blogger, Wix, Tumblr and much more.  In this tutorial, we shall limit ourselves to WordPress because it’s what we use and the most popular.
  • Blogging is the act of adding new material (usually referred to as content) to a blog to update it regularly.
  • A blogger is, therefore, the person who manages the blog by updating it with new information regularly.

What is the difference between a Blog and a Website?

What you should know is that a blog is a type of website. The difference between the two is that while the former has frequently updated content, the latter, on the other hand, tends to be static. For instance, our site has three components: the main website, blog and online shop.

The main website is static. Although we can add more pages on it in future, it doesn’t have regularly updated content. 

The blog is an extension of our main website. We update it regularly with new content which we write in a conversational style to connect directly with our targeted customers and readers. When we post new articles, they appear chronologically with the latest ones first on the page.

The online shop is another extension of our main website, where we display our products for sale on the internet. Although it also gets updated with new products, it’s not a blog because we don’t use it to interact with our readers. 

2. Why Should You Start Blogging?

People blog for various reasons and I am not going to exhaust them all here for you. But I am going to share with you why I opted to start blogging. Probably it will inspire you to think to become a blogger. Your reasons may not necessarily be similar to ours. Do some little homework as to why you should start blogging.

Brief on My Blogging History

I started blogging way back in 2007. At that time, I was working with SOS Children’s Villages Uganda, an international organisation that takes care of vulnerable children.

We had sponsors all over the world, especially in Europe, who raised substantially the funds we used to carry on our organisational activities. A need arose to share some of our best practices with the people who supported us. We thought of blogging and, therefore, created a blog.

When it came to who should run the blog, all my co-workers hesitated because it was a demanding commitment with no additional remuneration. Since I was in a senior position, and no other person was willing to take it up, I accepted to do it.

Initially, I used to write articles and send them by email to the lady who was in charge of the sponsorship matters in East Africa. The reason for sharing with her first before uploading them on the organisational website was to establish their suitability. Were they in line with the organisation’s policy and quality standards?

Having learned some blogging skills, I developed a burning desire to start a personal blog. I used this blog to market affiliate products from which I earned a commission on each sale. It made me some additional income, about 80-110 US dollars every month.

When I left the organisation and ventured into an engraving business, we set up a blog to market our company. I would say that Goleza Designers Blog is the only engraving blog in Uganda. It’s our primary marketing tool.

Why did we then venture into blogging?

It’s evident in the brief history given above that we started blogging to:

  • Share our best practices and knowledge. We set up the blog for the organisation where I was employed to connect with the friends of SOS Children’s Villages Uganda. And these were donors, funders and the entire SOS fraternity. We did it by blogging about our choicest practices. We currently use Goleza Designers Blog to share our knowledge with others.
  • Make money. After gaining experience, I set up a personal blog to purposely earn additional income by selling other companies’ products online for a commission.
  • Market, advertise and brand our company. Since most of our targeted customers are internet friendly, blogging has provided us with an excellent platform for promoting our engraving business. Although it requires much time, it’s efficient and pocket friendly.
  • Fulfil our social responsibility. We are in business to make money, yes. But we also have a corporate social responsibility to help other people in our communities and elsewhere in the world. It’s the reason why we share free useful information related to our field of work – business and personal development. We feel good when you visit our blog and go away a changed person.

How Else Have We Benefited from Blogging?

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, I have substantially benefited from blogging in the following ways.

  • It has brought me fame and popularity. When I was still working with SOS Children’s Villages Uganda, many influential people in the SOS fraternity worldwide got to know me and like me because of the stories I wrote and uploaded on the organisation’s blog. Even up to today, I am a recognised expert in our field of business.
  • It has brought us business. Over 70% of the new customers we get are from the internet because of hundreds of the articles we have posted which drive them to us.
  • It has enabled us to grow our website. Every article we post on our blog is a new page added on our website. It’s a record that will remain on the internet for many years to come. And these blog posts will continue to drive a steady number of visitors, hence customers to our business. 

3. How to Set Up a Blog/Website with WordPress

To become a blogger, you need to set up a blog first of all. And to do it, you have to use a blogging platform, also referred to as Content Management System (CMS). There are many blogging platforms, but in this tutorial, we’re going to use WordPress. Why? It’s because WordPress is the most popular platform and what we use to blog. We are conversant with it.

Set up your blog by following this step-by-step guide.

  1. Make a niche discovery
  2. Select a blog name
  3. Register your domain name and purchase a hosting service
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Log in to start writing your first blog post

Make a Niche Discovery

Before you set up a blog, you need to identify a niche, which is the area field of your specialisation. It’s a great way of differentiating your brand and eliminating your competition.

Read the article we posted on niche discovery to understand it better.

Select a Blog Name

After discovering your niche, you then get a blog name. The blog name you select is going to be your website address, i.e. yahoo.com. Get additional information on how to come up with a winning business name.

Register your Domain Name and Purchase a Hosting Service

After selecting a domain name, you have to pay for its registration online. You will also have to purchase hosting service for storing your website files. Of course, you need a debit/credit card to make payments online. If you don’t have one and you are in Uganda, just visit any UBA Bank branch to process one instantly.

To register your domain name, you will check for its availability. You will have to select an extension to accompany your name. There are several domain extensions from which you can select the most suitable one such as .com, .ltd, .co, .org, .net, .biz and many others.

Enter your name in the Namecheap.com search box to check its availability and to register it as shown below.

domain name registration

Select the domain name with your preferred extension from the options provided and add it to cart. Proceed to check out and make your payment using your debit or credit card. The cost of registering your name depends on the extension you choose and the number of years you want it registered. But it’s on average USD 10 (equivalent to UGX 37,500/=). It’s always advisable to sign up to open your account with NameCheap.com. 

After registering your domain name, the second step is to purchase a hosting service. NameCheap.com provides pocket-friendly hosting plans. Select a Hosting Plan of your preference. I recommend that you choose the Stellar Business Plan, which will cost you about $4.44 per month and a total of $52.88 a year.

Since you have already registered your domain name, you will have to select the “Existing Domain Name” option. The log into your account to add the registered domain name and pay.

Namecheap Hosting Plan

So to register your domain name and purchase hosting service with NameCheap.com for one year each will not cost you more than $100.

Install WordPress

Now that you have your domain name registered and hosting service purchased, it’s easy to have WordPress installed automatically.

To install WordPress, you will have to, first of all, log in to your NameCheap account. Go to the domain name you registered located under “Recently Active in your Account“. Mouseover the host icon and in the dropdown menu, select “Go to cPanel“, the last item at the bottom. You will get a redirection to your web hosting control panel (refer to the image below).

namecheap dashboard

While in the cPanel, scroll down to locate “SOFTACULOUS APPS INSTALLER” and click on the WordPress icon to go to another page, where you will again click on the “Install Now” button to proceed with the installation process. (Refer to the images below).

Softaculous Apps Installer

WordPress Installation

Pay Special Attention to the details on the Installation Page

On the WordPress installation page, you need to fill in the following details:

  • Choose the version you want to install – select the newest WordPress version, which is the first one from the top.
  • Choose installation URL – start by selecting the protocol, for example, http://www, https://www etc. Use the HTTPS protocol if you purchased SSL when you were registering your domain name. Then choose your domain name and leave the Directory field empty because we want WordPress installed in the root directory, for example, yourdomain.com.
  • Site Name – enter the name of your website, for example, “Fast Foods Uganda”.
  • Site Description – enter a brief description of your website, for example, “Snacks and meals quickly prepared for you to take away”.
  • Enable Multisite (WPMU) – leave it unchecked for now.
  • Admin Username – change the default name “admin” to something else, for example, “FastFoods”.
  • Admin Password – change the suggested password to something different. You will need to create a stronger password with both upper and lower cases, numbers and special characters. Do not forget to write them somewhere for you to remember them. And make sure you don’t expose your username and password to anyone else.
  • Admin Email – enter the email address you will use to manage your website as the administrator. It’s important!
  • Select Language – Maintain the default language, which is English.

Other Installation Details

  • Select Plugin(s) – Uncheck all the plugins listed for now.
  • Advanced Options – Click on the plus sign (+) to expand the details. Leave everything as it is, but change the Table Prefix to something else. If for example, the default one is wpu5_,  you can adjust it to wpfastfoods_. Note that it must begin with wp and end with _. It’s so crucial. The reason for changing your Table Prefix is to increase the security of your website so that hackers don’t quickly get into it.
  • Select Theme – choose any theme of your preference. The WordPress themes provided here are free, but there are premium themes like Divi, which we also use for our website.
  • Email installation details to – enter the email address where you want to receive the installation details.
  • Install – Click the install button to finish the installation process, a fundamental step on your way to become a blogger.

Log in to Start Writing your First Blog Post

Now that you have your WordPress installed, you have started your journey to become a blogger. All that you need to do is to log in to your WordPress Dashboard and write your first blog post.

Logging in to your dashboard is simple. Just get your website URL, add the word “login” at its end and enter them in your browser. For example, if my website address is https://www.deliverparcels.com, then my WordPress login URL is, therefore, https://www.deliverparcels.com/login. Click enter to access the login screen.

On the login page, enter your username and password which you created when installing your WordPress. Click on the “Log In” button to go to your WordPress Dashboard where you will manage your website (refer to images below).

WordPress Login

WordPress Dashboard

Having logged in to your dashboard, you will have to familiarise with it before you start doing anything else. On the left-hand side of it, you will see the menu, which includes posts, media, pages, comments, projects, appearance, plugins, users, tools, settings, etc. I would like to focus on that section for now.

WordPress Dashboard Illustration

Change the Permalink Structure

A permalink is a unique permanent URL that identifies your WordPress website pages or blog posts from other content on the World Wide Web. e.g. https://www.golaserengraving.com/laptop-engraving-services/

Permalinks are so essential because search engines use them to index your content for people to view them when they browse the internet. Secondly, other bloggers use them to link to your website. Thirdly, you also use these permalinks to share your content with friends and on any social media networks.

The first thing you MUST do after familiarising with your dashboard is to go to the settings and change your Permalink. Mouseover on “Settings” and in the dropdown menu, look for “Permalinks” and click on it to go to where you will change your permalink structure from the default. While there, select the “Post Name” button and scroll down to save the changes. That’s it. You’ve done an essential task that will help you sufficiently in your search engine optimisation.

permalink change

Extend your Website’s Functionality

After changing your permalink structure, you need to consider adding some functionality to your website.

To extend the functionality of your site, you will use what we call plugins to add new features to your site. A plugin is, therefore a piece of software containing some functions which you can add to your website. There exist numerous plugins which you will have to explore and use them. Each plugin has its purpose such as speed, security, feature etc.

One of the fundamental plugins I would like to add right from the start is the Yoast SEO. It will help you to optimise your blog posts so that they can become visible in the search engines.

To add this plugin, simply mouseover the “Plugin” menu to reveal three items: Installed plugins, Add new and Plugin Editor. Just click on “Add New” to go to the plugin page. Write the word “Yoast SEO“, several plugins will display automatically. Select the one with the same name. Click on it to activate it. That’s it for now. And that’s how you add plugins next time to extend your website’s functionality.

Add Plugin

Give to your Website an Attractive Appearance

In addition to plugins, you need to give a nice-looking appearance to your website. Remember that when you were installing WordPress, you also selected a theme. That’s the one you can continue to use. It’s a free theme.

A WordPress theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets that define its appearance and display. There are paid themes premium themes and free themes.

To change a theme, mouse over “Appearance” and select “Themes” from the dropdown menu. You can either add a new one or activate an existing one.

Working with themes when you are a beginner is not easy at all. You have to spend a lot of time learning how to style your website to achieve what will appeal to your visitors. Secondly, good premium themes like Divi Theme are costly, but they are worth the investment. As a starter, you should use a free theme first as you build your capacity.

theme installation

 Write your First Blog Post

To become a blogger, you need to write blog posts regularly. But one of the biggest challenges in the blogging industry is coming up with blogging ideas. Secondly, you have to be with a good command of English and writing skills.

Now that you have set up your WordPress blog and a few essentials to make it work, it’s high time you wrote your first blog. How do you go about it?

The first step is to know your subject matter. In your niche, you will always have numerous topics on which to write. You need many ideas, not only for your first blog post but also for your subsequent articles. It’s, therefore, good to have a notebook where you will record all the blogging ideas that come to your mind. You can also use your phone.

Secondly, break down your blogging idea into a sub-topics and give a heading to each section. Your blog post should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. It’s a good practice to break down the body into several sub-sections each with a sub-title.

You can open a word document to write your blog post, and then copy and paste it into your WordPress new post page to publish it.

Wordress Block Editor (Guatenberg)

Publishing your first blog post is simple. Just mouse over the “Posts” menu and click on “New” in the dropdown. You will get redirected to the block editor where you will write your blog post or paste it.

add blog post

On this page, you will have to add a title first, then the body. But before you proceed, you should familiarise yourself with the interface. It will help you to do things the right way. The interface you get will depend on the theme you’re using. In this tutorial, I have chosen the “Twenty Twenty” theme. (Refer to the image below).

blog page interface

Consider these details crucial

But before you begin writing or pasting your text, there are a few things required and which you need to do for every blog post. They include the following:

  • Category – every blog post must belong to a specific category, and this is a group of topics that are connected or related to one another in one way. For instance, on our blog, we have categories like business ideas, business marketing, personal development, engraving services and engraved products. So any article we write has to belong to any of these categories. You, therefore, have to create these categories.
  • Tags – tags work in the same way as categories. Each of your posts should have one.
  • Feature image – for every blog post you write, it’s essential to have a featured image that will appear on your blog list page and in the search results together with your posts.
  • Excerpt – it’s your blog summary (usually not exceeding 270 characters) with a link to your entire blog post. It’s so important because it also appears on your blog list page.

Using WordPress Block Editor is not difficult at all. For example, if you want to write the blog post title, just click anywhere in the area of “Add title” to begin writing or paste your text. And do the same for writing the body.

To add something different like a new paragraph, an image, a sub-title you click on the add new block button, a plus sign (+). When you click on it, you reveal the block categories from which you select the one you want to use. Alternatively, you can enter a keyword in the search box to quickly get the block you need. Make sure you save as you write your blog post.

WordPress Writing Blocks

 

4. How to Become a Succesful Blogger

If you want to become a blogger and build a successful online business, you need to consider the following ingredients so crucial.

  • Discover your niche
  • Build a pleasant looking website
  • Make your website responsive
  • Get into the habit of writing
  • Focus on marketing your blog
  • Become a blogger through reading
  • Integrate SEO in all your blog posts

Niche Discovery

Focusing on finding your niche first is one of the vital ingredients of building a successful blog. It should be one of your #1 steps in setting up your website. You cannot be a jack of all trades because you will turn out to be a master of none.

It’s, therefore, prudent to focus on a specific area where you have a competitive advantage. It helps you to brand yourself so that your readers get to understand who you are.

For instance, we write about business with a focus on engraving. Our blog posts are always on our engraving services and engraved products. But since we have a corporate social responsibility of helping others (especially the youth) to start and build successful businesses, we also share information about business startup ideas, business marketing and personal development. If you want to become a blogger who is success-oriented, think to find your niche first.

Build a Pleasant Looking Website

To become a blogger and build a successful website, you need to get things done right from the beginning. One of them is the appearance of your blog. It has to look appealing to your readers. It’s, therefore, necessary to find another website you admire and use it as a template for your website design.

In addition to its appearance, you have to make your blog organised and easy to navigate. Make sure you use high-quality photos. You can get free professional images from a website like Pixabay.com.

Make your Website Responsive

Making your website viewable on mobile phones and desktop computers is essential. Most readers nowadays will access your blog from mobiles more than from laptops or desktops.

Get into the Habit of Writing

To become a blogger and a successful one, you must get into the habit of writing. It’s the only way you can get your voice out to the world. Many people want to own a website, but they hate blogging because of the frequency at which they have to update their blogs with fresh content. But you cannot succeed online and attract readers without publishing content on your blog regularly.

To produce excellent blog posts, you have to be passionate about blogging. Good command of English is also a prerequisite. It also requires you to develop the blogging skill, and the only way to achieve this is to get into the habit of writing. So to become a successful blogger, you have to commit yourself to write consistently.

Set your target if you want to succeed in blogging. For instance, you can commit yourself to write two blog posts per week and publish them. If you do this, you will end up having written over 100 articles in a year. That’s good enough to get you some readers. And if you do it over the years, you will become an authority in your field.

Focus on Marketing your Blog

When you set up your blog, don’t expect to get anywhere without making any effort to market it. Become a blogger who can get your blog out in the world. You can do it in many ways which may include the following.

  • Start chatting with other bloggers in your field of specialisation by leaving valuable comments on their blog posts. Do it frequently because it will eventually draw people back to your blog.
  •  Write about topics that are popular to position yourself well in search engines to increase your online visibility.
  • Include your blog address on every offline promotional material like business cards. Let it also be part of your email signature.
  • Ask other bloggers to contribute to their blogs by writing useful articles to publish on their sites. It will drawback readers to your website.
  • Join social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and post every article you write to attract more readers.
  • When you write a new blog post, go through the relevant old posts that you have written and add a link pointing to the new one.
  • Join online forums related to your niche and participate in any useful discussions.
  • Create an electronic newsletter and begin collecting emails addresses of the readers who subscribe to it. When you publish new blog posts, talk about them in the newsletter and send it your readers.
  • Get more creative with sharing your blog so that more people read it. When more readers visit your website, it becomes so visible in search engines. And when it appears high in the search engines, you get more followers. If you want to become a blogger and a successful blogger, take it from me that you have to commit yourself to promote it.

Become a Blogger through Reading

It’s very difficult to know everything you need to know in your niche. Situations change. So even your business industry changes as time goes on. It’s the reason why you have to keep yourself reading to learn.

Integrate SEO in all your Blog Posts

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a technique you have to use to increase the quantity and quality of website visitors to your blog through organic search engine results. To understand what it is, follow our write-up on SEO.

To integrated SEO in your blog posts, you have to use the Yoast SEO plugin, which we already added to extend the functionality of your website. First, you need to familiarise yourself with the vital components of this helpful plugin. Read this Beginner’s Guide to Yoast SEO to fully understand how to use each of the functions of this plugin.

Learn it from the beginning that every blog post you write must have a keyword or keyphrase for which you want to rank in the search engines. It’s this keyword which you enter in the keyphrase field. Then endeavour to get a green colour score on every element before you publish your blog post. If you want to become a blogger, know that SEO is the foundation of your success. Take your time to teach yourself the basics of Search Engine Optimisation

yoast plugin become a blogger

5. Tips for Writing Winning Blog Posts on the Internet

When you become a blogger, it’s so important to learn the tricks of becoming a well-known expert in your field of business or niche. It’s, therefore, crucial to learn right from the beginning that you blog about topics to answer the needs of your targeted audience. It means that you have to offer useful content if you want to succeed.

Secondly, teach yourself to present your information in a way that will attract readers. You may have useful information, but if you cannot pass it over to others effectively, you are wasting your time.

For instance, you need to know the tricks of writing effective headlines. I gave some hints on this aspect in one of my articles on the winning formula for writing blog post headlines.

Thirdly, you should work towards acquiring the tools that will enable you to compose excellent articles. I have identified one must-have software for creating mistake-free blog posts, and this is Grammarly Writing Tool.

If you want to know more about this excellent writing tool, visit my article entitled “Grammarly Writing Tool is as Valuable to English Writers as Gold“. You can sign up and use the free plan. But when you get funds, it’s always a good idea to pay for the premium plan to extend its functionality.

Final Thought

I believe that you have learned enough knowledge to enable you to set up a website and become a blogger. Give it a trial. You can always do it. Luckily enough, we are also here to support you where you find a problem. We want you to lay a strong marketing foundation for your business by establishing it online. Start now.

If you find yourself unable or you don’t have the time, Goleza Designers can always do the donkey work for you at a minimal charge of UGX 550,000/= (equivalent to USD 150). For more information on this offer, visit our WordPress Setup Services.

Hello! My name is Charles Kiyimba, a creative engraver, a professional teacher, a passionate blogger, a confident graphic/web designer and the founder of Goleza Designers Ltd, an engraving business that turns images into real products. Through my hands-on experience, I share with you free helpful information on our products and services, business, marketing and personal development. Always dive in for more!

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