How To Create A Blog For Free

by | Mar 19, 2017

Start Your Own Blog

 

Do you have a hobby or interest that you would like to share with the world? Then why not start your own blog. Let me begin by saying that I know this is somewhat off-topic for this blog, but the simple fact is that I started this blog to share information that I found useful and that I hoped others would find useful at the same time.

I’ve always enjoyed learning new things and this blog allows me to help people, get great ideas and engage in interesting conversations with others who also enjoy the same thing.

 

Man holding sign with blog written on itPeople and companies choose to write blogs for a range of reasons, if you are running a business then you might start a blog with the aim of achieving some of the following:

  • Attracting an Audience
  • Establishing Authority
  • Building Rapport and Engagement with your Customers
  • Creating Opportunities

If you are more like me and are just looking to write a blog about your own hobby or interest then one of the following may be more your motivation:

  • Organize Your Thoughts and Learn
  • Tell Your Story
  • Meet New People
  • Stand Out
  • Make Money

 

The biggest benefit that I have found in writing a blog is that it forced me to organize my thoughts, where there were things I didn’t know on a topic I was forced to learn more about it. Writing out your thoughts is a great way to internalize something you’ve learned or experienced, and writing helps you become far more familiar with the topic you’re writing about.

The other great benefit for me has been becoming more involved with the Raspberry Pi community, with people taking my ideas and code and using them in ways that I hadn’t even considered, let me know how it went and even making suggestions and spotting errors that have helped me improve the information that I’m providing. There is an enormous amount of satisfaction in knowing that something I have written has been helpful to someone else.

I have to confess that I was worried when I first started to publish this blog that people would notice that I wasn’t that great at writing or the fact that I wasn’t a bonafide expert on the subject, that what I was writing about wouldn’t be viewed by anyone as helpful.

I can assure you that if this is what is stopping you from writing your own blog, it shouldn’t, the fact is that if you have a topic or hobby that you’re interested in then you will have knowledge and experiences about the subject that others will find helpful.

According to the “One Percent Rule,” only about 1% of internet users are actually producing original content, the other 99% of people are consuming the information that the 1% provide. Most people are looking for an answer to a question if you’re giving them that answer they aren’t going to criticize you for some bad grammar or spelling, and if you don’t have the answer they’re looking for they will simply continue their search.

 

Create A Blog For Free

 

So you’ve got some great ideas that you would like to share with others on your own blog, the first thing you are going to need is a website, this involves purchasing a domain name and then somewhere to host that domain. This is the path that I first went down, the costs are not excessive but the problem I found was that I lacked the knowledge to actually get traffic to my website and therein lies the problem, you may have great information and a beautiful website but if no one knows it exists then all your hard work is to some extent wasted.

The path that I eventually took after a lot of research was with Wealthy Affiliate, this is a company run by a couple of Canadian guys called Kyle and Carson. Wealthy Affiliate specialise in teaching people how to create a blog and generate affiliate income.

The big difference between this company and others that I came across is their focus is on teaching you to create websites that first and foremost help people, with the idea that affiliate income will come from the trust that is gained by first providing people with engaging, useful content. They are definitely not promoting a “Get Rich Quick Scheme”, creating a great blog takes time and effort.

 

Wealthy Affiliate sign up page screen capture

 

The first thing that I noticed when I signed up is that they really practice what they preach, to become a starter member all you need is an email address and a name, that’s it. Once you become a starter member for the first 7 days you have full access to all the beginner training, recordings of the live webinars, live help and the ability to create 2 real websites on the SiteRubix platform. This should be more than enough for you to get started and discover if blogging is for you.

The beginner training walks you through the process of setting up your WordPress website and how to do it in such a way that search engines like Google will find your site and promote your content. It takes you through how to engage with social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  to highlight your site and to get shares/likes/followers that will improve the trust that people have in your content.  It also shows you how to create the basic pages that all blogs need to be viewed as high quality by search engines.

This is where I personally fell short when I was doing it on my own, learning how to get content to rank in Google and engage with social media effectively so that people would actually find my site was the ingredient that I really needed to learn.

The other thing that I found really helpful was how to use WordPress, this is an incredibly popular and powerful blogging platform that does take a little time to get your head around, the training and “Live Chat” support provided was invaluable.

After the first 7 days if you don’t upgrade to a Premium Membership you’ll fall back to the basic starter level of access, you can continue to operate your 2 websites with no obligation to pay any money. This ability to explore the site and take your time to try it out for free is what really sets Wealthy Affiliate apart.

 

The Next Step – Going Premium

 

If you try all this out and decide that blogging is something that you would like to continue then you may want to consider becoming a premium member and getting your own domain name. While you can keep your SiteRubix domain for free, in order to get good rankings in the search engines you will want to consider purchasing your own domain, kind of like your own piece of real estate on the web.

Domains generally cost between $10 and $20 dollars and can be purchased through companies like GoDaddy.com, Namecheap.com or from within the Wealthy Affiliate platform itself, they also provide a very simple process for transferring your existing SiteRubix website across to your own domain name.

 

Some of the many advantages of becoming a Premium Member include:

  • Full Access to all Training
  • Access to Live Webinar Training Sessions
  • Hosting for 50 websites
  • SSL encryption for all your websites
  • Full Website backup
  • 24hr Website support
  • Server Level Comment Spam Filtering
  • Access to Live Chat, Blogs, & Questions
  • Ability to Ask Questions 24/7/365
  • Personal 1-On-1 Access to Both Owners, Kyle & Carson

 

To me the biggest benefit of going premium was the access to the Live Chat, Blogs and Questions section of the site, Wealthy Affiliate’s strength is its huge premium member community, they have an enormous variety of experience so if you have a question there is a good chance that someone has had a similar problem and would be more than happy to help you solve it.

Members are also encouraged to share their solutions by creating their own training modules so what you can learn at Wealthy Affiliate is constantly being expanded and kept up to date.

 

Wealthy Affiliate live webinar screen capture

 

Another great benefit that I found is the weekly live training webinars that cover a wide variety of topics, these are given in an “over the shoulder” walk through style that allows you to watch an expert in the field actually go through how to perform a huge range of things related to your website, this is one of the main reasons that I am still a member of Wealthy Affiliate.

 

How Much is Premium Going to Cost Me?

 

Wealthy Affiliate only has two levels of membership, Starter, and Premium (no upsells), they do however offer a range of pricing to encourage you to join and at no point is there any obligation to upgrade from your starter membership.

If you sign up during the free 7-day trial –

 

your first month – $19

subsequent months – $49

 

 

When you consider what you are getting for your money, training courses, Website Hosting, SSL security certificates, server-level comment spam filtering, and live webinar training I found this to be very good value for money. See the table below for a summary.

 

 

The truth is that if you really want to build a successful website then it will take time, so there is also an option to join on a yearly basis:

 

Yearly memberships – $359

 

That’s a saving of $229 over just paying for membership on a month by month basis. Something amazing also happens when you go yearly and it happened to me, when you go yearly, you’re more likely to be successful. I think this is because in your own mind you have made an investment in yourself to commit to the time and effort required to making your website great.

When you are looking at the cost of premium membership another thing to consider is that once you have readers coming to your blog it is possible to promote products to them, remember, people are coming to your website looking for an answer to a question or to find out more about a topic that already interests them.

If you’ve tried a product or service that has worked for you then why not let your readers know, it will probably help them out and you get to make a commission on the side, this is the basic idea behind affiliate marketing.

There are 1000’s of affiliate programs out there from major companies like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, etc, all keen to have you, someone who has tried their products, promote them to others.

The commissions you receive will vary with the different programs but you should be able to easily make back your cost of membership each year, and there’s training provided inside Wealthy Affiliate to help you make this happen.

 

Final Thoughts

 

I can honestly say that without the help of the Wealthy Affiliate community you wouldn’t be reading this post and in all likelihood, this website wouldn’t exist at all. Don’t get me wrong, creating a content-rich website can be a lot of work but I think that the rewards are worth it.

This website has been visited by people from over 138 countries and really opened my eyes to the reach of the internet and has given me the opportunity to talk with people from all over the world about a topic that I really enjoy.

Wealthy Affiliate’s main focus is teaching you how to create trust and content that people find helpful and engaging, from this trust you can then recommend products that you think might help your readers and receive a commission.

I’ve told you my experiences with them and the fact that blogging is definitely not a “get rich quick scheme”, but if creating your own fantastic website sound’s like something that you are interested in then why not sign up for a Wealthy Affiliate Starter Membership, it’s free, so click on the banner below, you really have nothing to lose.

Let me know your experience with Wealthy Affiliate and your thought’s on blogging, If you have any improvements or spot any errors let me know in the comments below and if you found this helpful, why not share it with others by clicking one of the buttons on the left-hand side.

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