Starting a blog is the BEST gift you can give yourself at any day of the year.
A blog not only allows you to express yourself, share your expertise, and make fans and followers but also helps you earn a decent income through your blog.
If you’re new to blogging and are wondering how to start a blog for free, in this article, I’ll show you how to create a free blog on blogger.com (Google’s own free blogging platform).
Let's begin with the basic introduction to Blogger.com.
An Introduction To Blogger.com
Blogger.com is Google’s very own free blogging site or platform where you can create a free blog with the .blogspot.com subdomain (for example, yourdreamblog.blogspot.com) or you can buy a domain (recommended) to have your perfect website (for example, www.yourdreamblog.com).
Advantages of starting a blog on Blogger.com
- Starting a blog on Blogger.com is free and easy to launch.
- The platform is owned by Google, so you have that trust and credibility.
- Though there are a lot of free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Weebly, Tumblr, Blogger.com is the winner of them all when it comes to giving you freedom and the features offered.
- You can monetize your blog with Google AdSense and other programs like affiliate marketing easily unlike other platforms.
Now let's see how you can start your own blog with our step-by-step guide below.
Step By Step Guide To Start A Free Blog On Blogger.com
Now that you know why starting a blog on Blogger.com is beneficial, let’s head over to the next step; Getting started with blogger.com
Creating A Blogger Account
To get started, go to Blogger.com, and you will be greeted with a beautiful landing page which prompts you to create a free blog.
Since blogger.com is a product by Google, you can easily create a free blog account by signing in with your preferred Gmail account.
After you log in, you’ll be asked to use blogger as your default Google plus profile or if you’d like to continue with a limited blogger.com profile.
I recommend you choose the former for added benefits like connecting your blog with your Google plus social profile.
On the next screen, click on “Create your blog” button again to launch your first blog.
Choosing A Blog Name And A Theme
In the next screen, you get to select a domain for your blog.
Domain name, in case you don’t know, is an address through which people across the world can access your website.
It is like your physical office address people would need to reach out to you at your office.
Choose a short domain name that is relevant to your blog topic.
Here is a complete guide on choosing the best domain names for your blog.
Next, choose a suitable theme (decides how your blog will look on the front end) for your blog and click on “Create blog!” button. (Don’t worry you can always change these later.)
Optimizing Your Blogger Blog
After you create your blog, it’s time to optimize it for more search engine visibility and better user experience.
This is a one time process.
You can access it on the left hand-side panel.
Just click on the option that reads “Settings, ” and you can optimize your blog as below:
1. Adding a description to your blog
Adding a description to your blogger blog helps readers and search engines know what your blog is about. You can set it by selecting the basic settings option under the main “settings panel.”
Read this guide on HubSpot blog to know how to write an effective meta description.
2. Optimizing your post section of the blogger blog
This section will optimize your homepage and how things like in your single post settings.
These settings are pretty self-explanatory, and if you have any issues, then you can click on the help symbol (question mark symbol) to get more details about it.
3. Optimizing your blog for SEO
In this section, you optimize your blog for search engines.
- Meta tags: You will write a good summary about your blog here. This will appear on search engines and will attract readers to your blog.
- Custom page not found: When people land on your website through a URL that no longer exists, you can set a message to them that the page doesn’t exist. You can set any custom text or HTML message instructing them what to do next.
- Custom redirects: If someone links to any of your posts or pages, and you happen to delete that page, or they link to a wrong URL that doesn’t exist, you can use this option to redirect all such backlinks to any single page. Ideally, this should be your homepage URL here.
The next section is something I would advise you not to mess with.
Editing The Theme And Layout
Now, in this section, we will edit the layout of our blogger template.
Blogger already has a range of free templates that are basic and simple. But, if you want to go for a different blog template you can download those from a simple Google search.
However, for the sake of this article, we will go with the default blogger template.
1. Adding a logo
A logo is what defines and identifies your brand.
Blogger.com also allows you to set a custom logo for your blog.
Since you are getting started you don’t need to get an expensive logo design. You can create a simple logo by your own using a free tool like Canva.
After that, you can go to the layout option and select “edit” link in the header box.
It prompts you various options to set a logo, choose a custom image to upload the one you designed.
2. Removing the navbar
The navbar is an unpleasant navigation bar on the top of your every page that has links to sign out and visit other blogs.
I recommend removing this because it looks ugly and also gets your reader to go to the other blogs through the next blog link.
To remove it, click on “edit” link on the box that reads navbar and in the next popup window, turn it off.
3. Adding a custom gadget
Gadgets are tiny pre-made code snippets that help you add various functionality on your blog.
You can use those to add social media buttons, a search option, contact form, visitor stats, a custom menu or literally anything via custom HTML.
If you want to add a custom gadget to blogger, when you select the “layout” option, you will find small hyperlinks that read “add a gadget.” Clicking on those will open default blogger gadgets, and you can choose which one to add.
With this, you have set up a professional blog for free on Blogger.com. All you need to do next is to write posts and pages that drive traffic to your blog.
In case you’re confused, posts and pages are literally the same except for the fact that pages are usually constant data that rarely gets changed or updated.
On blogger, you can create unlimited articles (posts) and only 20 pages. So use your pages wisely.
1. Creating an about us page for your blog
The about page is probably going to be the most visited page of your blog because every reader that comes would want to check out who you are, what your mission is and what they can expect from your blog.
Writing your about page is simple, you just need to give an introduction to yourself.
After that, you could talk a bit about your blog and what topics the readers can expect from it.
If you’re providing any services or are open for any business deals, it is also good to mention those here and link them to separate pages you will create for them.
Lastly, don’t forget to add your social channels like facebook page or profile or Twitter handle to get them to follow you over there.
These are important pages that you should create before launching your blog publicly or applying for any monetization programs like AdSense.
Now, there is nothing to be scared. These pages can be easily created or generated without much technical knowledge.
3. Writing your first post
Now it is time to write posts or articles that you want people to read on your blog.
These can be topics that you have expertise in or keywords that you want to rank for when people search them on Google.
To write a post, go to your blogger dashboard and select the option “New Post.”
You will then land on an editor where you can write your blog post, give it a title, add images and even hyperlinks to other posts and pages on your blog or reference articles around the web.
The editing concept is similar to that you do in an MS Word or Google doc, so it is not going to be hard for you.
I recommend writing at least 5 posts before launching your blog publicly or sharing it with friends.
Having a decent number of blog posts will give enough idea to your visitors about what your blog is going to be like and what they can expect from it.
Monetizing Your Blog With Google AdSense
This guide on starting a free blog would surely be incomplete without a tutorial to monetize your BlogSpot blog.
Here is how to monetize your blogger blog with Adsense.
When you have at least a decent number of blog posts and a good readership, you can definitely use Google AdSense to earn money from your Blogspot blog.
You can easily apply for AdSense via your blogger dashboard and get approval.
To apply for AdSense via BlogSpot.com, go to your dashboard, click on “Earnings” and click apply for AdSense.
Since I created a demo blog for the purpose of this tutorial, it is not eligible for AdSense yet.
However, when you have all the necessary pages and a few posts, you can successfully get approval.
So, with this, you completed your crash course to create a free blog on blogger.com.
I hope you start your own free blog, gain first-hand experience in blogging and earn some money for your financial freedom.
After this, you can migrate your blog anytime to the self-hosted WordPress blogs to gain more control over your blog and get even more potential for its growth.