It’s amazing how many young people in school now want to start their own blogs. I am always thrilled (to say the least) when I meet forward-thinking young people with the desire to make a significant difference.
But there are three major challenges that students who want to own their own blogs face.
i. they do not know how to start or where to start.
ii. they honestly can’t afford to have the kind of blogs that they see around.
iii. it appears that they do not have enough time to combine blogging with their school activities.
Some months ago, I wrote a very detailed post on how to start a blog all by yourself. It is a very practical, step-by-step approach on how to start your blog. Anyone, no matter where they are right now can read that post and create a stunning blog.
I, however, realize that that blog post might be difficult for a student who is still active in school to work with. This is why I have decided to write a separate blog post for you. If you are a student and you are very much interested in starting your own blog and making it successful, I assure you – this blog post is going to be a very practical guide.
Maybe you are in Secondary School, High School, University, College, Polytechnic, whatever school you are at right now, this is your guide.
It is my hope that you won’t have to look elsewhere to get your blog off the ground. I hope that this blog post will answer every single question you have always had about starting your own blog. I also hope that this will propel you to actually start and begin to explore all there is to blogging in its entirety.
Welcome on board already.
First, I will address all of the concerns you have. At least, from what I gather and from working with so many people who are still in school, I think I am in a good position to understand the challenges and give you suggestions out of them.
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Questions students who want to start their own blogs ask me
Is Blogging difficult?
No, blogging is not difficult. In fact, when I started to blog, I was also in school just like you. I had just finished my WAEC (this is a secondary school leaving examination in Nigeria) and I was about to write my JAMB (you write this exam to qualify for University application in Nigeria).
So you see, I was even probably younger than you are right now. This means that if I could have started back then, at that age, with very little knowledge about blogging, you absolutely can now.
All you need to have are these:
i. a desire to share your ideas, knowledge, life and/or experiences with the world;
ii. a constant push to keep learning the ropes of blogging;
iii. a blogging platform to put all of this to work.
I promise you, it is more interesting than what you might have always thought. You will not only learn new and exciting things, but you will also grow in the process.
I must warn you though, just like every single venture in this world, you might encounter some challenges. This is not abnormal. You should expect a little hiccup here and there but with your will-power, push and resilience, you are definitely going to overcome them. You must also know that no obstacle or challenge you face in blogging is new. Someone somewhere has gone through it. This is an assurance, there is always a solution.
I do not know what to blog about?
This is one of the most popular concerns that students who want to start their own blogs usually have. The reason why this is so is that you might not be very well exposed to many of the different blogging niches out there. This is also a phase where you are just getting to know and understand yourself.
As a result of this, you might begin to feel inadequate and not qualified enough to talk about anything, especially when you know that older people may stumble on your blog. I get it, you don’t want to look stupid.
But here is what I tell every single person in this category that you are in now: you are allowed to evolve.
Most often than not, it is usually advisable to start a blog that you can grow in and as such, picking a niche or just one topic might be very limiting. So, maybe you should consider getting a blog in your own name so that as you evolve, grow and begin to understand yourself and the world the more, your blog can grow with you.
If you start off with talking only about fashion or beauty, what happens when you grow much older to realize that you are fascinated by computers and hardware? What happens when you get married and have a child and most desperately want to talk about motherhood or relationships?
Do you see why I think it is very wise to get a blog in your name? This will help to accommodate for changes and growth. You can comfortably evolve without having to explain yourself or quit your blog for another one.
This was a big mistake I made when I was just starting out and I do not want anyone who has ever come in contact with me to ever make that mistake again.
My first blog was called – The Nigerian Student. You can guess already, it was difficult for me to metamorphose. I was very restrained by the kind of audience I had built. So I shut down the blog and started this one that you are reading now- Esther Adeniyi.
On it, I have grown, evolved and learned. It has allowed me to be me because I am growing and getting interested in many other things.
But, I do not have the resources
I get it, your pocket money is for food, textbook and transportation and maybe some more necessities and just a few luxuries. You can, however, make this work and I will show you exactly how.
Or I can just give you an overview right now. The two things you need are a laptop (or smartphone) and internet access. That’s all. I am not kidding at all.
Even if you do not have a laptop, chances are that you have a smartphone. Yeah right! I see us o, lol. Some students use better smartphones than I do myself. So, I guess, this realization should put your mind at ease. You don’t need high tech gadgets when you are just starting out.
But you see, just like anyone who does not want to be stagnant, you will evolve. You will grow to need a camera, maybe, a laptop or a better laptop, faster internet, a more sophisticated blog, etc. But like I said, this is in your blogging future, not now.
If you happen to have the means to get all of these resources, perfect! I mean, some people are just fortunate to have older siblings with a badass camera, a lecture theatre with free internet access, rich parents who can afford to buy them the latest releases.
Wherever you are at, what will matter are – interest and grit. I started to blog on Nokia Asha 302. In fact, I opened my first blog on that same small device. I say all I say to help you understand that you have a better shot at this!
You have a responsibility to make it work. I would ask richer friends to share their hotspot with me. The computer academy I was enrolled in too had Wifi. So, I made maximum use of it before I got home. When I gained admission, it didn’t take long before the free Wifi goody started in the University of Ilorin.
All I had to do was make things work. So, it doesn’t matter what you have or do not have right now. You can start where you are!
I don’t have the time to combine blogging with school
Do you have free time to cook, gist with friends, go to parties, go to church, read a Novel, watch TV, obsess over celebrities on Instagram? If you answered Yes to at least one of all those, you have time. Everyone has time. They just decide what to do with that time.
If you have the time to make your hair or eat or go visit friends, you have time. If you have the time to engage in very unproductive things, oh well, you have more time! “I am too busy to blog” is, therefore, an illusion.
What’s going to happen is that you are going to restrategize and rechannel all of the energy you put into doing worthwhile things to start something that may change your life forever and the lives of all the people who read your blog. You are going to decide what price you want to pay to make something beautiful out of your personality and ideas.
In reality, you are not going to have to blog 24/7. In fact, you might only have to spend 3 hours for 3-4 days a week blogging or doing anything that is associated with it. If you are very aggressive and very serious about this, you can increase how many hours you spend so that you can learn more, grow faster and build something worthwhile in just a short time.
But won’t this affect my grades?
Now, I get the question of focus. How do I not lose focus in school? Will my grades go down? This all depends on you at the end of the day. You see, I have met students who have had to fend for themselves all through their schooling. What this means is that they took extra jobs.
In fact, some of them had to even start a business from scratch. I watched these people, I was close to one of them! His grades never went down. Listen, what they did was decide what they were going to do with their free time. Watch Big Brother or build a business. Gist all day with friends after class or go work a shift. Sleep all day or start a blog. Party all weekend or join a cause.
At the end of it all, this isn’t a question of if your extracurricular activities are affecting your grades, it is a question of whether your free time is up for something reasonable.
This is how established people built. This is how they started. They worked hard to get investment on the extra time they had on their hands. It paid off. They did not have to start afresh after school, they were either already made as soon as they graduated or far gone in their journey.
Can I make money from my blog like other Bloggers?
YES, YOU CAN.
How fast you will begin to earn and how much you will make from your blog will depend on the following:
-the amount of exposure you have on monetizing your blog
-how dedicated you are to building a funnel that works
-your readiness to increase income streams on the blog
How long will it take me to open a brand new blog?
It will take you, ehhhhmmmmm, let’s see, 15 minutes. It’s okay to wooooooow now.
Just 15 minutes and you are done opening your first blog. The rest of what happens after then now depends on you. You can begin to learn how to design it. No rush. I understand that many students do not have the funds to hire a blog designer and that’s okay. You can do all of it by yourself.
How much will it cost me to start a blog?
Yeah, now to the nitty-gritty. Money! If you are going to get started right away and you have not a single extra on you, you can start your blog for free.
Yes, right now. For free!
Now, if you have a little more to spare, you can start a blog with $10 (3,600 Naira)- $15 (5,400 Naira) per year. Yes, that’s how much you will renew every year. I will explain this in full detail much later.
If you have more money on your hands and you decide that you know what, I am taking the plunge and I am putting in my all, you will spend from $50 (18,000 Naira) – $100 (36,000 Naira).
Why did I address concerns first?
I have taken the time to address all of these questions and settle concerns that you have raised in your heart so that you can decide for sure if you want to really start a blog or not. You have no vague thoughts hovering around you. You know as it is, you know what happens if you then decide to. What I have done is to empower you to make a final decision. The rest is now up to you.
If you decide that you are going to take this and run with it, you can continue to read on how to get this thing started and begin to build your own empire on the internet.
So, how do you start a blog?
Please don’t forget to Pin to your Pinterest too
There are many blogging platforms in the world. A blogging platform or service is where you host your blog content. It is just like you have Instagram to host the pictures that you want to share with the world.
This time, you are building a platform that will convey your ideas and you can call it yours. You are not restricted as you can share your ideas, you can share videos, images, anything you want to.
Some of these blogging platforms are
Blogger (also known as Blogspot)
Some people even decide to blog on Facebook or Instagram. Their profiles are their blog URLs. Remember that I said that all you need is a platform to host your ideas. The major downside to blogging on social platforms is that you do not own your content.
You cannot back up your content either. Anything can happen at any time and you’d be losing all of the hard work you have built. This is why you want to have a real proper blogging platform.
Now, I will try as much as possible to not overwhelm you with too much so that you have a clear direction on what to do next. If I were to start to explain these platforms, that purpose will be defeated.
The two most popular blogging platforms out of all of these are Blogger and WordPress. Maybe these are familiar terms already but even if they are not, no worries, it is all very easy.
Deciding whether to go with Blogger or WordPress is a whole new conversation so I’d suggest that you read this article. It compares Blogger with WordPress.
How to start a free blog
If you have been reading all along, you’ll remember that I said you can start a blog for free. If you do not have extra funds to begin a blog, you can start a free blog on either of the two most popular blogging platforms I mentioned earlier. Do you remember?
Blogger or WordPress!
If you ask me, I would suggest that you start your free blog on Blogger because it is easier to navigate and understand. As soon as you are done setting up, all you will worry yourself about is putting up your blog content. Also, you can upgrade to the paid version of Blogger or WordPress anytime you want to.
How to start a free blog on Blogger
First, you need a Gmail address to start a free blog on Blogger. Blogger (or Blogspot) is a service owned by Google. The reason you can open a blog for free or for cheap on Blogger is that Google hosts your blog for you for free.
You can decide to use your already existing Gmail address or open one separately for the blog.
Now, that you have a functional Gmail address, simply visit www.blogger.com
You will be asked to sign in with your Gmail address. Click on the sign-in button at the top right of the page.
Now that you have signed in, create a new blog
Put in your title, address and pick a theme. Did you see how I did it in the picture?
Click on “create blog!”
You have just created a new blog!
Click on “view blog” to see the front end of your blog.
Your URL is “https://startingablognow.blogspot.com/” or simply “startingablognow.blogspot.com”
You can then create your “new post”
Now, you can begin to design your blog using the “theme” and “layout” tools at the left-hand side of your dashboard. You can pick from any of the readily available themes on your dashboard or look for a custom theme elsewhere to upload.
You can send me an email if you ever run into troubles designing. While you are it, you can begin to write your blog post. Building and setting up your blog to perfection is like building a house. So, take your time to build as you blog along,
How to start a cheap blog on Blogger
If you have some money to spare, you can then go on ahead to buy your domain name. What buying your domain name does is that it removes “blogspot.com” from your URL. Using a free blog comes with that you have that at the back of your URL.
The following are where you can buy your domain name:
You can buy your domain name with your master card. It is very easy. After you buy your domain name, you will have to link your newly bought custom domain name with your already existing free Blogger blog. This is so that you do not lose your blog posts and so that people who still visit the old blog can be automatically redirected to the new blog URL.
How to add your custom/newly bought domain to your Blogspot
Login to your blogger dashboard through www.blogger.com
On the left-hand side of your blogger dashboard, you will find “settings”, click on it. Be sure to be under the category “basic”.
Under the Publishing section, click on “Setup a 3rd party URL for your blog”You can then paste the domain name you have just bought. Click on “save”
When you do that, an error page will pop up.
“We have not been able to verify your authority to this domain.”
But that is okay, the details that will be shown alongside the error will be used to create your CNAME records and other things.
Check this resource to continue your set up. If you ever run into any troubles, you can send me an email.
How to start a WordPress Blog
Remember that I mentioned that if you have more money, you can go for a higher Blogging platform. This blog post walks you through exactly how to start your blog on WordPress.
Now that you have your blog ready, you can check out the following for further detailed reading on how to begin to rock your blog and maybe make money from it very soon.
- Step by step guide on how to begin to drive massive traffic to your blog using Pinterest
- What you should know before you begin to make money from your blog
- How to make money from your blog
I hope that this blog post is all that you need to get your blog started while you are still in school. If you have any questions as regards this, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments section below. If you find this article resourceful, please share it with your friends and classmates too.