Getting started with blogging may seem like a lucrative idea that’s easy to monetize.
If you already have some experience, this option will be a no-brainer.
People who haven’t dabbled in the world of website creation, however, may feel overwhelmed and threatened by the prospect of building their own blog.
Can you build a blog if you don’t have website development knowledge and experience?
The answer is yes.
There are numerous ways to build a blog for free on your own. WordPress and free website templates make it incredibly easy to start.
Even if you benefit from such an opportunity, however, it may be a good idea to master some of the website development basics.
The following guide will acquaint you with some HTML for bloggers and the best opportunities for setting up a blog on your own.
The possibilities listed below do not require technical knowledge and even if you consider yourself a complete newbie, you can still make use of them.
HTML stands for hypertext markup language. This is the code used to structure a website, its appearance and its content.
Sounds scary and technical but it really isn’t.
HTML is a programming language that consists of a series of elements. These elements work together to make a website or a blog appear in a certain way or act in some manner.
A simple example of HTML is the following:
<b>I love my cat.</b>
The tags used suggest that the text should be bolded when it appears on the website. This is one element that affects the design of the content.
The first <b> is the opening tag that suggests the beginning of the element. </b> is the closing tag that’s indicative of the end.
HTML coding consists of many such elements.
Individual elements are combined with each other to create an entire HTML page.
A developer can create the structure on their own.
If you don’t have the knowledge and experience, you can benefit from numerous shortcuts.
A bit of HTML knowledge will still come in handy because it will enable you, for example, to modify a blog template that you’re not 100 percent content with.
2. Free Templates
The first aspect of HTML for bloggers who don’t know what they’re doing is benefiting from somebody else’s knowledge.
A blog template is a great choice because the coding is already done.
If you’re not perfectly satisfied, you can carry out a couple of basic modifications on your own (or you can pay someone to handle the task).
To make use of these, you’ll simply need to install the respective theme in your blog’s WordPress content management system (CMS).
Once the theme is installed, you can build a blog site through the WordPress CMS and without needing technical knowledge.
Clicking the customize menu button is sufficient to start changing the elements of the template that can be modified.
WordPress themes are not created equal, which is why you need to look for those created by experienced developers.
Keep in mind that you will need quality hosting to ensure the speed of your website, its good appearance and regular backups for safety purposes (especially while you’re doing the design changes.
We recommend Bluehost. For more information about Bluehost and how it works, click here.
3. Use a Blog Builder
If you want to build a blog on your own without having to learn too much HTML for bloggers, a website builder will be the next best choice.
To build a blog website for free, you’ll need to install a specific plugin (if you’re using WordPress) known as a website builder.
Usually, these are drag and drop solutions that enable people who don’t have the technical knowledge to put together a website from start to finish.
Divi is one such visual page builder.
In addition, Divi gives you access to themes, plugins and other tools you may need to build a blog website and manage it consistently.
Check out Divi right now and benefit from a free trial by following the link. It enables customization of all blog elements, the use of premade layouts, dragable elements and an array of additional opportunities.
4. Learn Basic HTML
While you have options to build a blog without coding, a bit of basic HTML knowledge will come in handy.
Basic HTML for bloggers knowledge doesn’t mean creating a website from scratch.
Still, the WordPress CMS could prevent you from modifying all of the elements that you’d like to change.
In such instances, you can access to source code and make the edit directly there.
You can try various courses and tutorials to acquaint yourself with basic HTML.
This knowledge will be sufficient to take your blog to the next level if you’re not happy with its pre-made appearance.
For more information about building a high-qualityblog from scratch, you should also consider signing up for our five-day blogging e-course. Just fill out your details in the form below.
5. Check for Div Tags
If some of the formatting appears to be wonky when you’re trying to build a blog on your own, you’ll have to check the source code for <div> tags.
The div tag acts as a separator between the HTML elements.
Some free or poor quality WordPress templates could feature too many <div> tags, which will result in unusual formatting issues.
Unwanted tags appear when the code is pasted from Evernote or a text-processing program into a visual editor (like WordPress).
If you’re copying code on your own, use the WordPress paste as text button to prevent additional formatting from occurring.
When using somebody else’s code, you should either check it for the presence of unwanted <div> tags or you should get a developer to go over some of the most common issues.
6. Learn the Tags Responsible for Website Structure
Even if you have the best WordPress template in the world, you’ll still be responsible for the formatting of the content and some of the elements on the page.
You can build a blog from the visual editor in the WordPress CMS.
Still, occasionally, you will lack the formatting tools and buttons needed for the purpose.
In such instances, you’ll definitely benefit from learning about the website structure tags.
If you know what they are, you can easily locate and modify those.
This section of the HTML for bloggers guide will acquaint you with a few of the most common and popular tags.
The <head></head> tag is the one that appears at the top of the page. Usually, information about the page title will appear between the opening and closing page tags.
The <body></body> tag usually contains what your readers see as content on the page itself (an article, a blog post, a call to action, etc.).
The structure of the blog can be enhanced even further through the use of H2, H3 and so on tags.
These are the headers that can be added throughout an article for the purpose of creating subtitles.
A main subtitle will usually appear as H2. For the purpose, you’ll need the <h2></h2> tag. Similarly, a sub-section within this part of the article can be denoted by an H3 header – <h3></h3>.
7. Bulleted and Numbered List Tags
A page can be structured even further through the use of bulleted lists and numbered lists. They will appear in this form:
The HTML code will look like this:
<li>list item 2</li>
The HTML code will come in the following form:
<li>item number 1 </li>
<li>item number 2 </li>
8.Do Some Font Formatting
Fonts can also be changed via HTML coding rather than the WordPress CMS.
As already shown above, you can easily make some parts of your text bold by using the <b></b> tags.
For italic text, you can use <i></i> and for underlined, you’ll need these tags: <u></u>.
To align the text, you will once again need to use the right HTML tag. In this case, it will be <p align=”left”>text</p>. To align center, you’ll need to use a similar code – <p align=”center”>text</p>.
HTML tags can be used to also change the color of your text.
Based on the examples already provided, you should know exactly what the following tag is going to accomplish: <font color=”red”>text</ font>.
If you want more information about how to set up your blog, give it a professional appearance and start making money, you should give our e-course a try!
9. Master the Image Tags
To build a blog, you’ll also have to work with visuals.
The HTML coding tags that enable you to format and manipulate images are pretty simple.
The basic tag that will enable an image to appear at its location is <img src=www.imageaddress.com>.
To align the image in a specific way, you’ll need to use the following tag: <img src=”name” align=left>. You can replace left with right or centered.
Every image needs an alt tag to provide search engines with important information about the content.
You can easily add an alt tag from the WordPress blog post or page editing option.
If you’re using another platform or you’d like to add the tag on your own, use <img src=”url” alt=”the text describing the image”>.
To add a link to the image when it gets clicked, you’ll need the following tag: <a href=”link url”><img src=”url”></a>. In the first field, you’ll have to provide the URL to the page that the image will be linking to and the second one features the address of the image itself.
For a bit of formatting and to add a border around an image use the following HTML for bloggers code: <img border=”1″ src=”url”>. Change the number to two, three, etc. to increase the thickness of the border.
10. WordPress Plugins and Editing
To build a blog, you’ll need various plugins that will increase the functionality and security of your pages, enable tracking and make the content more engaging.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins you can choose among.
You can accomplish nearly anything through theme selection – from the creation of an ecommerce section to a forum or a landing page on your blog.
Plugins will also enable you to do more effective marketing.
On occasions, you may like the idea of a plugin but the execution may be faulty.
In such instances, you will have to modify the source code of the plugin.
If you don’t have some experience already, such modifications aren’t advisable.
A much better idea would be to look for an alternative plugin that delivers a better performance.
Depending on your plans and your budget, you can also invest in professional and customized plugin development that will give your blog the right functionality.
11. Consider WordPress Alternatives
Though WordPress is one of the simplest and most effective options for those who want to build a blog on their own, there are alternatives out there.
Wix is a free of charge website builder that enables frontend management and design.
To use Wix, you will need to get hosting and a domain.
Tumblr is another well-known and quite prominent blogging platform.
Tumblr is popular among a more youthful audience but it does offer relatively basic features in terms of content and functionality development,
If you’re not confident about turning blogging into something serious, you test out the concept through Tumblr.
A few other alternatives include the Ghost (a WordPress-like platform), Blogger.com(used to be quite popular but it has lost some steam through the years) and Joomla (you will again need your own hosting and domain).
12. Avoid Free Hosting and Domains
Many will be trying to build a blog on a budget, hence they’ll consider inexpensive or free of charge options.
Our advice: don’t do it!
Free hosting and free domains limit your possibilities to change the design and functionalities of your blog.
In addition, you may be forced to display adds you don’t want to have.
The domain itself is also going to look amateurish. If you want to make money through your blog, you’ll have to invest in hosting and a domain name.
These expenses don’t add to an awful lot and you remain in full control over the blog development.
If you are seeking an inexpensive option, go for Bluehost.
13. Don’t Overdo the HTML Changes
Remember one thing – you’re not a professional.
Just because you have some HMTL for bloggers knowledge doesn’t mean you can launch your completely custom-made website.
Keep the HTML changes to a minimum by opting for the right platform, design themes and plugins.
You can experiment with basic changes or start a side project to learn more about HTML coding.
In order to ensure the functionality of your website, however, don’t go wild with tag changes. You may regret the changes you’ve introduced.
14. Look for Professional Assistance
It’s possible to come up with a complex idea that you simply can’t execute on your own.
Being serious about your blog project involves a bit of preliminary planning and work.
Investing a bit in the development of your blog will also make sense.
Hiring a developer to modify a theme on your behalf or create a custom piece of code is a good idea.
You can get professional assistance without spending a fortune on it.
Working with a freelance developer is a great way to customize your blog cheaply.
Use websites like Upwork to post your project and seek professional assistance. Always check the credentials, the rating and the feedback that the different professionals have received over the course of their career.
Have you developed a blog in the past?
Do you know what it takes to customize HTML on your own?
We’d love to learn about your experience and tips – don’t hesitate to share the information in the comments below.
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