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How to Start a Blog to Make Money in 20201 Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Start a blog

Last Updated on 4 months by First Guide

Hi, my name is Kelvin, i will be teaching you how to start a blog and ways you can start making money with your blog within 95 days.

I was blogging for more than five years before i started this service company last year and i will not tell you everything have been easy during this years but i love every moment of it. Blogging helped me earned a lot of money and enabled me quit my old jobs and that’s why many posts here on first guide is written by me..

When I was learning how to create a blog back in 2016, it took me some time to find all the right information online, and I had to look for it on different websites. That’s why I’ve created this free step-by-step blog tutorial to teach beginners how to start a blog fast and easy, so that you will not pass through all those stress and It’s not as complicated as many people think.

And If you want to learn how to start a blog like a real business owner and not a hobbyist, you’ve come to the right place.

With millions of bloggers out there, a lot of people think that it’s too saturated to make money blogging in 2020

You just need the right tactics. And you need to scale

Before you go into action steps for how to create a blog, let me cover some valuable facts.

Why are you starting a blog?

Do you want to communicate something, like a message or an idea?

You want to build a community around your love for a cause?

Want to keep your followers and fans updated on what’s the latest with your brand?

Or you want to explain how your product or service works and why people should buy it?

Whether you are starting a blog for the above reasons or other reasons

A blog can help you inform, educate, promote and even sell, but only if you are clear about your intention from the start.

Hence, take some time to figure out your message and the purpose of your blog. In the meanwhile, here are several reasons why many people make a blog and enjoy blogging

  • Enhance writing and thinking skills
  • To establish expertise
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Network with others in the industry
  • To make money blogging

But it goes deeper than that.

For example, if you want to learn how to start a blog to make money, it could be for any number of different reasons:

  • The ability to increase your nest egg for retirement.
  • The dream of quitting your full-time job and saying goodbye to the 9-5 grind.
  • Spending more time with your family.
  • Saving for an extra vacation every year.

Go deep into your “why statement” to understand not only your goals but also what accomplishing your goals will mean for your life.

For me, I always dreamed of making enough money to avoid the corporate rat race. I dreaded the thought of working for someone else for 30+ years until retirement. Being startled awake to an alarm every morning. Driving to work stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Ultimately, spending nine hours every weekday doing something I didn’t really like. This is my i added this post to First Guide to help readers and our client’s that want to create a website for blogging to understand the basics of starting a blog.

Reasons why i started blogging.

The first reason I started my blog was time freedom.

The second reason was to prove something to myself – to live up to my own expectations of what my life could be and avoid mediocrity at any cost.

And I tried and failed plenty of times.

It was only when I finally learned enough from a lot of other smart people in my digital marketing career that I found the formula to make it work.

I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know.

So I now want to share with you all the things I didn’t know.

I will use a friend of mine blog AdamEnfroy.com as a case, he started his blog back in 2019, since the passed few months he has been able to make over 100k dollar, that’s cool money right, check his blog income report.

There are many ways to make money by starting your own blog; you can sell products and merchandise online or place ads and receive compensation from brands by promoting their products and services – considering that 61% of online customers make purchases based on recommendations from a blog, this could turn into a highly profitable endeavor for you.

Four Important steps to start a blog quickly

All in all, there are four important steps to making a blog quickly. I’ll go into details on how to start a blog on WordPress later, but for now, you can review these steps. If you are familiar with these things, you can create a blog in 15-20 minutes or even less:

  • Carefully select the best blog platform
  • Find a perfect web host and get a domain name
  • Design your blog
  • Find as many useful resources as you can

Blogging platform

The first thing you should do is find the best blog site. There are many of these, with all kinds of different features, but I use and recommend self-hosted WordPress.org. It’s one of the biggest and easiest blogging sites and it allows you to design your blog with ease. Simplicity is key here.

Web host and a domain name

Free blogs have tons of limitations and downsides, but self-hosting a blog on your domain allows you to fully own your blog. That’s why you should seriously consider hosting a blog on your own domain. I tested Bluehost, a web hosting company that provides you with a free domain name, and I recommend them to all new bloggers.

Design

If you decide to go with WordPress, you’ll get a chance to enjoy multiple free WordPress blogging themes. Go with the one that’s easy to customize and looks professional to some degree.

Useful resources

The more you know about social media and online experiences, the more prepared you will be to step into the blogosphere. Remember, the big fish always eats the small one, so keep learning and improving if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

Now Let’s learn how to start a blog

Disclaimer: Please note that this post includes affiliate links which provide a commission to First Guide at no cost to you. However, the links are for the best software and tools you need to start a successful blog.

Step #1: Select a perfect niche for your blog

The first step to start a blog is to get started with Bluehost. Use my link below and get started for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan)

Bluehost

You need to create content that focuses on addressing a problem so that in turn you can make money

A good way to drive targeted traffic to your blog is to address a problem. This means writing blogs posts that aim to solve a problem.

For example, you can use a keyword search tool to see what people are searching for on Google. If someone is searching for “how to get rid of dry skin” (the problem), your blog post might pop up on the first page called “How to get rid of dry skin for good” (the solution).

When someone clicks on your blog post, they are looking for a potential solution to their problem (having dry skin). If they already knew the solution to their problem, they would head straight to Amazon to buy the product.

When offering a solution to a reader’s problem, this can help you make money. For example, the solution you offer your readers to get rid of dry skin can be an affiliate product you promote.

We all know that your blog needs a niche: Before you learn how to start a successful blog, you must first find your niche, figure out how to make it profitable, and figure out who your ideal readers are. In short, a niche is a topic that you write about most often, or even exclusively, in your blogs. Niche blogging is creating a blog to advertise to a particular market. Niche blogs are easy to monetize and they usually contain affiliate links, advertisements, etc., and that’s mostly how they become profitable

Most professional bloggers will tell you to start with something that you’re passionate about because it helps you “maintain a consistent writing schedule and push through failure to succeed.”

They’ll also tell you to choose a niche at the intersection of passion, skills, and experience:

 

Source: mintnotion.com

However, this model is flawed because it’s missing one major component: monetization.

I firmly believe that with a blog, money drives passion more than passion drives money.

Let’s say you take this common advice and choose your blog’s niche based on passion, skills, and experience.

In this example, your passion is fitness, your skills are helping people lose weight, and your experience is that you’re a personal trainer focused on high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

So you decide to create a fitness blog specifically designed to help people lose weight with HIIT.

  • You write 20 blog posts.
  • Incorporate exercise videos.
  • Create your Instagram and YouTube channels.
  • Build an About Me page and FAQ to tell your story.
  • Add Amazon affiliate links to fitness products you promote.
  • And build your email list with your lead magnet – The Top 25 HIIT Workouts to Lose 5 Pounds in 7 Days.

Then when a user signs up for your email list, they receive a final email offer on day 7 for a free online personal training consultation, with the end goal of having them become a recurring monthly customer.

This all sounds very exciting.

However, I can almost certainly guarantee that this blog will fail.

Why?

Monetization wasn’t priority #1 when choosing this niche – it was passions, skills, and experience.

This niche is going to take years to monetize. And when things take years to monetize, the likelihood of quitting becomes exponentially higher.

Because that’s the first myth: it takes years to make money from a blog.

There’s another problem with this strategy, and it comes from human nature: our desire for significance.

Imagine writing about something you’re passionate about earnestly for months, and realizing you still have no following, no traffic, and not a single dime from all your efforts.

Just Think about it for a sec.

Whether someone is an artist, sculptor, graphic designer, director, producer, wannabe Instagram celebrity, or blog writer, we all want recognition for our work. As social creatures, we desire to share the things that we create with other human beings.

Think of a child showing a drawing to one of their parents for recognition. Have you ever watched a movie you’ve already seen with a friend because you wanted to share it with them? Why do people strive to see their names in published works or after a movie as the credits roll?

We strive for significance and meaning in our lives. We want to share our ideas with others and for something to live on after we’re gone

I could blog about my passions, skills, and experience for a while, but if I wasn’t gaining any readership or making any money, I’d quit 100% of the time.

And that’s why 95% of blogs fail.

Most bloggers start with a passion in mind but don’t know the simple digital marketing tactics to make it work.

Many new bloggers create content for years, get burned out when they don’t see results, and quit.

So we’re going to flip the script and start your blog like a business from the very beginning.

To do this, we’ll choose your ideal niche not based on passions, but on these four primary business factors:

  • Audience Revenue Potential
  • Affiliate Marketing Potential
  • Professional Leverage
  • Keyword Research

Step #1a: Audience Revenue Potential

When you’re starting a new blog, the most common question is, “What should my niche be?

The key is for you to find an area that you understand and solve a pain point for your audience.

However, you not only need to solve a pain point – you need to solve a pain point that an audience is willing to spend money on.

As a blogger, you need to understand your audience’s challenges deeply so that you can offer them exactly what they need.

And the best place to start is by looking at yourself.

Ask yourself, “What audiences am I a part of?”

You’re far more likely to understand a specific group’s struggles if you’ve encountered them yourself.

Take my former blog, for example.

When i started blogging, I was a  18-year old Nigerian male working in the sport betting industry. I was putting in long hours, sacrificing time with my family and friends, and getting stressed and burned out by the rat race. So I created my blog as a means to an end – a way to make passive income, escape my 9-5, and take back control of my time – and my life.

So my target audience was people similar to me:

  • 18-60 years old.
  • Working 9-5 but want to escape the rat race.
  • Ready to hustle and put in the work.
  • Smart and technically savvy.
  • People who want to make passive income through a blog.

Understanding your audience is the first step.

The second (and equally important) step is to understand how much your audience is willing to spend to solve their pain points.

This is your audience revenue potential.

This bears repeating: you need to understand your audience AND how much they’re willing to spend on your solution.

Source: successunscrambled.com

For example, let’s say you’re planning to start a blog about fashion and job tips for Genz.

Your blog posts may pull in different types of readers, including job seekers, working professionals, fashion enthusiasts and college students.

To monetize a blog in this niche, let’s say you create a sales funnel:

  • You write new content to attract an audience online.
  • Next, you build a “job interview checklist” lead magnet to generate email opt-ins.
  • Third, you place affiliate links to some products you want to promote.
  • Finally, you offer a $350 product titled “The Ultimate Job Interview Preparation Online Course.”

Nothing is wrong trying this approach.

This tends to be a common approach for most new bloggers. If you were to put in a few years of content creation and built up your email list, I estimate you could start making a passive income in 2-3 years.

However, by slightly altering your potential niche, you increase your blog’s income potential by 100x.

All you do is change your target audience from job seekers to job employers.

Let me explain.

By adding a B2B component to your blog, you shift your audience from individuals to businesses.

Businesses have larger bank accounts and are more likely to pay you without hesitation.

The beautiful thing about this approach is that your blog launch, content, and marketing funnel are pretty much the same. However, with the B2B component, you don’t just stop at a $350 course. You can add the final component of 5-figure online consulting.

Rather than writing a blog post on entry-level interview tips, position yourself as an expert and go after the businesses themselves by offering something like HR audits or onboarding consulting for thousands of dollars per month.

When you’re just starting out and traffic is hard to come by, offering consulting services is a great way to generate more income with less traffic.

It’s simple math: If your new blog has 100 visitors a 2% conversion rate, your two sales should be for thousands, not $19.99.

Instead of focusing on adding affiliate links and ads to your site when you have little traffic, see if you can come up with a high-end consulting offer to build momentum and make money right out of the gate.

Remember, just understanding your audience’s pain points isn’t enough.

To improve your revenue potential, a portion of your audience needs to be in a lucrative B2B niche and pay on a monthly recurring basis.

To recap, when choosing your niche, rather than worrying about getting thousands of passive, low-value site visitors, focus on closing 2-3 high-value clients at the beginning.

With this approach, I hope you’re beginning to understand why I truly believe you can make $10,000/month in 90 days with a new blog.

These new funds will be used to accelerate your path to passive income, but we’ll leave it at that for now.

Now let’s move to affiliate marketing, which I’m very passionate about.

Step #1b: Your Niche Needs Affiliate Marketing Potentials

Affiliate marketing which is among the first things i learnt about blogging and is my favorite form of blog monetization. It’s the most passive, and once you start getting traffic, you can make money while you sleep.

Affiliate marketing is the act of recommending products and services of other businesses and making a commission on every sale.

Source: affiliatemarketingtraining.com

Most large companies today, have affiliate programs you can join. Once you apply and are approved into their programs, you can grab your unique affiliate links to add to your blog, view reporting on clicks and sales, and see any future payouts you’re scheduled to receive.

Here are some steps to get started with affiliate marketing:

  • Apply to a company’s affiliate program either on their site or in an affiliate network. For this, you’ll need a website and an email address from your domain – not just a Gmail or Yahoo email.
  • Once approved, grab your unique affiliate link and copy/paste it into any piece of text on your blog.

When a user clicks that specific link, a cookie is stored in their computer, which credits the sale to you based on the cookie duration – typically 30, 60, or 90 days.

Now, when you think of the word blogging, what comes to mind?

Maybe it’s lifestyle blogs writing about what they’ve been purchasing for their family lately. Or a fitness blogger that’s giving you some great advice on how to lose weight. It could even be an interesting person writing their own personal memoirs.

I want you to forget about these types of blogs.

They may be interesting to read, but they aren’t the niches that will bring you the most revenue.

Instead, consider this simple formula.

  • Make a lot of money blogging, you need affiliate income.
  • To make affiliate income, you need to rank on search and get web traffic.
  • Get web traffic, you need to rank for keywords that drive the most affiliate revenue.

So what are these keywords?

The answer: keywords with the word “best” in them.

Here are some examples:

  • Finance, it could be the best credit cards, best auto loans, or best home insurance.
  • Tech, the keywords could be the best laptop of 2020, best VR headsets, or best Mac accessories.
  • In marketing (like my blog), it could be the best email marketing software, best web hosting, or the best website builders.

These “best” keywords are searched by people looking for product reviews.

They want to read a blog with in-depth content on the “best” something before making a purchase (and they aren’t ready to go right to a company’s website and buy something yet.)

For a sec. Think about it.

If you’re searching for a new laptop, you might type in “best laptop of 2020.”

Google this term right now and look at the top 10 results.

Every single website in the top 10 results is an affiliate. Notice how there are no actual companies selling laptops. There’s no Best Buy, Walmart, Dell, or HP – only affiliates recommending laptops.

Now try Googling “best laptop for 2020” What do you see?

Again, every single top 8 result is an affiliate blog.

Why do these affiliate sites outrank brands selling the products?

They write long-form, in-depth review articles that search engines prefer.

You’ll begin to realize is that most profitable blogs are, in fact, review websites making affiliate commissions from list posts.

And the truth is, these recommendations are primarily based on how much money the affiliate blog is making from their top recommendations – not the actual quality of the product itself.

Once you grasp this, you’ll begin to see affiliate sites everywhere.

So now when you think of blogging and planning your niche, replicate sites like these:

  • Finance: NerdWallet, Fool.com, WalletHub, CardRatings.
  • Tech: Tom’s Guide, Techradar, Wire Cutter, CNET.
  • Travel: Nomadic Matt, The Points Guy, Expert Vagabond.
  • Business: The Balance SMB, FitSmallBusiness, FinancesOnline.

I think that the most profitable niches right now for new blogs are finance, tech, travel, business, and marketing.

We’ll talk about keyword research later, but know that your blog should have affiliate marketing revenue potential.

Let’s move onto the next weapon in your blogging arsenal – your professional leverage.

Step #1c: Your Professional Leverage

Afteryou have uncovered a lucrative audience to provide value to, the next step is to uncover the strategic advantages you may have over others.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my current level of professional experience?
  • What connections do I have in my industry?
  • Can I leverage this experience into a profitable blog?
  • If I could pitch any website in the world to contribute a guest post, who would choose me from the start?

Source: linkedin.com

To build a truly successful blog. First, you need to build influence.

And to build influence, you need to step outside of your comfort zone and leverage your connections, professional experience, and everything at your disposal like never before.

With a blog, you’ll also be performing a lot of outreach to make new connections. This includes building relationships so you can guest post on authoritative sites in your niche to get relevant, high Domain Authority (DA) backlinks.

And when you’re just starting, you may not have many connections or published content out there. You might say: “Why would anyone feature me?”

This is where leveraging your professional background helps tremendously.

For example, if you’re a fashion designer, you might have a base of clients, contacts from local meet-up groups, and even know other fashion influencers that you met in the past. If you can leverage these contacts in the future, you can accelerate the growth of your blog.

Use every advantage you have at your disposal. These advantages will help you build early momentum with guest posts, backlinks, and social shares.

Now let’s move onto the final (and most important) factor in choosing your niche.

Step #1d: Keyword Research

For me, keyword research is the most important step when choosing your blog’s niche.

It’s very simple. Are people searching for the things you want to write about?

Every individual blog post needs to focus on one target keyword. And if no one is searching for it, you’ll never get traffic.

That’s a fact: You need to have a basic understanding of keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO) so that your blog can rank and get traffic.

Why? People search Google 63,000 times every second. That’s 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day. Plus, organic traffic can be more valuable than social media traffic because people perform high-intent searches online. There are plenty of opportunities out there – you just have to know how to find them.

Another good piece of news is that there are SEO tools to understand all of this search data. With tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs, you can view individual keyword metrics, including:

  • Monthly search volume: how many times a keyword is searched for in a given month.
  • Keyword difficulty: on a scale from 0 to 100, how difficult is it to rank for that keyword based on the competition.
  • The average cost per click (CPC): this is how much the keyword is worth if you were to create a PPC ad for it and pay for the click. It’s a good indicator of the keyword’s value.

So what do you look for?

You want to find keywords with high volume and low competition.

Here’s how I rate these competitive metrics.

Monthly Search Volume:

  • 0-1,000: Low
  • 1,000-5,000: Low/Medium
  • 5,000-20,000: Medium
  • 20,000-100,000: High
  • 100,000+: Very High

Keyword Difficulty:

  • 0-20: Low
  • 21-50: Medium
  • 51-75: High
  • 76+: Very High

On my site, there are two main types of keywords I target when it comes to SEO: super high-volume/high competition and medium volume, low competition.

1. Revenue Drivers: Medium Volume, Low Competition, High CPC Keywords

The first keywords new blogs should search for are medium volume, low competition keywords.

For example, let’s take a look at my mentor post on Webinar Software. he published this post and became #1 for this keyword within four months, bringing in $10,000+/month in affiliate revenue.

  • Target keyword: webinar software
  • Monthly search volume: 4,300
  • Keyword difficulty: 22
  • Average CPC: $25.00

Webinar Software Keyword Example

4,300 is not a very high monthly search volume, but since position 1 gets over 33% of traffic, he could expect to get 1,419 visitors/month on his blog for position one on this term.

Plus, with a low keyword difficulty of 22, this term should be relatively easy to rank for (in fact, I got to page 1 just a few days after publishing the blog post).

Finally, with an average CPC of $25, it is a valuable, high-intent search term.

One quick side note on keyword search volume:

While the keyword webinar software gets 4,300 searches per month, there are thousands of potential variations of this keyword – for example, best webinar software, webinar tools, webinar platforms, etc. This post can rank for all of these variations, too, so I typically double or even triple my volume estimates based on the main target keyword.

Pro Tip:

Using Ahrefs Also Rank for Report, you can view keywords that the top-ranking pages for your target keyword also rank for in the top 100 search results. This allows you to find less obvious keywords that you can also include in your post’s copy and subheadings.

The key to finding relevant keywords from this report to use for your blog is to search with more specific queries. For example, instead of “cooking,” use “vegan recipes.” Or “email marketing services” instead of “marketing.”

How to find this type of keyword for your blog:

Use a tool like Ahrefs and filter the results. Set the monthly search volume filter to a minimum of 1,000 and the Keyword Difficulty filter to a maximum of 10.

What these keywords are good for:

These keywords should make up the bulk of your posts and be the main revenue-drivers for your blog. The key is to find a good amount of long-tail keywords with medium volume and low competition in your niche. If these keywords are preceded by terms like “how to” and “best,” you’re well on your way to finding a profitable niche and solving a pain point.

2. Blog Builders: Super High-Volume/High Competition Keywords

The second type of keywords that he target are super high-volume terms that aren’t as easy to monetize but can bring in a lot of traffic.

For example, take his post on How to Make Money Online.

  • Target keyword: how to make money online
  • Monthly search volume: 103,000
  • Keyword difficulty: 55
  • Average CPC: $2.00

How to Make Money Online Keyword

First, this keyword has a 25x higher volume than webinar software. With high volume and all of the potential keyword variations, ranking in the top 5 positions for this term could bring in 30-65,000 visitors/month.

However, this keyword also has a lower search intent than webinar software. With the keyword webinar software, we know what the searcher wants.

With how to make money online, this user could be interested in anything from starting an online business to podcasting or coupon clipping – we just don’t know.

So that’s why it’s average CPC is only $2.00 – it’s vaguer and harder to monetize.

How to find this type of keyword for your blog:

Use a tool like Ahrefs and filter the results. Set the monthly search volume filter to a minimum of 20,000 and the Keyword Difficulty filter to a maximum of 75.

What these keywords are good for:

These keywords should make up 5-10 pillar blog posts that you put a lot of time and effort into. While these high volume keywords won’t generate immediate revenue, they bring in a ton of traffic to your blog and can increase the size of your email list.

3. Conclusion on Keyword Research

A blog needs a mix of both super high-volume/high competition and medium volume, low competition keywords.

Here are some of the tools you can use for your keyword research:

SEMrush

Final Wrap Up Picking Your Niche.

After doing your keyword research, discovering a lucrative audience and niche, and planning how to leverage your professional connections, it’s time to get to work.

The niche selection section above is longer than most other guides on how to start a blog because early planning is one of the most important keys to blogging success.

Now let’s start planning your new blog.

Step #2: Write down your blog’s goals

Do you know this famous quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

This is true when starting a new blog.

After choosing your niche. You need a way to keep track of everything — not just your to-dos and content ideas, but also your goals, ideas, and motivations.

The key during this stage is not to overcomplicate things.

When I was starting this blog, I kept track of everything in one simple document.

Your Blog’s Goals.

It’s time to think big and write down what you want to accomplish with your blog in the short and long term. These should be SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Smart Goals for Bloggers

Source: fitsmallbusiness.com

Here are a few examples from my document when I started planning my blog:

  • Write and publish my first five blog posts of 2,000+ words by January 20
  • Complete my About Me page by January 25
  • Publish five guest posts by February 1
  • Get 1,000 blog site visitors/month by February 15
  • Get 250 people in my email list by February 15
  • Obtain 100 backlinks by March 1

As you can see, these are all short term attainable goals with clear due dates.

Your Blog’s Profile.

You need a place to keep track of your random ideas and unique selling points to hone in on your messaging over time.

Sections here may include:

  • Your unique value proposition – i.e your one in a million idea
  • Your blog’s headline and sub-headline
  • What is the problem you solve?
  • Your blog’s “elevator pitch” – in 1-2 sentences, how would you easily explain your blog to a stranger?
  • Your ideal customer personas
  • What are the main categories for your blog?
  • Future content ideas with target keywords and search volume

That’s it.

The key is to make this a living document and update however you see fit.

To plan a blog, set some simple goals, and write things down to better hone in on your blog’s message, and understand who your audience is. Remember, when learning how to start a blog, you need to plan your niche and goals like a business from day one.

Let’s move onto the next step in setting up your website.

Ready to launch your blog with Bluehost? Get started for just $3.95/month (63% off your hosting plan) with my link below:

Bluehost

Disclaimer: Please note that this post includes affiliate links which provide a commission to First Guide at no cost to you. However, the links are for the best software and tools you need to start a successful blog.

Step #3: Choose a blogging platform

At this stage, you’ll need to look at the best blog sites out there and determine the type of blog management tool you want to use. I recommend that you make your own blog using a self-hosted. But before you ask yourself, how do I start a blog, let me describe each option. When it comes to popular blogging platforms, you have the following options: free and self-hosted (recommended).

Free platforms

For many new bloggers, the availability of free blog platforms such as WordPress.com, Blogger, or Tumblr is tempting.

By keeping your blog on a free platform, you let the platform own your name. You’ll be subject to their rules and restrictions. If you are looking to learn how to make money with a blog, they may limit or prohibit ads on your blog, or they may even place their own ads. If you’re serious about blogging, you’ll want to move away from free blog sites.

Self-hosted platforms

Self-hosted platforms allow you to run a blog using your own domain. Aside from following your domain registrar and web hosting company’s rules, you’re fully in charge of your blog and its contents.

You have several choices when it comes to self-hosted systems (also called a Content Management System or CMS). The most popular is WordPress.org. This option is called self-hosted because you will use your own web hosting space and name. If you use our recommended hosting company (Bluehost), it will cost just a few bucks per month for the webspace (hosting account), and you will get a FREE name (domain) for the first year. The actual CMS is usually open-source and free.

Although I mentioned some free hosting options, the best course of action is to own your blog, especially if you will be using your own copyrighted material (articles, drawings, photos, etc.). Pay a small amount of money every month, about the same as a Starbucks coffee, and you will build your own equity. If you plan to sell products, services, music, or anything else via your blog, then this is the best way to go. Many hosting providers can help you maintain an e-commerce blog.

Step #4: Pick a domain name

Your domain name will be the name by which you will be known online, no matter what niche you choose. It’s your unique address on the Internet. Your domain will be yours as long as you continue paying the annual fee ($10 to $15 for a .com domain). Users who know your domain/URL (uniform resource locator) can simply type it into their browser’s address bar. Others will be able to discover you through search engines such as Google and Bing, so you definitely need to find a unique moniker.

Your domain name may be the highly popular “dot com,” or it may be country or niche-specific. The general rule is to go for a “dot com” domain, but some of the other extensions can work. For example, “dot net” or “dot me.”

If you can’t find the domain name you like, Bluehost will let you choose a Free Domain later. That will give you time to do some research and thinking.

At the end, it’s about being memorable, so if a different extension or country code helps you be memorable, then break the rules!

Recommended tool: Best Web Hosting Company (BlueHost)

While common advice is to “niche down” and choose an ultra-specific name, I recommend you choose a website name that’s broad enough to allow you to pivot if necessary.

If your focus is too narrow and suddenly you lose passion for your niche or run out of topic ideas, you’re stuck with your new domain. However, if you broaden your focus a little bit, you can expand your content and have enough fluidity to maintain consistency, avoid quitting, and better promote your website for the long haul.

In the past, I tried starting online businesses and chose ultra-specific names. When I didn’t see immediate success, I got discouraged and thought, “Well, maybe this niche isn’t for me. I should quit and try something else.”

Here’s what you could do instead: choose a broader name and worry about being specific in your posts and pages. E.g like my website (JKFirstGuide), the name means i can post article that relate to teaching or recommending you products or services. like best website builders, best web hosting companies e.t.c

Here are some other things you need to consider before picking a name for your website.

Step #4a: The price of the domain

You have to buy your blog’s domain name from a domain registrar company. It should cost you roughly $10/year. If you get started with Bluehost web hosting, you get a free domain name for the first year.

To get started with for just $2.95/month (and get 63% off your hosting plan).

Step #4b: Your personal name as a domain name

Many people prefer to use their names for their blogs (like yours truly here). Personal domains are more flexible than the ones based on any particular niche. Many times, bloggers need to change the name of their blog according to the changing scenario of their blogging niche.

However, if your name is your domain, then there is no need to change it when you want to add more verticals to your niche.

Step #4c: Your personal name as a domain name

Domains come with different extensions – .com, .us, .guru, .sport, .com, etc.

.us stands for the United States, .guru is used for coaching blogs, and .sport is used for sports blogs.

However, .com is the top-level domain that’s more inclusive and mostly favored by search engines.

Here’s how internet users perceive some of the top-level domains in terms of trustworthiness, on a scale of 1 – 5:

Source: Growthbadger

Step #4d: Other things to consider when choosing a Domain name

  1. Your name should not be too difficult and complex to type. It should also be memorable and aligned with your brand. That’s why a dot com extensions are an excellent option.
  2. Don’t confuse people with difficult spelling, so keep the name easy to spell and pronounce.
  3. Avoid using numbers and hyphens in your domain as it can confuse people.
  4. Try to incorporate a keyword that best represents your blog, if possible. It’s not as important to have a keyword in your blog name for SEO, but it might help people identify your blog’s niche right away.

If your preferred name isn’t available, most of the tools mentioned in the article above will provide alternate suggestions.

Step #5: Get a web hosting account and register your domain

Every website needs a web host to store their site on a server so that people can access it online. Without a hosting account, your blog won’t be visible on the internet.

The performance of your blog relies heavily on your provider, so you should choose the best web hosting you can. A good hosting platform keeps your site up and running without interruption, provides security, and integrates with WordPress.

You should choose a host that is reliable and comes at an affordable price.

At this stage, your best option is a simple shared hosting plan. I recommend Bluehost as the easiest option when learning how to start a blog.

Plus, it has some great features:

  1. 99% server uptime
  2. High-end security measures
  3. High-speed servers
  4. An easy-to-use dashboard that comes in handy for beginners
  5. Numerous hosting options to choose from
  6. 24/7 customer support
  7. Free SSL certificate
  8. Easy cPanel dashboard
  9. 1-click WordPress Installation
  10. Recommended by WordPress as the host of choice
  11. Low introductory pricing
  12. Money-back guarantee
  13. Only costs $3.95/month (via my links on this page)

Next, we’ll register your domain and choose a web hosting company to launch your blog.

Follow this step-by-step guide to register your own domain name along with your web hosting plan:

Step #5a: Visit bluehost.com

Click on the “Get Started” CTA button on the homepage.

Step #5b: Select your web hosting plan

On the next page, you will see four shared hosting plans.

These plans include Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro

You should start by selecting your plan. If this is your very first one, you should go with the basic one – at least until you explore your options. The one called plus should be able to cover all your needs once you get going, and you should consider the pro version once your popularity skyrockets.

Step #5c: Enter your domain name

So, you have already selected your name (as specified in the second step).

Now, after you choose your hosting plan, you will be directed to a new page where you will be asked to enter your custom name.

Your domain name has a say in the success of your blog, so you should take your time to come up with something new. Just type in the desired domain in this “new domain” box and Bluehost will show you whether it’s available or not. If not, it will provide you with a list of similar names for you to choose from

If you’ve already selected your name, then you can add the information here. And if you need a new one, you get your domain name for free for the first year.

If you need more time to come up with a website name, you can always sign-up and choose your domain later.

Step #5d: Enter your details and claim your bluehost account

Make sure to enter the correct details, including your first and last name, business name if applicable, country, address, etc.

Upon scrolling down, you’ll see the “Package Information” section.

It includes selecting how long do you want to opt for the plan and how much advance you are willing to pay.

It allows you to pay 12, 24, 36, or 60 months upfront and gives you better pricing for longer terms. If you are sure that you will be running your blog for a long time, then I’d say go with the “Prime 36 Month Price” to get the lowest possible monthly price.

You can also get a low upfront payment by paying annually instead of monthly.

In the screenshot above, there’s another section called “Package Extras.”

You can uncheck Codeguard Basic and SiteLock Security. These are unnecessary and can be replicated with other free WordPress plugins.

Finally, pick your payment option. You can choose to make the payment via credit card or PayPal.

That’s all it takes to sign up!

Ready to launch your blog? Get started for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan).

Step #5e: You have successfully registered your web hosting plan

Congratulations – you’ve set up your hosting for the first time.

You’re now signed up with Bluehost, which means you’ve completed a vital first step in learning how to start a blog.

Now let’s continue.

Step #5f: Create your account and set-up your password

You’re almost done. After receiving an email to confirm your account, enter your domain name and create a password for your account.

Step #5g: Login into your account

Use the password you just set to log in to your account. You can also sign in with Google if you prefer.

You’re all set! Now that the web hosting setup is out of the way, it’s time to move on to installing WordPress and getting into your blogging dashboard

Step #6: Install your WordPress blog with bluehost

Congratulations, we are almost there! Once you have your domain name and web hosting connected, it’s time to set up WordPress.

Go to your Bluehost cPanel account, find the ‘My Sites’ section, and click Install WordPress. That’s the famous one-click set-up offered by Bluehost that makes blog creation a breeze.

But there are paid and free blogging platforms available to choose from.

Have a look at some of the top blogging platforms and their usage:

Most people run their blogs on WordPress, which is apparent from the above stats.

WordPress also offers multiple free plugins, themes, and various ways to modify your blog.

You don’t need to have any technical coding knowledge to get started.

With most hosts, you simply use the 1-Click WordPress Installation, and you’re in your WordPress dashboard.

However, before you get started, you might have come across WordPress.com. I will tell you the difference between the .com and .org versions of WordPress.

Step #6a: WordPress.com VS WordPress.org – Which you should choose

Here are some of the common differences between the two:

If your eventual goal is to make money through your blog, then think no further before selecting the self-hosted WordPress.org.

A blog is an extension of your personal brand and needs to be something that you own outright. You shouldn’t rely on a subdomain or blog site like Tumblr to host your blog.

The .com version has minimal options and doesn’t allow you to tweak settings or pick a custom domain name. (Eg: yoursite.wordpress.com). If you do want to use a custom name, you would have to pay extra.

It also comes with limited monetization and analytics options. On top of that, with the .com option, you can’t upload plugins and themes from outside of WordPress.

WordPress.org, on the other hand, gives you complete freedom to download tools and themes from different platforms, customize your blog design, monetize your blogging efforts, and more.

Naturally, it’s suggested to use WordPress.org when it comes to starting a blog set up for long term success.

With Bluehost, you can install WordPress and run your own blog in a matter of minutes.

Now let’s get started.

Step #7: Find the right theme (blog design)

First thing your blog’s front end needs is a face (design and layout). You want to create an environment that is both eye-catching and practical.

In the long run, you want your visitors to easily find information on your site. You don’t want visitors to be discouraged by the colors you choose or the non-intuitive and unpractical way in which information is displayed. Your design can cause instant distrust of your blog or immediate acceptance.

Start your search for a theme as soon as your WordPress platform is installed. The look and feel of your new blog rely on the theme you choose.

Your readers will first notice the overall appearance, before even taking a look at the content. Choose a theme that looks great, but also works for your unique content needs.

The default theme that comes with your WordPress blog installed is Twenty Nineteen—while it’s a good starter theme, you’ll want to choose a theme that is unique and compatible with your niche. There are more than three thousand themes available on WordPress.org.

Here’s a quick checklist for choosing your theme by searching within the blog dashboard:

  • Read the description. Most themes come with a short description of features and functionality. Reading it can help you figure out if the theme matches your needs.
  • Check for responsiveness. Aim for a responsive design that will work on desktop browsers and mobile devices. This is recommended by Google.
  • Check the ratings. Star ratings will be visible in the preview and under theme details to give you a clear idea of how good the theme is.
  • Preview the theme. Preview the theme (demo) to get an idea of the overall look, layout, and how customizable it is.

If you find a theme that takes your breath away, cool down. Once you install a theme you like, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t look quite right. It is just a skeleton of your blog. To make it appealing, you’ll have to fill in content (text, photos, videos, etc.).

Should you choose a free, premium or a custom theme when setting up a blog

For many visionary novice bloggers, the world is not enough. The stash of free themes does not satisfy their particular desire for the look and feel they are going for.

There are two other options you can take a look at, premium and custom themes. But they incur a cost, sometimes a tiny one, at other times a considerable amount.

Premium themes are created by both single developers and dedicated showcase websites. The price range for single-use licenses ranges from $30 to $500, depending on which premium theme you choose.

Custom themes are created by an individual developer (coder and designer, or agency) who will either customize an existing theme or create a brand new theme for you.

While coming with clear-cut advantages, they are not the ideal choice for a beginner blogger due to their high cost. Prices to customize a theme, ranging from $500 to $2,000, depending on the features you want.

Blog theme customization

Installing and setting up your new theme is quite exciting; these steps confirm that you made a good choice with WordPress as your blog management system. Remember, your Dashboard is the place where it all happens in the back end, including the option of installing your theme.

Once you login to your account, you are now able to choose one of the default WordPress themes provided by Bluehost. Keep in mind that you can always pick another theme from a WordPress.org repository.

There are plenty of attractive free WordPress themes to choose from, including free blog theme

After selecting a theme of your choice, you are now ready to log in to the WordPress dashboard.

However, if you want to pick your theme later, you can skip this step for now by clicking on the “Skip This Step” option at the end of the page

From here, you’re directed to a new page where you need to click on the “Start Building” option.

Next, select what type of site you plan to create, and WordPress will help you in the process with prompts. You can also just click “I don’t need help” to go right to your dashboard.

Finally, enter your “Site Title” and your “Site Description.”

Congratulations, you just learned how to create a blog. Your new blog is ready for launch, so get ready to learn how to blog!

Now you should learn what it takes to customize your blog, make the necessary tweaks to make it stand out and please your readers.

From here, you are directed to a page to decide the layout of your blog. You can either create a custom home page with the page editor or simply host your recent blog posts on your homepage

From here,you ban spend some time making yourself familiar with the functionalities of your new WordPress blog. Make sure to test out all the features and play around with different themes to pick the one that best suits you.

Are you ready to start your blog? Get started for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan).

Step #7a: Install a new theme

Here’s how you can install a new theme for your WordPress blog:

First, log in to your WordPress account (admin page).

You can always access your WordPress login page by going to yourdomainname.com/wp-admin.

How to Start a Blog - WordPress login

Next, add your WordPress login credentials.

Once logged in, your WordPress dashboard looks something like this.

How to Start a Blog - WordPress dashboard

Here, click on the “Appearance” option from the sidebar menu.

Next, select the “Themes” option from the “Appearance” section.

How to Start a Blog - Theme

To search for the theme options WordPress offers, click the “Add New” button at the top of the page.

How to Start a Blog - add new theme

As you can see below, there are a ton of free themes to choose from.

How to Start a Blog - wordpress themes

You can scroll down and preview as many themes as you want before picking one for your blog.

You can also filter out the themes based on three categories: “Subject,” “Features,” and “Layout.”

Here’s what the filter option looks like:

How to Start a Blog - filter themes

Apply the filters to narrow down your options. You can then click on a thumbnail and get an instant preview of what your final blog is going to look like.

If you like a particular theme, you can click on the “Install” button.

If you don’t want to use a stock WordPress theme, there are plenty of sites like GeneratePress, StudioPress, and CSSIgniter that offer paid themes you can buy. When you buy a theme, a zip file is sent to you via email.

To install this external theme, all that you have to do is go to “Appearance” – “Themes” and click “Add New,” upload the zip file and click install.

Congratulations, you now have a WordPress site with a new theme installed.

Let’s recap where we are so far in this how to start a blog guide.

  • You’ve selected your blog’s niche based on market factors, not passions.
  • You know your why statement and wrote down your blog’s goals.
  • You’ve chosen your blog’s name and registered it.
  • You picked your hosting plan and installed WordPress.
  • You installed your theme and have your blog’s framework ready to go.

That’s a lot of progress! We’re about halfway through this guide and the following steps will cover setting up your blog for success and starting your content creation and promotion process.

Let’s continue on.

Ready to launch your blog and follow along with this guide? Get started for $2.95/month and get 63% off your blog hosting plan:

Step #7b: Extra tip on choosing the right theme

  1. Read the descriptions of the various WordPress themes to get an idea about their features. This will help you get an idea of whether the theme will be compatible with your niche or not.
  2. Choose a responsive theme that works well on both desktop and mobile devices (most of them are).
  3. WordPress also allows users to give ratings to their themes – make sure to check out the reviews to get a feel for the quality of the theme.
  4. Before installing a theme, make sure to check its demo or preview to know what it’s going to look like.

You can also install a large number of WordPress themes from other popular sites, such as:

  • Themeforest.
  • StudioPress.
  • Thrive Themes.
  • Elementor.
  • Elegant Themes.
  • CSS Igniter.

Disclaimer: Please note that this post includes affiliate links which provide a commission to me at no cost to you. However, the links are for the best software and tools you need to start a successful blog.

Step #8: Install your WordPress plugin

Since WordPress is open-source, you can customize your site in an endless amount of ways.

And this starts with WordPress plugins.

These are sets of tools that integrate with your website and extend its functionality and feature set.

WordPress offers thousands of plugins with different functions, including everything from email marketing and calendar integration to opt-in forms and SEO tools. These tools make learning how to start a blog pretty easy, as they perform a lot of cool tasks without needing any coding knowledge.

However, it’s not recommended to install hundreds of these tools on your blog as they tend to slow down your site and can conflict with each other during updates.

Which plugins should you add to your blog?

I curated a list of the 10 best ones to help you enhance your new blog (and the exact ones I use):

1. Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster.

This plugin allows you to remove certain elements of code that aren’t necessary to load on every page. For example, my ecommerce HTML and CSS files were loading on every blog post even though I only needed them on two pages. With this tool, you can easily select which pieces of code to keep and which to remove based on pages, posts, and other types of content.

2. Classic Editor.

I’m not a huge fan of the new Gutenberg editor and find the Classic Editor much easier to use and more error-free.

3. Easy Table of Contents.

This plugin allows you to easily add a Table of Contents into any page or post. The plugin will appear underneath your pages/posts, and you can select if every H2, H3, or any other header should be automatically added to the Table of Contents.

Tables of Contents are important for a few reasons: they keep users engaged with the page (by clicking around) and help with user experience. I often have a Table of Contents at the top of my new posts going to each section, then a “Back to Top” widget in the bottom right corner so that users can easily go back to the Table of Contents.

4. Elementor Pro.

Elementor Pro is the best WordPress landing page builder, and it’s the tool I used to create my home page and a few other pages. They have a free version of Elementor, but the Pro version takes it to the next level with much better templates.

You can get started with the free version of Elementor Pro for just $49/year.

5. GDPR Cookie Consent.

This is a plugin that can make you GDPR compliant and make sure that you provide a popup highlighting how you use cookies to readers in the EU.

6. Shortcodes Ultimate.

This plugin allows you to create simple blocks of content by adding shortcodes to your site. I primarily use this to insert buttons quickly on my affiliate pages so that readers have very clear calls-to-action. Shortcodes Ultimate will appear in your WordPress page editor as a small button at the top (much like Bold, Paragraph Spacing, etc.), and when you click into it, you select your content block. With buttons, you can preview them in the editor and choose the size, color, style, and more.

7. ShortPixel Image Optimizer.

ShortPixel compresses all of your images so that they are smaller files and your pages load faster. I’ve tested lots of different image compression tools, and ShortPixel has been the best.

8. ThirstyAffiliates.

This is one of my favorite affiliate marketing tools. ThirstyAffiliates takes your random affiliate links (full of random numbers, letter strings, etc.) and cleans them up so that they look nice. For example, which one looks nicer:

jkfirstguide.com/recommends/thirstyaffiliates

thirstyaffiliates.com/?aff=29e1c59be16c852

The second one is more clickable, leads to higher conversion rates, and can’t be stolen by malicious hackers.

9. WP Last Modified Info.

One factor in search engine rankings is recency of content – especially if you’re in niches with new information coming out. This plugin allows you to easily show the date on every page/post so that search engines understand when it was last modified. For example, with WordPress, it’s easy to show a date, but it will typically show the Publish Date, not the last time you edited it.

By giving search engines an easy way to pull the Modified Date, you will see this date appear in your search results, and may see a rankings boost.

10. Yoast SEO.

Yoast doesn’t need an introduction. If you’re not using it, then you’re missing out on a lot of great free features. I use Yoast to manage my sitemap, robots.txt, page titles/meta descriptions, and other add-ons.

Now that we covered the best plugins to install for your blog let’s move onto some unique settings to pay attention to.

Step #9: Setup Your Blog’s SEO and Permalink Structure

A very important ranking factor is the URLs of your blog posts and pages.

When you add a new page or post, you see the page editor and can choose the URL after dot com. Check out the link below:

How to start a blog - permalink

This text after the .com is what a permalink looks like.

Permalinks are static hyperlinks that will lead your audience to a specific web page.

By default, your permalink is set to “yourdomainname.com/postID.”

This not only looks unattractive but isn’t the best from an SEO standpoint.

Before you start writing content for your blog, make sure to set a specific permalink structure.

From your WordPress dashboard, go to “Setting” —> “Permalinks.”

How to start a blog - set permalink

You can choose from a couple of options. Most high-ranking blogs follow the “Post name” or “Custom” structures below.

The main thing to know is that every post or page should focus on one target keyword, which should be in the area right after the dot com.

For blog posts, this permanent URL is the only thing that needs to remain unchanged. You can change a page or post’s title, meta description, content, and headings, but the URL needs to stay the same.

This is because if you get inbound links to this URL, changing it would result in a 404 error and losing that link value.

Finally, make sure to save the settings before exiting the page.

Also, make sure you set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These two tools are 100% necessary to index your blog and monitor your traffic. These can both be easily integrated with the Yoast plugin.

We’ve made a ton of progress so far in this guide.

You’ve learned all the technical set up of how to start a blog and have a functioning site inside of WordPress.

Now, it’s time to start creating content for your blog.

Ready to create your blog? Let’s do this! Get started for $2.95/month and get 63% off your hosting plan.

Step #10: Write content and promote your blog

So far, you’ve captured a domain name, chosen your blog site and set up the theme, and you are ready to go. Your framework is complete. Now comes the moment of truth. You must learn how to write blog content – in the blogging world, any useful information that you bring to readers can be called “content.” It must be something people will want to interact with and come back to get more, something of value.

The next step is to figure out what content you need to make for your new blog and the best practices you should follow. Whether your blog is to be composed primarily of words, photos, graphics, audio, video, etc. – the content will be the bait that draws your crowd. Few will come just to see your new site.

Without great content, even the most well-designed, tightly-structured blogs will ultimately fail. The framework of the web is code – but the attraction of the web is the content found there.

Three things your content should do

  • Your content speaks to a specific audience and provides value to them in some significant way. If this sounds suspiciously like our Commandments, you are right. Drill the idea into your mind and never forget it: It’s not about you; it’s about them.
  • Your content should be easily accessible and attractively presented. Your presentation must equal the quality of your content. Here again, don’t cut corners on low-quality graphics or designs. Everything about your blog must attract your visitors and encourage them to interact with your content.
  • Your content may be commercially purposed, but should never be commercially focused. Never greet your visitors with pop-up ads and giant banner ads. Greet them with content and reasons to engage with that content. Let them know you are there to help them, not to use them.

As a blog owner, you might get overwhelmed by all the available types of content and methods you can deliver it to your readers. You have to remember that the content delivery method is less important than the actual content and its quality.

Wondering how you can create quality content? It’s simple.

Here are three simple steps approach you can use to make great content of any type:

  • Point. State your main idea and point you are covering.
  • Prove. Give an example of the idea you are covering.
  • Perform. Give a simple way to execute the idea.

There are two blocks you need to worry about, pre-launch and post-launch contents:

Pre-launch content

Before you start writing your day-to-day blog posts, you will want to make sure static pages (such as About us, Contact, etc.) and other parts of your blog (Sidebar, Footer, etc.) are filled with the suitable information. Let’s explore each of these content areas.

  • About us. The most traditional page on any blog is the About page. This page tells new visitors to your blog what it is all about, who you are and why you run a blog about the particular topic. Depending on your niche and your style, the information you provide can be “all business” or personal and fun.
  • Contact. This page allows visitors to your blog to communicate with you at any time. It can be a simple page with your email address plus social network links, or you can use a simple contact form that visitors can use to communicate with you without leaving your website.
  • Sidebar content. Your sidebar is the smaller column to the left or right (depending on the theme you selected) of your blog’s main content. In the sidebar, you could include your blog categories, the most popular posts, ads, etc.
  • SEO meta tags. You will need to prepare content for the SEO titles and description tags of each page (not seen on the actual page, but you need to have it ready).

Post-launch content

  • Blog posts. The blog post is an entry (article) that you write on a blog. It can include content in the form of text, photos, infographics, or videos.
  • Cornerstone content. Cornerstone (or evergreen) content continues to be relevant to its readers and gives them value years after the publish date. It is always fresh and up-to-date. It remains informative and retains its original quality. As its name implies – it is timeless.

Extra Tips On Content Writing.

  • Your blog posts should always provide value to your readers. Write with a clear beginning, middle, and end outline structure. Even the most mundane of topics can be made interesting if you understand story arcs and hero’s journeys.
  • Present your blog content attractively and make it easily accessible to the readers. Make sure both textual and visual content in the blog are high-quality.
  • Format your headings correctly with H2 and H3 tags, and use bulleted lists and images to break up long lines of text. No paragraph should be longer than 3-4 sentences.
  • Make your blog post conversational to build a connection with your audience.
  • Use 14-17 point fonts and make sure there is enough white space to keep your blog posts easy on the eyes.
  • Add bullet points to help readers skim down the blog without missing anything critical.
  • Double-check for typos and grammatical errors. I personally love using Grammarly for this.

When you’re learning how to start a blog, there are a ton of different content strategies, but this guide just covered the basics.

Content is not limited to written material but easily overlooked. It is often best to utilize numerous forms of content and give your audience more than one way to obtain knowledge.

To produce quality content, you will have to use your originality and imagination. However, you have to understand that some content performs better than others. But again, you should start creating content that you feel comfortable with, right for your readers, and for your blog.

Start promoting your blog

You’ve learned that the content will be the bait that draws your audience. You can write the most compelling copy the world has ever seen and design a blog interface that would sell people their own shoes…if no one sees the blog, though, all your work is in vain. Marketing and promotion happen every time you engage with your current and future readers. The success of your blog promotion will depend on the ability to engage in your niche.

Let’s look closely at the advanced and straightforward promoting/marketing activities you could be taking to become an authority and successful blogger/CEO:

Let your friends know about your blog

Inform everyone you know about your new endeavor. You should include your blog name and URL in your email signature, list it on all your social media profiles, and use every opportunity to get the word out about your new undertaking.

Submit your blog to search engine

It only takes a moment, and it will help to get your blog indexed. To submit your blog URL to Google, sign in to your Google Account and go to the Submit URL option in Webmaster Tools. For extra credit, submit your site to Bing.

Submit your blog to bookmarking sites

Bookmarking sites can offer your content to a lot of potential viewers who are searching for content within your niche. You should do this every time you publish a new blog post to spread the word out. Some popular social bookmarking sites are Scoop.itReddit, etc.

Be active in your niche

Get active on relevant blogs, forums, and social pages. Blogger communities are a good way to connect with other bloggers within your niche. You can engage, build friendships and help each other in spreading the content.

Be active on social networks

Your business is unique, and you should make use of the social media avenues that best fit your own niche and style. Choose the one (or ones) that best fit your needs and become an expert at leveraging them to help reach your goals.

Comment on other blogs

Commenting on other relevant blogs is a great way to build relationships with top bloggers within your niche. This will help you make them and their readers aware of your existence as well as developing your personal brand within the topic.

Guest blogging

Take the relationship a step further and offer to write a guest post for other websites. Just be sure your work goes on reputable sites and that the content is directly related to your niche. Guest blogging is an excellent way to build an online presence.

Start building your mailing list

Once your blog gains new fans and readers it’s a good idea to collect the email addresses of those who want to be notified of new articles and offers. As people come to know and trust you, they will respond better to your promotional efforts.

Advertising on the web (paid traffic)

Appropriate and well-informed use of paid media can help you gain exposure and attention before your organic (naturally derived) traffic takes hold. Paid traffic avenues include Google AdWords, and Facebook, to name a few major ones.

Remember that you can always find other ways to promote your new blog. Rely on the blogging fundamentals: a clear and well-functioning blog, focused and helpful information, engaging conversation and practical advice. Your authority will come from helping and giving advice to other people, your fans or readers.

Step #11: How to Add Keywords into Your Blog Posts

Each blog post should focus on one main target keyword, and here’s where it should be included:

  • Put the keyword in your blog’s permanent URL.
  • Include the keyword in the title of your post.
  • Add your keyword to the first or second paragraph.
  • Include the keyword inside of your headings.
  • Add the keyword throughout your paragraph text. A good rule of thumb is to use a 1% keyword density so that your keyword is included once for every 100 words. If your blog post is really long, this may be too many times. Use your best judgment and don’t keyword stuff.
  • Add it to your meta description (optional).

You’ll see in my example below, the target keyword is in the title, URL, and first paragraph.

Once you have a list of the top 5-10 keywords (topics) you want to cover, it’s time to start writing.

Remember, in addition to text, blog posts that have audio, video, photos, infographics, and other types of visual content perform the best and keep readers engaged.

It’s also essential to write content that answers a reader’s search intent and compels them to take action on your blog.

Step #12: How to make money blogging

Monetization is the process of translating your blog activity into earnings. You should keep in mind that blogging isn’t all about making money but instead creating useful content that will attract readers and make them come back for more.

After producing great content for some time and by engaging with your niche market, you will become a recognized expert who will be able to build a significant list of followers and subscribers. Only then you could consider adding content that will generate income.

Blog monetization channels

How to monetize a blog? There are several options from which to choose. You should use the ones that prove most useful to you:

Running ads on your blog

There are seamless possibilities for you to run ads on your blog. Regardless of your niche, you can opt for ads that are specific to what you are writing about or ads that simply better serve your advertiser’s purposes. Google Adsense is one of the most popular choices for ads.

Enrolling in affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are ways of teaming up with retailers to promote their products and benefit from successfully carrying out sales through a commission. Some things that you need to consider when enrolling in affiliate programs:

  • The number of affiliate sales will strongly rely on the number of visitors you have.
  • You need to be credible enough for your visitors to click on your links.
  • You may want to consider placing a notice on your Terms of Use page that you do use affiliate links.

There are a few popular online platforms that offer many affiliate programs you can enroll in Amazon Associates, ShareASale, etc.

Selling your products and services

If you are more on the creative and entrepreneurial side, you may want to consider using your blog as a venue for selling your products and services. Use this advantage especially when your blog gains in readership, authority, and popularity. There are plugins that you can easily integrate into your blog and start selling, such as the WooCommerce plugin or BigCommerce. It comes with product pages, cart, checkout, secure payments, etc.

Writing and selling an Ebook

Another great opportunity to make money is to gather existing content from your own blog and offer it as a downloadable ebook. Your ebook can be sold independently if your blog has a commercial platform (such as Bigcommerce), or it could be sold elsewhere. A great publishing opportunity is offered by Amazon and their KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) program.

Sponsored posts

Advertisers are always looking for exposure and are willing to pay you for placing a sponsored post on your blog. Those posts usually promote advertiser products or services and are a good way to earn some additional income for your blog. In the future, if you’re able to build one of the most popular blogs and become an authority in your niche, the advertisers would approach you to publish their posts.

As you can see, there are numerous ways to monetize a blog. Consider the possibilities, and then choose the method or methods that best suit you and your audience. As a minimum, you should – from the very start – begin compiling a mailing list of your readers through subscriptions. Then, when you are ready to recommend products, you will have ready access to those who want to hear what you have to say.

I made the below infographic when i was still blogging, not my best but it still provide the information you need.

Step #12: Infographic: How to Start a Blog to Make Money in 2020.

How to Start a Blog: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

What is a Blog?

Some people still don’t know what is a blog? A blog (in the early stages called “weblog”) is known as many things—a digital magazine, diary, newscast, collector’s meeting place, a showcase for your art, information sharing, teaching hub, a place to learn and…well, almost anything you want it to be. A typical blog combines text, images, videos, and links to relevant pages and media on the Web. Blog readers can leave comments and communicate with the author. In fact, dialogue and interaction are a popular part of a blog’s success.

If statistics are anything to go by, in the United States alone, 42.23% of people from the ages of 18 to 49 read blogs.

You can find a blog for any topic you want and it’s a great avenue to increase your subscriber base, connect with new people, and make money

Why Should You Start a Blog?

There are so many reasons to start a blog.

One of the most prominent reasons is to influence and inspire online readers. If you have in-depth knowledge in your field of work and have decent writing chops, then you truly can help others. If you know how to monetize your blog, you can even make a decent passive income.

Blogging can provide you the perfect platform to:
– Develop yourself personally
– Improve your writing
– Build new relationships and network in your field
– Share your knowledge with your audience
– Make a lot of money

Speaking of money – this blog launched in 2016 and now makes over $24k/month.

How to Start a Blog for Free?

People often wonder where to start a blog, but several blogging platforms allow you to create a blog for free. All you have to do is to choose the one you like, register an account and start blogging. For example, you can start a free blog on WordPress.com, Blogger or Tumblr in a matter of a few minutes.

But you need to understand a few things when starting a blog for free:

  • If you open a BlogSpot account, your free blog name will be in this form: “blogname.blogspot.com” or “blogname.tumblr.com”. In the blogging community, this type of blog is the sign of an inexperienced beginner who likely won’t be taken seriously.
  • You’ll be subject to rules and restrictions set by the platform. They may limit or prohibit you from using ads, or they may even place their own ads on your blog. If you’re serious about blogging, you’ll want to move away from this option sooner than later.

How to make a blog the right way? I strongly suggest setting up a WordPress blog, and I covered how-to in this blogging guide. If for some reason, the free blog is the only option for you, then create an account on one of the free blog platforms mentioned above and check them out.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog?

When you start a blog, you have the option of using a free or paid blogging platform. Both have their pros and cons.

If you’re a novice and want to try your hand at blogging without paying upfront, Ghost or Blogger are free platforms that let you do just that. However, there are a lot of restrictions when using free tools. For example, you won’t have access to better themes, restriction on advertisements, and more.

On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned marketer or even a novice confident enough to start blogging, you could opt for paid platforms.

Website builders like Squarespace and Wix provide excellent paid plans that help you customize your site the way you want without restrictions. Moreover, such platforms allow you to optimize your site for search engines, add advanced features like an online store, drag-and-drop editors, and more.

Here are some of the essential expenses:
– Domain name: It may cost you around $10 per month
– Hosting: Shared hosting cost typically costs $3 – $10 per month. Then there are more advanced options like VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, etc.
– Optional expenses include a premium WordPress theme (costing between $30 – $60), marketing tools, and more.

Final Calculations:
– If you are considering blogging as a hobby, then it should be free.
– If you aren’t that serious and don’t mind minimal features, then it may cost you about $50-$60 per year.

Now, if you’re planning to invest in additional features to scale up your blog, then it may cost over $400 per year.

What is a Niche and how do i Choose One for My Blog

If you’re unsure what a niche even is, you’ve come to the right place. In short, a niche is a topic that you write about most often, or even exclusively, in your blogs. Think about the countless of ‘healthy living’ blogs – they give advice on, well, healthy living. They often offer some interesting recipes, share insight into great exercise routines, talk about which foods you should avoid, etc. Leading a healthy lifestyle would be their niche. Brainstorm to find your topic Following is a process that can help you determine which niche is best for you:

  • Make a list of your interests or hobbies. Which topics fascinate you? List them all, for instance: golf, fishing, yoga, playing games or cooking.
  • Next, list accomplishments you are proud of, such as musical talent, artistic talent or sports achievements.
  • Now, list difficulties you have overcome or defeated, such as: losing a significant amount of weight, recovering from a financial setback or managing a disease.

During this exercise, you will get a better feeling for the topics that resonate with you.

The ones you are most passionate about are the best candidates for your niche. The reason is that while blogging is an enjoyable process, most people give up after a few months because they lose interest in it.

You don’t need to be an expert on the topic that you choose, but it is necessary to want to learn more about it. It’s necessary that you’re excited about it. When you’re disinterested in the topic, the readers will notice and they’ll stop coming to your blog; it’s as simple as that.

Narrow it down Once you’ve found your topic of interest, it’s a good idea to narrow it down. If you’re super excited about yoga, for example, choose the type that you’re interested in the most.

Is it Hot and Bikram yoga? Kundalini? Something else? If you pick too broad of a topic, it’ll be difficult for you to stand out from the crowd.

Speaking of yoga specifically, just by doing a simple Google search of it, you’ll find countless big blogs covering this topic. You’ll only be making it harder for people to find your blog.

How Do I Get Readers to My Blog?

To get readers to your blog, you have to provide value to your readers.

Here are some steps that’ll help get you there:
– Master SEO – this can’t be understated
– Create catchy headlines – your headline is the first thing someone reads. Help them figure out the benefits by enumerating them. The ideal clickable headline is: Odd number + superlative + target keyword + year
– Publish blog posts consistently as it makes your readers take you more seriously
– Use call-to-action (CTA) buttons and opt-in forms to make your readers act
– Offer incentives to current readers like product discounts and insider knowledge
– Share your posts on social media

Implementing all the steps mentioned above can help you get some initial traction to your blog.

How Do I Start a Successful Blog?

There are more than 600 million blogs in the US alone. But 95% of them aren’t successful. Many factors set apart successful bloggers from non-successful ones.

Some of the critical factors in starting and running a successful blog are:
– Understanding market viability and audience revenue potential.
– Being well versed in digital marketing – you need to have a firm grasp on SEO, keyword research, affiliate marketing, email marketing strategies, etc.
– Being great at self-promotion.
– Offering value-based content.
– Providing content consistently.
– Creating a schedule and sticking to it.
– Engaging subscribers proactively and solving their pain points.

What Should i Blog About?

More often than not, people think they should blog about popular topics where they think money grows on trees. And while the truth is that you might be able to attract the larger audience if you write about smartphones instead of blogging about something specific like tuna fishing, that’s the wrong way to go. In the case, it would show that you write about something you might not completely understand and love, and it would result in an unsuccessful blog that not even you would enjoy.

Instead, you should start writing a blog about something you love and follow. Even if it is a smaller audience, your passion and expertise will attract just the right people. You will be able to connect with them, which will help you to grow and even earn money from it.

Do Bloggers Get Paid?

Yes, they do. Bloggers can get paid exceptionally well. Others make nothing from their blogs.

Breaking it down, bloggers mostly get paid through:
– Advertisements
– Affiliate marketing
– Online courses
– Sponsored posts
– Selling products
– Consulting

However, if your blog posts don’t offer much value, it’s difficult to create an income.

If you’re looking at blogging as a full-time job, it probably won’t make you a millionaire overnight. However, in 6 months, I started making over $25k by scaling my blog processes.

Can You Start a Blog for Free in 2020?

Starting a blog doesn’t have to cost much. You can start a blog with minimal investment and sometimes even for free.

When you start a blog, you need to decide whether you want to self-host it or use a fully-hosted platform. Usually, using a fully-hosted platform costs a small monthly fee. But getting a free platform is easy. Most beginners opt for free, self-hosted platforms, like Tumblr or Blogger.

Here’s a list of some of the best blogging platforms (both paid and unpaid). If you’re serious about blogging, I recommend you go with a paid option.

When you use a free platform, you’ll have to abide by the platform restrictions and will rarely make money. With almost unlimited revenue potential, you should pay to host your blog.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is the simplest way to make web pages and makes up over 30% of the Internet.

WordPress helps you create, publish, and share webpages. It’s also one of the most user-friendly platforms to host blogs. And you only have to pay for the custom name and web hosting.

It is a feature-rich CMS (content management system) that allows bloggers to create, edit, and publish content. It features a dashboard where you can edit posts, media, pages, comments, plugins, themes, users, website settings, and more.

How do i Learn WordPress?

I always love to hear that someone is interested in WordPress or to learn blogging. That’s because I have been working hard to gather the knowledge and experience I had been collecting for many years in the business.

I have dedicated an entire section of our site to learn WordPress where you can level up your WordPress skills and understand the best practices.

The section will guide you from the very beginnings of your WordPress site to advanced techniques that will teach you how to develop a unique site that both you and your visitors will love.

Who is the Richest Blogger?

Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington is a Greek-American author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman. She is a co-founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of fifteen books

How to Start a Blog: Final Summary.

As you can see, learning how to start a blog is pretty easy, but you need to consider your options carefully.

Turning your blog into a profitable money-making business requires a smarter approach, SEO mastery, consistency, and hard work.

To monetize your blog, make sure to go through my guide on How to Make Money Blogging, where I talk about in-depth on how you can scale up your content creation process and earn money with affiliate marketing, courses, a podcast, Google AdSense, selling your products, and more.

I have covered pretty much everything you need to know to start your blog. I will continue to update this post over time with the latest blogging techniques.

Now, it’s your turn. Why not start a blog today?

Start a blog now with Bluehost and get 63% off your hosting plan ($2.95/month).

You can also message me directly on my Twitter handle or leave a comment below, i would be glad to help

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