You have articles to share with the public: little content, big stories, your experiences, significant write-ups. Be that as it may, not realizing the specific strides to take, you’ve been reluctant to start a blog.
On the off chance that you’ve never gone through the process, it can appear to be scary to plan your blog, track down the correct host, make content, and become conversant in SEO.
But once you know the process, there’s a clear way. To such an extent that there are a huge number of blogs in the world, many with active bloggers posting at any rate once every month.
The lone drawback to blogs being so simple to create and update is that they are on the whole competing for a restricted measure of consideration. This implies that you should make a wonderful blog with insightful content to stick out.
Furthermore, content should be posted routinely in light of the fact that people are attracted to the newest and most relevant blog posts accessible.
By making the process step-by-step, you can rapidly develop your audience and offer significant content to the world.
Here are the 8 easy steps to start a blog and make money online in less time;
1. Choose Your Blog’s Niche
Your blog’s niche is the general topic area that you’ll be focusing your content around.
Whether it’s technology, travel, food, fashion, lifestyle, marketing, cooking – whatever crazy blog topic, there are an endless amount of things to blog about.
Here’s the problem:
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:
As a blogger, you are the brand. When choosing your niche, think about:
- What you want to teach.
- Where you may already have experienced.
- Any leverage you may have in an industry.
- Where you can extract value from the market.
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2. Get a Domain Name and Web Hosting
The first thing you need is your own domain name for your blog.
Your blog domain is what readers will see first (like yourblog.com), so it should ideally represent either the general topics you’ll be writing about—or it could be your own name, that of your business, a clever combination of words, or otherwise.
Here are some other things to consider when choosing a domain name:
- Your name should be memorable and not too difficult to type.
- Don’t confuse people with difficult spelling, so keep the name easy to spell and pronounce.
- Avoid using numbers and hyphens in your domain as it can confuse people.
- Keep your name a little bit broad in case you need to pivot to an adjacent niche.
Once you have a name that you like, you need to sign up for web hosting.
At this stage, your best option is a simple shared hosting plan from Bluehost.
With Bluehost, you get a free domain name for the first year.
Here’s how to get started:
- Go to Bluehost’s official website and click on the “Host Your Site” button.
- Choose the basic plan or any plan of your choice.
- Enter your blog domain name (mine is Shelaf.net).
- Create your Bluehost account by filling in your account details like your name, email address, and address.
- Enter your billing information: Input your billing information, check the box that you agree to Bluehost’s Terms of Service, and then hit the green “Submit” button!
Woo! It’s time for a small get-together.
You’ve accomplished the first significant step in learning how to start a blog. It’s time to move on to the next stage of having your blog properly created and optimized,
Now that you’ve completed the initial SignUp procedure. You should receive a welcome email and a receipt through email once you’ve registered your name with Bluehost. You’ll then be sent to a page where you can create your blog’s password.
Next, we’ll go through how to set up your blog’s WordPress configuration, and then I’ll teach you how to publish your first blog post.
3. Setting up the WordPress Configuration for your Blog
Self-hosted WordPress is the best blog platform for new bloggers.
The good news for the Bluehost customers, there is one-click button to install WordPress right from your hosting dashboard.
One of the first steps to creating a blog is to pick your theme.
There are plenty of attractive free WordPress themes to choose from, including free blog themes.
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 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.”
From here, spend some time making yourself familiar with the WordPress dashboard.
This brings us to our next step – choosing a theme for your blog.
4. Pick a Theme for Your WordPress Blog
A WordPress theme is a collection of templates, files, and style sheets that dictate your blog design.
Right now, your blog might look something like this:
This is the default WordPress theme, and on the left side is a menu that helps you change its appearance.
Now, there are two options when it comes to themes:
You can either get a free theme with limited options or go with a paid theme.
When you’re still new to starting a blog, I don’t usually recommend buying a paid WordPress theme immediately. Once you have some traffic and can justify the investment, then it’s smart to choose a premium theme with more features and options. For now, a complex theme will be a distraction from your most important priority of bringing readers to your new blog.
WordPress comes with a ton of free themes to choose from, so start with one of the options you like.
If you need a premium theme I recommend you pick a theme from Themeforest to get a nice-looking theme for your blog. The name of the theme on Shelaf.net is Papr – News Magazine WordPress Theme, if you like it, you can purchase it at the rate of $35 here.
Now, log in to your WordPress account (admin page).
You can always access your WordPress login page by going to yourdomainname.com/wp-admin.
Once logged in, your WordPress dashboard looks something like this.
Here, click on the “Appearance” option from the sidebar menu.
Next, select the “Themes” option from the “Appearance” section.
To search for the theme options WordPress offers, click the “Add New” button at the top of the page.
As you can see below, there are plenty of free themes to choose from.
You can scroll down and preview as many WordPress themes as you want before picking one for your blog.
To install an external theme from a site like Papr Premium Theme, go to “Appearance” – “Themes” and click “Add New,” upload the zip file, and click “Install.”
5. Install a Few Simple WordPress Plugins.
Plugins are sets of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a website. It plays a vital role in how your blog will function.
When starting a blog, it’s important to choose the best ones for SEO and site speed.
Here’s a list of 7 essential WordPress plugins you should install on your blog today
Elementor is a WordPress landing page builder, and it’s the tool I used to create my home page. They have a free and pro version, but Elementor Pro takes it to the next level with much better templates.
2. Yoast SEO
The more people that can find your content, the better your blog will do. The Yoast WordPress plugin helps you to optimize your blog post titles, descriptions, content length, and other elements across your entire blog so that you can be found easier by search engines.
You’ll want your readers to be able to get in touch with you easily, which I highly recommend—as it’ll encourage other bloggers who want to collaborate with you an easy opportunity to reach out. WPForms is an easy-to-use plugin that allows you to drag & drop contact forms onto any page of your blog.
4. MonsterInsights – Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress
This is a 100% free Google Analytics plugin that allows you to see all of your relevant analytics data directly inside WordPress. Connect the plugin to your Google Analytics account (you can sign up for a free Google Analytics account right here) to find out who’s coming to your site, how long they’re sticking around, and what your most popular blog posts are.
Akismet plugin safeguards your site from spam comments by automatically identifying potentially spammy remarks, will be a lifesaver once you start attracting readers for your blog. It has saved my site from tens of thousands of spam comments, saving me a significant amount of time in the process.
6. Jetpack Boost
While we’re on the subject of speed, Jetpack Boost helps your blog’s graphics and other static components load quicker. It offers one-click optimizations to boost the speed of your WordPress site and boost web vital scores for improved SEO.
It is the new feed management service with fabulous newsletter features. Follow.it is a free service that allows your visitors to follow you, and then alert them when you publish a new story so that they come back to your site. It made a science out of it and optimized every step in the funnel.
In addition, sometimes things will go wrong on your blog (and it won’t always be totally in your control). It’s always smart to have a backup plugin that’ll save all your hard work on a regular basis, and this free one stands high above the rest.
That concludes our discussion. You’re ready to take on the world… I’m handing you the keys now that you’ve registered your domain, installed WordPress, customized your basic settings, and installed all of the necessary plugins…
Behind the scenes of your blog, dig around and try things out.
Spend some time investigating how a change in the back-end impacts your blog’s look.
If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and register your domain so you can start writing your blog right now.
6. Create Great Content for Your Blog
Congrats! You started a blog and are ready to start blogging. This is where the rubber meets the road.
One thing first:
Blogs are no longer places where you simply write updates and gain a following.
They are now Google-driven websites that require organic search traffic.
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 blog post.
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 photos, infographics, audio, video, and other types of visual content perform the best and keep readers engaged.
It’s also essential to write content that matches the Google search intent and compels them to take action on your blog.
You don’t have to be a professional writer when starting a blog, it’s important to understand basic sentence structure and proper grammar.
For example, short paragraphs, bullet points, and images help break up long, monotonous blocks of text and keep readers engaged.
As you’re just learning how to start a blog, poor grammar and readability scores can hinder both the trust you can build with your audience (and your search rankings).
If you want to eliminate all these unconscious mistakes, it’s essential to have the best grammar checker such as Grammarly, Ginger, Linguix, Hemingway Editor, After The Deadline, WhiteSmoke, LanguageTool, ProWritingAid, Spell Check Plus, etc., to help you. A grammar tool can help you correct spelling mistakes, improve your grammar, and write sentences that are easy to read.
Extra Tips to Improve Your 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 your 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 first blog posts conversational to build a connection with your audience.
- Use readable fonts and use 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.
- Bold some text to make it stand out.
- Remember, a blog is a living thing that can be updated over time. So don’t try to make your content perfect – just publish it without fear and update it later.
If you haven’t started your blog yet and are ready to go, get started for just $2.95/month (70% off):
Create Your Home and About Pages
Before launching a blog, you should have a few pages in your blog’s top menu navigation so that readers quickly understand your blog and find important information.
1. Home Page
We all know what a home page is – it’s the main URL of your website.
This page shouldn’t include every little detail about your site – its purpose is to sell your unique value proposition in two seconds or less.
If a reader hits your home page and doesn’t quickly understand what your site is about, they may bounce and never return.
A WordPress home page can be edited with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) page builder like Elementor.
This tool allows you to drag-and-drop content blocks, including text, images, videos, color blocks, and more.
A good home page should contain:
- A slider or hero image with a headline and subheadline.
- A small section to tell readers more about what your blog is about.
- The main call-to-action button takes readers to an important page, post, or email list opt-in form.
- Internal links point to your important content to make it easy for readers to navigate around your site.
2. About Page
The About Page of your blog should cover everything about you – who you are, what you stand for, and what your blog is about.
This section will help you connect with your readers on a deeper level, so don’t hold back.
Make sure to write about:
- Who you are.
- What made you decide to start your blog.
- Your expertise or background to build trust with your readers.
- The pain point you’re solving and how you’ve dealt with the same struggles as your audience.
- Your success story.
- A call-to-action.
People don’t necessarily want to read about all of your recent professional accomplishments. It isn’t the time to brag about yourself, but to allow people to understand who you truly are.
You can check out my About Page here.
Plan Your Future Content
Another common question I get asked is how to prioritize new blog post ideas.
This should be based on keyword metrics, including search volume, difficulty scores, and how well you think you can rank for a keyword.
You can keep track of this inside of a simple spreadsheet with columns for your future posts, including:
- Target keyword.
- Blog post title.
- Monthly search volume.
- Word count.
Analyze Your Content
You absolutely need to use analytics tools to analyze your content’s performance.
Tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs do this well. Since Google Analytics should already be installed on your blog, you can go to your GA dashboard to view metrics like site visitors, average time on page, total page views, and tons of other interesting stats.
You can view traffic to individual blog posts over any time period and compare it to previous periods to see if your traffic is increasing or decreasing.
Additionally, Ahrefs is the best search engine optimization (SEO) tool to track your blog post’s rankings and inbound links. You can view the keywords you’re ranking for, which sites are linking to you, and a lot more.
Ready to take the leap? Start your blog for just $2.95/month with Bluehost today.
7. Promote Your Blog
To promote your new blog, the best strategy is to do whatever it takes to build links to your blog.
Links are like the currency of the Internet. The more you have, the more Google will take you seriously and rank all of your new blog posts.
Here are the top strategies to promote your blog:
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to promote your blog.
It’s a great way to build authority in your niche, meet other bloggers, and get backlinks.
This is a hustle that includes cold email outreach and relationship building.
First, don’t think about the benefits you’ll get from backlinks. You have to provide value to others.
This bears repeating:
In the world of Internet marketing, you need to provide value.
Although guest posting is one strategy to get links to your blog, there are plenty of others.
First, the best form of link building is passively getting links without any involvement or outreach.
Sounds like a dream, right?
People naturally link to the best content they can find. So how do you make sure your blog posts are “linkable”?
When you’re starting a blog, your content needs to be unique and high-quality. That’s the basic entry fee to get into the game.
To take it to the next level, add visual elements to your blog posts. These can be infographics, videos, case studies, statistics, and any other unique content that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
Here are some other link building strategies to try out after you set up a blog:
Link reclamation: Input your blog’s URL into the Ahrefs Content Explorer tool to find instances where your brand is mentioned but not linked to. Here, you can reach out to the writer of the post, thank them for the mention, and ask if they can add the link.
Link partnerships: Form relationships with other bloggers in your niche to get links in their guest posts and vice versa.
Competitor research: View which websites are linking to competitors to come up with new sites to reach out to.
Now, it is time to make money from your blog.
8. Make money from your blog
Blogging can be a fulfilling hobby – a great way to express your passion for a particular subject. But make no mistake: it can also be a great way to make money, either as a side hustle or as a full-time career.
There’s a reason why making money from your blog is at the end of this guide to starting a blog. Unless you have a huge audience somewhere already, you can’t expect to make money right away—monetization should not be your #1 focus at the moment, but rather something to work towards.
Even still, it’s good to have an idea of which ways you’d like to make money blogging as you go into this new adventure. Some of these monetization strategies will be easier than others to implement while your readership is still growing.
Following are the ways you can start making money from your blog today.
Create a business directory, Promote an affiliate product, Sell ad space, Offer services, Offer consulting services, Write sponsored posts, Offer coaching services, Host webinars, Host sponsored contests or giveaways, Teach an online course, Create a private community, Write an ebook, Sponsored social content, Write tutorials, Take your expertise offline, In-content affiliate links, Product reviews, Create a resource page.
I’m sorry, time doesn’t permit me to explain them one after the other on this page, another post will be published soon to explain them in detail.
Finally, you have made it to the end of my post on how to start a blog and make money online, as you can see, starting a blog is pretty easy. I am beyond doubt convinced that you are now a “Redefined Blogger” ready to hit the web with great ideas and content!
Thanks for reading to this level; you have really shown your commitment. Based on this note, I’m gladly wishing you a wonderful and successful blogging career.
However, making your first blog successful is hard work.
Don’t let starting a blog overwhelm you. If you take a deep breath and slow down, it’s easy enough to work your way through the process step-by-step and figure out how to start a blog.
The best thing you can do is remember the whole process — To recap, the 7 steps are:
- Choose a niche.
- Pick a blog name and web hosting.
- Install WordPress.
- Picking your blog’s theme.
- Install WordPress plugins.
- Create great content.
- Promote your blog.
- Make money from your blog
To read more about starting a blog, check out my previous guide about Blogger.com: Download Blogger’s Beacon: Learn How To Create and Monetize Free Blog
Thereafter, if you end up not liking your blog design or are struggling with the SEO side of things, you can always make adjustments and grow.
No blogger jumped into the deep end and got everything right on the first go. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process. Your loyal blog followers will be glad you did in the long run.
Now, it’s your turn. Why not start a blog today?
Start a blog now with Bluehost and get 70% off your hosting plan ($2.95/month).