How to start a blog

Many of you may be thinking that how to start a blog that makes money even in a recession. Starting a blog in 2020 has become easy and fast. It probably will take an hour or so to create a blog that is ready to go live on the internet.

But why do you need a blog, is it for fun, to earn money, or to express your thoughts to the world? You need to have a clear and concise goal about why you are starting a blog.

If it is for fun or to pen down your thoughts, there are many free options to start a blog without spending a dime on it like blogspot.com, wordpress.com, etc.

But is it possible to earn money in 2020 just by writing content? What do you think?

The answer is it’s possible, but not as easy as you think. You need to invest your time and money to make it a reality.

Some people earn a decent income without depending on a paycheck by choosing to write blogs as their profession. Type top bloggers+ your country to know about them. For example, top bloggers in the US.

So, if you want to earn as they do, then this is a guide for you on how to start a blog and make money.

STEP 1. Search Within or Decide Niche:

Think about what you are good at?

Sometimes we immerse ourselves in one thing without realizing time has passed very quickly. If you had an experience similar to that, you have found your passion.

Create blog posts around that topic you are passionate about, and you will never run out of ideas to write in your niche.

If you still haven’t figured out the topic at this point, think about the topic on which friends or family seek your advice.

STEP 2. Domain and Hosting:

The domain is the name of the website, and Hosting keeps all your files. So, it is essential to get a domain and hosting before starting a blog.

Both are needed to be purchased, and the prices may differ from one hosting provider to another. Bluehost is a very well-known name in the hosting industry. If your blog is new, a basic plan of Bluehost is enough to cover all your needs. You can upgrade to a better idea as and when required.

A few things to consider while buying a domain

  • Prefer .com extension over others.
  • A domain name should represent the blog.
  • Short and catchy names are easy to remember.
  • Don’t use hyphens and numbers.
  • Use your name as a domain for personal brands.

You can buy domains at Google domains, Bluehost, NameCheap, etc. Click here to check the availability of a domain. It may be hard to find a good domain that you after but searching out a good domain will make your blog worth.

STEP 3. Install WordPress:

There are various content management systems (CMS), but WordPress is the best for creating a blog. Other CMS will cost you more in the long run.

It is powerful, user-friendly, a lot of plugins and themes are available. Anyone without technical knowledge can also use WordPress with ease.

Most of the hosting providers will give access to cPanel in which you can install WordPress with one click. It takes only a few minutes to install, and you can use it immediately.

Wordpress Installation

 

STEP 4. Design Your Blog:

Your blog doesn’t come with preloaded design, and only bare minimum features are available to start with. But don’t worry, you can design your blog with thousands of available themes. By default, your blog theme will look like as per below image.

Wordpress theme

You can change themes anytime you wish, so choose a theme quickly to get started on the blog.

First, log in to your WordPress dashboard by entering user credentials.

Login Details

 

Once you successfully logged in your portal, you will see a dashboard as per below image.

When you are on your WordPress dashboard you need to install a theme. Go to appearance and click themes to look at the available themes. Twenty themes come preloaded with WordPress. If they are not for you, then click Add New to access thousands of WordPress themes.

 

Look for the themes that match your taste and style and click preview to look at how your blog looks.

If you are satisfied with the preview, then click the install button. Click activate after the installation is complete. This step will install and activate the theme for you.

There are tons of free themes in WordPress; in case you haven’t found a perfect theme for your blog, try any of the premium themes from ThemeForest, Thrive Themes, Elegant Themes, and Studiopress.

Let’s see how to customize your WordPress blog.

STEP 5. Customize and Optimize Your WordPress Blog:

Customizations in WordPress are endless. You can customize; however, you see fit.

There are plugins to improve your blog’s functionality, such as contact forms, sliders, etc. Click customize on the active theme to get started.

Add a name and tagline under the section site identity and then hit the save and publish button.

Optimize for SEO:

A blog can become discoverable by focusing on relevant search terms related to their niche. Blogs can get a decent amount of traffic with proper SEO practices.

WordPress makes it easy for you to optimize your blog for search engines if you are a beginner in SEO.

For your SEO needs, download a plugin called Yoast. To access Yoast head over to Plugins menu and click add new.

Search Yoast SEO, and you will find it at the top of the results. Click Activate after installing the plugin.

Go through the setting of Yoast and tweak them according to your preferences.

Allow Google search console access to Yoast SEO to get reports, impressions, clicks, and conversions of your blog. Goggle search console provides a lot of tools to understand how your blog is performing in search results.

XML sitemaps have a list of all the URLs of your blog and are crucial for search engines to crawl your site for pages and posts.

You don’t have to worry about doing it manually because Yoast SEO has a built-in option that automatically updates your XML sitemap.

URLs can hint users about what is inside of your blog posts. Generally, this option is disabled in WordPress, so you can enable it under the settings menu, go to permalinks and set it to post name. Save the settings. Your URLs will appear with the post name from next time.

So far, so good, you have done the essential things like Purchasing domain and web hosting, installing and customizing your blog’s appearance.

Now let’s talk about what to write in your blog?

STEP 6. Brainstorm:

Why did you choose that particular niche while starting a blog? Ask yourself these questions: do you have experience, knowledge, or passion for that niche?

Note down all the topics in that niche you can think of, and this should give you an idea.

What are the problems users are facing?

Solving one’s problem is not only a good thing but also improves interaction with you and your blog. So, search for the issues in your niche and provide them with a solution.

Take advantage of forums like Quora and Reddit, Facebook, and WhatsApp groups to interact with users to improve engagement.

What are the readers most like and dislike about your niche?

Knowing what they like and dislike is a great way to write engaging content, which brings more shared likes and traffic to your blog.

Share your experiences why you like or dislike a particular thing about the niche, and this creates a bond between the reader and you.

This brainstorming session can give you a list of blog posts ideas to write in your blog. So, don’t wait for too long to write your first blog post.

STEP 7. Write Your First Blog Post:

Click posts => Add new on the side menu to start writing your first blog post. This will bring to the editor, which you can use for blogging.

The toolbar offers various editing options to make your posts more appealing to the readers.

Create compelling titles to draw your reader’s attention and show them what you are offering in return. Try to provide value with your content so that readers won’t feel disappointed even if you use clickbait in your title.

Write a blog post until you have filled in with enough information for the readers. Add images and videos as and whenever necessary.

Add alt tags and compress images and videos in your blog post. It ensures that your blog loads faster.

After the article is completed, you still need to optimize using Yoast SEO.

Fill Focus keyword, Meta description, and SEO title sections in Yoast. This will show you how your blog post appears in the search results when someone searches.

SEO title needs to be catchy and explain what the post is about in meta description.

Yoast SEO will provide you with real-time data after optimizing SEO and title.

It provides an analysis of the things you need to take care of. Follow the suggestions which are in red and don’t worry if some of them are not in green colour. 70 – 80 % score on Yoast is just excellent.

Add a featured image that will show up on each post.

Before hitting the publish button, preview the blog post thoroughly and proceed.

Keep these in mind while writing a blog post.

  • Check for grammatical and typing errors- use the Grammarly app.
  • Use conversational tone
  • Maintain consistency throughout the post.
  • Subheadings and bullet points are easier to read and skim through the content.
STEP 8. Create Editorial Calendar:

First, decide when to update your blog with new and fresh content – daily, weekly, or monthly. Stick to the schedule and make sure you never miss any deadlines.

For example, if you follow a weekly schedule, have enough blog posts to cover for a month or two. So, you will have enough time to create new blog posts.

Organize your posts on a date and time basis, so that you can stick to the schedule. Use an excel sheet to maintain and update this data whenever necessary.

If you follow an editorial calendar, it can do wonders for your blog, but don’t set goals you can’t achieve like I will publish a 10k word post daily.

Set small and achievable goals in the beginning, and you can scale your goals as you progress. This process will make you achieve your goal and boosts confidence in you instead of making you quit blogging altogether.

You will be prepared to publish for the coming months in advance. This sets you apart from your competition.

Use google calendar for marking deadlines and tracking the progress of your blog posts. You can sync across devices to stay up to date.

STEP 9. Monetize Your Blog:

You might have been waiting to read about how to monetize your blog. If you have come this far, then monetization won’t be a problem.

There are a lot of ways you can earn money through blogging.

Advertisements:

Not only traditional marketing but also blogs can earn money through advertisements. But they are different from what you see on television. They can be banner ads, video ads, etc.

The most popular way among newbie bloggers is to advertise on Google AdSense.  AdSense is better for those who don’t want to sell products.

The revenue depends on the traffic you get on the blog, more traffic, more revenue.

Affiliate Marketing:

Affiliate marketing means selling other products for a commission. It has massive potential if you have good traffic. It will cost nothing to your customer, so it is a win-win situation for both of you.

You promote products and get a commission in return; it is that simple. But don’t recommend or promote products you don’t trust. This will dilute your authenticity.

Sell eBooks:

Writing eBooks is easy if you are a writer, and Selling them is profitable.

One way to get more sales is to promote your book on social media, friends, and family, etc.

Courses:

Create courses that are in demand and put it in your blog for a price. Make sure your courses are up to date and provide value to the customer.

Conclusion:

Today, blogs can be created within minutes, if not hours. In this fast-paced world, you can earn money quickly. All you need is a bit of enthusiasm and dedication.

Do you own blog? Let us know what is your blog about. Also, don’t forget to share and comment if you like this guide.

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