How to Start a Blog:
The Definitive Guide
This Guide covers everything from the root to the tip.
I will show you how you can set up and start a blog from buying a domain to optimising your blog post to get rankings and visitors.
I will also share some tips and tricks along the way.
So, let us not wait anymore and get started.
Do you want to know How to Start a Blog? You’re at the right place.
In this post, I will describe exactly what you’ve to do to get your Blog started. I will also walk you through every step with a personal touch so that you don’t get confused about a few things, like I did at the beginning when I started my blog.
By the way, if you were wondering Why You Should Start a Blog in 2020?
Let me tell you that 2020 is the year which is very good for bloggers and growth in this blogging space.
You are able to reap very good results if you start early. Starting Your Blog is the best thing you’ll ever do.
But, Why Should You Blog?
Yes, that’s an important and a very valid question. Why Should You Start Blogging?
Well, Let me tell you the biggest benefit of Blogging. Expressing Yourself and Your Ideas: A Blog gives you your own platform for expressing your thoughts and spread the word to people.
Now, let’s get into How to Start Your Blog from Scratch,
Choosing a Niche for the Blog
Believe it or not, choosing the niche for your blog might be the most important decision you ever make towards success.
Choosing a niche to start a blog should be made very carefully taking into account many factors listed below.
Have You Heard about the word Niche? It is basically the topic on which your shiny new Website will be on. This is a very important step for your success as it is what your site would be entirely based on, including your domain name (recommended).
Why is it important to choose a Niche according to your Passion?
That’s a simple answer, when you don’t choose a Niche for your Blog that interests you, you’ll ultimately end up getting demotivated and deleting your blog.
AND WE DON’T WANT THAT!
So, choose the niche based on a Topic that you’re interested in. You’ll see content of your Blog automatically coming from within you.
If you’re still wondering, Let’s take some examples of Niches.
ShoutMeLoud: If you’ve researched a bit about blogging you’ve definitely stumbled upon ShoutMeLoud. It is one of the Biggest Blogs about WordPress, SEO and Blogging.
WPBeginner: This is also a website taking up most of the 1st Search Results on Google about WordPress articles and tutorials.
You see, choosing a Niche is the utmost important factor when starting your Blog as it determines where your blog will go in the future. The examples above had chosen a niche which was their passion and didn’t give up.
So, How to Find a Niche For Your Blog?
I cannot tell you what your passion is, but here are some points that might help you:
- See If you have interest in that Niche?
- If you can solve someone’s problems based on your articles?
- If you can share your articles with your like minded people?
Get a Good Domain Name
The Domain is what the people would type into the address bar of their browser and snip, your website will load up.
It will be like the address of your home. It will be the Online Address of your Virtual Place, website.
Now that you have a good niche to write about, you should choose a domain name for your blog. Choosing a domain name is easy and you can get your perfect domain registered and set up very quickly.
Domain name selection should be very specific and simple. You should get such a domain which helps you in SEO.
Here are some tips to get a Perfect Domain,
Keep it Short and Simple: You should keep your domain name short and simple in order for people to remember it and grasp it quickly. This helps in increasing brand value and word of mouth for your blog.
Don’t use numbers: Avoid using numbers like yourdomain1234.com. If you don’t get a good domain name as per your choice, move on to other domain names but don’t include numbers.
Use a nice domain extension: A domain uses domain extensions like .com, as these are globally recognised.
Use Keywords: You can use keywords directly in your domain name. It will help you in SEO of your blog.
Which Blogging Platform Should You Choose?
If you ask me, WordPress is the simple and direct answer. There are several Blogging Platforms like Wix, Joomla, etc. However, WordPress definitely has no competition with any of these and supports about 30% of all the websites in the world. That's a BIG Number! PSST!: Make your own CMS if you have prior coding knowledge! (Just an Activity Suggestion)
That solves most of your crucial steps of becoming a blogger. There are still some steps left which will help you make out the final version of your website.
Let’s move on,
Hosting Provider for the Blog
Hosting Providers give you a space where you can store your website so that anyone with access to the internet can view your website, and you get visitors.
You have to have a space to host your website. Either on a Shared Hosting or your own Server.
Hosting is an important factor indirectly related to Page Rankings. It is also responsible for page load times and hence, the user experience as a whole.
You should go for such a Hosting Provider which lets you take no burden of loading speeds.
Your website will need two things to work. One is a Domain and another is Hosting.
In simple words, Domain is the address of your house and a Web Hosting is your house. A Domain is pointed towards your hosting and your website is stored in a web hosting. Whenever a request comes from the user to the domain, the website is loaded from the hosting provider to the user’s browser. This is How the Domains and Hosting work.
I would recommend you to go with SiteGround or BlueHost. Both of these are my favourite Hosting Providers and do a very good job in Page Loading Times, Server Up-time Guarantee and a Few Extra Features which are very cool to use with WordPress.
Quick Note: You can check your Page Speed in GTMetrix. This tool is used by Millions of People to Find and Fix their Website Speeds. This is a Free Tool.
2. Select the Plan you want to go for according to your requirements. Note that, the first plan is extremely useful for beginners in blogging.
3. Choose Your Preferred Domain Name and then Enter Your Account Information.
4. Checkout Your Order using your Preferred Payment Method.
Set Up WordPress For Your Blog
In order to manage your website, its pages and posts, you will need to have a Content Management System (CMS).
WordPress is the best one to go for in this case and it powers almost 30% of the web. Which is HUGE.
Let us see how we can set up WordPress for your blog.
It’s obvious at this point. I’m not even speaking about installing anything else other than WordPress!
Okay, so let’s get started and Install WordPress on Your Blog.
How to Install WordPress?
WordPress installation is easy. You can go to WordPress.org, download and unzip the .zip file to your hosting space using FTP or similar methods.
Now, Head over to the Admin Section of your Hosting account.
Then, you might see an option “Set Up Website“. Click on it and it’ll ask you for your preferred platform of choice. Select WordPress and Continue.
It’ll take some time and Install WordPress on your Website.
Now, usually WordPress is installed on /wp-admin/ of your website.
For example, if your domain is yourawesomedomain.com, your WordPress installation will usually be at yourawesomedomain.com/wp-admin.
You can now log in to your WordPress Dashboard using the credentials you used while Installing WordPress.
Choose a Good Theme For Your Blog
Website theme is the user interface your audience will use when they reach your site.
Make sure you have chosen a great theme because ultimately your blog’s visitors are your customers, make sure to treat them well.
This is like designing your creation. In this step, you’ll find a good theme for your Blog and apply it.
This will determine the look of your blog when a user visits your blog and give the first impression, which is usually the best impression.
Pro Tip about Themes
Don't Lose your Visitors by using a Bad Theme.
Also, Don't lose your Visitors by using such a Heavy Theme that your Website takes ages to load.
How to Install a WordPress Theme?
It is simple. Once you choose a theme, or buy one, you can go ahead and install it from your WordPress Admin.
Go to Appearance -> Themes -> Add New
If you have a .zip File as a theme and you bought it from a marketplace, you can use the “Upload Plugin” option to Upload your theme to WordPress Admin and Install it.
If you’ve selected a Free Theme, you can go ahead and search for it and install.
Installing Essential Plugins on the Blog
Plugins are the most important aspect of WordPress CMS.
Plugins on WordPress allow to achieve almost anything. I mean it.
Plugins are what WordPress is known for. Without Plugins, WordPress is of no use to be honest. WordPress gets a lot enhanced when it is installed with Plugins and Essential Extensions.
You might be wondering which plugins are the Best Plugins for WordPress?
Some plugins include:
Elementor: An Excellent Page Builder which helps you create stunning page designs.
Yoast SEO: The Search Engine Optimisation Plugin for your blog which helps you with different features like Content SEO Score, Readability Score, Meta Tags, etc.
WP Smush: This Plugin will help you reduce the size of your images that you upload without losing quality and will speed up your website.
WP Forms: You can use WP Contact Forms to create forms for different purposes like Guest Post, Contact Us Page, etc. A Very Useful and Popular WordPress Plugin.
Monster Insights: It is used to monitor your Blog’s traffic and connect to Google Analytics. This Plugin will be your all in one solution for monitoring website traffic.
How to Install Plugins on WordPress?
Well, this is a very valid question.
If you have a Free Plugin that can be Installed from WordPress, you can go ahead by following this method;
Go to Plugins -> Add New -> Search for the Plugin -> Click ‘Install’
However, if you have a Premium theme or a .zip file of a theme, you can go to Add New option and then select Upload Plugin option.
Writing Your First Blog Post
Writing your first blog post might be difficult to think about at the beginning.
But trust me, when you find the first topic to write on, you’ll feel so excited to write it down. That’s blogging.
After all the work on setting up your website, writing your first blog post is the best feeling ever.
Getting all your thoughts together and expressing it in the form of blogs is the best way of putting out your ideas to the people.
So, go ahead and open up the Posts tab on your WordPress Admin. It should go something like this;
Posts -> Add New -> WordPress Text Editor is shown
How to Write a Blog Post - Pro Tips
1. Do some keyword research in the beginning and try finding long tail low competition keywords to rank for which have a high search volume.
2. Have an Awesome Title for your Blog Post because that's what people will click on.
3. Connect with your readers and keep them engaged by using a "Conversational Tone" like You and Me.
That’s all about writing articles. You’ve to be very good in connecting with your readers and keeping them engaged. This is an excellent way of conversing with your audience.
Tools for Keyword Research
If you’re going to write a fabulous piece of content, you’re most likely expecting a thousand people visiting that post tomorrow. YES!
But not quite likely.
That’s because SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
There are people who write the best content but are never seen online, and people who write good content but are seen on the #1 ranking on Google SERPs. This is because, along with being a good writer, you also need to know some good techniques of optimising your content to fit Google’s needs and rank you on Page 1.
For that, you will need to do Keyword Research on your topic before writing an article.
In the beginning, you should use a free tool to get you started. However, if you’re passionate, you should upgrade your plan to a paid one and experience the keyword research strategies to start a blog.
WMS Everywhere - Free Keyword Tool
It is always better to start with a Free tool when you don’t know what it is going to be like or you’re just testing the waters.
I’d suggest you to go with WMS Everywhere, a Free Keyword Tool by What’s My SERP.
It is an amazing alternative to other free tools that have recently converted their business model to paid.
WMS Everywhere also promises that it is going to have a free version forever.
It is an In Browser Keyword Tool that you can add to your browser. Now, it does its magic. In other keyword tools, you had to separately go to their dashboard to paste the keywords. However, with this tool, you would be able to estimate the searches and CPC directly from Google Search. (Check the Image below)
SEMRush - Paid Keyword Tool
For people who want to invest in their blog, I’d suggest you to go for a Paid Keyword Tool.
In paid keyword tools, SEMRush is the best tool you can get online.
SEMRush will get you everything you need and more.
Always treat your blog like a business. So, if you are determined and have a bit of investment, go for SEMRush. Here’s a discount link for beginners.
How to Make Money Online From Your Blog?
Making Money from your blog might be of interest to you.
It might be one of your main goals with your blog. Keep in mind, always blog with passion.
Whatever you do or write on your blog, if that content helps people to understand and improve in their niche, you’ll definitely be earning a good profit every month.
There are a ton of ways you could monetise your blog and start earning. However, Affiliate Marketing seems like the best way bloggers are using to promote others’ products and earn what is known as an Affiliate Commission.
There are Huge Companies like Amazon providing Affiliates Programs like Amazon Affiliate Program, etc.
They get traffic from your blog and in return, they pay you a commission fee for each sale or lead generated.
Affiliate Marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetise blogs.
Now, let’s look at some of the other ways to monetise your blog content;
Advertising: This is the most common method of monetising websites. You’ll see this kind of advertisement in almost any blog that starts out. This is a bit annoying to readers but if you place it well, you can have great peace of mind with companies like Google managing these advertisements with their service Google AdSense.
Selling your Service to Clients: If you have experience in fields like App Development, Finance, Tech Services, etc., you can easily sell them through your blog. The traffic of your blog will convert to clients and some of them may turn out to be Long-term clients.
Selling Products: Selling E-Books, Skin Products for Beauty Bloggers, etc. are a popular way of monetisation too. You can sell these products to your audience and web traffic.
Affiliate Marketing: As explained above, this growing niche of monetising content is worry free and just like advertisements which are not that annoying to readers. Companies like Amazon Affiliate Programs have built their presence in this field.
You’ve successfully set up your blog and are ready to rock in the world of blogging!
Now, what you got to do next is create an About Me Page, Contact Us Page, and some essential content for your website.
Also, you have to set up things like SEO, Affiliate Marketing Accounts, Advertisement Accounts, etc.
Make sure to keep writing good content and focusing on your blog.
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