So… I heard you want to start a blog? Well, I got you.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the process of starting a blog, writing content, promoting it, and earning money from it.
So let’s begin.
How to start a blog?
If you don’t have enough time to read each step, feel free to skip around.
- Choose you niche
- Get your blog name
- Get your blog online
- Design your blog
- Write your first blog post
- Promote your blog
- Earn money from it
Quick view of what you need to start a blog
It’s not hard to start a blog; all you need is three tools to get you started.
First is a domain name (your website address).
Next is a blogging platform (the place from where you’ll be handling your blog).
And the final one is web hosting (the host that organizes your website).
A blog is a frequently updated website that contains information on a specific topic.
The purpose of a blog is to educate and inform users about the topic of their interest and solve their problems.
For example, the piece you are reading right now is a blog
Not just one, but there are numerous reasons why you should start a blog.
Let’s go over a few of them so you can feel confident in your decision.
Lets you share your voice
Blogging helps you get your voice out in the world and share your opinion with others.
All you need is a plan for increasing blog readership.
Once you’ve done that, you can monetize those audiences in a variety of ways to make money.
A blog post will also continue to generate passive income after you publish it.
Find your community
Blogging can help you in finding your community and those who share your interests.
Become a business
Once your blog begins to gain traction, you can make it a bigger company.
Yes, of course, you can start a blog even if you haven’t done it before.
I mean, everyone started as a beginner once.
Plus, you don’t need to get a professional degree to start a blog.
You can start a blog and learn the fundamentals just by reading THIS single post.
It is normal to be afraid to start anything. And the only way to overcome this fear is by starting.
When I was first starting my blog I was scared to get my voice out in the public.
My mind was racing with questions like, “What if I fail?” What if people laugh at me? How will I do it? And so on.
It took me eight months to start my blog just because I was scared to do it. It wasn’t until I had the guts to start a blog that this fear faded away.
Of course, you don’t need any technical expertise to start a blog. Fun fact: I myself don’t have any technical knowledge.
This blog was made to make starting a blog as simple as possible for non-technical people. All you have to do is follow my instructions.
The answer is yes a hundred percent.
If you play your cards right, running a blog as a business can bring in millions of dollars.
A Step-by-Step guide to Starting a Blog
Now let’s get to the actual business: the process of starting a blog.
Step 1: Choose your niche (aka topic)
Choosing a niche is one of the most important steps while starting a blog as your entire blog will be based around it.
What is a niche?
In simple terms, a blog niche is a specific topic you’ll write about on your blog.
For example, Finance is a niche where you’ll be writing about things related to finance.
Why should you choose a niche?
When I first heard about choosing a blog niche, the only thing that came to mind was, “Why can’t I write about anything?”
After all, it will increase blog readership, right? Wrong.
While covering all topics can be beneficial for news websites, a blog needs to have a focus in order to draw in more readers.
A simple explanation is that someone who wants to learn about SEO is more likely to subscribe to a blog that focuses solely on SEO rather than one that covers everything.
How do you pick a niche?
To select your ideal niche, you’ll need to provide answers to a few questions.
I advise beginners to use paper and a pen to carefully answer these questions.
When blogging, it’s extremely important to write about a subject you’re passionate about, or you’ll experience a lot of burnout along the way.
Next, you need to confirm that there is a demand for the topic on the internet.
A good way to find out the demand is by going through popular platforms like YouTube, Quora, and Reddit to find relevant questions for your niche.
More questions = More demand.
The earning potential of your blog will be influenced by the niche you work in. Therefore, knowing the earning potential is crucial.
Find out how much people in your potential niche are making by doing some research.
The last step is to list all potential competitors in your niche, visit their blogs, and analyze how strong the competition is.
A niche with higher competition will make it harder for you to compete than one with lower competition.
Step 2: Decide your domain name
Ok, so now it’s time to name your blog.
What is a domain name?
Your domain name is the name by which your website will be identified on the internet.
It is your website address that a user types in the search bar to directly land your website.
For example, theblogguy.com is a domain name.
How to come up with the perfect domain name?
Picking the right domain name is crucial as it will be used to identify your entire blog website.
Plus, a catchy name also helps in establishing a good brand name among the audience.
When choosing a domain name, keep the following things in mind:
- Simple – Your domain name should be straightforward and simple enough for anyone to remember.
- Unique – Your domain name needs to be distinct from other names and should not be similar to theirs.
- Easy – Anyone should be able to spell and pronounce the domain name you choose.
- .com – Always prefer the .com extension over any other.
Once you’ve decided on a great name, check to see if the.com extension is available for it.
.com extensions are preferred because readers are more likely to trust them than other extensions.
If you can’t get a.com for your current name, think about changing it.
You can also choose .co, .net, or.org as an alternative.
What do I do if the name I want for my blog is already taken?
You have three choices if the domain name you want is already taken:
1. Make an effort to get in touch with the domain name’s current owner and work out a deal.
2. Try to supplement it with a single word. For instance, I wanted to purchase blogguy.com but the seller was asking a premium price that I was unable to pay.
So instead of paying a premium price, I added a little “the” at the beginning.
3. Try to think of similar name suggestions. For instance, blogboy, bloglad, etc.
What if I can’t decide on a blog domain name yet?
If you are having trouble coming up with blog name suggestions, I recommend you to just start.
Even if you opt not to select a custom domain name, the Bluehost plan will still give you a default domain name that you can later change to your preferred name.
Can I later change the name of my blog?
You can, of course, change the name of your blog in the future.
Simply purchase a new domain name and request your hosting company to rename your domain from the current domain to the new domain.
Step 3: Choose your blogging platform
The next step is for you to consider all of your options and select the best blogging platform for your blog.
What is a blogging platform?
A blogging platform is, to put it simply, a platform from where you will create, manage, and publish your blog.
Some of the well-known blogging platforms are:
Each platform comes with its own pros and cons.
However, I recommend WordPress to every blogger who wants to seriously pursue blogging and wants all the control in their hands.
43.2% of the entire internet is built on WordPress. This alone shows the big daddy power of WordPress.
The good news is that WordPress is FREE to use for blogs. It is a piece of software included with your hosting package.
Step 4: Choose your Web Hosting provider
Now comes one of the most crucial parts of starting a blog: selecting your web host and setting up your blog on the internet.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the “host” that makes the content of your website available to others online.
It stores all your website’s files and data to make it available whenever a user clicks on a link from your website.
Web hosting is a must for starting a blog.
Which web hosting is most recommended?
One of the top web hosts for bloggers who want to take their blogging seriously is Bluehost.
It provides you with everything a web hosting should provide.
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free SSL
- Domain purchase for free
- Live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Low pricing ($2.95/mo)
Your hosting company will have a major impact on the functionality and performance of your blog.
This is a server that stays up 24/7 and makes sure your blog is available to everyone online.
The combination of WordPress (blogging platform) and Bluehost (web hosting) is best for your blog as it offers everything you need to create a blog.
Plus, Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress. So let’s go with it.
Step 5: Purchasing your plan
Now let us purchase your web hosting plan.
1. Getting started
Head over to Bluehost and click the “get started” button.
You can either select a basic plan if you want to start one blog or a plus or choice plus plan if you want to host more blogs and get more features.
However, I recommend the basic plan for a beginner.
2. Get your domain name
Remember how I told you Bluehost offers a free domain name? Well, here it is.
Type your domain name if you’ve already decided on your blog name or click the “I’ll create my domain later” button to do it later.
3. Contact information
Fill up the required contact information and choose your account plan under the package information section.
Choosing a 12-month plan is ideal for every new blogger.
Note: apart from domain privacy protection, uncheck every box containing extra packages you don’t want.
Lastly, pay the hosting price via any of the available payment options.
Read and accept the terms and hit the green “submit” button at the bottom of the page.
5. Setting up Bluehost
Congratulations! The most important part of starting a blog has been accomplished.
Now that you have Web hosting, a domain name (which you will get for free), and a blogging platform, you can start a blog (Bluehost will give you access to WordPress).
Click on the “create your password” button to get started with your blog.
On the next page type in the desired password and click “next”.
Next, pick a theme you like or click the skip button to do that later.
Skip all the additional questions.
You’ll be logged into your Bluehost control panel
6. Logging into WordPress
Now, the only thing that’s left is logging into your WordPress dashboard.
To do this, click the WordPress log-in button in the control panel’s upper right corner.
And boom! You’ll be in your WordPress dashboard after logging in.
Step 6: Setting Up and Customizing your Blog
Your blog has been created.
Take a moment, and congratulate yourself.
You are now just a few steps away from launching your blog successfully.
Now have a look at the WordPress dashboard.
This is the place from where you’ll be organizing and managing your entire blog website. Feels good, yes?
Things to do in your WordPress dashboard
There are a few things you need to do before publishing your blog. Let’s first get those things done.
1. Choosing a theme
From your WordPress dashboard, click on Appearance > Themes > Add new theme.
Choose the theme you want for your blog.
A WordPress theme is a collection of files that determines the overall appearance of your blog.
The following are the best themes for a WordPress blog.
2. Installing plugins
WordPress plugins play just as important a role as a WordPress theme.
When installing plugins, you need to be sure you are installing the most productive plugin that performs well.
A WordPress plugin is a small piece of software used to give your WordPress blog extra functionality.
Consider your blog as a car, and plugins as the little parts you add to the car to give it extra features.
Here is a list of my top-recommended (free) plugins for your blog
YoastSEO is by far one of the most useful plugins, and I would highly recommend every new blogger install it.
It is a plugin that helps you improve your website’s performance on search engines like Google by recommending ways to optimize your blog post title, images, links, description, and every other element that improves your SEO.
Adding an easy way for your readers to contact you is a must for the success of your blog, as it will encourage readers to interact.
WPForms Is an easy-to-use plugin that lets you add a contact form to any page of your blog.
Site kit by Google
Site Kit is the official WordPress plugin by Google that lets you connect your blog to Google services.
It connects Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Page Speed, Google Adsense, Tag Manager, and Optimize.
By connecting your blog to these services, you’ll get insights into various analytics and data, like total clicks, user data, etc.
Large files on your blog can lead to low speed, which can affect both your users’ experience and your blog’s ranking.
Litespeed Cache is an essential plugin that makes sure all the large files on your blog are highly optimized and do not affect the page speed.
It caches your blog pages and reduces your file sizes.
How do I install a plugin?
Installing a plugin is a simple process. Click Plugins > Add New > Find your plugin > Install > Activate.
3. Create the main pages
A blog contains some must-have pages that provide visitors with other necessary information related to it.
These must-have pages include:
1. An about page
When visitors want to learn more about you, the first page they visit is the “about” page.
The about page informs your visitors about who you are, your experience, and why they should listen to you.
This allows you to connect on a more personal level with your visitors.
How do I write an “about” page?
Writing about yourself is difficult.
As a result, in order to write a clear “about me” page, you must first answer some questions.
Your “about me” page should include information that gives a brief overview of who you are and your background.
To present yourself as an expert in your niche, you’ll also need to identify the skills that match your blog niche.
A blog is all about assisting the reader in obtaining what he desires.
That is why you must inform your readers about the values you will provide them and how they will benefit from them.
2. A contact page
A “contact us” page allows visitors to get in touch with you.
How do I create a contact page?
As I mentioned earlier, the WPForms plugin lets you create a contact form and add it to any page of your blog.
While some bloggers include more in-depth information on their contact page, you don’t need to do anything more than add a contact form and your social media handles.
To create a page, click on page > Add new.
4. Other basic settings
Aside from selecting themes and installing plugins, you must complete a few other basic settings before launching your blog.
uploading your logo
When it comes to a website’s identity, its logo is everything.
That is why every website must include its logo in the header as well as its site identity.
To upload a logo:
Navigate to appearance > customize > header > logo > and upload your logo.
Customizing the permalink
A permalink, also known as a permanent link, is the URL structure of your blog.
For example, this post’s URL structure is https://theblogguy.com/start-blog/ ; the entire URL is referred to as a permalink.
To improve your SEO ranking, choose permalinks that are easy for users to read.
How do you change your permalink?
From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks and select “post name.”
Create your homepage
The next step is to create your blog’s homepage.
You have the option of creating a separate, customized homepage or making your blog page your homepage.
You might want to make a personalized homepage to collect emails, drive the user to click a button, or for any other reason.
However, for the time being, I recommend that you keep your blog posts page as your blog’s homepage.
To do so, go to Settings > Reading > Your most recent post.
To make more changes, go to Appearance > Customize. From here, you can make the changes you want.
Step 7: Writing your First Post
Finding your niche? Check
Deciding on your domain name? Check
Choosing a blogging platform? Check
Choosing your hosting provider? Check
Setting up your blog? Check
Basic customization? Check
Now comes the most exciting part: writing your first blog post.
Beginners make a lot of mistakes when writing their first post, and that’s fine. When I wrote my first post, I, too, made numerous errors.
In this section, I’ll walk you through the process of selecting the best blog post topic and writing it engagingly for your readers.
How to write your first post
Here are the best steps to take when writing your first blog post.
Step 1: Identify your readers
Ask yourself: Who are the people you are writing this blog post for?
For example, this particular blog post is written for “you guys,” which means “people who want to start a blog.”
So I wrote and structured this blog post to best meet your needs.
Knowing your readers helps you get into their shoes and write the blog post perfectly for them.
Step 2: Perform Keyword Research
The internet has evolved, and simply writing about anything won’t bring you any readers.
You need to perform keyword research.
Keyword research is the process of researching and identifying the words and phrases your readers are searching for.
This helps you identify micro-topics that are in demand by readers and write content about it.
So, keep in mind that keyword research = more readers.
Step 3: Pick a keyword and write a blog post about it
Once you’ve got a list of keywords people in your niche are searching for, your next step will be to pick one keyword from that list and write a blog post on it.
There are some general rules you need to keep in mind to write the perfect blog post.
8 out of 10 people will read your title, but only 2 out of 10 will click through, so your title is your first and last chance to make a user click on your content.
You can use:
Headline generator: To get a list of headline ideas.
Headline analyzer: To analyze the effectiveness of your headline.
If your reader does not find the introduction relatable, he may leave your website.
That’s why hooking them with a rocking intro is important.
Things to keep in mind while writing an intro:
Relatable: Show the reader right away that the content is specifically made for him.
A hook: You can even use a hook like telling a story, writing thought-provoking content, or asking questions in the intro.
Most of the time, readers try to skim through the content if they don’t have much time to read it.
In such cases, they seek content that is broken into sections so they can skim through it and highlight the important points.
Therefore, it is essential to break the whole content into small paragraphs, bullets, and headers to boost readability.
Including visually appealing images that are relevant to the topic of your blog post enhances the user experience.
Furthermore, images bring life to blog posts by providing a break from the long text included in your blog post.
To add images to your blog, click on posts > All posts > Click on your blog post > Press enter at the place where you want to add an image > Click the plus icon > click on image > Upload.
Proofreading is the final step of the content writing process.
By proofreading, a writer makes sure his content is well-written and mistake-free.
Your proofreading process should go something like this:
Don’t proofread your content immediately after writing it. Have a break of at least 15 minutes to come back with a fresh perspective.
Eliminate the unnecessary parts of your content
Go for a grammar check
Ensure better readability (check if everything is easy to read and understand)
Read it out loud (this will make you realize how it sounds).
Publish your blog post
To publish your blog post, click on posts > Add new > Paste your already written content, or write there > Hit publish.
Woohoo! Your first blog post has been published in the world.
Step 8: Promote your blog
To grow your blog, you don’t need to be a great writer; instead, you need to be a great marketer.”
One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is failing to give sufficient attention to blog promotion.
It makes no difference how good you are at what you do if it never reaches your intended audience.
That is why every blogger must engage in excessive marketing.
Marketing can, however, be a time-consuming activity, so select the mediums that work best for you.
Here are some of the most effective methods for promoting your blog.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website for higher rankings.
Google, for example, uses algorithms to provide the best search results to users.
Understanding those algorithms and taking action to rank higher for a search query is what SEO is all about.
SEO takes time, but it can be a great way to get consistent Google traffic.
Some basic on-page SEO rules:
- Perform keyword research before writing about any topic
- Pick a keyword with low-competition
- Include that keyword in your title, intro, H2 and H3, and some other parts of the post.
- Include external and internal links
- Use images
The YoastSEO plugin will assist you in optimizing your blog for SEO and will make recommendations on changes that should be made to your blog.
2. Social Media Marketing
Another excellent way of bringing loads of traffic to your blog is by promoting your blog posts on social media channels.
Here’s how to do it:
- Create your blog profile.
- Post content related to your blog niche.
- Include links to your own blog posts.
- Getting your presence on social media will help you meet people who would love to follow your blog and read the posts.
You can also ask your friends and followers to share your blog posts with their network to help you get more readers.
Here are some of the most effective platforms for promoting your blog.
Twitter is made for written content.
It is dominated by written content. That is why promoting on Twitter is such a good idea.
You can share your ideas, tips, and other valuable content related to your niche
When you look at the number of shares for a blog post, you’ll notice that the majority of people share it on Facebook.
People come to Facebook to have fun, interact, and share knowledge.
The best way to promote your blog on Facebook is to share a link to your most recent post with your followers.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site where people can share their knowledge, stories, and other experiences.
If you have a blog aimed at business people or other professionals, LinkedIn can be beneficial.
The best way to go on LinkedIn is by posting written content.
Though I don’t recommend Instagram to promote blog posts, it can be a good option for SOME niche bloggers.
Instagram is a social media platform that relies heavily on visuals rather than written content.
So, the best way to promote your blog on Instagram is to convert your posts into images and post them.
Because photos account for 92% of all Pinterest posts, you’ll need to work with images more than written content on Pinterest.
Write descriptive copy and include images to engage your community.
Promote your blog post on Quora by answering relevant questions in your niche.
You can include links to your blog post as a source of additional information while providing answers.
You can use Medium to write and publish great content in order to reach a larger audience in your niche.
It is completely free!
3. Guest blogging
It would be wonderful if an established blogger promoted your talent, right?
Well, that’s what guest blogging is (in a way).
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging is simply the act of writing blog posts on another company’s website.
I recommend guest blogging because it helps you promote your content to a set of audiences you would’ve never reached otherwise.
It is a two-way street in which the website where you write a guest post receives new content and you reach a new audience.
Here are the steps to developing the ideal guest blogging strategy.
- Find websites working in your niche
- Contact the site owner and form a connection
- Come up with a great content idea
- Pitch the idea to the site owner
- Write the content once approved
- Include links to your blog in the content
4. Blog commenting
Many bloggers still use this technique for marketing their blogs. The best part? It still works.
What is blog commenting?
Blog commenting is when a blogger leaves a comment on another person’s blog with a link to his own blog.
Note: Make sure to first provide value in the comment before attempting to promote your blog.
5. Email sign-ups.
It’ll be great if you get thousands of visitors to your blog.
But how will you make sure these visitors come back again?
The answer is: Through email sign-ups.
Place a sign-up form in the best location on your entire blog so that when a one-time visitor sees it, he fills out his email.
By capturing your visitor’s email addresses, you’ll be able to stay in touch with them and encourage them to return to your blog.
Step 9: Make Money from Your Blog
Now comes the most rewarding part – making money from your blog.
Exited? Me too.
The only reason why making money is the final step of starting a blog is because this thing takes time.
You cannot just create a blog and expect dollars the next day.
It will take you at least two to three months for you to start making money from your blog.
However, once you’ve mastered the basics and begun attracting more visitors to your blog, there will be numerous ways to monetize it.
Here are the top seven from them.
1. Display Ads
As a beginner, it’ll be hard for you to make money if you don’t have any authority in your niche.
In such cases, you can go for display ads.
What are display ads?
Display ads are ad banners that appear on blogs.
When a visitor clicks on an ad on the blog, the ad takes the user to the advertiser’s landing page, and the blogger earns a commission.
Best Ad network for beginners?
Google Ads are the most effective ad networks for any new blogger.
It will find the advertiser for you; all you need to do is paste a code (provided by Adsense) into your blog to begin running those ads.
2. Affiliate marketing
You can go for this type of monetization once you’ve created sufficient trust in your niche.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you partner with a company to promote their product to your readers and earn a commission.
When you sign up for any of the affiliate programmes, you will be added to the queue.
Once approved, you will be then given a unique link to use to promote your product or service to your audience.
This special link typically has a cookie duration of 30 or 60 days.
This means that you will receive a commission whenever a person from your audience clicks on that link and makes a purchase within the cookie period.
3. Sell your own Products
Selling your own products is another excellent way to earn thousands of dollars from your blog.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to launch a product, you can use your blog to reach out to potential customers.
You could create a product that is useful to people in your niche and promote it on your blog.
4. Sell your own services
Similar to creating a product, here you sell your services instead of a product.
Many bloggers use their blogs as a medium to show their skills to potential clients.
For example, you can become a freelance writer and use your blog as a medium for bringing visitors and showing your writing skills to them.
5. Sponsored posts
It is the type of model that is most used by pro bloggers who get thousands of visitors on a daily basis.
Sponsored posts are when a brand or an individual pays you a fee to get their business in front of your readers.
6. Sell digital downloads
Bloggers who have gained enough trust in their niche use this type of earning model to monetize their blogs.
If you are extremely knowledgeable in your field, you can create ebooks, courses, or any other types of exclusive digital downloads and sell them to your blog readers.
You can use this model once your blog starts gaining traction in your niche.
Membership is a business model in which you create exclusive content and sell it in exchange for a membership fee.
In general, this is the type of content that is extremely valuable to your blog readers and can only be found on your blog.
Readers must pay to gain access to that content.
So this was the complete step-by-step guide to starting a blog.
Here is a quick recap of all the steps involved to start a blog.
- Find your niche
- Decide your blog name
- Choose a blogging platform
- Choose your hosting
Setup your blog
- Customize your blog
- Writing your first post
- Promoting your blog
- Making money from your blog
Still, have some questions? I’ve included some FAQs here, hopefully, you get all your answers.
FAQs for starting a blog
The best formula for getting to a profitable niche? Find a sub-niche.
A sub-niche market is a subset of a larger niche market.
Finance, for example, is a niche that can be further subdivided into “finance for parents,” which can be further subdivided into “finance for moms.”
Finance is a lucrative niche with a lot of competition.
By converting your finance niche to a sub-niche of finance for moms, you can eliminate all of your competition while maintaining the same profitability.
It can take us days to months to find the right niche.
If you want to start a blog but haven’t decided on a niche yet, I recommend you start.
Start by writing about a variety of topics; you will still receive traffic.
As time goes on, you’ll realize what niche you’re interested in and want to write about.
Once you’ve identified your best niche, gradually narrow the topics covered on your blog to that niche.
Checking if a blog name is taken or not is simple.
Many tools help you check the domain availability.
Simply go to this website and type in the domain name and it will show you if it is taken or available.
It all depends on the objective you want to achieve from your blog.
If your main goal is to convert your blog into a business, then no, naming your blog after yourself might not be the best option.
However, if your primary goal is to build your personal brand, you should go for it.
Websites like whois.com let you find out who owns your desired domain name.
Simply enter the domain name and the website will display the owner’s information.
Here are some of the best blogging platforms
WordPress is a self-hosted blogging platform that is well-known for its user-friendly features and functionalities.
It is by far the most popular blogging platform in the world, powering approximately 43.2% of the entire internet.
This blogging platform includes a plethora of plugins and additional themes to help you customize your blog to your liking.
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Reseller Hosting
Shared hosting is recommended for every new blogger.
Kinsta – global average 179.5 ms
Bluehost – global average 153 ms
SiteGround – global average 136.9 ms
Hostinger – global average 136 ms
HostPapa – global average 121.7 ms
GreenGeeks – global average 118.6 ms
DreamHost – global average 118.4 ms
No. It is not necessary to learn coding to use WordPress.
WordPress is a blogging platform that includes a wide range of extra features that make it simple for any non-coder to use and customize their blog as they see fit.
In fact, the vast majority of WordPress users are not programmers (including me).
While there is no set number of words to include in your blog post, I recommend aiming for at least 1000.
This allows you to provide accurate information on the subject and allows Google to determine the purpose of your blog post.
For traffic analysis, most bloggers use Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Because these tools are provided directly by Google, you can rely on them for your analysis.