When I started learning how to start a blog back in 2016, it took me a good amount of time to find all the information on the web, and trust me it wasn’t that easy because I had to visit multiple websites to find everything I need.
Also, finding the right information was a challenge because most of the bloggers don’t tell you everything about blogging. That’s why I’ve brought this free step-by-step guide to teach beginners how to start a blog (professional-looking, SEO optimized blog) the easiest way.
GETTING FAMILIAR WITH BLOGGING
What Is A Blog
A blog is one of the best digital assets you can own. You can set up your own professional looking blog under $100. I will tell you how to do that later on this blog post?
Why Should You Start A Blog
Should you start a blog now?
If you ask me, of course, you should!
Starting a blog today can be one of the best decisions of your life if you do it right way consistently. Also, it is the easiest way to make money online in the long run. It took me 12 years of hard work in my previous job to reach the level of income I managed to generate with blogging in 18 months.
And the best thing?
You don’t need to be an expert or a professional writer/web developer to start a blog. As long as you can help your readers and provide value to them via your content, you can become a successful blogger.
Here are the reasons why you should start a blog:
- You can take your writing skills to the next level.
- You can express your ideas, thoughts, and knowledge to the world sitting at your home.
- It’s one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd everywhere.
- And the best one? Yes, you got it right! You can even make money sitting at your home.
How Long Does It Take To Build A Profitable Blog?
To be frank, more than 70% of blogs don’t make a significant amount of money and many of them end up quitting within a year!
You might want to know why?
Because they have expectations that are far too high!
Remember, no one is going to offer you money in exchange for nothing. Setting up a blog and writing a couple of posts is not enough.
In the beginning:
- You will start losing interest and motivation because of no/low traffic.
- You will get frustrated because even the simplest things like installing a plugin will take too much time and you might feel like digging a mountain.
What no one tells you about blogging is, if you want to start a blog and make money, you need to put your time and efforts in the right direction for at least 12-18 months consistently without expecting a single penny.
If you are willing to do so, go ahead and explore this guide on how to start a blog from scratch?
CHOOSE THE RIGHT BLOGGING NICHE
This is one of the prominent steps and you won’t like to make a mistake here.
While choosing your niche, you may have a lot of questions such as-
“What are the most popular blog topics?” “How do I come up with a blog idea?” “Which is the best niche that makes a lot of money?” “How to choose blog topics that are easier to rank?” “What if I don’t know what to blog about?” “How to start a blog?”
I often get these questions from people who are looking to start a blog.
And the answer to these questions?
When I started my first blog, I used to write whatever comes to my mind. At that time, I wasn’t even aware of the earning potential of a niche-oriented blog.
If you’re looking to start a personal blog, the rules are quite different. Do you love the topic? Is it fun for you? If yes, nothing else matters. But writing about what pops in your mind doesn’t seem to be a clever strategy if you want to make money as quickly as possible.
If you’re looking to start a blog that will bring in traffic and will generate passive income for you, you need to choose a viable blog topic that is profitable and less competitive.
How To Choose A Profitable Niche (Action Plan)
- Take a pen and paper or open notepad on your smartphone/PC.
- Note down the list of topics that excites you to write. It could be anything from your hobbies to something interesting that you might have read in a magazine.
- Now that you already have a list of topics, you need to choose the one that is viable and profitable at the same time.
- To ensure that check some of the most popular blogs on those particular topics, their social media followers, and their search volume using Google Keyword Planner.
If any of those topics blogs’ fulfill the above requirements, you can go with it.
I am adding some most popular blogs on some most popular niches for your reference.
1. Health And Fitness
are two of the popular blogs in this category.
2. Passive Income(Make Money Online)
6. DIY & Crafts
8. Beauty & Fashion
CHOOSE THE RIGHT BLOGGING PLATFORM
What Is A Blogging Platform
A blogging platform is an online platform or service that you use to design and develop your blog, and later publish your content online on your blog. You can create pages, posts, and manage everything you create on your blog. There are a number of blogging platforms out there, some are completely free, and some you need to pay for.
I am listing down some of the most common blogging platforms below:
- WordPress.com (free)
- WordPress.org (Yes, both are different)
Which Blogging Platform Is Best For You
People spend hours finding out the best blogging platforms for them. You can try any of them you like (free or paid).
But the one which I recommend everyone is WordPress or specifically, self-hosted WordPress.
Because it is the best and the easiest of all loaded with all the features you will ever need in your blogging journey.
Suppose at any stage you want to add more functionality to your website, you can do that by simply installing a WordPress Plugin. There are thousands of free WordPress plugins available that can help you add as much functionality to your website as you want. Yes, it’s that easy!
Also, if you’re looking to build your own audience and make money blogging, there’s only one blogging platform you should consider.
Obviously, it’s self-hosted WordPress.
It’s technically free and open-source.
But as it’s self-hosted, you need to purchase a hosting plan so that you can install WordPress on your own web host. You also need to purchase your own domain name (the name you want for your blog)
DOMAIN NAME AND HOSTING
What Is A Domain Name
A domain name is a name that your readers will type into their browser. Basically, it’s the name of your blog. For example, “Moneyunfolded.com”. You need to buy a domain name that is spelled similarly to your blog name.
What Is Hosting
Your blog contains a huge number of files including images, texts, etc. You need a place(storage) on the internet to store those files. Hosting companies offer you that space to store your files for a price. Thus, without hosting you can’t make your blog live on the internet.
But you don’t need to get into these technical things. You just need to purchase a hosting plan and that’s it.
How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Blog
While choosing a domain name for your blog, concern about the followings:
- Name the topic. If your blog is focused on a specific topic/subject, you should find a domain name that describes it clearly, like Smart Passive Income, Money Unfolded, Travel Guide, etc.
- Name the benefit. Tell the people why they should stick around? You can turn that benefit into a new domain name that stands out such as “MakeALivingWriting.com”.
- Name the audience. One of the simplest yet best ways to get a clear domain name is to call out the audience in the domain itself such as “WhatMomsLove.com”.
Now you are familiar with the domain name and hosting. Also, you learned how to choose a domain name.
It’s the time to buy your preferred domain name and hosting that is lightning fast (for fast loading of your web pages that is good for your blog’s SEO), reliable and offers 24*7 support.
There are many hosting providers that guarantee these things on paper but in reality, many of them suck(not all).
That’s why I recommend SiteGround. It is arguably the best hosting service provider for bloggers.
SiteGround is the one that’s both affordable and freaking good. It’s lightning-fast because it uses SSD storage space while most still use HDD, and it’s quite possibly the best web host out there for beginner bloggers.
Here are a few reasons why I love SiteGround:
- There is a technical support team knowledgeable in WordPress available for you 24*7
- SiteGround uses SSD storage that significantly speeds up your blog loading speed and reduces loading time which is truly good for your blog’s SEO
- There is a built-in Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up your blog
- Free SSL certificates (search engines like Google consider this while ranking your blog in search results)
- Daily backups (so that you never lose your data)
And guess what?
If you’re a new customer, SiteGround offers a 60% discount.
How to Purchase Domain & Hosting at SiteGround
Visit SiteGround and click on the GET PLAN button underneath the managed WordPress hosting option that best fits your needs.
As a beginner, you can choose the StartUp plan but I recommend the GrowBig plan because in case you are looking to build another blog/website, you don’t need to buy a hosting plan again.
With GrowBig plan, you can host up to 10 websites whereas with the StartUp plan you can host only 1 website.
On the next screen, do the following:
- Click on Register a new domain.
- Enter the domain name you would like to use for your blog.
- Once you have entered a domain name, click the proceed button.
On the final screen, you’ll complete these 4 sections:
- Account Information (your email address and password)
- Client Information (your name, mailing address, and phone number)
- Payment Information (Various payment methods including Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are accepted)
- Purchase Information
Let’s discuss the Purchase Information in more detail:
You will enjoy the discounted price of $3.95 on the first time billing only. When you renew, you’ll have to pay SiteGround’s regular price. So the thing is, the longer your billing period (12 months/24 months/36 months), the longer you’ll enjoy the discounted price.
Kindly decline the Extra Services because you don’t really need them, review your order, and click on the PAY NOW button.
You will be redirected to the payments page which should look like this.
Enter your debit/credit card details here and then agree to their terms of service.
Click on the proceed/pay now button.
Check your email for important details related to your account after a few minutes of payment.
Now as you have your account details log into your SiteGround account and move to the next step.
INSTALL AND SET UP WORDPRESS
Once you log into your SiteGround account for the first time, the Account Setup Wizard will appear like the pic below.
Select the Start a new website option and then select WordPress as the software you want to install.
You need to create the login details for your WordPress account.
Doing this will create a new Admin account for your WordPress site/blog. You can use this account to log in to your WordPress account anytime and make changes to your WordPress site/blog.
Enter your preferred email address, a username of your choice, and a strong password that is easy to remember for you.
Click on the Confirm button to continue.
Now, check the terms and conditions checkbox and then click on the Complete Setup button.
Sit back and relax. Till then, SiteGround will install WordPress for you within minutes, and you’ll be ready to log into your WordPress Dashboard.
Now a pop-up will appear on your screen.
Click on the Proceed to customers area button appearing on the pop-up.
Now, click on the My Accounts menu on the top of the next screen.
Click on the Go To Admin Panel button to visit your new blog’s admin dashboard.
You will be taken to your WordPress login page.
Enter the login details you choose during the installation and click the Log In button.
Your WordPress dashboard will look similar to this one.
Congratulations. You just set up your first WordPress site.
To log in to your WordPress dashboard anytime from your favorite browser type: http://www.your-site.com/wp-admin
Replace “your-site.com” with your domain name.
For example, http://www.moneyunfolded.com/wp-admin opens the login page for my WordPress dashboard.
You can also customize this URL later.
Choose a Stunning, Light, and SEO Optimized Theme For Your Blog