8 Easy Steps to Start a Blog That makes money [Ultimate guide 2020]
Do you want to learn How to start a blog?
I have been blogging for quite a long time now. When I first started blogging and learning how to create a blog, it took me a few months to understand and link out various concepts and find the right information.
That’s why I want to help by creating a step by step guide to help beginners on how to start their blog fast without hassle.
Starting a blog is not that complicated and you don’t need to know any programming language.
I have covered almost everything that a beginner needs to know before starting a blog.
This guide can be a bit lengthy so, grab a coffee for yourself and let’s begin with the tutorial.
NOTE: We are creating a blog on WordPress with Siteground hosting.
Before you hop in action steps, let me cover some of the basic concepts and facts you need to learn as a beginner.
Table of Contents
- Why should I start a blog?
- 1. Decide your Niche
- 2. Choose a Blogging platform
- 3. Pick your Domain name
- 4. Get a web hosting
- 5. Starting a blog on WordPress
- 6. Find the Right Theme
- 6. Blog theme customization
- 7. Write your first post
- 8. Install Plugin
Why should I start a blog?
If you are a big or small business, have any skills to showcase, want to share knowledge about something, etc, then you should start a blog.
There are various reasons for starting a blog that varies from person to person. Here are some generalized reasons why others are starting their blog.
Blogging is a great weapon for overcoming shyness. Blogging is like an online diary where you can write down your feelings, experiences, and interact with like-minded people.
You don’t need to show your face to start talking to the world. Your confidence will eventually increase as you spread your voice through blogging.
Blogging is all about writing. Whether you’re a good writer or not up to the mark, through consistent blogging you can always improve your writing.
You can try blogging in the language you wish to learn for better language commands. Nobody will judge you online. This is a better suggestion only if you are taking blogging as a hobby as language selection is one of the important factors for blog success.
Consistently blogging on a certain niche gives you a niche authority i.e. you ‘re considered to be an expert on that topic, as you’ve known so much about that topic that most people don’t know about it.
In the future, you might be the brand face in that niche. Who knows? Yes, there’s so much potential in blogging.
Let’s face it! Most of the bloggers landed in blogging, so they could make lots of money through blogging. Yes, if done correctly, you can earn lots of money through blogging. Many pro bloggers are even earning six-seven figures.
If your blog did well in the niche then you also gain some fame. Many beauty, fashion, lifestyle blogs, or even bloggers from the other niche authority get lots of fame online.
Your content should be strongly worth influencing your readers and giving them values. Money, fame, and more are merely by-products.
6. Make business
Blogging cannot be lesser than any small scale startup or business. It has equal potential as any startup does have.
Apart from just writing blog posts, you can also create your online product related to your niche and let your business run. That depends on how you scale your blog.
For eg., if you are a fashion blogger then you can start your clothing line or if you are a food blogger then you can launch your recipe book and can teach how to bake cookies.
Starting a blog is not so challenging but managing a blog does. There are a hell lot of things to do apart from just creating content.
If you are a solopreneur like me then it can screw you down if you won’t manage it properly.
After writing you need editing, adding links, backlinks, promotion, creating graphics, Pinterest pins, social media posts, email marketing, etc.
Here, you will learn practically managing businesses.
Before jumping into the actual step by step procedure, let’s be sure about the blogging platform.
There are literally so many blogging platforms with different features and all are mostly free.
But if you ask me to suggest the best of all, I will say wordpress.org.
There are two kinds of WordPress, wordpress.com, and wordpress.org. WordPress.org is the most recommended and widely used, it is actually a self -hosted platform.
It allows you to design and customize your blog without any hassle.
Free blogs like blogspot.com and wordpress.com have tons of limitations which make your journey difficult when it’s about earning from a blog.
Let’s start with actionable steps.
1. Decide your Niche
The niche is the central topic or idea of the blog on which your whole blog is dependent. This means that your blog will be just around one topic and that will be your niche.
If you are aware of things related to fashion or you want to post a fashion-related article or any style of your own then you can become a fashion blogger and fashion as your niche.
Similarly, if you are fond of cooking and you like to try a variety of recipes, then as a food blogger you can promote your blog and earn a lot of money by monetizing your blog.
Now you might understand what a niche for your blog is.
So, before starting a successful blog, first, figure out your perfect niche. The niche which you are willing to talk about and want to write.
Then figure out how you can make it profitable? Who is your target audience would be?
How to decide a profitable niche?
By doing keyword research, you can easily find out whether other people are interested in the same niche in which you are interested.
In keyword research, you will get to know the search volume and its CPC so that you can easily check the profitability of that keyword or niche in general.
There are many tools available for keyword research, some of them are free and some are paid.
You can do keyword research easily through free tools like Ubersuggest and Keyword research planner.
The second way is to go on Google trends and by typing your keyword or niche there, you can easily find out whether your niche or keyword is a trending topic or not.
Why having a niche is important?
Niche blogs are easy to market and monetize.
Having a niche blog shows you have a targeted audience, which also can be a potential buyer in the future.
Niche blogs are easily monetized and are more profitable compared to generalized blogs.
But you always play around as per your audience and social media followers.
You can also write on some related niche but not on an entirely opposite niche.
How to find a niche?
To become a successful blogger choosing the right niche is important. Choose the niche that you really wanted to think and search about.
In other words, in which your passion lies. You won’t be able to continue it for long if you choose the wrong niche.
If you choose a niche that is profitable but you aren’t passionate about then, you soon will get bored and out of ideas and stuck while writing. That’s why choosing the right niche is important for a successful blogging career.
2. Choose a Blogging platform
Now you have to choose a content management system. I recommend you to go with the self-hosted blog.In this way, you will be the sailor of your own ship.
I hope you get that.
Being tempted toward free sites is quite common among beginners.
Let me describe each one of them then only you can make a fair decision for yourself.
a)Free Blogging platforms
There are many free platforms available currently on the web. Ok, let me count it for you.
So, the most popular is wordpress.com and then blogspot.com, wix.com, Tumblr, ghost, etc.
Free blogging platforms have several restrictions.
They may put limitations on the number of ads you put on your blog. You have not that freedom when it comes to monetization.
Also, if you are taking blogging as serious as a business then free platforms are never your space.
A self-hosted platform is a platform that is owned by you. You can do that with the help of some third-party hosting providers.
A self- hosted platform allows you to own your blog under your domain name. You are the owner and no one interferes with you and your content.
The best self-hosted CMS is wordpress.org. 99% of blogging experts recommend WordPress and you have nothing to doubt about it.
The best hosting provider that you should try is SiteGround.
Siteground is recommended by the top bloggers worldwide.
You just need a hosting company( third party) and a domain name to get your blog running.
It will cost you just a few bucks per month and you will have an amazing experience with it.
You are free to choose your theme, blog design, logo, fonts, ads, and whatnot.
Even some self-hosted platforms allow you to launch your eCommerce platform which is really the best part.
Apart from that, there are many other features that these amazing self-hosting platforms provide which you sensed as we get more deeply into it.
3. Pick your Domain name
A domain name is basically the name of your blog or alternatively, the name by which your blog will be known.
When you pick your domain name and get it attached with your hosting, you will find that your blog now has a unique address by which anyone can find out.
The unique address that helps others to find your blog is known as URL( uniform resource locator). They can find your blog by just type in your URL in their address bar.
So, basically, domain comprises scheme, domain, and top-level domain and subdirectories.
Top-level domain(TLD) basically shows the entity in which your blog or website is. The most common TLD is the .com domain.
More than 75% of the websites and blogs are on .com . Some of the other TLD are .in, .us , .org , .net etc.
Now it’s time to take action.
If you are confused to choose the perfect domain name, you can always get inspired by the blogs in your niche. Try some names, mix, and match, you will definitely find some suitable names.
In case, you are still confused then, you can take the help of some amazing domain name generator tools.
- Domain wheel
- Business name generator
Also, you can use some synonyms in case your desired domain name has already taken.
Here are some general trends you should follow –
- Make easy to remember
- Keep it short and sweet
- Play around words to keep it interesting
- Try using keywords
- Avoid numerals and hyphens
Note that every hosting provider has their own domain registrar.
Many hosting providers like Siteground and A2 hosting have their own domain registrar. You will be asked to register your domain name once you choose a hosting plan for the company.
You can also register your domain name with GoDaddy (one of the best and cheapest domain name registrar)
But the fact is, you need to point your domain name from GoDaddy to Siteground which can be a little tricky. Well, you can easily do that.
In case, you don’t want that hassle then keep your domain and hosting with the same provider.
4. Get a web hosting
After choosing a domain name, our next step is to choose the best and reliable hosting service. There are hundreds of hosting out there and the tricky part is, almost everyone seems to be reliable.
Web hosting is responsible for the overall functionality and performance of a blog like its loading speed, response, security, etc. So, a good hosting is essential for blog success.
So, if you are confused, let me tell you the parameter that makes any hosting the best.
- Speed: It is the most important factor. Many hosting claims to provide nice uploading speed, but when we actually use that, it comes out to be ridiculous and frustrating.
- Support: Almost every good hosting provides 24/7 support.
- Backup services
- Migration services
- SSL certificate
Back then when I started, I was so confused and every hosting seemed appealing to me. I was almost frustrated and ended up taking the hosting, I feel regret till now.
Finally, I stumbled upon hosting, I feel proud of and that is Siteground.
I gave up on my previous hosting and tried Siteground. I really had an amazing experience.
Siteground is even recommended by wordpress.org itself. What can be better than this when the most reputed CMS i.e wordpress.org, itself recommended it.
Apart from general features, there are many other features that siteground holds-
- Unlimited Bandwidth which is nice.
- One-click WordPress installation
- Tech support includes WordPress experts available 24/7
- Free Security (SSL)
- Nice backup
If you are looking for some alternative option then BlueHost will be next on the list. Bluehost is one of the rare hosting providers which is also recommended by WordPress.org.
The best part about Bluehost is that they provide a free domain for the first year.
- Uptime Guarantee: 99.9%
- Response Time: 491 ms
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Storage: 50 GB
- Price: $2.95/mo
If you are still looking for any third option apart from Siteground and Bluehost then A2 Hosting is the best. It is trusted and the best among the rest of the hosting. I have personally used A2 hosting and literally it blows my mind with its amazing performance.
- Uptime Guarantee: 99.9%
- Response Time: 520 ms
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Storage: Unlimited
- Price: $3.92/mo
5. Starting a blog on WordPress
Now, this section will help you to finally sign up for the web hosting and get your blog ready on WordPress.
In this section, I will be going with Siteground.
- Visit Siteground
- Choose your plan
Depending upon the blog you have to choose a hosting plan. These plan categories based on the requirements.
As a beginner, you should go with the StartUp plan
- Pick your blog’s domain name
We have already discussed picking domain names. If you already get your domain name registered somewhere then you can also migrate it right down there.
Suppose you already have a domain name registered with GoDaddy ( best domain registrar) or some other register then you need to point it to Siteground or migrate it to Siteground
Option1: Point GoDaddy domain name to Siteground.
Option 2: Migrate domain name to Siteground
You can also have the facility to migrate your domain name from go daddy to SiteGround, but for that, you have to pay migration charges.
Depending upon the different domain extensions, your migration fees vary slightly.
Create your Siteground account
After you pick up the domain name then Siteground will take you to the registration page where it is required from you to fill all your personal details, data center, and other billing information. It will take a couple of minutes.
6. Find the Right Theme
Many beginners feel overwhelming when it comes to selecting a theme for the blog.
There are thousands of themes available that are both paid and free. Choosing the best theme among thousands of themes can be a challenging task.
Blog themes should always complement the content of the blog.
A good theme should be responsive, simple, and should have less loading speed.
a) DIVI ( Free Premium)
Divi is a great theme.
Divi is not just a theme but a complete designing package in which you can easily customize every part of your blog.
There is also a builder with Divi theme in which you can customize your block easily.
Divi has about 40 custom elements which will help in giving good design to your blog.
The performance of the Divi theme is much more spectacular. Many pro bloggers use it for their site.
b) ELEMENTOR ( Free + Premium)
Elementor is a page builder and is a free plugin that you can use for your blog. Even if you have a little knowledge of designing, you can still give a great look to your blog by using elementor.
Elementor is completely free, but for elementor pro, you have to pay.
In Elementor pro you get a lot of additional features as well as a premade template which you can easily import and customize.
Elementor and elementor pro is a drag and drops page builder so you do not need any coding to design.
The special thing about Elementor is that you can use it seamlessly with any theme.
Astra is the fastest, flexible, and free WordPress theme with woocommerce integration. It has many unique features and customizations that you can easily use on any kind of website.
This is a lightweight theme. Astra is a free theme although its pro version is also available which has some additional features. Many professionals use Astra for their blog or website.
d) OCEAN WP
Ocean WP is one of the best themes with many additional features available. Ocean WP is a theme whose free version also has many features.
Regardless of your niche, Ocean WP is compatible with any blog. It also has woocommerce support which is best for your store.
- Fully Responsive theme
- Ecommerce ready
- Free template
e) GENERATE PRESS
Generate press is a very lightweight theme which many bloggers like to use in their blogs. Its size is less than 30KB, which falls under the category of the light theme.
You must be aware that the loading time of the website should be less and for that, it is most important that we should use a lightweight theme.
Generate Press is a free theme and its pro version is also available with some additional features. So, generating press is one of the best themes in this regard.
6. Blog theme customization
Installing WordPress themes and getting a new website look gives a sense of some achievement.
You need to choose any one theme that looks more appealing to you and at the same time that fulfills your needs.
You can check the preview before installing any one of the themes.
When you login to the WordPress dashboard.
Go to appearance-> theme. There you will find various free themes that are amazing.
Free themes are great but free themes come with some limitations. There will be comparatively fewer options for customization.
But, if you are really serious then you should switch over to premium themes. Premium themes have lots of customization options that any free theme doesn’t have.
For premium themes, the best place is Themeforest. You will get an enormous number of premium themes in every niche that you will be blown away.
Envato element also has a great collection of premium themes you should check out.
After installing the theme, the next challenge is to customize the blog design.
Now, add the Blog logo and blog title and do some basic setting and customization.
Congratulations, your blog is ready to add posts.
7. Write your first post
So far, you have taken a hosting, get your domain registered and chosen your blog theme, and did some basic customization.
Now, its time to write your first blog post. Write something which people are really finding to read and want to interact with.
Go Posts-> Add New, this will open a post editor where you need to write your first post.
There are various features available in the post editor which you can use while writing your post. You can also add links, images, videos, tables of content, etc.
Now you have to figure out what content will work for you and what appeals to your audience. Your content will be the bait that draws your audience. Without great content, even well-designed blogs will not perform well.
Content is always a center of attraction of any platform. Without great content, nobody will reach to your blog again. So, be conscious while choosing what to write.
Make sure your content should target a specific audience and give them value in a certain way. Keep in mind that you are writing your blog for your audience and not for yourself.
Write a blog in a most simplified way possible so that your readers find it interesting and can able to understand easily.
This way you need to create at least blogposts and get it to publish before blog launch.
a) Prelaunch pages
It is important for legal issues as well as for Google Adsense approval.
Google won’t allow putting ads in the blog who don’t have these pages.
So, get your contact page ready. Contact page is important as this allows visitors to communicate with you anytime. This is a simple contact page with your contact information and social network links.
b) Edit Sidebar
Make a clear and customize sidebar. Add recent posts, categories, social media links, ads, etc.
8. Install Plugin
Yoast SEO: It takes all your headache related to blog optimization around SEO. It will show you what else you require to make your content SEO optimized.
WP forms: You often feel the need of adding forms to get some details. WP form is one of the best in this regard.
Updraft Plus: Having a blog without any backup arrangements can be critically bad for you and your blog. Your whole effort can vanish if some technical problem or virus attack occurs. So it’s important to have a backup plan for your blog so that your blog won’t be at risk.
WP Rocket: It is also an important plugin which basically increases the site speed. For good user experience, the blog’s loading speed plays an important role. If site speed is more than a certain limit then nobody has the patience to wait for your blog to upload.
Jetpack: It is another incredible plugin recommended by most of the bloggers. It has various features but the most loved feature is inbuilt analytics. You can view your analytics straight from your WordPress site.
Now, What are you waiting for?