If you are wondering how to start a blog, Well, you have come to the right place.
I will be showing you how to do this step-by-step. So just go grab a cup of coffee, relax and read because this is going to be a very long post.
Starting a Blog is the best way to earn a passive income online.
Internet users have been rapidly growing in the past few years with its numbers going up to a massive 4.388 billion users worldwide.
And that’s cool, larger the number of people on the internet means a larger number of people that may read your blog.
How to Start A Blog In 2020 and Make Money
So before we start, What is a Blog?
A blog is basically a discussion or an informational website published on the internet or the World Wide Web. It is often written informally and the posts are displayed in reverse chronological order.
But, before we begin ask yourself this – “Is blogging your type of thing?“
I ask this mainly because a lot of people (and I mean a LOT! ) quit blogging within their first 2 – 3 months of starting it. And when you ask them, it’s mainly because of the lack of Interest or because you can’t make a cent even after 2 or 3 months of starting a blog.
One definite thing to say is that a blog doesn’t work that way. You can’t possibly expect to make an income from the first 2 – 3 months itself. It will take time. It may range anywhere from 6 – 12 months for your first few dollars to arrive in your wallet.
A question that most beginners ask is “Is Blogging dead” or “Is it worth to start a blog in 2020”
No, Blogging is not dead. It’s true that the amount of information about each topic is too saturated. But, not dead. You can still start a successful blog and make money from it.
Now that I have said it, Let’s Begin.
I will divide this into sections so that it may become easy for you to read. Here are the step-by-step instructions to start a blog.
- Niche Selection
- Blogging Platforms
- Hosting Providers and Buying Your Domain
- Installing and Understanding WordPress
- Choosing your Theme
- Must-Have Plugins
- Publishing Your First SEO optimized Post
- Promoting your Blog
- Over to You
1. Niche Selection
What is a Niche?
It’s literally a topic that you choose for your entire blog. Travel, Food, Fashion are all different niches.
Selecting your Niche is a critical thing for your blog. Your blog’s success solely rests upon the niche you select.
Some niches are oversaturated with the same articles from different blogs and websites. Travel, Fashion, Food are some of them.
It’s better to avoid them because you may have to compete against higher authority websites and may take years for your blog to appear on the front page of google.
You have to do a lot of research when you select your niche. But, I have got it all covered for you.
- Select a niche you really, really like writing about.
- Do a small research on them.
- Type the different keywords on Google and see if that topic is already saturated.
If you have selected a niche which is highly competitive and already saturated. But you know how to create unique articles on them, you should definitely take that niche.
And if you still do not know which topic to choose or how to write articles that can get views. Don’t worry, Just pick a niche that you are interested in and move on. I will be teaching you how to write SEO optimized articles later in this post.
Just Remember this, No one knows which niche may get traffic until they try it out. I have read about a blogger who wrote about making a room soundproof for doing youtube videos or voice-overs.
And guess what? It turned out to be successful.
2. Blogging Platforms
Now that you have selected your niche, let’s look at some of the blogging platforms available.
Most people who start a blog look for free methods and many choose these free blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress.com, Wix, Squarespace, etc.
Since they are free, they are so much limited. Either they show some ads or you may not get the full functionality of a website.
That’s why we will go with the self-hosted WordPress.org website. And I must say it is often confused with the hosted WordPress.com website, which is completely different. You can read the differences between them here.
In a Nutshell, WordPress.org is a free software that can be installed on your computer. But installing on your computer will not make it available on the Internet.
To do that you need to install it on a server on your hosting account. There are a lot of hosting providers and we will discuss some of the best below.
3. Hosting Providers and Buying Your Domain
There are a lot of Hosting and Domain Providers on the internet and below we see some of the best out there.
These are the only two things you will ever need to buy. Do not compromise on this and go for free alternatives. This is because no other platforms like Blogger, Wix, etc offer better functionalities than WordPress.
I have divided this into 2 categories – The Cheap and Best AND The Best in the Market.
The Cheap and Best – Hostinger.
Hostinger is the best and the cheapest hosting provider. They offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee, free SSL, website builder, and many more.
The different Plans with price are shown below.
Hostinger states it’s just Rs.45 per month for the single web hosting. But in reality, that’s just applicable when you go for the 48 months plan. It costs Rs.108 per month for the 12 months plan. That’s just Rs.1,308 for a whole Year! This is the best Hosting provider.
If you select the premium plan you get a free Domain too. But that’s not needed if you can get a domain for just Rs.489 on Hostinger itself.
I recommend you buy the domain from your hosting provider itself because it will be very easy to link your hosting with the domain.
The Best in the Market. – Siteground
Siteground offers one of the best hosting services in the world. It is the most popular and highest rated in the WordPress community
Siteground is faster and extremely reliable. Their customer care is one of the best in the Industry. Their different plans are compared below
Unfortunately, It doesn’t offer a free domain even on their premium plans.
But still, the StartUp plan costs just Rs.273 per month. So that will be Rs.3,286 for an entire year. It’s a bit expensive. But, I have to say, it’s definitely better than Hostinger.
Siteground also sells domains. And it’s double that of what Hostinger provides. A domain will cost you around Rs.1,000 from here.
If you don’t want to pay that much you can always buy domain names from GoDaddy.com, Namecheap.com, etc.
Also, See : –
- How To Make Money With Clickbank Fast in 2020. Step by Step Tutorial!
- How to Make a Marketing Funnel For Free! Without ClickFunnels!
- How to get your AdSense account Approved in Less than 2 Months
4. Installing And Understanding WordPress.
Almost all the hosting providers have a 1-click WordPress install button. This makes it so easy to install them on your host.
So that’s not much of a deal!
Now that you have installed. Let’s look at some of the basic features of WordPress.
To the left of your page you will see a menu which consists of :
Dashboard: It just shows some events and news about WordPress which no one really cares.
Posts: This is where you write all your posts. You can create, delete and edit a post you want.
Media: It stores all your photos and videos that you use on your website.
Pages: Pages like Contact Us, About me, etc can be created.
Comments: The comments that people write on your post, generally appears here. You can choose to accept, review, reply or delete any comment.
Appearance: This is where you completely modify your website. You can choose to apply any theme, add CSS code, configure your menu’s and widgets and much more.
Plugins: This is the most important and useful feature of WordPress. There are thousands of WordPress plugins and some of them are just life-saving.
Users: Here you can add or delete users. This is used if more than one person manages the blog.
Tools: This is useful if you are transferring your blog to WordPress or the other way around. It makes importing and exporting your blog quite simple.
Settings: The usual things!
5. Choosing Your Theme
Most beginners get confused when choosing their theme for WordPress. There are hundreds and thousands of free and paid themes and each of them is better than the other in one way or the other.
Honestly speaking, even I had this problem! I had to install about 3-4 themes to finally choose the one that suited my blog.
You have 2 choices when selecting a theme – Paid and the free ones.
Paid ones are the best because they provide more customization, more features, and of course customer support in setting it up.
But if you don’t want to go for the paid ones, Free themes are okay. There are so many free themes out there and you could easily choose one.
Just keep these points in mind while choosing a theme
- Select one that suits your blog. If your blog is a review site, there are countless WordPress themes for that.
- Look for the most feature-rich ones and that which provides customer support.
- Simple with minimal designs are the best.
6. Must-Have Plugins
Now that you have all your basic things set up, let’s move on to a higher level.
Plugins are generally tools that WordPress offers which gives extra functionalities. Some of them are just crucial for the development of your blog.
1. Yoast SEO
This is the best plugin for beginner bloggers and is essential for your blog’s growth. I didn’t know that this plugin had so much potential at first. It basically helps you in your On-page SEO and optimizes your content.
I was a bit late when I started using it. But when I began, my Google search engine ranking skyrocketed. I don’t know how the hell that happened, but it was the best decision I ever made! Just look at the screenshot below.
Jetpack has a lot of features in it, but most of them can only be accessed on the paid plan. Still, It shows you real-time statistics of your blog, shareable buttons on each post, SEO and much more.
3. Akismet Antispam
As the name suggests, It removes spam comments from your blog. Useful when there is a lot of traffic to your blog and you do not have time to review those comments.
4. Contact form 7
Contact form 7 helps you place contact forms on your page so that it becomes easy for the blog readers to contact you.
That’s all about plugins and don’t forget to install all of the above.
7. Publishing your First SEO optimized Post.
From here on, it all depends on how you write your content. To write an SEO optimised content requires effort and needs a little bit of perception of how search engines actually work.
SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. It is used to increase website visibility and drive more traffic through search engines such as Google, Bing etc.
For the beginners who are going to start a blog, here are some basic terms related to SEO –
- Keywords – This can be a phrase or a sentence that you intend to target so that you may rank for that particular keyword. ie, Keywords are the sentences that you write onto the Google Input box.
- On-page SEO – This includes optimising the article that you have written depending on your keyword.
- Off-page SEO – It refers to all the activities that happen outside your website to raise your Google rankings
- Page Authority(PA) – It’s a metric, developed by MOZ which has a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100. It is used to predict the ability of a specific page to rank on Search Engines
- Domain Authority(DA) – Also developed by MOZ which predicts the ability of a website to rank on Search Engines. Scale from 0 to 100.
In the beginning, when I first started blogging, I thought writing any content and then posting them would get me indexed on Google. No, It doesn’t work like that.
You have got to provide value, make them unique, and optimize your content. That’s because maybe some professional blogger has already written some content on that topic. So there is no way you can compete with them.
You can’t because they simply have got higher authority than you and are already trusted by the search engines (mainly Google).
So how do beginners rank on Google?
It’s Difficult and depends on many factors like
- Age of blog – Older blogs are easier to rank.
- On-page and Off-page SEO
- Keyword Targeting
- Domain Authority and Page Authority
But for a new Blog, your PA and DA are both 0. So, it takes time for you to rank even if you have optimized your article for search engines.
But there is a way to rank your blog faster. At the time of writing, this blog had DA and PA as 4. So I will show you the technique which I use to rank my content:-
The SEO Secret for New Bloggers :
- Research Keywords
- Check for Keyword Competition.
- Check traffic for that keyword.
You can easily use some tools like Ahrefs and Semrush for keyword research, Competition Analysis, Keyword volume etc. But they are not only expensive but they have also been proven wrong in many cases. So I don’t recommend it all. You can use the below free method for both Keyword research and Competiton analysis.
Make a list of different topics you would like to write. Select the keywords you want to rank. For Beginners, I advise you to look for Longtail Keywords.
For Example:- Instead of choosing your keyword as “SEO”. Choose something like “SEO tutorial for Beginners”.
Choosing your Keywords is a difficult task and requires a lot of research.
Check Traffic for all the phrase/keyword.
Now that we have some keywords, we need to check if these Keywords get enough traffic from Search Engines.
Open a Private Window and Go to google.com. Just type 2 or 3 words of your keyword. See if Google is suggesting the rest.
If Google suggests the rest of your keyword, Then that keyword should be getting enough traffic. If it doesn’t suggest, It might be better to select another keyword.
Check the Competition for the keyword.
There is one more thing to do before we select our final keyword and that is to check the competition for the keyword.
As I said before, If other established bloggers had already written content on the keyword we just chose. It would be really hard to rank for that. So if that happens, you better find another keyword.
Now to check for competition, Just type the phrase/keywords on google. If you see many high authority sites on the first page of google. Discard that keyword/phrase and check for other phrases.
But how would you identify high authority sites?
There is a chrome plugin called Mozbar. Download it from here and when you search on google, the Mozbar will display the domain authority(DA) and page authority(PA) for each of the website listed.
If you see websites with PA and DA more than 20-30 on the first page. I recommend not to write articles on that particular phrase/keyword. Rather look for some other keywords.
For Eg: Let’s assume that the keyword is “How to start a blog”. So we type it on google.
From the above screenshot, we see that the PA and DA are well above 20. That means all these websites are well established and you may never rank in the near future.
So, you can try adding some words to the same keyword or just look for another.
Now that you have your keyword, you have everything you need to start writing an exceptional article. To write an article on WordPress just Go to Posts -> Add New.
Before you begin to write anything, you need to enter your focus keyword on Yoast SEO, which I have already told you to Install. It helps you create your article based on your keyword.
The writing entirely depends on you. Just make sure that you write the content in a well-structured way. Try solving the problem that your visitor is trying to search.
Make your article at least 1000-1500 words in length. Longer articles tend to do better with respect to search rankings on Google.
Also, See : –
- How to make a Great Landing Page and Build an Email List in 2019!
- How to Make a Marketing Funnel For Free! Without ClickFunnels!
- How to get your AdSense account Approved in Less than 2 Months
9. Getting Traffic To Your Blog.
When you start a blog, This is one of the hardest parts. I have already told you about getting traffic through search engines using SEO. Sorry to say that, It won’t work much on a new blog.
Based on my experience, It may take about 1 – 2 months for your blog to be indexed on Google.
But, here are some other ways to get traffic to your blog:-
Promote your articles through Social Media websites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc. Either you create a new page for your blog or you just promote it on your personal account.
This may bring in some traffic but you have to be consistent in promoting and creating new posts for your articles.
This is how you bring your first set of visitors yo your blog. Also, ask your friends and family to share your content.
2. Answer questions on Forums
This is a great way to bring in some good and steady traffic to your blog. But the problem is, many people make these stupid mistakes while answering questions on forums.
Almost all the people just write a paragraph or two and then just thrash the link to their blog. This will only make them look like spam and it won’t show up on the forum.
Quora is the best forum and the one which I use to promote my articles. Not only does Quora appear on most searches but also they have questions to each and every niche that you will ever need.
So the best to answer on Quora is to write at least 5 – 6 paragraphs which clearly solves the problem that the questionnaire is asking and then, in the end, leave a link to your blog.
You could also leave a part of the answer on Quora and then say them to visit the link for additional information. But please make sure that it doesn’t look like spam.
3.Organic Traffic using On-page and Off-Page SEO
Organic Traffic is basically the traffic that you get from different search engines when people search on them. This is the best form of traffic.
I have already told you how to write a great SEO optimised article. But doing just that won’t make you rank on Google. There is another strategy called Off-Page SEO.
Remember when I said about the authority of a site. This really decides where your blog is. New blogs don’t usually have higher authorities. But you can increase them.
To increase them, You need backlinks to your website from other higher authority blogs. A backlink for a given web resource is a link from some other website to that web resource.
Getting backlinks from other websites will increase your blog’s authority as well as your blog’s ranking on search engines.
To know more about getting backlinks and Backlink building techniques, Jump over here.
The ultimate goal for 99% of the people who starts a blog will be to make money from them.
Yes. Blogs are one of the best ways to make passive income. And you can make a hell lot of money with it.
For beginners, Placing ads using Google Adsense is not a great idea. Since the traffic is low, you would only earn only a few cents daily. So I would recommend not to start with Adsense.
An alternative and the best way to monetize is by using Affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
This works perfectly for a blog that has low traffic. You just need some people who are willing to buy the product that you are trying to promote through your blog.
Let’s be frank here, Just take a deeper look at this article. Many of the links that I have provided in this article are affiliate links, which means I get a little commission when someone buys through the link provided here.
It’s simple as that!
So when you write an article, make sure you check for affiliate products that closely relate that topic.
10. Over to You
I have explained everything I know on how to start a blog. It’s now your turn to step up.
Your blog won’t get a lot of visitors for at least 1 or 2 months. So the best you can do is to write as many articles as you can during this time. Just be patient.
Honestly speaking, I have failed a lot of times. But, every time I have managed to step up and that’s how I finally started this blog.
Just remember this, No matter what happens Don’t quit. Keep trying and you will succeed for sure.
That’s all. Thank you for reading.