Over the years, Blogging has provided the platform for a lot of individuals to build their brand, grow their business and make a living online.
If you are looking to learn how to start join this group and start blogging as a real business and not as a hobbyist, then this post is for you…
With millions of bloggers out there, many people have come to think that blogging is already saturated for any new blogger to make money merely by owning a blog. But, that’s not exactly the truth.
Truth is, blogging still holds a lot of promise for people out there and in this post, I will guide you on all the basics you need to know about how to start a blog, including how to pick the right niche, start your site with suitable blogging platform, drive traffic, and monetize your blog quickly.
Here’s a quick preview of the 9 steps to start a blog and make money online:
- Choose the right niche
- Write the objectives of your blog
- Choose a domain name
- Choose a hosting plan and register your domain
- Install WordPress as your CMS
- Configure your blog’s SEO
- Create great content of your blog
- Create a long-term content strategy
- Start guest posting
Let’s discuss all these tips in details:
Choose the right niche
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In order to start a blog, one of the first things you will need to choose is a niche. A niche is a topical area or subject matter you will want to be writing about on your blog.
As you can imagine, your blog needs a niche. And this niche can be Marketing, Cooking, CrossFit workouts, Dog care, anything.
Whatever the subject you want to blog about, there are infinite things to write about.
Most professional bloggers will tell you to start blogging about things that you are passionate about because it will help you stick to a consistent writing schedule and avoid flaws. This might not necessarily work for everyone.
In any case, your ideal niche should be a combination of your skill, passion, and experience.
Write the Objectives of your blog
A goal without a plan is just a wish and that is true when starting a new blog.
After choosing a niche, you need to find a way to track all your goals, ideas, as well as tasks and content ideas that will help you achieve the goals you have for your blog
The key to this stage is not to complicate things.
To get your objectives right, find out your target audience first. After that, create for your blog, write down a few simple goals, and note things down to enhance your blog message.
Keep in mind, when learning how to start a blog, you need to figure out your niche and set your goals as a business from day one.
Choose a Domain Name
Many people will suggest that you should “narrow the niche” and go for a specific domain name.
However, I will recommend that you choose a domain name that is broad enough to allow you to evolve if necessary.
Reason is because, if your focus is too narrow and you suddenly lose interest in the niche or don’t care about the subject anymore, you will be stuck with the domain.
On the other hand, if you broaden your focus a bit, you can enhance your content, get enough fluency for consistency, and improve your website in the long run.
Remember, your domain name can come with different extensions. For instance it can be a .org, .com etc. It can also come with extensions like .sport which can be used for sports blogs, .guru used for training blogs and so on.
Be sure that you’ve sorted out the right domain name and domain extension that will work for you.
Here are some things to consider when buying a domain name:
- Your name should not be too difficult and complex to write.
- Don’t confuse people with difficult spellings.
- Avoid using numbers and hyphens in your domain name.
- Try to include a keyword that best represents your blog, as part of your domain name.
Choose a Web Hosting Plan
Every website requires a web server to store its site data so that audience can approach it online. Without a hosting account, your blog will not be visible on the Internet.
The performance of your blog highly depends on your web server so you should select the best web host you can.
A good hosting program should be able to keep your site running without interruptions, provide security, and integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
You should focus on choosing a host that is reliable and has an affordable price. Although there are a good number of Web Hosts out there, Bluehost and Smartweb are some of the most recommended hosting platforms.
Install WordPress as your CMS
After selecting the domain name and choosing a suitable hosting plan, now it is time to install your blog platform known as a content management system (CMS).
This is the place where you will write, publish, and personalize your blog posts.
Most people build their blogs on WordPress because it is the most-used, free, and easy to use blogging platform.
WordPress also provides several free plugins, themes, and various ways to modify your blog.
You don’t need to have any technical coding knowledge to get started on this platform. Although, you can always request the help of a WordPress Expert if you have difficulties creating your blog by yourself.
Configure your blog’s SEO
When it comes to getting traffic down to your blog, Search engine optimization is very important.
You don’t only want to create a blog that is outstanding for your users, you want to create a blog that is optimized for the search engine so, take out time to configure and optimize your blog with the right keywords.
Another crucial ranking factor that can affect your blog is the URLs of your blog posts or pages.
While editing your posts, this permanent URL is the only thing that should remain unaltered.
You can change the title, Meta description, content, and headings for a page or post, but the URL should remain the same at all cost except in situations where you can perform a 301 redirect for the link.
The reason behind this is that changing or editing the post URL after you must have gotten inbound links to the URL can result in a 404 error and in turn, you will lose the SEO value of that link.
That said, the basic thing you need to know is that you should optimize each of your blog post or page for a particular target keyword.
To further optimize your blog for the search engine, you should also consider installing the SEO Yoast plugin.
This plugin offers you the facility to maintain the SEO of your blog, both for individual blog posts, pages and the entire blog generally.
Create Great Content for your blog
Once you’ve completely set up your blog, the next thing you want to do is to start writing blog posts.
You don’t have to be a professional to start writing your first blog post, but it’s important to understand the basic sentence structure and proper grammar usage.
You also need to make sure you know how to write for the web.
For example, writing for the web entails among other things, the use of short paragraphs, bullet points, and images instead of using long, boring blocks of text.
Add images and videos
Try to add images and videos to your blog posts where necessary. This helps a lot in adding extra value to your post.
Make sure these images and videos are related to the post and be sure they are good enough to keep your audience engaged.
You can download free images for your blog posts from platforms like; Pixabay.com, Pexels.com, etc.
Plagiarism comes when you copy someone else’s ideas and paste them in your blog content.
It is unprofessional and should be frowned at. You have to write authentic and original content for your blog.
To further be on the safe side, always check your blog post for plagiarism. You can do this using an online plagiarism checker and make sure to remove any plagiarized content found, using paraphrasing techniques.
Check Grammar carefully
Also, take care of the grammar and spelling mistakes in your content.
Having typos and grammatical errors in your blog posts will definitely give your user a bad impression about you. It can lead a user to see you as incompetent etc. You want to avoid this by all means.
Grammarly is a suggested tool in this regard that offers you the facility to check and correct grammar mistakes.
Create a long-term Content Strategy
Once you have released your first blog, your work is not done it is just the beginning.
Most blogs take months to rank on Google and perform well only after persistent updates. So, you’ll need a formidable content strategy, to put this in place.
Here are some strategies to think about when formulating your long-term content strategy:
- Remember to solve your audience’s issue and provide value
- Optimize your content as much as possible
- Schedule your blog posts
- Understand your competition
- Measure the traffic metrics of your content
Start Guest Posting
Guest posting on high quality blogs can do a lot in helping your ranking and building your brand. You can key into this to further build your blog.
So many websites out there do accept guest posts for their blogs. You want to check them out.
Some websites do have a separate guest disclosure page that includes guidelines as well as an email address to contact them. Make sure to check out the article guidance for the guest posting site and follow them closely.
If a site is interested in a guest post of yours, you can then come up with some blog post ideas and these ideas should be based on competitive metrics and keyword research.
As you have seen how to start a blog is pretty easy, but you need to consider your options carefully.
Turning your blog into a profitable business to make money needs the following things:
- A smarter approach
- SEO mastery
- Hard work
- Smart work
We have covered almost everything you need to know to start your blog and we hope this guide can be helpful for you in fulfilling your purpose.
Now, it’s over to you! What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to starting a blog? Let’s hear you.
This post was written by Gulraiz Akram
Gulraiz Akram is writing for digital marketing experts, tech tool users and educational platforms. He has written for a number of reputable platforms like Softo.org, marketingrounds.com, googiehost.com and for a number of websites. He is a regular contributor of prepostseo.com for tech, Seo and marketing related articles.