Do you want to start a blog that makes enough money so you can finally quit your job? Or you want to start a blog as a side hustle while doing other things?
Whatever it is you want; you can always start a blog that helps you fulfil your dreams.
A lot of people have done this. And many more are still doing it. Personally, I am a good example of the latter.
It’s been over seven years now. And throughout these years, blogging has helped me fulfill my dreams. And that of many others. So, you’re not alone on this journey.
That said, regardless of the success story of the successful bloggers you’ve heard out there, the thought of starting a blog can be quite scary…
Especially where you’re not familiar with the whole blogging thing.
There are always a lot to learn and also there’s this uncertainty about whether you will become a successful blogger or not.
But, notwithstanding whatever fear you would have had, there are still a lot of people who have started blogs that became super successful today.
So, right now the question you’d most likely have in your head is, how did they start? Or how can I start a successful blog of my own?
Now, the following are steps to start a blog in Nigeria or any part of the world. These steps have worked for many successful bloggers despite their location.
Find a Goal
As a beginner, if you want to start a blog that becomes successful, one of the first things you need to do is to have a goal.
The reason you need to have a goal is because it helps you to understand the most important thing you want to achieve with your blog.
Knowing this keeps you on track. It also guides all your actions as you go about building your blog.
A lot of us did not have this understanding that there’s need to have some goal in mind while starting a blog.
For this reason, a good number of us started blogging without any game plan or clear goal except with the vague idea of making money online.
To a large extent, this affected our ability to have substantial success with our blogs, over a long period of time.
Because when you start without any particular goal, it becomes difficult to achieve anything in particular.
Unless you’re blogging as a hobby without aspiring for anything tangible, you don’t want to make this same mistakes.
That’s why you need to start your blog with your goal in mind. Because your goal will affect everything you’d do with your blog.
So, if your goal is to make money online then you have to distill that goal into ideas that can help you make money online.
In the long run, these ideas are going to affect all activities on your blog. It might even extend to your domain name in some cases.
As soon as you’ve sorted your blogging goal, you can then make a rough draft of a blogging plan.
The need for this plan is just to guide you on activities that will help you achieve your goal.
Remember, your blogging plan does not have to be something elaborate. It can always be changed at any time, to meet up with current realities.
Be sure to have at least a draft plan by the side as some guide.
Choose a Niche
First of all, a niche or blogging industry is a topic area you want to blog about.
It is always important you have an idea about this from the onset because it may affect a lot of things about your blog, including its success.
Now, a lot of blogging experts will advise that you blog about topics you have a lot of interest about or choose a niche you are already knowledgeable about…
In fact, this is how a lot of us started out. But, this is not the only way to go about it.
While it is important to choose a niche or blogging industry you are already passionate about…
If your goal is to make money as a blogger and the particular where your passion lies does not have capacity to generate income then you might be wasting your time.
That is why you need to choose a niche that aligns with the goals you chose in step one, if you really want to start a blog that becomes successful.
Where you don’t have the requisite knowledge about the niche that can earn you a decent income there might be issues too.
So, to get around this, you need a niche that you’re both passionate about and the niche also has to be capable of earning you an income at the same time.
Some popular niches
Talking about blogging in Nigeria and most places, some of the most popular niche includes the following;
News and Gossip,
Tech and Digital marketing,
Personal development etc.
Most of the above niches are already populated with too many existing bloggers so, you might get to be faced with a lot of competition if you settle with them.
But there are also sub niches within each of these niches…
Take for instance, instead of settling for a broad niche like digital marketing, you can be blogging about content marketing or social media marketing which are both sub niches under digital marketing.
Doing that, you might face less competition. And for that reason you might be able to make some impact more easily.
Get a Domain Name
A domain name is the name you want to call your blog.
It can be anything including your own personal name, the name of your business if you have one or any other brand name that will be suitable for what you want to blog about.
I have written extensively on domain name in a post here.
While choosing a domain name, be sure you choose a name that’s in line with the brand you want to build.
If you intend to sell of your blog at a later date in the future, it’s best you don’t use your personal name as a domain name.
Also, where you’re building a news blog or entertainment website, it’s always best you don’t use your personal name as a domain name in those cases.
When to use your name as Domain Name?
A lot of bloggers automatically use their name as the preferred domain name for their blog.
Usually, this is not right in all cases. There are instances where you can comfortably use your name as domain name. There are also cases where you shouldn’t.
For instance, if you’re building a personal blog for your freelancing, consulting or other form of personal services, you can consider using your name as a domain name.
If you’re building something more professional like a business and you want the business to be distinct from your personal brand then you shouldn’t use your name as a domain name.
Set up a Hosting Account
After getting your domain name, the next thing you need do is to set up a hosting account.
A hosting account allows you to host your website on the servers of a web host, in order for the website to be accessible online.
A web host or web hosting company is an ICT company that makes it possible for websites to be hosted online.
Without a web hosting account, no one will be able to access your website.
Now, choosing the right web hosting company for is very important for your blog.
The reason is because if you choose the wrong web host, your blog may experience a lot of service disconnection or down times and end up being inaccessible to your audience.
Or in worst case scenario, the wrong web host can cause you your website due to one error or the other.
That’s why you need a hosting company that is reputable and can offer you a guarantee of at least 99.9% uptime.
You also need a web hosting company that’s accessible to you just in case you have technical issues where you need their assistance.
A lot of web hosting companies will always claim to offer these but before choosing any, you need to check out their pedigree and consider reviews from other users.
Now before we proceed to the next step, while choosing a web hosting account, you need to pay attention to their hosting plan and choose the one that’s suitable for you, based on your goal.
I always advise to start with s shared hosting plan unless you have the budget to go for a VPS, dedicated or managed hosting etc.
It doesn’t matter whatever hosting plan you’re starting with, you can always get over to use a better plan as your blog continues to grow out of the one you started with.
Build a blog
Now here’s where the real work begins. To start blogging, you will need a blog. And before you get started with your blog, you need to choose a platform you want to build your blog with.
There are a lot of blogging platform to choose from but one of the most popular of these platforms is WordPress.
WordPress is the number one Content Management System for bloggers around the world. According to W3techs, It currently powers over half of the whole blogs on the internet.
Apart from WordPress, there are other platforms you can choose to use for your blog but WordPress is by far, the most popular of them all.
If you already have a domain name and hosting account then it’s possible WordPress is already installed on your cPanel.
All you need do is to head over there to your cPanel and begin to build your blog.
Where it is not installed, you can download it from WordPress.org, install it in your root folder and then begin to build your blog.
Of course building your blog by yourself can be quite tasking if you don’t have the requisite skills. If this is the case, you can hire our experts to build a blog for you and train you on how to use it.
Where you can build it by yourself, you need to get over to building the blog and head over to the next step.
Content is king! It is the live wire of all blogging activities.
Without content, there is no blog. That’s why for you to start a blog that becomes successful, you need to write content for the blog.
Now after successfully building your blog, the next thing you want to ask yourself is what content do I create for my blog.
If you had already created a goal for your blog in the first step above then arriving at an answer for this will not be difficult.
For instance, if your goal in step one was to make money online by creating news content on your blog then your content is definitely going to revolve around news content.
If on the other hand your goal for creating the blog was to become a thought leader or consult as a relationship coach then you will need to create content that revolves around this area, in order to attract people in search of such content.
Before we proceed, one thing you need to remember is that building a successful blog is not just about writing content.
For you to really make a mark in the blogosphere, you need to write valuable content to a targeted audience and in a timely manner.
Valuable; Where your content is valuable, your readers will come back for more.
Other websites will also link to such content and this will attract even more traffic to your website.
Targeted audience; Your content has to be written for a clearly defined audience. Doing this will help you to attract the right kind of readers to your blog.
Timely manner; You have to be consistent throughout your content creation process.
Another thing you need to consider while creating content for your blog is the search engine optimization aspect of content creation.
I have written a lot about SEO for both beginners and advanced users here. You can read it up.
While creating content for your blog, ensure that you create content that’s optimized for the search engine so they can be visible to searchers.
Promote your blog
Part of what’s going to drive success for your blog is traffic.
For your blog to be successful, you’re going to need a lot of traffic over to the blog. And for this to happen you have to promote the blog.
If you have the money to spend, paid advertising is still some of the fastest ways to promote your blog.
You can do this by paying to advertise on search engine like Google, social media advertising or paying for paying for ad space on popular websites with your target audience.
Outside this you can try other alternative and free strategies to promote your blog.
For instance this includes promotion on social media.
To get started with this, set up a profile for your blog on all the top social media with a decent number of your target audience.
Post on these platforms, engage with them, share links from your blog posts and encourage them to head over to your blog.
Engage in connected social media groups and forums. Create valuable content there, exchange ideas and share links back to your website if allowed.
Over time, you’ll need to create a social media marketing strategy for your blog and be sure to stick to it as much as possible.
Monetize your blog
Monetizing or making money with your blog is the icing on the cake of successful blogging.
After starting a blog and watching it become successful, there’s no reason not to monetize it.
But one thing you need to always remember is that monetizing your blog successfully will need a lot of traffic.
So, the first thing you want to do is to get started creating content that will get you some decent traffic before you focus on monetization.
That said, the following are strategies that can help you to monetize your blog.
Affiliate Marketing; Affiliate Marketing is the art of promoting other people’s products or services and getting a percentage whenever such product is sold via your website or link.
Affiliate Marketing is a gold mine for a lot of bloggers. There are always a handful of affiliate programs to choose from, depending on your location.
Paid Advertising; You can run paid advertising on your blog and get paid per ad you make for others on your blog.
Besides paid advertising, you can also use sponsored posts as a means of monetization for your blog.
Google AdSense: Google AdSense is another means of monetization which you can use for your blog.
After launching your blog and getting a decent traffic, you can apply to join AdSense here.
As soon as your blog is approved and Google starts showing their ads on your blog, you will get paid at intervals, depending on the performance of your ads.
Courses and Trainings: If you’re running a professional coaching blog, you can create some courses and trainings for your users.
This is one good way to monetize your blog if you’re mainly in the coaching niche.
A lot of bloggers in this nice have successfully utilized this monetization strategy and it’s worked for them.
To be successful with this strategy, you need to be perceived as the expert or thought leader that can be listened to.
So, there’s need to work on your branding and perception if you want to effectively use this strategy.
Personal Services: If you have expertise in any skill say Graphics Design, Video Editing, Programming, Web Design etc., you can also use this as part of your monetization strategy.
I have written a lot in details about growth models and monetization strategy that can work for you based on your blogging niche in this post here, you’ll learn a lot by reading it.
In conclusion, starting a blog is not difficult but staying through to build a successful blog will require your time and effort.
Like I already said, a lot of people are doing it. And you can build a successful blog too.
But you will have to be willing to go through these steps and patiently put in your best foot out as your blog becomes a turn around success.
So, there you have all it takes to build a successful blog. Do you want to join our Smart Blog Mastery Course to become a better blogger? Here’s the link.
Now, it’s over to you. When it comes to blogging, what is your your biggest challenge?