As far as a blog is concerned, either you'll agree or disagree with me, the fact still holds – Blogs are top means to get the required information in everyday life which keeps us informed and up to date with what's going on around us or in the web space.
This is a beginner's blogging guide for anyone who wants to learn how to start a blog of his own and with the essential tips and tools needed to kick start a successful blog online, the proper methods of blog promotion and finally how to make money online through your new blog.
What You'll Learn:
- What a blog is.
- Why people blog.
- The important steps to take to start a successful blog which includes the ultimate 11 steps to a perfect blog creation, domain name brainstorming, blog hosting, designing, etc.
What is A Blog?
A Blog is a just a term used to describe websites that maintain ongoing collections of articles, news, ideas, facts, opinions, views or inspirations that are posted on the internet usually structured and organized by categories and are updated on regular basis.
Blogs range from Personal to Business, Politics, Sports, How-Tos, Non-profits and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects. Blogs make it so possible for any person with internet access to create a type of website without having to be familiar with any form of HTML coding that is generally necessary to create a website.
Why People Blog?
Blogging help spread ideas and connections beyond geographical boundaries. It is a great way of meeting new people either globally or locally. There are many reasons why people go into blogging, but the common reasons are:
- To connect with friends, family, acquaintances or fans and let them know their personal view or belief about certain issues or situations.
- To share important happening in their lives and environs.
- A means to pass information across to like-minds.
- For fame or popularity.
- And the major one is to make money online.
How To Start A Blog: The 11 Ultimate Step Guide
To start a successful blog online and also earn through it. There are some important steps you must look at which are:
- Picking a topic of focus.
- Best Blogging platform to use
- Brainstorming the right domain name.
- Best web hosting package to use.
- WordPress Installation.
- Designing Your Blog (Blog Design)
- Best Wordpress Plugins to consider.
- Adding Content to Your Blog.
- Launching your blog.
- Blog promotion
- Blog Monetization
Let's take a look at each step one after the other.
Step #1: Picking The Topic of Focus (Your Calling)
The common mistake most people make when about to start a blog is choosing the wrong niche(area of interest they are not truly passionate about) simply for profit sake. Just because someone is doing better on Technology or Weight loss niche doesn't guarantee you of getting the same result.
Let's be realistic here, blogging takes a while to yield a result and for you to succeed in your blogging business on a long-term basis, it is good to start your blog on what you are passionate about. This is a key factor for your success, your passion is the strength that keeps you going even at a point you feel like quitting.[clickToTweet tweet=”To be profitable blogging on a long-term basis. You must focus on your passion – This is the key factor to success” quote=”To be profitable blogging on a long-term basis. You must focus on your passion – This is the key factor to success” theme=”style5″]
Always start your blog base on topics you always love to talk about every time and not get tired easily, it might be in form of a skill, idea, belief, technical know-how, teachings or whatever it might be. After knowing your strength (which is your area of interest), also think of ways by which your passion or idea(s) can fetch you money through your blog at the long run. More at the blog monetization steps in the post.
Step #2: The Best Blogging Platform to use
A common problem you might face when you are about starting a blog is deciding the best blogging platform to start on. There are several platforms which include Free WordPress blog, Self-hosted WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Wix.
The best option I'll recommend for you is a self-hosted WordPress blog with your own customized domain name which gives you full control over your site and content. Using free platforms is crappy and not safe as it gives you minimal control over your website and can be wiped out anytime without your consent.
Step #3: Brainstorming Perfect Domain Name for your Blog
Now it’s time to choose a great domain name for your blog. This aspect is so important and at the same time potentially tricky in building a new blog. To find a perfect domain name for your blog there are different ways to go about that, depending on your goals. If you’re setting up a niche site, for instance, you would definitely pick a domain name which is different from setting up a personal blog or building an online store or service.
Let’s take a look at some guidelines to picking a perfect domain name for your blog.
1. The length of your domain – The shorter or specific your desired domain name, the less likely its availability. Also, the shorter it is, the easier it is to be remembered by people. For web application or general website like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, the domain name should be 8 characters or less and for blogs, it's advisable not to be more than 22 characters long.
2. Keyword Stuffing – Should you include keywords in your Domain name? Well, why most do is for SEO(Search Engine Optimization) or branding purpose. My personal view on this is to do what is necessary, if you are a brand, you can name your domain name after your company but if not, you might make it keyword based though that is not a ranking factor any longer. You might consider checking the A-Z Blueprint to Index and Rank Your Website in Google in minutes.
3. Picking a .com or .net and others – On several forums, I’ve heard a lot of people asking which extension work best between a “.com” or “.net”. Well, I will be glad to tell you that both works fine though I personally prefer .com anyway, that's not a yardstick to determine a successful website. There are many .net blogs and websites out there that are super successful, I know of problogger.net and slideshare.net.
A “.com” extension might always be the best choice because it's socially and widely acceptable than any other extensions out there but you shouldn’t be too worried about that. Your success online is not based on that.
Please be careful going around the .net or other extensions of a well-established .com (for example creating a .net version around a popular social website like Facebook.com, so I have “facebook.net” or “Facebook.biz” might definitely end me up with a lawsuit on my hands and make me loose the registered domain name.
The bottom line here – When brainstorming a perfect name for your blog, always make sure you don’t confuse people with it, make it short and catchy for people to easily memorize.
Step #4: Registering / Hosting Your Blog
There are so many registrars out there which you can use but let me quickly list out the ones I have tried and helped people with:
- Bluehost (the best)
Bluehost is the best of all, in terms of website speed, user interface, response time, support, plan, and pricing, they are awesome.
Don't get me wrong, am not saying other Registrars are not okay, all of the mentioned above are great.
As at the time of publishing this post “How to start a blog”, this particular website was hosted on Whogohost.com and everything was cool with them, am only giving you an honest review here, though considering moving permanently to Bluehost as soon as the website grow bigger.
[bha id='how to start a blog' size='620×203′ variation='05' align='aligncenter']
Step #5: Installing WordPress
After registering your domain and purchasing your hosting plan from any of the registrars of your choice. The next thing here is to install WordPress to your Self-hosted Blog. Wordpress is the most popular blogging platform, well known for its easy installation and content management system. All WordPress web hosting companies allows you to install WordPress within few clicks.
Step #6: Blog Design
You need a good WordPress theme that'll give your new blog that professional look. Why on earth will I be encouraged to keep visiting a crappy blog? So you need a WordPress theme that's clean and mobile responsive as well to aid your blog ranking in search engines.
Most modern WordPress themes are fully responsive, yet you might still get yourself confused with the best one to choose. I could remember when I got started with WordPress some years back with my technology blog, I had a problem of picking a theme, always fall in love with every theme I see but not anymore.
You don't have to see that as a problem my friend, what you must be after is a good looking theme with a readable font and mobile responsive because the largest amount of your traffic to your blog comes through mobile.
1. Which Blog theme is the best for use?
As a beginner just starting out, never complicate issues for yourself. I'll advise not to focus much on having an expensive Pro theme. simple start with simple themes and as you are growing with the blog, you might decide to change turn the table. It all depends on you.
The particular blog was designed using “Focus Blog theme” from Thrive. I so much love the theme, it is mobile responsive, has a clean readable font. Everything is well structured. I recommend to check it out.
Please check this article – 41 Best Responsive WordPress Themes
2. Where can I get a good Wordpress Theme?
There are several websites online that sells themes but let me quickly recommend the best for you. Check ThemeForest.net. This is a good website for you to buy your responsive Wordpress themes.
Step #7: Essential Plugins to Install When Starting Your Blog
Having the right set of plugins will tremendously take your business to the next level. Plugins are software's that can be uploaded to expand the functionality of your WordPress site. You'll only be able to make use of a plugin if you are on a Self-hosted WordPress blog. I will recommend the essentials with links to where you can get more. Only install plugins that are important for your business or website, installing unnecessary plugins might reduce your website speed.
1: Jetpack – It is a must have plugin for every WordPress website, it takes care of your site security, website performance, traffic growth, image optimization, website appearance and a lot more.
2: Akismet – It is a useful plugin to protect your WP security, It is basically an anti-spam plugin which checks all comments and filters out the spammy comments.
3: Yoast SEO – It is an awesome plugin which guides you all the way to create better content and improve your ranking on search results. The plugin helps you focus on creating contents which are useful to the users and at the same time SEO friendly.
4: W3 Total Cache – It's one of the most popular and best caching plugin for WordPress. It features page cache, database caching, object caching, browser caching and a lot more. It lets you integrate CDN services to make your page load faster by 60%. With the reduced loading time, there is a better chance for your site to rank faster on search engines.
For other awesome plugins, you might consider clicking here.
Step #8: Adding Contents to Your Blog
Step #9: Launching Your Blog
At this stage, it is time to let people know what your website or blog is up to, what are the things they should be expecting from your blog. To launch a successful blog, please take note of:
1: Target Audience -You have to know the right audience you are meant to serve on your blog from start. Your target audience must be clear to you, for example, this blog expertbeacon.com is meant to for people who have an interest in creating wealth for themselves online. So I know my target audience from the onset.
By defining the right audience for your blog make it easier for you to focus on the right people and developing appropriate content basically for people who has the highest interest in what you have to offer, having the right audience makes promotion easier.
2: Develop Innovative Content – Creating content around new topics these days might be virtually impossible but your primary goal here is to bring a new twist to whatever topic you are blogging about. As a blogger, what makes you unique is your own voice, thought, view, and personality you put into your own blog and writing. Check out how other bloggers in your niche present information to their readers, simply develop a better way to make yours more important and unique.
3: Add Valuable Content Regularly – Be it on a daily or weekly basis, add fresh content to your blog in order to build and maintain your loyal audience. You need to stay focused on the topic and provide the real value your targeted audience wants from you and try expanding as times goes by with trends.
4: Build Relationship – Make your blog an interactive type, ask for your audience view and thought on your new content at the end of every post you publish. This lets you know if your audience is probably reading and digesting your content or not, this also gives birth to a close relationship which builds solid trust between the Publisher and the Readers.
Step #10: Blog Promotion (Quality Traffic to Your Blog)
This part is so essential as this determine your success online. No matter how great your content might be, but without proper traffic to your blog is of no use. You can't just create a website or content and expect people to flood in. To be successful with your blog, you have to create quality traffic.
Don't be scared to get your stuff out there. Start with the free method of promotion first.
Going by the free methods of promotion to drive traffic to your blog:
1. Always write great content – Good content automatically promote itself most of time, take the time to write a good piece of content. Your content must be so informative and must be a problem solver. The bottom line here is to make every single piece of your post count.
2. Link your content to Popular Blogs in your Niche – Linking out to influential blogs in your area of interest is another great way to get them share or link back to your content. Link to other resources or blogs from your post where people can also find relevant information about the similar topic you are writing about.
3. Share to your social networks & get People to read – Make use of Buffer to automatically schedule your posts to all of your social media accounts or pages. It can help schedule and post to popular social sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Linkedin. Using Buffers saves you a lot of stress and manual processes involved in sharing your content one after the other.
4. Make your content Shareable – Include floating social share buttons that move with your reader as they read your content so they can share at any time. By making it possible for your audience to share your content, you get tons of free and quality traffic. This can be done with the help of social sharing plugins (Check them out here).
5. Post To Popular Facebook Pages & Groups – There are several FB pages and groups with huge amounts of fans in your niche which allow you to share your content for free. Simply Log into Facebook and type your keyword or niche into the search bar then choose to search for groups of interest.
6. Blog Comment with a relevant link – This is another means to drive traffic to your blog, simply find a website, blog or forums talking about the relevant topics in your niche(same area of interest). Leave a helpful comment on their post (please don't spam) and at the end include your relevant website link where readers can click to learn more. This method still works really well when properly done.
7. Guest Blogging – Otherwise known as guest posting, here you write quality content (informative one about a particular topic) with your website at the end of the post as the source. Now Find top blogs doing well in your niche, contact to ask them if they accept guest posting on their website or blog. In most cases, not all authority blogs like this will accept your offer but few will still do. If properly done well, this is another means of getting tons of free traffic to your new blog through your guest post.
For advanced methods of Blog Promotion – Click here to learn them
Step #11: Monetizing Your Blog (make money blogging)
There are so many ways to make money online through your blog but the common ones are:
1. Advertisement – You can make money blogging through advertisement simply by displaying graphics or text advert on your blog. This is the most direct way to make money through your blog. You can use different ad networks, like Google AdSense, Media.net, and other alternatives here.
2. Digital Products – You can make money blogging by selling your own digital products which include selling printables, eBooks, or online courses. You can write an explanatory review on your product or place a catchy banner ad about it on your blog sidebar which directs people to where they can make a purchase.
3. Sponsored Posts – Sponsored posts are another easy way you can make money online from your blog. Here someone will pay you to publish their content on your blog. This could be a brand, product, store or another website seeking exposure.
4. Affiliate Marketing – This is another means to earn good commission by promoting other people's product or service. You get your own commission through affiliate sales.
There are several affiliate networks you can start with. I'd suggest you start with high ticket offers. [If you are in the internet marketing(IM) industry, you can signup with Four Percent and Tecademics]. Others trusted and popular network with a lot of offers to promote are Peerfly.com, Clickbank.com, and Clickbetter.com.
Video Version of “How to Start A Blog: 11 Ultimate Step Guide”
I hope you find this article “How to Start A Blog” helpful on your journey to create a successful blog of your own and earn through blogging? I would love to hear back from you through your comment below.
Is this post helpful? If Yes! Why not share or pin to make this post go viral and help someone out.
I will be publishing a new article soon, Subscribe to our Youtube Channel so that you would not miss any awesome post!
Also connect with me on Facebook here – I’d love to know how you are progressing in your journey to create a profitable blog of your own.