So do you wanna start a blog? Welcome to the easy and step by step guide on how you can start your blog and earn money out of it.
Hey, I am Jitendra. I started my blogging journey in 2016. I made several blogs and some were good and some just failed. I have made quite good earnings out of it. In this guide I will guide you step by step on how you can start based on my experience and also will give a rough estimate on how much you have to invest.
Let’s first see the general nature of what blogging is all about.
Blogging in simple terms in presenting your knowledge, conveying your stories, telling people about your experiences.
So how do you earn money in blogging?? Who pays you?
The simple answer is we earn money simply by adding values, fixing the problem and in turn gets paid by ads and/or affiliate marketing and more.
See I want to be very clear about some of the things. Although this is a complete beginner guide BUT, you have to invest some money and a lot of time. Also it is not a quick rich scheme so you won’t see money flowing into your bank the very next month. This is long and step by step process. With the right tools and right guide you will definately be able to make it happen.
Step By Step Guide
- Choose your niche
- Choose your domain name
- Choose your hosting and blogging platform
- Customize your blog
- Keyword Research
- Write the content
- Optimize the content
- Promote the content
- Monetize the content
Step 1: Choose your niche
Niche is the topic on which your blog will be based on.
When starting out you have to choose a particular topic to write on.
That topic can be based on your experience, your expertise or your hobbies. It has to be something you know about.
Like if you know about fishing you can write about the techniques, the right tools and how to do it. Just like this you can write about any hobby.
Now there’s a catch. You may know something but that may not have that much audience. So you have to see if the audience is there or not.
Some people do the mistake of finding a high earning niche and trying to copy it. See this won’t work in the long term. Google will not rank your content.
This is one of the most important steps. Take your time and choose wisely.
Step 2: Choose your domain name
A domain name will represent your brand, your identity. So you have to choose wisely.
Domain names have 2 components. Name and extension.
Here in my case inshorten is domain name and com is the extension.
This will take time. So start by brainstorming ideas. Let’s see types of names.
The first type includes your keyword like thefishingguide or travelguide as such. These are great and give your audience a quick understanding about what your blog is all about.
Second type includes some words that have no meaning. Like google it had no meaning in the dictionary. But now it’s part of our vocabulary.
Third one’s are which include your own name. You can use your full name or just your initials. These are good for personal branding.
You can choose any of the 3 techniques discussed above. Please avoid the mistakes like including the brand name in your domain aur adding hyphens or numbers.
Also regarding the domain extension try to go for .com or .net extension. There are many others too. But some of them
Avoid .xyz extension. You will get it for cheap for the first year. But they are being used for scamming and spamming purposes. Try to avoid country specific domain names like .us or .uk if you want to have a global audience. Also leave .org for the organisations. .tech are good too for technology niches.
Step 3 : Choose hosting and blogging platform
Firstly about the blogging platform, without any doubt go with self-hosted WordPress. It’s very easy to learn and it gives full control on your site.
Now you need a hosting where you can host your website so that visitors can see your content.
This is an important step because hosting can make you or break you. Firstly it needs investment and secondly some of the ranking factors depend on the hosting.
There are 4 types of hosting
- Manged Wordpress
- Virtual Private Server
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Host
For beginners and new sites, shared hosting is good. Shared hosting uses shared resources. Depending on type and resources allocated.
VPS are good for sites getting a high amount of traffic and need more resources. These hosting start with 5$ and can go upto as many resources as you want.
Managed WordPress is more like
Cloud Hosting is in which your content is hosted in multiple instances. These are a little more expensive than VPS.
Dedicated servers are for very big sites getting millions of traffic. These are generally costly.
What should you be looking while purchasing the hosting plan
- Fast and secure
- Good support
- SSD Storage
Also look for if your hosting got a server close to the location from which you are expecting most of your traffic.
My honest picks for the hosting are Hostinger, Bluehost, Fastcomet and Cloudways(managed VPS).
Please take the hosting for a 12 months period only plus that you get to host multiple sites. I know that those 36 months and 48 months plans look tempting but you don’t want to get locked in.
If you’re from the US, UK, NZ, AU then I would recommend Bluehost Choice Plus Plan. It’s best for starting out the site and eventually after getting enough traffic you can move to Cloudways.
If you are from India, Nepal, Pak, Bhutan, Sri Lanka then I recommend Hostinger Premium Hosting Plan.
Step 4: Setting Up and Customising your blog
Now you have your website live it’s time to customise it so it looks better.
Firstly immediately installing wordpress go to Settings —> General. In the general settings field check if the site title and Tagline is correct or not.
Next check if WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) is correct or not. Check if you have https or not.
The hosting which I recommend gives you free SSL. If you chose another and didn’t get read my guide on how to get SSL for free.
Scroll Down and check if the Timezone is correct or not. Correct it if not.
Next in the Settings itself look for Permalinks and select Post name.
Now you’re done with the basic setting it’s time to install themes and plugins.
There are thousands of themes to choose from but I recommend Generatepress, Astra, Kadence and blocksy.
I have personally used these all themes and this website is using generatepress theme. These are liteweight, fast and responsive.
All of them have a free theme that comes with a limited customisation. For beginning and for trying out these are very good.
If you want more customization then you have to buy the pro version. I highly recommend this and this is worth the investment.
For adding more styles you need a page builder. This is optional. If you want to make it simple that you have just blog posts and basic elements then it is completely fine.
When your site grows you have to give a personal branding. So you may need these at that time.
Best choices are Elementor and Thrive Architect.
Now to add more functionality you need some plugins. These are absolutely necessary plugins.
- Rank Math: This is one of the best free SEO plugins. It will help you customise your content so you can get search ranking.
- WpForms: Drag and Drop form builder. This will enable visitors and other bloggers to get in touch with you.
- WP Rocket: This is the page optimization plugin. It will optimise your website and will make it fast.
- ImageKit: This is for image optimization. Free plugin and serves your image via CDN.
- Insert Header and Footer: Many times for verification purposes you have to add some code in the header. This plugin will help you to achieve that purpose
Now make these required pages.
About: Describe your blog and yourself.
Contact: Use the contact form plugin to make a contact page so that visitors, advertisers and other bloggers can contact you.
You’re now ready to move ahead. Now we will start to focus on content.
Step 5. Keyword research
This is the very first step of creating content. Think of a very cool blog post idea. Now you have to make sure that there is an audience who wants to read that content.
Make your content that way that readers come back again to refer, share to it and other bloggers link it.
There are several tools to find that out. But those are costly so there are some free methods. Here is the guide.
You have to understand two things here for now: One is search intent and second is long tail keywords.
Search intent is about what search and particularly user is expecting you. So you have to write your content in that way.
If someone searches for “Best Hockey Sticks” he wants to see the best picks and comparison and pros and cons.
If someone’s searching “How to get rid of belly fat” they want to see the techniques, exercise and most importantly some results or testimonials. So you have to shape your content in that.
Let’s talk about long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are those keywords that are more specific. They generally have targeted traffic and low search volume.
So you have to find long tail keywords and then make your blog post around it so you get more targeted traffic.
Understand one more thing. There are generally two types of blog post you write. One to rank on google with the help of long tail keywords and one to serve your audience.
Example is this post. There are already very big sites that have a how to start a blog guide. But still I decided to share my journey and strategy. I have very low expectations to get organic traffic and I am gonna promote it on my homepage, newsletter and on social media.
So you do not always make content for search engines, sometimes for your audience too.
Step 6: Writing the content
Now you have a keyword. Now you have to write content around it.
The question arises is how long should the content be?? Well there’s a debate going on. Basically some studies say that your content should ideally be around 2000 words.
But I personally think it depends on the topic. If it needs a longer explanation then it’s okay to go with it. Structure your content well and don’t drag. It will bore your visitors.
Some quick tips:
- Provide Value: Just for the sake of making articles longer don’t add unnecessary stuff. Make it clear and concise and try to add a table of content so the reader can skip to some part if they want to.
- Format your content: Add H2, H3, H4. Break your content into smaller sections. Also write small paragraphs.
- Add Table Of Content: This will give your visitor a clear picture and they can skip to any part if they want to.
- Add images: This greatly helps. Sometimes plain text looks boring so add these to make page look good.
Step 7: Optimise the content
In this section let’s take a look at how to optimise the content so that visitors can find us.
The best traffic source for your website is surprisingly free. That is an organic search result. You don’t have to pay anything. Just content and some optimisation.
People generally call this On Page SEO Optimisation.
It starts with a solid heading. Heading is the first thing your user is going to see and decide whether to read it or not. It should fulfill their search intent. It will decide your CTR. So start with brainstorming ideas.
Here are some quick tips to make great headlines
Include the date if required.
For example you can include the 2022 Update. This is give signal to the user that this is the updated content and hence can help you increase CTR.
include keywords like Top 5, Best 7.
If you are writing a review post then you can use these. Here are the top 5 reasons you should consider this or 7 best wordpress plugins.
Here you can see I am using an odd number. I have read a post that odd numbers work better. But you can use even numbers too.
After the heading the intro para will decide if the user is going to read the full content or not. If they didn’t find the introduction compelling they are going to bounce off. So write a catchy introduction so that users know what they can expect from that article.
Remember that you don’t waste too much time in introduction.
Now finally conclude your post. Just a simple outline will do the best.
Big Tip: Internal Linking
Interlinking is linking the content of your site. If you mentioned something and have an in depth guide you can link them.
One thing I want to say is don’t optimise for machines and bots. You have to pay attention to the human factor. Make content that humans love to read. Don’t stuff keywords. Those are just 2010 techniques that will not work in the long run.
Step 8: Promote the content
In this section we will discuss how to promote your website to get visitors and how to build an audience.
Strategy is to reach as many people as we can and build an audience out of it.
Here audience means building content that visitors refer to and come back. Also other people and bloggers link to.
We have already discussed On Page Optimisation in the previous section. This will help us to reach organically but we cannot depend on that. SERP is changing rapidly.
Every other month there is some sort of update.
This is the method in which you write and publish content for another website of similar niche. This will give you a link and some recognition.
There are free sites and paid sites. I think it’s better to avoid paid guest blogging sites. Now for free there are sites which have a link that say ‘Write for Us”. Look for it if it is good or not.
For other site you have to
Using Social Media
I don’t think facebook is relevant for most of the niches. But you may find some active groups. There you can refer to your blog.
Don’t overdo it else facebook will ban your website and you will no longer link to it.
Quora and Medium
You can write or answer queries related to your field. And link to your website if necessary. I get almost 1000 traffic from quora and medium every month. I know quite a few but those are targeted.
Newsletter is the best blog promotion strategy. This is a way to build your audience and update your previous reader about the updates.
Use Push Notification
It’s a very underrated way. Push Notifications have a very bad reputation in the market due to spammy ads.
But these are very good ways to serve new post notifications and to give updates and all.
OneSignal and Webpushr are two best choices. Both are free and easy to set up.
Step 9: Monetize the content
Now you have great content prepared. It’s time to earn some money out of it.
There are various ways to earn money. But they need is Audience. You have to focus on getting traffic and building an audience first.
What I generally do with my new site is first I plan out 30 good posts and write them and publish them. Then I start promoting it and then focus on ways that I can use to make money.
Once you start getting regular traffic you can monetize your website/blog traffic with these methods.
Third Party Ads
You can serve ads on your website. You will get paid for every click. This method requires you to get good quality traffic in a good amount. Higher traffic, more clicks. Example: AdSense, Ezoic.
This method doesn’t require that much traffic if you have targeted traffic. There are many affiliate networks.Join them according to your niche.
You have to promote their product and for every purchase you get some commission from it
Selling Products and Services
You can sell ebooks, courses or some specialized guides. These are great ways to monitize. But this requires authority and trust so you have to build that first.
Many companies and advertisers are willing to post their blog on your website. So from the beginning only try to build an audience with the methods discussed above.