In this hectic world, something big has been happening. I have seen many people from all range of life and ages, are starting a blog and creating their entire businesses online.
Can a bunch of text, sprinkled with a series of images possess superpowers? And honestly, how many of you like to read scattered thoughts of an average person like you or me?
So how to start a blog?
Today I’d like to take you on a blogging tour and showing every single step on how to start a blog, growing it and monetizing it in just 20 minutes.
Starting a blog or website is a great way to make money.
But there is huge info out there on the web, and its too confusing and complicated.
I created my first blog 6 years back, at that time I had same problems that you have. In this step-by-step guide you will learn how to start a blog in a simple and easy way.
Follow this 9 step guide that I have used to create blogs that generate over a million page views a year.
Who Am I ?
My name is Jatin Thakur, and I am going to show you how to start a blog. I have been building websites and blogs since 2014.
I am not ashamed to admit that when I started building websites and blog I made ton of mistakes.
You can take benefit from my 6 years of experience so that you don’t repeat those same mistakes. If you get stuck in any section feel free to message me.
I am not only going to teach you how to start a blog but also teach you how to get traffic that generates passive income.
No coding skills required, just one click and install. I promise it will be simple, easy to understand and relatively easy (no stupid jargon). Sounds good?
Awesome let’s move on….
How to Start a Blog in 9 Easy Steps -
I promise that I’ll make this straightforward that you will be able to start your own blog in just one sitting.
Step1. Choosing a Blogging Niche.
If you want to start your blog perfectly, your blog should be focused on a specific niche or idea. When choosing a blog niche or topic ask yourself these 2 questions.
1. Do I enjoy this topic?
Don’t start a topic, you don’t love. After a while, it will show in your writing. Whatever the topic you are picking, you must love it, it creates a curiosity in you.
If you choose a topic you don’t love you will certainly lose your interest in it after a while.
Most important thing is that you won’t able to create content that will help you in building your audience.
2. Are other people interested in the same thing?
Make sure that the niche or topic you are choosing is broad enough.
If your niche is too smaller or too bigger you will not be able to drive that much traffic which converts.
If you want to start a travel blog don’t choose competitive generic terms like “travel”. Instead choose keywords like “travel backpacks” & “travel shoes” etc.
Before creating a blog in a specific niche make sure to check out other blogs. See how these blogs brand themselves. Seek inspiration from other blogs in your niche, learn from them.
Step2. Choosing a Blogging Platform.
Picking a blogging platform is pretty much the first thing you have to do.
Platform means the software used to run your blog. There are dozens of Blogging platform in the market such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Drupal, Weebly etc.
I have also reviewed Wix Vs WordPress here.
WordPress is the best option when it comes to blogging. It is the most flexible, free, easy to use software.
This software allows you to have your own domain “.com”. WordPress has over 5000+ free themes to build a new website.
It is a free software (you only need Domain name & Host). WordPress powers 32% of the websites on the internet. Techcrunch the most famous tech blog uses WordPress.
Please don’t rush out and sign up just yet! I will show you how to install WordPress in just one click. But consider some things first.
Can I start a blog for free on Blogger?
Step3. Finding a Domain Name.
Let’s assume that you have choosen WordPress as your Blogging platform (Smart move), next step is to decide a name (Domain name) for your blog.
A Domain name is like an address where people can find our blog such as “www.myblog.com” or www.hostingservers.tech
Choose your blog name or domain name carefully because it is the first thing which shows up in search results. Blog name often tells people about who you are, what
are you writing (your niche)?
I recommend you to get a .com Domain name extension. You can also get domain name extensions such as .tech .co .net .in if .com is not avalaible for your name.
Choosing a domain name requires a lot of consideration and thought.
Make sure to pick a domain name which not only fits your niche/business but also easy to promote in the market.
Always try to keep your domain name short. Don’t pick complex and long domain names.
Millions of domains names are registered on the internet. Come up with a domain name which is memorable and catchy. Make sure your domain name sounds appealing.
Use the Domain name checker below to find a perfect Domain name for your blog.
After checking Domain name availbility for your blog, proceed to the next section below.
Step4. Picking a Host for your Blog.
When it comes to Web hosting, various things matters such as –
1. Support – You need a Dedicated support team to help you.
2. Uptime – You need a host that won’t go offline.
3. Price – Fair pricing with great features (No hidden charges).
4. Speed & Performance – You need your website to load fast.
5. Security features – If you want to create a personal blog or website, security is a very important aspect.
Lack of web security will result in devastation to a business. Therefore it is very important to understand the aspects of security.
When it comes to Web hosting I prefer Bluehost because it is fast, reliable and secure. It helps you to install WordPress in just one click. I strongly recommend using Bluehost.
You can also use other hosting providers but to keep this step-by-step guide focused, I’am going to use Bluehost to explain setup process.
If you want to save some money (60% Discount) and Free domain + SSL Certificate for 1/yr click on Host with Bluehost Button and follow the steps shown below in screenshots.
Setting up a Domain Name & Hosting
Once you click on Get Start Button choose hosting plan for you blog. Four shared hosting plans are given to you Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro.
I recommend you to go with Basic hosting plan because it is the cheapest and best plan for beginners. You can upgrade to other plans later if you want more features and power.
If you want to run a personal blog and small website Basic plan is best for you. Other plans such as Pro, Prime are helpful only if your site starts getting lots of traffic.
Once your site starts getting millions of traffic you can upgrade to their Dedicated or Cloud Hosting plans.
Choose your Domain Name
Bluehost will show you two options one is get your new domain name (new domain name which is included free for first year).
Second option is I have already a domain name. If you want new domain name type a name for your blog. It will show you that domain name is available or not.
After selecting a domain name its time to fill out your personal information. Fill out this form carefully.
In the next step select your account plan as Basic 12 months. Pay close attention to the additional add ons below such as Domain Protection, Site Backup, Sitelock Security.
Domain privacy protection costs $0.99 cents/month. It will keep you domain identity hidden. See yourself which addon features you like to choose. Choosing extra addons increases your budget.
Once you choose addon features for your blog fill out payment information & click on Submit button.
Setting Username & Password for Bluehost Account
After successfully submitting payment information and creating Username & Password you will receive a Welcome email from Bluehost. This email contains your Username & Password details. Check your spam folder if you don’t get email from Bluehost.
Congratulations, now you are one step closer in order to create a blog.
Next step is to install WordPress.
Step5. Installing WordPress on Bluehost in Just One Click.
Bluehost offers one click installation for WordPress. Now you are logged in to Bluehost. Good news! WordPress is now waiting for you.
You will see a bunch of themes on first screen. You can choose a theme now and you can always change theme later. Go to Next Screen click on Start Building button.
Congratulations you installed WordPress for your blog. Bluehost WordPress dashboard will look like the image below.
Step6. Setting up your WordPress Blog.
In this step I will show you how to set up your wordpress blog. In order to set up your wordpress blog properly you have to install some plugins.
Plugins – A plugin is a add-on software which is installed on the WordPress software to enhance it’s functionality.
Main Plugins which we are going to install is listed below –
1. Yoast SEO – This plugin helps you to optimize your SEO post title, Meta description, length of your context, Internal linking, words and phrases etc. Yoast SEO make our blog easy to be crawled by Search Engines.
2. WP Supercache – Fast loading websites tend to rank higher on Search Engines. W3 Total cache plugin helps you to minimze your file sizes to load faster.
3. Smush – This plugin allows you to reduce the image file size without loosing it’s quality.
4. Elementor – It is a website builder which makes web design easy as drag & drop. Elementor makes it easy to create custom fields, pages without typing a single line of code.
5. Social Pug – This is a social sharing plugin. It allows visitors to share your content on different Social media platforms.
6. Optimonster – This plugin helps you to collect email leads. If you want to build an email list of readers you can use Optinmonster to collect your email leads i.e. using exit popups etc.
Steps to install a plugin in WordPress –
Basic Blog Settings
Now you have hosting plans, domain name, WordPress plugins, and themes installed. So.. what’s next? I will show you some basic settings you need for your blog before launching your blog publically.
Basic WordPress blog settings-
1. Choosing a permalink structure.
Choosing a user-friendly permalink structure will help you in many ways. Permalinks determine your website’s URL structure.
Having user-friendly/google friendly permalinks help you rank higher in google. Always choose permalink structure as Post Name.
It will help search engines crawlers to understand what your post is about.
2. Basic WordPress customizer settings.
WordPress customizer helps you to customize different settings from a font, colors, Blog structure, etc.
Here’s what to do… Go to Site Identity tab and create a Site title and site description. You can also upload a custom logo for your blog or website.
3. Setting Sidebar/Footer Widgets.
Widgets help you add content in any widgets area on your blog. You can add different forms, images, text on blog’s sidebar as well as a footer area.
In order to add widgets to your sidebar/footer. Go to Appearance>>Widgets and start adding widgets, icons to your blog sidebar/footer area.
4. Creating a Navigation menu.
A menu helps you creating navigation links which appear on your website/blog’s navigation areas. When you create a navigation menu you site structure
becomes more usable.
5. Comment settings.
By default, WordPress setup allows other people to comment on your blog. Some people don’t like comments on their blog or website.
1. You can allow people to comment, engage with other people and receive feedback.
2. You can use disable comment option which will not allow people to communicate, engage with your blog or website.
GO Settings>>Discussion and then change your settings to allow people to comment or not.
Step7. Customizing Layout & Design.
Finally, the most exciting part comes. Now you have to design or customize your blog layout. In general, designs are reffered as Themes in WordPress.
Good News! You have over 5000+ themes in WordPress.
Bad News! With so many themes ,you have to spend hours finding the right one. Here’s the list of Best WordPress Blog themes to save your time.
Theme is basically a visual template layout of your blog. If you are not a web developer like me, No worries! WordPress provides a bunch of free themes to start with.
Step8. Start Writing!
Good news is that writing Blog posts in WordPress is easy as using MSWord and Excel. Let’s walkthrough some important features you nedd to know about wordpress.
1. Title – In this section title of your post is wrritten.
2. Content Area – This is the area where whole text of your post is wrritten with Videos & Images.
3. Editing Tools – This editing section conains some tools like Bold, Italic, Underline, Link Insertion options.
4. Publishing Tools – This section contains various useful options such as Save Draft, Preview, Publish options.
Publish button is used to post your blog when it is ready.
Preview button is used to preview some post changes & how it will look after it goes live.
Save draft button will save your incomplete blog post without making post live. Other options are scheduling a post for future, making a post private/public.
5. Fine-tuning tools – This section of tool contains post category, adding a featured image option etc.
Adding headings to your paragraphs will help your readers to scan content. For example my heading is “What is a blog? this heading tells people what your content is about.
To add a Heading go to Editing tools section and click on Paragraph-drop down menu and select your heading. Remember your post can have only H1 tag. Read this article on how to use heading in your blog post.
Adding Images for your Post
If you want to add some pictures, click on Add media and upload images for your blog post. Once a image is uploaded, you can resize & crop it.
Adding featured Image
A featured image is simply a image displayed on every top of page or post. For example, when you use thumbnails for your Youtube videos, Facebook & Twitter.
To add a featured image to your blog post go to fine-tuning tools section and click on “Set featured image” and set your featured image.
Publishing your Post
Are you all done! It’s time to publish your first post. Click that “Publish button” and then click on view post when link appears to see your view post!
Now your website is live it’s time to take it to the new heights!
Step9. Monetizing your Blog.
After setting up your blog and traffic is coming on your website, it’s time to monetize your blog.
1. Build an email list.
List building means adding new loyal blog subscribers to grow your list. These people are the first ones to care whenever you launch a new Webinar, E-courses, E-books.
You can set a separate list of paid substances for exclusive offers and tips. If you want to start collecting emails I suggest using Optinmonster.
This service allows you to capture visitors email.
2. Affiliate Marketing.
It is performance-based marketing. If one of the visitors click on your affiliate link and purchases some services and goods, you receive a commission.
Things to keep in mind before joining the affiliate program. Promote these products which are relevant to your niche.
Different platforms to start as an affiliate marketer –
3. Google Adsense – Adsense is one of the most popular advertising platforms in the world.
You have to simply put ads on your site and whenever a person clicks on that ad and buys the service or goods, you will get paid.
Adsense is purely based on Impressions and Clicks. For every 1000 impressions, you earn a set dollar amount. Regardless of page views if a visitor clicks on the ad, you’ll
earn a certain portion of the ad revenue.
Taking your blog to New Heights
After you have set up your blog it’s time to take your blog to the next level. Many people struggles at this point, but I have put together a handful of guides to get you going easier.
Things to do after creating a Blog
After creating pages, read out these posts below –
1. Most common mistakes new bloggers make (including me).
2. Finding free images for your blog (without getting copyrighted).
3. 100+ blog post ideas (Warning: Huge List).
Taking your Blog to the next level.
After creating content on your Blog it’s time to get some traffic.
1. Indexing your blog on Search Engines (Google, Bing).