This page is created with beginner bloggers in mind — beginners who want to know How to Start a blog but don’t know what direction to take.
You’ll discover the tools/information you need to get your blog off the ground. And fly it to the sky like a Boeing 777.
If this is your first time visiting, and you have not learned about this blog’s author, check out the About page to learn about my story of how I stumbled upon the word “blogging” back in 2011 and started this blog in 2012.
Just in case!
Away from that… let’s get your blog off the ground together. Move it onto the Internet so the world can see the changes you’re about to start.
If you do a Google search for the phrase “how to start a blog, “You’ll have to choose between over 6 billion pages.
Each share their view on the subject and provides excellent resourceful materials for blog creation.
Mostly, the practical side of starting a blog.
This post is exceptionally long and in-depth. At 3,000+ word count, I understand if you can’t digest everything at a read. Or even if you don’t have the time to take a read now.
This is why I have made it available in PDF format to download and read in your free time. Get the free PDF format here.
But Something is Going to be Different Here… What’s That?
Here, I will walk you through the theory behind creating a successful blog—a blog worth reading and loved by its users.
After that, I will share the tools and tasks needed to publish your blog online.
Ready? Let’s get started…
How to Start a Blog – Theory
What’s your blog’s purpose?
Ask yourself the following questions…
- What’s the purpose of this blog?
- What benefits will you get from running the blog?
- How is your knowledge, skill, or blog help someone solve their problem?
- Is your asset valued in the market?
- Is there a demand for your skills, knowledge, products, or whatever you have?
- Are people paying for your skills, services, or goods? etc
You need to answer these questions and more before you create your blog. Your answers will save you from starting a blog that will die prematurely.
And help you create a blog that will be useful for its intended users.
To answer these questions, you need a keyword tool like Semrush.
Keyword Research Tool
Your instinct or self-validation is insufficient to provide accurate answers to these questions.
For instance, you know yourself and are sure of the knowledge, skills, services, or goods you’re bringing to the market.
- But how do you research, analyze, and validate market demand for your goods/services?
- What is the profitability? How do you validate that?
- Also, you need to uncover industry-related search queries to rank for.
- You need to discover your potential audience geo-location.
- You need to optimize content for search engine users.
Providing the best answers to all these questions is impossible without an SEO tool.
Or take the 14-day SEO Powersuite free trial offer to test it.
Read my complete review here to learn more about SEO Powersuite and how it can help you build a better blog and achieve growth.
What’s Your Passion?
Some experts or internet gurus will tell you to start your blog based on passion.
Well, that’s partially the correct answer.
But passion alone isn’t enough to start a profitable blog business in today’s competitive marketing world.
You can read why your passion isn’t the best way to start a blog today.
Sometimes, a service/good might be very high in demand, but surprisingly, people are unwilling to pay for it. This is because most people who are demanding it want it for FREE.
The main point here is to research your target market before you start a blog.
This is necessary so you don’t waste your time, energy, resources, and money on a topic people care less about.
Two Types of Bloggers – Two Types of Blogs
Based on experience, there are only two types of blogs and bloggers on the Internet. The expert bloggers/blogs and advertising bloggers/blogs.
I know this isn’t very clear, but don’t let it be. Every blogger you see on the Internet falls into one of these two categories:
It is either the blogger teaching others what he knows to do better and, in the process, making money by selling premium services/products.
Or the blogger leverages the existing website traffic to sell advertising space on his blog through which he earns money.
The former is more of an expert with practical skills, knowledge, or goods to sell to people needing his services/products.
This type of blogger doesn’t publish breaking news, gossip, or events on the blog. 90% of the published content is evergreen and timeless information.
They teach others how to do something better.
While the latter might not necessarily have that kind of practical skills or goods to offer.
He is not a teacher.
He informs the public, breaks the news, entertains, or makes an announcement.
He leverages the volume of existing website traffic to earn money on his blog.
Most content on such blogs is time-sensitive, with minimum content length, gossip, breaking news, celebrity news, events, etc.
Where do You Belong?
Before you go ahead to start your blog, you must evaluate yourself. Analyze your potential, gift, and capabilities, and see which category of bloggers you fall into.
This is because the approach and operations of the two blogs are different.
One demands regular daily content publishing (in fact, multiple times per day). While the other is good to go even with 1 (one) published article per week.
Do you see why you must think it through before starting your blog?
Setting up Your Blog
These are the steps to follow to get your blog running online.
- Register your domain name and purchase hosting from a reliable web hosting company.
- Install WordPress blog software on your host.
- Choose a free Theme from the WordPress.org repository or buy a premium one such as Astra Pro Themes.
- Design your Blog.
- Start publishing content.
- Market your content.
- Make money from it.
Let’s walk through each step one after the other…
Register a Domain Name
Registering your domain name is the first step to having your blog ready online. And purchasing hosting services from a reputable web hosting company.
Many web hosting companies are online, but few are worth the salt.
NameCheap is the ideal web hosting company and domain name registrar I recommend. This blog is hosted on the EasyWP NameCheap server and has been fine since 2015.
As of the time of writing this report, it only costs $2.18 for the NameCheap shared hosting server. Or you can get started with the Easywp managed WordPress hosting for only $1 for the first month.
See a list of our top web hosts picked in the table below, along with each web host trial offer and discount sale.
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What is a Domain Name?
If the words “domain name” and “hosting” are confusing, you don’t understand their meaning or purpose. Here is a short and clear understanding of the terms.
A domain name is “your chosen blog name.” Your blog’s URL address will be called or identified on the Internet.
This name is what people will type into their browser address bar to locate your blog homepage.
Call it a house address or phone book contact name.
What is Web Hosting?
In layman’s terms, hosting is the space or a parcel of land you will need to build your blog upon so it becomes visible on the Internet.
As a parcel of land is needed for a building, hosting is necessary for a blog/website.
I hope that’s clear.
If you need more information on this… don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m here to help.
Or you can read more on the differences between hosting and domain names on this page.
Installing a WordPress Blog on Your Domain
Here, I will assume you purchase hosting from NameCheap.
So, I will use the NameCheap cPanel to show how it’s done. Most hosting companies cPanel are the same or operate similarly.
After your purchase and order confirmation, you will receive a welcome message through the email address you entered during registration.
This welcome email message contains login information to your hosting cPanel account.
Here is what a typical NameCheap shared hosting cPanel looks like.
All the tools you need to build your blog are available in your cPanel.
Choose a WordPress Theme
The option you take here is for you to decide.
Use the free themes at the WordPress.org repository if you’re on a tight budget.
But if you know what you’re doing, want to be different and professional, and have the budget, I advise you to pick a premium theme such as Astra Pro.
Next, start designing your blog. As a beginner, you might struggle to settle for a WordPress theme.
While growing up as a blogger, I spent most of the first six months switching from one theme to another.
It is a beginner’s sickness; don’t get drowned in it.
Just pick up a theme and get along with it. As you grow older in blogging and internet marketing, you’ll discover your voice and find a theme that suits your needs.
Content is Blogging – Start Writing
Mostly, blogging is about creating helpful content that your audience loves reading.
If you’re not publishing the right content, your audience wants to read. Everything falls flat right from the gate, no matter how great your blog design is.
Learn how to write captivating words your audience will never ignore. The headline draws attention and invites clicks.
Writing is an art. The more you practice with it, the better you get at it.
Everyone fails the first time. So don’t be afraid if you’re not a good writer or have nothing to write about.
The more you read about your industry and get involved, the easier it becomes to put down amazing stories your audience will find helpful.
Imagine for a moment…
I was once a complete novice to Internet marketing some years ago before starting this blog in 2012. Look at me now, standing in front, teaching you how to start a blog.
You can achieve a lot if you’re ready to pay the price, burn candles at night, and take the risk.
Writing is all about creativity and experiences. Experiences come at the back of years of hard work, testing, errors, victories, losses, etc.
Everything is in the Marketing
The success of your online marketing is heavily tied to two things:
- Quality of Your Services/Goods
- Compelling Content Marketing Channels.
The two are needed to achieve significant results and earn decent money to handle your responsibilities. If one is lacking, the other will suffer and won’t yield the maximum expected results.
You need effective content distribution channels to market your helpful content regularly.
There is no one-size-fits-all here; your choice of distribution channels will vary. Depending on your blog topics and audience, Facebook and Twitter are the default options for most industries.
You must keep testing different communities to see where your audience gathered the most.
It is an ongoing exercise as there will always be a need to increase customer/reader databases.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
You can drive traffic to your blog or offer free at no cost if you’re ready to give it all that it takes (time and energy).
Alternatively, you can employ the services of traffic agencies that help with content marketing. This process involves money; you pay others to market your content.
If you have the money and resources, this route can quickly grow the blog’s popularity than trying to do it all yourself.
There are advantages you gain from marketing your content yourself. You learned a lot in the process. You know what works and what’s not. And in the future, it pays to teach others from your experience.
One piece of advice I want you to take to heart is this…
Don’t attempt to be everywhere marketing your content.
You’ll only get burned out quickly (especially if you do everything yourself). Spreading your marketing resources across too many advertising channels won’t help you grow faster.
Instead, concentrate on two or three marketing channels at most.
Put everything you have into making these marketing channels work for you. Test everything possible before moving on to another. Should, in case you can’t find your sweet spot over there.
At least give each marketing channel three to six months before deciding whether it suits you. And don’t waste time on traffic techniques that don’t yield a meaningful result.
If a traffic technique brings you the required result, continue doing it; if not, try another traffic tactic.
Track and Measure Your Progress
Something significant here is that you should always measure your progress with analytics tools like Google Analytics. It is free for you to use.
Don’t judge website traffic value by your instinct or imagination.
Don’t confuse vanity metrics such as a spike in traffic, blog comments (though they are valuable for some bloggers), page views, etc., with essential metrics such as return on investment – ROI – That’s what matters.
It doesn’t matter how many people subscribe to your newsletter daily, hundreds of comments on each blog post, millions of page views per day.
If you’re not making profits on your investment to get all these metrics to their level, you’re not in business.
Take a moment to read this article to learn some proven strategies to market your brand-new blog effectively without spending money on advertising.
Make Money From Your Blog
While the core focus for everyone who starts a blog is to make money from it, you’ll only make it if you provide valuable services and get plenty of relevant eyeballs on your blog.
You must cover many fundamental grounds and execute them correctly before money can be made from your blog. Money is a by-product of the value you offer your blog users.
If you offer no tangible value to your blog users, you’ll get no money in return – simple!
With that said, let’s explore a few ways you can monetize your blog for BIG money.
How to Make Money Blogging
- Affiliate Marketing.
- Sell Your Products and Services.
- Sell Advertising Space on Your Blog.
- Contextual Advertising – Google Adsense, InfoLinks, etc.
- Membership Sites.
Since you’re starting with this crazy thing called “blogging,.” I’m going to discuss two blog monetization methods:
These two are the most accessible and comfortable ways beginner bloggers can make money from their blogs.
The other listed blog monetization methods require expertise, experience, knowledge, resources, energy, time, and money to work out to give the best return on investment.
You don’t have these criteria now, so don’t worry about those monetization methods.
Let’s focus on these two: Affiliate Marketing and Contextual Advertising.
First, I suggest you start with contextual advertising companies like Google Adsense, Info Links, Bidvertisers, Adbrite, etc.
Don’t worry about the term “contextual” for now. You’ll get used to it as you grow in internet marketing.
What is Contextual Advertising?
For clarity, contextual advertising is a way of ads serving on a web page based on the page’s topic, user search phrase, keywords, etc.
It attempts to make ads serving on a web page more relevant to the user and encourage a higher click-through rate.
Your job as a content publisher is to provide valuable and engaging content for your blog users and drive massive traffic to your blog.
This type of blog monetization method heavily depends on traffic volume.
The more people visit your website, the more money marketing potential from contextual advertising.
Affiliate marketing is my favorite on the list.
Your job as an affiliate marketer is not to sell…No!
Your job as an affiliate marketer is to pre-sell the products or services to the customer. Write an honest review of the products or services on your website, email your list, make a special announcement, etc.
You get paid a predefined commission when a sale is made through your unique affiliate tracking ID. ShareASale is my favorite affiliate marketing company.
You will find over 4,000 relevant products and services to promote to your audience.
It is as simple as that!
Summary: How to Start a Blog
In this post, I have given you the information you need to start your blog on the right path to success.
If you follow the advice on this page, you’re one step closer to building your dream blog. Every tool mentioned here, I have used myself to build this very blog you’re reading.
So, what you’re given on this page is practical experience, not fiction.
Meanwhile, you can subscribe to the blog newsletter to avoid missing out on our future announcements. The sign-up form is hanging on the blog homepage or sidebar.
To your success.