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Starting a blog is one of the most powerful ways to make money online for one simple reason. THEY WORK!
I personally know people who are making it big online by blogs alone. A majority of them have even quit their 9-5 job and living the kind of life one could only dream about.
Now, you’ve decided to start a blog but you’re kinda stuck because you don’t know where to begin.
On top of that, there are millions of information on the internet for this topic and it’s confusing you BIG TIME.
I kid you not, it’s really tempting to quit when you’re too confused. (Don’t let that happen. NEVER!)
To your rescue, I’ve put together this super-helpful mini guide to show you how to start a blog and hopefully (If you stay true to the hustle) earn a consistent income out of it.
Before we start, here’s what you need to know:
- You don’t need to have writing skills like William Shakespeare. If you can write in English, that’s enough.
- You don’t need to know coding. A platform like WordPress makes it easy to setup a blog.
- You won’t be making money from day 1, so you need to have a jar full of patience.
Let’s get started.
1. Choose A Niche
The first step of starting a blog is – coming up with a niche.
“Urrm..What is a niche?” you might ask.
A niche is the topic of the blog which you’ll be writing about.
You could choose to write about food, fashion, gaining confidence or how about traveling guides? Pretty much anything.
There are two simple methods of brainstorming for choosing your niche.
- Niche based on your interest/passion
- Niche based on the profitability
Trying to come up with a niche can be overwhelming at times, especially when you’re stuck between your interest and profitability.
To make things simple, you need to make sure your niche has these three things:
A profitable niche should have a lot of problems and should be full of people searching for solutions. To no surprise, your blog should be the source of the solution.
For example, “weight loss” is one big problem-oriented niche. There are endless questions that may arise in people’s mind like –
“What kind of diet shall I follow?”
“Which supplements shall I take?”
“What all exercises shall I do that will help me flatten my tummy?”
That tells me “weight loss” is a frickin profitable niche.
“But how do I find out if my niche has problems or no?” you might wonder.
It’s simple. Use Quora.
Start by typing your niche-related keywords in the search bar. Here’s what “Pregnancy” shows:
These are all problems that the average person encounters in the “Pregnancy” niche. You need to make sure your blog provides the solutions to these problems.
Remember: The most profitable blogs are the ones that touches the pain-points of the readers.
#2 Enough Ways To Monetize
In my opinion, a niche qualifies as “profitable” when there are plenty of ways to monetize it. Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Are there enough products that I can promote as an affiliate? Start by checking on Amazon, ShareASale and ClickBank.
- Can I create and sell a product of my own related to my niche? Could be anything like an online course, an eBook or handmade stuff.
- Can I offer one-on-one coaching to people to solve their problems?
Once you know there are several ways to monetize the niche, you’re good to go.
#3 An Active Community
Once you find a niche that has “problems”, it is very likely that it comes with an active community as well because people would want to interact with others who share the same problem.
Start by checking on forums like Quora or on social media elements like Facebook groups.
Once you come up with a niche that has all 3 of the above points, you’re good to go.
2. Get A Domain Name & Hosting
First of all, what is hosting and a domain name?
Consider this: A hosting is basically an empty online house you can buy to store your blog’s data for a monthly/yearly fee. This helps people to find your blog online.
Without hosting, you don’t have an online presence. Which means, nobody can find your blog online.
A domain name is simply the name of your blog. I believe it needs no further explanation.
While purchasing a domain name you need to make sure it represents your niche.
Something that goes along well with what you’d be writing on your blog.
You can register your domain name along with your hosting provider. (I’ll explain that in a bit.)
Regarding hosting, there are hundreds of hosting companies out there but not every one of them is good enough.
An ideal hosting provider should offer features like – Pocket-friendly pricing, 24/7 customer support, great security, fast loading speed etc.
I use Siteground to host my blog and I LOVE IT. They’re the best hosting company out there for the following reasons:
- Keeps your blog super-fast
- 24/7 quality support that ACTUALLY knows how to solve things
- Affordable plans
- They’re officially recommended by WordPress
- Great security
- Free custom email accounts
- Free transfer from your previous host
- Free SSL certificate (Very important)
- Super-easy to use
Here’s how to get your hosting with Siteground:
Step 1: Head over to Siteground
Step 2: Click on “Reliable Web Hosting”
Step 3: Choose your desired plan
I am using their GrowBig plan which costs $5.95/month, but if you’re a new blogger, their StartUp plan for $3.95/month is all you need for now.
It comes with a 30-days money back guarantee so you can cancel it anytime if you don’t like their service. (But I am sure you’ll love them)
Step 4: Register a new domain or use your own if you already have
Step 5: Now fill all the required fields and select 12 months for the registration
Woohoo! You now have your own hosting and domain.
3. Install WordPress
WordPress is probably the best blogging platform out there so I recommend sticking with them.
Here’s how to install WordPress using the Siteground Wizard:
Step 1: Login to your Siteground hosting
Step 2: Once you’re logged in, you will see a popup asking if you want to “Start a new website”. Click on that and choose “WordPress”
Step 3: Fill out the login info such as email, username and password. This is the information you will use to login into your WordPress dashboard.
And we’re done!
4. Get A Theme And Necessary Plugins
Getting a premium theme is totally not a necessity when you’re starting out.
Most of the free themes come with limitations in terms of how much you can customize, but if you’re on a tight budget then it’s not too bad.
If in case you don’t want your blog to be limited in any way, then getting a premium theme is always worth the investment.
I recommend taking the Divi theme.
They’re highly customizable and a lot of bloggers use this. You can’t go wrong with this theme.
Talking about plugins, there are quite a lot of them but you don’t have to install every single one out there.
A lot of plugins slow down your blog, so you only need to install those which you REALLY need.
To make things easier, you can read my post 8 Best WordPress Plugins for Bloggers. These are the only plugins I am using on my blog.
5. Design A Logo
You don’t have to be a professional designer to make your own logo. In fact, you can design one using this AMAZING tool called Canva.
You can either choose from the wide range of logo templates or design one from scratch. It’s super easy to use.
If in case you don’t want to design one yourself, you can hire a freelancer at Fiverr.com to design an amazing logo starting at just $5.
Most of them offer unlimited revisions until you’re totally satisfied.
6. Publish Your First Blog Post
This is the most exciting part of this whole process.
Publishing your first blog post gets the ball rolling and it just gets easier from now on.
Here’s how to publish your first blog post on WordPress:
Step 1: Log into your WordPress Dashboard
To do this, simply head over to yourdomain.com/wp-admin. (Replace “yourdomain” with your actual domain which you purchased).
Now you’ll see a screen like this –
Go ahead and fill in your username and password.
Step 2: Once you’re in the dashboard, you can see a lot of options on the left. Click on “Add New” under the “Posts” tab
Step 3: Start writing your blog post
Fill in the title, body, add images, add bullet points, set a featured image, select category etc. Once you’re done with all that stuff, hit “Publish” or click on “Save Draft” if you don’t want to publish it right-away.
A good practice while writing blog posts is to check for grammatical errors.
If you’re like me who struggles with proofreading content, I recommend using a FREE tool such as Grammarly. It’ll automatically detect spelling mistakes and grammatical errors within mere seconds.
Clueless on what to write on your first blog post? Read how to get blog post ideas.
7. Add Important Pages
There are a few important pages you need to add to make sure your blog looks professional. Those are:
About me: Having a good “About me” page builds trust instantly. This is the place where your readers can know that you’re a real person behind the screen.
Contact: Once your blog starts to get traffic, brands might want to reach out to you for potential offers. You don’t want to miss out on those.
Privacy, Disclaimer and Disclosure: As a blogger this is VERY important because it is mandatory to inform your readers:
- How you collect their data knowingly and unknowingly.
- The information which you publish is for educational purpose only.
- How you make money from affiliate links.
Ignoring this might put you in huge trouble for not following the laws.
Now, unless you’re a lawyer, writing these pages yourself is not recommended.
That is why I highly recommend checking out this Legal Bundle by Amira.
She’s a lawyer who provides very affordable legal and business solutions for people like you and me, who needs the right direction.
With this bundle you can easily set up the legal pages for your blog in few minutes.
This is the exact process you need to follow to start a blog. However, this post covers only the basics of blogging.
There is a lot more to it like SEO, driving traffic, monetizing etc. To learn all of that step-by-step, head over to our Blogging Tips category and read our latest blogging tips.
Remember: You might make a lot of mistakes in the beginning, but that’s totally fine.
The goal is to make mistakes, learn from them and move forward.
Just make sure you’re having fun in the process.
Time to take action – Have you started your blog yet? Let me know in the comments. 🙂