Want to learn how to start a blog?
Well, of course, you do. Blogging is a great way to build your personal brand, establish authority in a niche, and build a large follower base.
Blogging can also help you earn money if you manage to get a decent amount of monthly traffic.
Irrespective of the end goal, most bloggers are happy with their decision to start a blog and think that blogging delivers real results.
Image via Orbit Media
So, if you want to join the bandwagon of successful bloggers, learn how to start a blog the right way using this post as your guide.
Ready to learn how to start a blog?
Let’s get started.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Start a Blog and Monetize It
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog. Follow this to start a blog that is successful and makes money.
Let’s get started.
1. Pick a Niche
The first and probably the most important decision you need to make is to choose a niche for your blog.
Why is it so important?
There are millions of blogs online, on every topic or niche possible. Some niches are extremely popular and have more competition than others, while some attract a specific audience segment.
You need to decide who your audience is and what kind of content you want to create.
- What am I passionate about and can create content on, consistently, without getting bored?
- Would anyone be interested in the kind of content that I want to create?
- Who will be my audience and what would they want to read?
- How much competition would I face and which are the popular blogs in my niche?
- Is the niche broad enough to create a regular stream of content and maybe even monetize the blog someday?
Before you learn how to start a blog, you need to pick what kind of blog you want to start and these questions will help you with that.
Your goal should be to strike a balance between:
- What you want to write about
- What your audience would want to read
- Whether you can get organic traffic and make money from it
Once you hit that sweet spot you’re ready to learn how to start a blog and move to the next step.
2. Choose a Blogging Platform
The best tip anyone can give you on how to start a blog is to choose your blogging platform carefully.
Your choice of blogging platform will determine:
- How your blog will look and feel
- How easy or difficult it is to customize it
- The kind of add-on features, plugins, etc. you can use
- Whether your blog is mobile-friendly or not
- And more!
You get why the choice of platform is important, right?
So, do your research and compare all the options carefully before you make your choice.
Here are some of the best blogging platforms that you can choose from:
How to choose among these top platforms?
Look at the features, pros, cons, and price of each to find the one that suits you best. Most people go with WordPress.org as it is free, but WordPress.com is more user-friendly and also wildly popular.
Image via WordPress
You can choose any of the other blogging platforms listed above, as well. Many of these blogging platforms offer both free and paid options, so there are plenty of options for you.
However, I recommend using a basic paid plan to start with, as it will be worth your investment with the additional features you will get.
The next step to start a blog is to choose a domain name and a web hosting solution. Find these in the next two sections.
3. Choose Your Domain and Blog Names
Before you start a blog, you need to decide on a name for it that perfectly reflects what it is all about. Also, you need to choose and purchase a domain name before you start blogging.
This is the part in this guide on how to start a blog, where you need to get your creative juices flowing.
Grab a pen and paper and start writing every name that you like for your blog. Do some research and see how others in your niche have named their blogs.
Once you have a whole list of ideas, do this:
- Remove all the names that are already taken by other blogs.
- Filter out the names that may sound cool but don’t represent your blog content.
- Get rid of all the names that are too complicated or too long to spell or remember.
Now you have a fine-tuned list of names that you can actually use.
How to select the final name?
Start by looking at available domain names related to your blog name. For example, my company name is Attrock and its domain name is www.attrock.com.
So, if your blog name is “Example”, you will find tons of available domain names ranging from www.example.com to www.example12345.org.
Your goal should be to choose the cleanest and shortest domain name, preferably the exact same as your blog name.
Look for available domain names for the names in your list on GoDaddy’s domain name checker.
Image via GoDaddy
You can also use other similar tools to see which domain names you can get for your chosen blog names.
How to make the final decision?
Choose the blog name for which you can get the best domain name and make sure it is the one that best represents your blog.
But, what if you don’t find any good domain names for your blog names?
Go back to brainstorming ideas and find a new set of names. This process can take some time before you actually get to start a blog, so be patient.
Here are some bonus tips on how to choose a domain name to start a blog/website:
- Give preference to a .com domain
- Don’t pick domains with numbers or hyphens in it
- Choose short, easy-to-spell, and clean domain names
Once you find a perfect domain name, the next step is to buy it.
Pro Tip:You can get a free domain with a good hosting provider, check out how in the next step.
4. Use a Good Hosting Solution
A domain name is like your address on the internet and web hosting makes it your own little corner of the internet.
Don’t worry! It really isn’t.
All you need to do is select a good web hosting provider (web host) for your blog to start a website and make your blog live. I recommend getting a Bluehost account as it is one of the best hosting providers and also gives you a free domain name.
Image via Bluehost
Bluehost hosting company offers great hosting plans but you can choose the basic plan when you’re getting started. Once you start a blog/website and it grows, then you can upgrade to a better hosting plan.
5. Select a Theme for Your Blog
When you start a blog, you need to make sure that it looks good and provides a good user experience.
How to do that?
Simply select a visually appealing and mobile-responsive theme for your blog. Almost all good website builders and blogging platforms offer free and paid themes that you can use.
Filter for blog-specific themes and take your pick. Here are some WordPress themes, for example.
Image via WordPress
These themes come with pre-designed options, so you can simply start using these as-is.
6. Customize Your Blog Design
The next step in this guide on how to start a blog is to customize your blog design and layout.
If you’ve selected a good theme, half the work is already done. Still, there are a few things that you need to do yourself.
First, choose the relevant plugins that you want to add to your blog. Most blogging platforms offer numerous choices of plugins that you can choose from.
Maybe you want to add a few widgets to your blog sidebar or link to your social media feeds. Plugins offered by blogging platforms can help you do that.
Here are some featured WordPress plugins, for example.
Image via WordPress
Simply choose the ones you find relevant and move on to other customization options. If you miss any plugin at this step, you can always add it later.
Next, add or remove pages and other design elements to customize your blog further.
Pro Tip: Use consistent fonts and colors throughout your blog to increase brand recognition.
7. Connect with Google Analytics
At this point, you are almost ready to start a blog.
But, before you start a blog make sure that you connect it to Google analytics.
It will help you monitor and assess your blog’s performance and traffic analytics regularly. This is not an essential step, but if you want to start a blog to make money, you need to monitor your performance.
Once you connect your Google Analytics account, move to the next step in this guide on how to start a blog.
8. Conduct Keyword and Topic Research
This guide on how to start a blog would be incomplete without the mention of keyword and topic research.
You can’t just start writing blog posts without a plan.
Start by searching for relevant keywords and topics in your niche and make a huge list of these, before you start writing blog posts for your blog.
Use a good keyword research tool like Semrush to do this. Simply type a primary keyword and it will give you a huge list of related keywords.
Image via Semrush
You can also use Semrush to find topics and content ideas. Use the “Topic Research” tool to find the top-ranking content on any keyword.
Image via Semrush
Use a mix of keywords and high-ranking content to choose a few topics to start a blog that is relevant to your audience. Use keywords while creating your content to improve SEO.
9. Start Creating SEO-Friendly Content
Now comes the fun part: content creation.
After all, if you’re learning how to start a blog, you have something to say and want to use your blog as a platform to create and share content.
You have a list of keywords and topics and all that is left is to create good website content.
How to do that?
Here are some quick tips on creating good content for your first blog post:
- Search a keyword on Google and see what type of content is ranking to find user intent.,
- Create high-value content that matches the search intent.
- Make your content scannable by using bullet points, subheadings, and different sections.
- Create and use lots of visuals to break the monotony of text content.
- Create different types of content pieces and experiment a bit to learn what your audience likes and dislikes.
Use these tips to create content liked not only by your readers but also by search engines, and start blogging.
10. Make an Editorial Calendar and Post Consistently
When you start a blog, you should have a clear plan of how many content pieces you plan to post in a week. You need to pick a frequency and be consistent.
This is where an editorial calendar can help you with your blogging.
Your editorial calendar should include:
- Posting date and time
- Content topic
- Primary keyword
- Content link (if ready)
- Type of content
- Any other relevant detail you want to add
Need an example?
Here you go.
Image via IMH
11. Promote Your Blog
You’ve learned how to start a blog and have successfully launched one.
Well, you need to promote your blog to enable your target audience to find it and read your content.
Wondering how to do that?
Here are a few tips:
- Share excerpts from your new blog posts as social media posts and add a link to the original post to drive social media traffic to your website.
- Use sharing buttons to let your readers share and promote your content.
- Guest post on authoritative websites and build backlinks to your website/blog.
- Answer HARO questions and participate in expert roundups to get more backlinks to your website.
- Talk about your blog and the latest posts on all the channels where you’re active.
Here’s an example from my company’s LinkedIn page, promoting my latest blog post.
Image via LinkedIn
12. Monetize Your Blog
The last step in this guide on how to start a blog is of course—how to monetize your blog.
My biggest tip on how to monetize your blog is to wait till you have a steady stream of traffic and a loyal audience. Build your audience first and then start thinking about making money.
How to do it?
Here are some tips on how to monetize your blog:
- Sell ad space on your blog/website.
- Write paid reviews and other sponsored posts.
- Promote affiliate links on your website to get commissions.
- Create tool listicles and get money for listing tools on top positions.
Here’s an example of an ad placed on a blog’s homepage.
Image via i am a food blog
Q1. How do you start a blog for free?
A. Follow the step-by-step instructions given in this guide on how to start a blog and simply choose free plans/trials of all the tools mentioned.
The basic steps will remain the same, only you can choose to go for free website builders and other tools. You can, for example, install WordPress, choose a WordPress theme, add WordPress plugins, etc. to start a blog for free.
Q2. Does it cost money to start a blog?
A. The only necessary investment to start your own blog is to buy reliable web hosting. But, you can choose to go for a free new domain and hosting using a free blogging platform like WordPress, if you want to start a blog completely free.
Starting a WordPress blog or a Blogger blog is a good way to go if you don’t want to spend money.
Q3. Is starting a blog worth it?
A. If you are passionate about a topic or niche and think you can consistently create content on that, then it is definitely worth it to start blogging. Use this post as your guide on how to start a blog.
Q4. How do bloggers get paid?
A. You can make money blogging by getting paid for ads, tool listings, sponsored content, and affiliate link promotions on the website. Once you start a blog, wait for it to generate enough traffic before you start monetizing it.
Q5. What type of blogs make the most money?
A. Any blog in a niche where you can find products to sell and affiliate partners can make money. Some popular blog niches include:
- Health & fitness
Take your pick and start blogging.
Q6. What percentage of blogs are successful?
A. There are different opinions and survey results on this. Some studies show that only 20% of blogs are successful while others insist that only 5% are really successful.
However, the good news for you is that the definition of success is subjective. If you start a blog and build a small but engaged community of readers, then it is a success in itself.
Q7. What type of blogs are most popular?
A. Food, lifestyle, travel, and marketing blogs are some of the most popular options for bloggers.
Q8. What are the basic steps to start a blog?
A. This guide on how to start a blog lists all the steps for bloggers. Here’s a quick list, for your reference:
- Pick a Niche
- Choose a Blogging Platform
- Choose Your Domain and Blog Names
- Use a Good Hosting Plan
- Select a Theme for Your New Blog
- Customize Your Blog Design
- Connect with Google Analytics
- Conduct Keyword and Topic Research
- Start Creating SEO-Friendly Content
- Make an Editorial Calendar and Post Consistently
- Promote Your New Blog
- Monetize Your Blog
Q9. How much do blogs make a month?
A. Blogs can realistically make a few thousand dollars a month, while really successful ones can make a lot more. So, learn how to start a blog to start a successful one and make enough money to quit your job.
Q10. How can I increase my blog traffic?
A. Promote your blog using the tactics mentioned in this guide on how to start a blog. Here are some that you can try:
Ready to Start Your First Blog?
This post is a complete guide on how to start a blog and monetize it. Use it as a reference to start a blog that drives traffic and helps you make money.
So, start creating content and winning your audience. Good luck blogging!
Need more help on how to start a blog? Feel free to share your questions in the comments section.