Have you been thinking of quitting your day job to start blogging full-time? If yes, this article is for you. We are here to help you learn everything about blogs to ensure that you make informed decisions before quitting your day job. In this guide, we are going to cover the steps that you need to take to start a blog and earn revenue. But first, let’s start with the basics.
Definition of a blog
A blog is a platform where fresh content is published frequently and is usually written in a conversational or informal style. Its goal is to attract readers and help the owner generate extra revenue. You can earn thousands of dollars from your blog. However, before this happens, you have to put in the work and time.
Should you start a blog?
Starting a blog is one of the best and easiest ways to launch a business and earn a few bucks on the side. The best part is, you can start it from any geographical location. You don’t have to be a professional web developer or writer. Plus, you don’t need to be experienced or possess any credentials to be successful in this field. You can start blogging regardless of your location, age, or experience and build a profitable business online.
Do you require technical experience?
You don’t have to have technical experience with blogs and websites to start one especially in 2021. Technology has advanced so rapidly that anyone can start a blog quickly and easily. In this post, we are going to cover all these steps to ensure that you create a successful blog.
Can you make money from blogging?
The majority of workers and employers have shifted to remote work. Therefore, you can pursue your blogging goals instead of a 9 to 5 job. Blogging is a profitable business with minimal startup costs. You don’t have to start blogging full-time. Part-time bloggers earn a lot of money from their platforms every year.
Depending on the type of blog you want to start and your goals, the startup costs of the blog range from $34.50 to $65.40. This covers all essential expenses such as web hosting. By reading this guide, you’ll learn about various blogging costs that should be eliminated or reduced if you are on a budget.
Starting your blog
Are you ready to take the leap and learn how to blog to create a real source of income? Let’s get started!
Name your blog and pick a niche
You need to start by picking a name and niche for your blog. Keep in mind that your blog’s name is the first thing your readers will see. Therefore, it should represent the topics that you’ll cover. You can think of something clever to call it such as the name of your business. The niche of your blog is the general area that your content will be focused around. Some great examples include food, travel, lifestyle, technology, or fashion to name a few. Including one or two words in your blog’s name that show what your content is about will be helpful for your readers in the future.
What if you can’t pick a blog name?
If no idea comes to mind for naming your blog, or the topics that you are going to cover, don’t wait for the right time. Just get started with what you have. Most people find clarity and purpose by taking action. If you spend the whole day trying to come up with a perfect idea for your blog, you’ll likely fail to realize this goal. You’ll find yourself as you take action.
What if the name you want isn’t available?
To start a blog, you’ll need a hosting company. The most popular hosting company in the world today is BlueHost. This platform allows you to choose your domain name. If the name you want is not available, don’t get caught in the trap of waiting till everything’s clear or perfect. Select the option to choose the blog’s name later. Once you’ve set up everything, you’ll have more time to think about what you want.
Can you change your blog name?
You can easily change your blog’s name whenever you want. All you have to do is buy a domain name that costs around ten bucks. Since your blog’s name plays a critical role in the success of your platform, it’s something that you can change later. Don’t let this hold you back.
Get your platform online
After coming up with a good name for your blog, the next step involves getting your platform online. This will be done for you by a web hosting company. You’ll get the chance to select your blogging platform and the payment plan that you’ll use to get your blog in the online space.
Web hosting definition
For other people to access your website on the internet, you require a host. The host keeps the files and of your website safe and secure and ensures that people can access your blog when they type in your URL or when they click on a link.
Cost of web hosting
Web hosting costs are quite low. You should expect to pay around five bucks every month to a hosting company like BlueHost which is one of the best in the world. Having a good hosting company is one of the best investments you can make to get started.
Choose your plan
You need to select a hosting plan. You need to choose the Choice Plus plan because it has Domain Privacy which will protect your confidential information from being published on other online platforms. You’ll find a lot of plans on the host’s website. Any of the plans that you choose will allow you to start your blog.
Create a BlueHost account
Start by filling in your confidential details such as your name and email address. You need to use the right email address because this is where the account information and login details will be sent. If you don’t want to type everything, you can sign in with your Google account.
Select your hosting package
This is where you’ll be required to choose a plan based on the price and period that you are willing to pay. BlueHost offers various options for you to pay in a span of one to five years. Organizations that offer monthly payments tend to charge more. Therefore, whichever plan you choose, the price will be perfect for starting your blog successfully.
The best pricing plan to start your blog with
Experts recommend beginners to go for the Prime 36 Month Price if they want to spend the lowest amount for pricing. Since low pricing for beginners applies to the first payment that you make, if you went for the one-year plan, pricing may rise after that. Choosing the 36-month plan will lock your price at a constant rate for three years.
Key in your billing information
Now, all you have to do is key in your billing information and click the checkbox to agree with the terms and conditions of BlueHost. Once you’ve done this, hit the Submit button. You should reward yourself for completing your first major step in starting this platform. Now, it’s time to move to the next stage that involves setting up and optimizing your blog.
Design your blog with a free theme from WordPress
After getting through the first phase of starting your blog, it’s time to have fun. There will be some friction when designing your blog. However, this process is not technical in any way. To help you understand this process, we are going to cover a few basic terminologies that you’ll come across on WordPress.
WordPress is the best platform to make money
Here are some WordPress terminologies that you need to understand to make the right decisions:
Content Management System
This is where you’ll be writing and designing your blog posts before you publish them. A good content management system is easy to use, allows you to upload videos and images, organize your content and control the looks of your blog. The best content management system at the moment is WordPress.
WordPress is one of the best content management systems in the world. The majority of successful bloggers use it every day to write and publish content. Blog statistics have shown that more than 60 percent of blogs run on WordPress. Some of the popular websites that use WordPress include TED, Forbes, NBC, and New York Observer to name a few.
Should you use WordPress?
While there are other content management systems that you can use to start your blog such as Blogger, Wix, Ghost, and Tumblr, starting a self-hosted WordPress blog is the most sustainable option. It’s not only free to use but it’s also worth considering if you want to start a blog to make money.
.COM or .ORG
When it comes to WordPress, there are two different platforms namely WordPress.com and WordPress.org. While they have a similar name, they are two different things completely.
- No plugins
- Limited choice of themes
- Limited technical control
- Limited free storage
- Pay to remove ads
- Plugins allowed
- Full customization of themes
- Full control of files and databases
- The choice to run ads
- Storage depends on the host
While you are the one to make a final decision on this, if you want to make the most out of your blog and generate revenue from it, you should go for WordPress.org.
Choosing a WordPress theme
Since you are new to the world of blogging; you should avoid buying WordPress themes immediately. You need to focus on increasing traffic to your site before making this investment. Going for a complex theme will distract you from your goal of attracting readers to your blog. WordPress comes with a lot of free themes that you can use anytime you want. Some of the best themes include Hello Elementor, Kadence WP, and Astra which can all be upgraded later.
What if you want to try other WordPress themes?
If you want to experiment with other themes when starting your blog, you should consider using this criterion:
- Simplicity: Most fancy themes end up sacrificing usability which is essential in the blogging world. Always prioritize simplicity in everything.
- Responsiveness: Responsiveness is all about ensuring that your blog looks great on a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Most people use their phones to surf and read blogs. If you aren’t sure whether your preferred theme is mobile-friendly, you should copy and paste the theme’s demo page on a mobile-friendly test from Google.
- Supports plugins: Plugins support your WordPress blog. Therefore, ensure that your theme supports all important plugins.
- SEO friendliness: Search Engine Optimization refers to how search engines like Google can find your content when people search for it. Some themes are so bulky that search engines have a hard time reading.
- Support: Problems will arise. When they do, you want to be assisted as soon as possible. Various free theme developers do not support their products. You need to keep this in mind when choosing a theme.
- Ratings and expert reviews: You need to focus on themes that have a good track record and a history of good ratings.
Design is essential when starting a blog
Even if the process of designing your blog doesn’t excite you, your readers will be highly influenced by the layout of your blog. A study conducted by the University of Basel and Google found out that the beauty of a website and its functionality was perceived by readers in less than a second. It takes less than a second for readers to decide whether they’ll read and trust your blog or not.
The design of your blog builds trust. Taking the time to design your blog shows that you care enough to make your blog look nice. This doesn’t mean that you have to include tons of colors and fonts or crazy animation. The best designs are usually clear, simple, and easy to understand. After choosing the right theme, you need to start thinking about your plugins. Plugins help you unlock a wide range of customizations and give your blog a real chance of generating revenue.
Essential plugins that you need to install
WordPress plugins play a critical role in the functioning of your blog. You need to get the most essential plugins as soon as possible to serve your audience properly and perform well on search engines like Google.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins to choose from. To help you save time and energy, here are the most essential WordPress plugins that you need to install to start blogging today:
- Yoast SEO: The more people who can find and read your content, the better your blog will perform. Yoast SEO plugin helps in optimizing blog posts, content length, and descriptions in your blog so that it can be found easily by search engines.
- WPForms: You want readers and other bloggers to get in touch with you so that you can boost your productivity and performance in the long run. WPForms plugin allows you to drag and drop your contact forms on any of your blog pages.
- WP Rocket: Fast websites perform well on Google and improves your readers’ experience. WP Rocket is a plugin that reduces the size of your files and ensures that your blog loads faster for your users.
- Google Analytics: This is a Google plugin that allows you to see all relevant data related to analytics inside WordPress. Connecting this plugin with your blog will help you know your visitors and how long they stay on your site.
Write the first blog post
We all read blogs because we care about the information they have. Creating strong content is all that’s required to drive traffic and help you start making money. You need to start by picking a niche before you start writing your blog post. If you don’t have a niche, think of your interests as a child, your goals, hobbies, or the achievements that you are proud of.
For your blog to generate revenue, you need to conduct extensive research to find out if there is demand for your niche in the market. To create a solid business, you need to solve real problems that people face.
Best ways to come up with clever ideas for your blog posts
Here is a simple process that you can use to come up with ideas for your blog posts:
- Look at what other bloggers are doing in your niche
- Look at the best posts and find out what readers like most about them
- Chat with other bloggers and brainstorm new ideas
- Talk about some of the most important lessons that you’ve learned
- Reflect on the blogging mistakes that you’ve done
Publish your blog post
After writing your first blog post which should be at least 1000 words, you should be ready to hit the publish button. However, before you do this, take a few minutes to double-check your work to ensure that it is SEO-friendly. If it ticks all the boxes, it’s time to hit the publish button.
There is never a right time to start blogging. Now is the best time to start. With the tips and recommendations that we’ve shared in this guide, you should be ready to get started!
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