So, how do you get started with blogging?
I’ve put together this step-by-step guide because blogging has no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to find what works best for you and your goals before anything else.
- What Is A Blog?
- Why Should You Start A Blog?
- Step by Step Process of Starting a Blog
- Step 1: Choose A Niche
- 1. Choose a niche that you can write about for a long time
- 2. Make sure your niche has an audience
- 3. Don't try to cover multiple niches
- 4. Know your audience.
- 5. Consider your experience and knowledge in the chosen alcove
- 6. Gauge your competition
- 7. Ask for feedback from other people in the industry
- Why is it better to choose a niche you are passionate about?
- Step 2: Choose A Blog Name
- 1. Keep it short.
- 2. Check out the top blogs in your niche.
- 3. Use your name.
- 4. Think of a blog name that best describes your blog content
- 5. Use Thesaurus and dictionary to brainstorm.
- 6. Make your blog name memorable
- 7. Check your blog domain availability
- 8. Why you should avoid specific niche names for your blog
- 9. Finally, Buy Your Domain Name
- Step 3: Choose A Blogging Platform
- Step 4: Choosing A Web Host
- Step 5: Customize Your Blog
- Step 6: Keyword Research
- Step 7: How to Write Content for a Blog
- What makes great content?
- Use tools like SurferSEO to optimize content
- Analyze the SERPs results to see what Google looks for
- Determine if the other websites are ranking with subtopics or subheaders and why you should include them too
- Identify Frequently Asked Questions about the topic and include them in the articles.
- Use the optimum content length.
- Create original content
- Add relevant images
- Finally, publish or schedule your first blog post.
- Build a content planner and publish content consistently
- Step 8: Promote Your Blog
- Step 9: Make Money From Your Blog
- Start a blog today and turn your passion into money!
- Is WordPress free?
- Squarespace Vs. WordPress For Blogging
- What do you need to start a blog?
- What makes a successful, profitable blog?
- Why do blogs fail?
- Does it cost money to start a blog?
- How do I choose a profitable niche?
- How do bloggers make money?
- How much money can I make starting a blog?
- How often should I publish content?
- How to start a blog for free?
- Are blogs dead?
What Is A Blog?
A blog is a website that contains a chronological series of articles or posts, typically displayed in reverse order. Each post entails some text and links to other posts within the blog.
You can use blogs for many purposes, including business promotion, personal branding, and general information sharing. However, the primary purpose of a blog is to provide content that readers find valuable or interesting enough to read.
The best blogs are written in an easy-to-understand style and offer valuable content people want to read. They're also updated frequently, so readers see fresh content whenever they visit the site.
Why Should You Start A Blog?
If you're a business owner and want to share your knowledge with the world, then blogging is the best way. It's also an excellent way to attract new customers and grow your business.
Here are some more reasons why you should start a blog:
1. Make Money From Home
Franklin Gillette says, “As the economy is shifting, you need to have legitimate and creative sources of extra income. There are opportunities available that people have been using for years now.”
You can make money from home by blogging about whatever interests you! The possibilities are endless regarding what kind of content people might want to read about on their blogs.
You could write about anything from parenting tips to travel reviews or even fashion advice! There's no limit as long as there's an audience for it (and there usually is).
If you look at the statistics, a blogger earns $19.59 per hour on average in the United States.
2. Make Money Remotely
The statistics show that 80% of employees would recommend their friend to work remotely. And blogging is a great way to make money remotely. All you need is an internet connection and a passion for writing.
For example, Sireesha Narumanchi, founder of Crowdworknews.com, started her blog as a side hustle. Her blog helps remote workers find legit online jobs, side hustles, and additional income sources.
Her side hustle blog is now flourishing and bringing her five figures monthly.
And there are several ways to make money blogging, including affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and advertising revenue.
3. Share Your Expertise
Blogging allows you to share your knowledge with others and build credibility in your industry. Even if you're not well known, blogging will help you become more visible online and build relationships with other bloggers and readers.
LivingWellSpendingLess.com is an excellent example of a blog that shares expertise. The blog is owned by a high-profile blogger, Ruth Soukup, who not only earns from her blog but utilizes it to help people achieve financial freedom.
4. To Generate Passive Income
Passive income is money you earn while doing something else. For example, if you own a rental property and someone rents it out for you, that is passive income because you are not actively working on it at that moment in time. It just generates money for you when you aren’t working on it.
Blogging is a great way to generate passive income. You just have to find the right niche, create content people want to read, and then promote it via social media and other channels.
For example, Pat Flynn, who has a blog that earns him $200,000 yearly online, was an architect by profession, but he was fired from his job during the worldwide financial crisis.
He started his blog to store notes while studying for the LEED exam. However, the blog took off as many people searched for the information.
Eventually, he released an ebook of his blog posts that made him six figures yearly. He launched another blog called Smart Passive Income and started promoting affiliate products. Later on, he began creating and selling iPhone apps.
5. Build a Community
Blogging is a great way to build a community around your brand. You can use it to share interesting content that people will find valuable and as a place for your audience to interact with you.
By blogging regularly, you’re giving potential customers a reason to visit your site and find out more about what you have to offer them.
Blogger Darren Rowse is an excellent example of someone who knows how to build a community around his blog.
He has two successful blogs that are entirely separate from each other – problogger.net focuses on blogging, while he has another blog that focuses entirely on photography. As a result, he’s able to build a community for both of these passions.
Step by Step Process of Starting a Blog
Step 1: Choose A Niche
There are millions of blogs out there, but they all cover different topics. That’s why you need to choose the niche that you want to focus on in your blog.
A good rule of thumb is to pick something you're interested in or know about. If you can't find anything that fits this description, consider broadening your horizons by selecting multiple related topics instead of just one. For example, if you love gaming but don't know much about programming, consider writing about both topics on your blog instead of just one.
Here are some more tips on choosing a niche:
1. Choose a niche that you can write about for a long time
Choosing a niche that you can write about for years is essential. To make money writing, you need to sustain your income over time. This means that your niche needs to be something that interests you and will continue to engage in the future.
A great example of a blog doing it right is Nerd Fitness, a blog offering health and fitness advice to a specific audience, i.e., self-proclaimed nerds.
To spice things up, they use pop culture references in the articles and encourage subscribers to stay active by involving in fun events.
2. Make sure your niche has an audience
If you're creating a blog or website about something no one cares about, there's no point in doing so. You also have to have a good idea of what sort of things people would want to read about based on your knowledge of the industry and what other similar sites offer – otherwise, you're going in blind and hoping for the best!
For example, here are some of the highest-earning blogging niches:
- Personal Finance
How else do you know if there's an audience for your niche? You need to do some research.
Here are some tips to help you decide if your niche has an audience:
- Check social media groups and forums
- Look at blogs and websites
- Find out what people are saying on Google
- Search for niche-related terms on Google Trends
3. Don't try to cover multiple niches
Will you cover technology, fitness, photography, or something else?
It's easy to say, "I'll write about everything", but that won't work. You need to have a specific focus for your blog so people can know what they can expect from you when they visit it.
For example, if your audience is tech-savvy, it doesn't make sense to read about how much money people make with their blogs or how many views they get each month. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone with everything, just focus on one type of content at a time and see what works best for you.
For example, Vincent and Dan, SEO experts and service providers generated over $690,000 in under two years by creating a single niche site.
4. Know your audience.
Knowing your audience will help you determine where your content fits in best.
Ask yourself, "Who do I want to help?"
A great way to do this is by asking yourself who your ideal client would be if they were sitting right in front of you.
Who are they? What do they like? What do they want? Where do they hang out? Once you know who they are, it's easier to find them.
Further, focus on questions like:
- What qualities would they have?
- What could they do with their lives if they had the proper knowledge or information?
- What problems do they have?
- Who do they want to become?
For example, if you know your target audience loves cooking recipes and cooking tips, creating a food blog would be a good move for you.
On the other hand, creating a political blog would be more suitable for them if they are interested in politics and current events.
Here are some tips on how to identify your audience:
- Do some research and find out what makes them tick. This will help you understand their needs and wants better.
- Ask around and get feedback from friends, family members, employees, and even potential readers.
- Look at your website traffic and social media accounts. What kind of people is visiting and engaging with your content? It will help you narrow down your target market.
5. Consider your experience and knowledge in the chosen alcove
If you have experience in a specific industry, you can use that knowledge to your advantage by creating an online business or blog based on that topic.
For example, if you have experience as an accountant and want to start an online business, you could create a website about accounting tips and strategies.
For instance, Shauna Reid’s blog records her journey about how she lost weight. On her About page, she writes about how her self-esteem was affected by her weight and how she struggled with depression.
After a period of steady growth, she landed a book deal and published “The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl: A Memoir.” Today, she still writes her blog and offers e-courses.
6. Gauge your competition
The easiest way to look at your competition is using Google's keyword planner tool. This will give you an idea of how many people are searching for the keywords you're considering, how much competition there is, and what the average cost per click is.
You can also use Google Trends to see which pages are getting lots of traffic.
For instance, Spyfu will give you a complete traffic analysis, uncover your competitors’ top SEO & PPC strategies, compare domains, and more.
After that, consider whether you see a pattern. Are there common themes or topics in your niche? If you see a lot of blogs covering similar topics, it's probably because there's an audience for it. That's good news for you, meaning there's already interest in that subject, and you can ride the wave of popularity.
If you don't see any common themes or topics among your competitors, that doesn't mean you can't succeed. It just means that there isn't much overlap between the different blogs' topics — each blog has its unique perspective on things.
In this case, it might be better for you to focus on building a strong voice rather than trying to cover every possible topic related to your niche (just like how I've done with this blog).
7. Ask for feedback from other people in the industry
Ask other people in the industry for input on what they think your blog should be about. If there's anything you want to write about, ask them if they would find it helpful or interesting. Or ask them if they know anyone who would find it helpful or interesting.
This gives you an idea of what people want from blogs, which will help narrow down your options when choosing one.
You can ask other bloggers or marketers directly on Twitter or Facebook.
Here’s an example of a Facebook public post that you might want to have a look at:
Alternatively, if you have an extensive email list (from another business), ask them what they'd like to see more of on your blog.
Why is it better to choose a niche you are passionate about?
If you want to be successful in blogging, you must choose a niche that you love.
When you’re passionate about something, it’s much easier to write about it. It will show in your writing if you start writing about something you don’t care about.
If you are passionate about your blog niche, it will be much easier for readers to connect with what you have to say.
Choosing a niche that is interesting to you can also help you build an audience of like-minded people who are interested in what you have to say. This makes building connections and relationships easier since they already share an interest with you!
Step 2: Choose A Blog Name
Choosing a name for your blog is one of the first steps of starting an online business. It's a good idea to make sure that you choose something that fits your brand, conveys the right message, and is easy to remember.
Here are some tips on how to choose a blog name:
1. Keep it short.
You want your visitors to be able to remember your blog name easily. They will have trouble remembering if it's too long or complicated.
You want to say the name of your blog in one breath so that people can easily remember it. You also want it to describe what your blog is about clearly — if that changes over time, the name should be flexible enough to evolve with you.
2. Check out the top blogs in your niche.
The easiest way to develop ideas is by seeing what other bloggers do.
Check out the top blogs in your niche and see how they're named. Are they using their names or company names? Do they use numbers or something else? What words do they use?
When naming your blog, researching other blogs will help you understand what works and what doesn't.
3. Use your name.
If you use your real name, people will know that they can trust what they read on your blog. You won't have to worry about them thinking that you're saying something because nobody knows who wrote it or that you're being paid by someone else to say something nice about their product or service. If they see that this is your opinion, they'll be more likely to take it seriously and share it with others.
For example, many well-known bloggers like Adam Enfroy, Ryan Robinson, and Neil Patel have grown their blogs by building a personal brand around their names.
Pro Tip: If you're using your name for your blog, you'll want to make sure that it's easy for people to find online. An excellent way to do this is by creating a website that includes all your social media accounts (like Facebook and Twitter pages), links to your blog, and any other websites that refer visitors back to it.
4. Think of a blog name that best describes your blog content
Think about what your blog is about. Is it about traveling? Fitness? How-to guides? Once you have an idea for your blog, try to use that as inspiration for your name.
Think about what questions people might ask if they were searching for your blog on Google or other search engines. What keywords would you want them to use? These are probably good candidates for your blog's name.
For example, if you're blogging about travel, then include words like "travel" or "trip" or "vacation" in the title of your blog post. Think of these as search terms — they'll help people find your content when they search for similar subjects online!
Take Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” blog, for instance:
This blog is about personal finance and money-building tips. The name is straightforward, clear, and perfectly aligns with the blog content. It explains the blog in one sentence, which is very important for SEO purposes.
5. Use Thesaurus and dictionary to brainstorm.
Thesaurus is a great tool that helps you find synonyms for words used in your content. You can use it to find other words related to your niche or keywords. The same goes for dictionaries, which can help you find antonyms of keywords used in your content.
Here’s how a thesaurus and dictionary can help you brainstorm blog names:
- Brainstorm a list of words related to the topic of your blog. For example, if you are starting a fitness blog, you can use words like health, body, exercise, etc.
- Include synonyms of these words as well. So, if you have listed ‘exercise’ in your list, add ‘physical activity as well.
- Use Thesaurus to find alternative words for these words that are related to your blog but might not be what you want for the name.
Take Target, for instance. You will see the word bullseye if you search the word target in a thesaurus. No wonder Target’s blog is named A Bullseye View.
Target has used a word related to its brand so that its blog stays on brand.
6. Make your blog name memorable
When you're starting a new blog, it's helpful to choose a name that is memorable and easy to spell. You want people to be able to find your blog by searching for it on Google, so choose something easy for the search engines to understand.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure that your blog name contains keywords that people might search for when looking for information on your topic(s). For example, starting a food blog about Italian cooking, something like "My Italian Kitchen" would be better than "My Kitchen."
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a memorable name for your blog:
- Make it simple and easy to pronounce.
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Avoid using numbers or symbols (this may seem obvious, but I've seen some oddball choices out there).
- Don't use any words that could confuse readers or be construed as offensive or inflammatory (i.e., "Trumpet Gamer" would be better off as "Gamer").
Pro Tip: Combining unrelated words can give you memorable names. For instance, The Dancing Furniture is a memorable name for an interior design blog. Or The Laughing Camera is perfect for a photography blog.
7. Check your blog domain availability
Before choosing a blog name, make sure it's available as a domain name. Many bloggers choose names that sound like something else because they don't realize their chosen name is already taken by someone else.
To check your domain name availability with Domain.com, go to their site and enter your keywords or phrase.
Once you hit the “Search” button, you’ll see whether or not the domain is available for registration.
The tool will show different combinations if the domain is unavailable to help you brainstorm and find a unique name.
8. Why you should avoid specific niche names for your blog
Don't go too narrow when choosing a niche name for your blog!
Why it’s not a good idea to choose a specific niche name for a blog vs. something broader:
- You might write about more than one topic – no one likes an inconsistent writer! You might find that as time goes on, you have more than one interest or topic you want to write about on your blog. If your blog name is too specific, this could be problematic because it won’t allow for flexibility in content creation.
For instance, take the blog name Hot for Food by Lauren Toyota. It is a companion to the YouTube channel she created, which has the same name. The blog name goes well with its cooking niche.
The blog name is broad, leaving room to grow her brand outward. In the future, if she decides to launch a cookware line, Hot for Food would still be relatable.
- It’s hard to find a good domain name for a specific niche - To rank well on Google (or any search engine), you need backlinks from other websites that mention your website name in their content (especially if those backlinks come from sites that already rank well).
If your blog has a particular niche name, it will be difficult for others to create content about your topic and link back to your website because they might not know how many people would be interested in it!
9. Finally, Buy Your Domain Name
Based on your blog name, it’s time to buy a domain name.
There are many different types of domain names you can purchase. The most common are:
- .COM (for commercial) - This is the most popular extension. It is also the most expensive, but for a good reason. The .com extension is recognizable, easy to use, and has excellent search engine optimization (SEO).
- .NET (for network) - This extension is similar to .com in that it is easily recognizable and popular with search engines. However, it is more affordable than .com domains—an excellent alternative for when you want a shorter domain name without sacrificing SEO or brand recognition.
Other popular extensions are .org, .edu, etc.; however, many others have been introduced over the years. You have to pick one that aligns the most with your goals and brand.
Now that you've decided on a domain name, you're ready to buy it. But where do you go? There are plenty of options out there.
Here are some significant players in the industry:
- Network Solutions
Step 3: Choose A Blogging Platform
What makes a good blogging platform?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a platform, including:
- Functionality: You must ensure your chosen platform has all features you need. How easy is integration with other platforms? Video support? Can you add custom plugins? Will scale?
- Ease of use: If you're spending a lot of time writing blog posts, you need something simple and intuitive. The last thing you want is for it to get in the way of your writing!
- Costs: Blogging platforms vary widely in price; some are free while others charge per month or year. Some have premium plans with additional functionality or support options - but these can cost extra too!
- Security: It's essential to consider your chosen blogging platform's safety - not only from hackers trying to gain access but also from potential legal action if things go wrong!
- SEO: It has built-in SEO features that make it easy to optimize your blog for search engines.
- Monetization: It offers the ability to monetize your blog through advertising or affiliate programs.
- Mobile friendly: If people can't find your blog on their phones or tablets, they may never visit.
- Customization: Some platforms offer more customization options than others do. You can choose exactly how your blog looks and feels by selecting a platform that offers customization options such as themes, plugins, or widgets.
Best Blogging Platforms Available.
Here's a look at some of the most popular blog platforms:
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, with over 60% of all websites using it as their content management system (CMS).
This is another popular option among bloggers because of its robust features and flexibility in customization. WordPress offers thousands of themes and plugins designed by professionals so that you can create whatever design you want for your website without having any technical knowledge about coding or designing websites.
Moreover, WordPress allows you to use widgets that give extra functionality to your websites, like social media links, contact forms, etc., which will let visitors interact with you directly on your blog page rather than through email links or phone numbers.
It is one of the most popular blogging platforms because of its ease of use and affordability. With Google’s support, Blogger has become one of the most reliable free platforms available on the internet. Since Google owns it, it has many attractive features like Google AdSense integration, SEO-friendly URLs, etc.
Moreover, since it’s free and easy to use, even beginners can start their journey as bloggers without technical knowledge about coding or designing websites.
Other than these two, here are some of the major blogging platforms you can try:
Why WordPress is the best for content blogging
There are several reasons why WordPress is the best platform for content blogging. Here are some of the main ones:
- Easy to use – There’s no need to be a tech expert in WordPress, which makes it ideal for beginners. The interface is intuitive and very easy to use.
- Free to use – You don’t have to pay anything to start with WordPress. It’s free and open source. You can switch to paid themes as you scale your blog.
- Lots of plugins – With so many plugins out there, you can customize your site any way you want without hiring a developer or designer.
- WordPress is cross-platform compatible – Whether you want to create a blog on your laptop or smartphone or upload photos from your desktop computer or mobile device, WordPress will work perfectly with all of them.
- It has a massive community of experts around it – Thousands upon thousands of bloggers have been using WordPress since it was first launched. They share tips, tricks, advice, and best practices via social media like Twitter and Facebook and in forums like ProBlogger.
Step 4: Choosing A Web Host
What is a web host?
A web host is a company that provides the technology and resources for you to build and maintain your website. Some hosts offer free sites with limited storage and bandwidth and free email accounts.
When you're ready to buy a domain name, you'll need to sign up with a web hosting service. A domain name is the name of your site, such as www.example.com. It's how people find you online.
The hosting service will provide all of the technical infrastructure required to run your website — things like servers, bandwidth, backups, security, and so on. All you need to do is upload your files via FTP (File Transfer Protocol), which most hosts allow you to do directly from their control panel interface (where you manage all your account settings).
What makes a good web host?
A good web host will have the following features:
- Reliability - A good web host is reliable. It has redundant systems so that if one goes down, another kicks in immediately. It also has a good uptime record and offers 24/7 support.
- High performance - A good web host provides high-performance websites. This means that it doesn't put your site at risk by overloading it with excessive resources such as processor time and memory.
- Customer service - A good web host provides excellent customer service. This includes fast response times to queries and issues and an easy-to-use billing system.
- Security - A good web host should have security measures to protect your site against hackers, malware, and other threats. They also need to be able to recover quickly if something happens.
- Speed - Users expect websites to load quickly, so your host must have a fast server. This means they can handle high traffic levels without slowing down or crashing your site.
Why I recommend Cloudways and Kinsta.
Many choices exist if you're looking for a new WordPress hosting plan. I've used a lot of different hosts over the years and have found Cloudways and Kinsta to be the best options for most bloggers – with Cloudways coming at the top.
Cloudways Key Features
Cloudways (PaaS - Platform as a service) is a managed cloud hosting solution that offers businesses to build and run their web-based solutions on a secured server.
The best part about Cloudways is that you don’t have to deal with cPanel or command lines for installation. It comes with simple 1-click settings, automated one-click backups, and an intuitive interface, which makes it easier for beginners.
It also provides one-click installation for WordPress and WooCommerce, making it a top choice for bloggers.
Some of its key features include:
- Clouldways creates regular backups of your web application and stores cache to ensure faster performance.
- With its three levels of support, you can solve all your hosting issues.
- It also offers regular security patching with all its plans. Moreover, you can also get its enterprise add-on security to gain protection against hackers and DDoS attacks.
Source: Knowledge base
Here are other products you get with Cloudways:
- Cloudways offers managed WordPress hosting from some top SaaS providers, including DigitalOcean, AWS, Google Cloud, Vultr, and Linode.
- Its WordPress hosting solution comes ready to serve individuals, eCommerce businesses, agencies, and SMBs.
- It uses SSD disks to ensure faster speed and reliability.
- They use Varnish, Memcached, and Redis cache mechanisms to manage heavy, dynamic websites.
- They use Apache and NGINX web servers to enhance the site performance and PHP-FPM and MySQL/MariaDB databases.
- You can switch seamlessly between PHP 5.6 and the latest versions of PHP 8.0.
- It also secures your websites and web applications with firewalls, SSL certificates,
- Two-factor login authentication, IP whitelisting, isolated applications, and a built-in database security system.
- It also offers WordPress migration, done by its team without cost. For later, users can get the Cloudways-built WordPress migrator plugin.
The best part? It offers pay-as-you-go plans, meaning you only pay for the resources you use.
- Cloudways Web Hosting Affiliate Program helps you earn high payouts and lifetime commissions in three simple steps – Join, promote, and earn.
- You can choose between the slab and hybrid programs.
- You get dedicated affiliate managers, tracking systems, performance reporting, and custom promotion offers.
Besides these, Cloudways also offers Magento Hosting, PHP hosting, eCommerce hosting, Laravel hosting, Reseller hosting, Managed Amazon Cloud, Managed Google Cloud, Managed Linode, Managed Vultr, Managed DigitalOcean, and Agency Partnership Program.
Cloudways pricing plans start from $12/mo – with features like 1GB RAM, one core processor, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.
They go up to $1035/mo – with features like 192GB RAM, 32 core processor, 3840GB storage, and 12TB bandwidth.
All plans include 24/7 support, free SSL certificate, free migration, Cloudflare add-on, unlimited app installations, 24/7 real-time monitor, dedicated firewalls, automatic backups, security patching, SSH & SFTP access, and more.
Kinsta Key Features
Kinsta is a hosting platform that allows businesses to run websites, enterprises, and online shops with its secure servers. Its server-level caching helps businesses and bloggers achieve high-speed performance.
Some other key features include:
- It creates automatic backups and isolates your applications from DDoS attacks. It also offers a free SSL certificate in all its plans.
- You can avail chat support in 5 different languages.
- It automatically allocates required resources to each site.
- It also comes with a Dashboard where you can analyze visits, disc space, and more.
Here are the different hosting types you get with Kinsta:
Managed WordPress Hosting:
- Kinsta uses GCP’s premium tire network, C2 virtual machines, and 34 data centers to maximize site performance.
- It also provides enterprise-level DDoS protection, GCP’s IP-based protection firewall, Cloudflare’s web application firewall, and Cloudflare-powered CDN to give its customers the highest level of security.
- It also provides a free local development tool, APM tool, server-level caching, backups, and migration services.
- Kinsta offers you WordPress multisite setup with Cloudflare integration. Cloudflare protects against DDoS attacks, a free CDN, an SSL certificate (automatic), and wild card support.
- It also provides a Dashboard where you can get an overview of all your website and manage performance.
- Through Dashboard, you can map domains, label sites, and manage your site users.
- It also offers premium add-ons such as Nginx Reverse Proxy, Redis, Automatic Backup Options, and Scaling of Visits and Disk Space.
Other Kinsta products include Agency Hosting, Enterprise Hosting, WooCommerce Hosting, Secure Hosting, and Hosting for Publishers.
Kinsta’s starting plan costs $35/mo – This includes 1 WP installation, 25k visits, 10GB disk space, free SSL, CDN, Staging, and migration.
Final Web Hosting Choice: Cloudways!
I recommend Cloudways over other hosting platforms because it offers more or similar features than its counterparts at the same price tag.
For instance, while Kinsta’s starting plan costs $35 per month, Cloudways starts at $12/month with features like 1GB RAM, one core processor, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.
This makes it a suitable option for bloggers and small businesses.
Here are some more reasons to pick Cloudways over other web hosting options:
- Cloudways setup is easy and quick.
- It offers maximum uptime among all its competitors.
- Cloudways offers extensive security options.
- It offers multiple plans at various price levels – so every type of business or blogger has something to pick from.
- All plans include free SSL certificates, free migration, and security.
- It offers multiple hosting clouds, such as DigitalOcean, Amazon, Google, and more.
Step 5: Customize Your Blog
The Importance of a Good Blog Post Design
You've probably heard the saying "dress for success." The same is true for your blog – people won't take it seriously if it looks unprofessional and doesn't have a good design.
If you look at statistics, 38.5% of web designers say that outdated design is a top reason why users leave a site.
The following stats are also worth taking note of before you start customizing your blog:
- 80% of consumers think color can increase brand recognition
- 52% of shoppers did not return to an online store because the site wasn’t visually appealing
The design of your blog reflects how you want potential customers to view your business. It should be functional and reflect your business's personality and values.
Here are some quick tips to help you create a good blog post design:
Use a clean and straightforward layout.
Using a clean and straightforward layout when designing your blog posts is essential. A cluttered blog design will distract readers from reading your content. A clean layout gives more importance to text and images without distracting them with unnecessary elements like advertisements or social media buttons.
If you take Help Scout, a company that offers customer service software, their blog showcases a unique yet minimalist design.
They don’t clutter their blog with excess copies and visuals. Instead, they embrace white space. Also, notice the use of featured images for all posts. They also use one with a banner at the top to highlight a new or popular post.
Use images that complement your content.
Images are essential in creating an impression about your post in readers' minds. Using images that complement your content will help readers understand what you have written better than just text alone can do.
You can also use icons or illustrations to make it easier for readers to navigate your post by breaking up long paragraphs into smaller chunks with subheadings, bullet points, or numbered lists.
Clutter distracts from the main content of your posts (the actual words), making them harder to read and understand. Try using white space between paragraphs instead of adding unnecessary images or boxes around them. Less is more!
Some Themes Options (Both Free and Paid)
If you are looking for a new theme for your blog, here are some options to consider. I've included both free and paid themes so you can find something that suits your needs and budget.
Free themes options
Some paid options
Choosing a free WordPress theme is best if you're just starting with blogging. If you’re using a WordPress blog, you’ll get the option to choose from various free WordPress themes.
Upgrade later when you've gained more experience with blogging if you want additional features or more control over your site’s design.
Some Static Content Pages Your New Blog Should Have.
The about page is where you can tell people more about yourself, your goals with your blog, and why they should be reading it.
Your About page should personify your organization while telling your story. You should also state your values, goals, and journey to give a human touch to your blog.
If you look at the case study of Tomedes, an online translation service and language service provider (LSP), they were able to increase conversion rates by 13% after they gave their "About Us" page a makeover.
Before making these changes, their content was self-focused and dull. Now it’s colorful and dynamic, with clear information about their company.
Also, note that after a company’s homepage, 52% of visitors say they want ‘About Us’ info.
These include the phone number, email address, and postal address at the very least, but if there are other ways people might contact you (such as social media or live chat), these should also be included on this page. You'll want this because building trust with your readers is essential.
As per stats, 44% of visitors will leave your site if they don’t see contact info or phone number.
WPForms contact us page is an excellent example of a contact us page for small businesses:
They have split the above-the-fold section of their contact us page into two sections – one for existing customers and the other for presale inquiries.
They hide the contact form by default and display it only when you click the ‘Complete a Form’ button. It not only reduces the page size but helps them segment people quicker.
Also, notice the CTA link to join the WPForms VIP Circle at the bottom of the page.
Privacy policies are a legal requirement for most sites online. Still, they're also important because they help build trust with readers by showing them that you're abiding by laws and taking their privacy seriously.
- It is required by the law.
- It is required by third-party services that you might use, for instance, Google Analytics.
- People care about their privacy
- It increases transparency
Term of service page
You need a term of service page to:
- Prevent abuse
- Own your content
- Terminate accounts
- Limit liability
- Set the governing law
Here’s an example of a term of service page from Barnes and Nobles stating that it has the right to terminate accounts:
And in the example below, Walmart states that the company reserves the right to cancel an order:
Affiliate disclosure page
Having an affiliate disclosure page is required by the US Federal Trade Commission if you receive product endorsements on your site.
Here’s an example of an affiliate link disclosure:
Step 6: Keyword Research
What is keyword research
People type keywords into search engines to find what they’re looking for. For example, if I was looking for a blog about cooking, I might type “how to cook chicken” into Google.
Keyword research is an integral part of starting a blog. It helps you figure out what people are searching for, so you can create content that answers their questions.
Why is keyword research important
Keyword research lets you determine what people search for on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You can then use this information to help optimize your site and increase traffic.
Keyword research will help you better understand what people are searching for online and how your blog can fit into that market.
If you don't do keyword research, you will be stuck in the same place with no growth. You'll always be trying to figure out what to write about next, which can be stressful and frustrating.
Simply put, keyword research helps you produce based on data – content that your target audience is searching for – instead of writing random topics.
For instance, Denmark’s first major online bookstore wished to know more about its customers’ wants and needs.
Thus, they sent targeted emails based on their site behavior. They tracked individual customers’ behavior and sent automated emails based on their interests.
The result? The opening rate increased by 290%, the click rate increased by 12%, and their conversion rate increased by 80%.
That’s not all. They created customer profiles using integrated data, which helped them define the customer journey and personalize the online content according to their customer's online behavior.
And this is what keyword research is all about!
Writing about things your target audience wants to read.
How to do keyword research
The first step in keyword research is finding long-tail keywords: phrases with three or more words that are very specific to your topic.
For example, if you're blogging about how to grow tomatoes, a short-tail keyword would be "grow tomatoes." But a long-tail keyword would be "how to grow tomatoes indoors."
When you do keyword research, you want to find as many long-tail keywords as possible. The more specific your keyword phrase is, the easier it will be for readers to find your blog posts without wading through pages of irrelevant results.
There are many ways to do keyword research – including using Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, BuzzSumo, and Ahrefs.
For your reference, let’s talk a bit about how to find topic opportunities and do keyword research with SEMRush.
SEMRush is a powerful tool for keyword research, competitor analysis, and rank tracking. It's one of the most popular SEO tools out there.
You can start with SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool – a keyword research tool that lets you quickly find the best keywords for your content. The tool provides keyword suggestions and recommendations, plus it displays the number of searches per month and competition level for each of these keywords.
Enter a seed keyword (the one word related to your niche that interests you) into the “Enter word or phrase” box. Start with something broad if you don’t know what this word or phrase should be. For example, cat food:
The “Search” result will include a list of related keywords and their monthly search volumes, competition levels, and more. You can use this information to determine which keywords best suit your website's content marketing strategy (or any other purpose).
You can also use advanced filters to narrow down your search.
You can also tap into the Keyword Overview report to identify keyword difficulty to be able to rank higher for your keyword.
SEMRush’s Topic Research tool can be used to find topic opportunities.
In the image below, the user has viewed the topic ideas related to coconut oil in the “Card” view. He has then chosen “Topic Efficiency” as the priority to classify the ideas by volume and difficulty.
With Semrush, you use the drill-down process to identify content topics with search potential. When you Click a Card, you will get additional ideas, mostly in question format. You can also learn about the volume of the idea and how difficult it is.
Keyword research can be tricky, but here are some tips that may help.
1. Find low keyword volume topics
Finding low keyword volume topics is the first step in content marketing. The goal is to create content that has a long tail of search traffic and drives qualified leads to your business.
Start by finding low-competition keywords relevant to your business if you're just starting. You can do this using free tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner or SEMrush's Keyword Difficulty tool.
Once you know what topics to target, here are some tips on how to find them:
- Use keyword research tools like Ubersuggest and SEMrush to find phrases with low search volume but high commercial intent.
- Make sure those phrases are relevant to your audience's interests, which means they should contain words that relate directly to your business. For example, if you sell dog food online, you'll want to target keywords like “best dog food brands” or “dog food reviews.” This will ensure that people who use these terms are interested in buying something from you.
- Check out your competitors' organic search traffic. If they're ranking well for specific keywords, then there's a good chance you can do the same if you target similar terms (and maybe even better). You can again do it using SEMRush.
Once you have your list of low-competition keywords, you can use them as topic ideas for blog posts or articles. For example, if you search for "how to bake bread," you'll get results along the lines of "how to bake bread at home," "how to bake bread with yeast," and so on.
2. User-generated content sites and social communities
User-generated content sites and social communities are two great resources to find low keyword volume topics.
You will find numerous generic and industry-specific content sites, forums, blogs, and social communities, such as Reddit and Quora. You can also go to eBay and Amazon to find user-generated reviews for numerous products.
For instance, the user has used the search term “child support payment” on Quora:
These keywords and questions usually have a lower search volume but may be relevant to similar topics that create numerous search queries. They also have higher traffic potential.
3. Take keyword ideas from YouTube
One of the best ways to find low-keyword-volume topics is using YouTube search suggestions. Whenever someone searches for a keyword on YouTube, Google shows related keywords in the search box before they start typing anything (sometimes even before they click "enter").
If there are too many results for your desired keyword, you can use this list of suggestions as inspiration for a new topic with less competition. This approach works well because people search for popular and relevant terms to their interests, so it should be easy to find new keywords by following this strategy.
You can also take inspiration from YouTube’s comments section to discover what your target audiences are talking about, how they are talking about a specific topic, and the keywords they use.
4. Use keyword research tools
You can use tools like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and SEMRush (as we’ve already discussed) to find low keyword volume topics.
5. Identify the keywords bringing traffic to your competitors
There are many ways to find low keyword volume topics, but the most common way is by identifying the keywords that bring traffic to your competitors.
This process is quick and easy; you only need to go to Google Keyword Planner or other keyword research tools like WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, BuzzSumo, Semrush, Spyfu, and Ahrefs.
For instance, if you use WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, you can simply enter a competitor’s URL into the tool (rather than a search term) and click “Search.”
You will see a broad range of competitive keyword data based on your search. The data can be classified and showcased by any of the four metrics in the report – Google search volume, CPC, Competition, and Opportunity Score:
Step 7: How to Write Content for a Blog
What makes great content?
If you're trying to write a blog post, you're probably wondering what makes good content. It's not always easy to figure out, but here are some things to keep in mind when writing blog posts:
- Be unique - If you're going to write a blog post, it should be something that no one else has written about before. There's nothing wrong with doing research first, but make sure you have your perspective.
- Be informative - If someone is searching for information on a specific topic, they want something to help them solve their problem or answer their question. That's what good content does — it provides answers and solutions (even if those answers aren't always pretty).
- It's useful - Readers want to know that they're getting something out of reading your post and not wasting their time.
- It's entertaining or engaging in some way - If you can help readers pass the time with something fun or exciting, all the better!
- It's information that people can use immediately - like a tip or trick they can apply without thinking too hard about it or figuring out how it works.
- Great title - The blog post title should be catchy, intriguing, and relevant to your target audience. It should also be short and descriptive enough to let people know what they will get out of it.
- Clear and concise introduction - Don't try to cram too much information into the introduction; just give people enough context to decide whether they want to continue reading. If you've done your research and know what your audience wants, then this should be a breeze!
Now, let’s see what else you can do to optimize your new blog post for readers and search engines.
Use tools like SurferSEO to optimize content
The more keywords you include in your blog posts, the better.
But there's more to it than that.
You need to make sure that your keyword research is thorough and meticulous so that you can find the right keywords to target.
However, once you've done this, it's time to optimize your blog content. This is where tools like SurferSEO come in handy.
SurferSEO uses NLP-based algorithms to create content outlines that you can customize to align with your requirements. You will also get guidelines on how to craft your content based on top-ranking articles and pages.
The tools give you insights into image count, content structure, keywords to use, and more.
You can either start by writing your content in SurferSEO itself or copy-paste your article to get started.
Here are some more ways SurferSEO can help:
- Keyword density - The density of a keyword is the number of times it appears within an article (without being repeated). If a keyword is used too often, it will make your article seem spammy and unnatural – which isn't good for Google rankings or user experience.
- Keyword placement - You should place keywords at the beginning and end of each paragraph rather than throughout them all equally. This will improve users' readability and help Google understand your article.
- Heading tags - H1s are essential because they tell search engines what your article is about — so use them liberally!
In addition, you can use it to spot content gaps, get easy-to-implement fixes, and build internal links using audit.
Analyze the SERPs results to see what Google looks for
Each time you search for something on Google, the results are different. This is because Google uses dozens of factors to determine what should appear in the search results.
The most important thing to remember is that your SEO strategy should focus on creating great content and making it easy to find. If you do this right, you will be rewarded with higher rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
But what are these factors? What is Google looking for when it comes to ranking websites?
Many factors affect the rankings on Google.
The main ways to do this are:
- Analyze your competitors' SERPs - If you have competitors in your industry, look at their web pages and see where they rank on Google. This will give you an idea of what keywords they're targeting and how often they appear in the top 10 results for those terms.
Use tools like SEMrush, Moz's Keyword Explorer, or Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer to determine which keywords they focus on and how often they rank for them.
- Use Google Analytics to track traffic - Set up a Google Analytics account to see which keywords people used when searching for your site and where they came from (e.g., organic search vs. paid search). This is helpful because it shows you what people are looking for when they find your site through search engines and gives you ideas about what topics might be worth writing about in the future!
- Look at the top results for keywords related to your business - and don't stop there! Scroll down through the rest of the results (or jump from page to page). You'll begin to get a better idea of what Google values and what it doesn't care about when it comes to answering questions related to your niche or industry.
In addition, featured snippets, People Also Ask boxes, related searches, and other SERP features can give you ideas about what customers search for. You can use them to optimize and rank for the SERP faster.
For instance, the user has looked at the SERP for the keyword “how long to cook homemade pizza at 450.”
Apart from organic search results, you can also see a featured snippet and the People Also Ask box.
Determine if the other websites are ranking with subtopics or subheaders and why you should include them too
If you want to rank higher in search engines like Google, then you need to use these types of headings so that search engines know what the content of your post is about.
If you look at the statistics, readers mainly scan the content online rather than read to process the entire information online. Adding subtopics to your content will naturally give a better experience to your readers.
For example, if I write an article about how to set up an aquarium, I would use subheadings like “Aquarium Setup” or “What You Need To Know About Aquarium Setup.” This will help search engines determine what content they need to show for those searches and help them find my website more easily!
Identify Frequently Asked Questions about the topic and include them in the articles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are a great way to provide additional content to your blog, especially when you’re writing about a commonly discussed topic. If you can identify some of these questions and answer them in your posts, you will not only be providing value to your readers but also helping them find the answers they need.
The first step is identifying people's most common questions about your topic. To do this, search for similar blogs and read their comments sections or social media pages.
Look for questions that come up repeatedly or seem relevant based on what you've written so far (if you've already published several posts).
Some more great places to identify and gather FAQs about a topic include:
- Google Search Console.
- Google’s built-in question engine, the People Also Ask box.
- Google’s Related Queries at the bottom of the search results.
- Google Trends.
- Search operators.
- Paid tools such as Keywordtool.io, SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs.
- Google’s new Q&A feature from its Cameos program (as seen in the image below)
Use the optimum content length.
When it comes to blog post length, there is no hard-and-fast rule.
It all depends on your target audience and the purpose of your blog.
Two main factors determine how long your blog posts should be:
- Your audience — The type of person who reads your blog will affect how long they stay on it. For example, someone who reads a lot of business news might not have time to read an eight-paragraph post on the economy, while someone who reads romance novels might enjoy reading something with more detail and depth.
- Your topic — Even if you have the same kind of readership, different topics will appeal to different people. Suppose you write about politics, for example. In that case, liberals might prefer one type of post over another because their political views influence what they want from their reading material (e.g., news vs. opinion).
In addition, SerpIQ conducted a study to chart the top 10 results in search queries by content length; they concluded that the blog with 2,416 words ranked the highest, while the one with 2032 words ranked at the tenth spot. This indicates that Google favors content-rich sites.
It’s also worth noting that none of the results falls below 2,000 words on an average page.
Longer posts are also more likely to be shared on social media, giving you more space for in-depth analysis and research.
To hit the sweet spot, I suggest using SurferSEO to create outlines. The tool suggests the optimum length for your blog post based on top-ranking articles and competitor analysis.
Create original content
The idea of writing an original blog post is simple enough: create something that hasn't been written before. But for many people, this idea is easier said than done.
One of the most common mistakes people make when creating blog content is simply re-write other articles or copy/paste content from other places on the internet. This is bad practice and can get you into trouble with Google and other search engines.
If you're looking for inspiration on how to create original content, here are some ideas:
- Write about your own experience and knowledge - sometimes, this can be as simple as sharing your tips on how to do something better or more efficiently. For example, if you run a blog about gardening, then write about the best way to grow tomatoes or how to choose the right kind of fertilizer for your plants.
- Interview experts in their field - It allows you to ask questions not answered by simple Google searches (for example, what they think about specific topics). You could also interview people who have done something interesting with their lives (such as traveling worldwide).
Add relevant images
It's no secret that adding images to your blog posts can help boost their overall effectiveness. A study suggests that only 20% of people remember what they hear, whereas 30% remember what they see – making it crucial to add images to your content.
Here are a few tips for improving your images.
- Use high-quality images - The best way to do this is to use stock photos that are free from copyright restrictions, but if you want to use your photos, make sure they’re of good quality and taken with a decent camera.
- Make sure the subject matter relates to the post content - If you're writing about something that has an image associated with it, include that image in your post. The same goes for topics that have a vital visual element — if you're writing about how to use Photoshop, include screenshots! This will help readers understand what you're talking about and keep them engaged.
- Include captions and alt text - Alt text is the text written in HTML code that appears when someone hovers their mouse over an image on a page — this tells screen readers what image is being shown when they do this (and helps visually impaired people). It's also helpful for search engines because they can index alt text and regular text when ranking pages in search results.
Finally, publish or schedule your first blog post.
So, you are ready to publish your new blog post.
There are two ways to do this:
- Publish immediately - If the content of your post is time sensitive or urgent, then you should publish it immediately. This way, people will see it immediately, and if they want to share it with their friends, they can do so instantly.
- Schedule for later - The benefit of scheduling for later is that you can plan your content calendar weeks or even months in advance and ensure that all your posts are published on time.
Using the WordPress dashboard, here’s how to schedule your blog posts using the visual editor (the default method).
Once you write your post, open it in your WordPress dashboard. You will see the Status & visibility section under the Post options on the right-hand menu. You will find the Publish setting there.
Click on the “Immediately” button for a calendar to appear. You can choose when to publish the post by selecting the time and date.
The Publish button in the top-right corner will be automatically changed to Schedule:
Finally, hit the “Schedule” button and confirm to schedule your first blog post.
Pro Tip: Use analytics tools like the Visitor Traffic Real Time Statistics plugin to find the best posting time.
Build a content planner and publish content consistently
Content planning is one of the marketers' most important yet neglected tasks. It’s a process that ensures you’re not just creating content that looks great but is also consistent, relevant, and valuable to your audience.
Blogging is a great way to connect with your target audience and build trust. But if you want to see results from your blog, you need to publish regularly.
Here are some of the reasons why it's essential to publish your blog consistently:
- You'll gain more traffic
- Your readers will keep coming back
- You'll build authority in your niche
Even statistics suggest that bloggers who post consistently report better results.
To build an effective content plan and to be able to post consistently, you’ll need to know:
- Whom are you writing for? Use web analytics tools like Google Analytics for market research.
- Where will you publish your content? Use the Traffic Analytics tool to find where your audience spends their time.
- What pain points can your content solve? Use your customer data to understand their likes and dislikes, the problems they face, and what they wish to avoid.
- Your unique selling propositions.
- The format in which content will be delivered. Take into account your audience, message, and platform.
- Who will create the content, and how?
Step 8: Promote Your Blog
Best ways to promote your blog:
Promoting your blog is essential to its success. You have to let people know about it.
Here are some of the best ways to promote your blog:
1. Guest Posts
Guest blog posts are one of the most effective ways to promote your content. If you write a great article on a topic your target audience is interested in, you can submit it to other blogs and websites. These are usually publications with a large readership, so they'll be more than willing to accept your article if they like what they see.
After you get published on another site, all those readers will see your name attached to the article and click through to your blog. This leads to more traffic and more subscribers!
According to Buffer’s case study, the marketing platform attributes an increase of more than 100,000 users within nine months to guest blogging.
2. Link Insertions
Link insertion involves placing links on other websites that send visitors to your blog. Do not place links on websites that are not relevant to yours or those that do not have a high level of traffic.
3. Journalist Mentions
By contacting journalists directly and pitching them articles, you can increase traffic to your site and make yourself an authority in your field.
Journalists usually respond well to pitches from people who have already written pieces for them; they will know that they can trust you and expect quality content from you.
If possible, try to get one or two journalists interested in the same topic as you so you can pitch them together at once; this will increase the likelihood of getting their attention and interest in what you have written about.
4. Social Media
Social media is also an excellent way to advertise your blog. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms help spread the word about what you have written on your blog with just one click of the mouse button!
You can also encourage your readers to share your content with their followers by inserting social share buttons on your blog page.
For instance, top publications like Billboard.com place their social sharing buttons at the top of articles, below the headline.
You can also keep it at the bottom or add customized share buttons.
In the example below, when someone selects the text in the middle of the article, they can retweet it.
And if you look at the statistics, promoting your blog via social shares and backlinks increases brand awareness, social proof, and authority.
Importance of promoting a blog, getting backlinks, and authority
Promotion is an integral part of creating a successful blog. It helps you get more traffic and increase your readership.
Most importantly, promoting your blog will lead to more backlinks and a high authority domain.
If you want to grow a blog, you need to build authority. You need to get backlinks.
A backlink is a link from another website pointing to yours. Backlinks are one of the most important factors in SEO, ranking your site on Google and other search engines.
The more quality backlinks you have pointing at your blog, the more authority your blog has in Google's eyes and the higher it will rank.
So how do you get these high-quality backlinks? Well, there are many ways, such as:
- Guest blogging on authority sites and getting them to link back to your blog
- Commenting on other blogs and getting them to link back to yours
- Creating infographics and getting them featured on other websites
- Promote your content using social media
- Create content that people want to share (good quality)
Build an email list to promote your blog
Building an email list is one of the most important things you can do for your blog. An email list means you can communicate directly with readers, which is a great way to build relationships and increase engagement.
Not only can you send out new blog posts automatically, you can also send special offers, exclusive content, and more. Plus, building an email list allows you to capitalize on automation's power and passively make money online.
Here are some quick tips on how to build an email list for your blog:
- Publish an opt-in box at the top or bottom of posts. This is the simplest way to get readers' email addresses.
- Have a pop-up form on your site that asks readers if they want to subscribe to receive future posts by email.
- Include a link on your About page and contact page that takes readers straight to the subscription form.
- Offer something of value in exchange for signing up, like a free ebook or exclusive content not available elsewhere online or offline (this works best if it's relevant to your niche).
- Use social media campaigns like Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads that automatically generate an email capture box when people click through.
And as per HubSpot Blog Research, 2021, the best strategies to implement for your email marketing campaigns include:
- Subscriber segmentation (78%)
- Message personalization (72%)
- And email automation campaigns (71%)
However, you need an email list first to implement these strategies.
Step 9: Make Money From Your Blog
As per blogging statistics 2021, the average monthly income of a blogger is $8,000. And for 25% of WordPress bloggers, blogging earns them a full-time living.
There are many different ways to make money from your blog.
You just need to know what they are and how they work. We'll cover some of the most popular ones below.
1. Affiliate products
According to a study, bloggers who earn between $7,500 and $25,000 monthly credit 42.2% of their revenue to affiliates. Another study points out that 65% of merchants earn yearly affiliate marketing revenue between 5% and 20%.
Affiliate marketing involves promoting other people's products, services, or companies and getting paid for each sale you generate.
You can use affiliate links in your blog posts and sidebar widgets to send visitors to a merchant's website, where they can purchase the product with one click.
- Amazon links - Amazon has its affiliate program, Amazon Associates, which means that if you link to any of their products through an affiliate link, you get a commission for the sale.
- Commission from every sale for digital products like web hosting - Here’s how it works: You set up an affiliate account with a company that offers digital products (hosting, training courses, etc.) and promote their products on your website. They give you a unique link to track how many people click through your website and sign up for their product. For example, if someone clicks through your site and signs up for one month of web hosting, you get $20!
Here’s a snapshot of a blogger’s affiliate earnings with Bluehost:
The blogger has earned more than $74,000 in commission from the Bluehost affiliate program and gained 26,271 clicks with 783 signups.
2. Sell your products and services
There are many ways to monetize your blog, but here are some of the most popular:
- Sell ebooks - Write an ebook and sell it through your blog or on Amazon Kindle. You can do this by putting the file on your site and selling it directly or using a service like Payhip or Gumroad.
- Sell physical products - If you're selling something that has to be shipped, like t-shirts or coffee mugs, then you'll need an online store where people can order these items for delivery. Sites like Shopify and Bigcommerce will allow you to create a store within minutes – no coding required!
For instance, Chelsea Lee Smith sells her printable pack for $4.99:
3. Sell consulting
If you have expertise in a particular area, then consider offering consulting services on the subjects covered by your blog. You could write a book or create an online course about the topic and then sell consulting packages based on how long clients need to implement the recommended strategies.
For instance, The Product Company is a marketing consulting firm. They ask their clients to provide details regarding their brand identity, company processes, and overall goals. And they match their clients with the most relevant marketing team in their community.
If you don’t want to do this full-time, you could also just offer one-off sessions with clients for specific needs they may have.
4. Sell advertising space
The most obvious way to make money from your blog is by selling advertising space. You can add both text ads and banner ads. Text ads are more common, as they don’t take up much room on the page and don’t distract readers from what they are reading. Banner ads are larger and more visually appealing, but they can be distracting if you have too many of them on a page.
Some bloggers sell ad space on their site through Google AdSense, which allows them to earn money when users click on those ads. Google AdSense has strict requirements for who can sign up for it, but other ad networks may work better for your site.
Here are some of the Google AdSense alternatives:
As per howstuffworks, networks usually sell "run of site" ads to advertisers and are earning around a $5 CPM rate for the ads. Since the network cuts between 30% and 50% of the $5, you can earn around 0.3 cents per impression on your site or a $3 CPM rate.
However, if your website generates 100,000 impressions monthly, expect to receive a monthly check of $300.
Start a blog today and turn your passion into money!
I hope this guide answers all your doubts on how to start a blog, blog hosting, blog post ideas, monetization, and more.
The most effective way to start a blog is to pick your blog's niche, install WordPress, set up a WordPress site (or select from other free blogging sites), choose a hosting provider, and start with your first blog post. Whatever the reason you want to start your own blog, get out there and do it!
Is WordPress free?
Yes, WordPress is free. However, if you opt for paid themes, on average, WordPress themes are priced at $59. If you want a customized theme, the pro plan WordPress builder such as SeedProd starts at $199.50 per year.
Alternately, if you hire a freelancer or an agency, building a custom WordPress theme can cost anything from $1,500 to $5,000 per wpbeginner. Plus, if you use additional built-in features or companion plugins, expect to pay anywhere from $6,000 – $10,000.
For a complex enterprise-level project, custom theme project prices usually go above $30,000.
As per Hostinger, the cost of a generic top-level custom domain ranges from $0.99 to $14.99/year. And the cost of country-code domain names ranges from $5.50-$23.99/year, depending on the domain registrars.
Squarespace Vs. WordPress For Blogging
Squarespace gives you numerous blogging templates and tools to help you kick start. However, compared to WordPress’ blogging resources, they aren’t as robust.
WordPress is designed specifically for blogging. It comes with a thriving blogging community, plenty of plugins, and built-in features that you can set up with just a few clicks.
What do you need to start a blog?
Here are some of the essential tools, software, and services that you’ll need to start a successful blog online:
- Blog’s domain name (website address).
- A web/blog hosting service (to store your website’s files) – we recommended Cloudways.
- A blog platform or content management system (CMS) – Eg., WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, etc.
- An email address for your blog (you can use Gmail or Outlook).
What makes a successful, profitable blog?
The same things that make a successful business.
You need to be able to:
- Identify your target audience and write for them
- Provide something of value to your readers
- Be consistent with your content offering
- Optimize your content for SEO
Why do blogs fail?
Here are a few reasons why blogs fail:
- The author is not passionate about the subject matter.
- They don’t have an audience to share their content with.
- They don’t know how to monetize their blog.
- They don’t understand their target audience’s needs and wants.
- They don’t promote their blog posts frequently enough (or at all!).
Does it cost money to start a blog?
As per WebsiteBuiderExpert, you can spend anywhere from $50 and $200 on average to set up your blog. After that, you can expect to pay around $20 to $60 per month.
However, it will depend on the kind of blog you are running and your long-term goals.
Neal Schaffer, a digital media marketer, breaks down the cost of starting a WordPress blog in 2022:
- Domain Name: $10 to $15 per year
- Blog Hosting: $5 to $25 per month
- WordPress Theme: Free to $100 per year
- WordPress Plugins: Free to $200 per year
- Blog Writing: Free to $500 per month, depending on how much you outsource
- Email Marketing: Free to $200 per month, depending on list size
- Social Media Tools: Free to $100 per month
- SEO Tools: Free to $100 per month
How do I choose a profitable niche?
Start by narrowing it down to your top 3 niches.
If you have a list of 20+ ideas, start narrowing down the list. I recommend using the following factors:
1) How much competition is there?
2) How much money can be made from each niche?
3) What skills and experience do you have that make this a good fit for you?
4) How much time will you be able to dedicate to this project?
Next, analyze each niche by searching for keywords related to your idea in Google Keyword Planner (or other keyword research tools). Then look for the top 10-20 results. All of these are potential customers for your product or service!
How do bloggers make money?
Here are some of the most common ways that bloggers make money:
- Advertising and sponsorship
- Affiliate marketing programs
- Sponsored posts or product reviews
- Incentivized advertising and referral programs
- Selling products or services directly to readers
How much money can I make starting a blog?
The sky is the limit when it comes to making money blogging.
Most new bloggers make $500 to $1000 monthly within the first year – while the average blogger earns anywhere from $0 – $1,000 per month. The most successful bloggers earn $10,000 per month per ProBlogger and $20,000 per month per Digital Nomad Wannabe.
Also, some bloggers like Adam Enfroy make more than $250,000 from their blogs. His yearly income is over $1.5 million. When he published his last income report in June 2021, he earned $281,776 per month.
How often should I publish content?
It depends on so many factors:
- How often do your competitors publish?
- What kind of content do you have? (Long-form, quick tips, listicles, etc.)
- Do you have the resources to produce more content? If not, how can you scale what you're doing now?
How to start a blog for free?
You can sign up for a free blog account with Blogger, WordPress, or Tumblr.
Are blogs dead?
Blogs aren’t dead — they are evolving into something new and different. There’s so much more competition; it’s harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. If your blog succeeds, you need to create quality blog posts people want to read and share with others.