Have No Knowledge of Blogs but Are Passionate About Starting One?
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You came right. Hi, I’m Mudassir. I will show you how to start and build a successful blog business from scratch. My blog outlines actionable blogging tips for you to make a living blogging.
If this is something you’re after, let me help you start right off the basics.
Blogging for Beginners Guide (2023)
Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
Whatever the reason, understanding what blogging is and starting a blog shouldn’t be back-breaking. I’ll walk you through setting up your blog, creating content, and promoting your blog to attract readers effortlessly.
What Is a Blog, and What Is Blogging
Blogs, also known as “weblogs” in the early days, have been present since the late 1990s. They were originally considered personal journals where people could record their thoughts and experiences on the web. The name “blog” is a combination of “web” and “log,” indicating the online nature of the journals.
Then it revolutionized.
Blogging has evolved from a hobby to a way to make money, establish oneself as an authority in a certain field, and connect with people of similar interests. There’s a blog for everything: cooking, housekeeping, knitting, gardening, motors, religion, travel, sports, and whatnot. You name the topic, and people (bloggers) will likely publish blogs about it online.
Creating a blog is simple, even for those without technical expertise. Platforms like WordPress make it easy to set up a blog and join the blogging community in just a few steps.
Blogging for Beginners: Learn How To Start a Blog and Monetize It in Six Steps
Step 1: Choose a Blog Niche
Choosing a niche for your blog can be an uphill battle, but it is essential to creating a successful blog.
A niche is a specific topic that your blog will center around. Let’s go over some tips for choosing the perfect niche for your blog.
1. Start with your interests: The first step in choosing a niche for your blog is to consider what you’re passionate about. What are the topics that you enjoy reading and writing about? By writing about something you’re passionate about, you’ll be more motivated to produce high-quality content, and your enthusiasm will shine through in your writing.
2. Choose a niche that you can monetize: When choosing a niche for your blog, it’s important to consider the monetization potential. Are there products or services related to your niche that you can promote or affiliate with? Are there advertising opportunities? How are other bloggers monetizing their blogs?
These pointers can help you decide whether or not to go with the niche. You must ensure whatever niche you finalize has at least one or two potential monetization methods.
- Recommended Reading – 15 Best and Profitable Blog Niches in India
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name for the Blog
A domain name is an address people use to find your blog online. For example, www.bloggingexplained.com is my blog’s domain name.
The domain name is the crucial element for your blog’s success. A great domain name can hold up your blog’s branding and help build trust with the prospects and audience.
Here are some essential factors to consider while choosing a blog domain name:
1. Use your name: If you’re the face behind your blog, using your name as the domain name can help establish you as an authority in your niche. For example, if your name is John Smith, a good domain name would be JohnSmith.com.
2. Use a keyword: If your blog is focused on a specific topic, using a keyword that relates to that topic can help people find your blog more easily. For example, if your blog is about fitness for women, a good domain name would be Womenfitness101.com.
3. Be brandable – Brainstorm catchy words from your niche that are meaningful. It helps establish your blog as a professional and trustworthy source of information.
4. Keep it informative – Names that don’t need a human to think too hard are typically the easiest to remember and are likely to be memorable. Find the word that defines your blog about it. It also leaves less room for typos.
How to register your domain name?
I recommend using Bluehost. It offers a free domain name when you purchase its web hosting, which we will discuss below.
Step 3: Register for Web Hosting
To place your blog’s data online and make it accessible to the audience, you need web hosting.
The best, beginner-friendly and most affordable web hosting I recommend is Bluehost. It is a beginner-friendly, secure, and reputed hosting platform. Bluehost’s best thing for a beginner is a free domain, which means a potential saving of Rs.1000 -1500.
Here’s how you can start a blog with Bluehost:
Click on this unique discount link of Bluehost, select your plan, avail of your free domain offer, create your hosting account, choose/unselect your add-ons, and proceed to the payment page.
Congrats! You shall receive Bluehost’s email about login credentials and setup instructions.
Step 4: Blog Setup and Design
After you’ve completed the sign-up process, you’ll be taken to the Bluehost control panel. You can install WordPress by clicking on the “Install WordPress” button.
Note: WordPress.org is a popular, intuitive, and secure blogging platform (CMS) – I highly recommend it.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the blog installation. This will include choosing a username and password for your WordPress account. Once the installation is complete, you’ll be taken to the WordPress dashboard. From there, you can design/customize your blog, add pages and posts, and much more.
The vital aspect of a blog design is learning about themes and how to use them.
A theme is like a tool that determines the design and layout of your blog, including the colors and fonts. Themes can be customized to suit your needs, and thousands of different themes are available for WordPress, both free and paid. If you want to change your default theme, you can do it from the ‘Appearance-> Themes’ section.
Whatever theme you use, your blog design should always be minimal and hook your visitors with a readable experience they’ll love and return for.
For beginners, I usually recommend Kadence free theme to get started. It is easy to customize, has vibrant design elements, and is secure.
After installing a theme, go to ‘appearance->customize’ to further customize your blog’s design and functionality. Tweak the options, preview the new effects, and go live.
The following are some traits of a good blog design:
- Use whitespace. It makes content easy to read and skim.
- Navigation menu and breadcrumbs.
- An easy font like Poppins with a font size between 15-22.
- Use identical and light colors across the site.
- Make social sharing icons accessible across devices.
- Use Grid structure for category blog posts.
- Use the Author bio.
- Enable the comments section for engagement.
- Add visuals where necessary.
- Create a custom home page and sell your unique story.
Five essential new WordPress blog settings:
Before you publish blog posts, you’ll need to configure the essential and basic WordPress settings to make your site function properly. Here are five essential settings:
- Settings ->General ->Enter your site name and what it is about, and Enter your site URL with HTTPS.
- Settings ->Reading ->Feed how your ‘home’ page needs to look. I advise creating a static home page with a clear value statement and CTA.
- Settings -> Enable manual comment moderation and keep other options untouched.
- Settings ->Permalinks -> WordPress offers the facility to have a custom URL structure for your posts and pages because they’re good for usability and SEO. So enable ‘post name’ and save.
- Delete dummy content (Hello world) from the ‘posts’ and ‘pages’ sections.
WordPress plugin: Everything you need to know
Simply put, a WordPress plugin can add new functionality to your blog or improve its performance. WordPress store has over 59,000 free and paid plugins with various applications like design, SEO, social media, security, and eCommerce selling.
You can install a plugin from your dashboard; Plugins -> Add New.
As a beginner, you likely don’t have the knowledge to brainstorm the necessary plugins. For that reason, I’ve created ‘19 Best WordPress Plugins to Elevate your new Blog.’
Creating ‘Home’ and ‘About’ pages
1) Home Page
Since the home page is the most viewed and high-authority page for any website, you don’t want to keep it unutilized by simply featuring your latest posts.
Your home page aims to attract new readers and earn their trust by selling yourself and convincing them to be your loyal audience.
Don’t clutter the design by adding many colors, elements, and CTAs. Keep it simple.
Sure, you want visitors to buy your new course or eBook, signup for email, or follow you on social media, but if you try to achieve multiple things from your home page, you will confuse them and lose a potential customer.
How to create a customized home page for your blog?
Click Pages ->Add New Page and publish the home page. After that,
Go to Settings -> Reading -> Select the home page and save changes.
2) About Page
About page is another excellent opportunity to let visitors know more about you by sharing your brand story, so this shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are some ‘About’ page tips:
- Add a clear picture.
- Introduce yourself precisely.
- Don’t tell vicious lies (like you paid off a $10,000 debt in less than two months with the help of Blogging).
- Add your social credibility or work.
- Contact information for collaborations.
The necessary copy for your ‘About’ is how you and your blog can help the audience. So be sure the information you add will align with them.
Step 5. Writing Your First Blog Post
Think of the first thing a beginner wants to know about any topic from your niche.
Suppose you want to write about dog care and share your experience as a dog caretaker with a novice. You may want to cover “The ultimate guide on Dog care” with sub-topics such as dog – health tips, housekeeping, bonding, training, etc.
You can also plug in the keywords related to your niche in the SEMrush keyword tool to get some content ideas or visit your competitors to understand what to cover. Once you have the topic to write, hit it on Google, and visit the websites that already have covered the topic for content inspiration.
The first step is to start writing the draft. The rest follows.
How to write a blog post on WordPress editor?
Click Posts ->Add New, and you will see the following:
Write an engaging title so you can stick to it without distraction.
Then click on the ‘+’symbol you see on the top right and choose ‘paragraph’ to continue writing. You can click ‘browse all’ and see all the available features to help you design and publish a compelling article with visuals.
Here are some writing tips:
- People usually skim – so break down your content into chunks.
- Add visuals where necessary.
- Write compelling headlines.
- Use Grammarly to kill grammatical errors.
- Write a short and concise intro.
- Stay on topic.
- Include one clear CTA per post.
- Encourage engagement through blog comments by asking questions at the end of your copy. It helps build relationships with the readers.
Once you have completed writing your first blog post, preview it (top right button) to understand how your post appears on your blog and hit the publish button.
Pro tip: The first draft can always be lousy, don’t worry about it. The golden rule of blog writing is to edit as much as possible before publishing to ensure a top-notch copy.
Eventually, how to get content ideas for your blog?
- Visit competitors for ideas.
- Ask your audience via blog comments, social networks, email, or surveys/polls.
- Identify trends using Google trends, BuzzSumo, SEMrush, AnswerThePublic, etc.
- Always carry notes (you never know when an idea hits).
- Quora.com; signup up and start finding queries directly from the audience who want answers.
- Udemy – plug in your keywords, and you will be presented with potential ideas.
- Identify topic clusters in your niche.
Step 6: Promote Your Blog and Drive Traffic
Promoting a blog post can help increase traffic and engagement, leading to more readers and potential customers. Here are a few ways to promote a blog post:
- Use valuable blogging tools from the beginning.
- Share your blog post on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use relevant hashtags and include visuals to make your post more appealing.
- Join social media groups and be helpful to gain traction.
- Share it with your friends and family to read.
- Send an email newsletter (if you have any subscribers) using an email tool.
- Drop thoughtful blog comments on others’ blogs and add your new post URL in the URL section.
- Share and engage with peers’ and Influencers’ content. The high chances are that they will visit your blog and read and share your content.
- Write helpful answers on Quora and promote your blog posts.
- Signup for BizSugar, one of the most significant marketing communities.
- Conduct Interviews and roundup posts.
- Link to other bloggers and asks them to show some love.
- Paid discovery – Leverage Triberr, Viral Content Bee, Zest extension, Outbrain, social ad campaigns, paid collaborations, etc.
- Learn and implement blogging tips that can help grow your blog.
Promoting blog posts can help you reach new audiences and potentially monetize your blog.
Step 7: Monetizing your blog
Most bloggers make money, but it is not an overnight thing one could do.
Setting things and making your first dollar takes at least a year, so set realistic income goals and give your best to achieve them. Choosing monetization methods that align with your audience and your blog’s content is also essential.
Here are a few ways to monetize your blog:
Freelancing – Freelancing is one of the instant ways to generate blog revenue; you can start offering your skills as services like writing, blog setup, website design, social media marketing, etc.
The best way to earn freelancing income is by creating a Hire me page to let people work with you. For example, check out my Freelance writing service in India page for an idea.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is performance-based income. This involves promoting other people’s products and earning a commission for each sale made through your unique affiliate link. Earning affiliate income takes time and effort, so be patient and don’t expect overnight success.
How to start?
- Select one or two products you already know about from your niche.
- Sign up for their affiliate program and get unique links and creatives to start promoting via product reviews, banners, and social media.
ShareASale.com, CJAffiliates, and Amazon are famous and trusted affiliate marketplaces.
Sell digital products – Here are a few digital products you can sell on your blog:
- T-shirts and mugs with your logo
- Stock photos and graphics
When selling digital products, it’s important to ensure that they are high-quality and provide real value to your audience. Additionally, it’s important to comply with rules and regulations, such as providing refunds or promptly addressing complaints.
Display advertising: One of the most common ways to monetize a blog is through advertising. You can sell ad space on your blog and get paid for displaying ads. Popular advertising networks include Google AdSense, Media.net, Infolinks, and Propeller Ads.
Sponsored Content: Some brands pay a blogger to create content promoting their products or services. Sponsored content can take many forms, such as a brand’s link in a blog post, videos, product reviews, banners, etc. For brands to advertise on your blog space, you must have the following:
- A large amount of traffic (at least 3K+ monthly).
- A decent number of genuine fans and engagement on social media.
- An authority and professional presence.
- You can charge from $25 to $5000 per promotion, depending on various blog metrics.
If you decide to monetize your blog in this way, here are two tips that will help:
- Create high-quality content that provides value to your audience. This will help increase the sponsored content’s effectiveness and maintain your audience’s trust.
- Ensure the ads don’t cover the entire content and annoy the visitors.
Consultation and Coaching: Bloggers with extensive knowledge and experience in their niche and knowledge can offer consultation services to brands and individuals who need them.
Final Note – Blogging for Beginners (In 2023)
As a beginner, it’s important to be patient and consistent in your efforts. Building a successful blog takes time and effort, but with patience, persistence, and hard work, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche and reach your desired audience.
Finally, it’s important to keep learning and evolving. There are always new things to learn in the world of blogging, from SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and more, so stay curious and open to learning new things, and you can reach your blogging goals.
Nothing comes to your table unless you go get it, so dive in and start your blog. No more excuses!