Blogging in India can be a great way to get your target group talking about your service and bring exposure to your business (and maybe even build a community).
But if you’re new to blogging, where should you start?
The following is a comprehensive guide to starting a blog in India and eventually growing a profitable mainstream hustle.
- How to start a blog in India that makes money (ultimate beginners guide of 2021)
How to start a blog in India that makes money (ultimate beginners guide of 2021)
Step 1: Pick a blog niche
A blog niche is a focused area of a broader market your blog serves precisely.
To put it simply, a niche is a sub-area of a large market.
Take a broader industry like Business in which small business resources can be a niche. You can even narrow it down to small business marketing, operations, employee management, etc. can be a niche.
When you are just starting out, try to narrow down your niche to avoid competing with big brands and covering many audience groups. You will be exhausted and give up.
So start small, as you go achieving more considerable heights, you can always upgrade.
How to find your blog niche in 3 steps:
1. List your passion and skills
A jumping-off point for finding a blog niche is listing your skills and passions that you’re good at and enjoy doing them. There are two good reasons for this:
The first reason to start with the area you’re passionate about is that building a lucrative blog business takes time and energy. You will need to invest effort into setting up your blog, developing a content calendar, SEO, blog promotion, driving traffic, everything before you ever make the rupee. This chore is best done as the chore of love. If not, you will soon give up.
The second reason to start with things that you’re good at is that the audience must feel that you’re authentic. You can’t fake it by putting scraped or lousy content after referring to a couple of competitors; people know their stuff. If you don’t have decent knowledge or the zeal to master your niche, it probably won’t pay off. A greater understanding of your target group and their needs and your niche expertise helps your brand message resonate with prospects and sets you unique in the market.
2. Identify Content gaps to fill
You need to know the problems your target group faces and come up with ideas to fix them. As a blogger, the better you become at helping people (leaving them without any questions), you will be more successful.
Think like a reader and note down what you wish existed that doesn’t.
Competition is good; look at them and understand their pros and cons so that you can surpass them by filling gaps with your talent.
3. Assess niche potential
You need to be sure your niche is broader enough to be feasible but not so extensive it’s non-feasible to aim. There are many ways you can inspect to find out whether a niche is viable. Three significant ways are:
a) Keyword research
Use keyword research tools like SEMrush, plug in the keyword related to your niche, and you will see the monthly searches people make, which helps identify if the niche has a market. SEMrush even measures the competitive angle for niche keywords with a metric called K.D (Keyword Difficulty) which ranges from 0 to 100%. The higher the percentage is, the difficult the competition will be to rank for that term. As a newbie, focusing on low K.D keywords gives you a good chance to rank top on Google.
b) Look at the trends
You need to take a peek at what’s going on in your niche, importantly, what people are conversing about over time. Google Trends is a great free tool for understanding the popularity of your niche keywords.
Unlike SEMrush, it doesn’t show you the exact monthly searches. Instead, it maps search term’s popularity trends in a graphical manner. For example, see how the popularity of terms ‘cricket in India’ and ‘football in India’ varied over the year.
c) Competitor research
The final step involved in evaluating your niche is competitor analysis; how they monetize their blogs.
- Is it through affiliate marketing? If yes, what is the range of products you can promote, can you incorporate those into your content?
- Is it through digital products? Are audience purchasing eBooks, courses, webinars, consultation services?
- Is it through advertising? If yes, what’s the revenue model? On average, how much a blogger makes with a certain amount of traffic?
This research helps you understand with ‘best ways to monetize your blog.’ Plus, you can have the estimated income figure and profit potential within your niche.
Pro tip: The best blog niche can somewhere be spotted at the point where your passion, audience needs, and market potential aligns. So take your time getting to that.
Recommended Reading: 15 Best and Profitable Blog Niches in India
Step 2: Choose a blogging platform
Now that you are set on the blog topic, you can get to the actual part of setting up your blog – deciding on a blogging platform.
Since blogs are made up of content, deciding to use a CMS (Content Management System) over a traditional HTML website can be beneficial in many ways. Some are:
- You can set up the blog with no coding knowledge.
- You can create content easily and manage it.
- You can design or add the new functionality as you want.
With over 60+M users, WordPress.org is the most popular and reliable blogging platform (CMS) I recommend you to choose.
Also, it is essential that you know there are two versions of WordPress. The first one, WordPress.org, is free to use, and the second one, WordPress.com, is paid.
I need you to choose WordPress.org.
Here are 6 reasons why should you choose WordPress.org for your blog:
- It is easy to get started and run hassle-free.
- There are over 58,000+ themes and plugins to work with.
- You will have control over everything; designing, creating, and scaling to monetizing.
- There is seamless integration with page builders and tools to make your blog more appealing.
- It is an extremely customizable platform developed on PHP language and can be tweaked as you need.
- There is a massive community for discussing possibilities with and helping each other.
So for someone new wanting to start a blog in India, WordPress.org is the absolute classic.
Recommended Reading: 7 of the Best Blogging Platforms in India
Step 3: Choose a web hosting
If you’re building a blog online, there are a few expenses that you have to make: one is hosting.
Hosting is like a foundation. Your blog and content stay on the Internet via hosting (also known as a server). If it goes down, your blog will go non-functioning. If it doesn’t allow the necessary resources, your blog speed will be reduced, which leads you to get stressed.
With that in mind, you must invest time and energy in figuring out which web hosting is the best to start a blog.
As a novice, choosing a hosting service to run your blog can be tricky. You might get overwhelmed with questions like, Which hosting is reliable and easy to manage? Which one offers good customer support? Does it offer any discounts or freebies for first-time users? And, a lot of factors go into this, and you can get confused.
So I’m going to make this easy for you by sharing with you my recommendation – Bluehost.
Why is Bluehost my #1 recommendation for someone who wants to start a blog in India?
- Officially recommended by WordPress.org
- FREE domain name – Usually, other host providers may charge Rs.700-1500 a year
- Free SSL (HTTPS)
- 1-click blog install feature
- Super fast and helpful customer SUPPORT
- 30-day money-back policy
Overall, Bluehost is affordable yet has solid features to kick off your blog and offers good support.
If you’re still hesitant to go with Bluehost, consider reading my detailed Bluehost India review; you will have a complete idea.
Step 4: Pick a domain name (URL)
A domain name is nothing but your blog URL by which you will be identified on the Internet. For example, My blog address is www.bloggingexplained.com.
My friend Nikola Roza uses his full name as a domain URL for his blog. And some get creative with their domain name, like inspiretothrive.com.
Here are some tips to remember while choosing a domain name for your blog:
- Keep it small, easy to read, and remember.
- Avoid numbers if you can.
- Avoid doubled letters, like, blogginng..com.
- Try to secure a top-level TLD, like, .com.
- If a local business, country-specific TLD works just great. For instance, .in for India.
- Use keyword only if it makes sense and not implying a spam sense.
Type your desired domain name in the following tool to get started:
The next procedure is as follows:
- Check availability and click next.
- Enter your details for account creation –> Select the plan term –> Add/remove addons –> Purchase
Step 5: Install WordPress on your blog
Follow this in-depth video tutorial that walks you through the process of installing a blog on Bluehost step-by-step:
Simply put, after purchasing the hosting service, you will get an email from Bluehost with instructions on setting up a WordPress blog.
Step 6: Design your WordPress blog
After running through the 1-click blog installation, you will get to see your new WordPress dashboard. Here’s how it look:
Your following action is to have a professional-looking theme that can go a long way in making readers consume your content quickly.
By default, Bluehost will offer a website template (theme) during the blog setup process; by using it, you can design the layout.
WordPress hosts over 12k free and paid themes, each with its own features. However, two themes that I’ve really been impressed with are Generatepress and Astra. These are clean and give clutter-free appeal to your blog even with their free version.
Step 7: Basic initial blog settings
#1. Reset your admin password
Weak and default passwords can make your blog vulnerable. So you must create a hard-to-crack password for your blog.
You can do that by accessing your profile from the dashboard’s top-right area. And then, scroll down to the Account Management section, as shown in the image below.
#2. Configure general settings
You will need to navigate to Settings –> General to do so.
- Site title: Change the default site title from “My WordPress Site” to your blog name.
- Tagline: By default, it is “Just Another WordPress Website.” It should be such that it resembles your blog.
- Membership: Uncheck to avoid spammers.
- New user default role: Subscriber.
- Timezone: Set it up as per your regional time.
#3. Delete default (dummy content)
A “hello world” dummy content will be created on your page and post sections by default upon WordPress installation. It may look as shown in the image below:
Although it does not harm your blog, you should delete it too to make you and your blog professional.
#4. Change your permalink structure
Permalink refers to the default URL structure of the blog posts you publish. In WordPress, by default, it is www.yoursitename.com/?p=123 which is not communicative.
To make it right, visit settings–>permalinks and select “post name” structure and save it.
#5. Moderate comments
Don’t allow spammers to enter your blog with junk comments. You must approve the comments before they go live on your blog. Here’s how you set such moderation:
Visit settings–>discussion–> Tick comment must be manually approved option and save.
Well, you now have a blog, and you’re a blogger.
The next step is to create essential pages for your blog – Home, About, and Contact.
Don’t go exhausted thinking about what to put on these pages. Think of your potential audience, what you can do for them (Unique Value Proposition), and how your knowledge can solve their problems.
Depending on blog niche, you will have to produce content that generates readership over time.
If you’re still confused about what to blog about, here are a few tips:
- Know your audience well so you can write blog posts that resonate with them.
- Explore other bloggers of your niche to get some idea.
- SEMrush tool makes it easy to identify content ideas for your new blog.
Give yourself a pat. You’ve gotten through the most challenging part of taking your blog online.
For the following steps, you probably want to take your blog to the next level with the help of tools. The following resources can go handy for you:
- 16 Best WordPress plugins for new bloggers
- 25+ Blogging tools for beginners
- 11 Great ways to get traffic to your new blog
- 31 Experts talk about blogging tips to grow your blog
Starting a blog in India FAQ
#1. Usually, how much does it cost to start a blog in India?
It can cost you Rs. 190-300/mo for Bluehost web hosting (and you can avail free domain offer for the first year).
#2. Is blogging still profitable or a waste of time in India?
There’s never been a better way and time to start blogging in India and share your wisdom. Read about mind-blowing blogging statistics, then come back and tell me if you still doubt blogging – I bet you don’t!
#3. How do you start a blog for free?
I don’t recommend blogging on free platforms. They do not give you complete control over any aspect of your blog.
If you’re serious about making money off your blog or turning it into a business, then investing in a self-hosted blog service like Bluehost is essential. You will sound professional, authority and credible this way once you are off publishing content.
#4. How do I get more discounts with Bluehost in India?
There are three ways:
1) Check out seasonal offers with their sales team using the “live chat” option.
2) Go for a 36 months plan to save more money.
3) Buy on the “Black Friday sale” period that usually starts at the end of November and runs for a week in any year.
#5. I just want to blog occasionally about my life-happenings (no strings attached, though!). Should I go for a free or a self-hosted blog?
It depends on the objectives of your blog.
If the goal is to establish a blogging business, then WordPress + Bluehost is the right choice. Else, go free.
#6. Do bloggers get paid? If yes, how long does it take for a new blogger to earn money?
Yes, they get paid. I do not promise you any time frame. Blogging success depends on the level of your efforts. However, I see most newbies pick up the momentum within 1-2 years.
#7. I’m not good at English. Can I start blogging in India?
The best advice is to keep practicing writing every day. It makes you better. Befriend English writers and bloggers throughout so you can improve your English skills. You can also leverage tools like Grammarly.
#8. What type of blogs makes the most money?
Some niches with high PPC keywords and can make big money are finance, sports, gardening, pet, lifestyle, travel, fashion, marketing, health and fitness, food, etc.
#9. How often should I publish content on my blog?
There is no thumb rule for that – Daily, weekly, monthly, or even once in a quarter. But be consistent with the schedule you fix.
#10. What is the investment I need to make to start blogging?
When you use Bluehost, you can just get started with $140 for a total of 36 months, along with 12 months of the free domain.