Want to get into blogging? Excellent, great decision. You will be amazed to know that, blogging can give you a boss free life. But is that so easy to earn from blogging? So, In this article let’s learn in and out about blogging and How To Start a Blog From Scratch.
Let me be very clear that the blogging journey is not a bed of rose, and earning from blogging is not everyone’s piece of cake. Setting a wrong context does not make any sense as many lands into blogging thinking that it’s an easy money-making scheme.
Being transparent and loyal to your audience is the key to blogging success. I don’t trust if anyone says that, they are into blogging just for a hobby. I have a handsome job in the USA, but still, I am into blogging, because down the line I want a boss free life. Don’t you? If yes, let’s dive in!
Let’s set the context of this article from the basics so that you have a step by step approach about how to start a blog or how to start a blog for free to make money.
- What Is Blogging?
- Benefits Of Blogging
- How bloggers earn money?
- Placing ads on your blog
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Post
- Online training
- Online service
- Blogging Platform
- How much do I need to spend to start a blog
- Do I need paid training courses ?
- Start A Blog : 10 Easy Steps
- Step 1: Choose a niche
- Step 2: Choose a domain name
- Step 3: Buy reliable web hosting
- Step 4: Install and Setup WordPress blog
- Step 5: Get a good premium theme
- Step 6: Install Essential Plugins
- Step 7: Keyword Analysis
- Step 8 : Write your first blog post with on page SEO
- Step 9: Initiate and improve off page SEO
- Step 10 : Promote Your Blog
- Conclusion: How To Start A Blog
- FAQ Related To How To Start A Blog
What Is Blogging?
Blogging is a dynamic website through which you can share your knowledge, amplify your thoughts, and broadcast your ideas. It is a platform through which you can enrich your dream to become a self-dependent person who lives life with his or her own rules.
Blogging has a steep learning curve, off late blogging became very popular and everyone is trying to get the first place in the Google search result page. So unless you have the required skill and tricks to outperform others, blogging becomes a tough game.
Difference between a website and a blog
Many people get confused between the two and many people feel that both are same. But that’s not true. A website is a static web portal where contents do not change regularly. For example, if you look into any company web portal, that’s a website.
On the other hand, a blog is a dynamic website where contents get updated regularly. Instead of having just a few pages on a website, a blog can have thousands of web pages
Benefits Of Blogging
Earlier blogging used to be a time pass activity as there were very few sources of making money out of it. In 2020, blogging became one of the key sources of earning money, only if you know how to do blogging correctly.
Below are couple of benefits of blogging that you may experience.
Broadcast your passion
Many of us have the zeal to broadcast our passion and expose our skill to a greater audience. Blogging is the right platform to do that. You can write articles on your favourite topics and show off your passion for that niche. In fact, if you have a passion for blogging then only you should get into blogging.
Subject matter expert
If you start a blog on a particular niche and start writing on it, in the long run, you may be considered as a subject matter expert on that niche. That is something you can feel proud about as you are helping people with your expertise.
Earn fame and money
It’s true that blogging gives you a lot of money but we should not overlook the fame that we get from blogging. I know how people respect pro bloggers and try to follow their path. They consider successful bloggers as their inspiration. You can be one of them as well.
Be your own boss
Yes, it’s true that you can be your boss if you are successful in blogging. That does not mean that every blogger can achieve that. And don’t expect that you can achieve that height within a few years of blogging. But it’s a fact that if you stick to blogging one day you may become your own boss.
Here is a summary of Shoutmeloud earning. Harsh Agarwal earns a huge amount every month from blogging and he is his own boss. Does not it feel inspiring?
Must Read: Shoutmeloud Earning Report From Blogging
Personally, I love to meet new people. For sure many of you may also like networking with like-minded people. With blogging, you can do that. You can connect with fellow bloggers and connect with thousands of like-minded people to share knowledge.
How bloggers earn money?
Placing ads on your blog
This is one of the widely used methods for earning money from blogging. Most newbies apply for AdSense as soon as they start their blog. But frankly speaking earning through ads are the most challenging part of blogging. However, there are many bloggers who are earning millions of dollars only through AdSense.
You need millions of views per month to earn about $1000. You need extreme effort and dedication to achieve that level. Well, many get through this but most of the bloggers fail to achieve.
Google AdSense is one of the most popular ad networks through which you can earn money. Getting approval is also super easy. Only thing is that you have to follow their rules.
Must Read: How to get Google Adsense approval
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn money from blogging. You promote different products and services through your blogs. If someone buys those products or services by clicking on those links, you earn a commission.
Earning from affiliate marketing is way higher than any other methods. A successful blogger usually earn about $10K per month just from affiliate marketing. See how Santanu earned $7200 in just 4 days during Black Friday sale.
You can earn a good amount of money from blogging through sponsored Post. But your blog should be of high authority and then only you will get sponsored Post. If takes a couple of years to make your domain a high authority site.
Once your blog reaches a level, you will notice numerous request to have sponsored post in your blog. Because you blog already has a presence, so a sponsored post help them to reach to their targeted audiences. Usually a bloggers gets about $30-$100 per sponsored post. For some it is even more.
If you have expertise in a certain area, you can sell online training. You can take live video class, webinar etc to showcase your skills. But again you should build a brand for yourself first. No one will buy your online training if you are not skilled and popular.
A perfect example of earning through online training is Mr Kulwant Negi from BloggingCage. he earns thousands of dollar every month from his online courses.
Most of the pro blogger nowadays sell e-book which is one of the great sources of income from blogging. The content of E-Book can be the same as online training, but in online training, you have to interact with users.
in 2020 we do see bloggers are more comfortable in selling ebooks and earning a good amount of money. Here is one of the affiliate marketing book my Mr. Anil Agarwal which is a great read.
Must Read : Affiliate marketing Bluprint by Anil Agarwal
Along with ebook and online training, you can also take up a consultation to solve different problems of your audience. This is one of the good ways of gaining audience trust and earning thousands of dollar
Must Read: Blog Consulting service by Akhshay Hallur
Many blogger offers website design service , SE I Optimization, blog optimization as a service and earn good amount of money. If you have those skills then you can also earn a lot of money .
This is one the decision that you should take at the very beginning of your blogging journey. It is always possible to switch between different platform at any point of time but it always make sense to start with the right platform to avoid any hassles in the future.
There are numerous platforms, both paid and free are available to start your blogging journey. If you are a newbie and don’t know anything about blogging, then you should try the Blogger which is a free blogging platform. But I would always suggest you to learn the basics of blogging and start blogging on WordPress. Here are couple of benefits that WordPress offers.
- Self-hosted free platform
- Over 50000 free plugin to enhance functionalities
- Responsive community support
- Over 50 % of blogs are powered by WordPress
- Dedicated optimized hosting only for WordPress
- Top-notch SEO features to rank in Search engines
Here is the list of top 5 blogging platform that you can try and start your journey. All are free and easy to use. The intuitive navigation in those platforms is a breeze for newbies.
Don’t get confuse between WordPress ( Self Hosted ) and WordPress.com. WordPress ( Self Hosted ) is a blogging software which you can install in any hosting and start your blogging. The software is free of cost but you need to pay for hosting.
On the other hand WordPress.com is a blogging platform where you need to blog under a sub domain of WordPress.com. In fact if you want you can redirect that sub domain to any custom domain you want. But ultimately the back end will be still the WordPress.com
You may also like to read my another article where I spoke about 10 best blogging platform in 2020. I wrote in detail about each and every bogging platform so that you get a clear idea about which blogging platform to choose.
Must read : 10 Best blogging platform in 2020
How much do I need to spend to start a blog
This is a question that I come across almost everyday. It is one of the query that every new blogger has in their mind. In fact when I started blogging, I had the same question. So no surprise.
Trust me, You don’t need pay anything except for your web hosting and domain name. In fact you will find free hosting and free domain. But I wont suggest to use those. With growing competition, now a days you can run a blog by paying hardly about couple of dollars. That’t it. Sounds amazing?
But, here is the glitch. Blogging is a business and every business needs investment. Think about a store that you set up, You can run the store by investing very little amount of money. But if you want to grow, you need investment. Same goes with blogging as well. If you want to grow in blogging, you need premium themes, premium plugins, premium tools etc.
There is no fix number of plugin or tools that you can install in your WordPress blog. It depends on what functionality you want in your blog. Ideally following costs are involved in a typical blog
- Web Hosting
- Domain Name
- SEO Tools
Out of all those cost involved, the monthly cost of SEO tools is very high. You need to sped about $ 90 for popular SEO tools like Semrush or Ahref. Below is the list of my expenditure for this blog which looks very professional. If you want to create a basic blog then you need to spend way less that what spent.
Want to know more about my toolbox? Then go to the below page.
So you can see that, I made a first year investment of $422. But from now on wards my recurring expense on blogging will be around $100 max considering every theme or tools gives 30% renewal discount.
How to start a blog for free to make money?
Yes, You can start your blogging journey for free. You can start with Blogger which is a free platform . You can also monetize the blog on blogger using Google Adsense. On top of that you can also earn from affiliate marketing
If you don’t like blogger, then you try Medium which is free for publishers. You can start a publication and starts earning from it. Currently Medium is available to only US publishers to monetize
You can also try Weebly, Wix or similar other platform to start your blogging journey. You can buy a domain and redirect the blog so that it looks more professional.
As you see that there are multiple option to start a blog for free. The only thing that is needed is passion and zeal to do something. If you have that, no one can stop you.
Do I need paid training courses ?
I would say, NO. Personally, I never bought any course or any books on blogging. I decided to learn from my mistakes and trust me, that’s the best way to learn blogging. Unless you do mistakes, you can’t learn.
But I am not against any online courses or e-Book. There are some excellent online courses out there which you can try to get the initial boost but again, if you want to get success in blogging, you need to learn from your mistakes.
Most of the bloggers offer paid training courses to build their audience and sell their affiliate products. You will find almost similar materials among all the bloggers who offer training courses. Those are just basic training, no one share their secrets for sure.
If you are a beginner and don’t know anything about blogging then I would suggest you to follow some well established blogger and learn from them. You can join their Facebook groups and you can learn a lot.
Start A Blog : 10 Easy Steps
Step : 1
Choose your Niche
Step : 2
Buy a Domain name
Step : 3
Buy Reliable Web Hosting
Step : 4
Install And Setup WordPress
Step : 5
Install a premium theme
Step : 6
Install essential plugins
Step : 7
Step : 8
Write Your First Blog Post & On Page SEO
Step : 9
Off page SEO & Link Building
Step : 10
Broadcast & promote your blog
Step 1: Choose a niche
Choosing a niche is one of the first and key steps in blogging. Niche is like a category. You need to decide on which category you will be starting your blog. If you choose the wrong niche then there are high chances that your blog will fail.
Choosing a niche should be based on your passion and profitability. For example, you maybe passionate about writing on a particular subject, but if that niche does not have any demand in the market, then there is no profit. Right? Ultimately everyone wants to earn from there blog
On the flip side if you choose a profitable niche for which you don’t have any passion to write, then Soon you will be frustrated and your blog will never grow.
How to choose a niche for blog
First of all, you need to know that on what category you have the expertise and also you are passionate about. For example, being a mechanical engineer, I love to write about mechanical engineering. That’s why I am running a blog on that niche
Do some market research to find out what is really trending and what people love to read. Ultimately you are writing for your audience. If you are not able to understand your audience requirement then blogging is a tough game.
You also need to think about your monetization strategy before choosing a niche. For example, if you want to earn through affiliate marketing, then you need to choose a niche that has enough affiliates.
Ask the following question to yourself before choosing a niche.
- Are you really passionate about your niche
- Do you have the expertise to write on a particular niche for a longer period of time
- Can you be able to solve others problems.
- Is that choose has a market demand
- Is that niche has enough keywords to rank
- If there enough affiliates to earn money
- Is the niche already overcrowded.
Common mistakes during niche selection
Many new bloggers do this mistake of having a multi niche blog. What that means is that, their blog is based on multiple niche or category. Having a multi niche blog is a bad choice as your audience will be confused as the won’t know what they can expect from your blog .
Blogging has evolved over the years and in 2020 people love to read a blog about a single category. Mixed niche may work for bloggers who are already established. But for new bloggers it’s kind of sucidal.
Most new bloggers try to choose a niche on which they see that other people are making a lot of money. They think, if they can earn, we also can earn so much money. But one thing they forget is that they have to choose a niche which has less competition. Others are earning does not men that you can also earn.
Few Profitable niche examples
What is micro niche
Let’s take an example, imagine that you are good at writing about web hosting. But you have created a blog only on VPS hosting. So this blog will be considered as a micro-niche blog as you are writing about a micro category.
Please make a note that the Micro niche has a great potential to rank quickly but you may not have enough topics to write about for a longer period of time. Micro Niche helps new bloggers to earn quickly.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
Domain name is like your online address. The more easy and specific the address, more easier for your audience to find it. So it is always advisable to keep your blog domain name short, simple and specific. Here is an example of a Domain name.
Choosing a domain name also depends on the niche. For example blogbyts is based on the blogging niche. So the domain name has the word ” Blog” . Though there is no SEO advantage, but if you keep the niche in your domain name but it gives your audience a clear idea about the blog contents.
Best practice to follow while choosing a domain name
- Domain name should be short. Preferably between 8-15 characters
- No hyphen in between words
- Always try to buy .com extension
- Domain name should not have other brand words.
- Domain name should not have copyrighted words
- Prefer to use your niche in your domain name.
- Try not to have numbers in domain name.
- Domain name should have you blog main keyword or a long tail keyword of your main keyword.
Many bloggers use a domain name which reflect their brand. For example shoutmeloud. They use the name which does not reveal any specific niche but it’s a brand. Similarly I run blog called Riansclub which I created to create a brand.
Popular Domain Name extensions
Always try to buy .com extension as this will give your blog a wider presence. If .com is not available then try for .org which is basically for organizations. If your blog is on the tech niche then you can buy .net extension.
What is country specific domain name extension?
If your blog is targeting a specific country like India then you should buy a domain name with country specific domain extension. For example amazon.in. or amazon.uk like this. This helps in local SEO and give your blog a quick boost
If you want to create a brand then all key domain extension of that brand domain name. For example I own almost all domain extension of RiansClub as I planned to make it a brand.
Here is one interesting video on how to choose a domain name. Its a must watch for new bloggers
Here is one in detail article about how to choose a perfect domain name.
Must Read: How to choose a domain name
Step 3: Buy reliable web hosting
Trust me, web hosting plays a big role in your blog success. Web hosting is an online space where your website files are stored. It is always advisable to go for high-speed web hosting from a reliance web host. Many people think that even if they start with a bad host, they can change it later. What I would say is that, why not choose the best first time.
Following are the types of web hosting available for bloggers to choose from.
- Shared hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Virtual private server ( VPS)
- Dedicated hosting
Out of all above four types, for low to medium traffic blog usually uses shared / cloud / VPS. If you get huge traffic daily then you should choose a dedicated server.
This is the cheapest web hosting that you can buy. In shared hosting, you will have to share your webspace, ram, and other resources with other customers. That’s why you may not get good speed as the server is used by multiple people. Shared hosting is only good for beginners.
Advantages of Shared hosting
- Cheapest web hosting
- Easy to set up
- Beginner friendly
Disadvantages of shared hosting
- Security concern as you are sharing space with others
- Usually very slow loading speed
- No good customer support
In shared hosting, your files are stored in a single computer along with others but in cloud hosting your files are shared across many computers. The benefit of this is that you will get better speed. Also, there will be hardly any downtime as your files are shared across many servers. Cloud Hosting is also one type of shared hosting.
Advantages of cloud hosting
- Superior speed than shared hosting
- Easy to set up
- Better server resources
Disadvantages if cloud hosting
- Like shared hosting, cloud hosting is also not secure
- Not so good speed compared to a VPS
- Bad customer support
Virtual Private server ( VPS)
As the name suggests, it’s a virtual server. You will get the flavor of a dedicated server, but that will be virtual. What that means is that a physical server will be distributed to a couple of users virtually.
The best part of VPS is that you will get dedicated resources like CPU cores, RAM, Space, etc which was not possible in shared hosting or cloud hosting. You will get a significant speed boost in VPS.
Advantages of VPS
- Significant speed boost
- Dedicated resources
- High security features
Disadvantages of VPS
- Costlier than shared hosting
- VPS is also a type of shared hosting
- You need to have some knowledge about setting up web hosting
If your blog gets a huge amount of traffic, then you should choose a dedicated server. Owning a dedicated server is way too costly and it does not make any sense if your blog does not get much traffic. But if you want to start an e-commerce business then you may need dedicated server even though you are not getting much traffic.
What is WordPress hosting?
Nowadays you will see many web hosts are offering a service called WordPress hosting. What it means is that it is just a shared hosting with WordPress pre-installed and pre-configured. Even the server is configured to give the best for WordPress. You can also expect a dedicated support team for WordPress.
Technically, there is no difference between shared hosting and WordPress hosting. It is just a marketing tactics. So please don’t fall into the trap if some web hosting company charge you more just because of WordPress hosting.
Things to consider before buying Web Hosting
- Don’t buy from cheap hosts
- Don’t get fooled by the unlimited plan. Nothing is unlimited in this world.
- While buying hosting, choose a server location nearest to your target location. For example, if your target audience is India, choose server locations like India or close to India.
- Make sure your web host has enough security measures to save your website from hacking.
- Your web host should use the latest PHP version
- Buy a web hosting which offers daily backups.
- Check the bandwidth as per your requirement
- The web host provides an SSL certificate
- Check the server resource and type of server.
- Check the review of their technical support. A good web host with bad technical support is a big pain.
Best Web hosting for beginners
If you are a beginner, I will always prefer you to buy shared hosting as it is cheap and easy to setup. As and when your blog grows, you can switch to VPS or dedicated server. Here are the top 5 web hosting that I recommended. Mostly all are shared hosting as this article is all about for beginners.
- A2 hosting
- Fast commet
Trust me, if you are a beginner, you can blindly go for Siteground. This is the best hosting that I have experienced. Most of my blogs are hosted on Siteground and I am really happy with it. Siteground is officially recommended by WordPress.
Siteground has world-class servers with NGNIX cache and lastest PHP version. They in fact have their own cache plugin which helps to gain good speed. Daily backups and website migration is a standard in Siteground.
One of the best parts of Siteground is their technical support. They respond very quickly and they have a solution to all your WordPress problems. I never had any issues with their support. Pricing starts from $2.95 and goes all the way to $11.95. I personally use the grow Big plan which is enough for a low to medium traffic blog.
One of the issues with SiteGround is the renewal price. That’s where A2 hosting shines. The pricing of Siteground and A2 hosting is similar but renewal price is less in A2 hosting. Many people choose A2 hosting just because of their fare renewal pricing.
The top two shared hosting plans in A2 hosting uses a lite speed server with lite speed cache. Lite speed server is known for good speed and A2 hosting claimed that you will get 20X speed. I am using A2 hosting for a couple of my blogs and to date I did not have any issue.
Bluehost is one of the WordPress recommended web hosts. They also use world-class server setup and pricing is also similar to A2 Hosting and Siteground. I see many new bloggers start their journey with Bluehost. Although support is great with Bluehost you can not compare them with SiteGround. Personally I never used Bluehost, But I heard good reviews about Bluehost.
This is one of the old hosts which is known for offering excellent web hosting plans. Again the pricing is similar to all those web hosts listed above. Personally, I used HostGator for one of the blogs and I had a great experience. Their cloud hosting plans are really good and you are expected to get good speed.
Fast comet is comparatively a new web host compares to others on the list. Their plans, pricing, and offers are almost similar to Siteground. I prefer the topmost Fast Cloud Extra plan which is similar to siteground Go Geek plan but the price is half the pricing of Go Geek Plan. Even the support is great but you can compare that with SiteGround.
I use and recommend Siteground Hosting as this is the best Hosting I have ever experienced. World-class server with top-notch infrastructure along with excellent support is the key to Siteground.
Here are the snapshots of my two blogs that are hosted on Siteground
Step 4: Install and Setup WordPress blog
Once you decided your niche, bought your favorite domain name, and reliable hosting, the next job is to install and setup WordPress. If you use shared hosting, then there is a high chance that you will get C panel. To install WordPress using C panel you can watch the below video as I feel a video makes more sense. Also there is an article on this topic so that you can get a detail idea about how to install WordPress.
Must Read: How to install WordPress
Here are few important things that you should take care while installing WordPress
- Prefer to install WordPress on WWW subdomain like www.blogbyts.com
- Always select the https protocol while installing
- Set up a strong password for the admin panel
- Use the latest PHP version
Sometime you may need to test some features of WordPress. For that, you can install WordPress on your local computer. You can watch the below video to understand how you can do that.
Don’t Forget !
Don’t forget to submit your blog to search engines like Google and Bing
Step 5: Get a good premium theme
The theme is responsible for changing the look and enhancing the functionality of your WordPress Blog. The default theme that comes free with WordPress, does not have many features and I won’t suggest you use that unless you are short of money.
A premium theme brings a lot of new features that are required for SEO. It also changes the look of your blog. A theme is also responsible for how fast your blog loads. Here is some task that your themes do.
- Changes your website look
- Enhance functionality
- Adds SEO features
- Offers a platform for other plugins to work
- Changes the interface of back end
- Speed up loading of your blog
Don’t get free or nulled themes. They will do more bad that anything good to your blog
How to choose a good theme?
- Check the theme speed by checking the demo. Three are many tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom tools, etc to check website speed.
- Make sure the theme had good SEO features.
- The theme should allow for minification.
- Buy a theme that follows good coding practice.
- The theme should be mobile friendly and responsive
- Offer free updates and support
- Better to get AMP supported theme
- The theme should allow for advertisement insertion
- Better to have a theme with schema enabled
- The theme should offer enhanced customization
- Get a theme from reputed companies
Best themes for WordPress blog
The following themes are a few of the best themes for WordPress recommended by many pro bloggers. I personally used couple of those theme and I am extremely happy with it.
- Authority Pro
Astra is one of the best and fast WordPress themes. This blog is using Astra pro and a page builder called Elementor. Do you feel this website design looks bad? or the speed is bad? I don’t feel so.
Astra is just about 50 KB in size when installed and loads in less than a second. It comes with numerous features and it is also schema enabled. This theme is also AMP supported and their support team is one the best.
Astra offers a lot of customization and you can also raise support tickets to get minor CSS customization which is a great plus. Generally, no support team will entertain this type of customization.
Generatepress is considered as one of the most lightweight and fastest theme. Size is about 30 KB and loads in less than a second. The theme comes with a lot of features and best suited when used with a page builder like Elementor. Many popular blogs like MasterBlogging, Bloggingcage uses Generatepress
Authority Pro is based on genesis framework which is one of the most secure frameworks. The theme is fast and lightweight but lacks customization. However, it comes packed with many security features and many pro bloggers use this theme.
If your blog is about news and if you publish new posts daily, you can try Newspaper theme. The theme is feature-packed and does not need any page builder. It has its own page builder called tagDiv composer. The only issue that I faced is that the support is not responsive.
If you want to know more about different other themes, pros and cons and other features, then you should read the below article.
Must Read : 10 Best WordPress theme for your blog
Step 6: Install Essential Plugins
By default, WordPress comes with very limited functionalities. So you need plugins to enhance the functionalities. WordPress has over 50K plugins in its repository. Let us discuss a few essential plugins that you need to install right after installing WordPress. Mostly all plugins are free, but you may need to buy some premium plugins to add some required functionalities.
Rank math is an SEO plugin which is a must if you want to rank your blog post. Rank math is a completely free plugin that comes with a ton of SEO features. It has inbuilt features for schema markups, support for AMP and elementar, FAQ block, and many more features that are not available in any free SEO plugin.
The closest rival of rank math is Yoast SEO. But the free version of Yoast provides very limited features and I won’t recommend that. Also, the support of Rank Math is just awesome.
If you want to learn more about Rank Math, pros & cons and how it compete against Yoast SEO, then you can read the below article.
This is a must-have plugin if you are really serious about blogging. This is the number one cache plugin which will boost up your blog speed. There are many free alternatives available for WP Rocket. But no plugin is near to what WP rocket offer.
This plugin minifies your themes and plugin codes and loads your blog really fast. It also stores a cache of your blog so that repeated visitors can open your blog in rocket speed. It reduces the number of HTTP calls drastically which help is loading your blog fast. Trust me, I did not see any pro-bloggers who do not use WP Rocket. This is an investment you won’t regret later on.
We are living in an era of Social media. Social media can drive tons of traffic to your WordPress blog. Social Snap is a plugin that enables the social share feature so that you can share your post to social media easily.
Not only sharing your post to social media, but it can also show you the data about how many times your post is shared on different platforms. It has an intuitive dashboard to show you how your blog is performing on social media.
WP table builder
This is a plugin that helps you to create intuitive tables. The Default WordPress table does not have many features. So this plugin is a must if you want to show tables in your post. You can add text, images, button in the table which is really great.
WP deals and coupons plugin
If you want to create an affiliate blog like this, then this is a must-have plugin. This plugin enables various deals and coupons in your WordPress post which helps in getting some sale. All the deal and coupons that you see in this post is created using this plugin. Even the below deal is also got created using this plugin.
Must Read : WP Deals and coupons review
You can buy this plugin to beautify your WordPress post and pages. If fact you can completely change the look of your website. It will add a lot of functionalities on top of your theme. It has a drag and drops feature through which you can insert elements very easily.
Although page builders are not a must-have, if you use a page builder, your bog design will be very easy. All pages and posts in this blog are designed using Elementor Pro.
Table of content plus
Table of content plus insert an index of all your post headings so that users get an idea about what you post content might be. It’s similar to what you see in any Wikipedia article. Table of content also helps in SEO as search engines gets a sneak peek of your post content using this table of contents
If you want to start an affiliate blog then you need a plugin to collect leads. Thrive leads is an awesome plugin which can help you to collect leads. It has numerous options like an inline box, pops up box, sticky ribbons, slide-in forms, opt-in widgets and many other useful features.
If you use a page builder like Elementor Pro, then you may not need this plugin. But if not this is a must-have plugin if you own an affiliate blog.
Jetpack is a bundle of a couple of plugins offered by WordPress itself. This plugin helps you to connect to WordPress mobile which is essential if you want to do blogging from your smartphone.
If I write about Jetpack features, then probably it needs a couple of articles as this is a bundle of plugins. I personally use Jetpack Image CDN and Comment plugin. Please don’t use all features of Jetpack as it slows down your blog speed.
One of the other best features that Jetpack has is the image CDN. Basically jetpack store all your blog images in their own server and deliver from there itself without bothering your server. This helps in gaining speed.
No one knows when something goes wrong with their website. Updraftplus is a backup plugin through which you can take regular backups and restore it when required. Updraftplus can be connected to a popular cloud platform so that backups can be stored in your cloud storage.
WP all in one security
The security of any blog is a prime concern. WP all in one security helps you to protect you from hackers, spammers, etc. It has many inbuilt features that are essential to protect your blog. Don’t get confused by the security features offered by the web hosting company. Those are for servers. But to protect your blog from hackers, you need security plugins like WP All in one security
AMP for WP
Please make a note that the AMP version of your blog may not look as good as a non-amp version. But it will load fast for sure. If you use AMP, then there is high chance that you will rank quickly in Google as google loves speed and AMP
Step 7: Keyword Analysis
So we are now all set to write our first blog post. But before that we need to do some keyword research. Keyword is a word or group of words that users basically type in the search option in any search portals like Google. You should write on those keyword which basically users search.
For example, you are writing on a keyword ” How to crack JEE”. But no one search for this on Google. Then your effort will be wasted as no one will ever search your post.
So our goal should be to write on a keyword for which there are enough searches made by users. There are many online tools which help you to get that search data.
Types of keyword
- Shot tail keyword
- Long tail keyword
Short Tail Keyword
Short Tail Keywords are basically one to two words keywords. For example, ” Chicken Biriyani” is a short Tail keyword. It is very hard to rank in a short Tail keyword as a beginner.
Long tail keyword
Long tail keywords has more than two words. For example ” How to cook chicken biriyani. If you write your post on long tail keyword , there are high chances that your post will rank easily.
How to do keyword research
You can do keyword research using following popular tools.
All these three tools give a lot of different data. As a beginner, it’s a bit confusing. So you just need to look into the following data of your keyword to decide if you need to work on that or not. All keyword Analysis tools give these three basic data of any keyword.
- Monthly search volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Cost per click ( CPC)
Monthly search volume
This is the monthly search volume of a particular keyword. You can get the data for a particular country or for the world. The more the search volume, better the keyword to work on.
This is a statistical score given by all the keyword research tools to give an idea about how difficult the keyword is to rank. Lower the score, better the keyword to rank for.
Cost per click (CPC)
If your primary income source from your blog is an advertisement, then you have to look for CPC of a keyword. CPC is a value that advertisers are ready to pay for that particular keyword. Higher the value of CPC, the more profitable the keyword is.
Always work on a keyword which has high search volume and CPC but Low Keyword difficulty
Step 8 : Write your first blog post with on page SEO
When you decide the keyword, the next task is to write your first blog post. But writing a blog post is not like writing an essay. You need to take care of SEO while you write a post. Content writing is an art and it takes time to become an expert.
Write content in simple language and write for human, not for Google. Don’t write articles which does not add any value to your audience. Your article should cover the topic in detail. No one likes half baked food. Right?
Add enough images and videos to support your articles. People loves beautiful images and videos. Video helps to improve your bounce rate which is a key parameter for your blog growth. Don’t spare any single option to hold back your audience.
Difference between on page SEO and Off page SEO
On page SEO need to be done in your blog. Doing on page SEO is in your control. You can do on page SEO on every page and post of your blog. Off page SEO is not in our control. You can do it by back linking, guest posting etc. We will talk about off page SEO later in this article .
Following are few on page SEO techniques that you should use while writing a post. This list is not exclusive and there are hundreads of such SEO tricks that you may need to follow.
- Article should be minimum 600 characters long
- Always use short paragraphs. Maximum 3-4 lines
- Use bold letters to highlight key points
- Use headings frequently between paragraphs
- Use main keyword in title and headings.
- Use power words like ” Best” , ” Key” in title and headings
- Better to have numbers in the title.
- Use main keywords or long tail keywords in sub headings.
- Put enough internal link in your post.
- At least put two external links to some good authority websites.
- Embed YouTube videos
- Use table of contents
- Use ALT test for all images. This helps search engine to understand what the image is all about.
- Don’t use any copyrighted image. Use Pixabay or pexels for getting copyright free inage
- Use schema markup. You can use Rank math for that .
- Use FAQ schema markup. This is something that Google loves.
- Use attractive thumbnails. You can use Canvas for that
- Absolutely no spelling mistake. You can use grammarly to correct your spelling mistake.
- No half baked article. No one likes in complete article. Write as descriptive as you can.
- Give social proof in your article. For example in this article I said that Bluehost is recommended by WordPress. I also shown the proof.
- Finally, try to give a solution to a problem . Your article should not create confusing or question among readers.
Step 9: Initiate and improve off page SEO
To rank a post you need 40% of on page SEO and 60% of off page SEO. So no mater how good you write, unless you do off page SEO, it’s very hard to rank your article. Off page SEO takes time. There is no quick process to sky rocket your off page SEO.
How to do off page SEO
- Get back links from high authority websites.
- Do guest posting to your niche blogs
- Join forums and be active on that.
- Comment on others blog post
- Spare yourselves from spam back links
What Is Domain Authority (DA)?
Domain authority is the value that shows how authoritative your domain name is in the internet world. More the value of DA, the better it is for your website. Domain authority depends on many factors like age of domain, type of website, number of good back links, how regular you are updating your blog and there are many other factors.
What is page authority ( PA) ?
Page authority ( PA) is the value that shows how authoritative your page is. In case of DA, it was the domain but in case of PA it is the page. If you do proper on page SEO, your page authority will be improved.
You should have good DA and PA ratings to increase your chance in getting good rank in Google search result.
What is back link?
Let me explain this with an example. Lets say that your blog link is shared by any other blogger in his /her blog. So when some one visit that blog, they will see your blog link and may visit to your blog also. So basically, the other website is recommending your blog or I can say that the other website is back linking your website. The more quality back links you get, more better for your blog.
There are two types of back links that you can get.
- No Follow back links
- Do follow back links
In case of no follow back link, your blog wont get any link juice. What does that mean is that although your blog link is present in other blogs, but that website is not really recommending your blog. Basically no follow back link does not get much of weight. The simplest way to get no follow back links is by commenting on other blogs.
On the other hand do follow back links carry link juice to your website and its most valuable and effective for your blog. You can get do follow back links by guest posting, joining forums etc.
Always get a diversified back link profile with mix of dofollow, nofollow backlinks, Guest posting etc. That is more natural and google likes it.
Step 10 : Promote Your Blog
Promoting your blog is very important. This is to let the world know that you have a blog and has some great contents. As a beginner, it is more important as you need more traffic and you will hardly get any organic traffic.. There are numerous way you can promote your blog as shown below.
Join or create a Facebook group
You can join any Facebook group in your niche and starts answering to people’s query. That way they will learn about your and your blog. If you have good networking skills, you can also create a Facebook groups and create a network of bloggers. You can share your thoughts and blogging ideas in this groups and get traffic.
Be active in question-answer forums
A great example is Quora. You can join quora or other forums like Reditt, Linkedln and starts answering to others concern. When people will realise that you are solving their problems they will be interested to visit your blog. In fact Quora is a great source of traffic now a days
Guest posting helps you get do follow back link and also helps to get recognized. If you can do guest posting in authority websites, there are high chances that you will get good amount of traffic. But make sure your guest post adds some value, otherwise it may backfire also.
If you are a new blogger, then advertisement trough Google and Facebook helps to get the initial boost of traffic. Now a days cost of running advertisement is very low. But frankly speaking , you need organic traffic in the long term to grow your blog.
Great ! Welcome to this Blogging World
Conclusion: How To Start A Blog
Blogging is the future. Blogging will help you to become your boss. The best way to become successful in blogging is to follow your basics. Be punctual, be productive and be regular. Listen to your audience and keep adding value in their life. People won’t follow you for what you are , but you are adding value to their life.
If you are owning an affiliate blog, then don’t be pushy in selling your products or services. People won’t buy. Show them that your product or service may solve their problem and surely they will buy it. After all blogging is all about how you connect to your audience.
FAQ Related To How To Start A Blog
How much does it cost to start and run a blog?
You can start a blog for free. But if you start with WordPress then you may need to spend about $ 200 initially and then $100 every years. That amount varies based on the type of blog you want to create
How to earn from blogging?
You can earn from blogging through different ways like Affiliate marketing, Advertisement, Sponsored post etc.
How to get traffic to my blog?
Publish useful contents, Do on page and off page SEO, Be active on social media and question answer group and make sure you choose the right keywords. You will get traffic for sure.
Is blogging worth in 2020?
Yes, Only if you know do right way of doing blogging.
Blogging Vs Youtube: Which one to choose?
Both complements each other. I would prefer to use both is possible. But blogging has more opportunities for earning money whereas YouTube has only advertisement and sponsorship’s.
How to start a blog for free to make money?
You can use blogger, medium , wix and other free platform to start your blogging journey for free