Starting a blog is not a challenging task. It is quite easy, indeed. All that is required is to follow a few tips, and you can launch the best blog with a massive return in investment. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to acquire blogging skills if you have the right tips.
Well, scratch it!
You can find all that you need right here, right now. In this article, we’ll be exploring the different ways to start a successful blog that brings food on your table.
Why do you need to Create a Blog?
First, what is a blog, why do you need to create your blog?
The blog is one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news on the internet.
Blogging is so valuable to many internet users and business owners. I have been able to make money through blogging, and I have suddenly made writing a hobby.
Below are the reasons why anybody should start blogging.
1. Build a large audience
Blogging will allow you to attract a large number of people that are using the internet from every part of the world. You can promote your brand or business through your blog.
You will attract billions of internet users, and this will allow you to meet new people whom you can convert to friends, customers, or even business partners.
2. You can monetize your blog
It is no news that many bloggers make money through their blogs. Actually, blogging is one of the easiest ways to make money online.
Many think making money from a blog is hard or bored. When you have engaging topics and enough readers, you will start making a few dollars.
3. Help other people
If you are the type that always likes to help people, blogging is also for you. Your advice may go a long way in helping other internet users in the decision. For example, this blog post will help you in deciding whether or not to start blogging. To be honest, if you have a tendency to help people, that’ll actually fetch you a good amount of money in return. Not directly, but yes indirectly through various monetization methods.
4. Improve your skills and learning
To teach other people through your blog posts, you can teach yourself to be familiar with the topics. You improve directly or indirectly in so many areas like writing, composition, and organization.
5. Express your ideas
Many people have ideas but don’t have a platform to express their thoughts. A blog is a platform where bloggers can easily express their stories and express their feeling on a particular topic.
6. Work whenever and wherever you want
One of the reasons I started my blogging. I am my boss, and I decide whenever and wherever I have to work. Most times, I find inspiration when I am on vacation with family and friends. I do not operate under the pressure of a boss or a customer.
It is pretty much easy and straightforward for me to add other occupations alongside blogging.
As a blogger, you are a celebrity. Aside, you will have opportunities to meet stars whenever you are invited to speak at an event. The possibilities are countless. You will have the chance to push yourself beyond what you think you can never achieve. I remember when I was starting as a blogger, I never thought I would go this far to winning awards and speaking at public places.
8. Travel and tourism
Depending on the niche, blogging makes you visit many different exciting places all around the world.
9. Build web skills
Microsoft Word and Excel are packages that anybody can learn but a handy web tool for bloggers. WordPress, photo editing, and video editing are essential skills for bloggers.
10. Stop having a boring life
Blogging is interesting. You enjoy yourself creating and engaging the audience from different parts of the world and yet still get paid for it.
How to create a blog
- Choose your blog’s niche
- Set out your goals
- Pick your domain name
- Choose your web hosting plan and register your domain name with them
- Install WordPress
- Pick a suitable blogging themes
- Creating your first blog post
- Install important WordPress plugin
- SEO (Optimize your blog)
- Content creation
- Monetize your blog
Choose the right niche for your blog
There are many different blogging niches. Marketing, travel, cooking, sporting, crossfit exercises, vegan dogsitting are just a few of them.
Your blog must be known for a particular thing. It makes no sense if a blogger starts posting many random topics. Choosing a blogging niche doesn’t have to be a hard thing to do.
Many will advise you to write about what you are passionate about or what you know, but this is not enough. The key to building a successful blog is finding one of the niches which you’ll be able to attract the audience to your blog. With this, you will be able to profit more from your hard work. I am not saying that passion is not essential in picking your blog niche, but the most important thing is to choose a profitable niche. Remember, money drives passion more than passion drives money.
A profitable niche will make a blog more interesting. But how do you find a profitable niche? A profitable niche is different from a popular niche. Many popular niches may not be profitable.
Profitable niches are competitive but highly demanding. You don’t want a highly competitive niche. You will have your blog beaten by higher and long-excited blogs. Also, you won’t want to pick a small niche though with less competition and low demand. Your blog won’t generate enough traffic and will strive.
Pick a blog niche that could be easily monetized.
For Instance, if you decide to start a blog based on your passion, skills, and experience. You write many blog posts with video tutorials on YouTube and Instagram. Write two 5000+ words articles in a week.
It will sound pretty impressive, but this is not the best way to choosing a profitable niche. It will get boring along the way when the money is not flowing in.
Monetization should be a priority when choosing a profitable niche. The above niche may take years before you can monetize.
As humans, we all like getting credit for the things we do. Imagine putting so much work into building your blog, writing articles, and buying equipment for video training for months. You are not getting the right amount of traffic for monetization. It will frustrate anyone.
Everyone wants to get that recognition for our works irrespective of what we do.
95% of bloggers fail because they start thinking that passion, skills, and experience are all they need to be significant in the blogging world. They create exciting blog content but still fail at the end because they wouldn’t drive the amount of traffic they needed to generate monthly income.
To get started as a pro, you must take your blog as a business. Your ideal niche should be based on:
- Audience revenue potential
- Professional leverage
- Keyword research
Audience Revenue Potential
A big question anybody starting a new blog should ask is: Who is my audience? What problem am I helping my audience to solve? It should not be a question of what my niche is.
A blogger should identify its audience and be able to address the important problems they are facing. The best way to do this is by understanding yourself. The question you are willing to solve. When you solve this problem for yourself, you will be able to put many to solve the same problem. Is that right? Yes, it is.
This blog was created to make a passive monthly income. So, I created the blog, and since creation (Dec 2019), I have been able to generate $300+ monthly income. I’m targeting $5000 per month by the end of the year 2020. If I can do it, you can too. You can check my blog’s progress and income history here.
I targeted an audience that is looking for a hustle and what to make passive income through blogging.
Your Professional Leverage
Your professional leverage will give you an edge and make you a step ahead of your competitor. It would help if you had professional experience and connections. Building a relationship with the influencers is vital if you want your site to get backlinks from authoritative websites.
When getting started, you may have very few connections, but meeting with other bloggers, you may get one or two more contacts from there.
If you also have a few people you have worked with before, you can use their connections also. Take, for example, if you have worked as a freelancer previously and you are willing to open a blog, you may contact bloggers whom you have worked with before.
The most crucial part in choosing a profitable niche is keyword research. It would be best if you looked into what people are searching about, what will make your blog website relevant, and profitable.
People search Google more than 60 thousand times every second and 5 billion searches per day from every part of the world. Why not tap from the fantastic opportunity.
When choosing your niche, you need to find if the keywords in your niches are constantly being searched.
These are a few tips for you to follow:
- Use SEO tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to find keywords
- Look out for medium volume and low competition keywords (Medium Volume words are 5,000 – 20,000)
- Very high-volume and high competition keywords (Very high volume are 100,000+)
Setting out your goals
That’s one of the most underrated steps in creating a successful blog. You should be able to set attainable and achievable goals. Your goals must be S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. It will help you grow both professionally and personally.
What can these attainable goals be?
Increased monthly traffic
Everything you will be doing on your blog should always bring an increase in traffic on your blog. Traffic generation is an essential aspect of any blogging. An increase in traffic means growth in your blog, and decreased traffic show that your blog site is not performing well.
Increasing your blog by at least 6% every month is worth the growth you require for a successful blog.
The following are things to do to increase traffic:
1. At least one post per week
To get the attention of your reader, you should post daily. At least, write a blog post per week. And as time goes on, you should increase it to two, three, and more. The blog posts will engage your readers to spend more time on your blog.
2. Make ultimate guide of about 2000-5000 words
This idea is to promote traffic on your blog. And it should be part of your goals when setting a successful blog. Writing long content will make people spend much time in your blog, and this will, in turn, promote your blog also.
3. E-mail subscribers
Getting an email from your readers and increasing your email list is also very important to driving traffic to your blog site. It is one of the easiest ways to get readers back to your website apart from googling search.
You should always send your subscribers useful and engaging content on their email. You should also provide a link to refer them back to your blog. So that when they read and like the content of the email, they can easily click on the link to take them back to your site.
4. Make connections with influencers and feature them on your post.
When talking about marketing, influencers will quickly assist you to grow. You should write and feature them in your post. Also, you must let them know as at the time it’s being published. If they like your post, they may decide to share with their audience.
You should be in a relationship with at least ten influencers.
Pick your domain name
You have been able to pick a profitable niche and have set out some vital goals; the next is choosing a domain name. You must do the first two steps before you pick your domain name.
This step is vital before launching the roadmap to a successful blog. You have to choose the most suitable domain name for your blog because it will tell people about your blog’s niche.
It is a big decision that is not easy to change. Hence, it must be simple, perfect, and available.
What is the domain?
You need to familiarize yourself with the concept of a domain name.
A domain consist of two-part:
- The brand or blog name.
- The extension.
A domain is an address that will help readers to locate your blog site. Without a domain, nobody will have access to your content online.
Examples of domain names are Facebook.com, YouTube.com, Google.com, etc.
Picking your domain name
Your domain name is your brand name and should tell people more about your blog site.
The following are ways to name a blog.
Using your name
It is advisable to use your name if your blog site is talking about you or your lifestyle.
Using your niche
Popular blogs I know use their niche to name their blog. It is a better way to advertise your blog.
Using your company
It is better to stick with the company name if your blog is about a company.
Tools to help choose a domain name
There exist many tools that can help you pick a suitable domain name. Among them are:
Picking the domain extension
- Choosing a Top Level Domain (TLD) is also very important. Among the TLDs, .com is the most popular.
- Other TLDs include .net, .org, .edu, .gov, .int, accountants, .uk, .au, .agency, .business, .city, .digital, .photography, and .social, .sport, .blog, etc.
- Among the TLDs, the .com is the best option. So when setting your domain name, go for .com.
- If .com is taken, you can go for .net or .org in the case of a company blog.
Important tips while choosing a domain name
1. Choose a Dot.com TLD
I always advise the Dot com TLD (.com). Avoid going for the newly cheap TLD because it doesn’t look professional. And note that when people are searching for your blog, the first TLD that comes to their mind is the .com domain.
2. Avoid hyphens
Putting hyphens in your domain name doesn’t look professional, but it will only make people find it difficult to locate you. It is better to avoid hyphen, for instance, blogging-mile .com.
3. Avoid numbers
Avoid numbers in any means, Especially for abbreviations, for instance, bloggingmile1 .com
4. Always choose a short domain name
Choose a name that everybody can remember. Choose a short domain name rather than a long name that can not get easily memorized.
5. Make sure it looks good
Also, your domain name must be well spelled to avoid difficulty in locating your blog.
6. It must be easy to pronounce
Make sure that your domain name is easy for people to catch at first pronunciation. If possible make it a common word.
Check if your domain name is available on many social media. Branding is essential.
Avoid copyright issues.
Note: Your domain should give a perfect impression of your blog because it is the first thing people will see before reading the content of your site. Pick the right domain name.
Choose your web hosting plan and register your domain name with them
This is an actionable step into the blogging world. And at this stage, you must have decided to be a blogger.
Here, you will learn about web hosting, web hosting plan, and how to register with a hosting company.
What is the difference between a web host and a domain name?
- A beginner may be wondering the difference between a web host and a domain name.
- Well, a domain name is the address of your website that people type in their browser’s URL bar to visit your blog.
- While web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your blog where it lives.
- To simplify it further, the domain name is the address to which the file of your website lived.
- The domain name is the address while the web host is the house.
What are the features to expect from a good web hosting service
Some of the important features to look out for from reliable web hosting services are:
Security is crucial to you and your customers. You won’t want a situation where your site will be hacked and hijacked or your customer data hacked too.
A good web host should be able to offer shared hosting at $20-$30. The hosting company recommended by WordPress is BlueHost.
Backup is significant for your website in case if your blog malware attacks.
4. 24/7 customer service
A good web host provides 24/7 customer service. In case you find trouble setting up your blog, the customer service should be available to render help.
Email is one of the features I looked forward to from any hosting service. It allows you to have your email with your domain name as URL. For example, in my case, it can be info@ bloggingmile.com
One of the key importance of choosing an excellent hosting company is reliability. You won’t want your site to go down at any time.
Registering your domain name
It is better if you host your blog and register your domain name with the same company, but it is not mandatory.
Registering with Godaddy
- Go to godaddy.com and type your choosing domain name.
- If your domain name is available, select the option. Then, “Continue to Cart.”
- You can select if you want domain privacy protection. If you’re not worried about people knowing who owns the domain, then simply select “No Thanks.”
- Click check out.
Most of the domain registrar uses almost the same procedure.
Setup your Blog: Use WordPress Platform
WordPress is no doubt, one of the best blogging platforms. It is used on over 80% of the websites.
WordPress is users friendly and incredibly extensive with plugins. This means you can add exciting functionality to your blog without the knowledge of HTML or coding.
WordPress also has some of the best blog themes. This theme controls how your site looks with a single knowledge of coding.
WordPress is also cheap, affordable, or even free. If you have a good hosting plan, you will be allowed to install WordPress free and without cost.
Another reason WordPress is more preferred over the other platforms is because of its search engine optimization compatibility. It makes SEO easier with plugins like Yoast SEO, All in one SEO, and more. It makes it easier to optimize WordPress without needing a code.
After purchasing your web host, WordPress will be available for you to install.
The following procedure will allow you to install WordPress on your web host:
- Log in into your web host’s cPanel.
- Click on the WordPress icon to initialize the installation process.
- You will be redirected to the Quick Install screen for WordPress. Click on the Get Started button
- Select your domain name from the dropdown and then click Next.
- On the next screen, enter your Site name, a username, and a password for your site. Then click install.
- The quick-install will start installing WordPress. Once WordPress is finished installing, click on finishes installation complete link.
- Log in with your username and password already created from step 5 above. You will be logged into your WordPress dashboard.
Note: To log in to your WordPress, your login URL should look like this:
yourblog.com / wp-admin
Pick a WordPress theme
When you first visit your blog yourblog. com, it will look shabby and unorganized. Worry not, WordPress has thousands of free themes that will make your site look beautiful. There are other paid WordPress themes also.
Customizing your WordPress site look is very important and rewarding for your blog site.
Customizing your blog site look:
- Navigate to appearance and click themes
- Go ahead and click on add new theme
- On the next screen, you will be able to choose from over 5000 WordPress free themes. You can search or sort by popular, latest, featured, etc. You can also buy a premium themes from any of these sites (Elegant Themes, Envato Elements, Themeforest, Themify, StudioPress)
- Preview themes by clicking on the preview icon.
- When you have found a suitable theme for your blog, click on it and wait for it to be installed.
- Activate the theme for it to function.
- Customize your theme to taste.
Create your first blog post
After customizing your new WordPress theme, you are now good to start writing your blog posts:
- Click on Add New under post
- You will see a text editor screen where you can write your blog post.
- Write your blog post title.
- Write your blog post and click the publish button when you are done writing your blog post.
Installing the most important WordPress plugins
This is one of the features of WordPress that make it more attractive for bloggers to modify their blog, add more functionalities.
Contact form, galleries, sliders, etc. are an example of those elements that can be added to enhance your blog site.
Creating a contact form
The contact form allows your readers to contact you directly. It is a handy feature if you want your readers to get back to you.
WPForms Lite is a free version of the formal.
To install the plugin into you WordPress:
- Goto Plugins > Add new
- Search WPForms
- Click install and then activate.
After installation, you need to activate the WPForms to work on your blog.
- Navigate to WPForms and click add new to create your first form.
- On the WPForm interface, create a name for your new form and click on a simple contact form.
- Edit the contact form accordingly, click on the Save button.
- Create a new page on WordPress by navigating to page and clicking add new.
- Name the page contact us.
- Click on add form.
- Select the form you created earlier and click on the add form button.
Google Analytics Tracking
Traffic is most precious to your blog, and to know how many people visiting your site daily, weekly, or monthly, you need Google Analytics tracking.
It helps you to know the number of visitors on your blog, what they are doing, and where they are coming from.
To install this feature on your blog site.
- Visit the Google Analytics website and sign in using a Gmail account.
- Sign up for a Google Analytics account.
- Supply your information and blog URL. You will get a Google analytic tracking code.
- In your WordPress dashboard, install the MonsterInsights plugin. MonsterInsights is a free version of the best Google Analytics plugin.
- Navigate to insights the click on settings.
- On the next screen, click on authenticate with google account.
- Follow the on-screen instruction to complete the setup.
After the setup, you will be able to check your blog analysis in the MonsterInsights tab. If you need more actionable features of this plugin like Publisher Report, Search Console Report, ecommerce store metrics or dimensions, you can upgrade to MonsterInsights Pro.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You now have a blog site, and you have written many blog posts. But checking the insight, your site seems to not getting enough traffic as you want. This is because your website is not well optimized.
Search engine optimization is a very important marketing strategy for bloggers. When you optimize your blog pages and blog posts, you will make it easy for readers to find you through Google.
Here are a few search engine optimization tips that will help your blog rank high.
Keyword research is an on-page SEO that provides valuable content on your blog. Mainly, you provide relevant keywords that are related to your content into your blog post. When Google crawl on your blog, it will rank your blog post higher with the keywords used.
Here are some tools that will help you find useful keywords.
- Google Keyword Planner (Use it for free)
- Semrush (Click on the link to try SEMRUSH free for 7 days)
- Ahrefs (Offers 7 days trial for $7)
- LongTailPro (Get 30% off)
- KWFinder (Have a free plan as well)
I will recommend SEMRUSH. It is the best keyword research tool for bloggers.
A. Utilize keywords throughout your post
It is not enough to just add keywords to your blog posts. To rank higher, you need to strategically position the keywords where Google crawlers can easily find it.
While including your keywords, try to put them also in
- Headings and subheadings
- Introductory sentence
- Concluding paragraph
- Anchor text (link text)
- Title tags and meta descriptions
B. Optimized images
Anytime you upload an image, especially on your blog post, use keywords for the file name and the tags. This will make it easy for google to find it and include its image search. Also, make sure to use the keyword in alternate text while uploading the image.
C. Referencing others with links
This is another SEO strategy that will help your site to get more traffic. Anytime you are writing a blog post, it is good you reference some other post with a link. This will make your readers spend more time on your blog.
Apart from referencing your blog post, you can also reference other people’s blog posts. The people you reference may decide to reference you in their posts. From there, you can build a relationship and learn from each other. They can also share your post in their social media accounts which can eventually bring more traffic to your website.
D. Social Media Signals
Brand your blog, create a page for it on popular social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media sites. This will allow you to connect with your current and future users.
Good Content Creation
Our last but most important step in creating a successful blog is good content creation.
As of 2016, there are over 160 trillion web pages on the internet. The number must have been increased significantly. For your blog to rank higher among its competitors, you need to create great content.
Creating good content may be tasking and take a lot of your time, but trust me, it is rewarding.
Here are a few tips that will help you while creating good content for your blog.
1. Do a thorough research of the topic before writing
Before you start writing about a topic, research what other related topics are about. Then, write your post to be better than the rest. This will make Google rank your site higher than your competitor’s.
This is best done by doing keyword research.
You can make an excellent article by revising a post. It is advisable to study and review at least five different articles relating to the topic.
2. Create value for your audience
Your content should be structured in such a way to add positive value to the life of your readers. Teach them, help them, mentor them to get things done. They will keep coming to your blog because they will take you as a kind of celebrity.
A meaningful way to stay ahead of your game is not only creating good content but continuously creating new content.
You are a content writer, and you need to create articles for your audience to read and enjoy.
What if you are stuck and you don’t know what topic to write about. How do you get inspiration for a new post?
Here are some tips for you to get inspiration:
Compile a list of your favorite posts weekly. It may be five, ten, or even twenty favorite posts weekly from other blogs from the same niche. This will always make you have topics to write about. It will be beneficial if you can write on at least a topic in a day. As time goes on, you will be able to increase it to two, three, and more per day.
2. Group brainstorming
This will help if you have a team or among your friends. You can ask them for ideas on topics to write. If you have a good relationship with other bloggers, you can share knowledge. Tell them what you are writing about and ask them what they are up to.
3. Feedback from readers
Encourage the readers to post comments on your articles. Asking your readers about what they feel about your recent post is good. It will make you improve in your next post. Also, you can ask your reader to tell you what they want you to write about.
4. Interview someone
An excellent way to get inspiration is by interviewing someone or a group of people. Writing a few questions for someone or a group of people to answer is a good way to figure out what your next topic should be.
5. Guest post
Contact smaller blogs and ask if they are interested in you posting their content on your website. This will effortlessly add content to your blog. It will be nice for you to link a page leading to their blog site.
6. Case study
Pick a company, personality, or topic and do a case study. Write about what they are doing presently that you like or that you don’t like.
7. Review a product
Pick a product and write about it. Your likes and dislikes about the product features. The company may even reward you for reviewing their product.
8. Success stories
People like learning from experience. Why not write about your experiences, mistakes, and success stories. There are a lot of people that will look up to you when your blog starts succeeding. Write about a step by step guide to your success.
9. Older post
Sometimes, older posts may do magic. Pick some of your earlier posts that are very relevant. Revise it and add information to it. You don’t need to repost an older post, make it look different.
What are people writing about? Use google trends to see the topics that are gaining people’s attention in your niche. Make your post stand out so you can get the attention of readers since many bloggers may also be writing about the same topic.
11. Take a walk
When you get stuck on what to write about, just take a walk. It will help you restart your brain. Though it doesn’t work for everybody. To some, going to the mall or movies. Figure out what works for you.
Note: Great content is not easily come by. Even the best blog site gets stuck. You just have to continue scratching until you can create good content.
Monetizing your blog
As a blogger, there are many ways in which you can monetize your blog:
1. Affiliate marketing
As a blogger, affiliate marketing is one of the surest ways to generate income. Affiliate marketing programs are the programs that allows you to receive a commission for promoting a merchant’s product.
Pay-per-click and pay-per-view advertisements are also a good way to earn a few bucks,
3. Selling ebooks and courses
Selling eBook and digital online courses are a great way to earn money on your blog. It will surprise you how this can turn to be profitable.
4. Google AdSense
Google AdSense, an advertising network that is run by Google, is one of the best ways you can monetize your blog. It allows bloggers to display texts, images, and rich media ads on a blog site.
Google AdSense is so easy to use, and you don’t have to input images to your blog manually. All you need is to input the code to where you want the ads to be display.
How to make a Google Adsense Account
- Visit the Google Adsense Page
- Click on Sign-up
- Complete all of the required information
- Create a new Google Account or link to an existing one
- Confirm your information