It is getting more and more difficult these days to start a blog, at least that’s what the media is preaching all over the platforms, but in reality, there have never had as many tools as there are today suited for a non-technical person that increase the chances of building a successful and income generating blog.
So how does one start a blog in 2020 that sabotages and beats competitors in any sector or industry?
The principle of starting a blog is simple, but not easy. To create it is one thing, but growing and generating actual income is a whole different thing.
This article will be your basic guide for starting a blog without having to invest large chunks of money and even more importantly, time.
Take notes, because the secret tools, unheard tips and tricks are going to be revealed here, so I would like to have your full attention.
So, are you prepared to start your personal journey of expressing yourself in various ways and dominating the online business?
First, I would like to cover the topics I will be teaching for a smooth website/blog creation.
Table Of Contents:
Step-1. Choosing a Niche for Your Blog
Step-2. Select the Best blogging platform ( WordPress.org recommended )
Step-3. Choose a domain name For Your Blog
Step-4. Choose the right hosting for your blog ( I recommend Siteground Shared Hosting )
Step-5. Configure your WordPress Blog
Step-6. Customize your design of the WordPress blog
Step-7. Install the 10 best plugins
Step-8. Install Google Analytics of the wordpress Blog
Step-9. How to Submit Your Blog Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
Step-10. Write Content and Publish Your First Article
Step-11. Promote Your Blog
Step-12. Monetize your blog
Choosing a Niche for Your Blog
Nobody can run without learning how to walk, right?
So deciding what industry is right for you is necessary. A little bit of research has to be done as well, otherwise you wouldn’t know what waters are you sailing in, the path you want to go and the basic principles in a specific market.
Research suggests that most people are focused only for 3 months after starting a blog and then give up not seeing any results, but acknowledging that we can use this as leverage.
It’s difficult, but with some additional courage and discipline we can outwork the snowflakes who let go after seeing hard work ahead.
However, I am still looking for the most simple ways to crush the blogging business with the least amount of pressure and stress attached to it.
Finding the topic of blogging can be bothering and mind-boggling, but relating to the industries familiar to you, things you have experience in can lead you to the right path.
Some of the hottest blogging topics out there are Tech, Gaming, Self-help, Motivation, Online Business, etc.
If you are having a hard time deciding your own niche/industry, there are some wonderful online resources that can help you choose one.
Backlinko: backlinko.com is one of the most important websites that provide the best tips for such platforms and topics as WordPress, SEO, Blogging, Backlinks, and many more things that can possibly lead you to massive online success.
ShoutMeLoud: An internet marketing expert Harsh Agarwal’s blog shoutmeloud.com has a humongous popularity among the millennials who pursue careers in online marketing, blogging, SEO and digital agencies.
Choosing the right blogging platform (WordPress.org recommended)
Honestly, there are way too many of these often useless blogging platforms which sometimes even do more harm than good.
The best way to avoid this kind of mud is to stick to the fundamentals, we would recommend WordPress.org any time, in any situation.
With all the available templates, one can become a website creation master with no skills whatsoever. Period!
More than 83 million active users all over the world are using WordPress everyday. Using what is proven work and do its job is definitely the option to go with.
Here are some of the more popular blogging platforms I am going to be comparing in this section. If you’re interested in any particular platform listed below, you can check them out by clicking on these links.
Blogger is a free blogging platform designed for the easiest application. Because it’s owned by Google, it can be linked to different other Google.com products. Having the basic design options, one can get a freshly cooked blog running in no more than 15 minutes.
The only thing I don’t like about Blogger is it’s lack of support, meaning that beginners may have some fair difficulty getting their blog stand out.
WordPress.com is probably the most used and popular platform for self publishing used not only for blogging but for way more complicated websites as well.
Owned and powered by Automattic Inc.
It applies a new and modified version of WordPress.org, a classic piece of software used by bloggers and website developers.
WordPress.org, the father of all these kids is a free, open source web development software that can be installed on a personal computer and a web host for website creation with 100’s of templates that are constantly being upgraded.
Founded in 2007 and currently owned by Automattic Inc.
Allowing users to post multimedia and other type of content is revolutionary to say the least. Users are follow other users’ content.
With so many tools and additional applications Tumblr is for sure one of the whales to chase.
Medium is a publishing platform built by Evan Williams and launched in the middle of 2012. Owned by the Medium Corporation, an online conglomerate of tech news, mainstream media and education.
Squarespace, Inc. is a sophisticated private company, located in New York City, providing one of the most advanced softwares as a service for website building and hosting.
Its customers are allowed to use a variation of website templates, both drag and drop elements to create sites they can only dream of.
Wix.com Ltd. is an Israeli based software company, providing cloud-based web development for its customers.
Allowing users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools really simplifies the way people create websites and lets them experiment, thinking outside the box.
Get a domain name for your blog
Choosing a domain is another problem for some individuals, especially when most decent domains are taken, and if not, their prices can be reaching 7 digit numbers, can you imagine?
There even is a whole domain flipping/investing business going on a massive scale all over the world! However, there still is some opportunity for us amateurs:
Use a short and simple domain name:
Remember that short and easy to understand domain names will always be the gold of the internet.
Google ranks short domains a lot faster than these complicated, unreadable ones, so unless you are targeting an extremely specific audience, you have to buy the shortest domain name possible and again, choose a simple domain name that would be easy to remember.
Simple domain names have the advantage of getting recurring visits from the same people over and over again because they REMEMBER it better than other sites.
You must carefully research the keyword, choose a domain name that has traffic and gets at least some attention. This immediately come to help for your blog ranking.
Never use numbers in a domain name
Don’t ever use a number in your domain name, it makes it very difficult to rank and grow it on google.com.
Also, nobody would ever remember a domain name with a bunch of random numbers that they have nothing to do with.
Unless, of course, the domain represents events that occurred in a certain year… Exceptions.
Use a .COM extension
I recommend using a .com domain extensions because it is used worldwide and of its availability anywhere on the planet. If you want to get a domain name for your country, you can take it and target your country.
The domain name has to have some relation with the industry you are in or at least have some connection with your content.
Maybe you have always had a hobby you couldn’t ever pursue? This might be just the right opportunity for you to do that.
One more trick.
If you are passionate about what you do, you have a largely inflated chance of succeeding without using any additional and sometimes useless strategies.
A customer always has a sense of whether you love what you do or you don’t.
Select a web hosting suitable for your blog (I recommend Sitegroud Shared Hosting)
For any website creation, you will always need web-hosting and a domain, without those no content can be published or shown to anybody.
Now your next step is to choose the right hosting provider for your blog.
Choosing the hosting provider sometimes is a very difficult task, but I will guide you through a proven and tested platform that you can get on and start using immediately with no complications whatsoever.
Instead of putting you through a long hosting provider list, I suggest you go with SiteGround.
Siteground is the No.1 hosting in the world for beginners, and to be honest, their support and customer service is amazing. Didn’t believe until I tried myself!
Siteground is very concerned about the difficulties its customers face and are always out there waiting to help. Honestly, there is not much to help, everything is so simple. And, offering one of the lowest prices as well.
Follow these simple steps to get your domain and web hosting:
Step 1: Go to SiteGround and select a plan:
I always recommend the STARTUP plan. Click the GET PLAN button.
Step 2: Choose a domain name for your blog
Choose a domain name for yourself according to your circumstances. Once you have entered a domain name, click PROCEED.
Step 3: Fill In Your Account Details
Step 4: Enter Your Credit/Debit Card Information
–Agree To The Terms & Click The PAY NOW Button
After you click pay now, you will have to wait a several minutes minutes until your website hosting with your custom domain are ready. Now, check your email inbox for important details related your purchase and the following steps.
Now you can log in into your Siteground account for your next step:
Configure your blog using WordPress
To start customizing your website successfully, you will need to install WordPress, which is an essential tool for managing and publishing content.
Here I will be introducing you how to manage your website using WordPress and how to install it.
First of all, you have to log in to your hosting account and then Cpanel, which is a necessary part of using WordPress smoothly.
-Select Start a new website and click WordPress
–Fill in your website login details that you have on you already
–Check the terms and conditions box and click Complete Setup
-It will take a few minutes for SiteGround to finish setting up your WordPress site.
-Click Proceed to the customers area
-Click My Accounts menu on the top:
-Now, click the Go To Admin Panel button to visit your new blog’s admin panel:
-Your login page has just opened, enter your login details
You have got it!
Now what is left for you is to just set up your first WordPress site. Remember this URL, you will always need it to access your website management WordPress site, don’t lose it or give to anyone else, especially your password:
Customizing the design of your WordPress blog
Now it is the time for you to choose one of the designs provided by WordPress. Depending upon your industry, you will have options from digital agency to farming, from cooking to business to business, so you have to look at what you are picking.
I suggest install Astra theme because of how easy it is to design and manage, and it has many functions and applications available. My website, Sabotee.com was also created using Astra theme.
There also is a Pro version of the Astra theme which has even more features and tools that can be used both by beginners and advanced users.
Installing Astra theme:
Click the Theme button:
Now, click Add New
Now, search Astra in the search bar
Now, Click Astra theme
Now install the theme and take a look at your WordPress website.
Install the top 10+ WordPress plugins
Here I will be covering the most important and useful plugins that act like your true companions and tools which you can use in various ways.
Without them, website creation and development would hardly be as as easy as it is today.
Some of the greatest plugins to use are:
This baby is the most popular free or paid plugin for WordPress. This plugin gives you information about the people who come and visit your blog and helps optimizing and securing your website as well.
If something occurs inside your server for any reason, you will get a notification in your email about it and best possible ways to fix the problem.
One of the most essential website design and customization tools. You will be able to build your design completely as you wish using a simple drag and drop principle.
This plugin will allow you to create your dream landing page however you want. This site, Sabotee.com was also designed using Elementor.
The loading speed of your website is one of the biggest contributors in ranking on Google. This plugin lets you reduce loading speed using top tools for optimization of your blog using.
Often times people have to buy this plugin to get access to different features and ways to speed their websites up and rank faster because little things matter and WP Rocket finds them for you.
Rank Math SEO
For getting traffic from Google, you also need a SEO plugin. Rank Math is proven to work for so many individuals and business and it keeps improving. I myself am using this very plugin and never lets me down, the results are amazing.
Yoast plugin is also highly recommended by different creator on the internet, but I would recommend you stick to the Rank Math SEO plugin.
This special plugin lets people access the best version of your website both from their computer and their phone, it optimizes and corrects some essential subtleties inside your blog.
Amp helps your website get faster results in ranking on the Google’s search engine.
When you are writing a blog and other things come up, maybe family, friends, work or even sleep, you need someone to save your hard, precious work you are putting in. That someone in this case is UpdraftPlus.
A plugin which backups your unfinished work every time, so all the worries you are having about your content disappearing, will vanish.
Not backing up a site results in content deletion and not being to recover any of it. So don’t worry if your site is down, UpdraftPlus is always there for you!
Tired of constant useless and not meaningful messages, comments and posts, especially on your own page? No problemo! You can avoid worthless spamming using this very useful plugin that automatically detects and gets rid of spam on your blog.
Preventing spam has never been easier and more accessible to everybody!
WP-Optimize is a significant, all-included plugin that clears your database, compresses images, and removes cache from your website, which is essential when seeking safe and optimized access for your audience.
The cache feature this plugin has was built using the world’s fastest caching engine.
This simple, popular and highly effective tool has everything you need to keep your website fast and carefully optimized. This one is better than anything else you can get installed!
Insert Headers and Footers
This plugin helps you overcome the anxiety of looking where to put the code that Google Analytics, custom CSS, Facebook Pixel is asking you to add to your WordPress blog’s header and footer.
WPForms will help you create professional and beautiful contact forms, feedback boxes, membership, payment forms, and other types of user experience tools for your site. It won’t take long!
Install Google Analytics for your WordPress Blog
When you are starting a new blog, you must be able to see how much upcoming traffic it is getting. This has never been so easy, just another important tool is needed to set up. Google Analytics.
It will show you your website’s traffic reports in real-time and help you see so some of the flaws you have that are keeping you from getting to the top of the Google’s search engine.
So, how does one set up a Google Analytics account for a website?
1. Visit Google Analytics
Search Google Analytics in your browser
2. Create a Google Analytics account
If you already have a email address created with gmail, you can log in immediately.
-Enter your email address and click NEXT
–Enter your Gmail account password
3. Now click SET UP FOR FREE
4. Create account
Step 1: Account name: Enter the name you want to create an account with.
Step 2: Now, you will see 2 options pop up, either a website or an app. In this case, you must select the website.
Step 3: Enter the name of your website which you can find on the WordPress dashboard, also website’s URL, country, and time zone.
Once you have entered this, click NEXT and then you will be shown the Google Analytics terms and service conditions which you must agree to, so click on the ‘I Agree’ button.
Step 4: Now, a Google Analytics tracking code will be given to you. You must copy this tracking code to be able to enter it inside your WordPress site. More about that in the following steps.
If you have followed the previous steps, you must have the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. If you don’t have, take time and install it now, it is crucial for your tracking code input.
Now that you have your personal Google Analytics account, let’s take a look at how we are going to install Google Analytics in WordPress.
Submitting Your Blog Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
How To Submit Your Sitemap To Google Search console:
Here are some basic steps you must follow:
Sign in on Google search console
Select your Website name
Click on Sitemap from the left sidebar
Add your Sitemap URL (Example: sitemap_index.xml)
Sign in to your Google search console account
-Click on Google Webmasters
–Enter Your email address and click NEXT
–Enter Your Gmail Password and click NEXT
-Now, Click SEARCH CONSOLE
Select the Website you own
–Enter Your Website URL using www. ( Example: www.yourdomain.com ) and click CONTINUE
You can complete the Ownership verification of your website using HTML tag.
Now you must copy the code you were given earlier and paste it in the Head section in Insert Headers and Footers plugin and click SUBMIT.
Click on Sitemap located in the left sidebar
Input your Sitemap URL (Example: sitemap_index.xml)
You are all set now. Just press SUBMIT and Google will immediately crawl your sitemap file and start indexing every single one of the links listed in the sitemap file you have submitted.
Write and Publish Your First Blog Post
You now have a fully completed and all-set blog website. That’s your real business now. The question is, what is next and how to create, publish and exploit the things you want to say and express yourself.
Here you will be following some steps on how to build your content smoothly and successfully:
To get the table for writing your blog, you have to go to: DASHBOARD – POST – ADD NEW
Now you can see a tool similar to Microsoft Word which, I suppose you have all the skills needed to start using it. The difference is, when you are finished with your article and press the publish button, it happens to be on your website immediately!
Now, add a title for your first article. In this upper main section you will choose and write the title of your blog post.
The box below will be used for the main content of you blog. Here you will be able to insert links, images, symbols and so much more!
If you are having trouble finding a topic for your first blog post, you can go to Google and do some research on what is on demand, what people are reading these days.
Tip: It’s only your first article so don’t overthink too much – as you write more, you will learn more and gain some relevant experience.
Special trick: I always recommend going for long-tail keywords. They are much easier to rank on the Google search engine than the short-tail ones.
Always try to think of a great title for your blog, make it memorable and understandable, this will help you get visitors to come back to your blog.
Using images are also a good strategy for getting more engagement, a better SEO score and ranking on Google.
You can also put a guide on your landing (home) page to help visitors better understand what you are about and what kind of value you are giving.
Use words like I and YOU to connect with your readers and try not to use copyright images from google.
Also, you must try to shorten the URL of your blog post.With all this in mind, I think you are now prepared and able to write an awesome article which would lead you to having loads of traffic!
Promoting Your Blog
So you have created your first blog article and you might be asking, what’s next? Well, now you going to want to promote it and get that first real, organic engagement.
I know it may sound daring and scary at first, but there are many different proven ways to promote and grow a blog. Let’s hear them and make your blog successful and competition-beating!
Tell all your friends and family you have an online business/website:
The word of mouth is arguably the best marketing strategy that had been working not for decades, but centuries!
By letting all the people you are familiar with know about your online business you will gain some trust and engagement immediately! From one person reading and referring to another your blog will start growing like hotcakes!
You can find leads for free on the web, visit different forums and groups on facebook, instagram, twitter and even linkedin. Promoting blogs via email is a very powerful way because an email message is very personal and makes people feel more connected to you.
If you do not have an email list yet, then you have to start creating it from now on by reaching out to people, sharing your articles online and collaborating with individuals with similar interests.
Social media is a great way to share your content in a friendly way and also engage with readers and customers.
You can bring traffic to your blog by sharing your posts on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and many other social platforms out there. Some people are just waiting to read something useful!
Answering peoples’ questions and providing value to them while also sharing your articles is one of the best ways to boost engagement.
Quora presents you with different and unique features that can be used for connecting with people, getting your content out there and even receiving leads for free!
Comment on other blogs:
Commenting on other blogs that have some relation to yours is a another way for building relationships with top bloggers within your industry.
Advertise your blog:
Blogger advertising while having loads of traffic may earn you lots of money. LOTS. There are many free of charge ways of advertising, like using Google AdSense which are easy to use and ready to go.
Monetizing your Website
I would like to congratulate you on starting your own blog!
So now, how does one make money from a blog written?
Blog monetization can be done in various ways, using the most profound and easy strategies out there.
Here are 5 ways for monetizing your blog:
Selling educational courses
Congratulations to you my buddy!
You have got your own blog website up and running.
Keep up the good work, we will see again soon! A new and rewarding career path is waiting for you.
Never give up and don’t miss any opportunities presented to you!
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