Want to start a blog and get paid by blogging?
After all, What’s better than following your passion and making passive income along. None the less, it’s a great way to start building your online career which could help you reach the new heights.
From the last 11 years, ShoutMeLoud has been teaching about blogging to millions of users around the globe and we are also publishing income reports every month to help you start a blog and live a boss-free life.
The reason for starting for your blog could be many of these:
- Sharing your knowledge
- Social impact
- Documenting your thoughts
- Passive income
- Free gadgets and stuff for review
- Getting invited to conferences and bloggers meet
Or any other.
For a starter, here are some of the questions you should be asking to start a blog:
- Where should you start a blog? (Platform for blogging)
- What niche you should pick? (Blog topic)
- What should be your domain name?
- How to buy the domain name?
- Where should you host your blog?
- How to buy hosting for your domain name?
- How to install your blog on the domain name?
- Design of your blog
- Essential elements to make your blog shine
- How to write the first blog post
In this guide, you will find answers to all these questions and will be able to start a blog.
So grab a cup of coffee and read on to your new journey.
Here are the steps to start a blog:
- Step 1: Picking the blog topic
- Step 2: Select the blogging platform
- Step 3: Pick a domain name & hosting for your blog
- Step 5: Install WordPress on the blog (Tutorial is given below)
- Step 6: Setup the design of the blog
- Step 7: Install the best WordPress plugins
- Step 8: Write your first blog post
- Step 9: Share your writeup with the world
- Step 10: Monetize your blog
- Step 11: Drive traffic and gain more exposure
Note: To make it easier for you to take action, I’m suggesting only those options in terms of platform, hosting which are working for everyone.
How To Start A Blog From Scratch and with No Experience
This blog creation guide is created for users like you who are just starting out and knows a little or nothing about blogging.
Within the next few minutes, you will have your blog up and running.
Step 1: Pick a Blog name & domain name for your blog
- Easy to remember
- Easy to type
- Easy to pronounce.
Just remember these 3 secrets when picking a domain name for your blog.
Name of your blog is the most crucial part for success. A domain name is the URL of a blog which a visitor will use to open a blog.
For example; www.ShoutMeLoud.com
A custom domain name is like www.ShoutMeLoud.com, for which we need to pay $12/year. However, I have shared a trick below which will help you save this $12 on domain purchase.
Now, there are a few rules which will help you to pick the best name for your new blog. Here are some of the tips from my experience:
- Prefer .com domain name above everything else.
- Your domain name should be easy to pronounce and easy to type.
- Make sure your domain name should not be confusing to the listener.
You can use Bluehost domain suggestion feature to check if your domain name is available or not. Simply enter any word that you have picked for your blog and it will also show you available domain name suggestions.
My suggestion is to be creative and follow the three rules I shared above. Here are a few things you should not do when selecting the domain name for your new blog:
- Don’t use a too long domain name. Try to keep it lower than 12 characters. Ex: ShoutMeLoud
- Don’t use domain extension like .info, .net and so on, because they tend to rank bad in Search engines. I always prefer and suggest to use a domain name extension like .com or .org.
Picking the hosting to start the blog:
Now, let us build our blog on a hosting.
Web-hosting is where WordPress will be installed. This is a server which stays online 24*7 and all your future blog images, your blog design and everything will be stored on this server (hosting).
That is how your website will be up and running 24*7.
The good thing is, hostings are cheap.
There are plenty of hosting service providers but for your blog:
Bluehost is the idlest choice as it offers everything you need to create a blog. Features like:
- Free SSL
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- Free domain name (Saving of $12/year)
- Easy to use cPanel.
- Live chat support
- 30 days money back guarantee
And the best part, it only cost $2.95/month
Here is how to buy it:
- Head over to Bluehost.com
- Click on Get started now
Select the Basic plan if you want to start one blog or Plus plan if you want to start more than one blog.
On the next page, you can claim your free domain name. If you are yet not ready with your domain name, you can click on Choose later.
On the next page, fill up your contact information. Pay special attention to package extras as you can skip a few things to save some money.
Apart from Domain Privacy Protection, uncheck everything.
Under payment information, you can pay via credit/debit card or if you want to pay via PayPal, you can click on More payment options.
Once you have made the payment, Bluehost will also create your blog in next 10 minutes. This will be done automatically and saves a lot of hassles for beginners who just want a ready-made blog.
If you like to learn by watching videos, here are two videos that will help:
Now, watch below video to learn about buying hosting and domain name:
Here is the cool part:
Once you are done buying hosting + domain name, Bluehost will automatically install the WordPress software on your domain name.
That means your blog is installed and now comes the cool stuff which is something every beginner blogger enjoy.
But, before we get there, have a look at this quick video to understand how you should be using Bluehost dashboard:
Set up your blog
The best thing about Bluehost (as you see in the above video) is, it will automatically install the blog for you. However, you are not done, as you need to complete a few things before you will write your first blog post
To start setting up your blog for branding and make it perfect, I have shared some guides which you can refer to get started:
Step 1: Select the Blogging Platform
The first answer you should have is, where should you create your blog?
There are many blogging platforms out there, and people have different opinions about each of them.
Most of the Bloggers start blogging on the WordPress platform.
WordPress is popular because it’s easy to use.
Here is an interesting fact: 30% of the websites in the world is powered by WordPress.
Once you have crossed the testing period, you are ready to do something more meaningful. Get a WordPress blog, and don’t confuse yourself with WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress -blog.
A self-hosted WordPress blog (WordPress.org) is what you need. It means you will be installing WordPress on your own hosting and getting a domain. This process is easy & in the further section, you will also learn how to do that.
Step 3: What your blog is about? (Niche)
The very first thing you need to do is find the niche of your blog. By niche, I mean finding a topic that your blog is going to be about.
I hope you don’t plan to blog about every random thing and make money. This doesn’t work in 2019 and your chances of success are better when you blog on a single topic.
You might be a jack of all trades, and want to start a blog on multiple topics, but it will not be fruitful, as people like to subscribe to a blog, which is an authority on a particular topic.
Moreover, Google which is the biggest search engine prefers a website which is built on a single topic. For example, ShoutMeLoud topic is “blogging,” and that’s how you found us.
Now, the big question is
how to find the topic of your blog?
Here are a few tips that will help you to get started:
- Find a topic that you know better than anyone else. It doesn’t have to be the job you are doing, and it could be anything. Try to think about the topic that you most like to talk about, and you can comfortably talk about it for hours.
- The good idea is to pick a topic that you usually read about. The topic which you read about all the time is something that interests you.
- Also, make sure you have a keen interest in a particular topic, and you can add values with your own insight.
- For newbies, I always recommend to take the help of pen-paper and write down the topics in different columns that you like. For ex: Motivation, Fashion, Technology, Finance, Photography, Scientific research, Babycare, health care and so on. Now, try to write 5 post ideas for those different columns. When you are writing the post title, think about what you can write without taking reference. By the end of the 5th article, it will help you to find the topic (Niche) that you like the most.
This is a critical step before starting a blog, as it will help you to pick a topic that you are most passionate about.
This will ensure that you will not burn out when your blog goes live.
If you are picking a topic that you like to talk about and write about, it will ensure that your burn out period will never come. So, I assume you have selected the niche for your blog which can make some money for you.
Conclusion- selecting the appropriate niche is the first and the most important step for starting a new blog.
Design of your blog
Blogging platform? Check!
Blog niche? Check!
Domain name? Check!
“The first impression is the last impression”, that’s the mantra we follow for a blog.
Blog design is the most important aspect of your blog because a good design will ensure that your visitors will love your blog. In fact, that is how your readers will remember your blog. Imagine your blog design as you with a nice outfit.
In WordPress, there is a concept called “WordPress themes”. These are ready-made designs that are available for all types of blog.
There are many Free and premium WordPress themes out there. I always recommend to go for a premium theme because you will get all the support and starter guide, and moreover, you will have a quality design for your blog.
Here are easy to use modern theme clubs which I would recommend you to start with.
- Astra theme: This is a lightweight theme which offers the template for all kind of blogs. Once you install this theme, you can pick from the ready-made template and your blog design will be ready within 30-45 minutes. This is a perfect companion for any new WordPress blog.
- Genesis: This is the costliest option, but certainly one of the best theme framework out there. You should opt for pro-package, which will let you access all their skins and future updates for free.
There are many more premium WordPress theme clubs out there, but I recommend any of the above two for a professional start.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins out there. Below I have mentioned only those plugins which you should install from day one.
Read this tutorial to learn how to install a WordPress plugin.
Here are plugins which you should have on your newly created WordPress blog:
You can find a list of best WordPress plugins here.
There are many more plugins, but the above plugins will ensure that you have all the basics plugin installed on your blog.
If you have followed, all the steps until now, your blog is up and ready.
Now, comes the part which you should be doing over the period of time and that is adding new content.
Plan your content
Before you start writing your first blog post, you should make a content plan.
You can use an excel or use a Trello board. Here is a free Trello content planning board that you could use.
This Trello board also comes with a checklist to help you write the perfect article. Click on more on the right sidebar and click on copy board.
In the article ideas, write down all the content that you could write. You can also create an outline of the content if you like.
It’s a good idea to do this in one sitting and next time you can start writing your content (one at a time).
Writing your first Blog post
Now, this is where the real fun begins, writing your first article.
I will share some of the articles link below to get you started, but here are few tips which will ensure you don’t make mistakes a newbie usually makes:
- When you are writing your content, imagine there is a person sitting next to you, and you are talking to the person. Write in the first person tone, because there is a single person who is reading your blog. For example, you are reading this blog post alone. That is why you might notice, my tone is “I” and “You”.
- Your content should cover all the aspect of the topic you are writing about. Feel free to write 1000+ words.
- Do not copy images from Google. Rather use these sites to download free to use images.
- You can also embed videos from YouTube. Here is a tutorial on how to do that.
If you wanna skip the general crowd and level up your blogging game, then read my guide on SEO copywriting. This will ensure whatever you will write will help you drive great traffic from search engine.
Add important pages on your blog
Here are some of the important pages, which you should have on your blog from day one.
- About page: Contains detail about your blog, and you.
- Contact page: A page with contact form. You can use free contact form 7 or Jetpack contact form feature to create a contact form on WordPress.
- Media kit page: You don’t need it now, but you should know about it. This page is where you will write about your blog traffic and available advertising options.
Driving traffic to your Blog
So, you have got everything covered and your first blog post is live.
Now, the next step is to driving traffic.
Follow the steps mentioned here and that will help your blog to be visible in Google search.
Now, there are many techniques which you can use to get traffic to your newly created blog.
Once you have established your blog, make your blog social so that your readers can join your community.
You just need to get started and no need to stress, as again I’m here to guide you with the best resources.
To get social with your blog, you need a Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter account.
Here are resources, which will help you to get started here.
- How to create Facebook FanPage for your Blog
- How to create a Twitter profile
- How to form a community out of your blog
Now, Make money from blogging in easy steps
There are many ways by which your blog can earn passive income for you.
Here are some of the most popular ways:
- Google AdSense
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored content (Get paid for writing about others)
- Amazon affiliate program
- Direct ad sales
- Own digital products like eBooks, Online course
I have covered all these aspects of blogging money in this exclusive article: How to make money blogging
What Else you need to reach the next level of Blogging:
Learn SEO to drive free traffic
SEO is an advanced topic and it’s hard to complete it in a single article. Many newbies try not to concentrate on search engine Optimization, and it’s a big mistake.
Search engine optimization helps you to drive targeted traffic from organic search, which in turn makes more money for you. There are three core parts of SEO:
- On page SEO: Your content quality, Keyword placement, and other factors.
- On-Site SEO: Crawling, indexing of your website.
- Off-Site SEO: Backlinks from other sites.
With the evolution of SEO, I would also like to add two more here:
- Social signals: Social media plays a great role in improving your blog ranking. Google plus is proven to be the best social networking site to improve ranking.
- User experience: New Search engine optimization is all about giving a great user experience. Some of the key aspect of good user experience: Navigation, site loading, website design, readability and so on.
Here are a couple of articles, which you should definitely read to learn about SEO:
- Keyword research for dummies using the Google Keyword tool
- How To Write SEO Friendly Content
- What is a backlink for SEO
Getting traffic to your blog
If you have done everything as mentioned above, you will start getting organic and traffic from social media sites. Now, here I’m sharing some of the selected posts to help you drive more traffic to your website. Do remember, targeted traffic makes more money.
Readership and improving your blog
One major difference between a normal blog and a good blog is the detailing.
An A-list blogger usually takes care of every tiny detail to ensure that users subscribe to his blog, and love to be a part of it. This is what we call turning one time visitors into readers. Here are some of the advance and less talked techniques to take your blog to the next level:
In the world of blogging, we always wish that there were someone who can guide us right from the scratched when we start a new blog.
While that may not be possible but there are plenty of resources available. Join the group and forums related to blogging and put up your doubts, there are thousands of people out there to help you out.
FAQ about starting a blog?
The idea is to be regular with posting. You can target one post a day and if you are creating long-form content (over 2000 words plus), even 2-3 a week is a great number.
Welcome to the world of Blogging!
I tried to cover as much as I could for a newbie to get started, but if you still have a question in your mind before starting your new blog on WordPress, feel free to give us a shout via comment.
Do share this start a blog guide with others who wanted to create a blog for some time.