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Do you want to start a blog, spread your word and also make some money from it?
Starting a blog & making it profitable is easier than ever nowadays. This is possible even when you don’t know the technical stuff, don’t know a word about coding or have no idea about web design.
In this free guide on this page, I’ll show you how to start a beautiful and functional blog in less time and with little to no money.
I’ll walk you through the entire process & help you in avoiding the most common mistakes newbie bloggers make.
Sound good enough? Let’s get started then…
What is a blog?
A blog is basically a website where you provide content to an “audience”. Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.
In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what’s new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not.”
Important Note: At this point, please don’t even think about “content” or “making money from it” or what you’ll be posting to the blog. I will explain it all to you in very precise and simple steps (No need to rush).
What makes a blog different than a “regular” website is this – Adding materials to your site is basically “push button” easy. Instead of creating webpages, designing the layout, uploading the files, linking everything together, and so forth, with a blog, this is all done seamlessly on a dashboard where you basically click your mouse a few times.
Why should you start a blog?
What most people think is that you need to be a great writer to start and maintain a blog. This is not true at all.
There is only one thing required to be a succesful blogger – passion for the topic.
There are tons of reasons why you should start a blog. If I start mentioning all of them, I’ll have to keep writing till sunset. But here are the most common and popular reasons to start a blog –
- Consistent writing will make you a better writer.
- You can share your story.
- Build a community.
- Increase exposure to your business or organization.
- Generate passive income or earn money from home.
- Connect with people & grow your network.
- It’s actually FUN!
Blogging is awesome and it actually has the power to change your life. In simple words, a blog can be your home, your community & your business, all at the same time.
So how do you start a blog? Here’s how…
You can start a blog in just 7 steps –
- Pick a name – be creative and descriptive.
- Getting your blog online – registering your domain, getting hosting & installing WordPress.
- Customizing your blog – choosing a theme + making some changes.
- Publishing Important pages – the important part.
- Writing your first post – the fun part.
- Promotion – spreading the word.
- Making money – monetizing your blog.
Here are the easy-to-follow steps to start a beautiful self-hosted WordPress blog with no technical experience required.
Pick a name
The very first step to starting a blog is to choose a good blog name. Your blog name should be descriptive so that the potential audience can easily tell what your blog is about just by the name itself.
If you want to blog about one specific topic then you will definitely want to include that topic in some way in your blog name.
Also read –
Try not to get hung up on just one word though. For example, a food blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “food” in it. The words “cooking”, “recipes”, and “meals” would also let people know that your blog is about food.
If you are planning to create a personal blog where you discuss a variety of topics then I recommend using your name, or some variation of it, since your blog is all about you. Or you can add “blog” to your name and use it. For example, “rahul’s blog” or “blogging with rahul”.
Once you have some blog name ideas you will need to choose a domain extension. A .com domain extension is the most preferred, but .net or .org work as well. It is also important to note that for the purposes of a blog domain you cannot have any spaces between words.
Since you’ve decided your blog name till now, it’s time to get your blog online.
Getting your blog online
You’ll need two things to get your blog online – hosting + a blogging platform. You can get both of these together & I’ll show you how.
There are tons of hosting services out there. Out of which only a handful of them are good and reliable and cheap.
Out of those I myself use and suggest Hostgator. The reason for that is very simple –
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee. HostGator has excellent uptime and even offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Easy installation of WordPress.
- Easy Sign Up Process.
- Affordable Prices.
- 45 Day Refund Policy.
- Excellent Customer Service.
- Unlimited Bandwidth and Disk Space at cheap rates.
To start, Click here to go to Hostgator & then click on “get started”.
Then select your preferred plan. I recommend newbie bloggers to select hatchling plan (you can change it later as your blog grows). Click on buy now after you’ve decided which plan to choose.
Enter your blog name/domain name that you decided in the first step. After that scroll down to fill out your personal + billing details.
Note: Make sure to choose a 36-month plan or at least a 12-month plan as it will save you a lot of money and a lot of time as well + you can change your plan later with the same money you used to buy your current plan ( if the time of your plan has not passed yet).
After you’ve filled all the details, make sure to check all the boxes out for additonal products as you don’t need them for now. You can get them later after your blog grows.
After doing everything as stated above, proceed to “checkout”. After that, you’ll receive an e-mail with your login details and links for your Hostgator portal + Cpanel.
Note: If you face any trouble or don’t want to go with the steps stated below (these are some technical steps), then you can just contact me & I’ll set-up your entire blog for free after you’ve bought the hosting plan from here and received the e-mail with login details.
Click on the Cpanel link to go to your Cpanel and login with the login details you received in the e-mail.
Your dashboard will look something like this.
Scroll down and locate “softaculous apps installer” and click on it.
You’ll see “WordPress” on the very first page you land. Click on install and fill out the details.
Make sure to choose the username + password of your choice.
Now just proceed with the installation & wait for some minutes till the installation gets complete.
Congratzzzz! WordPress is installed on your website now & we are ready to customize it.
Note: If you face any trouble in the steps above, know that you can always uninstall WordPress and reinstall it again, or you can just contact me & I’ll set-up your entire blog for free after you’ve bought the hosting plan from here and received the e-mail with login details.
Customizing your blog
To start with, you will need to login to your blog. Go to http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin to bring up the login screen (replace “yourblog.com” with your domain name). If you are unsure of your login name or password, check the email that was sent to you from Hostgator that has this information.
Choosing a theme
To install a new theme, you need to go to your website’s dashboard, then go to Appearance > Themes, then click Add New from the top.
Once the theme is installed click “Activate” to activate the theme on your blog. To see your new theme working, go to your blog and take a look!
PS – Free themes are not so reliable & don’t provide with a lot of features to customize your blog. This is why I always suggest using a premium theme, as it provides better security + a lot of options. I myself use Divi theme by elegant themes. You can take a look at it here.
Installing plugins (they’re free)
There are thousands of plugins in WordPress that you can install and use for free. But you only need some important ones as a greater number of plugins slow down your site.
First, you need to go to Dashboard > Plugins > Add new and search for the plugins I’m going to mention below one by one. Then, click “Install” and activate the plugins from the search results.
Here’s a list of plugins that you need to install –
- Yoast SEO
- Contact form 7
- Antispam Bee
- W3 Total Cache
- Social Warfare
Make sure to install + activate all the plugins mentioned above.
Creating a personal E-mail account
It is great to have an E-mail account like [email protected] as it looks more professional.
You can create as many such email accounts you want from your Hostgator Cpanel. All you need to do is to go your Cpanel > Email > Email accounts and then click on “create”.
Once your email account is created, click Email Accounts > Check Mail to access the webmail application.
Publishing Important pages
The next thing you need to do is to publish all the important pages of your blog.
These pages include –
- Homepage – Some blogs list their posts on their homepage (or main page). Other blogs, like mine, have what we call a “static” homepage. (Go to my homepage to see what I mean.)
- About – Your About page is one of the most important pages of your site and is often one of the most visited pages. Writing a good one is really necessary. (You can check out my about page here.)
- Contact – Providing contact information to your visitors is important. Blogging is a form of social media and it’s all about building relationships. Being present for your readers is a must.
- Disclosure statement – When you start making money, you must have a disclosure statement. Mine is here.
- Terms & Conditions – This page is important for telling your site visitors about the terms for visiting your site and using its content. Check mine here.
To create these pages, go to Dashboard > Pages > Add new and create all of these important pages mentioned above.
These pages also need to be GDPR compliant.
Now, you can hire a lawyer and get these pages created for you for thousands of dollars or you can simply get a template like these from here, which are created by a lawyer itself and save lots of your money.
The choice is completely yours. But DO NOT miss having these pages if you don’t want lawsuits at your doorsteps.
WARNING – Never copy & paste content from other people’s site. It is strictly against the law and it might cause banning of your website or decrease your SEO score.
Writing your First Post
Since your blog is up now & your important pages have been published, It’s time to write your first post and do some blogging.
To begin, go to Dashboard> Posts > Add new and then you’ll be taken to the post editor screen. (Make sure to delete/trash the “Hello World!” or “sample post” first before adding a new post)
Write the title of your post in the top box and then begin writing your post content in the lower box.
Once you finish with writing your post just click the “Publish” button on the right side of the screen to publish it.
Tips for your first post
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your first post, type your main topic or niche into Google and see what others have already written.
Don’t copy their content, but use those posts as an inspiration and make sure to write your post even more thorough and in depth.
Start off your blog with a really decent, useful post because the ultimate goal is to provide value to your audience.
Follow up your first post with a handful of equally meaty posts.
I recommend you to have 2 or 3 really thorough, in-depth posts when you launch and ideas ready for at least 10-15 future posts.
It’s good to have solid structured content available if visitors find you, but don’t get busy writing a dozen or more posts before you publish anything at all.
Promotion (the most important part)
Starting a well-designed, structured blog and writing great content is just 20% of it. In order to get targeted readers for your blog, you will need to spend 80% of your time promoting it (especially in the start).
One of my favorite ways to get readers to your blog is to post links on your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, etc. This is great, because not only do your friends/followers see the link but if they share the link with their followers then it automatically multiplies your readers. If you have created high-quality content on your blog then social media is a great way for your blog to go viral.
As far as getting new readers to your blog is important, you will also want to make sure your current readers are also coming back to read your posts. This is achieved by email marketing. By collecting the email addresses of your visitors (with their permission of course), you can notify them when you post something new on your blog. This keeps people coming back to your blog, which not only gives you more readers over time, it also allows you to build a closer relationship with your readers.
Tip – Start building your E-mail list from day 1. If you don’t do this, then you’re going to lose a lot of valuable readers as well as a lot of money.
Making Money from your blog
As your blog starts growing and gaining a lot of traffic, you’ll want to make money from your blog. Making money from your blog is neither difficult nor easy.
A lot of bloggers make it look like making money from your blog is easy but what they won’t tell you that it takes a lot of hard work & patience to make decent amount of money from your blog.
There are a lot of ways by which you can make money blogging, from selling your own products or services, to getting paid to write reviews of products on your blog. But the easiest way to make money from your blog is to sell advertising space.
The best way to sell ad space is to use Google Adsense. They find the advertisers for you and all you have to do is place the Google Adsense code on your blog to start running ads. Google Adsense takes all of the hard work out of the process and just cuts you a check.
Once you’ve done everything, I assure you that your blog will start generating enough passive income for you over time. (and maybe full time income too, if you work hard enough)
Must Read –
You will feel overwhelmed and exhausting, especially at the beginning. This is normal. When it comes to starting a blog, there is a steep learning curve, but don’t give up! Push through! Most of us have been in that very spot too.
This guide should give you everything you need to get started, but if you run into some issues, or just want some personalized advice, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Blogging is my passion + business, and I would definitely love to talk to you about it!
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