That’s the spirit. I could value your interest in starting a new blog as you have landed here. And, I never disappoint you. By the end of this post, you will have your own blog in place as you desire. At the same time, I don’t want building fake motivations that anybody can succeed in blogging just like anything.
How serious you are about blogging and how you can dedicate yourself in learning things? As a result, based on these, your blogging survives.
Pre-requisites to Start A Blog
It is obvious that so many confusions rounding around your head whenever you are trying to start a blog. Even, I had the same uncertainties when I was new to this blogging arsenal. Now, with years of experience, I am contented to help you to come up with your dreams with no struggle. Hence, I am presenting this post on how to start a blog. Also, compiling the valuable resources you might require for blogging in one place.
With that being said, let me help you to get prepared with the pre-requisites for your successful blogging journey.
First and foremost – Consistency. Stop thinking about starting a blog if you doubt your consistency. In the blogging industry, consistency decides your success than anything. If you are sure about it, then nothing can stop your growth and blog monetization. You can see most of the successful bloggers made it possible only with their level of consistency.
- Pre-requisites to Start A Blog
- How to Start A Blog and Where to Start?
- #1 Decide on What to Blog – Pick a Niche
- #2 Name your Blog – Domain Registration
- #3 Find A Space on Web – Web Hosting
- #4 Set Up Your Blog – Installing CMS
- #5 Make Blog Appeal to Readers – Blog Customization
- #6 Speak To Your Audience – Content Posting
- How to Promote a New Blog?
- Final Words on How To Start A New Blog
Here are a few queries that every beginner will have in mind before starting a blog. Probably, those are the hurdles, stopping you to get into blogging. Hope while reading it, you will realize how true it is in your case.
#1 I am zero in technical knowledge or coding skills. Could I start a blog and promote it?
If you were 10 years back, then you cannot create a blog without coding stuff. You are supposed to drop your plan. But, now it is not the case. Blogging is made simple with the available resources. You can start a blog within no time, with a few clicks. Above all, you don’t require a technical base or coding skills. Further, for customizing blogs – you may require some basic HTML and CSS coding. Don’t worry. It is nothing like a rocket science. You can.
#2 I am not good at English writing? How it is manageable?
You are right, blogging claims for good content writing skills. But, it doesn’t mean English writing. You can even start a blog in your native language which you are proficient. But, define your target audience before starting a blog in your local language.
If you feel that promoting such blog is tough as there be won’t a potential audience, then create a blog in the English language itself. If you are confident that you can earn good money from your blog, outsource your content writing jobs.
#3 How much money I need to invest in a blog to start with? I don’t have something big.
No worries. Blogging is affordable. Probably, you will have to spend on a domain and hosting to start a blog. The shared hosting from a popular brand is more than enough to kick off. Most of the hosts offer free domain name along with hosting server. Hence, the total cost will be nearly $3 per month for the first year. For further years, there will be varying renewal charges based on the hosting service you decide. That’s it.
For a fresh blog, hope this is optimal to invest. As it grows, you can go for the essential premium blogging tools enhancing its growth.
#4 How I can monetize my blog and how much I can earn from blogging?
It is quite a common question from all the beginners. But, it is the most hypothetical too. It is hard to answer or predict your income from blogging. There are bloggers who make millions of dollars from blogs and few reap nothing out of it. Anyways, it is highly possible to make decent money from blogging and you will make it happen soon. Be consistent, learn things, work strategically and monetize your blog as you wish.
#5 I am a student or I am a working professional, whether I can manage a blog part-time? How many I need to work a day?
Yes. You can start a blog and promote it well, undoubtedly. You can just work for an hour every day. Hopefully, it is a leisure time to grow your blog drastically. And, I am sure that you will quit your job and turn out blogging as your fulltime professions, as it grows. Once you get started with blogging, you will find it more interesting. Indeed, if your blog can get enough money you can even quit your 9 to 6 desk job. Work for your own blog, anytime and anywhere.
I hope I have covered the preliminary questions you have in mind before starting a blog. How about you? Are you ready for blogging? Ask yourself on everything answered above, decide and then, get started.
Let me know if you have any further questions that stop you still (in the comments section).
Fine, let’s get into the detailed guide on starting a blog that can bring a revolution in your life journey.
How to Start A Blog and Where to Start?
At last, you prepared yourself to start a blog but got stuck where to start it? This step-by-step guide on how to start a blog can help you thoroughly.
Beforehand, clarify yourself about your goals of blogging. Without setting a destination point, it is meaningless to travel. You are starting a blog for a passion, or to make money, or to share your insights on something for the people, or to promote your business brand or products, etc. Set your goal before continue reading further.
#1 Decide on What to Blog – Pick a Niche
Picking a niche is difficult too. Why? Because it’s important. There is a saying – ‘the good decisions are taken already’. Break it now. You will get infinite ideas if you can spend some more time. Don’t give it up.
Choosing a niche is a long-term choice. If you made it wrong, then this will be the long-term failure. Then, how to pick a potential niche? How to choose a profitable niche to blog about?
The idea behind choosing a niche is simple. Know things that you are passionate about. It must be the matter of interest which you would even murmur in your deep sleep. Wherever you go or whatever you do, your thinking will be on the same topic. Literally, that is your favorite niche to blog.
The niche you are choosing must be your area of interest, stuff you are eager to learn things, idea you wanted to share publicly, the profession you are being for years, or something.
Meanwhile, don’t over evaluate thinking about niche market value, its depth, etc.
Surf over the net to understand its competition and define your target audience. Run through some quality blogs on that niche to get some preliminary ideas.
For an instant, if you are a Photographer, create a blog on Camera, Photo Editing, Photography, etc. Don’t put your legs on finance or cryptocurrency blogs.
While sticking to a particular niche, decide on the country or region, the category of people you target, the niche trendiness, etc.
As I said earlier, it is a long-term decision that is going to bring you success forever. Take your time, analyze and come up with a profitable niche.
Few typical questions that beginners might struggle to find the answer while picking a niche –
#1 Should I choose my niche, so specific? If so, could I build blog audience?
Ignore the philosophy that more narrow the niche, higher the blog limitations. It is absolutely a wrong perception. If you have a defined topic or niche, then it is easier for you to build a high potential audience. Grow your blog slowly and then extend your wings on wider niches.
#2 How my blogging goals and niche selection are correlated?
There is a strong correlation between them. If you are blogging for a passion, you will have to pick a niche that you interest in. If you want to make money, then choose a niche that has more affiliate products, less competition, market standards, etc. Likewise, based on your blogging purpose, choose your niche.
I am glad to help you if you have any questions further.
Ok, then. With a topic or niche chosen what to do next?
#2 Name your Blog – Domain Registration
What domain name to select? There is no numerology or sentiments like naming a newborn baby. Still, there are some logic to remember naming your blog. The domain name is the key phrase or a set of words with extensions like .com, .net, .in, .org, etc. It also refers to the top level domain (TLD). I always recommend you going with a .com extension, irrespective to your target location or audience.
For your quick reference: www.google.com
Google is the domain name and .com the domain extension.
The domain name is the term you users will use type in browsers search bars to locate you. Hence, it must be short, and simple to remember. Don’t use any special characters like www.me&we.com or numerical values like www.A2Zfashion.com. It is hard to remember by your audience as well as higher the possibilities to mistype often.
Anyways, don’t spend too much time on this area to choose your domain name. As you have a niche in your hand, use these tools to find a suitable domain name.
LeanDomainSearch, the domain name generator can fetch you hundreds of names as if entering your niche term in the search function box. Select a few that are eye-catchy and appeals to you.
Then head over to namecheckr website. Enter the names that you selected from LeanDomainSearch and enter it here one by one. Check the availability of the domain name with desired TLD and on social platforms. Knowing the availability, pick the BEST one you admire.
Here are my answers on some common questions about choosing a domain name –
#1 What to do if .com TLD is not available for my particle domain name chosen?
If you have any other second opinion (domain name with 2nd priority) with .com extension, go with it. If you don’t want to give up that one, then go for .co or .net TLD’s for the same domain name.
#2 Shall I go for location specific or profession specific extensions like .au or .cafe or .travel?
Unless you wanted to limit your audience on a specific region or particular category, don’t go for it.
#3 Can I have a keyword in the domain name?
It has no effect on SEO of your blog or ranking. If you find it interesting to have it, or easy to remember by your readers, and then go with it. No offense.
#4 Shall start a blog on my name?
Again I stress not to dig all your time on this. Just keep in mind about what not to do. Choose a niche relevant domain name that is short and lovely.
Then, you have to register the domain with any domain name service provider. GoDaddy would be the best option for domain name registration for the start-ups. Still, hold on. Since few hosting providers offer free domain registration. Hence, let’s further discuss hosting your blog and the things to consider before choosing the right host. Thereby, depending on the hosting service you choose, buy or register your domain name over there for free.
#3 Find A Space on Web – Web Hosting
Hosting is nothing but getting a server space on the internet to host your blog or domain. Only with web hosting, your blog will be live and available for the online users. It doesn’t mean that anybody can access the backend of your blog. You will get the cpanel login details from the hosts with which only you can make changes and updates to your blog.
To get started with a blog as a beginner, the shared hosting will be enough to handle the minimal blog traffic. As it grows and gains more traffic, you can upgrade the hosting plans.
There are handfuls of hosting solution providers available in the market. It is really tough to choose between the one offering best features, support, and reliable hosting service at an affordable cost. From my experience, I would recommend you to go with BlueHost. The primary reason being it is one of the three hosting services recommended by WordPress organization. The BlueHost servers and features are catered for WordPress platforms.
Here are the features of BlueHost that admire me –
- Free domain name registration
- Free SSL ensuring users to trust you
- Everything Unmetered (bandwidth, websites, SSD storage, email accounts, email storage, subdomains)
- 30 days money back guarantee
- 24/7 support from the team of experts
- Recommended hosting by WordPress Org
- Toll-free phone support
To make your job simple, let me take you through the entire hosting process with BlueHost. Probably, the phenomena would be similar to any hosting service you choose.
First, head over to the Bluehost.com website and click on ‘Get Started Now’ or select ‘Shared Hosting’ under the menu ‘Hosting’. Upon which, you will find three different hosting plans. As a newbie getting started with a single blog, I would suggest you go with ‘Basic’ plan itself.
Then, you will be provided with three options about domain name – entering a new domain, or existing domain or domain later. For now, you may go with entering new domain as you have it handy.
The next step is to feed your account information. No harm in filling those details. Your account details will be safe.
By then, choose your account plans for higher the months. Select Basic 36 months – $2.95/month. By which, you can save some reasonable money as the renewal charges will be higher than the introductory rates. You will find BlueHost includes free SSL.
Also, you can also pick if any additional services required. It includes domain privacy protection, SiteLock Security, SEO Tools, etc.
Based on your selection, pay the billed amount exactly. Then, check the Terms and Conditions box and submit.
Once you are done with everything, create a new password to your hosting account.
If you have any of these below queries, get clarified like other new bloggers.
#1 What should I do in case of choosing different providers for domain registration and web hosting?
Don’t worry in case you are registering your domain with some other domain name registrars like GoDaddy. You can simply enter the Bluehost name servers to the GoDaddy domain registrar to link the hosting and domain name.
#2 Going for 36 months, If I don’t like the service later, what to do? My money go to waste?
There is a 100% money back guarantee for 30 days. You can claim your money back if you are discontinuing its services within 30 days of buying. Your money is safe. Make a note that, the money back guarantee is not applicable to domain registration fees, add-on services or set-up costs if any.
#3 What are the crucial things to decide on choosing a perfect hosting?
Below are the important things to check for any hosting providers –
- Check whether its resource allocation can meet your hosting needs
- Set of features in terms of performance and security
- Customer support based on your hosting knowledge
- Infrastructure and server technology used like SSD, CDN, etc
- Cost – if any hidden charges or higher renewal cost
- Freebies included in your desired hosting plans
- Presence of data centers
- Finally, existing customer reviews to know its real face
#4 Set Up Your Blog – Installing CMS
You have your domain name hosted on the web. Your blog is live now. The very next step is to get a Content Management System (CMS) to build your blog. Though there are plenty of CMS platforms available, you can go with WordPress blindly. WordPress has the entire features that your blog needs to be successful online.
Here are some statistics to justify how popular WordPress is –
- WordPress blogs in more than 120 languages are available
- Fast growing CMS that comes with regular updates
- Has a vast range of themes and plug-in
- Runs 32% of the whole internet
- 2.8 million Google search happens for the word “WordPress” globally
- Among 100 top websites, 14.7 is powered by WordPress
- For every second, 14 posts on WordPress sites
What else you need to stick to WordPress CMS.
The great thing in BlueHost is – automatic WordPress installation as a proof that it is tailored for WordPress sites.
With this WordPress CMS installation, your blog is live now. You may use the URL www.your-domain.com/wp-admin to log in to your WordPress admin dashboard.
- After installing WordPress, makes sure you are the below things. I strongly recommend you to do so to secure your blog from security threats and hackers.
- Change your WP admin username as something unique. Don’t keep it as admin by default.
- Have strong passwords with combinations of alpha-numeric characters. Don’t have your name, DOB, etc. as your password so that others can guess it easily.
Now you are done with installing your user-friendly CMS platform. Obviously, the next thing to do is customizing your blog to grab the user’s attention.
Few common questions about setting up your blog for the first time –
#1 What are all other free content management systems, I can use?
You can choose anything between Drupal, Magento, Joomla, Shopify, etc. With these, you might find something stopping at some point. In the case of WordPress, you will never feel that you couldn’t do something with WordPress. It has all the features you need for a blog. Later, if you want to upgrade your blog like e-commerce, there are plug-ins available. With single clicks, you can rebuild or modify your WordPress sites.
#2 How WordPress is recommendable for an image or video based blogs?
Certainly, Yes. WordPress is getting new every day. Choosing a well-performing web host with responsive themes and necessary plug-ins can boost even image or video based websites, drastically. WordPress is ideal for creating a video blog. The popular themes are Vlog, TheMotion, VideoBox, etc.
#3 Where I can learn about WordPress to get into it deeper?
There are a vast number of WordPress lovers blog about WordPress. You can learn anything about WordPress over there. WPBeginner would be your perfect place. Also, I write more articles about WordPress on this blog too.
#5 Make Blog Appeal to Readers – Blog Customization
After installing the WordPress CMS and log in to your WP dashboard, you will be asked to change the theme for your blog. The default theme will be so good. Still, go for some unique theme based on your niche.
WordPress depot has thousands of responsive themes. Also, there are plenty of marketplaces to buy premium WordPress themes. As a beginner, it is more than enough to go with any free WordPress themes. But, understand its features like mobile responsiveness, SEO-friendly, customization options, documentation, customer support, etc.
If you are confused to choose between the clusters of free WordPress themes, then I suggest you to go with GeneratePress. GeneratePress free theme is as powerful as other premium WordPress themes. Even with its free version, you can change designs of your blog as you desire.You can see I have used the GeneratePress theme for this blog.
Alternatively, if you are looking for multiple choices to pick your best suit, then go with StudioPress/Genesis themes. StudioPress has more than 60 responsive WordPress themes.
All the StudioPress themes are built on the Genesis framework. So, you can randomly go with any StudioPress themes for its fast loading, easy-to-use, mobile responsive and SEO-friendly features. You can find a repository of themes to pick a one that suits your niche.
Once deciding upon, install and activate the theme. Then go to Themes >> Customize.
This is the place you will have loads of options to customize the look and feel of your blog. It includes uploading your logo, blog background color, text color, layout, etc. You can also try changing the font family, weight, header & footer area, etc. You can play around with the customize options to make over your blog design.
Then, let’s see about the plug-ins to add more functionalities to your blog. WordPress has a bank of thousands of free WordPress plug-ins to improvise the performance of your blog as well. From my experience, let me take you through some free and premium plug-ins that are mandatory to use.
Free WordPress Plug-ins
Yoast SEO – The powerful plug-in that can take responsibility for your entire on-page optimization tasks. You will get detailed suggestions to make your on-page SEO factors, perfect. You can configure Google Search Console, create a robots.txt file, an auto sitemap of your blog, etc.
W3 Total Cache – To boost the loading speed and performance of your blog, you can use W3 Total Cache plug-in clearing caches. With which you can have your site mobile-friendly.
Really Simple SSL – We have seen above in the web hosting section about SSL. In case of using free SSL, then install and activate this plug-in. This is to make sure that there is a proper redirection to https rather http.
CAOS for Analytics – The plug-in to optimize Google Analytics for your WordPress blog. With which you can completely track the traffic to your blog, demographics, particular blog post performance, etc.
WPForms – The drag and drop plugin that made building contact forms much easier. With the readily available templates and workflows, you will find it user-friendly to build the most impressive and mobile-friendly contact forms too.
Autoptimize – To further optimize your WordPress blog, you must have one such caching plug-in. The tool can aggregate, minify cache, insert CSS, and minify HTML, etc. Though you are not aware of these terms, Autoptimize is a plug-in to improve your blog performance literally.
Social Warfare – The plug-in by the group of social media experts and world-class developers to grow your social shares. You can have great looking social share buttons on your blog irrespective to your screen size and resolution.
Akismet Anti-Spam – The proficient plug-in to save your blog from publishing any malicious contents as via comments or contact forms. The tool automatically checks all the comments and filters the spam.
Pretty Links – The WordPress plug-in to shorten URL’s. Over and above, it also tracks hit on your URL’s, the origin from where the hit happens, etc. Mostly, it is obvious to clean up the affiliate links, track links, and to spread links on forum and communities.
Table of Contents Plus – You can improve the readability of your posts with a table of content or index of the content. Your readers will find it easy to navigate to the subheadings which they want to read, directly from the table of contents.
TablePress – If you want to include some comparison tables, rating tables in your post, TablePress makes is very much possible. It is enough to create a table in the TablePress plug-in with necessary fields and mention the table id in the post.
Shortcodes Ultimate – This plug-in has comprehensive collections of visual components to improve the user experience of your blog post. It includes adding a note, different icons to the bullet points, call-to-action buttons, etc.
All-In-One Schema Rich Snippets – You can make your pages appear more eye-catchy in the search engine results page. You can mention reviews, working hours, events, recipes like snippets over there. With which you can increase the click-through rates, immensely.
Paid or Premium WordPress Plug-ins
WP Rich Snippet – The better alternative to All-in-one schema. The paid plug-in to notify more details about your web page to the user and search engines to understand better. To the bottom line, you are customizing your search results appearance for more click through and conversion.
WP Rocket – The most powerful caching plug-in recommended by WordPress experts. Probably, you don’t require installing in it for a startup blog. You may use W3 Total Cache plug-in that is available for free. Later, you can switch to WP Rocket, as your traffic peaks high.
Thrive Architect – The easy-to-use page builder that is catered for conversion focussed WordPress sites or blogs. You can have more conversion concentrated plug-in by Thrive Themes to include more add-on functionalities to your landing pages/blog posts.
Hope you might have these questions on customizing your theme –
#1 Do I need to make any changes in the coding?
Not required. Only if you are technically strong in coding, you can make changes whichever you want. Else, don’t even get into. Your entire theme and blog set up will get collapsed with wrong inputs.
#2 I don’t have enough budgets to spend on premium plug-ins? Does my blog lack in performance?
Not so. There are free plug-ins to boost your blog performance. To clarify, the point is for minimal traffic, the free plug-ins can do well. Only for the growing traffic, you will have to optimize your blog with premium services, respectively.
#6 Speak To Your Audience – Content Posting
Then, create new blog posts on subtopics that are trending in your niche.
Make sure that your content is of high quality and offer solutions to your reader’s problems. Based on your niche, your posting frequency can vary. But, as I insisted earlier, be consistent in publishing blog posts too. Have a schedule and act upon.
Here are the few FAQS to clear the entire question marks in front of you –
#1 Where I can get ideas to draft my blog posts content?
You may refer to social media platforms, popular blogs in your niche, YouTube videos, forums, etc. You can grab ideas from there and recreate it adding your own ideas and insights.
#2 How often, I can publish the blog posts?
There is no hard rule on the numbers. However, based on your niche competition, you can publish posts. For wider niches, you need to post often, even daily. In the case of micro-niches, you can simply post a single post for a week. But make sure, that you are writing lengthier content. Search engines love to rank the lengthy and quality content.
#3 How to write SEO-friendly blog post content?
Once after deciding the topic, on which you write, stick to a focus keyword for which your post will get ranking. Put your utmost efforts to provide awesome content to your readers around your topic and focus keyword. The keyword you are focusing must be a long tail one that is easy to rank for.
#4 How I can know how much traffic my blog drives or its ranking?
You may configure Google Analytics to measure the traffic flow, user behavior, etc. Google Search Console is to keep track of your blog’s SEO and for any reasons that your blog is not being indexed by search engines.
To track your ranking positions and keyword for which your posts are ranking, you may use some free SEO tools like SEO Profiler, MOZ, or paid tools like SEO PowerSuite, SEMRush, Ahrefs, SERPStat, etc.
#5 How I can use social media to promote my blog?
You can create social media accounts and pages on popular social platforms. Then, share your posts on social networks, grow your social followers. Include social media buttons on your blog enabling users to share it across their social profiles. You may use WordPress plug-ins like Social Warfare to display social media icons on your blog. With that, you can drive more traffic from multiple sources.
How to Promote a New Blog?
Take a long breath. Starting a blog is made simple with this. Further, promoting, bringing traffic and growing the blog will be tedious. There are a countless number of bloggers go vanished without strategic blogging promotions. Not knowing how to promote the new blog, how to take it further, blogging fails. I don’t want you to be one among those.
You cannot take instant outcome from SEO and blogging. But, there are payoffs for sure if you are consistent in putting efforts. Once after publishing content on a topic with a focus keyword, it needs strategic promotions.
It is obvious to make it reach as possible as the figure of audiences. For which, you will have to optimize your blog on various factors. Luckily, Yoast plug-in will take care of your on-page SEO. You will have to build quality backlinks on other authority sites so as to uplift your content and blog across the huge audience. Though using traditional link building techniques, you will have to adapt to some advanced and potential strategies. The blogger outreach strategy is much deserved to mention here. Guest posting can help you building huge audience base in your niche and gets you higher exposure.
Likewise, you will have to participate in forums and communities in your niche, interact with expert bloggers and build the relationship. Blogging is nothing but building networks and sharing information. If you are good at building rapport, then you can easily promote your blog literally.
Final Words on How To Start A New Blog
If you are so beginner, don’t get into more details that may lead to confusions. It is simple to pick a niche, choose a domain name, host it, install CMS to build and design your blog. Launch your blog to this world. Your actual tasks begin from there. Customizing your blog, publishing content, analysis the market, learning kinds of stuff, driving traffic and making money all depends on your hope and consistency.
You have to do your tasks with interest. Only then, you can reach your goal or the purpose of which you start a blog. Anyways, you will have to keep updating yourself to survive in the competitive world, particularly, in this digital world.