If I start a blog, I will only need to publish more and more contents, and maybe, when people come and read them, I will start getting paid!
Oh! That was what I thought when I was about to launch my first blog back in the year 2009.
But it didn’t work out for me. In fact, after my first year of blogging, I couldn’t raise money to renew my domain. I was so disappointed.
Some months later, I gathered more courage and decided to start afresh. I made inquiries, ask questions on forums and Q&A websites and got some amazing answers.
Blogging isn’t really difficult, it is not very easy as well. But if you follow the tips I’m about to show you in this guide, you will end up creating the best blog in your industry.
But first, you need to focus your mind on how you can be of help to others, how you can solve their problems, and NOT what you can get from your blog.
What steps you should take to start a blog?
I have put together, a step by step guide on how to start a blog, starting from choosing a topic down to making money from your blog. so please, read on.
1. Choose a “Niche” (a topic to build your blog upon)
Before you start a blog, Be sure you know what topic your blog should focus on. Don’t blog on random topics as it will get so difficult to make a dime out of it.
People search the web when they need answers or solutions to a problem. And they need you to provide them with the information they need to solve their problems. But you cannot solve every problem, can you?
Oh no! Even in high school, there are subjects you know better than everyone else, there are also subjects that seems to be sleeping peels to you.
So many bloggers made this mistake of writing on almost every topic we find interesting. Which does not only confuse search engines but help waste our time, effort and money…
Before you start a blog, make sure you choose a niche. This is very important if you want to blog the right way. Otherwise, you will only be playing around random topics confusing yourself and your audience.
There is money in the Niche they say…
If you focus on one particular niche, you will be known for that. Then, it becomes easy for you to understand your audience, their needs and how to help them.
And the good part of it? They will trust you!
If you have a product or service to offer for a price, your audience will listen to you. The majority will pay for it because they trust you. That’s one importance of narrowing down to a niche.
How to choose a niche
There are hundreds to thousands of niches to choose from, but the problem is identifying the one that will be beneficial.
If you seek help choosing a niche online, you will find many articles telling you something like “choose a subject you are passionate about” and if you ask me, that is absolutely right!
Unless you have interest and love on a topic, you will find it very difficult to cope with.
2. Find & Register a Domain Name
Now, the next step is to Register a domain name.
A domain name is a short name that will point to your blog. It normally comes like this;
Choosing a domain name may give you a little headache if you are doing it for the first time. You will have to keep searching for available names.
To choose and register a domain, you will have to visit a domain registrar website. It usually costs $9 to $11 per year!
Top Domain Name Registrar
How to choose the right domain
If you already have a business website and want to add a blog to it, create a subdomain. Something like: blog.domain.com/ otherwise, choose a domain that interprets your business.
Here are some tips for choosing a domain name :
- Make it short and memorable
- Avoid numbers and hyphen
- Include keywords,
- Make it easy to pronounce
- Choose the right domain name extension.
If you have no idea what domain name to choose, consider using a domain name generator such as: “lean domain search“. Just type in your keyword and let the magic happen.
3. Choose a blogging platform
After you have chosen a domain name, the next part of the journey is selecting a platform that will host your blog.
There are more than 15 blog platforms to choose from, but to save your time, which we know is precious to you, we have selected the best 5 platforms (free and paid).
1. WordPress.org (free but need a host)
WordPress (self-hosted) is undoubtedly the best platform for blogging. Powering over 60 million websites on the internet and yet counting…
Why WordPress is the best
With WordPress, there is no limit! You can create virtually any kind of website. Functionality got extended by over 55,078 free plugins that can turn your website to anything else?
But to use WordPress, you need a web host.
Ghost is another wonderful open-source blogging platform, with a clean user interface.
This platform best suites newbie beginners because of it’s ease of use. Again to use ghosts, a web host is required, otherwise, you can choose from there hosted plans starting from $29 per month.
Blogger is Google’s own blogging platform, It is totally free for use. You only need a Google account to create a blog on Blogger, and a domain name to point it to. If you are new to the blogging thing, I suggest that you start a blog using blogger.
This is the .com version of WordPress. It is free to use but they will assign a subdomain to your blog with you can remove by upgrading to a paid plan.
Yet another powerful platform to blog on if you want to maintain a blog on your website.
Weebly provides a verity of easy to use features including a drag-and-drop website builder for those with no coding experience.
4. Choose a Web Host
If you have chosen any self-hosting platform such as WordPress.org or ghost.org, then the next step is choosing a website host. This usually costs from $2.95 per month.
While choosing a web host, these are things you should always check:
1. Options for an upgrade – when buying a hosting plan, it is important to check if your hosting provider gives an option for upgrade. This is because you will be choosing the cheapest plan and will have to upgrade to a higher plan as your website grows in traffic and popularity.
2. Renewal cost – First time offers used to be mouth-watering but when it comes to renewal, it’s always War. The ugly part, most of them will not let you know about the renewal cost until the day of renewal.
3. Add-on domains – if you are hosting a website for the first time, it is important to understand some hosting terms. Add-on domains will let you host more than one website on a single hosting service. Some web hosting providers will deny you that.
4. Refund policy – Refunds are usually made within 30 days of payment. however, different companies have there owned refund policy, which you are advised to study carefully before making any purchase.
5. Customers CARE – learn how their customer care service works.
5. Install your script
Now is time to install your script. we are going to use WordPress for the sake of this tutorial, Other scripts have a similar way of installing them.
Now, login to Cpanel (find it on your hosting account)
If there is an app installer like softaclous, then installation becomes easy. If not, you may need extra help. because you will be uploading files manually. That is why you should choose a host with a script installer.
here, we have softaclous, when we click on it, it displays what is shown below.
Chose “WordPress“, you and click “Install“.
On the next page, set up your WordPress website the way you want it to be.
Choose a protocol ie. “https” if you have an SSL installed.
Type in your blog name and description, etc.
Then click “Install” and let the magic start happening.
6. Choose themes / Plugins
Now, you want your blog to stand out. Go ahead and choose a stunning template for your blog. There are paid templates on themeforest.net, but if you don’t have enough money to go premium, free templates are also available.
If you are using WordPress, you have access to thousands of free themes to customize your blog to your taste.
You can also design your own WordPress theme using one of the free drag and drop page builders such as DIVI.
You may also need to install plugins (WordPress users) to extend your blog’s functionality. Here is a list of must-have plugins for WordPress
7. Submit your blog to search engines
When you are done creating your blog, ensure everything is working properly. Write one or two blog posts, before proceeding to this step.
Search engines have to find your blog before it can index it. It can take months to find it naturally when you start building links to your blog, but yo cut the long process short, you have to tell search engines about your blog.
How to submit a blog to search engine
- Log into Google search console using your Google account
- Click “Add new property” and select “Domain”
- Type in your domain and hit “Continue”.
- Copy the code you see on the screen, you will use it for verification.
With the code, Create a TXT zone on your domain zone manager and click “Verify” on the Console dashboard.
If verification was successful, you will then have to add a sitemap.
If you are using the Rank math SEO plugin, they generate a sitemap for you! but if you are not, You can use tools like xml-sitemap.com to generate a site map for your blog.
8. Build traffic to your blog
When a blog is launched newly, no one knows about it, except you and maybe your family. So if you think the traffic will come, you will be disappointed ?. Because people whom you made the blog have no idea of its existence.
At this point, what you need is to grow your audience.
How do you drive traffic to your new blog?
There are different ways to drive traffic to your blog. I’m going to show you some of the best ways to do that. But first, you have to tell your friends and family about your blog and what they can learn from you.
Search engine optimization is a free way to get targeted traffic to your blog, but it takes a lot of time to kick in! If you are not a patient type, SEO is not for you.
What’s good about SEO?
Imagine getting your blog posts to appear on the first page of search results for some keywords, people will keep clicking through and read your blog posts without you spending a penny.
Blogging on other people’s blogs as a guest is another way to get traffic to your blog, but it works 50/50. Most blogs don’t accept a guest post with links to authors blog unless you reach a mutual agreement with them or you are ready to sponsor such post (sponsored post)
So what are the easiest ways to get traffic?
1. Social media.
The best place to find your target audience is on your social media. Facebook, for example, gets more than 2.2B monthly users! that’s a lot of traffic.
If you have a decent social media exposure, 75% of your social media followers will follow you to your blog.
2. Forums and Q&A websites
Have you visited quora.com before? You will be amazed by what people ask. If you are good at solving problems, you can get a lot of traffic to your blog.
Here is how it works
Head over to Quora, or any forum, listen to people’s problems, provide them solutions to whatever problems they have. If you have a post on your blog discussing a similar problem, you can easily link to it.
Believe me, doing that alone on quora and nairaland increased my traffic by 25%.
You may not want to advertise, but it is a quick way of getting traffic to your blog. Paid search and social media ads are the fastest means of getting targeted traffic. But do this only when you intend to sell or promote a product.
9. Monetize your blog
Make money blogging is a popular topic on the internet. That’s what everyone whats to do. unfortunately, the easiest way to make money from your blog (Adsense) isn’t easy anymore!
Google now carefully reviews each application for policy violation before approval which makes it difficult to get AdSense approval these days.
Meanwhile, the majority of the blogger (Mostly in the entertainment niche) only depends on Adsense to monetize their blog. when they get disapproved, they want to give up.
There are different other ways apart from Adsense to monetize a blog. Let look at them one after the other.
Affiliate marketing is my best way of monetizing a blog. you get paid by sales you generate not how long you work! Most time I bag ₦ 1m to ₦ 2m each month selling other people’s products and services.
want to learn Affiliate marketing? Read our Affiliate Marketing Blog
Direct Ads Space
If you have a lot of visitors to your blog, you can start to sell ads space to advertisers who whats to target your audience. One advantage of Direct ads is that there is no middle man between you and advertisers. so any amount of money you charge is totally yours.
Selling Digital Products
On my blogs (not this one), I sell E-Books. and I know how much I make each day. Selling digital products (software, plugins, themes, books, etc) can make you a lot of money. you should give it a try!
If your blog eventually becomes popular, Companies and individuals will like to advertise their services. one of the ways they do that is to write a sponsored post on your blog.
A sponsored posts can go at any price starting from $100 to any amount you chose to charge.
There are other companies similar to AdSense that will pay on when they display adverts on your blog and people clicks them.
Below are some of such companies:
Blogging is the best way to voice out your opinion over anything. If you are a business owner, it is the most effective tool to showcase your products and services. You can use the blog to tell your customers what’s going on in your business.
Thanks for reading! I would appreciate it if you share this post.