How to Start a Blog in 2020 from scratch | Step By Step Guide
In this article, you are going to know how to start a blog and earn money. You can start making money with blogging very soon if you follow the steps and strategies have been given in this article.
Before I start I want to say thank you because you are going to spend your precious time to read this blog and I promise you that you are going to get a massive amount of value. You’ll know everything about blogging whether you are a beginner or just started your journey.
You know there are thousands of blogger who are making more than $10,000 per month with blogging. They don’t have any boss, they don’t have any pressure of work or any kind of stress. But, what do you think is it easy or a money-making scheme?
Not at all, creating a blog and posting your content is very easy but if you think you will start making money from the first month or first day. Trust me this happens rarely and if you are starting a blog with this mindset please don’t do start. It might sound harsh but I’m telling you the truth because I don’t want to mislead you.
But if you can maintain your patience level and you are ready to put 3 to 4 hours per day with consistency. You are going to start making money within 6 months to 1 Year.
Now, I would say congratulations to you because you are one step ahead of many people and you have committed to putting your time with consistency.
Now, you are all set. Let’s start the step by step guide on how to start a blog.
1 – Find a Niche that Helps You Make Money
2 – Select a Great Domain Name
3 – Find a Reliable Hosting
4 – Setup Your Hosting Account
5 – Install a Theme on Your Website
6 – Install Some Useful Plugins
7 – Keyword Research
8 – Write Your First Blog
Bonus – Proven Way to Earn Money Online
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions by Newbies
Before you jump into the step by step guide on how to start a blog. I want to tell you something interesting. Blogging doesn’t just give an opportunity to earning money. When you become a master in blogging you can start your own digital marketing agency. Because blogging is the best and effective way to drive traffic to any website. Companies are ready to invest a huge amount of money on blog marketing.
Apart from this it also builds great content writing skills and gives you an opportunity to express yourself.
Now, it’s time to dive into the first space.
Step 1. Find a Perfect Niche That Helps Start a Blog and Make Money
Finding a perfect niche is the first step in your blogging journey and this is the most crucial part as well. Many people do a huge mistake while selecting a good domain name including me.
Well, I’ll share my short story and make sure you don’t do this mistake.
When I jumped into the blogging world I was curious to make money and my focus was just to earn a huge amount of money. Therefore, I had chosen a niche of electronic appliances which was profitable and I didn’t have any interest and experience. But, I was really confident about my research skill.
So, I started with the same enthusiasm I used to research different topics of appliances. I used to write blogs with those sources.
But after some time I started copying and shuffling others content. Finally, the ranking of my site went down and stopped working on that blog. This is how I wasted my 6 months and earned nothing.
I actually don’t want you to do the same mistake. So, I’ll share a few tips on how to select a perfect niche that actually helps you make money with blogging.
You have to focus on two factors in order to find out a profitable niche.
This is the primary factor I suggest you focus on when you are just about to start a blog. Choose the topic in which you are really confident about.
Here are the few factors which define your passion when it comes to select a niche.
- Something which comes naturally to you.
- A particular knowledge that you have built-in over time.
- Kind of content which you are really interested in.
- You can really solve the problems of readers with your content.
- You are open to learning more about the topic you are interested in.
So, if you have these qualities, it means you are ready to go on to the next step.
However, if you are still unsure about your niche. Here are the few exercises for you that will help you to identify your niche in order to start a blog.
- Take a pen and paper and write 10 topics in which you have less or more interest or knowledge. It can be related to anything like travelling, finance, entertainment, education, social, spirituality, yoga, corporate, economics etc.
- When you are done with the first exercise start to narrow down these niches. Write sub-topics and sub-sub-topics as much as you can.
- Now, look at the topic in which you have written more sub-topics and sub-sub topics pick that topic and now let’s move on to the next section and identify the profitability factor of your niche.
You need to find out a profitable niche along with your passion to start a blog. However, I believe that in almost every niche you will find an opportunity of monetization except few.
Here are few things you need to keep in mind while analyzing the profitability of you niche.
- Make sure there are enough affiliate products related to your niche.
- See the trend and monthly keyword volume so that you’ll get an idea are people actually looking for that topic or not.
- Find the scope can you sell the courses or training programs of yours or others.
Now again do an analysis with your passion and profitability and make a finalize a topic to start a blog. After you complete this exercise let’s jump to step 2.
Step 2. Select a Great Domain Name That Won’t Make You Regret Later.
To be very honest you should not spend too much time in selecting the name of a blog. I would also not waste your time explaining this part.
There are only few things you need to keep in mind.
Keep it short and memorable – Don’t try to be creative while selecting a domain name. Use common words that are easy to recall so that it would be easy to remember.
Find related keyword – It is always easy to remember your domain name when the keywords of your domain match to your niche. If you are unsure and not able to find the right keywords.
You can find similar keywords related to your niche at LeanDomainSearch.
Avoid Using Special Characters or Numbers – I have seen most of the people doing this mistake. When they don’t find their domain name available they include some characters or numbers like lean-domain.com, best2learn.com
I would strongly suggest you not to use these kind of domain name it makes google crawler confuse and it takes time to rank your site on top.
Check the Trademark – It is highly recommended to check if any trademark registered with that name of your domain. Please avoid using that domain because the owner of the trademark can anytime ask you to surrender your blog.
However, if you are still not sure to choose a domain start with your name just like me and Sorav Jain. It will help you build your influence as well.
Now, let’s jump into Step 3.
Step 3. Find a Reliable Web Hosting
First of all let me make you understand, what is web hosting?
Your website contains some images, text videos and some other files. This needs to be a store somewhere and it is taken care of by web hosting service providers.
However, you need to be very careful while selecting a web hosting among thousands of hosting providers are available in the market.
I won’t waste so much time explaining all the hosting service providers rather I would suggest you go with SiteGround Hosting. Because Siteground offers you the best hosting services.
Their servers are fully optimised you don’t need to set up anything to improve the performance of your web hosting. Their support team is always available to help you. That’s why I call it beginner’s friendly.
SiteGround offers three types of web hosting. You can see in in the below image.
I would recommend you to go with GrowBig Plan because it almost has all the features available what you need to start a blog which is fully optimized.
Let’s have a quick tour what all the things should consider while buying SiteGround Hosting.
Step 1. Go to Purchase Page and click on get plan.
Step 2. Choose a domain
If you have already bought the domain select already have a domain else select register a new domain and enter the domain name which you want to buy. Then click on Proceed.
Step 3. Fill your account information.
Step 4. Fill your credit card details
Step 5. Purchase information setup
I would suggest you choose the data centre according to your target audience location or else select USA, Lowa. You can also change the period if you want to else leave it to 12 months which is the default.
It is always recommended to read the Terms of Service before you agree and click on Pay Now.
It will take few minutes to ready up your web hosting account and get your domain name ready.
Check your email after a few minutes SiteGround will send you some important information.
After that you are ready to move on to the next step.
Step 4. Setup Your Hosting Account
In order to setup your hosting account and install WordPress on your website. First you need to login to your SiteGround Hosting Panel by the given given details on your email.
When you will login to your hosting panel you’ll see an interface like this.
So, you have to select Start a new website from the checkbox and select WordPress in the software section.
Then after, you’ll an interface saying that “Your Hosting Account is Ready to Use.” Click on Proceed to Customer Area and Go to My Account.
Next, Click on Installation Tab and Go to Admin Panel.
You’ll be redirected to https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin and see an interface like this.
This is your WordPress login panel you can bookmark this website or you can always log in to this panel by adding /wp-admin to your domain.
Finally, you have successfully installed WordPress and now you are all set to start a blog and make money. Just need to follow some more steps to customize your website and publish your first post.
Step 5. Change the Theme of Your Blog that Grabs the Attention of Your Audience
I have seen many bloggers doing this mistake they use default theme or use some high graphic theme. That makes your website heavy and it makes the website very slow. Which any user won’t like.
It is very important to choose a light and attractive theme for you WordPress website.
Well, rather go into so deep and explaining every function of a theme I would suggest some themes which are light and attractive.
There are multiple free themes available in WordPress but I only suggest you go with GeneratePress or Neve theme. Most of the people suggest going with WP Ocean and Astra as well. Even I was also recommending earlier but from last month (from June 2020), I’m facing page break issues in both the themes.
But when it fixes I’ll update this blog, because earlier I also had a great experience with both the themes. But, GeneratePress is the most popular theme for blogging even I’m also using GeneratePress for this website with GP Premium Plugin which gives some more features to customize your site.
However, if you wish to go with some premium features which add some more optimized features to your blog. There are multiple theme developers are available in the market but I only recommend Thrive Themes and My Theme Shop. Because I have used their themes to build websites for my clients and I have always a great experience.
So, just pick any theme and let’s jump into the process of how to install a theme.
Here are few steps to install a theme on your WordPress website.
Go to Appearance and click on themes.
It will redirect you to the theme panel.
You’ll see there is some pre-installed theme which is already available. After you install and activate a new theme you can delete these themes.
Now, there are two ways to install a theme on your WordPress.
1. Click on Add New theme and select the themes which are available in the WordPress theme store.
You can see there are multiple themes are listed already in different categories. You can select any theme or simply you can search for any themes and install.
2. Upload the themes by clicking on the upload button which is not available on the theme store.
Whenever you buy premium themes or get from any other source they give you a zip file. Which needs to be uploaded on WordPress.
Once you are done with theme installation. Means you are just a few steps away to publish your first blog.
So, let’s go to the next step and Install some plugins to add some extra features to your blog.
Step 6. Install Essential Plugins to Your Website
You WordPress website is nothing without a plugin. WordPress is an open source content management software which have millions of plugins available.
Almost everything in WordPress happens with the help of a plugin either it is content structuring, SEO, designing a page, speed optimization.
But you don’t need to install plenty of plugins to start a blog, just install the plugins which are required. So, I’m going to share the names of some amazing plugins which every blogger needs to have.
This is the most popular page builder plugin which every website needs. It doesn’t only give an immense look to your website it is also a very light plugin which doesn’t affect your site health. I use this plugin on every website and I would also recommend it to use.
This a spam protection tool. If someone post spam comments on your website it automatically removes. So, It is recommended to use by every blogger.
WP Rocket is a speed optimizer plugin. It reduces all types of file size automatically and makes your website loads faster. Speed is the most important factor in SEO. Means you cannot ignore this plugin.
You need to have the backup of your website daily or within an interval of time. Your website can be damaged anytime due to spamming, mistakenly by you, or by any other reason. So, if you have a backup of your website you can restore it to the previous version.
This is an image compressor plugin it automatically reduces the size of every image you upload on your website. It is always recommended to use this plugin because it is very light and useful.
This is very useful and recommended tool to optimize your content for SEO. When you write your post it gives you a detailed guide on how to improve your content for readability and SEO. I personally like this plugin because of its simplicity and beginners friendly.
Site Kit by Google
This is an official plugin by google which gives you a liberty to connect all the tools of google to your website and monitor the performance of your website from your dashboard.
However, there are still some plugins which you can use according to your requirement.
Installing the Plugins are not a difficult task.
You can install the plugin by the same way you installed theme. However, let’s have a quick step by step guide on how to install a plugin.
- Go to your WordPress dashboard.
- Then Go to Plugin and click Add New.
- Either select plugin from plugin store or upload just like we did at the time of installation of the theme.
- After installation click on Activate.
Attention: Before I take you to the next step. I want to let you know if someone suggests you to use nulled or cracked theme please don’t use it. I have done this mistake earlier.
That’s why I don’t want you to do this mistake. Nulled or cracked themes can anytime damage your website or can consist malware which may lead to hacking your website.
So if you want to start a blog, please have an investment mindset and treat it like a business and invest in useful themes and plugins.
Now, you have completed all the setup of your website. Let’s move on to the next step keyword research and then publish your first post.
Step 7. Keyword Research and Competitor Analysis
Most of the people start writing content without doing keyword research. It is similar like you proposed your crush’s mom in darkness.
Sounds funny but this is reality, you need to do a proper analysis of keyword and your competitors. If you have a question who are your competitors.
Then let me make you understand all the blogs which are publishing content related to your niche are your competitors because at the same time they are also trying to rank on the first page of google on the keywords.
SEMrush is an SEO tool which gives you a detailed insight into your keyword and competitors analysis. You can even do a bulk analysis of keywords so it is time-saving as well.
It is a full-fledged SEO tool and large marketers are also giving more priorities to SEMrush. Even I also use it for my blogs and I have blind faith in SEMrush when it comes to SEO analysis.
Now Let’s make some strategies with a marketer’s mindset.
Before you start writing a content a pick some keywords on which you want to write your content. Then go to your SEMrush dashboard enter those keywords and analyse the keyword volume and SEO difficulties.
Check Marketing insights, trend, gap analysis etc. and then finalize a topic which include high analytics keyword.
Spy Your Competitors
Go to google and search the keyword on which you are about to write a blog. Open all the posts one by one which is appearing on the first page.
Now, look at their strategies on content formatting like text structure, Image structuring, Explanations. Look at all the areas of their content and find out what all the improvements can be done.
Now, you have a proper strategies and you are ready to publish your first post.
Let’s move into the nest step.
Step 8. Write Your First Stunning Blog Post
Writing a content is not a big deal but writing a SEO friendly content takes time to come into your practice. However, you have to start from somewhere in order to become perfect.
Let me share a few tips to write SEO friendly content. It is not very difficult, once you’ll start writing your content.
I have already introduce you with SEMrush tool which have SEO Writing Assistant feature, you can download this extension to your google docs and prepare your content in the google sheet.
However, you also have Yoast SEO Plugin in your WordPress which gives you suggestion on every step, how to write an SEO friendly article.
To write your first post you need to go to your wordpress dashboard.
Click on Post and then Add New post. The instruction is given in the below image.
After that, you’ll be redirected to this page where you have to write your post.
Now you can see Yoast SEO Bar in the above image. I’m using Yoast SEO Premium because I needed their all features and support but you can start with Free version of Yoast SEO. Even I started with the free version.
You can see SEO status of your content as well as readability score.
Now you are ready to write your content. Let’s write and Publish it.
Hurray, finally you have published your first post.
Let’s dive into bonus part because you have finally posted your first blog means you deserve to know bonus the bonus step.
Bonus Step. Proven Ways to Earn Money with Your Blog
First of all I really want to congratulate you because, you have started your blog and published your first post.
Now, it’s time to learn what are all the ways by which you can make money with your blog.
Affiliate Marketing is the most popular way to earn money for bloggers who are producing problem-solving content. Basically, affiliate marketing is a way to promote other company’s products. Companies pay affiliate marketer’s some portion of the revenue generated by the product.
I don’t think I have to introduce Google AdSense to you because if you have ever tried to search how to earn money online, I believe you have met with Google AdSense.
However, let’s discuss in a brief about Google AdSense and learn how you can earn money by with Google AdSense.
Google AdSense is a Google’s program by which google shows their Ads on your website and they pay you for that.
Banner Ads is quite different from Google AdSense and Affiliate Banners. Sometimes companies directly approach you to place their Ads on your website and they pay you for that.
Companies are more interested in investing in Banner Ads on Blogs because they get targeted audience without having advance knowledge of Google Ads targeting, also it is cost-effective for them.
I personally like this method very much because it seems like a B2B deal and this is a stage where we actually know the potential of Blogging.
Get Paid to Write Reviews
Now, it’s time to go beyond. If you continue your blog with honesty and seriously adding value to the people’s lives, you would definitely build your personal brand.
So, when you write a review of a particular product or a brand they will pay you for that and the amount decides how much-engaged traffic you are getting on your blog.
Now this method like building an empire and sold them on higher value.
Don’t worry let me make you understand. When you become expert in blogging. You’ll start a blog publish some content and drive traffic. Then you can list it on website website flipping sites and sell at higher price. There are thousands are people available to bid on your website if you have build an authority blog.
There are some websites that sell on more than $100,000 dollar value. If you go on Flippa you can see some website which is already listed.
I have shared some proven ideas to monetize your blog but believe me there are more than 100 ideas still there.
The only things you have to do is just start and create an action plan for your blog.
Congratulations to you again, you are ready to rock.
Next Section is only for those who still have some doubts on how to start a blog and make money.
I guess I have already covered all your doubts related to How to start a blog and make money. But here is some FAQs related to blogging.
Frequently Asked Questions By Newbies
I know it is difficult to cover all the doubts but the simple thing I would suggest you just start today. All your doubts would be taken care of by yourself.
However, if you still have any doubt which I can help you to solve then let me know in the comment section.
I hope you liked this article and it solved your query. I would love if you can give your valuable feedback or suggestion on this blog.