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How to Start a Blog | Step by Step Guide for Beginners (2021)

How to Start a Blog | Step by Step Guide for Beginners (2021)

If you're wondering how to start a blog in 2021 and make money online, this in-depth post can guide you through the setup process step by step so that you can have your new blog up and running in no time!

The step-by-step guide on this page will show you how to create a blog in 20 minutes with just the most basic computer skills.

After completing this guide you will have a beautiful blog that is ready to share with the world.

This guide is made especially for beginners. I will walk you through each and every step, using plenty of pictures and videos to make each it all perfectly clear.

In fact, starting a blog is one of the best things you can do nowadays. Whether you own a small business, an online shop, or simply feel like doing something new, blogging can bring lots of benefits:

✔ Personal growth: Many people start blogging as a way to express their ideas and deepen their knowledge. A well-established blog can be a showcase of your skills and expertise whenever you’re looking for a job or freelance work.

✔ Brand awareness: If you run a business, big or small, increasing your brand awareness is going to be an important part of the journey. With the right execution, a blog can take your business to new heights.

✔ Potential to be a user acquisition platform: When it comes to attracting new users, many premium channels require you to invest money (for example GoogleAds). While growing a blog may take time, once the traffic starts to kick in, you’ll have a solid platform that can drive new sales and grow conversions.

✔ Increased visibility in search engines: Blogging is one of the top ways to get more out of organic searches. Remember, maintaining a steady flow of traffic is a vital part of any online project.

This page contains affiliate links meaning we earn a commission if you use those links. We only recommend brands we use and trust. See our disclosures.

Want to know something else? 

I started from the same place you’re at right now. The only difference between you and me is that I’ve already been doing this for a decade.

Look, I stumbled a LOT along the way. Fell flat on my face. Had tons of terrible ideas. 

This guide shows you how to avoid the same mistakes I did. Not only will your path be easier, you’ll get there a lot quicker.

Ready to start? Go through each step of this guide. A blog that brings a consistent stream of organic traffic and is able to get your name out there. Questions like:

Which blogging platform is the best for a new blog?
 How to choose the right web hosting.
 How to set up your blog and succeed.

Let's see what it takes to start a blog from scratch.

Why Start a Blog? 

Before we dive into the tutorial for starting your blog, let’s back up a minute because I’m interested to know one question: Why do you want a blog?

At its heart, blogging is about sharing your knowledge with the world. It’s important to blog about what you are passionate about, whether it’s crochet, tips for winning Agricola, scoping out the best brunch spots in your city, or smashing your competition with content marketing. Because when you write with passion, your readers are going to love reading your blog posts.

Here are some of the most popular reasons why people start a blog: 

✔ To make money. Money makes the world go round, right? I make a full-time income from blogging and so do many others—and you can too! The top bloggers in the world earn a lot of money. It takes a lot of work, writing, and dedication, but it’s also easy to get started—all you need is a blog and you can get one just by following this guide!

✔ Share your story. Having a blog gives you a platform to voice your thoughts and opinions and share your story with others around the world. Many bloggers use their blogs as a diary where they write about their daily lives and experiences.

✔ Get exposure for your business. A blog can give you and your business—no matter how big or small it is—the platform it needs to reach large numbers of potential customers for very little cost. This is known as content marketing. Many people who are experts in their fields blog as a way to share their knowledge and demonstrate thought leadership.

✔ To become a published author. If you’re a writer, starting a blog is a great first step towards becoming a published author. Blogging gives you a place to write, share your work, and build a community of readers eager to buy your books once they’re published.

✔ To connect with others. Perhaps one of the most amazing things about blogging is that it lets you connect with other like-minded bloggers all over the world. No matter what your interests are, there are blogging communities online for people just like you.

Step #1 Decide What You Want to Blog About 

If you run a business, you should blog about the topics that your customers would be interested in. Even if you don’t post directly about your products, by creating content that your target customers want, you can get them to learn about your brand.

If you’re writing for yourself, you can be more creative with your blog and what you share. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

✔ Blog about what you love. It’s more likely you’ll want to actually write (and your blog will last longer than a week) if your blog is about a topic you’re passionate about. The best blogs are written with passion and enthusiasm—no one wants to read a boring blog!

✔ Blog with a unique angle. Thinking about starting a blog about vegan cooking? Consider this: When you google “vegan cooking blog” there are 260,000,000 results. That doesn’t mean you can’t create a successful vegan cooking blog – it just means that you need to find a unique angle to help yourself stick out.

No matter what you choose to blog about, you probably won’t be the first person to do it (and if you are, nice work!). But don’t let this put you off! Think about how you can approach your chosen topic from a fresh angle. Ask yourself, “how can I make my blog better than all the others?”

Whether you’re writing for your business or for yourself, your goal for your blog should be to become the go-to resource for your topic. This means sticking to your topic, blogging regularly, and establishing yourself as an authority.

How to Start a Successful Blog in 2021 

Want to create something meaningful? Why not start a blog? Why not become a blogger? Creating this blog is one of the best decisions Ryan and I ever made. After all, our blog is how we earn a living. More important, it’s how we add value to other people’s lives.

So you’re thinking about starting a blog, but you don’t have any idea where to start, right? Guess what—neither did we! Before we wanted to start a blog to communicate our thoughts and express our feelings, but we were overwhelmed with options.

Clueless, confused, and confounded with choices, we had no idea how to start a blog or how to be a blogger. When should we start? How do we register a domain name? What is hosting? Which blogging platform should we use? How do we choose a blog theme? What is a plugin? What should we write about? Heck, we could hardly spell HTML, let alone build a blog!

But good news: it turns out that starting a blog is much easier than you think. We’ve learned a ton of lessons during our ascent to millions of readers, and now you can learn from our pain and suffering to avoid much of the tedium involved in setting up a blog.

Now let’s go through the whole process in detail. 

How to Start a Blog in 10 Easy Steps: 

 Decide What You Want to Blog About
Choose your blog niche
 Get a Domain Name and Web Hosting.
 Set up the blogging platform
 Launch your blog
 Pick a Theme for Your WordPress Blog.
 Customize and Optimize Your WordPress Blog
 Create Great Content for Your Blog
 Promote Your Blog
 Make Money from Your Blog

Step #2 Choose Your Blog Niche 

If you want to create a blog, you don’t need a revolutionary idea. But, your blog should be focused on something specific.

Remember that no idea, no matter how good, is truly unique.

But, you have unique experiences. You have a distinct voice. And, you probably have a vibrant personality that will attract others, like your family and friends.

When it comes to choosing your blog’s niche, there are two key questions to ask yourself.

Question 1: Do I Enjoy Learning About This Topic? 

If you don’t love the topic, it’ll show in your writing. You shouldn’t even start a blog if you don’t love what you’re blogging about.

Whatever topic you pick, you need to love it, and naturally curious about it.  

Question 2: Are Others Interested in The Same Things? 

You might feel like the only 23-year-old who’s obsessed with knitting. But, there are others out there.

If you’re running a project or business, blogging about the services, products, and company goals is a great approach. That way, you’ll attract the people that are actually interested in what your blog is about. A win-win for everyone.

In case you’re looking to start a personal blog, a more extensive choice for a niche is at hand. The options are endless, from travel, technology, and news, to food, music, and shoes – there are many choices that you can pick as your primary blog topic.

Since it’s one of the most important steps, try to avoid rushing your decision. Take some time to research your options, that way, finding your blog niche will be easier.

Ultimately, your best bet is to create a blog about something that you like. When doing something you enjoy, the results are always better. And your audience will undoubtedly notice.

Step #3 Get a Domain Name and Web Hosting 

Next, you need to choose a blogging platform. This is the software or service that you will use to publish your content. But before you do that, you need to decide if you will use a free blogging platform or a self-hosted plan. Below we will tell you a little more about each one.

Free platform 

The idea of a free blogging platform is often tempting for new bloggers wanting to try out blogging. However, when you start a blog on a free platform you will have restrictions and rules that you will have to follow. Not only will you have the platform’s website in your URL name (yoursite.blogplatformsite.com) but you may also have ads placed on your blog that either don’t fit your style or niche or that you won’t be able to monetize. Our recommendation is to go with a self-hosted platform.

Self-hosted platform 

Self-hosted platforms let you run your blog with your own domain name. Meaning you won’t have another website at the end of your URL. You’ll also have the choice of a Content Management System or CMS. The most popular are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. These CMS help you create your dream blog.

Having a blog that is self-hosted isn’t free though. Because you are using your own name and webspace you will need to pay a few bucks a month to a web hosting company. 

Then, you can use your CMS of choice, which is usually open-source and free, with it.

When it comes to choosing a blog hosting platform, there are a few things you'll want to make sure of:

How much traffic do you expect?
 How quick is the setup?
 Is there a support team?
 What features will help your blog stand out?
 What is the hosting cost?

Not only that, but there are plenty of options to choose from, depending on the scale of your blog project. Let’s see what’s on the table.

 Shared Hosting
 Cloud Hosting
 VPS Hosting
 WordPress Hosting
 Dedicated Servers

Get a Domain Name 

Your domain name will be the name by which you will be known online, no matter what niche you choose. It’s your blog's unique address on the Internet. It will be yours as long as you continue paying the annual fee ($10 to $15 per year for a .com).

Users who know your domain (URL – uniform resource locator) can simply type it into their browser’s address bar. Others will be able to discover you through search engines such as Google and Bing, so you definitely need to find a unique blog name.

Your domain name may be the highly popular "dot com", or it may be country or niche-specific. The general rule is to get a "dot com" domain, but some of the other extensions can be used too. For example, "dot net" or "dot blog". 

If you can’t find a domain name you like, Bluehost will let you choose one later. That will give you time to do some research and thinking before you start your blog.

If you’re not sure which domain extension is the best for you, check out this tutorial here.

Step #4 Set up the Blogging Platform 

This section provides detailed information to help you sign up for your web hosting account and install WordPress software. As an example, I will show you how to create a blog with Bluehost. I have included screenshots of the pages that you need to go through.

The next step is choosing your blogging platform. Since blogs are mostly made up of content, you should consider using a Content Management System (CMS) for your first time.

With a CMS as your blogging platform, it will help you:

Create a blog without previous coding knowledge.
 Easily publish and create new content.
 Allow you to focus on writing rather than technical aspects.
 Add new features easily with the help of plugins and modules.
 Find gorgeous website designs from libraries of free themes.

Get Web Hosting with Bluehost 

Now it’s time to get your blog live. 

It may seem complicated at first, but don’t worry. It’s much easier than it sounds. 

To get started, you need web hosting (where your blog lives) and a domain name (your blog’s address). The good news is that Bluehost, my favorite web hosting company, offers both as a package deal. 

Plus, it’s incredibly affordable. You also get an awesome discount as a NixonCourses.com reader. And your domain name is free for the first year. 

So, head over to Bluehost.com and click "Get Started Now." 

Select your hosting plan 

You will start by picking a hosting plan. If this is your very first blog, you can go with the Basic plan. Later, you can easily upgrade to a Plus or Choice Plus plan once your blog starts growing. Explore what each plan offers, e.g. Choice Plus plan comes with Domain Privacy and some extras. If your budget allows, go with the recommended plan.

Set up your domain name 

Your domain name will be your blog’s address, so you should take your time to come up with something unique and memorable. Just type in the desired name in this "new domain" box and Bluehost will show you whether it’s available or not. If not, it will provide you with a list of similar names to choose from. 

Don’t worry if you can’t find a good name right away, you can skip this step and pick a domain name once you start a blog.

If you have already purchased a domain name somewhere else, you can use that name. Just type it into the "Use a domain you own" box.

Register with Bluehost 

After you choose your domain name, Bluehost will take you to the registration page where you can fill in your personal info manually, or you can Sign in with your Google account to make the process even easier!

Package Extras – What You Need and Don’t Need 

Let’s take a quick look at these package extras and walk through which ones you need and don’t need. Honestly, you only need one of them. 

But, let’s briefly talk about each one: 

✔ Domain Privacy + Protection – keeps your personal info off the public record by replacing it with Bluehost’s business information.

✔ Codeguard Basic – creates daily backups for your blog. There are other options out there, so you don’t need it. 

✔ Bluehost SEO Tools – straight up? You don’t need this. There are far better free SEO alternatives, like Ubersuggest. 

✔ Microsoft 365 Mailbox Trial – this is for managing your business email account. It’s free so you can try it out if you want to check it out, but I highly recommend Google Workspace instead. 

✔ SiteLock Security Essentials – protects your blog from malware. There are much better options for this, so you don’t need it. 

To recap, domain privacy + protection is the only package extra you need. 

It exists to keep your private information safe and secure. Without it, anyone can access your phone number, home address, and email.

You still own the domain name, but your contact information is protected against scam callers and unsolicited mail. 

It’s certainly worth the extra investment. 

So, make sure you uncheck all the boxes except privacy + protection.

Create your account 

Let’s create your account with Bluehost. 

Click the "Create your account" button.
 Enter your password and complete the account set up.
 Your account is ready to go. Click the "Go to login" button.
 Fill in the fields "Email or Domain Name" and "Password".

You are all set. Next, you will start working on creating your blog.

Create your WordPress blog with Bluehost 

After you log in to the account, Bluehost will offer a 4-step process to help you create a blog. I suggest you go with that procedure if this is your first time starting a blog. 

You can also click the "Skip this step" button and work on blog formation from scratch on your own inside the Bluehost hosting account.

Four steps blog set up assistance process: 

✔ Step 1 You will start the process by answering 3 questions: What kind of site? What type is it? And who is it for? In my example, I selected: Blog, Personal, Myself. You can select the same choices or pick what fits your individual case.

 Step 2 With this step, you can pick what else would you like to add on your site. Bluehost gives you a few options to choose from.

 Step 3 In this step, you need to answer a few questions such as the name of your blog, tagline, and how comfortable you are with creating websites. Note, you can always change this later.

 Step 4 Check out the chosen themes by Bluehost and see if you like any of them (if you don’t see a theme you like, skip this step). You can always change it and use a different one later. More information on this further on.

Once you complete setting up your blog with these 4 steps you will be taken to your Bluehost account page. At this point, the WordPress software is installed and your blog structure is set up!

Step #5: Launch Your Blog 

Inside your Bluehost account, you will see options to further customize your WordPress blog site based on Bluehost’s recommendations. These options are here for you to do some pre-launch customization to your blog.

After you click the "Launch My Site" button, your blog will go live!

If you open your website in a web browser don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t look quite right. It is just the first draft. Inside the WordPress dashboard, you will have to apply a few changes and add content to make it look polished and complete. I will show you how later!

You can access the WordPress blog dashboard from your Bluehost account by clicking the blue "WordPress" button in the top right corner of your screen.

Did you start a blog yet? → Click Here to Get Started 

Next, as promised, I’ll show you how to find the right theme for you, and how to customize your blog.

Step #6: Pick a Theme for Your WordPress Blog. 

A theme allows you to pick a design for your blog without the need for coding expertise or design knowledge. In other words, a good theme helps you to design your blog exactly how you want it to look. If you’re not a coder (I’m certainly not a coder), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier.

A WordPress theme is a collection of templates, files, and stylesheets that dictate your blog design.

This is the default WordPress theme, and on the left side is a menu that helps you change its appearance.

Now, there are two options when it comes to themes:

You can either get a free theme with limited options or go with a paid theme. 

I recommend you pick a theme from Envato to get a nice looking theme for your blog.

Here’s a quick guide for choosing your theme by searching within the WordPress dashboard:

✔ Read the description – Most themes come with a short description of features and functionality. Reading it can help you to figure out if the theme matches your needs.

✔ Preview the theme – Preview the theme (demo) to get an idea of the overall look, layout, and how customizable it is.

✔ Check the ratings – Star ratings will be visible in the preview and under theme details to give you a clear idea of how good the theme is.

If you can’t find a theme that you absolutely love, don’t worry. Settle on one that you like, and you can always change it in the future.

Once you install a theme, don't be surprised if it still doesn’t look quite right. It is just a skeleton of a blog. To make it appealing, you’ll have to fill it in with content (text, photos, videos, etc.).

Step #7 Customize and Optimize Your WordPress Blog 

Remember, your WordPress dashboard is the back end location where you will manage your new blog. It provides you with fast access to all of the tools you need to add content and fine-tune your blog functionality for the ultimate user experience. Your first step towards mastering WordPress is learning the dashboard.

WordPress has unlimited customization options so it’s impossible to cover everything in this "How to start a blog" guide. Instead, I’ll cover the first most important changes you should apply to your blog. For this example, I’ll be using the Twenty Twenty theme

Customize your blog 

Now, let me show you where you can do general customizations of your blog. That includes: uploading the logo you just created (or will create in the future), editing the blog title and tagline, changing colors, uploading the background image, and making homepage settings changes.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be showing you how to apply these changes to the Twenty Twenty theme. If you picked a different theme the process could be slightly different. However, in most cases, all themes have similar customization options.

To start optimizing your blog, go to the WordPress admin dashboard. Locate the Appearance tab on the left-hand side and choose the Customize option.

Customizing Your Blog Design

Each WordPress theme will customize a little differently. In my case, I’ll show you the customize options for the Twenty Twenty theme.

On the left-hand side, you will see the following Customizing menu options:

✔ Site identity – Upload your logo, change site title and tagline, and upload site icon.
✔ Colors – Change your blog’s background color, header, and footer colors, and customize the primary color.
✔ Theme options – Select if you want to show a search icon in the header of your blog and show an author bio for your posts. 
✔ Cover template – Make additional changes to the page template such as the overlay background color, overlay text color, and overlay opacity.    
✔ Background image – Upload any custom background image you want to start using on your blog. 
✔ Menus – Customize your blog’s menu, social media menu links, and change locations where they are displayed.
✔ Widgets – Customize your footer, add a description, and how to find you if you have a physical location.  
✔ Homepage settings – Choose what’s displayed on the homepage of a blog. It can be the latest blog posts or a static page.         
✔ Additional CSS – Add your own CSS code to customize the appearance and layout of your site (advanced option). 

You can also check how your blog looks on different devices by using the menu at the bottom with three icons: desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Many themes (e.g. the Twenty Twenty theme) come with the new Gutenberg editor that revolutionizes the way users build pages and write posts inside WordPress.

Gutenberg is a visual editor that works on a blocks principle. So, when you decide to add a new paragraph, heading, image, video, or anything else, there are blocks you can quickly add to new pages or blog posts.

This way, creating blog content is much easier for beginners, whether you’re building a landing page or writing a new article. Blocks can be rearranged into a layout you like, and they’re here to make your life easier.

Optimize your blog content for SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process that website owners use to get more traffic to their web pages from search engines (such as Google).

According to recent studies, 53% of all traffic for websites comes from organic search (.pdf). This number shows how important it is to make sure that you optimize your WordPress blog for search engines. 

SEO involves many different tactics and techniques. As a blogger, you will have to get familiar with these. I won’t be talking about any advanced processes here. As a bare minimum, you will have to do the following for every blog post or page you publish on your blog: perform keyword optimization and add SEO meta tags on all pages.

Keyword optimization 

This is the process of researching and selecting the right set of keywords that you think people will type in a search to find information like yours online. 

Ideally, keyword optimization should be performed for any blog post or page. It’s important to select the main keywords (and related words) that you want to target for each page and make sure that you include these (and related words) within the content. This way it will be easier for search engines to understand what a specific web page is about when they crawl it and you have a better chance to rank higher in search results.

SEO meta tags 

When you publish a new blog post or page, you will need to add SEO meta tags for each piece of content. 

These are the SEO title and SEO description tags. These tags are not seen on the actual page, but Google will use metadata to better understand what the webpage is about.

If you want to start ranking your content in search engines, this is an important step to complete. SEO tags should be prepared and added when you create a new page or a post inside WordPress. You can add SEO meta tags via free plugins, such as Yoast SEO.  

The title tag length should be between 50-60 characters (this is what Google typically displays) and the meta description tag can be between 50-160 characters.

Add plugins to your blog 

Plugins are bundled pieces of code which affect the way your site looks and functions. They can add new functionality to your WordPress blog, extend your theme’s capabilities, and personalize a blog as a whole or in part.

While the majority of plugins are free, there are many that are offered for a fee, based on their unique functionality. At the moment, WordPress.org has more than 58,804 different plugins in the repository. 

By default, when you set up your blog, Bluehost will automatically add some plugins they think are important for any website. You can review these plugins inside the WordPress dashboard and add new ones by clicking the Plugins tab on the left-hand side.

Below, I’ll show you some suggested plugins that you should be using. 

List of recommended plugins for bloggers 

To save you time, I’ve selected some important plugins (free) for your immediate blogging platform needs: 

MonsterInsights Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, to monitor and analyze your website traffic.

Yoast SEO A comprehensive SEO plugin for your blog, to optimize your content for search engines.

WP Super Cache Helps with the load time of your WordPress blog and delivers content to your readers faster.

Akismet Protects your comments and contact form from spam and prevents your site from publishing malicious content.

Contact Form 7 A contact form with flexible email options. It supports CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering.

Disqus An alternative to the basic WordPress comment system with advanced administrative and comment capabilities.

YARPP Creates a related blog posts list at the end of each piece of content automatically to encourage people to continue browsing your site.

Congratulations, you just learned how to customize your blog and make design changes! 

The next step is to learn how to write content for your blog.

Step #8 Create Great Content for Your Blog 

Congrats! You started a blog and are ready to start blogging. This is where the rubber meets the road.

Blogs are no longer places where you simply write updates and gain a following.

They are now Google-driven websites that requires organic search traffic.

Each blog post should focus on one main target keyword, and here’s where it should be included: 

✔ Put the keyword in your blog’s permanent URL.
✔ Include the keyword in the title of your post.
✔ Add your keyword to the first or second paragraph.
✔ Include the keyword inside of your headings.
✔ Add the keyword throughout your blog post.

Once you have a list of the top 5-10 keywords (topics) you want to cover, it’s time to start writing.

Remember, in addition to text, blog posts that have audio, video, photos, infographics, and other types of visual content perform the best and keep readers engaged.

It’s also essential to write content that matches Google search intent and compels them to take action on your blog.

Writing Blog Posts that Match Search Intent 

When planning your content strategy, think about what your reader actually wants when they are performing an online search for your target keyword. 

For example, let’s say your target keyword is "How to Get Rid of Pimples."

When you search for this term, you’ll see that a lot of blog posts feature titles including extra terms like Fast, Overnight, Quickly, and Home Remedies. 

This shows that most people that want to get rid of pimples want them gone as quickly and discreetly as possible. And Google’s PageRank is pushing these articles to the top. 

What should your content do? 

Once you figure out who your target audience is, your content should provide them with the information they value. Your content shouldn’t feel demanding or ever give the impression that you didn’t care enough while writing.

Keep your content easily accessible so readers stay on your blog. Your readers should be attracted to the content you present and want to come back. Add photos, graphics, or other visuals, if it fits your style.

Also, encourage your readers to interact with you and with other readers through comments. Ask them for their thoughts and opinions about your blog posts, or what they would like to see in future posts.

Since content management systems help you create posts without much effort, your main focus should be posting as many good quality articles as possible.

Remember that it usually takes a while before new publications start showing any notable results in search engines and so the sooner you start, the better it will be for you.

Ideally, you want your blog to generate traffic and grow over time. To reach that goal, you’ll need to think outside the box and be prepared to work hard.

Extra Tips to Improve Your Writing 

✔ Your blog posts should always provide value to your readers. Write with a clear beginning, middle, and end outline structure. Even the most mundane of topics can be made interesting if you understand story arcs and hero’s journeys.
✔ Present your blog content attractively and make it easily accessible to your readers. Make sure both textual and visual content in the blog are high-quality.
✔ Format your headings correctly with H2 and H3 tags, and use bulleted lists and images to break up long lines of text. No paragraph should be longer than 3-4 sentences.
✔ Make your first blog posts conversational to build a connection with your audience.
✔ Use readable fonts and use white space to keep your blog posts easy on the eyes.
✔ Add bullet points to help readers skim down the blog without missing anything critical.
✔ Double-check for typos and grammatical errors.
✔ Bold some text to make it stand out.

Remember, a blog is a living thing that can be updated over time. So don’t try to make your content perfect – just publish it without fear and update it later.

What does this mean for your content strategy? 

A content strategy is a plan on how you’re going to manage your blog in the long run.

Without one, it can be tricky for you to upload posts regularly and attract readers. Standing out from other bloggers will also be challenging since over 4.4 million blog posts are published daily.

You should get right to the point and offer a list of the best ways to get rid of pimples fast. 

Don’t write a long post about "The Ultimate Guide to Getting Rid of Pimples." And don’t start your post with the heading "What Are Pimples?" like many SEOs did in the past.

Instead, match search intent and provide the solution your readers are actually looking for by understanding the meaning behind their search.

This is accomplished by looking at which extra terms are included in currently ranking content’s title tags and reverse-engineering the search.

While you don’t have to be a professional writer when starting a blog, it’s important to understand basic sentence structure and proper grammar.

For example, short paragraphs, bullet points, and images help break up long, monotonous blocks of text and keep readers engaged.

An effective blog content strategy should answer the following questions:

Why are you blogging and creating content?
What kind of content should you create?
How can you reach your goals with your content?

How to Plan your Strategy 

Here's a guide on how to come up with a killer strategy:

✔ Define your goal: What is it that you want to achieve with your blog? Remember to be specific. For example, a start-up goal could be to get 3000 visitors by the end of the month or rank two posts on the first page of search engines within two weeks.

✔ Perform audience research: Who are your target readers? Find out what kind of content they like, the problems they’re facing, and which social media platforms they use.

✔ Brainstorm topics and keywords: Decide which keywords you want to rank for. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and SEMrush Keyword Research to ease the process. Remember to focus on your niche.

✔ Create an editorial calendar: Make a timeline on your calendar for the days you’ll be writing, publishing your blog posts, and for your deadlines. It can help you be productive and consistent.

✔ Publish, promote, and measure: Share them through social media, mailing lists, and implement backlinks. Plus, measure how they affect the performance of your blog through Google Analytics.

Plan Your Future Content 

Another common question I get asked is how to prioritize new blog post ideas.

This should be based on keyword metrics, including search volume, difficulty scores, and how well you think you can rank for a keyword.

You can keep track of this inside of a simple spreadsheet with columns for your future posts, including:

✔ Target keyword.
✔ Blog post title.
✔ Monthly search volume.
✔ Word count.
✔ Priority.

Analyze Your Content 

You absolutely need to use analytics tools to analyze your content’s performance.

Tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs do this well. Since Google Analytics should already be installed on your blog, you can go to your GA dashboard to view metrics like site visitors, average time on page, total page views, and tons of other interesting stats.

You can view traffic to individual blog posts over any time period and compare it to previous periods to see if your traffic is increasing or decreasing.

Additionally, Ahrefs is the best search engine optimization (SEO) tool to track your blog post’s rankings and inbound links. You can view the keywords you’re ranking for, which sites are linking to you, and a lot more.

Ready to take the leap? Start your blog for just $2.95/month with Bluehost today.

Step #9 Promote Your Blog 

Creating a well-designed blog and writing great content is just the start. In order to get visitors to your blog you will need spend some time promoting it, especially when you first start.

The strategies below will help get your blog in front of more readers. You don’t need to use every strategy – try out a few and see what works well for you.

✔ Friends and family – tell everyone in your life about your new blog. Ask them to share a link on their social media accounts, let others know about your great content, and add their email address’ to your mailing list.

✔ Submit your blog to search engines – this helps your blog get indexed, meaning they add your blog to the list of sites. Sign in to your Google Account and go to the Submit URL option in the Webmasters Tools. You can also submit it to Bing and other search engines.

✔ Be active in your niche – check out relevant blogs, social pages, forums, etc. Blogging communities are a great way to grow your audience and connect with other bloggers.

✔ Be active on social networks – this has become a popular and common way to get your word out. Follow pages that fit your niche, comment on other posts, and build connections.

✔ Guest blog – offer to write a guest post on someone else’s website. Make sure the site has a good reputation and is in the same niche as yours.

✔ Mailing list – start emailing your readers about new articles or upcoming offers. The more people look forward to your content, the better they will be about responding to your promotions.

✔ Ads or paid traffic – there are always ads to help promote your blog. Either on Google AdWords or on Facebook. But if you are looking to stick on the cheaper side of things, skip paid ads for now.

Step #10 Make Money from Your Blog 

Once you have put in the effort of creating great blog content and promoting your blog, making money from your blog is actually the easy part.

Blogs have the potential to be extremely lucrative, but don’t assume that you’re going to start making money in the first week, or even in the first month. It could take six months to a year to start seeing a steady stream of income. Blogging takes work and dedication, but once you develop a large enough audience, there are several methods you can employ to monetize your blog.check out the tips below.

Ads featured on your blog 

You can choose ads that are specific to your audience or to what you are writing about. A good place to start is by checking out Google Adsense.

Sell Affiliate programs 

An affiliate program is a commission-based way to advertise. When one of your readers clicks on a link on your blog, they get sent to an advertiser’s site and you earn a commission if they purchase. Affiliate links are a nice way to earn income through the use of product reviews. However, you must remember to disclose that you are an affiliate for the product.

Selling Digital Products and Services 

If you have your own products and services, you can easily sell them from your blog. 

Selling your own products and services directly on your blog is a great way to increase your income. As your blog grows and you begin to see a wide audience, your products and services will begin to sell themselves. 

Add an eCommerce plugin, like WooCommerce, to allow your audience to search your products, add them to a cart and securely pay.

Use the sidebar of your blog to increase the visibility of what you sell using visual images and a link to your storefront page.

Sponsored Posts 

When your blog begins to increase in traffic you might be approached to place an ad on your blog. These advertisements are looking for exposure and will pay you to sponsor their ad on your site.

Sell Advertising Space 

Once you have a popular blog, advertisers will be hounding you for the opportunity to advertise. The best way to take advantage of this situation is to use Google Adsense. Google finds 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.

Sell Digital Downloads 

Ebooks, video tutorials, and e-courses are the most commonly consumed digital materials sold by bloggers. With little to no overhead and no shipping costs, you can keep the price low and inviting.

If you are extremely knowledgeable in your field, an ebook can practically write itself. Give it a try, you might surprise yourself!

Sell memberships 

Another way to monetize is by creating membership options on your blog. This allows you to offer members more exclusive content only available with a paid membership. 

For example, you could offer unlimited downloads of digital goods, free consultations, a private network or forum where community members can mix and mingle, and private content available to members only.

There are many ways a blog can capitalize on popularity and traffic. Choosing the way you monetize from your blog depends on your goals and the purpose of your blog. 

Those who are selling services, physical goods, and digital goods, for example, may not want to participate in affiliate programs where traffic could be lost to another site.

How to Run Ads on Your Blog 

There are two ways in which you can run ads on your blog — Google AdSense and directly selling ad space.

To monetize your blog with Google AdSense:

Start by signing up and creating an account.
 Connect AdSense to your blog and wait for an approval email.
 Create an ad unit and embed its code on your blog through a widget.

How to Sell Ad Space Directly to Businesses: 

 Make an attractive media kit by showing your blog’s stats and key information.
 Email it to potential advertisers. Inform them that you have space for ads and offer a partnership.
 Manage your ads with Google Ad Manager.
 Keep your business partners happy by giving precise reports on ad performance or offering discounts.

Affiliates Program 

You don't need to have your own products to sell items online. As a blog owner, you can earn commissions from merchants that sell products or services related to your niche. To do that, you must join an affiliate program.

Once registered, you will get various marketing materials, such as affiliate banners and links. Feel free to display them anywhere on your blog or insert them into posts. You’ll get paid every time visitors click on the ads or when they make a transaction.

If your niche is about web development and you have posts discussing web hosting, you can sign up for Hostinger’s affiliate program.

It’s free to join, and signing up is easy. Besides marketing materials, you will get an affiliate control panel, be assigned an affiliate manager, and earn at least 60% of every eligible sale.

Amazon Associates is another popular choice that blogs of different niches can benefit from. There are affiliate networks as well, such as CJ Affiliate and ShareASale. You can browse through their groups of merchants and choose an affiliate program that fits with your blog.

Writing/Selling an eBook 

For those who are experts in certain fields or who like to write, why not write and sell your own ebooks to earn some extra money?

Yes, it takes time and effort to plan and write a book, but you can use your blog posts as a starting point and go in-depth on a particular subject you’ve blogged about.

To make an ebook, follow the guide below: 

Pick a topic and write your content.
 Choose an ebook format — PDF, EPUB, AZW, or MOBI.
 Select the right software to create your ebook —  Calibre, Any eBook Converter, Google Docs, or any other word processors.
 Publish your ebook on your blog or platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing, Kobo Writing Life, and eBooks.com.

For a complete tutorial on how to create ebooks, feel free to visit this article.

If you don’t have the time to publish one, join affiliate programs. By reviewing and recommending other people’s ebooks, you’ll get commissions every time your readers make a purchase through your affiliate link.

Ebook retailers such as eBooks and Free-Ebooks have affiliate programs that you can join for free with their own commission system.

There are also established bloggers such as Remez Sasson (Success Consciousness) that also offer an affiliate partnership for ebooks.

Blogging Tips 

No matter what you’re doing, having a well thought out plan is essential. Not only will it make your work and results more efficient, but it will also give a clear vision of where you’re headed.

Most blogs generate new users through organic traffic. And the best way to do it is through quality posts. Hence, you’ll need to remember one golden rule: content is king.

Here are some of the top blogging tips that are sure to bring positive results:

Learn Basic SEO 

While search engine optimization may seem tricky, it’s one of the best skills you can acquire before you start a blog.

Proper SEO can put you miles ahead of the competition while ensuring that your content stays relevant and noticed.

Here are some of the best resources to learn SEO:

Do Keyword Research 

Ideally, your blog posts should use target keywords and phrases that people look for while using search engines.

Pumping out content without proper keyword research is like shooting in the dark. Even though you might hit something, you’re not exactly sure what you’ll get.Understanding keywords, search volume, and the content that currently ranks the highest can give you a pretty good idea of the search intent. Once you know that, creating a solid blog post will be much easier.

Luckily, there is a plethora of free tools and resources that can help you. Here’s where you can start:

Google Keywords Planner how to start your keyword research.
Google Trends helps you see shifts in the popularity of phrases and search terms.
Answer the Public see what questions and queries are the most frequent in a search term.
KWFinder free tools that let you see search volumes and other useful statistics.

Research Your Competition 

New bloggers can find it difficult to set off in the right direction. Though it’s often easier with a good example in front of you.

Researching the best performing blogs in your niche is a great way to find new ideas for your own site.

First, gather a list of 5-10 blogs or websites that perform well in your niche. Then, use tools such as SimilarWeb to generate a report.

While the free version provides limited statistics, you can still see the reports on the top 5 organic and paid keywords. Once you’re done with the research, you should be able to see a much clearer view of what content your blog needs.

Create a Content Plan 

Open a spreadsheet and brainstorm potential article ideas. Start with broader topics and make your way down to more specific branches. If you’re well-seasoned in a particular area, prioritize it.

Notable results will not come immediately, so patience will be your new best friend. Try to set deadlines for publishing articles and monitor your overall progress.

Aim to find the balance between quality and quantity. Then, stick to your plan and leave some time to reflect on the results.

Set up Social Media Platforms 

Building an online presence is important and sometimes daunting, luckily social media platforms make this task much simpler.

Firstly, social media platforms will increase user engagement. You can notify people about new articles, plans, and updates.

It’s also an amazing way to get acquainted with your readers. A crucial mistake that many new projects make is ignoring their audience and their needs.

But with Facebook and Twitter profiles in place, you can receive feedback from your readers directly. And as you continue to grow, you may run into business offers or similar opportunities.

Depending on the content that you provide in your blog, social media platforms may even attract new readers. It’s not only about gathering your existing audience. As people share your content, more and more people will be tempted to check it out.

Guest Blogging for SEO 

After you launch your blog, one of the toughest tasks will be making people notice it. Numerous competitors will stand in your way and you’ll need time to make it to the top search results on Google.

However, there are ways to make this journey less bumpy, and doing guest posts is one of them.

The basic idea is to publish a content piece with a link to your blog on another website. The biggest benefits that you will get are:

Boost in SEO due to links from other websites.
 A slight increase in direct/organic traffic.

If that’s something you’re willing to try, check out this in-depth guest blogging case study by Ahrefs.

Implement Google Analytics 

Monitoring your traffic is an essential part of building a successful blog.

Knowing your audience and what they want from your site will put you a few steps ahead.

And the best tool to take care of this job is Google Analytics. It tracks your visitors, their habits, various social metrics and more.

What’s more amazing is that this software is free. This means that every web user can easily find out more about their readers.

Submit new content to Google 

Thousands of new websites are created daily. And the number of new posts and articles are in the millions.

With that much action going on, it may take time before Google and other search engines start indexing your new content. But there’s a shortcut you can take to speed things up.

Adding your site to Google Search Console will give you the opportunity to:

Monitor your blog performance.
 Get alerts in case of sitewide errors.
 Use various testing tools.
 Access in-depth learning material.

And most importantly, you’ll be able to submit new blog posts and force Google to crawl them.

Build backlinks 

If you want to reach the top results of Google search, backlinks are something that you’ll need to take seriously.

In fact, it’s one of the most important ranking factors that Google takes in mind when evaluating websites.

While new blogs should focus on producing content and improving existing pages, there will come a point when you’ll have multiple top-notch content pieces at hand.

More often than not, even the highest quality content may not see the light of Google SERPs if you don’t work on your backlink profile.

Luckily, there are many proven ways to get them. Here are good resources to start with:

Patience is The Key 

One important thing to remember is: starting a blog is a long-term investment. Just as with any new activity, you’ll need effort and time to see any notable results.

First and foremost, it will take time before Google starts recognizing the existence of your blog. Many SEO specialists claim that there’s a period of time that needs to pass before your content starts making an impact (also called Google Sandbox).

So if you really want to succeed, arming yourself with patience is the way to go. 

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst, and you’ll surely get there.

Add CTA (Call to Actions) 

This can be anything that you want your readers to act upon. Whether it’s subscribing to a newsletter on your mailing list, reading another post, buying a product, an upgrade, etc.

Each blog post will benefit from having at least one CTA. Even if it is something as simple as asking your readers to comment on the post.

Check Your Blog's Load Times 

You want to make sure that your blog’s page is loading in an acceptable amount of time. Load times are not only a factor in ranking in search results but its a quick way to lose potential audience or readers if your site won’t load, or loads too slow.

You can see how fast your blog loads using page speed testing tools like Pingdom or GTmetrix.

If you need to optimize your page to speed things up, check on your image sizes, consider a caching plugin, or pick a faster web host.

Maintain Your Site 

Keeping your site up to date can make or break a successful blog. When given the choice of reading an article on a site with errors and plugins that don’t work, or a flawless working blog, most will go for the better.

Make sure to update your CMS software, as well as your plugins and themes. Create a schedule to back up your site and check for broken links in your older posts. 

Optimize your database and keep your articles up to date with the correct information.

Content Audits 

In addition to maintaining your site, content audits are a great way to give your blog a facelift. It is a good idea to check your past blog posts on a regular basis. 

Keep improving them so your reads can have the best and correct information at all times.

You can consolidate posts that are similar, as well as delete posts that you don’t want anymore. Setting up 301 redirects or other error pages can be done as well. And don’t forget about removing all dead links.

Why Should You Start a Blog 

Other than being a platform where you can express yourself, starting a blog has numerous benefits. You can improve your writing as well as learn new skills like web development and content management.

A blog is a creative outlet to channel your uniqueness and creativity while building a community along the way. Furthermore, it can also generate income either by displaying ads or affiliate programs. Your blog posts can be your portfolio to land freelance writing jobs as well.

As you can see, starting a blog can help with self-development. Plus, it creates many opportunities along the way.

Whenever you do something new, this is the first question that you should find the answer to. Why?

Once you uncover the reasons why you want to start a blog, the entire process will become more enjoyable. And you might just learn a couple of new things along the way.

Here’s some food for thought to get you started: 

✔ You'll build niche related knowledge: To create quality blog posts, you’ll need to study your niche and research many new areas. During this process, you will gather valuable knowledge that can help you in the future. Who knows, you might just uncover ideas great enough to start your own online business.

✔ It's a great way to express your ideas: Do you ever have one of those days where many great ideas start flowing in, but there’s no way to act on them? Well, if you start a blog, that’s more or less taken care of. Share your insights and opinions with everyone around the world.

✔ You will build a consistent stream of traffic: Many new projects and businesses often struggle to find an audience to showcase their fresh ideas or products. This can cause slowness in growth and expansion. But with a blog in place, you can build valuable traffic and convert it into potential customers or users.

✔ New opportunities will show up: While the journey may be a little tough at the beginning, once your blog starts growing, you will stumble upon many new opportunities. As you establish your online presence, more and more people will join your circle. And you might just become the next big expert in your niche.

✔ Show the world what you're up to: In this age of modern technology, the written word is still the most powerful way to get your message across. If you’re running a side project, starting a blog may be of the best ways to showcase your achievements to the world. Using the internet, you can reach every corner of the globe instantly.

✔ Become the next big influencer: Every new blog post will get you one step closer to greatness. If you have lots of expertise in a certain area, blogging will help you establish yourself in the market. Build an audience, make new connections, present your ideas, and break all boundaries.

✔ Work towards a dream: There’s no better feeling than working your way up towards a goal. Though a lot of times, we end up not knowing because we simply don’t try. If you’re passionate about something, making a blog will give you the perfect environment to start working towards your real passions.

Years ago, blogging wasn’t viewed as something serious. But now many people have turned their blog into a solid business.

If freedom is something that you’re striving for, running your own blog is a small step in the right direction.

What is a Blog? 

Still unsure of what a blog actually is? Well, it can be a digital magazine, diary, showcase, place to learn, etc, anything you want.

Typical blogs these days combine text, images, videos, and other pages on the internet. People can leave comments and communicate with the author of the blog.

A type of website with posts or articles that consist of written copy, videos, photos, or a combination of them all. The newest posts are usually displayed first or at the top.

What is a Niche? 

Most searches on the internet are for a solution to the problem, that’s where a niche comes in. They are popular because they can be about any topic. If you want to stay up to date on fashion trends, you follow a fashion blog. If you are looking for new music, you follow blogs about up and coming artists. So how do you choose a niche?

A niche is a topic or area that your content will focus on. For example, if you’re a musician, your blog’s niche might be more inclined towards music.

However, it’s recommended that you should be very specific. Depending on your interest, you might want to concentrate more on hip-hop song reviews, or pop music production.

How do Bloggers Make Money? 

One of the most common ways bloggers get extra money is by running ads on their blogs. Specifically through Google AdSense. It uses the pay-per-click advertising model where you will get paid based on the number of readers clicking on the advertisement banner.

You can also sell ad space directly to businesses selling products or services related to your niche. Depending on the contract, you will earn income based on clicks, visits, or transactions.

For those who have excellent writing skills, you can offer writing services, online workshops, or become a freelance writer. Turn your blog into an online portfolio.

Based on their expertise, some bloggers sell digital products as well. The common ones are printables and downloadables. They can be music files, pieces of art, photos, software, and many more.

If you don’t have your own items, you can offer and promote other people’s products by joining affiliate programs or write sponsored content.

What is a Guest Blog Post and How to Get Your First One? 

Guest blogging is when you write articles for someone else’s website, inserting a link or two directing to your blog. It gives the opportunity to expose and introduce yourself to a bigger audience. Plus, it’s a part of the external linking strategy.

✔ Research: Look for influential blogs and authors in your industry and niche. List them. Take notes on their content. Check their guest post terms and conditions. See if they have a specific style, voice, or tone.

✔ Initiate connection: Start with commenting on posts, share their content, subscribe to newsletters, and follow the hosts on social media. Immerse yourself in the community and try to provide value.

✔ Ask to write a guest post: However, don’t come empty-handed. Submit drafts of articles relevant to your target blog’s niche.

✔ Deliver high-quality content: When you receive the green light, make sure your article has valuable information. Format it like other posts on the blog, insert internal links other than the one to your blog, and add a call to action for comments.

✔ Follow up: Once your article is published, you can occasionally stay in touch, answer comments, or submit another guest post.

How Much Traffic Do You Need For a Sponsor? 

There is no specific answer. As you can land a sponsorship if you have less than 1000 visits. As long as your blog is continuously growing and that you're serious with managing it, you can start reeling in sponsors.

Here are some tips to get a sponsor for your blog: 

✔ Have a well-designed media kit: It should include a short explanation about yourself, your blog, and its mission. Don’t forget your contact information, social stats, the number of unique visitors, pageviews, page-rank, and readers analytics.

✔ Proactively seek sponsors: Unless you have a lot of traffic, don’t wait for them to come to you. Show your interest in taking advertisements through a blog post.

✔ Create a partnership list: Carefully research and target potential sponsors before you start connecting with them.

✔ Join sponsored post networks: Acorn and TapInfluence are just two of the networks you can join. Simply fill in your profile, and you will be paired with companies that are interested in collaborating with you.

Do You Need to Know Code to Start a Blog? 

Anyone can start a blog these days. You don’t need to have technical knowledge or coding skills.

There are website builders like Zyro with user-friendly dashboards, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors, and the drag and drop function. You won’t have to create a blog from scratch either, website builders tend to have a library of customizable templates.

Beginners can also use content management systems (CMS) such as Blogger and WordPress to build a blog. It might take some time to get used to its interface and all of the features. 

However, there are many tutorials, forums, and knowledge-based websites dedicated to it if you need guidance.

For those who just want to post content and don’t want anything to do with the website making process, you can try Medium. Here, your focus will be only on content creation.

What Makes a Blog Successful? 

A successful blog is one that continues to grow and has high traffic.

Constantly publishing articles can be taxing. So for the long run, writing what you love and what you’re interested in will make the process enjoyable.

There will also be times when results are not up to your expectations. So having a sense of purpose or a goal can give you the motivation to keep going.

When it comes to content, be consistent, and focus on your niche. You don’t want to attract one-time readers only.

Make sure that you offer value as well by uploading informative, high-quality, and engaging posts. People will want to come back for more. Plus, when you encourage interaction, you’re automatically building a community around your blog.

Pay attention to the SEO of your blog as well. You’ll want your posts to rank high on search engines. If one of your pages gets number one in Google’s organic search, you will get an average click-through rate Google CTR Stats of 31.7%.

The visual appeal of a blog is just as important. Your blog’s design and layout are what people notice first when they visit. Whether they will stay to explore or not depends on first impressions too.

Marketing efforts also play a part in making a blog successful. You’ll need to be hands-on and active with promoting your blog’s content, from targeting your audience to tracking your blog’s performance for improvements.

Why Do Blogs Fail? 

There are many different reasons why blogs fail.

✔ Lacking passion: Eventually, you might lose the drive to continue.

✔ Choosing the wrong niche: It makes moving forward and managing your blog difficult.

✔ Focusing only on the writing 

✔ Ignoring SEO: And not putting forth the time and effort into driving traffic.

✔ Producing low-quality content with no useful information: Hence, not giving readers a reason to return.

✔ Promoting content the wrong way: This can be by not targeting the right audience or engaging with existing readers.

The blog isn’t mobile-friendly: Keep in mind that 51.98% of internet traffic around the world comes from mobile users.

By the end of 2020, it’s expected that bloggers in the U.S will rise to 31.7 million. So if your blog doesn’t have a goal or personality to distinguish itself from the competitors, it will be buried sooner or later.

Final Word 

Congratulations! You now know all the proper steps, tips, and tricks on how to start a blog and be successful. The only part that remains is the execution, so what you are waiting for? Let's Get Started.

And if you have any other blogging related questions, inquiries, or tips, drop them down in the comments below.

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