First of all, I would like to praise you for your amazing skills on Google today!You probably came here because you were looking for something related to how to start a blog.
What you are about to read below, is what I believe is the most accurate and complete guide to starting a blog on this planet (there may be something better on Mars, but I haven't checked recently).
To begin with, let me introduce myself: I have been Spencer Haws' full-time internet entrepreneur since 2011 and I also have a small confession to make.I've started over 200 blogs or websites in the past and have had tremendous success, but I've also had some depressing failures (trust me, you don't want to know what a "Google slap" is… or feel liked).
Let me clarify something very quickly in case your head is spinning from my "200 blogs" comment. I don't recommend you do that! I created most of these in 2008-2010, where I was conducting some "experiments".Most of these sites no longer exist … BUT I have learned a lot of valuable lessons that I would like to pass on to you today.
Lesson 1, Do not create 200 blogs :).You're doing much better (and probably making more money too) if you focus on just one blog to get started.
Back in 2006, I started my first blog.I honestly had no idea what I was doing.Luckily I stumbled upon this process after hours and hours of research and finally figured it out!
Since that time, I've created several successful blogs (not counting the 200 failures), including this one you're reading right now.In this in-depth guide, I'll share with you exactly how to start a blog using the WordPress platform.
Not only will I share the steps with you, but I will also share how to make your blog a success from the start, even if you have no experience.
Also, once I've shown you exactly (with images and videos below) how to set up your blog, I'll also share some examples of blogs that are doing really well.This will allow you to see some of the strategies they are using (and I'll tell you exactly what you should look at) and how you might be able to apply them to your blog.
So go ahead and grab your favorite drink, turn off distractions, and get ready to focus.What you are about to read is thorough, educational, and I hope it gives you exactly what you need to start your first blog from scratch.
CONTENTS[ -ERR:REF-NOT-FOUND-NASCONDI ]
- 1 WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR BLOG?
- 2 DECIDE WHAT TO TALK ABOUT ON THE BLOG: WHAT IS YOUR PASSION FOR BLOGGING?
- 3 SETTING UP HOSTING
- 3.1 CHOOSE A HOSTING PLAN
- 3.2 YOU CAN PURCHASE BLUEHOST RIGHT HERE.
- 3.2.1 STEP 1: GO TO BLUEHOST AND THEN CLICK ON THE "GET STARTED NOW" BUTTON
- 3.2.2 2. SELECT YOUR PLAN
- 3.2.3 3. ENTER A NEW DOMAIN OR ENTER AN EXISTING DOMAIN
- 3.2.4 4. CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT, ENTER THE BASIC DETAILS.
- 3.2.5 5. SELECT PACKAGE INFORMATION (IMPORTANT: YOU MAY WANT TO CHANGE SOME OF THE DEFAULT SELECTIONS)
- 3.2.6 6. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU CAN NOW LOG IN!
- 3.3 STEP 2: ADD THE DOMAIN NAME TO YOUR HOSTING PLAN
- 3.4 INSTALL WORDPRESS ON YOUR WEBSITE
- 3.5 BASIC BLOG SETTINGS AND THEMES
- 3.6 THEMES
- 4 WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE ABOUT ON YOUR BLOG?
- 5 HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR BLOG
- 6 EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL BLOGS
- 7 NEXT STEPS
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR BLOG?
Before we start one of the technical steps on how to get a blog up and running, I think it's worth giving an overview of the purpose of your blog.
This first step may seem simple, but it is actually quite critical .
I think about it like when my wife asked me to get pepper from the grocery store.I came back with pepper shaking on food, when he actually wanted "a pepper"… Get to know the green or red vegetable.
A simple misunderstanding of what is your
Pepe blog is for, can lead to some awkward moments with your wife future self.
Are you just blogging for fun?Or do you hope that maybe one day your blog will make some money?
If you want to make money from your blog or if you just want to leave the door open to your blog's idea of making money, then you should consider a few things first.You need to determine if the blogging platform you're using allows you to make money (some don't).
You also need to think about whether there is any interest in the topic you want to blog about.(If you're just blogging for fun, then it doesn't really matter.)
I will cover all these topics in depth.
But for now, just determine if the idea of making revenue from your blog sounds like a good idea.If so, proceed to the next steps.
DECIDE WHAT BLOG BLOG ABOUT: WHAT IS YOUR PASSION FOR BLOGGING?
Ah, find your passion.This can be a profound question.Sometimes I get hooked on Reese's peanut butter cups, but then I change my mind when I wake up the day after the peanut butter binge session with an upset stomach.
You have to choose something that you will take care of longer than the day, week or even the following year.You should look for something that you feel you're still interested in learning about or making an impact, even a couple of years or longer.
Maybe you're lucky and already know exactly what you want to blog about.If so, congratulations!You can move on to the next step.
However, for many people, it can be difficult to know exactly what they want to blog about.Should you start a food blog, a fashion blog or cover some other topic?
One thing to understand is that you know yourself better.You'll know what the best topic for your blog is.However, it may take a bit of digging to get to that realization.
I know the purpose of this guide isn't necessarily to help you find your perfect blogging topic; However, this is really a fundamental step!So, I have some very short steps that you can follow at home on the best topic for you.
If you can find a topic with some crossover in the 3 areas below, you will have found the perfect topic:
- What do you like to do?
- What are you good at?
- What can you do by making money?
I would suggest writing 10 topics for each of these questions.Do you see any crossovers of things that interest you and are good?If so, this could be the sweet spot for your blog.
IS ANYONE INTERESTED IN YOUR TOPIC?
If you're going to start a blog that actually attracts an audience, you should probably determine if someone is interested in your topic before you pull the trigger and create a blog (which I'll have soon).
For example, I once opened a website on the topic of fleece ferret hammocks (I'm serious, I wouldn't joke about something like that!).It turns out after writing only a couple of articles, I was left without topic … And well, there was not a large audience of people interested in the latest fashions of the design of hammocks for ferrets.
Don't make this mistake by spending hours and hours of time on a project, only to determine six months later that nobody really cares.
One free tool that I really enjoy using to see interest levels in certain subjects going up or down is Google Trends.This amazing tool shows you if more or less people are searching for a certain topic.
For now, I'd just like to look at general topics for which to use Google trends.For example, if you're thinking of starting a blog about running marathons, you might search for "marathons."I wouldn't be very specific in Google trends and would look something like: "My toenails will fall out if I run a marathon" (the answer is… maybe… By the way).
This might be a great topic to write about, but it's probably not the best way to decide if you should blog about running marathons in general.
As you can see, interest in marathons has been quite constant over the years.Yes, there is a certain seasonality, but overall this interest remains on this topic.
The topic about toenails doesn't seem to be searched for too often, you probably don't want this to be the whole focus of your new site!
If you see that the trend in your topic is decreasing, you don't necessarily have to panic.Yes, this is a factor.However, this does not mean that no one is interested in this anymore.
For example, interest in the topic "Fashion Design" seems to have declined slightly in recent years.However, I don't see any sharp decline and I'm sure people will be interested in this topic for many years to come.
When Google Trends gets really powerful is when you start comparing two topics against each other.For example, what if you are passionate (and really good at fitness) about fitness and fashion design?
If you can't decide between the 2 topics, maybe it would be useful to know that more people seem to be looking on the topic of physical fitness than fashion design.Here's what Google trends need to share:
So, not only are topics related to physical fitness searched significantly more than fashion design, but the trend seems to be going up, while there is a slight downward trend for fashion design.
WORDPRESS: AN EASY-TO-USE BLOGGING PLATFORM
Now that you've determined the purpose and topic of your blog, you can finally get to the steps to actually set up your blog!
If you search for some blogging platforms, you'll see that there are dozens of different options, all with their pros and cons.I personally don't want to see you spend several hours and have a lot of headaches searching and trying a lot of different blogging platforms.
That's why I'm going to recommend using the one I use for all my sites, WordPress.
The blog you're reading right now is powered by WordPress.The best part is that WordPress is free!
However, not only is it free, but it is also extremely powerful.There are many blogs for beginners who use WordPress.However, there are also tons of really advanced websites that use WordPress.
Even sites like CNN.com and NewYorkTimes.com are powered by WordPress!In other words, no matter how small you start or how big your blog is, using WordPress as a platform is a great way to go.
It is highly scalable and does everything necessary.One of the things that makes WordPress so powerful is that there is an army of independent developers who create tools (called WordPress plugins) that you can add to your blog to get it to do certain things.
I don't want to go too far into the weeds with all the different plugins available on WordPress, I'll just say that you can pretty much do anything you've ever seen done on a website with WordPress.I highly recommend it.
I'll show you exactly how to start using WordPress in a minute, we need to take care of a couple of things first.
And just as clarification, you do NOT want to use WordPress.com, so do not go there and create a free blog.For your blog, you'll want the "self-hosted" version of WordPress.I'll show you exactly how to get it and set it up correctly (within a couple of minutes) below.
CHOICE OF DOMAIN NAME AND BRAND
You can think of your domain name as your brand.For example, my blog's domain name here is NichePursuits.com.
Other domain names you probably know are:
So, do you want your domain name to be your personal name or something that sounds catchy?This is a decision you need to make before you can move your blog.
I would recommend going with something that people can remember, it's relatively easy to write and it's a .com.Now, a .com is not required, but in my opinion it is always ideal.
Also, I would try to keep your domain name between 1 and 3 words.Something more tends to become too long and difficult to remember.
For example, if I started a marathon blog, I could choose something personal like MarathonSpencer.com.Or maybe more business that sounds like MarathonBoost.com
Or, if you're still stuck, you can use some creative tools like Panabee.com or NameMesh.com to help you come up with unique ideas for domain names.
To take your idea from the domain name to the actual website, you need to have a hosting plan.Basically, a website "host" is just a computer/server space that you can rent on a monthly basis from an online company.
Your website's computer files need to be stored on a server that allows other users to access online.And honestly, that's all you need to know to get your first website up and running.
In conclusion, you need to purchase a hosting plan to have your WordPress site up and running.
Fortunately, this is SUPER easy to do and costs only a few dollars a month.You do not need any technical skills, because I will show you exactly what you need to do … step by step.
CHOOSE A HOSTING PLAN
I recommend you go with Bluehost.I've been using Bluehost since I made my first website in 2006. I was happy with them every step of the way.
YOU CAN BUY BLUEHOST RIGHT HERE.
Well, first of all they are really cheap.For just a few dollars a month you can be up and running with a fully active and professional website.
Secondly, they are reliable.This is a company that has been around for years and hosts millions of websites.Your website won't disappear overnight because society goes away.Bluehost is not going anywhere.
Thirdly, their customer support is exceptional.You can have a live chat, email, or call a customer support representative on the phone to quickly get answers to your questions (if needed).
Finally, you can host multiple domains on one hosting account!So, let's say I start MarathonBoost.com, but then I decide I want to start a second website called SpencersCrazyWebsite.com as well.Well, with Bluehost I can.You don't need to purchase a second hosting account.For the same exact monthly price, I can host dozens of websites.
If you decide to sign up for a Bluehost account today, here are the exact steps you'll follow:
Click here to get a special introductory price for Bluehost.
2. SELECT YOUR PLAN
Any plan he will make; however, if you're just starting out, Basic is all you need.Get a free domain name, no matter which plan you choose.And you can always upgrade your plan later if you choose the basic plan.
TRY BLUEHOST RIGHT HERE AT A DISCOUNT
3. ENTER A NEW DOMAIN OR ENTER AN EXISTING DOMAIN
If you don't have a domain name yet, you can get one for free on Bluehost!Then, simply enter the domain name you want where it says "new domain".If you already own a domain name, enter the domain you want on your bluehost account where it says "I have a domain name".
Since I bought MarathonBoost.com on Namecheap, I've entered the domain where it says "I have a domain name".
4. CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT, ENTER THE BASIC DETAILS.
5. SELECT PACKAGE INFORMATION (IMPORTANT: YOU MAY WANT TO CHANGE SOME OF THE DEFAULT SELECTIONS)
If you quickly scroll through the payment process on Bluehost, you might miss this important section to select package information.
As you can see from the screenshot below, if you leave all the default selections, you agree to pay $201.96 at checkout.This might be a little more than you expected if you only wanted $3.95 per month.
As a result, I recommend unchecking a couple of boxes to reduce your initial costs.
You don't need "Site Backup Pro" or "SiteLock Security".I never use them on my websites and have been blogging for years.
Finally, you can select a 12-month plan instead of the default 36-month plan.Now you just have to pay 12 months in advance, instead of 3 years in advance, which significantly reduces the initial costs.You are welcome!
Note the screenshot below, which shows that you can take your total price at checkout from $201.96, all the way up to $65.40.It looks much better to me!
6. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU CAN NOW LOG IN!
After entering the basic information, selecting the options and pressing the buy button, you are ready to start using your Bluehost account.Congratulations!
You will receive welcome/confirmation emails from Bluehost, informing you that your purchase has been completed and how you can log in.
STEP 2: ADD YOUR DOMAIN NAME TO YOUR HOSTING PLAN
Now you can actually purchase your domain name directly through Bluehost when you purchase your hosting plan. This is a pretty ideal way to go.
So, if you go to Bluehost and purchase hosting, they will ask you for your new domain name through the purchase process.In fact, you get a FREE domain name when you purchase a Bluehost plan, so that saves you some money too!
If you do, you don't need to set up any nameservers for your domain and you can skip this step!
However, if you already have a domain name OR prefer to simply use a third-party domain registrar like GoDaddy.com or NameCheap.com, your website will still work with Bluehost… No problem!
This is the most "technical" step you'll need to follow if you haven't purchased your domain name through Bluehost.
So, let's look at an example of NameCheap.com.(I personally buy most of my domains through NameCheap.)
The general idea here is that you need to "point" your domain name to your proper hosting plan.Once your domain is pointed in the right direction, your hosting plan will be ready to get your website up and running.
The way to "direct" your domain to your hosting plan is to change your nameservers.
If you have a Business Name account, here's how to do it:
Sign in to your account, click "Domain List", then click "Manage".Then you simply find where it says "Name Server" and select "Custom DNS".Now simply enter your nameservers (which in the case of Bluehost will always be ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com.
Here's an image that will show you how it looks on Namecheap:
If you purchased your domain somewhere outside of Bluehost, you'll need to add the domain to your Bluehost account.You have just changed Nameservers by following the steps above.Now you just need to log in to your Bluehost account and make the addition.
To add your domain to Bluehost:
- Sign in to your account, click Domains, and then assign
- Enter your domain where it says "Use a domain that isn't already assigned to your account"
- Click "verify ownership" (this will happen automatically after adding your nameservers in Namecheap).
- Select "Additional domain"
- Then click Send… That's it!
INSTALL WORDPRESS ON YOUR WEBSITE
Congratulations, your new domain is in your Bluehost account and you can start setting up WordPress!
Luckily, this is a super simple process if you've gone through a web host (like Bluehost) with a one-click install option.
Bluehost now has a tool called Bluerock that greatly simplifies WordPress setup.
After clicking the "Start building" button, a screen pops up where you can choose the theme for WordPress.
It's important to choose a theme you like, but that won't make a big difference to your blog's revenue.As long as your blog looks good enough, that's fine.Choose the one you like and move on.
And then choose what you want to do with your blog.Bluehost also allows for easy installation of WooCommerce if you want to sell your products.
Next, simply give your site a title (which can be easily changed at any time) and description for your site.Then you're pretty much done!
Finally, you just have to log in to your site and begin the content writing process… Woohoo!You created your username and password in the previous step, and WordPress will send you an email with your login URL and other details.
If you ever forget what your WordPress login URL is, it's always the same.Go to YourSite.com/wp-admin.Therefore, the sign-in URL for MarathonBoost.com is MarathonBoost.com/wp-admin.
I recommend deleting the default posts ("Hello World") and pages, so you can start over.
BASIC BLOG SETTINGS AND THEMES
When you install your WordPress blog, there are only a few things I would recommend doing before you start promoting your site.
First, you need to change some of the basic settings to make the look and act the way you want.
I recommend double-checking your site name and Tagline.You can do this in Settings and then in General, as shown in the image below:The next setting menu you should take a look at is the "Discussion" option.
These settings (as shown below) give you options to moderate comments on your blog.
Now, it's all up to you, so I won't tell you which boxes to check or uncheck.Just know that you can prevent comments, you can allow comments, you can receive emails when there are comments (or not), and so much more.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that you review these settings and make the selections that you think will be most beneficial to you.And just know that you can change them at any time in the future.
The next setting you should look at is the "Reading" menu.If you're like the 99.9% of the people out there, you want search engines (like Google) to find your website!This is so important (as I'll discuss later) for people to find your website.
So, go to this setting and make sure the box "Discourage search engines from indexing this site" is unchecked!See the image below:
And finally, you should go to the "Permalink" menu and just double check how the structure is set up there.The default selection (at least when I installed WordPress on Marathon Boost) is the correct one.
Finally, if you see a message like the one below that you still have a "Coming Soon" page, be sure to click the link to fully activate your site.
Now the backend of your website is ready and ready to use.But what about the front-end?
If you go to your live website, I'm sure you've noticed that it looks pretty bland.All right… You've just started with your blog!
However, luckily for you, WordPress makes it very easy to change the design and appearance of your website.You can choose from hundreds of WordPress "Themes" (eg. Design).
Opinions on what exactly your website should look vary greatly, so I'm not here to convince you to design something in a specific way.I just want to show you a couple of resources where you can search for free and premium themes to help you find the look of your dream website.
Within WordPress, you can simply click on Appearance and then Themes to see some of the default options.And these are just fine to get started, feel free to check them out.
In addition, you can also see hundreds of other free wordpress themes by clicking on "WordPress.org Themes" as shown in the image below.
Honestly, many of these free themes are all that you will ever need.Some of them look just as good as the Premium themes (ones you pay for).So, if you are on a shoe string budget, there really is no need to install anything else right now. You can wait until your blog has grown and you are making a few dollars before you think about redesigning your website again.
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Link Whisper is a revolutionary tool that makes internal linking much faster, easier, and more effective.It makes it simple to boost your site's authority in the eyes of Google. You can use Link Whisper to:
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- Simple yet effective internal links reporting: what has lots of links and what pages need more links?
Click here to revolutionize your site's way of doing internal links
If you do a simply Google search, you will find that there are TONS of premium themes out there.You are more than welcome to spend some time looking around.Or you can look at what we consider the best wordpress themes right here.
The only premium theme that I will mention here is Thrive Themes.I mention this option because not only do they have some great looking themes, but they also have some great functionality options for when you are ready to get more advanced.
If you think you are ready to look at some more advanced options right away, you can see what Thrive Themes has to offer right here.
WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE ABOUT ON YOUR BLOG?
Phew!If you've made it this far, you've come a long way.You now have a live blog on the internet!
However, perhaps you are now staring at a blank page wondering what you should actually write about.In my example, I know that my overall topic is running and marathons, but is there something specific that you can write about to generate more readers?
I have 3 general guidelines that I'd like to share with you today that will put you head and shoulders above most bloggers out there.If you follow these 3 ideas for writing on your blog, you will be much better off than if you just write about "whatever I feel like today".
- Focus on keywords – Write about topics that people are searching for on Google.
- Follow Your Passion: Write about what you are passionate about.
- Replicate Shareable Success: Write about topics that other bloggers have had success with (i.e. shareable content).
And if you can do all 3 of these things in one blog post, then you will have hit a massive homerun!
So, if you are stuck for what you should blog about ask yourself these 3 questions:
- What are people searching for on Google that I can write about?
- What am I passionate about?
- What are some popular blog posts from other bloggers that I could write similar content about?
Now that you have the basics, I am going to walk through an example to show you exactly how this works.And of course, I will continue my example with the brand new blog that I just set up, MarathonBoost.com.
So, what are people searching for on Google related to Marathons (insert your own blog topic here)?
Perhaps you didn't know, but Google actually shares quite a bit of information with you if you know where to look for it.
Have you ever noticed that when you start to type something into Google, they will populate several suggestions?These suggestions are actually popular searches on Google and typically are in order of most search volume (how many people search for that phrase each day/month).
This is really valuable information!Here's a couple of examples when I type in "Marathon".
This tells me that people are actively searching for "marathon training", "Marathon distance", etc. Any of these would be fine topics to write about.However, you can often do much better in Google if you get more specific (find longer phrases):
As shown above, these would be some great topics to write about.But Google doesn't stop there, you can often find more detailed questions or other ideas within the search results as shown below.
"How long does it take to train for a half marathon?", and all the other questions here, would be an excellent topics to write about.You can do the exact same thing for your blog topic.
Finally, Google does provide more information below the search results that will help you find more keywords to write about, see below:
All of these related searches are topics you could write about, and KNOW that people are searching for them (otherwise Google wouldn't recommend them).
I can't stress enough the importance and potential success of targeting specific keywords when writing your blog posts.All you have to do is write about the topic and make sure you include the keyword as part of your title.
So, if my chosen keyword was "Marathon Training for Beginners"… the title of my article could be "Marathon Training for Beginners: 17 Strategies to Improve Running Performance"You can also go to the free Google Keyword Planner, where Google provides even more free search volume data and keyword suggestions.
(You'll need to create an account if you decide to try it out.)
The last keyword research resource I'm going to share with you today is Long Tail Pro.In full disclosure, I am the original creator and founder of Long Tail Pro (although I have since sold that company).
Long Tail Pro is an excellent way to get even more keyword ideas for your new blog.This tool simplifies and speeds up keyword research, finds search volume, and perhaps most importantly knows how difficult it is to rank that keyword in Google.
Without going into too much detail, Long Tail pro will show you a number between 1 and 100 with 100 which is the hardest to show on Google for (you should avoid these).If you can find keywords with a number (keyword competitiveness score) below 30, then you're much more likely to pop up on Google and get people to find your new blog.
For example, if I do a quick marathon-related topic search in Long Tail Pro, I can quickly see which keywords and topics I should write first.
Here are some phrases in the screenshot below that indicates the low-competition keywords (with average KC score below 30) and search volume.I would like to target the keywords with the highest search volume and the lowest average.KC score).
If you are interested in trying Long Tail Pro, you can do so here.
FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
Another way to decide what to write about is simply brainstorming what you're passionate about.For example, right now I'm passionate about trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, so on my site I would write about how to qualify for Boston.
So, if you can convey your conviction for a topic that you believe will resonate with your readers, go for it!After all, you need to have some freedom to write only what you want to write about sometimes, even if you don't do all the keyword research.
I did this is the past and I can think of at least one example where one of my most popular blog posts of all time was born from one of these ideas.
Be authentic, write down what excites you, and you will often find that others agree with you.
The final idea to find out what you should write about next is to find out what other successful bloggers do and try to do similar things.
I don't mean copying.
What I mean is that if another blogger has written about a unique topic that seems to be shared a lot on social media, you should try to write about the same topic or a similar topic, but provide your unique turn or angle on the topic.
The basic idea here is that if people on social media are excited to share a topic about "Foods that make you faster in running," they're likely to share your content on a similar topic as well.You should take note of this and see if you can do something even better!
Maybe write an article about "7 desserts that make you run faster."(I just came up with that topic, but as a runner, I'm pretty sure to click on that title and share it!)
One way to keep up with what's going "viral" on social media is to follow other bloggers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or wherever typical bloggers share their content in your particular niche.
You will be able to see how many likes, pins or shares a given content is getting and you should take note of these most popular posts.
Another way to see what content is shareable is to use a tool like BuzzSumo.
In the image above, you can see how many times these articles have been shared and what types of article titles are getting good results.You should consider writing about similar topics!
Then, finally, you can click "View Sharers" to see who actually shared the content, then you can contact them and ask them to share your content once it's written as well.
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG TO GET MORE READERS
Believe it or not, the previous steps of the couple are really the basis for initially promoting your blog and gaining new readers.By writing about keyword-rich topics, you can probably rank on Google and start getting visitors "naturally" through Google.They will find you!
So, creating and sharing content that other bloggers have been successful with, is a great way to start promoting your blog.
Here are 5 ways I would recommend promoting your blog to start new readers.
- Be active on social media. Initially, just start with a social media site.Definitely post your content (if applicable), but also be active on other blogger pages and be as helpful as possible.When you find the time, you can always branch out to other social media platforms.
- Leave comments on the blog. Please be smart about this and don't spam anyone; However, leaving a real authentic comment on someone else's website can be beneficial to both of you!The blogger gets great feedback from a reader (you), and you can leave a link to your blog (typically).This is common practice and if you're always looking for new blogs in your niche, you can easily find 4 or 5 blogs to comment on every day.This can put you on other bloggers' radar and allow other readers to find you.This is an excellent strategy for getting your first top readers when you start your blog.
- Email other bloggers or podcasters in your niche. It works especially well if you've left a comment on the blog or two on their blog.You can often find a contact form that you can use to email the blogger and let them know how much you enjoyed reading their blog.If you sincerely like their blog, it will show up in your email.You should email them with no other intention than to start building a friendly relationship as a fellow blogger in space.Along the way this could lead to things like guest posting opportunities, links/mentions on your blog on their blog, partnerships, and many other things.And if you don't mind being interviewed and have something to share or are really an expert in your area, I highly recommend contacting podcasts in your niche!Podcasts are often looking for great guests, and maybe you have an interesting perspective to share.
- Be active in forums or other Q&A sites. Each niche is associated with a forum where people discuss and ask questions.Go to google and type in your niche + forum, and I'm sure you'll find a lot of great options.For example, if I do a search for "marathon forum," I can easily find a dozen ongoing forums that I could participate in and start participating. (Ideally, you would join 1 or 2 of the most active forums).Again, you want to be as helpful as possible and not be spam.However, many times these forums allow you to mention your site in your signature and this can be a great way to help new readers find you.
- Create an email list. Over time, you will attract more and more people to your blog.Ideally, you can get these readers on your email list so you can stay in touch with them while you create new content.How does it help you promote your blog?Well, for one it keeps your existing readers a way to know what you're doing.Keeping current readers alert is very important.However, as your email list grows, you'll likely have more bloggers join YOUR email list.Then, simply by sending an email to your list, these bloggers can take note and decide to mention you on their blog or contact you for other promotional opportunities.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR BLOG
Well, now comes the golden question: "How do you make money with a blog?".The answer is that there are tons of ways you can make money with your new creation.
I'll just give you a few ideas here, and then share some examples of real live blogs that are making good money below (so you can see exactly how they're doing it).
To be honest, I've written about its topic in the past and written an entire article about 53 ways you can make money from a website.I summarize just a few of these ideas here.
This is a typical way to start earning money with your blog.Believe it or not, it's pretty simple to even approve a new blog for ad networks.
I would recommend that you try starting with Google Adsense or Media.net.Both are pay-per-click networks that, as you guessed, pay you every time someone clicks on your ad.It's passive income at its best!You don't have to sell anything or do any customer service, you just have to get paid if someone clicks on an advertisement.
(Of course, don't make the crucial mistake of clicking on your ads – Google is smart 🙂.)
You can learn how to get Google Adsense approved right here.
Here's an example of a website that uses Google Adsense on their website:
To make money with your blog, you can also become an "affiliate".You can find affiliate networks or contact individual brands and become their affiliate.
Essentially, if you invite someone from your blog to say Zappos.com and that person buys a pair of shoes, you'll get an affiliate commission.This could be 5% of the price of shoes.So, maybe you make $5 or $10 when someone buys a pair of shoes.
A very easy way to get started as an affiliate is through the Amazon Associates program.Since Amazon has millions of products for sale, you can target people to Amazon for whatever niche you're in.
So, let's say I refer someone from my blog running on Amazon to buy a fuel belt.I will make a sales commission if they buy within 24 hours!However, one of the big parts of the Amazon Associates program is that if this person buys ANYTHING on Amazon (even if they don't buy the fuel belt) within 24 hours, I'll be credited with that sale and earn a commission.
That's exactly what I did with one of my websites that generated $2,985 earnings for me in just one month.Here's a screenshot from my Amazon Associates account:
SELL YOUR PRODUCTS
The last way I'm going to mention that you can make money from your blog is through creating and selling your products.I believe this should be what every website shoots in the street.Therefore, while you might start making money with ads or affiliate sales, selling your products can take your business to a whole new level.
But what can you sell?This really depends on your blog.However, there are usually some good options.
HOW I BUILT A NICHE SITE THAT EARNS $2,985 PER MONTH
You want to start a niche site that can bring in $3,000 per month… or more?Here I discuss:
- The tools you'll need
- How to get started with a budget
- The best way to generate income quickly
Interested? Click here to learn how to start your own revenue-generating niche site.
Books You could sell your e-books on your website, or you can sell Kindle eBooks through Amazon.
No matter what niche you are in, people are always looking for good information.If you can be the expert and provider of that information, you have a product to sell.
Sure, you could try publishing a traditional book, but I wouldn't consider it an option until you've proven to have an audience, and even then selling a downloadable eBook or going through the Kindle platform might be more beneficial to you.
Other digital products or training
If you can really establish yourself as an expert, people will pay for your advice and training.A common path for bloggers is to create some sort of video training course that readers can buy.This can be a highly profitable venture since the costs are so low (no physical goods).
You can also start some sort of membership site that people pay monthly to join.
Finally, you could also create a software product that people in your niche would be interested in buying.That's what I did with Long Tail Pro.I'm a blogger who talks about keyword research from time to time, and so when I created Long Tail Pro, many people were willing to buy from me. Physical productsOnce you have a platform and readers, the possibilities are truly endless, and that includes creating your own physical product.
For example, if we go back to my example on MarathonBoost.com and I know I have many readers running marathons, I could create and sell my own running belt.If I have a great idea that I think the runner will benefit from, then the possibility is definitely there.
Now launching and producing a physical product can take a lot of time and money.So, this probably won't be the first way you decide to monetize your blog.However, keep in mind that it's possible that one day, as you grow your audience, you could start launching your physical goods.
Again, I did it myself personally and you can read some of my experiences in selling physical products right here.
EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL BLOGS
Now that you know how to start and promote your blog, it's time to get inspired.One of the best ways I've found to stay focused, and even give myself new ideas, is to look at what other bloggers are doing.
Below I'm going to share some examples of successful blogs in a few different markets.This will allow you to see how they are earning, how much traffic they are receiving and what they have done to achieve the success they have.
Fashionista.com If you are interested in learning how to start a fashion blog, this section of sites will particularly interest you.
Fashionista.com is a fashion blog that covers everything related to fashion and receives a significant amount of traffic from Google (as you can see from the image below).
The fashionista ranks by keywords in Google such as "oil extraction" and "how to dress casual business".
One of the most shared articles on Fashionista is called " Iris Apfel thinks dressing for your age is stupid ".(This gives you an idea of the types of articles that could go viral.)
TheEveryGirl.com The Every Girl blog covers fashion, of course, but it also covers many other topics such as Careers, Culture, Travel, and more.
This is a great example of a blog that might have started with a focus, but then was able to expand when they found success.
This blog gets a lot of traffic from Google and ranks by keywords like:
- What is a capsule wardrobe
- Manicure do it yourself
- How to treat dry scalp
- and more
This blog focuses a lot on images and Pinterest.Therefore, Pinterest is also a significant traffic source for this blog.
One of their most "viral" blog posts is: Glam Midwest Remodel by An Intereior Stylist.This blog post contains images that have been "blocked" over 100,000 times on Pinterest!
I would also like to give you some examples of food blogs that are doing well.If you're interested in how to start a food blog, these bloggers might give you some inspiration and show you what a successful finished product might look like.
Pinch of Yum is a blog about food, which also happens to share their income every month, so they can get plenty of insight into what works well in their business.
As you can see, they write about food, recipes and take tons of photos.These high-quality images drive a lot of traffic from Pinterest, which is the second largest source of their traffic.
The main source of traffic to the blog is through Google (both organic search and images).As you can see from the screenshot below, they get a lot of traffic from Google and rank by keywords like:
- chocolate biscuits
- pasta salad
- cauliflower rice fry
- and more
Now, as a businessman, what I love about Pinch of Yum is that they share their monthly income!For example, a few months ago, they showed that they earned over $52,000 through AdThrive (ad network) and over $20,000 from sponsored content… all in one month!
So, is there any money to be made to start a blog about food?Yes, Pinch of Yum clearly proved it.Just remember that success does not come overnight, these bloggers have put a lot of time and effort.
Another food blog that is enjoying success is JessicaGavin.com .Jessica is a certified culinary scientist and well, she loves writing about food and diet!
Jessica also shares her monthly blog and revenue report, which shows she's earning over $5,000 a month in revenue!While it's not as much as Pinch of Yum, it's still a great source of income.
As you can see from the image below, JessicaGavin.com ranks on Google for keywords like:
- Salmon poke recipe
- Mexican pulled pig
- chicken noodle soup earthenware pot
- and more
The main source of traffic for this site is Google and the second main source is Pinterest.The most viral post (shared most on social media) is: Spiral vegetable salad with roasted chickpeas.The main reason for its popularity is through images shared on Pinterest.
If you want to learn how to start a travel blog, Nomadic Matt is a good example to follow.On his blog, of course, he covers his travel adventures, but he also shares tips on how to save money on travel, how to eat while traveling, and much more.
According to SEMrush, this blog receives a significant amount of traffic from Google.NomadicMatt.com ranks by keywords such as:
- best thai food
- How to plan a trip
- Packing list
- and much more
Matt makes money in many different ways from his blog, but one of his most important ways is through the sale of his books and courses.It sells an issue of travel guides on this page.
HeyNadine.com Another travel blogger who has an interesting approach is HeyNadine.com.
Nadine covers similar topics to Nomadic Matt; however, much of its strategy is YouTube and social media channels.
So, as you can see below, it doesn't get a huge amount of traffic directly from Google.But it has a really great YouTube, Instagram and other channels.So while ranking for some keywords, getting traffic from Google isn't its main source.
Nadine probably gets a decent amount of revenue from ads on her YouTube channel.In addition, he has monetized his site with physical products for travelers, as you can see on his Travel Shop page here.
Overall, I hope some of these successful blogs have provided you with both inspiration and education!There are other bloggers out there who make a living from what they are doing.So whether you're just blogging for fun and starting a blog to create secondary income, the possibilities are definitely there.
Now that you know how to start a blog, the next step is to take action.And of course, this goes far beyond simply setting up web hosting and installing wordpress.
If you were to read more articles on "how to start a blog", they would stop after showing you how to set up your website.However, this is just the beginning.Then, after purchasing your domain name, set up your Bluehost account and installed WordPress; Here are some next steps to consider.
CONTENT PLANNING AND DURATION
I recommend that you sit down and decide how often you post content on your blog.The topic could be made to write a lot of content, but other topics can be done simply to write less frequently.Both can work.
If you're hoping to generate a lot of free traffic from Google, I highly recommend stretching your articles (over 2,000 words… at least!).Longer articles tend to rank better on Google, as shown in this study.
So if you're writing these longer articles that can sometimes be 3,000 or 4,000 words or more, then you probably don't have time to write an article every day.In fact, maybe one article a month is all you can put in your schedule… All right!
On the other hand, if you just want to create more personal blogs or don't want to get free traffic from Google, then writing shorter articles is fine and maybe you can post more often.
The key idea here is to determine a program that works for you, set a goal to stick to that program, and then follow along.
BUILD YOUR TRIBE
If you can connect with your first 1,000 "followers" as soon as possible, you'll have started your own "tribe."Having this core of readers who believe in what you're doing is perhaps more important that you realize.
Of course, your first readers could be your close friends or family.However, to reach 1,000 followers you'll need to start branching out through social media, forums, or some of the other methods already discussed above.
If you can connect with a core group of readers on a deeper level, being as genuine as possible, people will be willing to keep reading, sharing your content, and ultimately buying from you.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
At the same time, while you're working to build your tribe, you should be in touch with other bloggers and influencers in your space.Have you read a good article by a fellow blogger?Contact them via email and let them know that their content resonated with you.
Again, you should try to build relationships and even friendships… Not for nothing in return.
The reality is that when you start connecting with people on a friendly basis, they're more likely to notice you that it can lead to great things in the future.Anyone will you reach to become your friend or possibly share your content?Of course not. But either way, being friendly with other bloggers in the space, even if you get nothing in return, you'll have made the internet a little better than a place.
Overall, I think this principle of sincerely appreciating what others are doing out there, and having a generally positive attitude toward other bloggers and readers, will often pay off its dividends in unexpected ways.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS OR THOUGHTS?
I hope you enjoyed this epic guide to start your first blog!I believe I've covered everything you need to get started and even begin the content creation process.
However, if you feel you have missed something or simply have a question you would like to ask from me, leave a comment in the section below.
In the meantime, feel free to sign up for my email newsletter right here, where you can get more tips for building websites via email.