How to start a blog complete step by step guide
Are you thinking of starting a new blog, but you don't know where to begin? Then don't worry, you have come to the right place.
In this comprehensive guide, we will tell you how you can start a blog in 2021. Many people think that blogging is dead, but it is not true. Blogging is one of the most profitable careers, even in 2021.
Many people think of starting a blog, but as a beginner, they don't know how to do that in the right way. So they drop that idea. But instead of dropping that idea, you can follow our below step-by-step guide to create a blog.
Select a Niche for Your Blog
The very first step for creating a blog is to pick a good niche for your blog. Do not write to cover every topic on your blog. Most of the successful blogs only focus on one niche.
Your niche could be anything food, travel, fitness, fashion, tech, or about your business. But we will suggest you choose a niche for which you are passionate.Keep below two things in your mind while selecting a niche for your blog.
- Pick a niche that interests you
- Make sure there is enough audience for your niche.
The above thing will help you to find a niche that is suitable for your blog. Moreover, the more passionate you run your blog; you and even your readers will enjoy your blogging journey.
Once you select a niche, do the below three things to ensure that your blog can succeed by working on this niche.
- Do Competitor Research
- Analyze Monetization Potential
- Check Niche Size
For example, you are passionate about the travel niche. Now does the competitor’s research, analyze niche size and monetization potential, and then create your blog on the travel niche if everything seems right
Choose a Right Blogging Platform
There are various blogging platforms available in the market. Some are free, and some are paid. Moreover, you can either host your site on free hosting or set up a self-hosted blog.
Below is a list of the most famous blogging platforms:
Although all of the above CMS (Content Management Systems) are good, we will recommend you to go with a self-hosted WordPress blog as it is the most reliable option for blogging.
If you want a free option, then you can go with Blogger. But if you are serious about earning money through your blog, we will suggest you go with WordPress.
Because Blogger comes with various limitations, Whereas WordPress provides you with a lot of additional plugins and themes that help you to customize your blog in the way you want.
Moreover, it is an open-source platform and provides you with complete control over your blog. Most of the websites present on the internet use WordPress.
Now you might have a question that to choose which blogging platform for your blog Wordpress or Blogger.
Wordpress vs Blogger
|Set up time||30 Min||0 Min|
|Custom Domain||Free with Hosting||Need to buy ($10 Year)|
|Post Per Day||Unlimited||50|
|Image Gallery||Supported||Not Supported (You need to find the specific theme or you can edit the HTML)|
|Videos||Supported||YouTube, Vimeo Videos are supported|
|Videos||Supported||SoundCloud audio files are supported|
|Portability||Easy to export and import to other platforms||Not easy to switch from blogger to other platforms|
|Ideal For||All type of websites||Writing Blog Only|
Now you have an idea of how Blogger and WordPress works.
Now ask yourself which one fulfills all your requirements.
There are various web hosting companies that offer WordPress hosting at different prices. But you can quickly get reliable hosting for $4/month.
So in total, it will cost you around $60 per year to run a self-hosted WordPress blog. It's worth making this investment, especially if you think of doing blogging in the long term.
Get a WordPress Hosting
As we already told you that you need a domain name and web hosting to start your WordPress blog. So select a unique domain name for your blog.
A domain name is essential as it represents your blog's unique address on the Internet. Moreover, try to choose a domain name that is small and easily rememberable.
It is best to pick a high-level domain extension like dot com or dot net. In case you don't get them, you can go with other extensions too. Furthermore, if you are specifically targeting a particular country, you can go with the country-level domain like dot au, dot in, dot UK, etc.
After getting a domain name, your next step is to get web hosting for your blog. There are various web hosting companies like Hostgator, Hostinger, Bluehost, etc.
You can go with any web hosting company, depending on your budget. But make sure you choose the hosting that provides excellent functionality and performance to your blog.
Your web hosting should be available 24/7 to your blog reader. If you choose the wrong hosting, then it can cause many problems for your blog.
Moreover, most web hosting companies offer you the free domain for 1st year on web hosting. So make sure you take the benefit of it.
Install WordPress on Your Site
Once you get the domain name and hosting for your blog, your next step is to install WordPress on your site. If you have purchased both domain name and hosting from the site, you can directly skip to installation steps.
But if you have purchased both domain name and hosting from different companies, then you need to change your DNS server of a domain to the DNS server provided by your hosting.
- Visit the hosting site and log in to your account
- Go to your site c-panel.
- Find out the quick installation menu and click on install WordPress.
Most of the hosting provides you with an option to set your user name and password for your WordPress dashboard. Your installation will finish within a few minutes. But it might take a few hours for your site to appear.
When WordPress is successfully installed, you can access your site through the dashboard URL, which is generally yoursite.com/wp-admin. From this page, you can log in to your dashboard by entering your username and password.
Select the Theme for Your Blog
After installing WordPress, you need to give a layout to your blog. To do this, you need to install a theme on your blog.
Installing a theme on WordPress is very simple. All you had to do is go to the appearance tab and click on Themes. Once you do this, you will see a lot of free themes that are present on WordPress.
Moreover, your blog's look and feel are very much dependent on your theme, so it is essential to choose a theme that looks great from the user's point of view and even suits your blog.
While selecting a theme for your blog, do the following three things:
- Read the theme description
- Preview the theme before installing
- Check the theme ratings
In case you don't find the exact theme you are searching for, you can install the theme that you find suitable at that time because you always have an option to change it later on.
Also, do not install more than one theme because it can increase site load time. Furthermore, after installing the theme, don't get surprised if your site still doesn't look great.
Because a theme is just the skeleton of a blog to make it more appealing, you need to customize it about which we have discussed in the next step.
Should You Use Free Theme or Paid Theme?
There are some paid themes also available for WordPress. So you might have a question about whether you should use free them or paid theme.
As you are just starting with your blogging journey, we will recommend you to go with free themes as there is no problem with them. But once you start earning money through your blog, you can invest in paid themes.
Customize Your Blog Theme
The best thing about WordPress is that you don't need coding knowledge to customize your site layout. You can customize your site design with just by few clicks.
WordPress themes provide you with the following customization options:
You should firstly add your site logo, change the site title and tagline.
The second option you get is to change the color of the theme. You can customize the background color, header, and footer colors. Moreover, you can even customize the primary color.
From here, you can select whether you want to show an author bio for your posts and a search icon in your blog's header.
Through this option, you can make some additional changes in your page template, including the overlay background color, overlay text color, and overlay opacity.
You have an option to upload a custom background image that you can use on your blog.
You can customize the blog's menu and social media menu links. Moreover, you also have an option to change the locations where the menu is displayed.
It is one of the most exciting things for any blog. You can add different widgets in the side and footer area of your blog.
From here, you can choose whether you want a static homepage or display your latest posts on the homepage.
It is an advanced option through which you can add your CSS code to the theme and customize your blog's appearance and layout. However, you don't have much coding knowledge; you should stay away from this option.
Above, we have discussed some of the most basic customization settings. But depending on the theme you are using, and there can be more or fewer customization options.
Configure Your WordPress Blog Settings
Once you complete designing your blog, there are three types of setting that you need to configure, which is as follows:
In the sidebar menu, go to the setting and click on general. From the general settings, you can set the following two things for your site:
It is the name of your site.
It is one line of information that your site is about.
Although these two options are also available when you are customizing your blog theme, apart from this, you can also check whether your blog address URL is correct or not.
It is one of the most important settings for your blog. If you are creating a blog, you surely want it to be indexed on search engines like Google and Bing.
You can find this in the reading section of the setting. In that section, make sure that the box before the line 'Discourage search engines from indexing this site' remains unchecked.
In case this box is checked, your blog will not appear in search results.
The third setting you need to do is about permalinks. The permalinks defined how WordPress will create a URL for every blog post and sub-pages you publish on your blog.
It can found under the Permalinks panel under Settings. Here you will see many permalinks options but make sure you select the 'post' one, which is present at the fourth number.
Plugins are pretty helpful for most WordPress sites because they add a lot of functionality to the blogs. Plugins are a piece of code that affects your blog capabilities.
There are a lot of free and paid plugins available for WordPress. Moreover, when you install WordPress on your website, you will get some plugins already installed.
You can review those by clicking on the plugins option on the left-hand side of your WordPress tab. In case you find any extra plugins that had no use on your site, you can disable them and uninstall them.
Moreover, you can also install additional plugins by clicking on the Add New Plugin option.
There are many plugins available for WordPress but do not install many plugins on your site because it increases the load on your site.
Only install the plugins that are useful and necessary for your site.
Below we have listed some of the most valuable plugins for WordPress:
It is an SEO plugin that helps you in doing the SEO of your blog.
WP Super Cache
It decreases your blog's load time and provides the readers' content fastly.
This plugin connect your blog to WordPress.com.
It is an official plugin by Google that allows you to directly connect Google search console, analytics, and Adsense to your WordPress blog.
It protects your contact form and comments from spam.
Contact Form 7
This plugin allows you to create a contact form with flexible email options.
With the help of this plugin, you can create a related blog posts list at the end of each page of your blog.
Once you complete your WordPress blog setup, you need to create the following necessary pages for your website.
- About Us Page
- Contact Us Page
Apart from this, some additional page you can create depending on the niche you are working on:
- Services/Products Pages
- Portfolio page
- Testimonials page
To create a page, go to the Pages section on the left side of your WordPress dashboard and click on Add New page. Now create your page and click on the publish button to make your page public.
Publish your First Post
Now it time to upload blog posts on your blog. Creating blog posts is similar to creating a page for your blog. All you had to do is go to the pages section present on your WordPress dashboard's left sidebar.
After that, click on the Add New Post. Now create the SEO Optimized post and publish it to make it available for your readers.
Furthermore, your latest blog post will appear automatically on your website homepage.
Monetize Your Blog
Once you upload some quality posts on your blog and start attracting some traffic, it's time to monetize your blog.
There are various ways by which you can monetize your blog. But it more depends on what type of blogging you do.
Below we have discussed three best ways by which you can monetize your blog
Adsense is one of the preferable methods for beginners to make money through blogging when you get the Adsense approval on your site.
All you had to do is paste the Adsense code on your site, and it will automatically start displaying Ads on your blog. When your blog visitors see the Ads and click on them, you will earn money.
However, if you want to earn a good amount of stable income through Adsense, you need a lot of traffic, primarily if you target a country like India.
But if your majority audience is from a country like the United States, Canada, Australia, etc., you can earn good money even with fewer visitors.
Google Adsense is suitable for every type of blog except Adult Niches.
Furthermore, if you think your blog is not making much money through Adsense, you can use Adsense simultaneously with other methods we have discussed below.
Affiliate marketing is another excellent way to generate passive income through your blog. All you had to do is divert traffic from your blog to someone else product.
When some purchase the product or service through your referral link, you will earn a commission on it.
Moreover, most professional bloggers prefer to use Affiliate Marketing to monetize their blog.
Almost every company has its affiliate programs, and they are ready to pay you to commission if you encourage your site visitors to buy their products.
Furthermore, the best thing about affiliate marketing is that you don't need much traffic to earn money. Only some amount of niche traffic is enough to make decent money.
Below is a list of some affiliate programs you can join in 2021:
Amazon Affiliate Program
But remember one thing that does not just promote any product on your blog to earn money. Only promote genuine products that are useful for your blog visitors.
Once your blog starts attracting a good amount of traffic and builds authority in your niche, you can earn money by doing sponsored posts.
You can easily earn $200 to $300 for doing one sponsored post, depending on your blog traffic and the niche you are working on.
But don't get surprised to know that some bloggers even charge $1000 for one sponsored post.
However, reaching this point takes time. You need to put a lot of effort into your blog and generate a decent subscriber base.
Once you get enough followers on your blog, companies will approach you from the front to do a sponsored post.
Usually, people pay for a sponsored post to get a backlink and send the traffic from your site to their site.
Moreover, you can also make use of the below websites to find sponsored post opportunities.
Izea Pay per post
Sell Your Product or Service
Once you build decent visitors for your blog, you can start selling your product or services through your blog.
You can either sell your online course, e-book, software, or any other product that can be useful for your blog visitors.
Apart from this, you can also sell various freelance services like content writing, SEO, logo designing, etc., depending on your skills and expertise.
However, selling skill is different from selling any product because you need to interact one on one with the client, whereas you can sell your course to any number without interacting with them one on one.
If your main aim is to blog only, then we suggest you go with Blogger, and if you want some extra stuff like 3rd party plugins, themes, then go for WordPress hosting.
I hope this comprehensive guide gives you complete information about how to start a blog in 2021. If you found this article worth reading, don't forget to share it on social media.