How to Start a Successful Blog & Make Money Online 2021
How to Start A Blog In 2021: Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog:
In this article, you will learn about how to start a blog in 2021. A lot of people blog these days. However, now blogging isn’t just limited to expressing one’s thoughts, but also to making money online. So, if you are a newbie and want to monetize your blogs, this article is for you. This guide will help you with everything that you need to learn how to start a blog and make money.
Let’s understand blogs and what does it mean?
Blogs can be referred to as a discussion or an informational website that expresses an idea or message through text.
Blogs come in different shapes and sizes. People write blogs to express their feelings in the form of journals, while others write blogs to solve problems.
You will see blogs related to almost every industry today ranging from sports, technology, health, finance, beauty, lifestyle, travel, entertainment, politics, religion, etc.
How to Start a Blog?
If you are wondering, how to start a blog for free and make money. Here are the steps that I followed:
- Pick a blog name & get a blog hosting
- Begin your blog on WordPress
- Choose a WordPress theme to personalize your blog
- Add 2 main blogging plugins to track your traffic and blog’s performance
- Create engaging content for your blog that your audience loves
How I Started a Blog ?
I always had a flair for writing. And blogging gave it more freedom. Starting my own blog has been the best decision of my life. After all, my blog is how I earn my living. More importantly, blogging adds value to others’ lives.
So you have these questions in your mind – how to become a blogger? How to start a blog? But, you don’t know where to start, right? Well, let me tell you, that even I was clueless about it.
Confused & overwhelmed with the thought, I had no idea how to start a blog for free. Where to begin? How to get a domain name? What does it mean by hosting a blog? Which blogging platform is the best? How to pick the theme? Which plugin to use? What should I write about? All these questions kept hovering over my mind.
However, the good news is that blogging isn’t as difficult as it seems. Of course, in the beginning, you’ll have your ups & downs in setting up your own blog. But, once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier.
How to Start A Blog ?
There are a number of blogging platforms such as Blogger.com, Tumblr.com. However, I prefer to use a self-hosted WordPress site as it offers a lot of flexibility as well as creative freedom.
Besides, WordPress gave me more control over the entire appearance of my blog which is hardly possible with other blogging platforms. Not to mention, it’s free.
Let’s look at each of the following steps in detail if you are starting a blog in 2021.
Step 1. Pick a blog name & get your blog hosting:
My first step towards creating a blog was to choose a blog host and register my domain name on it.
Choosing your domain name:
If you are want to know that how to start a blog in 2021 then follow all our important steps. The domain name or simply the name of your blog is a very important part of your blog as it leaves the first impression on the audience. It is the URL and the address of your blog on the web.
You can name your blog that goes well with your niche. Or it can be a creative brand name. It could also be your own name or your business’ name or a combination of both. You can try various naming tools for deciding the domain name of your blog.
Moreover, your blog’s niche can also be a huge factor in picking up the name for it. No matter what niche you belong to, you can incorporate a word or two in the name of your blog, so that it indicates what your content is about.
Setting up the blog host:
Once I was done with choosing a domain name for my blog, I was ready to set up hosting for it. Make sure you pick a reliable hosting provider for your blog.
Before we dive more into it, let’s first understand what is a blog host?
A blog host is a company that offers space on its servers as well as equipment to place your blog. This gives access to your blog to anyone on the internet.
Usually, a blog hosting provider charges a fee to place your blog on its server. Though, some blog hosting providers are free of cost too.
What I looked for when I chose my blog hosting provider:
While choosing a hosting provider for my blog, I examined the features, and then picked the one that best suited my requirements. However, if you’re not able to pick, select the one with a basic plan.
Here are few important features to consider when setting up your blog host:
- A free or affordable domain name
- Free site-building software
- 24/7 customer support
- An SSL certificate for security reasons
- Storage space on its servers for your blog
- Email accounts with storage on these accounts
Go through the following steps to know how to set up a hosting plan:
Step 1 – Go to your hosting provider and click on the Start button
Step 2 – Select your Plan. You will see different plans with different prices. You may choose a basic one, or even a robust plan if you have multiple blogs.
Step 3 – Once you are done selecting the plan, enter your domain name.
Step 4 – Now create your blogging account by entering details like name, address, etc.
Step 5 – Create your password for finishing the setup.
3 Main Web Hosting Providers
SiteGround offers superb web hosting services for websites of all sizes. It is one of the most popular web hosting providers providing numerous plans for a wide range of businesses including eCommerce sites, personal websites as well as large business websites.
Trusted by over 2 million users, SiteGround offers benefits such as faster loading times, high uptimes, excellent customer service, flexibility, 30-day money-back guarantee along numerous other features.
Also Read: How To Start A YouTube Channel
Besides, it offers an inexpensive StartUp plan priced at $6.99 per month. This works great for anyone who’s looking for an affordable web hosting service.
Hostinger is another great option to go for if you’re looking for a web hosting service that provides exceptional customer support and higher uptimes.
It is easy to set up as well as intuitive. All you need is a single click to start your website. Some of its main features include 24/7 customer support, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and fast-loading websites. It offers shared web hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress Hosting India, cPanel hosting, VPS hosting, and more.
Hostinger offers three different monthly plans – Single Web Hosting, Premium Web Hosting, and Business Web Hosting which are priced at ₹79, ₹159, and ₹279/ respectively.
- A2 Hosting
The loading speed of your pages depends on your web hosting provider. A2 Hosting offers a faster loading time along with a plethora of features and benefits. Besides, it is well-optimized for WordPress users.
It offers diverse plans with different inclusions in each one of them. However, they might be a little more expensive than other hosting providers.
If we talk about the features, A2 Hosting offers Cloud Hosting, unlimited storage space & data transfer, Cloudfare CDN, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, SSD drives to boost speed, 24/7 customer support, and more.
Step 2. Begin your blog on WordPress:
The next step was to install WordPress, and it is free. Installing WordPress is a simple process, and it just takes a few steps to do it.
I have been using WordPress since I began blogging, and I won’t deny that I made a really smart choice. WordPress comes with a lot of flexibility and advantages. If you aim for long-term growth, opt for WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular & widely used CMS in the world with millions of users using it. As per the latest blogging statistics:
- 34.5% of all websites on the web run on WordPress
- Around 70 million new blogs are published on WordPress every month
Some of the biggest websites like Forbes, TechCrunch, New York Observer, and TED are powered by WordPress.
You can either pick WordPress.com or WordPress.org, both of which have their own pros and cons.
Step 3. Choose a WordPress theme to personalize your blog:
A theme lets you pick a design for your blog without having coding expertise or designing skills. In simple words, a theme allows you to design your blog exactly the way you want.
I won’t suggest going for a paid WordPress theme in the beginning, as initially, you must monitor the traffic as well as the performance of your blog. Once you attract enough traffic to your blogs you can opt for a Premium theme.
There are several WordPress themes to choose from. Each has its own set of features while allowing you to make your site look more aesthetically pleasing.
Pick a theme for you from the official WordPress theme directory. This contains thousands of free themes which are thoroughly checked by the WordPress theme guidelines.
Installing a WordPress theme is simple. All you need to do is:
- Sign in to your WordPress account. Select Appearance, and then Themes
- Next, add a theme by clicking on the ‘Add New’. You can either search the theme in the theme directory or use the Feature Filter to customize the theme.
- Click on Preview to get a demo of the theme you like or simply install it by clicking on Install option
- Once installation is complete, click on Activate
If you are not able to choose a theme from the theme directory, you can purchase premium themes from sites such as:
- Elegant Themes
- Thrive Themes
Step 4. Add 2 main blogging plugins to track your traffic and blog’s performance:
WordPress plugins are additional third-party software that enhances the functionality of a WordPress site.
One of the main benefits of using the self-hosted version of WordPress is that it allows you to upload and use plugins on your WordPress website.
However, I would recommend installing the minimum number of plugins and the best ones as having too many plugins can lead to a slow running of your site.
I suggest you install the following plugins:
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights: It allows you to track your overall blog’s traffic, views per author & category, traffic sources, page views as well as outbound links.
- Yoast SEO: It is the standard SEO plugin for WordPress. It gives you all the details about the SEO of your WordPress site.
- Go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins, then Add New.
2. Search for Yoast SEO.
3. Next, click on Install, and then Activate.
4. You can install MonsterInsights by following similar steps.
Step 5. Create engaging content for your blog that your audience loves:
On the technical front, your blog is all set up. However, when it comes to brainstorming content ideas, there are a variety of options.
The majority of your blog content will be your personal experiences, hobbies, fresh learnings, etc, or to offer solutions to people for their various pain points.
People have various questions:
- What to write about?
- What to blog on?
- How do I start a blog?
Therefore, you should begin with some queries of your own. I compiled a list of questions and thought of a systematic process to come up with blog ideas.
You need not worry about it as it’s not a time-consuming process.
Take a piece of paper and a pen and start jotting down. I looked from the readers’ point of view, and asked these questions.
What excites & intrigues my readers?
What common problems do my readers face?
What are the common characteristics of my readers?
What do my audience like about my niche?
What do my readers dislike about my niche?
Make sure you come up with an attention-grabbing headline that will draw your audience towards your blog, and then offer them some interesting content.
Your entire blog post must comprise of the following:
- Content – Begin writing content for your main pages such as Home Page, About Us, Contact Page, Start Here Page, including any other page you wish to have on your header.
- Images – Images are a very important part of your content. High-quality images or visuals add spice to your content and make it more visually-appealing.
- Photo – Add your own photograph to your blog. Make sure it looks professional. Adding photos will help your audience build a human connection with you.
- Logo – Create a logo for your blog using software like Photoshop, InDesign, or even a text editor. You can also hire a professional designer to create your blog’s logo.
- Comments/Feedback – Decide whether or not you want comments on the blog. Comments are a great way to engage with your audience while receiving their feedback at the same time.
- Social – Attach your social media profiles too. This will boost your audience engagement.
- Publish – When you start blogging, you can publish once a week in order to build your audience. However, it’s better if you increase it later once you start attracting a substantial audience to your blog.
Also Read: How To Start Affiliate Marketing In 2021?
Top 20 Blogging Tips To Enhance Your Writing Skills:
I have been asked how to start a blog many times since I began blogging. Besides, how to choose blog topics and how to create engaging & meaningful content.
So, here are the important tips & tricks that one must follow to write a successful blog.
1. Decide your niche
It’s not really necessary to have a niche, but it always helps. Find what you’re passionate about. And then write about it. Your blog can be related to a cause you believe in, your interests such as food & cooking, lifestyle, beauty, travel, entertainment, etc.
In my opinion, don’t start writing about a complex topic. In fact, you should only write about something about which you have a unique perspective.
2. Determine your ideal audience
Once you have decided on your niche, you need to know your readers. For example, if you blog about cooking tips, recipes from all over the world. Your audience should be the people who love cooking and eating.
A lot of mothers these days blog about their infants & toddlers, right from the beginning of the pregnancy to their birth and growing up stages. Here, the ideal readers will be parents or anyone who’s interested to know more about pregnancy and parenting. Your writing should be well-tailored for your audience.
3. Add value to your blog
Your blog must add value to the lives of your audience. It should address their pain points. This is how you will attract the right audience to your blog.
Adding value is the sole path to retain your audience for the long term. So, whatever you write, make sure it adds value.
4. Stay original
Of course, there’ll be other blogs out there writing on the same topic as yours. So, how to make your blog stand out? Even I wondered, what makes my blog different? The answer is me. I can make my blog different. As it’s all about my perspective, the value, as well as the creativity I add to my blog.
5. Create interesting content
Write interesting blogs. Especially if you aim to show it to the world. Make sure you don’t bore your readers with irrelevant content.
6. Remain honest
Be honest and authentic if you want your readers to read your blog. I mean you must embody whatever you write about. Otherwise, your genuinity can be questioned. So, make it real in front of your audience.
7. Be yourself
When you tell your story, you become interesting. One important part of storytelling is eliminating the superfluous details that may make your story boring. So, try to show your true self while you write a blog.
8. Maintain transparency
Transparency is different from honesty. So, be transparent whenever it comes to adding value to what you write. This is because anything you write must serve the greater good.
It’s important to have a vision for your site. A vision for having a great theme, as well as a good host, and most importantly how the blog will look like. This is how I started my blog.
Once I had the vision, I worked hard to turn it into a reality. So, it’s important to know what you want in order to create a successful blog.
Once you know how to start a blog, you’ll learn that blogging is time-consuming.
Having said that, once you’re all set with your design, avoid tweaking it too much. You may rather spend more time on writing well.
11. Find your voice
As a writer, I found my voice and my writing developed a specific flow that occurred over time. Once you find your voice, it brings more life to your writing and makes it realistic.
12. We Instead of You
Whenever you write, use the first-person plural. As sentences with ‘we’ and ‘our’ have more impact than you & your. This works especially when writing about negative attitudes or behaviors.
13. When to publish
The question arises – What is the best time to post a blog on your site? There’s no specific time of day, but I recommend publishing at least once a week and maintain consistency.
14. Social media
I would always recommend using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to build a better connection with your audience, as well as other bloggers/creators.
15. Ignore negative feedback
Every blog receives negative comments and stupid queries from people who aren’t even real readers. You can conveniently ignore these people. Continue writing while not paying attention to such things.
Spend time researching the topic of your blog. Include important information by reading various links to make your blog more informative and interesting.
17. Stick to Simplicity
Keep your blog as simple as possible, no matter what genre you pick. Avoid placing superfluous widgets or ads all over your blog. Keep it basic and remove anything unwanted or which doesn’t add value to your blog.
It’s totally up to you whether you want people to comment on your blog or not. However, it’s better if you let your readers comment on it as it will give you a chance to know your audience, and what they prefer.
Upload your picture on your blog, as readers like to see the person who’s writing the blog. Also, it builds a kind of connection between you and your readers too.
20. Live life to the fullest
Even if you start a blog on your own, you still have a life. So, make sure you give time to other things as well like health, exercise, family, personal growth, and the like. Don’t contribute all your time to blogging.
Reasons Why You Should Blog?
You may have your own personal or professional reasons to start your blog today. There’s an inspiration. I started blogging by getting inspiration from some of the best blogs on the internet.
There may be several reasons why you should blog. But, here I am mentioning the most important ones:
1. It improves your writing skills
Writing simply means communicating. It is about gathering & writing thoughts & ideas while compelling others to agree with them. There’s no denying that writing improves with practice. Blogging will definitely make you a better writer. And becoming a good writer will always be beneficial in the long run, when you write a book, make a presentation or do anything creative.
Blogging gives an opportunity to enhance anything you write, be it emails or even text messages. It improves your grammar plus vocabulary too.
2. You get more confident
Blogging will instill more confidence in you. You realize that you have a perspective, an opinion about something, and something to offer others. In a way, writing helps us to understand our lives and the results of our actions.
3. It lets you meet new people
Whether it’s through comments, social media, or emails, you’ll be surprised how efficiently & quickly you interact with people on the internet.
Not only this, you will develop a lot of relationships over time, whether you own a personal or professional blog.
How to Attract Organic Traffic Through Your Blog Through SEO?
What is SEO?
The biggest obstacle that I faced when I started blogging was learning how to drive traffic towards it. And by traffic, I mean organic free traffic. In simple terms, How to get Google to love you? There was so much to know.
I was barely beginning to understand the basics of starting a blog, let alone understanding SEO, which is very important if you want to attract the right audience to your website. Besides technical, it sounded complicated too. But, I knew that I’ll have to put in a few extra efforts to attract relevant traffic and make money through my blog.
So, I decided to go for SEO.
What does SEO even mean?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about attracting the right traffic through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo.
It’s no denying that Google is the largest search engine, with 92% of the search engine market share across the world.
Though Google doesn’t share its search volume data, it processes around 63,000 search queries approximately per second, which translates to 5.6 billion searches in a day. So, now you can imagine that even a small portion of that traffic can significantly impact your blog’s earning potential.
So, I understood how much traffic I would lose by not implementing SEO in my blog.
And now over half of my traffic comes from Google.
It takes a considerable amount of time to build organic traffic. Google needs to recognize your website as a trusted source. It could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to get a significant rise in organic traffic.
Traffic from Google is important for several reasons:
- Google traffic is targeted – Unlike Pinterest, where people scroll and look for ideas without any clear intent, Google visitors actively look for a solution or information about something. This means that it’s simpler to make them purchase an affiliate product or get them on the email list.
- Google traffic offers more consistency – Even Google algorithms keep changing regularly, but it doesn’t change every 5 minutes like in other platforms like Pinterest.
- Google traffic is hugely passive – Once you start ranking on Google, you don’t have to maintain it a lot to make that traffic stay.
So, let’s throw some light on how to attract traffic to your blog using SEO
This is an important thing to learn when we talk about blogging for beginners. So, to start, it’s necessary to decide the topic you want your blog to be known by Google.
On other search engines like Pinterest, people can easily find information about typing about any topic they’re interested in. It doesn’t happen this way on Google.
In fact, the more a blogger niche goes down, the more Google will see you as an authority on that specific topic, and therefore you’re likely to rank for it.
Having said that, the first step is to pick your main keywords and write around them.
For instance, if you’re blogging about simple and quick family recipes, you can include keywords like:
- Family meals
- Simple recipes
- Dinner recipes
- Quick recipes
- 10-minute recipes
So, you can create content around the above keywords. It means that each recipe you write must have these keywords in it. It will be useless to include a recipe that requires two days to finish when it’s not something your blog is about. Focus on your niche.
So, you want to niche down, but you want to write a blog with several topics. How will that work?
To be honest, it’s much tougher to get Google to love you if you create content on more than one topic. But as long as your topics are clear, and you write exceptional, in-depth content, you can rank even if you do not niche your blog. You just have to make sure that each niche is relevant enough.
For example, if you write about travel, do not create content about staying in hotels, backpacking, etc. So, if your content strategy has clarity, you can easily rank in Google.
- Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords consist of 4 or more words. These keywords are useful when starting a blog. The reason behind this is that it’s easier to create more specific content as it allows you to rank quicker.
For example, it will be more difficult to rank for a generic keyword like Pasta Recipes, than to rank for something more specific like Vegan Pasta Recipes.
There are different tools available for finding the ranking of keywords in a month or so.
In the beginning, your goal must be to search for high-volume, simpler keywords.
- Keep your visitors happy and glued to your page
Once you have found your potential keywords for your blog, you must write exactly what people want to know. You need to nail user intent.
At first, I wondered what do you mean by user intent? User intent is anything that the user enters to search on Google.
User intent considers the keywords or phrases used in search queries, but also tries to comprehend the intention and context behind the usage of these words.
How to know what the user intent is once you choose a keyword?
It’s simple. Just type it on Google, and check the first 10 results.
- Write attractive, optimized content
Google wants users to find what they search for. This is how it becomes the most used search engine worldwide. Google doesn’t want people to click on your blog/page and then return to Google after not finding any relevant solutions or answers.
So, if you want Google to validate you, you must create comprehensive, resourceful & compelling content that aligns with the user’s intent and answers their queries.
To cut short, you need to write the best piece that can be found anywhere online for that particular keyword.
Now the question arises, How to do that?
- Research – Assess and analyze the first 10 search results on Google for the keyword you want to rank for. See the length of the posts on Page 1, what queries they answer, and the topics that are included in it.
All you need to do is type the keywords and know real questions that users can ask on Google.
- Write – Write the most informative & comprehensive piece on any topic. This doesn’t mean you’ve to create lengthy & boring content. For a few keywords, you might have to write many posts. For a recipe, a 1000 word article would be enough. Make sure your blog is engaging and informative enough.
- Optimize – Optimize your piece with relevant long-tail keywords. Avoid keyword stuffing, as Google won’t like it. However, you can use keywords or terms that are closely related to your primary keyword.
Also, never forget to add some internal links to your blogs.
- Backlinks – Backlinks act as really important ranking signals on Google. A backlink is a link that one website receives from another.
For example, if a food blog includes a backlink of any of your recipes, then Google assumes that it must be a good recipe, and definitely worth the attention.
Therefore, it’s important to create backlinks to your blog in order to promote your content.
Following are the way to generate backlinks:
- Guest posting: Writing a guest post for some other website/blog gives you an opportunity to get a backlink to your blog.
- Uploading content on social media: You can create backlinks by sharing your content on various social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram. If another creator or blogger finds your content interesting/valuable, there are chances of you getting a backlink to your blog.
- Connect with other bloggers/websites: Send emails to other bloggers to promote your blog.
- Facebook Groups: You can collaborate with Facebook groups, and link your blogs or write for them in exchange for a backlink.
Different Ways to Make Money Through Blogging:
A lot of us blog for fun. But there are infinite ways to make money through blogging. This also forces us to think about various blogging career opportunities.
Below are some of the ways to make money through blogging:
- Affiliate marketing
- Display advertising
- Providing your own services
- Sponsored content
- By selling products
- Starting a membership site
Though, my two most favorite ways of earning money through blogging are Affiliate marketing and Display advertising. These two ways are the most passive ones and require very little maintenance once they are on. Once you write a blog with enough conversion, all you need to do is update it, monitor it sometimes and you’ll get paid for it.
It’s easier to manage these two options when you’re just beginning to blog.
Other types of blogging such as creating an online course will require more time and effort from you, however, it can be really profitable.
Earn Money Through Ads:
Displaying ads on your blog post is the simplest way to make money. Once you place the ads, you are all set.
Big brands pay good money for displaying their ads on their blogs. Bloggers get paid every time a user sees or clicks on the ads. So, the more visitors to your blog, the more money you can make.
How Much Money Can You Make with Ads?
This depends on the type of ads, your niche, and the company you choose to display ads. Income through blogging may vary also because of the time of the year.
Companies can afford to spend a huge amount of money around Christmas or Black Friday as these are the occasions when people usually shop more.
However, on average, you can make around $10-$20 on a daily basis for every 1000 users. This is called Revenue per impression (RPM).
This means that you must attract a significant amount of traffic to your blog in order to make good money.
Below are few ad networks that can be used to display ads on your website/blog:
- Google Adsense
This is the most widely used and the simplest ad network for displaying ads. Google Adsense doesn’t come with a minimum number of sessions or pageviews for applying. You must have a running blog with a few approved posts. However, remember that this option may not be the most lucrative method for displaying ads.
This is another great option for displaying ads. With the media, you need around 20,000 page views.
- Monumetric: With Monumetric, you just need 10,000 page views per month. Also, it asks you to pay an application fee.
- Mediavine: Mediavine guarantees stellar customer service. All you need to do is show 50,000 sessions in the last month in order to apply.
AdThrive: You will require 1,00,000 monthly page views to apply on AdThrive.
Make Money with Affiliate Marketing:
I have earned a lot through affiliate marketing, and that’s why I prefer it for monetizing my blog.
You can write a blog or review and still make passive income regularly with little maintenance.
affiliate marketing is the method of making money by recommending products & services to consumers/readers. In such type of marketing, you get paid only when the recommendation converts into a sale or subscription.
This is how it works. The company for which you are an affiliate provides you a special tracking link. Then you can place that affiliate link on different blogs that you post or email to your subscribers. When a user clicks on that link and makes a purchase or signs up, you either make a fixed amount of money or a percentage of the sale.
Also Read: How To Start Drop Shipping Business
Other Methods to Make Money:
Grow your blog while earning quick money and use your skills by opting for a freelance gig. Besides, using your blog to flaunt your expertise is a superb way to attract more clients.
You can manage the social media accounts of other bloggers or work as a virtual assistant for handling various tasks for them. You can blog yourself or offer services like marketing, photography, design, etc.
Make sure you create an About Us or Work page to showcase a few examples of the work you do.
Below is the list of services you can offer to make money through blogging:
- Social media management
- Video creator
Besides these, you can monetize pretty much anything, if you’re creative. The best way to find opportunities is to contact local businesses and networks as well as different Facebook groups.
Sponsored content includes blogs, articles, images, videos you write for various brands or companies and post them on your website/social media profiles for a fee. Brands pay you for the visibility they get in front of your audience.
This means you need to have an audience. But nowadays more & more bloggers are offering sponsored content, so having a large number of followers isn’t necessarily a lucrative way. A lot of brands reach out to micro-influencers who are bloggers or influencers with a small number of loyal followers towards their niche.
For example, if I sell gluten-free products, I would prefer to reach out to bloggers who post gluten-free recipes with just 10,000 page views. As there would be higher chances of reaching the right audience if I work with one posting about gluten-free recipes.
As long as a blogger offers value and attracts the right audience for any product, they can pitch their favorite brands, even with a small number of followers.
Creating sponsored content is less passive than display advertising or affiliate marketing. Bloggers get paid only once for a post. However, there are bloggers who work full-time by creating curated content for brands, without investing a lot of time on SEO and the like.
Selling your products:
One of the easiest ways to make money through blogging is by selling your own products.
And if you wonder, what can you actually sell?
Well, you can sell anything from ebooks, online courses to t-shirts, prints, mugs, organic food products, etc.
Digital products are a great source of passive income because you only need to put in efforts to produce them once, and then just deliver them to the customers without doing anything else.
Also, it depends on what kind of products you choose to sell as it makes a lot of difference.
Beginners may worry about the products they make. Who would buy their products? Are these good enough? And several other questions may arise.
So, begin with something small-scale. Get a solution to a problem. Get a taste of what selling looks like with an affordable product. Once you’re ready, move on to an expensive item.
Essential Resources For a Blog:
Besides the knowledge and technical skills, there are few important resources that you need to make your blogging life easier.
So, here I am mentioning a few essential WordPress plugins which are a must to grow a WordPress blog.
What are plugins? A plugin is software that is added to any WordPress website. A plugin expands functionality or adds new features to a blog. In simple terms, they make a blogger’s life easier as it doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise to use them.
Plugins are useful for SEO, optimizing images/photos, or even for backups.
The only drawback of using plugins is that if you install too many plugins to your site, you may slow down your website. And a slow-running website will lead to a poor user experience. User experience must be your priority.
So, let’s take a look at the top 3 WordPress plugins which I use for my blog:
We all know how important SEO is. And Yoast is the best SEO plugin out there. You cannot miss Yoast if you have a WordPress site. It’s absolutely free. It helps in optimizing the blog title, description, length of the content including other elements that comprise a blog so that the search engines can easily find it.
2. ShortPixel Image Optimizer
The images act as an important asset for your blog. Images enhance an article while helping them stand out and get engaging with the target audience. However, you must make sure that whatever image you use is properly optimized for your blog and doesn’t slow it down. Optimized images will lead to better search engine rankings, enhanced user experience, better page speed, as well as more traffic to your website.
I’ve been using ShortPixel for a long time and it has really made my life easier. It did not reduce my image quality and improved the speed at the same time.
Using ShortPixel, you can optimize up to 100 images per month for free. However, if you need to optimize more images, you can buy a package of 10,000 images for $9.99.
3. Akismet Anti-Spam
Akismet is quite useful for protecting your blog from spam. It monitors the comments on your blog and reaches form submissions against spam content to prevent any malicious content from getting published on your blog.
Grow is a great social-sharing plugin that lets your audience share your posts on social media. Having your audience easily share your content on social media is the most effective way to get exposure.
Grow allows users to add customizable social share buttons that can integrate perfectly with your website’s design. The social sharing buttons can be placed before & after the post or have them follow your visitors while they scroll through your blog.
Grow offers a free version which comes with some of the biggest social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google+ and Pinterest.
What if you keep uploading blog posts, and just because of a technical error, you lose it all? It sounds depressing, right? This is why you must install a backup plugin on your blog.
Updraft is a reliable plugin, which takes backup locally, or backups your content to Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, email, and more. The free version offers everything you require.
6. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
GADWP is my personal favorite Google Analytics plugin for using WordPress. Using this, you can easily track the performance of your blog/site with the latest Google Analytics tracking code while allowing you to see important Google Analytics statistics in your WordPress dashboard.
By connecting your Google Analytics account to the Google Analytics Dashboard, you can see who’s visiting your website along with what blogs are the most popular ones.
7. Headers and Footers
While editing your theme, you’re required to add code snippets to your header or footer. But, it can cause issues if you do it in the code of the theme. This plugin lets you easily insert code or text in the WordPress blog’s header or footer.
Also Read: How To Start Business Online
Is It Worth Blogging in 2021?
While you come up with this question – How to start a blog? You may also think that is it even worth blogging in 2021?
Yes, it is. And more importantly than ever before. Whether you want to publish or express your thoughts & opinions, grow a business, or build an audience, your blog will be the destination for your various creative endeavors.
Once you set up your own blog, you don’t rely on other blogging platforms. There’s nothing wrong with having a blog on Bloggers.com or Instagram, but they are mostly ephemeral. If these platforms go irrelevant, then so do you. However, this is not the case when we own a blog. The reason behind this is simple! You have ownership of your blog. No matter where the culture goes.
With so many people turning to online platforms, it’s certainly the best time for you to start blogging.
Reasons Why WordPress is a Better Blogging Platform
You must have heard about many other blogging platforms, however, WordPress is superior in a lot of ways. The most obvious reason why I prefer blogging over WordPress is that it offers more control than any other platform.
Here are the main reasons why I use WordPress:
1. Design (Theme)
WordPress is a free-to-use platform, therefore it offers thousands of themes to go with any niche you pick for your blog.
While it offers a huge variety of themes/designs, it’s no denying that having too many options might confuse you. This is why I recommend you to go with the one that best suits your niche.
2. Plugins or Features
While other blogging platforms offer a wide range of features and plugins, still no platform can compare with the expansive range of features offered by WordPress. WordPress offers more than 54,000 free plugins to handle different types of tasks. While I suggest that you use a minimum number of plugins on your WordPress blog, it still offers a level of customization that is unmatched.
WordPress also offers a great built-in feature of ‘version control’. Version control monitors your changes while allowing you to compare revisions and revert to a version of your post or page anytime.
I use this feature a lot when I am not satisfied with any changes that I’ve made. It offers a kind of failsafe allowing bloggers to edit, compose, draft, and publish their blogs in WordPress itself.
There are other blogging platforms that are search-engine friendly too. However, WordPress has a plugin called Yoast that can effortlessly elevate your SEO. I strongly recommend it for every blogger on WordPress.
It offers customization for your on-page SEO, plus automated content analysis too. So, you can optimize your content for enhanced readability and improved search engines results.
4. You have the ownership of your content
This means that you have total control over your blog’s content and what you express through it while having all access to it and the freedom to use it anywhere you want. WordPress offers various tools for data export to any web hosting provider that you choose.
You get 100% ownership of your content, files, data, theme, etc on WordPress. And you can take a backup of everything.
Besides being a robust platform, WordPress is highly customizable. You can create a blog the way you prefer. But as your blog grows, you need to sit with a designer and work on its design to perfectly tailor it to your brand as well as image.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How to start a blog website?
Blogging is the best way to inform & educate people about any specific topic. However, it can seem intimidating initially. You can create your own blog in few simple steps:
- Choose a blog name
- Register your blog on the web and get hosting
- Customize your blog by choosing a design as per your preferences
- Create & publish your blog
- Promote your blog
- Monetize your blog through various options available
2. How to start a WordPress blog?
Creating your own WordPress blog may overwhelm you in the beginning. However, it’s an easy process. Go to WordPress.com and get set go with your blogging journey by following these steps:
Step 1: Click on Start Your Website on the main page of WordPress.
Step 2: Sign up on WordPress, and make a free account on it. Enter a valid email address for it.
Choose a username for your account. Make sure it is unique. Next, enter a strong password, and make sure you remember it.
Once you’re done with it, click on Create your account.
Note: If you already have a Google or Apple account, you can simply click on Continue with Google or Continue with Apple.
Step 3: Enter your blog details now. Enter your blog name so that people know what your blog is about when they first visit it. Use words or phrases related to your niche like travel, food, lifestyle, etc.
You will be asked about your main goal with the blog. Whether it’s for business, portfolio, etc.
You will see a section – How comfortable are you with creating a website?
You can scale it from 1-5. Enter the number that suits your situation. Once you’re done, click on Continue.
Step 4: Pick an address for your blog. There is a search box below with different addresses and different domains, but just one is free. Select the free option which has the Select button, then click on Start with Free to view your new blog.
3. How to start a blog for beginners?
- Pick a blog name and get your blog hosting
- Begin your blog by adding WordPress
- Choose a theme that suits the niche of your blog
- Add few main blogging plugins to track the performance of your site
- Create engaging & informative content to attract an audience
4. How to start a blog on Blogger.com?
To create your own blog on Blogger.com, you must have a Google account. Then follow these steps:
- Go to the homepage of Blogger.com, and sign in with your Google account credentials.
- Once you’re done signing, make your own profile on it.
- Now, you will be able to view a Blogger dashboard of your own, and select ‘New Blog’ or ‘Create New Blog’ to start with your blog.
- Next, pick a blog title/name, address as well as a theme. Then select the ‘Create blog’ button to finish setting up your blog.
- Finally, launch your blog, and start writing. You can anytime check your blog by clicking on ‘View Blog’ link.
5. What should you blog about?
Very often, you will receive this advice about blogging, that you should write anything you’re passionate about. This might be helpful if you know your passion. It can be anything, music, baking, cooking, finance, entertainment, lifestyle, makeup & beauty, technology, etc.
However, if you’re not aware of your passion, need not worry. It isn’t necessary that you’ll know your passion right away. It can be cultivated too.
Following are the questions you may ask yourself to determine what you should blog about:
- What are your values? Whatever you write, align it with your values
- What makes you excited? If you are excited about something, you’ll be able to write a lot about it.
- How can you provide solutions? You will feel a sense of satisfaction if you can offer solutions to people’s problems.
- What is it that you want to become? Your writing should help you become what you wish to be. Write something meaningful. Write something that makes you proud.
I have prepared this guide with the sole motive of helping you set up a blog of your own. It’s not as difficult as it seems. You may find it intimidating if you’re a beginner. But, once you get the hang of it, you will find the whole process much easier.
Make sure you have a clear goal in mind. What do you want to achieve by blogging? What you wish to write about. Picking up a niche and finding topics to write about is very important. Think about your target audience as well. And finally, write, only if you love writing.