Do you want to start a blog and make income at the same time? Here is how you can!
What could be better than following your passion while making some money on the side from it? It is a better way to start building your online career to help you reach greater heights. For the last 11 years, ShoutMeLoud has been teaching millions of users about blogging and has also been able to publish monthly reports to help you start a blog and live like a boss.
Reasons for starting a blog could be several, but the following are the most vital ones;
- Sharing your knowledge
- Social impact
- Documenting your thoughts
- Getting invited to conferences and bloggers meetings
For those who want to put up a blog, below are some of the questions that should be at the back of your mind;
- Where should I start?
- What niche should I pick?
- What should my domain name be?
- How do I buy the domain name?
- Where will I host my blog?
- How do I install my blog on the domain name?
- How do I design my blog?
- What are the essential elements for making my blog shine?
- How do I write my first blog?
You will find the answers to the above questions in this guide. Just sit back, relax and enjoy your new journey to blogging.
Here are some of the steps to help you start a blog;
- Pick a blog topic
- Select the blogging platform
- Pick a domain name and hosting for your blog
- Install WordPress on the blog
- Setup the design of your blog
- Install the best WordPress plugins
- Write your first blog post
- Monetise your blog
- Drive traffic and gain more experience
How you can start a blog from scratch and without experience
Here is a chance for you to start a blog from scratch and with zero experience.
Pick a blog name and domain name for your blog
There are three things to consider while picking a domain name for your blog and these are;
- Easy to remember
- Easy to type
- Easy to pronounce
The name of your blog is the most vital part of your blog success. A domain name refers to the URL of a blog which a visitor will use to open a blog.
Few rules that will help you pick the best name for your new blog;
- Use .com domain name
- Your domain name should always be easy to pronounce and type
- It should also not be confusing to the listener
You can use certain tools to check if your domain name is available or not. Enter any word that you have picked from your blog, and it will show you the available domain name suggestions. Remember to be creative and follow the three simple rules above.
The following are the few things you should not consider while selecting the domain name for your new blog;
- Don’t use a long domain name. Keep it lower than 12 characters.
- Don’t use domain extensions such as .info, .net, among others because they rank poorly in search engines. Use domain name extensions like .com, .blog.
Picking the hosting to start the blog
It is time to build your blog on a hosting.
Web-hosting is where you install WordPress. This server stays online 24/7and stores all your future blog images and designs.
The good news is that hosting is affordable, and there are plenty of hosting service providers, but when it comes to your blog, Bluehost is the idlest choice. This is because it offers you with everything you will need to create a blog, and it costs $2.95 per month. Bluehost has the following features;
- Free SSL
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- A free domain name (Saving of $12/year)
- Easy to use cPanel.
- Live chat support
- 30 days money-back guarantee
Set up your blog
Luckily Bluehost automatically installs the blog for you, but that doesn’t mean you are done. You need to complete some things before you write your first ever blog post.
While starting up your blog for branding, below are guidelines you can refer to;
- Select your blogging platform
There are many available blogging platforms that people can have different opinions about though most bloggers start on the WordPress platform. It is because WordPress is easy to use, and interestingly 30% of the websites are powered by WordPress. You will also need a self-hosted WordPress blog, and that means you will install your hosting and get a domain.
- What is your blog about?
You need first to know what your niche is all about. Sometimes you want to start with multiple topics on your blog, and it might not turn out as you expected. People prefer blogs that have authority on a particular subject. Google is also interested in websites that are built on one topic.
How do you find the topic of your blog? Here are a few tips to get you started;
- Look for a topic that you know better than any other person. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the job you are doing; it could be anything else. Try to find topics you are interested in and feel comfortable talking about with others.
- It is better to pick a topic that you are always reading about.
- Have a keen interest in a particular and add it to your values with your insight.
For the new bloggers, I recommend that you take the help of pen-paper and jot down topics in the different columns that you like. While writing the post title, write about anything on that particular topic without referencing. By the end of it all, you will be able to find the topic that you like the most.
It is a critical step before you start a blog because it helps you pick a topic that you are passionate about.
The design of your blog
Remember that ‘’the first impression lasts long” that is the mantra that most bloggers follow. Blog design is among the crucial aspects of your blog because it ensures that your visitors will love your blog.
There is a concept called ‘’WordPress themes’’ in WordPress, and these are already made designs available for you. WordPress themes have many free premiums, and we recommend you always go for the premiums because of the support and starter guide.
WordPress has a variety of WordPress plugins that as mentioned below;
- Yoast SEO
- WP Rocket
- Jetpack by WordPress.com
Make sure you have the essential plugins installed on your blog.
Plan your content
Before you start writing on your blog, make a content plan. You can either use Excel or a Trello board.
The Trello board comes with a checklist to help you write the perfect article. Click more on the right sidebar and then click copy board.
You are writing your first blog post.
Here is where the real fun is!
Writing a blog post may not come as easy as we think therefore here are guidelines to help you decide what your first blog post should be about;
- Write in the first person tone because it is a single person reading your blog. Using ‘’you or I’’ makes it possible for the reader to form a personal relationship with the message. It speaks to a person.
- Your content should be sure to cover all aspects of the topic you are writing about.
- Don’t copy images from Google; they will appear blurry and unappealing to the visitor.
- You can also embed videos from YouTube to spice up your blog.
Add essential pages on your blog
Here are some relevant pages you should add to your blog from day one;
- About page: Has details about your blog and you.
- Contact page: It is a page with contact information.
- Media kit page: You might not need it now, but you must get to know about it. It is where you write about your blog traffic and available advertising options.
Driving traffic to your blog
Now that everything is covered your next step is to drive traffic. It is vital to drive traffic to your blog because it is what makes it visible in the search engines.
Once your blog is established, your next step is to make your blog social so that your readers can join your community. To get social with your blog, you will need to get a Facebook page, Instagram account, a Twitter account to get you started.
The Money Making Process
Time to make money off your blog posts!
There are several ways in which your blog can earn you extra cash and these include;
- Google AdSense
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored content
- Amazon affiliate program
- Direct ad sales
- Own digital products like eBooks, Online course
What else do you need to reach the next blogging level?
Learn SEO to drive free traffic
SEO is a difficult topic to tackle in a single day. New bloggers tend to ignore Search engine optimisation, and this is the biggest mistake that one could ever make. Search engine optimisation helps you drive targeted traffic from organic search, which makes money for you. There are three core parts of SEO;
On-page SEO: Your content quality and Keyword placement
On-site SEO: Crawling, indexing of your website
Off-site: Backlinks from other sites
With the evolution of SEO, here are two more important concepts of SEO;
Social signals: Social media plays a vital role in improving your blog ranking.
User experience: The new SEO will give you excellent user experience. The key aspects of good user experience include; Navigation, site, loading, website design, readability and many more.
Get traffic to your blog
With all the above done, you will start getting organic and paid traffic for social media sites. It is essential to drive more traffic to your website because you make more money.
Readership and improving your blog
The difference between a regular blog and an excellent blog is the detailing. An A-list blogger takes care of every tiny detail to ensure that users subscribe to their blog and love being part of it. This is what we like to call turning one time visitors into readers.
As a blogger, you always wish that there is someone to guide you right from scratch but is not 100% possible. The good news is there are plenty of available resources where you can get all the help you need to start your blog. Many people are willing to help and all you need to do is get your blog started.
FAQ about starting a blog
How do beginner blogs make money?
Beginner blogs can make money through ad networks such as AdSense, Media.net, among others.
How many posts should I post daily?
It is all about posting regularly. You can post one in a day and if you are writing rather long articles, 2-3 times a week is a good number.
When should I start putting ads on my blog?
Depending on the kind of content you publish, this will help you determine what kind of ads to start putting up on your blog.