How to Start A Blog: A Beginners Guide to Making Money in 2020

Have you been thinking about launching your own blog? Are you ready to start sharing your knowledge, skills or passion with the world?

Having your own blog, allows you to share your content with audiences all over the world. There are no restrictions regarding the word count, tone, or theme of your content, granting you absolute freedom of speech. Even better, with the right blog content, you can:

  • Prove that you are an expert
  • Grow into a well-known brand
  • Become an authority within your niche
  • Earn money

It’s not a fantasy. Many have achieved the above and more, and you can too. To make that happen, our “how to start a blog” guide is will tell you everything you need to know.

Let’s start by clarifying what a blog is and how you can start you own blog today!

Disclosure: Some of the links you’ll find below are affiliate links. If you use our affiliate links we may receive (and greatly appreciate) a small commission (at no cost to you). This compensation allows us to create free content like this guide but you should know that we never recommend anything we haven’t used and love ourselves!

What Is a Blog?

A blog is a frequently updated site with content written in a conversational or informal style. It typically serves as an informational site or online journal that discusses various topics that share a common theme. The content may be in the form of text, videos, images, or a combination of all the above.

You can use your blog as a personal diary, guide, or simply a platform to communicate information with others. You can also develop your blog into a full-fledged authority site that offers content, products (both physical and digital), courses, downloads as more — the only limit is your imagination.

Before we get too far into this guide, it’s important to know that more often than not, the terms blog and website are interchangeable. There can be some subtle differences but many people will use the terms interchangeably.

Why You Should Start a Blog

If you have something interesting, unusual, or useful to share with the world, you should consider starting a blog. If your message and content resonate with your audience and attract traffic, there is the potential for blogging to generates a significant monthly income.

People mostly create blogs to share their unique experiences, opinions or skills regarding a specific niche. By focussing your blog topics around a single specific niche, visitors will know what you blog or “platform” is about and what they should expect from it.

Aside from the prospect of earning money, another great reason to start a blog is the opportunity it gives you to freely express yourself, either publicly or anonymously.

You might be worried about the required technical experience but blogging platforms like WordPress have made setting up blogs (and websites in general) super easy and inexpensive. You don’t need any special skills or technical knowledge to start. Just bring your enthusiasm and a desire to learn and this post will tell you everything you need to start on the right track.

The Opportunity That Blogging Presents

Many people start blogging as a hobby. Honestly, there are more examples than you can shake a stick at. With a little research, you can find sites in almost any niche. Many blogs started with the simple goal of sharing interesting content but then became sites that get thousands of visitors daily and earn serious dough.

Aside from making money blogging, or becoming a recognized brand, starting a blog can open doors to amazing employment opportunities in highly profitable industries. It can also open the door to freelance opportunities — creating content, managing social media, SEO, graphic design and more.

If you’re sharing valuable knowledge about a specific niche, eventually people will see you as an expert. But being knowledgable doesn’t necessarily translate to being a professional blogger (if that’s your goal). If you want to blog full-time, there are plenty of additional skills you’ll need to develop.

Simply put, think of blogging as a powerful networking tool that opens doors and lets you share knowledge with people who’d otherwise never have heard of you—but all these awesome possibilities are only feasible if you start a blog the right way.

Yep, your foundation is important!

Understanding the Different Technical Pieces

Before we get started taking action, it’s important to understand the different technical pieces. I know, I know, we already told you that technical skills aren’t a requirement, and that’s the truth!

Domain Registrar

But, while you don’t need any special technical skills to become a successful blogger, there are some technical terms that are very helpful to understand. If nothing else, an understanding of these terms will assist you with selecting the best blogging tools and service providers to build and run your business.

The most important of these technical terms are:

Picking and registering a domain name is one of the first steps in starting a blog. Without a domain registrar, you won’t be able to register a domain name for your blog site.

A domain name is essential because it’s what your site will be known as and how your visitors will identify you. It’s similar to registering a company name or brand name because it distinguishes you from other sites, making it impossible for other sites to use that name.

There are many domain registrars to pick from. The best ones are Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) accreditation. Most registrars, allow you to see if the name you want is already taken, as well as what variations of the name are available.

Bear in mind that the cost of registering a domain name will depend on the name’s popularity. Domain names that end with .com usually cost a little more.

We generally recommend that you use one of two registrars, NameCheap or GoDaddy. GoDaddy is currently the largest ICANN accredited domain registrar, managing over 40 million domains. NameCheap is also a very large registrar and they have great customer service.

>>Click HERE to grab a free domain from GoDaddy<<

Web Host

A web host is a service provider that gives your site the resources it needs to stay online on the World Wide Web. Think of it as a landlord providing a business with office space, electricity, and Wi-Fi to keep it operational.

Instead of office space, a web host accommodates your site on a physical server, and instead of electricity and Wi-Fi, it provides resources like bandwidth, memory space, security, and more.

A little later in this guide, we’ll cover 3 options for reliable and affordable web host along with the pros and cons of each.

WordPress (Self-Hosted)

WordPress is a flexible content management system that’s suitable for a wide variety of websites, including blogs. A content management system (CMS) is software for creating, managing, publishing, and modifying a website’s content.

Currently, over 455,000,000 websites are on WordPress and over 20 percent of self-hosted websites are WordPress sites. Even more impressive, WordPress has 61.8% of the CMS market share, making WordPress the number one choice among site owners.

Why is WordPress so popular among bloggers and website owners?

Aside from the fact that the software is free, WordPress is super user-friendly and offers a host of features to manage the technical aspects of your site on your behalf. Almost everything about setting up and running of a self-hosted WordPress site can also be done within a few mouse clicks.

There is often a lot of confusion surrounding the difference between the .com and .org versions of WordPress. Instead of going on and on about the similarities and differences, let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?.

If you’re using one of the hosts mentioned above, you’ll also be using the .org version (self-hosted) of WordPress. Here’s why:

  • More customization options for your blog site, including for plugins and themes
  • Full ownership of the domain name
  • A more attractive and professional-looking URL
  • Ability to run ads on your site and earn revenue without sharing it with the hosting platform
  • More control over the backend and frontend of the website, letting you do whatever you want with it

A Few Brief Thoughts on WordPress Security

We strongly recommend that you use separate services for your domain, hosting and email. Here’s why:

Think of each one of those services as a critical part of your business. If anyone were to gain access to your domain registrar account, hosting account or email account, they could cause all kinds of problems. Having someone gain access to any of those individual services would be a bad thing. BUT if someone could access your domain, your hosting and your email all in he same account, it would be an absolute disaster!

For that reason, we recommend separating them. Use different service providers for each part and make sure you use a different username and password for each one as well. Here’s how it would look:

  • Domain name (the most important in terms of security): Godaddy
  • Hosting: SiteGround or Flywheel
  • Email: GSuite

Of the three items above, your domain is by far the most important. If you have control of the domain, then you own the keys to the castle per se. If your account has an option to use “dual-factor” authentication with each sign-in, we recommend that you turn it on.

How to Start Your Own Blog

Choose Your Niche

Without a defined niche, your blog’s content could be about anything. You could talk about pets today, dancing tomorrow, cars the day after, and baking recipes the following week. Such a blogging approach may seem fun but it also makes it seem like you lack focus.

Visitors may find it confusing if your blog keeps jumping from one niche to another. And let’s not forget about the search engines… if you’re covering more than a few related topics, you’ll confuse Google to no end.

The best blogs deliver great content within a specific theme or niche. Visitors will be more likely to come back to your site if they know exactly what type of content to expect each time they visit.

Picking a niche for your blog may sound complicated and restrictive, but it isn’t. You simply need to ask yourself, “What am I passionate about?” or “what do I know best?”

Your passion and what you know best could be the same or mutually exclusive, but things will be much easier if your blog niche is your passion. If you are passionate about it, creating fresh content is bound to be exciting even years after starting your blog.

If your niche is about what you know best, or have specific knowledge about, that’s good too. It means you’ll be providing useful and accurate information.

The most successful blogs are those that provide value in the form of unique information or entertainment or both. If your blog is to stand out from the millions that already exist and succeed, your content must also be unique, delivering information that engages visitors and helps them solve problems. If it’s none of these things, it should at the very least be entertaining.

If you are a (wo)man of many passions and you’re struggling to choose a niche, don’t panic. Not everyone figures out their true calling on their first try. You wouldn’t be the first blogger to evolve and switch to something with greater potential over time.

To find out if a niche is worth delving into, check out how well other blogs within that niche are doing. Remember that competition is a good thing. If competitors within your niche are getting lots of traffic, you too can earn a piece of that pie as long as your content is better than your competitors’.

After picking a broad niche for your website, it’s a good idea to then select one or more sub-niches. For example, if your broad niche is cooking, your sub-niche could be vegan, paleo or quick meals. The possibilities are endless.

Let’s consider some other popular broad niches for blogs along with potential sub-niches:

  • Cooking –> paleo/quick meals/vegetarian
  • Kids –> homeschooling/youth entrepreneurship/crafts/parenting
  • Tech –> WordPress/Blogging/Photography/Software

Decide on a Name and Purchase Your Domain

Your name is how people identify you. Your domain name does the same thing for your blog. It’s also what internet goers type into browser URLs or search engines to find your site.

As such, it’s best to choose a name that’s easy to remember, distinctive and catchy. The best domains are short, sweet, and instantly memorable, like Blogelina, The Write Life or SEO Butler.

>>Click HERE to grab a free domain from GoDaddy<<

Aside from being short, sweet, and memorable, a domain should be the same as your brand or company. For example, if your domain name is 123.com and your brand name is One Two Three, or something else that’s even slightly different from your domain, it could confuse your visitors. Aim for as much consistency as possible!

It also helps if the domain is indicative of what your site is about. When the domain name contains a hint about your website’s niche, it resonates with visitors that are interested in that niche more. For example, a domain name like PinchofYum.com hints that the site is about food and will attract the appropriate audience. Same thing for Blogelina, right?

Fortunately, if the domain you initially choose doesn’t work out, you can always change it. Doing this requires buying a new domain name to replace the old one. So, if you are having trouble picking a name now, no worries because you can always update it later to something better.

What to Do if the Name You Want is Already Taken

With over 350 million registered domain names in 2018, chances are your first, second, and third name choices are already taken. If that’s the case, you could offer to buy a taken domain name from whoever currently owns it. But this can be very expensive, depending on the popularity of that name.

A cheaper option would be to come up with something new and clever – perhaps a spelling variation of the name you originally had in mind. And like we said, if that name doesn’t work out, you could always change it later.

Beyond being clever when creating a domain name, make sure you adhere to the following tips:

  • Choose a .com name. There’s nothing wrong with .org, .xyz, .co, and other options, but .com websites are generally more trusted because they are older and more popular. Also, .com sites are easier to remember, making it less likely visitors will type the wrong URL. For instance, if your blog is Food.xyz, visitors might keep accidentally typing Food.com because that’s what they are used to.
  • Since most single-word domains are already taken, you could make your domain two to three words long. But don’t make it longer than three words, and avoid adding numbers and hyphens to the name. Such special characters might confuse visitors.
  • If possible, add a keyword to the name that hints what the blog is about. It will make it easier for not just people, but also search engines to distinguish what your blog is about.

Don’t forget, you can view available domain names by visiting ICANN accredited domain registrars like NameCheap or GoDaddy.

Choosing Your Web Host

The best hosting companies provide hosting services and resources that keep your blog running with minimal downtime and fast speeds. Three web hosts we love to use are GoDaddy, SiteGround and Flywheel. All three offer great customer service, good security, fast hosting, quick setup, and more — each one a little different than the other.

To make your blog work smoothly and effectively, you need a web host provider that provides headache-free hosting. Poor hosting will frustrate your blogging experience with frequent and long downtimes, slow loading speeds, and vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

When we make a recommendation for hosting your blog, here are some of the criteria we take into consideration:

  • Affordable Plans: For a new blog, you’ll want affordable hosting that doesn’t compromise on any of the features you need. The right hosting company will offer various hosting plans at different prices, enabling you to select an option that matches your budget and provides the web hosting features you need.
  • Speed: Whether it’s an eCommerce or blog site, speed is essential. The average internet user is unwilling to wait more than a few seconds for web pages to load. To avoid losing visitors to slow speeds, opt for a host that can guarantee fast loading speeds and features like a CDN (content delivery network) that boost website speeds.
  • Great Customer Support: Something going wrong with your site can be frustrating, especially when you can’t figure out the problem or a way to fix it. In such scenarios, customer support can save the day and restore your site. 24/7 customer support that’s responsive and efficient is critical.
  • Optimal Uptime: High uptime means a site spends more time online than offline. The best hosting companies guarantee between 99 percent uptime or better.
  • Security Features: Hackers are always trying to break into sites to steal sensitive data. The more secure your host is, the better your website’s overall security will be. Ideally, they should have a hacker guarantee — if your site is hacked, they’ll fix it for free.
  • User Backups: Without backups, you might have to rebuild your site from scratch in the event that something goes wrong. With regular backups, you can easily get your site up and running again by restoring it from the most recent backup. You should be backing your site up at least once per week using multiple sequential backups!

Like we mentioned previously, three reliable and reputable hosting providers that offer most of the above features and more are GoDaddy, SiteGround and Flywheel. All get high scores for their services and features and have loads of positive customer reviews.

In terms of price, all three companies offer various affordable plans, which let you choose a hosting plan that best fits your budget and needs. You can also easily scale your plan to match your blog’s needs as it grows.

Let take a quick look at some of the key differences so you can decide which hosting company is the best option for you.

GoDaddy

Perhaps the most affordable way to launch your Blog is with GoDaddy’s special offer. Your domain is free for the first year and hosting will cost you about $1/month. It’s an amazing deal especially considering that keeping expenses minimal during your first year is super smart!

While there are some extra’s that you might opt to pay for with GoDaddy, you can absolutely get started with the bare minimum and then build from there and your blog gains traction and visitors.

SiteGround

Siteground’s “Grow Big Plan” is another very affordable option (especially in the first year). They also include a free SSL certificate plus a few more features like CDN, daily backups, and a free email. All of these features, including its affordability and ease of setup, making it a great choice for newbie blogger at only $2.95 more per month than GoDaddy. Keep in mind though that you don’t get a free Domain with Siteground so you’ll end up purchasing that separately.

siteground wordpress hosting

SiteGround distinguishes itself by being fast and user-friendly with great customer support. It’s a “middle of the road” option in terms of price and features for new bloggers.

Flywheel

The price plans from all three companies are much closer after the first year. For example, the Flywheel “Tiny” Plan is a super affordable plan that’s great for those starting a blog who don’t expect to get more than 5,000 visitors a month initially.

Flywheel Hosting

Even though Flywheel offers no first-year discount, they do offer lots of “extras” that you might otherwise pay a little more for.

Not only is Flywheel user-friendly, great for beginners, and offers exceptional customer service, even their basic plan includes the following:

  • True Managed Hosting & 24/7 customer service
  • Content Delivery Network
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Nightly backups
  • Staging that allows you to test new ideas in a non-live version of your website
  • Access to Genesis Themes

The last bullet point there is worth noting. Because Flywheel is owned by WP Engine (who now own StudioPress), you also have access to the Genesis Framework and applicable child themes. This is a great deal as the Genesis Framework and a Child Theme would typically cost around $129. A nice bonus, right?!?!

Benefits of WordPress Hosting

If you intend on using WordPress for your new blog, you are better off sticking with WordPress hosting from either of these hosting companies. That’s because WordPress hosting is specially built and optimized to better serve the performance and security needs of WordPress sites. It also makes setup and management easy with one-click WordPress installs and automatic WordPress software updates.

Simply put, WordPress hosting makes your WordPress blog run better. You can choose between Shared WordPress hosting (SiteGround), which is sometimes cheaper, and Managed WordPress hosting (Flywheel), which is more convenient.

Managed web hosting offers all of the upsides of shared hosting plus faster speeds, server-side caching, and better security. It might cost more, but it handles most of the technical aspects of running a website on your behalf. That gives you more time to work on what matters—creating awesome content for your blog visitors.

If saving money is your priority, though, you can start with a plan that offers a first-year discount. Later, if your needs have changed, you can upgrade to managed hosting.

Install WordPress

Even though setting up a WordPress blog is easy and straightforward, you still have to make sure you complete the process properly. Since WordPress automates the technical aspects of setting up the blogging platform to suit your needs, we promise, you’ll have no trouble accomplishing this.

With WordPress’ user-friendliness and flexibility, you can get things installed and get started with creating articles in five minutes or less. The step-by-step process for accomplishing this will depend on the hosting account, you are on. Here’s how it works for each host:

Siteground Hosting

If your host is SiteGround, things are simplified with the platform’s automated WordPress installation button. Combine this with the host’s powerful WordPress Starter and you can create a blog within minutes. Explore their hosting options.

siteground hosting

The host’s simplified click-and-install tool also means you don’t have to download, install, or configure WordPress manually. After installing WordPress via the automated installer, simply use WordPress Starter to customize the blog and add key functionalities.

After you are done with the setup, SiteGround’s managed WordPress hosting will take care of security and plugin updates on your behalf, ensuring the site’s uninterrupted performance.

Flywheel Hosting

Flywheel Hosting

If your host is Flywheel, the step-by-step WordPress installation process is even easier — actually, it’s basically done for you. Again, you get a WordPress dashboard for configuring your blog in a way that suits your needs and preferences. In a nutshell, Flywheel’s step-by-step process is:

  • Select a FlyWheel hosting plan
  • Register a domain
  • Install a WordPress theme
  • Install necessary plugins and page builders via the WordPress dashboard
  • Start creating and posting blog articles

Select and Install Your Theme

After your hosting is all setup and WordPress is running, the next step is picking a theme. With the right theme, you can accomplish far more than improving the aesthetics of your website. The best WordPress themes make your blog easier to navigate, ensure quick page loading speeds, and keep your site responsive (mobile friendly).

Keeping the site responsive is especially important because, without it, your blog may not be viewable on all devices. As a general rule, you can expect 50-65% of your traffic to arrive via a mobile device. You wouldn’t want to frustrate more than 50% of your blog traffic, would you? Nope!

The default theme that comes with a new blog on WordPress isn’t the most attractive. Fortunately, you can choose a new theme from the thousands of WordPress themes that currently exist. These include paid and free themes.

When browsing themes, remember that the most attractive one isn’t always the best one. Aesthetics are important, but functionality is even more important. For example, themes with large file sizes tend to reduce the loading speed of pages.

Some top-quality free themes to try include Generate Press and Astra. Here are some features that set these two themes apart.

Generate Press

  • Super lightweight at less than 30kb, ensuring fast page loading speeds
  • Attractive and clutter-free aesthetics
  • Responsive design
  • Performance focused
  • Prioritizes navigability and user-experience
  • Secure and stable

Astra

  • Allows for easy customization
  • Lightweight theme for quick page loads
  • Comes with pre-built websites for blog designing
  • SEO-friendly
  • Seamless WooCommerce integration

StudioPress

StudioPress has been making themes for a looong time. They’re the first theme company that I started using back in 2008. As previously mentioned, one factor that might sway your opinion when deciding on your hosting company is that Flywheel includes all the StudioPress themes for FREE as part of their hosting platform.

Honesty, this represents a significant bonus as you’ll have access to a whole bunch of great looking and well-supported premium themes.

Of course, you can always install a free theme as well, but we wouldn’t recommend it when you can pick up a premium theme for free.

To install a free theme (including the free version of GeneratePress), simply log into your WordPress admin. From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the “appearance” menu and click “themes.” You’ll see WordPress’ pre-installed themes and you can add new ones by clicking “add new.”

You can then use the “feature filter” or search bar to find the exact theme you want. Once you find one that piques your interest, all you have to do is click “install” then “activate” after the installation is complete.

After setting up your theme, you can use the Elementor Page Builder to customize specific pages to meet your unique preferences. It offers over 80 design elements and works perfectly with any WordPress theme or plugin.

Using a page builder gives you control over every aspect of your blog’s design and makes customizing (some or all) of your pages and posts super easy.

Install Your Plugins

Plugins boost the functionality of your WordPress website. There are plugins for boosting your blog’s speed, security, SEO, and much more. Some of the best ones are available in WordPress’s official Plugin Directory.

To make your blog more effective, you need to know the right WordPress plugins to install. With over 50,000 free plugins to choose from, this isn’t always easy. Of course, you can always experiment but we do have some solid recommendations that will get you started on the right foot.

Install the Following Plugins:

  • SEO Press or Yoast: With either one of these plugins, you can search engine optimize all your pages to perform better in search engine results. The SEO Press plugin manages 301 redirects, titles and meta descriptions, improves social networking, and gives Google a sitemap. Yoast does many of the same things, as well as provides SEO and readability checks, updates that keep up with Google’s Algorithm, and previews of your pages in Google.

Both plugins are available as free and paid versions, and you can install one or both.

  • Elementor: Elementor is a highly rated WordPress page builder. You can use it as an all-in-one solution to improve the design and performance of your blog, making it look better and load faster. Click here to learn more about Elementor.
  • Redirection: It doesn’t matter if you have one or a thousand redirect errors. Redirection is built to keep track of 404 errors, manage 301 redirections, and resolve your blog’s loose ends. It’s simply an effective tool for improving your site’s ranking.
  • AntiSpam Bee: This free plugin keeps spam and trackbacks out of your blog’s comment section. It does this without bothering your visitors with captchas and without sending personal information to third-party services.
  • Social Warfare: Social Warfare lets you share your new blog content quickly and easily on one or more social media platforms or several through lightning-fast social share buttons.

You can easily install one or more of these plugins via your WordPress dashboard.

Create Your Essential Pages

Alrighty, now that we’ve completed the initial steps, things start to get a little more interesting. With your blog set up, the next step is to get started with creating pages. Not actual blog posts yet, but the pages that identify your site. These pages include your home page, blog page, about page, contact page, and privacy.

We’ve got a description of each page below but first, let’s walk through the process of actually creating these pages.

Step 1: Add a New Page

In your admin menu, click “Pages” and then “Add New”. This will open up a new, blank page where you can begin adding some of the important details.

Step 2: Configure Your Page Settings

With your new page created, you’ll want to do a few quick things before you start adding content:

  • Add your page title. For example, Home, About, Contact or Blog
  • Make sure you have a short and descriptive permalink for your page. For example, your “About” page should have a permalink of “about” instead of “all-about-our-website”
  • Configure your page layout. THis can vary depending on the theme you’re using but some of your options might be “default”, “full-width” or “contained”.

Keep in mind that you can always change these settings later if you make a mistake or change your mind. It’s best however to get the URL/Permalink correct so you don’t have to change it after your content is published. Note: It’s best practices to avoid changing URL/permalinks whenever possible.

Step 3: Save a Draft of Your Page

Once you’ve decided on your initial settings, go ahead and click “save draft”. Then you can move on to creating your other pages.

Now, let’s take a quick look at some descriptions of your most important pages, shall we?

Home Page

As an aspiring blogger, you are probably eager to create and publish your first blog post. But before we get to that, these are the pages you need to make first and for good reason. For example, the home page helps to introduce your visitors and explain what your site is about.

Being the first page visitors see when they land on your website, your home page should be attractive and engaging. Visitors need to be able to navigate from your home page to other important pages.

Blog Page

The blog page will contain all of your published blog posts. The posts on the page will be arranged in chronological order, from the most recently published to the oldest. Each post on the blog page should have a thumbnail and a short excerpt that hints at its content.

About

Most bloggers overlook the about page of their site, but that’s not advisable. With the about page, you can introduce your visitors to who you are, what your blog is about, and why you’re qualified to discuss the topics you post about. It’s a great way to put a human face on your blog.

Contact

In case your visitors have inquiries regarding guest posts, advertising their products/services on your platform, or others, this is where they’ll find how to reach you. Most bloggers provide more than one way to contact the appropriate person, such a phone number, email address, and/or contact form, as well as the hours to call.

Privacy

Your blog’s privacy page will contain a legal agreement that states the type of personal information you collect from your visitors. It’ll also state how you use the information and keep it safe. The typical WordPress blog already comes with privacy policy. All you have to do is tweak it to suit the needs of your blog, such as by adding your domain name and other details. Your privacy policy is an important page, even though few people will ever read it.

Configure Your Initial Settings

Don’t be the blogger who ignores configuring initial settings on a blogging platform. It’s a crucial step that ensures people see your pages the way you want them to be seen.

There are plenty of “other” steps beyond what we have here but you can consider the steps below as “must-do”.

Important initial settings to configure include:

Change Permalinks to “Post Name”.

A permalink is a static hyperlink (for example Blogelina.com/start-a-blog) that leads visitors to the blog post or page. The WordPress default for permalinks is yourdomain.com/postID. It’s not very attractive, it’s not SEO-friendly, and people looking at the URL won’t have any idea what page the URL is for.

You can resolve all these issues by changing the permalink structure from default to “post name” like you see in the image below. Using the post name structure ensures keywords from your title are in the permalink, making it easier to read and more SEO-friendly.

To achieve this, go to “settings” in your dashboard and click “permalinks.” Choose the “post name” structure under permalinks and save the settings.

Add Your Site Title

Another important step when starting a blog is adding a site title and tagline to your blog. Without it, your visitor won’t see any introduction to your site’s content. You can also use it to add personality to your site.

The typical WordPress theme shows these elements within the header at the top of every page. The title, in most cases, will be the site’s name and the tagline a short phrase beneath it.

To add a site title, go to your dashboard then “settings.” Click “general” where you’ll see the options to change the site title and tagline. After making your changes, simply click save, and you are done.

Sometimes this varies a little from theme to theme but either way, you’ll be looking for the same fields. Quite often you’ll be able to find these options in more than one place (you only need to change one though).

Set Your Home Page and Post Page in Settings>Reading

The WordPress theme you choose will determine your default homepage setting, but you can change it to suit how you want visitors to interact with your blog. For example, you can make the home page a static or post page.

A static homepage is unchanging, containing whatever you set on it. A post page changes by showing every new blog post you publish. So, each time you publish, the homepage changes. If you prefer the post option, you can also choose the number of posts to display on the main page and more.

You can change these settings by clicking “settings” and then “reading.”

Develop Your Content Strategy

With so many options out there, people aren’t willing to waste time on a blog that doesn’t offer useful information, entertain, or engage them in some other way. Your content is what keeps people coming back and if you don’t want to lose your visitors, you need to create content that keeps them happy.

Make sense? Awesome!

The best way to do that is by developing a content strategy.

Keep in mind, this is a fluid process that will take some effort. It will also change over time so don’t feel like you got to get this process 100% the first time around.

Through content strategy, you can develop a content plan that ensures you deliver blog posts that keep your readers happy. As a blogger, the first step in accomplishing this is learning about your readers.

Why?

Because the more you know about your readers, the better equipped you’ll be to create content they actually want to see.

Creating a content strategy is actually kind of fun. It requires part strategic thinking, part research, part creativity and a willingness to experiment. There are plenty of tools you can use to make the research process easier — for example, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Google Search Console can all contribute to a better understanding of both your audience and your competitors.

Developing and following a strategy helps make sure you create content that your target audience actually wants to read.

When blogging, make sure to craft posts that visitors and search engines alike will have an easy time reading and understanding. Make a post easy for Google and other search engines to understand by utilizing search engine optimization. That is, properly adding relevant keywords and separating each post into easy-to-scan sentences and paragraphs.

The easier a post is for a search engine to understand, the easier it’ll be for people to understand. It’ll also boost the page’s ranking in search engine results, which will increase your organic traffic and your opportunities to make money blogging.

Want to make money through blogging?

Even if your primary goal is starting a blog to make money, avoid making it too obvious. Many bloggers make this mistake by publishing only monetized/commercial content. Readers might lose interest in your blog if they notice such a trend. Avoid this pitfall by providing a healthy mix of informational content and commercial content.

You can also make your blogging seem less commercial by sharing personal experiences. People love a good story and the more your readers can relate to you and your experiences, the more drawn in they’ll be to your content.

Last but not least, before you start a blog, have a long and short-term plan. The short-term plan should cover what a blog post will be about and what readers should gain by the end. Without such a plan, your posts are less likely to ramble off point.

For your long-term plan, have a content schedule that lists the topics you’ll post about in a week or a month. It’s a great way to ensure you don’t run out of ideas for your next post.

How to Start a Blog Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Bloggers Get Paid?

There are various ways to make money by starting a blog. The most popular strategies bloggers use include Pay-Per-Click ads, affiliate marketing, CPM advertising networks, and selling digital products. But note that these money-making strategies are more likely to work if your blog has lots of traffic or an established audience.

Can I Get a Free Blog?

When you create a blog using WordPress, some aspects are free (the WordPress software for example) while others require payment (Hosting, premium themes and plugins etc). You can start a blog very inexpensively but will still need to pay to register a domain and set up your hosting.

How Do I Start a Blog in 2020?

Thanks to the availability of blogging platforms like WordPress and affordable web hosts like SiteGround or Flywheel, you can start a blog yourself and have it running within minutes. Simple steps to accomplish this are:

  • Choose your niche
  • Register a domain
  • Get web hosting
  • Install WordPress
  • Select and install your theme
  • Install your plugins
  • Develop your content strategy
  • Start posting

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog?

The web host and blogging platform you choose to start your blog will determine the cost. Platforms like WordPress and hosts like SiteGround make the process as inexpensive as possible. The cost of the domain name you want for your blog will also add to the cost.

Final Thoughts

That’s everything you need to know about how to start a blog. As you can see, starting a blog is simple enough to complete within minutes and without any technical knowledge. The important thing is not to procrastinate and get started today. With each day that goes by, you’ll gain valuable experience and begin to feel more and more comfortable with the process.

Finally, we want to finish with what is probably the most important point: Be sure to think long-term. Launching, growing and maintaining a blog isn’t something you can complete in a day. It’s an ongoing process that requires your commitment to providing quality content that keeps bringing visitors back day after day.

Even the most popular blogs on the web started from scratch at one point in time. Measure yourself against where they were when they started, not where they are today, after years of hard work.

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