Multiply 5.7 million with 3, and that’s precisely the number of blogs that got published while I completed writing this article.
And with over 600 milion blog pages on the Internet already, that number is only going to soar.
These statistics speak volumes about the competition to become visible on the Internet. And when the competition is high, the only thing that can help you succeed is a solid strategy.
You might come across a lot of earning proof from blogging gurus. You might even encounter some genuine and concrete money-making tips. And that’s alright!
However, these tips and tricks would never be enough until you apply your knowledge and use your skills in the direction that suits your interests.
What about the blogging income?
Well, making money through one’s blog is always the biggest concern, and understandably so.
In a recent study conducted by GrowthBadger in alliance with Kinsta and Mangools, making money was identified as the most common reason why people take up blogging.
Even those who are not that adept with the search engine dynamics become successful at gaining monetary compensation.
And if they can, YOU can too.
But as I said, there’s a process to everything in the blogging world. While you can alter it according to your flexibility, you’d always want to keep yourself updated with the best practices.
To that end, I have formulated this extensive 10-step beginner’s guide, which would help you successfully launch your first blog in a matter of minutes.
Besides, this article will lend you a comprehensive insight into how to make money through your blog in 2021.
So, if you’re in a hurry to make money and want some cool shortcuts to reaching a stable place, the following read is NOT FOR YOU.
However, if you’d prefer working hard for your passion and would love to earn through it, the next 20 minutes would be a roller-coaster ride.
My 10 Step Beginner’s Guide on How to Start a Blog and Making Money from It.
STEP 6: Choose A Light Weight Theme to Make Your Blog Attractive (Ensure that it is SEO Optimized).
In case you’re aware of some of the steps already — that’s awesome! However, I’d still recommend reading through all of them so that you don’t skip anything that can add value to your business’ endeavours and make sure you setup your blog the right way.
STEP 1: Choose A Profitable Niche for Your Blog.
You might have heard people talking about putting your emotions into the personal blog. They’re right, except that isn’t going to help your website on Google.
Emotions are necessary; passion is an essentiality, but so is a direction that can help represent these in a way that adds value to the audience.
That said, the very first step before starting a blog is to choose a niche that is not only tailored to your interests but also valuable to the targeted audience. In case you have already chosen a niche or topic for your blog, you can skip this step.
But if not, you just cannot skip what’s next.
54.% of the bloggers interviewed by Orbit media revealed that their blogs are delivering results even as 2020 comes to an end. Only 8.4% of those interviewed reported anything about disappointing results.
✔First off, there’s no need to dishearten yourself if you prefer a competitive niche. Yes, people might have written about it, but you can do better than them. Remember that Google’s RankBrain is an unbiased algorithm — hard work always pays off here.
✔Second, 2021 is no different for blogging. In fact, the Internet is booming even more after the COVID-19 pandemic. Being online is the way to progress.
✔Third, Patience, Enthusiasm, Perseverance, Commitment, and Consistency are still the go-to virtues for helping the blog succeed.
All right, let’s take a look at the factors you need to consider when choosing a good niche.
Your Interest and Passion Matters
Take a paper and pen and try to write about the areas that interest you or that relate to your expertise in some or the other way.
As we discussed above, you don’t need to be an expert to start a successful blog, but you should try to start a blog in a niche that can align with your vision and your skills for a prolonged period.
Also, if the niche suits your interests and you are passionate about it, you can solve user problems profoundly and provide more reliable solutions.
Conversely, if your niche is not adherent to your liking, you would likely abandon your blog after a while because you would not know how to keep it alive.
The Earning Potential
There’s no doubt that each and every niche has the potential to make generate decent revenue. However, some niches do receive relatively higher traffic and cater to a wider audience — a win-win for money-making.
That’s why, before choosing a niche, you must engage in researching and finding out if there are affiliate programs in that particular niche, whether it’s easy to monetize, and whether it has a lot of keywords.
The best way to evaluate niche earnings is to do competitive research and find out how they are earning.
Realize the Trend
Most people make the mistake of starting a blog in a niche that has potential revenue and a good keyword volume with low search difficulty but a weak trend.
For instance, I was interested in writing about “The New Normal” and “Freelancing.” However, I couldn’t make a choice regarding what subject I should explore. Hence, I compared their search data over the past five years. I see that “The New Normal” exponentially grew last year; however, “Freelancing” is on a consistent rise. Hence, I would probably go with the latter.
This is one of the ways you can recognize what the audience is looking for.
These are some of the profitable niches with low competition but massive traffic that you choose from.
- Food/Cooking Recipes
- Health and Fitness
- Tips and Tricks
- How To
- Software Reviews
STEP 2: Pick a Relevant and Engaging Domain Name
To put it straight, a domain name is the name of your website (blog). For instance, the web address www.example.com has the domain name “Example.” Likewise, an email address [email protected] has the domain name “Example.”
Choosing the right domain name for your blog is as important as anything. This is primarily due to the fact that it acts as the first impression.
No, not your logo, not your website’s design, and not your content — it’s the name of your brand that catches one’s attention and facilitates the understanding of the business.
When I hear “Burger King,” I instantly recognize what the brand’s all about. Yes, it’s not always possible to buy the generic terms, but you must invest your time in identifying something that’s relatable and engaging.
Here’s how you can do it.
Pick an Easy-To-Remember Word/Combination
“Thefreelancebusinesslibrary” vs. “FreelancingLibrary”
So, which one’s better? Obviously, the second one.
- Easy to memorize.
- Fewer characters.
- Easily readable.
- No-Hassle typing it.
- Defines the purpose.
Since people don’t have time to remember the new domain name, your priority should be to make it easier to memorize.
It should be such that no one has to face any kind of hassle while typing it in the search bar — take inspiration from GOOGLE and FACEBOOK.
Keep It Short but Attractive
Your domain name should be short, crisp, and straight-to-the-point so that visitors get a good impression.
The best practice is not using any numbers or symbols in the domain name and keeping it to two words (Under 15 characters), which, as a matter of fact, is also great for SEO.
Here are some great examples:
Try Using a Keyword
Adding your blog’s primary keyword in the domain name is another great SEO practice that helps search engines and users find out what your blog is really about.
I know that it’s a bit difficult to get a domain name with generic keywords. That’s why you can use Thesaurus.com to create different synonyms.
Go for a Secondary Keyword
In the language of SEO, a secondary keyword is a closely associated word/phrase with the primary keyword. Just like synonyms, you can select between secondary keywords that closely define your business.
Use the .com Extension or a TLD
Every domain extension is good, but in my opinion, you should always go with TLDs (top-level domains) like .com as they are easier to promote on a global scale. But you can also use .net, .info, etc.
STEP 3: Perform Research and Identify the Best Blogging Platform
Okay, this is one of the easiest and most straightforward steps because there is always a clear winner in the name of WordPress.
More than 455,000,000 websites are being powered by WordPress in 2021 and the number is always increasing.
There are several WordPress alternatives in the market — Wix, Tumblr, Blogger, Weebly, and even Webflow in 2021. However, I would personally recommend WordPress.org for blogging.
The most common question:
Q1: What’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
Honestly, both of these are almost the same; however, WordPress.org is a better platform for bloggers, in particular.
Q2: Why am I inclined towards WordPress for starting a blog?
Well, there’s a reason. In fact, there are several reasons why WordPress is the most preferred platform for bloggers — beginners and experts alike.
✔Free Open-Source platform.
Despite being extremely popular, WordPress remains a free and open-source software, which requires only the purchase of a domain and its hosting solution.
Be it YouTube, Skillshare, or any other learning platform — you’ll find N number of tutorials for WordPress. You’ll find suggestions all over the Internet about managing your site’s minute affairs.
Unless the webmasters don’t deviate from the best practices, WordPress is the most secure Content Management Systems in the world. To avoid any unfortunate attacks, hackers, and malware, WordPress constitutes a robust security apparatus.
✔Themes and Plugins.
Traditionally for a blogger, this is where WordPress takes the game away. There are several themes to choose from and even more plugins to help customize the site according to the needs of the blogger.
WordPress is GLOBAL. For that reason, it supports 160+ languages, thus, giving an opportunity to every culture.
WordPress can be used for almost anything such as business websites, personal blogs, online stores, membership websites, and selling online courses.
✔Everyone Uses it for their Benefit, so should you.
Since it the most prominent and successful CMS, it holds a CMS market share of 64.1%. That’s just MASSIVE.
STEP 4: Select A Good Web Hosting Provider (Critical Step).
Just like you rent a house or a shop, you need to rent space for your website on the World Wide Web.
Now, the authority that lends you that space is called a hosting provider. In other words, a hosting provider makes space for your website on the webserver.
All the blog files — documents, media, textual content, linking network, cache — needs to be stored somewhere. That somewhere is a server and the one that helps you store on a server is a hosting provider.
Now you get the essence of hosting your website, right?
It is similar to a computer hard disk where all your desktop files and documents are stored and without which nothing would be accessible.
Why Choosing a Web Hosting Provider Is a Critical Step?
You see, Google analyzes the websites based on certain metrics. A web hosting provider must be compliant with these so that you can fight for your ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Hence, if you choose a web hosting that does not provide ideal uptime and speed, then it can not only affect your ranking but also force your visitors to leave the blog.
So, Which Web Hosting Provider Should I Select for Hosting My Blog?
Now, this is where things can get sophisticated. You won’t believe that currently, the market size of the web hosting industry is valued at $56 billion. To add to that, there are thousands of web hosting providers.
It took me years of practical implementation to identify some of the best solutions. And today, when anyone asks me about my go-to web hosting provider, I have only one answer — GreenGeeks.
Hence, I won’t be giving you options for web hosting providers because there are so many. I would rather prefer narrowing it down to the best and explaining everything about that. But if you still need to make a decision, check out my other recommendations here.
Here’s Why I Prefer GreenGeeks.
The company has been in the market for more than 12 years and has hosted over 500,000 websites so far.
✔Uptime and Loading Time.
GreenGeeks guarantee 99.9% uptime, which means that the servers will perform well and your site or blog will run for maximum time. Further, the company provides an extremely fast loading time of 445 ms.
✔24*7 Customer Support.
Its customer support is available 24/7 hours via phone, live chat, and email/tickets.
There’s no need to purchase an additional SSL certificate because all plans have free SSL.
✔Ideal for Newcomers.
This is beginner-friendly hosting which means you don’t need to be an expert to use it. The interface is easy to use and you can launch your blog in just a few clicks.
GreenGeeks is the only big name when it comes to offering eco-friendly hosting. The company replaces the energy that your website uses through wind power, thus, creating a balance.
The hosting solutions start from as low as $2.49 per month. Besides, there are three plans from which you can choose based on your budget but the good thing is that every plan has unlimited space and unlimited bandwidth.
Using its cPanel, you can install WordPress in a few clicks, as we will install in the next section.
You can transfer your site from any other hosting to GreenGeeks or GreenGeeks to any other for free and without any hassle.
Steps to Buy Hosting Using GreenGeeks with Free Domain & SSL.
Follow these steps to purchase your first discounted hosting with my exclusive link successfully.
1. Head to the Greengeeks Site with My Special Discount Link.
Upon visiting the official website of GreenGeeks, you will see three plans under WordPress hosting. Here I would recommend you go with Light or a Pro Plan.
Because you are about to start a new blog; your blog won’t get massive traffic in the first few months or even in the first year. So, you shouldn’t go with an expensive plan primarily as the first two can easily handle the beginning traffic.
2. Choose a Free Domain Name.
Next, enter your blog name or domain name that you have chosen. Refer to Step 2 of this guide for choosing an engaging and relevant domain name.
Here you have two options; if you are starting your first blog, GreenGeeks offers you a free domain, which is a plus point.
Just enter the name of your blog in the search box of the first option, and it will automatically check if it is available or not.
Second, if you are starting another blog or already have a domain, go with the second option.
If you want to buy domain names individually, Namecheap is one of the best domain name providers.
3. Fill in the Required Information.
4. Pay Using A Credit / Debit Card.
Finally, after thoroughly going through all the purchase details, select your payment method, and enter your card information correctly.
There you Go!
Congratulations! You have successfully purchased a domain and hosting.
Let’s set up your blog now.
STEP 5: Install WordPress and Configure Your Blog.
GreenGeeks makes it easier for everyone to install WordPress in a matter of minutes. Come along, and I’ll show you how to set up a WordPress blog and make it search engine visible.
First, after purchasing the hosting, you will receive an email from GreenGeeks with login information. Open the email and click on the given link. The following window will pop up.
Enter the email and password that you entered while purchasing hosting.
Click on “Sign me in” and then click on “cPanel Login.”
After clicking on cPanel, scroll down and select WordPress.
After selecting WordPress, you will see the following window. Click the “Install Now” button to install WordPress.
You have to make some changes here. You must change the name and description of your blog. You can do this right now or any time following WordPress installation. Any way is fine.
Likewise, you need to change the admin password and the admin name that you will use to login to your WordPress in the future.
Now scroll down and click on the install button.
Wait for a few minutes for WordPress to install. Once installed, you have two ways to log in.
✔First, you can click on the link.
✔Second, use the link below and change the domain name with your domain name.
You have successfully installed WordPress. Before you write a post or do anything, ensure that you have reviewed all the settings described below.
1. Permalink Structure.
The first setting you need to change is the Permalink structure. By default, your Permalink is not SEO optimized and not easily readable.
Which looks like this:
Go to the “Permalink” tab under Settings and select the “Post Name” option to make it beautiful, clean and SEO optimized.
Changing the setting will now make your permalink look like this.
2. Search Engine Visibility.
Because your blog is new, your WordPress blog won’t appear in search engines.
When you feel that everything is ready, just go to the “Reading” tab and uncheck the search engine visibility option. If you don’t, you won’t get any traffic or rankings.
3. Date and Time.
The one thing that you must keep in mind as a blogger — Dates. Would you trust a 2014 article? No, right?
The search engine world is dynamic and, therefore, you must keep up with that. Data and time might seem a very modest setting, but it’s the most important. The process is straightforward — head to the “General” tab and change it according to your time.
And, you’re done with all the necessary settings. Now, it’s time for some DESIGN appeal.
STEP 6: Choose A Light Weight Theme to Make Your Blog Attractive (Should Be SEO Optimized).
There must be a reason why User Experience (UX) Design is a buzz phrase. There must be a reason why Page Experience is getting all the attention in the world.
Mind you, the design of your page is as important as the content you generate. And it’s natural! Consider reading an article on your mobile with small font and disturbed indentation.
Would you prefer to read through it? Definitely not.
That’s precisely why sites like Medium and Linkedin have such clean blogging interfaces. Google is coming up with the new Page Experience update in 2021. That means UX design would become even more decisive.
At Google Search our mission is to help users find the most relevant and quality sites on the web. The goal with these updates is to highlight the best experiences and ensure that users can find the information they’re looking for.Google.
To that end, you must ensure installing a good WordPress theme.
Does WordPress Offer In-Built Themes? What Exactly Are They?
A theme is a tool that helps you tailor your blog to your needs. You can make your blog’s colors, layout, typography, and various elements more attractive and eye-catching using a theme.
Furthermore, a theme helps your visitors stay on your blog as much as possible and makes it easy for them to find anything on your blog — again, the UX stuff.
While thousands of WordPress themes are available in the market, not every theme is SEO optimized.
Coming back to the question of in-built themes — On WordPress, you can access several themes, both free and paid.
While free themes primarily seem attractive, I’d rather recommend going for the paid ones.
Paid themes are generally optimized both for desktop and mobile and offer a better overall UX. Besides, they are easier to optimize for the search engine.
To help you choose a theme, I’ve put together some of the best, most highly rated, and popular themes that you can consider.
WordPress Themes I Recommend:
GeneratePress is undoubtedly one of my best themes and of 200,000+ others who are currently using it.
People generally opt for it because it:
- Is lightweight.
- Loads fast both on mobile and desktop.
- Is flexible.
- Is good for SEO.
- Is minimalist (simple and clean).
- Has a size of less than 50KB.
GeneratePress is available in both free and paid versions. But the paid version gives you more features and customization than the free one.
Feminine themes are prevalent these days for almost all types of blogs, especially fashion, travel, lifestyle, and beauty.
These themes make you look contemporary, bold, and powerful, which, in turn, is beneficial for garnering attraction to the blog.
So, if you are starting a blog like in one of these niches, you should look for feminine WordPress themes.
Bluchic themes provider is an excellent choice for bloggers and web designers. In addition to tender and reliable designs, Bluchic feminine themes are straightforward to install and customize.
ThemeForest is a popular WordPress elements Marketplace with over 40,000 themes available in every category. Incredible, isn’t it?
Besides, for your convenience, each theme is sorted into categories. All you need to do is go there, select a category according to your blog niche, and purchase the theme.
The best thing about Theme Forrest is that each theme has ratings, user reviews, and statistics that you can check to make the best choice at a very affordable price.
How to Upload A Theme?
I hope you have successfully selected a theme, and now it’s time to upload it.
Under the ”Appearance Setting”, press the “Add New” tab.
Here you have two options for uploading themes.
In the first option, you need to download a free or paid theme from a website. Then click “Upload” to upload the theme — install it — activate it.
Second, you can find a free theme that WordPress provides and then install it. To do this, simply select or find a theme you need — click install — activate it.
Now, you can customize the installed theme according to your liking.
STEP 7: Install Some Essential Plugins to Make Your Blog Easier for You & Your Visitors.
- An Engaging Domain name — Check!
- An Excellent Hosting Provider — Check!
- WordPress Installation — Check!
- Theme Installation — Check!
To be honest, this is where the actual blogging journey starts. Until now, you were doing the things that you’re expected to do. However, now you’ll be engaging with the facets that would help you generate revenue through your blog.
I’m talking about the WordPress plugins, which can be leveraged to scale the blog and increase its chances of being visible on the search engine.
What Is a WordPress Plugin?
You need to install plugins to add some new functionality and features to your blog that WordPress does not offer by default. Plugins help you improve your content, page speed, and search engine rankings.
I have picked out some plugins for you, which I believe are essential for your blog. I mean, without these plugins, your website would be incomplete.
The more plugins you’d install, the slower your blog would get. I’d recommend installing only the necessary add-ons.
To learn more read Top 10 Best WordPress Plugins.
STEP 8: Write and Publish the First Post of Your Blog.
The First Post — In fact, the first of many because I would want you to be consistent from here on. Considering all the things that we have covered above, you are now all set to use your knowledge and the resources to add value to your audience.
Here’s how you can create and publish blog posts on WordPress.
Go to: Dashboard → Post → Add New.
Write your first post.
Tips to Consider Before Writing Blog Posts.
1. Use the Keyword Research Tools to find some unique and trendy topics for your blog. Here are some of the best free tools:
2. Use powerful headlines with an emotional appeal to persuade someone to click on your blog post. Make it attractive and keep it up to date.
3. Use Pixelo.net to add some images, graphics, and fonts to your blog post to enhance readability and accessibility.
4. Try installing the Rank Math SEO plugin to keep all on-page SEO factors in check.
5. Write the posts in a conversational tone so that your readers could relate well.
STEP 9: How to Make Money: Ways to Turn Your Blog into A Money-Making Machine.
First off, congratulations on successfully publishing your first blog post.
‘In case you haven’t and are confused regarding the choice of platform or anything that was recommended in this article, do let me know in the comments’.
I’m all ears! I’ll be happy to answer all your queries and help you out.
Moving on, now that you’ve spent time and money on your blog, it’s time that you start generating revenue from it.
There are different ways of earning an income using a WordPress site, like advertising, affiliate marketing, and e-commerce stores.
Affiliate marketing allows you to advertise third-party products and earn on sales.
According to Statista, affiliate marketing spend in the United States alone would surpass $8 billion in 2022.
Almost every expert in the blogging industry is keen on building an affiliate network. This is because affiliate marketing remains one of the most conspicuous methods of generating revenue from blogs.
If you remember, I said, at the very beginning, that you need to choose a niche that has a lot of affiliate programs.
The more programs it has, the more products you will be able to promote.
Because in affiliate marketing, you promote someone else’s products, and when someone buys it using the link you provide, you get a fixed commission.
That said, these are some of the best programs whose products you can promote based on your blog niche.
Recommend only products /services you use or have used that you trust and are of excellent quality.
Make sure to add your affiliate disclaimer at the top of each article to keep it legal and avoid trouble.
Show Banners on Your Site.
These work like affiliate links but stand out more.
They are adverts for products or services offered by companies.
If your blog has a lot of traffic, you can sell banner space for a decent return.
You can do this by using Google Adsense. The only downside is that you will need to have a large amount of traffic to earn a decent income with Adsense.
Adsense offers a CPC (cost per click), which means you get a small fee for every click the ad receives, or CPM (cost per thousand), which is the fee you receive for every 1000 impressions of the ad.
As your blog grows and you have more traffic coming in, you can move to another add management services like Mediavine.
Offer Your Services.
Knowledge is Power — ever heard someone say it? I bet you have, and I’d say it applies aptly to blogging.
If you are starting a blog in digital marketing, cooking, or health training, you can sell your services and generate revenue.
This is a great way to build a career as a trainer or coach. A lot of people are willing to pay you to learn from you and solve their problems.
And not just a trainer; you can be anything from a content writer to a designer to even a virtual assistant.
Sell Your Course or Product.
The ed-tech market has skyrocketed in the past few years, and COVID-19 has fuelled it even more.
According to a 2020 report published by Global Marketing Insights, the ed-tech industry is projected to cross the $375 billion mark by 2026.
Why waste such an opportunity?
One of the most popular and effective ways to earn passive income is to sell your course or product. But the condition for this is that you must first build trust among your readers.
Once trust is established, your readers will happily be ready to buy all your courses and products.
Here are some things you can sell:
- Video Training Sessions.
If your blog has a lot of traffic, you can offer free space on your blog for private advertising.
Private advertising means that if your blog is getting huge traffic, different companies and professionals will ask you to promote their products or services.
And you can get paid to put their ads on your blog.
STEP 10: Make Your Blogging Journey Easier by Using Some of The Most Effective Tools.
It’s 2021, and you aren’t required to handle everything manually. In fact, if you’ll resort to the manual ways, you won’t be able to scale your business to the desired extent.
Besides, manual working might result in regular errors, something that you just cannot afford.
To that end, I’d suggest using these great tools.
Once you start a blog, your primary goal should be to compile an email list. Because your blog is new and doesn’t have much traffic, your priority must be to get every visitor’s email address.
After you collect the email list, you must keep them updated about your new blog posts.
However, getting them to click through simple emails is not that easy. For that, Aweber is an ideal choice, which helps create attractive and converting newsletters and email templates.
Additionally, you can manage your email campaigns and check for the ones that are performing better or converting more. Likewise, you can discard those that aren’t doing any good for your efforts.
Aweber is available in both free and paid versions; you can select it according to your needs.
Is there even a need to introduce this tool? Grammarly is one of the best AI-powered grammar checking tools — a lifeline for bloggers.
The plus point is that Grammarly offers so much in its free version. It checks your content for correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery.
What all would you need for free?
In case you’re inclined to buy the premium subscription, I can assure you that you won’t regret it. From searching for advanced grammar issues to facilitating plagiarism checking to even providing readability guidelines, Grammarly is genuinely the best of the lot.
Canva is a life-saver for non-designers. Not everyone can design seamlessly on Illustrator or Photoshop.
With millions of graphic elements/images, thousands of templates sufficing over hundreds of categories, Canva is one of the best designing tools ever-made.
In true terms, it is revolutionizing the industry, and you must not miss the opportunity to leverage it.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
With GreenGeeks, if you buy it from my discount link, it will cost you only $2.49 per month and $89.64 per year.
How many hours do bloggers work?
That’s subjective since the number of hours is entirely dependent on your operational flexibility. In the initial stages, I would recommend spending at least four to five hours every day.
What blogs are in demand?
Blogs like Food, Fashion, Travel, and Fitness are always high in demand. If you are just starting on food blogging, you should check out Food Blogger Pro, which will give you a thorough guide on how to start, grow, and monetize your food blog.
If you find this information useful I would love to hear from you and why not, please share it with your friends.
I appreciate you took the time to read it all up to the end. If you still have any questions about how to start a blog or face any other challenges, please let me know.