This step-by-step guide can help you in starting a blog, not just any blog but a good profitable blog. Most people are dreaming of making money on their blogs. But sad to say, only a few of them were able to accomplish this dream. Most probably because they have no idea what are the important steps to follow.
Although there are some people out there who are great at creating blogs, there are also others who require some help. These tips can help you in creating a blog and most importantly making money from your blog. Most people want a more detailed and easy-to-follow guide. If you are looking to start your own blog, then this guide written by Nell Patel is what you need.
Patel has achieved a lot of success in blogging. In fact, he has already written thousands of articles. Of course, it hasn’t been easy, yet it has been rewarding. He used blogging for marketing his business, selling his products, building his brand, and most of all in helping others.
A blog can help you achieve anything you want, whether it is a startup business or a personal brand. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s start making a blog. Here are the important things that you need to learn.
Determine The Purpose Of Your Blog
The first thing to do is to know what you want to blog about. Sometimes you can easily get attracted to color schemes and WordPress themes, however, this is not the most important part. First of all, you must determine the subject that you want to blog about.
During the early days, a blog is considered as an online diary. In fact, the first blogger was actually Justin Hall. Until now, he still writes on his blog regularly. He writes about his adventures, misadventures, and other things about his life.
Nowadays, blogs are more than just recollections about someone’s life. It is not about what you have eaten or where you have been. In fact, there are now some websites that are also considered blogs. These are TMZ, Mashable, LifeHacker, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Gizmodo, Gawker, Tech Crunch, and Perez Hilton. These are just some of the most popular blogs worldwide.
These blogs are not only popular but they are also huge with lots of followers. This means that blogs are not only about reflections of life. Rather, it contains something specific, also known as “niche.”
Choose A Topic That You Enjoy
When choosing a niche, be sure that it is something that you enjoy the most. It must be a topic that can make you feel excited, energized, and can keep you going. This is very important since this can give you joy. This is a great opportunity for you to spend some time on your favorite hobby or any subject that interests you.
You Must Have Some Experience About Your Topic
Be sure that you have some knowledge or experience about the topic that you have chosen. But this does not mean that you should be the most authoritative source on this niche. Keep in mind that you need to go deep into this subject matter.
It is not required that you should be educated about your topic. However, you must be willing to learn and do some research about your chosen niche. The more experience you have, the better.
Choose An Interesting Topic
Do you think that people will get interested in your topic? Absolutely! People are enthusiastic about a variety of topics. Regardless, what niche you’ve chosen, there will always be some people who share the same interest and passion with you.
Select A Narrow Topic
Is the topic that you’ve chosen narrow enough? This is very important since a broad topic might not grab attention from the readers. For instance, if you want to start a blog about carpentry, then be sure to break it down further by choosing a specialty. For instance, construction carpentry, finish carpentry, cabinetry, trim carpentry, etc. Keeping it narrower can help you gain more followers.
A Deep Topic Is Preferable
Aside from being narrow, your topic should also be deep. This is because it will give you lots of topics to talk about. Furthermore, things are always changing, giving you more things to write about. People are interested in deep topics. Most of all, you won’t run out of things to discuss.
But how about making money from your blog? Well, you can easily monetize your blog if you’ll get lots of traffic. Simply chase your passion and money will follow. If you don’t like writing, then you can post videos.
Build Your Persona
What is a persona? A persona is the description of the typical person who will view your blog. You write a blog about your favorite subject. For instance, miniature poodles. But who will be reading this? Is there anyone out there who is even interested in miniature poodle grooming? This is why having a persona is important.
One of your readers is a woman who works as an account executive. She loves dogs, most especially miniature poodles. Now, you already have an idea of the personality of one of your readers. Aside from having a great topic, you also have a persona in mind while writing your blog.
Create A Domain Name
As much as possible try to keep your domain name and blog name similar. This can avoid any confusion. So, which one should you choose first? Well, you should choose both of them at the same time. When choosing a domain name, be sure that it describes what your blog is all about. As much as possible try to keep it short and exceptional. Use only words and be sure to include at least one keyword. Choose .com along with your domain name.
Host Your Blog
After having a blog niche, knowing your readers, and having a name, the next thing to do is to host your blog. What does a hosting provider do? The hosting provider will be the one who will put up your website on the internet. You have to purchase hosting so your blog can be seen by your audience on the internet.
You can visit GoDaddy.com and check if your chosen domain name is still available. Later on, you can buy any additional items. Select the number of years that you want to purchase. You can choose a shorter period of time now. When the time comes that your domain is about to expire, you can receive a reminder.
You might think that this is a difficult thing to do, however, it is quite easy. WordPress is a type of platform that you can use for publishing your blog online. Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve any programming or code.
Aside from being one of the most popular platforms, WordPress is also flexible and very easy to use. If you have purchased your domain from GoDaddy.com, then you can install WordPress from their site. After signing in to your GoDaddy account, click “Manage” on the first option of “Domains.” Here, you can see the domain or domains that you have purchased.
Click “Use My Domain,” which is found at the bottom of the domain name. Then click “Build a New Website” on the next screen. Choose Managed WordPress from the four options, then select the “Basic” option and click the “Buy” button. After making your payment, click the button for “Managed WordPress.”
A page with all your hosting accounts will appear. Choose an account that you want to manage, then click “Set Up” on the “New Managed WordPress” panel. There are two options for setting up your site, choose “Create a New WordPress Site.”
Choose your domain from the drop-down menu, then fill out all the additional information needed. Pick a region closer to your potential readers in order to enhance load time and accessibility. Create your username and password, then enter your email address. When done, simply click the Finish button.
Setting up your new account will probably take one minute. Once it is finished, you will receive a confirmation email.
Install a Theme
After installing WordPress, the next thing to do is to choose an appropriate theme for your site. What is a WordPress theme? It is actually a set of template files. They work together to make your blog look more appealing without making any changes to the underlying software.
Typically, it is how your site looks and works. WordPress has a standard look, however, you can customize it by installing a theme. There are lots of themes to choose from. Playing with themes, designs, and colors can be fun. However, never lose sight with your actual goal which is to create and monetize your blog. Selecting a good design might be important, however, creating good content is more important.
First of all, you need to log in to your WordPress site. Basically the URL is Http:///wp-login.php. Or you can simply click on the URL found on your confirmation email. Enter your username and password, then click “Log In.”
If it is your first time to use WordPress, then you might find it a bit confusing. But no need to worry, later on, everything will make sense. To install a theme, simply mouse over “Appearance,” then click “Themes.”
If you can’t find the theme that you want in the “Themes” section, then simply click “Add New” at the top portion. Now, you will be given thousands of options. In order to avoid wasting your time, choose a theme that fits your readers. Something that can grab their attention.
Think of yourself as the user. Let your niche and your persona guide you in choosing the blog design that you want. If you want a shorter way of doing this, then you can click “Feature Filter.” This can narrow down your choices based on the Colors, Layout, Features, and Subject that you choose. After clicking “Apply Filters,” you will be able to see your options.
After you have chosen the theme that you like, you can either “Install” or “Preview” the theme. It is recommended that you should preview the theme before you install it. In this way, you can see how it looks and works. If you like the theme, then you can click “Install.” If you don’t like the theme, then you can go back and look for more choices.
After installing the theme, click “Activate.” Visit your new site to see how it looks. You can improve its look by clicking “Dashboard,” then “Customize Your Site.” This will give you the chance to make any changes, depending on the theme that you’ve selected.
If you can’t find the theme that you like, then you can find amazing WordPress themes at StudioPress, Thrive Themes, ThemeForest (Envato), Themify, and WpZoom. Most themes are free, although some of them can be purchased for a few dollars. Another option would be to hire a great designer, artist, or developer to create the theme that you want.
Optimize Your SEO
Some people are already aware of what is SEO, however, they do not know how it works. The first thing to do is to install a plugin. Plugins can help in improving your blog. There are a lot of plugins that are available in WordPress including plugins for shopping carts, adding contact forms, anti-spam, SEO, and others.
The SEO plugin will take care of everything. This means that there’s no need for you to learn any technical details so you can avoid any confusion. However, the actual work will be done by you. SEO is all about writing good content.
When it comes to SEO, you need to consider the people who will be reading your articles, watch your videos, or view your images. The most important thing is to provide them with the good stuff.
Make A Rundown Of Articles
Before you start writing your first article, you need to understand what are you going to write about. First of all, you need to open Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Notepad, or any program where you can write some stuff. Then ask yourself the following questions.
- What are the things that excite my readers?
- What are the difficulties that your readers will encounter?
- What are the behaviors of your persona?
- What are the essential things that your persona used regularly?
For every question, try to provide at least ten answers and write them down. As you observe, every response that you wrote is already a potential blog topic or topics. Try to choose the topic that you are passionate about and generate some engaging title ideas from them. It is also recommended that you should get this list growing as you work on your blog.
Make Your First Post
After some time, you will be getting used to create posts. The first thing you need to do is to select “Posts,” then click “Add New.” Start writing your blog. You could also write your blog in another program and copy the content here.
Be sure to create an engaging title. It should be something that can entice your target audience. After entering your title, a URL or permalink will be automatically generated by WordPress. You may change it, however, avoid changing this after publishing your post. Write your text on the main content area.
Click “Add Media” if you want to insert an image. It is recommended that you should add more images to your articles since the brain can process the images quicker than the text. After writing your article, you need to optimize your SEO using the Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast will analyze every single detail of your content. Always aim for more green lights. Add a meta description on “Edit Snippet.” After fixing all the issues, the next thing to do is to proofread your article. Click “Preview” to see how your blog looks. If you think that everything is fine, then you can click “Publish.”
Build An Editorial Calendar
What is an editorial calendar? An editorial calendar is used for managing the process of creating content. But do you really need an editorial calendar? You are going to write your article anyway, so what’s the point? The problem is, some people just quit blogging. Perhaps it’s because they are getting too busy with their lives or they are just getting bored. Sometimes they easily get discouraged because they have not seen any results.
Using an editorial calendar can help in keeping yourself on pace. This can help you in preparing for your next blog. As you grow your team, others can join you on your editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is also beneficial to guest bloggers because it will give them ideas about their deadlines and expectations.
So, how do you create an editorial calendar? Create a new Google Sheet and put four columns for the Publishing Date, Title of Article, Focus Keyword, and Notes. Although you can add more columns if you want to.
Sometimes creating a blog is just like starting your own business. You need to make a lot of decisions, get the tasks done, and implement effective systems. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. However, breaking up tasks into individual steps can make it easier.