Are you ready to start blogging? We are going to learn how to start a successful blog and make money online. You don’t have to be a business owner to have a website, but if you are it will help you greatly. I have been blogging for years and I highly recommend that you read all of my tips. Many people think it takes an hour or more to set up your website and start writing, which is not true.
Below I have added a step by step tutorial on how to create a blog today in 4 minutes with SiteGround, which is the recommended hosting provider. To go straight to this section go to the section that says SG 4 minute tutorial. But once again, this is the ultimate guide for beginners so I encourage you to read everything carefully.
- You must choose a niche
- Types of blogging niches to help you start
- Domain name
- How can you make money with your blog?
- How to get blog traffic and get your brand out there?
- Blog regularly
- Write high-quality content
- You need a catchy bomb headline
- What are backlinks?
- Start getting email signups immediately
- Don’t listen to the haters and the critics.
- Reasons to become a blogger.
- Never compare yourself to others.
- Don’t lose focus when you achieve success.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Capture your ideas.
- What platform should you use?
- Don’t procrastinate
- SG 4 minute tutorial
- Plugins that I recommend you install.
- What is the best WordPress theme for blogging?
- 5 Blogging quotes to motivate you.
You must choose a niche
The first thing that you need to do to start a good blog is to find out what will your blog be about. You must find your niche. For example, a fashion blog. I’m pretty sure that you already have something brewing in your head as all new bloggers do, but make sure that you are writing about something that you’re good at or you have knowledge about. Write about something that interests you. If you start writing about something that doesn’t really interest you, then it will be hard for. How will it be hard you ask? It’s going to be hard because you’re going to start slacking and getting bored.
In school we all had a subject that we didn’t like. You know when someone doesn’t like a particular class because when you turn your head they are sleeping. Make sure whatever you choose is something that you like to write about because you won’t get far if it’s not. There are many things to blog about. You must find your passion and add your own artistic flavor to it to stand out. Below I gave you examples of different things that people blog about.
Types of blogging niches to help you start
- Health & Fitness
You need a domain name of course and I’m pretty sure that you have thought of one in your mind. Just make sure that your name fits your blog. Don’t make a domain like foodanddrink.com and write about bikes. I know what you’re saying, who in their right mind would ever do that? You would be surprised. With SiteGround you will get to create a domain that fits your blog while setting up your site. I’m not going to cover too much on this topic because below I will walk you through how to create your domain name and start your website with SG in 5 minutes, which basically does everything for you.
How can you make money with your blog?
Now that we have our niche let’s move on to how can we make money with our niche? I would like to start off by saying that you can make money from any type of blog category. There is money to be made everywhere online. It’s possible, but there are some niches that are harder than others. If you hope to one day make a living with your blog picking the right topic can determine how fast you see a profit. I bet you’re thinking about ways that you can monetize your website now. The good thing about it is that you don’t need a lot of traffic. There are so many ways to make money from a successful website, you just have to use your head. Below I will show you just a few ways how bloggers can make money.
- One of the first ways that you can make money with your blog is with Google Adsense. This is where you place display ads on your site and get paid per click. Don’t think that you are going to get rich from Adsense. It’s possible, but most likely not. For some of my sites, I got paid 16 cents per click. Some were 50 cents per click and some were over a dollar. Some sites get 10 dollars per click, but it all depends. With Adsense you need traffic. I will say this, that it won’t take long before Adsense is paying for your hosting.
- Another way that you can make money with your site is with affiliate marketing. This is great for all sites. This is where you promote someone’s products and take in a commission of the sale. For example, let’s say you have an electronics website and you promote a TV for a company and one of your readers buy it, then you get a piece of the pie. Let’s say you have a fashion website and you promote makeup products for a company. If a reader buys it, then you make money off that sale.
- You can sell your own stuff. You don’t have to be the middle man. Sell your own products and services on your site. Blogging builds a relationship with others. Once you start getting regular readers on your site, then it will be easy to sell your own items.
- You can sell ad space on your site to companies in your niche. There are plenty of sites like Buysellads.com that can help you with this.
How to get blog traffic and get your brand out there?
Let’s talk about getting traffic to your blog and getting your brand out there. You might think to yourself all I need to do is write blog posts and I’ll rank high on Google. You need more than Google traffic and even with Google, I wouldn’t expect anything serious until after 3 months. You need to use social media to your advantage. Never underestimate the power of social media. The good thing about promoting on social sites is that you can start getting traffic immediately. For many sites with over 100,000 visits per month social media is the main source of traffic. Get your name out there. Once you get your name out there your name alone can sell itself. There are so many social media platforms out there. Below I have listed a couple.
- I highly recommend you join a Google community on Google Plus. There is a community for every niche. Post your blog posts and interact with others. Build a relationship with people in your community. It will really make your blogging life much easier.
- I highly recommend that you make a Pinterest account and join a group board. Pinterest has driven a massive amount of traffic to my blogs. Not only is Pinterest a good way to get the word out, but with a good strategy, you can make a killing from it.
- Also I recommend leaving quality comments on authoritative blogs in your niche to get the word out.
I know that sometimes time is a problem. We have to go to work and we’re tired after. We have to go pick up the kids. We have to do this, that, etc. You must try to at least blog 1 or more times a week. Not only does blogging more keep you motivated which results in success and even more blogging, but it’s also good for Google crawling.
Write high-quality content
If you write crappy stuff, then you are going to get crappy results. You get back what you put in. Pour your heart out in your blog posts. You must write quality posts. Don’t copy others, be original with your work. You must talk to your readers through your words just like I’m talking to you right now. Try to write over 1000 words per blog post. The more information the better and Google will show you more love. Not only will Google show you more love, but you will get more shares from your readers on social media. Format your words. Add space, add bulletins, add numbers. Attention spans are decreasing these days, so remember to add page breaks and section titles to help your readers.
You need a catchy bomb headline
You’re going to need better bait if you’re trying to reel in fish. Nobody is going to click on a blog post with a boring title. Bad title tags usually result in bad posts. Even if your work is A+ material nobody is going to find out. Make attention-grabbing headlines for your post. Which title would you rather click on, I had a bad day or 5 reasons why my day was awful? Most likely you will click on the 2nd title because it draws you in more. Always remember as well to add keywords in your title tag, but never spam it.
Let’s move on to backlinks. Backlinks are incoming links to another site. For example, my linking out to CNN is considered a backlink. When you receive links from other sites, it gives you link juice which helps your post or blog rank better. There are many ways that backlinks help you and there are many ways you can get them. I’ll show you a couple of ways below, but first let me tell you how not get them. I know it might be tempting, but never ever buy 1000 links from a dude on Fiverr for 5 dollars, unless you want Google to slap you with a penalty. Never spam comment sections in an effort to try to link to your website. Never try to manipulate the system. Since we are on this topic I would like to add that you should never keyword stuff. Keyword stuffing is using keywords in an unnatural way to manipulate Google Search.
- The first way to get other sites to link to you is by writing quality content. If you are writing only 300 words in your posts you are going to make it harder on yourself. There is not going to be that much information, which will result in fewer backlinks.
- The second way to get backlinks is by guest blogging. Write for other people in your niche to receive a backlink from them and expose yourself to other readers.
Start getting email signups immediately
You need to get email subscribers. One thing I wish I would have done sooner on my other blogs is to build a list, which is a great way of gaining loyal readers. It’s all about the list. Not only does it help you drive traffic to your blog, but it is awesome for promotional purposes. There are many free plugins that can help you with getting subscribers to your blog. But if you want a theme that is designed to help people sign up then take a look at the Generate Pro Theme by Genesis.
Don’t listen to the haters and the critics.
You must remember that not everyone is going to agree with what you have to say. Some people might send you hateful emails and some people might disagree with you in your comment section. You must never let that get to you and cause you to alter your way of doing things. Use it as motivation to become a better blogger.
- Many times we think our words don’t matter, but just like the Bible says words are powerful and they can really help and inspire others.
- You will be able to make new friends. Not only will you become friends with your readers, but you will become friends with the different bloggers that are in your niche.
- You will learn. It’s always good to learn and when you become a blogger you will learn more and more. You will learn how to be a better writer. You will learn more about the topic that you are writing about.
- With blogging you are able to write about what you love and make a living with it. You are able to work from the comfort of your own home and spend time with your family.
- One of the best things about blogging is the huge audience. In a few months, you can reach thousands of people that you couldn’t reach in real life.
- The opportunities online are endless. Blogging opens up more opportunities for you to do other things and improve your business.
- Some people find that it’s hard for them to express themselves to people in real life. Blogging makes it easier to say what you feel.
- You will enhance your thinking skills. When you are constantly writing you always have to constantly think deeper and deeper on how to get your point across, what would be the best strategy for your site, etc.
Never compare yourself to others.
Don’t copy someone else’s writing style. In the real world, you’re not going to switch up your voice and start talking differently. Someone who knows you is going to say, “dude that’s not how you sound, you don’t talk like that”. Don’t create a fake personality for the online community. Your true friends like you for you. If they wanted to be with the popular people, then they would be with the popular people. This is the same for your readers. They like your style so never change it.
Don’t lose focus when you achieve success.
Sometimes a successful blog is a curse, let me explain how. When you’re trying to reach your goals that is when you work the hardest. That is when you grind hard in pursuit of what you’re after. You keep pushing because you haven’t reached your goal yet. I guarantee that if you keep on blogging and don’t quit, then you will have success. The problem is that when you have accomplished your goals, then you start getting comfortable. Your work starts to slip. In the beginning, you were posting A+ material, then it turned to C-. You start losing the passion you had for writing and the friendship you once had with your readers. Be very careful.
Learn from your mistakes.
In blogging we all make mistakes, but that should never cause us to give up. Just like God allows trials to build up his children, we should use our blogging trials to grow in wisdom so we don’t repeat the mistake. I learned from my mistakes. My first blog which was years ago was a total flop. At first, it was growing. I was so ecstatic to see that it was growing fast, then one day I looked in my Google Analytics and my daily traffic plummeted to zero. My heart plummeted as well. A few days later I only gained about 25% percent of my original traffic. To this very day I don’t know exactly what caused this because I did a lot of things wrong. I keyword-stuffed my tags and my images. Not only that, but I changed most of my post permalinks which created broken links. Never ever change a permalink after you have created your post.
Imagine what would have happened if I stopped blogging after this. I got back up and I was able to make an even better blog and never again did I get hit with a penalty.
Capture your ideas.
If you’re anything like me you are very forgetful. Have you ever had a world domination plan in your head just to forget it one minute later? My phone has become a great blogging tool. You have two options. You can either use your phone to voice record all of those instant ideas that you may have or you can write down your thoughts in your notepad immediately.
What platform should you use?
Many people wonder out of Blogger vs WordPress which is better? The answer is easy, WordPress of course. Always remember that there is a difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. They’re both free, but for one you have to pay for hosting. No serious blogger is going to choose a free hosted platform. If you hope to have a future with your site and to brand your blog, then never make this mistake. When your site is located on a free hosting platform like WordPress.com or Blogger then you don’t own the site. Your site can be shut down for any reason, which does indeed happen a lot. You will have to have an ugly domain name such as domain.wordpress.com or domain.blogspot.com. Professionalism is thrown out the window. If you happen to be on a free hosted platform, then I highly recommend that you move immediately.
To start a successful blog, you actually have to start it. We know that we’re going to do it, but for some reason we waste time. I’ve done it before so I know from experience. The longer you take to start, the longer it will be for you to become a successful blogger. Don’t regret not starting sooner for something you know you are going to do, start today.
Now I always recommend SG to everyone. It is extremely affordable, it lets you choose the data center, and it sets up the site for you with their preinstall option. SG starts at $3.95 a month, which is basically snack money. SG walks you through everything. From the starting point of your sign up you can easily start blogging in minutes, which I will show you right now. Click here to open SiteGround at 60% off in another tab as I walk you through the quick process.
SG 4 minute tutorial
- Click see plans or WordPress services.
- Select your blogging plan. Choose the startup plan.
- If you have a domain already you can use your existing domain, but if you don’t then make one with SiteGround.
- If the domain is available it will say congratulations on top!
- Now you must add your account information, billing information, etc.
- You are not required to add extras if you don’t want them.
- Continue and you now have hosting. Click the get WordPress preinstall option and proceed and they will handle the rest.
- Make your login information and choose any template for now.
- You’re finished and your website is up.
- Log into your website.
- Now you can start making posts.
- I told you it was easy and fast
Plugins that I recommend you install.
- Yoast SEO plugin
- W3 Total Cache
- Any Social sharing plugin.
What is the best WordPress theme for blogging?
You need a fast SEO friendly theme for your blog. WordPress has a huge selection of free themes to choose from, but if you are serious about blogging you are going to have to buy a theme. I highly recommend that you choose Genesis or Thesis, which is what the top bloggers use. Preferably Genesis because it is easier to use. Check out Genesis here.
5 Blogging quotes to motivate you.
- Successful blogging is not about one time hits. It’s about building a loyal following over time.” David Aston
- Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one. Brad Paisley
- Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers. Brian Clark
- Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
- I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say because of you I didn’t give up.