What is a Blog?
A blog is a basic log of contents presented by a blogger in a chronological listing where new materials appear first.
These unique blog contents are often called “blog posts.” Blogs can easily be set-up using services like WordPress, Blogger, etc., blogs are typically run by a small group of people or solely by an individual to present information as contents in a conversational style.
A blog thrives on new content and updated more regularly to generate a steady readership. Quality and frequently up-to-date content are very good for a blog in the long run.
Choose your blog name and get your blog hosting. Start your blog by adding WordPress. Pick a simple theme to make your blog your own. Add two key blogging plugins to find your readers and track stats. Write compelling content to create a blog that your readers love.“Don’t just be a blogger; be an entrepreneur.” Click To Tweet
Check out these examples: Verge, Feedly, Buzzfeed, Fatstack, LifeHacker, Gizmodo, Kotaku, etc. so on.
Some of the links you see on the internet are websites. A website could have the blog feature, but for a website’s home page, it has other pages and not just blog posts.
A Well-structured and fully functional website could be cost consuming. Blogs can become part of a massive website, and most business sites have a blog section where they put up new content to create awareness and educate their customers. From the point of view, all blogs can be a website or part of a website.Most importantly, not all sites could be referred to as a blog. Click To Tweet
It’s a two-way thingy!!
That depends on what your requirements are.
First, draft up what you exactly intend to achieve. If you are more interested in creating content regularly for others to read, you should start a blog. But if you want to build a company with a lot of potentials, you should have a website with a compulsory blog feature.
Check out these examples: Dropbox, Grammarly, Wikipedia, Facebook, Odesk, etc. and so on. I hope you understand the difference, and you are ready to choose what you feel you should start-up.
The question on a couple of person’s minds is should I start a blog?Please, by all means, I think you must have a blog for yourself or your business Click To Tweet
You don’t need to be an expert or a professional writer to start a blog. Readers are constantly looking for personal and relatable advice. You can be a successful blogger as long as you help people with their needs.
A lot of blogs don’t really make any money. Most bloggers make a significant amount but sometimes not enough.
That’s because blogging is really hard.
You might have to make it work by working diligently while investing time and effort.
In the first few weeks:
You will think because you don’t get enough traffic that no one knows your blog.
You will get frustrated by how much time it takes you to learn some basic technicalities, like installing a plugin for instance.
You will definitely be overwhelmed, frustrated, and lose motivation to continue.Thousands of bloggers quit in their first year of blogging because they have expectations that are far too high! Really? Click To Tweet
Also what no one tells you: if you want to start a blog and make money, you need to be prepared to work hard and effortlessly for at least 12-18 months before throwing the towel or thinking about giving up. Are you ready not to do that? If you are, like I was, keep reading.
Why should you start a blog in 2020, grow and make decent money blogging?
When I started this blog, I knew it could take some time. But I also knew I wanted to set it up to make money as fast as possible.
So I decided I wanted to write about things I loved. This meant I had to bring together writing about something I was passionate about, with something profitable.
Deciding what niche you want to write about is the first step to start your blog.
Let me tell you why you should start now!!!
- Make money from home: Blogging can make you quick cash though that also depends on your efforts. You could spend a few hours a week coming up with blog post ideas and writing them to build traffic and make money.
- Expression of one’s self: A blog gives you a voice as you share your story or life journey with an entire community if you deem it fit. Most bloggers use their blogs as their diary writing stuffs about their everyday experiences with friends, family, and a couple of abstract thought processes.
- Personal blogs for business: Most successful business experts gained significant recognition in their respective line of business because they had set-up their blog, being featured in other blogs, make deals, and endorsements possible.
- Belong to the community: When you blog about what you know how to do best, people interact with you. This is an excellent way to reach out to people that share your ideas. Blogging also allows you to tutor people based on your experience, and you learn from your community as well.
FYI (For your information), if you are still brainstorming about starting a blog, then make that bold decision right now.
The first step is coming up with website topic ideas.
What do you enjoy and can blog about?
What are you good at that could have business intent?
What do you know a lot about? Does your job or career form the foundation for the right niche? OR You can select a slot by what you think will earn a lot of money.
Many people succeed trying this out, and if you’re highly motivated, it can create wealth certainly.
Most successful blogs are where there are now for a reason. They are successful because they know how to help people solve their daily life problems by sharing their two cents about that topic.
Well, don’t try to be very original, especially when you are starting out. And don’t get stuck because you think you are not expert enough or good enough at anything.
That’s so false!As long as you can create valuable, well-researched content, you don’t need to be an expert. You just need to know more about the subject than the person who is reading your blog. Click To Tweet
I started blogging in the music download niche, which has tons of traffic every month but putting music for free is illegal therefore this niche is very risky to put your eggs in, below is a niche selection consideration to think about:
- Vast vs. Narrow: A broad niche can cover plenty of topics. An example is “online marketing.” A narrow niche would be “Kitchen Utensils for Camping.” Both types of sites are workable.
But if you plan to monetize with display ads and affiliate offers, a vast niche is your best bet. But if you plan on building an email list for direct marketing, a narrow niche is better.
- Niche Traffic Potential: Keyword research and the right SEO tools, resources will you give an idea if there is decent traffic potential for your niche selection.
In other to make decent money with display ads, you are going to needs tons of traffic.
Let start now to create your First blog!
Top niches that will make you money
Let me be clear:
These days you can make money pretty much in every niche you try your hands on.
But the niches below can make you money quickly depending on how you work hard for it. With other niches, it might take you more time and effort to get there.
Let’s dig in.
Personal finance starts by teaching people how to budget and manage their money, how to save money, and live a regulated budget. This is an incredible niche because it has many potential revenue streams especially if you know the affiliate side of getting revenue from it.
Some of my favorite blogs in this niche:
DollarSprout – made $167,390 in February 2019
Making Sense of Cents
Mr. Money Mustache
Make Money Online
So basically how does one make money blogging? By selling online courses that teach you how to make money blogging. While doing my research about blogging I thought that writing about how to make money online was the only way to make money online. This is why the Make Money Online niche is very profitable.
With you working from home or starting a side online hustle, you can make lots of money with affiliate marketing and digital products (like courses to teach others how to make money or start a business).
Bonus points if you can share how much money you actually make.
Some inspiring blogs in this niche:
I Will Teach You To Be Rich – Ramit’s blog makes over 7-figure a month!
Smart Passive Income – Pat made $167,553 in December 2017
Side Hustle Nation
Fatstackblog – Jon makes 5-figure a month from his niche websites
Iwannabeablogger – Micheal Pozdnev
Health and Fitness
A blog giving nutritional advice about health and fitness, from green living to total human wellness. If you are an expert in health and fitness, there is an incredible amount of money to be made in this blogosphere.
Although it’s a very competitive niche, if you make a niche by yourself from your message, you can become very successful. You can monetize with ads and affiliate marketing, by recommending, for example, the best supplements or fitness equipment. Another very profitable way to make money in this niche is to create your fitness courses or nutritional plans.
Below I listed some successful blogs in this niche:
Fit Mum Journey – made $10,124 in December 2018
Organize Yourself Skinny
Root and Revel
Easy Living Today
Travel blogging is a profitable niche to look into if you are passionate about traveling the world or you live near a tourist destination then you can share your tips about the area.
If you narrow down your niche and become a travel expert on a specific subject, you’ll get solid traffic from Google too. The top ways to monetize this niche are advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsorship.
Some blogs in this niche:
Adventure In You – made 5-figures 2019
Practical Wanderlust – made 5-figures 2019
Goats on the Road
The Broke Backpacker
Food blogging can be incredibly profitable. Most food bloggers need tons of traffic to make a good amount of money, and their income is majorly from advertising revenues. It’s quite difficult to make a lot of money with affiliate sales.
Some incredible example of food bloggers below:
Pinch Of Yum – made over $100,000 in November 2016
These kinds of blogs can range from parenting tips ranging from during pregnancy to how to deal with a newborn baby. Most revenues are made through affiliate sales, sponsored posts, and advertising.
Some blogs in this niche:
What Mums Love –
makes around $30,000 a month
Mommy on Purpose
Swaddles ‘n Bottles
Beauty and Fashion
Beauty and fashion are awesome niches to make money. To be successful, you need to have a lot going on about your personality and getting yourself out in the open. Most bloggers in this niche aim to become influencers on social media (Twitter, Instagram) or YouTube.
And once you become an influencer, it’s much easier to get people to purchase everything you recommend. You’ll need to bring your unique perspective to make money with affiliate sales and partnerships with brands.
Some top fashion and beauty blogs that will inspire you:
We Wore That
The Blond Salad
Song of Style
DIY and Craft
This is an area that your readers can become insanely passionate about. And when people are insanely passionate about
t something, they are prepared to spend a lot of money on it! It can go from crochet to DIY home decor, from paper crafts to homemade beauty products.
Some of my favorite DIY and Craft blogs:
Jennifer Maker – made over $230,000 in September 2019 on a 3-year-old blog!
A Beautiful Mess
The Harper House
Lifestyle bloggers normally write about many topics. For example, a blog like The Everygirl writes about personal finance, career development, travel, home decor, food, beauty, fashion, and more.
Some of the biggest lifestyle blogs have many paid writers. They can easily churn out a lot of content on several topics every week and if your blog is too broad, you will find it more difficult to rank in Google.
The main monetization strategies for lifestyle blogs are affiliate marketing, advertising, and sponsored posts or partnerships.
Some Lifestyle blogs I go to:
Just A Girl And Her Blog – made $41,700 in December 2016
So there are a plethora of niches to get your hands on and make a decent living doing what you love.
Techie stuff: how to set up your blog
Pick a domain Name
As soon as you have a topic that you can make posts about waste no time in choosing your blog name. A famous saying depicts that “A good name is better than riches.”
A right blog name should be easy to search for and pronounce so that potential readers can instantly connect with what your blog is about, maybe just from the title. If you are creating content about a specific topic, you may want to include that entirely in your blog name.
For example, a gardening blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “gardening” in it. The words “farm,” “tools,” and “plants” would also let people know that your blog is about gardening.
If you are planning to create a personal blog where you discuss a variety of topics, then I recommend using your name, or some variation of it, since your blog is all about you.
While you come up with some blog name ideas, you will need to pick a domain extension.
The .com domain extension is the most preferred as it more recognized. Consider the .net or .org cause they work as well.
It is of crucial importance to note that for a blog domain, you cannot have spaces between words. So “Blogging lifeline” becomes blogginglifeline.com
Now that you’ve got your name and have picked an extension, it’s time to make sure that no one else has already registered the same name:
See if your blog name is available. My suggestion is to be creative, and here are a few things you should not do when selecting the domain name for your new blog:
- Don’t use a too long domain name. Try to keep it lower than 10- 12 characters with no -,_ or any other symbol.
- Don’t use domain extension like .info, .net, and so on, because they tend to rank bad in Search engines. I always prefer and suggest using a domain name extension like .com or .org.
A domain name is just a more complicated way to describe a website’s name.
You must make sure your domain name is available and not registered with another website.
You can check if your domain is available here:
If you are going through a hard time finding the perfect name, write down a list of words that describe how you want people to feel about your blog or what you want your blog to be about. Then try to combine them, to eventually come out with your own.
If you haven’t registered your domain yet, it’s time.
Take 30 seconds right now to get your domain name and hosting with Bluehost, the blog hosting provider I’ve used to start bloggerlifeline.
By using Bluehost as your web host, you can get a FREE domain for the first year as long as you buy 12 months’ worth of web hosting.
For Hosting: I Recommend Bluehost
GET DOMAIN AND HOSTING
To start a blog, you need to pick a blogging platform.
What is a blogging platform?
A blogging platform is a software or service that you use to publish your content online. It allows you to create posts and manage everything you create. There are several blogging platforms out there, some are completely free, and some you will need to pay for.
Some of the most common blogging platforms:
- WordPress.com (free)
- WordPress.org (same with WordPress, but you need a web host)
But one thing you need to know is that:You are not going to be able to make money from a free hosted blog. Click To Tweet
And here are the reasons:
- If you use a free blogging service, your own blog or your website content will have limitations
- You will have little options to customize your web design and you will have minimal support
- You will have restrictions to put ads on your website to be able to make money from it
- Some free platforms will set up their own intrusive ads on your website
If you want to make money from your blog, your website will need to be self-hosted on a web server that allows you to be able to customize it.
Why Bloggers should work with WordPress?
WordPress.org is the most popular website platform in the world. It powers around 36% of all the websites in the world. It offers very incredible flexibility for design and monetization!
It’s free and extremely flexible and it’s what I am using for bloggerlifeline.
Buy hosting for your blog
Although WordPress.org is free, you will need to host your files on a server. If you’re interested in making money from your blog or turning your blog into a business, then paying for hosting is something you must carry out.
But what is a web host?
Hosting is where you store your data, like in a cloud. It’s pretty much your blog disk space. Like the hard drive on your laptop, you need a place online where people can access everything you create.
How much does web hosting cost?
It can go from $3.95 a month to $100 a month and over!
Select your plan
Click here to head over to Bluehost and hit the green “Get Started Now” button to choose your package. It’s only $3.95 a month through my link if you sign up for 36 months.
You will be shown to a page where you can select the type of plan you want to buy. I recommend choosing the Basic plan. With a new blog, the basic plan is all you need to get started, and you can always upgrade later if you need to.
Pick your blog’s domain name
Next, you will get to the page where it’s time to choose the domain name for your blog:
Here you just need to enter the name you picked in the first step (I entered bloggerlifeline) and click on next.
If your name doesn’t exist or you still want to think about it, you can also skip this step and click on “I’ll create my domain later” at the bottom of the page.
What if you already own a domain name?
If you already own a domain name that you bought before from a website like GoDaddy, Namecheap, you will need to connect it to your Bluehost account. Just choose the second option on the right of the page instead of registering a new domain name.
Create your Bluehost account
Now you just have to fill in your account details like your name, email address (make sure you use your most up to date email address as all your billing and login information will be sent there!).
Which pricing plan should I select?
Do you know that the longer your plan is, the cheaper it is? I suggest you buy at least a 12-month hosting plan for these reasons:
- If you really want to give blogging a try, you need to put in the work for at least a year
- You will receive a FREE domain for the first 12 months, included in the package.
- If you only purchase a monthly plan, you might forget to renew your plan with the risk of bringing your website down and losing business.
If you want to keep your costs as affordable as possible, remember to uncheck any of the extra add-ons. I strongly advise paying for “Domain Privacy + Protection”, which is only $0.99/month to keep your details private.
Is Domain Privacy Protection necessary?
Yes! Adding Domain Privacy and Protection covers your personal information from the whois database, which is publicly visible to anyone on the internet. If you don’t pay for it, your personal contact information could be used by marketers and spammers to send you unwanted emails.
Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog.
Bluehost will now help install WordPress for you. All you have to do is choose your login information!
If you are having trouble with the set-up, you start an open Live Chat on Bluehost at any moment and their technical support will be able to help in no time.
After you have successfully installed WordPress and selected your password, Bluehost will give you the option to select a theme.
So here you can either select any of the themes or simply click Skip This Step below the offered themes.
WordPress Tour & Settings
Login to your WordPress blog
To login to your website, you’re just going to type in the domain name and add /wp-login.php to the end of the web address. It’s as easy as that.
So, for example, if your domain name was bloggerlifeline.com, you would log in to your website from bloggerlifeline.com/wp-login in your web browser.
The login page will look like this, and you need to use that same username and password that you created earlier in this techie tutorial.
After giving a time-space between 24-48hrs for your website to synchronize globally. you can then login in into your account
You are now logged in the WordPress Dashboard!
First thing first, you should familiarize the heck out for yourself the menu on the left:
- Posts: Here is the tab you click on to write your new blog posts. It’s probably where you’ll be spending most of your time…you are a blogger now!
- Media: The media is the library where all of the images that you upload to your website will be stored. You can add, delete, or edit images, video, and audio right here.
- Comments: This is where your blog social community starts! Here you can check, moderate, and respond to comments that are posted on your website. I think comments are really important as they are a connection between your readers and yourself. I make sure I personally respond to each comment I receive.
- Appearance: This is very important. This is where you go to manage the entire design and layout of your website. This is where you’ll find your themes, widgets, menus, customization options, and more.
- Plugins: Plugins are one of the most serious benefits of using a self-hosted WordPress blog. A plugin is a piece of software that acts as an add-on to a WordPress website. Plugins can expand functionality or add new features to your blog.
- Users: Here you can manage the users on your website. Just make sure your main is unique. Blog hackers might try to hack into your website, and it’s a lot easier for them to attack you if you use a standard username. Change it as soon as possible for something less recognizable.
- Tools: This tab gives you the option to import/export data to and from other content management systems. Don’t go here unless you know exactly what you are doing.
- Settings: Your WordPress settings are very important. As much as you might not understand exactly what you are doing yet, you must set up this tab correctly as soon as possible, or it will be very difficult to change things later.
Your WordPress settings: set it up right!!
You don’t have to worry too much about every tab under “Settings”. I don’t think I ever even clicked on some of them! But the two tabs you want to update straight away are under General and Permalinks.
Site Title: This is the name that you want to show at the front and center when someone finds their way to your website. Mine is just bloggerlifeline and that is what appears top of my homepage when they come to my website
Tagline: This is a short one-liner that tells your readers what your blog is about. It appears right below your website name on your website homepage. You might just not want the title or tagline to show, so you simply uncheck the box!
WordPress Address (URL) & Site Address (URL): These will both be your domain name.
Email Address: This is the main email address linked to your website as the main contact address. You can set up your business email address through Bluehost in about two minutes. Just login to your Bluehost dashboard, go to Email & Office, go Manage, and set up your email account. For example [email protected]
Selecting a theme
What is a theme?
A theme may be defined as how your blog design will look. It provides the framework to create the design of your WordPress site.
You have plenty of options between free and paid themes, and you can absolutely start with a FREE theme until you find a quality premium theme that you love and can afford.
To find a free theme that you like, you can log in to your WordPress dashboard, click on Appearance, and click on Themes.
A few things to remember when you select a WordPress theme
The most important thing about whatever design you pick is functionality. Your blog needs to be easy to navigate, clean and mobile-friendly.
Top things to look at in a WordPress theme:
- Keep it casual: A good theme makes it easy to explore your blog, easy to read, and also allow people to effortlessly share your posts. The major aim is to make sure people can engage with your content by having social icons and sharing buttons.
- Your theme has to be responsive: Nowadays, most readers will look at your website on different devices. If your blog looks perfect on desktop, but it’s impossible to navigate on mobile or tablet, it’s not going to work out. It also needs to work well on different browsers. So check it on Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.
- SEO friendly: Make sure your theme’s small print is well optimized for SEO or you will find it very difficult to appear in Google search results.
- Do they offer support? If something breaks and you don’t know how to fix it, is there some type of support?
No matter what theme you pick, read ratings, and reviews to make sure there are no glaring issues with it. And remember: you can easily change your theme later, with a few clicks. Being able to update and customize the look of your blog is one of the remarkable features of WordPress.
Customize the look of your new blog
Now that you have selected your theme, you can start to customize it. You can either click on the blue Customize button under the theme you have installed, or select the Customize tab on the left, under Appearance.
Each theme will have its custom settings, but you’ll normally see a page that looks a bit like this:
You will have your menu on the left, and your blog on the right. The cool thing about this view is that you’ll be able to see the changes in real-time.
You can also navigate through your blog to see how the changes might affect each page or blog post.
This is just another place where you can change your blog name and tagline.
Here you will be able to play around with all the color settings of your blog, and sometimes fonts too which depends on the theme you chose. Make sure you select easy to read colors for your text but also your links.
Here you’ll normally be able to add your logo, add your main image or slides, and additional settings.
Your menu options will vary based on the theme you choose, but here you’ll be able to adjust which menu structure(s) will be assigned to your website.
Widgets are simple elements you can use to build your website’s sidebars. They enable you to easily add text, links, and other types of information to specific areas (determined by your theme).
To add a widget to your site, you’ll need to log in to your dashboard, then navigate to Appearance > Widgets. You can read a bit more about widgets and how to use them here.
If you know how to code, here is where you can add some custom bits of CSS (cascading style sheet) styling to your blog.
Pages, posts and categories
Now that you have set up the look of your blog, we need to start to set up the most important pages.
Pages, posts and categories will create the basic structure of your blog. Like everything before, you can always change things, but it’s important to sit down and come up with a good, easy-to-navigate structure for your blog.
Create a new page in WordPress
As I previously mentioned before, your website pages are the static pages that will remain on your website’s top menu or bottom menu all the time. They normally don’t move from their place on your website and they don’t change, unless you go into your editor to change them.
These compulsory pages I recommend you to set up from day one are:
⦁ Your About page
⦁ A contact page
Creating a new page/post is pretty easy. You just need to select Pages/Post > Add New and you will find yourself on a page/post that looks like this:
You can then just start typing right on the page. Remember to push the button “Save Draft” from time to time, or you might lose your content. You can also use Google Docs to write your pages beforehand, and just cut and paste the text here when you are satisfied with it.
Once your page looks okay and you are legit happy, you just need to push the Publish button.
Remember, you can always come back and update your content at any time. So don’t stress too much about what you write.
How to write an about page for your blog:
Your about page will be one of the most popular pages on your blog. When people read a blog post and are inspired by you, they’ll want to find out
more about yourself. But really what they want to know is how you are going to help them.
So, before you start writing, you need to make sure you answer these questions:Who is your blog for? Click To Tweet
You need to make sure your About page lets people understand that they are in the right place. Who is your ideal reader? Whoever lands on this page needs to believe they feel like they belong.
Or you can show your readers you understand exactly how they feel, tell your story as if you are telling their story. Be compassionate; write about your struggles and how you solved them. Make them understand that you know exactly what they are going through, you’ve been there and you can help them.
How to make your blog legal
As soon as you install some plugins on your blog like Google Analytics, or you start making money with affiliate marketing, you will be collecting some type of information from your readers in the form of cookies and other settings.
What is a Disclaimer?
A blog disclaimer explains that others should not fully depend on the information on your blog and that you cannot be held legally responsible for anything you publish on it.
To put it simply, a disclaimer protects you from lawsuits. By having a disclaimer, you “disclaim” or “deny” liability for the content you publish on your blog.
You will need to tailor your disclaimer to your specific niche and blog. For example, if you are a personal finance blogger, you will have to say that people should not rely on your financial information.
Or if you are talking about nutrition, you need to make sure people understand that your posts should not be taken as medical or health advice.
You need to make sure your disclaimer is written in plain English and is easy to understand.
What are the Terms and Conditions?
Terms and Conditions help your readers to understand what they should expect from your blog.
A Terms and Conditions agreement is like a how-to guide for the use of your site. It covers topics like sharing intellectual property, community standards, uses restrictions, and helps to protect you from liability.
Whether you share travel guides or your blog is about recipes, you should consider having one – even if you don’t make any money from blogging.
Here you can also protect your work and let people know its covered by copyrights. You can also share information about how you monetize your blog and disclosures about your affiliates.
How to write blog posts that people will actually want to read
To make money, you need to make sure you get your content in front of people. As many people as possible!
It appears that you don’t need to chase page views to create a blogging business, but at the very beginning, you need to bring the people on!
So I will tell you the secret about creating viral content!
Write useful, in-depth content that people WANT to read and share.
Who are you writing your blog topics for?
People won’t come back to your blog over and over because you write often or because your blog has a good design.
They will come back and keep reading your blog because you write helpful content and you are giving them the required value.
How to pick a topic for your blog posts
You now know who you are writing for. You need to find out what your people are interested in.
And how do you do that?
You could simply write remarkable content about what people are already looking for!
Look for topics on websites like Quora or Reddit
Websites like Quora and Reddit are incredible places to find ideas. Online communities are incredible resources for finding hot topics and questions that your target audience has.
Why is this going to help you?
Most people ask questions on Quora because they can’t find answers on Google.
This means there’s a massive opportunity for you to create content around that question.
You can use the same steps on Reddit;
- Use Answer the Public: Answer The Public is an incredible website that combines searches from Bing and Google on any specific topic and visualizes it in a sort of search cloud.
You type in your topic or keyword and it generates all of the questions people are asking regarding that keyword. You will also be able to download a .csv file with all these topics ideas.
- Pinterest: This is one of the best methods to discover popular topics, especially when you are just starting out. And if you want to be successful at generating traffic with Pinterest, you need to pick topics that are popular on Pinterest.
First of all, pick a few ideas related to your niche.
You then want to look for pins that have a high number of re-pins. If you don’t know what number of re-pins means: it’s the number of times people saved that particular pin on their own Pinterest boards.
This could prove that it probably means it’s not very popular on Pinterest if the re-pin is less than 10k pins.
And this is how you find popular content on Pinterest.
- Google: Make sure to do research finding out how many people look for a specific topic in Google every month can. When you look for a topic on Google, you need to look for a keyword and also by doing keyword research.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a series of words, short or long-tail keywords used for search engine queries. A keyword is a word that describes the content on your post.
There are 2 tools and more I use for that:
- Ubersuggest (free)
I LOVE Ubersuggest. It might not be as accurate as some paid tools (like Ahrefs or SemRush). But it’s free! And when you are just starting, nothing beats free.
You simply click here, type in the keyword you are looking for and you will see something like this:
All you should think about for now is:
The Search volume: the number of people looking for that keyword or several keywords every month.
I recommend you to look for keywords that are in the region of 1,000-5,000. But some bloggers are doing really well targeting lower volume keywords.
SEO difficulty: Using a keyword research tool will give you an idea of how hard it is to show up in Google searches for that keyword. 1 is super easy, 100 pretty much impossible. The higher that number is, the more competitive it is to rank for it.
When you are starting, I would suggest you don’t pick any keywords with SEO difficulty higher than 30-40.
What I love about Ubersuggest is that it gives you ideas on other potential keywords at the bottom of the page. And you can also see which blog posts received the most social shares for that keyword.
- Keywords Everywhere (paid)
Keywords everywhere is a browser extension app. You can download it here.
It used to be free, but you now have to pay to use it. You can perform searches for $10, and this can last you for at least 2-3 months. But remember to switch off the extension when not in use to avoid losing credits to perform more searches.
The awesome thing about the Keywords Everywhere browser extension is that it gives you the search volume on Google as you search directly. And it also gives you some other keywords ideas and related keywords on the right-hand side of the screen. Very helpful!
How to create your first post
Once you’re ready to go on and make the first blog post you want to write, you’ll navigate to the Add New Post section from your WordPress Dashboard.
Go to Posts > click on Add New which will look like this right here:
You will find yourself in front of a blank space where your content is to be written. You can simply write a title, and start to type away. This blog post here will go more in-depth on how to use the new WordPress editor, Gutenberg, or the classic editor, to write blog posts.
The Yoast SEO plugin helps you set up a permalink, it’s automatic but you can change it to suit your title or search frequency rating.
You also want to make sure you select the right category for your blog post before you hit publish.
Learn how to create effective headlines (blog titles) and you will project your traffic.
Headlines (blog titles) can be more important than your post.
There are millions of blog posts published each day. So your headline must stand out from a lot. Grab readers’ attention. The main aim to get people to click and read that your well put together epic content.
You can be emotional, like having a closure with your readers
Headlines like questions can be used
Parentheses can be a way to make your headline stand out
Don’t make misleading headlines, or your readers will be disappointed
Using a CoSchedule headliner analyzer tool, you paste your proposed blog title; it gives you a score of 0 to 100, with 100 being a perfect headline.
How to structure your post
As you start blogging, focus on making each blog post appealing, compelling, and easy to read.
For each blog post you write, you need to make sure you have all of these points:
- Catchy headline
Yeah, your headline is the first thing people look to. Don’t be uptight or you might lose readers straight away. Make your headline catchy and clickable to retain readers and keep them coming.
- Use a lot of images
Pictures help to link up text beautifully and help to connect with your readers more.
- A catchy introduction
Make sure your introduction is cool enough to make them want to read more.
- An easy-to-read layout
Make up your blog post into readable paragraphs. Add sub-headers to make it easy to follow. Readers get bored and discouraged quickly.
And looking at a giant wall of text is intimidating and can make people go off your blog.
Add bullet points, markups, arrows, and use bold and italic to break up sentences or make some points stand out.
- Closing with a conclusion
Many bloggers don’t know to end their blog post with a final paragraph. They share their tips and just end like that with no spice.
How long should each blog post be?
The right length or wrong length for a post cannot be categorized just like.
People generally do read blog posts for interest, or where their needs get the answer to tons of questions. This can mean anything from 1,000 words to 10,000 words.
It depends on what problem you are trying to solve.It’s always quality over quantity, AND only quality counts. Click To Tweet
It’s much better to write one long detailed posts of 2,000 words than 4 posts of 500 words that won’t help anyone or doesn’t get respect from search engines
How important is it to get traffic to your blog?
Whatever type of monetization you choose, you still need a good number of people to care about what you have to say to make that blog money.
There are different methods of getting there:
Some people say you just need 1000 true fans or devoted readers, others say that you need to reach millions of people.
Here is what I think: you might be able to make a hit big with 1,000 true fans, but what if you had 5,000 true fans or 10,000 true fans which is a good question.
Let’s say you have 5,000 visitors per month on your blog. These people love you and listen to everything you have to say.
So you don’t need millions of people to make a good amount of money.
That’s why blogging is incredible: once you set up your blog, the more people you can get on it, the more money you will possibly make.
And with ads and affiliate marketing, the more people you can get onto your blog, the more money you will make.
So we finally need people and maybe tons of them.
There are so many ways to promote your blog, but when you are just starting, one of the easiest and fastest ways to get traffic is to use Pinterest or sharing your blog via different channels massively.
How to achieve that Google search traffic using SEO
What is SEO?
The biggest challenge as a new blogger is getting to understand what SEO is all about, at first you will feel overwhelmed as there is so much to learn. And every social media channel has its search algorithm that you have to also learn.
What you really need to know about SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it’s where you put in work enough to get traffic from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Google, as we all know, is far the biggest search engine out there, accounting for over 79% of all organic traffic, with over 63,000 or more search queries every second, which translates to over 5 billion searches per day.
Just imagine how to get even a little portion of that traffic that could transform your blog’s earning potentials?
If you don’t understand ways of implementing SEO by learning all you can, you could end up losing a lot of traffic.Learning SEO will be the best decision you could take to diversify my traffic sources. Click To Tweet
Now over half of my traffic comes from Google.
First of all, organic traffic from Google takes time to build. Google needs time to trust your website and it’s a process that takes 6months to 1 year before they start giving you the ranks to appear on the first or second page when your keywords are being searched for.
But if executed perfectly, it can bring you free, focused traffic.
Traffic from Google is very instrumental for these reasons:
- Google traffic is very well targeted: A visitor searching in Google is actively looking for information and/or a solution to their problem.
- Google traffic is largely passive: Once you are ranking in Google, you don’t have to do much maintenance to make that traffic.
- Google traffic is much more consistent: Yes, there are constant Google algorithm changes as well, but unlike Pinterest, it doesn’t change every 5 minutes (although it does change and you have to keep up your game).
Let’s dive into how to get traffic with SEO.
How to get traffic to your blog with SEO
Do your keyword research effectively?
When you are starting your blog, it’s important to make up your mind what you want your blog to be known by Google about.
The reality is that the more you niche down, the more Google sees you as an authority on that particular subject, and you are much more likely to rank for it.
The first step you need to take is to decide what you want your main keywords to be and create content around them. Repeating this again;
Vast vs. Narrow: A broad niche can cover plenty of topics. An example is “online marketing.” A narrow niche would be “Kitchen Utensils for Camping.” Both types of sites are workable.
But if you plan to monetize with display ads and affiliate offers, a vast niche is your best bet. But if you plan on building an email list for direct marketing, a narrow niche is better.
Niche Traffic Potential: Keyword research and the right SEO tools, resources will you give an idea if there is decent traffic potential for your niche selection.
In other to make decent money with display ads, you are going to needs tons of traffic. Your goal when you are starting out is to find high-volume, low-difficulty keywords.Keep search users happy and on your page Click To Tweet
Now that we have found a potential keyword for our blog, we need to come up with exactly what people are looking for. This means we need to smash our user intent.
User Intent equals what a user is searching for when they enter a search query on Google.
User intent takes into consideration the keywords used in search queries, but goes beyond them, trying to understand the context and the intention behind those words using the Google algorithm.
To know your competitors effectively, and before you go off to write your post, I would suggest you check the Domain Authority of who is on page one right there on google.
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score that predicts if a website will rank on search engine result pages or not. A Domain Authority rates from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. As you are starting out now, your DA will be 1 but will come up eventually.
The lower your DA is, the harder you will have to work to end up on page 1 of Google.
And when you have identified a keyword, you want to make sure that with your low DA, you can outrank your competitors. If, for example, all the results on page 1 of Google for a keyword, have a DA above 60, it will be extremely difficult for you to beat them.
But if you can find top results from bloggers with DA around 20-40, you might have a chance to beat them by writing epic content.
Create epic, optimized content
We discussed the importance of creating interesting useful content earlier. But to make sure your content is well optimized for Google, you have to be able to address the reason why they landed on your page in the first place.
Google doesn’t want users to click on your page and then click straight back to Google because you didn’t answer all their questions. That tells Google that you have nothing to offer and your blog continues to go down the google search engine pages.
If you want Google to love you, you need to create comprehensive, resourceful content that matches user intent and answers the user’s query.
How can you write the best piece of content?
- Research: analyze some web pages through the results via Google for the keyword you are trying to rank for. Check how long the posts are, what questions they answer, what topics they talk about.
- Outline: Google has made frequently asked questions a good way to address every possible question the user could have about that keyword. You could use again Answer the Public, to find out what questions people are asking for on each specific topic. Or check Quora and Reddit on the subject.
- Write: You can write a well comprehensive guide on any blog topic. But don’t make it too long and boring. For some keywords, you might need to write tons of words for the article. But make sure your post is the best, most engaging out there.
- Optimize: make sure your content is well optimized with related long-tail keywords. Google doesn’t like content with the same keyword over and over again, also called keyword stuffing.
To find some related keywords ideas you can use again Ubersuggest. Simply type your main keyword, scroll down, and click on related. Try to add some of these keywords to your content.
Also, add internal links to other relevant posts you have. And always add a few external links to relevant sources.
Backlinks: One of the most important ranking signals in Google is having good backlinks. Just so you know they are harmful backlinks that could affect your blog.
A backlink is a link one website gets from another website.
This means you absolutely have to spend time promoting your content and trying to create backlinks to your blog and blog posts.
Some of the best ways to generate backlinks are:
- Sharing content on social media: sharing your posts on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms can help you to generate traffic but also backlinks. If another blogger or journalist comes across your blog post and finds it valuable, you might get a link back to your blog.
- Guest posting: Guest posting is writing a post that gets published on someone else’s blog which gives you a chance to get a link back to your blog.
- Try to reach out to other bloggers/websites: send personalized emails to other bloggers to help promote your post. You should only reach out if you have something of value.
- Use HARO to build links: HARO (Help A Reporter Out) provides journalists with a database of sources for their stories. You just need to create an account as a source, select the topics that interest you and you will receive daily emails about possible collaborations on stories. If a journalist decides to use your contribution, you might get a backlink to your blog.
How to Make that Blog Money!
The one good thing about blogging is that there are almost infinite ways to generate revenue with it.
Here are just some of them:
- Display advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored content
- Offering your own services
- Selling products (from physical products like t-shirts and mugs to digital products like courses and printables)
- Creating a membership site
- Flipping websites for money
My favorite method to generate revenue blogging is to display advertising and affiliate marketing. I find these two ways go by each other really well, and requires no maintenance as they are set up.
Once you create a blog post that has a good readership and conversion, all you have to do is update it and check it once in a while, and keep getting paid for it.
Displaying ads on your blog is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make money. When you’ve set the ads, you don’t have to do anything else.
Big companies pay you to display advertising on your pages by bidding for ad spaces, and you get paid every time someone sees the ads or clicks on them. The more people come through your blog, the more money you can make.
Check out how much you can make:
This depends on your niche and the ad service you use to display ads. Income can vary quite a lot also depending on the time of the year. Some big companies are much more likely to spend big money closer to Black Friday and Christmas for example. And spend a lot less in January, when people run out of money.
But let’s say that on average you could make anything between $10-$20 (or more) per day, every 1000 people. This is what advertising agencies call RPM (Revenue per 1,000 impressions).
⦁ $10-20 per day with 1,000 daily page views
⦁ $300-600 per month with 30,000 page views
⦁ $450-900 per month with 45,000 page views
⦁ $1,000-$2,000 per month with 100,000 page views
As you can see from the figures above, if you want to make money with ads display, you need to get a significant amount of traffic to generate good money. And it’s not impossible.
Here are some of the most popular ways:
- Google AdSense
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored content (Get paid for writing about others)
- Affiliate program
- Direct ad sales
Google Adsense: This is the easiest Ad Network to apply to. It doesn’t have a minimum number of page views or sessions you need to have in order to apply. You just need to have your blog up and running with a few posts, in order to be approved and your domain must be 6 months old to get approved.
Monumetric: Monumetric only needs 10,000 page views a month to apply. You need to pay a $99 application fee, but you can make that money back in less than a month if you have that number of page views.
Mediavine: Mediavine is an awesome Ad Network with good customer service and I recommend them for everyone. You will need to prove that you reached 25,000 sessions within the last 30 days in order to apply.
AdThrive: you will need 100,000 monthly page views to join AdThrive. The earning potentials between Mediavine and AdThrive are very similar. It all depends on your niche, but they are both great networks.
Make money with affiliate marketing
The reason why I love affiliate marketing is that is one of the most passive ways to make money with your blog!
You can create a post or a review and still generate passive income years down the line with very little work needed to maintain it.
Affiliate marketing allows you to make money (earn a commission) for recommending products and services to your readers. You get paid only when your recommendation converts into a subscription or a sale.
When you sign up for affiliate marketing, you get a special tracking link from the company you’re an affiliate for. Then, you place that link within relevant posts on your blog or via email to your blog subscribers.
When someone clicks on that link and completes a purchase or signs up, you earn either a commission fee or a percentage of that sale.
Sponsored content comes with images, videos, or articles you write for companies, and you place on your site or social media accounts for a fee. Brands pay you because they want to get in front of your audience and utilize your traffic or get a backlink.
Creating sponsored content is a lot less passive than affiliate marketing and display advertising. You get paid once per post. But there are bloggers that make a full-time income just by reaching out to brands and create well-curated content for them, without having to invest as much time on SEO and traffic generation.
Selling your own products
Selling your own products can be a very lucrative way to make money blogging.
You can sell anything digital from printable, eBooks, online courses, or even physical products like shoes, fishing hooks, or machines.
Digital products are an incredible source of passive income because you put in the effort to create them once, and they are automatically delivered to the buyers without you having to do anything.
Most people get worried about selling something they made: who would actually want to buy this? Will it ever be good enough? Are people really going to give me money?
But remember this:
Just start with something small. Solve someone’s problem. Get a taste of what selling products can be like, and when you are ready, move up to a more expensive product to sell.
The essential resources you need for your blog
Important WordPress plugins
A plugin is a piece of software that is added to any WordPress website. It can extend functionality or add new features to your blog. Plugins basically make your life much easier, as you don’t need to learn how to program or be too technical.
And they can help you with everything from SEO, to backups, to optimizing images.
The only issue with plugins is that there are literally thousands of them and if you install too many, you risk to slow your website down. And a slow website equals bad user experience. Remember what we said? User experience always comes first.
Here is a list of the top free essential plugins you need, when you are just starting out.
Yoast is by far the best SEO plugin around. Though will have others like Rank Math, All in one SEO just to mention a few. It’s a must-have on your site and it’s completely free. Yoast helps you to optimize your blog post titles, descriptions, content length, and other elements across your entire blog so that search engines can easily find you.
You really don’t need the premium version. The free version is good enough forever.
Akismet is one of the best ways in the world to protect your blog from spam. Askimet checks your comments and contact form submissions against spam content to prevent your site from publishing malicious content.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Your images are one of the most important assets on your blog. They help you to stand out and engage with your readers. But they can also significantly slow down your website. You need to make sure each image you upload is optimized by using minimal resources.
Optimized images mean better user experience, better page speed Insights, better Google ranking, and more visitors.
I’ve been using ShortPixel for over a year and I love it. It has dramatically improved my page speed without reducing my image quality. You can optimize up to 100 images a month for free, which will be enough for most people.
If you have more images to optimize, they offer very affordable packages, starting at $9.99 for 10,000 images.
Having your visitors sharing your content on social media is one of the best ways to get more exposure. I can’t tell you how many blogs I visit that don’t have social share buttons. You need to make sure you make it very easy for people to promote your content.
Orbit Fox is one of the easiest to use social sharing plugin out there, and it’s what I use on bloggerlifeline. It lets you add highly customizable social share buttons that will integrate beautifully with your website’s design.
You can place the social sharing buttons before and after the post content or have them follow your readers as they scroll up and down the page, in the form of a social media floating sidebar.
The free version of the plugin comes with five of the biggest social media platforms, mainly Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP)
This is my favorite Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. This plugin enables you to track your site using the latest Google Analytics tracking code and allows you to view key Google Analytics stats in your WordPress install.
Connect Google Analytics Dashboard to your Google Analytics account (you can sign up for a free Google Analytics account right here) to find out who’s visiting your site and what your most popular blog posts are.
Imagine spending months writing blog posts and then for a technical glitch, you lose everything! You must install a backup plugin straight away on your blog. Updraft is reliable: it takes backups locally, or backup to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, (S)FTP, WebDAV & email, on automatic schedules.
The free version will do everything you need.
And if anything happens you can easily restore your backup on your server.
Insert Headers and Footers
Sometimes to edit your theme, you’ll have to add code snippets to your header or footer (it’s not as technical as it sounds). However, doing it in the code of your theme can cause issues. This plugin allows you to insert code or text in the header or footer of your WordPress blog easily, without breaking anything.
Chrome extensions that will help you succeed
There are 3 free Chrome extensions that I use pretty much every day:
Grammarly helps me to spell check everything I write: from my blog posts to my emails. Grammarly automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in your writing.
SEOquake lets you check every website’s Domain Authority on the go. This helps when you are doing keywords research, and to establish if you can outrank another blogger on a specific keyword.
I told you before how much I love analyzing other websites (competition).
The SimilarWeb extension lets you check any website’s statistics. With a single click, you can get in-depth traffic numbers and sources for any websites. Keep in mind this is just an estimate. Based on my research, SimilarWeb statistics are on the lower side by half.
So, for example, if you check a website and it says it gets 100,000 page views, the real number is probably closer to 180,000-200,000. But it still gives you a good insight into the popularity of a blog.
TIP: If SimilarWeb doesn’t give you a traffic estimate for a blog it means that the blog is relatively new or doesn’t get a significant amount of traffic.
Blogging Courses I personally recommend
I have a confession to make: I became obsessed with learning everything about blogging and, if you speak with Dan, he can tell you that I have a little problem with buying courses. I normally buy laser-focused courses that help me to learn everything about a specific topic.
Investing in courses has been the best decision I could ever make for my blogging journey. If you want to fast-track your success, you need to invest some money.
And as much as I hate departing from my money, I made this money back 50 times over in the last year. An astonishing return on investment if you ask me.
But not all courses are made equal. If you were a close friend (and you are), I would only recommend a handful of them.
And here they are:
AdSense monetization with SEO traffic: Income School RankXL
Affiliate marketing and SEO: Five Figure Niche School, Organic Traffic Formula
Affiliate marketing and Email: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Selling sponsored posts: Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
Setting up an e-commerce store: Instant E-commerce Asset
These are, without a doubt, the courses that have changed my blogging life for the better. Please note that the links above are affiliate links, therefore if you decide to purchase these courses, I will get a small commission from the course’s owner.
I really believe in these courses, and I wouldn’t recommend them otherwise. If you decide to buy them, you won’t be disappointed!
Where to find click-worthy images for your blog and your pins
Because sensational images = enthusiastic readers
Images are an essential element of your blog: they can break up your content, offering a much better user experience, and can also help you to connect with your readers.
Simply adding a few visual elements can almost double the number of views you are getting, and significantly increase the shares a post gets.
But where can you find the right images to use on your blog?
As a blogger, there are 4 ways to add visual content to your website:
Take your own photos
This, by far, is my favorite way to create images for my blog posts (well, using Dan to take photos is actually my favorite way!). You don’t need a professional camera (although it helps). Taking photos with your smartphone can be good enough when you are starting out. By using your own images, you will be able to stand out.
This is especially true if you are a food or travel blogger.
But I understand not everyone has the time or the skills to do this. If you are looking for a simpler way to enhance your content, move to point 2.
Using free stock photos
These days there is a big number of high-quality sites that offer incredible photography that’s completely free to use for your blog.
Free stock photos are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under the creative commons public domain. This means you can copy, modify, and distribute them, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
In some cases, some photos may require attribution. It is crucial that you triple check yourself if you can use them, especially if you are doing so for commercial purposes.
Here are some of my favorite websites with great free stock photos:
- Burst (by Shopify)
- MMT Stock
IMPORTANT NOTE: Even if you use an image you believe to be free, you could still be liable for using it illegally.
Anyone can upload images on these websites. There have been instances where a photographer’s image was shared illegally. If they find out that their image was used without their permission, and you are using it too, you can be liable for that. If you plan to use a free image, make sure you are allowed to do so, and provide the proper attribution when necessary.
Using other bloggers’ photos
Yes, you can use other bloggers’ photos on your blog BUT you always have to ask for their permission. And when I say always, I mean always.
If you’ve read somewhere that is ok to just upload an image on your blog, as long as you link to the original blog, because you are doing the other blogger a favor just know this: no, it’s not ok.
You are infringing on the blogger’s copyright and you can be sued. It just takes 5 minutes to send an email and ask for permission. And if you don’t receive a reply, find another image and move on.
Pay for licensed photos
Royalty-free is a type of license used by stock photography agencies to sell stock images. You pay for the license once, and you can use it forever within the accepted terms, without any further payment obligations.
This gives you the peace of mind that no one can come after you, looking to start a legal battle over an image you used.
If I can’t take a picture myself for a blog post, or I don’t get permission from a blogger, I normally pay for all my other images.
I use 3 websites to purchase all my images from:
DepositPhotos: one of my favorite stock photos websites, mostly because a couple of times a year I get an irresistible deal (you can get 100 images for $49). If you are on my blogging email list, I will email you when the deal is live.
Adobe Stock: Adobe stock is another brilliant website, with a gorgeous selection of photos and a good search tool. What I love about Adobe Stock is that you can sign up for a trial and get 10 images for free, but you need to enter your credit card details. Just remember to cancel your subscription before the month is over, or you will be charged! (I set a reminder on Google Calendar to help).
Shutterstock: probably the most comprehensive collection, but the most expensive one as well. I use it every now and then when I need to purchase something very specific.
How blogging can change your life
Imagine this is a year from today. You wake up slowly…no alarm ringing…no commute looming; you go for a long walk. You come back; open your laptop and you see all the money you made while you slept.
Is this a dream? Nope. This can be you.
Start your blog today and in a year’s time, your life can be completely different.
If you take action today, this can become your reality.
How do I know? Because I did it, and so can you.
You may look at my blog and think I have everything together but the reality is a bit different.
I am not an expert in anything. I am not a writer. When I started I had no experience working.
I am just a person that was willing to take a chance, put in some good hard work, and learn something new every day.
It wasn’t always easy, but it was so worth it.
Now you are ready to start a blog!
You are at the beginning of an extraordinary and rewarding journey. It will take you time, hard work, and patience, but by following all the steps I highlighted in this post you will get there!
I did it, and you can too!
If you have any questions about starting a self-hosted WordPress blog, please leave me a comment or send me a message via the contact page or drop me an email.
I will be more than happy to respond to you! Blogging has helped me live my dreams and I am here to help you to do the same!
I reply to EVERY single email! (Although it might take me some time…so be patient).
If you know someone that wants to start a blog or website, and you have enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you point them towards my direction. Thank you!!!