Pt.1 : What is a blog?
To put it simply, a blog is a website where you create and upload new content on a regular basis on topics from a specific (or even multiple) niches. Its usually very conversational and has a personal feel to engage your readers and the key is to write about something you’re passionate about and convey that passion to your readers to inspire them as well. And with loyal readers, you will be exposed to many new selling opportunities to grow your blog into a business.
Pt.2 : Why should you start a blog?
Let’s put it this way. You’re sitting at home writing content of your choice, whenever you feel like it, posting and publishing on your own schedule, working and not working whenever it suits you and making an income that goes straight to your bank.
Yeah, because it is. Blogging is all based completely around….you guessed it! YOU! The best part is, you can create content that you’re passionate about and actually make a living out of it! Say goodbye to that commercial 9 to 5 and hello to world full of possibilities and no limitations.
Pt.3 : What should your blog be about?
Getting this part right, is really important. The easiest advice would be to pick the niche (a niche is a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.) that fits in most well with whatever you’re passionate about. Passion makes for worthwhile and quality content.
However, if we want to talk about the technical advice, it might be a good idea to look at niches that are the most profitable, if your goal is primarily to make a decent living out of this whole blogging business. It will be a better idea to look at the niches and then fit your passions according to them rather than the other way around.
Read our exclusive article on Top 15 Blog Niches that will make you MONEY along with 90+ Ideas on what to blog about!
Pt. 4 : The Technical Stuff (WordPress)
Now before we jump into making our blogging website and all that fun stuff, its worth taking a quick crash course on the technical stuff so we’re not completely clueless and launching ourselves into the world of blogging.
Personally, I only use and recommend WordPress.
What is WordPress? Well to put it simply it is a software that allows you to manage your website. Pretty simple huh. And don’t worry it doesn’t get any more complicated from here on.
There are two different options for wordpress:
1. WordPress.com (Free)
- You can only place your site under a subdomain
- This option gives you a website that is hosted.
- This basically gives you less control over the website as it is not being hosted by you.
- You get limited disk space of 3GB
- Cannot remove WordPress.com’s own ads and branding from your site
- You can’t monetize your blog or website (can’t run ads and make money through them)
- You can’t install any plugins or any themes that aren’t available on the platform by default
2. Wordpress.org (Pay for hosting)
- This option is what is known as a “self-hosted” website
- You have full control over your website
- Depending on your hosting company you can get unlimited disk space
- You can monetize your website (run ads and make money)
- You can install and use however many plugins and themes you want
- Get your own domain!! (that basically means you can choose the url of your website, e.g. www.thisismywebsite.com)
Me, and pretty much any other bloggers you will ever encounter will always encourage you to go for the WordPress.org option. It is the most popular among both beginners and long term professional bloggers (the ones that know what they’re doing.)
To download WordPress, it’s really simple. All you do is go to wordpress.org and click on “Download WordPress”.
Pt. 5 : Hosting
So you’ve downloaded WordPress from wordpress.org and now comes the self hosing part, since it isn’t hosted by WordPress if you can remember. Lucky for you, thanks to many of these wonderful hosting companies that pretty much do all the hard work for you. All you have to do is buy a plan!
But what exactly does a hosting company do? Well it simply makes sure that your website is “Live” and that the citizens on the internet have access to it 24/7.
There are many different hosting companies you can opt for but, I personally use DreamHost.
Why DreamHost? Well for starters it is only $2.59/month. That’s pretty much the price of a cup of coffee. To top it off, it is very easy to use and the customer service is fantastic. I’ve never had any problems with hosting and they do all the work for me, I simply have to purchase the plan and the rest? They’ve got it covered.
Another popular hosting option would be BlueHost.
Although I don’t personally use BlueHost, it is a great hosting company that starts their hosting options at $3.95/month. They also offer free consultations and are very popular among bloggers in the blogging community, and for good reason too. Thanks to their low rates and fantastic customer service, this is another reliable hosting company for you to opt for.
Since I personally use DreamHost, I’ll be covering the steps on how to get hosting for DreamHost specifically, however, the steps are more or less exactly the same for the majority of hosting companies so keep reading
1. First, Go to the DreamHost Website.
2. Hover over the “WordPress” category on the navigation bar, and click on “WordPress Basic”.
3. Scroll down until you see the following plans:
Now assuming you want to focus on just your blog website, and your blog website alone, the WordPress Starter Plan is perfect.
I would highly recommend purchasing a year (multiple-year) plan as not only does it save you a ton of money, but it just means that you don’t have to worry about hosting renewals etc. for a longer time. You can opt for the yearly plan or the 3-year plan and the prices will range a little accordingly (plus you get a free domain with annual plans!)
4. Choose a Domain name
Now its the fun part! Choosing a domain name. A domain name is basically the address of your website. “www.thisismywebsite.com” is an example of a domain name. (don’t add the .com when searching domains!).
Some things to consider when choosing your domain:
- Don’t make it too complicated
- Make it something the reader will remember
- Make sure the URL is available to end in .com (not .org etc.)
Bear in mind that sometimes the name you want might be taken already and it can be pretty frustrating, but just keep trying and playing around with different names. You’ll find the name that is perfect for you and your blog!
If you can not think of any names right away, do not worry. You have the option to choose later.
If you already have an idea of what you want to call your website you can select “Register a new domain” but if you’re not completely sure for now, that’s okay! Just select “Choose a domain later”.
5. Secure Checkout!
Now you’ve made it to the final stage! After entering your payment details scroll down to “Account Setup” and enter in all your details accordingly. This account will be linked to your hosting so you can access your hosting panel at any time.
6. Additional Options
DreamHost gives you an option where they install WordPress onto your site for you, so that’s another hassle you don’t have to worry about. DreamShield protection is another add-on for you to use on your site so if you can stretch your budget, it is worth having an extra layer of security on your site. But if you can’t, that’s totally fine! Your website will still work perfectly fine.
7. Submit Order
And you’re done! Simply submit your order and login to access your DreamHost panel!
Pt. 6 : Designing your Website
This is the fun part! Designing your website and getting it right is really really important! It’s what distinguishes your site from other sites and if it is appealing to look at, it will leave a much better impression on your viewers.
As important as quality content is, first impressions are also equally important.
When you start with your WordPress site, there are many themes that WordPress offers but often, especially if you’re anything like me, they’re just not right.
You can most definitely find a theme and make it work for you, however, if you’re looking for something more specific and finished and pretty, I would suggest going on Etsy and browsing through the WordPress themes. The Prices range from around $12 up to around $40 depending on which theme you get, but the good news is, you only have to purchase the theme once and it’s an investment that will last you forever!
Pt. 7 : Writing Articles
Now for the real nitty gritty work. The actual work. Here are a couple of tips to help you make sure your content is of high quality.
- Read other articles from other people’s blogs to help give yourself an idea of what standard you’re aiming for.
- Every time you write a blog post, in the beginning highlight what the purpose of your post is: To Entertain, Educate or Inform? And keep reminding yourself of that purpose as you write to make sure you stick to that purpose and don’t go off topic.
- If you are writing to inform or educate, make sure that your blog post is more concise and straight forward rather than rambly.
- If you’re writing to entertain, you can get away with being more personal, friendly and conversational with your audience.
- The best tip when it comes to blogging is to simply…just write! In the beginning, something is better than nothing and don’t worry you will inevitably get better as you go along. It is important to just give yourself a push in the start.
Need ideas on what to write? Read our exclusive article on Top 15 Blog Niches that will make you MONEY along with 90+ Ideas on what to blog about!
Pt. 8 : Affiliate Programs
Now for the part that makes you the money. What exactly is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate Marketing is when you partner with a company and add links to their products on your blog/website. When one of your readers clicks on those links and purchases the products from the company you partnered with, you will receive a commission (the % varies depending on each company).
A very easy way to get started as an affiliate is through the Amazon Associates program.
Since amazon has millions of products of so many different categories it is a great idea to use affiliate links to suggest these products to your readers and make a % of commission.
Assuming you refer someone from your cooking blog to Amazon to purchase a special blender. If they buy within 24 hours, you will make a sales commission.
However, one of the great things about the Amazon associates program is that if one of your readers clicks on the link and buys ANYTHING on Amazon (even if they don’t buy that blender) within 24 hours, you will get credited with that sale and earn a commission.
Pt. 9 : Ads
This is a very basic way to start making money blogging.
2 great options to help you get started as a new blossoming blog would be Google Adsense or Media.net. Both of these are pay-per-click networks that, which means you get paid each time someone clicks on your ad.
This is the most effective way of gaining a passive revenue. You don’t have to sell anything or do any customer service, you just get paid if someone clicks an advertisement.
(Obviously don’t make the crucial mistake of clicking your own ads – Google is smart and you might not get accepted into the monetization program)
Pt. 10 : Designing Canva
It is also very important to make sure you have some means of design for your blog covers/blog posts and other marketing posts that you might choose to advertise on social media etc.
I personally use and strongly recommend Canva.
Canva is a Graphic Design Platform that allows you to customize and create your own designs for pretty much…anything you can possibly think of. From Instagram posts to Pinterest Pins, Canva offers pre-made templates and high-quality images and extra to its pro users. Although you can still use Canva with its free version, the investment to get a pro account is definitely one worth making.
And that’s it! Congratulations! You officially have a blog up and running!