Hi there. If you are reading this, then it means you are interested in creating a blog and sharing all your marvellous ideas with millions of other people around the world.
You will have a big trendy flashy website with lots of traffic, praise from other bloggers, coverage in blogging magazines, etc…. But hey wait! Hold your horses!
Before starting to dream big, as in any project, you need to get the basics right and get a good solid foundation to start with. You can check out my course to help you in starting your blog. When I first started a blog, I have no idea what to do besides taking courses that I thought will help me start my blog and grow it the right way but in fact, it wasn’t.
There are things you need to do such as research by yourself and it’s hard to do it without someone to ask to. So that is why I made this course. I want to help you make a good strategy to build a profitable blog.
Follow my lead and I will ensure that your journey to blogging will start without a hitch. Here is my post on how to start a blog for beginners with Siteground.
To be able to make money from a blog, you will need to pay for web hosting, enabling you to place ads on your blog and affiliate links.
Related Post: How to Make Money Blogging
In this post, I will show you why you need to have a paid web hosting and I will give some web hosting recommendations.
Now, let’s start this step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.
This page may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a commission when you sign up through my link (at no additional cost to you). I only promote products or services that I personally love or from companies I trust. Read my full Disclosure Policy.
Choose your perfect niche
The first step you want to do before starting a blog is choosing your niche. What type of blog do you want to create? This is important as this will determine how you will monetize your blog in the future.
Of course, you need not be doing that as soon as possible but taking baby steps will ensure you have a solid foundation for your blog. Start with something small and then gradually bigger steps. You need to ask yourself these questions:
- What am I passionate about? If you build your blog based on what you love, it would be so much easier to enjoy the journey to blogging. My previous blog failed because I did not select topics that I loved to write about and it did not motivate me to continue my blog. So, I recommend writing about what you love, which will make it so much harder to give up.
- Is there a problem and solution to my niche? This is important to attract readers to your blog. Lots of people try to find solutions to their own problems and if your blog offers good advice and solutions, your blog most definitely will gain more traffic out of it.
- Can I monetize it? Blogging is surely a creative platform for you to spread your ideas to the world but if you can make money out of it, then why not? You have to think about how to monetize your blog from Day 1 of your blog launch. But I am not saying that you need to rush into it at once. Start by taking baby steps, for example, you can start monetizing your blog with ads. Then, gradually add affiliate marketing to your blog, create a sponsored post or even offering your own service!
Answering those questions will definitely help you to build and maintain your own blog.
Choose your domain names
I suggest you pick a good domain name based on your niche. You do not want to have a misleading domain name that does not lead your target audience to you, right?
It is best your domain name represents what you are blogging about so that the readers can reach you easily. Choose names that are easy to find and words that you use in your daily life will be an advantage as well. You can see examples of these successful bloggers:
- Making Sense of Cents – Anyone would know that this is a personal finance niche blog
- Living Well Spending Less – When you read this you will know that this is a lifestyle niche blog
To resume, choose your domain name simply and wisely.
Choose your blogging platform
To make a profitable blog, you will need a paid web hosting. Why not a free one? Here are some reasons why free web hosting is a bad idea:
- You do not own your website and therefore, you have no power to make and apply changes e.g. page layouts or designs.
- You won’t be able to put advertising. As a newbie blogger, it is important to set a couple of ads on your blog. This is how you will be able to earn money. Free web hosting won’t allow you that.
- No support and reliability. You will have to solve your problem alone. Instead, a paid one can give your 24-hour support like the web hosting that I will recommend below.
Why do you need to sign up with Siteground?
What is the benefit of signing up with Siteground?
- Free Website Builder
- cPanel & SSH Access
- Free Setup & Transfer Website
- 24/7 Technical Support ( I am so loving this! and they are super fast to respond also!)
- SSD Storage
- Free Daily Backup
- 30 Days Money Back
- Unlimited Email Accounts & DBs
- HTTP/2 Enabled Servers
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSLs
- Free Cloudflare CDN
- Fast Website loading (I don’t know about you but my website loads fast, so people won’t be clicking away because of long loading times)
So… What are you waiting for? One more thing, if you already have your own hosting and you want to move to Siteground, their team will be more than happy to take care of you. Less hassle can save time for you!
How to Sign up with Siteground?
1. Choose Your Plan
Now, I will guide you on how to sign up with Siteground and set up your WordPress account. Follow my pink arrow and you are good to go!
Go to Siteground Homepage and click Web Hosting. They will give you 3 choices which are basically like this:
- StartUp (For 1 website with 10,000 monthly visits)
- GrowBig (Multiple Website with 20,000 monthly visits)
- GoGeek (Multiple Websites with 100,000 monthly visits)
I suggest you take the GrowBig plan as a startup plan because 60% discount is only available upon your first payment.
Use my special link to get 60% off the regular price!
You can also get ‘Solve your issues with Priority’ and ‘Backup Restore Tool’ if you choose the GrowBig Plan.
Now, after you choose your domain and plan, now you need to fill out your information.
After that, you can choose the desired period you want. I will advise you to choose wisely because the 60% discount only applies to the first invoice.
For extra services, you can choose ‘SG Site Scanner’ so you will get notified if your website is hacked or injected by malicious codes. Since I am a newbie, this helped me a lot to monitor my website.
Setup your payment and click Proceed! After that, you will get a notification like this:
2. Get Started with WordPress Installation
You will get an email from Siteground that your account has been created and you need to confirm. After that, you can sign in and GET STARTED!!
In ‘Get Started’, you will get the list of steps you need to do. It is better to follow the steps so you won’t get overwhelmed.
To set up your WordPress account, you need to go to CPanel and then click proceed.
To install WordPress, you need to go to AUTOINSTALLERS and click WordPress button.
The first page that you’ll see is Overview page but then click the INSTALL button and you will be in this Software Setup page.
- Choose Protocol: There are many options to choose but I prefer to use the first option which is https:// or you can choose the one with https://www. also, based on your preferences.
- Choose Domain: Choose your domain or let it be.
- In Directory: leave this blank
Scroll down and you will see Site Settings.
- Site Name: Your site name
- Site Description: You can fill this up with a tagline of your choice or if you want more specific, you can describe what your blog is all about.
For ADMIN ACCOUNT, you need to make sure to enter everything right because this will be your main admin.
CAUTION: If you want to delete this admin, you will lose everything that you made with this username.
- Admin Username: your name to log in to your admin panel.
- Admin Password: This is the password to log in to your admin panel. Choose a strong password to prevent any hacks.
- Themes: No need to install a theme from Siteground because it is better to install it from WordPress so that you will be able to see which theme is fit for you. *note: if you want to install themes from another provider, you can upload and install it from WordPress admin panel. Go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
Click INSTALL after you fill up everything.
And Hooray! Your website is finally up! And now, you can start by installing some plugins that will help you organize your website well!
Free Plugins you need to install:
- Broken Link Checker: Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found. This includes your affiliate links. I suggest clicking the link to make sure the link works, if yes, you can just click NOT BROKEN
- TinyMCE Advanced: Enables advanced features and plugins in TinyMCE, the visual editor in WordPress. You can get a better editor with this. Especially when you need to undo some stuff.
- W3 Total Cache: The highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin. Dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress.
- Yoast SEO: The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more. This plugin will help you apply SEO much better especially if you need your blog to get better recognition with Google.
- Akismet Anti-Spam: Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam. Your site is fully configured and being protected, even while you sleep.
Now, after installing these plugins, what you can do next is:
1. Installing a theme for your blog.
Envato Market is a marketplace where you can find themes as low as $2. You can find a theme that’s fit for your niche and have a good navigation for your readers in Envato Market.
2. Making a great content for your blog.
Content is the most precious part of your blog. This is the thing that could determine if your blog is gonna be a success or not.
Nah… I’m joking. Well, actually it’s not wrong.
Traffic comes from the readers, right? And how to attract the readers to a blog? With contents. If the readers thought that a blog’s contents are good, they’ll definitely share it and possibly relay it to other readers.
Writing a content is easy. But making a content that’s readable and good is not easy. You need to proofread it, put some shareable images, enable an easy social sharing button, and etc.
Here’s what I do to help me make a great content for my blog and I suggest you do it also:
- Proofread and check the flow of your post. After writing, you need to proofread and read it out to check if your post is readable or not. Is it sounds boring or not? Is this how you speak to your friend? Make it interesting to read and always remember to do grammar check with Grammarly. This app helps you to save more time while writing your post because it will auto check your grammar directly.
- Shareable images. I make shareable images with PicMonkey because it’s so easy to use and it has lots of templates I can use as a guide. My favourite size for pinnable images is 800×1422 pixels because I prefer a big image and for featured image is 1024×800 pixels. Now you might wonder why I put 2 images. The pinnable image is for Pinterest and featured image is for Facebook or Twitter. This how I make my images easy to share, this also what you can do to make your content shareable.
- Easy social sharing button. My favourite plugins for this are Social Warfare and SumoMe. With Social Warfare, I put social share button before and after the post and then embed click to tweet button in between post. With SumoMe, I put a floating share button and mobile share button. I use two plugins because want to optimize the FREE version without buying the PAID version. But if you only want to use one plugin, I would suggest buying the Paid version of Social Warfare.
You’ll definitely face trials and errors in making a good content for your blog. What you can do is keep on upgrading the popular posts you have so you’ll be able to gain more readers from that posts.
3. Building your email list.
This has been top blogger’s recommendation to do after launching a blog. You need to build an email list from Day 1.
Why? Email list meaning your audience or readers that sign up to your mailing list. If you keep on building your email list means you’re building your readers a.k.a traffic. There’ll be more traffic to your blog. That’s why it’s important.
Now you probably wondering what email marketing provider you need to choose? I say ConvertKit or Mailerlite. If you are on a budget then Mailerlite is perfect for you because it’s FREE for 1,000 subscribers.
But I can say that ConvertKit is the best choice that I ever made. It’s super easy on tagging my subscribers and embed forms into my post. I embedded a form in between the post and by the end of the post with ConvertKit plugin. So it’s super easy to apply.
With ConvertKit, you can make landing pages and forms to capture your subscribers and the best part is it can integrate with lots of apps like Shopify, Woocommerce, Contact Form 7, SumoMe, Teachable, SendOwl and many more. So you can convert your readers to your subscribers! Check out ConvertKit HERE and you can get a FREE trial for 14 days!
4. Monetize your blog
The simple things you can do to monetize your blog as a newbie are affiliate marketing and putting ads. If you’re a beginner and don’t know about affiliate marketing. Reading THIS POST will help you understand about affiliate marketing. Now move on to things you can do to monetize your blog:
- Putting Ads: As a newbie, I suggest you sign up for Google AdSense or Media.Net. So far this two is the best network for newbies to monetize their blog. Media.Net offers contextual ads (consist of text) which is perfect for a blog. You’ll also have your own account manager that’ll help you with better ad’s management and monetization. Check out Media.Net here.
- Affiliate Marketing: Two networks that you need to join are Shareasale and Viglink. Those two are by far my favourite and easy to work with. Shareasale and Viglink offer a great range of affiliate networks that you can choose as a newbie blogger. You can definitely find affiliate networks that you can join with. Check out Shareasale HERE and Viglink HERE.
5. Grow your traffic
After you created great contents for your blog, you need to attract readers by sharing it on social media platforms. The platforms that I love the most are Pinterest and Facebook. Those two are by far where I get my referral traffic from.
Now you can either choose to pin manually or use an app for this. If you’re still a newbie, it’ll be better to use an app. Why? Because you will be hella busy making good contents and don’t really have time to do manual pinning.
The apps that I used are Tailwind and Boardbooster. While Boardbooster takes care the autopilot pinning, Tailwind will give provide me information on my Pinterest account’s performance and I can pin to the Tribes for more reach. This is the strategy that I used to drive traffic to my blog and you can apply this also to help you grow your traffic.
After you already get used to making a good content then you can do manual pinning and an app. This will be the perfect combination to drive more traffic to your blog. Check out Tailwind to get FREE 100 pins to schedule and joined 5 Tribes and Boardbooster to get FREE 100 pins to schedule in the first sign up. I say try the FREE trial first and see which one is good for you!
And that is a wrap!
Building a blog is not only a one night job and sometimes could make you insane! Yeap that happen to me. But it’s has been fun for me so far!
Wanna know what blogging resources that I recommended? You can head out to my BLOG RESOURCES PAGE also you can sign up to get FREE access to my resource library which helps me earn income on my blog and get more than 6,000 page views in 3 months!
Check out my Blog Starter Series:
or my other series:
If you found this post is helpful please share it in the comment. And I want to know from you. Tell me more about your blogging journey in the comment below!
See ya on the other side!