Do you want to learn how to start your own blog? Be it a fashion blog, tech blog, travel blog, just name it. I will take you by hand from scratch in 8 easy steps.
My name is Steve, Co-founder, and CEO of Owogram.com. I have been blogging for over 6 years now, and it has all been absolutely rewarding.
I have helped start a couple of profitable self-hosted WordPress blogs like; gadgetstripe.com, theforexprogrammer.com, oasdom.com, and many others; each raking in passive income.
Don’t take my word for it;
“As a University student, I started my tech blog 4 years ago, and I learned from the master. Give or take, I’m doing 235k traffic every month, millions of impressions, and reasonable income every month that helps me enjoy schooling to the fullest.” – Charles (CEO at Gadgetstripe.com)
“I am a forex programmer and following Steve’s blogging guide, I started my blog theforexprogrammer.com, and I’m making a steady income from providing my programming service on my blog and make most of my income via email marketing.” – Alex (CEO at Theforexprogrammer.com)
My blog is doing about 197k monthly traffic, meaning 1.5 million+ users every year, and I’ve decided to launch this blog (learn.owogram.com) to help others start their own blog and rake in passive income while providing value to other people.
Here’s a quick view of last year’s traffic report:
Seems easy right? This wasn’t the case couple of years back when I was looking for information on how to start a successful blog of my own.
I went from searching for how to start a blog for free to information on which types of blogs make the most money. Trust me, I made lots of mistakes.
You don’t have to go through the tough experience I’ve gone through. That’s why I created this free, detailed, well-explained, step-by-step guide on how to start your own blog quickly and easily.
I Promise, this will be the one-stop interactive guide that will take you by hand from the very start, especially if you’re a beginner.
I have shared every detail about starting a blog easily with actionable steps for beginners to follow. You can build a WordPress Blog in no time. You May use the outline to jump to the exact part you need. If you have any questions about this guide or get stuck with the steps, I’m more than happy to assist you. I will not just teach you how to start your own blog, I will help you learn how to make money with your blog, and how to become a successful blogger (more details later in this post).
In This Guide:
- How to Start Your Own Blog & Make Money Online
- STEP 1: Choose A Blog Topic To Focus On
- STEP 2: Choose Your Blog Name
- STEP 3: Pick The Best Web Hosting Service to Start Your Blog
- STEP 4: Install WordPress On Your Blog (Very Easy)
- STEP 5: Design Your Blog With The Best WordPress Theme
- STEP 6: Write Your First Blog Post!
- STEP 7: Market & Promote Your Blog
- STEP 8: Make Money From Your Blog
- Quick FAQs About Starting Your Own Blog
Full Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. When you purchase hosting using my Bluehost affiliate link, they compensate me, which helps make this guide free of charge to you. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind.
How to Start Your Own Blog & Make Money Online
What is a blog? (click to ready)
A blog (weblog or weblog) is a website where several entries (also called posts) are published and updated, with features like comments and links to make it conversational and interactive. Blogs are one of the ways to make money online, and you’re currently reading my guide on how to start your own blog.
Why should you start a blog? (click to read)
Some of the various reasons people start a blog include:
– To write about your experiences and inspire others,
– To teach people how to do stuff,
– To create awareness for your brand,
– To make money online,
One interesting fact is that over 405 million people read blog posts every single day! You can also start your own blog as a means to launch your business, get people visiting your blog, while you make money on the side, depending on what you do.
Did you know:
– Blogging is not dead! Blogging has grown by 12% since 2015. Blogging isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
– There are approximately 130 million active blog readers in the US right now.
– Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trustworthy source for gathering information online
– Building a blog in 2021 costs less than you might think!
Can I start a blog with no technical knowledge?
Of course! Owning and running a blog is one of the easiest ventures to start online, and you don’t have to be a computer geek. More so, you can start blogging regardless of your age, location, or experience level and still build a profitable online business.
Can I make money from blogging today?
Absolutely, more and more people now have a side hustle online to make money from home, and blogging is one of the most rewarding online business with very low startup costs.
You don’t need to be a full-time blogger, blogging part-time as a side hustle has generated six figures for some part-time bloggers every year.
Just like me, you can monetize your blog from sponsored posts and reviews, selling ad spaces on your blog, selling online courses, launching a podcast, etc. (More about this soon in this guide on how to start your own blog and make money this year 2021).
How much does it cost to start a blog in 2021?
Well, I’d say it depends on the type of blog you want to start and your overall goal. It costs around $83.4 to start a blog in 2021 (web hosting will be a major expense). Here’s more breakdown of how much it cost to start a blog, and as you learn how to start your own blog in this guide, I’ll explain more on blogging costs to be incurred and how it can be reduced.
STEP 1: Choose A Blog Topic To Focus On
Learning how to start your own blog comes with the basic requirement of choosing a blog topic. In other words, you need to choose a niche of focus.
Simply put, you need to ask yourself; “what will I write about?”
Simply put, uproot that idea in your mind that you’ll blog about every random thing and succeed. It doesn’t work if you’re not already in the blogging business with lots of writers you hire and pay.
You have to choose a specific topic or niche of focus that you’ll write about. How do you go about that?
There are two approaches to picking a niche or topic for your blog:
- You should pick a topic that you are passionate about or,
- You can look for a topic that people are looking to read on.
Of course, it’s best if you can find a topic that fits both! But if you have to choose out of the two, the best approach in my opinion is to blog about a topic that a lot of people want to read about.
If you pick a topic that people are searching for, then you’ll have a good chance of getting a lot of traffic to your blog.
Once you start getting more traffic, you can then monetize your blog to earn money. We’ll get to the monetization part in the later section.
Do You Need to Be an Expert on the Topic?
A lot of people will also tell you that you need to be an expert to blog on the topic you have chosen. That’s not necessarily true!
You only need to have an honest interest in the topic you have chosen, and then you can learn about it as you go.
If you want to be an expert on a topic, ask yourself these questions;
- What topics do I know better than anyone else? It could be about anything.
- What topics do you most like to talk about, and you can comfortably talk about it for hours?
- What topics do I love to read about the most?
As a beginner just learning how to start a blog, follow these steps;
- Among these wide niches (Fashion, Tech, Nutrition, Sports, Health, Money, Farming, etc.) which popular ones will you find yourself super interested in?
- If it’s Fashion, which areas of fashion? Is it clothing, fragrances, shoes, rings, or necklaces?
- If it’s clothing, is it corporate wears or casuals? If it is corporate wears, is it men’s corporate wears or women’s corporate wears?
- If it’s the latter, is it gowns, suits, etc.?
Now you see I’ve drilled down to be more specific. Google search engine prefers a blog that is built on a single topic.
You just have to pick a topic that you’re passionate about, one you can talk and write about without even having to take references.
How to Know If Your Blog Topic Is Popular
The next order of business is to find out the search volume of your topic. What is search volume?
It simply refers to the number of people who are searching for your topic and related topics, with online search engines like Google.
To find out if your topic is worth blogging about, ask yourself:
- Are there other blogs on your topic?
- Are there any popular blogs that have more than 10,000 subscribers?
- Are there any popular Facebook groups on your topic?
- Are there popular books on your topic?
- Are there questions on Quora or other forums on your topic, that have a good number of views and answers?
- Can you come up with about 50 blog post topics that you’ll write over the coming months?
If most of the answers to the questions above are “yes”, then you’re on the right track!
That means that there are a good number of people out there who are interested in reading about that topic.
You can also go to Google Trends to check the overall trend of your topic. For example, take a look at this screenshot:
You’ll notice that the trend of the search term “beauty” is still going up, which means it gets searched a lot. This means that this search term has the potential of bringing you a lot of traffic.
Just to get you started brainstorming, here are some popular topics for blogging:
- Health and fitness
- Business and money
Now that you have picked your topic, let’s move on to the next step.
STEP 2: Choose Your Blog Name
As you’re learning how too start your own blog, there are 2 other basic terms you must understand.
- Domain name
- Web Hosting
A Domain Name is your personal blog address or URL. For example, Facebook’s domain name is “www.facebook.com and the Domain name of Owogram is www.owogram.com.
Your new blog domain name will be www.Yourblogname.com.
IMPORTANT: Your domain name should have a meaning, catchy, and communicate a business perspective.
I follow these tips when choosing a domain name:
- It must be short (13 characters max)
- It must be easy to pronounce (e.g Google, Facebook, Owogram, Yahoo, GsmArena, etc.)
- It must be brandable
- It must be easy to type.
One of the best tips things to do when choosing a name for your blog is to read a book(s) about the topic(niche) you’ve decided to blog about. Trust me, you’ll find great ideas, even if it means combining words.
You can use funny words or your own name. (A lot of lifestyle bloggers use their own name as their blog name).
Using related words in your blog name can help you create an instant connection with your soon-to-be readers.
For example, a travel blogger would use words like adventure, flight, journey, etc. in his blog name.
You should read this quick post on practicable tips to choosing the best domain name for your blog.
To know if your desired domain name is available for use by you alone and not taken by any other person, here’s a quick tool below (It is called domain availability checker):
A quick catch is, domain names usually cost between $12 to $15. Every blog owner pays for this, yearly.
Here’s what I’ve done for you; I have shared with you a link as you’ll soon find below, where you can get your own .com domain name for FREE without having to pay the $15. You’ll even save huge on web hosting.
Another tip is, you should always use a .com extension for your domain. Others can work, but a .com is your best bet.
STEP 3: Pick The Best Web Hosting Service to Start Your Blog
Web-hosting is where the WordPress.org blogging platform will be installed.
This is a server that stays online 24*7 and all your future blog images, your blog design, and everything will be stored on this server (hosting).
Simply put, web hosting service providers help you house your blog or website on the internet. They’re like Landlords online; you pay them a rent yearly to keep your blog LIVE and accessible to everyone.
That is how your blog will be up and running 24*7.
NOTE: Web hosting service providers offer at least 2 crucial services:
- Domain Registration: As I’ve said earlier, you’ll pay them between $12 to $15 and they help you secure your domain name.
- Web Hosting: They help you house your blog and make it accessible 24/7 all year round
So, it’s best to order these two services at once.
The Best Web Hosting Company to Use
So, which web hosting company should you use to register your domain name and host your blog?
There are tons of web-hosting providers, among which BlueHost is the best.
Bluehost is super-packed. It powers over 2 million websites worldwide. In fact, WordPress.org chose them as the number 1 hosting for WordPress blogs, as they’re super fast and reliable.
If you host with bluehost, you get:
- Free SSL (Site Secure Lock)
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- Blazing fast servers
- Affordable pricing
- Ease of Sign-up: Easy two-page sign-up process.
- No hidden fees, you get all that you pay for.
- 24/7 customer support
- Instant account activation
- The uptime guarantee is 99.9% meaning no downtime on your site
- Easy to use cPanel
- Strong security support
- Free Site backup and restore tool, should you run into any problem.
- Live chat support
- 30 days money-back guarantee
- And the best part, it only cost $3.95/month!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that almost every web hosting service provider bills upfront for annual hosting packages.
There are two main advantages to them doing this. I want you to know about this now so you don’t go all the way through the setup process only to realize this when it comes to paying.
- By billing upfront you are able to avoid any billing issues that might affect your site being up. You don’t want to get a new debit/credit card a few months from now and risk your hard work by forgetting to link your new card information to Bluehost billing right away. I like having the peace of mind that my web hosting account is paid up for a year or more at all times. I don’t want you to be caught unaware!
- Most importantly, you are able to ensure that your domain name, and for all intents and purposes your brand, are paid for and cannot be purchased out from underneath you by someone else. If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, I recommend the 36-month hosting as you get the cheapest pricing; if you are looking for the shortest term, the 12-month package is what you want.
Here is how to buy it:
→ Go to Bluehost.com Now & click the Get Started Button
Click the Get Started button
Important Note: Billing for hosting plans are usually annually. But let’s be realistic, you’d want to test the waters with the basic plan for at least 1 year, right? For a year (12 months) basic plan with Bluehost, the lowest pricing is $5.95 per month, that’s why if you want to enjoy Bluehost’s cheapest hosting pricing, the 36 months plan is locked at $3.95/month.
Select the Basic plan
On the next page, you can claim your free domain name.
When you register a domain at Bluehost, you should choose a .com extension, and
If your domain name of choice isn’t available, you can either try another option that comes to mind—or (what I recommend) select the option to choose your domain name later after getting the rest of your account squared away and taking a little more time to think the name through.
On the next page, fill up your contact information. Pay special attention to package extras as you can skip a few things to save some big cash.
Apart from ‘Domain Privacy Protection’, uncheck everything. As you’re just starting Domain Privacy Protection is all you need.
REMEMBER: If you don’t have the budget for 3 years plan at once, The 1 year ( or 12 months) basic plan pricing is $5.95 per month, meaning $71.4/year + an important service called domain privacy protection as checked in the image above, it translates into a total of $83.4/Year.
Note: You can pay with your credit card or PayPal.
(Important): Which pricing plan is the best to start a blog with? (click to read)
Personally, I recommend choosing the “Prime 36 Month Price” if you want to lock in the lowest possible price for your hosting. That’s what I use. And it secures your blog hosting at its lowest rate (and gets you domain privacy) for the next 3 years.
And because this low pricing for new customers only applies to the first payment you make, if you were to choose the 1-year plan, your pricing may go up after that first year.
That’s why if you choose the 36-month plan, your pricing will be locked in at this rate for 3 years. For that reason, I recommend going with the longest duration plan that your budget can spring for.
Still, you can decide to go with a yearly plan, based on your budget.
Under the payment information, you can pay via credit/debit card or if you want to pay via PayPal, you can click on More payment options.
Now, enter your payment information. Check the box that you have read and agree to the TOS (Terms of Service), and click on the green “Submit” button.
Woo! It’s time for a mini celebration 🙂
You’ve officially completed the first major step in starting a blog!
Head over to Bluehost and register your domain if you haven’t already.
The 2 best alternative blog hosting platforms worth considering
Although I recommend Bluehost in accordance with the features they offer as listed above, what if you want to host with another hosting company?
I’ve got 2 alternatives.
DreamHost — Just like BlueHost, DreamHost has all similar features like 1-click WordPress install, a free SSL certificate, and site security.
Another powerful edge Dream host has when compared to other hosting platforms is they offer a true pay-per-month plan that allows you to pay for the cost of your blog hosting each month with no strings attached.
HostGator — Great customer support really makes HostGator stand out. They also have a monthly billing option available. This really helps those learning how to start a blog to minimize cost.
If you still want to evaluate more of the top blog hosting providers as you learn how to start a blog, then head on over to my breakdown of the best web hosting services for bloggers to review this year.
Once you have made the payment, Bluehost will also create your blog automatically and saves a lot of hassles for beginners who just want a ready-made blog.
Do check your email. You will find a confirmation email with all of the login information for your web hosting account. Keep it safe!
Unlike old times when you had to create your blog manually, these days Bluehost automatically installs and setup WordPress for you. Isn’t that amazing?
If you have followed the above guide and simply purchased hosting + free domain name from Bluehost, you’ll land on a success page.
The next thing is to create your BlueHost account.
- Step 1. Click the “Create your account” button.
- Step 2. Enter your password or use the password generator, and complete the account set up.
- Step 3. Your account is ready to go. Click the “Go to login” button.
- Step 4. Fill in the fields “Email or Domain Name” and “Password”.
(Do keep your Username and password safe).
You are all set. Next, you will start working on creating your blog. Isn’t it interesting so far?
STEP 4: Install WordPress On Your Blog (Very Easy)
If you’re learning how to start your own blog, you must choose a blogging platform or CMS (Content Management System).
The blogging platform you choose is one of the most important steps to take.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)? (click to read)
A Content Management System or CMS is also the blogging platform that enables authors to publish articles, opinions, or product reviews (known as posts). Simply put, it is where you’ll be writing, designing, and publishing your blog content for everyone on the web to see. WordPress is most likely the one you’ve heard about.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular and most widely used CMS (blogging platform). I, among other millions of people, use WordPress for blogging every day and that’s what I recommend you use.
In fact, the latest blogging statistics show that over 60% of all blogs on the internet use WordPress blogging platforms including popular websites like Forbes, TED, TechCrunch, and others.
Why should I use WordPress?
- WordPress is super easy to use.
- Of all the over 600 million blogs on the internet, most blogs are powered by WordPress.
- In fact, about 60% of blogs and websites online are powered by WordPress.
- It is completely free, safe, and secure
- It has the most feature-rich blogging service out there.
- It doesn’t take a genius to operate
- It is amazingly SEO friendly, and more.
Is WordPress free to use?
Absolutely! WordPress is free to use but there are two versions you should know about; WordPress.org and WorPress.com. One is a self-hosted solution, the other is a free hosted solution. But I strongly recommend that you start a self-hosted WordPress blog.
What is the difference between a self-hosted and free hosted WordPress blog?
WordPress.org is a Self-hosted WordPress solution
WordPress.com is a free hosted WordPress solution
You must have come across blogs like www.theblogname.wordpress.com, or www.theblogname.blogspot.com, or www.thewebsitename.wix, isn’t it?
Those types of blogs or websites are FREELY hosted and managed by WordPress, Blogger, etc. themselves. That’s free hosting; you do not have total control over it.
So, it is NOT RECOMMENDED to use free hosting.
When you see a website or blog with a ‘.com’ immediately after the website name e.g www.owogram.com, or www.thewebsitename.com, the website is self-hosted. You have FULL control over it. This is what I recommend.
WordPress.org gives you the opportunity to self-host your blog (you’ll only need to purchase a hosting plan from reputable hosting companies like Bluehost).
If you’re going to start a WordPress blog with the intention to make some money along the way, you must blog on a self-hosted WordPress platform (WordPress.org).
With WordPress.org blogging platform, you host your own site (I strongly recommend this).
With WordPress.com blogging platform, on the other hand, it’s WordPress.com that takes care of all of this for you. But with great limitations and possible risks.
You can learn more about WordPress.org Vs WordPress.com for more details. Just have it registered in your mind that a self-hosted WordPress blog (WordPress.org) is what you need.
Now that you fully understand this part, let’s move to the next step.
Logged in, Right?
After you log in to the Bluehost account, Bluehost will offer a 4-step process to help you create a WordPress blog. I suggest you go with that process if this is your first time creating a blog.
NOTE: I recommend going with setting up WordPress by yourself rather than choosing any of the I-need-help options presented by Bluehost. If you request help, Bluehost will contact you offering to sell you their service for setting up your blog. You wouldn’t want to take on additional costs, would you?
You can click the “Skip this step” button and create a blog on your own inside the Bluehost hosting account.
Still, the 4 step process isn’t difficult to follow.
Using The Four Steps Blog Set Up Assistance Process:
- 1. You will start the process by answering 3 questions: What kind of site? What type is it? And who is it for? In my example, I selected: Blog, Personal, Myself. You can select the same choices or pick what fits your individual case.
- 2. With this step, you can pick what else you would like to add to your site. Bluehost gives you a few options to choose from.
- 3. In this step, you need to answer a few questions such as the name of your blog, tagline, and how comfortable you are with creating websites. Note, you can always change this later.
- 4. Check out the chosen themes by Bluehost and see if you like any of them (if you don’t see a theme you like, skip this step). You can always change it and use a different one later. More information on this further on.
What is a WordPress theme?
A WordPress theme is a software that is engineered to change the look and feel of your blog. It customizes the layout, typography, color, and alignment of your blog.
Once you complete these 4 steps you will be taken to your Bluehost account page. At this point, the WordPress software is installed and your blog structure is set up!
- 5. Click the ‘Launch My Site‘ button. Inside your Bluehost account, you will see options to further customize your blog based on Bluehost’s recommendations. These options are here for you to do some pre-launch customization to your blog.
After you click the “Launch My Site” button, your blog will go live!
If you open your blog inside a web browser don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t look quite right. It is just the first draft of your blog.
Using the Option to Build It Myself Option
So, to Install WordPress by yourself, click on the I’ll build it my self option, answer few questions and that process will end in a one-click WordPress installation. Then you’ll land on this page:
So, go ahead to click the ‘Login to WordPress‘ button.
Now you’ll have the opportunity to see the back-end of your WordPress site, called the WordPress dashboard.
Inside the WordPress dashboard, you will have to apply a few changes and add content to make it look polished and complete. I will show you how later!
You can access the WordPress dashboard from your Bluehost account by clicking the blue “WordPress” button in the top right corner of your screen, just by the “Launch my website” button.
Did you launch your blog yet? → Click Here to Get Started with Bluehost
Soon, in this guide, I’ll share with you important settings to make on your new blog.
STEP 5: Design Your Blog With The Best WordPress Theme
When you’re learning how to start your own blog, chances are you’re testing the waters, so it won’t be economically wise to purchase a premium WordPress theme at the start.
Even if you’ve chosen a theme when installing WordPress in the steps above, you can change it.
So, I’ve got for you some free elegant and visually appealing WordPress theme suggestions:
I recommend choosing Hello Elementor, or Kadence WP, (all of which are 100% free, fast, and have the ability to upgrade later).
To use these themes, go to the left panel in your WordPress Dashboard, Scroll down to Appearance > Themes > Add New Theme.
You can search Hello Elementor, Kadence, or even Astra.
Here are 11 best free WordPress themes to choose from, to style and change the looks of your blog.
All you’ve have to do is download, install and activate.
If you decide to change your theme by uploading a premium theme of your choice, make sure the theme meets certain standards.
Tips for choosing a good WordPress theme (click to read)
- Make sure it is easy to use Make sure it is responsive on all devices: You can copy the theme’s demo page into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page Make sure the theme supports all popular plugins.
- Make sure it is SEO friendly: SEO is how well search engines like Google can find the information you’ve published on your blog when people search for it. This means the theme should use a light code.
- Make sure the theme has quick support from the developers should you need help.
- Check the ratings and review of the theme to ensure it has good records.
Essential Blog Settings You Should Implement Now
As You’re learning how to start your own blog and make money, there are basic WordPress settings you need to know and implement.
How to setup WordPress permalinks
A permalink is a permanent static hyperlink to a particular web page or entry in a blog. It is a URL that is intended to remain unchanged for many years into the future.
Your blog permalink has to be short, clean, and most importantly; descriptive.
The default WordPress permalink is – http://yourdomain.com/p=123.
This permalink is short, but not friendly for search engines.
Go to Settings > Permalink and select “Post name”.
Now, when your URLs appear in search engines, some of the keywords will be visible. This will help you rank higher and get more traffic.
Delete Default Posts, Contents, and Pages
How to delete default post, page, and content
Log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Posts > All Posts and delete the default “Hello world” post.
Similarly, go to Pages > All Pages and delete the default “Sample Page”.
And finally, click on “Comments” and delete the default comment.
Set Your Time Zone
How to set your time zone in WordPress
Go to the left panel of your WordPress dashboard, go to
Settings > General.
Make sure to set your timezone to your local time so that when you schedule posts, they will go live according to your time.
How to customize comment settings in WordPress
Go to Settings > Discussion.
This can get confusing if you don’t know what to do here. But just follow the above screenshot and you’ll be good.
Set Your Blog Homepage
How to set your blog home page
As you’re just starting your new blog, it will be okay for now, to set your blog home page to display your latest posts.
Go to Settings > Reading
It is important to note that while you choose the latest post options, you should tick the ‘Full text’ option as seen in the image above.
Since you have little or no posts, the homepage will show the full content of each post and not just a short summary preview.
Setting Blog Menu
How to set your blog menu
No doubt, as your WordPress blog is new, you’ll have to create some important pages before a need for menu arises.
In the following basic tutorials that will follow, you’ll learn how to create important pages for your blog which includes an about page, contact page, shop, etc.
To create individual blog pages, go to the left panel of your WordPress dashboard, go to pages, mouse over it, and click add new.
Give your page a title, fill it with content, save as draft or publish.
To create your blog menu, go to Appearance > Menus and you can create your menu following the screenshot below.
Just Starting A Blog? Here Are More Guides
So far you’ve been learning how to start a blog and make money, to familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard, here are more helpful WordPress guides for you:
STEP 6: Write Your First Blog Post!
The first thing you should decide is how often you’ll write and publish a new blog post.
The best way to go about it is to make a content calendar. Decide on which days you’ll post your blog and then stick to it.
I recommend starting with one blog post per week. This will give you plenty of time to learn the ins and outs of your new blog.
Generate Blog Post Ideas
In order to come up with good content ideas, you need to be listening to your audience. You should know their problems and then try to come up with solutions that help them.
When you’re first getting started with a blog, you don’t have an audience yet! So how do you know what they want to read?
There are two ways how you can find what your readers wants to read.
- Analyzing your competition
- Researching the communities where your readers are most active.
Analyzing Your Competition
You can gain a lot of ideas if you go through other websites in your niche or industry, and see what they blog about.
In step 1 above, I talked about researching other blog posts to pick a niche for your blog. You can revisit those same sites to get ideas for blog posts.
Just make sure to put your own pin on the topic and not copy the content itself. Your blog posts should be 100% original. Think about how you can improve on your competitor’s posts and create something even better.
Researching the Communities Where Your Readers Are Most Active
There are a lot of communities and forums on the internet that can help you get more ideas. Our favorites are Reddit and Quora.
People ask a lot of questions on Quora about different things. You can search your topic in the address bar and you’ll get a list of all the related question on your topic.
Go through these questions and their answers. Compile the data you have gathered and write something that provides an answer, as a full blog post.
Start following related topics on Quora so that you get notified whenever the community asks a question related to your topic.
Follow the same process for Reddit, you’ll be surprised the number of ideas you get from these communities.
For more ideas, see our giant list of blog post ideas you can steal, and our guide to types of blog posts that work for any niche.
Now that you know how to get content ideas, it is time to get to work. Add them to your content calendar and set a deadline for each topic.
How to Write A Blog Post
Knowing how to start your own blog is one part of the equation, learning how to write your first masterpiece is another.
When you first log in to your blog’s WordPress dashboard, you should see a screen like this:
To write your first blog post, Go to Posts > Add New (check the screnshot below).
In few seconds, you’ll be taken an entirely different and new page where you’ll do the writing.
Quick Guide: Learn how to use the new WordPress editor to write your blog posts.
Tip 1: Write Captivating Blog Headlines That Command Click-Throughs
No one creates a blog without the intention to attract readers.
So, if your target audience would check out your blog and get a taste of the value you have provided on your blog, you need to learn how to write blog headlines that will encourage them to click through to read your post.
Let’s take for example a travel blog, and you want to write attention grabbing headlines for your post.
An example could be “Top 10 (Most Dangerous) Mountains In North America I Dare You to Visit“
Your title must be strong, and you can check other blogs in your niche to see what they’re doing.
- Do they include numbers in their blog headlines?
- Is Parenthesis often used?
- Is a section of the headline in capital letters?
These could help you get more insight into what’s converting the most.
Tip 2: Optimize Your Blog Article For SEO
To optimize your blog article means to perfect every aspect of your article and make it visible to search engine crawlers, hence, getting higher rankings.
One of the most important WordPress plugins to install when starting your blog is the Yoast SEO Plugin.
The plugin comes with some little dotted icons that show you aspects that need improvement or that have meeting SEO requirements.
Once all of the dotted icons turns green, you’re ready to publish your first blog post.
You should check out how to optimize your blog content in my blogging SEO guide.
Tip 3: Make Your Blog Post URL SEO Friendly
To ensure that your blog posts rank well on search engines like Google, you should choose SEO friendly URLs.
How do you do that?
From the image in the post example above, you’ll realize that the URL is short, and concise.
Quick Tips for URLs that Meet SEO standards
- Ensure that your focus keyword (e.g mountains in North America) appears in your blog URL
- Keep the URL short (between three to five words is okay)
- Avoid numbers except it extremely important that you do so
Tip 4: Include A Relevant Featured Image In Your Blog Post
As you must have seen in the post example above, an image is used inside the article, right?
As it is important to use photos and images in your blog post, it is even more important to use a relevant featured image that suits the article topic.
A featured image is the primary image of a blog post or page. It is usually found at the top of content pages and blog articles, and most importantly, blog post featured images are usually pulled up first when sharing the link of an article.
Note that as you’re just learning how to start your own blog, you don’t need to invest big in premium photos, I’ve shared with you cool places on the web to get free classy and quality photos.
Now you can hit the publish button.
STEP 7: Market & Promote Your Blog
If you have successfully set up your blog, filled it with value-adding informative content, then it’s time to market and promote your blog
Getting traffic to a blog is one of the most discouraging thoughts that comes to the mind of anyone thinking of starting a blog. But it is really not that difficult.. Trust me.
I have mastered Keyword research and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it is the major source of traffic for every of my blogs. I get free traffic from Google search engine and it is FREE.
You may want to check out my guide on how to do SEO to explode your blog traffic.
SEO isn’t only the way to get traffic to your blog/website. There are other strategies that works depending on what works for you.
You can also:
Use Forums to Get Traffic
Often, just throwing your ideas out into the social media void isn’t very effective.
Instead, being a part of targeted forums and online communities can give you a way better return on your time—if you find the right ones.
Browse through relevant groups on Facebook to see if there are any vibrant communities that’d be a go.
Look for a topically relevant group to join on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn where your audience already exists.
You should also do a Google search for terms like “your niche + forum” and “your niche + online groups” to see what kinds of community-run sites already exist.
Run A Viral GiveAway
Running a giveaway is a great strategy to skyrocket your traffic and email list. A viral giveaway works like wildfire because it piggybacks on word-of-mouth advertising to help you get more traffic and signups.
Set up a contest/giveaway on your blog with a plugin such as RafflePress, which is the best giveaway plugin available, and it is free.
Start Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is when you write and submit an article to publish on someone else’s blog.
It’s long been a popular way to build brand exposure, expand your reach, build authority in your niche, and of course, drive traffic to your blog.
Here are other proven ways to get traffic to your blog and 25 key blog promotion strategies for every blogger.
STEP 8: Make Money From Your Blog
No doubt, one of the reasons you’re learning how to start your own blog is to have a side hustle that makes you money, isn’t it?
Now we’re at the part where I’ll show you couple of strategies to monetize your blog.
The truth is, there are many ways to make money on your blog, it all depends on what you’re comfortable with.
Start Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways bloggers make money. With affiliate marketing, you promote the products of other businesses.
Every time someone purchases the product via one of your affiliate links, you earn a commission.
So, say your commission is $5 for every sale. If 100 people buy the product by clicking your affiliate link, you make $500—cha-ching!
The easiest way to find products to promote on your blog is by joining affiliate programs like:
Sign up and browse through affiliate networks like these to find affiliate products you can promote.
There’s pretty much an affiliate program for every industry or niche; fashion, food and drink, education, health, and more.
It’s best to choose products related to your blog’s niche. By choosing products that are related to your niche, you know that your audience will be interested in them and more likely to buy them.
Use Google AdSense to Display Ads
An easy way to monetize a blog with ads is by using Google Adsense. Google Adsense is a program run by Google that displays advertisements on websites. When a visitor clicks on an ad on your site, you make money.
The ads that will be shown on your blog are targeted to the site content and the audience.
For example, the types of ads that show up on the travel blog Adventurous Kate are travel-related. Here’s one for honeymoon tours:
Plus, adding Google Adsense to your blog is super easy. Once you’ve set it up, the ads display automatically.
You can also track how many Adsense coins you’re making and which ads are performing the best with a tool like MonsterInsights.
Sell Ad Spaces On Your Blog
Another proven way to make money on your blog is to sell ad spaces directly to third-party advertisers.
While Google Adsense is easy to set up, the amount of money you can earn is limited. So, you might want to consider selling ad space on your blog directly.
By selling ad space directly, you get to set the price. Instead of getting paid a small amount for each individual click on an ad, you can charge a flat rate for an ad on your blog. By charging a flat rate, you can get more money and it’s easier to manage than tracking clicks.
To find businesses willing to buy ad space on your site, you can create an Advertise Here page on your website or use a platform like BuySellAds to connect with companies.
Selling ad space directly is a bit more difficult to manage than Google Adsense because you’re responsible for negotiating the pricing, coming up with the terms and agreements, managing invoicing, and all the other details.
But, you can make the process a bit easier by using a tool like AdSanity. AdSanity offers simplified ad management for WordPress. You can easily insert ads on your site, track views and clicks, and more.
Sponsored Blog Post & Content
A sponsored blog post is a popular blog monetization strategy. In a nutshell, a company pays you to write about their products on your blog. They may even write the post themselves, so all you have to do is publish it.
It’s similar to how influencers accept sponsorships to promote a product on Instagram or YouTube.
If you have a great-looking blog with quality content, a consistent blogging schedule, and engaged readers, many companies are willing to pay big bucks for you to promote their products or services.
To connect with companies offering paid opportunities, you can join blogger networks like:
You can also reach out to brands directly to see if they’d be interested in partnering with you.
Put together a media kit using a tool like Canva. With Canva’s pre-made templates, you can put together a stunning media kit in no time.
That’s just 4 ways, check out more ways to monetize your blog in this post.
Quick Summary of How to Start Your Own Blog In 8 Easy Steps
Here’s a quick recap of How to Start A Blog in 5 easy steps:
- Choose a blog topic of focus
- Choose your blog name
- Get your blog online (web hosting)
- Install WordPress
- Design your blog with a perfect theme
- Write your blog posts
- Promote your blog
- monetize your blog
That’s pretty much it. For more blogging article which you’ll definitely find valuable, I’ll update this section with more articles that you can bookmark:
Quick FAQs About Starting Your Own Blog
If you’re just learning how to start your own blog for the first time, I’ve got quick answers to common questions most beginners ask about blogging.
What is a blog?
A blog is a frequently updated platform online where the latest content is published in form of blog posts, videos, photos, with an aim of attracting new readers to build a community or grow a business.
How can I start a free blog?
If you want to start a blog for free, there are a series of free blogging platforms like Medium, Blogger, etc.
You can use these options if you want to begin practicing your writing skills or want to blog for a hobby.
However, as time goes by, if your goal is to start earning a steady income via blogging, or build a business around your blog, free hosting platforms like Medium, or Blogger won’t just cut it.
It will be best to go with my favorite hosting platform; Bluehost, or more premium substitutes like Dreamhost, or HostGator, to get your personal .com domain name and hosting.
How much does it cost to start a blog in 2021?
It all depends on your set goals and the kind of blog you want to run.
It does cost around $83.40 (minimum) to start a blog. This cost covers your first year of hosting and domain name purchase, and you could use free kinds of stuff like free themes, free plugins, etc.
However, other costs could include buying a PC, smartphone, or other hardware, if you don’t already have one.
If you want to upgrade to more premium (themes, plugins, and best web hosting, email marketing), then your blog startup cost will increase.
How to choose the right name for your blog
It could take you a while to come up with something great when it comes to choosing the best name for your blog.
Still, you can try out Smart WP’s domain name generator to get help with more creative domain name ideas you can choose from.
How do I log into my WordPress dashboard once I'm logged out?
No doubt you know you can log in to your WordPress blog by typing yourblogname.com/wp-admin.
If you can’t remember your login information, check your inbox for the welcome emails from Bluehost/other Webhosting company you chose, sent to you when you initially set up your blog.
If you’re unable to find the email, click the reset password option as seen below, and you’re good to go.
How will I make money blogging?
There are various blog monetization strategies that bloggers put in place to make a steady income.
- Some of the ways to make money blogging include:
- Selling advertising spaces (banner ads)
- Ad networks (Google AdSense, and others)
- Sponsored post offers
- Selling digital products (ebooks, online courses, etc.)
- Providing professional services and;
- many more
Check out my guide for more details on ways to make money on your blog.
How many months will it take me to start earning on my blog?
It is all about leverage. If you have reputable streams of passive income on your website, you can make money as early as one month from setting up your blog.
In most cases, on average, it takes between 5 to 6 months. This is realistic as more factors have to be considered.
This includes the topic you’re covering, your audience (whether an existing audience or you’re just starting to grow an audience), how well you optimize money-making strategies, and other elements.
Still, I’d say not as long as you think.
Imagine starting a business the old-fashioned way.
You have an idea. But you don’t even know if it will work or not. But you love it! You design your product, you get a manufacturer and make hundreds of your widgets, you rent a store in the nearest strip mall, you run a few ads in the local paper. And then you wait.
By this time you’ve invested thousands into your business and you have yet to make any income! Where are your customers? Slowly they drip in. After years you finally start to make enough money to pay all of your expenses and you can stop eating ramen noodles.
Sure, that is a bad scenario, but it is very common.
How to Start Your Own Blog (Summary)
Is Blogging A Faster Way To Make Money?
Now imagine you start a blog today. It costs you under $85 for an entire year of hosting! And that is the only expense you have to start your blog. That’s it!
You can immediately start affiliate marketing and promote the products you love. Within a few weeks, you can easily make back that $85 and even more.
If you’re not building an audience online you are missing out.
“In the last decade or so, blogs and social media have made it so that we all now have the ability to build a massive audience with nothing but a smartphone or computer.” – Mike Taylor
Just imagine there are hundreds of people waiting outside of your store who can’t wait to buy your product. That is what having a blog is!
Even if you don’t have a product or an idea yet. It will come. And when that amazing idea strikes, you’ll have a huge email list and a blog with thousands of visitors. Then you can pitch your product and make a full-time income. All from the small cost of starting a blog.
So if you’re just starting or you have a blog and need inspiration. Just keep at it. Keep posting consistently and grow your audience. Test new ideas. Try new courses. Invest in honing your craft. If you stick with it, it will pay off.
I’m certain that you have found this piece on how to start your own blog to be resourceful.
Have you got any questions? Do drop me a line in the comment section below and I’ll give you a quick reply.
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