Most Complete Guide to Start a Blog

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How to Start a WordPress Blog

What Is Blogging?

Blogging started years back when people used their websites to note their activities and ideas. And hence, the term “blog” came from “Web Log” and so the initial blogs were quite personal in nature. But today, blogs are generally used in the same way websites are used: to educate site visitors/audience on a particular topic or niche.

Ryan Holiday Says “The process for finding, creating, and consuming information has fundamentally changed with the advent of the web and the rise of blogging.”

The major difference between what one might call traditional websites or web pages and a blog is that a blog is usually filled with new content added to it regularly, while websites are usually filled with content once in a while. Hence, your blog should facilitate the regular updates of relevant information for your visitors or audience. it’s that regular addition of new content which is what really defines and separates the blog from a static site.

Even the posts themselves and the format they’re in matters little. It’s all just content. Here on The Social Media Hat, I use “pages” and “blog posts” and “articles” and “stories” to separate in my own mind and site organization what I’m publishing. But the normal site visitor likely wouldn’t know the difference.

We will get into some of those details very shortly. For now, what’s important is to understand that if you’re going to start a blog, that means that you’re going to be creating a website that you will need to update regularly with new information.

It’s an important point because that represents a commitment on your part that you have to stick with to achieve success. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to set up a blog, publish one post, and suddenly get droves of traffic that drive crazy amounts of passive revenue.

That’s a pipe dream.

Rather, know that it will take you time to develop an audience. You’re likely going to have to write a lot of blog posts and create a great deal of content, over a lengthy period of time.

How much and how long will depend a great deal on your individual goals. Are you doing this for fun? Are you hoping to make a little money on the side? Or are you hoping to turn your blog and interests into a full-time business and career?

Start a blog is no more an option again, it is now a necessity to have a blog, be it individual, organization, Church or religious bodies, Companies or even a political movement need a blog to spread out any information about why they do what they do.

Whether you’re interested in sharing some personal insights or building a passive online income for yourself, a blog is an excellent idea.

You can focus on whatever topic you’re passionate about, write what interests you, and connect with other people who share those same interests.

Scott Adams says “Blogging is like work, but without coworkers thwarting you at every turn.”

But we all have to start somewhere. For a blog, that means understanding some back-end technical details, and some front-end style and best practices.

But in your case, you want to start a blog not just to give out your view about something alone, but this time, you definitely want to make an income with it. This post is written to address such an issue. The post as a targeted view for every reader who wants to make money while blogging. You should be able to make at least $500 with the steps written in this post if you follow them perfectly well. Now we guess you are happy to potentially be able to make $500 each month. Kindly note that this is not magic make money scheme you will find on the internet, this post requires you to work, but you will not work hard this time, instead you work smart. Every step mentioned here must be used and not left undone.

How NOT To Start A Blog

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of what you need to do to start your blog, let me address and dissuade you from a few common mistakes and misperceptions about blogging options.

I Can Blog Using Social Media

This is fallacy #1. Some people will tell you that all you really need is a Facebook Page and you can just post all of your content there.

While you do need a Facebook Page, and we’ll be talking about that later on, it is not a substitute for a blog or business website.

First, your Facebook Page lives within Facebook which means you have no control over the environment. What’s in the sidebar and footer – what’s around your content – has nothing to do with your brand or business.

On your blog, however, you can use that space to promote your own business and lead your readers into more fruitful activities.

Second, and this cannot be stressed enough, you do not own your Facebook Page. Facebook can shut down your Page at any time, with no warning, and with no promises to reinstate it even if it was a mistake.

While most bloggers and businesses have little to fear with regard to losing any of their social profiles, is that really a risk you want to take?

I Can Blog Using A Free Website

What if, instead of a Facebook Page, you opted for a free WordPress blog. That should be OK, right?

No!

Again, just as with a Facebook Page, anything you’re getting for free means that you aren’t paying for or owning that thing. If you’re going to invest countless hours publishing hundreds of blog posts, do you really want to rely on a free service for that?

But there’s a deeper, psychological issue at play here.

If you want your new blog to be taken seriously, you cannot opt for a free website. No matter how hard you try, it will be obvious to every single reader that you are either too cheap to pay for hosting or too lazy to try.

Either way, that leaves a sour impression and they’re not likely to be interested in learning more from you.

How to Create a Blog

Choose a Topic/Niche/Keyword

The first thing you must take note of while creating a blog is to first take your time to look into your area of expertise when it comes to knowledge. What do you know best that people give you credit for, what do you do that you are willing and can even teach others, this will help in helping you in the long run? Choose your topic based on the Niche that you have high strength, have a strategic keyword knowledge before you start. When you plan before embarking on a project, then you’ve paved your way to success. But when you fail to plan, you have definitely planned to fail.

Choose a Domain Name

After you’ve made your research on how which area is your strength, it’s now time to choose what your domain name will be or look like. Let’s say your Niche is about HEALTH, you can have a domain name to be like “healthandissue.com”, “healthfocus.com”, “healthrecipe.com” etc.

You can learn from other experts, how even from their domain name, you can guess what the site is all about e.g WPBeginner.com, WPExplorer, and so on all blogs about WordPress. They blog on Tutorials that deals with WordPress. ProBlogger is about building a professional career with income via Blogging. And even from our very own domain name CMSFolks.com, you’ll know we write about Blogging and its platforms.

This will your users/visitors to easily remember you and even from day one, know the summary of your blog. Very handy when dealing with SEO and traffic

Pick a Blogging Platform

This is another factor you must consider, it is as important as anything you can ever think of. Your blogging platform is highly important and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Blogging platforms like WordPress.org, Joomla, and Drupal are the most popular of all, but there are other platforms like Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, Shopify, Wix, Weebly.

All these are all blogging platforms that people use, but we advise you go for either of the first three above (i.e WordPress.org, Joomla or Drupal). These three are the best to use, no doubt about that. But for beginners, we will strongly advise that you go to WordPress.org. it is the best for all beginners and some experts prefer to go for WordPress.org. There are a lot of benefits to choosing WordPress especially if you are a beginner, or you don’t know more about how to code. Just pick WordPress, you will thank us later, we can be on that. And for the sake of this tutorial, we’ll say you should go for WordPress.

Choose a Web Hosting Company

The next thing on the line is to go for a Web Hosting Company. If you do Google search, you will find tons of Web Hosts promising you what they cannot give, and as a beginner, you can be overwhelmed on which one to take.  

There are several factors you must consider when going for a Web Host, but to help you out, we have taken time to look into the best Web Host out there and we have come up with these companies. They offer the best service you can see out there, they are BlueHost, HostGator, iPage, SiteGround, DreamHost, and InMotion. But for the sake of this tutorial, we prefer you to go for InMotion, why? you ask they offer a free $100 to advertise on Google and Bing each, and you have a free YP (Yellow Page) directory listing and all these features we will use in this post to help in promoting your blog for traffic, which is one of the ways to quickly make $500 per month. InMotion also offers a Free SSL certificate. Now you smile.

Install Your Chosen Blogging Platform

We believe you must have chosen the platform you will like to blog on. We hope you go for our advice by picking WordPress…if that’s the case, good job and if not, good luck.

To install WordPress via InMotion CPANEL,

  • Log in to your CPANEL via InMotion AMP
  • Scroll down to Softaculous Section
  • Click on WordPress
  • Click on the Install button
  • Fill in the desired details like:
    • Choose Protocol: This is the option where you decide either to use http:// or https:// (if you have an SSL certificate. InMotion also offer free SSL certificate)
    • Choose Domain: This should definitely be the domain you picked previously and you also used to buy from InMotion
    • In Directory: Except you are trying to install in a subdirectory domain, we advise you leave this place empty
    • Database name: This can be left empty, only if you want a specific reason you to change the database name
    • Table Prefix: make sure you enter anything here with a maximum of 6 letters and make sure the hyphen symbol (“-“)is left untouched
    • Under the site settings section, you can enter your desired login credentials i.e your desired Username and Password you that you will need to enter the WordPress Admin Dashboard. Also, your email is also very important, pick your desired language, preferably in English (doesn’t matter)
  • Click install and wait for the setup to complete.

Design the Blog

Designing a blog cannot be covered in this post alone, but we will deal with the basics here. Remember we have a goal, and the goal is that you must make at least $500 in 30 days’ time. As you start a blog now, you should make sure you put the basic things check. Log in to your WordPress Admin Dashboard by going to www.example.com/wp-admin (remember to replace www.example.com with your actual domain name)

  • Theme: We believe you might have picked a lovely theme when you were installing WordPress in the previous step and if not, you can still. But make sure any theme you install is mobile responsive and it goes into your niche.

You can do Google Search for this “Best Free responsive WordPress theme for health Remember to replace Health with your Niche)”. This will help you with which theme to install. And you can decide to go for a premium (paid) theme. Install any chosen theme via Appearance→ Theme→ Add new

  • Logo: We understand that you might not have a logo, so we did the work for you. Except you have $5 to spare on sites like Fiverr (where someone can help you out with logo design) you should try out these free tools online that will allow you to design a logo for free even without knowing how to. Head over to sites like LogoMaker, Shopify, and TailorBands. Should you know photoshop or any other graphic design tool, what are you waiting for, design it yourself (DIY) and you can ask friends to help out o this task if you have any friend who will help you.
  • Font: Install and activate the Easy Google Font Plugin in your WordPress Admin Dashboard. Fonts are part of what makes a blog great and you shouldn’t miss out on that.
  • Color: You have to put color into consideration when you are dealing with your blog design. Color has its effect when you talk about branding. But make sure you make the color combo is in accordance with or even blend in with the logo color. You know what, just keep it simple.
  • Create Pages: Create important pages and they are:
    • The Home Page
    • The Blog/Tutorial/News page (name it whatever you like, just remember this is where your articles/posts will be)
    • Policy/Privacy Page (optional)
    • Terms and Condition Page
    • Contact Us page
  • Navigation Menu: Create a navigation menu. And you can do this by going to the Appearance→ menu. Remember to re-arrange the pages in the order at which you want them to be. And should you need any help, you can use the order used above
  • Sidebar: utilize the sidebar should your WordPress theme come with one. You can put in your sidebar stuffs like: Search bar, Recent Posts, Popular Posts, Newsletter, Social Buttons.
  • Keep It Simple: Whatever you do, just keep it simple. Even big brands like Microsoft, Google, and the likes, they all kept it simple.
  • Others: Try and do these things that are needed for your site flexibility. Don’t worry, you can do all these later if it’s taking most of your time but make sure you do them as soon as possible.
    • Install better Security WordPress Plugin and Sucuri WordPress Plugin
    • Install Disqus Comment System
    • Install Social Account
    • Install Simple Social Share
    • Install Google Analytics plugins
    • Install SEO by Yoast

Write Content

The soul of blogging is Content. There is no blog without content. You must put up content on your blog. Content is the reason why people will visit your blog, it is the reason why they will also come back to check out something new if your posts are filled with information.

When writing content for your blog, there are some things that you should put into consideration. Your post should be at least 500 words in length, well-formatted and with image illustration.

Let your content be optimized and targeted towards a specific keyword. With the help of tools such as SEMrush, Google Keyword tools, Keywordtools.io, Site Explorer, etc. you can write posts that are well-targeted towards your audience.

Make sure you have up to fifteen posts written. If that seems to be too much for you to write, try to use article spinner or article generator. But it will be better you have them written by you.

How to Craft Blog Titles

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves and start talking about your body of work, I promised you that we would spend more time addressing the title of your blog post.

Initially, this is the most important part of a blog post. Your title is what immediately grabs someone’s attention and draws them into the post – or it doesn’t!

“Your headlines are the first and sometimes the only chance you get to grab readers’ attention. Write something that makes potential visitors want to know more about the topic.”
– Steven Wilson

Consider that, for most of your prospective readers, your headline is the first and often the only part that they’ll read. They’ll judge your entire piece on those 6 or 8 words and decide whether it’s worth their time or not.

And to be perfectly honest, most of our prospective readers choose not to read more.

Whether you’re looking at shares to social media or emails to your subscriber list, it’s likely that 75% or more of your potential readers will either not see your blog post at all, or ignore it due to lack of time or interest.

I tell you this, partly to underline the importance of growing a large, engaged audience, but also to reinforce the point that your headline is the most critical component of a post.

Therefore, it’s worth spending time on!

How much time will depend on the article and how well you feel you know your audience and their grasp of the topic being discussed.

Sometimes, creating a title is challenging because the topic is quite advanced, and it’s hard to know exactly what to say in a short title that still adequately describes the blog post.

Personally, I’m usually willing to invest at least another 20 minutes considering what the best possible title for a particular post might be.

The crux of the problem is that every post is different. Which means there’s no truly right way to go about crafting a title. But I will share with you a number of techniques, considerations, and tools so that the process might be eased for you.

First, consider that there are a number of title “formats” which have been shown time and again to perform better than others.

What we mean by that is, given the choice between clicking on and reading an optimum format title versus a sub-optimum format title, social followers or email subscribers tend to prefer the optimum formats.

Examples include:

  • How To
  • Lists
  • Questions

So, if your blog post happens to give 3 examples of solutions to a particular problem, it would seem best to begin your title with “3 Ways to Solve…” or something along those lines. That’s a list or listicle.

Second, you’re going to want to look for ways to make an emotional connection with your article. A simple, factual headline like, “How to Rake” may accurately describe the post but is hardly exciting or interesting.

Instead, look for ways to develop the headline so that it includes reminders of the pain the problem causes or the benefits that may come as a result. Like this:

How to Save Time Raking Leaves and Still Get A Fabulous Lawn

With that headline, I’ve now reminded the reader how much they may dislike spending all afternoon raking leaves, and how much they enjoy it when they’re done and their lawn looks great. As long as the content delivers on that headline, we’re good!

Finally, there are a few technical considerations when it comes to crafting headlines:

  • Do not use Emoji in headlines
  • Avoid special characters and most punctuation
  • The optimum word count is 6 – 8
  • The optimum character count is 60 – 100
  • Recommend under 70 characters for optimum compatibility

It’s important to understand that your headline will appear in a variety of places: Google / Bing / Yahoo! Search Results, Facebook link preview, LinkedIn link preview, Google+ link preview, Twitter link preview & tweet text, and so on.

How to Generate Blog Post Ideas

The number one problem facing most bloggers is knowing what to write about next. There’s nothing worse than to be facing a deadline for publishing content and be staring at a blank white screen.

My blogging system completely removes that issue and makes your blogging more effective and less time-consuming.

Recording Blog Post Ideas

It starts by selecting a tool – I happen to use Evernote as I said earlier, but you can use Apple Notes, Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote or other similar note-taking apps. Full-blown publishing tools like Word or Google Docs are not as effective, as we want to be able to easily see all of our notes and switch back and forth. It’s also critical to use an app that works and syncs with all of your devices.

Within Evernote, I have a notebook for my blog and within that are noted for every blog post idea that I’ve come up with.

When you are first starting out, do some keyword research and begin creating notes for various topics that you think your audience might be interested in. I usually title the note using an initial title idea for the blog post, and then include any other ideas or notes within the note.

Then, during the normal course of my days, whenever I see or hear or read something that makes me think of a potential blog topic, I immediately create a new note within Evernote for that topic.

This way, when I have time available for writing – and I do recommend you set aside 30-60 minutes per day for writing – all I have to do is scan through my existing notes and see which topics I feel like writing about.

Be diligent about this process and you’ll create years’ worth of blog post ideas for yourself.

Keyword Research for a New Blog

I’ve mentioned keyword research a few times now, so it’s probably a good idea that we spend a moment working through that is and how to do it.

The keyword can refer to one or more than one word – a keyword phrase – which people use to find information.

For instance, you might have typed, “how to start a blog” into a Google search and found this blog post.

The research comes into play when we decide to use available tools to help us understand what other people are actually searching on, and at what volume, so that we can decide whether there’s sufficient interest.

In fact, not only can the research show us volume or demand for a particular word or phrase, but also how much competition or supply there is that we’d be up against!

Optimize and Use CDN

Speed is part of what makes a site visitor wants to come back for more. You have to make sure you optimize your website speed and use CDN (Content Delivery Network), and luckily, Cloudflare offers a free subscription for beginners to use. We also use Cloudflare.

Use Newsletter

Mailchimp offers free newsletter services for up to 2000 subscribers, which is still a good deal for most beginners and you are not exempted to use it.

Now, that is the first part of this post, you have now successfully set up a blog. We are sorry if this post seems to be somehow long, we didn’t plan it to be this way, we just want to make sure that no stone is left unturned.

How to Make Money Blogging

The next thing to do is to monetize our blog, this is one of the reasons why you want to start a blog right? Well, this is a well-detailed step by step to make money with your blog.

Methods of Monetizing a Blog for Beginners

  • Advertise
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Digital Products
  • Physical Products
Advertise

One of the most common ways to monetize a blog is to add advertising. Google AdSense, for example, will generate dynamic ads in whatever spaces you specify that is related to your content and therefore more likely to be of interest to visitors.

In order to see good revenue from advertising, you’ll need to establish growing levels of traffic. It’s poor SEO to fill a brand-new site with advertising, and individual advertisers will likely only be interested in working with established brands, so don’t plan to implement advertising right away.

When you advertise on your blog, it means you give others a chance to have access to display ads on your blog to your audience. There are two ways of doing this. It is either you advertise using a third-party advertising network or you sell ads directly on your site. But for the purpose of this post, we will be using the third-party advertising network.

There are many advertising networks but the most popular of them all is Google Ads. Head over to Google Ads and register with them. After registration, they will analyze your site, and approve it for an advert. But make sure you have no copyrighted articles on your blog (i.e no copy and paste content from other people’s hard work). It will take Google an average of 48hrs before your site is approved. And after that, log into your Google Ads account and get your code to advertise. Paste the code into your WordPress dashboard and there you go. Sometimes, you may not get approved from Google, then you can go for other alternatives

Alternative to Google Ads Network
  • Media.net
  • Infolinks
  • Adbuff
  • Rev Content
  • Bid Vertizer
  • Chitika
  • Click Sor
  • Vibrant Media
  • Blog Ads
Affiliate Marketing

Finally, what’s typically one of the most effective ways for bloggers to make money is through affiliate recommendations and sales.

The arrangement is simple. You create your blogging site around a central theme, identify one or more businesses that are already selling products or services which serve that niche, and then you promote them on your site. As an affiliate, you are provided a custom link to use to refer readers which, when clicked, automatically associates that visitor and customer with you. You get credit for anything they purchase and earn a commission.

Like all of the other methods, this is by no means an easy path to untold riches. You still need to develop an audience and establish your authority. And when you want to promote an affiliate product, you’re going to have to really sell it and demonstrate value, just as if you were selling your own product or service.

The beauty though is that fulfillment is 100% someone else’s responsibility. And if you’re able to create some really effective systems for funneling readers into the recommended products, you’ll begin to see real monthly earnings – enough to build a real living off of.

This is when you sell other people’s products on your website and in return, you earn a commission for doing that. With the help of WordPress plugin like Pretty Link, you can cloak the link given to you and make the link look organic. Remember to also install a WordPress plugin called ‘Frame Buster”, it will save you from a lot of headaches. But make sure you sell products that in your category i.e. you cannot be writing about health and advertise products about Real Estate. There are several marketplaces you can join to get products to advertise

Affiliate Market Place

  • ClickBank
  • Shareasale.com
  • Commissionjunction.com
  • Impactradius.com
Digital Products

You can sell physical products like eBooks, Music, Videos, Pictures and so on. With this, you can make thousands of dollars. Just make sure they are of high quality and not too expensive for your target audience to buy. You can use a WordPress plugin called “Easy Download Manager”. It will allow people to buy before download if you monetize the download via the plugin setting

Physical Products

Do you want to sell products that are physical that require shipping to the individual location? you should use the WordPress plugin called “WooCommerce”. It has everything you need to do all that you want, and it’s even free to use. You can sell any type of product that you want to put online. But also make sure you give your audience value for the money. Every penny spent must be accounted for, don’t make them regret spending it on your site, you want them to come back, again right?

Services

While selling services may not be the typical blogger’s primary focus, it certainly does offer a lucrative option, particularly if you’re simultaneously working to develop passive revenue streams.

In other words, while you’re working on building traffic and slowly earning more from advertising or other streams, you can still make a great living using your blog content to establish your authority in your niche and offer your services to other people. You can promote them directly on your site, as well as through third-party sites like Fiverr.com or Guru.com.

You can sell any type of service on your blog, be it Web design services, Consultation services, WordPress services, just name it and the WordPress plugin named “WP-Invoice” will help you out.

Promoting Your Blog site

There are several ways to promote your website, but the one we want to use is to take advantage of InMotion ‘s Google Ads bonus. Start a blog is no more an option again, it is now a necessity to have a blog, be it individual, organization, Church or religious bodies, Companies or even a political movement need a blog to spread out any information about why they do what they do.

Your comment is an encouragement to us, most people don’t comment, they just bounce off after reading, but your comment is a lot precious to us. We will definitely respond should your comment require so. Thanks for reading.

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