How to start a blog in 5 easy, basic steps. Starting a blog can be a great way to create an online business and work from home.
In fact, it allows you to live anywhere in the world with good internet access. As a matter of fact, I am writing this blog from Hawaii, a block from the beach and coconut trees.
Blogging uniquely lets you earn you extra income and express yourself in an engaging way.
Looking back, one of the best things I’ve done for myself is to start a blog. This is speaking both financially and professionally.
Whether you want to offer freelance services or start a personal brand, blogging is essential.
Through blogging, you can help others solve their problems you’ve overcome. It also allows you to establish your authority in the niche and make money along the way.
It’s true. It’s easier than ever to start a blog, and anyone can start. But the reality is, not everyone gets to earn money from their blog and see it grow.
If you want to start a blog that can earn you money, you need to start a little differently than the most. This is because how you start and set up your blog can either fasten your success or hinder it.
In this post, I’ll uncover every secret to starting a successful blog and how you can do the same in 15 minutes. It’s a simple 5-step process that I repeatedly use for all my income-producing blogs.
So if you’re thinking about starting a blog and make it a success, follow these 5 simple steps.
I know this because I’ve started and grown many blogs in my blogging career this exact way.
In the last 7 years, I started multiple blogs from scratch. I not only got them up running fast but turned them into passive money-making businesses.
Some of my blogs now receive over a million unique visitors a month with no paid marketing. My most recent one is building its audience base even faster. It’s now receiving 500,000 monthly unique visitors in mere 3 months of its launch.
But don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t always that easy and it took me a while to figure out the kinks of blog business. I made countless mistakes and took so many unnecessary detours along the way.
In fact, the first site took 4 years to reach a million unique visitors per month.
If only I knew what I know now, I could’ve easily grown the site to the current size in half the time or even less.
But that’s ok. They were important lessons in disguise and I learned a lot along the way. Most importantly, it equipped me with the know-how to help you start and turn your blog into a wild success.
In this post, I want to take you through only the 5 things you need to focus on when learning how to start a blog.
If you are ready, let’s get started. Here are 5 easy steps to creating a successful blog in 15 minutes.
P.S. I initially created this guide for my friend who wanted to start a blog. I packed everything I wanted to teach her in one place.
How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps.
1. Pick a Niche
This is one of the most important things about creating a successful blog. While conventional advice would tell you to find your passion, I urge you to dig deeper.
This is because there is more to blogging than you solely talking about your passion.
If you want your blog to earn income, you need to pick a profitable niche.
It must be a niche you can see enough people interested in it. You absolutely need to assess the size of your market audience and their need for what you have to offer.
You also don’t want it too narrow that limits your audience but too broad and lose touch with your core readers.
You need to pick a niche just big enough that makes it easy for you to find customers and monetize.
So how do you exactly pick the right niche for your blog? Here are a few tips.
Focus – Focus on topics that you enjoy talking about. Passion or genuine interest should be absolutely there. At the end of the day, your audience will pick up on the vibe and see right through your intentions. Be authentic. Be sincere. You also need to be able to commit to your niche, and passion helps greatly in that regard too.
To come up with some ideas, I suggest you write down things you love, care deeply about, or know a lot about.
Research – Do market research. Research your topics and niches you listed to see if there is enough buzz around it.
To make money from your blog whether by through google ads or sales of products, you need traffic. To drive traffic, you need a big enough group of people interested in it.
To do your market research, you can use Google Trend and Google Keyword Search Tool. They give a general sense of how much demand there is on that topic and if you can drive massive traffic.
For instance, let’s say you are a vegan and love making vegan dishes. You can check with Google Trend for the popularity and search volume for the topic.
Google Keyword Search Tool shows the search volume in the last 12 months or so. Use these free tools to get a feel of how big and how much demand and competition you can expect.
Pick ones with the stable or rising popularity and stay away from topics on a decline. This step gets overlooked easily, but if you want to build a blog that lasts, don’t skip this step.
Research profitability – Does your chosen niche pay? If you plan to earn income from your blog, it pays to know if it can be profitable. Do you plan to run ads on the site? If so, how much do those ads pay per click?
If you plan to sell products or services, research what you can offer at what price point.
Once you have a niche with potential for earnings, you have yourself a winner.
The next step is your blog domain.
2. Pick a Domain and Host
Picking a domain name is another common step new bloggers go wrong. And making a mistake with your domain name can cost you traffic and future earnings.
Not to mention, it’s one mistake you can’t really go back and fix, so it’s important you learn how to pick the right domain.
In my experience, a good main name is…
Short and memorable – my rule of thumbs is, keep it to 3 syllables.
Here is a great example, Veganketomom.com. Not only it’s short but easy to remember.
Compare this to a keyword-stuffed domain like vegan-ketogenic-keto-low-carb-diet-mom.com.
It loses the stickiness and sounds confusing. Keep your domain simple, short, and memorable.
Descriptive – A good domain describes what your blog is about. It should closely reflect what readers will find when they get to the site.
This is also a good SEO practice with real usability values.
Even better, incorporate your most important keywords in your domain. This also helps Google identify your domain and rank better for the target niche.
Also, remember not to include your name if you plan to ever sell your blog in the future. It’s harder to detach yourself from your site if the domain contains your name.
Once you have several domain ideas, you can check their availability with a .com extension. You can do this on GoDaddy Domain Name Search.
If it’s available, register and pick your hosting company.
I use WebFraction to host my site. It’s cost-effective to use a shared plan until you have huge traffic in the upwards of millions a month. At that point, you can switch to a dedicated server to handle all your traffic without a hitch.
3. Set Up Your Blog With WordPress
Once you have your domain, your next step is to set up your blog.
Although WordPress isn’t the only blogging platform and CMS around, it’s my top pick.
Not only it’s popular, but it’s the most powerful blogging platforms around.
For beginners, it’s also the easiest to use and get started with.
In fact, almost 1 out of 3 sites on the Internet is powered by WordPress.
Its biggest strength is it’s user-friendly especially for non-tech bloggers.
It separates back-end from content publishing. Because of that, zero programming experience is necessary to start and operate.
Another plus is it’s easy to find a WordPress programmer should you ever want to customize.
It’s all-around a very versatile, easy, and powerful blog platform that’s fairly cheap.
I have tried everything from Shopify to building my site from scratch with Django and Python. Now, I use WordPress for most of my sites.
Planning to sell your site in the future? This usability truly pays a huge dividend.
Let’s now get to how to set up a WordPress blog.
If you’re setting up your blog through WordPress, watch this video below.
While this is certainly a good way to go and takes you through all process, I have a slightly different setup.
For me, I like using Webfaction.com. It’s really easy to set up once you have an account with them as well.
They’re very inexpensive and provide great customer support.
Webfaction hosting fees start $9.99 per month in case you are interested.
If this is the road you want to take, here’s a video on how to set up your WordPress blog with Webfaction.
At this point, you have a site that’s set up and fully functional.
You are now ready to start creating content for your blog.
4. Plan Your Content and Start Writing
Up to this point, it was more about getting the technical SEO and starting a blog the right way.
Most tutorials on how to start a blog end here. But learning how to grow your blog is equally important if not more.
Ultimately, your blog’s success relies on your ability to grow its traffic and engage them.
And the way to do it is through your content strategy. While the lingo may sound complicated and confusing, it’s really not.
In short, your content strategy should aim at solving your readers’ challenges.
To start, come up with 10 topics your readers struggle with and how to solve them.
But be strategic with this process and take a macro to micro approach.
For example, my diet blog ketodietrule.com is about helping people start a keto diet.
My content planning is BUILT around that:
With Keto Diet in mind, I research keto-related keywords and phrases my readers are using the most on the web.
I came up with:
- Keto Diet for Beginners
- Keto Diet Menu
- Easy Keto Recipes
- Keto Meal Prep
- Keto Fast Food Ideas
Just to name a few.
This is a crucial part of content planning and marketing.
To truly engage your readers, you have to understand them in a deeper way. Practically speaking, you have to be using the language your readers are using. Again, your blog is about them, not you.
When you get this right, it will help you connect with your readers instantly.
This was the case with ketodietrule.com. Not only I was able to create quality content, but I created content that engaged my readers.
I credit it to having content my readers wanted and were actively looking for. I used the same language and phrases they use and understand to connect and communicate. All that leads to higher engagement and repeated traffic.
To sum up, research the chosen niche and come up with topics your potential readers want.
While Google AdWords can be a great keyword research tool, here are a few more to supplement. All of them are my favorites and I use them for all my sites:
They will help you tap into your readers’ vocabulary and come up with content that’s engaging.
This is how you will grow your blog from small to medium and medium to large.
It’s as simple as that.
Before you move on to the next step, let me also touch on how you write your content.
Only 2 tips for this.
1) Keep your sentence short, precise, and easy to read.
Nobody likes jargons filled articles.
Your readers also don’t want to feel being talked down to.
The idea of your blog is not to show people how smart you are. Its focus is only to help them solve their problems.
One tool I love using to keep my content in check is the Hemingway app.
It’s free and absolutely amazing. It alerts your content’s readability. I recommend keeping it around the 4th-grade level for most topics.
Another one is Grammarly.
Being a non-native English speaker, I don’t know what my life would be like without Grammarly. If you are a non-English writer like me or simply in need of a proofreader, Grammarly is the best.
Last but not least.
2) Start writing
I know we covered a lot in this section, but blogging is like riding a bike. You can’t make sense of everything until you start pedaling.
So just start because you don’t have to be good to start, but you have to start to be good.
5. Start Promoting Your Blog
It’s through social media.
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, you can drive traffic from social media.
My absolute favorite is Pinterest.
Once you release your graphics, you can keep bringing readers in for days if not months.
To get an idea of popular, trendy content, run some searches on Buzzsumo. It shows top-ranking posts and their repin count.
Take cues from those posts and do your original versions to capture more visitors to your blog.
If you are interested in reading a full post on Pinterest marketing, comment below to let me know.
I’d be more than happy to share my Pinterest strategy that rocks.
Lastly, spend at least 75% of your time promoting the blog you write. Do this until it becomes successful.