If you are planning to Start A Blog from scratch, then this is going to be the ultimate guide for you.
I started blogging so as to help my friends with my classroom notes. My intention was to help my classmates and those notes would become handy for them to study even just before entering the exam room.
In my opinion, Blogs are meant to help people by sharing your knowledge from your expertise.
When I started blogging, I was no expert. In fact, I am not from a computer science background as well. So I did a lot of mistakes initially. I have learned things in a very hard way.
You will find there are tons of course which charge a huge amount just to help you to start a blog/website. But ideally, this knowledge should be available for free.
So I tried to consolidate all the problems faced, mistakes & challenges which I faced along my journey of blogging.
Here I am going to take you with the help of a step-by-step approach and help you launch your blog successfully.
I would like to expect one thing from you that you will not only read this article but you will start implementing side by side and you can always contact me if you are stuck anywhere.
“If you cannot implement you cannot learn to blog.”
In this guide, you will get the 11 most important steps required to start a blog from scratch.
Here are the 11 steps to start a blog:
- What are Blogs, Blogging & its use?
- Should you start a Blog?
- How to identify your niche?
- How to pick a perfect domain name?
- What is hosting and why do you need it?
- How to setup WordPress on Your Blog?
- Selecting a Theme for Blog
- What are the best WordPress Plugins?
- How to write your first Blog post?
- What is Keyword Research?
- How to monetize your Blog?
I am writing this guide after a good amount of research. The steps mentioned here are the first steps in your blogging journey. These steps work for everyone and with any niche. Make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues.
Let's get started!
Step 1: What are Blogs, Blogging, and its use?
As per Wikipedia,
A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts).
Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page.
I would say a blog is a place where someone with expertise in a particular field can write about their experiences and let other people also learn from his/her experiences.
This is the best way someone can learn. You always need not make mistakes and learn things the hard way, you can learn from the mistakes of others and make sure you don’t repeat those.
Blogs can be created without much coding knowledge. Google provides its very good platform called Blogger, using this you can create an amazing blog.
There are few other platforms as well where you can create blogs for free. But if you are planning on creating a serious blog then you will need to create a blog on WordPress.
You will have to buy a hosting solution where you can host your blog and all the associated files.
Until the year 2009, blogs were mostly managed by a single person and that person used to put content on the blog on a timely basis.
But after 2010 the multi-author blogs started to get traction. These are usually called MBA blogs. In these types of blogs, multiple authors can write about their expert domain and this expands the reach of a blog and user experience will also be better as there will be more knowledge available at a single location.
Fun fact: Today, there are more than 570 million blogs on the web. The number of bloggers in the USA alone is set to reach 31.7 million users by 2020.
You can read the following article to know more about Blog & Blogging:
Step 2: Should You Start a Blog?
Now you know about what are blogs, blogging, and the use of blogging. You need to ask yourself a question: Should I start a Blog?
This is very interesting at the same time a very important question to be asked to yourself.
You also know how blogs will help you increase the sale of your business with the help of content marketing and email marketing.
These topics are out of the scope of this book but I will be posting about them sometime soon on my blog so I will keep you posted about it.
I don’t think that everyone should have a blog. This step is included only to make sure that you are making the right decision to start a blog.
You need not create a blog because others are creating it. Blogging requires a lot of patience and hard work. You can not become a pro-blogger overnight.
The major advantage of blogging is that you will develop a good habit of writing.
If you are able to convince people through your writing then you are among very few people out there who have the patience of growing things big.
Writing is a skill and it is very difficult to reach the pro level unless you practice on a regular basis.
Read the following article to get more insights into this topic:
If the answer to the above question is NO then I do not want to waste your time to ask you to go through the following steps.
Step 3: How to identify your niche?
Once the answer to the above question (Should you start a blog?) is YES then the next step is to identify the niche of your blog.
A niche is an area or topic which is of someone’s interest. It is very important to identify the area of interest in life and make living around it.
If your area of interest is sports (it can be any sport) and you are doing a day job where there is no involvement of any sport then you won’t be satisfied.
It works in a similar fashion for blogging as well. You must start blogging in your area of interest only. If you do not choose the topic of your blog as an area of your interest then you will not be able to make the most out of blogging.
Your niche can be anything. It can be sports, education, entertainment, business, or anything.
Once I was talking to one of my clients and he was into a pest control job and he was not sure about the niche he should select. While we were talking we found out that he can blog about pest control. This is a very narrowed interest and hence this type of niches is called a micro-niche.
If your niche is micro-niche then you have higher chances of becoming a successful blogger. Because in your micro-niche you will be an expert and there will be less competition for you. So always remember “Go as micro as possible”
Don’t think that my interests are very unique and nobody around me wants to talk/listen about them.
Remember the world is so big that someone from the corner of the world will definitely interested in your niche and that person would be interested to read about what you are writing.
You need to be very honest while selecting your niche.
This is the basic step many bloggers miss in their journey. They start blogging about some random topic but over time they do not find interest or they do not understand how to make money from this niche and then they drop it there.
I don’t want that to happen to you. I genuinely want you to succeed in blogging and make it a full-time career for you.
I have written an in-depth article to help you find your niche. Read it here:
Step 4: How to pick a perfect domain name?
Well, now you know what is your area of interest for blogging that is your niche. It is very important to know what you are going to write about in your blog or what services you are going to provide to your potential customer.
Now once you know what you are going to write about the next step is to give a name to your blog.
It is very important to select the right domain name. Your domain name should resemble your niche, your offerings, and your business.
If you choose the wrong one (it can not be wrong, it’s just that it should suit your business) then it can become really a problematic situation to change a domain name and not hurt your older brand name and search engine rankings.
I would suggest not buying domain names (potentially this applies to all the life decisions) in excitement.
Your domain name can consist of words with the following meaning:
- first or last names in the brand name
- their full name in the business
- a name that resonates with your niche
- a name with some meaning attached to it
When starting a blog, selecting the right domain name can become a stressful job. I suggest you not to think a lot about it and just follow what your mind is saying about it.
Consider the following things while buying a domain name:
- Always go for a .com extension of the domain name.
- Try to include the keyword into your domain name.
- Make sure your domain name is not too long. Keep it short and simple.
- Try to make your domain name sounds simple and easy.
- Avoid any type of special character in your domain name.
- Do not always pick a domain name very close to your niche
- Do not take forever to decide on the domain name.
Read this article to know more about picking the perfect domain name:
Always buy a domain name from Namechap.com as they are the cheapest domain name service provider and they offer the best customer service. Click the below link to grab the best deals on buying domain names from namecheap.com
Step 5: What is hosting & why do you need it?
Once you finalized the domain name for your blog. The next step is to buy the hosting for your blog.
Hosting is an Internet hosting service provided by companies to host websites or to keep their website data on a server located at remote locations. These websites can be accessed through the world wide web.
Let’s talk a little bit about the History of hosting. In early 1991 there were very few websites usually used for scientific research or education purposes.
These websites had a very little web page and they were hosted on a private server inside the labs or institutes. Building those servers at that time was a very cumbersome and costly affair.
Very few experts were there to build the private servers of their own. Also, at that time the components required such as memories, processors were also very costly and inefficient.
So overall things were much slower and costlier then than that of the current time.
Hence, few wise men or women thought of creating a platform where people like you and I can create a website and not need to worry about building the infrastructure of servers & computers. Thus, this was a solution proposed and called Hosting.
There are many types of hosting such as:
- Shared hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Virtual dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Clustered hosting
- Grid hosting
- Home hosting
We are mostly interested in going for shared hosting for blogging purposes.
There are many companies who provide shared hosting for very cheap prices:
The way shared hosting works is that a single server with the infrastructure like computers, memories are shared between different websites.
It might be possible that this website and your website is hosted on a hosting provider are on the same server and are utilizing the same components.
Shared host servers can host 100’s websites depending on their specifications.
One more thing that is very important for servers that they require dedicated cooling systems because millions of people who are visiting the 100’s of websites hosted on the same server will generate huge computation and intern it will generate a large amount of heat.
Shared hosting offers the cheapest way to take your business online and also with the least amount of knowledge you can take your business online.
These are generally referred to as public transport where you will end up paying a much less amount for your travel from point A to point B.
You can buy hosting from any one of the following shared hosting providers:
Step 6: How to Setup WordPress?
Once you bought a hosting provider for your blog the next step is to set up WordPress for your blog.
The settings mentioned in this step are basic settings and are very important for your blog to rank in the google search engine.
This may seem like the most complicated step, but I will try to make it simple for you.
First, you install WordPress through your hosting provider.
Follow the following steps to get started with the basic settings required after installing WordPress.
Once you have installed WordPress the dashboard looks something like below:
Click the “Setting-> General Setting” option from the left side menu, the below window, will appear.
Enter the details like site title, tagline, WordPress Address (Domain name.com), and site address (same as WordPress Address), & Admin Email Address will be the one which you used to while buying the hosting.
Once you enter all these details save the settings.
If you scroll down in the same General Setting option you will see the below settings, choose appropriate settings, and you are done.
Now navigate to: “Settings -> Permalink Settings” Here we are going to set the default permalink of your blog post/article. Permalink is a name that appears in the URL of your blog post.
Make sure the black box option is selected (Post Name). This will make sure that the blog post URL will contain the post name so that it becomes a good practice as a blogger and helps improving SEO.
Make sure to get all these settings done right and your WordPress is set.
These settings are used by professional bloggers and I recommend you to use these settings.
Step 7: Selecting a theme for your blog
Now once your WordPress is set up, the next step is to select the right theme for your blog.
There are many FREE themes provided by WordPress. You can find all the themes from this link: Official WordPress Themes
But, I do not recommend you to go with FREE themes as they have the following cons:
- Limited Features
- They are not unique (some of the themes have millions of people using them so your blog will not stand out in the crowd)
- FREE themes can be poorly coded and put your blog/site vulnerable to security issues.
Buying a premium theme is a one-time investment but it will help you in long term.
I will recommend you to use any one of the following themes. These themes are used by professional bloggers and are top-rated themes. Click on link below to check out these themes.
Step 8: Best WordPress Plugins
WordPress Plugins are PHP scripts that extend the functionality of WordPress.
They enhance the features of WordPress or add entirely new features to your site.
Plugins are often developed by volunteers and are usually free to the public. Plugins are available via the WordPress plugin directory.
Plugins are available via the WordPress Plugin Directory.
Although plugins you find here are thoroughly tested and considered safe to use, they are of varying quality and are often works in progress.
Following is the list of plugins you need for various functions of your WordPress Blog/website:
- Akismet Anti-Spam (To protect your blog from spam)
- Backup and Staging by WP Time Capsule (This plugin takes an incremental automated backup plugin that backups up your website to Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3 on a daily basis)
- Easy Table of Contents (Adds a user-friendly and fully automatic way to create and display a table of contents generated from the page/post content.)
- Elementor (The Elementor Website Builder has it all: drag and drop page builder, pixel perfect design, mobile responsive editing, and more.)
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights (The best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.)
- Google XML Sitemaps (This plugin improves SEO using sitemaps for best indexation by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.)
- Mashshare Share Buttons (Mashshare is a Share functionality inspired by the great website Mashable for Facebook and Twitter.)
- OptinMonster (Best plugin to instantly grow your email list, capture more leads)
- Rank Math SEO (Best plugin for SEO and it lets you multiply your traffic in the easiest way possible.)
- WPForms Lite (Beginner friendly WordPress contact form plugin.)
- WP Rocket (WP Rocket is the most powerful caching plugin in the world. Use it to improve the speed of your WordPress site, SEO rankings, and conversions.)
Step 9: How to write your first Blog post?
Kudos to you for getting all the setup of your blog done in the right way. It takes a lot of patience and hard work to build a good blog.
Now once your setup for WordPress is done with the right plugins, perfect theme, and intuitive domain name, the next step is even more challenging and it requires military-grade discipline.
Now is the time for you to write your first blog post. First login into your WordPress dashboard.
Go to Posts-> All Post and click on Add New (as highlighted in the image below)
Once you click on “Add New” the dashboard looks something like below:
Enter the title of your post, add the content of your article. This is a WordPress editor or you can write a blog post using the Elementary as well (highlighted at the top of this image). Make sure you are adding this post in the right category, giving the correct permalink (as you did in step 6 of this guide).
Once you have added all the content right you can hit the Publish button on top.
Congratulations on writing your first blog post!
I am going to give away a content calendar that I use for my blog. In this content calendar, I add the article topics, time to complete, author, and proposed date to complete.
This is going to be a perfect tracking sheet for articles or blog posts to be added to your blog/website. If you follow this from the beginning then it is going to help you in long term.
Enter your email and you will get the calendar directly into your email inbox.
Step 10: What is Keyword Research?
Now once you are all set up for your blog, it is time for you to learn a little advanced topic which is Keyword Research.
Keyword research is a method of finding words and/or phrases that internet users use in the search engine (like Google, YouTube, Bing, etc).
Keyword research is a part of search engine optimization (SEO). It helps you to find the right type of keywords to be added to the article (this is generally called on-page SEO).
For example, your niche is Health and Fitness and you want to write an article about “How to lose weight?”
When you type this phrase in google you will see google will provide you with some suggestions as shown in the image below:
You can see there are so many topics that are generated around the original phrase which you were targeting.
Now you can include these keywords in your article and then you will see your blog is ranking in the google search rankings.
It is very important to do keyword research before you write any content on the blog.
If you do not do good keyword research then you will never get traffic to your blog.
There are tools out there which help you in finding the right keyword which people are searching. You must use these tools and create a list of keywords before writing any article.
The tool which we generally use is called SEMRush. It is the best tool out there for performing keyword research.
SEMRush tool helps you to:
- Do SEO
- Content marketing
- Competitor research
- Social media marketing
Click the link below to get a FREE trial of this tool.
Step 11: How to Monetize Your Blog?
This the most important step of the guide.
Everyone is working so hard at their job, but why? To earn money.
If you are planning on starting a career in Blogging then you must think about making money as well.
This will act as a push for you to go deeper into the topic and bringing out something which is very useful to the community.
So, if this question is coming to your mind about monetizing your blog then there is nothing wrong with it.
Let me be very clear about the statement which I am going to write next. You can easily make a very good living if you are a full-time blogger.
There are multiple options through which you can make your blog earn money for you. Few of them I am listing here:
- Providing Consultancy
- Advertising Products from your niche
- Google AdSense
- Affiliate Marketing
- Launching an online course for the readers of your blog
- Launching your own products around your niche
The potential is limitless. You need to be hardworking and passionate.
In conclusion: Start A Blog in 2021
I would say if you go through each and every step mentioned above it is going to very simple for you to start a blog.
You need three things with you to do it successfully:
- Right Guidance
- Hardworking Capabilities
Believe me, if I can do it so will definitely be able to do it.
If you are stuck anywhere you can write a comment below or you can contact me here.
All the very best.