Looking for a simple, easy guide on how to start a blog in 2020?

You’ve come to the right place!

Kindly hold my illustrated hand and let’s get started.

I will show you how to start a blog that makes money from the beginning. Hold my hand and read these step by step instructions.

This is a super easy guide that you can follow especially if you have a no-tech background.

You will learn how to choose a profitable blogging niche, set up a blog from scratch and understand the fundamentals of blogging so you can grow quickly with ease.

Additionally, I will also teach you how to write your first post and make money with your Blog.

First of all…

Table of Contents

What is a Blog?

A Blog is a Website that is regularly updated with content which is displayed in reverse chronological order that either educates or entertains the reader.

A Blog is Website that is continuously updated with posts that are displayed in reverse chornoligcal order.I didn’t mean to scare you, can we start over?

Why start a Blog?

1. A blog helps you gain clients

No matter how talented or skilled you are as an Artist/Designer/Illustrator/Writer/VA/Social Media Manager/etc., it will be difficult for you to build authority and establish yourself in your field if you don’t have a blog or some kind of online presence.

By continuously blogging about your expertise, people will start recognizing you in your field.

Whether you are a writer/artist/blogger, your Blog will become your very own Portfolio.

Let me give you a small example.

Say, I’m a Website Designer.

This isn’t so hard to imagine because this is what I did for a living a few years ago.

Now say, I consistently publish posts related to website building, plugin installments and lists on how to optimize your website and so on…

Someone who wants to know how to implement a WordPress plugin stumbles upon my post and realizes that I’m an Expert in Website Building.

They understand how complicated it is and instead of building it themselves, contact me and hire me to build their website.

And voila!

I’ve just earned a Website Deal via my Blog!

So, this is the secret sauce to bagging clients.

The benefits of blogging are multiple fold. Blogging not only makes you look like an expert but also helps you gain clients easily.

Don’t try escaping. This bag is made of 200GSM paper.

Not only does having a blog make you look super professional, but it becomes very easy for your potential clients to find you and contact you.

And a Blog works for any field!

I’m currently an Illustrator and a Comic Artist.

And after launching my current website and continuing to blog, I slowly watched my email Inbox explode with Illustration requests.

The process is simple.

It goes like this…

The workflow of attracting a reader to your blog to gaining a client.

See how easy-peasy it is?

2. A blog helps you make money online

Start a blog to make money online. It's one of the best ways to make money in today's world.

Boy, I wish we had trees like this in real life…

Every Polly, Molly and Dolly is starting a Blog these days.

The main reason being, it gives you flexibility.

People can make money online without having to work from 9-5.

The investment is low and the pay-offs are high!

When it comes to Blogging, your earning potential is limitless because there are tons of ways to make money blogging.

No doubt, when you initially start your blog, you have to put in a lot of effort to get it off the ground by writing damn good content consistently.

This blog is a little over a year old and I am currently making anywhere between $4000-$5000 a month blogging which also includes my freelancing services.

You can read my 6th Month Blogging Income Report here.

3. A blog helps you build a Brand.

Similar to what I said earlier, your Blog will help you establish your Brand.

This is very important if you want to pave a way for your personal Success. No matter what you want to be in the future, a Blog is a great way to get eyes on your Brand and start a Business.

A Blog tells people your story.

A Blog is a great way to tell your story to the world. This is one of the reasons you should start a blog!

Whether you want to sell digital products like eCourses or eBooks, or be known as a Speaker, or just make a name for yourself, your Blog will help you get there.

As you keep publishing posts that help establish your authority, you will create new opportunities for you in your field of Business.

Thanks to my Blog, I’ve received invitations to speak about my Business in my local area and it has only helped establish my Brand and Business better!

I’ve been able to make countless digital product sales and I’ve got more eyes on my Comics. It will only go further up from here.

How my Blog made me my first $1000

I get a lot of emails every week asking me for tips related to Blogging and it brings back so many memories of when I first started.

I started my first blog in 2015 as a hobby.

It was called Mary Angela Designs. However, it doesn’t exist anymore. And for a whole year, I made peanuts. Well, not peanuts. Because peanuts… you can sell.

I made zero nothing.

By not structuring your blog correctly, or not deciding your niche properly, growing your blog will be difficult. That's why it's very important to choose a profitable niche before starting a blog.

It was a hard pill to swallow. My blog was making no money.

And on October 11th, 2016, I’d had enough.

I made a plan to monetize my blog.

And I did.

It didn’t take me longer than 2 weeks to earn my first $300 when a woman hired me to create some doodles for her. I started offering my services on my website and also signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate.

In November, I had earned my first $1000 through my illustrating services and products.


READ MORE: 17 WAYS TO EASILY GAIN CLIENTS ONLINE + FREE WORKBOOK!

I took a long break in December to modify my website in order to cater to the right crowd.

And guess what happened?

My pageviews and subscribers doubled. I got 2000 subscribers in less than 30 days which resulted in a huge boost in my Amazon affiliate sales.

In other words, I was able to make an income doing something I loved – writing and drawing.

All this while staying at home and having more time to give my beloved pooches.

So, in short; blogging helps you build a brand and name for yourself, and helps you sell your products or services. And can be used to make money online.

Now, let’s learn how to make a money-making blog in 2020.

If you don’t have a blog or are thinking of starting one, I have a free 7 day email course (extremely detailed) that will help you start a blog that makes money on autopilot!

Start a blog that makes money from day 1. The Ultimate free email course on starting a profitable blog that gains lots of blog traffic and grows quickly! Learn how to discover your profitable niche, write viral blog posts, create a blog content plan and sales funnels. #startablog #emailcourse #freedownload

How to start a money-making Blog in 2018 | This step-by-step tutorial on starting your blog is what you need. Do you want to start a blog? | Start a WordPress blog | start a website | start a blog with Bluehost | Beginner guide to starting a blog | If you're not sure how to start a blog or choose a good web host, this step-by-step tutorial will help you make a blog.

This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage which I will use to buy my poor dogs food.

The money earned from affiliate links are used to feed my poor, hungry dogs.

Do not start a blog with the sole intention of making money

Starting a blog is super easy.

But continuing to blog consistently for a long period of time is unbelievably hard. It takes time, patience and a whole lot of grueling.

This is one of the main reasons why a lot of bloggers eventually fail.

They enthusiastically start a blog and churn out blog posts faster than you can say “cheese cracker”, and within a few months there’s not a peep from them.

You stop receiving their emails.

Their last updated blog post is 3 months ago.

And you never hear from them again.

Why?

Because they were just blogging to earn a quick buck.

When the money doesn’t come rolling in ASAP, they lose interest in blogging.

Blogging isn't a get-rich-quick kind of scheme. It takes time to build an audience and make a full-time income.

It’s not that easy Sarah…

They weren’t blogging for passion.

There was no zing.

It is very important to blog about

The zing is important, hon. Because the zing is what fuels your writing.

And if you don’t have a zing, you don’t stand a chance to make money with your Blog.

Therefore, you must have a passion to write and be heard. You must be strong-willed and be ready to learn something new every single day.

And most importantly, you must treat your Blog as a Business from Day 1.

Apart from that, you require a blogging niche.

What is a blog niche?

A blog niche basically means that every post you write in your blog will specifically cater to one type of audience or niche. Meaning you will be blogging about 1 specific topic.

But is having a blog niche really necessary?

Why do we Bloggers really require a blog niche? Read this post to find out!

I’m a die-hard fan of post-it notes.

Yes, mainly for 2 reasons.

1. Having a blog niche helps you grow faster

By constantly talking about 1 topic, you become an expert in it.

Say you find a blog that has posts on

  • Choosing the right pencils for shading
  • The Best cross-hatching sketching technique
  • Different types of paper to use for sketching

and so on…

By reading a number of these posts, you will automatically believe that the Blogger is an expert in sketching.

By constantly blogging about your expertise, people will understand that you are an expert in a particular field. And once that happens, you will be able to sell digital products and your services. This is one of the biggest reasons you should start a blog!

No questions asked!

These posts will also start ranking higher on Google.

Why?

Because Search Engines like Google like to show posts that are written by Experts. They believe these posts will enhance their user experience because the Blogger in question knows what they are talking about!

And having 50+ posts that are focused on 1 topic is the best way to do that. Google loves when you are super focused on one topic.

2. Having a blog niche helps you make money faster too

Imagine you have a DIY blog that teaches people to make origami.

It is easier to sell origami tutorials to your readers if your Blog is about origami. But it's difficult to do the same if you blog about everything.

Can you believe that this started out as a swan?

It becomes easier for you to sell origami tutorials to your readers because they are obviously interested in it!

However, if your Blog is about Travel and Origami, it’s going to be slightly difficult to sell origami tutorials to all your readers.

Sure, there may be some readers that are interested in both Travel and Origami, but what are the chances that you will be able to make the same amount of sales?

Pretty less, right?

If you’re still not convinced, let me give you another example. Say you want to lose weight!

Which blog will you lean more towards?

  1. A Blog that has 15 posts on Fitness, 12 posts on Dieting, 15 posts on Exercise (or)
  2. A Blog that has 10 posts on Travel, 8 posts on Art and 12 posts on Fitness?

Definitely the first one, right?

It’s human nature to associate people to just 1 thing.

We automatically believe the person is an expert in something if they are focused on 1 topic alone.

So, now that you understand how important a blog niche is, let’s move on to choosing a profitable blog niche.

The 2 Parameters for choosing your Blog Niche

1. Your blogging niche should be something closely related to what you’re passionate about and have some experience in.

To discover your blogging niche, ask yourself, if this is something you’re passionate about. Think back on all the blog posts you like to read.

To find our your blogging niche, ask yourself what interests you? Don't just start a blog without having a niche.

What do you really get excited about?

I am interested in creative hobbies.

I have made money as a Graphic Designer, a Web Designer, an Illustrator and I’ve sold a lot of digital products as well.

So, I know quite a bit about Online Businesses. And that’s why I’m comfortable teaching it to my audience.

Since, I have lots of experience with online businesses and I'm creative, I've combined my love for teaching and creating into my Blog.

Likewise, ask yourself, what is it that you’re passionate about?

What do you envision yourself teaching to your audience?

2. Your blog niche needs to focus on a problem that’s worldwide and has people ready to pay money for solutions

I’m really sorry, but if you’re passionate about dogs, you should not create a blog on making socks for dogs.

When picking a blog niche, you have to choose a niche that's based on a wide-spread problem. This will ensure that people are ready to pay money for the solutions you offer. So, this rules out starting a blog that sells dog socks.

I don’t deny that it is going to be a seriously cute blog, but I doubt if people will be willing to spend money on it.

When you choose a niche, you have to make sure that you are solving a world-wide problem.

People spend money on solutions to problems that they really, really want to solve.

The easiest way to make sure that your niche is profitable is to go to Google Search and type the name of the niche you’re interested in.

If it’s pregnancy, then look at a few pregnancy blogs. See if they are successful. Watch how they’re monetizing their Blogs.

If it looks doable, you’ve found your perfect niche.

All in all, you have to find a niche that you are passionate about and is super profitable.

It means that you will have a strong base of readers who are going to love your blog and spend money on it.

You may be wondering, if its already been done before, why bother?

Because the demand is high.

If there are a lot of blogs in the niche you’ve chosen, you know for sure that there is a super high demand. This will make it easier for you to monetize this niche!

If it is difficult to narrow down your niche, you can blog about 2-3 closely related topics and group them in a single niche.

Let me give you an example.

A young girl wrote to me the other day because she was blogging about beauty, fashion and student life. She wanted to niche down and didn’t know if she should scrap her blog and start a new one or just give up completely.

I told her she didn’t need to start from scratch.

She could just rename her niche to Student Beauty Hacks where her blog gives make up and fashion tips for students who want to look their best!

Just know whom you’re writing for, and it will be super easy to figure out your niche!

You are now ready to start your blog.


What does Domain and Hosting actually mean?

A domain name is your website URL.

For egs: (www.facebook.com or www.yahoo.com or www.straycurls.com) and your hosting is where your website is going to live – imagine it as a house where your little blog is going to stay.

The bigger your website/blog gets, the more housing space you will require.

Now, first we are going to name your Blog baby and then buy it a house for it to stay in.

Choosing a Domain Name

In the first step, we are only going to choose a domain name, not buy it.

Skip this step if you’ve already decided what your website is going to be called and you’re absolutely sure the domain is available.

How to come up with a good Domain Name?

The first step in choosing a domain name is to not fret about it too much.

There are a few rules to follow but I’ll get to it in a minute.

Remember, no matter what domain name you go along with, it is your content that will take you to the final leagues.

Here are a few tips on choosing a good name:

  1. Never keep your domain name too long. It will become confusing for repeat visitors.
  2. Make sure it’s easy to spell.
  3. Choose a .com because it’s super easy to remember.
  4. If you’re finding it hard to come up with a domain name, you can create something that describes the niche you’re in. For instance, take Saranya who chose to go with One Fine Wallet because her blog is all about finance and savings.
  5. For inspiration, look up your competitors. Try and not keep it similar to theirs, you want to stand out!
  6. When all else fails, go with your your own name. See how Kimi Kinsey is rocking her Blog.
  7. Think of what you want to remembered for and use words that resonate with that!

My domain name is Stray Curls because I wanted people to associate me with curly hair. Plus, it’s really catchy!

It has nothing to do with blogging and online business but hey, it works!

You can check the availability of your domain here:


Please remember that people are going to love your blog no matter what your domain name is, because they’re coming to read your content, not gawk at your blog’s URL.

Choosing a good and reliable Hosting

Why free hosting sucks rotten potatoes

If you start a free blog, people can smell your hesitation a mile away. You're only setting yourself up for failure.

Never choose a free hosting platform.

*stomps the ground with her giant clown feet*

No!

I know that when you’re just starting your Blog, you want to go with the least expensive route.

I get it. I’ve been there.

But the main problem with free hosting is, your website is going to look like this – wwww.cupcakemania.wordpress.com or www.cupcakemania.weebly.com – ugh.

It’s identifiable from a distance.

And when readers stumble upon your blog, they’re going to take one look at that URL and go, “Eh, this lady can’t even spend money on a decent website, she’s obviously not a professional. I’m outta here!”

Because it’s just how people think.

Say you’re selling cupcakes. And instead of having a domain that looks like www.cupcakesbydolly.com, it looks like www.cupcakesbydolly.wordpress.com, do you really think people will buy your cupcakes?

Quality matters. Do not opt for a free domain or hosting. People can smell your hesitation and fear a mile away. And if you do not believe in your own business, why should they? Baker illustration with cupcake

They’re going to assume that you’re cutting corners on the ingredients as well.

Remember, people ain’t stupid.

Free hosting is going to undermine the quality of your Blog and it’s going to be really hard to try and get people to spend money on your Blog.

It’s sad and unethical, but everyone judges a book by its cover.

Everyone judges a book by its cover. So, if you start a blog that has free hosting, you can be assured that people are not going to stick around your blog for long.

And if that doesn’t convince you, here are a few more reasons why you should not start a blog for free:

  1. Affiliate Marketing becomes impossible. It’s difficult to apply to Affiliate Programs when you have a blog on free Hosting. No Brand or Company would want to be associated with a free blog. It tarnishes their image.
  2. You cannot place ads freely. Getting accepted into Ad programs becomes very hard because of the reason mentioned above.
  3. You can lose everything without any notice. Tomorrow, the free blogging platform you’ve chosen can close down and your website will be wiped clean. Or they can change the rules and you’ll have to start from scratch. It’s extremely risky!
  4. Ranking on Search Engines is close to impossible. You can say goodbye to your search rankings because Google will never rank free websites in their Search Results. Remember, they want to provide only the best user-experience to their readers.
  5. Your domain will look hideous. This will automatically drive people away.

Hosting and a Website Theme are 2 things that you should not compromise with your Blog.

Which host to choose?

There are lots of Hosting Companies to choose from, and when you’re just starting out, it’s good to start with a cheap hosting platform.

This way, you can test the waters before dipping yourself in completely!

When you're just starting a blog, it's okay to choose a cheaper hosting platform. This is the best way to test the waters and see if your Blog will make you money. That way you're not losing anything.

If you start gaining an audience and realize that blogging is indeed meant for you, then you can move on to a faster and better paid hosting.

The Best Host for Blogging Newbies

*whips out her pokéball*

I choose you Bluehost! When you're just starting your Blog, its better to go for a cheaper Hosting Platform. And in my opinion, Bluehost is best for Beginner bloggers!

Man, I can really rock a low ponytail…

I choose you, Bluehost!

I absolutely love Bluehost because it’s quick, efficient, cost-effective and reliable.

It’s the perfect solution for Beginner Bloggers.

Not only do they have 24/7 customer support, but they also give you a money-back guarantee if you’re not happy.

Now, that’s confidence!

Apart from this, WordPress gets installed automatically!

You’ll also get free SSL.

Ain’t that sweet?

And the best benefit of all: You get a free domain! Which is why I didn’t tell you to buy a domain earlier.

Why buy a domain when Bluehost is allowing you to pick one for free?

Why Bluehost is good for making a blog

Additional features include:

  1. Checkout Sitelock Security: Allows you to monitor your Blog and help you get Business Verification. If you’re planning to offer services on your website, you definitely want to check this out.
  2. Codeguard Basic: This keeps multiple backups of your website. If you ever make a website boo-boo, you can restore the last working backup!
  3. SEO Tools: Bluehost gives you amazing SEO tools that you can use to grow your blog traffic organically. Here is a screenshot of how it looks!

Bluehost provides you with amazing SEO tools that you can use to grow your organic traffic!

>>CHOOSE BLUEHOST<<

Now, since this is a step-by-step tutorial, click here to visit Bluehost and I’ll guide you through the whole process of starting a blog.

Baby steps.

How to make a money making blog by buying a good hosting

Go ahead, and click the Get Started Now button. I’ll wait over here.

Okay… done?

Choose a package

If you’re just starting out, you can choose the basic plan and slowly move your way upwards as and when you feel your website needs more space or grows a little bigger.

Type in your domain name

Now you’re going to have to pick a domain name if you already haven’t done it before.

The good news is, if you’ve already purchased a domain, you can click the second option. If not, then think of a good and suitable domain name (if you haven’t already) and select the first.

If however you can’t think of a domain name, that’s not an issue at all! You’ll get this pop up.

So, you can buy the hosting, and give a name to your blog baby later.

Did you know that I had no name for 8 days after I was born? Yep. My parents couldn’t decide on what to name their first born child.

To think that they had 9 months to come up with one…

After this, you will be asked to enter your payment and address details.

Entering Account Information

Below, you will have to choose your package details.

The best option according to me is either 36 months or 60 months because although this is a lot of money to pay upfront, it’s a huge saving in the future.

If you choose the most expensive plan, you will only end up paying 5.95 per month which means, you end up saving almost 2 dollars every month or $24 in one year!

Entering Payment Details

Below, you will have to enter your payment details.

After you’re done, click the little box to agree to all the terms and conditions (that no one reads anyway) and click on submit.

Phew!

On the next page, you’re going to find some add-ons. You don’t really need these for your blog, so just click on “complete”

All done!

Congratulations! You’ve just purchased your domain and hosting. And you’ve finished the first step of building your own website.

You should get this page.

Welcome to Bluehost

Now, set a good, strong password, until the bar shows green and you will get this screen.

Bluehost will have already installed WordPress for you. So, all that’s left is to pick a default theme. Just pick one. We will choose a better theme later.

Once you’re in, you will be able to see your Website’s Dashboard! This, sweetheart is where all the magic happens!

>>HOP ON OVER TO BLUEHOST<<

The Best Hosting for Intermediate Bloggers

Now, if you’ve already been blogging for 2-3 years, I highly suggest that you move over to SiteGround.

It’s a tad bit more expensive than Bluehost, but it’s worth the shift.

  1. They have minimal downtime. If you’re getting over 30K pageviews, then this will really help keep things smooth.
  2. 24 Hour chat. Similar to Bluehost, you can contact them any time and they will resolve any issue you have ASAP.
  3. Free SSL. Google ranks websites with SSL higher. It’s no surprise. And SiteGround gives you free SSL.

Overall, once your Website becomes a little more popular and you start creating more pages, I suggest you shift from Bluehost to SiteGround because the user experience becomes better and faster!

The expense won’t pinch you because by then, you’ll be earning a good income from your Blog.

Both of these Hosting Companies download WordPress automatically. However if you don’t like WordPress, there are other WordPress alternatives you can look into.

Moving on to my favorite part of the Website – The Theme.

Choosing a pretty and SEO friendlyWordpress Theme

Once you’re in your Website’s Dashboard, you can pick a nice, customizable theme.

A theme is like a dress.

You can change it whenever you feel like, make modifications, accessorize, and look all glamorous to suit your style.

Might I suggest Madame, that you start with Elegant Themes as they are a woman’s first choice when building a beautiful and powerful website theme.

Divi is personally a favorite among Bloggers, because it allows Bloggers to get whatever they want via drag-and-drop.

Yep.

No coding.

Additionally, it allows Google to index your website extremely easily. This is something you want because it will help you get onto the front page of Google’s Search Results!

 

Elegant Themes is constantly updating and adding new themes to their library. They also have wonderful customer support.

This is most important when you are buying a theme for your WordPress Website.

It’s a very elegant solution.

Elegant Themes - Divi is a beautiful theme for Bloggers. It's a drag and drop theme and is extremely flexible!

Because if you are unable to figure out something, you don’t want to be left in the dark.

Their Support Team will help you with any doubts or difficulties that you may have. And Elegant Themes is very simple and easy to use. Especially if you’re a newbie blogger with no prior website building experience.

What I love about Divi is that, it’s extremely stylish and customizable. See how easy their drag-and-drop feature is!

Divi is a drag-and-drop theme that is extremely flexible and stylish!

Did I mention that when you purchase Divi, you get over 800+ premade website layouts?

Choosing a free WordPress theme is one of the biggest SEO mistakes to avoid! Divi comes with over 800+ premade website layouts! You don't need to struggle with complicated website designs anymore! Just pick what suits your fancy.

This basically eliminates the need to get a Designer because you’ll have so many pre-made layouts to choose from! This is super useful if you don’t want to waste time trying to figure out how to design your website!

And if you buy Divi, you will get access to future pre-made layouts!

Note: Whenever you are picking a WordPress Theme, pick a theme that has a lot of demos and pre-made layouts. This makes it easy to change the look of your website without having to buy another theme.

Alternative WordPress Theme

For my Blog, I am currently using the Avada Theme by Envato Market because I love tweaking things and adding code. It’s a one time fee unlike Divi and it costs only $60!

It’s super pretty and extremely flexible. And its support staff is really good! It also integrates with a lot of plugins which I love the most.

Additionally, it too comes with a lot of pretty demos.

You can check them out here.

This makes building your Blog so much easier.

SEO wise, this is one of the best WordPress themes because it allows Google to index and crawl your website very easily.

It’s not a drag-and-drop theme like Divi but it’s mighty easy to set up.

You can check out the Avada WordPress theme here!

Installing must-have plugins on your Blog

There are quite a few plugins that you should get, but I’m going to list the few that really make a big difference.

  1. Akismet – You’re going to be getting a lot of spam comments as a newbie blogger. I speak from experience, yo. Akismet makes sure that this doesn’t happen. It kicks all the spam comments in the booty.
  2. Better Click To Tweet – This plugin allows you to add tweets within your Blog Post, meaning your reader can just click on the pre-written tweet and tweet it! Ain’t that awesome? More traffic to you and your blog baby. Woot woot!
  3. Simple Author Box – This will add an Author Box with all your social media icons on all your posts so you don’t look like an anonymous blogger on your own blog.
  4. Yoast SEO – In order for Google and other websites to find you better, SEO is a treasure in disguise. This plugin helped me get some of my blog posts on to the first page of Google. And this is by far my favorite plugin because it has gained me a lot of blog traffic! In my opinion, download the free version when you’re just starting. After a year or two, upgrade to the premium version. It’s worth it.
  5. Easy Social Icons – This is the best social media icons pack I’ve found so far. It’s totally customizable and has tons of options! I was able to upload my own social media icons and you can embed this widget anywhere – your footer or sidebar or posts!
  6. Smush Image Compression – This plugin will smush your images and this will boost the speed of your website because all of your images will be optimized!
  7. Social Warfare – This is the best social media sharing plugin I’ve found so far. Nothing beats the clean and neat design of Social Warfare.

Over time, you will find lots of plugins that will suit your needs. But don’t download it unless you find it absolutely necessary.

Using tons of plugins can slow down your website drastically.

By increasing your website's loading time, you will reduce your bounce rate!

Note: So, always make sure that your plugins integrate nicely to give you a proper and fully functioning website. If you have issues with a certain plugin or it’s not updating as it should, delete it immediately and find an alternative.

Writing the necessary Pages for your Blog

1. Start with your Homepage

When people land on your website, they need to know in less than 5 seconds what your website is about and who your Blog serves.

Make your Homepage unique, pretty and extremely relevant.

There are a few things you can display on your home page:

  • A little excerpt about yourself and a small button leading to your About Page
  • Most Popular Blog posts (if you’re just starting, then include the most recent posts)
  • A small description of your services/products plus links leading back to them.
  • Include relevant keywords in your niche on your Home Page. This will boost your SEO.

Your Blog is about you and the things you’re passionate about.

You can always change the design of your Homepage so that it reflects the real you.

2. About Page

Sometimes when your readers are going through your blog post, they’re going to get curious and want to know who’s the person behind that masterpiece.

So, they’re going to peek at your About page.

This is by far, the most important page in your Blog.

When you’re writing your About Page, you can include:

  • A little history about yourself: How old you are, where you live and why you started your Blog. When people know what drove you to start your blog, they will identify with your passion and relate to you better.
  • Whom your blog serves: Write a little bit about why you’re writing your blog and whom your blog is for.
  • A relevant and high-converting opt-in: Include an extremely relevant opt-in that will get people on to your email list.

Additionally, you can read this post to learn how to write an extraordinary About Page for your website.

3. Contact/Reach Me Page

If your readers love you and connect with you, they’re going to want to write you little notes or hire you.

Aside from that, Companies and Brands will want to reach out to you as well.

Have your Contact Page visible so that these people find it easy to write to you. Additionally, the more open and approachable you look, the faster you build trust.

Note: Make sure that you include a link to your Contact page on your Menu, Sidebar and Footer.

Publishing quality content to gain loyal readers

When you first create your blog, you’re going to be very eager to write a lot of posts and fill your Blog Page with a huge quantity of posts.

Do. Not. Do. This. Please.

Having quantity is undeniably important but quality trumps quantity any day.

This post you’re reading used to be one of the first posts in my Blog.

But notice how I’ve taken the time to make it super detailed and long.

I also update this post every year so that it never becomes outdated.

Blogging is hard work, but it will pay off eventually. And the benefits you reap from a long and helpful blog post is 10 times that of a short blog post with no aim.

Your blog posts need to be detailed.

Every blog post you write must have a purpose.

Every blog post you write must have a particular call-to-action. Do not write posts for the sake of filling up your blog. This will not help you rise.

I’m changing my name to Robin Hood.

It must solve a problem for your readers and in order to become an expert in your niche, you need to show that you care.

This means that you need to write content that will have your readers sticking around for more.


What kind of posts should you write?

Aim to write pillar posts. Pillar posts are usually evergreen posts.

Meaning, the information never becomes outdated. These are posts that will have people reading it throughout the year. Pillar posts are super detailed and lengthy.

If you write a pillar post, you’re way ahead than 90% of the bloggers in your niche.

Let me explain how.

Imagine there is a post on the 10 best foundations for summer.

But you go ahead and write a post on the different types of foundations for different skin tones.

You also give examples of foundations for oily, dry and combination skin. Additionally, you sort these foundations on price so that the reader can make a well-informed choice.

[me using green foundation asking “did I pick the wrong color?”]

And to top it all off, you also create a helpful tutorial video using your trusty camera.

Which post do you think Google will be more inclined to rank first?

Yours of course!

So how do you write a detailed post?

1. Be detailed and solve one problem at a time

Every time you write a blog post, try and tackle one problem at a time.

For instance, this post that you’re reading teaches you to start a money-making blog. But this post teaches you the different ways you can make money with your Blog. It sounds similar, but they’re 2 completely different posts.

At the end of the blog post, your reader must feel like they’ve learned something new and their lives are just a little bit better. Basically, they should be able to take what you’ve said and put it into action.

2. Every post must have a call-to-action

Every blog post you write must have a certain call-to-action that has to be decided before you write the post.

Your call to action can be anything:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Raising awareness for one of your products/services
  • Boosting Traffic
  • Making an affiliate commission
  • Getting more signups to your upcoming webinar

Based on your call-to action, you have to create a post accordingly.

If I had a Fitness Blog, I’d write

  • 11 Exercises you can do in your hotel room (boosts traffic)
  • My Review on the Paw-Ga Yoga Mat (Affiliate Post)
  • Case Study: How Anna lost 15 pounds in 2 months after joining The Skinny Gal fitness program (promoting my coaching business)

Once you know what it is you want to achieve, you can plan your blog content for the next 3-6 months. Or even a full year.

It’s easy-peasy lemon squeezy!

3. Write long posts

Although you might feel like you’re repeating yourself or mincing words, understand that your reader might not be an expert in your field.

When they land on your Blog for the first time, they don’t know what to expect.

Your job as a blogger is to make each post super thorough and easy to read.

Remember, what you find basic information will be hard for your readers.

You need to be able to break things down for them so that they understand what you’re trying to convey.

And you can do this by illustrating examples, giving them freebies, including infographics or breaking a difficult passage into easy-to-consume points.

4. Listen to your readers

Your readers and fans are going to write comments or emails to you. They will ask you questions or your thoughts on a certain subject.

Use these emails and comments to come up with even more blog post ideas.

Additionally, you can also use Facebook Groups to find out what are the most popular blog topics in your niche.

Note: When you’re just starting out, it’s best to write about popular blog topics. This will garner traffic more quickly and help your blog grow. Once your Blog is gaining consistent traffic, you can slowly start blogging about more unique topics.

5. Find your USP (Unique Selling Position)

I cannot stress on this enough.

There are a lot of helpful posts and tutorials that I’ve read but sometimes, I feel like it’s written by a robot. Your readers want to know the real you behind your Blog. A lot of people might cover the same topic you have.

Your personality needs to shine through your Blog.

What makes your blog special is the way you tell it. Your voice.

The way you connect the dots. Everybody’s perspective is different. So, write from your heart.

Note: I am an Illustrator and Comic Artist by nature. So, I try to include lots of illustrations and humor in my posts to make it easy for people to read.

Paul Scrivens loves to be controversial and factual. Every post he writes oozes his personality and people love it.

Find your “why” and express yourself whole-heartedly.

Additionally, you can use my Business Planner to help you find your voice and start a Business the right way!

Want a cute Business Plan to help you start and grow a blog from scratch the right way? I got you covered! #blog #business #bloggintips #printable #cuteprintable

6. Have an enticing title

Using relevant keywords is going to help your Blog Post reach the top.

For example, if you type “Things to write in a blank notebook” in Google, my post comes up as the third search!

It’s had over 30,000 shares and is still responsible for a lot of traffic to my website.

Remember, the headline of your Blog Post is super important. Only if the headline resonates with the Reader, they will click on it to find out more.

So, how do you write a good headline?

  • Aim to invoke an emotion like fear/curiosity/happiness. Egs: This Common Food is making you put on weight unknowingly!
  • Use odd and prime numbers to invoke curiosity. Egs: 7 Reasons Why Your Wife Isn’t Talking to you!
  • Add urgency to get readers to click on your title. Egs: How to become confident for your interview in the next 5 minutes!

Writing headlines takes practice. It doesn’t happen in a snap.

But here’s a tip that’s really worked for me.

Study your competitors.

Hop on Pinterest and read a few blog posts in your niche. Before you click on a title, ask yourself why you decided to click on it.

What made you click on it?

This technique has helped me draft better blog post titles.

Note down the titles that really makes you want to click on them and keep them in a swipe file.

Use this Swipe File as a template to write your own headlines.

Before you publish every single post, write down at least 10-15 headlines. Put them in CoSchedule’s Headline Tester.

If it gets a high score, use it as your main title. Use the others for your other pins. I explain my Pinterest strategy in this post.

7. Have a common theme for your blog post images

My Blog Post images have a common theme going on, meaning if anyone sees my Blog Post graphic on any social media (irrespective of who’s shared it), they’re going to know it’s from me.

Make sure you have a template and stick to it.

People are able to recognize my images on Pinterest and Google because they kinda follow a theme.
Blog post images must have a common theme to build a better and cohesive brand

I once emailed a very famous Blogger in my niche to let her know that I’d mentioned her in my Blog Post and this is what she replied:

Make sure your pins have the same theme. This will let readers all over the world recognize you by just looking at your pins.

I was super honored to know that she already knew me!

Now, mine include illustrations. But you can do this with stock photos as well!

So, what should you keep in mind when designing pins/blog post images?

  • Use a similar theme of stock photos.
  • Do not use more than 2-3 fonts on your blog post image.
  • Add your Domain Watermark to the bottom of the image so as to prevent stealing.

And remember to embed images in your blog posts so that you can break away from large groups of texts.

This will help your reader not get sore eyes.

Make sure that you embed images in your posts to avoid the reader from getting sore eyes.

Additionally, you can also embed videos in your blog posts. And the quickest way to do that is to film them using your laptop, phone or an inexpensive vlogging camera.


YOU WILL ALSO LOVE: 13 DEADLY BLOGGING MISTAKES I MADE IN MY FIRST BLOG

Overall, the process for writing viral blog posts is a tad bit long but super easy.

By constantly writing content that clicks with one type of audience, you become an expert and you will make a lot of sales and commissions because you will have built trust.

Adding Content Upgrades to your Content so that you can easily build sales funnels

What is a content upgrade?

A Content Upgrade is a small and simple resource you offer to your readers in exchange for their email.

This can be a small poster, checklist, workbook, ebook, a printable, etc. basically anything that will help your reader understand the topic betterin order to get their email addresses

The smaller and easier it is to consume, the more you will be able to connect with your subscribers.

Once you get an email address, they should enter an email sequence.

How does a sales funnel work?

In your email sequence, you should make the subscriber aware of the problem, educate them about the problem, and slowly introduce them to your product or service that will help them solve the problem!

Which means that your opt-in/lead magnet should be related to the paid product that is pitched to them at the end of the sequence.

This is the key to making consistent digital product sales.

This is a typical Sales Funnel that almost all Top Bloggers follow.

This diagram shows how a customer moves through a sales funnel. After reading your blog, your prospective reader signs up to receive your emails, and eventually buys from you thus becoming a customer!

In this post, I explain how I’ve set up a digital sales funnel using ConvertKit that allows me to earn over $600.

Where do you put your opt-ins?

This particular tip will make or break your Blog.

People have become blind to opt-ins because there are everywhere.

People become blind to opt-ins because they are everywhere.

So, you need to get sneaky.

You can insert them in your header image on the front page like how I do here:

Or you can insert them in your posts like how Meera does here:

Or, you can insert your opt-in form in your blog posts like how Meera Kothand does!

Or in your header like how Ana does:

Using an efficient Email Marketing Software.

ConvertKit is one of the best email collecting bad boy machines in my opinion.

Collecting emails is important because once you have a huge list of emails, you can send your followers newsletters every week.

These newsletters can include your products, services, helpful information and links to your latest blog posts. This not only establishes you as an expert, but also helps you build a strong connection with people who love your Blog.

>>GET A FREE TRIAL OF CONVERTKIT<<

These followers eventually become your customers because they love you and your products.

And when your readers keep coming back to your blog for more resources and helpful information, your pageviews increase – giving you a chance to get more sponsored post deals, and increasing your ad and affiliate revenue.

Blogging Income Reports that show you how more blog traffic can help you earn more money online.

So, more traffic basically equals more revenue.

You can take my free 5 day email course that will teach you double your blog traffic with just a few fixes.

Why I prefer ConvertKit over Mailchimp even though ConvertKit costs $29 a month

When I was first starting out, I used Mailchimp because it’s free for your first 2000 subscribers. But Mailchimp didn’t let me grow and if you have one person subscribed for two different opt-ins, they enter two lists and are counted as 2 people!

This is very annoying because you can’t keep the same person in more than 1 list without paying extra.

Sneaky lil’ Mailchimp.

Aside from this, creating sales funnels is very difficult.

So, after a whole year of using Mailchimp and only earning about 2000 followers, I switched to ConvertKit and made over 10 forms to collect email addresses which led me to earn over 2000 additional followers in less than 50 days.

Say whut?

If you’re serious about growing your blog and email list, I urge you choose ConvertKit as your email marketing platform. You’re never going to turn back.

If you’re just starting your blog and want to keep your blogging expenses low, then stick to Mailchimp. Upgrade when you’re ready to create and sell your own digital products on your Blog.

You can also tag readers based on their clicks in the emails you send out via ConvertKit.

Let’s say you are a food blogger. You send out a vegan recipe. Those who click on the link to read it, are obviously interested in vegan recipes. You can tag these people as Vegans.

Convertkit is super flexible and lets you tag your subscribers according to their interests so you can send them emails that they are interested in, which will increase your open rates!

If the same person clicks on a meat recipe, you can add another tag to them called “Meat-a-holics”

By segmenting your readers, you will get a great idea of what products or posts you can pitch to your readers. And this will help you make more sales.

Additionally you can set up an automation that directly sends them into a pre-written email sequence once they’re tagged.

ConvertKit also helps you build landing pages very easily!

>>TAKE A FREE TRIAL OF CONVERTKIT<<

Growing your Blog Traffic from the ground up

1. Social Media is your friend

Now that you know how to create great quality blog posts and content upgrades/opt-ins to lure in your readers and help them stick around, it’s time to learn the importance of promoting.

You cannot write your blog post and then sit quietly expecting people to find it.

It doesn’t work.

I know this, because I did the exact thing during my first 2 months of blogging and got crickets.

When you start out, you’re not going to be getting very good traffic because SEO takes a while to kick in.

The key is to be patient and keep promoting your content on all the social media that brings you the most traffic. Pinterest is responsible for almost 25% of my blogging traffic and brings me tons of views.

Pinterest is my Savior and it’s never left me hangin’

Pinterest has very good customer service and will never leave you hanging as a blogger.

Read how Pinterest changed my life by helping me achieve 18,000 Pageviews in my 3rd month of blogging!

Note: If you would like to see more blogging tips on your Pinterest Feed, then be sure to follow me so we can be Pinterest buddies!

After Pinterest, the second best Social Media is Facebook.

Facebook can bring you a lot of views each month, if you space out your posts and post about 4-5 times a day.


READ MORE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GAINING 100K FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM AS AN ARTIST

After one month of blogging, you can start recording your stats in a notebook. Keep a notebook aside for coming up with blog post ideas and recording your social media stats.

Ultimately, your time should be divided like this – 25% blog post creation and 75% blog post promoting.

2. Join Blogging communities

Aside from marketing on social media, keep aside time to join FB groups so that you can be part of a community where you can share your views and get help related to Blogging.

It’s nice to also help others because when you offer help and advise to others who were in your shoes 1 year ago, you not only make friends but you also establish yourself as an authority on the subject.

Try and not spam FB groups with links to your blog posts unless absolutely necessary However, if someone has asked for a resource and you have one, you may post a link to your blog post only if the admin allows it.

Helpful Tip: Instead of sending people to your blog posts, send them to your opt-in landing page. This way, you will get people on your email list.

Furthermore, when you make online friends, and have accountability buddies, you can keep tabs on each other and be constantly motivated to work on your Blog!

Having an accountability partner will help you stay motivated and increase your productivity!

3. Comment on other Blogs

There are tons of ways to market your Blog for free, and this is by far the best one!

Whenever you like a blog post, and find it valuable – don’t just leave.

Write a comment.

Ask a question.

Keep the conversation going wherever you go.

Not only does this help you build relationships with bloggers, but it also makes you visible on the Blogging Map.

Comment on at least 3-4 blog posts every single day. This will help you get noticed in the blogging community. Make sure your comments are detailed and well-thought of.

Here are a few posts to help you gain blog traffic:

Monetizing your Blog

If you start a blog, let it be out of passion for blogging.

Monetizing your blog should not be your first priority, otherwise your blog is not going to be successful. Your key motive is to connect with people, put your words out into the world and make a name for yourself.

When do I start monetizing my blog?

For the first couple of months (at least 4-5), don’t focus too much on making money.

Just focus on creating good quality blog posts and putting your name out there.

Building a brand is super important!

Keep writing and adding valuable information on your pages and posts. You need to have blog to promote, meaning you need to have at least 10-20 blog posts on your blog before you actually start seeing a good amount of traffic.

After you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can start thinking about making money from your blog.

Note, that in order to make money from your blog, you’re going to need a substantial amount of traffic.

Aim for at least 2000 pageviews a month in the beginning.

Slowly keep raising the bar as your blog grows.

On a completely different note, if you’re a Beginner Blogger and want to grow faster and better just check out my Blogging Bundle.


RELATED POST: 27 HACKS TO BECOME AN ULTRA PRODUCTIVE BLOGGER + FREE 12 PAGE BLOG PLANNER

Different Monetization Methods

Once you start a blog and it gets around 10,000 views, you can follow the below steps to make money from your Blog.

  1. Ads – When you’re starting out, ads a good way to make some extra chunk change. But in order for this to work, you need to have a lot of views because you only get paid if people click on these or buy something by clicking on them. Personally, I don’t use Ads. Because I find it ruins my web design and makes everything look too cluttered.
  2. Affiliates – Being an affiliate for a product means you provide a link to a product (that you are an affiliate for) and if someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, the company provides you a little commission at no extra cost to the person who clicked on the link.
  3. Products – I’ve made a lot of printables and eBooks that I sell in my shop. And you can too. You can either start a shop on Etsy or Creative Market or sell your products on your Blog like how I sell my ebooks on mine.
  4. Services – You may be an artist/photographer/writer/designer/wedding planner and so on. Advertise your services on your very own page. Let people know what you’re good at so they can hire you with a click of a button.
  5. Sponsored Posts – Write emails to brands you want to collaborate with asking them if you can write a review featuring their product. It’s a great way to earn money in the beginning of your blogging journey and earn some recognition.

Here are a few resources to help you!

If you like reading and you’re looking for a resource to learn how to create a blog, calculate your profitability and feesibility for each monetization technique so that you can implement the right ones for your Blog, then I suggest you check out my 270+ page eBook that will teach you every single strategy I’ve adopted for mine!

This eBook will teach you to start a blog and integrate services, products and content in your Blog so that you can make money blogging! Learn how to start an online business that makes money from the start!

Additionally, you can download my free 12 page Blog Planner right here.

Is this the end?

No.

Once you start your blog, your journey as a Blogger has just begun.

I know I’ve covered a lot of points and I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Hey, I feel you.

Therefore, make sure you bookmark this article so you can keep coming back to it and read it at your own pace.

I’m a Computer Science Engineer by default, but I’ve managed to create a blog that’s artsy and creative that not only helps people but also helps me earn my living as a Blogger. All my blogging knowledge comes from a lot of reading and experience.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I want you to know that anyone can start a blog and make money from it.

I can.

You can.

I’m pretty sure my dogs have their own blogs too.

Right now, every person and their dog has a blog. Learn how to start a blog with my super easy step-by-step guide!

But the secret to a successful blog little grasshopper, is to never stop trying.

Consistency is the key.

Sometimes, you might not achieve all the results you want to immediately.

Sometimes, you will feel frustrated or upset because you will feel like you’re getting nowhere.

Even so, never let it bring you down. Remember, nobody became a super blogger in one day. In fact, it takes months (even years) of practice and consistency to reach to the top.

Here are a few posts to help you get past those initial hurdles:

And, that brings us to a close.

I wish you all the best with starting your Blog!

So, what is your Blog about? Let me know in the comments below.

And if this post helped you learn something new, be a doll and share it with the world.

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Start a blog that makes money from day 1. The Ultimate free email course on starting a profitable blog that gains lots of blog traffic and grows quickly! Learn how to discover your profitable niche, write viral blog posts, create a blog content plan and sales funnels. #startablog #emailcourse #freedownload