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.
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…
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.
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.
I’ve just earned a Website Deal via my Blog!
So, this is the secret sauce to bagging clients.
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…
See how easy-peasy it is?
2. A blog helps you make money online
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.
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!
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.
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.
I took a long break in December to modify my website in order to cater to the right crowd. And I spent more time in writing a solid Business Plan.
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!
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.
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.
Because they were just blogging to earn a quick buck.
When the money doesn’t come rolling in ASAP, they lose interest in blogging.
It’s not that easy Sarah…
They weren’t blogging for passion.
There was no zing.
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?
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.
No questions asked!
These posts will also start ranking higher on Google.
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.
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?
- A Blog that has 15 posts on Fitness, 12 posts on Dieting, 15 posts on Exercise (or)
- 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
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.
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.
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.
This is the harsh truth about blogging. 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:
- Never keep your domain name too long. It will become confusing for repeat visitors.
- Make sure it’s easy to spell.
- Choose a .com because it’s super easy to remember.
- 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.
- For inspiration, look up your competitors. Try and not keep it similar to theirs, you want to stand out!
- When all else fails, go with your your own name. See how Kimi Kinsey is rocking her Blog.
- 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: