How to start a blog successfully on WordPress- 2021

Are you wondering for a long time to start a blog but are confused & stuck on how to start?

Do you want to earn some money from your newly created blog? Well, do not worry we got you all covered. We will first discuss the step by step process of how to start a blog and then we will discuss how you can earn from it.

So, are you ready? Let’s get started!

Table of content:

Outline of the blog post

 

Blog vs Website:

Most people do not really understand the difference between the two. They try to use it interchangeably. So, we will try to decode the differences so you will have clarity in the future.

A website is a static & standalone site that has multiple pages in it like the home page, about us, contact, product & services page.

A blog can be a subset of the website representing information in reverse chronological order. That is, a new post will be displayed first. Information is being updated dynamically in a blog.

Which one is better?

Ideally, there is no best thing as such. If your goal is to represent information regarding your business or organization then you can go with the website. And, if your goals are marketing-oriented then you can start a blog.

However today, due to content management systems like WordPress, you have the option to combine both in one. That is, you can have a website and in it, you can have a dedicated section for the blog.

Why should you blog?

  • It’s a better place to organize your thoughts
  • Showcase your skills, creativity & talent
  • Build your personal brand
  • Earn money through monetization
  • Interact with like-minded people

Who can blog?

The simple answer to this question is anyone. Really! Today anyone who has the determination & disciple to put out content can start a blog. And you do not need to learn to code for this. There are plenty of tools available that help you set your blog.

Now before we begin a further discussion, if your not a fan of reading then just watch the video below.

How to decide your blog name?

Deciding your blog name can be very overwhelming at times for many people. They might feel stuck. I personally did the same when I was starting. So I would recommend you to start your blogging journey and do not ponder a lot on the domain name. Names do matter but what matters the most is your content.

Having said that here is a checklist that you can go through while deciding the blog name.

  • Your blog name should be catchy, easy to remember.
  • Do not try to trick the spelling of your blog name. You may lose potential visitors due to this. For example, Flipkart.com used different spelling. But it will work for them now since it is a popular platform. But if you’re just starting then do not experiment.
  • Check your competitors to get an idea for your blog name.
  • You can use keywords relating to your niche. For example, if your niche is Digital Marketing then you can use the word Digital in your blog name.  However, there is a downside to this approach. You will have to stick to your niche while creating content.
  • If you want to create a personal brand then you can use your name as the blog name.
  • Do remember to check the availability of your blog name on other social media platforms.
  • If you are still confused then you can use name generator sites like Namemesh, Panabee, etc.

How to decide your blog niche?

What is a niche?

It is an area of particular interest or a group of a target audience. It is a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. For example, Technology is a niche and similarly, cooking is.

How to choose your niche?

Niche selection can also be a tedious task for some and you may feel overwhelmed. Your niche should be a mix of your passion, talent & market opportunities. Now, what do I mean by that? Let me explain…

  • Passion– It is the field that your curious & interested in. The field that will not make you bored.
  • Talent– It is your field of expertise. Either you should have the talent already or you should have the desire to acquire that talent.
  • Market Opportunities– The demand for your niche in the market. If your niche is Astrology but if no one is looking for it then you won’t go too far with it.

So select the right mix of three to make your niche sustainable.

Sub-niche and Micro-niche:

What do I mean by those terms? Let me explain them to you.

It is as simple as they sound. Sub-niche is like a sub-category, that is, a niche within a niche. For example, if Technology is your niche then Artificial Intelligence or Blockchain technology can be your sub-niche.

Similarly, micro-niche is more narrow and particular to one segment. For example, if AI is your sub-niche then AI in the field of medicine is your micro-niche. I hope you got an idea after reading this.

Pro Tip: As a beginner do not go with a broad niche. Try to narrow down your niche as much as you can.

You may ask the reason for this. So let me tell you the reason. As a beginner, your authority over the internet is not as strong as other established players. So, if you choose a broad niche your articles won’t be ranked in google search results. So to avoid that choose a narrow niche.

If you’re unable to decide the niche then I would recommend you to start a personal blog with your name. You can write on topics that excite you. Eventually, you will find your interest and then you can focus on that particular niche or a sub-niche.

How to select your blogging platform?

There are two categories of blogging platforms.

  1. Hosted Blogs– You do not need to host your website on the server yourself. Example- Blogger, Medium.com, Tumblr, etc. You will use their servers.
  2. Self-Hosted Blogs– You yourself need to host your website on the server. You will rent your own server and will host your blog on it. WordPress is a Content Management System that allows managing websites without the need to code.

Among the many available blogging platforms, the most famous are Blogger and WordPress.

Blogger:

Blogger is free to use but it has its limitation. Free things always come with some limitations.

  • In Blogger, your blog name will be set as a subdomain. This means your blog URL will be https://yourblog.blogger.com. You won’t have an independent blog name such as https://yourblog.com.
  • Your creativity and functionality will get restricted. You will be subject to their rules and regulations.

If you’re serious about your blogging journey then I will recommend you to go with self-hosted blogs. And the most famous among them is WordPress.

WordPress:

Some statistics regarding WordPress:

  • 35% of the total websites are powered by WordPress.
  • 63% of the CMS(Content Management System) websites are powered by WordPress.

Some Advantages of using WordPress:

  • Easy setup and free to use.
  • Plenty of free themes and plugins. You can also customize your theme.
  • You own the domain. And therefore, you are in full control of your blog and its content.
  • Easy to monetize your blog.

I will recommend you to go with WordPress. You will have to purchase a Domain Name & Hosting provider which may cost you around 50 dollars annually. (Price may vary depending on your plan, service provider & location)

What is Domain Name & Hosting? Let us discuss this in detail…

How to select Domain Name & Hosting?

What is a Domain Name?

In simple terms, it is the name of your website. In my case it is RuchirRaut.com. This name is mapped to an IP address. The reason to have a domain name was to avoid the difficulty in remembering your IP address. Just imagine if you had to remember the sequence of numbers to reach my website then how difficult it would have been. To make this easy domain names were introduced.

Each domain name is unique and you need to register it before you use it. You can register it with any domain name provider.

What is Hosting?

Hosting is where your site is hosted which is at the server location. Ideally, you can host the site on your PC but it requires huge processing capabilities, internet speed, and 24/7 your PC should be ON. Since it’s less practical to achieve all these things and therefore the need for a server. Remember this analogy, a domain name is like the address of your house and hosting is the house for your blog.

There are many hosting service providers in the market like Siteground, WPX, A2 Hosting, Hostinger among others. These are my trusted ones, you can choose any from them. You can read more about it here.

Remember to connect your domain with your hosting provider after you have purchased both of them. You can watch a tutorial for this on YouTube or Google it. It is very simple & I know you can do it easily:P

Tip: As a beginner, I will recommend you to go with a shared hosting plan. There are other plans also like Dedicated, Managed & Cloud. In the shared plan, you will be allocated shared resources on the server which is not bad for a beginner.

Few recommendations:

  • You can use Name.com or Namecheap.com. for registering your domain name.
  • If your domain name is very niche specific then it will be odd to talk about other things. For example, your domain name is FinancialAdviser.com then you cannot talk about health or fitness.
  • Purchase your domain name from a separate entity then your hosting provider. It will be easy to migrate your website to new hosting later. For example, if you have purchased your hosting from Godaddy then select the domain name from Name.com or any other domain name provider other than Godaddy.
  • Prefer .com as a TLD(Top Level Domain). You can choose country-specific TLD like .us(For USA) or .in(For India) if your audience is country specific.

How to do WordPress Setup?

After you have finished connecting your domain with your hosting, the next step is to install WordPress. Nowadays installing WordPress is very simple with just one click.

Themes:

It is the visual representation of your website/blog. Different themes give different look and feel to your blog. You can select one theme and start customizing it as per your need without the knowledge of coding. Remember to choose a theme based on your niche

I recommend using Astra or Generate Press as they are lightweight and therefore load faster. There are plenty of free themes available in the WordPress dashboard itself or you can also visit Themeforest.net and choose premium Themes. More free Themes available on WordPress.org.

Before selecting a Theme remember to read its description, ratings and preview it.

Plugins:

Plugins are bundled pieces of code that affect the way your site looks and functions. They add new functionality to your site and extend Theme capabilities.

Like Themes, Plugins can also be free or premium. You can choose according to your need from here. Also, if you know to code then you can create your own plugin bundle.

Some basic plugins that you need to install include Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, Cloudflare, Jetpack, Akismet, Smush, Google site kit among others.

We will have a detailed discussion on various plugins necessary to start a blog in our next article.

How to Write Your First Blog Post?

WordPress is a Content Management System that is structured in a way that allows you to publish your content as a Page or Post.

Difference between Page & Post in a blog:

The post is usually chronological and has a date stamp attached to it. The page does not have a date stamp attached to it. Also, posts are part of a page and not the vice-a-versa. Also, Post has categories and tags whereas pages do not have them. For example, Home, About Us, Contact, Blog are all pages. Whereas, articles that you write on the Blog page are all Post.

SEO Optimization:

After you have written the article you need to optimize it for search engine. If you do not optimize your article then your article will not rank on Google Search. Therefore, it is a necessary step and you should not miss it.

There are two types of SEO on-page and off-page. To do on-page SEO you can use plugins like Yoast SEO or All-in-one SEO to optimize your blog. Off-page SEO is basically to create backlinks to your article from other people’s websites. You can read more on SEO here.

Promotion:

After you have done optimization, you can post your article. But do not forget to promote your blog post on your social media handles, email list, Quora, paid ads, guest post. Promoting your blog post is as much important as creating it in the first place.

How to earn money from your Blog?

Once your blog is set up and you have written a few articles on it then you can monetize your blog. There are many ways through which you can earn. Let us discuss them in brief.

  • Google Ads– You can set up a Google Adsense account and then can place ads on your website.
  • Affiliate Marketing– Promoting other people’s products on your blog and earning a commission.
  • Selling your own products and services.
  • Selling Digital Products– E-books, e-courses, video tutorials.
  • Creating your online store on Shopify or Woocommerce for WordPress.
  • Selling membership

Conclusion:

Thus, we have discussed the entire journey from creation to earning with blogging. If you are interested to know more about Digital Marketing, check out this article where I have written down on Getting Started with Digital Marketing.

If you have any doubts, then feel free to ask me in the comment section.

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