Confused about ‘How to Start a Blog‘? Honestly speaking, do you really think a piece of content with bunch of images can do wonders?
Blogging has revolutionized entire world and let everyone start their online business.
Matter of fact is thousands of people are now starting a blog every single day to live a stress free life and enjoy full time with family.
Well quite frankly when I wanted to start my own blog ‘Bloggingceo.com”, I had no idea where and which step I should take first.
I searched couple of articles and just found the basic information.
In fact at one place I was really stuck (like you are at the moment). Since with a bunch of information reading out here and there (at different blog posts), I was really confused as to what I should do now after setting things up. What’s next?
Don’t be worried. By the end of this article, you will be able to not only start your own blog but also you will have a complete step by step process to make it successful by driving traffic and monetizing it.
I have written this guide while covering each and every step you need at the moment and I am sure by reading this whole article, you will surely have everything you need.
Let’s have a look to table of content as what information you are going to discover today.
What You are Going to Learn?
- 1 How to Start a Blog – Let’s Explore:
- 2 Step 1: Think Out of The Box (Choose Niche):
- 3 Step 2: Choose the Best Blogging Platform (WordPress)
- 4 Step 3: Choose Best Domain and Host:
- 5 Step 4: Tweak Your Blog Now:
- 5.1 Getting Familiar:
- 5.2 Tweaking Blog Design with Themes:
- 5.3 Configuring Plugins to Supercharge:
- 5.4 Yoast Optimization for Search Engine Optimization:
- 5.5 Secure Your WordPress Blog Now:
- 5.6 Connect WordPress.com for Advanced Features.
- 5.7 Speed Up Your Blog Now:
- 5.8 How to Create Menus:
- 6 Step 5: How to Create Pages
- 7 Step 6: Write Your First Blog Post:
- 7.1 Secret #4: Thousands of Article Ideas:
- 7.2 Need More? Brainstorm Topics:
- 7.3 Add New Post:
- 8 Step 7: Search Engine Optimization
- 9 Step 8: Social Media Marketing (Secret #5)
- 10 Step 9: Make Money from Blogging
- 11 Other Resources I am Using:
- 12 Conclusion:
How to Start a Blog – Let’s Explore:
The question how can I start Blogging must be confusing right? It is quite easy enough. There is nothing to be a technical person or a computer expert. In fact we need some basic skills. We need to be a creative person who can think out of the box.
- A solution provider who can solve problems.
- A passionate person who take things seriously.
- A challenger who can challenge the world alone.
A Goal of Money Making Blog:
At the end, we need to keep in mind that we are here to survive. We have bills to pay. We have family to live with. If you have goals to accomplish, you can become a better blogger than anyone else.
Secret #1: Affiliate is The Key to Success
Ever thought why people are spending too much time on writing blog posts? They are making huge money from visitors.
Let me tell you.
The most popular platform is Amazon and people write a complete buying guide on specific products. We call such blog a niche specific blog or a niche site.
Now think, you have written a piece of content on some products. A person visits your blog, explores it and picks the best product you have recommended, he will go to Amazon site from your link and will surely buy that product and hence you get a certain amount of commission by Amazon.
It’s very simple and we call it affiliate marketing.
The huge money is inside affiliate.
Though there are countless of ways you can make money with your blog by advertising, selling your own products or selling services. But the most important and quite powerful way is affiliate.
Affiliate income may range from $1 to $100+ per sale.
Anyways let’s jump into steps we actually need to know now. I am sure you are done with understanding the important things that I have discussed above and I am quite sure I have entertained and encouraged you well and you are really excited to explore more 😉
Let’s do it:
Step 1: Think Out of The Box (Choose Niche):
It is time to think and decide what type of blog you are going to create.
Think what is your passion and is super easy for you?
Let me clear it. Other will tell you to be very passionate about your topic that you want to choose. In fact I agree.
But here comes the secret. Would you go for a topic that has huge money or go with your passion?
Don’t be confused. The money is inside your passion.
For example I love smartphones. I recently bought brand new iPhone SE. I have a passion to search for latest smartphones, gadgets and keen interest to know what is best one. There may be more people like me.
Now let me give you idea how you can turn your passion into money.
Here I searched for “best iphone se case” and I got few results. Out of the results I visited a blog ‘digitaltrends.com’ since it was giving me 25 ideas to go through with.
Since there are other results as well but why I picked this one? Because here I got couple of choices to decide, which case to buy?
Why I Chose The Second?
Take a moment here and think how you can write stuff? I didn’t go to other sites but the one which was giving an in-depth overview of what I was looking for. So this also covers the perfect example of what to target and how to target inside your niche.
But here comes the point how will I generate income? Now look the site I visited is giving ideas about best iPhone cases and I can quickly go through with the link provided inside the content.
Once I click this button, I will be redirected to Amazon site and when I make any purchase, the site owner who actually referred will get a certain amount of commission and this is how the whole system is working.
Here comes another Secret.
Secret #2: Here is Your Niche – Pick Any
What if I tell you a very interesting way to find niche for your blog? Sounds Interesting? Let’s do it.
Go to Amazon.com and mouse-over to “Departments“.
Now when you click on departments, you will see something like this.
Wow! Over Hundreds of categories you can find here and decide what topic you should chose for your blog. There is no limit of ideas here. You can decide whatever you like. Each category has a great potential.
However the general niche topics mostly bloggers refer are:
But still you should go with what you can do best.
Step 2: Choose the Best Blogging Platform (WordPress)
This will be your final decision which will impact on everything. A worst decision will be a headache in future. Everybody looks for free stuff.
But seriously if you want to start a blog for free, then blogging is not for you. Since free has no value. A business can’t be built on free pillars.
Free platforms come with other problems too – like…
- No Advertisements: You can’t make any money with your blog since free platforms don’t allow.
- Less Control: Even you don’t have complete control over your content. No backups, no support and they can delete everything without warning and without informing.
- Non-Professional: Would you want having your credibility to be damaged here? Remember you get fruit when you seed right. Free platforms always represent their brand. For example bloggingceo.blogspot.com. Why would I want to represent here ‘blogspot’? Of course I want my own credibility therefore I would always go with my own brand which is bloggingceo.com
In fact here I would recommend going always with brand. Build a brand you like, build a trust so people will know more about you. Have a control over what you do.
WordPress.com or WordPress.org:
WordPress.com is a platform where you can start blog for free.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted wordpress blogging platform which you can use for free but at your own domain name.
Confused? WordPress has always been free to use but there is a little difference I would mention here.
- Hosted WordPress Blogs: The one which is created under wordpress.com and is free.
- Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs: The one which is created using the wordpress software under your domain name. For Example bloggingceo.com
With Over 74.6 Million sites covering 27% of internet world wide web, it has been the best. No word to describe its simplicity and power to design any kind of blog or a professional look website. The reason I recommend:
- Secured: It the most secured platform than any other. NASA, Technorati, Mashable and even more authority sites use this.
- Updating: It’s always updating it’s interface, security, codes and design to give us a user friendly environment to work.
- Tweakable: It is super easy to use. We get lots of free themes and plugins to use to tweak our blog the way we want. Use of contact form and creating sliders, menus and widgets are super easy.
Even the blog you are reading at this time is made up with wordpress. What if I show you one of my amazon affiliate site here which is also made up with same platform? Have a look:
I am sorry for name which I can’t disclose at the moment. But subscribe to my mailing list right now and I will send you update with complete strategy when I hit 6 figures with this site.
I am sure you have now a crystal clear option to chose the platform for your first blog. Let’s jump to another step.
Step 3: Choose Best Domain and Host:
The confusion may be here what, who and why to chose a host?
Let me clear it in simple way. As we discussed above self-hosted blog and a clean web url. For that purpose we need only two things.
- Domain: It is basically a name or your internet address which people will like to enter on browser address bar. For example when you want to go to Google Search Engine, you simply type Google.com which is actually an address to visit Google’s Site. In the same way Bloggingceo.com is my site. Now you understand what domain is. It is actually your blog name which will allow people to access your site again and again. It usually costs nothing more than a cup of coffee which is $9 to $12 only. I always buy domains from Namecheap which are more cheaper. However I will show you how to pick the domain name for FREE. Follow the guide.
- Web Hosting: We need a web host which allows us to keep our website files, images and videos. Without a host, our blog can’t be found since we would not have a place to keep its files. Also it’s the host that puts our site on internet so everyone can visit it. Treat it like a folder at your Mac. This usually costs $2-9 per month. But wait here, let me show you a cheaper one which is not only reliable but most trusted by WordPress itself.
Which Host is better then?
It’s quite interesting question here since newbie including me when I started, I had some bad experience with some local host and I completely lost my first blog. I was getting around 500 visitors per day that time and even I had no idea about marketing 😉
Anyways, there are just few things we need to keep in mind while choosing a host.
- Speed: Matters a lot. Google and all other search engines love speedy websites/blogs. Would you want your visitors to go away even before your site opens? Your site must response in seconds (Not more than 2 seconds).
- Uptime: The host must maintain 100% uptime. Would you want your site to be down for a single second? Of course not. Always look for 100%.
- 24/7 Support: IMPORTANT! Technically there can be any issue at any time. No matter for any problem. At least you must be provided full support right? Choose the one who provides full-time support to every single question you ask for anything.
There are many host providers so how can you pick the right one? Let me help you out here.
Bluehost – A Top Host Provider Referred by WordPress Itself:
- Over 2 million websites use Bluehost today.
- Offers $150 Free Advertising Credit right in your Control Panel
- Great support and Uptime
- 1-Click installation Services
Last but not least, it is one of the company that has been referred by WordPress itself.
Personally whenever I had any issue like changing username, payment methods and moving from other host, they took me online and helped me out quickly. The live support is just awesome.
Pick a Domain Name and Setup Your Blog Now:
Here we need few things to keep in our mind before we actually register our domain name not more than few points to consider.
- Choose a .com domain name which is easy to remember.
- Never use dashes in your name something like www.blogging-ceo.com which is not even hard enough to remember/call but also a non-professional as well.
- Your name should reflect your brand or product.
Further you can also check a complete in-depth detailed post I have written to find domain name which will be easy enough to understand before you pick a unique and eye catching domain.
Complete Your Registration First:
Mouse over to green button ‘get started now’
Choose ‘Basic’ plan. Since you are starting, it is more than enough. You can always upgrade later when you start getting traffic. Bluehost will scale you easily.
Enter your unique words here at ‘new domain’. Here is how you can get a domain for absolutely free. Or if you have already bought from Namecheap, enter at ‘I have a domain name’.
Now you need to put all your information here.
After you have put your complete information, scroll down a little and here you can see all other information such Account plan, Hosting, Setup and other fees.
Just click on ‘claim savings’ and you will see updated price information as below.
Bingo! That’s a huge saving. $95.40 isn’t bad enough to start your first blog which is not more than a cell phone you will change every next month.
Now put your credit card information, click on ‘submit’ and complete your registration.
Note: You can also pay with ‘Paypal’ for which you can click on ‘more payment option’ right above at credit card information.
Install WordPress Blog Now:
Installation is quite easy. It will take you only few minutes to setup your first blog. Just log on to your new Bluehost Account and click on ‘WordPress Tools’, then click on ‘New Install’. Choose Domain without ‘www’, leave ‘Path’ blank and fill other information.
CAUTION: This is important and mostly new bloggers do this mistake. Never ever put easy to guess username and password. Always use the hard one.
Once you click on ‘Install WordPress’. Your installation will begin and you will receive a successful message like below.
You see how easy it is to install wordpress on your very first blog? No matter now how many blogs you create. The process remains same.
Now login to your ‘WordPress Dashboard’ by putting this url into address bar. ‘yourdomain.com/wp-admin’
Replace ‘yourdomain.com’ with yours. Enter your username and password and login.
Setup Your Professional Email Address:
Here at the moment, I suggest you to create your professional email address since we are going to use this email with multiple signups at different services later. So it is better to setup right now.
Log on to Your Bluehost Control Panel and click on ‘Email’ button then ‘Email Manager’.
Here you need to click on ‘Create a New Email’.
Now finally put a username, strong password and click on ‘create & finish’.
Once you are done, you can check your email here at login page of Bluehost.
Step 4: Tweak Your Blog Now:
Here comes the main important step that everyone must be curious to know. We need of course a beautiful layout with bunch of amazing tools that can take our blog to next level.
So let’s get started.
After successfully login, you can see your dashboard which will look something like below. If you are new to WordPress, check out how it looks like.
Understanding the Basics:
Let me give you an overview of what options are there and what functions they got.
- Dashboard: Quickly gives you an overview of recent post, comments, activity and upcoming new with more sections later added when a new theme or plugin is installed.
- Posts: Allows you to create new post, make categories, add tags, and view all previous activities of them.
- Media: Any image, audio and video posted, can be found here. It’s basically a library to all these.
- Pages: Allows creating pages like ‘About’, ‘Terms’, ‘Contact’ or more. Add new pages or edit old ones.
- Comments: The beauty of a blog is your readers can send you comments on blog posts you create. You can check them here, approve, deny, edit or reply.
- Appearance: Quickly install new theme, change current layout, add widgets, make menus easily or edit your current theme codes. Don’t worry I am going to show you step by step how you can do all these later here.
- Plugins: A beautiful area that tweaks your blog to next level. Add new plugin like SEO, Social or anything you like.
- Users: Want to add new users to your site? Probably a new admin who will manage your blog. You can control all this here. User Roles are ‘Administrator’, ‘Contributor’, ‘Editor’, ‘Author’ and ‘Subscriber’. You can also edit your profile from here.
- Tools: Here you can basically import and export your wordpress blog settings. This is mostly used in transfer or with some plugins configuration.
- Settings: It has everything like setting up site structure, title and most importantly how you want your blog to behave. Don’t worry it is very simple and I will show you what settings we need to do.
Now let’s do some basic configuration to our blog.
Add New Categories:
Adding New categories is quite simple. Why we need them? These are useful when we create posts. We have to tell in which category we have written the post so that our user can quickly navigate the topic inside the common category.
Let’s say. My blog is about Football, I will have categories like…
- Long Shots
- Short Shots
Here is how you can add category. Later I will tell you how to select it while posting. Stay with me here.
Mouse over to ‘Post’ and click on ‘Categories’.
Now simply put a name, give a slug (same as name), write few words about what’s it all about and click on ‘Add New Category’.
Update Your User Profile:
Here comes another interesting thing. You can simply present yourself in your blog. A simple bio data appears at every post you create.
Here is what you can do, mouse over to ‘Users’ and click on ‘Your Profile’.
Here you can see First, Last and Nick name, update them and select which format you want to show publicly.
Now you can add additional information about yourself in ‘Biographical Info’ area.
Finally when you are done adding your personal information, hit ‘Update Profile’ from bottom.
Display Your Pic in WordPress:
Since you can see my picture is coming. There is no way in WordPress you can add your profile pic. But there is a simple way.
- Gravatar makes it easy for you. Here is what you need to do.
- Remember we created email address using bluehost account above?
- Register with the same email at wordpress.com
- Log on to Gravatar.com
- Under My Gravatar tab, click on ‘Add New Image’ and upload your pic, crop and then finish it.
- Once you add a pic, you can see a message asking to rate your pic. Use ‘G’ rated one like below.
Now once you have done all these, go back to your profile in wordpress and use the same email you have used at wordpress.com. Your pic will be automatically shown as mine 😉
By default Permalink structure is in ugly value. We can set it up to look more professional and clean. Read more about permalinks.
To set it up, navigate to ‘Settings’ and ‘Permalinks’.
Choose ‘Post Name’ and hit ‘Save Changes’.
Tweaking Blog Design with Themes:
Basically in WordPress, Blog is designed using a theme. We have a bunch of Themes available for free to use in WordPress. However here I would like to discuss something very important.
Secret #3: Theme Plays a Vital Role
A design is everything. No matter you have quality content in your blog. But if your design is poor, you might get attention of your visitors.
I would like to add here. If you really want to build a business online or you are very serious about your blog, always go for Paid themes. Why?
Free themes usually don’t get updates. Why would a developer update a theme for free since he is getting nothing from it?
You can also check a list of best wordpress themes.
How to Install a Theme:
Mouse over to ‘Appearance’ from sidebar and click on ‘Themes’.
Now click on ‘Add New’ from top.
Hold on a second! There are two things we can do here.
- If you have purchased a theme, we will upload it.
- But for some reason (low budget) or you are just starting, it’s ok to start with free one. Later we can upgrade.
Let me show you both way.
To Install Free One:
Here once you click on ‘Add New’, you can browse some ‘Featured’ themes available on same page. Check out which you like the most. Mouse over to that and you will see a button of ‘Install’.
There are only few. But you can explore to 1,000+ free designs from here. Just click on ‘Feature Filter’ and select what kind of design you are interested in.
You will be having amazing results. Click on ‘Apply Filters’ to see and then choose which layout is suitable for you.
In my case I like ‘eMag’. Mouse over to layout you like and click on ‘Install’.
Next you will see an option to ‘Activate’ on the same place where ‘Install’ was written before. ‘Activate’ theme and you are done here installing a new free theme.
Congratulations! We have successfully installed free theme.
To Install Paid One:
Installing paid theme isn’t hard. Once you have purchased theme from Themeforest or MyThemeShop or Magazine3, all you have to do is to mouse over to ‘Appearance’, then click on ‘Themes’ and then ‘Add New’. After it we need to click on ‘Upload Theme’. Now ‘Choose File’ and then ‘Install Now’.
Once it’s installed, click on ‘Activate’ and congratulations as now you have a paid theme installed.
Here I used Voice as I told before, the same theme I am using at this blog.
What Else You Need:
Well at this point since we are just new here and we need to configure here lots of things. But definitely here our blog will look ugly if we don’t have some basic designs like ‘Logo’
Add a Logo:
If you don’t have a logo at this stage, don’t worry. Get the one at Fiverr for as cheap as $5. But I can also help you in that and I have a professional team who design stunning and beautiful logos or big brands. Do contact me.
However adding a logo can be different in all themes. Since every theme has its own functions/options that display randomly as developers want.
Also some times, theme options come under ‘Appearance’ or separately like I have below which I got after installing ‘Voice‘.
Here is what you actually need to do. Mouse over to ‘Themes Options’, Select ‘Header Styling’, Click on ‘Upload’, chose your logo file, let it be uploaded and finally click on ‘Save Changes’.
At this time, you don’t need to be worried about how your blog looks like. Just stay with me and let me configure some more settings for you. Once you complete all steps, you will be happy.
Configuring Plugins to Supercharge:
Here comes the most important part that you must look closely. Plugins actually help in adding additional features like having contact forms, increasing site speed, securing wordpress blog, social integrity and most importantly optimization for better search engine traffic.
CAUTION: I extremely advice you to please check and review the plugin before you use them. Some plugins developer may harm your blogs. However don’t worry about which plugin to chose. Let me share them all with you.
Most Important Plugins:
Here I am sharing the most important yet useful Plugins you should use and of course I am using too.
- Yoast SEO: All in one SEO Solution plugin for WordPress that gives powerful analysis, optimization tips, XML sitemap settings, Webmaster Tools functionality and much more.
- BulletProof Security: Ultimate Plugin that provides amazing security to your wordpress blog from hackers.
- Contact Form 7: Very simple, easy and flexible contact form generator plugin.
- Jetpack: Connects self hosted blog to wordpress.com to use useful features. In fact it comes up with one in all complete solution, for optimization, security, analytics and more. Read More
- Shortcodes Ultimate: Supercharge posts with unique, useful and wonderful designs and layout. Help to embed eye-catching notes, points, highlighter, divider, etc.
- Social Pug: Helps to add beautiful social sharing buttons to posts and pages.
- WP-Sweep: Basically very helpful to optimize our database and helps to reduce unwanted, additional and useless tables and information. Such as revisions, trashed comments, duplicate items, etc.
- Pretty Link Lite: Amazingly converts affiliates links into beautiful links and allows tracking. (Very important for affiliate links).
- Wp Subscribe Pro (Paid): Simple and Powerful to collect emails subscription at your blog. It also supports all major Emails List Providers like Aweber, Mailchimp, GetResponse, etc.
- WP Rocket (Paid): Want to speed up time load? Check out my Blog Load Time here. I am using the same plugin to optimize speed.
- Imagify: Reduces image file sizes without losing quality to make images open faster.
I am using all these plugins for my every single blog that I own since these are the best plugins I found ever. Don’t worry here at all. I will be sharing how to easily configure them on the same page.
How to Install a Plugin:
I will be showing you by installing a plugin as well as setting up some of them to help you understand more. It’s also going to be helpful for you to optimize more to avoid any mistake in future.
To install, navigate your mouse on ‘Plugins’ and click on ‘Add New’.
I will be installing here ‘Yoast SEO’ and later will show you the configuration part of it. Rest of the plugins I am sure you can easily install. Let’s begin.
Search for ‘Yoast SEO’ in search bar. Now click on ‘Install Now’ as you can see below.
After installing, click on ‘Activate’.
Now you can apply the same process for every plugin I have shared above. These plugins will not only make your blog faster and secured but also more optimized.
Upload a Plugin File to Install (Manually)
If you have purchased a paid plugin or you have downloaded from wordpress.org, the process is also easy to install.
Simply Mouse over to ‘Plugins’ and then ‘Add New’. Now ‘Upload Plugin’ and ‘Choose File’ and finally click on ‘Install Now’.
After installation, activate the plugin and you’re done.
Yoast Optimization for Search Engine Optimization:
This is the most important part because we are going to setup the basic settings for SEO. I will be skipping the unnecessary options but will completely focus on major things that we must configure right now before we continue doing anything else.
Ready? Alright! Mouse over to ‘SEO’ from sidebar of your wordpress dashboard. Click on ‘Dashboard’ here.
First you should be enabling all advanced features. Click on ‘Features’, under this tab, you need to set ‘Advanced settings pages’ as ‘Enabled’ to unlock more advanced features of the ‘Yoast’. Click on ‘Save Changes’ in the last.
After that you need to open ‘Your Info’. Put all your information as mine below.
If you choose,
- Company: Put your Blog Name (probably your domain name)
- Person: Put Your Name.
Connect & Verify Webmaster Tools:
I am now going to connect my blog with Google Search Console which actually helps a site to reach its goals in terms of getting index. I can also get the following features/information…
- Keywords I am ranking for.
- Keywords Position in Google Search Engine.
- Links from Other Sites.
- Setting up Targeted Country in which I want ranking.
Let’s connect your blog now. Under ‘Webmaster Tools’ tab click on ‘Google Search Console’. Here you will be asked to login to your Google Account. You can use ‘Gmail, YouTube or Google Doc’ account to login. Once you are logged in, do the following.
Chose ‘Alternate methods’, then ‘HTML tag’ and copy the alphanumeric code that you can see after content as shown in the pic below.
Now copy the same code in ‘Google Search Console’ column under ‘Webmaster Tools’ tab and click ‘Save Changes’.
Now go back to Console page and click on ‘Verify’.
In next you will see a congratulations page.
Important: Basically there are two versions of a domain name. One comes up with ‘www’ and other without it. I added with ‘www’ and you need to add without ‘www’ also. You can now add this property by going to front page of Google Search Console.
Setting Up Title & Meta:
We need to put Title and Meta Description.
By doing so we are actually telling search engines which title to index and what setting to grab for posts, media, pages, categories, archive and other.
Title for Homepage:
First of all, Mouse over ‘SEO’ from sidebar again and go to ‘Title & Metas’. Now under ‘Homepage’ Tab, give your blog a title and description that will be shown in search results.
Search engines will show results like this..
I will also tell you some important things about social media and its importance later in this post. At this time, if you already know about social media like Facebook page, Twitter Profile, Pinterest, Google+ and other important platforms, make profiles/pages on each platform and link them up here same like below.
Mouse over to ‘SEO’ and then ‘Social’. Put all your social links and finally ‘Save Changes’.
As a result of this search engines will better know which is your official profile/pages.
Setup & Submit XML Sitemap:
We are almost done and this is final setting here we need to do at this time. Mouse over again to ‘SEO’ and chose ‘XML Sitemap’. Under the ‘Taxonomies’ tab, select everything to ‘Not in sitemap’ and ‘Save Changes’.
Finally jump to ‘General’ tab and click ‘Save Changes’.
In addition, we also need to submit the same sitemap in Google Search Console. Copy your XML Sitemap link and open Search Console.
Open search console and click on your website link.
Now click ‘Sitemaps’.
Finally put the link that we copied and remove your blog name from there so that only ‘sitemap_index.xml’ should be written there.
I have almost told everything regarding the basic setup for this plugin we need at this time. Later I will explain how we can get benefit from Yoast when we will write a blog post.
Secure Your WordPress Blog Now:
No doubt WordPress itself is a secured platform since big giants are using. But still we need to secure it more a bit later from our side. Why?
Because hackers are smart enough. Some of our files are accessible publicly such as ‘Wp-Admin’ folder. If we don’t allow access, how can we even sign in to our dashboard? So alteration is possible.
But most importantly we can disallow hackers to get access to such folder easily via ‘Bulletproof’ plugin. Also there are more folder that can easily be hacked or due to our less knowledge our .htaccess file can be less secured.
But Bulletproof can take care of everything. Install ‘Bulletproof’ via ‘Plugins. Now open ‘htaccess Core’ under ‘BPS Security’ from sidebar.
Here you just need to ‘Activate’ where ever it asks for. BPS will do the rest and you have to do nothing here.
Connect WordPress.com for Advanced Features.
Although we are using self hosted platform but, we can still get many features of WordPress.com here using Jetpack. Just install it and activate.
Remember we created an account at WordPress.com? We are going to use same for sure.
Mouse over to ‘Jetpack’ from sidebar and click on ‘Connect Jetpack’. Sign in if you are not.
If you are signed in, the page will look like this. Click ‘Approve’.
Here you need to choose ‘Free’ services since they are enough to get advanced features.
And you’re done here. Just ‘Activate Recommended Features’
Furthermore you can navigate to ‘Settings’ under ‘Jetpack’ and check out more features. We are done here.
Speed Up Your Blog Now:
Speed matters a lot as I have told above. To simply increase my blog speed I have used the one and only cache plugin that I have found more reliable and more advanced than any other which is only Wp Rocket.
Although it is a paid plugin and you can skip it at the moment. But if I were at your place, I wouldn’t hesitate in spending few more bucks for my blog that I want to make successful.
Once you have purchased, simply upload plugin files and mouse over to ‘Settings’ from left side bar and choose ‘Wp Rocket’.
Here for the ‘Basic Options’, simply check these settings as I have shown below.
Finally you are done here. You must be interested in knowing my blog speed at the moment? Let’s check.
You should have a clear and proper navigation. To add menus, simply mouse over to ‘Appearance’ and click on ‘Menus’.
First ‘ Create a new menu’, name it ‘Header Menu’, put ‘Categories’ or pages in ‘Menu Structure Area’. Finally select ‘Main Navigation’ and hit save.
Step 5: How to Create Pages
To simply create a page, mouse over to ‘Pages’ and click ‘Add New’.
Put your title, add some paragraph and hit ‘Publish’.
Don’t you want to create a form and use it here? So your visitors may directly submit that form and get interaction with you? Let’s see how to do that.
Create a Contact Page:
A contact page is necessary for every blogger. Since your audience wants to connect with you and send special messages, suggestion or they may be interested in any service you are offering?
So, you must create a contact page where they can easily get in touch with you.
To do it, simply install ‘Contact Form 7‘ plugin the same way I have explained. Later mouse over to ‘Contact’ from left sidebar and click on ‘Add New’.
Give a title and click on ‘Mail’ tab next.
Under ‘Mail’ tab, use your professional email address of your domain and ‘Save’ form.
After saving, you will be shown a code that you need to put under a page where you want to take submissions by audience. Copy this code now.
Now open ‘Contact Page’ under pages that we created above and put the same code and then hit ‘Update’.
The tweaking part is enough here. I am sure you can create a beautiful blog at the moment with some nice informative pages and with a wonderful theme and plugins. Congratulations.
Step 6: Write Your First Blog Post:
Here comes the most important step even if I say it is the only thing which is dependent to whole work we have done so far, probably I may not be wrong.
In fact our article speaks what we are. This is the most important element of a blog that differentiate us from other.
Before I continue teaching you how exactly you can create or write your first blog post, let me tell you the way to find what topics you should write about. I mean how exactly you can find potential topics in your niche.
Well! Let me tell you the easiest way to find thousands of blog posts ideas you can quickly make and start writing right now.
Here again I would say, there is no boundary in any niche. There are thousands of questions being asked by many people online.
Secret #4: Thousands of Article Ideas:
I like Quora in this case. It is basically question/answer website. Quickly let’s dig into it here.
As I supposed earlier, my niche is ‘iPhone’. Here I will write in search bar at Quora ‘iPhone 7’ to see what questions people have asked.
I clicked on first one ‘Topic: iPhone 7’. Later I saw a question someone asked which I am sharing here.
By observing this question, I can analyze that people are interested in knowing ‘best iPhone apps’. So I searched for this keyword at Semrush and found that this keyword has a great potential.
I selected targeted country to ‘US’ and found that this topic is being searched 14,800 times with CPC (Cost Per Click, advertisers are paying approx. $5 per click or this keyword) of $5.
Obviously it’s a great keyword. But furthermore not only I can write for only this broad topic, but also I can quickly get other topics by clicking on ‘Phrase Match’ next to ‘Overview’.
Now I can quickly list down some of my next topic ideas. I can write for each categories about apps like for:
- Free Music
My topics would be like ’10 Best Email Apps for iphone’ also ’15 Best Camera Apps for iPhone 7′ and so on.
The more I search on Quora, the more I can have fresh ideas of my topics.
This is the quickest and easiest way to find what blog post you should write and what people are looking for.
Need More? Brainstorm Topics:
I find it a stupid question people ask what to write?
Basically it all depends on your passion. Why I emphasis the word ‘passion’? Because when you are crazy for something, you are crazy for it and want to get each and everything about your passion.
Let’s say, I am a huge fan of ‘WWE’, I know when new shows are coming, also I have idea which is best wrestler, having lot more information about who has been in ‘hall of fame’ and which was the best fight ever of ‘Undertaker.
If I am not wrong, it was ‘Undertaker VS Yokozuna Casket Match’ 😉
You see why I have so many ideas about ‘WWE’? It’s because there has been no single night gone without watching it.
So, its easy enough to find what topic can be hot in your niche. Therefore I would say, always work according to your passion.
Few More Tips to Analyze:
Think what excitements your readers want.
- Example: At WWE audience look for brutal actions of ‘The Shield’ and funny performances by ‘Dean Ambrose’.
Research what discussion they are looking for.
- Example: Who will be the next ‘World Heavyweight Champion’?
Feel what your readers love within your niche.
- Example: Goldberg returned and defeated Brock Lesnar in 1 minute 24 seconds.
Focus on Trending.
- Example: Who will face Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33?
I hope you got the idea. Now let’s move into creating your first post.
Add New Post:
To write a new article, simply mouse over to ‘Post’ and click on ‘Add New Post’.
Here you will be brought to the editor area where you can start adding your new article. It is very simple just like ‘Microsoft Word’.
At first, enter the title of your topic you are writing about and edit your permalink with your focused keyword like mine.
Start Writing & Formatting:
Now add your topic in body area. You can do some formatting as well such as making some text bold and adding some headings.
You can format some texts to heading by selecting them and clicking on ‘Paragraph’ then choosing the heading level such as heading 1 to 6.
It is that obvious sometimes we have to give reference to other sources such as I have given above. Linking is also a major factor for SEO (later in this post I will explain). A link is created on a text such as ‘click here’ or any text you want to be link.
Now select some text and click on ‘Link Option’ from toolbar.
Now click on ‘Link Option’.
Put your link and chose ‘Open link in a new tab’ and you’re done here.
Advice: Don’t link to unauthentic articles. Only link to proper and useful resources.
Content looks more professional and interesting when we see some visual stuff like images/infographics.
To add an image, click ‘Add Media’ and upload a new image here. You can either upload or drag and drop your image here.
Optimize Your Article with Yoast:
Once you have completed writing your article, you need to check few important things under Yoast SEO plugin which explain what necessary On-Page SEO factors you have completed or missed.
Here you need to put these four elements:
- SEO Title.
- Meta Description.
- Focus Keyword.
These elements will be determined and you can see a preview as how it will be treated by Search Engines. You can find these options at bottom of your article area.
Now the plugin will automatically determine which factor you have missed so you can quickly get an idea what’s left. Try to get as many green signals as much as you can. If you don’t get it all, don’t worry. 70 to 80 percent is good enough.
Add Category & Featured Image:
You should be now selecting your right category from sidebar and adding a featured image.
To choose a category, check right sidebar and select the right one.
Featured image is actually a thumbnail which appears in archives, front page or sidebar. To add a thumbnail/featured image, check right sidebar and click on ‘Set featured image’.
The process is same as we did while adding a media (image).
Once your thumbnail is uploaded, click on ‘Set featured image’ and you are done here.
Finally you can hit ‘Publish’ button to quickly make your article live on internet. Also you can check a ‘Preview’ here and if you find everything perfect then make it go.
Congratulations for your first blog. You have done it all alone yourself. The blog is perfect, optimized and good looking. You must be feeling good at this moment 🙂
But before that, do consider what I am going to tell you right now.
Step 7: Search Engine Optimization
Everything depends upon SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
It is simply marketing. It is in short simply optimization of Blog and Content to get higher ranking.
Ever wondered when you search for anything, 90% are the chances you visit one of the page that is shown at first page of Google or Bing?
Why these pages are ranking at top? The answer is simple. They do SEO. They market their content more than anyone else and hence they get higher ranking in search results.
Let me define it in more simple way.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means to optimize your blog and it’s content in such a way that it gets higher ranking position in search results for specific search terms (keywords or phrases).
Before I continue, let me show results of the blog you are reading at this time. I am actually talking about ‘BloggingCEO’ 🙂
Result from Google Analytics:
I also use Statcounter for Traffic Analysis. Here is result:
For complete SEO analysis and other things like Traffic cost, top keywords, and other SEO factors, I use Semrush. Here I got it:
You see, most of the traffic of this blog comes from Search Engine which is free and organic traffic. I have to do nothing to drive these visitors except SEO.
The process of optimization started when we actually optimized Yoast Plugin and did some settings for homepage such as Blog Title and Meta description etc.
Let me share more elements that you must focus for great results.
The process of optimizing the inside of a blog is actually on-page. There is nothing to be worried about it.
In fact it is the fun part here and I really enjoy doing it. Since the better on-page we focus, the higher ranking we are going to get.
It starts with setting up Title and ends with optimizing content.
Elements that are focused under this branch are:
Title & Meta:
We have already set it up for blog at above stage while setting up Yoast Plugin. Write a Catchy title and a description.
Here comes the most important and amazing part which is especially relevant to content writing. The process to find keywords is same as I told above while searching for new topic ideas. Apply the same procedure here.
There are basically two kinds.
- Informative: When these types of keywords are searched, the person is actually seeking some knowledge. Best example is the same topic you are reading at the moment. You came here to learn about starting a blog right?
- Buying: Definitely it is clear now that the person is actually looking to buy something. Best example is ‘Best iPhone Cases’.
You must focus keyword density a lot. Since spamming is hated everywhere. The more you repeat your targeted keywords in your content, the more it will lose its worth.
Always write real and original content that flows naturally since repetition of any word is considered as spam.
In my case I keep it below %1 for every single word in my article.
How you can check?
I always check at Seobook. Copy your article and paste it under ‘Plain Text’ tab like below.
After submitting you will be shown your results like below.
Once identified, decrease repeated words. As I told I keep it to maximum 1% for every word.
While writing you should be linking to other articles you have written with targeted keywords. The best practice you can observe is the way Wikipedia gives reference to its other pages.
Important: Do not link more than 3 posts in one article.
Remember I told above? Alt tag is important element and plays a vital role in image optimization. Never forget putting alt tag.
In latest algorithm of Google and other Search Engines, speed plays a significant role in ranking. The faster your blog loads up the higher ranking you are going to enjoy.
I have already discussed above optimizing speed.
It’s in simple words,
Marketing of your blog/website, is called Off-Page SEO.
The key element in this branch is ‘Backlink‘. The more backlinks you have the more are the chances of getting your keywords ranked in higher position.
I am skipping the detail here since I am sharing the other reliable resource to learn more about it.
Remember: The process of SEO takes time and results do not usually come in a week or month. It takes a little time like more than a month. Because your blog is new and it takes time to outrank other big brands who have been working earlier than you.
Let’s move out to next step.
I promised to tell you the secret behind getting free traffic. Finally here comes the step to enjoy free traffic.
The procedure is quite simple. Since the revolution of Social Media has taken next level in the world. Every single person is using social networking sites.
Hence we can extract our targeted audience using these social sites.
What’s the Secret here?
You know about Hashtags?
It makes easier to find our targeted content in social media. How to find? Such as at Twitter I am looking for ‘Blogging’ tweets. I would write phrase with ‘#’ like ‘#blogging’.
Here I can engage with as many people as I can since these people are mainly talking about ‘Blogging’ and are my targeted audience.
What I have to do is to simply interact with them by personal messages, retweeting, etc.
The same pattern applies to every social medial platform.
Once I have a huge following, I can simply share my blog post links and hence I get free traffic that is not only targeted but also it brings huge impact in search rankings.
Although it also takes a little time but believe me, this can bring more results initially than search engines. If you target it will, you are going to enjoy a lot.
We have also got more social site but above are best and bring awesome results.
Step 9: Make Money from Blogging
Alright! We have come to the step where we need bounties of our hard work. We have started a blog that is getting good traffic, social signals and search preferences.
Now we need to earn from it.
There are countless of ways we can adopt to make money from blogs. However I would discuss few here.
I have explained how affiliate marketing works in first Secret heading. This is the most reliable source and generates higher revenues. You can join Amazon Associate Program and start making money by reviewing different products or you can join other affiliate networks and sites who offer affiliation.
You can also choose to sell your services. For example I am offering Web Development services in one of my blog, you can also do the same depending on your niche and skills.
This is another great source of income. Create a well informative PDF E-Book and sell it. Mostly bloggers have reported huge impact in their monthly revenue by selling small yet informative e-books.
Here I would say again, there are countless of ways to make money via blogging. All we have to do is to work smart and take benefits.
Other Resources I am Using:
Finally I have taught you a complete step by step guide to start a blog with some of secrets. Using the same guide not only you can start today but also you have the complete procedure to follow from starting to making money journey.
However I am using few more tools and resources that I would like to mention here.
Thunderbird: To manage my professional domain email. Since by default webmail needs to be opened via browser and I really don’t like any of its interfaces. Therefore I am using Thunderbird which is not only easy but also very user friendly.
To set it up, Download and install and then click ‘Email’.
Now ‘Skip this and use my existing email’.
Sign in to your email now.
Chose ‘IMAP’ and click ‘Done’.
You can now use your email at desktop and reply to everyone using Thunderbird. Easy isn’t it?
- Portable Hard Drive: I am using WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive – USB 3.0 – WDBUZG0010BBK-EESN to take backups of my important documents. Since I need to carry my important documents I would suggest this for you.
- Dropbox: For online file sharing with my content writer for affiliate sites or other important files that I can access anywhere online.
Quick Overview of Blogging Tools:
Alright! I know lots of fun and information I have explained above. Let’s have a quick overview of tools that I mentioned above so that you can have access to them quickly.
- Namecheap: For domain registration (if you want to host domain separate).
- Bluehost: For Web Hosting with free Domain Name.
- WordPress: To create a self-hosted blog.
- MyThemeShop or Themeforest: For Wonderful Themes.
- Quora: For topic ideas generation.
- Semrush: For advanced keyword research.
- Wp Rocket: For advanced caching and speed optimization.
- Google Analytics & StatCounter: For web traffic analysis.
However you can always check to my ‘Blogging Tools’ page where I have mentioned all necessary resources.
Wow! 9,500+ words about how to start a blog and I am done here. I hope I have explained each and everything very well.
I am sure you have already created since starting a blog is affordable and to be successful, you need hard work, motivation, dedication and of course creativity.
It may take few months but the result will be higher than your expectations.
You are speaking with the world and with humans. Be creative and share your experience and thoughts with the world.
The money will follow you.
Enjoyed reading? Just a little bit more. Share it with your friends.