How to Start Blogging Introduction

I am going to show how easy it is to start your own blog. It does not require any technical skills and is easier than you imagine.

People blog for profit or blog for passion. Or both. And you can, too!

There are many ways to start a blog. Just Google the phrase (keyword), “how to start a blog,” and you will see thousands of articles. They show a variety of steps on how to start.

I have a unique definition.

I believe you have not started a blog until you have made your first dollar or added your first subscriber.

Anyone can build a website or blog. You can make one in 30 seconds. But it is like building a house. A house is not a home until you put in furnishings and belongings and, finally, people. The same is true with a website. It needs content.

But first, I would like to show the difference between a website and a blog. A blog is meant to be personal, informal, and updated frequently to encourage social media interaction. This is not necessarily the case with websites. Websites tend to be informational or transactional (sell something).

I have several websites where I have included a blog as part of the website. The website pages tend to be static without the ability for readers to leave comments or engage in discussions.

The following infographic visually shows the steps involved in creating a blog.

Creating a blog entails 7 basic steps from inception to making money.

How to Start a Blog Infographic

7 Steps to Creating a Blog

  • 1
    Choose niche
  • 2
    Do market research
  • 3
    Build a blog
  • 4
    Create content
  • 5
    Get traffic
  • 6
    Create customers
  • 7
    Make money!

Choose a Niche

This step is all about finding the things or activities that make you happy. If you are passionate or have a great interest in doing something, you are more likely to see it through to the end.

That special something that gets you out of bed in the morning.

To select your niche, brainstorm ideas. Make a list

Write the down on a paper or type them into an electronic document.

Once you have listed your ideas, rank them from the most to least important in life.

The next step is to do some market research on the viability of your ideas.

Do Market Research

Sounds scary doesn’t it?

The purpose of doing marketing research is to simply determine whether you can make money from your ideas. This requires understanding your industry, your customers, and your competition.

Conducting marketing research is important to starting a blog


Collect and organize data.

We want to know if people are interested in your niches. Are they popular? Are people willing to spend money? Are there problems to be solved?

Find a problem people have that you can help solve.

We also want to look at trends. You don’t want to start blogging about the modern version of the buggy whip industry, do you?

How to do marketing research

1. Do keyword search on your proposed product or service – Use a keyword search tool to identify words or phrases related to your niche, product, or service. A good keyword tool will help you identify the volume of people looking for your keywords.

2. Identify your ideal customer or target audience – who do you want visiting and reading your blog? The idea is to identify potential readers or customers.

3. Find your competitors – I like to find information about my competitors to see what they do well and not so well. Semrush and Spyfu are useful tools for finding information related to my keywords and competitors.

4. Find and analyze trends – Google Trends and trendhunter.com are useful tools to see what is trending in the public eye. Buzzsumo is useful in seeing what is popular in social media circles.

Build a Blog

This step is about selecting a web host, choosing a domain name, and designing and building your blog.

Want to do it yourself (DIY)?

This entails selecting a web host like SiteGround, installing WordPress or other Content Management System, and selecting a website theme.

But...

I find it easiest to use an online website builder.

Generally, your online website builder comes with a content management system or platform. This is an application for the creation and modification of website content and includes web-based publishing.

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems used. WordPress allows a user, even beginners with limited expertise, to add, modify and remove content from a Web site without requiring webmaster services.

To start a blog you’ll need to select a blogging platform – or a tool that helps you to get your content up onto the web.

There are a number of online website builder platforms available. Some of the more popular include Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, GoDaddy GoCentral, and Ucraft to name a few. I used Homestead years ago. Unfortunately, they have not kept up with the times as their templates are outdated. A friend of mine, who happened to be a contestant on the season 8 Masterchef TV reality show, uses Squarespace for his chef website.

Chef Jeff Philbin website made with SquarespaceSquarespace is highly related for the quality of their templates.

To choose among the various online website builders available, you should determine what factors are most important to you. Factors in no particular order include:

Cost - check pricing on renewals. Some companies bump up their renewal costs significantly. Check for hidden fees.

Easy-to-use - test various builders as many offer free trials.

Size and quality of the template or design galleries - obviously larger galleries give you more choices for the look of your blog.

Speed - how fast your website loads has a direct impact on your website user experience. A graphics intensive website requires more bandwidth and speed than a predominately text-based website.

Level of training - is training available and in a format you prefer (text, video, etc) and is the training detailed and organized to be useful?

Member community support - is there an active, online community or forum of members and users to help one another or share ideas?

Site support - do you want support 24/7/365 or something less?

There is another option...

Consider one of the membership programs that combine training, website development, and web hostingI am most familiar with Wealthy AffiliateSolo Build it!, and Affilorama as I have built websites using all three.

I am going to briefly address what I believe are the strengths and weaknesses of each one of these.

Wealthy Affiliate has very strong affiliate marketing training program with a large, active spam-free member community. On the downside, their traffic generation techniques are focused on SEO marketing (content). pay-per-click advertising, and limited social media marketing.

Solo Build It! (SBI!) has a great planning and action guide that focuses on the effort to plan a blog or website. The SBI! Brainstorm It! tool is a unique combination of brainstorming, researching, and keyword tools. On the other hand, the SBI! platform is not WordPress. So moving a website to another host could be a challenge. (But if your website is profitable, why move?)

Affilorama provides the best free training among these three programs. Free members have access to 120+ free training lessons with video. The downside is it takes an upgrade to get hosting, tools, and keyword tool. Affilorama also offers an optional built-for-you system in selected niches.

Regardless of how you build your blog, the next essential step is adding content for your visitors.

Create Content

Creating content is all about connecting with people through articles and posts.

People are on the internet for a number of reasons. Primarily, they want to:

  • Find something or someone
  • buy or sell
  • Be entertained
  • Socialize
  • Get directions

Your blog should add value to users’ lives. Content should help by providing information, facilitating transactions, giving direction, or entertaining

A good way to start is to think of things people search on Google and the other search engines. 

A keyword is simply a word or phrase that people search for in the search engines. Every time you do a google search you are entering a "keyword" into the search box.

But, before we go much further, let's add some content to your blog.

I always recommend adding an "About Me" page. This tells the readers who I am and why I am blogging. It helps to personalize the website and connect with the readers.

It builds trust.

I also recommend adding a privacy policy page. There are many samples of "boilerplate" privacy statements available. Just search for privacy statements. Your search results will show information about the importance of privacy statements including helping building trust with your readers.

WordPress navigation panel showing posts and pages

My navigation menu

There are two types of content that you are able to create for your blog in WordPress – ‘Pages’ and ‘Posts’. WordPress.com explains it very well.

There are very key differences between posts and pages in your WordPress blog.

Posts are entries listed in reverse chronological order on the blog home page or on the posts page if you have set one in Settings  Reading. If you have created any sticky posts, those will appear before the other posts. Posts can be found in the Archives, Categories, Recent Posts, and other widgets. Posts are also displayed in the RSS feed of the blog. You can control how many posts are displayed at a time in the Reading Settings. 

If you want your posts to appear on a page other than your home page, read this: Front Page.

See Posts for more detailed information.

Pages are static and are not listed by date. Pages do not use tags or categories. An About page is the classic example. Pages can be displayed in the sidebar using the Pages widget, and some themes display pages in tabs at the top of the blog. If you have 50 pages and you use the Pages widget, then all pages will be listed all the time. The URL for a page looks like this: http://yourgroovyblog.wordpress.com/page-title/

I would also highly recommend that you check out the Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog which is perfect for anyone who has just started thinking about starting a blog. 

Get Traffic

Creating great user experience leads to more people visiting and reading your blog.

Eventually, search engines will index your blog enabling people to find your website easier when searching for related content. I recommend using Google Search Console to help with your optimization efforts. Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) provided by Google for webmasters on a no-charge basis. It allows you to check indexing status and optimize your blog visibility.

Attract more visitors by using:

  • lead magnets – which are free giveaways (ebooks, reports, guides, coupons, tickets, etc) in exchange for a visitor’s email address. When a visitor leaves an email address, the visitor will receive an email with the lead magnet.
  • content upgrade – which is bonus material directly related to the content of a blog post. It could be an expanded version of the post provided in PDF document format.
  • printable documents – checklists, how to, ebooks or copies of posts and articles usually in the form of a PDF document 
  • email marketing system – which may be an automated system with autoresponder to deliver content by email. Content may include multi-part training lessons, user guides, or other digital information.

Create Customers

Creating customers is all about helping people solve their problems. Adding value to their lives.

This process started with identifying your target audience. Understanding what they need helps you create relationships with your readers.

Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management, stated,

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

As you add content to your blog, ask your readers for feedback – what do they want to see. Surveys are also another way to get feedback.

Part of helping people is being responsive. Respond in a timely and honest manner.

Being honest and transparent with your dealings creates trust. And ultimately leads visitors to purchasing products and services from you.

If you have any questions or comments about how to start a blog to make money, please fill in and submit the form below. I love feedback.

Successful business people enjoy working for themselves.

Part of helping people is being responsive. Respond in a timely and honest manner.

Being honest and transparent with your dealings creates trust. And ultimately leads visitors to purchasing products and services from you.

If you have any questions or comments about how to start a blog to make money, please fill in and submit the form below. I love feedback.

Make Money!

There are a number ways to make money with your blog. Three effective methods are:

Affiliate marketing - is, in its simplest form, a process where a person (affiliate) earns commissions by selling other people’s or company’s (retailer) products and services to consumers. By placing links on your blog pages that lead to the retailer's product sales pages, you will earn a commission from any of your blog visitors who clicked the link and purchased an item from the retailer. Your links may be in the form of banners or text in a blog post or article or advertisement on your site. Read more about affiliate marketing in my article.

How to make money online

Blog marketing is a popular way to make money online.

Host advertising on your blog - bloggers can earn revenue by placing "ads" from publisher networks like Google Adsense on their websites. By joining a publisher network, bloggers can put other people's ads on their site and earn shared revenue.

Sell your own products or services - many people develop their own products such as digital ebooks, reports, and guides. Some writers develop and publish Kindle books through Amazon. While other bloggers sell their niche expertise as either personal services or as consultants.

Starting a Blog Summary

Creating a blog is conceptually simple. So much so that at times it is easy to forget that success does not occur over night.

But “time flies when you are having fun!” And when you are passionate about your niche.

It takes learning, planning, patience, persistence and effort, to be successful. Have started blogs without a clue as to what they were doing. They had a passion they wanted to share with others. And spent time learning and doing. And in my case, making lots of mistakes along the way.

Word of caution: Occasionally we are drawn to the idea of taking short-cuts. There are so many pre-made, done-for-you business opportunities on the internet that are a waste of money and time. These get-rich-quick schemes promise overnight riches without effort. If they were true, everyone would be rich.

Wealthy Affiliate training is the best online.

See my #1 recommendation for creating your own online blogging business.

Additional Resources

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