How to Start A Blog?

How to Start a Blog: best, Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners.  If you want a simple, step by step guide on “how to start a blog”, you’ve come to the right subreddit.On Rankbrew, we cover all #DIGITALMARKETING stuff and here in this post we have covered about blogging. We’ve helped thousands of people start a blog, improve their writing skills, and earn real, tangible income online. And today, we’re going to help you. In this massive, in-depth article: We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process for starting a blog, answer some common blogging questions, and show you free tools and resources that’ll put you on the path to success. You’ll follow the simple steps, create your own blog, and start padding your wallet with tens and twenties. Sound good? Let’s make it work and dive right into in details. Yes, guys and you can read the full article here- how-to-start-a-blogWe are happy to help you in case you need assistance, comment and let’s know.  

Table of Contents ( Steps)

Step1: Choose the Right Blog Niche/ Topic
Step 2: Choose the Right Blogging Platform
Step 3: Find a Domain Name
Setp 4: Buy a Web Hosting Plan
Step 5: Install WordPress Now
Step 6: Design Your Blog by Selecting The Best WordPress Theme
Step 7: Ready to Install WordPress Plugins
Step 8: Blog Set Up & SEO Stretegies
Step 9: Write Your First Post, The Best Way!
Step 10: Boost Your Traffic, Promote Your Blog, & Master Social Media
Step 11: Build Your Email List, Easy
Step 12: Make Money Blogging Fast
Step 13: Top 5 Best Money Making Options From Your Blog
Step 14: How to take Create Backlinks for Your Blog?
Step 15: How to Get Traffic from Social Media?
Step 16: Bonus Tips And Tricks

1. Choose the Right Blog Niche/ Topic

The best way to succeed in life is choose your game, before you play. And learn the rules with discipline and execute professionally. So, here choose the Right Blog Topic “What are the most popular blog topics on which you can write or create content?” “How do I come up with a blog idea that works?” “What should I blog about every day or week?” “How to choose blog topics/niche?” “What if I don’t know what to blog about or post about?” “How do you start a blog after lockdown?

We get questions like these a lot, and they usually come from people at their wit’s end. Or people who really want to do something to change their life entirely. So, they may become financially stable, and wealthy. 

Do you want to know the big problem with blogging?

Most people don’t know there’s a huge chance of failure, so they spend years or even decades creating a blog that has zero chance of succeeding.

Eventually, they give up and start over, but again, they invest months or even years into creating a second (or third or fourth or may be 100th) blog that doesn’t work.

The only reason?

It’s not because they’re stupid. And it’s not because they’re lazy.

It’s because they’re choosing the wrong blog topic. It means you haven’t chosen your game yet. 

Free Training: The 31 Most PROFITABLE Niches for Bloggers in 2020 (xXX)

Granted, if you’re starting a personal blog, the rules are different. Do you enjoy the topic yourself? Is it fun for you? Those are the only two questions that should matter to you before you start.

But if you’re looking to start a blog that will bring in traffic…

If you want to create a blog that will generate passive income…

You need to choose a viable blog topic that has a good chance to succeed money wise. Because here’s the part that’s tough to swallow:

All blog topics aren’t viable, yes you read that right. Some will fail no matter how good you are or how hard you work. CLICK TO TWEET ( **Twitter Link**)

That’s the bad news, oops. 

The good news is we’re going to show you how to choose a profitable niche or topic for your new blog.

And it’s a lot simpler than you have thought.

How to Choose a profitable blog topic or niche?
Write down a list of topics that interest you the most.

These could be your hobbies, topics you suspect are highly profitable, or something random you read in a magazine while waiting to see the dentist.

To be a viable blog topic, you need to be able to answer “yes” to these six questions:

Do any existing blogs on this topic have a Facebook page or Instagram Account with more than 10k followers?
Do any blogs on this topic have more than 50k followers on Twitter?
Does Amazon have any books with more than 40 reviews on this topic?
When you search for words and phrases related to this topic, are there any Google ads?
Do any words or phrases related to this topic have more than 100k searches in Google’s Keyword Planner tool?
Can this topic or niche last for next 10 years or so?

These questions will let you know whether or not there’s an existing audience for your topic.

Here’s why this is important: Too many bloggers try to be cute. They hunt for an audience no one else is serving. They think, “if there’s no competition for this topic, creating a successful blog will be easy!”

Wrong as hell.

If there are no competitors, who will link to you? Where will your audience come from? How the hell will anyone find you?

It’s counter intuitive, but the more competition there is in a blogging space, the easier it is for a new blogger to find success in that space.

So, don’t try to be unique. Don’t try to be too clever, because; make money where the money is, like my dad says: go fishing where the fish is.

Pick a blog topic that has an existing audience and popular blogs already hustling for the audience’s attention.

Further Reading: If you want to scratch your potential blog topics/niches a bit further, 11 Warning Signs You Chose the Wrong Topic for Your Blog has additional insights you may find helpful.

2. Choose the Right Blogging Platform

Now that you have chosen your game, let’s find the ground where you can play. 
Choose the Right Blogging Platform, We’ll keep this section brief and useful: There are several free blogging platforms out there, and for what they are, and what they do, they offer solid value. 

In fact, we’re big proponents of bloggers starting with a free account so they can test their ideas and make sure they’re viable before creating a full-fledged blog. Blog that works after working day and night. 

But once you’re ready to build an audience and make money online, there’s only one blogging platform you should consider (and no, it isn’t Tumblr, Blogspot, or Wix): It’s WordPress. Why? Or, more specifically, self-hosted WordPress.

Note: A self-hosted WordPress blog and aren’t the same thing. Both are content management systems (CMS), and they come from the same company, but they’re not the same. If you’re unsure of the differences, check out The 5 Best Free Blogging Platforms in 2020 (100% Unbiased).

As of this writing, 37.5% of all websites use WordPress — including heavyweights like TechCrunch, the Star Wars blog, Mercedes-Benz, and, yes, Smart Blogger.

With virtually unlimited plugins you can install, customizations you can make, and designs you can implement, a self-hosted WordPress blog offers flexibility the free platforms can’t match.

Yes, WordPress is technically free too. It’s open-source. However, as we explain in the article linked above: Just like there’s no such thing as a free puppy (once you factor in food, veterinarian bills, and replacing all your shoes after they’ve become chew toys),’s software isn’t actually free once you add up the other expenses.

Because it’s self-hosted, you have to purchase a hosting plan so you can install WordPress on your own web host. That costs money (unless you choose free hosting — more on that later). You also have to purchase your own domain name, which we’ll discuss in 

a moment.

But don’t let these relatively minor expenses deter you.

If you’re serious about blogging, building an audience, and monetizing your blog 

content, you need to set up your blog on a rock-solid foundation.

You need WordPress.

3. Find a Domain Name

Choose a Domain NamePut yourselves in the shoes of a visitor.

You’re browsing the world wide web, and you see a headline for a blog post that catches
your attention. Maybe a friend on Facebook shared it with you, maybe it came up on a
Google search, or maybe it’s just a link in another article you’re reading.

Regardless, you click the link and, consciously or not, you’re asking yourself a single
question as you browse through it…

“Is this for me?“

Within a few seconds, you have to decide whether to keep reading the post or move on to
something else, and the only way you’ll stay is if it’s relevant to you.

And not just the post, either. When you’re deciding, you’ll take in the design of the
web page, other posts’ headlines, and, yes, the domain name.

For example, consider Is there any doubt who the site is for?
Entrepreneurs, of course!

How about Obviously, it’s for people who want to become better

Neither names are clever, but they help you decide to stay or go by clearly
articulating who they are helping. That’s what a good domain name does.

Of course, all the great domain names are taken, right?

Not necessarily.

How to Choose a Custom Domain Name for Your Blog
Here are three different methods for finding the perfect domain name:

Name the audience. The simplest way to get a clear domain name is to call out the
audience in the domain itself. (Examples:,,
Name the topic. If your blog focuses on a specific topic, try finding a domain name
that describes it in clear, concise language. (Examples:,,
Name the benefit. Why should people stick around? If you have a good answer, sometimes
you can turn it into a new domain name that really stands out. (Examples:,,
Our suggestion:

Use these three strategies to make a list of 10-20 domain names you’d be happy having.
You can write them out in a word processor or, if you want to get fancy, you can use a
blog name generator tool like NameStation to produce a lot of ideas at once.

Once you’re finished brainstorming, head over to a domain registrar like Namecheap
(affiliate link) to see if the domain names are available.

Namecheap’s Beast Mode will let you search for up to 5,000 domain names at one time.
You can access it by clicking the “Use Beast Mode…” link at the top of the page, or by
entering a keyword and clicking “Beast Mode” next to the search button:

Beast Mode by Namecheap
Sometimes you get lucky, and one of your favorites is available. If not, you either
have to head back to the drawing board for another brainstorming session, or you can go
to a premium domain name marketplace like Sedo.

Either way, a few words of advice:

Don’t get hung up on your domain name. While it’s certainly helpful to have a good one,
there are thousands of hugely popular sites with terrible domain names no one

In other words, it’s not really a “make or break” factor for your site. Give yourself a
few days or maybe a week to brainstorm ideas, and then make a decision.

Further Reading: If you’re stuck, How to Choose a Domain Name (+ 30 Blog Name
Generators!) has additional blogging tips to help you choose the right domain name for
your blog.
Get a Namecheap Domain

4. Buy a Web Hosting Plan

Purchase a Web Hosting PlanIf you’re not familiar with the term, a “web host” is kind
of like a warehouse for websites on the Internet.

You pay a small fee to keep your website on the Internet, handle all your visitors,
back up your website, provide customer support, manage the security of your website,
and so on.

In short:

Website hosting costs money, but you usually get a good bit for your money.

Editor’s Note: If you’re on a tight budget, check out 11 Free WordPress Hosting
Services That Don’t Suck. None of the free options discussed will be able to stand toe
to toe with premium web hosts, but if “cost” is your chief concern you’ll want to check
it out.

There are a gazillion different WordPress hosts out there, but the one we recommend to
our students is SiteGround (affiliate link).

SiteGround Sales Page
SiteGround is like one of those hole-in-the-wall restaurants that’s both affordable and
really freaking good, and it’s quite possibly the best web host out there for beginner

Here are a few of our favorite features:

A technical support team knowledgeable in WordPress
A built-in Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up your site
Free SSL certificates (so Google will know your site can be trusted)
Daily backups (so you never lose your data)
And if you’re a new customer, SiteGround offers discounts up to 62% for Smart Blogger
readers (just click one of our SiteGround affiliate links).

Note: Though it’s possible to buy your blog hosting from the same place you registered
your domain name (in fact, Bluehost and GoDaddy offer a free domain name for the first
year), we don’t recommend it. If you ever decide to switch to a different web hosting
company later, the process can be tricky. By keeping your domain registrar and web host
separate, you can save yourself future headaches.
How to Purchase Web Hosting at SiteGround
Go to SiteGround (affiliate link) and click the GET PLAN button underneath the managed
WordPress hosting option that best fits your needs.

For beginners, we recommend the StartUp plan:

start a blog siteground hosting step 1
On the next screen, do the following:

Click the I already have a Domain option
Enter the domain name you purchased earlier from Namecheap (Example:
Click the PROCEED button
start a blog with siteground hosting
On the final screen, you’ll complete four sections:

Account Information (your email address and password)
Client Information (your name, mailing address, and phone number)
Payment Information (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are accepted)
Purchase Information (billing period, [optional] extra services)
Let’s look at Purchase Information in more detail:

start a blog with siteground hosting
If you choose a 12-month billing period with no extra services or add-ons, your 1-year
total will be $83.88.

Note: As highlighted in the screenshot above, the special $6.99/month price is only for
your first invoice. When it’s time to renew, you’ll pay SiteGround’s regular price. So,
the longer your billing period (12 months vs. 24 months vs. 36 months), the longer
you’ll enjoy the discounted price.
Decline the Extra Services, review your order, and click the PAY NOW button.

Congratulations! You’ve purchased SiteGround hosting.

Now it’s time to connect it to your Namecheap domain name…

How to Point Your Domain Name to Your Web Host
This next part is a little technical, but we’ll make it as simple and painless as

To connect your Namecheap domain name with your SiteGround hosting account, follow
these steps:

Sign into your Namecheap account.
Click Domain List on the left-hand sidebar and select MANAGE next to your domain (if
you just purchased the domain name, you can also select it from your account’s main
In the Nameservers section, choose Custom DNS from the drop-down menu.
Enter your SiteGround name servers. To find them, log into your SiteGround account,
click the Go to cPanel button, and copy the Name Servers listed in the ACCOUNT
INFORMATION section. This tells Namecheap you’re the rightful blog owner.
Save your changes in Namecheap by clicking the green checkmark.
That’s it.

If you need a handy visual, here’s a short YouTube video tutorial from Keri Lawrence
that’ll walk you through the process:

Further Reading: Namecheap’s How to Change DNS For a Domain and SiteGround’s What are
my DNS name servers? support articles provide additional insights (if you need them).
Get SiteGround Hosting

5. Install WordPress Now

Install WordPressWith your new domain and web host connected, it’s time to set up

But don’t worry. Installing WordPress isn’t complicated.

In fact, many premium WordPress hosts (like SiteGround) makes the process ridiculously
easy — no cPanel or localhost know-how required.

If you chose a different website host, we’ll go over their steps for installing
WordPress in a moment.

But first, let’s quickly walk through SiteGround.

After logging into your SiteGround user panel for the first time, the Account Setup
Wizard will appear as a pop-up window:

Start a Siteground website
As shown in the screenshot above, click the Start a new website option and select
WordPress as the software you want to install.

Next, you’ll create the login details for your WordPress account:

Choose your WP login details
Enter your preferred email address, a good username, and a strong password.

Tip: Your username will be visible to the public, so keep that in mind. Also, for
security purposes, don’t use “admin” as your username. That’s the default username for
WordPress installs, which makes it a target for hackers.
Click the Confirm button to continue.

Finally, after reading the SiteGround Terms of Service, you’ll click the Complete Setup

And that’s all there is to it.

SiteGround will now install WordPress for you. In just a few short minutes, you’ll be
ready to log into your WordPress Dashboard.

Further Reading: Didn’t choose SiteGround as your web host? How to Install WordPress in
5 Minutes or Less will walk you through the WordPress installation steps for a dozen
popular hosting providers, as well as how to install it on a Mac, PC, via cPanel, and
How to Log Into the WordPress Dashboard
In your favorite web browser, go to your WordPress login URL by appending /wp-admin (or
/admin or /login or /wp-login) to the end of your domain name.

You’ll be taken to your WordPress login page:

Starting a Blog – WordPress login
Enter the username and password you created earlier.

Click Log In.

Your WordPress dashboard will look similar to this:

Start a blog – WordPress dashboard
Now for the fun part. Let’s begin customizing your WordPress site.

We’ll start by giving it a new coat of paint.

6. Design Your Blog by Choosing a WordPress Theme

Design Your Blog by Choosing a WordPress ThemeBefore we begin customizing your
WordPress site, we need to be clear about something:

Your content matters more than anything else.

You can have a site that’s ugly, clunky, and slow, but if you have great content, you
can still get traffic and earn passive income.

Not the opposite, though. You can have the most beautiful, user-friendly website
online, but if the content sucks, nobody will care about you.

So, don’t allow yourself to get lost in these details. Focus on making your website
functional, and then you can always come back and make it unique or beautiful later.

Make sense? Good.

Now, let’s go over how you can find a great design for your website:

How to Choose a WordPress Theme
In WordPress, your “theme” is the design of your website. It dictates how your blog
looks to the world.

There are tens of thousands of theme options out there for you to choose from — some
free, some that cost money.

You might think having so many options is a good thing, but it’s actually the opposite.
In his book The Paradox of Choice (affiliate link), psychologist Barry Schwartz says
having too many choices can lead to decision-making paralysis.

In other words…

The more options you have available, the more likely you are to choose none of the

So, we’re going to keep this very simple:

If you want a free WordPress theme, choose Astra (affiliate link)
If you want a premium WordPress theme, choose Astra Pro (affiliate link)
And if you want an advanced page builder that’ll let you customize your design to your
heart’s content, choose Elementor Pro (affiliate link)
Astra WordPress Theme
Get Astra
Astra Pro
Astra Pro WordPress Theme
Get Astra Pro
Elementor Pro
Elementor Pro
Get Elementor
Pick the WordPress theme that best fits your situation and needs.

Download it.

Now, let’s install it.

How to Install WordPress Themes
To install a WordPress theme, follow these steps:

In the left-hand navigation pane, go to Appearance
Choose Themes
Click the Add New button
Start a blog – WordPress Theme Step 1
From here, there are two paths you can take:

Search themes… from’s huge directory of free WordPress themes, or
Click the Upload Theme button to install a WordPress theme you downloaded from a third
party (like Astra or another Elementor theme).
Start a blog – WordPress Theme options
Let’s walk through both paths:

Path #1: Install a New Theme From’s Directory
If you want to install a free theme from

Enter a theme name or a desired feature (Example: “minimalist”) in the Search themes…
Click the Install button

Path #2: Install a Thirty-Party WordPress Theme
If you want to install a WordPress theme you downloaded from a third party, click the
Upload Theme button and:

Click the Choose File button
Find the third-party theme you downloaded to your computer (Example:
and select it
Click the Install Now button
Start a blog – Premium WordPress Theme options
Whether you choose a free theme or a premium theme, you’ll “activate” it the same way.

We’ll show you how to do that next:

How to Activate a WordPress Theme
Immediately after installing your WordPress theme, you’ll be given the options to
“Activate” or “Preview” it.

If you want to immediately publish the theme to your website, click the Activate
button. Otherwise:

In the left-hand navigation pane, go to Appearance
Choose Themes
You’ll then see every theme you’ve installed, including the “default” themes that are
installed automatically by WordPress.

Find the theme you want to use and click the Activate button:

Start a blog – Activate a WordPress theme
And that’s it.

Your fancy new blog design is now visible to the world!

But is your blog ready for the world? Not yet.

First, we need to improve its functionality. And we’ll start by installing a few
WordPress plugins.

7. Ready to Install WordPress Plugins

Install WordPress PluginsWordPress is packed with features. Plugins add even more.

From the 50,000+ free or freemium plugins in the repository to the
thousands of premium plugins available from third parties, there is a WordPress plugin
for virtually everything.

With so many options available, and with so many articles littered across the web
touting “must-have” and “essential” WordPress plugins, most beginner bloggers go
overboard. They install so many plugins, their sites slow to a crawl.

Here’s the thing:

There are specific categories or types of WordPress plugins you absolutely need;
however, there’s no such thing as an essential plugin.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is giving bad information.

In this next section, we’re going to go over the six categories of WordPress plugins
you need to install. And yes, we’ll have a plugin recommendation for each category.

But if you don’t like one of our recommendations, that’s okay. Simply find a different
plugin that offers similar functionality.

The 6 Types of WordPress Plugins You Need to Install (+ Recommendations)
Performance Plugins (Our Pick: WP Super Cache)
Security Plugins (Our Pick: iThemes Security)
Backup Plugins (Our Pick: UpdraftPlus)
SEO Plugins (Our Pick: Yoast SEO)
Social Sharing Plugins (Our Pick: Social Warfare)
Email List Building Plugins (Our Pick: Convert Pro)
1. Performance Plugins (Our Pick: WP Super Cache)
WP Super Cache Plugin
Why you need a performance plugin: If your blog is slow, your readers will bounce and
Google will rank you lower in search engine results. A good performance optimization
plugin will “cache” your content so it loads faster.

Why we recommend WP Super Cache: W3 Total Cache is another good option, but we prefer
WP Super Cache for its simplicity. The fact it’s maintained by the company behind
WordPress, Automattic, doesn’t hurt.

What’s the cost? It’s free.

Further Reading: To learn the ins and outs of WP Super Cache, including detailed steps
for how to customize it, check out WP Super Cache Made Easy: A Step-By-Step Guide to
Speeding Up Your Site.
Note: If you go with SiteGround (affiliate link) as your web host, as we recommended
earlier, you won’t need to install a performance plugin like WP Super Cache. SiteGround
has its own caching plugin, and it only takes about a minute to set up.

2. Security Plugins (Our Pick: iThemes Security)
iThemes Security Plugin
Why you need a security plugin: On average, around 30,000 websites are hacked each day.
If your idea of securing your blog is simply having a good password, you’re asking for

Why we recommend iThemes Security: Formerly known as Better WP Security, iThemes
Security offers a one-click setup wizard that makes protecting your site easy.

What’s the cost? iThemes Security is free, but they also offer a pro version with extra

3. Backup Plugins (Our Pick: UpdraftPlus)
UpdraftPlus Plugin
Why you need a backup plugin: Because smart bloggers are always prepared.

Why we recommend UpdraftPlus: It strikes a good balance between flexibility, features,
and ease of use. It has a 4.8 out of 5.0 rating on the WordPress plugin repository, and
it’s actively updated by its developers.

What’s the cost? UpdraftPlus is free, but they also offer a premium version for $70.
Here’s a breakdown of what you get with each plan:

UpdraftPlus table
Further Reading: For step-by-step instructions for UpdraftPlus, as well as looks at
five other backup plugin options, check out 6 Best WordPress Backup Plugins Compared
(100% Objective).
4. SEO Plugins (Our Pick: Yoast SEO)
Yoast SEO Plugin
Why you need a SEO plugin: If you want website traffic, you need Google to love your
content. By using a good SEO plugin, you can make sure your blog posts are putting
their best feet forward.

Why we recommend Yoast SEO: It’s the gold standard of WordPress SEO plugins.

What’s the cost? Yoast SEO has both free and premium versions. Its free version offers
everything you need.

5. Social Sharing Plugins (Our Pick: Social Warfare)
Social Warfare Plugin
Why you need a social sharing plugin: By making it easy for your existing readers to
share your posts on their favorite social media sites, social sharing buttons help get
more eyes on your quality content.

Why we recommend Social Warfare (affiliate link): There are a lot of social media
plugins out there, but we like Social Warfare because it’s lightweight (e.g. doesn’t
slow down your website) and offers unique features like “Click to Tweet” boxes and
Pinterest-specific images and infographics.

What’s the cost? Social Warfare has both a free and pro version. Its free version
offers all the basics you’ll need, but if you decide to upgrade the pro version is only
$29 (paid annually).

6. Email List Building Plugins (Our Pick: Convert Pro)
Convert Pro Plugin
Why you need an email list building plugin: If you want your blog and business to grow,
turning blog traffic into leads is a must. You need a way to capture the email
addresses of your readers so you can continue to engage with them.

Why we recommend Convert Pro (affiliate link): Its drag-and-drop editor for creating
pop-ups is the most user friendly option we’ve used.

What’s the cost? Convert Pro isn’t free. It costs $99 annually, or $399 for a lifetime
license. If cost is a concern, consider the free version of Sumo, which has some great
features, but includes company branding.

Further Reading: For more insights on list building plugins for WordPress, check out 9
Plugins for Growing Your Email List That Work So Well It Feels Like Cheating.
How to Install WordPress Plugins
Now that we’ve gone over the types of plugins you need, let’s walk through the steps
for installing them.

It’s really simple:

In the left-hand navigation pane inside your dashboard, go to Plugins
Choose Add New
You then have two paths you can take:

Click the Upload Plugin button (if you downloaded a third-party plugin like Convert
Pro), or
Enter the name of the plugin in the Search plugins… field (if you want to find a free
plugin from the repository)
Install WordPress Plugin
Let’s quickly go over both paths:

Path #1: Install a Thirty-Party WordPress Plugin
If you want to install a WordPress plugin you downloaded from a third-party website,
click the Upload Plugin button and:

Click the Choose File button
Find the third-party theme you downloaded to your computer (Example:
and select it
Click the Install Now button
Upload WordPress Plugin
Path #2: Install a Plugin From’s Directory
If you want to install a plugin from

Enter the plugin name (Example: “wp super cache”) in the Search plugins… field
Click the Install button
Search and Install WordPress Plugin
Told you it was simple.

Of course, just like when we installed a WordPress theme, there’s one more step to take
to “activate” your plugin.

Let’s go over that next:

How to Activate a WordPress Plugin
Whether you choose a free plugin from or a premium plugin from a third-
party website, you’ll turn it on the same way.

You can click the Activate button that appears immediately after you install it:

Activate WordPress Plugin – Alternate Method

In the left-hand navigation pane, go to Plugins
Choose Installed Plugins
Find your plugin and click Activate
Activate WordPress Plugin

Further Reading: To view a larger list of plugins and tools we recommend, check out 28
Blogging Tools That’ll Up Your Game.

8. Blog Set Up & SEO Stretegies

Blog Set Up & SEO (Search Engine Optimization)Volumes have been written about on-page
SEO, off-page SEO, Google RankBrain, keyword research, SEO tools, search intent, Google
Analytics, and all the other intricacies surrounding the ins and outs of getting ranked
higher in SERPs (search engine results pages).

We’re going to be straight with you:

If you want to start a blog that brings in traffic, if you want to catapult your
content to page one of Google, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and learn

We’ll give you some great reading material in a moment. But first, let’s cover the SEO
basics you need to know when doing a new blog set up — the kind of SEO basics often
missed in advanced tutorials.

We’ll start with the easiest one.

Make Sure Google Can Find Your Website
To ensure search engines like Google and Bing can find your blog, you need to make sure
the following is unchecked:

In the left-hand navigation pane of your WordPress dashboard, hover over Settings
Click Reading
Confirm “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is unchecked
Make Website Public in WordPress
Create an XML Sitemap (and Submit Your Sitemap to Search Engines)
First, a quick definition from Google:

A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other
files on your site, and the relationships between them. Search engines like Google read
this file to more intelligently crawl your site.
What is a sitemap?
When your blog is new and has few external links pointing to it, a sitemap helps ensure
Google is able to discover the amazing new content you create.

So, let’s go over how you create a sitemap (and how you can let Google know it exists).

How to Create an XML Sitemap
If you installed and activated the Yoast SEO plugin we recommended earlier, creating a
sitemap is a snap.

In the left-hand navigation pane of your WordPress dashboard, hover over SEO
Click General
Click the Features tab
Scroll down to the XML sitemaps option and make sure the switch is toggled to On
Yoast SEO Plugin – XML Sitemap 1
You now have an XML sitemap for your blog. Next, we need to give it to Google, Bing,
and other search engines.

So before we leave the Yoast SEO plugin, let’s copy the URL of your sitemap:

Click the question mark icon next to XML sitemaps
Click the See the XML sitemap link
Yoast SEO Plugin – XML Sitemap 2
Your sitemap will open in a new tab in your browser.

Copy the URL in the address bar and save it.

How to Submit Your Sitemap to Search Engines
The steps for submitting your sitemap differs from search engine to search engine.
We’ll quickly go over the most popular ones, starting with Google:

Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console
Go to Google Search Console and sign in using your Google account
In the left-hand pane, select your website
Add sitemap to Google Search Console 1
Note: If you haven’t yet added your website to Google Search Console, you’ll need to
click “Add property” and follow the steps provided before continuing below.

Under Index, click the Sitemaps option
In the Add a new sitemap section, enter the URL you saved earlier and click Submit
Add sitemap to Google Search Console 2
Submit your Sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools
Log into Bing Webmaster Tools (you’ll need to create an account if you have not yet
done so)
Under the My Sites section, click your website
Note: If you haven’t yet added your website to Bing Webmaster Tools, enter your blog’s
URL in the Add a Site section and click the ADD button.

Add website to Bing Webmaster Tools
In the left-hand pane, click Configure My Site and choose Sitemaps
Enter the URL of your sitemap in the Submit a sitemap section and click the Submit
Add sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools
And that’s it.

You’ve successfully submitted your sitemap to Google and Bing.

Change Permalinks Structure
By default, WordPress sets the links on your blog to the following format:
Why do they do this? No one knows for sure. “For grins and giggles” is the theory we’re
going with.

But regardless of the reason, you need to update this link structure before you publish
a single piece of content.

Here’s how you do it:

In the left-hand navigation pane, hover over Settings
Click Permalinks
Under Common Settings, set the option to Post name
WordPress permalink structure
Now your links will look like this:
Not only is this link structure better for your readers, but it’s better for search
engines like Google too.

Install an SSL Certificate (So Your URL Begins With https Instead of http)
Speaking of things Google likes…

You absolutely, positively must install an SSL certificate for your website. Here’s

Readers will know your website is safe
Your website will be safe thanks to the encryption of readers’ sensitive data and
personal info
Google sees it as a ranking signal, which means not having an SSL certificate will hurt
your content’s rankings in search results
Okay, so what is an SSL certificate? How do you know if a website has one or not?

Look for a secure padlock and https in a website’s URL:

browser address bar with https
If the URL has them, the website is secure. If it doesn’t, it isn’t.

How to Install an SSL Certificate
Your web hosting package from SiteGround (affiliate link) includes free SSL
certificates from Let’s Encrypt.

Here’s how you install them:

Log into your SiteGround account
Click the Go to cPanel button
In the Security section, click Let’s Encrypt
Select your domain name, choose the Let’s Encrypt SSL option, and click the Install
A few moments later, your SSL certificate will be up and running!

If you need more guidance, check out SiteGround’s Let’s Encrypt tutorial.

Further Reading: For advanced SEO insights, Brian Dean of Backlinko has an in-depth SEO
resource you should read. If you’re a beginner, Ahrefs has a newbie-friendly SEO guide.

9. Write Your First Post, The Best Way!

Write Your First Blog PostCan we be honest for a minute?

This is the fun part… content creation!

It’s time to start writing blog posts. Taking ideas in your head, turning them into
words on the screen, and sharing them with the world.

Let’s walk through how you do it.

Up first, the basics:

Add New Post in WordPress
Blog Post Ideas
Write an Introduction
Write Faster
Improve Writing Skills
How to Start a Blog Post in WordPress
In the left-hand pane of your WordPress dashboard, hover over Posts
Click Add New
If you’re using the new WordPress block editor (aka the Gutenberg editor), your screen
will look like this:

Add new post in WordPress
If you’re using the classic TinyMCE content editor, you’ll see this:

Classic WordPress editor
Either way, you’ll be able to add a post title (aka headline), write your post, choose
your category, tweak HTML and CSS, add images, and more.

Note: When you want to add a new blog page in WordPress (About page, Contact page,
etc.), the steps are similar:
In the left-hand pane of your dashboard, go to Pages
Click Add New
For detailed instructions on how to navigate the classic content editor, WordPress
offers a detailed support article.

If you’re using the WordPress block editor, let’s go over the basic navigation so
you’ll know how to get around.

Block Navigation in Gutenberg
Block Navigation for WordPress Block Editor
Add a new block
Undo and Redo buttons
Content structure (word count, headings, paragraphs, blocks)
Block navigation (a drop-down displaying all the block types used in the post)
Next, the sidebar navigation:

Sidebar Navigation in Gutenberg
Sidebar Navigation for WordPress Block Editor
Preview and Publish the post
Categories, tags, permalink, and publishing options
Block settings (unique options dependent on the type of block you’re using
Hide the sidebar
More editor settings
How to Add a Block in the Block Editor
Click the plus (+) sign in the top-left corner.

Choose the category and the type of block you want to add:

Add Block in WordPress Block Editor
Each block can be edited, deleted, saved as reusable, and moved up or down with drag-
and-drop options:

Edit Block in WordPress Block Editor
Don’t worry — WordPress blocks, widgets, and the like will get easier the more you use

Now let’s tackle the writing questions we hear most often from bloggers.

Question: “How Do I Find Blog Post Ideas?”
We typically recommend two methods:

1. Use BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is a tool that lets you find popular posts on social media. If you need
inspiration, what’s easier than browsing content that’s already doing well with your
target audience?

2. Find the Thing That Keeps Your Readers Awake at Night
In other words:

What has your readers tossing and turning at two o’clock in the morning?

Are they wondering how to get more traffic to their blogs? Are they suffering from
writer imposter syndrome? Or maybe they’re struggling with blog promotion?

Bloggers who are able to answer this burning issue, and who make a concerted effort to
write about it and only it, have a leg up on the competition.

So, find your readers’ pain point. And then focus on helping them solve it.

Further Reading: If you need more ideas, check out 255 Blog Post Ideas That’ll
Tantalize Your Readers in 2020.
Question: “How Do You Write a Good Headline?”
Copy the professionals.

Browse Smart Blogger and your other favorite, best blogs. Look for patterns. You should
notice “list” and “how to” headlines are quite popular.

Here’s a recent example from Smart Blogger:

Working From Home? 14 Sanity-Saving Tools (+ 35 Pro Tips)

There’s a reason for this:

Decades of copywriting and advertising research have revealed certain types of
headlines convert better than others.

Why mess with what works?

Further Reading: Check out Headline Hacks, our free “cheat sheet” for writing headlines
that go viral.
Question: “How Do I Write a Good Introduction?”
There are several good techniques for writing spellbinding introductions. Here are five
of our favorites:

Empathize with your reader
Ask a tantalizing opening question
Alternate between short and longer paragraphs — give your writing a rhythm
Use delayed transitions
Use deliberate repetition of certain words to heighten their impact
Each of the above techniques draws the reader in and keeps them engaged. They’ll want
to dive deeper into your post to find out what happens next.

Further Reading: How to Write a Blog Post: The Ultimate Guide and How to Write
Spellbinding Introductions by Shamelessly Copying the Pros offer more insights on how
to craft compelling intros.
Question: “How Can I Increase my Writing Speed?”
Eliminate as many distractions as possible.

This could mean turning off your smartphone, buying noise-canceling headphones, or even
logging out of your email.

One unconventional trick is to turn off your grammar checker. Turn off Grammarly. Those
squiggly red lines are your friends when you’re proofreading, but they’re your enemy
when you’re trying to write faster.

Turn off spellcheck so you can focus on writing faster
Further Reading: For more tips on boosting your speed, read How to Write Faster: 10
Crafty Ways to Hit 1,000 Words Per Hour.
Question: “How Can I Improve My Writing Skills?”
It’s cliche, but you have to practice.

When Brian Clark of Copyblogger took a young editor under his wing years ago, he made
him write 100 headlines every single day. That editor, who coincidentally went on to
launch one of the world’s biggest websites about blogging, got really good at writing

So, practice. Lots and lots of practice. And reading these resources will help too:

801+ Power Words That Pack a Punch and Convert like Crazy — Ever wish there was a
shortcut to tap into your readers’ emotions? An easy way to make them feel exactly what
you want? Well there is. Power words.
583 Sensory Words to Take Your Writing from Bland to Brilliant — Are your words falling
a little flat? Looking for ways to add a little punch and pizzazz to your writing? This
massive, in-depth guide tackles a secret weapon used by literary greats, business
owners, writers, and bloggers alike: sensory words.
298 Filler Words & Phrases That Rob Your Writing of Its Power — Ever worry that your
writing lacks power? Did you know that certain filler words and phrases can weaken your
writing without you realizing? Learn which ones here.
Writer’s Block: 27 Techniques to Overcome It Forever — How can you overcome writer’s
block? Try these refreshingly original techniques to shake up your inner muse.
Proofreading: 7 Editing Tips That’ll Make You a Better Writer — Ever wonder why your
writing lacks the impact of your writing heroes? Find out the simple secret they don’t
want you to know.
18 Writing Tips That’ll Actually Make You a Better Writer — Want a resource that
summarizes our favorite writing tips? If you’re struggling with your writing skills,
reading this post should be your first step.

10. Boost Your Traffic, Promote Your Blog, & Master Social Media

Boost Your Traffic, Promote Your Blog, and Master Social MediaLet’s be honest:

When you’re a beginner blogger, no one is paying attention to you. You could write the
most amazing piece of content the world has ever seen, and no one’s going to know it
even exists.


Unless you tell them about it.

You need to spend just as much time promoting your posts as you do writing them. At a
minimum. Ideally, you’ll spend more time promoting them than writing them.

Here are some tips so you can get the most out of your promotional efforts:

Tip #1: Focus on One Social Media Platform
If you try to kick butt on every social media platform, you’re going to fail.

There are simply too many platforms out there, and there’s only so much time in the
day. If you try to be everywhere, you’ll drown.

If you are on too many social media platforms, you will drown
Here’s what you should do instead:

Pick one social media platform. Focus on it. Forget the others (for a long while,

Which platform depends on where your ideal readers hang out. For some niches, that’ll
be Facebook. For others, it’ll be Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Find the best social network for your blog’s niche, join it, and dominate it.

Here’s how:

Learn How to do Pinterest (the Right Way)
PinterestDepending on your niche and audience, Pinterest can be a significant traffic

If your Pinterest game is lacking, check out 9 Ways to Go Viral on Pinterest and Get an
Avalanche of Traffic and implement the tips we discuss.

Drive Traffic to Your Site (and Connect With Influencers) Using Twitter
TwitterTweeting is easy.

Tweeting well, and harnessing the power of Twitter to drive traffic to your blog and
connect with influencers, is difficult.

In 10 Simple Twitter Tactics That Will Get You More Traffic Today, we offer strategies
to get Twitter traffic (and to get onto the radars of influencers).

If Twitter is your social media platform of choice, be sure to read it.

Become a Facebook Kung-fu Master
FacebookWhether you love or loathe (or merely tolerate) Facebook, there’s no denying it
is huge.

Facebook is so huge that, most likely, regardless of your niche, it’s where most of
your readers hang out on social media.

If that’s the case, you need to master it.

These two posts will help:

How to Get 3,241 Facebook Fans per Day Without Paying for Ads (Incredible Case Study)
How to Use Facebook Groups to Get More Traffic and Traction for Your Blog
Answer Questions on Quora
QuoraIf you’re unfamiliar, Quora is a Q&A platform where anyone can post a question and
get answers from experts in the community.

And it’s used by savvy bloggers (like our friends over at Ahrefs), to send traffic to
their blog sites.

To learn more about Quora and how you can use it to boost your blog’s traffic, check
out How to Turn Quora into a Traffic-Driving Machine for Your Blog.

Tip #2: Avoid These 4 Traffic Techniques That Are a Waste of Time for Beginners
Traffic strategies have been around for years. As a result, some of them are a bit long
in the tooth.

Some of the following traffic techniques are dead (and have been for a while), while
some can get you a little traffic but are too time-intensive.

Either way, when you’re a beginner, you should avoid these 4 traffic techniques:

1. Commenting on Popular Blogs
Once upon a time, this used to be effective, but as the blogosphere has grown, and
popular blogs have received more and more comment spam, its return on investment has
fallen dramatically.

Yes, blog commenting can open doors to a future relationship with the blogger, but if
getting click-throughs to your blog is your primary goal, you’re going to be

2. Submitting Your Site to Directories
Years ago, submitting your site to directories used to be a viable traffic resource and
an essential part of SEO, but the benefits have disappeared.

Here’s what Google’s John Mueller had to say way back in 2017 when he was asked if
submitting to directories had any SEO value:

John Mueller of Google on Blog Directories
In short, this marketing strategy has been dead for a long time.

3. Trying to go Viral on Reddit, Hacker News, etc.
While these sites can drive enormous traffic, it’s difficult to get your content to the
front page until you have lots of readers to vote for it.

Cross this strategy off your list until you hit 1,000 email subscribers (at a minimum).

4. Paying for a Unique Design
You’d think paying for a unique blog design would help establish your legitimacy and
lead to more traffic, but in reality, it doesn’t have any effect on traffic at all.

You’re far better off using a free or inexpensive WordPress theme like Astra (affiliate
link), and investing the money elsewhere.

Tip #3: Make Powerful Friends by Reaching Out to Influencers
Blogger Outreach
When you’re a beginner blogger, building an audience is difficult.

Want to know a shortcut?

Get someone influential to introduce you to their audience.

This introduction could come in the form of a backlink to your website, an email
mention, a share on social media, or letting you write a guest post for them.

Here’s how you do it:

Find the movers and shakers in your niche
Get on their radars
Reach out to them
It sounds easy, but there’s quite a bit of hard work involved. A lot, actually.

And here’s the kicker:

Every other beginner blogger will be doing outreach too. So will experienced bloggers.
Even influential bloggers who blog full-time (including the ones you’re trying to
connect with) will be doing it.

Every blogger who wants to grow their audience is pounding the pavement and reaching
out to other bloggers (or paying someone to do it for them) in the hopes of making
powerful friends.

In short, there’s a lot of competition. So if you want your outreach efforts to be
effective, you need a solid plan.

Blogger Outreach: How to Get Influencers to Promote Your Content for Free is packed
with proven outreach techniques.

Read it and follow it.

Tip #4: Pay for Facebook Ads
We hesitated even including this section.

Here’s the thing:

When you’re starting out, you should not spend money on Facebook ads. Or Google ads. Or
whatever LinkedIn is doing these days.

But once you have a solid foundation in place, once you’ve reached 1,000 email
subscribers, once you have traffic starting to roll in from Google search results…
consider supercharging your efforts by learning the ins and outs of Facebook’s ad

Here’s a primer to get you started: How I Got 532 Subscribers in 43 Days Using Cheap
Facebook Ads.

Further Reading: If you’d like more traffic resources, check out 10 Things You Need to
Do After You Publish Your Blog Post and Why Your Site Gets Such Pitiful Traffic (and
What to Do about It).

11. Build Your Email List, Easy

Build Your Email ListIf you polled a hundred experienced bloggers who have been around
the block or two, and you asked them for their biggest blogging mistake, you’d hear one
answer more than any another:

“I wish I started building my email list sooner.”

Learn from their mistakes.

Start building your email list on day one.

Get started now.

We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process.

1. Pick an Email Marketing Service
There are a lot of good email marketing service providers…

…but when you’re starting out, you need to keep your expenses in check wherever you
can. That’s why we recommend MailerLite (affiliate link) to our students, which is free
for users with 1,000 or fewer subscribers.

Once you hit the magic 1k number, you can either upgrade to one of MailerLite’s paid
plans or switch to a different email marketing service provider.

So, don’t overthink it. You need an email marketing provider to start building your
email list. Get a solid one that won’t cost you any money.

Get MailerLite
2. Strategically Place Optin Forms on Your Blog
Using an email list plugin like Convert Pro (affiliate link) or Sumo, place optin forms
throughout your website:

In Your Header
Example Optin Form in Header
Inside Your Content
Example Optin Form Inside Content
On a Landing Page
Example Optin Form on Landing Page
In Pop-Ups
Grow Your Email List with Pop-Ups
In Your Sidebar
Example Optin Form in Sidebar
On Your Homepage, “About” Page, or Contact Form Page
Example Optin Form on About Page
Further Reading: If you need more ideas for where to place opt-in forms, read 10
Creative Places for Opt-In Forms That’ll Supercharge Your Signups.
3. Give People a Reason to Give You Their Email Address by Offering an Ethical Bribe
(aka Subscriber Bribe)
Even if they like you, most people won’t give you their email address out of the
goodness of the heart.

No, you need to give them a reason.

Ethical bribes (also known as subscriber bribes, lead magnets, opt-in bribes, free
offers, free gifts, and content upgrade) give readers a reason to hand over their email
address to you.

They give you their email, you give them a free gift.

That’s all there is to it.

The trap many bloggers fall into is they try to get too big and creative with their
lead magnet. As a result, they often fail to create one at all.

The lesson?

Keep your subscriber bribe simple. Our recommendation:

Start with a simple, one-page PDF checklist.

If you doubt a highly-focused, one-page download can be useful and appealing to
readers, check out the following examples:

Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich once offered a downloadable PDF (“20
Questions Your Financially Unprepared Friends are Afraid Of”) as a lead magnet, which
was essentially a single page of useful questions.
MeetEdgar’s Laura Roeder (formerly of LKR Social Media) once offered readers a “Master
Blog Strategy Worksheet” — a single page containing nine strategy-related questions.
Copyblogger had “11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs” as its ethical bribe,
a simple one-pager that was less than 100 words in its entirety.
Each of these one-page checklists was short, simple, and super effective.

With these three steps, you’ll start your blogging journey in a better position than
99% of your competitors.

And when/if you’re ready to learn more about email marketing tools and building your
email list, be sure to check out these helpful resources:

Email Marketing 101: The Simple, Definitive Guide for 2020
How to Run a Simple Contest and Add 500 New Subscribers to Your List
9 Irresistible Incentives That’ll Grow Your Email List Like Crazy
The Ultimate List-Builder’s Resource Guide: 109 Links to Double or Even Triple Your
Are You Damaging Your Email List with These 11 Rookie Mistakes?
7 Emails You Should Send Your Subscribers (But Probably Don’t)

12. Make Money Blogging Fast

Make Money BloggingSo, you have a blog and you’re ready to start making money?

Awesome. You’ve already made it farther than 99% of the dreamers out there.

In a moment, we’re going to tell you precisely what to do to generate passive income as
a beginner blogger.

But first, we’re going to tell you what you shouldn’t do…

Please, whatever you do, don’t cover your blog in Google Adsense when you’re just
starting out.

Seriously, we wrote an entire post detailing why blog ads suck for monetizing your
site. And we named it — yep, you guessed it — 13 Reasons Why Blog Ads Suck for
Monetizing Your Site.

We encourage you to read it if you’re thinking about plastering blog ads all over your
site, but here are the highlights:

Blog ads pay peanuts
They distract your readers
They make your blog look cheap and sleazy
Okay, so that’s what not to do. Here’s what you should do:

Affiliate Marketing
We believe the best monetization method for bloggers is to build an audience that
trusts them, and then offer high-quality products or services that will truly,
genuinely help that audience.

Most bloggers hear this advice and decide to run off and create a book or course, but
we think that’s a mistake when you’re a beginner.

If you’re not careful, you can waste months or even years creating a product your
audience doesn’t want. You don’t want that — trust us.

Instead, we recommend you promote affiliate programs from reputable companies that
offer money-back guarantees.

It works like this:

You introduce your readers to a product or service from a trusted source
Your readers look at the product or service, decide it will help them, and purchase it
You earn a commission on the sales
The beauty of affiliate marketing is you win multiple ways. You help your audience, you
earn money, and — most importantly — you learn what types of products and services your
audience likes to buy.

Once you have this information, then you can go out and create your own products,
courses, or e-commerce sites around it. Only this time, you won’t be guessing there’s
an audience for it. You’ll know it.

We’ve written two great beginner’s guides on affiliate marketing and various affiliate
programs. Before you dip your toes into the affiliate waters, be sure to read both

Affiliate Marketing in 2020: FREE Guide for Beginners
The 8 Best Affiliate Networks for Earning Passive Income
More Money Making Possibilities
Affiliate marketing is the easiest monetization method for beginners, but there are
other options too.

Check out these in-depth resources we’ve put together:

34 Ways to Find (& Land) Freelance Writing Jobs in 2020 — Whether you’re a seasoned
freelance writer or a beginner with no experience, freelance writing jobs are plentiful
— if you know where to look.
How to Become a Freelance Writer, Starting from Scratch — Want to become a freelance
writer? This comprehensive guide walks you through how to get started, where to find
clients, and how to scale.
21 Dumb Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your First E-book — Want to write an e-book so
you can earn some passive income? Check out these 21 basic mistakes to make sure you’re
not sabotaging your e-book’s success from the start.
How to Make Money Writing: 5 Ways to Get Paid to Write in 2020 — Is it easy? No. But
it’s certainly possible. This post shows you exactly how to make money writing —
everything from getting paid to write for magazines to publishing your own Kindle book.
All in one place.
Kindle Direct Publishing: How to Make Real Money on Amazon — With Kindle publishing,
you can self-publish your book on Amazon and start making money within 24 hours. This
massive, how-to KDP guide will show you how.
How to Run Your First Webinar (with No Skills, No Stress and No Budget) — Does running
a webinar sound scary and expensive? Here’s how to run a simple webinar that builds
trust and authority without spending a single penny.
How to Make Money Blogging (Free Guide for 2020) — Can you make money blogging? The
answer is YES — if you follow these hard-won lessons for building a profitable blog
from scratch.
7 Membership Sites that Make $100K+ Per Year (Real Examples) — Wondering if you should
create a membership site? Take a look at these 10 real-world examples of membership
sites making $100K+ per year for inspiration.

13. Top 5 Best Money Making Options From Your Blog

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14. How to take Create Backlinks for Your Blog?

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15. How to Get Traffic from Social Media?

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16. Bonus Tips And Tricks

How to Start a Blog and Get Paid: Frequently Asked Questions
Common Blogging Questions (and Answers)Wow. We’ve covered a lot of information, haven’t

And the crazy thing is… we’ve merely scratched the surface. There’s so much more.

So before we wrap things up, let’s look at a few more common questions we receive (ones
we didn’t already address above).

This is an ever-expanding list, so if you have a question we haven’t covered about how
to start a blog, please feel free to ask us in the comments section.

Should I Start a Blog in 2020?
We’re asked many questions by readers…

How do bloggers make money?

Can I start a blog for free?

How do I choose a good domain name for my blog?

…but they all take a back seat to this one:

Why start a blog? Should I start a blog?

With the dominance of video content on YouTube and Facebook, plus the emergence of
“microblogging” platforms like Instagram and Twitter, it’s reasonable to wonder if the
whole idea of blogging is a little… well, out of date.

However, the numbers tell a different story:

Tens of thousands of new blogs are created each day
According to Statista, the number of bloggers in the United States alone is set to
reach 31.7 million by 2020
On WordPress, 70 million new blog posts are written every month
Market researchers estimate more than 75% of Internet users read blogs on a regular
Content marketing, which includes blogging, is projected to be a $412.88 billion
industry as soon as 2021
In other words:

If your goals are to build an audience and make money online, the question isn’t should
you start a blog in 2020 — it’s why wouldn’t you?

So, yes, you should start a blog.

Right now.

And thanks to this post, you now know how to do it, step by step. ??

How Much Does a Beginning Blogger Make?
If you’re working for another company, you can make as much as $50,000 per year.
Professional content marketers get paid very well.

On the other hand, most beginning bloggers are hobbyists. They tinker around in their
spare time and seldom make much.

If you do commit to blogging over the long-term, and you start a truly popular blog,
you can make a million or two (or more). It’s a long road, and most people fail, but
it’s achievable.

What is a Blog?
According to WordPress:

“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe websites
that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features online diary-type
commentary and links to articles on other websites, usually presented as a list of
entries in reverse chronological order. Blogs range from the personal to the political,
and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.
What is a blog?
Blogs have grown up a good bit from their “weblog” days, of course. (College student
Justin Hall is credited with the creation of the first blog,, way back in
1994). Today, we have travel blogs, food blogs, fashion blogs, blogs for podcasts,
blogs used as online journals, blogs that sell products, and everything in between.

How Much Does a Blog Cost?
It really depends.

If your blogging goals aren’t to grow an audience and make money, you can blog on
Medium. It’s free, and it’ll allow your inner writer to shine.

However, if you’re wanting to earn passive income with blogging, you’ll need to
purchase certain things.

For example:

A domain name from Namecheap (affiliate link) starts at $8.88 per year for a .com
domain name extension.
Web hosting from SiteGround (affiliate link) is $3.95 per month for the first billing
For a running tally, check out The Shocking Cost of Running a Blog (and How to Create a
Realistic Budget).

What is Gutenberg?
Also known as the WordPress block editor, the Gutenberg editor went live as part of
WordPress version 5.0 in December 2018.

It’s a modern, drag-and-drop editor that replaced the classic TinyMCE editor. If you’d
like to learn more about it, check out WordPress Block Editor: The Ultimate Gutenberg

How do I Start a Personal Blog?
If all you need is a personal blog (no email list, no affiliate marketing, etc.), go

It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it has a nice, modern aesthetic (if you’re into that
sort of thing).

Is WordPress Free? is free to use. Self-hosted software is technically free
too (anyone can download it). However, since it’s self-hosted, you will need to pay for
web hosting and domain name registration.

What Can I do to Stop Spam Comments?
Since it’s the biggest blogging platform in the world, WordPress is a popular target of
comment spammers.

And while there’s nothing you can do to prevent spam comments completely (short of
turning off commenting functionality on your site), there are steps you can take (in
addition to installing an anti-spam plugin) to strengthen your defenses and minimize
the amount of spam you receive.

Hold Comments in Moderation
If you want to hold first-time commenters in moderation until you can review and
approve their comment, follow these steps:

In the left-hand navigation pane, hover over Settings
Click Discussion
In the Email me whenever section, check the Anyone posts a comment and A comment is
held for moderation options
In the Before a comment appears section, check the Comment author must have a
previously approved comment option
WordPress Comment Moderation 1
If you want to hold all comments in moderation, even from individuals who have had
comments approved previously, check the Comment must be manually approved option:

WordPress Comment Moderation 2
The latter will ensure spam comments aren’t able to sneak through and be live on your
blog for the world to see, but it means you’ll need to diligently review the pending
comments in your dashboard.

Close Comments After a Certain Number of Days
Most legitimate comments you receive will arrive during the first few weeks after
you’ve clicked the PUBLISH button on your post.. Closing down the comments section of a
post after a certain period of time is an easy way to cut down on the amount of spam
you receive.

Here’s how you can do it:

In the left-hand navigation pane, hover over Settings
Click Discussion
In the Other comment settings section, check the Automatically close comments on
articles older than X days option
WordPress Close Comments
Enter the number of days you would like to pass before comments are closed. Periods of
30 days and 60 days are common.

Turn Off Pingbacks
A pingback is a notification that appears in your comments section when another blog
has linked to it.

Sounds great, but the problem is pingbacks are easily abused by spammers. If your blog
is pingback-enabled, your comments can become overrun with spam.

It’s best to turn off pingbacks. Here’s how you do it:

In the left-hand navigation pane, hover over Settings
Click Discussion
In the Default article settings section, uncheck the Allow link notifications from
other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles option
Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks
How Can I Avoid the Most Common Blogging Mistakes?
Even experts make mistakes. How do you think they became experts? Trial and error,

Fortunately, you have a choice. Learn the hard way and bump your head against the same
mistakes as everyone else, or use your brain and learn from the failures of others.

If you want to avoid some common pitfalls, read these posts:

How to Write Good Comments That Stand Out (For the Right Reasons) — Here’s the thing:
most blog comments suck. What does a great blog comment look like, and how do you write
one? Here’s a simple four-part formula that works every time.
12 Blogging Mistakes That Make You Look like a World-Class Idiot — Don’t be surprised
when you publish your great idea, hoping it buzzes around the blogosphere, and it
tanks. Not just tanks – but explodes in an inferno of criticism.
6 SEO Sins That’ll Put You on Google’s Naughty List — Did you know Google can make your
blog disappear from its search results? Here are the six mistakes most likely to land
you on their naughty list.
Why Posting Every Day is a Silly Strategy (And What to Do Instead) — If you doubt your
ability to be a successful blogger, it may be your strategy; most specifically, posting
every day. Here’s why this strategy is downright dangerous.
Why You Shouldn’t Create a Newsletter (and What to Do Instead) — Once upon a time, the
online newsletter produced enormous profits for all kinds of businesses. Nowadays, it’s
just pure foolishness.
Back to Top
The Bottom Line on How to Start a Blog (and Get Paid)
You know you’re in rarefied air, right?

Most people who read about how to start a blog don’t follow through. They want to start
a blog and they talk about it nonstop, sure, but they never take action.

Years from now, they’ll still be skimming posts like this one, nodding along with the
words, and wishing they had the courage to make it happen.

But not you.

You’re going to take the steps we’ve outlined above and knock them out one by one.
You’re going to create a blog, grow an audience, and start earning a real, tangible

And you’re not going to wait days, weeks, or months before you get started. You’re
going to start a blog today — right now.

If you have any questions or hiccups, we’re right here to help you.

Are you ready?

Then let’s do this thing.

P.S. from Jon: Kevin wrote nearly all of this. Much of it is based on my ideas, but if
you want to know who to thank for putting together such an awesome resource, it’s him.