Blogging is one of the best way to share your knowledge and make money out of it, if you are aware of what you are doing.
Are you are planning to start a blog that generates a decent amount of traffic and money? If yes this post is for you because today I am going to share the exact footsteps I follow while starting a new blog.
Considering you are already made your mind to start a blog that’s the reason you are here. I am not going to let you bored by talking about What is a blog and why you need one.
I am getting straight to important points.
10 Step Guide To Start A Blog In 2020
Step 1. Find A Niche [Passion + Profitability = Perfect Niche]
This is the first and very important step for succeeding in blogging. Most people will advise you to follow your passion for selecting a blogging niche.
But most of people don’t know what about they are passionate.
When I started my first I was in the same dilemma. At that time I thought I was passionate about Tech and opted for a tech blog. But I was smart enough to understand that I was not made for it.
Just after writing 2-3 blog posts on the Tech niche, I was bored and at that time I invest most of the time building a blog and optimizing them.
Now the question is how you can find your Niche?
The answer to this question lies within your head. Go brainstorms some topics about which you are passionate and note them down in a paper.
It could be anything like Building Websites, Fishing, Cooking, and Dancing, etc.
Once you got the list of 2-3 things that you are passionate about, now it’s time to pick the best one.
If you are doing blogging just for a hobby and you don’t have any plan for monetizing your blog, you can go with any one thing from the list which suits you the most.
But if you are willing to make money from your blog too then you have to follow the next step. Once you got a list of 2-3 topic now it’s time to check the profitability of that niche.
My 3 Step Checklist To Finalize Your Niche:
1. Analyze The Traffic Potential:
For this, you can simply do a thing go to Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest and enter your Seed keyword into it. If your niche got enough traffic that means people are searching out for it.
Another tactic you can use enters your keyword into Youtube and look out the videos and their views. If videos are getting tons of views that a good sign.
2. Analyze Trend of Topic:
The second step toward finding a profitable niche is analyzing the tread of your niche. Some Topic might have visitors today but there are chances they will vanish in the near future. So I advise you to check the trend of your Niche. For this, you can make use of Google trends.
3. Analyze The Earning Potential:
The final step is to analyze the earning potential of your so-called profitable niche. All your efforts can get in vain if you are getting tons of traffic but there are not enough monetization options available for your niche.
To analyze the earning potential of your Niche you can check the following things:
I hope after this all you will come up with a profitable Niche.
Finding a profitable niche can take a while so take your time because your success and failure depend on niche selection.
Step 2. Came Up With a Killer Domain Name
Your domain name is your online identity so choose it carefully. A domain name is the address of a website. It’s like a phone number and the domain name of two websites can’t be exactly the same. For example, I own bloggingforge.com so other people can’t own that name until it’s registered on my name.
Similarly, you have to come up with a name for your blog and register your domain name from an online domain registrar like Godaddy and Namecheap. Domain Usually cost $14-$15 years.
Checklist For Selecting a Perfect Domain Name:
Which Domain Extension should I choose?
There are numerous domain extensions available like .com, .net, .org, .biz, .net and so on. I personally like the .com domain extension. Most of the website or blog has a .com extension. So my personal advice is to go with the .com extension.
Step 3. Purchase a Domain And Hosting For Blog
Once you have decided that you are going to use self-hosted WordPress for your upcoming blog now it’s time to purchase a domain name and hosting.
From Where To Get Domain Name?
As I have already discussed above that you are free to purchase a domain name from Godaddy and Namecheap.
But to make it easier for you I advise you to buy a domain and hosting from the same company. Because when you buy hosting and Domain from different companies you have to update their nameservers that could be confusing for newbies.
But if you got technical knowledge you are free to buy a domain from anywhere.
Why I Use & Recommend Siteground Hosting?
Siteground was founded back in 2002 by some University friends and now they have turned into one of the best hosting providers. That happened just because of their quality service and top-notch customer support.
Siteground provides lightning fast page loading speed and when someone talks about tech support they have set a very high benchmark.
Siteground is Non-EIG Host that is officially recommended by WordPress.org that adds an extra seal of trust.
At Blogging Forge I am also using SiteGround Hosting.
Top Notch Features of SiteGround Hosting are:
Step 4. Select a Blogging Platform (WordPress Is Best)
The next step toward building a profitable blog is going up with the best blogging platform. Since there are numerous blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress, Squarespace and Wix, etc that makes it difficult to make a choice.
I started my first blog with Blogger but later on, I got to know that it’s not going to help me in the long run. Then I switched to WordPress.
There are 2 versions of WordPress. First one is WordPress.com that is owned by Automatic and the second one is open source software by WordPress.org (Self-hosted WordPress). I personally use Self Hosted WordPress because it gave you full control over your Blog and content and that is missing with Blogger and WordPress.com.
Why Do I Recommend Self-Hosted WordPress?
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) built on PHP and MySQL, and it is open-source software. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and millions of websites are powered by WordPress.
Few Features of Self-Hosted WordPress are:
- Free (you have to pay for domain and hosting only)
- Open Source
- Thousands of Free Themes & Plugins
- SEO Friendly
- Very Easy to use
Step 5. Install WordPress:
1. Login to your hosting cPanel. Find Softaculous app installer.
2. You will see various icons one of which is WordPress. Click on it.
3. After clicking on WordPress a page is open like this. Then click on Install Now.
4. You have to select the protocol. If you have SSL certificate installed then you should choose https:// otherwise choose http:// from options. Also keep In Directory option blank.
5. Now it will ask you to choose the Site Name, Site Description, Admin Username, Password and Email Address.
Use strong admin username and password for higher security and also make note of username and password because you need it to login to your WordPress dashboard. Also fill Admin Email address carefully because you will get notifications and password reset options in case you forget your Username and Password.
6. Leave Advance option as it is. Then hit the install button.
7. It will take few minutes to install and it will show you confirmation message after successful installation and it will also provide you administrative URL by which you can customize your Website/Blog.
Step 6. Get a Theme For Your Blog
It doesn’t matter you are a Blogger, Digital marketer, Businessman, and a Freelancer everyone needs a website if they want to grow their business. Along with good content, your website/blog needs a nice and clean layout if you want to survive in an online field.
If your website/blog is nicely designed it will definitely attract more readers and they will love to explore your site.
On the flip side if your readers can’t read what you have written just because of bad blog layout and improper fonts then you will not only lose current as well as future readers.
In that case, with the loss of every single reader, you are also losing your revenue too.
There are themes like the Schema, GeneratePress theme and Genesis Framework which increases the visibility of content on search engines which resulted in the increase of revenue.
Factors You Can’t Ignore Before Purchasing a Theme
A responsive theme means that adapt all screen size or fit in all screen such that mobile, tablet or PC.
Today mobile users are growing exponentially and everyone uses their Mobile phones for surfing the internet and buying products online.
If your design is simple and responsive it will increase your reader’s engagement on your blog that will lead to an increase in ranking and revenue.
So responsiveness of a theme is an important factor and you should not ignore it.
A theme should be easy to use and customize. For every single task, you don’t need to change the code and install a new plugin.
It should provide a separate menu to customize your theme. So it will be easy to remember and access the theme settings.
Site loading time also plays an important role because the fast loading site got higher rankings in search engine results.
For fast loading site, you will need a speed optimized theme.
I don’t know how many people think of this as an important factor.
They download the free themes which have been not updated from since few years. These themes can be vulnerable to many security risks. And you will risk your blog if you use those themes on your blog.
So you should consider a theme provider that provides regular updates with support.
Themes I have personally used & recommends:
2. GeneratePress [Using it]
3. WP Astra
Step 7. Install Necessary Plugins
Plugins add more functionality to the WordPress core and make it effortless to use. But at the same time, installing too many plugins gonna slow down your blog speed. So keeping that in mind, I am going to recommend the best and necessary plugins for your blog.
So below is the quick list:
1. Page Builder Plugin:
Page Builder plugins are used to create custom landing and sales pages. You can also use them to style your blog posts.
I am using Thrive Architect. You can also use one of the following:
2. Divi Builder
2. WordPress Speed Optimization Plugin:
Caching plugins are used to speed up page loading time. Caching plugins use various techniques to squeeze your page size by optimizing HTML, CSS, and Scripts. That will ultimately reduce page loading time.
My recommendation for caching Plugins are:
2. Swift Performance Lite
3. Image Compression Plugin:
Image compression plugins squeeze image size without affecting the picture quality. Image compression leads to lower page size and helps in saving your hosting bandwidth and serve content faster to your readers.
Plugins I recommend for image compression purpose are:
2. Smush it
4. WordPress Backup Plugin:
Most hosting companies are providing free backup with their plans so there is no such need of using backup plugins.
But to be on the safer side I recommend you to create backups outside your host. And you can create them using Backup plugins. So I recommend UpdraftPlus for that purpose.
Social media is one of the easiest and great sources of getting free web traffic. But you can only get it when people share your content over various social media platforms.
And that’s possible only when you have enabled social sharing button on your blog.
I recommend and use Social Warfare for getting social sharing buttons on a blog.
6. Email List Building Plugin:
There is a saying in Digital Marketing word: Money is in the List. And it’s 100% true.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach potential customers.
But you need to build a list first and that’s only possible only with Email option plugins.
7. SEO Plugin:
WordPress is considered best for SEO, but that’s not achievable without using SEO Plugins. SEO Plugins supplement extra functionality to WordPress and make your blog Search Engine friendly.
I am using Rank Math SEO Plugin to get higher ranking on Google. You can also give a try to Yoast, SEOPress and All In One SEO Pack. But I am sure Rank Math can knock them down single-handedly.
8. Form Builder Plugin:
Whether you want to create simple contact us page or looking for a way to get feedback from your users. There is always a need for form building plugin.
I am using WP-Forms plugin for my all blogs. An alternative to WP-Form is Gravity Form.
9. Analytics Plugin:
Get traffic insight directly inside your WordPress dashboard. You can check out your most visited Pages, Countries from where you are getting traffic, Session Time, Total Pageviews, Bounce rate and much more.
Just install Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. You can also make use of Jetpack plugin.
10. Spam Filtering Plugin:
People spam to get a quick result. And one of the easiest way to place spammy links are comment sections.
If you are not using any comment spam filtering plugin so get ready to bombarded with lots of spam links.
I only recommend the Anti-Spam plugin to fight with spammy comments.
11. WordPress Security Plugin:
You must pay extra attention to your WordPress security. Open source nature of WordPress makes it more vulnerable to security hacks. Each day thousands of website got hacked over the Internet. If you don’t want to see your blog in that list you need to install a security plugin.
I recommend Wordfence and Sucuri Plugin.
Step 8. Create Important Pages
I am hoping all things are set now it's time to time to create a few important pages and publish your first blog post.
Creating a page or blog post in WordPress is a piece of cake.
You need to create some important pages just after installing themes and plugins. Pages that every blog consists are:
1. About Us Page
2. Contact Us Page
4. Affiliate Disclosure Page
5. Static Home Page (Optional)
Steps To Create the Page In WordPress:
1. Log in your WordPress dashboard.
2. On the left side of your screen lookout for Pages option and click on it.
3. Now click on Add New button.
4. In the next window, you will get something like shown in the image.
You have to add Page Title and start writing the content.
At the bottom of every page and post, you will see an SEO option. You have to add SEO Title and Page description there.
This title and description used by Search Engines and it will display the same title and description on Search Engine Page Results.
Step 9. Submit Blog to Search Engines
What most of the people do when they create a blog or website for the first time?
They will undoubtedly search their website in Search Engines. Frankly speaking, they will first search it on Google.
And meanwhile, they can’t find it on Google they assumed something is wrong with Google.
There is nothing wrong with Google. You have to submit your Blog to Search Engines manually and I am going to share the exact steps with you.
Steps To Create an Account for Google Webmasters:
1. Visit Google Webmasters.
2. Sign in to Google Webmasters account. You need a Gmail accounts for that.
3. To add your blog/website to Google Search Console use URL prefix option > Insert Domain URL > Hit Continue.
4. Now you have to verify Your Site.
5. For Verification you will get various option. I recommend HTML Tag option. Copy that tag to your clipboard.
6. Now go back to your WordPress dashboard, Install and Activate Insert Headers and Footers Plugin.
7. You will find Insert Headers and Footers setting options under Settings tab .i.e Settings> Insert Headers and Footers
Now add that HTML Tag in header scripts section and then click on Save button.
8. Go back to Google Webmasters and click on verify.
9. Now your blog is successfully verified and submitted to Google.
Similarly, you can Sign up for Bing and Yandex Webmaster tools and that will help you to make your blog visible and reach the larger audience.
Step 10. Learn SEO & Start Publishing Content
The last step toward your blogging success is learning SEO and Creating quality content.
Since SEO is a very vast topic so its difficult to sum up it up in this guide. So click button below to learn more about blogging and SEO.