How to start a blog

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Good news: you don’t have to be an influencer or have a huge social media audience to make a lot of money writing blog posts.

“I firmly believe that the riches are in the niches,” says Jannese Torres-Rodríguez, a Latina money expert and founder of Yo Quiero Dinero, a platform that connects Latinos and POC changemakers. “It’s not about telling great stories, it’s about the value you’re serving.”

Millions of blog entries are published every day, according to real-time data from Internet Live Stats, a website that reports daily statistics on worldwide web usage. The sheer volume feels intimidating to many, but Torres-Rodriguez says this is a mindset block and it’s about identifying the unique ideas you have to share.

pro tip

It’s easy to start a blog, but going the distance requires patience and dedication to grow and monetize.

“What most people are looking for in blogs is practical information,” he says. Torres-Rodriguez earned $144,210 in passive income in 2021 from her Delish D’Lights blog, which shares recipes from her Puerto Rican heritage.

If you want to know how to start a blog that will make you money, there are certain steps you’ll want to take first to set yourself up for success. We asked experts on how to start a blog and become a successful blogger in 2022; This is what they had to say.

How to start a blog in 5 steps

Depending on the niche of your blog and your overall goals, the exact steps you’ll need to take may vary. Generally speaking, five steps you’ll want to take to start a blog, in order, are:

  1. Select a niche.
  2. Choose a content management system.
  3. Buy your domain name and blog hosting.
  4. Set up the necessary tools or WordPress plugins.
  5. Create attractive and useful content.

No. 1: select a niche

What do you want to start blogging about? Are you passionate about starting a blog on this topic? Once you’ve answered this question, dig a little deeper to determine how your new blog posts in this niche might differ from what’s already out there.

“Millions of new blog posts are published every day, so if you want to drive traffic to your blog, you need to find an underserved niche that is craving content,” says Alison Ver Halen, content strategist and founder of AV Writing Services. , a content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) services company.

In addition to the topics of your blog post, also think about the audience you want to reach. Sometimes establishing your niche is more about specifying a certain audience than a certain topic.

“As a Latina in a space that is still predominantly white, I think it’s also important to lean into your identity if you’re a person from a marginalized community,” says Torres-Rodríguez. “People are very keen to connect with people in their own communities who can also teach them about whatever topic they want to learn about.”

No. 2: Choose a content management system

A content management system (CMS) is software that helps you create and publish content on the Internet. WordPress and Ghost are examples of content management systems; They make it easy to have a blogging platform without the need for HTML or other coding skills. Please note that in this article, when we refer to WordPress, we will refer to WordPress.org. There is also WordPress.com, which offers services to build your website within the WordPress.org CMS.

The WordPress Dashboard is an open source platform that gives you the freedom to control virtually every aspect of your blog. WordPress is hugely popular, powering 42.9% of all websites on the internet, according to data from W3Techs, a data collection company. However, it is not a kind of one-stop shop; For your WordPress blog to work, you will need to manually set up web hosting, choose a WordPress theme, and install WordPress plugins to make it more functional.

Look for a platform that offers a seamless experience for the end user. While there are several to choose from, each has its own pros and cons that you should consider before deciding which one is best.

No. 3: Buy your domain name and blog hosting

Your domain name refers to the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of your website; this is what readers will type to navigate to your blog and it should match the name you select for your site. As an example, if you plan to use the blog name “Awesome Money Habits”, it would be ideal to choose a domain name like www.awesomemoneyhabits.com. Domain names can be purchased from sites like Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, and NameCheap.

You will also need to set up a web hosting or blog hosting account for your site to be live. There are two options here: you can either set up the hosting yourself or choose a website builder service that will take care of the in-app web hosting for you. A website building service like Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace will help you launch a blog quickly, and many offer a free domain name or free blog hosting benefit when you sign up. You’ll have fewer options to modify your site to your liking, but there are a variety of templates to choose from.

No. 4 – Configure the necessary tools or WordPress plugins

Before you start publishing posts, you’ll also want your own blog to have reporting tools set up. These not only help your blog grow, but also help you better understand what works and what doesn’t.

“Set up a Google Analytics account so you can track all of your blog data,” says Eva Keller, co-founder of Discovering Hidden Gems, a food and travel blog. “Then set up email marketing [with a tool] like Constant Contact or ActiveCampaign, and create social media accounts on whatever platform you plan to use, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.”

Before publishing your first blog post, visit Google Search Console to determine if your site is indexed. If not, search engines won’t be able to find your new blog, so you’ll need to submit a sitemap for people to find your blog online.

No. 5: Create engaging and useful content

The most important step in starting a successful blog is posting engaging and useful posts that keep readers coming back for more. Take some time to dive into the minds of your audience and jot down the topics you think interest them the most. Every new blog post you publish should also have a call to action, especially if you want to monetize.

“Look at what you’re selling, and then go back to your offers,” says Jacqueline Fisch, business writing coach. “What does a potential client need to know or believe before scheduling a consultation with you or buying from you? Also make a list that documents all the questions that people always ask you. That way, you’ll never run out of ideas.”

How are bloggers paid?

There are several ways to make money by starting a blog. Common strategies for making money include:

  • ad networks– Display Google AdSense display ads on your web pages, then focus on driving as many page views as possible.
  • Affiliate Links: Review products made and sold by others, then use affiliate links to earn a share of the transaction revenue in just a few clicks.
  • Sponsored Posts: Get paid by a business or brand to review their product or write guest blog posts on their blog.
  • Services, programs or products: Develop your own offers and sell them directly to your readers.
  • Paid Subscriptions: Give readers access to exclusive content for a monthly fee.

Keller suggests making a business plan first before settling on a profitable blogging strategy.

“You’ll need to decide what you’re blogging about, how you want to make money blogging, and where you want this business to go,” she says. “Usually you will want to use a combination of these strategies. But pick just one when you’re starting out. As you master each aspect of blogging, you can always add more strategies.”

How much does it cost to start a blog?

If you choose free blog sites and forego buying your own custom domain, you can start a blog with no out-of-pocket costs. Alternatively, you can purchase your own domain name and upgrade your hosting package to connect it to your blog site for a small fee.

If you choose to self-host through your own WordPress site, remember that you will need to purchase your custom domain name and service from a hosting company separately. Either way, it’s possible to launch your personal blog for less than $100.

“I scaled my food blog to six figures with a $60 theme that I installed myself,” says Torres-Rodríguez. “So this idea that we need to have a professionally designed website is not realistic and it’s not an investment that makes sense to most people.”

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when starting a blog; consider seeking guidance along the way to lighten the load and stay focused. Keller points out that paying to learn the trades and hone your skills is a worthwhile investment.

“You can take courses on blogging or on any specific topic within blogging, like SEO, social media marketing, or how to sell your own products or courses,” Keller says. “Even having a business coach or virtual assistant can help move the needle enough to make your blogging business profitable quickly.”

Can I blog on my phone?

May. Almost all blogging platforms are mobile-friendly and allow you to create, edit, and publish articles right on your mobile device. You can also use Google Docs to create and edit your articles, Canva to find and embed the perfect photos, and a social media management app like Buffer or HootSuite to schedule your posts on the go.

If you’re not a big fan of writing but still want to start a blog, Fisch suggests you consider using a text chat app like Otter.ai to verbalize and edit your ideas.

“You can also share live video and summarize highlights in a blog,” she says. Strive to make your blogging journey as streamlined and easy as possible.

How many posts should I make?

To create a successful blog, you will need to constantly post new content. There is no hard and fast rule about how many posts you should create per day, week, or month. Instead, new bloggers should focus on creating a publishing schedule that is practical and works for them.

“Make a broad plan for what you’ll write for the next month and then for the next quarter,” adds Fisch. “I usually advise clients to plan one quarter at a time. An annual plan is often too restrictive. You can choose to deviate from your plan if you want, but having a plan to fall back on will help keep you on track.”

It’s important to remember that blogging is also a long game. Be patient while you get things going.

“A lot of people give it up for a few weeks and then give up when they don’t see immediate results,” says Ver Halen. “It takes Google 2-3 months to index and categorize your content, and it takes even longer to earn Google’s trust. So wait at least 6 to 12 months to see the results of your blog.

Blogging is still making money in 2022 and will continue to do so for years to come. The key is to start now and take action that will bring your next quest to make money online to life.