In this guide, we will discuss step-by-step how to start your own blog and how to grow your audience.
Please note: this guide is intended for those interested in monetizing their blog or using it to market their business.
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Select a Niche
If you’re hoping to make some money from your blog, it is important that you nail down a niche.
If you are creating a blog for your company, your niche would obviously be whatever industry your company falls under. If you are starting a personal blog just to make some extra money, you should seek out a niche that is both profitable and able to hold your interest.
If you select a niche that you have absolutely no interest in, you will only be setting yourself up for failure. If you can’t see yourself writing about the subject long term, it is probably not the best option for you.
As a matter of fact, the more passionate you are about a subject, the easier it will be to write about it.
Just make sure there’s an audience out there for your selected niche! You can use a Keyword Research Tool to gain more insight. By performing keyword research, you can see what phrases are commonly searched for in Google. You can do this for as many keywords as you believe are necessary. This step will even help you plan out future blog posts.
Additionally, you can lookup different forums and Facebook groups to see if there is a high demand for information on your topic(s) of interest.
As a final thought, it is important to consider the various ways you can earn money in this niche. Can you eventually offer sponsored posts or other advertising opportunities to other companies? Can you create an eBook or online course on the subject? Are there any relevant affiliate marketing programs? These are just a few things to keep in mind.
Choose a Host and Domain
If you’re trying to create a professional blog, I highly recommend Self-Hosted WordPress.
I am sure many of you have already heard of WordPress. It is one of the most popular blogging platforms out there. As a matter of fact, this blog is powered by WordPress.
Why Do I Recommend WordPress?
There are 3 main reasons why I highly recommend WordPress for your new blog.
- It is super easy to use. With so many themes, layouts, and plugins to choose from, WordPress takes the extra stress out of starting a professional blog.
- There are tons of WordPress resources on the internet to help you navigate the platform.
- It is easy for visitors to engage with your WordPress blog- share, leave comments, etc.
So yes, definitely go with WordPress. And definitely go with self-hosted WordPress.
A self-hosted blog means you get to have your own dedicated domain name and have total control of your website. Here are a few popular hosting companies you can research for your hosting needs.
I have a lot of experience using Siteground, and I always praise them for their excellent customer service. Site speed has been great, uptime is exceptional, and site security is fantastic. However, Siteground is definitely not cheap. After the introductory price, your bill will almost triple.
Bluehost is another very popular hosting provider. Registration includes a free domain and a free SSL Certificate. They also have an in-house support team available to assist you along the way. They are also half the price of Siteground.
If you are looking for trustworthy cloud hosting, it is worth checking out Cloudways. They offer live human support to help you get your website live and can even help migrate a WordPress website for you.
Make sure you do your research and select a hosting provider that will best serve your unique needs. You can also switch hosting providers at any time if you feel the current service is no longer serving you.
Pick a Theme and Design Your Website
If you aren’t into coding or any of the technical design stuff, you can pick a free theme or one of the best Premium WordPress themes to simplify the process.
Premium themes will cost you some money, but they typically come with more features and design options. Other than that, starting with a free WordPress theme will work just fine.
It really is all about your preferences, and level of WordPress expertise.
You should select a theme that best fits your style and niche. Once your theme is activated, it is important that you customize it according to your branding guidelines. Give it that unique touch that distinguishes it from other blogs on the internet.
Another thing to keep in mind, outside of the aesthetic of your blog, is that you want to select a theme that is user-friendly and best serves your audience. As I mentioned earlier, WordPress offers a ton of plugins designed to make your life easier. Determine which plugins are necessary for your blog and get those activated and ready to go.
Write and Publish Content
Once you have your blog set up, it is time to start filling it with SEO-friendly content. You may choose to write the content yourself, or maybe you will hire professional copywriters to develop the content for you.
Whatever the case may be, you should always focus on delivering value to your readers. You aren’t writing this content for yourself. You are writing this content to make an impact in the lives of your target audience. Always keep this in mind.
You can use an app like Trello to organize all your blog post ideas.
I also can’t emphasize the importance of user experience enough. Each blog post should be easy to read and digest. Break up the text with images, ordered/unordered lists, and headings. It is also important that you offer a clear way to share and save your content.
Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines
From keywords to the quality of your content, there is a lot that can be said about optimizing your blog for search engines. I’m not going to go into much detail about that in this particular post. However, I do recommend signing up for this FREE Online SEO Course to learn more.
Promote Your Content
Once you have your information-packed, SEO-Friendly blog posts published, you need to promote, promote, PROMOTE. Do not wait for others to stumble across your blog, go out there and get in front of your audience.
Share on all your social media channels, participate in forums and Facebook groups that allow you to share helpful links. Add a link to your website in your social media profiles. Use Pinterest to grow your traffic. Test out different methods to promote your content and run with the ones that work best.
Over time, you may notice some advertising methods are more useful than others. Don’t be afraid to modify your marketing strategy to get your content in front of more eyes.
The more people who see your content, the more lives you can change.