Want to know how to start a blog to earn passive income or build your brand? Read on to find out how to begin!
In this article:
- Define Your Motivation
- Visualize Your Website
- Choose a Web Hosting Provider
- Get a Domain
- Pick a Blogging Platform
- Install Essential Plugins
- Start Writing
- Market Your Content
How to Start a Blog and Earn Money From It
1. Define Your Motivation
You have to define your “why” before you can get anything started — why do you want to write a blog? Will it be a hobby only or do you want to make a profit from it? Are you a freelancer or a business owner looking to build your authority on the web?
You also need to define your audience. Who do you want reading your blog? This is very important because Identifying your audience will determine what and how you write.
Who are the people you want to serve or what kind of audience do you want reading your posts? Are they millennials struggling with a quarter-life crisis? Or perhaps middle-aged couples in need of love advice? Asking these questions to yourself will give you blog ideas that will help you get started.
If you don’t think about what kind of audience you want to have early on, your posts will end up being all over the place, Being and appearing disorganized won’t get you a lot of followers.
2. Visualize Your Website
How do you want your website to look? Minimalist and formal? Colorful and vibrant? The look of your website will give the first impression of your brand. Visualize what kind of vibe you want your website to have depending on the kind of audience you want to attract.
3. Choose a Web Hosting Provider
You’d need a host so other people can see your content. Your host allows your site to be accessible to readers through your domain. It’s also what will keep your files safe and secure.
There are a lot of hosting providers to choose from, and one you should consider is HostGator. It offers several affordable plans you can choose from that will be perfect for starting your blog.
A popular package is their baby plan, which enables you to have unlimited domains. This allows you to buy several domains without having to change your hosting package. This is ideal if you want to create multiple brands or if you feel unsure about a domain name you’re getting and would like the option to change in the future.
HostGator also offers more features and benefits compared to other web hosting companies at a lower cost.
- Provides unlimited storage and email addresses
- Includes a Weebly website builder
- In terms of building up search engine rank, HostGator also provides Google Adwords and Yahoo!/Bing credits
4. Get a Domain
A domain name is another thing you have to invest in aside from hosting. A domain name is your address. For example, if you need to go to Google, you key in “Google.com”, which is the search engine’s domain. Here’s how a website’s domain will look using a free hosting service:
If you’re trying to build your brand from your website, people might not take you seriously with this kind of domain. You could also end up with weird-looking domains (such as a number on the URL as dictated by the host) if you use free hosting service. Buying a domain name ensures you get the exact address you want as long as it’s still unused.
Once you buy a domain name, you would have to register it with your web hosting provider. You can register a new one or input the details of a domain you already own.
When registering, make sure you keep the ‘Domain Privacy Protection’ checked so you can maintain your privacy online. Doing this will mask your own information in ICANN and replace it with HostGator’s information.
You’ll also have to create a username and password to manage your account. After that, you need to enter billing information and then choose any additional add-on services you may want to purchase.
5. Pick a Blogging Platform
Once you’ve decided on what you should write about, how your website should look, and you’ve secured your hosting and domain name, It’s time to pick a platform or content management system. This is where you’ll write, design, and publish all your posts.
Pick one that’s easy to use and flexible. A good platform is one that allows you to have overall control over how your blog looks. WordPress is a widely popular choice for its user-friendliness and highly customizable features.
You can install WordPress directly from your HostGator account.
6. Install Essential Plugins
One of the best things about WordPress is that there are loads of plugins you can install, which can let you add features to your blog and also help you with design and SEO.
Some highly useful plugins you can install include:
- Yoast SEO – Helps you optimize your blog so it does well in search engine searches
- Sumo – For social shares and email captures
- BackupBuddy – You don’t want to be ill prepared if things go wrong. Make sure your work is backed up through this plugin
7. Start Writing
Now that you’re pretty much done with all the technical stuff, it’s time to start writing! Keep in mind what you want to achieve and who you want your readers to be. Make sure to always give them something useful or insightful so they keep coming back to your blog. Ensuring your content is relevant for your readers is always a good strategy when it comes to blogging.
Don’t make a blog for the sheer purpose of advertising. No one’s going to read your blog if all you do is self-promote or advertise. While profit is one of the reasons you created your blog, don’t forget to write about what your audience wants and needs to read.
Build your authority and credibility by writing relevant content that’s been fact-checked and cited properly. You should also post as often as possible. Make sure to write a stellar ‘About Me/Us’ and don’t forget to include a contact page so readers can reach you.
8. Market Your Content
The blogging journey doesn’t stop with just a blog that has a number of posts. You’d also need to drive traffic to your website!
You can do this in a number of ways:
- Posting to different social media sites
- Guest-posting on other blogs and attaching a link to your blog
- Working with fellow bloggers so you can help each other drive traffic back to your respective blogs
Learn these blogging tips that will make your blog successful in this video from Neil Patel:
If you want to start a blog and make money, you definitely need to be familiar with the technical side of building a website. It seems intimidating at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. Soon, you’ll start seeing results and earning a side income without realizing it. We hope these tips for starting a blog help and we wish you good luck on your blogging journey!
What kind of topics are you planning to blog about? Let us know in the comments section below!