Blogging 101: How to start a blog from scratch
Blogging 101

There are many ways to make money online and these ways continue increasing. Being your own boss is one of the benefits you reap from creating your own business online. One such way is blogging. I have been doing this for a while and that is why I thought I should come up with this blogging 101 guide.

Blogging has become a common way of delivering and acquiring information as well as creating an income. For the reader, the blog offers valuable information that meets their needs while for the blogger, the intention is to provide solutions to the needs of the reader. Building a successful blogging business requires effort, commitment, and consistency.

For a blog to attract and retain readers, the content that is shared must be valuable, engaging, exciting, as well as actionable.

Blogging 101 Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Here are the five most common types of blogs today.

  •  Personal Blog: This is the kind of blog that is about the writer of the blog where they share their opinions and beliefs. Personal bloggers use this to connect with other people who share similar opinions and beliefs. 

Due to this, personal blogs have a high volume of readers who often visit these blogs. Bloggers can use this traffic to generate income through affiliate links or ads.

  • Business Blog: This is one of a kind blog, where you can display your professional skills in your area of expertise. A business blog’s content is based on a specific area with the aim of attracting the attention of potential clients. 

This kind of blogger makes their income through the services or products that they actually offer. For instance, A baker could post certain content about pastries to attract more readers who in turn become their clients. 

  • Affiliate Blog: These are blogs that make their income through affiliate marketing where they promote products or services to their readers and earn a commission on each sale that their readers make.

The blogger simply provides product reviews or tutorials about products/services and includes the link for the reader to use to access and buy that particular product.

  • Niche Blog: This is a blog where you create content with the intention of using to reach a specific niche. This means that the content is very specific as it is geared towards a specific audience and not everyone.
  • News Blog: News blogs are often intense and have a lot of content posted every day. They offer a high level of professionalism, formality, and accuracy. 

Features Of a Profitable Business Blog

I’m sure you will enjoy my blogging 101 guide especially if you are looking to create several passive income streams. The main purpose of a blog is to create a relationship with your audience. A great blog nurtures a connection from person to person relaying a human connection where ideas, knowledge, and experiences are transferred. 

Here are some features of blog posts that can help you as you grow your blogging business. 

  1. Relevant content matters most: A blog post can be informative and written very well. However, if it does not offer relevant content, then it is a waste. Writing relevant blog posts should be a key priority. You can do this by knowing your audience and evaluating what is appropriate for them.

    Keyword research can help you find crucial information that may be missing in your blog, and guide you on what to capitalize on to keep your posts relevant.
     
  2. The content should be practical and beneficial: Every blog post should deliver information that is useful and important to the reader. People appreciate and value information that is actionable or helpful. Often, they will return to your blog if the content you offer is both relevant and useful.
  3. Let your post be engaging: Blog posts require a personal touch. That means applying your own uniqueness and letting your personality reflect in your post. You can also engage the reader by asking for feedback, opinions, or comments at the end of the post.

    Having a comment section in your blogpost can allow the reader to engage with you by sharing their thoughts and opinions. And give you a chance to respond.
  4. The blogpost should be readable. To ensure that your blog posts are read, it is good to keep your thoughts brief and to the point. Using bullets, lists, images, and graphs are one of the ways you can make your content easy to read. Previewing your work before publishing will help you know if your content is easy to read.

Step By Step Guide On How To Start A Blog

Step 1: Choose Your Blog’s Name And Niche. 

In this blogging 1010 beginner guide, I want to show you the first thing to do when starting a blog. Well, start by selecting a name for your blog and choose your niche.

  1. Blog/Domain Name

The first thing that your readers see is the name of your blog. As such, it should either represent the topics that you intend to be writing on, or a combination of words, your name or the name of your business. The name you choose for your domain should be easy to remember and spell out. 

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After identifying the domain name you would like to use, the next step is to check if the domain name is available. You can use a domain registrar such as Domain.com and GoDaddy to choose your domain name and register it. 

The domain registration company offers a domain search facility where you can do as many domain searches as possible until you get the right domain name for your blog. Once you have established the domain name you wish to register, you can purchase it. 

If you are still uncertain about the name to give your blog or which topics you would like to write on, let this not hold you back. Just get started. Many have found clarity while on the journey.

  1. Niche

The Blog’s niche is the area within which you will base your content. When starting a blog as a business, one of the things you hope to accomplish is to make money from your blogging business. 

Identifying your niche is key in helping you build a successful blog. You can do so by:

  • Finding a need that you can fill. When starting your blog, the aim is to find an area that you understand well and solve a problem that your audience may be facing. Finding that unique need can be a guiding factor in your ideal niche.
  • Writing on something that you are passionate about. Seeing that you will be writing and talking about this particular scope over and over, it is key to write on something you find interest in. Writing on areas you have no interest in, may be hard for you to stick through for a long time.
  • Writing content that has the power to stay for longer. 
  • A niche that you can make money from. Being able to identify a niche that can help you make money is important. The ideal niche is not only based on passion, interest, or expertise but also based on its ability to create money.

It’s important to identify a topic that is versatile and helpful in providing solutions that will attract readers and also create an income. For instance, you can have a blog where you offer solutions to individuals. However, incorporating content that is targeted to the B2B audience may increase your revenue as well.

Step 2:  Web Hosting 

After identifying and registering your domain name, the next step is to get your blog online. To make your blog accessible online, you would need a host. 

The Host stores all the website’s files and keeps them safe. They also ensure that whenever people click on your log, they can access it. As such, it is important to choose a web host that is reliable as your blog needs to be available all day every day. They should also be able to load your blog quickly as speed affects your users’ experience and offer support whenever you need it.

Web Hosting costs around $ 5 -$10 per month. Choosing the right hosting plan is key for your blog as the web host keeps your website up and running, keeps your data secure, and helps you integrate with the front end interface of the blog.

Step 3: Create Your Blog’s Interface

Once you have secured a domain and hosted your blog, the next thing is to choose your blogging platform. You can use the paid platforms or free blogging platforms such as WordPress.

The Blogging platform which is also called CMS(Content Management System) allows you to customize, write, and publish your blog as you desire. The platform you choose should allow you to have control of the blog’s outlook. Here you can use the available templates and themes to create a professional, user-friendly blog where you will be uploading videos, photos, or even organizing your content.

The design of your blog tells the reader about your personality and builds trust. Often, readers will overlook your blog if it does not capture their attention. However, this does not mean that you should populate it with loads of imagery and crazy fonts. Keep your blog simple, interactive, and to the point.

Step 4: Write Your First BlogPost

Once you have completed creating the structure and outlook of your blog, populating it with content is the next thing to do. 

Anyone can create content. But, for your blogging business, you want to create content that captures the reader, offers solutions, and is helpful. To do so, you need to understand how to structure your sentences, how to use correct grammar, how to break long blocks of texts to keep your readers engaged.

  1. Do Your Keyword Research

You have an idea for your blog’s niche. The first thing to do is keyword research.

The idea of creating a blog is to provide solutions to problems that the reader is willing to spend money on. Thus, doing a keyword search is important. Keywords are words that the readers search for in search engines. They could be topics or phrases that you are intending to write about. For instance, if you wanted to blog about Photography, then your keywords might be “Best Camera for a beginner”, ” Books on Photography”…etc.

To do your keyword research, simply enter one of the keywords into your google search and if you have millions of results, then this could be an indicator that many are looking for information on that topic. But to know exactly how the statistics look like, you can use keyword research tools such as Twinword Ideas, Keyword Surfer, Keywordtool.io.

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Keyword research tools help you know the approximate number of people who search for that topic in a month. If it has a high number of people looking for information on this, then it has a high potential of being profitable.

You can also continue to narrow it down by being more specific in your niche to help you stand out even more. For example, instead of simply searching for Photography, you can narrow it to Best DSLR Cameras.

  1. Creating Content

Coming up with creative blog post ideas does not always come naturally. However, keeping a list of specific blog posts that you will write for your own blog can be very helpful for the days when you have no ideas. 

When writing the topics for the specific blog posts, think through what the reader wants when they are searching online for your targeted keyword.

To come up with unique ideas for your blog posts:

  • You can look at what other bloggers within your niche have written about.
  • Take a look at the posts that the readers have liked the most
  • Brainstorm on new ideas by conversing with other bloggers within your space.
  • You can do posts that do not require you to give an original line of thought.

It is key to know which post to write first and which one to write last. Then, you simply go to your CMS/blogging platform and create a new post and proceed to write. 

The headlines you use should deliver on what your blog posts are actually about and what it will help the reader accomplish. If you are uncertain if the headline you have chosen is a strong headline, you can test it using a headline analyzer tool and it will give you a score based on a scale.  

The introduction normally carries just but a few sentences. It helps in convincing the reader if the content you have written is worth their time. The easiest way to have a good introduction is to answer the question that your post is looking to address. The faster you communicate to the reader that the post is relevant, the more reason they will have to believe that they will find what they are looking for in your post.

To make sure your blog post is perfect, ensure that it is readable, include a relevant image at the top of your blog post, use subheadings to break our texts where necessary, and use styling techniques when you want to put emphasis on key parts.

When you are done and have previewed your post, you then publish it . 

Step 5: Make Money From Your Blog.

Making money from your blog is one of the reasons why people indulge in blogging as a business. In order to make money from it, you need to have a following/readership. 

Here are some of the ways you can grow your readership and promote your blog.

  • Social media. In this current age, most of the people have plugged into one or more social media platforms. Be it  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. It is important to share your blog content in the social media platform where your audience is, since every social network appeals to a certain group of people or readers.
  • Guest blogging on relevant sites or blogs. Guest Blogging is where you write content for another blog or website. This creates a platform for you to share your thoughts with an already-existing audience. 
  • Using Forums and message boards. Instead of simply sharing your blog posts with any online communities, looking for relevant groups within those communities is key. For instance, if you are targeting Facebook, then looking for particular groups that find your blog post relevant is important.

    Your blog posts need to provide value and start building your relationships while engaging with the people within these communities. 
  • Email newsletters. This is one of the ways to keep your readers engaged. You can build your email list by including a sign-up form on your posts where readers sign up for your email newsletter. The purpose of the email newsletter is to inform your readers that a new blogpost has been published and entices them to read through the blog post.

With a readership already established, the other task to take on is to monetize your blog. As you continue to grow your blog and offer quality content so does your readership. 

As one of the goals of starting the blog is making money, it is key to find ways to monetize your blog. Here are some strategies that you can apply.

  • Selling your services through freelancing. Freelancing is one of the easiest options when it comes to selling your services. To offer freelance services, you will need to showcase some of the works you have done. If you have none, you can create sample articles and host them on your blog. 

Your blog offers your potential clients a platform to view these articles. It also helps you pitch to new clients. On your blog, it is good to include a Hire Me/contact/ about me page that offers information about yourself and how they can contact you.

  • Affiliate Programs. This is another way to make money through your blog. Affiliate marketing is where you market the products and services of various businesses and earn a commission for every sale made. This is one of the most passive ways to make money.

This is how it works. The company where you are affiliated provides you with a special link which you place on your blog or anywhere it can reach your readers. When someone clicks on this link and proceeds to make a purchase, you earn a commission which can be a set fee or a percentage of that particular sale. 

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With a readership already in place whether big or small, you use affiliate marketing to market products that will appeal to your audience.

  • Online Courses. If you have a skill or expertise in a certain area that others are looking to learn, you can package your knowledge into an online course and offer it for a fee. Often people are willing to part with an amount of money to learn in a quicker way than to go through the tedious process of learning through trial and error. 
  • Direct Advertisements. This is where you create space for other companies to run adverts on your blog and charge a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee. With this, you can choose which companies can advertise on your page, where to place the adverts in your blog, and how much space they take up in your blog.

Step 6: Come Up With a Long Term Content Strategy

A content strategy is basically an action plan that helps you manage your content. There are ways on how to put together your content strategy.

  1. Define your goals. This is where you lay down the goals that you would like for your blog content to achieve. Your goals may change as your readership and blog grow. However, it is important to identify what the aim/key goal is as to why you have chosen to start a blog.
  2. Understand your readers. In order to address your readers to the maximum, you need to know and understand them in depth. Knowing their needs and what kind of information they are looking for can help you maximize your niche as well as meet the needs of your readers.
  3. Establish your content pillars. These are topics that lay the foundation of your blog. They are key to helping you stay within your content. Each of the topics can have hundreds of blog posts that can be written under them.
  4. Write down the content you are going to create before you start. After you launch your blog, it is important to sit and write down which content you will be creating within the next few months. Since you may not know the performance of the first blog you write and how it will be received, it is good to write several more pieces of content weeks before you launch your blog.

Step 7: Come Up With A Publishing Schedule On Your Blog

As a blogger, consistency is paramount. Writing consistently helps you get into a habit of publishing content regularly and committing to a schedule. It also creates an expectation from your readers as they will check in regularly to see if there is new content. Especially, if you are creating content that appeals to them and meets their needs completely. 

It is better to create content and publish in your blog once or twice a week and keep doing so consistently than to publish 6 posts and lack consistency. To make sure you keep a consistent publishing schedule you can have a content calendar whet your map out all the posts that you want to write and when it is due. 

Step 8: Maximize Visuals To Make Your Blog Posts Stand Out

Using high-quality images on your blog can attract and draw in more readers. Visual elements tend to appeal to your readers more as they tend to stick in the person’s mind more easily than the words do. Having good visuals in your blog can help you build your readers’ trust.

You can find free licensing and high-quality images on various resources online such as Pixabay and Unsplash. To help you with image editing, there are various resources you can explore such as Canva, Fotor, Design Wizard, Pixlr, and many more. 

Conclusion

Starting a blog can be very hectic especially when you are uncertain about where to begin. You probably have heard about blogging and desire to begin a blog as a business. You can make money through blogging in many ways such as selling your services through freelancing, affiliate programs, allowing companies to advertise on your blog, sharing your expertise and knowledge by offering online courses, and much more.  

Blogging involves creating valuable content that meets the needs of your niche and offers solutions. Every blog post you create as a blogger needs to offer relevant, practical, and beneficial content for the readers. It will be easier to grow your readership when you offer value.

About the author

A writer, virtual assistant, course creator, and go-getter. I'm also the CEO of Writers & Spire. I am here to inspire you to greater heights. I believe in having a good time while doing what I love. And yes, I do love what I do and the freedom that comes with it.

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