How to Start A Blog [And Make Money]

How to Start A Blog [And Make Money]

This article acts as a handy guide on how to start a blog and start making money.

In our media company, which includes SoftwareBlade.com, we’ve developed strong expertise in starting and monetizing blogs and websites, so we’re going to share everything we’ve learned below.

Starting a blog is really a 7-step process:

  • Set up your site
  • Choose your site’s niche
  • Install WordPress
  • Choose your site’s theme
  • Install some WordPress plugins
  • Create content
  • Promote your site

Let’s go through each of these below:

#1 Set up your site

This is actually pretty easy to do. You can either buy a domain name and host your site yourself (self-hosted), or you can use a platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.com that will give you a free subdomain (like mysite.wordpress.com or mysite.blogspot.com).

If you want to self-host – which is highly recommended because it’s actually yours – we recommend using WordPress because it’s the most popular blogging platform and it’s really easy to use.

All you need to do is buy a domain name (such as on Google Domains, GoDaddy, or Namecheap) and then sign up for hosting (such as WPEngine).

Once you have your domain name and hosting set up, you can install WordPress with just a few clicks.

#2 Choose your site’s niche

Your niche is a combination of three main things:

  • your passion
  • your skills and abilities
  • your experience

Passion goes a long way, but it’s not everything.

For example, if you have a passion but lack the skills and experience to add value to the market, it’s unlikely your blog will do well.

You also don’t want to make your site’s niche too narrow.

If your domain is bestmicrowaveovens.com, then your traffic potential is limited because only so many people are looking for microwave ovens.

It’s better to have a site like cooking.com that covers a range of topics within the cooking niche.

From there, you can branch into all sorts of topics and subtopics related to food and cooking rather than just being limited to a single cooking appliance.

Is it monetizable?

You also want to make sure it can be effectively monetized.

If a niche is too small or doesn’t have good products to sell, it can be very hard to make it work.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to monetize a site, so this isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker.

You can always experiment with different monetization methods to see what works best for your site. Just be aware that not all sites can be effectively monetized.

Niche examples:

  • dog training
  • parenting
  • travel
  • fitness
  • financial advice

#3 Install WordPress

Install WordPress

As we’ve already mentioned, we recommend using WordPress because it’s the most popular blogging platform and it’s really easy to use.

All you need to do is buy a domain name (such as on Google Domains, GoDaddy, or Namecheap) and then sign up for hosting (such as WPEngine).

Once you have your domain name and hosting set up, you can install WordPress with just a few clicks.

If you’re using WPEngine, they have a one-click WordPress install option. If you’re using another host, they’ll walk you through it.

#4 Choose your site’s theme

Your site’s theme is basically its design.

There are thousands of different themes to choose from, so it can be tough to pick the right one.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a theme:

  • It should be mobile-friendly because more and more people are using their phones to surf the web.
  • It should be easy to navigate and not too cluttered.
  • It should be fast-loading because people are impatient and don’t want to wait around for a slow site.

A few places to find themes are:

  • Themeforest
  • Elegant Themes
  • StudioPress

Once you’ve found a theme you like, all you need to do is install it on your WordPress site.

Most themes come with instructions on how to do this.

#5 Install some WordPress plugins

Install some WordPress plugins

WordPress plugins are little pieces of software that add extra features and functionality to your site.

They’re not essential, but they can be really helpful.

Here are a few plugins we recommend:

  • Akismet: This plugin helps you filter out spam comments so you don’t have to deal with them manually.
  • Yoast SEO: This plugin is great for optimizing your site’s SEO (search engine optimization).
  • WPForms: If you want to add forms or surveys to your site, this is the plugin to use.
  • Gravity Forms: Another great option for adding forms and surveys to your site.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress: This plugin allows you to easily connect your site to Google Analytics so you can track your traffic data.

Installing a plugin is usually just a matter of clicking a few buttons. Most plugins will have instructions on how to install them.

Set up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to track your site’s traffic data.

This is really important because it allows you to see how people are finding your site and what they’re doing when they get there.

It also helps you track your progress over time so you can see how your site is growing.

To set up Google Analytics, you’ll need to create a free account and then add a few lines of code to your site.

If you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, they have a feature that allows you to easily connect your site to Google Analytics.

If you’re not using that plugin, you can follow these instructions.

Once you’ve set up your account and added the code to your site, you’ll start seeing traffic data in your Google Analytics account.

#6 Create content

Create content

Now it’s time to start creating content!

Your first blog post should be something that introduces your site and what it’s all about.

Think of it as a welcome mat for your site.

Here are a few tips for writing a great first blog post:

  • Keep it only as long as necessary: No one wants to read a long, rambling post. Get to the point and make your point quickly.
  • Make it interesting: Write on a topic that will be interesting to your target audience.
  • Include images: People are visual creatures and they’re more likely to pay attention to something if it has an image.
  • Optimize it for SEO: Use keywords throughout your post (in the title, in the body, in the alt text of images, etc.) so that people can find it when they search for those terms.

Once you’ve written your first blog post, all you need to do is publish it on your site.

To do this, log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to the “Posts” section. From there, you can add a new post and publish it live on your site.

If you’re stuck about what to create content about

This is where most people get stuck because they don’t know what to write about.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating content for your site:

Write about what you know

The best way to come up with ideas for your site is to write about topics that you’re already familiar with.

Be helpful

Write content that is helpful and informative.

People will keep coming back to your site if they find it useful.

Be unique

There’s a lot of noise out there on the internet.

If you want people to pay attention to your site, you need to have something unique to say.

Create evergreen content

This is content that will be relevant and useful for a long time.

Avoid writing about things that are only newsworthy for a day or two.

Repurpose old content

If you’ve been blogging for awhile, chances are you have some older content that you can update and republish.

This is a great way to keep your site fresh without having to come up with new ideas all the time.

#7 Promote your site and content

Promote your site and content

Once you’ve created some content, the next step is to start promoting it.

There are a lot of ways to promote your content, but here are a few of the most effective:

Social media

Share your content on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Email list

If you have an email list, send out an email with a link to your latest post.

Guest posting

Reach out to other bloggers in your niche and see if they’re interested in publishing a guest post from you.

Paid advertising

You can also use paid advertising to promote your content.

Facebook Ads and Google Ads are two popular options.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your promotion. The more people you can get to see your content, the better!

Guest Blogging

If you want to get traffic to your site quickly, guest blogging is a great option.

This is when you write a blog post for another person’s site. In exchange for your post, you usually get to include a link back to your own site.

Guest blogging is a great way to get exposure for your site and it can also help you build relationships with other bloggers in your niche.

To find sites that accept guest posts, do a Google search for “[your niche] + guest post.” For example, if you’re in the fitness niche, you would search for “fitness guest post.”

Once you’ve found a few potential sites, reach out to the owner and pitch them your idea for a guest post.

If they’re interested, you can go ahead and write the post and then send it over to them.

Just be sure to follow their guidelines so that your post is a good fit for their site.

Link Building

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your site.

The more links you have pointing to your site, the higher it will rank in search engines.

And the higher it ranks, the more traffic you’ll get.

There are a lot of different ways to build links, but some of the most popular include guest blogging, broken link building, link reclamation, and outreach.

To get started with link building, reach out to other bloggers in your niche and see if they’re interested in writing a guest post for your site.

You can also submit your site to online directories or share your content on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The more links you can build to your site, the better.

Content and links is the magic formula.

Related content

Search Engines And Blogging

One of the best ways to get traffic to your site is through search engines.

When people want to find information online, they usually start by doing a search on Google or another search engine.

If you can get your site to rank high in the search results, you’ll get a lot of traffic.

The key to ranking high in the search engines is creating great content and building links.

If you can do those two things, you’ll start seeing your site show up in the search results and you’ll get more traffic.

Summary – How to Start A Blog

Starting a blog can be a great way to share your passions and ideas with the world.

But before you start, there are a few things you need to do:

  • Choose a niche: The first step is to choose a topic or niche for your blog.
  • Choose a platform: Once you’ve chosen a niche, you’ll need to choose a blogging platform.
  • Pick a domain name and host your site: The next step is to choose a domain name and host your site.
  • Create content: Once your site is up and running, it’s time to start creating content.
  • Promote your site: The final step is to start promoting your site and content.

If you can do all of these things, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful blog.

Software Blade

SoftwareBlade.com covers today's software and tomorrow's emerging technology.

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