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Originally considered an online journal or diary, blogging has expanded into much more than a place for individuals to share their thoughts with the world. In short, a blog can be defined as a website that you regularly update with new content. You can learn more in our history of blogging post.
While writing great content goes a long way, no one will click to read those posts unless you have awesome headlines. If your headlines are spectacular, your posts are not only more likely to get read, they’ll also get clicks and shares, which helps boost your ranking in Google.
WordPress.org is an open source software platform which allows you to build your website or blog on your own. It is a self-hosted solution, which means you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider.
This post is exactly what I was looking for as I start the new year. Back in my college years I would write for several different college lifestyle blogs and I vowed when I graduated I would keep it up…fast forward 3 years…still no blog. I’m not big on resolutions, but I really really really am going to make it happen this year. This weekend is dedicated to getting my blog set up and running! Thanks for this post!
Signing up for Tumblr is easy. Enter your email address, a password, and a URL you’d like for your blog. This URL is how people can visit your website — for example, you can make your URL “behavioraleconomics.tumblr.com” if you were interested in talking about behavioral economics. Usually, people choose something personally meaningful, like a nickname or a catch-phrase, or what you’d name your autobiography. Get creative!
This is where the fun starts on your content plan. Seriously, just go nuts and use whatever brainstorming tools you have at your disposal. Write down everything you can think of and then go back and dig even deeper into those subjects. As much as possible, make sure you tie it back to your niche idea because straying too far will diffuse the effectiveness of your targeting.
The main thing is to start, that is the hardest step – don’t be nervous – practise makes perfect your first posts probably won’t be your greatest but only by regularly writing and promoting your blog will you grow your audience and become a better blogger.
Excellent article and very true points! I love spending some time on blog and making sure it is organized, as this will make it easier for visitors to follow. Mine is about creative stories and thoughts of mine and includes a store and chat people can spend some time on as well.
Before you decide on which Premium WordPress theme is right for you make sure to check out our detailed reviews of Thesis, Genesis, and Headway. Each of these go into detail on the pros and cons of each WordPress theme.
Nice explanations there. With fresh new blog to promote, how I could know which country to choose for ads. I would like to start campaign in make money online niche with Bing ads but what Country would be more interested?
Thanks for this really easy-to-follow guide, it was a great help installing my blog. However, I have the same problem as Ellen above. I set up my domain name successfully and installed WordPress. Got an e-mail saying that the WordPress install was successful (as shown in your guide). But when I want to log in to my admin URL it says that the website is not available! and it’s been like that for the last 2 days. Do you know what to do?
Absolutely not. Yes, there are way more blogs online today than there were 5 years ago when we started, but there were also fewer people reading travel blogs and fewer companies willing to work with us.
Thanks for this article. By the way, would it be okay if I start blogging with a free account and decide later on hosting the blog? Will the transition be easy enough to migrate from a free account to a paid one? Hope you could shed light on the query. Thank you.
NOTE: At WPBeginner we believe in transparency. If you sign up with Bluehost using our referral link, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain). We would get this commission for recommending just about any WordPress hosting company, but we only recommend products that we use personally use and believe will add value to our readers.
Despite having a lot of cool stuff going on, I am still of the firm belief that blog hosts like Tumblr, Squarespace and even WordPress.com do not give you the control, ownership and customization options that you might need.
Jon, amazing article! I would just add to your #15 regarding e-mail subscribers. The number you described is real if you have a legit database of subscribers behind it (don’t know if you take this here for granted).
Start by thinking carefully about the type of reader you’d like to have read your blog. You might like to create an avatar of that reader (sometimes called a reader persona or profile) to help you work out who you’re trying to attract.
WordPress.org software is free, but you’ll need to buy a domain name (about $14.99/year) and hosting (usually starting from $7.99/month). However, WPBeginner users can get started for only $2.75 per month with Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. They are offering our users 60% off on hosting and a FREE domain name.
If you don’t want the headaches of dealing with shipping goods and storing them then creating digital goods can be a great way to make money from selling products and taking advantage of scaling your business. Anything from productivity software, to knitting patterns, to recipes or even training courses can be delivered electronically.
What you’ll blog about depends on your goals. Do you want to share your adventures with your friends back home while you travel around the world for a year? Are you hoping to spread the word about your freelance business? Do you want to share your expertise on a particular topic? Or are you hoping to turn your blog into a business?
Rather than publishing banner ads on your website via Adsense or another 3rd party you can always work with advertisers to setup their banner ads directly. Generally banner ads are paid on a CPM model, which is basically a price per 1000 impressions of their banner on your website.
You can approach companies on your own to ask about doing paid reviews. There are also websites like PayPerPost and SponsoredReviews that can help to connect you with businesses who may be interested.
With these foundations in place you’re now ready to start attempting to make money from your blog but you do need to be aware that just because you have set up your blog, have content and have engaged readers that the money won’t just automatically flow.
We receive plenty of emails asking for advice about starting a blog, about how to blog, about blog topics, and about creating meaningful content—even a few questions about whether we wear boxers or briefs. These are the answers and recommendations we tend to give.
At the very top of this blog post on the things you need to know to start a blog I mentioned that I still think a self-hosted WordPress blog is the best bet for serious, professional bloggers. Well, that doesn’t mean that we should totally ignore the other platforms.
Jon, love the part when you said, it is your responsibility to pay back to the industry. I genuinely feel that although you get paid for all this, you still tell us the “real information” which not many people do. You are generous in sharing. Keep it up the good work and thanks. Cheers
From there, I went to work for other big blogs for a few years, helping grow Copyblogger and KISSmetrics into what they are today. Eventually though, I felt the itch to go out on my own again, so I left and started this blog. It now turns a fairly steady $100,000+ a month.
Thank you for the post. It is very informative and exciting to gather more and more new ideas. Your screen shots are perfect tools to take over the business to a great extent. It is the way of easy understanding. I just followed the steps, and I successfully installed WordPress. And this shows your great analysis and effort.
Time. Once you’ve learned how to start a blog, you’ll learn that blogging takes a lot of time, especially if you’re as neurotic as we are (we spent over 10 hours testing the fonts on this site). And see those black Twitter and Facebook icons in the header? We spent hours on those, deciding what was right for us). That said, once you have your design set up, don’t tweak it too much. Instead, spend the time on your writing.
If you’re not interested in selling ads or sponsored posts, there are plenty of other ways you can earn money online from your blog. A popular method is by having your audience pay to access certain content or areas of your site. Here are a couple of ways to do that.
You cannot underestimate the power social media has on the success of your blog. Give your readers a way to share their favorite content with those they know and watch your blog’s traffic boom. In addition, provide links to your social media accounts so loyal readers can follow you and either interact with you on social media, or again, share their favorite stuff with everyone else.
Blogging can be a great source of income. The only regret we have about starting this travel blog is not doing it earlier. We love the job. We love sharing our travel experiences and knowledge with hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
As you can see from the results there are a variety of different websites here from blogs, to eCommerce sites, to forums. Google also shows there are over 14.7 million websites that mention “everyday carry”.
Twitter – has a variety of ad options like Facebook and other social networks. The best one for your blog marketing efforts is the Promoted Tweets option. You can expect about $0.50 to $0.75 estimated cost per engagement, which is Twitter’s way of telling you what your cost per click is.
Despite Bluehost’s lack of uptime guarantee, we’ve been very pleased with the reliability of their hosting. We’ve consistently had at least 99.9% uptime from them. Compared to other hosts that experienced much more frequent downtime, Bluehost’s reliability is impressive.
Having a large number of visitors to your blog means that advertisers will pay to have their ads shown to your readers. The easiest way to blog for money is to get paid for showing advertisements on your blog by joining Google’s AdSense program at http://www.google.com/adsense
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I hope so. I have 78 years of knowledge to share on food, music, and other topics. Your instructions are amazing, wonderful, and hopefully easy enough for even an old tech-idiot like me to understand. I’ll sign up for your course, but I want to express my admiration and appreciation for such a fine product as you have created.
Still, I think there are some more things that could be added. For instance, I made a DIY laptop stand that reduced my usual back pain to a great extent, I use pen and paper when jotting ideas … instead of digital tools.
Bluehost’s WordPress-optimized plans may be more expensive than you’re willing to pay. They start at about $20/month. In that case, personal bloggers will have absolutely no problem with their cheaper shared hosting plans. You’ll still get adequate resources for your new blog, and a free domain name!
Hi Jessica, thanks for the advice! I have been setting up my blog over the last few days and written a few posts already. I’m really nervous to launch the site though so as of now only I have access to my blog. Did you wait until you had a good amount of material on your blog before publicizing it or did you start with one article and got more traffic as more material was added? Thanks!
Don’t demand perfection. Get over the idea that people need to be ‘camera perfect’. For most of us, being in front of a camera feels strange. While some people are fantastic storytellers, most folk need help to communicate what’s interesting about their topic. Prepare your questions well, to help bring the best out of your subjects. But remember, ums and ahs are perfectly okay – if anything, they make your content seem more authentic.
One of the misconceptions about starting a blog is that you need to be a great writer to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. People read blog sites to get a personal perspective on things, so most bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style.
Make money from home. Blogging can be quite lucrative if done correctly. The top bloggers in the world obviously earn quite a bit, but even a part-time blogger can expect to make a nice profit if things are done correctly. The best part about it is that blogging is a form of passive income, since you can spend just a few hours a week writing a blog post and then continue to make money from it long after the blog post is written. I go into much more detail on how to blog for money later in this guide.
promoting your expertise to deliver training or consultancy services to businesses can be a highly profitable way to create an online income. In the past I have helped lots of businesses get started blogging by working with them to create editorial calendars and giving their marketing teams tips to promote their posts. Whether you’re an Excel guru, a marketing whiz or a customer services master you can build up your profile on your blog.
People started launching blogs and websites back in 2000 and even earlier. Unfortunately, the best domains are already taken. You’d need to keep brainstorming to come up with something that hasn’t taken yet 🙂
Thank you so much for taking the time to share a bundle of knowledge. I am very new to blogging. I’ve been compiling my content in WordPress but have not gone live as of yet. Reading your article has helped me tremendously and greatly inspired me as well.
I’m not saying that you need to go out and sign up for everything else right now, but I am saying that we should learn a few things from Tumblr and Medium which are innovative, sexy and coming up with some really big wins.
If you are blogging about one specific topic then you will definitely want to include that in some way in your blog name. Try not to get hung-up on just one word though. For example, a cooking blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “cooking” in it. The words “food”, “recipes”, and “meals” would also let people know that your blog is about cooking.
This is great information. I’m wondering if you can help me – I created a fan page (category: website/blog) separate from my personal Facebook profile page. Now I want to link the two, but the only instructions I can find are for linking business/work fan pages to personal profiles. How can I link my website/blog fan page to my personal Facebook page?
Hi Jamie, the article is very helpful. I have a question though…I searched several niches on Google Trends. they all show between 75 to 100 searches. That makes it difficult for me to choose. I blog about many things within the lifestyle category. Do I really need to pick a niche? My goal is to be a social media influencer. I’m a practising artist though.