How to Start a Blog in 10 Simple Steps

A word of caution before you start reading the blog post; simple doesn’t mean it’s easy but that it’s doable. If you are willing to put in the effort (a few exciting hours to get started blogging), I promise to help you make the most out of it.

Just being curious, what pumped you to get started with blogging?

Maybe because you look up to someone who blogs? Or maybe writing has always been your passion? Well, these are all the good reasons why you might want to start blogging.

Personally speaking, I find it a great tool to voice your skills and help multiple people

Just remember, the earlier you start the better and it’s never too late to get started. You just need to take small steps and have a learning mindset.

Being curious is all that you need to build a blogging empire.

Maybe you want to start blogging to earn money? As I can guess, most newbie bloggers are searching Google for how to make money blogging in 2020.

Before we start learning about good blogging approach, it’s important to understand there’s nothing innately wrong with earning money. It’s a good and positive thought.

But in this era of instant gratification, if you just want to make money without keeping the hard work in perspective. I think that’s the biggest reason why most bloggers fail.

To succeed in blogging, there has to be a better blogging mindset from the first day. Only then you can provide optimum value. So good blogging is about providing maximum value consistently.

I assure you if you commit to doing your best with this mindset. You will make more money, fame and be even more successful.

Right before starting a detailed learning process, I’d wish if you can smile, say it out loud, “Yes, I can do this! and I will do this! no matter what it takes!”

Why? Well, because you can double the chances of success with the right energy!

Let’s do it ๐Ÿ™‚

Step 1: Choose a Niche

Please put in extra time and energy in finding the right niche, unless you want to start a personal blog.

As when the foundation is right, everything else will follow its way.

So how can you exactly find the right niche for you?

First and foremost, ask these questions to yourself.

  • What interests you most?
  • What are you knowledgeable about?
  • Do you have any passion that you can write about?
  • Is there any topic you can think of that is second-nature to talk about?

At times, we know so much about a topic that we start to self-doubt. You start to feel like, it’s so easy that everyone could do it. So why blog about it?

Well, what you may not realize it’s easy for you. Maybe because you’re naturally gifted or most probably you’ve invested your time into it.

Some people fear massive competition. For example, If so many people are writing on a specific niche, it would be next to impossible to make a mark. It’s theoretically intelligent to think so, but practically, it keeps you from being ambitious. Read my About page to know how the fear of competition held me back for years to not pursue GoodBlogging.

Did we ever think this way; that so many people are doing it maybe because there’s an immense demand in that niche? maybe others are just following a trend and you know more to deliver better value? Bottom line: think positive and reap positive.

Please don’t forget everyone has a writing style and so will you have a unique quality that’ll naturally reflect through. It will be enough to differentiate you from the crowd.

So good blogging is about abundance, to think there are ample of blessings for everyone. You will reap much better results, attract good vibes and create unmatched value.

Are there others who’re passionate about it?

Well, how can you know? True, that’s when you need to search Google. See how many people are writing about it.

Just type the topic over Google in quotes, like so for example
“horses optimization”

As of now, there are 446 results. It means that 446 websites are talking about the same topic. Well, such a low number either means you have found an excellent niche to talk about. Maybe because it’s a new term, concept, news or product. And that’s great!

But in most cases, such a low number reflects you’re going after the wrong niche, to begin with.

How do you get to know?

Well, if you just search a valid topic. There has to be quite a high number of competitions.

Let’s say “marketing optimization”, it has 442,000 results. So a 6 figure competition is good. Even if we use a wrong variation of words for the same topic, say “optimized marketing”. It has 93,500,000 competition results as well.

This means the topic is pretty popular, you just need to further strengthen your keyword research. Basically, to find out what keywords are people using it to know about the topic.

Another way is to browse through Facebook Groups. To search for your topic and see if there are any groups related to it. If there are a few hundred people on any of the groups, it shows people are overall interested in the topic.

You can even browse Google Trends. Just write down the topic name, and you will see overall topic performance over the years.

Once you become sure of the niche you want to write about. Then you can move on to researching subtopics for the blogs.

Step 2: Research Topics

So you’ve made it to the second step, Congratulations!

See, the key was only to start. Just start in a direction, slowly but surely, you’ll start to feel good and progress much faster.

As we are going to research keywords, we will actually be learning a few key lessons about SEO.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting your website to appear on top of search engine result pages (SERP) for different keywords.

There are two portions of SEO namely On-page optimization and Off-page optimization. On-page relates to keyword research, website optimization, and usability. Off-page has to do with building external links mostly.

The major keywords you target are called Primary Keywords. Rest are secondary keywords.

And long-tail keywords are anything more than 3-4 words. For example “Getting Started to Blog” is a long-tail keyword.

As we will progress forward, I’ll show you how to make use of excel sheets to professionally organize your keywords as a Pro Optimizer.

Alright, back to researching topics.

There are literally hundreds of FREE tools. You don’t have to purchase any paid tool or subscription to start with. Why? Are they not better than the free ones?

Well, some are ten times better! What I am suggesting is, free ones will be enough to research topics, keywords, and target the right ones as a new business. Once you get a few thousand visitors a month, that’s when you need to upgrade to paid tools. That’s even optional!

If you want to use one FREE tool for researching keywords. That has to be the Keyword Planner from Google without a doubt!

It’s a little difficult to use if you’re just starting out but provides the most value. Once you’re proficient with it. You can further dig into Uber Suggest, Keywords Everywhere, WordTracker, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Research, SEMRush and so many more!

For Keyword Planner Tool, you need to first register an account with Google Ads though.

Why? What’s Google Ads? It’s a platform Google provides for advertisers to publish ads on relevant websites. Contrary to it, Google Adsense is provided to publishers for earning money with a blog.

Here’s how

Click over Start Now Button
Sign in directly or create account
After logging in, click over Tools and browse to Keyword Planner

KW Planner provides the following two ways to research keywords.

1. Find New Keywords / Discover New Keywords

It’s pretty self-explanatory, “Enter words, phrases or a URL related to your business”.

What you enter in this textbox matters most. So think a few times again about your niche, enter a few one or two-word keywords.

For example,
Blogging
Starting Blog

Enter a few phrases too, if you think people may be using it to search the topic. Phrases must contain at least 2-3 keywords. So you will be able to see the popularity of such phrases and find relevant long-tail keywords too.

Such as,
Getting Started Blogging
How to Create Blogs
How to Earn Money with Blogging

You must use seed keywords. Now, what’s that? Well, in the examples above we are using “blogging” as the seed keyword. All others are modifiers.

For example, when you type blogging in Google search. It becomes the seed keyword, all other suggestions are modifiers, like so

Let’s discuss the second way of finding keywords within the Keyword Planner. We will then discuss how to find the right keywords out of the list.

2. Get search volume and forecasts

It ain’t much different because you eventually land upon the same keyword listing page. You can upload a .csv file to upload a list of keywords together to search for.

Or “Enter or paste keywords, one word or phrase per line, or separated by commas”.

The real difference between the first option and this one is

1) You only get details about the keywords you have asked for
2) Google will provide a few predictions for the clicks and impressions for the keywords.

Alright, if you have been following along, you have a list of keywords Google Keyword Planner has suggested to you.

How do we filter out the good keywords?

Let’s get a quick grasp of the tools

At top of the page, you get location, language, search networks, and timeline settings.

Location – Basically the countries you want to market, to see customized search suggestions.

Language – The language of keywords that you want to see information about

By default, it will be set to US and English, which is good for most cases. Unless you’re targetting a different audience, such as French-speaking users. For which, you will have to set it to France and French.

Search Networks – Remember, it’s an ad tool. So it’s actually asking if you want to advertise on Google or Google and it’s search partners. What does it mean to us? To either suggest results from Google database or Google and it’s partners.

Just setting it to “Google” works best.

Next up, are the filter settings. Slowly, but surely we are getting there!

Don’t worry, if you aren’t able to grasp all of it. Hustling to learn now will set you apart from the crowd blindly registering domains. A few hours of learning almost guarantees your success!

You are actually learning key SEO jargon, and the actionable steps a professional keyword research agency would use!

Back to filters. Again, you are welcome to skip to the next step, i.e preparing to execute. Because these are considered advanced techniques and will be a bit difficult to get your around. Please make sure you’re browsing the keyword ideas tab to access these features.

Show broadly related keywords, lets Google suggest other relevant keywords. Or closely related ideas sticks to the seed keywords. The broadly related works best in most scenarios.

Exclude adult ideas, excludes any 18+ keywords to suggest parental-safe keywords. It’s a good default setting to keep.

Keyword Text, if you want to make sure a certain keyword appears in every search. Let’s say, you’re selling online courses and want online to appear in every suggested search.

Exclude Keywords in my Account, excludes all the keywords that are already used in your Adwords account previously. What’s this? Well, as we filter keywords, we can add keywords to our account for future use, for making ad campaigns to target these keywords. So if you’ve previously made ads or added keywords to account. This setting will exclude them.

Avg. Monthly Searches, as you’re just starting you need to look for comparatively low avg. monthly searches. As the highest average monthly searches will be most difficult to compete for. Because all other experienced professionals will be targetting them too. Besides, you will have a new website.

Competition, to set it to display low, medium or high competition keywords. Please keep in mind, we are using the Adwords Keyword Planner tool. So the competition reflects Google Ads Competition and not SEO (organic search via Google SERP). However, these metrics are good hints for which keywords to use and target.

Ad Impression. Share, it’s purely an Ad based metric, so we will skip this one.

Top of Page Bid (low range) – Top of Page Bid (high range)
Why do you think people use Adwords? To purchase ads? Well, yes, but what’s the intent? the purpose? Probably advertising products? making sales?

Oh yes! certain keywords have high commercial intent, which means more prone to converting sales. For example, “learning to blog” is a suitable information based keyword. Whereas, “best blogging meetup” will have a higher commercial intent.

So companies would want to reach these people and advertise their offer. They pay AdWords for a click and have a customized sales copy ready (landing page). As soon as the visitor lands on the page find useful information, get convinced to purchase and make a sale.

The difference between what a company earns minus the amount they have to pay Google for the clicks defines the campaign viability.

You can define the range to filter out searches based on what companies are willing to pay (low range – high range) for ranking on top of ads (inorganic SEO).

So if you can gauge commercial intent, these filters together will prove to be extremely helpful. We will see how!

Organic Impression Share (OIS) and Organic average position (OAP), are sort of even advanced filters. As you will have to connect with the Google Search Console to activate them.

OIS gauges how often your site appears in the SERPs for each keyword.
OAP shows your rank on average for the keywords.

You can sort all these columns in ascending or descending order, by clicking over each column headings to find keyword gems quickly.

Alright, we are done with the technical learning for keywords!

Now, we will learn another approach to easily download these keywords to an excel sheet. So that we can create our own filters, and start to prepare a keyword bank.

Let’s prepare to execute!

Step 3: Prepare to Execute

Why are we putting in so much time at researching keywords and strategizing SEO?

First, because it’s your first time!

Second, you will be working hard to write blog posts. So we don’t want that effort to go wasted. It will make sure you will have a good readership by choosing the right keywords. So that you can start building a tribe.

Third, it’s sort of easy! You just need to use it a few times. Practice makes a man perfect. As you will be creating your blog posts, you will easily be able to find new long-tail keywords to target. You won’t have to use filters every time, or even download excel sheets.

Just glancing over keywords suggestions would do the job. But we must be competitive enough to understand the niche and all the techniques.

Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you!

Downloading Keywords to a CSV file in Excel

Downloading keyword ideas

Alright, here’s the fun part. Depending upon what you’re trying to do, you can filter either long-tail keywords, figure out primary keywords for your site, get an idea of seed keywords and the secondary keywords as well.

For example, if you run a blog. You might be interested in preparing a list of long-tail keywords that you can write posts about every day, or every week.

For a single product site, you may be interested in finding only out primary keywords for targetting and optimizing the website.

Here’s how the downloaded sheet looks like

Generally, I like to delete all the extra columns in the downloaded excel sheet. Just keep the keywords, max search, and competition column. Besides, I add another custom column to the left, namely Type of Keyword.

First things first, just bold the keywords that have low/medium competition but a good number of searches comparatively. If it’s a two-word keyword, you can mention it to be Primary Keyword or Secondary Keyword in Type of Keyword column, like so (just an example)

Once you have that in place, copy them over to a new sheet. And search each of these keywords on Google. For example, if your keyword is “starting a blog”

Just enter it on Google with quotations, like so

It will show you the number of webpages that are also targetting this keyword. Get the competition count for each of the keywords and add it to a new column namely Google Competition.

That’s it, now you can easily compare and know which keywords should you be targetting. If you’re starting out a new blog, it’s best to start with low competition, long-tail keywords. And you’ll be good to go!

Bonus Tip: You can go the extra mile to find better keywords. When you search your keywords on Google with quotations. See which websites are exactly targetting these keywords. Note down the websites that appear for most of the keywords.

See what keywords are they using, the kind of posts they publish. It will give you a great idea about the niche. So you will be able to devise a better strategy, to find your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

Quick Motivation: If I could speak to my younger self, I’d say never get discouraged! Do not let your inner communication put you down. It’s easy but there’s a steep learning curve. So let your actions speak for yourself, every day!

When you start a new blog, there are so many aspects to manage. That it becomes overwhelming. On top of that, if you don’t make any money out of the blog to earn your bread and butter. You lose all the motivation and there comes a time you just can’t continue doing it, even if you want to.

Moral: Have a supporting income source when you start to blog. For me, it’s freelancing. So you can pay for the domain, hosting, other services and live peacefully at the same time. See, it’s going to be hard work, but if you’re ready to do your best. You will learn a lot throughout the process and will eventually become successful. That’s my promise!

Step 4: Choose a Platform

Yay! We are moving forward.

Slow and steady wins the race

It’s interesting to know that there are so many blogging platforms these days.

For example,

  • Blogger
  • Tumblr
  • Medium
  • Squarespace
  • Kajabi
  • Wix
  • and a ton of others!

How do you choose which blogging platform to go with?

It’s actually simple. Keep your end goal in mind. What do you want to do with your blog?

Do you want to just have a personal identity online? Do you just want to share your thoughts with the world?

If that’s the only goal, you don’t really need to buy a domain or hosting, to start a blog. There are free services, that let you start a free blog on their domain.

For example, you can go to WordPress.com, create a free account, choose your blog name and have a subdomain address for free, like so, yourname.wordpress.com. And start blogging!

What would I recommend?

Over the years, I have seen people started with a free blog. Then eventually started up their blog with a private domain and hosting.

Why? You’re in control of all the aspects. It’s easier to monetize and optimize. You build an asset over time. As you learn the intricacies of blogging, you would wish if you’d have had your own domain and hosting.

Okay, but having a domain and hosting, wouldn’t allow me to blog, right?

Oh yes, consider the domain name is your reserved name. That no one else will be able to use. So if you type in GoodBlogging.com – that’s my domain name. I have other domains pointing to the same, for example, GoodBlogging.net

Hosting is the storage, that a domain uses to display something to the user. So a domain is like your patented name, the actual address. Whereas, hosting is the house you have at that address.

Coming back to the point, which blogging platform should you use?

WordPress, a one-word answer.

WordPress is a Content Management System that powers 30% of the websites worldwide. It’s free, open-source, robust and constantly improving.

People often ask the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

With WordPress.com, you get a hosted version for free. So you won’t have to buy your own domain and hosting. You can get a subdomain (xyz.wordpress.com) and start using WordPress. Obviously, you have less control in comparison.

With WordPress.org, you get the CMS for self-hosting it on your hosting account. So you can easily connect your domain to use the hosting files, to display the WordPress website on your domain.

Does that sound too technical? Don’t you worry, there are one-click installers these days. So you won’t have to download files, know about servers and any of the nitty-gritty details. The hosting does all of that for you.

Yes, but why WordPress?

Because you can make an e-commerce website with it. You can make it a guest book, forum, social network, personal or even business website.

It’s only limited to your imagination. It comes with free and paid plugins and themes. So you can download free themes to visually choose the layouts and design you like.

You can extend the WordPress functionality using plugins. Since it’s free and open-source, there are literally thousands of people if not millions contributing to it.

So you can find a free plugin to do almost anything you can think of. You have plugins for security, social sharing, optimization, and whatnot.

Don’t get overwhelmed, it is simple. Take my word for it.

It would take you only a day to get completely familiar with almost everything about WordPress. You’ll be good to start blogging and can continue to advance your knowledge with plugins for growing success!

Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weakness, but to discover our strengths

Step 5: Register a Domain

Here comes my favorite fun part!

The first quarter of 2019 closed with 351.8 million domain name registrations

https://www.verisign.com/en_US/domain-names/dnib/index.xhtml

With ever-increasing registrations of domain names every second. It’s going to take a few minutes (if you’re lucky) to a few hours to find the right domain name.

So what’s about the good domain name?

Let’s understand the characteristics of a good domain in general.

  • Prefer a .com TLD ( Top Level Domain )
  • Strive for getting a two-word domain
  • Should be easy to remember
  • Should not have dashes, hyphens, and numbers
  • Avoid misspellings and heavy jargons

Before you register the domain. You must think of your keywords and the overall niche you’re going to cover. For example, I write about Blogging, Freelancing, Optimization, and such related topics. Since my major audience was Bloggers, I chose for my primary domain keyword to be “blogging”.

It really helps to narrow down your focus and increase your chances of getting a good domain.

As a newbie, 7 out of 10 domains you will think of will be unavailable. As a general rule of thumb, I always think of around 100 names, before I register a domain.

So where do you search for it?

Well, there are hundreds of domain name registration websites. Godaddy is amongst the oldest and most reliable for domain name registration though. That’s what I use but I don’t prefer it for hosting, however.

Wait, so should you use Godaddy? Yes, for domain registration only.

But when you are just looking for available domain names. Using Godaddy or any such other domain registration website would be pretty slow.

I prefer to use these two.

But these are good too.

These use AJAX programming techniques which is why you quickly get to know the domain status, without a page reload.

Before registering the domain name, it’s good to check for the name availability on social accounts as well. Especially for the ones that you’re planning to make your primary social portals.

For example, Pinterest could be a major social network for some fashion brands. Whereas, it could be Twitter for a technology blog. Besides, it depends upon one’s preference too.

Oh no, don’t worry! You will not have to go to each social website and check.

You can use these modern free tools to automatically check different social platforms at a click of a button.

Just for the sake of creativity, I prefer to check for domain name availability first. And then look for social accounts.

So what to do if certain social accounts are already registered with your name?

Don’t worry, you can always add “dotcom” or “official” and such meaningful words after the domain name.

So your only focus should be towards finding a good domain name.

Here are a few domain name idea generators,

Just enter your primary word, it will give you suggestions for available domain names, that include your primary keywords and other related words.

Bonus Tip:

When you suddenly see an available domain name, don’t rush to register it. Think about it for a few minutes, if not hours.

Sometimes, you get so tired of good domain names to be already booked. That you want to quickly register any domain you get. Don’t make that mistake.

Best Advice:

Find 4-5 available domain names before you register the best one.

How do you know which one is the best?

Get other’s opinion. Register into tech forums, such as

  • Digital Point
  • Warrior Forum
  • SitePoint
  • Siteground

And ask for other’s opinions about the name.

Don’t be afraid that someone may register it, because it’s that good. Yes, it’s possible but whatever happens, happens for good. Such a positive mindset will help you in progressing forward.

It will take a little while, but let me share the story of how I registered this domain name.

Here’s how I asked for opinions at the DigitalPoint forum – a reaffirming story to believe in positivity.

@Spoiltdiva, a DigitalPoint forum member tremendously helped me. We had a great discussion. And I thank her for helping me out, her opinion made a big of a difference.

So have you decided upon the domain name? Yes? Then go to Godaddy.com and register the domain. Congratulations!

Remember, not to host your website with Godaddy. They aren’t the best for hosting.

Step 6: Purchase Web Hosting

If you need a one-word answer for which web host to go with?

Go with Bluehost. If you pay annually, it costs only $3.95/month rather than regular $8/month for hosting with them.

Here’s why: (the detailed understanding)

There are two types of hosting namely Managed Hosting and Unmanaged Hosting.

Since web hosting is basically storage on servers. Someone has to manage the servers, to make it secure. So if someone else manages all the technical aspects of handling the server, that’s Managed Hosting.

BlueHost is a well-known managed hosting service provider. It’s what I most often recommend to everybody as their first host, super cheap and you get all the benefits of a professional hosting platform.

Unmanaged hosting is where you handle all the server security and technical aspects. They just hand you over an empty piece of machine. You will have to install the operating system, software that you want to use and so on. Digital Ocean and Linode are good examples of unmanaged hosts. So basically, a non-technical user will have to go with a Managed Hosting.

There are ways around unmanaged hosting, for example, using Server Pilot (a service that manages your server). But if you’re a newbie, you shouldn’t go with unmanaged hosting. That’s going to be quite a hassle, to begin with.

As of now, just get started with a Managed Host. To be precise, these are Shared Hosting Providers. That’s why they are relatively cheaper.

Over time, you will definitely be able to learn more about hosting. Just to understand a few jargon along the way, here’s a quick guide.

If you rent out a full server, that’s dedicated hosting. Which means only your websites are hosted on that server. You don’t need that at all.

If you rent out a portion of a server, that’s VPS (virtual private server). You don’t even need a VPS.

If you have limited disk space (storage space) and bandwidth (amount of data sent from one point to another), that’s shared hosting.

Bluehost offers you a free domain for the year. I always prefer to purchase all my domains via Godaddy. So it’s up to you if you want to avail Bluehost free domain offer.

If I were you, I’d have gone ahead and signed up with BlueHost right away. I can’t emphasize it anymore.

Browse to BlueHost and click get started
Select the Basic plan
Choose to create a new free domain for a year using BlueHost or use a domain you own, maybe via Godaddy
Just fill the form and signup easily by making the payment via Paypal/card to them.
At times, BlueHost offers a further whopping discount. Just move your cursor quickly at the top to close the window. Don’t close it, just behave so, it’s known as exit intent. It pops up this banner offering you the cheapest rate.

Step 7: Setup Your Platform

Congratulations! If you have been following along, you must have registered your domain and purchased your hosting.

In case if you haven’t, that’s okay too. Take all the time you need to think it through. Just one thing, it’s important you take the first step to get started. Because if you keep thinking, soon enough you will overthink. Overthinking kills by overwhelming you like anything!

Because what most concern new bloggers are, the fear of failure and the fear of unknown. Don’t ever think you can’t do it, because the truth is, humans can do all we want to do it.

We only need a good intention, a massive amount of positive action and patience. That’s pretty much it. Slowly, but surely things will start to work.

Alright, so let’s learn about one-click WordPress installation. Here’s BlueHosts’ own guide to installing WordPress in one click. Darn easy.

Once you have WordPress installed, here is how you can log in to its administrator dashboard.

Type yourdomainname.com/wp-admin in the browser (change it to your domain name)

WordPress Login Screen

Enter your username and password, click Enter

If you have never used WordPress, here’s a quick guide to explain the most important areas. Don’t worry, WordPress is super simple. Don’t get overwhelmed. It will take less than a day to start to familiarize yourself.

1 – Posts – Where you write content, publish and manage the blog posts
2 – Media – Image, Audio, and Video Management
3 – Pages – For creating and managing pages, such as About Page, Contact Page, etc. Just a different post format.
4 – Appearance – Where you control the themes, to change the design appearance of the blog.
5 – Plugins – Helps you to control your blog functionality. There are social sharing, backup, security, SEO, and just about a plugin for every common purpose.
6 – Users – There are different kinds of users in WordPress. For example, super administrator, administrator, editor, author, contributor, subscriber. The only difference is of access authorities as such.
7 – Tools fill in details
8 – Settings
fill in details

Let’s learn to change the themes

Navigate to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress Dashboard (Main Screen)

Simply click over Add New button

If you want to use free themes. Just type anything in the search bar to find relevant themes.

If you have got a paid theme to use, just use the Upload Theme button to upload it.

Alternatively, you can see popular themes too.

What should you type in the search bar?

  • blog
  • magazine

You may write “minimal” if you like a clean and simple layout.

Alternatively, write down the main niche. For example, if you are into traveling. Write “travel” and you’ll get quite a few good themes to review.

You like a theme, but you don’t quite like a few things. Well, you can always customize the theme. Most themes provide a few customization themes.

What makes a good WordPress theme, by the way?

  • Responsive – Choose a theme that has cross-browser support. That functions well on mobile, laptops, tablet and basically all the technology mediums.
  • Performance – While the performance has a lot to do with web hosting and cache settings. It has to do with themes too. Some themes are made by fresh theme developers. They make themes bloated, leave security holes and aren’t performance efficient either.
  • Customization – Every theme offers customization. A good theme must offer to customize the key aspects of the theme. For example, different layouts.

Isn’t it way too time-consuming?

Well, if you’re not tech-savvy, it could be.

Gladly, there’s a workaround. That is to search Google for “best free responsive WordPress themes”

And there you go

That’s it. You can surely find a gem out of these theme suggestions. It will both be good looking and optimized as well.

Okay, hope you find a great theme. Let me know which ones you ended up with!

You can mostly customize theme-related settings via Customizer. Just navigate to Appearance > Customize

Step 8: Start Writing

Congratulations! You have made it very far.

As a newbie, it takes a lot of determination and passion to think, plan, learn and just get things done. So, many congratulations!

Alright, so we already know a bit about WordPress. We know that we will have to use the Posts tab, to be able to write the blog posts.

Great, we are almost there!

So here’s my advice, don’t just start writing about anything as your first blog post. Unless it’s a personal blog.

First things first, make a document of main categories that you’d like to write about.

Under each of the categories, write down 5 titles that you have on top of your mind to write about.

Try to come up with timeless topics. Articles that people will search for today and probably years later, as well. For example, if you’re writing a how-stuff-works type of article, that’s most probably a timeless one.

Instead of a small event or technology-specific article, that’ll only be searched for a limited time. Nobody as such would probably be searching for old Nokia phones today. So you get the idea.

So you’ve got the titles ready! Now is the time to assign primary and secondary keyword tags to each of those titles.

Here’s another common concern of how long articles should you be writing.

So what is the word count for most common blog posts? Most prefer to write between 500-600 words.

I’d suggest to strive for at least 700 words, or ideally 1000 words. Longer posts generally provide more value, in terms of SEO, social likes, lower bounce rates (fewer people leaving your site quickly), and several other benefits.

The best way to judge the number of words per post is to first decide how frequently can you write.

So, as a general rule of thumb, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour to write 500 words, if you’re well aware of the niche. It doesn’t include formatting, image research, etc. If you have to do content research, you should still write 500 words within 2 hours.

So based on that, think of how many hours you can practically allocate to writing. I’d suggest two hours every day. So that makes up a total of 10-12 hours, depending on if you want to write on Saturdays as well.

So let’s say, you can write 5 short posts or 2 long posts. I’d prefer to write 2 long posts, rather than 5 shorter blog posts.

So what’s the secret to successful blogging? In one word, consistency. Consistency comes with planning and sticking to your schedule against your will at times.

It doesn’t matter if you can write one blog post a week. But then you must regularly write one every week. That’s the secret to blogging. There will be times when you might fall back on schedule. It’s okay, that’s not the end of the world. Just get back up, bounce back and strive even harder this time around.

Obviously, the more you write the better. But as humans, there will be times when you’re super busy freelancing, maybe with your job, family, other commitments. So what do you do?

Well, the best way out is to plan earlier. If you know, you will be busy in the upcoming weeks. Plan and write a few posts ahead of time. WordPress lets you publish posts at a later date, so you can utilize that feature too.

Write quality content. To do so, find your own way!

It will help you to write better content, be highly focused and stay motivated throughout the blogging journey.

So what’s my biggest motivation behind blogging?

Well, for me, it’s the ability to help others. To know that this content will help someone become a successful blogger. I write as if I am writing for my younger self. As if, I wish I had this sort of content available when I was starting out.

At times, when you know so much about an industry and a niche. It gets difficult to write basic articles because you tend to frequently think that’s too basic. And that, everyone, would know it already.

But the truth is, however basic you write. There’s room for every type of content. You just have to be original and provide value.

That brings me down to blogging tone. So what sort of article tone should you adopt? Should it be formal or informal? conversational or some other type?

The single best answer is, whatever feels natural to you. Whatever you feel comfortable with. I write plenty of formal articles. But I love writing these types of articles, where I get to connect with people. It’s just invaluable for me.

One thing to always remember, never ever believe anyone that says you can’t write well. Even if you can’t, realize you can’t today and you will only get better by writing more. So keep writing and push yourself to do better.

So get your content out there. I promise you will improve within a period of a few months only. Everyone has some ability and it reflects in your content. So believe in yourself!

I know It’s super difficult when you are just starting out. Because you have merely a few people reading your articles. You begin to doubt yourself.

But just overcome all your fears. I know you do not get any instant gratification, neither with blog traffic, social likes, monetarily or another way.

Just keep moving forward, it’s hard work that will pay off sooner than you think!

On a side note, there is no such thing as perfect content. So don’t be too critical about writing the best piece and so you never actually get to publish the article. That you keep delaying to add more details and make it just perfect.

Well, do your best but then have a certain time limit for the article to complete.

The use of images is extremely important.

Before we move on to the next step, write About Us, Contact, Advertise, Contribute, and such pages before you actually start blogging. It will make your blog look professional and people would like to read more about you as they start to like your posts.

Step 9: Keep Optimizing

Let’s jump up to optimizing. You should always be optimizing your keywords, content, images, approach and just about everything you can.

Remember, it’s about progress. Every step you take ahead will contribute to defining your blog’s success.

So where to start? Well, the major chunk of this discussion has to do with plugins. The necessary plugins that you must install to be able to better optimize your blog content, security, SEO and images.

I won’t explore all of the plugins here, as it would be overwhelming for you at this point. I guess it already is ๐Ÿ˜› but trust me, this training will set you apart from the crowd!

I will do everything it takes to help you to make your blog better than the rest! That’s like my number one goal!

What’s your number one goal with your blog, by the way?

Okay, let’s talk about images first. Never randomly use an image from Google or any other resource, without crediting it. That’s just not right.

You can and people do, but they end up getting either getting DMCA notices, sued or their blog becomes just another blog. To become a successful blogger, you need to raise your standards.

Oh yes, you will make mistakes! But why not to make meaningful mistakes that help you to fail forward, does that make sense? Great!

So where should you download images from? There are literally tons of royalty-free image websites. They let you download their image for personal or commercial uses, under a Creative Commons license.

So that’s the right way to freely use images!

Do I know of any such royalty-free image websites? Hell yeah!

Most bloggers prefer to use Pixabay or Unsplash. Pexels is another good one. If you can’t find the right image, here’s a list of other great free royalty-free image sites.

And where should you be using these images?

Each of your blog posts has a featured image option. It lets you have at least have one main header image. But the more the images in the post overall, the better. It helps explain the point, users feel more engaged and the design looks quite appealing too.

So how can you make these appealing images, with sort of blog post titles over it?

Most successful bloggers outsource this task. Because their time is more valuable and they are better off outsourcing such administrative/virtual assistance sort of tasks.

I don’t. Maybe am not as successful as them yet ๐Ÿ˜›

So as a newbie, you can either already know Photoshop or such designing software to make attractive images. But most people don’t know such software.

So for you guys, you can use a free online service namely Canva. It’s by far the best free service I’ve used. It’s not just free but pretty newbie-friendly and saves time to make attractive images.

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t be using more than 1 image per every 100 words. For a 500 words article, 3 images are considered optimum.

What’s the #1 mistake new bloggers make with images?

These royalty-free images or even Canva images are quite heavy for web use. You should be optimizing these images.

So how do you optimize images?

If you want to optimize images for free, and that too for lossless compression. It means that your image quality isn’t visibly affected due to the compression.

I recommend TinyPNG. I’ve been using them without any problems.

But isn’t it too time-consuming to manually optimize each image?

Oh yes, it is! Which brings me to the next discussion of image plugins in WordPress. You can use them for automatically compressing each image that you upload

Which free plugins should you be downloading for best image compression?

WP Smush is the one I’ve always used and am pretty happy with it.

I’ve heard good things about Tiny Compress Images and EWW Image Optimizer.

How about plugins for blog security?

What, is WordPress not secure by itself? Well, it is, but then there are so many plugins, themes, other security loopholes out there. That you have to make your blog more secure. As they say, better safe than sorry!

Get iThemes Security plugin – It lets you do just that. It’s quite a detailed task to be able to configure it and understand all the given options. But just install and activate it, you can learn more about it along the way.

Don’t worry, your blog won’t get hacked even if you don’t have it. But if your blog starts to get popular, there will be many hacking attacks. So why not just be safe? I’d suggest learning about this plugin, securing your blog using it, maybe this coming weekend?

Alright, how about WordPress site backup?

If you’ve ever lost a critical item, you know the pain! Right.

The same is the case with websites. Your new blog is going to be like your baby. You will have to take care of it.

But why do you really need a WordPress backup plugin?

  • Your website may get hacked.
  • There may be a virus on your website.
  • Maybe a plugin caused some damage.
  • You made mistakes, maybe in wrong configuring a security plugin, deleting files from server cPanel, or such one-off worst-case scenarios.

A backup plugin will save you from all the hassles. You will be able to restore your content in just a few clicks.

Now, backup is something where you should spend some of your money. But only when you start earning enough so that you can afford to have these expenses.

To begin with, you are good with a free plugin. For the first year of blogging at least, you shouldn’t worry about a paid plugin as such.

There are two kinds of backup, by the way. One is a server backup, that hosting companies offer to restore your website as-in on a chosen previous date.

And then, there’s this type of backup. Where you use a WordPress plugin and have it automatically backup your site content, images, settings, etc. to an external file.

Having tried dozens of free backup plugins, my personal preference is UpDraft. Here’s a quick guide about how to use UpDraft

So we’ve covered images, backup, security. Are we missing something? Oh yes! SEO.

If you don’t have an SEO plugin installed in your WordPress blog, your blog is surely going to suffer big-time.

I’ve seen most newbie bloggers unanimously ask one question. How to get traffic to my blog?

Well, here’s one way to ensure you get organic traffic from Google and other places.

So which SEO plugin is best for WordPress?

Is it Yoast or All-In-One SEO? Because these are the two most popular plugins and almost every blog uses either one of them.

My personal preference is All In One SEO. It sort of gives you all the options in one place, so you can decide to edit as you like. Whereas, Yoast is more newbie-friendly that way.

Here’s a good guide to get to know both of these and see which one resonates more with you.

Now, let’s have a quick discussion about content optimization. Analyzing content and keywords in-depth is out of scope for this discussion.

But let me point you in the right direction. Learning to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox extensions.

There’s no dire need to use these sorts of extensions at this point. But you must know them, that it’s there if you need them.

Here are a few SEO extensions you can install in your browser. So you will be able to analyze any page quickly. It’s pretty helpful when you badly need to understand the other blog keywords, their strategy, etc.

So here they are if you have a Chrome browser.

Here are the same addons for Firefox browser.

Alright, we’ve learned quite a bit in this section. It’s time we move to the next section.

Step 10: Fail to Succeed

Whew! You are amazing to have been so persistent. Congratulations! I am happy you’re progressing. I am happy because I know it can be done. I know you can do it!

It’s difficult when you are first starting out. There is so much to learn that it’s easier to quit and feel like it’s not for you.

But trust me, it’s just a matter of time. Give yourself a well-deserved chance to believe in yourself. I never believed much in myself.

So it took me quite a long time to learn it the hard way. I don’t want you, my younger self, to go from the same rugged learning curves. It’s wise

Just be positive, and take small steps every day. Your blog will not become popular in a day. But every hour that you put into it, will eventually matter.

Consider it your business, your baby, investment or whatever resonates with you to take care of it. Yes, thousands have proven to become insanely successful bloggers.

You might fail a few times. But that failure will bring out the best in you as a blogger and as an individual.

So that’s what Good Blogging is all about.

Before ending the article, I’ll leave you with the answer to a commonly asked question.

Q-1 How much time do I need to start making money from my blog?

Well, that totally depends upon how much time you are putting into it every day.

Let’s say if you’re writing one article of 2000 words every day. And you write 5 days a week. That comes down to about 20 articles a month.

With this sort of dedication, you will start making money in about 2-3 months. But then, your income will exponentially grow from the 8th month onwards.

Eventually, it all depends upon how much time are you willing to or can put into it. The more the quality time, the better.

Obviously, you need to know the right money making tips and tricks to be able to make the optimum amount of money. Monetization is a different ballgame altogether, however, it’s much easier to monetize when you have quality content and traffic. So don’t worry about it, focus on building your blog, to get traffic and everything else will follow along.

As an ending note for the answer, to re-emphasize, I’d suggest focussing on content. Well, that’s a cliche answer. So why do I suggest focusing on content?

Because as a new blogger, you cannot do much of anything besides providing with killer content.

Some people are good at gaming SEO system, but eventually, there are more than 200 factors based on which Google judges your site performance.

You can’t really game Google for long. So you better focus on providing value to your target audience, your blog readers. That’s it, and you will start to see the results over a year.

I hope you’ve liked the post. If you wish to see more of such content. I’d appreciate your social shares. I’d love if you may want to support the cause, support good blogging as a Patreon.

I’d love to hear your tips and story.

Do good, have good.

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