11 Easy Steps to Start a Blog Successfully and Make Money

Are you planning to start a blog and make money? Confused about where and how to start?

Well, “Starting a blog” has made it to many people’s bucket lists in the 2020s, especially given the situation we are through.

The main reason is, Blogging has become so attractive that if it’s done right, you will be able to possibly enjoy a steady stream of passive income.

In this article, we will break down the process of starting a blog into 11 simple steps so that you can start your blog right away.

But, the common question that pops up more often among the to-be bloggers is that “I can manage to write attractively but how shall I set up my blog when I am not techie enough to understand all the nuances involved?”

Worry not, setting up your blog is not harder as you may think it is. We have broken down the process into simple and easy-to-follow steps.

If this sounds good and you are ready to set up your blog, the right way, let’s go!🚀

Hold on! Before that let’s get your doubts out of the way, Shall we?

What is a Blog?

A blog is an informal website hosted on the World Wide Web (www) by an individual or a group of people (also called a Multi-Author Blog) to educate or entertain people with diary-style content called Posts which are displayed in reverse chronological order, i.e., the recently published post is displayed on top of the feed.

Is Blogging saturated and dead?

No, Blogging is not dead. But to say that Blogging is saturated would be overkill. The apt way to say the present situation of blogging is that, Blogging has become much more competitive and you need to set yourself apart from the competition, to be successful.

Do you need technical knowledge to start a blog?

The simple answer is, no. Okay, your next question would be, how can you set up Domain Names, Servers, CMS, Design, and more? It has become so easy that anyone with a piece of basic computer knowledge can start a blog in just 20 minutes, irrespective of their age. That is what this guide will be helping you with today.

Is it worth starting a blog in 2022?

Yes, there are literally millions of blogs out there on the web today and with its earning potential, it has proven to have helped many people ditch their boring 9-to-5 jobs. The possibilities to earn money with your blog are endless as you can sell ad space, receive sponsorships, promote products (affiliate marketing), sell your own product or service and the sky is the limit for the creative ones out there.

Should you know SEO to start blogging?

You just need to understand the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to be able to make your blog search engine friendly. More on that for later in this article.

If you are not prepared to start a blog right now, you may be interested in knowing about some of the important things to know before starting a blog.

How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 11 Simple Steps?

Step 1: Choose a Niche to Blog About

The very first thing that you should do is to decide what your blog topic will be. In the blogging world, this is called the process of choosing your niche.

Many people find it difficult to decide on the topic that they want to blog about. The reason is that they often get intimidated by the competition and begin to develop self-doubt as to whether they can stand a chance against the established competition.

Competition is one of the factors that helps you weigh the niche against the odds but not the deciding factor. If you are knowledgeable enough and willing to upskill yourselves in the niche you are choosing to blog about, you can definitely beat the competition, Slowly but surely. 💪🏼

Before going through the process of selecting your niche, Let’s just be realistic here, there is nothing called a perfect niche. It is all about what fits you.

Very often people fall for the flashy niches and choose them, just to get it going nowhere. Choosing a niche wisely and ensuring that it allows you to pivot into relevant other topics is essential.

Ask yourselves the following questions and write down your answers to evaluate and finalize the topic (niche) that you will be blogging about.

  • What ideas excite you the most and keep you engaged? Think about everything that is of interest to you. Don’t limit yourself. Write down everything that you can think of, even if you do not know everything about it, it’s alright.
  • What are the problems that you would face when you are to turn that idea into reality? Imagine you are working on turning each idea that you wrote down earlier into a reality. Now, Think of what challenges you might want to tackle to turn each of those ideas into a reality? Write them down.
  • How would YOU approach the challenges, if you are to actually start doing it, right now? Don’t just go searching for answers on the internet, for those challenges you identified in the previous step. Put on your thinking hat and write down your approach to tackling the challenges. Because every other possibility is already discussed, except yours.
  • What does the competition look like? The next thing you might want to do is check out the competition for each idea. Don’t get overwhelmed if you happen to see a lot of buzz around the topic you are evaluating. As said earlier, don’t just look for the number of competitors but rather look for the quality of content your competition has and how they are doing it.
Start a Blog: The process of choosing a niche that suits you.
Infographic to help you choose your niche.

When you are done answering these questions, you will have a list of topics that fits your interests. Identify the low-hanging fruit by judging it against all the odds.

Doing so will ensure that you enter into a niche that you can sustain and grow while also continuously learning about it, even when you already have a healthy competition going on.

Step 2: Choose Your Content Management System

There are more than a dozen Content Management Systems (CMS) a.k.a the blogging platforms – The backend of your blog, that drives your blog by letting you add pages, posts, media, etc.,. The most known ones are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Ghost, and the list goes on.

Out of the dozens of CMSes out there, WordPress powers about 43% of all the websites around the world wide web.

We recommend that you go with self-hosted WordPress.

Heads Up: There are two versions of WordPress, one is open-sourced and can be found at WordPress.org and the other one is WordPress.com, a hosting service from WordPress itself, with lots of limitations. Out of the two, WordPress.org is the one to go for.

Whenever we mention WordPress in this article, think about the open-sourced WordPress.org.

What started purely as a blogging platform has eventually grown into a complete and powerful content management system due to its user-friendliness, features, and the ability to build just about any kind of website. You name it and WordPress does it with ease.

Here are the few things that WordPress is famous for

  • It is completely free and open-source.
  • In WordPress, there is a plugin for every need including SEO.
  • Based on my experience, It is safe to say that WordPress is the most SEO-friendly among other CMS.
  • You get to host WordPress wherever you want to; so that everything is in your control.
  • It is scalable. Want to start small and go big as you grow? Possible.

Is WordPress all about its goodness? no, there are a few caveats that you need to know before embracing the self-hosted WordPress.

  • As it is a boon that many add-ons bring in various functionalities to your website or blog, It becomes a curse when too many addons are used; as your site speed and performance take a hit. Be wise in choosing the add-ons like themes and plugins.
  • Keeping WordPress and the addons up to date is a thoughtful process that sometimes may cause hiccups. Make informed decisions to avoid headaches.
  • WordPress being open source, only the base or core is maintained by its developers. People (read Hackers) may find their way into your site, to do crazy stuff, through third-party addons in the form of plugins or themes. As long as you choose your addons wisely, you are good to go.

Why choose self-hosting over hosted platforms?

Hosted platforms are good for those who do blogging as a hobby. But for a serious blogger who has serious ambitions, hosted platforms come with a long list of terms that you have to abide by.

Your data is not completely yours. How? When you are using a hosted platform’s server to host your data, you share your ownership of the data with the platform and not solely own it.

Furthermore, You are giving up the opportunity to brand yourself, as you will be blogging under a subdomain, which looks something like yourblog.blogspot.com. It looks unprofessional and amateurish to many and has loads of limitations.

On the flip side, a self-hosted blog or a website has your brand name as its domain and is hosted by you on a server that you pay for. In simple terms, it means that you solely own the data and decide where and how that data is stored.

WordPress.org is the way to go if you want versatile compatibility with any kind of server architecture, ease of use, and a large community to back you when in need.

Thums up👍🏼if you chose WordPress.org to be part of millions of others. Now let’s get your WordPress blog online.

Step:3 Pick a Domain Name for your Blog

To put your website online and for the people to be able to find it, you need a name for your blog, called a domain name. A domain name is how you will be known on the world wide web, and it is a unique name for your website.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a string of text that a user inputs into the browser to reach a website on the world wide web.

As you may already be aware, each computer on the web has its own unique IP address. Computers identify and communicate with each other through these IP addresses. A typical IP address looks something like 111.11.11.0.

For the reason that humans cannot remember these IP addresses to visit a website, a string of human-friendly text called domain name comes into help. So that you can enter a domain name like acrazydomainname.com to visit a website that is hosted in the server with the IP address as 111.11.11.0.

Choosing a domain name for your blog is the crucial step that you want to get right as it becomes your blog’s primary identity. After you’ve decided to set one up, though it can be changed as you wish, you have limited options to change the domain name or its extension without affecting your site’s organic ranking.

Ideally, it is advisable to choose one domain name and stick with it, as trying to change it is known to affect your site’s overall authority and rankings in search engines.

What makes a good domain name?

A domain name is like the address of your house. It helps people on the internet to find and navigate to your site easily and most importantly remember it for the future.

How do choose a domain name that is so easily recognizable and not a tongue twister to confuse people?

With the increasing popularity of websites, apps, and the web in general, in most cases, the domain name you’ve thought of would have been taken by someone else and you cannot have them.

While you could not do much about it, when it comes to domain names, it is regulated by ICANN and there are a few rules, regulations, and guiding principles put forth by them to help keep it organized.

Process of choosing a domain name for your blog

Oftentimes, choosing a domain name becomes the part where you might happen to spend most of your time while setting up your blog or a website.

Here are some factors to consider while you are brainstorming for a perfect domain name that fits you and your brand.

  1. Unique: No two domain names are allowed to be exactly the same. Your domain name will be uniquely yours.
  2. Length: While there’s no discrete character limit per se, it is advised to keep the domain name as short as possible and up to a maximum of 3 words for better readability.
  3. Keywords: Try to include your target or focus keyword in your domain name to improve your organic search visibility.
  4. Numbers & Special Characters: While you are not restricted from using numbers or special characters in your domain name, it is seen as a best practice to have a domain name that is free from numbers and special characters. You can afford to have a dash (-) in your domain name, if you have no other choice but to have it.
  5. Niche: Do not choose a targeted niche as your domain name, choose a domain name that lets you pivot into other relevant niches whenever you need to.
  6. Brand Name: If you already have a brand, it is obvious that you would want to have your brand name as your domain name. But the catch is you might not have the exact name available for you, in such case you shall add adjectives or prepositions to your name like “the”, “awesome” etc., But, make sure that it is at least closely resembling your brand and identity. You do not want your audience to type in your brand name and find somebody else on the internet.
  7. Try a different TLD: If a domain name yourbrand.com is already taken, do not fret. You have many other TLDs like yourbrand.co, yourbrand.store, yourbrand.blog, yourbrand.info and you get the point.
  8. Keep it simple: Do not complicate your domain name with local slang, misspellings, funny words and other crazy stuff. It creates a negative impact as people can’t always exactly remember them.

If you have chosen the domain name you want for your blog, it is easy to check for its availability and make it yours, free for the first year.

Let’s see how.

Step 4: Get Your Domain and Hosting

Now that, You have decided (hopefully!?) on your blog’s domain name, you need to check for its availability and make it yours before someone else takes it.

To make things simpler we recommend that you check out Bluehost where you get a free domain name when you purchase a shared hosting plan. At the time of writing this article, the base plan’s pricing on Bluehost starts at around $2.95/month when you pay for 12 months upfront.

Affiliate Disclosure: This site is open, free, and reader-supported. Any contextual or external links present on this guide might be affiliate links, like the Bluehost link that you see above. It means that howdyblogger.com is an affiliate of Bluehost and might receive a commission if you choose to buy from the link, it comes at no extra cost to you; in fact, more often you will end up saving money by purchasing through these links. If you are purchasing from my links, you are helping me create more awesome content for you.

Let’s set up your hosting along with a free domain name.

  • Click here to go to Bluehost to get started.
  • Choose a plan that you see fit. We recommend that you get a plan with domain privacy for free. Domain privacy helps you avoid exposing personal data on the whois lookups.
  • Now, it’s time to check the availability of the domain name that you want for your blog. Click “Next” when you find your desirable name available.
  • In the next screen, enter your account information.
  • Under package information, you may choose the plan that is suitable for you. Usually, 12 & 36 Months packages are available for you to choose from. While choosing a plan, it is advisable to check the renewal prices after your selected term is completed.
  • Uncheck all boxes under package extras, as they are not essential.
  • Enter your card details to complete the purchase.
  • Then, choose a strong password and log in to your Bluehost account.
  • The first time you log in to your Bluehost account you will be asked a few questions, skip all of them except the one that asks for what kind of website you are building. Choose “Blog” if you are asked so.
  • Important Note: Do not click on the “Start Building” button as it will take you to the Bluehost WordPress site builder, which I am not a fan of. Choose “Go to my Bluehost account” to log in to the Bluehost’s cPanel dashboard.

Hooray! now you have successfully purchased your hosting and a domain name for your blog.

Step 5: Install WordPress

Note: If you have chosen the “Start Building” button in the previous step, you will land on Bluehost’s WordPress site builder directly and you do not have to install a new WordPress instance; jump ahead and start by adding your site name and tagline.

Next, you need to install WordPress on your Bluehost server that you just set up.

With Bluehost, installing WordPress is just a few clicks away. To get started, log in to your Bluehost dashboard.

First, navigate to the “My Sites” tab.

How to start a blog: Bluehost dashboard to add a new site.
Bluehost dashboard

Click on “Add site” and “Create New Site”.

How to start a blog: Bluehost dashboard showing "My sites" tab.

Now enter your blog name and the tagline in the screen that pops up and click “Next”. Remember you can always change this to your liking in the WordPress dashboard later.

How to start a blog: Creating a new WordPress site on Bluehost.

On the next screen, you will be prompted to choose a domain name. Make sure to select the domain name that you have purchased while setting up the hosting is selected. Leave the “Directory” field empty.

You will see a few plugin recommendations below, uncheck them. If you like to have any of them installed, check the ones you need, and then click “Next” to start the WordPress install.

How to start a Blog: Choosing a domain name while creating a new WordPress site on Bluehost.

Be patient while WordPress installs on your server, when it’s done, you will get a screen that lists your WordPress credentials. Make sure that you save them securely for future use.

Click “Login to WordPress” to enter your WordPress dashboard.

How to start a Blog: Bluehost dashboard displaying the login credentials for the newly installed WordPress site.

You will see your WordPress dashboard that should look something like the one below.

How to start a blog: A screen grab of the WordPress dashboard in Bluehost.

Yay! You’ve successfully installed WordPress on your server.

Step 6: Customizing Your Blog’s Theme

By default, a WordPress site will have the basic theme provided by WordPress itself.

To change the theme of your blog, first, make sure that you are logged in to your WordPress dashboard.

  • Tip: You can directly access your WordPress dashboard by typing “yourdomainname.extension/wp-admin” on your browser. You need not log in to Bluehost every time you want to access your WordPress dashboard.

Now that you are in your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance>Themes.

How to start a blog: Choosing a new theme in WordPress by accessing the themes section.

On the screen that opens, click on “Add New”.

You will be presented with a ton of themes to choose from, for your blog.

You can look through the endless list of themes to pick the one that suits your needs. The most common ones for blogging are Astra, Kadence, Blocksy, and Generate Press.

I personally like Blocksy for its feature-richness while being lightweight.

When you have found a theme that you like, simply click “Install” and after it installs click on “Activate” to switch to it.

Alternatively, you have the option to purchase a theme from outside of the WordPress theme repository and Upload the .zip file to your theme repository by clicking on the “Upload Theme” button.

When you are done activating the theme you like, check out how it looks by clicking on the “Home” icon>Visit site on the top left corner of your WordPress dashboard.

Step 7: Setup Necessary Plugins

As said previously, when it comes to plugins on WordPress, less is more.

So on that note, when starting a new blog it is unnecessary to purchase paid plugins from the get-go. You can test the waters with the free-to-use plugins and then upgrade to the paid ones down the road.

You are free to add the necessary plugins as you see fit for your needs. Do not go overboard.

You might need to set your blog for speed, security, and SEO optimizations, at first. Following are the most recognized plugins that are a must-have for your blog.

To add any of the below plugins, In your WordPress dashboard, click on the “Plugins” tab and the “Add New” button at the top left. Search for the ones you need and click on “Install Now“.

1. Rank Math SEO

Rank Math SEO plugin helps you with sitemaps, schema, robots.txt, page and post metadata. Additionally, with Rank Math, you have access to other features like 404 monitor, Rank tracker, Analytics integration, and so on.

2. WordFence

WordFence is a security plugin that helps your blog be healthy and keeps away nosy hackers. Wordfence gives you many granular controls for you with features like Password protection, Country blocking, 2FA, and a lot more.

3. Akismet

Akismet is a spam filter for comments in your blog posts. Being in the AI revolution, it is common for a blog to receive a bucket load of spam comments through bots, especially when your blog starts to get traction.

Akismet is a plugin from the makers of WordPress to help you automatically identify and block spam comments and comes at a $12/yr base price for commercial sites including blogs.

4. Any page builder of your choice

When it comes to page builders there are a lot of them. Each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Personally, I try to avoid using page builders as much as possible, the reason being that it conflicts with other plugins more often and thereby drags down your site’s performance.

If you are a beginner then a page builder will definitely come in handy for you.

SeedProd, Divi, or Beaver builder will be a better bet among many page builders. Choose the one that you will be comfortable with.

5. WPForms Lite

Initially, while starting off with your blogging journey, you will need a simple no-nonsense form builder that doesn’t break a leg. WPForms Lite brings the essential forms you need and does not affect your blog’s performance.

6. Image Compression

Images are the major contributors to the page size and in turn, affect the load time. Lesser the load time the better.

To optimize your images, you shall consider using the “Smush – Lazy Load Images, Optimize & Compress Images” plugin. While the basic compression is free (for images up to 5MB), you do not get the option to convert your images to the latest .webp format, in the free version.

  • Tip: If you consider using .webp for all the images on your site, you can do so by converting each image manually on Squoosh, which is free & developed by Googlers.

7. CDN (Optional)

You will see CDN recommendations all over the place. Do not blindly go for a CDN or a caching plugin just because someone recommends it. Research your requirements and the solutions available in the market that solve your requirements.

Usually, Cloudflare CDN is the best choice as you can access it for free and it is international. You can check out how to activate Cloudflare on Bluehost here.

Congratulations, you have successfully set up your blog and you are ready to start your awesome blogging journey.

Still, just reading? Get started with Bluehost to avail 63% off on your hosting plan with a free domain name for the first year, for as low as $2.95/mo (With options to pay upfront for 1,2, or 3 years with a 30 day money-back guarantee).

Step 8: Add Important Pages

When you are blogging you will eventually be foraying into making money, if not from the beginning. You need to comply with international laws while you start your blogging journey.

Okay, what do you need to be compliant with?

Add the following pages to your blog and you are good to go for the most part. You might still need to research further about what pages you need to have to be compliant with specific regulations in your niche.

For example, in the Medical niche, you need to let people know that your advice should be followed with the physician’s advice.

1. Homepage

A homepage is where your visitors will land when they type your URL in their browser.

How can you create one for yourself?

As we discussed in Step 7 on the “Plugins” section above, you can use your page builder to easily create a homepage by dragging and dropping the blocks. It is called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors.

How an ideal homepage should look like?

There is no boundary on how you should design your homepage for your blog. But make sure to include the following details

  • A Headline and a short description of what your blog is all about.
  • A brief introduction to hook your readers by telling your value proposition.
  • Call to action (CTA) for directing the user to visit the important pages.
  • Your latest posts are displayed in reverse chronological order.

2. About Page

You should have an about page to let the visitors know who you are and what led you to start your blog. About page is where you truly connect with your readers and earn their trust.

No one wants to read about your professional achievements or your personal life, don’t brag.

People are interested only in who you are, what you stand for, and how you may be able to help them, with your blog.

What an ideal about page should have?

An about page is to let readers know who you are. Ideally, it is better to keep things simple and frame your experiences as an interesting story to grab the attention and eventually the trust. Don’t makeup something just because you want something attractive.

Here’s what you may choose to have on your about page,

  • Briefly, who you are.
  • What do you stand for? Brief on what principles you will adhere to, in blogging.
  • What made you start the blog in the first place?
  • What is your area of expertise?
  • How you dealt with the problems that your readers can inspire from.
  • Finally, your important Call to action (CTA).

3. Blog Post Template

The nest important page (Template in this case) you should take care of, is the blog post page. A blog post page is nothing but the one you are reading right now.

This template will be under your theme customizer, in most cases. You can access your theme customizer by clicking on “Customize Your Site” on the WordPress dashboard.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when customizing your blog post template.

  • A narrow grid for the blog content. Ideally about 850px. If it’s any broader, readers will have to pan their heads left to right to read every sentence.
  • Use easily-readable typography and use proper line spacing.
  • Use proper headings and sub-headings.
  • Keep your paragraphs shorter, at no more than 3 lines per paragraph.
  • Make sure to use images or other media.
  • Show author bio/author box.
  • Show related articles.
  • Optionally, enable comments.

While you are customizing your blog post template, make sure that you check what your blog archive pages are looking like. Ideally, a blog archive page should be easy to find and navigate.

4. Contact Page

A contact page will come in handy if someone wants to connect with you after reading your posts. If you do not have a contact page, readers will lose trust and may believe that your blog is not friendly enough as you do not want to be contacted.

You just have to put a simple spam-protected form on the contact page so that people can reach you whenever they feel like it. Let them know when they will be able to expect a reply from you. 🙂

5. Privacy Policy

It is important, by law, to have a Privacy Policy page on any website on the world wide web.

To make things easier, WordPress by default includes a Privacy Policy template under the “Pages” section in your dashboard. Tweak it to match your blog’s nature and press “Publish”.

A few things to note while creating a Privacy Policy are,

  • You need to declare what data you are collecting from your users and how you are processing them.
  • Declare your affiliation to brands and how you are receiving your monetary compensation from brands.
  • You need to declare the use of cookies.
  • You need to declare how and why you are tracking user behaviors.
  • You need to facilitate a way for your users to make corrections to the information you have about them.
  • Declare that you abide by GDPR laws for Europe and CCPA for California, US.

You may want to have a Terms & Conditions page if you are selling any services or involved in any kind of financial transaction with your readers.

Step 9: Start Writing Your Blog Posts

Now, You are set up the right way to start blogging.

How do you start blogging though?

What do you need to know?

What are the nuances?

Well, you will have so many questions going on in your mind. Let’s knock them one at a time.

Create a list of keywords to write on

Blogging has come a long way and it is continuously evolving. You need to start your content creation process with keyword analysis. No, you cannot write on random topics and expect to have traffic.

The best way to find keywords is to manually do the search yourself to see what kind of content is ranking for that keyword and also look at the “People also ask” section to get an idea of what the search intent for that keyword is.

When you understand the intent of a keyword that is being searched, it becomes easier for you to create content that matches the search intent. Thereby adding value to the people who are searching for that keyword.

Create an organized list of keywords that you want to create content for. You can then evaluate these keywords using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner which is available for those who run PPC ads on Google. Other such tools are ahrefs, SEMRush, Keyword Chef, etc.,

Keep in mind that the traffic data from these keyword analysis tools are an estimate and not exact numbers. So pick your keywords smartly.

How to optimize your posts for search engines?

Now that you have a list of keywords, sorted in order, to write on. You cannot spread the word about your blog to every people on the planet to visit your blog.

Blogging primarily depends on organic traffic from search engines. To be visible to the users on search engines, you need to write your content in a way that search engines like Google can understand and present your content to the users.

This process of making your posts search engine friendly is called Search Engine Optimization.

Hey! stop. SEO is not that hard. Here is what you need to do to make your posts appear friendly to search engines.

  • Include your target keyword at the beginning of your post title.
  • Make sure that your target keyword is included in the URL for that post.
  • Use your target keyword in the first two paragraphs of your post, because search engines often pull the meta description from the first two paragraphs.
  • Optimize your headings in the post to be relevant to the target keyword. Do not stuff your keyword, use it naturally.
  • Include your target keyword in the alt text of your images.

Prepare a content calendar and stick to it

As blogging is a continuous process, you should ensure that you post at a regular frequency. Posting randomly without any pattern will not yield the result that you are expecting.

You can use a spreadsheet to plan your content calendar or use project management tools like Trello, Asana, etc., to help keep yourselves organized.

It is quite easy to create a content calendar but hard to keep up with it. Be determined and try to stick with your plan, as much as possible. Most people fail in blogging because of the reduced drive to keep up with their plans.

Tips and Tricks to write awesome content

Not everyone who starts a blog is a professional writer, to avoid common mistakes that people tend to make often, you can make use of the following tips to write better.

  • Get your grammar correct. Avoid excessive passive voice and write with proper grammar. I use Grammarly to correct my mistakes in real-time, you can too. There is a free version, which is sufficient for most.
  • Write for your readers and not the search engines.
  • Nobody likes to read the content word by word. Use headings (H2 & H3) and short paragraphs to make your content easily skimmable.
  • Use bulleted points to break down longer content.
  • Highlight important points by making them bold.
  • Analyze your content’s performance and write more of what your audience likes.

Step 10: Bring Traffic to Your Blog

You are writing your content as per the plan and hitting publish button at a regular interval but you are seeing that nobody is visiting your site. Worry not, every successful blog out there has definitely experienced such a situation at the start.

The ideal way of bringing traffic to a blog is through search engines. But search engines will not give you any respect until you have credibility. Search engines operate by the mantra of E-A-T (Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness) so that they can provide accurate and relevant information to their users.

You may have come across many talking about how backlinks are the important factor that boosts your rankings. But, actually, it is not the case. Backlinks are only a part of the factors that contribute to your ranking on SERP.

Instead of buying backlinks for your new blog, focus on writing awesome content that your readers will love. Following are some of the proven ways that you can use to build your credibility for search engines.

Social Media

While the search engines are taking their own sweet time to evaluate your content before actually letting you in the SERPs, you can make use of the Social media platforms to bring traffic.

Social media used to be a great source of traffic. But over time, most social media platforms have started to implement various strategies that make the user stay and not go to any external sites.

At present, I found that Pinterest is the only social search engine that can bring you decent traffic to your new blog. Create eye-catching pins that grab the user’s attention so that they want to click through to your blog and learn more.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is the process of inviting a third party to write content on your blog.

Usually, experts in a given field are invited to write content as it will give credibility to the site and introduce the guest blogger to more new people. It’s a win-win for both parties.

For the new blog that we’ve just set up, we go the other way around and look out for the opportunity to write a guest post on other sites. This involves reaching out to other blogs and bloggers relevant to your niche and establishing relationships.

If you are following carefully, notice that I did not talk about backlinks here. Why? because Google expects backlinks to be earned naturally, not bought.

Here is what John Mueller from Google has to say about the value of backlinks in guest posts.

John Mueller explains the value of backlinks in guest posts.

Instead of just linking back to your blog from a guest post, you can link to the high-quality resources in your blog that the readers may find useful. This way you shall keep Google happy while also attracting meaningful traffic to your blog.

Step 11: Ways to Make Money Blogging

The prime intent of any new blogger is to earn a passive income at some point. We will explore a few ways that can help you earn your first dollar through your blog.

Sell your products or services

When you have a blog, it is easy for you to promote your product or service. The advantage of promoting your product or service in your blog is that you get to keep all the money that you make.

For instance, If you are a financial expert who writes about finances in your blog, you can choose to offer financial consulting to your readers.

Remember that your content and the product or service that you offer should be relevant and targeted to the type of audience you have.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting products that aren’t owned by you, in your blog by naturally linking to them within your article. When someone clicks on those links to buy the product you will earn a commission.

Display advertisements

You can sell ad spots on your blog to advertisers to promote their product or service relevant to the content you have.

You can signup for ad networks such as Google Adsense, Ezoic, AdThrive, Mediavine, etc., to let them put display advertisements in the form of images and/or videos within your blog posts.

To get accepted into many ad networks, your blog should have certain traffic or sessions per month, that may vary across the different ad etworks.

Sell Printables

The easy way to monetize your blog is to create a downloadable guide that you can sell to your readers. This is easy because there are no inventory or shipping costs involved.

The popular digital products are eBooks and Video tutorials. Based on the expertise you have, you can write a detailed eBook or create a video course if you are comfortable in front of a camera.

Congratulations on setting up your dream blog, the right way. Now, go ahead and create awesome content for your audience to help them make better decisions.

Quick Summary on Starting a Blog and Making Money

Here is what we have done to start your dream blog today,

I hope this guide has helped you start your blog, the right way. If you are facing any issues or need any advice, please feel free to contact me.

Happy blogging!

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San
San

San is crazy good at only one thing, taming the search engines to help businesses generate a bucket load of ROI through targeted organic traffic. He shares his learnings through this site to help people enter the world of the blog-o-sphere 📝 with confidence. Contact San for your bespoke technical SEO or javascript SEO needs.

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