How To Begin A Weblog in 2021 And Make Cash On-line! – Grasp Running a blog

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Want to start a blog? 

I’ll tell you what – let’s build one today. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re into travel, lifestyle, tech, personal finance, or whatever you’re passionate about. I can guarantee that, by the end of the day, you’ll have a full-fledged blog up and running. 

But first, allow me to address the most basic questions about this field. 

Let’s get started. 

Why Start a Blog in 2021

There are several, life-changing reasons why anyone should build a blog. 

Here’s my top five:  

1. Further your career 

If you’re dedicated to your profession, building a blog is a great way to bolster your credibility. This can provide you with more rewarding employment or even business opportunities.

2. Generate passive income 

Making money with your blog takes time, dedication, patience, and the right monetization strategies. Since it generates passive income, a blog has the potential to be your vehicle to financial freedom. 

3. Work anywhere and anytime 

There are tons of successful bloggers who have total control over their time while still making millions each month. You may not be a millionaire yet, but you should still be in charge of where and when to work.  

4. Build your network 

Carving a name for yourself in the blogging world will have an immensely positive impact on your professional network. It will allow you to you connect and perhaps collaborate with influencers, thought leaders, and known experts in your niche. 

5. Stay close to people who matter 

Running a profitable blog will afford you the freedom to stay close to your family even during busy days. And, for most successful bloggers, that’s infinitely more rewarding than the cash.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I want you to be hyped for the possibilities ahead. 

You don’t even have to achieve any of the things above. As long as you love what you do and strive to help your audience, you’re already successful in my book.

I also want you to throw all your doubts and worries out the door.

Remember, learning on the job is a huge part of blogging. 

With that in mind, I have a question for you:

Are you ready for your first step? 

If you answered yes, read on and let’s change your life. 

How to Start a Blog: The Best Way to do it

Here are the five important steps that every aspiring blogger needs to take to kickstart their blogging career: 

Step 1: Pick the perfect niche

In blogging, picking the perfect niche is the most important part. 

The niche you pick can make or break the profitability of your blogging business. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re the most talented writer or marketer on earth. If you chose the wrong niche, monetizing all your hard work can be next to impossible. 

Finding a niche can be a time-consuming process. In fact, it might require the most time out of all the steps we’ll cover in this post. 

The first order of business is to choose a core market: wealthhealth, and relationships

I know what you’re thinking: 

“Are those the only options?”

For now, yes. 

But remember that each core market has a virtually infinite pool of submarkets, niches, and micro niches underneath them. 

What are submarkets?

A submarket is a smaller segment with a core market. 

For example, if your core market is relationships, then “dating” can be your submarket. 

What are niches?

Within submarkets lie thousands – if not millions – of niches. 

Let’s say you went ahead and picked the dating submarket. Your niche could be “dating for men.” 

By now, your blogging niche should begin to take shape. Unfortunately, your niche is still too broad, especially for a newbie starting from scratch. 

This takes us to the next part of your niche hunt. 

What are micro niches?

Micro niches, also referred to as sub niches, are even smaller segments within a niche. 

The more in-tune you are with the needs of your industry, the easier it is to spot a micro niche.

For instance, the “dating for men” can be narrowed down to the following micro niches: 

  • Dating tips for shy men
  • Dating tips for men in college
  • Relationship advice for men in their 50s
  • Dating advice for Indian men

Still not sure how to come up with the perfect niche for you?

As tempting as it may be, you should never rush the process of selecting a niche. 

To help you through this process, here is a quick rundown of the best tips I’ve encountered through the years:

Build a list

Before you came to this guide, there’s a good chance you already have a couple of niche ideas in mind. 

Of course, you probably came up with a couple more after we discussed submarkets, niches, and micro niches.

What I want you to do is build a list of the potential niche ideas you have in your head. A spreadsheet tool like Google Sheets would be perfect for this. 

Why use a spreadsheet tool? 

Because we a clear and in-depth look at the factors that affect the profitability of a niche. 

Trust me – the more you read, the more this will make sense. 

Let’s get moving. 

Think about the monetization opportunities

Next to the list of niche ideas, create a new column called “monetization.”

The purpose of this column is pretty straightforward.

You need to look at the big picture and identify the ways to make your blog sustainable in each niche. 

For example, under “freelance writing in India,” here are a few monetization ideas you can write: 

  • Affiliate marketing (Grammarly, Canva, etc.) 
  • Online freelance writing course
  • Paid freelance job board listings
  • Sponsored job ads from companies
  • Sponsored posts from freelancing websites

Go ahead and plug those monetization opportunities in your list. 

Tip: To insert a new line within a single cell in Google Sheets, press ‘Alt’ + ‘Enter’ for Windows users. If you use macOS, press ‘control’ + ‘return’ instead. 

After this step, your list should now look like this: 

This makes it easier for you to determine the niches with the most lucrative and accessible monetization opportunities for you.

Look at the pros and cons of each niche

When brainstorming niche ideas, it’s important to have a close, objective look at each of their pros and cons. 

Off the top of your head, think of the reasons why you should and should not pick a niche. 

Picture this: you’ve been a freelance writer for several years in India. 

Some of the pros of choosing the “freelance writing in India” niche are as follows: 

  • I can provide tons of unique guides based on experience
  • I’m already connected with groups, influencers, and other bloggers
  • I know exactly what freelancers need to make their lives easier
  • I have a strong LinkedIn profile tied to freelancing

Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the cons.  

If you are personally passionate about your niche idea, there are only three things you should really be worried about. 

  • Monetization opportunities – The niche may be difficult to monetize. This can be due to the lack of profitable products or the unwillingness of your target audience to spend money.
  • High competitiveness – A lot of niches, particularly the profitable ones, are already saturated with bloggers. This can make it incredibly tough for newcomers to claim their fair share of the market.  
  • Little to no demand – Lastly, not all blog niche ideas have enough demand to make blogging about them worthwhile. You can easily tell if this is the case by doing keyword research and finding only low-volume keywords. 

In any of these cases, the only logical move is to look for another related sub-niche. 

There are tons of ways to do this, like looking at Google’s search suggestions and digging up related keywords. You can also go by your own knowledge of the industry and come up with related niches yourself.

Apart from discovering new niche ideas altogether, this will also help you gauge the scaling potential of your blog. 

Sure, your blog can focus on freelance writing in India for now. But down the line, you can also talk about stuff like content marketing and solo blogging in India. 

For a more detailed guide, I recommend checking out the “Exploring micro niches” section in this post. 

Start picking the winner

Let’s say here are your top three favorite niche ideas: 

  • Freelance writing
  • Dating for shy men
  • Weight loss through HIIT

The next step is to go over each item’s pros, cons, monetization opportunities, and related niches.

With all this information laid on the table, it’s only a matter of time before you pick one out. 

If you’re still having trouble finding the perfect blog niche, I have one last piece of advice for you.

Make it about you

Blogging requires you to bring your “A” game – not just today, but every day henceforth until you hit your goals. 

The only way to stay motivated in the long haul is to see your website as the digital extension of yourself. As such, it must talk about topics you genuinely care about. 

Sure, it’s not uncommon to find digital entrepreneurs with several blogs under various niches that generate income. But at the heart of their online endeavor is their main “money” site that aligns with their fields of interest. 

Here’s my advice: look for your Ikigai

It’s a Japanese principle that means “a reason for being alive” – dead center between your passion, mission, profession, and vocation. 

Get it?

Now, look at your list of top niche ideas and verify which can be considered your Ikigai.

You’ll know you found it if: 

  • You’re really good at it
  • You can get paid for it
  • There’s demand in that niche
  • You’re happy with your choice

If you pick your niche using your Ikigai, it’s much easier to be motivated and driven in the long run.  

Everything – from mastering new skills and writing insightful content – sounds better if you love what you’re doing. Just be sure it’s something you’re good at, you can be paid for, and the world needs. 

Step 2: Create the perfect blog name

Creating your blog’s name is where the fun starts. 

You probably already have some ideas after picking your niche. But before you jump the gun, let me help you get even more amazing blog name ideas.  

Brainstorm keywords 

There are two types of names you can use in your blog: branded names and keyword-based names

Both are equally good. And, in a lot of cases, bloggers use a combination of the two. 

For starters, a keyword-based blog name incorporates a target keyword or its variation – just like the name suggests. As a result, it can give readers an idea of what to expect in terms of content and product offerings. 

That’s why keyword-based blog names are also called “descriptive” names. 

There are plenty of popular blogs that have a keyword-based name, like: 

  • Backlinko.com
  • SocialMediaExaminer.com
  • SearchEngineLand.com

I don’t know about you, but coming up with a keyword-based blog name is much easier with a keyword list. 

You can use a keyword research tool like the Keyword Magic Tool from Semrush. Simply plug in any keyword, hit enter, and let the tool do the rest. 

Here’s another neat tool you can use to get keyword-based blog name ideas: Business Name Generator. 

All you have to do is enter a bunch of keywords that are relevant to your niche. 

Within seconds, you’ll get a bunch of cool-sounding name ideas you can use in your blog. 

Best of all, you can easily check if they are available to be registered as domains.  

Not sure what domains are? 

We’ll get to them later in this post. 

Before we do, we need to talk about branded domain names. 

Get creative with brandable words

A lot of guides recommend using keywords as an inspiration for your blog name. 

While it’s definitely sound advice, remember that there are countless blogs out there with totally unique names.  

Heard of these blogs?

  • Moz.com
  • PinchOfYum.com
  • ShoutMeLoud.com

Despite not having any keywords, these blog names managed to make a dent in their respective industries. 

All it takes is a little creativity and dedication to build the best possible blog you can offer readers. 

There are also, of course, a few tricks you can use to come up with a unique, branded blog name. 

First, you can use your name.  

Successful bloggers like Neil Patel and Camila Coelho did it, and it worked out exceedingly well for them. 

Some bloggers also add a unique twist to their name to make it more memorable. 

Alex In Wanderland, for instance, is one of my favorite website names in the travel blogging sphere. 

Using clever wordplay, blogger Alexandra Baackes created a name that’s unique, brandable, and easy to remember. The name also hints what the blog is about despite not having any keywords.  

You can achieve the same effect by mixing your name with popular phrases, terms, and slang words. 

For example, in the writing industry, “listicle” is a popular term for articles that mainly feature a list. And if your name is “Lynn,” a few blog name ideas would be: 

  • Lynnsticles.com
  • Listiclelynn.com
  • Listilynne.com

It seems difficult at first. But when you think about it, you’ll realize that we have access to dozens of useful word ideas. 

A quick Google search will point you to the resources you need. 

Write a mission statement

When thinking of a blog name, it helps to ask yourself this question: 

“What will I say if people ask about my blog name’s origin?”

Will you say that you just came up with it using words from Google? Or will you give a true, compelling reason behind your blog’s name?

If you prefer the latter, consider writing a mission statement to craft a meaningful blog name. 

A mission statement doesn’t only give your blogging journey a sense of purpose. It also provides you with a lot of meaningful words, which you can use to name your endeavor. 

In addition to your niche, you need to clarify three more things for your mission statement:

  • Your target audience – Who is your blog for? 
  • Your value proposition – What will your target audience gain from reading your blog?
  • How to describe yourself – How would you like to be referred to?

After acquiring these, you need to put them all together into one cohesive and authoritative paragraph. 

Here is an example of a mission statement with all the pieces:

Granted, that value proposition is far from perfect. But it’s definitely filled with meaningful words that can make your blog name more meaningful. 

Below are some useful keywords you can pluck out from the example mission statement above:

  • Digital
  • Entrepreneur
  • Aspiring 
  • Indian
  • Writers
  • Guides
  • Tutorials
  • SEO
  • Copywriting
  • Tips

With all the information we’ve gathered so far, here are a couple of blog name ideas:

  • LynnDigital.com
  • ListicleLynnGuides.com
  • ListicleTutorials.com

Just go with your instincts

Still not happy with your blog name idea?

Don’t sweat it. 

In blogging, there’s no such thing as a perfect launch.

That’s why I don’t want you to overthink the process of naming your blog. 

I, for one, used to call this blog “BloggerTipsTricks.com.

I know – that doesn’t sound catchy at all. You can even make the argument that it’s a little hard and awkward to say. 

Fortunately, mistakes are allowed in the science of blogging. 

When I realized that, I completely rebranded my blog to Master Blogging. 

Sure, renaming a blog comes will cause some setbacks. 

You may lose some rankings and break a handful of backlinks. However, you won’t encounter anything you can’t overcome with a little research and hard work. 

See if it’s available

The next and final step in naming a blog is verifying its availability as a domain name.

Remember that a blog’s domain doesn’t have to be the same as its actual name. But if it is, it’ll be easier for your audience to remember you – not to mention it’s better for branding.  

To check a domain’s availability, simply go to a registrar like NameCheap and enter your desired blog name. 

After clicking ‘Search,’ give NameCheap a few seconds to find available domains that match your blog name.

To see how it works, have a look at its domain suggestions for the name “Listicle Lynn Digital.”

If all goes well, there should be a couple of matching domains available using different TLDs or “Top-Level Domains.”

Don’t know what TLDs are?

Basically, these are the extensions you find at the end of domain names, like “.com,” “.net,” and “.org.”

Now, a lot of marketers believe that getting the “.com” domain is crucial if you want high search engine rankings. Unfortunately for them, Google’s very own John Mueller stated that all TLDs are treated the same. 

With all that out of the way, let’s move on to the next step in starting a blog in 2021.

Step 3: Register and host your domain

If you found an available domain that matches your blog name, your next move is to register it. 

You can do this straight from NameCheap’s domain suggestions page. Just click ‘Add to Cart’ and follow their checkout process.  

Keep in mind that I’m not forcing you to use NameCheap. You’re free to use other registrars as long as you end up with your desired domain’s ownership. 

What you need to really think about is your web hosting solution. 

I have here a complete comparison of the best WordPress hosting services for bloggers. 

Give it a thorough read to learn about their features, pros, and cons. 

Once you find one that matches your preferences, hosting your domain should only take a couple of minutes.   

Hosting your domain 

For the sake of this guide, let’s say you chose Bluehost as your web hosting service provider. 

I recommend Bluehost for the following reasons: 

  • Reliable, lifetime customer support – Having a reliable team of customer support representatives is very important in a web hosting company. Remember, only they can help you through server-side issues like downtimes and software failures. 
  • Easy to use – Bluehost makes sure to keep the visual clutter down in their online interface. This makes it easy to find the exact features and tools you need when managing your domains and websites.  
  • Excellent WordPress hosting options – Bluehost’s hosting packages for WordPress websites are nothing short of top-notch. Despite the affordable price, you can get premium WordPress services like automatic installation and performance optimization.

To host your website with Bluehost, the first step is to choose the right hosting plan.

I recommend checking out either their “WordPress Hosting or “Managed WordPress” solution. Both are fine-tuned to the needs of aspiring bloggers.

Let’s say you wanted Bluehost’s unmanaged WordPress hosting solution.

On the pricing page, choose the pricing plan that suits your needs and budget.

Since your blog is new, there’s no reason to invest in the most expensive web hosting plan just yet. Any entry-level web hosting solution should be enough to get your blog off the ground. 

Realistically, your website won’t have to deal with heavy traffic during the first few months. That said, even the cheapest web hosting plan should be able to adequately handle your blog’s needs.

Next up, you need to set up your domain. 

If you already registered your domain name with NameCheap, use the ‘I already have a domain’ panel. Otherwise, select ‘Create a new domain’ and type in your desired domain name while selecting your preferred TLD.

Finally, you need to review and complete your order by filling in your details. 

Some of the required basic information are your email address, location, and payment information. 

Before completing your payment, be sure to check the ‘Package Information’ and ‘Package Extras’ sections.

Here, you can review your account plan, hosting price, and product add-ons. 

You can easily avail package extras by ticking their checkbox before completing the checkout process. Some of the options include:

  • Domain Privacy + Protection service
  • Codeguard Basic
  • Bluehost SEO Tools
  • SiteLock Security Essential
  • Microsoft Office 365

Keep in mind that this process should be somewhat the same regardless of the web hosting service you use. 

The only thing different would be the add-on services you can avail with your hosting plan. 

Upon finishing your order, you should now be able to log in to your Bluehost account and manage your domains. 

What you need to do now is to install WordPress and start customizing your blog. 

Step 4: Installing WordPress

Fun fact: WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular CMS or Content Management System for bloggers.  

It actually powers 39.5 percent of all websites on the web. 

Due to its popularity, most web hosting platforms – including Bluehost – has an express WordPress installation tool. 

For example, several hosting companies like GoDaddy use Installatron to automate the task. 

The installation steps, of course, depend on the tool you’ll use. 

Fortunately, you don’t need to know anything about web development at all to install WordPress. Simply follow the on-screen instructions and your dashboard should be ready in no time. 

Logging in to your WordPress dashboard

During installation, you will be prompted to create your WordPress administrator account.

You can use your credentials on the WordPress login page, which can be accessed via a specific URL. 

By default, you can go to the login page by adding “/wp-admin” to your domain.

For instance, if your domain is “www.listiclelynn.digital,” use the URL below to go to the WordPress login page.

Pro tip: using a custom URL for your WordPress login page adds another layer of security against brute force attacks. You can set this up from your web hosting account, including through the WordPress installation tool. 

On the login page, plug in the credentials for the administrator account you created earlier. 

When you’re in, the first thing you’ll see is your very own WordPress dashboard. 

Congratulations – you’re now officially a blogger with your very own website. 

This is what your WordPress dashboard could look like after a couple of months blogging. 

The dashboard is where you can get quick updates on the important stuff. This includes plugin updates, “Site Health” alerts, recent comments, and WordPress-related news. 

First time logging in?

Look at the “Welcome to WordPress” section for the quickest way to launch your blog. I suggest clicking either ‘Customize Your Site’ or ‘change your theme completely’ as your first step. 

One of the reasons why WordPress is so popular is the crazy number of themes you can use. 

There are loads of themes designed for online stores, personal blogs, food blogs, news websites, agency websites, and so on. 

Feel free to try any theme that catches your attention. 

If you need some ideas, here are a few resources that can help depending on the niche you’re in:

Most of the themes available come with a premium version with extra features and customization options. Before you get too excited, let me show you what serious bloggers do on their first day with WordPress. 

Step 5: Get a powerful page builder

Customizing your WordPress website is easy. 

Building a totally unique website with custom pages, however, is a different story. 

You see, basic elements like fonts, colors, and logos can be easily changed via the built-in theme customizer. But to build breathtaking pages with custom elements like content cards, accordions, and comment forms, you need a page builder. 

What are page builders?

Put simply, page builders allow you to change what WordPress’s theme customizer can’t. 

You can build custom pages from scratch using a drag-and-drop editor, change aspects like padding and margins, and so on. 

These customizations can be done regardless of the theme you chose for your blog. However, certain themes are made with a specific page builder in mind. 

Premium page builders also include advanced customization options for buttons, headings, dividers, images – pretty much every page element that exists. 

How to install a page builder?

Here’s the cool thing: you can install top-of-the-line page builders like Elementorfor free. 

You can find them on the official WordPress plugin repository. 

To install page builders from your WordPress dashboard, select ‘Plugins’ then click ‘Add New.’

There, just use the search bar and enter the name of the specific page builder you want to use. 

Suppose you want to install Elementor. 

Just use “Elementor” as your search keyword and that’s it. 

You should be able to install and activate the plugin from there. Just click ‘Install Now’ and then click ‘Activate’ once the installation completes. 

How to use page builders?

Most page builders have a collection of pre-made elements you can easily pop into any existing page. 

Elementor, for example, has truckloads of elements you can use – from animated headlines to pre-designed author boxes. 

You just need to visualize what you want on your page, search for the right elements, and drag them in.

Elementor also allows you to fine-tune aspects of your website that are inaccessible using the built-in customizer. You can edit margins between sections, adjust the padding of content areas, customize your site’s footer, and so on. 

You can also change the appearance of each page on mobile devices. 

You can do this by activating “Responsive Mode” and selecting the device you want to design for. This will allow you to customize exactly how your website looks to users on a smartphone or tablet. 

Selecting either ‘Tablet’ or ‘Mobile’ will immediately refresh the preview window to match the chosen device. 

You can then use Elementor’s drag-and-drop editor to customize the appearance of your page as you see fit. 

Should you pay for a page builder?

The free versions of WordPress page builders come packaged with the essential features. You can construct landing pages from scratch, use the drag-and-drop interface, insert interactive elements, and more. 

I do, however, recommend getting a premium page builder for advantages like: 

  • Future updates – Premium page builders regularly receive updates that improve the software’s stability and functionality. This is a way to future-proof any website you build – regardless of niche and purpose.
  • Customer support – To help you make the most out of your page builder, developers offer premium support to paying customers. Aside from getting practical tips, they will also help you work your way around problems like bugs and troubleshooting. 
  • Premium templates – Page builders like Elementor provide hundreds of professionally-designed page and section templates to premium users. Of course, these templates are fully customizable so they can still be your own designs despite being pre-built.
  • Custom CSS – Advanced users can take advantage of custom CSS support to customize every fine detail of their website. Some page builders like Elementor only include this feature in their “Pro” versions.
  • Additional elements – Most page builders offer additional element blocks to paid users. This can include anything from form widgets to pricing tables. 

Just bear in mind that not all page builders can be found on WordPress’s official library. 

Builders like Thrive Architect and Divi, for example, can only be downloaded from their respective websites.

Also remember that you can install pretty much any plugin using the same methods highlighted above. Simply use the search bar, click ‘Install,’ then click ‘Activate’ when the option becomes available.  

Speaking of plugins, here are some resources you can refer to:

Step 6: Build your essential pages

After completing the steps above, you should now have a professional-looking website – ready to wow some readers. 

Nice. 

However, what you have right there is just a skeleton of what can be a great blog. 

First things first, you need to build the important pages that every website needs. 

I’m talking about your contact page, homepage, and “about” page.

Building your homepage

A lot of new bloggers depend on their theme for their homepage’s design. 

Why wouldn’t they?

If you’re using a premium page builder, you should have plenty of ready-to-use templates to draw inspiration from.

Naturally, you still need to fine-tune these templates in order to make your website unique. But as far as the direction of your homepage’s design goes, you’re pretty much all set.

If, however, you prefer to build your homepage from scratch, below are some tips:

  • Start with an irresistible offer – Profitable blogs present visitors with a clear offer on their homepage – right above the fold. This may include a catchy value proposition, a call-to-action button, an opt-in form, or a mix of everything. 
  • Showcase your top content – If your offer doesn’t catch your audience’s attention, perhaps your most popular pieces of content will do a better job. It may also be a good idea to highlight your most recent posts to give returning visitors something fresh.
  • Introduce yourself – Adding a short “About Me” section on your homepage is completely optional, but it’s definitely a great idea. You can add your photo, mention your credentials, and add a link to your full-length About Me page.
  • Keep the clutter down – When a visitor lands on your homepage, you want them to focus on the elements that matter. That said, avoid adding anything that users don’t really need to see. 
  • Add some social proof – A great way to win your target audience’s trust is to show them some social proof. Testimonials are, by a mile, the most common type of social proof bloggers use on their homepage. 
  • Include footer links – A footer with links to important pages is not only important on your homepage, but everywhere else as well. Personally, I use it to highlight special discounts for tools and cutting-edge resources for bloggers.

Building your About Me page

The About Me page is where users can get to know you a little better. 

More importantly, it should provide a satisfactory answer to a crucial question: 

“Why should readers trust you?”

To do this, your About Me page should contain the following things:

  • Killer headline – Top bloggers kick off their About Me page with a powerful headline that inspires people to read the whole page. Brian Dean, for example, starts with this: “Want higher rankings and more traffic? You’ve come to the right place.”
  • Powerful introduction – The introduction on your About Me page should sparkle with your genuine personality. Make yourself relatable while also authoritative by telling readers about your experience and specializations. 
  • Social proof – To make it easier for readers to trust you, include positive testimonials from other readers, customers, and influencers. You can also create an “As Seen In” section where you mention popular publications you’ve been featured in.
  • Don’t forget your CTA – As always, you should show your audience what to do next by including a CTA and a clear value proposition. Remember, reading a blog’s About Me page is a good indication of interest – capitalize on it. 

For more tips on writing an About Me page, read this guide.

Building your “Contact Us” page

Adding a Contact Us page to your blog not only helps certain people reach out to you. 

It also shows that you’re willing to listen to your audience. 

That, alone, has a positive effect on your blogging brand. 

The good news is, you don’t need to be a web development expert to build a contact page.

Tools like Elementor allow you to integrate a functional contact form into any page with just a few clicks.

Of course, you don’t have to rely on a contact page to encourage readers to communicate. The current version of the page builder even supports Facebook comments to encourage more users to chip in their thoughts. 

If you’re not using a page builder, you can count on contact form plugins instead.

A popular option would be WPForms Lite – a free contact form plugin that integrates with third-party services like:

  • Mailchimp
  • GetResponse
  • PayPal
  • ActiveCampaign

Of course, you can also use the built-in form builders of your favorite email marketing platform.

Doing so is a great way to streamline your lead generation, segmentation, and nurturing processes. It also gives you access to advanced analytics tools to help you make data-driven decisions. 

Step 7: Plan your content strategy

Now that your website’s online, it’s time to develop a content strategy.

After all, a blog isn’t a blog if it doesn’t have valuable content.

As easy as writing sounds, creating blog content can be a long and elaborate process. 

Here – let me break down the steps for you.

Find keywords

Keyword research is an essential phase of content development. 

Remember, you may be the most talented writer in the world. But without a keyword strategy, it’s nigh impossible for your blog to generate organic traffic. 

That’s because keywords allow content to rank in search engine results. 

For example, I optimized this post for the keyword “Grammarly discount.” 

So, whenever someone searches for that keyword on Google, they can find my post.

To look for target keywords, you need to get yourself a decent keyword research tool. 

My top recommendation would be the Keyword Magic Tool from Semrush.

It’s a little bit pricey, sure. But it has everything you need to be competitive in your niche’s SEO arena. 

Besides, you can count on the free trial to get you a handful of profitable keyword ideas per day.

To use it, simply create a free trial account and click ‘Keyword Magic Tool’ under the “Keyword Research” sub-menu. 

On Keyword Magic Tool’s main interface, just plug in any broad keyword related to the topic you have in mind. 

For example, if you want to write a copywriting guide, you can start nice and easy with the keyword “copywriting.”

Keyword Magic Tool will immediately present you with a list of keyword suggestions relevant to your query. 

Also included are crucial keyword metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, and Cost Per Click (CPC). These numbers will help you find lucrative keyword opportunities that can help a budding blog grow. 

If you want better keyword suggestions, you can make them more specific by using filters. 

Since you’re planning to write a guide, you can use the “Include keywords” filter to narrow down your keyword pool. Simply click ‘Include keywords’ and type in the keywords related to the topic you want to write about. 

Just be sure to select ‘Any keywords’ so that the keyword suggestions don’t have to check all the boxes.

It won’t take long before the Keyword Magic Tool refreshes the page with a more refined list of suggestions. 

Not sure how to pick the right keywords for your blog? 

Be sure to check out my ultimate guide to keyword research for everything you need to know. That includes keyword search intent, keyword research types, and more. 

Start writing

Seasoned bloggers aim to have a list of target keyword ideas enough for a whole month’s worth of content. 

With the list in hand, they create an editorial calendar that will help maximize their productivity. 

It looks something like this: 

I used the tool CoSchedule to build that editorial calendar. If you’re not ready to invest in another paid tool yet, feel free to use your computer’s built-in calendar app. 

You can refer to this post for the nitty-gritty of creating your own content calendar. When it comes to content writing, here’s a list of guides you’ll surely find helpful:

Promote

In blogging, promoting your content can be just as time-consuming as creating them. 

Don’t worry – this is actually where blogging starts to be rewarding. 

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing readers roll in after your first content promotion. The best part is, you don’t even need to spend cash to execute some of the top strategies in the book. 

I put together this guide about 17 ways to promote blog posts for free. 

In there, you’ll learn about the following: 

  • Promoting content through social media – Build an authoritative social media presence and get quality traffic right away. 
  • Promoting content on Q&A websites – Establish your credibility as an information source by sharing your content with people who need them. 
  • Building an email list – Get recurring traffic and build loyalty through effective email marketing strategies.
  • Watching for brand mentions – Engage people who are already talking about you.
  • Using Viral Content Bee – Use an automated platform to generate traffic from social media shares.
  • Write shareable content – Leverage the reach of other bloggers by writing an expert roundup or “ego bait” articles to get backlinks.

Just a fair warning: producing and promoting blog content aren’t easy.

There will be times when you’d feel like you’ve wasted hours on a post that generates zero traffic. Other times, it just seems that no one is really interested in reading your blog. 

The secret here is to stay consistent at ensuring content quality. 

Powerful and shareable posts can sell themselves. They just need a drizzle of proven content promotion tactics – it won’t be long before your blog generates steady traffic.  

What to do next?  

Your very own domain? Check. 

A professional-looking, custom theme? Check. 

An actionable content marketing game plan? Checkaroonie. 

It looks like you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. Just remember that, after everything you’ve learned today, there’s still one thing missing: 

One word: monetization.

Let’s face it, most people nowadays start a blog as a source of income. 

That’s why I advised you to think about monetization when brainstorming niche ideas. 

You can revisit your niche ideas list and explore those monetization opportunities at your own pace. In the meantime, make sure to bookmark this list of 89 blog monetization ideas. 

It will help get your feet wet in the following monetization strategies for bloggers: 

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Content sponsorships
  • Selling physical products
  • Advertising
  • Social media sponsorships
  • And many more

As a final piece of advice, don’t just rely on one monetization strategy. 

Weigh your options so you know your priorities. However, you shouldn’t cross out a monetization idea just because one strategy will work better for you. 

Conclusion

There you have it – how to start a blog and make money writing about what you love. 

Reading this post may have cost you 10 minutes tops. But the stuff you learned should stick with you for the rest of your blogging career. 

The road ahead is long and difficult. But there’s nothing a little perseverance, vision, and the right guidance can’t solve. 

If you have any more questions about blogging, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. 

Good luck! 

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