How to Start a Blog & Make Money Online in 2018 – FREE Guide
If you are planning to start a blog and make a living out of it then you are at right place. This article “how to start a blog & make money online” will show you step-by-step guide to start your own blog in just 7 easy steps.
Note: You can make money from blogging but it’s not guaranteed. This does not happen overnight or even not in a week or month. It takes persistence and even some hard work – but you can do it if you’re serious and committed. This article is not for those who want to earn quick money from blogging.
My goal is to explain all the necessary steps which I have learned and experimented along the way to start a blog. There is no technical knowledge and experience required to do it. You need only Smart Mentor, Smart Tools and Smart Work. Just follow this blog and I will help you in everything from starting a blog to earn money online.
What is a Blog?
A blog originally came from the word “weblog” or a “web log“.
A blog is a online journal or diary where you can share your thoughts and views with the world. A blogger is someone who blogs, or writes content for a blog.
What is Blogging?
Blogging is the act of writing a post on a blog.
Today blogs are much much more powerful than earlier. People are choosing blogging as a career option and making a living out of it. I also blog to help people and share my passion with the world.
Why you should Create a Blog?
There are many reasons you might consider to create a blog. Here are few popular ones:
- Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information.
- It’s a great way to express yourself and your story with others.
- You are a writer and it’s your hobby to write about your interests.
- Author a book – It’s a lot easier to sell books to people who already know you.
- You can make money while working from home and even you can make money while you sleep.
- You want to become your own BOSS and want to get rid off 9 to 6 job.
If you see yourself in any of the above category, you must start your own blog.
How to Start a Blog?
Starting a blog is not a big deal but making a renowned blog is little bit hard. In fact, more than 3,00,000+ domain names registered every day but you can see yourself how many of them became brand.
More than 284 Million Domain names are registered on the web but renowned blogs are very less in Numbers. So if you also want to make your blog a brand then don’t forget the golden rule “Stay Focused, Be Consistent and Never Quit”.
Let’s discuss what are the key steps that will help you to start a blog and make your presence in the world.
7 Key Steps to Start a Blog:
- Step #1: Decide a Niche (What to blog about)
- Step #2: Choose a Blogging Platform (self-hosted recommended)
- Step #3: Pick a Domain Name (Choose a name for your blog)
- Step #4: Find a Web Host (Reliable web hosting provider)
- Step #5: Install WordPress (Takes about 5 minutes)
- Step #6: Design & Use your Blog
- Step #7: Secure your WordPress Website
- Bonus: Useful Resources for Blogging
Step #1: Decide a Niche (What to blog about)
If you are a part of any business, company or organization, this will be easy to determine. Your blog should be related to the product(s) or service(s) you provide.
If you’re an individual, you have more flexibility with the topic you enjoy like Tech Blog, Travel blog, Vegetarian blog, Romance blog, Affiliate Marketing blog, Political blog, Religion blog, Fashion blog, Photography blog, How to Guide blog, WordPress Guide blog etc.
Most importantly, choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority. Don’t choose a niche in which you are not comfortable or can’t write anything.
Forget what others are writing, just write what you love about. This is the only key factor that will keep motivated to become consistent and focused.
- 3 Key Steps to Choose the Perfect Niche For Your Blog
Step #2: Choose a Blogging Platform (self-hosted recommended)
There are many blogging platform you can use to start a blog or website. You may be tempted to use a free service like blogger.com or wordpress.com but you will be limited with these services. If you use any of the these free services then you will get the domain name like http://smartbloggingideas.blogspot.in/ or http://smartbloggingideas.wordpress.com/.
I personally use self hosted WordPress blog (WordPress.org) and appreciate its flexibility, functionality, ease of use and large community of people who share tools and ideas. This is the biggest blogging platform in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.
There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress. WordPress has 58.50% worldwide market share in content management systems (updated on Jan’2017).
To start your new self-hosted wordpress blog, you need to decide on two most important things: 1st a domain name and 2nd a web hosting provider. Our recommended host is BlueHost who provide a special deal for our visitors.
- WordPress Vs Blogger – Which is Right for You? (Pros and Cons)
Step #3: Pick a Domain Name (Choose a name for your blog)
A domain is a web address like SmartBloggingIdeas.com and its very important because:
- It’s your “first impression” for your visitors.
- It affects your rankings in search engines like Google & Yahoo.
- The most important, It defines your brand.
Your Domain name should be unique, concise and easily memorable so that your readers can easily remember your website address.
TIP: If you haven’t bought a domain name yet, go with BlueHost. They’re currently offering FREE domain name for anyone who signs up for their hosting service.
You can also register your favorite domain name with world’s largest #1 domain registrar GoDaddy.com that offers .COM Domain name in just Rs. 99 only.
- 10 Best Tips to Find a Perfect Domain Name for your Blog/Website
Step #4: Find a Web Host (Reliable web hosting provider)
Finding a reliable host is very important for any successful blog. If you accidentally host with a bad host then you may face customer support issue, hidden fees and frequent downtime with your blog.
To escape from these issues always go with highly recommended hosts.
WordPress.org itself recommends BlueHost, SiteGround, DreamHost & FlyWheel as Best WordPress Hosting Provider.
Personally I recommend BlueHost (www.bluehost.com) as best and reliable web hosting provider. As they provide best security & best features in the hosting world. Apart from this, you will get a major benefit of FREE Domain Name.
- Top 15 points to Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Provider
What you need to know about a Host?
Whatever host you sign-up they should provide you minimum following features:
- FREE Domain Name
- 1-Click WordPress Install
- Unmetered disk space, unmetered bandwidth, and unlimited email accounts.
- 24/7 customer support through chat, phone, or email.
- Minimum 30 days money back guarantee.
- Their service should be extremely easy to use, and specifically tailored for WordPress blogs.
Setup your blog with BlueHost + FREE Domain Name:
This section will help you to setup a web hosting account with BlueHost and FREE Domain Name. BlueHost offers all the above features with their Shared and WordPress hosting plans.
Step-1: Click here to visit BlueHost website and click on “Get Started Now” button to checkout different hosting plans.
Step-2: If you are just starting out, you should go with basic hosting plan to explore the options. As soon as you get decent visitors, you can upgrade Basic to Plus hosting plan. You should consider Prime version if your popularity shoots at the top.
Step-3: Next step is to search your desired domain name. If you don’t have a domain name then type your domain name in “new domain” and click on next button. If you already have a domain name with someone else and want to transfer then type your domain in “i have a domain name”.
Step-4: After selecting your domain name, BlueHost will automatically take you to the registration and package information page. Fill account information and select package information which you want to buy.
You can uncheck “Domain Privacy Protection”, “Site Backup Pro” and “SiteLock Security -Find” options if you don’t want to buy right now.
Step-5: You can make payment either with Credit Card or via PayPal. Select your payment mode and make payment to get your Domain with BlueHost.
Your Domain Name is ready with BlueHost Hosting account.
Step #5: Install WordPress (Takes about 5 minutes)
You have already registered your FREE domain name with BlueHost hosting provider, next step is to install WordPress on your website. This is just a 1-click WordPress installation and detailed guide with screenshots is mentioned below.
Step-1: Login to your BlueHost cPanel Account. and click on “hosting” tab at the top of the cPanel. Now scroll down and look for the “Website” section click on “Install WordPress” icon.
Step-2: Click on “Install” button under Do it yourself (FREE) option.
Step-3: Next option is to select your domain name for installation and enter a folder name in directory option or leave it blank if you are installing your first main website. Click on “Next” button to proceed for installation.
Step-4: Click on “Show advanced options”.
In this step, you can enter website title, user name and password. Keep a check mark on “Automatically create a new database for this installation”. Now read the terms and conditions and put a check mark on “I have read the terms and conditions of the GPLv2” option.
Click on “Install Now” button to install the WordPress on your website. The whole process will take about 1 minute. Don’t close the page until you see the confirmation message “Installation Complete”.
Step-5: Congratulations !!! Your WordPress installation is completed. An email will be sent to your registered email id about the login name and password information.
Finally you can login to your WordPress dashboard using your user name and password.
- Auto & Manual Guide to Install WordPress on BlueHost Panel
- Top 10 Most Recommended Things to do after Installing WordPress
Step #6: Design & Use your Blog
Designing a blog is also a very important part of your blog. Choose a theme that looks professional and pretty easy to customize. Remember, your blog’s design should reflect both you and your personality.
On top of that, it should be easy to navigate if you want people to stick around. If it’s tricky and difficult to move around it, people won’t stay. Don’t use FREE WordPress themes as they have their own limitations. Use paid and SEO optimized WordPress themes.
- How to Choose Best WordPress Themes for your Blog
- Top 25 FREE Responsive WordPress Themes
- Top 25 Premium Responsive WordPress Themes
Step #7: Secure your WordPress Website
WordPress is the most popular blogging and CMS system on the Internet which makes it a favorite target for hackers. Having a WordPress site means that you have to make some extra efforts in order to protect your and your visitors data.
If your website is a business, then you need to pay extra attention to your WordPress security. Because a hacked WordPress site can cause serious damage to your business revenue and reputation.
- 25 Simple Tricks to Secure Your WordPress Website
Bonus: Useful Resources for Blogging
Plugins are the heart of WordPress and they are the most powerful resource for blogging. Whether you want to take a backup of your website or want to secure your website from hackers, plugins play a very important and crucial role.
I have made many mistakes in my blogging career and learned so many things. That’s why I share everything which I learned during my blogging journey. You don’t have much time to repeat those mistakes again and again so learn from other experienced bloggers and always share your learning on your blog.
Whether you are a newbie or experienced blogger/webmaster there’s always a room for more learning and improvement. Following articles may help you to avoid some of the growing pains when it comes to your first blog.
Recommended things to do after creating a blog:
After successfully registering your domain and hosting with BlueHost, you need to configure, design and tweak your blog. You will find step by step guide below to configure wordpress blog and create your first blog post.
- Create a Perfect about us page (This page should tell everything about you and your blog).
- Add a contact us page/ form (So that your reader can contact you for any query or suggestion).
- Setup Social Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn to drive huge traffic to your website.
- Top 10 Websites to Create FREE Logo for your Blog/Website (Branding a Blog)
- Top 25 Best WordPress Recommended plugins you should install.
- How to Create Quality Content for your Blog?
Make Money Online:
There are so many ways to earn money online but only few bloggers find those perfect ways. In following articles we have explained how you can make money from your blog. Bookmark this page as we are continuously updating this with latest ways to earn money online.
- How to Make Money Blogging – A Beginner’s Guide
- Make Money Blogging with Hosting Affiliate Program – $10500/Month
Starting a blog is easy but creating a brand takes time. Always write quality and unique content for your readers. Your readers are your customers and you already know “Customer is King”. If you also want to make your blog a brand, don’t forget the golden rule.
“Stay Focused, Be Consistent and Never Quit”
I hope this article helped you learn how to start a blog. If you liked this post share with your friends, colleagues and loved ones.
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