How to Build a Blog in 2020?

974

Welcome to an Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Website or a Blog in 2020

Hey, before we jump directly into making a blog or a website and learn how to earn from them, let’s get introduced to what a “Blog” is, shall we? 

What is blog?

Nowadays, many of us call ourselves bloggers without even knowing what blogging is. We go through several websites and blogging sites every day, some of us know which is what and some do not have a clue at all. Today the buzz words are “blogs”, “blogging” and others.

What are they?

What is a blog?

Why are people in today’s generation crazy about it?

Well, a “BLOG” is simply an abbreviation for “WEBLOG”, which is referred to as a “regularly updated” website or a webpage usually maintained by an individual or a small group. The content is generally written in an informal or conversational style. The one who writes blogs is called a BLOGGER and the process of writing blogs is called BLOGGING.

Blogging is popular because anyone can do it and many bloggers are making serious money at it.

Many companies have started paying bloggers to write about their products because it gave them a platform to get their goodies advertised in front of the blog readers. There are several reasons why people are choosing to become a blogger, a few are mentioned below. Take a look:

  • To Share Knowledge
  • Hobby/Interest in Writing
  • Networking
  • Digital Nomad lifestyle
  • Fame/Popularity
  • For making money
  • Advertising and Branding
  • To connect with like-minded people
  • To create awareness or get your voice heard
  • Self Promotion and build your personal brand
  • To find new jobs
  • To help others
  • Stays in touch
  • To satisfy your creative side
  • Create a record
  • To gain knowledge

These are just to name a few. I am sure you have similar aspirations too. Don’t you? 

So, let’s get started with your blog then! 

This Blog of yours can be of many types and free to be in its own way. Like, a blog can feature free diary-type conversations and links to articles in other websites, usually presented as a list of entries so that you have almost all the relevant data for a topic at one stop.

Blogs can range from the personal to very critical topics such as nature and politics and can focus on one subtopic or a whole range of subjects. It depends on how vast knowledge you have on a topic and what story you’d like to present in your blog.

Now that we know a bit about the Blogs. Let’s jump further deeper into this topic to know more about its benefits and uses and how we can actually create a blog and also earn from our blogging.

NOTE

To cut things short, please be informed that this blog that you’re going through now, is about a 15 minutes read. Yes, it’s a one-stop-shop for new/ upcoming bloggers to get ideas of what new bloggers should know when they want to start a blog today

As you read through, you’ll find steps that will help you build your own WordPress blog with the one-click install using Bluehost (hosting provider trusted by millions of customers).

Here are easy 11 steps to start your own blog:

Setting up a blog and getting paid for it becomes easy when few initial steps are taken right! Below I’ve listed in detail everything you need to know if you are a beginner and want to set up a blog. Let’s go!

Step 1: Select a topic you’d like to blog on

Before you can go select your platform and claim a website it is of utmost importance that you have a set of a few things straight in your mind that lead you towards your goal. And the first and very important thing on this list is the topic you’d like to share with the viewers.

You should be prepared with your niche idea fixated in your mind. That will be the content of the website which will be covered in your blog extensively for your viewers.

Next, you will need to identify who your potential readers are. That is because, without them, your blog is useless, your effort is futile and your energy and time are spent in the drain. So, the target audience is important. 

This is listed out as the important step because, like we lay a foundation to a building before a building is built, to give it a firm and long-lasting life, it is important for you to discover and believe in your niche and then move on to prioritizing it mostly in your blog. 

How to find out what your potential niche can be?

Here are some of the very popular niches I have listed for you, maybe you can step up and take a look, be inspired, and find what your calling is.

Learn How To Find Blog Niche

Step 2: Select a blogging platform

Now that our foundation has been laid and you are set with a niche to focus on, you need a platform for it to be showcased. You can categorize all the blogging platforms out there for you to choose from into two types: free and self-hosted. 

Well, if you are believing in this job for a long period of time, then I recommend a self-hosted platform, why? Here’s why.

Free Blogging Platforms:

I understand, being a novice, it is often more tempting to have a free site/ platform for you to showcase what you have got! I get that, we have all been there. But let my mistake be a lesson for me and most importantly you before you make one. 

But, please do not make the same mistake I had made in my past. Even though these are free and easy to use, they have many shortcomings and drawbacks. 

Some cons that they come by are: Firstly, they don’t let you have your own website name.

Secondly, you’ll have to follow their rules and regulations. and mostly restrictions.

Moreover, we have also noticed that using these free platforms also limits your earning capabilities through ads that could be running on your blog/site. If you are looking for serious business opportunities from blogging, you may want to think twice before choosing a free platform for your blog.

Here are some platforms that may help you build a site for free for a few days- 

  • WordPress
  • Tumbler 
  • Medium 
  • Blogger

Self-hosted platforms: 

One top reason that I recommend the Self-hosted Platform is that you can be the absolute owner of your domain and can have your rules and regulations without someone enforcing and imposing theirs.

The most popular platform for Self-hosted sites is WordPress.org. This software is considered self-hosted because you will be allowed to use your own web hosting name and space for your site.

If you use the hosting company that I refer to, you will get a FREE name (domain) for the first year and will cost just a few bucks per month for hosting the account. If it is a difficult task to understand how to create a blog then you can take my Free Blog Setup Service. 

NOTE

 For creating a WordPress blog, you should have decided beforehand, two important things: a domain name and a web hosting provider. Then, I would recommend you to try Bluehost or Siteground providers for hosting your website. These two companies power over 2 million websites worldwide.

If you take my referral, you will be entitled for the following

  • A free domain name for the first year
  • 30-day money-back guarantee period
  • FREE SSL Certificate Included
  • Discounted price 3.95$ per month
Click here to claim the offer

Step 3: Pick a domain name, host it and install WordPress

It is very important that your domain name is unique and identifies with the kind of work your website does. It should be synonymous with the essence of the blog site. The name should be catchy, and inquisitive. It should be able to grab the attention of the seeker.

But remember, that your blog’s name need not be something you give your utmost time to. Many top bloggers have very subtle names, mostly their own names but they build such an amazing audience that the name does not matter much after all takes a backseat.

 If you still can’t figure out a good name for your blog, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stop Being a perfectionist. The major focus of your blogging is the content that you’re trying to reach out to more people with. This is only one important part of blogging but not the most important one. So, STOP wasting time here. For instance, Jon Morrow changed the name of his blog BoostBlogTraffic to SmartBlogger. This blog gets more than a million visitors every year. Simple is the best! 
  • Don’t drain yourself to pick a cool name. If you want to use the word Fine, use Fine rather than F9 even if Fine isn’t available. Such creative names are not only difficult to remember they also make it difficult to build a brand in the long term.
  • Keep it short and simple. The shorter the better. The shorter the name, the easier for the user to remember it.

Here is the website that I came across that will help you get your domain names and hosts for your blogs. I hope this helps!

The most commonly used platform for new start-ups as bloggers is WordPress. It is easy, reliable, and user friendly. We’re using Bluehost and SiteGround to install WordPress. 

Follow the steps below one by one, to do the installing part using Bluehost 

  1. Use this link to visit Bluehost. Then click the “Get Started Now” button.

    Bluehost Discount Offer

  2. There are several plans given, select your blog’s hosting plan.  If this is your very first time, you may go with the basic one– to at least learn and explore the options. The one called ‘plus’ should be able to cover all your needs. Once you are used to this and are comfortable around it, you can upgrade it to the pro version when you meet your targets.

    bluehost plans

  3. Add the domain name of your blog: Like we already talked about, your domain name has an important role, in the success of your blog, so you should take some of your time to come up with something new, readable, and unique.  Just type in your domain name that you have come up within the “new domain” box, Bluehost will show if that name is available for the grab or not on the screen itself. If it is not available, it will give you suggestions around it that you can choose from.
    Choosing a domain name with bluehost
  4. Registering for Bluehost: After confirming your domain name, the host- Bluehost will take you to the registration page where it will be required for you to fill out a form asking for your personal information, including the billing data. You may have to spend a couple of minutes here.Personal details in Bluehost
  5. Select Hosting Options: You must pay attention while selecting the hosting options. You will see a 36-month package available for the taking, but also consider the other packages too as they are also lucrative if you think of blogging as your long term aspirations. However, you are the best judge of your financials, so I will leave it up to you. blue host package information while hosting a blog

     

    Next, we need to complete the payment section to finalize your hosting account.

    Bluehost Payment information

    Do not forget to tick the checkbox for the terms and conditions of Bluehost and finally, click on the green-colored “Submit” button to finish the purchase.

    Congratulations! Your purchase is now complete and we can move forward with going live with your blog. 

  6. Launching your WordPress using BlueHost: Once the domain name and the other website hosting connections are completed, it’s that time when you need to set up WordPress with just one magic click.

    For that, you can go to Bluehost cPanel account>> My Sites>> Click Install WordPress.This is the famous one-step connection that Blue host gives you which enables- making web pages/blogs as easy as they can get. 

    Click_to_Install WordPress

    Simply click “Continue installation” to start the process.

    The next step is to select the domain name that you want to install WordPress on.

    blue host wordpress installation

    Next, fill in the Admin Information to access your WordPress members area. (simply fill in your blog name or title, then create a username and password. Do not forget to enter your primary email ID for receiving the admin related emails).

    Additonal info bluehost while wordpress installation

    On clicking “Next”, you will see a page as shown below. This page will take a minute or two to load, as WordPress is being installed on your site. You can simply wait for this process to complete, or browse through some of the WordPress themes and options offered on the page.

    WordPress Installation Complete

    Once the WordPress installation process is complete, you will then be taken to the last page of this process — which will show your WordPress login details.

    installation completed

    That’s it! It’s really that easy to setup a hosting account, get a domain name and install WordPress — everything you need to go live with a blog of your own.

  7. Now, when you go to your site’s URL, you will see a ‘Coming Soon’ page. Do not worry! That is because the site hasn’t gone live yet. To set it live, you will need to set up and design a WordPress site before launching it, but we can get to that later. Once this is done, go back to the cPanel and hit ‘Launch.’

Step 4: Design your blog with Elegant themes

Now that you own a website of your own, you will now need to customize according to your blog site. You have to make it as relevant to the theme of your blog. You have to write your story in such a way that it will reflect the content to your audience and grab their attention.

Tip

Make sure to keep your pages subtle with pastel colors and add tint to it only for the corporate blogs. Use flowers or be more colorful for blogs on food, nature and other non-corporate subjects.

“Divi” is one of the best themes available in WordPress. It takes WordPress to a whole new level with its incredibly advanced visual builder technology. It makes the task so much easier, faster and fun to work with.

Here are some interesting elements of the “Divi” from Elegant themes

  • Drag and Drop Building
  • True Visual Editing
  • Custom CSS control
  • Responsive Edition
  • Design Options Galore
  • Inline Text Editing
  • Save and Manage your Designs
  • Global Elements and Styles
  • Undo, Redo, and Revisions

Divi combines great looks with a wealth of impressive features to deliver a truly useful multipurpose WordPress theme and it is a powerful theme that can be used to create any type of website with WordPress. 

Other recommended themes are Envato ThemeForest and Astral themes. 

Step 5:  Install the important plugins

Now that you know about WordPress and its uses, you may want to download its plugins for better usage of the platform. Here, let me help you with some videos that may help you

Following are a few plugins that may help you enhance your newly created WordPress blog:

  1. Akismet – Spam fighting service to protect your website from comment and contact form spam.
  2. Rank math – An excellent SEO plug-in that will help rank your website pages higher by providing a better and more efficient way to use SEO.
  3. Wp super cache – Speed up your WordPress Blog significantly.
  4. Sucuri security – Protection of your data and content is an important part of blogging. With this plug-in, security monitoring and malware detection can be done in the best possible way.
  5. Smush – Optimize your images without losing quality which helps to increase the loading speed of the website.
  6. Internal link juicer –  It turns keywords into links. You assign the keywords directly to the relevant post, this plugin builds the internal links automatically later.

Now if you have followed me so far, and have completed all the steps till now, your blog is up and ready.

Step 6: Develop quality content

Writing quality content is important. You can spend some time creating quality content and build a strong brand. Or you can choose a simple path and write poor content which will get you nowhere. If you ask me, this will result in a waste of time, energy, and resources.

Quality content will help your blog get more exposure. For example, Google doesn’t like and they will penalize sites with duplicate content.  

Tip

Make sure your first blog is with your introduction / your brand’s introduction and more about it than you. When we make a business out of the web blogging, it is very important to let the user feel as if you are talking to them face to face. Make sure to connect with the people and majorly let your work speak for you. 

There are thousands of blogs out there with similar content as you. If you want your blog to stand out, you have to improve every single facet of the blog writing game.

What really matters is the value that you can provide your readers through your content. So, to make your life a little easy, I will post some tips to write high-quality content

Step 7: Promote your Blog content

Here comes an important question. What do you do after publishing them?

All you need to do is drive traffic to the blog.

The phrase “ if you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply here. If you want people to read your content and share it, you have to learn how to promote it. 

Click on the link below and follow the steps and that will help your blog to be visible in the Google search engine.

Learn How To promote your blog

Step 8: Monetize your blog with Ad- Networks

Blogging is one of the best businesses in the world and like any other venture, it has the potential to give you tremendous returns.

Here are a few examples of blogging stalwarts who made the most of blogging by turning into bloggers.

For instance,  The owner of Financial Samurai, a former investment banker turned into a professional blogger and has been immensely successful. He says “Nobody leaves a $750,000 a year job to blog full time unless there wasn’t incredible financial upside as well.”

Michelle Gardner, of makingsenseofcents.com, says that she earns 6 figured salary per month consistently by just blogging about finance. Today she has earned over $5million since after starting her blog.

Minting money from your website is not a myth. It’s doable by anyone.

Website monetization definitely pays off

One way for early monetization with your blog to get some modest results early in your blogging career is through “advertising networks”. 

Google AdSense, as you know, is one of the biggest advertising networks on the planet, and it is hence, the best place to start with contextual advertising. Over a billion people have made money using AdSense.

Contextual advertising is used when the product being promoted is relevant or related to the content being consumed by a user on their system. These types of ads can be displayed on a website, search engine results page, videos, etc. The advertisements are selected and served by the automated systems based on the context of what a user is looking at or has been consuming.

We’d recommend Google AdSense and Media.net for monetizing through Ad Networks. 

Read more on how to use ad networks like Google AdSense and Media.net, separately here- (as  mentioned these two again will be a separate article)

Step 9: Others ways to earn money from blog

The blogging works on the major factor of how you drive people to your web page. From many other ways to make money from blogging, there are only a few monetization methods that give the best ROI.

Learn more here on how to earn while you blog

Lastly, I hope my article has helped you in creating a blog site of your own. If you happen to like my site, kindly share this article with your friends and colleagues or whomever you may.