Nowadays, learning how to start a successful blog, make money from it, and live a laptop life, is the dream of almost every person who aims to become independent and gain financial freedom.
Let’s be honest. We want to live a happy life, travel the world, enjoy every delicious meal, and provide for the family.
We want to achieve our goal, buy our dream house, and turn our passion into a career.
Starting a blog is not hard, but finding the perfect niche, and sticking to it, is quite challenging.
However, if you have an organized plan and are motivated enough, you will reach your goals without stressing out too much.
In this simple and quite short guide, I will help you start setting up a blog in easy steps you can follow along!
What is a blog and why should you start one?
The first question we often ask ourselves is what a blog is and how to start a successful blog.
A blog, also known as a weblog, is simply a website updated regularly with specific articles known as blog posts.
The one who maintains and runs a blog is called a blogger.
In the early years of the internet, blogging was like writing a virtual personal diary with comments and thoughts.
Nowadays, although some personal blogs still exist, blogging is one of the best ways to earn passive income and build your business and career.
There are plenty of benefits to starting your own blog.
Here are some of the reasons you should start a blog.
1. You will become a better writer
If you like writing or have trouble doing it, starting a blog is one of the best advice I can give you if you want to be a better writer.
Not only starting a blog will enhance your writing skills, but you will learn more ways to express yourself and your thoughts.
2. You can help your audience
By writing blog posts related to a topic, you might help your audience find the best solution to their problems.
Let’s say you want to blog about gluten-free recipes. People who must or want to follow a gluten-free diet will find your blog helpful!
3. You learn or improve new skills
Let’s say you are good at drawing. By starting a blog, you can create web graphics, ebook covers, and printables and improve this skill.
4. You can make money
Creating and starting a blog has its benefits. You can decide to build your brands, write ebooks, design printables, or create courses related to your topic or passion.
Yes! You can earn money while blogging from home.
5. Meet new people
Blogging is a great way to develop new friendships and connect with people.
You can add your social media, answer comments, interact with other people with the same passions and interests, and learn from each other.
6. Understand your interests
Before starting and launching your blog, you must find out your interests. You should ask yourself: “Why do I love writing about?”. “What do I find interesting?”. “What topic do I like to cover?”.
If your interest is mainly cooking and healthy nutrition, you should start a blog about healthy homemade recipes.
If you love working out and want to share your passion with the rest of the world, why not start a fitness blog?
Take some time to think about what you like to blog about, and write down your main interests.
Do I need to be an expert in this field?
Absolutely no! You don’t need to be an expert to start your blog journey.
If you are passionate enough about the topic you want to blog about, it is enough to help you achieve your goal. You can learn more about your topic to give more information to your readers!
Step 1. Choose your niche
If you plan to run a blog, first, you need to choose a niche.
What is a niche?
A niche is a specialized area you will concentrate on when writing your blog posts. Simply, it is the overall topic of your blog.
Having one will make it easier for your readers to know what topic you will deal with on your blog and what they will expect when they visit your website.
Having an established one is the first step to a successful blog and business.
How many niches can you blog about?
It was one of my first questions.
If you are a beginner and you just started your blog, I recommend dealing with one or two specific niches.
Having one or two topics to deal with makes it easier for you to build and catch the right audience and create blog posts without feeling overwhelmed.
Let’s take this blog as an example.
Living By Your Means refers to people who want to become financially independent and dream to earn money while living a laptop life. Therefore, I deal with blogging, budgeting, and money.
I blog about three niches.
However, my main focus is becoming financially independent while building a laptop life.
Now, let’s say you want to blog about food.
The food niche is a big field. However, if you focus only on gluten-free recipes, you will attract the right audience in a shorter time. They know your blog deals only with gluten-free recipes.
Moving forward, you can broaden your niche by adding more categories or niches.
Finding a niche is hard.
If you are still unsure what to blog about, take a deep breath, keep calm, and let me help you find the right niche!
STEP 1. Think about your interests and passions
Blogging about something you do not care about or are not passionate enough will increase your odds of quitting after a short time. Therefore, you are likely to not start a successful blog.
As I said before, the first question you should ask yourself is: “What am I interested in and want to blog about?”.
Write down all your interests, making a list.
STEP 2. Analyze the competition
The next step is to analyze the competition in the niche you have chosen.
As a beginner, I highly recommend choosing niches with low competition to make it easier for you to rank in the first pages of Google, or to attract your audience without stressing too much.
You can use a competitor analysis tool for SEO and content to spy on your competition.
Here are a few I positively recommend.
Ahrefs is an effective keyword research tool that allows you to see the search volume for any given keyword.
It is relevant for SEO and the digital marketing industry, making it one of the most powerful tools to grow your business.
SEMRush is one of the most popular SEO tools for competitor analysis, keyword research, and Google Ad optimization.
You can use SEMRush for free with limited functionality or use a 7-day free trial to test some of its features.
Buzzsumo is the perfect tool when you search for content and want to start a successful blog. You can keep track of your competitors and their content performance.
Moreover, it helps you discover the best engagements, content, trends, and outreach opportunities across social and search.
STEP 3. Look at the trends
While putting your interests in the first place, it is important to look at the trends, if you want to achieve your goal in a short time and start a successful blog.
Choosing websites and tools like Google Trends to analyze how frequently in a day a topic or a given search term is entered into Google’s search engine.
The most profitable blog niches to start a successful blog
There are many profitable niches you can blog about, but some are more profitable than others, such as:
- Recipes and food
- Health and Fitness
- Personal development and self-care
- Personal Finance
- Blogging and making money online
- Digital Marketing
Step 2. Come up with a blog name
While blog posts and topics researchers are relevant, finding a suitable and memorable blog name is the absolute first step.
If you want to catch your audience’s attention and your blog to stand out from the rest, you should find a name that is simple, memorable, and original.
Moreover, a good blog name should hint at what your blog is about.
Choosing the right name for your blog, it’s part of the steps to start a successful blog.
You can decide to be creative, use your name, or play with some keywords.
What you should keep in mind when choosing the name of your blog
Your blog’s name should be:
- easy to type and pronounce
Step 3. Choose and pick a domain name and hosting platform
Once you come up with the perfect name for your blog, it’s time to choose and pick a domain and a hosting platform.
Firstly, let’s make clear what a domain name and a hosting platform are.
A domain name is simply the address of your blog on the internet.
For example, my domain name is www.livingbyyourmeans.com
A hosting platform allows your blog to be seen on the internet.
Be careful when choosing a domain name.
I highly recommend using .com as the ending of your domain name, as it is the most popular one.
However, you can choose between:
When you choose your hosting platform, keep in mind these points.
- it provides 24/7 customer support
- manage domain and hosting from the same platform
- makes blogging fast
- it is secure
- it provides site backups
- it has e-commerce and e-mail options
Which hosting platform are there?
There are plenty of hosting platforms out there, which provide you with different features and support.
However, I will list below the best hosting platforms according to some bloggers and myself.
For my blog, I use Siteground, and I find it perfect for many reasons:
- manage hosting and domain from the same platform
- it offers a beginner-friendly dashboard
- it provides 24/7 support
- it excels in site speed time
- offers competitive pricing and security
Step 4. Choose your theme
Your theme is important.
Some people say that your blog’s content is what counts most, but I personally do not agree.
While content plays a relevant role, the theme and design of your blog play the same role.
You want your blog to stand out also for its aesthetic and to represent your niche or brand.
Some readers come back to your website due to its aesthetic.
Do not get me wrong. I am not saying you should spend a lot to buy an expensive theme.
Fortunately, out there, you can find plenty of well-designed themes for free or quite affordable.
Choose your theme carefully, take your time, and make your reader feel comfortable while scrolling through your blog posts.
What to consider when choosing a theme
1. Choose a responsive theme.
Choosing a responsive theme will make your site easy to use on any device.
2. It must be customizable
Choose a fully customizable theme. You can change its appearance the way you want to adapt it to your preferences.
3. Consider a premium theme
Free themes are good if you have a tight budget. You can download them for free and use them right away, but consider buying a premium theme.
Many free themes present issues and you will likely deal with an issue every few hours.
4. It should be SEO friendly
Find a theme that is SEO friendly, which means, it is a theme built and created with SEO as a high priority.
5. It should have positive reviews
We want to start with the right feet, don’t we? So, be careful when choosing your theme. Always read reviews of other buyers before buying or downloading the theme.
6. It should be updated
Avoid using themes that are not updated if you want to start a successful blog. We want to keep pace with every change. Use themes that are easy to update or are already updated.
Step 5. Must-have plugins
A blog or website will not work properly when the relevant plugins are missing.
- Yoast SEO
- Site Kit by Google
- Elementor Website Builder
- WP Rocket
Step 6. Create your pages and categories
A blog without pages is worthless.
You want your readers to have a first insight into your website and know what they will expect when reading your posts.
Must have pages
Before posting your first post, you should publish a few must-have pages your blog needs.
Posts are not the same as pages.
Pages are for static content, which means, content that doesn’t have to be updated regularly.
Posts are used for sharing regular content with your reader, like this post you are reading now.
Some of the must-have pages you should publish are:
- About page
- Contact page
- Disclaimer page
- Terms of Service page
- 404 page
Step 7. Write your blog posts
Finally, it’s time to write your blog posts and fill your blog with amazing and high-quality content!
Take a deep breath, and think about what you can offer your readers and how you can be helpful.
If you do not know what to write about, do some research first, and brainstorm some ideas.
Then, choose the one you think your readers are mostly searching for.
Writing good and high-quality blog posts will increase the percentage of starting a successful blog.
Step 8. Promote your blog / Drive traffic
If you want to achieve your goal, build a solid audience, and interact with your readers, you should promote your blog.
Here, you will find some examples of how to promote and drive traffic to your blog.
- Make your posts shareable.
- Get active on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
- Participate in online forums
- Build links to your site
- Reach out to influencers
- Comment on other blog posts
- Answer questions on Quora
Step 9. Make money from your blog
There are plenty of ways bloggers nowadays earn money from their blogs.
Driving traffic to your blog and creating your audience is the first step to earning money, such as:
- Becoming an affiliate for a company
- Creating and selling your products
- Putting ads on your website
- Selling services and courses
- Writing sponsored blog posts
- Offering paid subscriptions
The first steps and process of creating a blog can be overwhelming.
Relax, take a deep breath, and follow these steps!
Stick to your plan and your goal, and I am sure nothing can stop you from growing your business and reaching your goal!