This is one of the most frequently asked question. So let us start with it.
Before starting a blog, please understand why you want to start a blog.
1) Identify your niche
2) Choose a blogging platform
3) Decide on your blog name
4) Create your web hosting account
5) Install SSL
6) Install WordPress on your blog
7) Log in to your new website
8) Set up your website correctly (settings)
9) Set up your website theme
10) Create categories
11) Set up your website menu
12) Set up your website widgets
13) Set up essential plugins
14) Create MUST have pages on your website
15) Write and Publish your first blog post
Domain name is a name of your website. For e.g. name of my website is bloggingmadeeasier.com. Choose a domain name related to what you are going to write about or related to your readers.
Hosting is where your website is stored. In simple language consider it a special computer that stores your website and provides services such that your website will be visible on the internet
Check my recommended hosting providers here
Theme is how your website looks like. I mostly use WordPress as a software to build websites so choose a good WordPress theme. You can read this guide on how to choose a good theme
In very simple words – when you buy own hosting from hosting service providers then you have a self hosted blog.
You can buy domain from any of the domain name providers. My suggestion is buy a domain while you are buying hosting as many service providers like chemicloud provide domain free.
Avoid Godaddy and Bluehost. They give good affiliate commission thus online reviews are good. Siteground is good but they have increased pricing last year. Currently my recommended hosting provider is Chemicloud
Most of good hosting providers have money back policy. So if you do not like you can always cancel and get your money back
What it means is you are using WordPress software for building your blog. You currently are using a subdomain xyz.wordpress.com and you are currently using hosting provided by WordPress.com
If you are interested in making your blog or website an income generating channel and take blogging as a profession then move to self hosting and buy a domain. If you writing as a hobby a free wordpress.com is perfect 🙂
No. This is a sub domain of domain WordPress.com. You will need to buy your own domain name
No do not buy paid plans from WordPress.com. Instead you can get domain and hosting from external providers and move your website.
What to do before starting a blog is as much important as actually starting a blog.
Identifying correct niche can make or break your blog specially if you want to make money from your blog.
What is niche?
Niche is a specific topic that you will be writing about and creating content for. Parenting is a huge category – but may be kids activities for toddlers is a smaller niche that you want to talk about.
How to identify your niche?
1. List your strength, capability, skills and passion
2. Identify your audience and their pain points. Make a list of all ideas that come to your mind
3. See if your strengths can help you solve this problem
4. See if there is any money to be made in this niche. How our other competitors making money. Are there any products to be promoted or created
Your niche should be an intersection of – your interests + your strength + your audience pain point + whether this niche can be profitable for you (it has products you can recommend or you know competitors who are making income in this niche)
Questions you can ask yourself to identify your niche?
Here are the questions you should ask yourself to establish your niche. In case if you would like to download a workbook with example – you can download it by clicking here
1) Why am I starting a blog?
2) What are MY Parameters of a Successful Blog?
3) What motivates ME to Write
4) What can I write about such that it truly helps
5) What is my strength
6) Who is my audience
7) Why should someone come and read my blog
Remember you are unique and you have something to offer to your readers and to help them.
Now once you have established above – Also find who your competitors are. Is a very competitive niche? If very less competition think why – do not choose a niche just because there i no competition in it. May be there is no competition because there are no products to recommend or may be because very few people are searching for solution to that problem.
Also think how would you be making money out of your blog. Will it by ads income, affiliate income or your own products. See if you have good affiliate products that you can recommend for your niche. ,
Choose WordPress.org (rather than wordpress.com) And stay away from all others – Squarespace, weebly or anything else.
With millions of users and companies using WordPress.org – you can go for it.
Please note WordPress.org and WordPress.com are different. I have explained it in above FAQs as well. So you need to choose WordPress.org.
Here is why I recommend WordPress.org over other platforms:
– It is open source so you will find multiple free themes, plugins and everything you need to run a successful blog
– It is easy to get started and you do not need any technical knowledge or coding experience
– You will full control over everything – designing, creating, monetizing and if you ever decide to even leaving.
Many platforms make it really difficult to leave with your data and have hidden charges which come into effect specially when you want to scale your business or your blog.
Blog name is mainly your site name. For example my domain name or blog name is bloggingmadeeasier.com
You can buy a domain name from namecheap.com and then proceed as below for buying hosting.
Or you can buy domain along with hosting from chemicloud (as explained below)
Few tips to choose a good domain name (do not make the mistakes I did)
– It should be easy to understand and easy to remember. Avoid numbers, special characters,, hyphens and ambiguous spellings.
– It should be short (check if you can get that name in twitter and Instagram in advance – no one else should be using it)
– It should be related to your niche and audience. You can actually do keywords research to see what people are searching for.
– Do not be too creative.
– If you are establishing yourself as a brand then you can keep your name as the website name. Else keep the name as per your audience and your niche.
Based on my experience and hosting providers I have personally used – I can recommend below hosting providers to you. My first preference is Chemicloud so you just close your eyes and can go for them. My sites and those of my clients are all hosted on Chemicloud for years.
Usually people recommend Bluehost and Siteground but I have found them expensive. Chemicloud has been much better in terms of cost and value for money and support
5 GB SSD S
2 X 7 CHAT SUPPORT (EXCELLENT)
FREE SSL AND HTTPS
FREE EMAIL ACCOUNTS
FREE WEBSITE TRANSFER EVEN ON BASIC PLAN
45 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
START UP PLAN
10 GB SPACE
24 X 7 CHAT SUPPORT
FREE SSL AND HTTPS
FREE EMAIL ACCOUNTS
WEBSITE TRANSFER FREE (WITH GROW BIG PLAN) SITEGROUD MIGRATOR IS GOOD OPTION
30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
50 GB SPACE
24 X 7 CHAT SUPPORT
FREE SSL AND HTTPS
5 FREE EMAIL ACCOUNTS
WEBSITE TRANSFER NOT FREE, AVAILABLE ON EXTRA CHARGE
30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
You can click here to buy domain and hosting from Chemicloud. Once you click on this link you would see multiple types of hosting.
We need to click on “Learn more” in WordPress Hosting
Now Opt for 3 years of hosting in WordPress Starter Plan and click on Order now
Select whether you already have a domain or you want to register a new domain. When we are starting a new website or blog – we would choose “Register a new domain”
**If you are moving hosting from another hosting provider select “I already have a domain”
This would take you to Configure page. You can change your server location based on where you are located
**We do not need to buy any additional service.
No additional Addons are needed so click on Continue (if there is any coupon you would need to add Explicitly)
And make the payment
Once you have bought hosting from Chemicloud. Chat with the support to install SSL.
SSL in very simple terms is https:// in front of your url or website
Chat with the support and request them to install WordPress on your website. Or you can use the tutorial below
1) Login into your cPanel.
2) Scroll down to the Softaculous Apps Installer section and click on the WordPress logo.
3) Click on Install button
You can also refer to this tutorial on Chemicloud site
Congratulations you now have domain, hosting and WordPress installed on your website. Now it is time for you to log in and start setting up your website.
One of the frequently asked question is How do you login to your new site. Type below in your browser and you are ready to start.
<Yoursitename>/wp-admin e.g. – http://www.newdomainname.com/wp-admin
If you already have a Blog on WordPress.com the first step you would need to do is transfer your data from Free WordPress to your new WordPress installation.
This is an extra Step for those who have already have a domain.
You would need to change your DNS name servers to point to new hosting.
Now we have to set up your new website.
Login to your website.
And then on the Dashboard go to left hand side and find settings and work our way towards – General settings, writing settings, Reading settings, Discussion settings, Media and Permalinks.
In General settings
1. Change Site Title – Your website name
2. Tagline – if you have any tagline associated with your website add here
In Reading settings
You can change whether you want your home page to display Static page or your latest posts. For most new bloggers it would be Latest posts.
With time I would suggest that you move to Static home page but that is a topic for more advanced courses.
You can choose how many posts show at most on your Blog page and syndication feed. I usually set it up as number 6.
For each post in a feed – include Full
text or summary. I usually choose summary.
Change your permalink to remove date from your url
Go to Settings -> Permalink settings and choose radio button next to post name. This is helpful for SEO
Change Default “Admin” username
For security you can change default “Admin” username and keep something more secure.
I think one of the most difficult decision for me when starting a website was what theme to choose for my website. And honestly – I have made enough mistakes in choosing themes.
First things first – Don’t spend months in choosing a theme for your site. It is something that can be changed later as well.
I mean give due consideration; and invest on a good theme but don’t delay launching your website for months just because you are not able to decide on a theme.
You may find this article useful on – How to choose a WordPress theme. It also has details of my inputs on best Free and paid WordPress themes.
I personally am using this theme for my website.
Decide what categories you are going to write about. Do not set up too many categories. Mainly divide main buckets you want to write about and set them up as categories.
Categories are important from SEO perspective as I have explained in my SEO Simplified e-book for beginners
Menu is what comes at the beginning of your website. Setting a menu is very important as it helps a reader browse your site.
Once a reader is on your site then your menu can help him/her read more related topics and subjects and thus that means more page views (traffic) for you.
Different themes will have menu at different locations. But all of them will have a primary menu and the way to set it up would be same
First let us talk about what are widgets
A WordPress widget is a small block that performs a specific function.
These widgets can be added to sidebar and footer area of your site.
How we can set up widgets is to go to Appearance – > Widgets and then we can drag and drop widgets to widget ready area of our WordPress website
Plugins are a piece of code or software that you can add to your website or blog to add a functionality to your blog. For e.g. if you want your website to have frequent backups. You can add a Backup plugin and set it up.
If you want to be able to stop spam comments on your site – you go with Antispam plugin. And so on.
Please NOTE the less the number of plugins on your site – the better it is.
I had read blogs from some top shots in blogging business and had 40 plugins at a point of time. Well that advice was wrong advice. Stick to minimum number of plugins.
Below are the few must have pages that you need to have on your site
Moreover, once the site reaches a particular stage, making these changes gets more and more difficult to bring it up to speed and catch up with things we have not done correctly.
Hence it is imperative to start RIGHT.
I have covered above steps in details in my How to start a blog e-book. If you have not downloaded yet do check out here on Amazon.in. It is available on Amazon.com here.
Congratulation you are now ready to start your journey of Blogging.
Note – Writing a blog post is very different from writing work we did in school and colleges. This is the reason many people who start a blog do not continue it after a period of time.
Very few people actually are able to start a successful blog. The difference is because they do not know the art of content writing . I have covered content writing in by ebook- How to write awesome content that helps you earn money and win readers.
You can actually start a free blog using platforms like WordPress.com. But if you want to opt for blogging as a career and eventually want to earn money blogging in India you need to become self hosted and buy domain and hosting. A good hosting like chemicloud would cost you Rs 6000 to 7000 for 3 years (36 months) so approximately less than Rs 300 per month.
You can also claim free domain name for the first year
I would say Blogging (when done correctly) is still profitable. There has never been a more profitable time to start a blog in India or anywhere else in the world.
So go ahead start yours today :-). Any questions you can ask me.
You can also read this book to help you in starting a successful blog in India
In case if you want to earn money blogging I would recommend not to use free blog platforms.
But if you really want to start a free blog use free platforms like WordPress.com and blogger. I would recommend using WordPress.com and getting started. If you need help in starting a free blog – you can get this how to start a free blog course and follow steps.
In my book how to earn money using blog and social media – I also talk about how you can earn money using a free blog
Blogging income can come from various sources and depends on multiple factors like traffic, niche and how much is a blogger trusted. Is he or she also an influencer. Doe he or she have hos own products
Bloggers can earn between $300 to $400 per month. Some bloggers also earn as much as $10,000 per month and some established 6 figure bloggers can earn as much as $20,0000 to $30,000 per month.
This income can come from
Yes bloggers do get paid. To start with you can work as a content writer for others. (Read how to become a content writer in India)
Meanwhile work on your content strategy, by learning SEO and doing keywords research.
If you learn your basics correctly, usually bloggers start making money with in 1 to 2 years. Also if you are an influencer and already have an audience you may strat mamjing money much sooner
Nowadays there is also demand for content writers in regional languages so you can actually use your blog to showcase your work. Also you can target keywords in regional languages.
For English you would need to know the basics and keep on improving your skills with time.
You can also use tools like Grammarly to help you. Grammarly also helps a chrome bar extension and free version.
Pick up your niche, know your audience and their pain points, write good content, learn SEO keyword research, create your content strategy, be consistent, know the ways to earn money and treat your blog as a business.
Here is a full article on best blogging tips for beginners and new bloggers
There is no fixed rule. More than how often you publish content, It is more important that you write in SEO optimised format, write good quality content and create a content calendar after doing keywords research.
You will find details of this methods in my keywords research and competitor research ebook.
You can check out all my courses here
Here is a step by step tutorial on how to get started with Amazon affiliate marketing
Looking for Best Blogging courses and tools to make your blog Profitable. I have used many courses and used many tools, here is a list of selected few that you can TRUST