How to start a blog?
What shall I do to scale it fastly?
How can I make money blogging?
I have been asked these questions many times. New bloggers have a long list of queries which they want to be answered.
We have compiled answers of all those frequently asked questions over here. Let’s have a look.
1- What Is A Blog?
A blog is a regularly updated website, run by an individual or group, primarily consisting of the written text in an informal, conversational style.
If statistics are anything to go by, in the United States alone, 42.23% of people from the ages of 18 to 49 read blogs.
You can find a blog for any topic you want. For bloggers, it’s a great avenue to increase their subscriber base, connect with new people, and make money online.
2- Why Should You Start A Blog?
There are so many reasons to start a blog.
One of the most prominent reasons is to influence and inspire online readers. If you have in-depth knowledge in your field of work and have decent writing chops, then you truly can help others.
If you know how to monetize your blog, you can even make a decent passive income.
Blogging can provide you with the perfect platform to:
– Develop yourself personally
– Improve your writing
– Build new relationships and network in your field
– Share your knowledge with your audience
– Make a lot of money
3- How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog?
When you start a blog, you have the option of using a free or paid blogging platform. Both have their pros and cons.
If you’re a novice and want to try your hand at blogging without paying upfront, WordPress.com and Blogger are excellent free platforms that let you do just that.
However, there are always restrictions with a free tool. For example, you won’t have access to better themes, restriction on advertisements, and more.
On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned campaigner or a novice confident enough about blogging, you could opt for paid platforms.
Website builders like Squarespace and Wix provide excellent paid plans that help you customize your site the way you want without restrictions.
Moreover, such platforms allow you to optimize your site for search engines, add advanced features like an online store, drag-and-drop editors, and more.
Here are some of the essential expenses:
– Domain name: It may cost you around $10 per month
– Hosting: Shared hosting cost typically costs $3 – $10 per month. Then there are more advanced options like VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, etc.
– Optional expenses include a premium WordPress theme (costing between $30 – $60), marketing tools, additional plugins, and more.
– If you are considering blogging as a hobby, then it should be free.
– If you aren’t that serious and don’t mind minimal features, then it may cost you about $50-$60 per year.
Now, if you’re planning to invest in additional features to scale up your blog, then it may cost over $400 per year.
4- How Do I Get Readers To My Blog?
To get readers to your blog, you have to provide value to your readers.
Here are some steps that’ll help get you there:
- Master SEO – this can’t be understated
- Create catchy headlines – your headline is the first thing someone reads. Help them figure out the benefits by enumerating them.
The ideal clickable headline is: Odd number + superlative + target keyword + year
- Publish blog posts consistently as it makes your readers take you more seriously
- Use call-to-action (CTA) buttons and opt-in forms to make your readers act
- Offer incentives to current readers like product discounts and insider knowledge
- Share your posts on social media Implementing all the steps mentioned above can help you get some initial traction to your blog.
5- How Do I Start a Successful Blog?
There are more than 600 million blogs in the US alone. But 95% of them aren’t successful. Many factors set apart successful bloggers from non-successful ones.
Some of the critical factors in starting and running a successful blog are:
- Understanding market viability and audience revenue potential
- Being well versed in digital marketing – you need to have a firm grasp on SEO, keyword research, affiliate marketing, email marketing strategies, etc.
- Being great at self-promotion
- Offering value-based content
- Providing content consistently
- Creating a schedule and sticking to it
- Engaging subscribers proactively and solving their pain points
6- Do Bloggers Get Paid?
Yes, they do. Bloggers can get paid exceptionally well. Others make nothing from their blogs.
Breaking it down, bloggers mostly get paid through:
– Affiliate marketing
– Online courses
– Sponsored posts
– Selling products
However, if your blog posts don’t offer much value, it’s difficult to create an income.
If you’re looking at blogging as a full-time job, it probably won’t make you a millionaire overnight. However, in a year, your blog can replace your 9 to 5 job.
7- How Do Bloggers Get Paid?
Bloggers can get paid via advertisements, affiliate commissions, course or e-commerce sales, and more. The most common metric on how much you get paid in affiliate marketing is EPC (earnings per click).
Another metric is CPM (cost per 1000 impressions). For every 1,000 clicks on the ad, you get paid a fixed amount.
Apart from this, you can also sell products based on your expertise. For example, if you run a travel blog, you could sell brochures on the best tourist destinations. Or if you run a food blog, you could sell e-recipes of your best dishes.
Offer something that is valued by a segment of your audience and bring paid subscriptions to enlist them. The amount could be as low as $5 per month per person. But if you can create the value to attract large volumes, you can start to make a decent income.
8- How To Start A Blog For Free In 2020?
Starting a blog doesn’t have to cost much. You can start a blog with minimal investment and sometimes even for free.
When you start a blog, you need to decide whether you want to self-host it or use a fully-hosted platform. Usually, using a fully-hosted platform costs a small monthly fee. But getting a free platform is easy. Most beginners opt for free, self-hosted platforms, such as WordPress.com and Blogger.
Here’s a list of some of the best blogging platforms (both free and paid). If you’re serious about blogging, I recommend you go with a paid option.
When you use a free platform, you’ll have to abide by the platform restrictions and will rarely make money. With almost unlimited revenue potential, you should pay to host your blog.
9- How To Start A Blog About Food in 2020?
Food and recipes are one of the most popular things people search for. Since everything is readily available these days, food connoisseurs are willing to try out and experiment with different cuisines and flavours.
Now’s as good a time as any to start your food blog.
Here are some steps to do just that:
– Choose your web hosting company.
– Select a perfect name for your blog that is relevant to your niche.
– Choose the perfect theme for your food blog. The right theme can attract viewers instantly and help you increase your subscriber base.
– Perform keyword research and choose a sub-niche in the food space.
– Start posting and learn how to write recipes in an SEO-friendly manner.
– Get backlinks and guest posts from other food blogs.
– To sustain your blog, you might also want to find out ways to monetize it. Third-party advertisements, affiliate marketing, and selling exclusive recipes are some ways to do that.
9- How To Start A Blog About Travel in 2020?
Travelling is something that most people are passionate about. If you are too, you can start your travel blogging journey and make money from your recommendations.
There are a lot of travel affiliate programs that pay when you recommend anything like hotels, Airbnbs, travel gear, travel insurance, booking.com etc.
Here’s how to get started now with a travel blog:–
– The first step is to determine the sub-niche of your blog. There are plenty of options, including solo travelling, luxury travelling, budget travelling, family travel, and more.
– The second step is to decide on a name that’ll be an instant hit with your target audience.
– Set up web hosting.
– Get the perfect theme for your travel blog.
– Perform keyword research and choose a sub-niche in the travel space.
– Publish travel articles based on your expertise, and format them for SEO.
– Obtain backlinks and guest posts from other travel blogs.
11- How To Start A Blog About Fashion In 2020?
If you’re interested in the latest styles, starting a fashion blog and tapping into that interest is a great idea.
However, it is a saturated space, which is why you have to make extra efforts to start and grow your fashion blog.
Here’s how you can start your fashion blog:
– Think about what type of fashion you want to talk about in your blog. Fashion can be a broad term, so it’s essential to select a style or niche. For example, do you want to blog about high-fashion or street fashion? Vintage or Gothic?
– Get the perfect domain name that will hit off instantly with the audience.
– Choose your hosting provider.
– Select the theme that best suits your style and the fashion you want to talk about.
– Create content consistently. Never miss out on blogging.
– Promote it heavily, especially on social media platforms like Instagram.
– Since it’s fashion, you want to give it the maximum exposure you can. Monetize it through social media, podcasts, and advertisements. You need all the attention you can get.
12- How To Start A Blog About Beauty in 2020?
If you have a passion for beauty products and the latest trends, starting a beauty blog could be for you. This type of blog is best paired with a YouTube channel and Instagram account.
Here’s how you can start a beauty blog:
– Think about what you want to talk about in your beauty blog. Oily vs. dry skin? Fair vs. dark complexion? The list is endless, and it’s up to you to decide your focus area.
– Pick your blog’s name. When it comes to beauty, a catchy, memorable name can attract the right audience.
– Again, choose a hosting plan and install a beauty blog theme.
– Do keyword research on the how-to keywords that people are looking for.
– Schedule your articles and make sure to embed YouTube tutorials into your posts.
– Advertise on social media and via email newsletters.
– You can also provide video tutorials and share beauty tips to increase your subscriber base.
14- What Is WordPress?
WordPress is the simplest way to make web pages and makes up over 30% of the Internet.
WordPress helps you create, publish, and share webpages. It’s also one of the most user-friendly platforms to host blogs. And you only have to pay for the domain name and web hosting.
It is a feature-rich CMS (content management system) that allows bloggers to create, edit, and publish content. It features a dashboard where you can edit posts, media, pages, comments, plugins, themes, users, website settings, and more.
15- Should I Use WordPress.Com Or WordPress.Org?
WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two very different platforms.
WordPress.com offers an end-to-end solution to start a simple website for free. You need to sign up, and you are all set to build your website.
WordPress.org is an open-source website platform that can be leveraged only through a paid hosting account.
Here are some key differences between the two platforms to help you make a more informed decision:
WordPress.org: It is entirely free to test but to make the website visible and published, you need to buy website hosting and a domain name.
WordPress.com: You can start a free blog with a WordPress name. To have a custom domain name, you will have to pay at least $4 per month.
WordPress.org: Setting up a blog or website on WordPress.org requires some level of technical expertise that includes buying hosting and domain name followed by their integration with the website.
WordPress.com: WordPress.com guides the user in a step-by-step process to make the setup hassle-free.
WordPress.org: It offers excellent customization options through more than 7,500 free themes. Users also get to choose thousands of premium themes.
WordPress.com: It comes with limited customization options. Free and personal plans offer over 150 themes, and other premium plans offer over 200 paid themes.
WordPress.org: You get access to more than 55,000 plugins along with thousands of other third-party plugins.
WordPress.com: It allows the installation of plugins in only business or e-commerce plans. These plans cost $25 and $45 per month and offer more than 50,000 plugins.
Now, it’s up to you to decide which platform aligns the best with your requirements.
YOU’VE STARTED YOUR FIRST BLOG.
As you can see, learning how to start a blog is pretty easy, but you need to consider your options carefully.
Turning your blog into a profitable money-making business requires a smarter approach, SEO mastery, consistency, and hard work.
I have covered pretty much everything you need to know how to start your blog. I will continue to update this post over time with the latest blogging techniques.
Now, it’s your turn. Why not start a blog today?
P.S: Do you know I could help you grow your blog personally? Yeah, that’s right. I offer special WordPress services to help your set up your website create content and monetize it.
I can put you on the path of financial freedom in 3 short months, only if you are willing to put in work and have a lot of patience.
If you will work with me, I will make sure that your goals and expectations are met in the best possible way. Find out more information here.
Umama Batool Qazi is a contributing columnist @Socialnomics, blogger @UBQ Digital Marketing, content creator and a Pinterest geek. She helps her clients achieve online success by creating valuable content and planning their Pinterest strategy.