How to Start a Blog and Make Money [Step-by-Step Guide]
So, you want to start a blog and make money online but don't have any idea how to start, where to start and in which niche/topic you start blogging?
Well, we know the hurdle, and it's really hard for beginners to get start.
So, to come up this hurdle and make things easily, we spent 2 weeks to create this huge "How to Start a Blog" guide for you. In this A-Z guide, you'll learn how to choose niche/topic of your website, domain and hosting buying tutorial as well as keyword research.
Driving visitors to your newly created website is also discussed and some unique ways to make money online.
We hope this article will help you take the first step to your blogging journey.
If you face any problem, then feel free to contact using this Contact page.
- BEGINNER Level
- MEDIOCRE Level
- Advance Level
- Ways to Earn
- Why You Need to Build a Blog or Website?
- What is Blog and Website?
- What to Blog about?
- How to Choose the Profitable Topic/Niche?
Domain Name Know-How
- What is Domain Name?
- Why You need a Domain Name?
- What Qualities that Your Domain Name Should Have?
- What is Domain Addon?
- Which TLD Extension You Should Purchase?
Web Hosting Guide for Beginners
- What is Web Hosting?
- Most Common Terms Used in Web Hosting
- Types of Web Hosting ?
- Which Types of Hosting Suits Your Blog?
- Choose the Web Hosting Company
Buy Domain Name and Web Hosting
Install WordPress in Just 2 Minutes to Start a Blog
Essential Plugins that You Must Have - Installation & Configuration
- Yoast SEO
- iThemes Security
- W3 Total Cache
- Jetpack by WordPress
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
- Updraftplus Backup
- Rel Nofollow Checkbox
- What is Keyword?
- What is a Longtail Keyword?
- What is Keyword Search Volume and How to Find it?
- What is Keyword Competition?
Search Engine Optimization - SEO
Ultimate Guide to Start a Blog in 2018 and Make Money
The aim of this eBook is to guide the peoples especially newbies from buying a domain(basic) to the publishing 1st post including the installation of useful plugins as we will make a website using WordPress platform. Yes, you can learn each and everything including essentials SEO tricks.
Internet is a great way to earn money and share your thoughts with the online world. But the problem is many people doesn’t know where to start? How to start? So, they step down. Here we think if we have the knowledge, then it’s our responsibility to spread it as far as possible so others can take benefits from it.
We strive hard to guide you step-by-step and in a proper order. We guide you regarding buying a domain to web hosting account and from where you can purchase them. We will also try to explain each and every term related to blogging in simple words to help understand in a simple way.
Why You Need to Build a Blog or Website?
Well there are many reasons here are the few ones
- For the online existence of your business: A blog or a website helps the businesses to expand their market. By managing your products online the customers can view them and order online without visiting your physical shop.
- Make money by selling other products (Affiliate Marketing): Nowadays blogging is the popular way of earning. You just need to create a website and then publish the other’s products details/reviews. When a customer purchases a product through your website, then you will earn handsome commissions.
- Just for Writing: Some want to share their ideas and thoughts to the online world, and some have the passion for writing. The great way to do this is to create a blog and get global exposure.
What are Blog and Website?
Generally, a Blog and website are similar there is a minor difference between them. A website is a professional web page where the company maintains their products details. A website usually contains static pages like FAQ’s, feedback, etc.
While a Blog contains informational posts/pages where webmasters/bloggers share contents on a regular basis. A blog usually has a commenting system to get more interaction with readers to build readership.
In simple words, both are almost same and just remember the main difference that the blog is an informal way of communication while the website usually related to some business or product and formal (Static information). That's enough let's get to the topic.
What to Blog About?
By question what to Blog about, we mean on which topic you should create a Blog? In the case of a business website, it is easy to determine. But when you want to create a personal blog for earning money or something else then it is the most crucial thing. Don’t ever select the topic; you don’t have the knowledge about or passionate about.
So before selecting a topic remember following things
- Select your interesting topic
- Select a topic about which you have plenty of knowledge
If you select a topic about which you don’t have the enough knowledge and enthusiasm, then learning about the new topic will take more time and soon you may get abandoned. Also, you will go out of the ideas soon. So it is very necessary to select the topic that is interesting for you or try to develop the interest in the topic you haven’t interested yet and start a blog on that.
How to Choose the Profitable Topic/Niche?
By now we hope, you will understand in which topic you should start blogging. But here is another question, how you’ll know which topic/niche is profitable. Is it worth blogging? Or it will make any money for you?
Well, if you want to make money by promoting other people's products (affiliate marketing) then first check whether there are any products available related to your niche in the market to promote. If yes, then go for that topic/niche.
To make money through advertisements, you must choose the topic having high CPC/CPM rates. You can find about CPC and CPM here.
Domain Name Know-How
Domain Name Know-How
What is Domain Name?
Domain name is the way to access the IP Address. But IP Address is difficult to remember for example 89.92.831.263. So the solution is the Domain Name which is easy to speak and remember. Now if you want to tell someone about your website then instead of giving IP Address just tell him the Domain Name like our domain name is www.hostingsprout.com. Click on this or write down in the web browser address bar to visit.
- Recommended Read: Top 10 Best Domain Name Registrars for Buying Domains
Types/Extensions of Domain Name
A decade ago there were few types of domain extensions, but now there are tons of extensions available to register. You can choose which is familiar to your website topic e.g. for commercial purpose always choose .com TLD if possible instead of .net, or .org
Some Famous and Most Common Domain Extensions
Why You Need a Domain Name?
The Answer is simple, without a domain name no one gets access to your website. So you need a domain name so that people can get access to your site and read articles or buy something whichever you are presenting.
Let me explain; it is just like a plot (real estate) you buy to construct a building. Without buying plot how can you build a house or whatever you want to build?
Same goes to a domain and web hosting. We bought a domain name and then web hosting, the domain can be referred as a plot and site contents as a building which you want to build. Pretty simple, Isn't it?
Qualities That a Domain Name Should Have or Try to Include
- Short – It should be short if possible
- Easy to tell someone – easily speakable
- Easy to write
- Use correct spell – don’t ever use misleading words like hostngsprout.com, or facbook.com type words
WhoisGuard is an addon which you should purchase along with the domain name? When you purchase a domain, you put your personal information in the checkout process like emails address, phone number, and physical address, etc. The spammer or hackers can use these information's to send you malicious emails.
Which TLD extension/Domain Name you should Purchase
A domain name should include keyword relevant to their main topic. For example made a blog on “cooking” then you can include “kitchen” in your domain name. Additionally, a domain name help the user to decide that what your blog is about? So try to include one of your keywords in the domain name. But it is not a thumb rule, always try to pick the name relevant to your topics or business.
The purpose is to help the user understand about your business/blog when they see your domain name. However, you can use the irrelevant domain name as well; it totally depends on your choice.
For a further guide to learn that how to pick the right domain name, Moz has shared a great article here.
Web Hosting Guide for Beginners
What is Web Hosting?
A website won't get online until you have both domain and a web hosting account. As we already describe Domain so now let us explain hosting. A web hosting is a place which enables you to store your website contents like pictures, articles, and videos, etc. etc. The web hosting also includes many other elements like the bandwidth. Bandwidth is also known as the traffic or visitors allowed. Some companies offer unlimited bandwidth, but some allowed the limited number of visitors.
For more details of web hosting and its elements you may read this What is Web Hosting?
Selecting a web hosting is very complex these days. Because there are numerous companies offering hosting services, which may or may not be compatible. And there are many things you need to know before the selection. So, what are those things/elements/factors?
Most Common Terms Used in Web Hosting
Uptime is the period during which your site is online. By online we mean the visitors can view your site. The higher the uptime the, better for your site.
Downtime is the period during which the people cannot access your site. The lower the downtime, the better for your website.
Let’s take an example for better explanation. If you select the unreliable hosting provider having low uptime, it means your website will go offline frequently. During downtime, the visitor/customer cannot view your products or articles. So the customer may visit another site, and you lost a customer.
Page Load time:
The hosting companies using different technologies which may help the pages of the website to load faster. Your website should be load faster because if a website load slowly then the customer got frustrated and left your site never to come back. The page load time is also the ranking factor in the Google search engine. So select a hosting using advanced technologies and keep your site optimize.
Content Management System:
CMS is a web application which allows the users to manage their websites like publishing articles, adding users, etc. An example of CMS is the WordPress. CMS consist of two parts which are backend and frontend. Backend user includes the administrative rights while frontend part is what the visitors see when they visit your website i.e. interface of the website.
There most common CMS’s are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, etc. The choice of CMS is very important when you are going to start a Blog. We suggest you select the WordPress because it is user and search engine friendly. It also allows easy customization. Moreover, there are many hosting companies offer WordPress friendly hosting. Here look at the Best WordPress Hosting Providers 2017.
Bandwidth is also termed as the number of visitors. If a company say 5000 visits/mo. in its plan, then it means that your website can open 5000 times during a month. So try to select the hosting offering unlimited bandwidth or the sufficient number of visits.
Types of Web Hosting?
In shared hosting, the services are provided to the multiple websites by the company i.e hosting resources are divided among the multiple users, but each website has its unique domain name. This is the least expensive type of hosting and is considers the best option for starting a new website/blog.
The VPS Hosting provide more access to the users on the servers as compared to the shared hosting. And there are a few customers on every server.
Cloud Hosting/ Cloud Computing:
Cloud Hosting is designed behind the concept of maximum availability of services. In this numerous servers are connected to act as one single system. When a server goes down, then the other server automatically deliver the website contents.
In dedicated hosting, the company allocates an entire server to the client. That’s why it is the most expensive type of hosting and mostly used by the companies and website having very large amount of traffic.
Managed WordPress/ Joomla Hosting:
The managed hosting is designed for specific web platforms like Managed WordPress Hosting and Joomla Managed Hosting. These are automatically optimized for a web platform by the company, so you don’t need to be worried about optimization.
Which Type of Hosting Suits Your Blog?
Shared Hosting is the least expensive type of web hosting and is considers as the best option for starting a new website/blog. Because a new Blog did not need too much storage, bandwidth, and other resources instantly. So, selecting a shared hosting for a new Blog will be wise.
We already shared some the best web hosting provider for WordPress here. We recommend InMotion Hosting, their servers are pretty fast, secure, and they claim to deliver 99.99% uptime. InMotion offer live chat support 24/7; you can also contact via phone.
Along with these benefits, We managed to get a SPECIAL 57% Discount, use below button to grab the discount.
Choose the Web Hosting Company
That’s enough of the introduction to the hosting elements; now it’s time to select the hosting. There are many companies in the industry which make it difficult to pick the best one. So, if you have enough budget and want to start a blog professionally, then we would recommend following best web hosting services for reliable and trusted hosting.
Many people did not able to start the blog due insufficient of funds. So don’t worry there are many companies offering affordable hosting plans. The question is can we rely on the cheap hosting? Yes, you can but just for a start. You can also use cheap hosting for the blogs having a limited amount of traffic. We recommend you to transfer to the well-reputed company immediately when your site traffic is increasing.
So what are the best cheap hosting providers? Here look at these companies
These are well known and best providers for cheap hosting which are reliable to some extent. So if you are in search of cheap hosting, you may choose from companies mentioned in the list.
How to Purchase a Domain Name and Web Hosting Account?
There are many web hosting and domain selling companies out there; any reliable provider will be preferable. So which one is Good. We recommend InMotion hosting as they deliver high speed, maximum uptime, max speed zones friendly and quick support team.
This is Why We Recommend InMotion:
- FREE domain name for 1st year
- 2 Websites can be host with a very basic plan
- Standard hosting control panel (Cpanel)
- 90 Day money back guarantee
- Live Chat, Phone, and Ticketing system for support
- Fast and Secure hosting servers
- 99.99% server uptime
Getting subscription is a very simple process let’s do it.
- Go to InMotion and then select "Business Hosting" and after that select a plan. Here we select "Launch" plan because it suits best for a new blog.
- Now they will ask you to select the duration of the account. We prefer 3 years as it will lower down the overall cost.
- After that select new domain and then type your domain name that you want to purchase and then hit "continue".
- Next, they will show the details about the things you selected previously just click continue.
- Now in the next step fill all the required details like name, zip code, city name, street address and Payment information, etc. and then click on "Purchase Account".
- Congratulation! It’s done.
Install WordPress in Just 2 Minutes to Start a Blog
After getting the hosting and domain, it’s time to install the web application like WordPress. We love WordPress because it is user-friendly and easy to use. Moreover, it’s totally a free application. Just follow these steps for the Installation
- Login to your hosting control panel and then click on the “cPanel” icon.
- Now, Login to cPanel.
- Either find the “WordPress” icon or find through the cPanel search bar.
- Click on the “WordPress” icon
- A window will show up. Here you need to configure some setting.
- Choose a protocol: http://
- Change the Site Name
- Enter the Site Description
- Write down the “Admin Username”. Remember that a complex username is difficult to hack.
- After that write the “Admin Password”. The password should be a mixture of numbers, symbols, capital and small words.
- Click on “Install” and wait till the installation is over.
- When the installation completed, they provide you the “Administrative URL” just save that URL in the notepad.
- Congratulations you have successfully completed installation now, it’s time to install some plugins and configuring settings.
Important Settings to Do After Installing WordPress
After completing the WordPress installation the next step in starting a blog is the WordPress setting. Now click on the administrative URL the page will show asking for login.
- Now write down the Username and Password which you make during the WordPress Installation and hit "Log In" button. This will take you to the WordPress Dashboard.
- After you logged in you will see WordPress dashboard.
After Installing WordPress, you have to do the following Settings:
First of all, you need to change the General setting. At the Sidebar of the dashboard find Setting, then hover the mouse cursor over it and click on General.
After clicking on the General setting, now write down the following
- Website Title (The name of your Website)
- Tagline ( a bit of your site description)
- Now click on the “Permalinks” which is at the end of the menu as shown in the above image.
- Now in “Permalinks” select the “Post name” as shown below.
After that follow the below guidelines to delete the default contents
- Click on the “Posts” in the Sidebar and then “All Posts”.
- Now click on the “Trash” to delete the “Hello world!” post
- After that on the “Pages” in the Sidebar and then click on “All Pages”.
- Click on the “Trash” to delete the “Sample Page”.
Essential WordPress Plugins You Must Install
You need to install the basic plugins. These plugins help you in security, making your blog speedy, control the spamming and make your blog search engine friendly (Search Engine Optimization), etc.
1. Yoast SEO
The very first plugin you need to install for starting a blog is the“Yoast SEO”. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Good SEO helps your articles to rank higher in the search engines like Google and Bing etc. So it is the most important thing in the journey of making money by starting a blog.
If an article is not friendly to a search engine, then your site will receive NO or very small amount of visitors. Generally, Visitors/Customers mostly visit those sites having a position on the first page of Google. And yes it is true that people mostly found on the first page what they are looking for. So now you can understand, how crucial the SEO for your site?
Why Yoast SEO is very important
- Yoast SEO is a great tool to optimize your blog contents.
- It helps to increase the readability score of your articles by providing suggestions.
- It allows quick indexing/de-indexing as well as follow/nofollow functionality.
- You can preview how posts and pages title/meta description will appear in search engines.
- You can also check site wide errors, indexing issues, and 404 pages.
- It includes various other features like Google Search console, linking social pages, etc. etc.
As SEO is much much important, so we write down in-depth Yoast SEO configuration guide.
A Proper Yoast SEO Plugin Configuration Guide
Titles & Metas:
Now click on the “Titles & Metas” at the sidebar under the SEO.
“Titles & Metas” contain the following configuration. Here views at the setting
- In the “Homepage” tab write down the description of your website. For example here is our description.
- In “Post Types” tab scroll down and select the “Meta Robots” to “noindex” in the “Media” section.
- The next is the “Taxonomies”. In this tab change the setting as we did below.
· In the “Archives” tab disable the “Author Archive” as well as “Date archives”.
- In the last tab which is named as “Other”, just “noindex” the “Subpages of archives” as we did in below image.
- Note that after you made the changes in each tab don’t forget to press “Save Changes” button.
Due to the extensive use of Social Media, it is very necessary that every Blog and Website should maintain its existence on the Social Media. The most common used social media platforms are FaceBook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter, etc. You can drive a great amount of visitors from these sites. So you must maintain social profiles of your website and share your posts over there.
You can create your social media pages under the name of your blog and link them to the blog by using Yoast SEO.
After setting up the Titles & Metas click on the “Social” in the sidebar.
For example, you have created a Facebook page of your Blog, now just copy the link from the browser address bar and paste it in front of the “Facebook Page URL”.
Akismet is an anti-spam plugin. This plugin helps the users to protect their blogs against spamming like spam comments. By activating Akismet, you can focus on the other things instead of filtering the spam comments.
- Getting start is very simple just sign up an account and get you API key.
- After that, it will ask what to do with the spam? Select “put in spam folder” and then hit “Save Changes”.
3. iTheme Security
As the name shows, this plugin is for securing your site. This is one of the best security plugins for WordPress. This plugin provides protection against brute force attacks and helps you to block the specific addresses. It also helps to build the strong passwords and alter you in the case of any unexpected changes. iTheme protects your site by 30+ factors.
After installing just run the Security Check. It will automatically enable some certain recommended options to secure your site.
Another important thing is to change the login URL because it will improve your Blog security. If you keep the default URL, then it may be targeted by the hackers. So, you must change it. See the below image to understand what is login URL.
Change Login URL
Here follow these steps
- At the sidebar click on the “Security”. This option will show only after installing the “iThemes Security” plugin.
- Click on the "Advanced" and then configure the "Hide Backend" setting just like the below picture.
- Now tick the box "Enable the backend feature".
- Type new login URL address in front of "Login Slug". You must copy the new URL in notepad. Next time when you want to login to your WordPress dashboard then use this new URL.
Note: Don't be lazy when it comes to the Blog security. Here read the Ultimate Guide to Secure WordPress Site from all aspects because a hacker can spoil your work within no time.
4. W3 Total Cache
You need to increase your site speed because it is a search engine ranking factor(Google). W3 Total Cache increase your site performance tremendously. It helps to run your site smoothly and swiftly.
W3 Total Cache increase the speed of your site and so that decrease the page load time by caching the contents. So you must install it. After its installation now at the sidebar find “Performance” and then click on the “General Settings”.
At General Setting “Enable” the following features
- Page Cache: Enabling pages cache helps to improve the site load time. It makes cache on the server. When visitors visit the same page then instead of delivering the contents from the database, it loads the contents from the server. So resulting in improve speed.
- Database Cache: Making caching of the most search queries of your site. So that next time to load the queries quickly.
- Object Cache: Making cache of the common operation. It’s very good feature for the dynamic type websites.
- Browser Cache: Helps to cache the contents in the visitor’s browsers so that to reduce the loading time whenever they visit your site again.
- CDN (Content Delivery Network): It cache's the static contents of your site like images, CSS, JS scripts, etc. It helps to deliver the cached contents from the nearest CDN servers.
Now click on “Save all settings”.
5. Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack is designed behind the concept of easy management of WordPress blog. This plugin keeps many factors under consideration like traffic insights, security, optimize the images, etc. etc. It also sends a report on every downtime. It is one of the crucial plugins that you must install and provides a lot of functionalities under one roof.
6. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
A great plugin for in-depth traffic statistics of your website. It provides the details like the number of organic searches, visitors, and page views, etc. After installing it hit the activate button. Without authorization, this plugin won't show any information. So you need to authorize it first.
How to Authorize the Plugin
- Open the Google Analytics in new browser tab.
- Create an account.
- After that head back to the WordPress dashboard and hover the cursor on “Google Analytics” at the sidebar and then click on the “General setting”.
- Now click on the “Authorize Plugin” and then “Get Access Code”. It will ask you for permission, hit the “Allow” button get the code and paste it in the “Access Code” field.
(Note: You have to add your site in Google Analytics first to make this plugin workable.)
7. UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
What if you messed up with your site? You need to secure your website files and database with a backup plugin. If you setup a backup plugin and when something messed up, the quick way to get everything right is to restore the files.
UpdraftPlus is a free backup plugin to make backups of your whole site. After installing, activate the plugin and then go to the plugin settings. See below
After clicking the UpdraftPlus, a panel will come in front of you, then click on the “Settings” tab.
- At First, Select the duration after which the plugin should make a backup of site contents and database
- At number two you can select the number of retained copies of backup
- After that select the location where you want to store the backup. In our example, we select “DropBox” because it is very easy to integrate it with Updraft. See the below image (A) for visual assistance
- Select all the things like Plugins, Themes, Uploads, etc. to make the whole site backup (image B)
- Check the box in front of “Email”. This will help you to send the various reports like backup, restoration to your email address.
- Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes”.
- After saving changes click on the “Current Status” and hit the “Backup Now” button. That’s all.
- When you want to restore then just click the “Restore” and then a box will appear like below.
- Now tick the all if you want to restore the whole site and then click on “Restore” that’s all.
8. Rel Nofollow Checkbox
This plugin adds a checkbox where you can tick the box by just a click. Sometimes you add some links to your post like affiliate links; these links should be nofollow. So this plugin helps you at that time.
Website Themes/ Appearances
It’s time to work on the website themes. A good looking and seamless theme provide the users an excellent experience. So along with quality contents, you need to apply some eye-catching template on your website.
Moreover, you need to apply a template which should be mobile friendly and responsive. As smartphone usage increases, it is very necessary for you to apply a theme which looks good on mobiles and tablets as well.
Selecting WordPress Theme/Template
Let’s start with Free Themes
- To apply a theme, you need to hover your mouse over the “Appearances” at the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard and then click on “Themes”.
- Now click on “Add New”. After that, you will see a page like in the image given below.
Here you can switch between different tabs likes Featured, Popular, and Latest, etc. You can also apply “Filters” to find the desired theme easily.
For applying the filters, you just need to click on the “Feature Filter”. Just tick the feature that you want in your Blog theme and then click on “Apply Filters”.
- After applying filters, the resulted themes will show on your screen. Now pick anyone. You can also “Preview” the theme before applying on your blog.
- After previewing if you like the theme then click on “Install” and then “Save &Activate”.
Just applying the theme on your blog isn't enough, you must customize it for a unique design. Now hit the “Customize” button. You will see a panel like below.
Here are the guidelines for essential customization.
- By clicking on the site identity, you can upload the “Logo” and “Site Icon”. Here you can also set the “Site Title” and “Tagline”.
- In “Colors” section you can change the Background and links colors etc.
- If you want to set an image as your site background, then upload the image from “Background Image” section.
- The other important thing that a newbie must understand is the “Widgets”. You can put the widgets in different locations like in the sidebar or in the footer. These widgets are used to show the Recent Posts, Search Bar, Social icons, and Categories, etc. So this is how to apply Free Theme and customize it.
If you did not find the desired template design from the Free themes, then there are many developers where you can find it. Here are some well-known theme sellers.
- Thrive Theme
- Elegant Themes
Add Categories and Navigation Bar
The Categories help you to categorize the articles like if you created a category named as “Operating Systems” then by just a click, you could add the related article into that Category as well as in the menu. Almost every website/blog have a menu which is mostly shown at the top of the website.
Visit our website or look at the screenshot
With the help of the Menu, a visitor can easily find the information related to a specific category. For example, a visitors want to learn about WordPress then he/she click on the "WordPress" given in the menu where only the related information was shown. So, you must create a menu for your Blog.
How to add Categories and Create Menu?
At the sidebar hover your mouse on the “Posts” and then click on the “Categories”.
After clicking, you will see the page like below
Now just type the “Category Name” and then hit the “Add New Category” button. For example, we add categories like Computer Tips, Android Tips, and Life Hacks.
Now click on the “Menu” by following the below image.
After that, a menu creation page will open. Now follow these steps
- First of all type the “Menu Name”. Types any name you want like Menu or Menu1 etc. Then click on the “Create Menu” button.
- After that click on the “Categories” to expand the menu, then click on the “View All” and tick the categories you want to add. You can also include custom links.
- Hit the “Add to Menu” button.
- Select the menu location. This depend on the theme you activated because some themes only have primary location while some have both primary and secondary locations.
- At the end hit the “Save Menu” button.
Blog Indexing in Search Engines (Google)
Indexing is submitting your site to search engines so that to show it in search results. Like someone seeking information related to your niche by typing it in the search engine such as Google, then indexing enables your site to be shown in search results. Search engines are a great source of traffic so you must index your site.
- Click on the Yoast SEO at the sidebar of the WordPress dashboard.
- Yoast have different settings as you can see in the below image like General, Info and "Webmaster Tools" etc.
- Click on “Your Info” tab and write down the website name. After that select, if you are a company or a person. If you are an individual, then select “Person” and then type your name. And then save the changes.
- The next is the “Webmaster Tools” that allow you to index your site at different search engines. The indexing makes it quicker for your website to be visible on search engines or get indexed. Here look at how to do it in Google.
Follow the following procedure for indexing your site in Google.
- Click on the “Google Search Console”.
- A browser window will show asking for a sign in. Here use your “Gmail” account for sign in.
- After sign in it will automatically redirect you to the “Google Webmaster Central” page.
- Now click on “Add a Property” and type your website name. Keep in mind, http and https protocol.
- To verify your website, you have to insert some information provided by Google search console. We’ll verify our site using HTML Tag, so click on “Alternate Methods” and then click on the “HTML tag”.
- Now Copy the alpha-numeric combination as shown in the below image. And note that copy these without the inverted commas. Just copy those which we encircled and don’t close the tab.
- Now Paste this code in front of “Google Search Console” in the Yoast webmaster tab and then click on “Save Changes”.
- Now return to Google Search Console, and click on the “Verify” button shown in the “Webmaster Central”.
- That’s it, we’ve done.
Now let’s submit the “XML Sitemap”. It is the map of your posts, pages, and other important things and by submitting it, Google can know how many posts, pages your site have.
- At the sidebar hover your mouse cursor over the SEO icon and then click on “XML Sitemaps”.
- After clicking you will see the XML Sitemaps settings. Now in the “General” tab then click on the “XML Sitemap”.
- After that, you can grab your site's sitemap by clicking on “XML Sitemap” link as highlighted above.
- By clicking, XML Sitemap open in the browser tab just copy the text appear after your website URL. In simple words copy everything that comes after “.com/”. You can see in below image.
- Now open a new tab in your web browser and go to the Google Search Console. Then click on your Website.
- Find and click on “Crawl” in the sidebar and then “Sitemaps”.
- At the right side of the screen; you will see "HIT/TEST SITEMAP" just Paste the copied text which is “sitemap_index.xml” in our case and then click on the “Submit”.
- Refresh the page, and it’s done.
You must also index your website in Bing and Yandex as well by using Yoast. The procedure is quite same as Google.
You have successfully completed all the essential installations and settings. Now it's time to work on the topic for which you build the blog. But you can't just start writing. You need to find keywords with low competition and high search volume on which you should write the post. So let's find out that how to do it?
What is Keyword?
The Keyword is the topic on which you want to write the article/post. Like in our example “best wireless routers” is our keywords/focus keyword. Keyword finding is the most time consuming and the most crucial part of blogging. Choosing a topic and then writing an article is not as simple as speaking. You need to find a keyword along with competition and search volume to guess whether it's possible to rank for that keyword or not and how much traffic you can drive?
Times are gone when Google keyword planner was best and ultimate tool to find the keywords. But now Google impose some restrictions and make it a premium tool for showing the reliable results. So, let’s discuss what search volume, competition, and Long Tail keywords are?
What are LongTail Keywords?
It is very difficult for new blogs to rank on single or broad words. For example “Wireless Routers” is a keyword having very high competition. When you search in Google by typing wireless routers, you will find the website having high Domain Authority. You can find domain authority of any website by using Moz site explorer. It is very difficult to out-rank those websites. So, bloggers use long tail keywords like “Best Wireless Routers under 50 dollar”.
Free Tools to Find Long Tail Keywords
Ways to Find the Keywords:
- Along with these tools, there are some tricks where you can find keywords suggestions. Just write down the topic name in Google then scroll down to the bottom to find the related keywords. Here see what Google shows for “Best wireless routers.”
- You can also find a new keyword on the different forums like Quora. Just write down “keyword” + “forum” search query in Google to find the forums related to your keyword.
- You can also use Wikipedia for this purpose. Enter the keyword in Wikipedia's search bar then scroll down to the bottom. It also shows some related topics.
- Google trends is another very helpful service by Google. It also provides the related queries which you can use for keyword research purpose.
- Join Question Answers forums like Quora. Forums like Quora has tons of active members. This is also a great way to find the new keywords because people asked so many questions there and you may find new keywords on which you should write a post. So these are some easy ways you must focus on after starting a Blog.
[Note: You can use Google Adwords, Keyword Shitter, UberSuggest, and LSIGraph to find more keywords related to your niche.]
Search volume is a number of searches a specific keyword receive every month (estimate/average). Before selecting the keyword, find out its search volume. If you write an article on the keyword having No or very low search volume, then your work is just a waste. Pick the words having at least average 300 searches per month. SERPs provide some information for free you may use it to find the search volume. Look at the results for “wireless routers.” It shows that the keyword searched 8100 times on monthly average basis.
After knowing the search volume of your keywords, the next step is to find its competition. Let me show you with the help of below image. Below you can see the result of “best wireless routers” shown by the kwfinder.com. The result shows that it is hard to rank for this keyword. Yes, there is plenty of search volume, but the high authority domains already target this word, so it is very difficult to rank for it.
Because the competition is hard so must try another long tail keyword. Find the low competition with at least 300 search/mo. is good for new sites. When you find the keyword, then don’t waste time and write on that before someone else.
Tools to find Keyword Competition – Competitor Analysis
There are different tools available to find the competition. Most of the tools are available for limited search and period. So at first when you have a limited budget you can use the trial versions. But once you have money then immediately make a purchase of the tool offering good insights.
- KWFinder: This tool provides some information for free like competition and related search etc. For free it will provide competition analysis of 3 different keywords and shows 25 related keywords.
- Moz Keyword Difficulty: This tool is a very good for competitor analysis. It also indicates the difficulty of keyword along with search volume.
- LongTailPro: At the start, they offer software which you can install on your computer and then you can do the research and save the results. But now company released its cloud-based version. It’s a great tool for competitor analysis
Search Engine Optimization
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps to increase the visibility of your contents in search engines. Google is a search engine, and whenever you type any word in its search bar, it will show a huge list of results. Frequently people click on the 1st website for the answer to the words that they type. And mostly people visits the websites on the first page of SERP’s. So, it means websites on the first page of Google receive more traffic.
So here is the question that how your website/blog can get position on the first page?
The answer is very simple; you need to make your blog search engine friendly by doing Search engine optimization. WordPress itself is SEO friendly but you to do some setting as we did in Yoast SEO plugin. Moreover, with the advanced development of WordPress CMS, now it is very easy to optimize your site contents. You can install SEO plugins for optimization.
Search Engine Optimization Basic Guideline for Beginners
That’s enough talk to understand the SEO, let’s find out how to do it actually?
At the WordPress Dashboard hover the mouse pointer over the “Posts” at the sidebar and then click on the “Add new”.
Enter the post name in the title bar let’s take the example that we type “Top 5 Best Wireless Routers under 100 dollars”.
Words Count: Every post must contain at least 1000 words although currently the recommended words are 2000+. A lengthy post shows that it contain more information. Search engines also tend to give priority to the lengthy articles. A recent study by Searchmetrics shows that websites having high length posts rank higher in Google.
Keyword Placing: Try to insert your main/targeted/focus keyword in the first paragraph of your post. If the paragraph is too long then should place it within the first 100 words. And when you are winding up the articles like writing conclusions or recommendations, use the targeted keyword there or within the last 100 words.
Keyword density: You must use the targeted keyword naturally, don’t overuse it and should follow 0.5~0.7% KW density. Yoast helps to determine the keyword density.
Use of Headings: You must add your focus keyword in Title tag and also use it within H2, and H3 headings. Break your article into various paragraphs by using Heading 2 and Heading 3, but use H2 wisely. It is great for both SEO and readability. Moreover, if you want to rank for “Best Wireless Routers” then try to use it exactly in H2 and H3.
- When you complete the post/article, then scroll down to the Yoast SEO section.
- Type the focus keyword.
- Now click on the “Edit snippet”. You will see the following fields as in the below image.
Post and SEO Title: Type the SEO title, it should be different from the Post title. There is no issue if the SEO and Post title are same but keeping both of them different increases the chances of higher ranking in the search results. There is a bit difference between the Post title and SEO title.
The post title is what you write at the top. Here see the image
Whereas SEO title is shown in the search engine like in Google. Use the focus keyword in both Post title and SEO title logically.
Write logically: When writing the titles, then keep in mind the words should be in a logical manner. Don’t try to insert the keywords blindly and don’t just write for search engines. Write the title as it could be easily understandable and readable for humans and keep it within 55 words.
Permalink: Slug is a feature by Yoast which is used to write the permalink. But you don’t need to write anything because Yoast automatically generates the permalink related to your post title. Always create clean permalink structure. For example, if your site has a title of “Top 10 Best Wireless Routers for Home Usage” then your permalink should be something like “top-10-best-wireless-routers-for-home-usage”. You can use only the targeted keyword in permalink and make it like this “best-wireless-routers”. It looks clean and simple.
Meta Description: The meta description is a short paragraph of the article. Google did not consider the meta description as the ranking factor, but still, the meta description is important to attract traffic. Try to include your vital keywords and keep it short. Yoast helps you to write meta description with the safe limit. And do not use the same meta description for relevant articles. Every article must have its unique description.
Now, look at the picture for clear understanding.
Add Media (Images and Videos): You must add some images in the Post by clicking on the “Add media” button. After uploading you must write down the Title and Alt Text by including some of your targeted keywords. Don’t use the same title for each image. Alt Text must describe your image details in short. This will increase the chances of ranking. Look at below image.
SEO plugins also help a lot that’s why we already suggest you install Yoast SEO plugin. Look at the screenshot given below to see that how Yoast provides the suggestions for SEO. You can make your article search engine friendly by following the suggestions.
Quality content: You must write informative words and write for humans. Some users just try to add the keywords without considering the difficulty of reading. Google is advancing by decreasing the top importance of keywords. Write naturally.
Internal links: When you give a link to your blog post to another post on the same blog it is known as an internal link. Internal links help you keep visitors on site by providing related articles. Additionally, these links make Google indexing bit quicker. So you must include internal links in new posts and edit old posts as well. Moreover, keep an eye on the links to filter broken links.
Link to Other Websites: Along with internal links you must also include some links that are pointing to the other authority sites. This will transfer some of your site power to the other site. These links also play some role to improve the ranking.
Backlinks: So far we found there is a strong relation between the backlinks and ranking. A backlink is a trust of the other website to your website. When someone adds your post link in his/her article, then it is known as a backlink. There are several ways to create backlinks like guest blogging and forums, etc. Also, keep in mind that the backlinks from older websites have more power.
Articles Publishing Frequency: It is very necessary to publish articles frequently. For new bloggers, we suggest publishing 2 or 3 articles per week. This is a sign that your blog is up to date and active. Moreover, just writing and publishing is not enough you must also update the published articles whenever new information comes in.
Grammar and Spelling: Grammar and spelling not only cause the difficulty for the readers but also the search engines don’t like this. So before publishing double check your content and read the whole article after writing. If possible get someone for poof-reading. If you are weak in English, then try some software like Grammarly, Ginger, etc. These are good to find the grammatical and spell errors.
Write Unique Articles: No one likes duplication. Google will not ban/penalize your site from the search engine for duplication, but it’s morally a bad habit to present other work as your own. When you copy, the article from the other’s blog having more authority than your blog the search engine will simply ignore your site, and you never rank on that keywords. So it’s better for you to write your own articles. If you hire a writer, then before publishing check its plagiarism score to avoid duplication of contents. For best analysis use Plagiarism Checker X. It’s a great software and runs an in-depth analysis.
Readability might not be the ranking factor at Google, but it’s very important for your blog. It is difficult for the reader to read if you write an article by including difficult and complex words. Moreover, the reader will not stay on your blog and find the topic elsewhere. Additionally, you must write well structure articles so that to increase the readability.
Here are few suggestions for improving the readability
- Write in paragraphs
- Use the shorter sentences
- Write in active voice manner
- Use headings
- Write in short paragraphs, and each must contain maximum 150 words.
- Use transition words
Yoast SEO plugin also provides the readability score look at the screenshot below to view that how Yoast provides suggestions for improving readability.
At the left side of the Post editor, you can see the various information about the post like status and visibility, etc. You can also see the overall rating of SEO and readability. Both turns into Good when you use most of the suggestions in your article provided by Yoast. If your post is search engine friendly and easily readable, then the icons turn green. When there are few issues, then the icon turn orange. And when there are too many issues related to SEO and readability then the icons turn into red.
You can see in the below image by Yoast that shows SEO and Readability rating is Good.
After when you find the low competition word with sufficient amount of search volume then write an article, optimize it and then publish it immediately. The next step is to drive traffic to your blog. Let’s discuss some of the effective ways to drive traffic/visitors.
What is Traffic/ Visitor?
A visitor is someone who visits your blog. To generate the income, you need customers who buy the product/services that you are promoting. Driving traffic to a new blog is a common problem. Yes, it’s easy to start a blog but how the visitors may come to known about your blog. If you think just build a blog and start writing is enough then you are wrong to some extent. You need to attract targeted visitors to get leads and sales.
No traffic means No Sales. Might be you pick the topic having low competition and there are only a few blogs on that topic. You wrote the quality and informative article than others. But it doesn’t guarantee that your blog will surely get traffic, and you don’t need to do anything. It might be possible that other bloggers use some ways to promote their blogs to get traffic. When a Blog got more traffic than others, then search engine consider that blog useful and rank higher.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog?
Now you can understand that, why traffic is important? But the point is how you can drive traffic to your Blog? Don’t worry here are some effective ways. Let’s discuss one by one.
Build an Email list:
Building an email list is a strong way to drive old visitors to your blog. Offer something unique in return of email newsletter subscription. You can place a newsletter subscription form on your blog by installing any newsletter plugin such as WPForms or WP Subscribe. Some bloggers write an e-book and ask to “subscribe and we send the link to your email address.” This is the great way of collecting targeted users and email addresses. After collecting the email address make a list and when you write an article send on that list.
Using social media to promote your Blog is one of the best ways to get traffic, and it’s also a quick way to drive traffic toward newly created blogs. There are plenty of social websites where you can promote your site contents like Twitter, Google+, Reddit, and Facebook, etc. Maintain a profile of your Blog and share articles there.
Additionally, join some groups related to your blog category. This not only helps you to promote your blog but also you can interact with other members closely.
The Advertisement is a great way to get paid traffic like social media marketing. You can use Facebook which offers cheap advertisement plans. Getting traffic through advertisement is known as paid traffic. The paid traffic generally don’t have the potential to buy your offerings because they are somewhat forcing by the advertisement companies to see your ads. But paid traffic keep your blog alive and soon your blog will going to appear in the search results.
Write Irresistible, Attractive and Compelling headlines:
It is the most important part of the topic. The fade and unattractive headlines may not get the traffic even you write an outstanding article. Here are few tips for writing headlines.
- Includes numbers like 9+ or 12+ or just 7 or 11
- Use emotional words like a surprise.
- Use some potential words like how, why, etc.
Build internal/external links, must internal link to your old articles and try to create some authority external backlinks to pass link juice to your Blog. We already discuss these terms under the “Search Engine Optimization” topic.
When you apply a theme on your blog, then make sure it is desktop and as well as mobile friendly. Moreover, Google also did not like unresponsive sites. As the smartphone usage increase so the mobile searches, latest statistics shows that people tend to search more on mobile instead of desktops. So, you should choose a responsive blog theme.
Some websites failed to achieve high ranking due to the poor quality hosting services. Mostly, new bloggers make a mistake and buy a low quality hosting to save some bucks, but by doing so, they can harm their websites. If your hosting servers remain down frequently and have slow speed, then you can never rank higher in SERP’s. Google loves high-speed websites, and it is also a ranking factor.
Search Engines Optimization:
We already discuss that how to optimize your blog. There are more chances that a search engine friendly article will rank soon. So, never forget the importance of SEO. You need to concern on both On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
On page SEO: It is what you can do on your Blog like a good meta description, internal links, quality content, responsive theme, article formatting, etc.
Off page SEO: it is related to building backlinks from external resources, social media likes, share, and other stuff like that.
Just writing the compelling title and description is not enough. You should make the whole article attractive by including headings and the results of your experience. And try to be honest because this habit can build a strong Goodwill of your Blog and may entice visitors to visit again. Always try to craft a unique, quality content which really delivers useful information. Or some sort of info which matters for them.
Attracting Visitors via Videos:
Learning through video tutorials is increasing day by day. YouTube is a great place of learning. Make a short video tutorial about the article and write your keywords in the video description. When a visitor sees the video and found it informative then, he/she will surely visit your website.
Write guest posts for the third party blogs but related to your blog category. Include links to your related post in that guest post. When someone read that guest post, there is a chance that he want to read related information which is on your blog. So the visitor may come to your blog clicking on your link.
Ways to Earn Money
Yes, you can earn money by starting a blog. But the question is How? There are several ways to earn money online. You need to select a way of earning for which you set up a blog. For example, you want to setup an Amazon based Blog where you can earn money by publishing reviews of Amazon products. You can also publish “Top products” type articles and product comparisons as well.
Let’s discuss the different ways to make money online.
Here we discuss the 3 most trusted and well-known ways to earn money online.
1. Advertisements (Google AdSense)
It is one of the most popular and easy ways to make money online. All you have to do is placing ads in different places on your blog, and you make money when someone clicks on that ads. Isn’t simple? You also can earn via impression; there are many companies who pay you on an impression basis. On each 1000 views, they pay around $0.50 ~$30; it depends on the quality of traffic your site receives and niche as well.
Google AdSense is the most trusted and first option when we talk about making money through advertisements. You receive the money on the basis of pay per click and pay per impressions also. There are many non-serious people complaining that there is low earning via Google Adsense (those having low traffic sites). But there is also numerous people earning meaningful income through Adsense. If you work honestly then believe us, you can earn a lot but first drive traffic, more traffic mean more money. Simple!
Requirements for Google AdSense:
- In this way of earning you need to set up a Blog.
- Another important thing is that you should comply with AdSense policies. Your Blog should be free from sexual contents. Otherwise, they reject your site.
- You should show all the important pages in the navigation menu.
- Your Blog should also have the sufficient amount of traffic. So get enough traffic before applying. Here note that Google doesn’t like Paid traffic such as using PTC sites.
These are some basic guidelines you should follow before applying for Google Adsense. After approval, place ad codes on your website to generate income. Now when visitors click on the Ads, you’ll make money. Moreover, Google AdSense also pay for the impressions.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Another way of earning by starting a blog is via affiliate marketing, and the method we use is content marketing. Like the above method here you also need to create a blog or can use paid traffic and email marketing. Here we will talk about affiliate marketing through blogging, or you can say content marketing. After creating a blog, all you have to do is publish quality contents like products reviews, how to use guides related stuff. These articles contain information about the product of those companies whom you are going to join, and you earn a specific commission on every sale. Let’s us explain the procedure by an example.
You want to join the affiliate program of product “A”, then write an article on it. After that place the affiliate link in your article, which the company gives you after joining the program. Whenever a visitor makes a purchase through your affiliate link you put on your site, you will get a commission. It could be a fixed amount or specific percentage like 10% to 90%.
How to get Affiliate links
There are two main ways to get the affiliate links.
i) To get the affiliate link visit the merchant’s website and apply for their affiliate program. You can find the affiliate program link in header or footer of almost every business who offer affiliation. Before sign up, you must check the commission structure and choose those products offering high percentages to earn high commission. For demonstration, we will use CJ affiliate marketplace.
ii) Instead of joining the affiliate programs by visiting the company’s website and creating an account with each company is a headache and needs management. There is an easy way where you don’t need to spend much of your time for management. You can join tons of affiliate program via Commission Junction (CJ), ShareASale, and ClickBank, etc.
Let’s take the example of CJ. At CJ just sign up as the Publisher. After creating an account, type the company name you want to join by visiting “Advertiser>search option” and click on “Join button”.
Look at the screenshot of Commission Junction given below.
3. Sell Own Products
This is just like creating an e-commerce website. Selling your business products online is a great way to earn profits. You just need to create a website, then publish the details of your products at that site. In this way, you can expand your business very easily. Suppose you are selling some unique design garment products in one city, but the people in the other city may like your products. But how the people in the other city can view your products?
Instead of opening the branch in another city which cost a lot you may create a website. Through a website, a person can browse your products and order online.
- This will expand the market for your business
- Lower down the expenses
- Increase the profits
These are the best ways to earn online which are most commonly used by the bloggers. The last one is not for everyone because you need your own products for that and then advertise those products to increase the sale.
Now pick a way of earning that best suits to your blog and you. All the ways are authenticated and can generate handsome amount of earning if working properly and honestly.
Something About Blogging
One thing you must know that the blogging is a long terms activity. If you think that you will see the results of every change quickly, then you are wrong. Everything takes some time. Just take the example of backlinks, these links take almost 3 to 6 months to work for your blog properly. So believe in you take steps and wait for results.
As well said by someone: In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.