feature image of how to start a blog and make money

How to Start a Blog and Make Money not Headaches! (in 2021)

Did you know that there are over 31 million bloggers in the USA?

Out of that, only some bloggers around 5% are earning money off their blog.

Why? Because they don’t make mistakes as 95% of bloggers do.

And if you don’t want to be a part of the majority and make the same mistakes as they do when starting a blog.

Learn how to start a blog and make money the right way:

  1. Choose a Niche
  2. Registering Domain Name
  3. Get Web Hosting
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Design using Themes
  6. Improve Functionality with Plugins
  7. Create Content
  8. Optimize for SEO
  9. Promote & Attract Audience
  10. Monetize your Blog

Ok wait! Before heading into this ultimate step-by-step guide on how to start a blog and make money, I want to tell you…

That this guide focuses on helping you to start a profitable blog business and earn money and if you’re not interested in taking action to do the same.

Then my friend you’re at the wrong place and I advise you to read any other guide available on the internet on ‘how to start a blog’.

Because this guide is for the action takers and hustlers, and not for lazy people who don’t want to make money online and build passive income.

And if you understand what I’m trying to say, then without any further ado, let’s get started.

1. Choose a Niche

The very first step when starting a blog to earn money is to choose a suitable yet profitable niche.

A niche is a particular segment (read area) where your blog would target and attract an audience.

Some people intentionally target the whole industry instead of a segment hoping to rule the industry and make large sums of money.

And in the end, they fail.

They fail to even make a penny out of their blog to pay off the expenses incurred when starting a blog.

To not make the same mistake as others, always remember this:

“The one who attracts all gets the attention of no one”.

Here’s what I mean by this,

To start a successful blog business and earn money you need to focus on a specific niche instead of trying to dominate the market by targeting a big industry.

For instance,

  • Golf is an industry but Golf Clubs / Apparels are a niche.
  • Gadget and Technology is an industry but Smartphones / Headphones are a niche.
  • Health & Fitness is an industry but Yoga / Keto Diet are a niche.

Did you get my point?

Don’t target a whole industry instead break it down into small segments and focus on serving a particular area.

For example,

  • Focus on Golf Equipments instead of Golf.
  • Focus on Smartphones instead of Gadget and Technology.
  • Focus on Yoga instead of Health & Fitness.

That way you could not only be earning a living with your blog,

But also be able to scale it over the long term by building backlinks to it, thereby increasing the number of readers you attract.

And by focusing on a specific niche it will making you appear as an expert and authoritative in the industry.

Here is a check-list that will help you to select a profitable niche for your blog:

  • Your niche should be based on what you like, prefer, and have expertise on.
  • Your niche should have affiliate revenue potential so that you could earn money in it.
  • Your niche should have demand so that you know people are concerned about that and want to learn more about it.
  • The customer spending potential, this means, are the people interested in the niche willing to spend money on the product?

If not? Then choose another niche.

Let’s choose a niche according to the above check-list so that you can get an idea on how to select your blog’s niche.

Imagine you like playing golf, and have been playing it for more than a year or so.

And by playing for such a long time you’ve built up expertise upon selecting the proper golf clubs and the right technique to hit the golf ball.

You went to Google, searched for ‘golf clubs’. There you see a lot of sites recommending ‘best golf clubs’ so you can sense that there is an affiliate revenue potential.

That means people (audience) are buying the products i.e the golf clubs.

And by looking at the number of search results available for your google search, you can get an idea that the golf equipments niche has a public demand.

Also for your information, let me tell you that the Golf Equipment Market Scope is forecasted at 7.6 Billion in 2025.

That means people are spending money on golf clubs, and golf balls.

So selecting golf equipments as your blog’s niche is your ideal choice as it checks all the boxes of the check-list to select the blog niche above.

Note: I’m not recommending you to only choose golf clubs as your niche. It is only being used as an example for you to understand better the check-list on selecting a niche for your blog

By following the above checklist you can select an ideal and profitable niche for your blog.

Action Step: Brainstorm some keywords that are relevant to your niche and write them down as they’ll be helpful for you to later focus on.

2. Registering a Domain Name

After you’ve selected your niche it’s time to buy a relevant domain name for your blog website.

A domain name makes it easy for humans to type in the browser and locate your website on the internet.

In simple words, it is the middle name that comes after the ‘www.‘ & before the ‘.com‘ part.

image of a person's hand searching for a domain name to register it

For example, as you can see my blog’s domain name is ‘ozadhruv‘, which comes after ‘www.’ & before ‘.com’.

And I’ve chosen this name to build my personal brand, the same way as Neil Patel & Brian Dean.

In the above part, I told you the importance of focusing on a specific niche and not the entire industry.

Also if you’ve completed the action-step and brainstormed some keywords relating to your niche, you can try to use any one of them as your domain name that is easy to remember for people to find you on the internet.

And that domain will be yours as long as you pay for it (more on this later).

Below are some tips which would guide you to select a good domain name for your site.

Tips on selecting a Domain Name –

  • Keep your domain name 2-3 words long.
  • Include a niche-related keyword in the domain name.
  • Always choose a ‘.com’ domain extension.
  • Do not use hyphens or numbers as it looks spammy.

Q. Why not to buy the domain from web hosts?

To register a domain name you’ve to buy it from domain registrars.

Domain registrars like Namecheap offer ‘.com’ domain for a small price of $8.88 per year.

So you’ve to select the tenure you want to buy the domain (minimum 1 year and a maximum of 10 years) and register it.

Now you may think why do I have to register for a domain when you can get it free with web hosting.

Yeah, you’re right, you may get a free domain with your web hosting, but I won’t recommend it.

Why?

Because to save yourself from headaches.

Many web hosts provide a free domain, but I’ll use the example of Bluehost and explain it to you.

Most of the bloggers promote ‘Bluehost’ as the best web hosting service provider as they also provide free domain names but that’s not true.

The service of Bluehost is pathetic, they have slow and overcrowded servers, frequent server outages, poor support service, and lot’s of more.

The list of problems arising with Bluehost is never-ending and leave customers frustated like this,

image of a bluehost review

Moreover, they only offer a free domain name for 1 year and after that, you’ve to pay them a high fee to renew it.

They even charge you for basic security things like SSL Certificates, Whois Guard Privacy, and many more.

And finally, when you try to get rid of them you’d be facing a lot of problems transferring your domain because you’re using their free domain provided with your web hosting plan.

image of a person asking for help to move her domain away from bluehost after her blog got hacked

Whereas when you buy a domain name from a domain registrar like Namecheap it’s beneficial for you as you not only get dedicated domain support but also various safety features at a low price.

Also, they charge you fewer renewal fees than other registrars only $12.98 per year.

If you want more information, read this guide on why not to register a domain with your web host.

Ready to register your dream domain name? Click below and get started.

Q. How to Register a Domain name with Namecheap?

Below are some steps which would guide you through the domain buying process.

Step 1. Go to Namecheap.com & search for your domain.

a screen shot of namecheap website

Step 2. If your preferred domain is available then click on add to cart and if not search another one but only choose a domain available with ‘.com’ TLD (Top-Level Domain)

image of selecting your preferred domain and adding it to shopping cart

Step 3. Confirm your Order on the Checkout page.

image of namecheap domain shopping cart confirmation

Step 4. Create a new account or login if you already have one.

image of namecheap account log in or creating new account

Ste 5. On the Billing tab select your preferred Payment Method.

image of selcting preferred payment method in namecheap domain shopping

And below that input your billing address in Receipt Details.

image of filling billing details of namecheap domain shopping

Step 6. On the Order tab review your Shopping Cart,

image of reviewing details on namecheap domain shopping

And Payment details.

image of reviewing payment details for namecheap domain shopping

Step 7. Voila! It’s done. Pay for the domain and it’s yours.

And that’s it.

Pat yourself on back, as you’ve just bought your desired domain name and took a step ahead towards starting your own blog.

3. Get Web Hosting for your Blog

After you’ve bought a domain, it’s time for you to get a web hosting service for your blog.

Choosing reliable web hosting is important for your blog. Because your blog’s performance is directly related to the type of service you opt for.

From establishing your blog’s presence on the internet to making any updates in its functionality, everything is dependent on your web host.

Your web host is responsible to make your blog available 24/7 on the internet for your audience to access it anywhere in the world.

And buying the wrong hosting plan from the wrong host can cause you some serious troubles when you’re simply a beginner in this blogging industry.

So to save yourself from various troubles and headaches,

I recommend you get started with a shared web hosting plan from FastComet as it is budget-friendly and best suitable for newbie bloggers.

Benefits of Getting Started with FastComet:

  1. Above industry average 99.99% uptime
  2. SSD Storage instead of traditional HDD
  3. Free SSL Certificates
  4. Cloud-based shared hosting plans
  5. Free Cloudflare CDN Integration
  6. 24/7/365 quality human support
  7. Easy Scalability of Plans

Ready to start your blog? Click below & Get a discount by using my link.

Q. How to Buy Shared Web Hosting from FastComet?

Below are some steps that would guide you through the buying process of FastComet Web Hosting.

Step 1. Go to FastComet.com and click start now.

image of fastcomet website homepage

Step 2. On the ‘Choose Plan’ tab, click on Get Started for FastCloud plan.

image of getting started with fastcloud fastcomet web hosting plan

After clicking on getting started you’ll be redirected to the Select Domain tab.

Step 3. On the Select Domain tab click on ‘I already have a domain’ and input the domain name you bought a few mins ago from Namecheap and hit ‘use this domain’.

image of entering domain name in I already have a domain tab and click on Use this domain button

Ste 4. On the ‘Account Details’ tab, there are 3 different types of information you need to fill in.

First, Fill in your account information.

image of filling in account details of fastcomet web hosting shopping

Second, Edit your product information, plus some upsell for your convenience.

image of editing fastcomet product details

And third, Select your preferred payment method and click on Complete Order.

image of editing fastcomet web hosting payment details and clicking on complete order button to confirm product purchase

And that’s it. You bought yourself a web hosting plan for your blog to grow.

Pat yourself on the back again as you’ve completed another step towards starting your blog and one step closer to becoming a blogger.

And now it’s time to connect your domain with your web hosting plan.

Q. How to Connect your Domain to your Web Host?

This part is a bit technical so I would try to keep it as simple as possible.

Below are steps you need to follow to connect your domain with web hosting.

Step 1. Sign in to your Namecheap account.

Step 2. Select the Domain list from the left-hand sidebar and click on manage, next to your domain.

image of process of namecheap domain connecting to fastcomet web hosting

Step 3. In the Domain tab, you’ll see the nameservers section, in that choose Custom DNS from the drop-down menu.

image of changing nameservers for the process of namecheap domain connecting to fastcomet web hosting

Step 4. Now input the nameservers provided by FastComet. To find them, log in to your hosting account, scroll down to the Active Products tab and hit manage, and then click on ‘view details’.

image of finding namservers for the process of connecting namecheap domain to fastcomet web hosting

You’ll see 2 nameservers there listed as Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2 respectively.

Copy and enter them into custom DNS options one by one.

And that’s it. Your domain is connected to your hosting plan.

Note: If you have any problem with understanding and implementing the above steps then contact Namecheap support and FastComet support for further queries.

Now let’s move forward and take a step towards creating your blog on WordPress.

4. Starting a blog on WordPress

To start a successful blog you would need a CMS (Content Management System) to create and manage your blog’s content.

And WordPress is the biggest CMS in the world powering 40% of websites in the world.

Because of its powerful features, it’s convenient for you to not only to create a successful blog but also to scale it over the long term to gain traffic from search engines like Google.

image of powerful wordpress features

And I know that there are several CMS systems available in the market but the one which is easy to scale and manageable is WordPress.

That’s why it is being used by 40% of websites in the world, right?

So don’t wait for any further and install it.

Q. How to install WordPress on your blog?

Below are some steps to help you to install WordPress.

Step 1. To install WordPress on your blog website, log in to your FastComet Account

image of fastcomet account login page

Step 2. Once you’re inside your account, scroll down a bit to the ‘Active Products’ tab and click on ‘cpanel’ under the Quick Actions column.

image of fastcomet account homepage where you can access cPanel

Step 3. Enter your Master (Account) Password and click on ‘proceed’.

image of entering password to access cpanel inside fastcomet account

Step 4. Once you enter Cpanel, type ‘Softaculous’ and click on the “Softaculous App Installer”.

image of softaculous app installer inside cPanel

Step 5. After you enter the Softaculous App installer, click on ‘WordPress’ and hit install.

image of installing wordpress inside softaculous app installer

Step 6. Configure your WordPress Installation in 3 different parts.

In the first part, choose your domain name and prefix.

image of setting up wordpress installation

Note: do not erase the “wp” in the ‘in the directory’ box. Keep it as is.

In the second part, set-up your blog title and tagline & your account credentials.

image of setting up admin email account for installation of wordpress

Do not worry much about this as you change them later. Although keep a note of your credentials as you will need them to log-in to the backend of your WordPress blog.

In the third part, Choose your preferred Language (English recommended), deselect plugins.

image of setting up basic details for the installation of wordpress

Leave advanced options as is (do not change anything), do not install extra themes (let the default theme get installed).

And finally hit ‘install’.

Congrats! You’ve just installed WordPress on your domain to start and build a profitable blog.

Now, let’s take some small steps to improve the design and functionality of your freshly installed WordPress blog.

5. Design your Blog using Themes

After you’ve installed WordPress on your domain, this is what your blog looks like right now.

Not so beautiful right?

image of freshly installed wordpress blog with default theme being activated

I know my blog used to look like that too, but I’ve changed its face and now it looks quite beautiful.

Ok! I agree it’s not that beautiful but at least it is simple and clutter-free.

But the point is, you can change the look of your blog too.

You can design your blog as you wish according to your imagination by using themes.

A WordPress theme is a zipped folder of various template files containing different elements to change functionality, design, and layout further improving the front-end appearance of your blog.

In simple words, you can use a theme to design your blog to make it look more attractive and pleasing to your audience.

By default, WordPress comes with a Twenty Twenty-One theme pre-installed & activated, either you can customize that theme or change it.

I recommend you to change it for more functionality.

And you can choose any theme you want to use that suits your wants, needs, and imagination for your blog.

There are two types of themes available:

  1. Free Themes, and
  2. Paid Themes

WordPress repository has over 8000 themes available for free, and choosing one of them is quite a headache.

image of the number of themes in the wordpress repository

While the free themes can be a cost-effective option for you to choose, they lack features that a premium theme provides like priority customer support, custom templates, etc.

In short, the true power of your theme is hidden behind the free version.

And it can only be unleashed when you subscribe to the premium option for your blog.

Premium themes provide more functionality, features, integrations, and support options for you to use and design your blog as you desire.

And the only premium theme I recommend is GeneratePress for your blog.

The benefit of using this theme is that it is a freemium theme.

That means you can install and use the free version of the theme and later buy the premium version of it to activate on your blog.

Additionally, to build and design your blog seamlessly, you would need an advanced page builder, like Elementor.

A drag and drop page builder would make the process of designing your blog easier and less complicated.

More about this later in the post. But now it’s time to learn to install a theme.

Q. How to Install a Theme in WordPress?

After you’ve decided which theme you want to use you can install it on your blog by following the below steps:

Step 1. Log-in to backend of your WordPress blog by visiting yourdomain.com/wp-admin

image of logging into wordpress dashboard

Step 2. In the dashboard, hover over the ‘appearance’ section and click on ‘themes’.

image of locating themes under appearance tab

Step 3. Now you can see the pre-installed themes but click on ‘add new’ to install a new theme.

image of adding new theme in wordpress blog

Step 4. Search the name of the theme you wish to have on your blog in the ‘search box’.

image of installing new theme in wordpress blog

And as you find the theme click on ‘Install’ to begin the installation.

Step 5. Go back to the themes option and click on ‘activate’ on the theme you installed.

image of activating theme in wordpress blog

And there it is, you’ve installed a theme on your blog.

Also, if you bought the premium theme which I recommend you to do or you downloaded it from the official site, you can upload it to your dashboard after clicking on ‘add new’.

image of an alternative way of installing a wordpress theme

Then choose the zipped file from your folder and install it by clicking on the ‘install’ button.

And that’s it.

You’ve installed a theme on your blog.

Ready to design your blog using the best theme? Click below and get started.

Keep patting yourself on the back as you’re taking such small steps towards starting your sucessful blog.

Now let’s take another small step and improve your blog’s functionality.

6. Improve Functionality of your Blog using Plugins

A plugin is like a piece of software containing a wide range of functions that extends the functionality of a WordPress site.

In simple words, a plugin helps you to improve functionality of your WordPress blog as you want to.

Plugins can help you with many things such as adding a social sharing button, optimising website speed, input forms in your blog and many more.

But just like theme’s, the condition is the same for plugins too. There are plenty of plugins available in the WordPress repository. 58,505 plugins to be precise.

image of the number of plugins available in the wordpress repository

And choosing a few of them is quite a headache.

So, I’ve listed out 7 essential plugins to improve the functionality of your blog and to help you scale your blog at ease.

Although note, similarly like the themes the performance of such plugins is limited due to their free version so I suggest you upgrade your plan.

List of Essential Plugins –

Elementor:

A drag and drop page builder helps you to build your site easily. Elementor has pre-built templates so that you can design every area of your blog smoothly.

It can also integrate with various themes like GeneratePress, Astra, OceanWP, etc., available in the market so you can customize the themes up to your convenience and imagination.

Although you can install the free version but don’t expect many features as its pro version for $49 per year is the real bang for the buck.

Rank Math:

If you’re starting a blog in 2021 you need this plugin to level up your SEO game. Rank Math makes it easy for you to optimize your content for On-Page SEO, like keyword optimization, internal linking suggestions, image SEO, etc.

Moreover, you can integrate it with Google Search Console, Google Analytics, & Bing Webmaster Tools. You can also generate XML sitemaps to submit to search engines.

The list of features available in the free version is enough for your blog to set its place in the blogging industry. But the pro version for $59 per year takes it to the moon.

Social Rocket:

Didn’t I talk about going to the moon? Then Social Rocket as the name suggests is the rocket for your journey. With various social media integrations, you can worry less about your content getting shared and focus more on creating it.

It has various features such as inline buttons to floating buttons to click to tweet module and different page settings for your convenience. So you can input sharing buttons wherever you wish.

And the pro version starts at a budget-friendly price of $29 per year, which allows you to set different settings for mobile and desktop along with providing more social media integrations.

WP Fastest Cache:

To go to the moon you need speed, and for that, you need this plugin. WP Fastest Cache is the easiest to set up caching plugin available in the market for your blog.

It has over 1 million active installations and rated 4.9 out of 5 stars. And that’s not only because it’s easy to set up but also for the power-packed features it provides straight out of the box.

With features like browser caching, gzip compression, CDN integration, and a lot more. You can be worry-free for your site’s speed. Also for a one-time payment of $49.99, you can use the premium version forever. Yep! Forever.

Sucuri:

When talking about going to the moon you need to take care of security first! Sucuri is a WordPress security plugin helping you to experience fewer security threats and more legitimate visitors.

In simple words, it protects your blog from various malware issues, brute-force attacks, DDoS protection, and hack attempts from happening on your blog.

The free plan is enough for your newly started blog but as your blog grows, buy the premium version for $199 per year as you also get WAF (Web Application Firewall), and CDN service to improve blog speed with it.

Akismet:

If talking about security, we can’t forget spam attacks. WordPress gets over 400 Billion spam messages every month. I repeat every month. And that’s what Akismet can help you with.

It is a spam protection plugin, to help you get rid of spam attacks on your comments and contact forms to reduce your headache.

The free version is enough for your newly started blog but if you wish to have priority support you can buy the premium plan for $10 per month.

Updraft Plus:

After security, it’s time to talk about safety. Look I get it, you can have the hardest to break security on your blog but taking proper precaution is better than cure. Updraft Plus is a backup plugin to take care of all your safety needs.

It has over 3 million active installs and 4.8 stars out of 5, so you can’t go wrong with this plugin. With a one-click backup and restore process you can set up and use the plugin with ease.

Moreover, you can also export your backup to various cloud-based storage options like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and many more. The premium version starts at $70 per year with a lot more features and add-on bundles.

Q. How to Install Plugins in WordPress?

Below are some steps to guide you through the plugin installation process:

Step 1. In the WordPress Dashboard, hover over the plugins section and click on ‘add new’.

image of locating plugins to add new in wordpress blog

Step 2. Type the name of the plugin you want to install in the ‘search box’.

image of adding new plugins in wordpress blog

And as you find the plugin hit ‘install’ & later click on ‘activate’ to use it.

An alternative way, and also if you have subscribed to the premium version of the plugins mentioned above, you can upload the zip file directly to the dashboard.

Instead of typing in the search box, click on ‘upload’, then ‘choose’ the file, and hit ‘install’.

image of an alternative way to install a plugin in wordpress

And that’s it. You’ve installed the plugin.

Congrats! You’ve taken another small step to launch your blog successfully.

Now it’s time to create content for your blog.

7. Creating Content for your blog

To be very honest with you, this is the most fun and tiring part as well…. Content Creation!

And to become a successful blogger you need to create content for your blog that your target audience would love.

By creating content, I mean you need to write blog posts that fulfill the criteria:

  • Addresses target audience’s needs
  • Provide them with the appropriate solution, and
  • Add value to the readers life by educating them.

Yes, every blog post you write needs to fulfill all these three things. 

And don’t worry it’s not hard, actually, all the three are quite inter-related to each other.

Let me explain it to you in simple words.

First, To address your target audience’s needs, you need to match their search intent

Search intent is nothing but the reason in the searcher’s mind before searching for something.

For instance, if you wanna buy running shoes, what are you gonna search for? ‘Best running shoes’ right?

Why? Because you want to buy running shoes and that’s your reason (read search intent) behind searching for ‘best running shoes’.

And after searching, you’d see a lot of posts that match your search intent, comparing different shoes with the title ‘best running shoes’ like this:

image of best running shoes google search result page

Do you understand what I’m trying to say? You’ve to write posts that match the search intent of the reader.

And now, when you click on any one post, let’s say Runners World, what would you see?

“A list of best running shoes” right?

So it means that, Runners World blog post is providing you (the target audience) with the appropriate solution.

And with the written copy in the blog post, the author is adding value to the reader’s life i.e. your life, by educating you about the best running shoes.

Now, as you can see, that Runners World is fulfilling all three criteria with their blog post.

  1. It addresses the target audience’s needs i.e. matches search intent.
  2. It provides them with the appropriate solution, and
  3. It adds value to the reader’s life by educating them.

And that’s what you’ve to do too.

You’ve to write different blog posts that fulfill all three criteria.

Have no idea about what type of posts to write? Don’t worry I’ll help you with that.

Types of Posts:

Writing posts is the most essential part of creating quality and great content for your blog.

Below is a list of types of posts you can write for your blog.

1. Best Post

This is the ‘best’ post. Best Post means the ultimate best post comparing different features, benefits, etc., of multiple in the post.

For instance, let’s get back to our golf equipments niche, then the posts would be:

  • Best golf club for beginners
  • Best golf clubs for seniors
  • Best golf clubs for kids
  • Best golf clubs for women

Did you get my point?

You’ve to write the ultimate best post for your blog comparing different products from different companies and present it in front of your audience.

2. Review Post

The second type of post you’ve to write is a ‘review’ post.

A ‘review’ post means the in-depth review of a product or service related to your niche.

For instance, for our golf equipments niche then the posts would be:

  • Cypress Creek Golf Club Reviews
  • Wilson Golf Club Review
  • Callaway Big Bertha Golf Clubs Reviews

Did you get my point?

You’ve to write an in-depth review post about a product or service related to your niche for your blog.

3. How-to Guide

‘How-to’ Guide refers to a tutorial post focusing on answering a question.

For example this guide, the one you’re reading.

You wanted to learn ‘how to start a blog and make money’, so I wrote this guide.

Similarly, you’ve to write a ‘how-to’ guide answering the questions of your blog readers.

For instance, for our golf clubs niche the ‘how-to’ guide would be:

  • How to choose the right golf club
  • How to swing a golf club step by step
  • How to hold a golf club for beginners

And a lot more. I know these are some pretty basic questions but you get my point, right?

Write ‘how-to’ guides focusing on answering questions of your blog readers.

Now let’s look at where you have to write your posts.

Q. How to create a blog post?

Below are some steps that would help you to create your first blog post.

Step 1. In the WordPress dashboard, hover over the posts section and click on ‘add new’.

image of locating posts section to add a new post in wordpress blog

Step 2. Write Title and Post content, after finishing the post, hit ‘publish’.

image of writing content and title of a new blog post in wordpress blog

Now, let’s optimize our content for SEO

8. Optimize for SEO

After you’ve written your blog posts it’s time to optimize it for search engines and the process of doing so is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Search Engine Optimisation or as majorly known as SEO is the process of optimizing blog content to rank higher in search engine rankings, thereby increasing the organic traffic that website gets.

In simple words, doing proper SEO would boost your rankings and help your blog get high traffic from search engines also it’s going to make your blog popular.

Most bloggers make this mistake and don’t care to optimize their content for SEO as ranking on search engines is a long-term process.

So to gain short-term benefits, they spend money on ads to gain traffic.

Which is quite pocket draining to benefit overall from spending money on your blog to earn money from it.

And this guide is all about starting a blog to make money and not spend money so I won’t recommend you to spend money on ads.

Following are the ways you can optimize your blog posts for SEO.

1. Meta Tags

Meta Tags are code snippets of your content that help search engines better understand your content.

Don’t worry you don’t have to do any technical stuff here.

All you have to focus on is two meta tags:

A. Meta Title:

This is the title tag of your page. Title Tag appears on the search engine result pages as clickable links to people for a given result.

Make sure that your title is enticing enough to get clicked on search engines by visitors for a specific query.

And how do you do that?

By entering your target keyword at the beginning of your title tag and try to keep it in between 50–60 characters so that your title can appear properly on search engine result pages.

You can refer to this guide by Moz and also use their tool to better optimize your title tags.

B. Meta Description:

This is the description of your blog post. It appears below the title tag on search engine results pages.

The purpose of Meta Description is to give people a little context about the post.

Write a short preview of your blog post containing your target keyword to tell visitors what your post is about.

The best idea is to keep the meta description length less than 160 characters, otherwise it would get cropped making it less enticing for people.

2. Optimize with keywords

While writing content you need to keep in mind 2 things:

First, trying to match the search intent of the user.

And, second, to target & optimise with keywords that your audience might be searching with.

The search intent of the user might get fulfilled when your content solves his/her query.

Whereas after you choose the keywords to target, you’ve to optimize your content with it.

By this I mean include keywords into your post in a natural way.

Do not just stuff keywords into the content hoping your audience would like it.

I repeat do not do this. This shady technique used to work a few years ago, but now Google has started to penalize such sites from ranking for having thin content with no value for visitors.

So to save yourself from getting penalized, avoid keyword stuffing instead focus on using different variations like long-tail keywords and LSI keywords.

How to optimize content with keywords?

  1. Include the keyword in Subheadings.
  2. Add the keyword in blog post’s permanent URL.
  3. Input keyword in the Title of your blog post.
  4. Include long-tail keywords throughout the body.
  5. Mention the target keyword in the first 100 words.

By optimizing your content in the above ways you can write better content for both visitors and search engines.

3. Visual Media

According to a research, a human brain processes images 60000 times faster than text so include images in your blog posts.

Why so? Because, images are a great way to convey your message to your audience.

Images are easy to read and understand as compared to a text block. They also help you to build an emotional connection with your audience and support your point.

So include relevant, informative visual media be it infographics, images, screen shots, gifs, or even a video in your blog post.

You can use Canva to create infographics for your blog, which is easy to use and has lots of templates to begin with.

By using appropriate visual media, you make your blog post appear more easy to consume, and fun to read.

4. Readability

If you want to make your blog post easy to consume and understand for your audience, you need to focus on readability.

Readability is a metric that measures how easy to read your blog post is for an average human.

And with an average american having a readability level of an 7th/8th grader, it’s important to optimize your blog post to make it easily readable.

For example, writing large text blocks is going to make your blog post look terrifying, hard to read, and discouraging for your readers to follow.

So it’s better to frame short paragraphs to make reading easy.

I would also suggest you to use simple and formal words within your content and avoid long, intimidating and jargon vocabulary.

You can use a free tool like Hemingway App to check and improve the readability score of your blog post.

image of hemingway editor app to optimise content for better readability

It is a free, easy to use platform that can help you with your writing process.

5. Permalinks

Permalinks are static links that refer to a specific blog post or page of a domain.

Permalinks make it easy for your readers to remember the page/post they are on and bookmark it. And come back directly to your blog for future reference.

For instance the permalink of this post is ‘how-to-start-a-blog’ which comes after my domain.

By default, WordPress sets up your permalink as yourdomain/postid

And in no way this default permalink structure is fulfilling that purpose.

So I recommend you to change it’s structure for better SEO.

You can change it by going to ‘Settings’ of your WordPress blog and then click on ‘Permalinks’.

image of permalink structure in wordpress blog

There are many options to choose from but I’ll recommend you to choose the “post name” structure.

So change the option from ‘plain’ to ‘post name’.

Although don’t forget to save your changes in the end.

6. Sitemap

According to Google, “A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them. Search engines like Google read this file to more intelligently crawl your site”.

In simple words, a sitemap is like a blueprint of your website, where it contains list of urls of your website, which helps search engines to properly find, crawl, and index all your website’s content.

So it’s necessary to create and submit your sitemap to search engines.

Creating a sitemap is a simple process if you’ve installed the Rank Math plugin I recommended earlier.

Go to ‘Rank Math’ section in your WordPress dashboard, then click on ‘Sitemap Settings

image of locating rankmath sitemap section

Here you will see the sitemap link of your website.

Copy that and log in to Google Search Console.

Under ‘Index’ click on ‘sitemaps’ and paste the URL you copied a few mins ago and hit ‘submit’.

image of process of submitting sitemap in google search console

That’s it you have submitted your sitemap and Google will Periodically crawl and index your site using the sitemap you provided.

Similarly, you have to submit your blog to Bing.

Go and login to Bing Webmasters.

Click on ‘Sitemap’ under ‘home’ then click on ‘submit’ to submit your sitemap.

image of process of submitting sitemap in bing web master tools

And voila! You have submitted your sitemap to Bing.

Note: If you have not yet added your website to Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster by verifying your ownership, while setting up the Rank Math plugin, then you won’t be able to submit your sitemap.

So I recommend you, first, do that using the Rank Math plugin as it makes the entire process easier and then submit your sitemap individually.

After optimizing your blog for SEO, it’s time to promote your blog and attract your target audience.

9. Promote your Blog and Attract Audience

Promoting your blog to attract an audience is a big thing.

Because until and unless you have an audience, how would you make money?

And to attract an audience you would have to get in front of them.

Okay so how do you get in front of them?

By leveraging following ways:

A. Building links

There are over 200 ranking factors that Google uses to rank sites in search results pages. And backlinks are one of them.

Links are like a currency for your blog.

The more you earn the more audience you will attract and the more likely you are to rank for keywords in search engine result pages like Google.

Backlinks are one way links from external sites to yours, passing link juice so that your blog can grow.

Although there are many ways to build links for your blog but I recommend you only focus on the following:

1. Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is a great way to promote your blog and attract an audience.

It is the process of contributing blog posts on your niche relevant websites and earning a link back plus some referral traffic to your blog.

Guest Posting is a viable and popular strategy for following reasons:

  1. Builds Brand Authority
  2. Increases Backlink Profile
  3. Showcase Expertise
  4. Gets Publicity
  5. Quality Referral Traffic
  6. Makes your blog popular

So I advise you to start writing guest posts on niche relevant high website authority sites to pass link juice and attract an audience.

2. Broken Link Building

Broken Link Building is a technique to replace broken 404 links with one of your blog’s relevant links.

In simple words, you find a broken link, you contact the author or editor of the post and try to replace the broken with your link.

It is a good strategy to gain backlinks to your newly started blog without doing much effort. You simply have to find broken links and replicate them with your similar links and that’s it.

Although this tactic to build links can be quite time consuming to manually find links that you can replicate.

But remember, “The harder a link to get the more value it contains”.

3. Skyscraper Technique

Ever since the Brain published his skyscraper technique guide it has gained quite a popularity in the blogging industry.

The skyscraper technique is not only easy to follow but also proven effective to show quality results.

To excel in this technique, all you’ve to do is follow is simple 3 steps:

  1. Find top-performing content.
  2. Make it more thorough and in-depth.
  3. Contact the right people.

And that’s it.

Although remember to truly excel in this technique, you’ve to do it at scale. Reach out to as many people as you can because everyone may not get results like Brian.

B. Social Media

With over 3.8 billion people using social media you can gain quite a few eyesights for your blog by regularly sharing your blog posts on social media.

You can use a social-media scheduling tool like Buffer to help you schedule your posts in different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Also, I’d suggest you join various groups, and forums on Reddit or Quora to interact with the people and promote your blog when appropriate and attract an audience.

Earlier I told you to use infographics in your blog post, as they are easy to read and understand for humans.

But they also have a good probability of getting shared, or more so getting viral.

So here’s one more reason to include visual media on your posts.

C. Paid Medium

To be honest with you, all the ways I talked about to attract an audience are time consuming.

It’s true they are.

It will take time for search engines like Google to find, crawl and index backlinks to your blog. And then rank you higher in search result pages so that you can get some organic traffic.

It will also take time for your posts to go viral on social media to gain traction and attract an audience to your blog.

Whereas using paid mediums you can attract an audience within a few minutes.

You can set up ads using any platform like Google Adwords (now ads), Facebook ads, LinkedIn or Twitter ads to attract your target audience.

And Once your ad goes live. It will hardly take up a few minutes for your target audience to see it and visit your blog.

Although this way to gain visibility and attract an audience may be beneficial for you to gain traction but it’s pocket draining.

It will need you to create a budget of hundreds of dollars for ad spend on daily basis to actually see the growth.

And no matter what way you use to attract audience but after you have quite a bit of visitors on your blog.

You can look at the following ways to monetize your blog.

10. Make Money from your Blog

At the beginning of this blog post, I told you that only 5% of bloggers make money.

And you want to be one of them, right?

I mean, that’s the reason why you’re starting a blog business, you want to make money with it.

And to help you with that, I told you to start a blog the correct way.

Until here, you’ve learned the steps to start a blog: choosing a domain name, buying a web hosting, installing WordPress, designing using themes, improving functionality via plugins, creating content, and promoting it.

Now it’s time for you to earn money with your blog.

Although there are various ways for you to make money blogging.

But according to me the following are the best and easy way to make money even if your blog is new.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is the best way to earn an income from your blog. And not just an income but by scaling it over the long term you can make passive income with ease.

By being an affiliate marketer you have to recommend products related to your niche to your audience and earn commission, when they purchase through your affiliate links.

Being an affiliate means, you work indirectly as a sales person for the company.

You help them generate sales and for every qualified sale, the company rewards you by giving a piece of the profit.

Harsh Agrawal’s ShoutMeLoud is one such example of a blog making money through affiliate marketing.

Just like Harsh, you too can make money through affiliate marketing.

Like for example, once again let’s consider our niche as golf equipments, then you can recommend different golf equipments to your audience and make money whenever they buy through your affiliate links.

Check out my guide on, how to to start affiliate marketing for beginners to learn more about making money via affiliate marketing.

2. Freelancing

People need professional services to grow their business.

After you’ve started your blog you can freelance your services to various clients to earn money.

By this I mean you can use your professional expertise and offer them as a service to high ticket clients.

And charge a premium price for that service.

For example, Ryan Robinson offers his content marketing skills to clients as a service.

He has a dedicated page on his blog showcasing his awesome portfolio of working with high ticket clients where people can contact him for further queries relating to hiring him.

And just like him you too can make money via freelancing. For instance, let us go back to our golf equipments niche.

Then you can provide your expertise as a service to various clients wanting to learn ‘how golf is played’

Also, if you move your focus from B2C to B2B, you can offer the same service to various golf communities and train beginners by charging 10x.

3. Info-Products

Selling Info-products is one of many ways to make money while sleeping.

Info-products like ebooks, online courses, webinars, cheat sheets etc are easy to sell online. On the other hand, they also have the ability to earn hefty margins.

For example, you could work hard for a month to design and publish a digital course. And once it’s completed, you can sell that course on your blog for a long time.

Making you passive income while you sleep peacefully or even if you’re in a different country travelling, it would still make you money.

Jon Morrow’s SmartBlogger is one such blog money money selling info-products.

He sells various courses relating to help you become a better writer and makes over $1 Million.

That’s all folks.

I hope by reading this guide you’ll feel confident to start your own blog and make money as I’ve covered almost everything that you need to know to start a money making blog.

But now, it’s time for me to address and answer some of the basic questions that you might have.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

What is a blog?

A blog is short version of “weblog” meaning an online journal or informational website where people maintain an ongoing of chronicle of information.

Is starting a blog worth it?

Yes it is. I know by starting a blog today you might face a lot of competition, but if you follow the steps mentioned in the guide correctly, you can not only start a blog but also monetize it.

What are other CMS to start a blog?

There are many other CMS platforms available to start a blog such as Blogger, Hubspot CMS, Tumblr, WordPress.org and WordPress.com

Which blog platform is best?

WordPress.org platform is the best CMS to start a blog because of it’s powerful features it’s not only easy to scale but also to monetize.

What blog platform should I use?

It’s okay to get confused after seeing so much options avaiable but I recommend you to use self-hosted WordPress platform to start a blog.

How much does it cost to start a blog?

You can start a successful blog for less than $100, but if you have an extra hundred or two, that’s gonna keep you ahead of the competition.

How do you start a blog for free?

You can start a blog at WordPress.com, but note that would be a subdomain blog that is – yourname.wordpress.com and also remember that blog would not be monetizable. So you can’t make money out of it.

Which blog earn more money?

Self-hosted WordPress blogs earn more money as they are handled and managed by you. So the blog’s earning potential is upto you.

Can blog make money?

Yes it can. There are many ways you can make money blogging, the most profitable one’s are freelancing, affiliate marketing and selling own products.

Summary

If you start a blog in 2021 you are going to face massive competition but only if you start it the correct way you’d be much ahead of your competition and actually be successful.

And to start a successful blog the first and foremost thing you need to do is choose a specific niche that you’re going to focus on.

Niche plays an important role if you want to make money blogging as it would help you to attract a specific audience and create influence on them.

After you decide your niche, you’ve to register a domain name for your blog, along with purchasing web hosting and later connect them both to install WordPress as your blog’s CMS (Content Management System).

As soon as you’ve completed the fresh installation, your blog would be looking simple and basic, so to make it look more appealing to your audience you would have to design it using a theme.

Along with the theme you would have to also install some essential plugins on your blog to improve its functionality.

Later you should focus on creating some awesome content for your blog and optimize it for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

After you finish writing a blog post be prepared to promote it to attract some audience. Because if there’s no audience to visit your blog you won’t be making money from your blog.

You can attract an audience in three ways either by building links, by using social media or by using paid mediums.

And as soon as you have some audience focus on monetizing your blog by affiliate marketing by freelancing your services or either by selling some info-products.

And that’s it. I bet you if you follow all the steps carefully I mentioned above, you’d not only be ahead of your competition but also be making money from your blog in months and not years.

But the only question is, when are you going to start a blog?

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