HOW TO START A BLOG IN 2021

The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Successful Blog and Make Money

How To Start A Blog

Hello Everyone! I am Mohsin Ahmed. I am a web developer and a digital marketing expert. Last few years, I have created many websites and blogs for my client on Upwork. Now I want to share my experience of how to start a blog that’s make money.

When I was learning how to create a blog, I spent a lot of time finding helpful information online. I was only able to discover it bit by bit on a collection of websites and blogs. To save you time, I’ve been inventing this free step-by-step blog setup tutorial to help beginners how to make a blog quickly and easily.

How To Start A Blog Step-By-Step

    • Select A Perfect Niche For Your Blog
    • Choose A Domain Name
    • Buy A Web Hosting Space Or Account
    • Select A Blogging Platform
    • Install And Setup WordPress For Your Blog
    • Install A Free or A Premium Theme And Some Necessary Plugins
    • Customize Theme And Design Your Blog
    • Write And Publish Blog Post Within  A Regular Publishing Schedule
    • Setup A SEO Plugin To Optimize Your Blog Post
    • Promote Your Blog To Generate Traffic And Grow Your Blog
    • Finally, Make Money From Your Blog(Optional)

Select A Perfect Niche For Your Blog

The Blog Niche is the specific market topic that you are going to targeting. When it comes to selecting your blog Niche first, make sure to pick a perfect Niche that you are the most interested in–the one you are highly passionate about, Also make sure that your Niche has enough interest around it. And people search for topics related to your Niche.

Once you select your blog niche, it’s my suggestion that you should validate it. Below this formula to confirm your Niche for success.

Niche Validation Process for blog Success:

    • Check Niche Size.
    • Explore Competition and -Competitors.
    • Calculate the potential of monetization.

This process will help you to have an exact idea about your niche size, competition, and monetization potential for your blog. If you want to learn more about it, you can check our detailed guide about Niche Validation Process.

Choose A Domain Name

Naming your blog is your brand. It’s how people will remember you and your blog. A registered domain name means your blog’s unique address on the internet. No matter what Niche you prefer. Don’t overthink it. The magic of a brand will build over time. Still, if you feel stuck right now, keep moving forward.

The best way to land a perfect domain name is to start with analyzing. And check the availability of your desired one. Sometimes your desired one will be available or sometimes not. Keep trying your desired domain names until an option you like is available.

You can choose the most popular domain extension like “dot com” it may be country or niche-specific. I really prefer to use “dot com” because it is the most popular, But you can use some other extensions too, like (dot net, dot org)

Buy A Web Hosting Space Or Account

After choosing a domain name, the most important thing is to select reliable and fast hosting for your blog. A wrong hosting can cause many problems and will bring a lot of bad experiences for your visitors.
The functionality and performance will rely upon your blog hosting.

The hosting service ensures your blog is accessible every minute of every day to potential readers. And it’s the place where your files and documents are stored online.

Most hosting companies will also provide you a free domain for one year when you buy their service. And you can renew after the first year becomes expire.

Based on our study and information available on the official WordPress website, also the opinion of many blogging experts, SiteGround is at the top of the table. And the second one is BlueHost.

Select A Blogging Platform

After buying the hosting and the domain name, now it’s time that you need to look for the best blogging platforms out there and discover the type of blog management software that you are going to use. I recommend you to build your blog using the most common WordPress blog setup that I want to share in this tutorial.
Selecting blogging platforms (WordPress is currently the most popular blog platform in this category), you may have a few more alternatives to decide.
Below are the usage stats showing the distribution of the blog platform worldwide.

Blogging Platform Usages 2021

I think this graph will help you to decide which blogging platform is best for you. If you want to know more about the blogging platform? Read More…

Install And Setup WordPress For Your Blog

Most of the hosting service provider gives you the freedom of one-click installation via their dashboard, where you will have to put some credentials such as blog name, database name, wp-admin name, password, and a theme to select for your blog.

There are plenty of attractive free WordPress themes to choose from, including free blog themes, such as Astra, OceanWP, Hestia, etc.

However, if you want to select your theme later, you can skip this step for now by clicking on the (Skip This Step) option at the end of the page.

After that, you will direct to a page where you need to click on the (Start Building) option.

Now you need to click the start building option, and it will take less than a minute to complete the installation and take you to the dashboard of your WordPress Blog.

From the dashboard, you can set up all the necessary things, such as install a new theme and plugin, customize a theme, set up widgets, create menus, set up the navigation bar, set up the footer, insert your site logo, set up permalink, set up your site home page and blog page, etc

Install A Free or A Premium Theme And Some Necessary Plugins

Install a Theme:

Now you have a WordPress Blog website, to give your site a professional look, you need to pick a free WordPress theme or buy a premium theme to install. There is plenty of marketplaces (Envato Market, Elegant Themes, StudioPress, MOJO Marketplace) where you can buy a premium theme.

Within some best website recommendations and real-time experience, I have given the top 10 best free and premium theme list below:

Now you have a WordPress Blog website, to give your site a professional look, you need to pick a free WordPress theme or buy a premium theme to install. There is plenty of marketplaces (Envato Market, Elegant Themes, StudioPress, MOJO Marketplace) where you can buy a premium theme.

Within some best website recommendations and real-time experience, I have given the top 10 best free and premium theme list below:

10 Best Free WordPress Themes:

    1. Astra
    2. OceanWP
    3. Hestia
    4. Sydney
    5. OnePress
    6. GeneratePress
    7. Hello Elementor
    8. Hueman
    9. Type
    10. Kadence

10 Best Premium WordPress Themes:

    1. Divi
    2. The Seven
    3. Avada
    4. Astra
    5. Enfold
    6. BeTheme
    7. Bridge Theme
    8. Kalium
    9. Soledad
    10. Porto

Now it’s time to talk about the installation process of a theme. Just go to your site dashboard and click appearance, then click the “Add New” button, here you will find two options to install a theme. Search a Theme to install or upload a theme file that you have downloaded earlier.

Tips To Choosing the Best Theme:

    1. Read the theme description to know about its features and functionality, which will give you an idea of whether it will match your requirements or not.
    2. Check the reviews and user ratings to get an idea about their support and update.
    3. Before you install a theme, make sure this theme is responsive or not, and also check all the demo or live previews to know what it is going to look and like.

Install Some Plugins:

You can install any plugin from your blog dashboard. To install a plugin, you can follow this step:

Go to your blog dashboard, click Plugins, click the ‘add new’ button, type a plugin name into the search box, and press enter. Click the install button of your desired plugin. You can upload a plugin also that you have downloaded earlier.

Here I have created a list of plugins that every blog website must have:

1. Classic Editor:

The Latest WordPress version comes with the new Gutenberg editor. Some people might have some issues with it. If you have enough knowledge about it, you can stay within it. If not, you should go within the classic editor. It’s free to use.

2. Elementor Website Builder

Elementor Website Builder is the best plugin to build a WordPress website or blog via drag and drop. I used this plugin to create my blog website.

They offer you the both ‘Free’ and ‘Paid” plan. You can use the free version to build your blog, but the pro version takes it to the next level with more extra features like template modules, etc.

Pricing:

You can use it for free. If you need more advanced options, you can also access one of its premium versions, which starts from $49 to $199 for a year.

3. JetPack

When you are concern about WP Security, Backup, Speed, and Growth for your website, JetPack is the best solution for all of these tasks. It comes with various security features such as malware and spam protection, backup, and activity logs.

JetPack gives you a faster page load. Shorter load times can lead to happier readers, more page views, which is very important to a website owner.

Pricing:

You can use it for free. If you need more advanced options, you can also access one of its premium versions which starts from $9 to $99 monthly.

4. Yoast SEO

To rank higher in google search engines, you need to beat the competition. You will need a better, faster, and stronger website than the people who do the same kinds of things as you.
Yoast SEO can give you a faster, better, and stronger website, as it has served more than 5 million website owners.
Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for a WordPress website to rank higher on google rank. The 5 million active installations tell you the popularity of it. The 4.9-star rating on more than 21000 reviews tells you that how good it is.
Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for a WordPress website to rank higher on google rank. The 5 million active installations tell you the popularity of it. The 4.9-star rating on more than 21000 reviews tells you that how good it is.

The free version contains everything to manage your SEO, and the premium version and its extension unlock even more tools and functionality.

Pricing:

You can use it for free. If you need more advanced options, you can also access one of its premium versions for $89 yearly.

5. WPForms

WPForms is the most powerful drag & drop contact form builder plugin for WordPress. Even if you are a novice WordPress user, you can create a contact form using one of the many pre-built WordPress form templates.

WPForms plugin comes out within all of the fields and features required to create your desired form.

WPForms also includes several types of functional add-ons. You can implement smart CAPTCHA and honeypot techniques for fighting spam and allows for multi-page form creation.

Within WPForms Plugin, you can:

    • Use the drag and drop form builder to crate from instantly
    • Use instant notification feature for making fast responses to encouraging leads, etc.

Pricing:

You can use it for free. If you need more advanced options, you can also access one of its premium versions which starts from $79 to $599 yearly.

6. WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is used to generate static HTML files from your WordPress blog. Your web server will serve the generated html file rather than processing the relatively more complex and heavier WordPress PHP scripts.

Within this WP Super Cache plugin, you can instantly boost your website’s baseline speed.

This WP Super Cache plugin is essential for all the site owner, who is looking to increase their site speed and enjoy all of the benefits that come with it.

Pricing:

You can use it for free. If you need to know more about WP Super Cache

7. Smush

The Smush plugin is really cool when you need to optimize your website images, turn on lazy load, resize, compress & improve Google Page Speed.

Smush has been tested number one for speed and quality. And also the award-winning, back-to-back proven crowd favorite image optimization & image compression plugin for WordPress.

This plugin also gives you a lot of cool features such as:

    • Lossless Compression
    • Lazy Load
    • Image Resizing
    • Incorrect Size Image Detection
    • Directory Smush
    • Automated Optimization
    • Bulk Smush
    • Gutenberg Block Integration
    • Multisite Compatible
    • Process All Your Files

This image optimization plugin gives you a lot of easy ways to optimize images and gives your site a super-fast loading experience for your audience.

Pricing: You can use the free version. It also offers a premium version which you can use monthly or yearly.

The monthly subscription will charge you from $6 to $19.

And the yearly subscription will charge you $60 to $190.

8. Google Analytics Dashboard

This plugin is really helpful to grow your website traffic and sales when you know exactly how people find and use your website. It shows you all the stats that matter, so you can grow your business with confidence.

The most popular google analytics dashboard plugin is powered by MonsterInsights.

It makes analytics easy and your site’s performance at a glance right in your WordPress dashboard, without needing to edit any code. So you don’t need to navigate away from your WordPress site to see Google Analytics data.

From your WordPress dashboard, you can monitor your:

    • Page view over time
    • Top posts and pages
    • Top traffic sources
    • Top countries
    • Important conversion stats
    • Ecommerce analytics
    • And so much more!

Basically everything you need to make data-driven decisions to help grow your site, all in one place.

Pricing: You can use it for free. They also have a premium version with more features which can cost you $199 to $799.

Customize Theme And Design Your Blog

Now I am going to customize the theme and design our blog. Before that, I need to access the WordPress dashboard. WordPress dashboard is the back-end area where you will manage your blog. It presents you with fast access to all of the tools you need to add content and fine-tune your blog functionality for the ultimate user experience. Your primary step towards mastering WordPress is learning the dashboard.

WordPress has extensive customization opportunities that you can try. And it is also difficult to cover all the changes in this guide. But I will try to cover most of the things you should try in your blog.

In the very beginning, I am going to make some general customizations to our blog. That includes: uploading the logo you just created (or I will do it in the future via Canva), editing the blog title and tagline, changing colors, uploading the background image, and making homepage settings changes.

I am going to use The 7 Theme to design our blog. I will show you how to apply these changes to this theme. You can choose any theme to create your blog. If you have picked another, all the processes might not be the same. Although, in most cases, all the Themes have related customization options.