If you’re looking for a simple step-step guide on how to start a blog, then this guide is for you.
Several years ago, I was in your shoes and was looking for an easy guide on how to start a blog.
So far, the blogging journey has been a fulfilling one for me – I get to share my thoughts and experiences with the world, refine my writing skills, build my personal brand, and connect and build relationships with lots of people around the world around my interests and goals.
With blogging, you’ll get the chance to find your own community, share your story, make an impact in your own unique way, teach your readers, and learn from them as well.
And as you take little steps towards growing your blog, you can turn it into your side hustle, make more money from it, and even become a successful business owner all because of your blog.
Put another way: you can use blogging as a tool to quit your day job or explore your interests and passions, in a way that works best for you and your readers.
There are several aspects involved in starting and running a blog, so I wanted to write this for you as a step-by-step guide to make the process of starting your blog as easy and effortless as possible.
You’re already taking the first step by reading this blog post. And in no time at all, you’ll have your own blog all set up and ready to share with the world.
In this simple step-by-step guide, you’ll have all the tools and resources you need to start your own blog.
You’ll learn how to write and publish your first blog post, and how to build an audience of consistent readers who can’t wait to read your blog posts. With that, let’s get started.
How to start a blog
- Choose your blog niche. Choose a general area of topics that your blog posts will revolve around.
- Pick a blog name and domain. Pick a descriptive name that your readers can easily understand.
- Set up your blog online (Web Hosting). Choose a hosting platform with excellent uptime, speed, reliability, and customer support.
- Design and customize your blog with a free WordPress theme. Make a good first impression with your blog design.
- Write and publish your first blog post. Keep it simple and welcome your readers to your new online home.
- Come up with new blog post ideas. Avoid the overwhelm and stay consistent by creating a blog posting calendar and planning out your future blog posts.
- Promote your blog to get more readers. Increase your reach by letting more people know about your blog.
- Make money from your blog. Choose from several options to turn your blog into a successful and lucrative business.
Should you start a blog?
If you already have a topic you have in mind that you want to write about, you should definitely start a blog.
For example, you should start a blog if you’ve been yearning to share your personal experiences, or the things you’re learning about a topic – say parenting, golf, marriage, living in a new city, or state or country.
You don’t need to be a great writer or a journalist to start a blog or be successful with blogging. Readers want to read from people like them, and if you can write in a conversational, easy-to-read tone then your audience wants to hear from you, and you should definitely start a blog.
Here are the really cool things that can happen if you start your blog. You get to:
- Share your perspectives. Before blogging became mainstream, book publishers were the gatekeepers. If you had any ideas or thoughts to share with others, you had to chase a book deal or strive to get featured in a magazine. But with blogging, all of that is gone. You can use a guide like the one you’re reading right now to easily start your blog and start sharing your ideas with anyone anywhere in the world – in 20 minutes or less. What a wonderful time to be alive!
- Make money from home – or from anywhere. You can use blogging to make a nice income from home if you do it the right way. In fact, you can write a blog post today and still make money from it several years from now and set it up as a form of passive income for you. That’s because making money from blogging really boils down to writing blog posts that people find valuable, and being consistent with your posting schedule. Later in this guide, I go into more details on how you can do these.
- Build your personal brand. If you want to be known and recognized for your skills, expertise or experiences, then blogging can help you achieve that. For example, many influencers and thought leaders today broke into the mainstream simply by blogging, and many have built successful fashion lines, clothing brands, and businesses due to their blogs; others have even gotten book and movie deals mainly because of their successful blogs.
- Clarify your thinking. The more you write, the more your thinking becomes clearer. If you’ve ever wanted to explore your thoughts and answer the toughest questions in your field, start blogging. Once you start writing and sharing your ideas with others, you start training your mind to think clearly and come up with new self-knowledge so you can become a better communicator.
- Connect with like-minded people. Connecting with other people who share your passions used to be hard – not anymore – with blogging! You can be passionate about the strangest topics, and still build up a decent following and community once you start blogging. For example, there are several successful blogs in strange but popular blogging niches like LEGO, survival & prepping, soap operas, succulents, ASMR, mystery unboxing, and so on. If you’re passionate about a topic, chances are high that with blogging, you can connect with others like you out there who share your passions. With blogging, you have your own platform where you can teach people, and learn from others as well.
- Change someone’s life. If you’ve always wanted to make an impact and pursued your purpose, blogging might be a way to get started. You can use your blog to inform, educate, or entertain people, or do all of those things at once. If someone reads your blog, and learns something they wouldn’t have known otherwise, it could set them on a path of fulfillment, purpose, financial independence, and even dramatically turn their life around – all because they read your blog.
Ready to start your blog? Let’s start with the first step here..
What is a blog?
A blog is a form of a website, where you write new content and interact with your readers in a more conversational and informal style.
By starting a blog and staying consistent with it, you can attract readers and genuinely connect with them. That way, you can build your own audience, make money, and build a lucrative business simply by connecting with your readers and providing value to them.
Now that you know what a blog is and why you should start a blog, let’s start creating your blog!
Step 1. Choose your blog niche
The first step in starting a blog is to choose a specific topic or area that your blog will be focused on. What, exactly, do you want to write about? What do you want your blog to be known for?
For example, you can start a blog about fashion, love, money, marketing, book reviews, and pretty much anything else that you feel like writing about. Choosing a niche for your blog helps you write blog posts that are more targeted to your ideal readers, which in turn helps you build a loyal audience.
How do you choose the blog niche that’s perfect for you? Answer these three simple questions to choose the perfect blog niche that’s just right for you:
- What are your interests?
- What topics do people find valuable?
- Is your niche profitable?
What are your interests?
You want to start a blog based on your interests, or some combination of your background, experiences or expertise. To maintain consistency with your blog, you’ll need to be writing about topics that interest you.
Start by writing down a list of topics that you find interesting.
- What topics get you excited?
- What topics get you curious and excited to learn more about?
- What questions do people come to you to get answers to?
- What topics do you love Googling and researching about, even if it’s the weekend or you’re standing in line to get your coffee?
Then, start writing down your interests as they come to your mind. So maybe you’re interested in:
- Skin care
- Board games
- Sports & fitness
- Meditation & wellness
- Making music
- Outdoor activities
Next, narrow down your interests and think about specific topics within your interests that you can relate to. For example, your specific topics might be:
- Traveling: Traveling on a budget; traveling with pets; travel credit cards, etc.
- Cooking: Low carb recipes; simple and tasty Italian dishes, etc.
- Parenting: Becoming a first-time parent; being a single parent; parenting a child with ADHD, etc.
- Skin care: Dealing with acne; anti-aging; avoiding dry skin, etc.
- Career: Climbing the corporate ladder as a millennial; building a career while working from home; learning Excel skills for work, etc.
As you can see, there are tons of specific topics within each broad interest that you can explore. It all comes down to your experiences, background, and the things you’re curious about or can relate to.
So, the first filter is to start with your interests and passions. You need to start with your own filter – since you’re the one starting the blog, and you’ll be the one writing on the blog.
If you’re still not sure about your blog niche or what you should blog about, here are some other ways to find the right niche for your blog:
- Your life experiences. We’ve all gone through different experiences in life that have shaped us to become who we are today. You can tap into your wealth of experiences and share what you learned with other people.
Sharing your life experiences can actually be one of the best ways to connect with your readers. This is because you’ll often tell stories and share mistakes and the not-so-glamorous parts from your experiences.
That way, your readers can better relate to you and better connect with you – which can make for a great blogging community on your blog.
- A combination of topics that you want to talk about. If you don’t want to stick to just one topic, you can start your blog about a combination of topics.
For example, you could start a blog about your path as a young professional in the workplace, and you can blog about: work, adulting, handling your personal finances, credit cards, friendships and loneliness, life in a new city, travel, your thoughts, skills you’re learning, and just a host of topics that you want to talk about.
So, this will be a blog that’s moreso all about you and the path you’re on. And with this style, you won’t be confined to a specific topic, and you can definitely have lots of readers who are navigating life in the same life stage that you’re in.
As you decide on the perfect niche for your blog, you should also think about the topics that people want to read. Think about the topics that people will find valuable, especially if you plan to make money from your blog.
Which brings us to the next point:
What topics do people find valuable?
The next step in starting your blog is to find out the topics that people are interested in learning about. By writing about what people care about, you can provide value to your readers and make very good money from blogging.
You can find out the topics that people find valuable within a specific niche by using Google Trends.
With Google Trends, you can analyze the popularity of the things that people are searching for on Google. Generally, the higher the search frequency, the more people are interested in that particular topic.
For example, let’s search for “traveling on a budget” in Google Trends. From the image below, you can see that although the “traveling on a budget” topic (in blue) is getting a decent amount of interest, people are even way more interested in “traveling with pets” (in red).
So, while both topics can be good niches for you to focus on for your travel blog, you’re likely to get a higher interest from people searching on Google if you decide to start a blog around “traveling with pets.”
Keep in mind that you can still build a successful blog around a ‘low interest’ topic, if you’re passionate enough about it to write about different topics and ideas that your readers find useful.
But generally, if Google Trends shows a declining interest in a category, it’s fair to say that people’s interest in such a topic is going down, not up.
But if you’re looking to eventually monetize your blog, you want to make sure that your niche has the space to grow and that it’s profitable.
So, to choose the right niche for you, the next question to ask is:
Is your blog niche profitable?
There are several ways to make money from a blog, but one of the most common methods is through affiliate marketing.
With affiliate marketing, you will be recommending products from other companies to your blog readers. And when someone buys with your affiliate link, the company pays you a commission for referring the customer.
So, check your niche: are there companies selling products in your niche that you could potentially recommend to your readers?
The more companies you have in your niche selling different products, the better for you. Because, with a higher number of companies, the companies will need to compete with each other, which means you’ll have more options to recommend several high-quality products to your readers and earn more money.
You can check your niche for affiliate marketing potential by using Amazon. On Amazon, you can search for companies and products by topic.
For example, let’s search for “dog supplies” on Amazon. In the image below, you’ll see that there are tons of products to sell across different categories for dogs.
For instance, if you have a blog on dogs, you have lots of options on products to recommend and sell with affiliate marketing – like dog food, dog treats, potty training, toys, health supplies, apparel, beds, collars & leashes, and lots more.
So, if I was starting a blog in the “dog” niche, this image would give me more confidence that my dog blog can make me lots of money and eventually turn into a lucrative business.
And keep in mind: affiliate marketing is just one way to make money with your blog. There are several other methods of monetizing your blog, but you can use affiliate marketing as a quick way to see if your blog niche is profitable.
At this stage, you don’t need to figure out exactly how you’ll make money with your blog. But it does help that you’re thinking about monetization as you choose the perfect niche for your blog.
More to come in Step 8 on how to monetize your blog.
But for now, one step at a time: once you’ve decided on a blog niche, the next step is to choose a name for your blog.
Step 2. Pick a blog name and domain
Now that you’ve chosen your blog niche from Step 1, the next step is to choose a name for your blog.
Now, you have different options for choosing a name for your blog. You can use:
- Your name, or variations of your name. If you want to start a personal blog, then you can use this option. For example, you can use “JohnBill.com” or you can add your middle initial like: “PaulaHTess.com.”
You can also use this option if you want your name and personal brand to be front and center. So you can use your name even if you want to start a blog to make money, but also want to share some personal stories to go with it – that way, your readers can better connect with you.
- Your business name. If you plan to start a blog for your business, you can use your business name as the name for your blog. For example, you can use “BrightMedia.com” or “TheCoffeeGuys.com.”
- Creative names. Another option is to explore and use pretty much a combination of the different ideas that you can come up with.
For example, if you’re starting a baking blog, you can use “CakesAndCups.com” – so that’s just a creative way of saying you bake cakes and you typically use measuring cups while baking, or “SpoonsAndBread.com”, or “TheCakeWeLove.com”.
Or if you’re starting a gaming blog, some options are: “GameTime.com” or “GameAvenue.com”, or “GamingwithJamie.com”.
As you can see, the options are really endless, and you’ll just need to come up with a few names until you have one that you want.
To start your blog, you’ll need a blog name and a domain extension to go with it. For example, in “GamingwithJamie.com”, “GamingwithJamie” is the blog name and “.com” is the domain extension.
We have several domain extensions like “.com”, “.org”, “.biz”, “.net”, “.info”, and so on, but the “.com” domain name is the most popular. So if you can get a “.com” domain name, definitely use that.
How to choose the best domain name for your blog
As you search for the best domain name for your blog, keep in mind the following tips:
- Use .com domains if you can. The .com domain extension is the most popular in the world, and most of your readers will already be accustomed to typing in .com at the end of your domain name.
Especially if you plan to start a business or make money with your blog, you want to use a domain name that your readers can easily type in and land on your website. For example, you don’t want to sign up for “gamingwithjamie.org”, and then when someone types in “gamingwithjamie.com”, they end up on an error page or on another blog that’s not yours.
- Make your domain name easier to spell. As you choose a domain name, look for a relevant domain name that’s easier to spell and pronounce.
So, say you need to give out your blog’s domain name to a friend or customer, you want to be able to do that fairly easily, without them misspelling your domain name and ending up on another website.
Also, keep your domain name short, so it’s easier to type and remember (ideally less than 14 characters).
- Avoid double letters. Another tip to keep in mind is to avoid using domain names with double letters in them – for example, avoid words like “committees”, “balloon”, “possession”, “questionnaire”, “occupations”, “innkeepers”, “crosssection”, “hummingbird”, etc. With double letters, your readers might make typos while typing in your domain name and end up on another website or blog.
- Avoid domain names with hyphens. If you have a domain name with a hyphen, your readers might end up on another website simply because they forgot to put in the hyphen. Also, blog spammers usually use and target domain names with hyphens, so you want to stay away from domain names with hyphens.
But don’t get stuck on this step.
Quickly come up with a few name ideas and, more importantly, make sure the blog name and the domain extension is available.
Which we’ll talk about in the next step (Step 3).
Step 3. Set up your blog online (Web Hosting)
Once you’ve picked out a name, you’re ready to set up your blog online, so that people all over the world can go to your blog and read it whenever they want.
Getting your blog online might sound technical or complex, which is why we’ll go through the steps below to make it so easy and simple for you to do.
To set up your blog online, you really only need ONE thing. You need a good and reliable blog hosting company (also called web hosting company).
A web hosting company will help you save all of your files and blog posts online, so that whenever anyone types in your blog name, they can get to your blog and read everything that you want them to read.
As you can imagine, because your blog will need to rely on a web hosting company to run smoothly, you need a web hosting company that’s fast, reliable, and (should any issue come up) one that has excellent customer support.
With a good web hosting company:
- You can check if your blog name is available. For example, if you choose “GamingwithJamie.com” as your blog name, you can check if that name and domain extension is available or if someone else already got that name.
- You’ll get a free installation of a well-known and popular blogging software, so you can immediately start writing on your blog. One of the most popular blogging software is the WordPress blogging software. So, with a good blog hosting company, you’ll be able to set up the WordPress blogging software for free (which I’ll show you how to do in this guide).
- You can get your money back if you decide you don’t like their service for any reason
- You get reliable web hosting, so your blog stays up 24/7/365
- You get easy access to quick customer service to resolve any hosting issues with your blog
Now because of the reasons I just mentioned, the web hosting company that I recommend is BlueHost.
With BlueHost, you can be sure that you’re getting a reliable and excellent web hosting service that will help you get your blog online, and make sure it stays online.
Currently, BlueHost even lets you register your blog name and domain name for free (which other web hosting companies charge for); and you can get a special discount price of $2.95 per month right now with BlueHost.
Here are the steps to set up your blog online and get started with BlueHost:
- You’ll see the different pricing plans. I recommend you get the BASIC plan especially since you’re starting a new blog. You can always upgrade later, as your blog gets bigger.
So under the BASIC option, click ‘Select’:
3. Next, you’ll set up your blog name and domain extension. Under “create a new domain”, type in your domain name:
For example, if you’re looking to start a cooking blog, and you chose: “TheCakeWeLove.com”, you’ll type in “thecakewelove” without the quote and click ‘Next’.
As at the time of writing this, this domain name is still available. If your domain is available (that is, it hasn’t been registered by someone else), you’ll be able to move onto the next step. So, you’ll get a page like this:
If, however, your domain is no longer available and has been taken by someone else, you’ll see a page like this:
That’s, for example, if you chose “CakesAndCups.com” earlier, and you typed it in the box. So, I tried to register the “CakesAndCups.com” domain name, but it’s unavailable, so I’ll try other options.
So, if it says the domain is unavailable, try other name options that still reflect your brand and still describe what you plan to do with the blog.
For example, on the same page, I tried “CakesandButter.com” and yay, the domain is available!
So if, at first, your domain name attempt doesn’t work, write down a few other options that still work for you, type each one in, and you’ll definitely find a domain name that both works for you and is available to register.
4. Fill out your account information and billing details on the Registration page, starting with your first and last name, and concluding with the payment details:
- Now, still on the same page, you’ll need to select your hosting options:
Because you’re starting a new blog, we’ll just focus on the essentials. You can always go back and add more options as your blogging needs scale and grow.
So, you can go ahead and uncheck the boxes next to ‘Domain Privacy + Protection.’ ‘Domain Privacy + Protection’: protects your personal details (name, address, email) from showing in the database of registered domain owners. So if you want that option, leave the checkbox checked.
Otherwise, uncheck the box. You can also uncheck the boxes for ‘Site Backup’ and ‘SiteLock Security – Essential’, so you can get the most savings on the BASIC plan. See below:
And once you’re inside WordPress, you can always install a website backup plugin like the UpDraftPlus plugin and a security plugin like the Sucuri plugin.
- You’ll then need to enter your payment information, and click ‘Submit.
You’ve just completed the first step in setting up your blog and hosting it online.
Once you complete your account registration, you’ll be taken to your BlueHost account where you can install WordPress. When the installation is complete, you’ll then be able to log into your WordPress account from within BlueHost.
The next step will be to start designing and customizing your blog using a blogging software called WordPress.
Step 4. Design and customize your blog with a free WordPress theme
To start designing your blog, go to BlueHost.com and click on “Login” at the top right hand corner of your screen:
Enter your login details and once you’re in, you’ll see your BlueHost portal and you’ll then click on “WordPress” to be automatically directed to the dashboard for your WordPress blog:
Choose a free WordPress theme for your blog
To get started, you can change the overall layout and the general structure of your blog by changing your theme. Your blog theme dictates the overall design of your WordPress blog. For example, with your theme, you can control:
- the kinds of colors you want on your website,
- where the logo will be,
- how your blog posts will be displayed, and so many more.
To change your theme, go to ‘Appearance’ on the left side of your screen inside your WordPress dashboard:
You will see that WordPress has already installed several themes for you, so you’ll just need to hover on any one of the themes and click on ‘Activate.’
For example, I’m currently using the “Neve” WordPress theme, but WordPress already installed several themes for me, like the “Twenty Twenty-One”, “Twenty Twenty-Three”, and the “Twenty Twenty Twenty-Two” WordPress themes:
There are literally thousands of free and paid themes inside WordPress, and don’t feel like you need to get a paid WordPress theme to get the best themes.
You can definitely start your blog with a free WordPress theme, and do just fine.
And you can always invest in a paid or premium theme once you start making money from your blog, so you can get more advanced features and customization with your blog layout.
But since we’re starting a new blog, we can just use a free WordPress theme at this point.
If you decide not to choose any of the free WordPress themes already installed for you, then there are tons of other free WordPress themes that I recommend. I recommend getting the free Neve, Astra, or the OceanWP WordPress theme, because they are fast, clean, and easy to use and customize.
So, let’s say you want to install the Astra WordPress theme for your blog.
Within your WordPress dashboard, go to “Appearance”, then click on “Themes”, you’ll get this:
Next, scroll down until you see the big “+” sign with the caption that says “Add New Theme”:
Click on the big “+” sign, and on the next page, and on the left side of the screen, search for the “Astra” WordPress theme (if you’re interested in installing the “Astra” theme):
Once you start typing “Astra”, the themes will start loading, and when you’re done typing “Astra”, you’ll see the “Astra” theme first on the left side of your screen.
Place your cursor over it, and click “Install”:
It will take a few seconds to install, once it’s done, you’ll see a blue button that says “Activate”:
Click on the “Activate” button, and the Astra theme will automatically be activated on your blog, like this:
And that’s it! You’ve just changed the entire design and layout of your blog with a single click! So, that’s how you install and activate any new theme that you want.
You can then change and customize several features within your theme – like the positions of your blog pages, font size, locations of the different sections on your blog, and so much more.
You can start blogging at this point, but if you ever need to customize your theme – go to “Appearance” and click on “Customize:
You’ll then see a new page that lets you customize several options within the WordPress theme that you’ve installed. For example, if you’re trying to customize the Astra WordPress theme, this is what you’ll see on the left side of your screen:
And you can click on each section to customize several options like your “Header Builder”, “Blog”, “Page”, “Sidebar”, and more. You can leave the settings as they are at this point, and continue to the next step with your blog.
And the next step is: writing and publishing your first blog post.
Step 5. Write and publish your first blog post
One of the main things that make you a blogger is when you write and publish blog posts on a consistent basis. So, to get started with your new blog, we need to start blogging!
So, it’s time to write our first blog post, and publish it, so anyone can see it!
Within your WordPress dashboard, go to the left side of your screen, and click on “Posts”:
Next, you’ll click “Add New” so you can get to a new page where you can start typing:
In the section that says “Add title”, type in the headline of your blog post. Then, move on to the section that says “Type / to choose a block” and start typing the first lines of your blog post.
Once you’re done typing, and you’re ready to publish your post, click the “Publish” button on the top left side of your screen to publish the new post.
And there you have it! You just published your first blog post, the first of more to come in your exciting and awesome journey of blogging!
What To Publish on Your Blog
Now that you’ve published your first blog post, let’s talk about the types of content to publish on your blog. Generally, there are two main types of content that you’ll have on your blog: static content and dynamic content.
Static content. This is content that you publish once, and you don’t need to update as often. For example, the “About” page on your blog.
You can write out your “About” page on your blog to let new readers learn more about you and your blog, but you won’t need to update your “About” page every other day. You can write up your “About” page today, and only go back to update it, maybe, 6 months later.
So, your “About” page is an example of static content. Other examples of static content to have on your blog are:
- Contact page: so readers can contact you.
- Disclaimer Page: if you intend to make money from your blog – to disclose your relationships with any product or business that you’ll be pitching to readers.
- Terms of Service: to protect yourself against liability if you’re selling any type of product.
- Medit Kit page: to let the media know how to write about you and your blog in their publications
- Donations: to ask for donations.
- Sponsorships: to ask for paid sponsorships or advertisements from people or businesses looking to advertise their products on your blog.
These are some examples of static content, and you might need to add more to your blog depending on the purpose of your blog.
Dynamic content. Your dynamic content is the content that you’re always updating, and that’s your blog posts. The whole idea of blogging is to maintain a constant connection with your readers by writing new blog posts and publishing it on your blog on a regular basis – maybe once a week, or more often.
By blogging and regularly adding new blog posts to your blog, you will capture and retain the trust of your readers, because they’ll come to learn more about your viewpoints, perspectives, and other useful lessons that you’d like to share.
And as you share these valuable tips with your readers, Google and other search engines will also take notice. So that way, when someone searches for topics related to your blog, for example on Google, your blog will continue to rank higher, so Google can send new people to your blog.
So, the more you write and publish on your blog, the more your dynamic content grows. The more your dynamic content grows, the stronger the connection you build with your readers.
And the more new people find out about your site and become new readers, and the positive blogging cycle continues for you – which means more readers, more traffic, more exposure, more engagement, and more money for you.
Step 6. Come up with new blog post ideas.
So far, you’ve written your first blog post and you’ve tasted the exciting new world of blogging! Even more, you’ve also learned that the more you write and publish valuable posts on your blog, the higher the growth you’ll see with your blog.
Which brings us to the next question: How do you come up with new ideas for your new blog posts?
How to come up with new blog post ideas
1. Start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you need to come up with the world’s best blog posts. Instead, start small with your topic and reason for starting the blog and grow from there. For example, if started your dog blog to share what you’re learning raising your dog, you can start by writing simple blog posts, from your personal experiences, like:
- How I help my dog adjust to new places
- How I settled my puppy into my new apartment
- My top 3 struggles with feeding my dog, and how I’m fixing them
- What I got for my dog this past Christmas
- How I cool my dog in the summer
As you can see, these are blog posts stemming from your personal experiences with your dog.
You can just start writing each blog post and easily spend an hour writing a truly useful blog post, because you’ll basically be telling a story that happened – that way, you won’t need to overthink it.
At this point, don’t worry about writing the perfect blog post.
Just write about your personal experiences – the good, the bad – and then publish it. In fact, blog posts like these are more likely to engage your readers and make them come back to your blog – because your readers could easily relate to your posts, especially if they’ve experienced the same.
And the good news about writing a blog post is: you can always go back, and update it , remove some parts, or add some new parts. So after you’ve published your post, you can always go back to update and refine your posts.
Once you start writing these posts based more on your personal experiences, you’ll start to develop your writing skills, and you’ll find yourself even coming up with new ideas faster.
So, the next thing you can do is turn these “personal experience” blog posts into even more useful “how-to” content for your readers.
For example, for each blog post from above, you could create new posts like these:
- How I help my dog adjust to new places → How to help your dog adjust to new places: My experience + 5 more tips
- How I settled my puppy into my new apartment
- → How to settle your puppy into your new apartment: What I learned + 4 top ways
- My top 3 struggles with feeding my dog, and how I’m fixing them → Top 3 struggles with feeding your dog, and how to fix them
- What I got for my dog this past Christmas → Top 7 presents to get for your dog this Christmas
- How I cool my dog in the summer → How to cool your dog in the summer: 3 methods to try
What do you notice about these new blog posts? You’ll see that they evolved from your “personal experiences” posts, and with some research and Googling, you can build on your personal stories to create blog posts that can help your readers.
2. Let others inspire you: Another way to get new ideas for your blog posts is to get inspiration from other bloggers in your space. If you’re starting a cooking blog, for example, you can Google: “top cooking blogs”. You’ll usually get several blogs in your niche just by searching like this.
Then, you can go through the search results, and check out the blogs listed. Go through their blog posts and see if you can find any of their blog posts that you can relate to.
For example, maybe you Googled: “top cooking blogs”, and you visited the blogs listed from your search results. Now, on one of the blogs, let’s say you found a blog post titled: “How to Cook Spaghetti Squash”. Hmm, sounds interesting, you clicked on the title, and you read the blog post.
Since you enjoy cooking, maybe you agree with some parts of the recipe, but not with everything. If you were the one cooking the spaghetti squash, you’d do things differently.
Well, there’s your new blog post! Just use the blog post to inspire you, come over to your blog, and teach your readers how they can cook spaghetti squash.
You can even link to the post that I inspire you, but you’ll still create your own blog post based on your cooking experience and expertise.
Start a blog posting calendar
As you go through these steps, you’ll find yourself thinking of new ideas for your blog posts in the most random places – maybe while you’re walking, or driving, or in the shower. You’d want to write down your thoughts or record a quick audio as soon as you can. That way, you don’t forget the ideas.
At this point, create a blog posting calendar so you can organize your thoughts and have a resource to document all of your ideas.
So, for example, you can start a simple Excel spreadsheet and write out the following:
So, just creating a simple spreadsheet like this will help you to list out your new and upcoming blog posts, have the headlines ready, and write short notes/remarks on how you’ll write the blog post.
And you can always come back to the spreadsheet to add more entries, as you get new ideas.
How to write great blog posts
To write and publish great blog posts that your readers will find truly useful, use these steps:
1. Block out time to write. If you want to grow your blog to where you can make money and make an impact with it, then you need to be a consistent blogger.
If you want to make money from your blog, you need to run your blog the same way you’d run a typical brick-and-mortar business. Yes, the barrier to entry for blogging is lower, but you still need to show up and commit to blogging on a regular basis.
The more you blog, the more you get better at writing and thinking clearly – the more you get more ideas, the more you grow your blog and readership – and the more money you can make.
Now, what I’ve found to really help me be consistent with blogging is making time to write. You can’t just “promise yourself” you’d post once a week, if you don’t have a specific time on your calendar to do that.
For example, you could say, “for 1 hour everyday, from 7-8 pm (for instance), I will sit down and write.” “It doesn’t matter if I’m inspired or whether I’m feeling like it – I will sit down and write.” If you block out a time like this and commit to it, you’d be shocked at how much progress you would have made after a few weeks or months.
2. Write like you’re talking to a friend. Most new bloggers think you need to write the best prose or essay to be able to get more readers and connect with them. It’s actually the opposite – you need to write in such a simple way that a 5th grader can understand.
Keep your sentences simple and clear. As you write, imagine you’re talking to a friend over coffee on a Saturday afternoon in such a relaxed and calm atmosphere.
Keep the same imagery and setting in mind as you write your blog posts.
Be original and let your passion for the topic shine through. You don’t have to write about topics that no one has written about.
You can write about topics that have already been written about, but let your experiences, writing style, and stories show in your writing.
3. Break up your blog posts. It’s way harder to read blocks of text, especially online. You need to break up your blog post into 3-4 lines of texts for each paragraph. That way, the reader can read and get your point in small-sized chunks.
Break up your sentences, and leave white spaces between your paragraphs (just like I’ve done throughout this blog post).
Also, avoid long running sentences. Aim to pass across one idea for one sentence – never more than one idea for every sentence.
4. Close by asking a question. The comments section on your blog is one of the best places on your blog to connect with like-minded people and build a community, so make use of it. As you wrap up your blog post, invite readers to join the conversation. End your blog post with a question.
So, for example, in a blog post titled: “How I help my dog adjust to new places”, you could end the blog post with: “So that was my experience getting my little puppy adjusted to new environments. Let me turn this over to you: I’m curious, how have you handled new environments with your dog? Let me know in the comments below.”
That way, you can invite your readers to share their experiences, which could lead to you even learning from their stories, and potentially new blog post ideas for your blog.
5. Rewrite your introduction. After the headline of your blog post, the introduction (or the first few paragraphs) of your post is the next most important piece of your post.
That’s because it’s the headline that initially gets people interested in your content. But they won’t get to the body and conclusion of your post if the introduction doesn’t engage them to keep reading.
So, you can always start a new blog post with a “placeholder” introduction.
But once you’re done writing your blog post, you’ll have gained a better understanding of what the post actually covers.
So, with that new found knowledge, go back and re-write your introduction – so you can make it more compelling and engaging for readers to read, and so they can read all the way down to the end of your blog post.
6. Proofread and edit your work. Once you’re done writing your blog post, the next thing you want to review is the whole blog post. Watch out for typos and grammatical errors.
Break up long-winded sentences and paragraphs, and make sure that your reader can easily understand every paragraph.
Step 7. Promote your blog to get more readers
Starting a well-designed and customized blog is a good first step; but if you want to grow your blog and continue to get new, consistent readers, you’d need to promote your blog.
The tips below will show you how to promote your blog so you can get more readers coming to read and engage with your blog.
As you start out, focus first on writing good blog posts. Then try out these strategies one at a time – so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
As you try out these tips, notice the ones that work well for your blog posts and ideal readers, and then double down on those, to get even better results.
1. Promote your blog posts on social media.
Once you’ve started your blog, you can start promoting your blog by opening new accounts on the different social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and so on.
To decide on which social media platforms to start with, choose the platforms where your ideal readers hang out the most and where your content will have the most impact.
For example, if you’re running a cooking blog for working moms, then Instagram and Pinterest should be top on your list of social media accounts to start with. Whereas, if you’re writing a career blog for new college graduates, LinkedIn and YouTube are much better places to start with.
So, take some time to find out the top social media platforms where your ideal readers are, and create accounts for your blog on those platforms.
Then, once you write a new blog post, promoting your blog is as easy as sharing your blog post, and including a link that directs visitors to your blog post.
The key to making social media work for promoting your blog is to be consistent with your shares and continue to use best practices that are native to the specific social media platform.
For example, if you’re promoting your blog posts on Instagram, find out how popular Instagram pages promote their blog posts, in a way that’s native and natural to users on Instagram. Then, use those methods to inspire your promotion efforts.
2. Repurpose your blog posts.
Because your blog posts will often be in written, text form, you can promote your blog and expand your reach by repurposing or converting your posts into other content formats.
For example, you can turn your written blog post into an audio script, and create a podcast episode for every blog post that you write. That way, someone who prefers to listen to podcasts on their way to work can still learn about your blog and get value from your blog posts.
Or you could turn your written blog post into a short video script to post on TikTok or into a long-form video content to post on YouTube.
3. Engage with other blogs in your niche.
No blog succeeds on its own. Find other blogs in your niche and industry and engage with them. For example, if you’re in the travel niche, Google: “travel blogs”, and visit the blogs that you get from your search results.
Then, start engaging with those blogs by leaving relevant and compelling comments under their blog posts.
Also, review their blog posts and see how their content could inform your upcoming posts. If you write a post that references another blog in your niche, link out to the other blog, and send the blogger a quick email letting them know you found their blog post helpful and that you enjoyed reading their work.
Simple actions like these help you get your blog out there and become known and relevant, both in your industry and beyond.
4. Build connections within your industry.
Once you start engaging with other bloggers in your niche, collaborate with them too.
One way could be: writing blog posts on their blog and linking back to your blog in the post (a practice known as guest blogging).
Other ways you can use to engage with other bloggers are: promoting other people’s blogs and products in ways that are relevant and useful for your audience, volunteering to be a guest on their podcasts or YouTube channels, and consistently interacting with them privately (for example, through emails and partnerships) and publicly (for example, by comment posting).
5. Engage with your blog visitors.
Nurture a true community on your blog by actively encouraging commenting on your blog posts. In your blog posts, actively ask questions and expect to hear from your readers. And when your readers like or comment on your posts, always interact with them.
When your readers see that you’re engaged with them, they’re more likely to trust you more and come back to read future blog posts.
6. Post consistently.
The most awesome benefit that blogging has over other forms of online media is that you can write and update your blog posts as often as you want. As your blog starts to gain traction, readers will expect to hear from you on a regular basis.
If you can commit to blogging once or twice per week, then let your readers see that on your blog.
Use your blog posting calendar (from Step 6 above) to write new blog posts on a consistent basis. Stick to writing and posting new, useful content on your blog every week. If you can do this on a consistent basis, your readership and engagement will grow.
One tip I’ve found helpful to do this is to make blogging a part of your daily routine. For example, it’s easier to have new blog posts ready every week: when you write 30 mins every day, than waiting till the weekends to write or waiting for when you’re inspired to write.
7. Post useful content.
Always seek to create value and help people with your content.
Before you hit ‘Publish’ on any blog post, always ask yourself: “is this content useful to my readers?” If not, consider rewriting it.
Even if you wrote a personal post about your life or a story from your past, you can still make it valuable for your readers by sharing what you learned and how they can apply the same lessons in their own lives.
8. Optimize your blog for search engines.
One of the top ways that people will find out about your blog is through search engines, like Google, Bing, etc. So, you want to make sure that you optimize your blog so it’s easier for search engines to rank your blog higher in the search results.
First, submit your blog to the two biggest search engines – Google and Bing.
For Google, your first step is to sign up for a new Google Webmaster account and use the Google Search Console to add your blog as a new property.
For Bing, go to the Bing Webmaster Tools website, and click on “Get started” so you can sign up for a new account with Bing Webmaster. That way, you can start to improve the page rankings of your blog on Bing search results.
Second, have patience and continue to write useful content that your readers will find useful. Generally, it takes some time for search engines to start listing your blog posts in their search results.
So, don’t be discouraged if you’re not seeing your blog posts pop up within a week of you starting your blog. Keep writing content, first and foremost, to satisfy your readers, and the search engines will take notice.
Third, you can also optimize your blog for the search engines by taking some simple steps within your blog. For example:
1. Use appropriate header tags. Make it easier for the search engines to recognize the different sections in your blog posts.
For example, place your heading and subheadings in the right header tags. So, for the main headline of your post, use the H1 header tag, like this:
And for the next-level subheadings within your posts, use the H2 header tag, like this:
And for the third-level subheadings, use the H3 header tag, and so on.
2. Use categories. For every blog post that you write, make sure each belongs to its own category.
For example, if you run a career blog, your categories could be: “Getting a new job”, “Moving for a new job”, “Paying Taxes”, “Health Insurance”, “Getting Promoted”.
Your categories are the different buckets of content that each blog post will fall under.
By putting each blog post into its own category, you’re making it easier for search engines to find the right content on your blog, and serve it up for people who search online.
Also, putting your blog posts in the right categories help your visitors find the content they need as easily and as fast as possible, which makes for a good visitor and user experience on your blog.
To add a new category to your blog post, simply click the “Add New Category” on the left side of your post editor page:
9. Collect emails.
At the end of each blog post that you write, invite your readers to enter their email addresses.
When your visitors and readers give you their email addresses, they’re trusting you with a personal part of themselves – their personal emails. This means they trust you enough to keep providing even more value, even beyond every blog post – and that they’d like to continue the relationship in their personal inboxes.
This is a huge deal because, by collecting the emails of your visitors and readers, you can send them emails when you publish a new blog post. This will keep them coming back to your blog, in the middle of their busy day-to-day lives, and also helps you build a closer connection with your readers.
10. Send out emails on a regular basis.
Once you have emails from your visitors and readers, start by sending out emails when you publish a new blog post. Then, take the relationship even further by checking in on a regular basis.
Maybe you found a quick tip that you plan to convert into a full blog post later on – you could just send a quick email to share the tip.
When you send emails, you want to make it as conversational and useful as you can. That way, some readers might even come to expect your emails, which even helps you build a closer connection to your readers.
So, beyond making your emails friendly and compelling, you want to be consistent with your emails. Just like writing new blog posts on a consistent basis, you’ll get a more loyal and engaged readership by sending out regular and consistent useful emails.
There are many more strategies that you can use to promote your blog, but the ones I just explained should get you started.
Remember, don’t try to do all of these at once. Pick one or two strategies and focus on it. Once you’ve built that promotion pathway, and you’re seeing increasing growth with your blog, you can then add a few more strategies to the mix.
Step 8. Make money from your blog
The first stage of blogging is starting a new blog, creating useful content and promoting the content.
Once you’ve started getting visitors and readers to your blog, there are several ways that you can use to monetize your blog, so you can make money from it.
The main idea here is that – by writing free useful content for your readers, you’re providing value to them. Further, you can get paid a lot of money if you can provide even more value by selling several things to your readers.
That way, you can help your audience even further and make very good money while doing so – so a win for you and a win for your audience.
Here are some methods you can use to make money from your blog:
1. Sell services.
As a blogger, you can sell your services in so many different ways. For example, if you run a career blog, you could become a freelance writer and get paid for writing articles for other blogs and companies out there in the career and jobs industry.
Other examples of services that you can sell are: consulting, coaching, blog management for other blog owners, social media management, and so on. You can even use your blog to market your services as a virtual assistant to other small business owners or entrepreneurs. The opportunities are really endless.
2. Sell advertising.
Once you start gaining the attention of an audience in a niche, advertisers will start reaching out to you to get in front of that audience. So you can offer several spots on your blog for advertisers to place their ads.
The really cool thing about this is that you don’t have to accept any advertising offer that comes your way. In fact, you can be pretty selective about the kinds of ads you allow on your blog.
Because first, it’s your blog and you run the show.
Secondly, you care about your readers and if the product will not be useful to your readers, then you don’t want to be a part of it. Third, too many ads could ruin the user experience for your readers.
There are so many ad networks out there that you can join so you can start making money from ads, but the most popular one is Google Adsense. With Google Adsense, Google will find the advertisers for you, and all you have to do is place a piece of code on your blog, and the ads will start running on your blog. The higher the number of people who see those ads, the more the amount of money you can make.
3. Sell sponsorships.
Aside from advertising, you can also sell sponsored posts.
Sponsored posts are paid promotional content that you place on your blog on behalf of a company. For example, let’s say you run a fashion blog. You could sell a sponsorship slot to Lululemon – where they pay you to write a promotional blog post about their new selections of yoga pants. So, with sponsored posts, you’re getting paid per blog post to promote a company and their products or services.
4. Sell other people’s products (as an affiliate).
Another way to make money from your blog is to sell other people’s products as an affiliate.
As an affiliate, you get paid a commission for every sale you refer to the owner of the product. For example, if you run a technology blog, you could make money by reviewing the latest camera and tablets on your blog. When a reader clicks a link on your blog, they are sent to the advertiser’s website. You then get paid a commission once they buy the item.
Depending on your blog niche, there are several affiliate networks out there that you can partner with to make money on your blog with affiliate marketing. You just need to disclose on your blog that you could earn a commission when a reader buys the product through your link.
5. Sell printables.
A printable is anything that you can print on a piece of paper.
Examples of printables are: coloring books, planners (monthly planners, meal planning, appointments, monthly planners, yearly planners), and journals.
Some other examples of printables are: calendars, recipe books, inspirational stickers, binders, fitness trackers, stickers, password keepers, tutorial guides, goal planning checklists, and so on.
Now, the biggest reason people buy printables is to stay organized and be efficient. So, in pretty much every niche out there, there are often lots of opportunities to create printables that you can sell to your audience.
With the printables, you can help your readers stay organized and become more efficient as they apply the useful content in your blog posts.
6. Sell digital products.
Another way to make money from your blogs is by selling eBooks and other digital products.
With digital products, you have little to no overhead and you don’t have to worry about shipping or delivery. When someone buys, they get a link to the eBook and that’s it. The sale is done!
Instead of spending several years writing a physical book, you could start writing an ebook on a Microsoft Word document today. When you’re done, you can convert it to PDF, and start selling it to your readers.
For example, you could combine your best blog posts on a particular category, and package them into a nice eBook to sell.
7. Sell online courses.
Regardless of how much free content you give out as blog posts on your blog, you can still serve a huge need among your audience to sell premium content in the form of an online course.
With an online course, you can produce premium, exclusive content that will help your buyers get great results around what your blog is all about.
Online courses are usually video-based, and once you create the videos once, you can keep selling them; and you might occasionally need to add a few updates, but you can make an online course once and continue to sell it for months and years to come.
8. Sell physical products.
You can also make money with your blog by selling physical products.
For example, if you run a cooking blog, you could sell your own cooking pots, mixing bowls, and spoons to your readers.
Depending on your blog niche, you could also sell branded merchandise like branded t-shirts, mugs, hoodies, tote bags, water bottles, phone cases, hats, coffee mugs, tech accessories, and more.
You could also write a physical book and sell it to your readers.
For example, if you run a productivity blog, you could write a short book on overcoming procrastination. Because you already have an audience with your blog, you could start selling your book and even make lots of money and get tons of reviews from your blog readers before putting your book on an online marketplace like Amazon.
9. Sell memberships.
You can also make money by offering memberships on your blog.
With memberships, you can create and sell an exclusive experience that only paying members will have access to. For example, you could offer a monthly call, a private network, a mastermind, free consultations, or personalized coaching where paying members can connect, and get exclusive access to you.
10. Sell software and apps.
Another way to make money with your blog is by selling your own software or app.
If you identify a pressing need among your audience that could be solved with the right software, you can start by doing market research. Next, you can determine the level of the pain and figure out how much people are willing to pay for a solution.
You can then build the software, relying on constant feedback from your blog readers, and sell it to a ready market of readers and audience on your blog.
For example, if you’re a fitness blogger, and you see the clear need for an app to track calories in a better way. You could build an app to track calories and let your readers help you make the app better, and be your first set of ready-to-pay customers.
There are several ways that you can use to make money from your blog. Deciding on how best to monetize your blog will depend on the size of your audience, your blogging niche, and your goals and purpose for your blog.
I hope this step-by-step guide has given you everything you need to start and set up your new blog.
But if you’ve got any questions at all about starting and setting up your blog, let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to answer your questions that you may have.