If the thought of starting a blog ever crossed your mind, you’ve probably wondered whether it is the right profession for you or what steps you must take to start a blogging career. And what type of content you should write. Well, you happen to be in the right place.
We’ve put together an ultimate guide for beginners to build a blogging career. In this guide, we’re going to be covering everything you need to know to start a blog.
So, let’s dive in.
What is a Blog?
A blog could be described as a personal online journal or a discussion between the reader and writer that is updated frequently. Blogs usually reflect the personality of the author. The topics can surround theoretical musings, commentary on social affairs, personal experiences of the writer, informative posts on a particular subject, or it could be anything that readers may find interesting. It could also be a combination of two or more of the above things.
The author of the blog is referred to as a blogger.
Purpose of Blogging.
Everyone has their own reason for starting a blog. Here are the main reasons why most people become bloggers.
Making Money: This is actually the most common one nowadays, and quite an obvious one. A blog has the potential to make money every month. It can be a rough ride, but if you’re consistent, you can make a fine living from it. You don’t have to be a tech nerd for this, and it’s no rocket science either. Just engage your audience through quality, informative content, and you can monetize your blog in a lot of different ways. Some of these are advertisements, product reviews, affiliate marketing, etc.
Building an Audience: A blog is the best way to engage with a relevant audience or create some buzz. For example, if you have a product launching soon and you want to create buzz around it, starting a blog is a great way to do that.
Gaining Leads: This is similar to the point above. Blogging is a great way to build an audience for your existing product or service. By creating content that your potential customers might be interested to read, you can take your content creation a level up and offer your product or service as something they’d benefit from. This is a great way to get long-lasting customers for your business.
Sharing Personal Views and Experiences: A lot of people simply start a blog to share their thoughts with the world and build a community of like-minded individuals. They don’t usually look for any monetary benefits from their blog.
Setting Up The Blog
Creating your blog requires a few steps which can be a hassle at times. You need to decide on many things for your blog, like the niche (especially if you really care about reaching the right type of audience with your content), your domain, blogging platform, and other technical difficulties. All of these are crucial steps that determine your blog’s performance in the long run.
Below, we have covered how to go about all of these things in detail so you can be sure about doing only the right things and not worry about messing up from the get-go.
The only thing you need most from yourself is the commitment, as launching a blog is easy but running it takes dedication and hard work.
Picking up a Niche
Every blog requires a subject or a market to write about. This is called the ‘niche’.
If you don’t have a fixed niche for your blog, it’s going to be confusing, disorganized and all over the place. That’s something no one would be interested to read. So, the very first step is to define a niche that you’re going to be focusing your content on.
Here’s how to do it…
- On paper, make three different columns. In the first one, write down all the things you’re passionate about. In the second one, list down all your skills (things you’re really good at). Lastly, in the third column make a list of things people ask you for help with.
- Now, look for points of intersection in all three columns. What are the common things in three of them or two of them? You’d be left with very few options by now.
- Now, rate these options according to your level of interest in each.
Once you’re done with this exercise, it’s time to find out which of your shortlisted options have the most demand so you’ll know that you’re going to start a blog in a profitable niche.
This is where keyword research comes in. We’re going to dig for hard, solid facts and figures to make a fail-proof decision.
Keyword research is also important for coming up with content ideas for your blog. But that’s a whole different topic. So, for now, let’s just stick to picking up the niche.
The purpose of researching keywords is to discover words or phrases that users are specifically searching for on Google or other search engines. It’s a great way to find the best niche for your blog and to further refine it for a specific set of audience.
For example, if you’re planning to start a blog about traveling, the usual keywords to search for would be:
- Traveling guide
- Travel packages
- Places to travel
- Travel essentials
These are the usual keywords and getting exposure through them is pretty unlikely in the swarm of search results that appear on Google. You will have to be more specific than that. Refine your niche and attract an audience through specific keywords. You can do that through keyword research.
Keywords Research with Ubersuggest
Ubersuggest is a great tool that helps you find profitable keywords by showing you their search volume and rank difficulty. It also provides you keyword suggestions so you can further refine your idea.
How To Use Ubersuggest to Research Niche Ideas
Type a relevant keyword in the search bar. Here we’re looking at the example of the keyword “travel blog”.
First thing, Ubersuggest will provide you an overview of the keyword you type in, how much traffic and how many searches the keyword is getting each month and it’s ranking difficulty.
So, for this specific keyword, you can see that there’s a significantly high search volume. And the SEO difficulty is 29, which means it’s an easy target.
But we’re not going to stop here as it is still a very broad area and a lot of people are already writing on it. We’re going to have a look at the keyword suggestions to dig further to refine our niche for a specific audience.
With Ubersuggest’s keyword suggestions, you can find certain keywords relevant to your niche that a lot of people aren’t necessarily targeting.
Under the overview tab, you’ll see a keyword ideas tab, open it.
These ideas are the keywords best related to your searched term. They’ll help you come up with new topics relating your keyword and Ubersuggest shows you their SEO difficulty and the sites driving the most traffic from those keywords.
For instance, if you search keyword ideas for the word “travel”, you will find some keywords that are easy to rank and relevant to the topic. Like “travel hacks”, it is a trending keyword and has a 21% SEO difficulty, which is fairly easy and you have a great chance of ranking on the top page. You can look for other terms in the list like “travel guide” etc. Next to each keyword, you’ll be able to see its search volume to determine its demand in the market.
Once you have a set of keywords that your audience is interested in, you can further narrow down your options by coming up with different sets of audiences.
For example, a blog that shares travel hacks for single moms could be a great hit among that specific audience.
You can come up with various sets of audiences based on their demographics like the country, their age, their gender, their occupation, and even their physical and mental traits.
Here are a few examples:
“Travel blog for single moms”
“Berlin travel blog”
“Travelling m tips for teenagers”
All of these topics could help you come up with awesome blog post ideas as well. The key is to stick to what you know best and what you can best help others with.
Then, once you have nailed down some niche ideas using the above steps, you can repeat the whole process to see which ones you are most interested in and skilled in. Then check their search volume and SEO difficulty in Ubersuggest to decide your final option.
You can repeat this entire process again for other options in the list that you initially made to come up with the best choice.
This process might take you a few hours but it’s totally worth it. Because you’re going to be writing on that blog regularly for a long time, and you don’t want to make a hasty, uninformed decision and regret later.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
Now once you’ve nailed down the perfect niche for your blog, it’s time to choose a blogging platform. Well, choosing the right platform could be a difficult situation for some people. But we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible.
There are some factors that you must consider before making the choice.
One of the most important things you should look for in a platform is that it should be easy to use. If you’re just starting out, it shouldn’t be a problem to set up, and it must be easy to get the hang of.
Monetization is another important factor to consider. Look for one that offers third-party plugins and customization. Ensure that the platform you chose stretches to the length to help you scale the blog and add more features as you progress.
Considering these factors, the best blogging platform that comes to mind is WordPress.
Blogging with WordPress.org
WordPress is a self-hosted blogging platform and content management system, and it’s the ultimate blog site for various reasons. It’s easy to use and offers a variety of options for beginners as well as advanced users.
WordPress powers 33.4% of the internet and is used by huge brands like BBC, Wired, Rolling Stones, Time Magazine, Beyonce, Jay-Z, New York Post, and Harvard University.
For newbies, you must launch a web hosting account first to set up a WordPress blog. Web hosting is the home of websites on the internet. This is like a site where all the websites’ data is stored. Every website needs web hosting. Without it, you won’t be able to take your blog online.
So, before going to WordPress, get yourself a web hosting account. Bluehost is the most widely used hosting platform because it’s user-friendly and easy to understand and use.
Register with Bluehost
Go to the Bluehost website, and click on the green button that says “Get Started Now”.
The next step is to choose your hosting plan.
For beginners, it’s always wise to go with the basic plan as you won’t be needing a lot of options at this stage. Once your blog starts developing, you can easily update to a Choice Plus plan.
Set Up A Domain
Now, the next step is to get your blog a domain.
A blog without a domain name is like a house without an address. The domain acts as the address of your website. People type in your domain on their browsers to go to your page.
Take your time and choose the domain carefully because from here on, the domain is the identity of your site. Once chosen, enter that domain and move to the next part.
After that, Bluehost will take you to the completion process. Where you enter the personal info, select the hosting package and the payment method, then you’re good to go. You’ll get a confirmation email with all the information necessary concerning your web hosting control tablet.
Creating the WordPress.org Account
When logged into your Bluehost account, you will locate your WordPress site under the “My Sites” section.
You will first start the process by selecting “create your account”, then fill in all the needed credentials. Next, you will begin working towards creating your blog.
Bluehost will offer a few-steps process to help you create a website (blog). First, It’ll take you to a new page, there you have to answer three questions: “What kind of site? What type is it? And who is it for?” For example, in the case of a personal blog, you’ll select the options Blog, Personal, and Myself respectively. You can select the same choices or pick what matches your circumstances.
With this next step, you can pick what else you would like to have on your website. Bluehost lets you choose from a few options.
Next, you’ll have to answer some questions regarding your site, like the name of your blog, tagline, and how comfortable you are with creating websites. (You can always change this later on.)
The last step is the theme selection of your website. Bluehost offers a variety of themes to start from, it’s a fine collection of free and paid themes. And, If you don’t like it, you can change your theme anytime you want.
LAUNCH YOUR BLOG
Now that your blog is live, your next job is to design the blog to your standards.
After the installation, you must have noticed that your blog looks very elementary. And if you open your blog on a web browser, don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t match your expectations. It is perhaps the first outline of your blog. With the WordPress dashboard, you will have to make a few changes here and there, then add promising content to make it fine and flawless.
Your new blog is now ready to kick, and you can start updating it regularly with quality content to engage your audience.
This was our ultimate comprehensive guide for newbies to start their very own blogging career. We’ve covered all there is to know on this topic. If you have any questions regarding this post, feel free to drop them in the comments.