Blogging for Dummies: How to Start and Grow Your Own Profitable Blog

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Is blogging financially rewarding? You might be asking this, as you hear stories of people quitting their 9-5 to blog full-time. Some bloggers even make enough money to travel the world and live the life of their dreams.

Yes, you can make a lot of money blogging! It is not a get-rich-quick scheme but it’s possible to make as much as five to six figures a month with the right strategies. If you don’t have one yet, let me share the step-by-step process of creating your own blog from scratch.

Figure out your niche.

Start by selecting a topic you enjoy talking about. There are particular topics that always get people’s attention and make good money. Here are some blogging ideas that are guaranteed to drive traffic:

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  • How-to guides – can be about anything that requires a specific set of steps
  • Breaking news – viral topics or latest news on politics, sports, finance, or entertainment
  • Recipes – in addition to free and printable recipes, you may include brand recommendations for kitchenware and grocery lists
  • Funny stories – can be spoof stories, op-ed articles, and editorials about current events
  • Contests – you may focus on giveaways and promotions
  • Product reviews – you can recommend products or services and share any positive or negative experience about them

Identifying the perfect niche for your blog can be a bit tricky. Others start with many topics until they discover which resonates with their audience the most. Just consider topics that are related to one other.

For example, you can blog about budgeting, building passive income, and online side-hustles. Over time you see that your tips on finding online gigs is resonating with your audience.

If you are getting a lot of views and social media engagement about online side-hustle then come up with more posts about them and less of the others.

Think of a good domain name.

A domain name is like your blog’s address on the Internet. It’s composed of two main parts: a second level domain (SLD) and a top level domain (TLD). An SLD is the “www” while a TLD can be .com, .org, .net, etc.

Choosing a domain name for your website is a crucial step because it identifies your site from the rest. It should be aligned with what you do to make it easier for potential readers to remember your blog name.

It’s okay to use your personal name as your URL if you already have a strong presence in your chosen niche. Neil Patel and Beppe Grillo are examples of successful bloggers who titled their websites after their names.

On the contrary, you may want to think twice about using your personal name. If you think your name is too long, difficult to spell, or not catchy enough, better think of something that people will easily remember. It can be something related to your blog topic, as long as it’s easy to say or spell.

Carolyn Wilman of ContestQueen.com suggests choosing a domain name that is available across all social channels. She bought “Contest Queen” off a “squatter” for $500 but it’s worth it because she was able to build an entire brand around it. If it’s available, grab your name on every social channel the moment it launched so you will have just one name for your brand across all channels.

Blogging for Dummies wordpress

Setup your WordPress site.

Once you’re ready with your topics and a domain name, set up your blog with a hosting provider. I like hosting my websites on Siteground because starting a WordPress blog with them only takes less than five minutes. It features a “drag and drop” building tool so it’s beginner-friendly. It’s a bit expensive compared to its competitors but it’s because it provides an above-average uptime.

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Majority of providers offer a free domain name once you purchased a hosting plan. You can buy a cheap domain name ranging from $1-$8 from sites like 1and1.com, GoDaddy, and NameCheap. Wherever you choose to buy a domain name, I suggest investing in a domain privacy service. This protects your WordPress site from spam because your contact details are kept private when people look you up on Whois database.

Design your blog.

You can find hundreds of free themes on the WordPress.org directory. A free theme may have limited features and functionalities but it does not mean it’s of low quality. In fact, free themes underwent a strict review process.

It’s fine to use free themes from outside sources as long as you have enough knowledge of PHP, HTML or JavaScript. It’s because these websites usually don’t offer support and you may have to tweak the codes yourself. If you’re serious in blogging or if you own an e-commerce website, invest in a professional theme. ThemeForest has many beautiful themes at $60 and below. Premium themes are easy to customize and can even improve your SEO rankings because they are already optimized for search engines.

Choose the best plug-ins.

A plug-in is a tool that adds functionality to your website. The WordPress.org repository has as much as 50,000 plugins that you can use for free but you don’t need to install a lot. The more plugins you have, the slower your website will become. Twenty is still a good number but there is still a chance your website will load a tenth of a second slower when you have more than 20 active plugins installed on your website. Remember when it comes to plugins, less is best. If you have a WordPress website, here are some of the best plugins to have:

  • Yoast SEO – improves your search ranking results by tracking how often you use your targeted keywords and by checking your article’s readability
  • Jetpack – lets you fully customize your website using rich content, image tools, and free themes
  • Contact Form 7 – if you need to have a contact form on your website and need help in managing them, this is one of the best choices.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – makes your site easier to index on search engines not just on Google but also on Yahoo! or Bing.
  • WooCommerce – for e-commerce websites, this is the best plug-in because it includes all the essential features like free shipping and local pickups.

Read: The Best Blogging Tools For Beginners And Bloggers Of All Levels

Create your content.

Coming up with a creative and unique blog post is actually the hardest part of blogging. Spend time brainstorming topics and schedule when to post them. An editorial calendar saves you time scheduling content. You don’t have to post every day. Besides the fact that it takes the fun out of blogging, it’s not guaranteed that you will meet your traffic and income goals. There are successful bloggers who only post twice or thrice a week. Before publishing your first post, check its formatting, structure, or if it’s optimized for SEO.

Blogging for Dummies content creation

You can achieve a good retention rate with a content marketing strategy. To develop a good strategy, it’s important to have a defined goal. What’s your intent in producing content? Why do you want to publish it? You can easily determine the steps you need to do to create a compelling content when you have a goal in mind.

Conclusion

You can set up a blog in less than an hour. But growing a profitable may take years, depending on your commitment and strategy. You may not see results in the first few months blogging but never give up on your blog because there’s a lot you can do to improve your research and writing skills.

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