How to Start a Successful Blog in 2020

Have you ever wanted to start your own blog? Or do you already have a blog that you don’t know how to go to the next level?

If your answer is yes, then this page is what you need.

Table of Contents

In this guide you will learn:

  1. Creating a blog from scratch
  2. Design the look of your blog
  3. Add functionality with plugins
  4. Finding a Niche and Creating Content
  5. The growing readability of your blog
  6. Make money on blogs
  7. Using Free Blogging Tools
  8. Start a blog: FAQ

In this guide, I will provide you with some of the fastest, easiest to understand and, above all, effective solutions to your blog problems based on my own experience and the minds of people who like what they do.


Chapter 1. Setting up a blog from scratch

Creating a blog in 2020 is easy and cheap.

The most popular blogging software, WordPress.org, is free. Professionally designed WordPress themes and plugins are free. And there are literally millions of free guides to get you started (including this one). The only cost associated with opening a blog is the money you pay for web hosting and a domain name.

Of course, this can be very difficult at a later stage; but generally speaking, blogging is feasible for everyone who has a computer with an Internet connection. In fact, you can create a blog and run it in the next 20 minutes. The steps mentioned in the next steps are how I create my blogs first.

Basically all you have to do is:

  1. Choose a good web hosting and domain name
  2. Route your domain’s DNS to your web hosting
  3. Install WordPress on your new web hosting (very easy using auto-installer).
  4. Log in to your WordPress and post your first post.
  5. And it’s all.

Does that sound easy? You bet!

I am going to guide you through the steps below. Feel free to skip to the next chapter if you already know how to set up your own blog.

1. Choose a good web hosting and domain name

To start your own blog, you first need a domain name and a web hosting account.

Your domain is the name of your blog. It is not something physical that you can touch or see; but just a set of characters that give your site a personality – for example, the name of a book or place. Your domain tells your visitors which blog they are visiting.

Web hosting, on the other hand, is the place where you store the contents of your blog – words, blog topics, images, videos, etc.

Domain names – where to register?

You can select and register your domain names through the domain registrar. GoDaddy , NameCheap and Domain.com are some of the most popular registrars on the market.

Please note that it is important to separate the domain registration from your web host. The fact that your web hosting company offers a free domain does not mean that you should allow the hosting company to control the registration of your domain. Personally, I use NameCheap to manage my domain registrations; but any other reputable domain registrars should be in order. Thanks to this, I can change the DNS of my domain at any time and avoid blocking one website. I highly recommend that you do the same for your own protection.

Web hosting – where to post your blog?

Regarding web hosting, check out my top choice of web hosting and hosting review index .

For starters, I recommend starting with a small shared web host.

In shared hosting. Despite the fact that hosting resources are less than others (VPS, cloud, etc.), for starters you will need less budget (often <5 dollars per month when registering) and technical knowledge. When choosing a web host for your blog, these are five factors to consider:

  1. reliability – your blog should be stable and accessible online 24 × 7.
  2. Speed – You need a host that loads fast because speed affects user experience and search ranking.
  3. Prices – Hosting with a price of $ 5 / month. – a good start, at this stage you do not need premium services.
  4. Room for growth – you will need hosting updates (additional features, more server power, etc.) as your blog grows.
  5. Support – The Internet is constantly changing, it is always good when someone supports you from the technical side.

Recommended Newbie Blog Hosting

1. Hosting for InMotion

InMotion WordPress hosting

Keep two blogs on InMotion hosting for $ 3.99 a month.

 Visit website: https://www.inmotionhosting.com/

InMotion Hosting is a web hosting service that I personally want to vouch for. They have a few things that set them apart from their competitors, including their stable server performance (> 99.98% uptime) and the wealth of features offered by basic starter sites. Best of all, their prices are for a sweet spot for beginners.

2. Hostinger

Hostinger WordPress Hosting

Hostinger’s overall plan starts at just $ 0.80 / month.

 Visit website: https://www.hostinger.com/

Hostinger is one of the cheapest web hosting services, especially during the honeymoon period. Despite being a low-cost hosting company, Hostinger offers tons of premium hosting features that are suitable for bloggers.

3. SiteGround

SiteGround WordPress hosting

SiteGround charges $ 3.95 / mo for posting a single blog.

 Visit website: https://www.siteground.com/

SiteGround is one of the best WordPress hosting providers and is recommended by WordPress.org. They offer a similar custom architecture for a site using WordPress, as Bluehost does (another web host recommended by WordPress.org), albeit at a lower cost.

4. Greengeek hosting

Visit website: https://www.greengeeks.com/

GreenGeeks with over ten years of experience in the field of web hosting is a unique bastion for those who are looking for an environmentally friendly service.GreenGeeks is a Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) certified green hosting organization. They are very affordable (register at $ 2.95 / mo) and have proven themselves in our server speed testing.

 Pro Tip The fact that web hosting is popular does not mean that it is best suited for your blog. Take a look at hosting performance and study carefully before making a decision.

2. Direct the DNS domain to your web hosting.

Then you need to update the DNS record with the domain registrar (where you registered your domain in step # 1) so that it points to your web host’s servers (InMotion Hosting, Hostinger or SiteGround).

DNS stands for Domain Name System and is used to direct any incoming user to the server’s IP address. Thus, when the user enters “(domain name)”, the DNS records will receive the IP address of my web host and serve my site for the user.

Example: specifying a website for InMotion Hosting name servers in GoDaddy.

Here are step-by-step instructions for updating your blog’s DNS on GoDaddy or Namecheap .

3. Install WordPress on your web hosting

To start blogging with WordPress, you first need to install the system on your web hosting. This can be done manually or automatically using the one-click installation application. Both methods are quite simple and can be done easily.

WordPress Manual Installation

In short, here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Download and unzip the WordPress package to your local PC.
  2. Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL user who has all privileges to access and modify.
  3. Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.
  4. Open wp-config.php in a text editor (notepad) and fill in the data of your database.
  5. Put the WordPress files in the right place on your web server.
  6. Run the WordPress installation script by running wp-admin / install.php in your web browser. If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/wp-admin/install.php; For example, if you installed WordPress in your own subdirectory called blogs, you should visit: http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php
  7. And you’re done.

One-click WordPress installation

Currently, most bloggers do not install their WordPress manually.

With support for one-click installation services such as Softaculous and Mojo Market (depending on which web hosting you use), the installation process is very simple and can be done in just a few simple clicks.

For reference, the following images show where you can find the automatic installation feature on your Hostinger panel. To install WordPress, simply click on the icon in the circle and follow the instructions that are not used – your WordPress system must be launched in less than 5 minutes.

Hostinger WordPress Auto InstallerExample: you can install WordPress on your web hosting in just a few clicks using the Hostinger Auto Installer ( visit Hostinger here ).

Things may look different for different web hosts, but the process is basically the same. So do not worry if you are not using one of these hosts, which I am showing here.

Why WordPress?

Personally, I think WordPress is the best blogging platform for newbies. Based on statistics from Built With, more than 95% of blogs in the United States are built using WordPress . Globally, 27 billion blogs run on WordPress .

4. Find the WordPress admin page and log in

Once you have installed your WordPress system, you will be provided with a URL to enter the WordPress admin page. In most cases, the URL will look something like this (depending on the folder where you installed WordPress):

http://www.exampleblog.com/wp-admin

Go to this URL and log in with your username and password; and from there you will now be in the backend (toolbar) of your WordPress site – this is the part of the blog that only you, as an administrator, can access.

create a new postCreate a new blog in the new WordPress Gutenberg.

The latest version of WordPress at the time of this writing is version 5.3.2 – by default you will use WordPress Gutenberg as a text editor. Gutenberg brings great flexibility to the WordPress platform. This is especially useful for beginners, as many things, such as setting background colors and more, no longer require coding. The block system also helps in managing the layout of the article.

To write and publish a new message, just go to the left side panel, click on “Messages”> “Add New” and you will be taken to the recording screen. Click “Preview” to view how things look on the interface (what your readers see), after publishing the message, click “Publish”.

Hola! You now have your first blog post.

 Pro Tip : It’s a good idea to bookmark your WordPress wp-admin login URL as you will come here very often.


Chapter 2. Designing the look of your blog

Now that we have WordPress ready, it’s time to take a deeper dive. Like all CMS, a WordPress blog consists of 3 main elements:

  1. CMS Core – the system that we installed earlier using the auto-installer,
  2. Themes are the “interface” of your blog, here you control how your blog looks and
  3. Plugins is an add-on that gives you control and features on your blog (more on this later)

To design or customize the appearance of the blog, all we need to do is set up a set of PHP and CSS files, which are usually located in the / wp-content / themes / directory. These files are separate from the main WordPress systems, and you can modify them as often as you want.

Most individual bloggers do not create their own blog topics from scratch. Rather, what most of us do is choose a ready-made theme (or an unprocessed theme) and customize it according to our needs. There are an infinite number of beautiful WordPress themes on the Internet – a simple Google search will lead you to millions.

If this is your first time creating a WordPress blog, my suggestion is for you to start with a ready-made theme and customize it along the way.

Here you can get ready-made WordPress designs:

  1. Official WordPress Theme Guide (Free)
  2. WordPress Theme Clubs ($ 89 / year – $ 400 at a time)
  3. WordPress Theme Marketplace (one-time payment from $ 30 to $ 100)

We will consider each of the options below.

1. Official WordPress Theme Directory

Wordpress Theme Catalog

 Visit: WordPress Thematic Directory

Here you can get all the free WordPress themes. The themes listed in this directory follow very strict standards provided by WordPress developers, so in my opinion this is the best place to get free, error-free theme designs.

2. Paid WordPress Theme Club

Another way to get quality paid themes is to sign up for WordPress theme clubs.

If this is the first time you hear about Theme Clubs, here’s how it works: you pay a flat fee for joining the club and get the various design options offered by the clubs. Themes offered at Theme Club are usually professionally designed and regularly updated.

Elegant Themes , Studio Press and Artisan Themes are the three WordPress theme clubs I recommend.

There are much more than others – some clubs even serve a specific industry, such as realtors or schools; but we will consider only three in this article.

Elegant themes

Elegant Sample Themes – Over 80 premium WordPress themes. Click here to view the current demos theme .

 Visit: ElegantThemes.com , Price: $ 89 / year or $ 249 / lifetime

Elegant Themes is arguably the most popular WordPress theme club in the industry. A site with over 500,000 87 happy customers offers over 69 beautiful and amazing themes to choose from. It also allows you to download premium plugins that will charge your online business. Subscribing to Elegant Theme is fairly affordable. You can enjoy access to all topics on unlimited sites for $ 89 / year. If you want to use plugins too, you have to pay $ 249 / year. If you love Elegant Themes, you can also purchase a one-time lifetime plan of $ XNUMX.

My experience with Elegant Themes was generally positive, and I have no questions recommending them.

It is affordable and easy to use, and the options for tuning are virtually endless. Regardless of whether you are a regular blogger or an experienced businessman, Elegant Themes is not only a great way to increase the aesthetic appeal of your site, but also to make your site more convenient and user-friendly, which is good for attracting more traffic and stimulating business.

Studiopress

WordPress Themes in Studio Press.

 Visit: StudioPress.com , Price: $ 129.95 / theme or $ 499.95 / lifetime

If you’re a longtime WordPress user, you’ve probably heard of StudioPress. It is popular among its Genesis Framework , minimalist and SEO-friendly WordPress for all StudioPress themes.

StudioPress offers flexible pricing based on your needs. Genesis Framework with a child theme is available for a one-time payment of $ 59.99. The premium theme, which includes the Genesis Framework, costs $ 99 each. If you want to access all topics, you can pay $ 499.

Artisan Themes

Ready sites offered by Artisan Themes.

 Visit: ArtisanThemes.io , Price: $ 129 – $ 389 / topic

Artisan Themes is not your regular WordPress theme club. Instead of loading themes with pre-prepared layouts, this theme club allows you to create a theme from scratch using more than 20 modules (call-to-action, engraved displays, portfolio items, etc.).

You can unleash modules on your topics. Two of the most functional and modern themes of Indigo and Modules , Unlike other sites with WordPress themes, you can buy themes individually for only 129 dollars each.

Ready sites are perfect for people who don’t want the hassle of customizing a WordPress theme. Just choose the theme that best describes your business so you can set it up in minutes. You can only use off-site sites if you installed the theme from the store as indicated.

3. WordPress Themes Marketplace

The WordPress Themes Marketplace is a place where you can select and buy professionally designed themes from multiple vendors. Since WordPress has such a large user base, in fact there is plenty to choose from: from a huge number of trading platforms (and thousands of suppliers and developers).

For example, my personal favorite, Envato Market , offers a large collection of premium WordPress themes neatly organized around themes, added dates, user ratings, and prices.

Where to buy a WordPress themeThe Envato Market (formerly known as Theme Forest) offers tens of thousands of professionally designed WordPress themes ( visit ).


Chapter 3. Adding functionality with plugins

What is a WordPress Plugin?

A plugin is an add-on application that runs on top of WordPress and adds new features and capabilities to the WordPress blog. There are over 55,000 XNUMX plugins in the Official WordPress.org Plugin Directory right now and tens of thousands of others available in other markets.

Bloggers use the plugin to add all sorts of features to their WordPress blog. For example, you can:

  • Create an Online Store Using the WordPress WooCommerce Plugin
  • Create a bulletin board using the WP Job Manager Plugin
  • Make a Podcast Website Using the Simple Podcast Press Plugin

Essential WordPress Beginner Plugins

In case you are using WordPress for the first time, here are some important (and free) plugins to get you started:

Plugins for security and spam protection

Akismet WordPress Plugin

For security and protection against spam – Akismet , Press Release , WordFence and iThemes Security are the plugins that I recommend

Akismet is one of the oldest plugins that comes with your WordPress by default. This plugin helps to check all your comments regarding its service to find out if they are spam. It collects all spam and allows you to view it on the admin screen of your “Comments” blog.

Vault Press, on the other hand, is a real-time backup and scan service developed by Automattic. This plugin gives you the ability to backup and synchronizes all your messages, comments, media files, revisions and dashboard settings on servers. WordFence and iThemes Security are plugins that combine all the necessary WordPress security features. The main function of this plugin is to enhance the security of the blog without worrying about conflicting functions or that nothing has disappeared on your site or blog.

 Read More: (any title you wish)

Plugins for Better Blog Performance

W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

When it comes to optimizing blog performance, W3 Total Cache and Fast performance are the most popular options.

Two other performance plugins that you should also pay attention to: Cloud Flash and WP Super Cache , Cloud Flare – a free plugin provided by CDN, Cloud Flare; while WP Super Cache is developed by Donncha and Automattic, a company that now develops and uses WordPress.

The cache plugin is a must in the modern world of blogs – it significantly improves user experience, increasing server performance, reducing the time it takes to load, and increasing page loading speed.

If your blog has a lot of images – consider adding EWWW image optimization . This is a one-click image optimizer that can optimize image files in your library. It also has an automatic image compression function to reduce the size of images when they are downloaded. By optimizing images, you can reduce page load time and improve site performance.

 Read more: (any title you wish)

Search Engine Optimization Plugins

Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin

Although WordPress is an SEO-oriented blogging platform, much more can be done to improve your site baseline with plugins.

WordPress SEO developed by Yoast and All In One SEO updates Michael Torbert has developed two very good add-ons on your plugin list.

 Read More: (any title of your choice)

Gutenberg Block Plugin

Gutenberg Custom Blocks

With the introduction of the Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0, bloggers can now create content using a block editor. By default, WordPress offers a set of basic content blocks, such as paragraph, image, call to action button, shortcode, etc. By adding Gutenberg Block plugins, you can add more attractive elements to your blog (for example, FAQ, accordion, author’s profile, carousel, clicks on tweets, GIF blocks, etc.).

Stackable , Ultimate Blocks and CoBlocks are three simple and free Gutenberg Block plugins.


Chapter 4. Niche Search and Content Creation

Usually a beginner starts blogging: he writes about his work on Monday, hobbies on Tuesday, films that are watched on Wednesday, and political views on the weekend. In short, these people simply write on a variety of topics without much attention.

Yes, these blogs will gain regular followers among their friends and families; but that’s about it.

It is very difficult to have a significant number of loyal readers when you blog randomly because people will not know if you are a film critic, food columnist or book critic. Advertisers will also be reluctant to advertise with you because they don’t know what you are talking about. To build a successful blog, you need to find your niche.

How to choose a blog niche?

To find the right niche for blogs, here are key points to consider.

1. Fill the need

If you ever thought, “I want someone to write about this on the blog,” this is a moment ah. If this is a topic that you would like to know more about, then this is probably a topic that other people want to know about.

What is your unique knowledge? How can you provide something unique to a theme that no one else can? It could even be an interview with an expert.

Example: Gina’s Embracing Imperfect blog focuses on helping mothers bring up children with special needs.

2. That you are passionate

Remember that you will write, read and speak on your subject every day for the next few years. If you have no interest in the topic of the blog, then it would be very difficult to constantly stay there.

You will also enjoy writing on these topics.

3. A theme with vitality (evergreen content)

Although the debate is great, it does not guarantee that your topic will be here next week. For example, if you are very passionate about Vine and start a blog dedicated to this when it goes out of fashion, you lose content. It’s better to focus on a more general topic, such as “cutting-edge social media trends” or “graphic apps that swing.” That way, if fashion comes out of fashion, your blog can still keep track of what replaces it.

4. Profitable

Your blog should be in a niche from which you can make money .

Ask yourself if this topic will attract readers and generate revenue – whether through advertising or sales. If you are blogging to support an existing business, is the blog attracting new customers? If you are blogging just because you are passionate about this topic, is there a way to monetize your individual blog?

I use SpyFu a pay-per-click advertising tool to sometimes evaluate the profitability of a niche. My logic is that if advertisers pay Google Adwords thousands of dollars, there should be money in this area. Here are two examples I found:

_niche2-month budget - sports prizesExample # 1: These are advertising statistics from a sportswear manufacturer (for example, sports brands like Adidas or New Balance, but less). According to Spyfu, the company spent over $ 100,000 per month on Adwords.

Example # 2: This is ad statistics for an IT solution provider. There were roughly other major players in this niche 20. This company, in particular, bought ads for keywords 3,846 from Google and spent about $ 60,000 per month.

 Read more: Gina and I discussed in detail about finding a suitable niche for blogs in this article – be sure to check this out if you need further help.

How to write good content

I remember, before starting a professional blogging, most successful bloggers and writers should have some sort of magical trick that makes them spin amazing words every day. I thought that bloggers, writers, journalists and writers should just have a brain that is connected in this way.

I could not be further from the truth.

I found that content is not just a great idea, fact, or subject. It’s all about what you do with it, and how you imagine it.

  • How does this product compare to others?
  • Where is it from?
  • What is interesting about this?
  • What’s not so good about this?

Following are three ideas to get you started, which will help you in a fun way to discuss your blog topic.

  • Beginner’s Guide to ___________ Fill out the tip above with a topic that someone does not understand in your blog topic. For example, if you have a blog about baking cakes, then the above invitation might become: A Guide for Beginners on Melting Frosting.
  • 10 lie you were talking about __________ This is a warning style headline. This attracts the reader because she wants to know what she was doing wrong. One example would be a dating site. The title would look something like this: “10 lies that you told yourself about why you are still alone.”
  • 3 steps to learning __________ This name is very universal. To fill in the blanks for this title, think about what your readers need and want to know and what special knowledge you have. If you start a cooking school, you can decide the following: steps 3 to learn how to make the perfect souffle.

These simple phrases are designed to awaken your brain and make your creative juices flow. When at a loss for ideas, you can turn to these tips and come up with something to write about.

For the tips above, you will take the title and fill in the blank. This will serve as your idea for a new article. There are hundreds of ways to complete each invitation. Even if you lack new ideas, with these tips you will never come across this problem again.

 Read more: (any title of your choice)


Chapter 5. Enhancing the readability of your blog

The sad truth for many bloggers: it took them too long to win readers. Getting the first 1,000 page views can take months, and some very specialized blogs seem to never get there.

Here are five key strategies to help you translate your blog from day one to 1 views.

1. Write what people want to read

People are drowning in social media updates, news feeds, emails, and various promotions. It’s getting harder to get people to read your content. However, you can still succeed if you know who your ideal audience is and what they are looking for. Think about the gap in your niche, what type of content is missing, and how you can add value to your audience.

Here are some things that can help you with your research:

  • Use social media tools to track successful social media content. At this distance, you can generate content ideas that get good reviews from social networks.
  • Use tools such as content. Public response to search for popular questions people ask on Google.
  • Use the number of views on YouTube to find topics that interest people.
  • Use the keyword research tool to identify specific topics that people are looking for in your niche. You can create content based on these keywords.

2. Connect with your community

“Shared and done” is no longer the name of the game.

You must constantly share your messages, again and again. If you are invited to join the Pinterest group board that matches your niche, sign up, share and comment often. If you join the list of like-minded bloggers, most likely they will share each other’s content regularly – weekly or daily. This will help increase your audience and interest.

Seek your tribe consistently – reward other members in it and unite with them.

Help out at parties on Twitter. Comment on posts from other members. Share articles on your newsletters. Round up and promote blogs that you love by showing once a week or a month.

Ask how you can help someone in a guest post or offer guest space. Sell ​​your products, use your affiliate links, advertise your links on social networks while they label them. When opportunities appear to attract bloggers, these bloggers will remember your help and invite you to participate.

3. Make sure your blog is easy to read.

I get upset when I find a blog with a headline, I am completely excited only to find content with a large piece of text, a few paragraphs, no headings or bullets and tiny fonts. It drives me away.

In addition to what I experienced above, your blog should not burden readers with pop-ups and click-throughs. Instead, skillfully present the content to your readers. Know the time limits of your readers and understand what makes them stay on your site.

Here’s what you can do to make your blog easier to read:

  • Optimize your blog with headings, subheadings, bullets, or numbered lists. It helps your content look more organized.
  • Break your blog content into sections or paragraphs. A wall of text can look intimidating and overwhelming readers.
  • Avoid using fancy fonts. Stick to web-safe fonts like Arial, Georgia, Times, etc.
  • Use plain English and write in short sentences. Send your article readability to an eighth-grade student.

4. Blog commenting

Firstly, commenting on blogs is perhaps the most underrated method of creating blog traffic – mainly because people suck on quality, meaningful conversations with strangers (including me). Nevertheless, commenting on blogs is a qualitative method of creating traffic, which also turns out to be free – you can not argue with that!

There are two golden rules to a blog:

  1. Always write a quality comment. If you don’t have something meaningful to discuss, do not leave a comment (comments “Thank you – great post” … they are useless)
  2. Leave a link where appropriate. No spam, no matter how tempting it may be; this will be unpleasant for you.

While another rule (maybe not a golden rule), if you leave a link, do not just enter the URL of your blog. Instead, link to your own post that adds value to the original post and discussion. Relevance is the key here.

5. Q & A Platform

Forums and Q & A platforms are great places to take a seat in front of your respective, interested audience. The trick is to keep track of ongoing conversations in your niche so you can intervene when you have something useful to say (and no, not every post will be an opportunity – but some will). You will need a good reader like Feedly for this to work.

Can’t find the exact fit or the exact enough features?

Create custom content related to a particularly hot conversation. For example, if someone asks how to do something using the .htaccess code, you can write a tutorial and publish it on your blog, and then, in the “Questions and Answers” ​​section, answer a request using a teaser, linking it to your blog. to get full codes and demos. Most likely, if one person asked a question, others will have the same question – and the answer to your forum and link will remain valid to give them advice when the time comes.

Regarding Q & A platforms, I recommend

  • Quora, Klout, and Yahoo! Answers are three of the best common Q&A platforms.
  • StackOverflow – if you are a publisher selling books on programming.
  • Tripadvisor – For Travel Bloggers

 Read more: (any title of your choice )


Chapter 6. How to make money on blogs

I’m sure that you have already heard about some success stories of bloggers – the people who created the blog and made it rich several years later.

Peter Cashman, founder of Mashable, makes about $ 7.2 million a year, and TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington makes about $ 10 million a year. Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income blogger, makes hundreds of thousands a month. Pinch of Yum Lindsay and Björk earned more than $ 85,000 XNUMX in one month of income in one month.

Although becoming Daddy Warbucks in one night may not be in your future, you can certainly monetize your blog and start making some money.

Your first step in monetizing your blog is to decide what your boundaries are.

  • Want to advertise on your site?
  • What ads will you accept?
  • What ads will be banned on your site?
  • What percentage of ads and content do you want?

Be careful, because if site visitors and search engines see your site as spam, you will be ranked. Once you’ve identified some rules for the types and amounts of ads you accept, it’s time to consider some ways to monetize your blog.

1. Direct advertising

Direct advertising is arguably the fastest way to generate revenue from your blog.

Simply put; You provide a place on your blog to advertise third-party companies for a monthly, quarterly or annual fee. You yourself choose which companies you allow to advertise, where they send advertising and how much space they occupy on your blog!

Here are some of the requirements of your blog to attract advertisers to your site:

  • A blog with a minimum of 1,000 page views per month and good engagement
  • Large and effective social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • A clear and focused niche.
  • Excellent search engine positioning for your niche.
  • Professional presence and appearance for your blog.
  • Template or theme with a place for advertisement. Keep in mind that you want users to read and click, but you do not want them to be so overloaded with ads that they stop visiting.

Where to begin?

To begin with, creating a media set is a one-page informational guide that will help potential advertisers get to know your blog at a glance. It should include an assessment of all your numbers on social networks (subscribers, levels of engagement, etc.), pageviews of blog pages and unique visitors, as well as information about your audience and niche.

There are many standard ad sizes for the web. The more advertising, the more you have to charge. Typically, ads are sold on a monthly basis. Find sizes that fit your blog. You don’t want to immediately get involved with a large list of leaders at the head of your blog, and then you find that it repels visitors.

The most common ad sizes (in pixels): 125 x 125 pixels, 150 x 150 pixels, or 300 x 300 pixels, but there are many other options. Keep in mind how much real estate you are willing to give up on your blog, ad position and duration.

Standard sizes for banner advertising.Standard sizes for banner advertising.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a results-based business where companies pay people who promote their products — these people are known as partners.

Most affiliates pay affiliates through CPA. This means that the partner makes money whenever an action occurs. This usually takes the form of a sale (when someone buys something) or leadership (when someone signs up for something, such as a newsletter, free trial, registration, etc.).

Where to begin?

As new bloggers, the best way to enter an affiliate network is to register with affiliate networks. Sites like CJ Affiliate or ShareASale present a range of products from several suppliers. They also offer useful tools for new bloggers to help you track sales and act as intermediaries to ensure you get fair pay.

What affiliate product to promote?

Choosing which affiliate product you need to promote is a chicken or egg question. It depends on which direction you would prefer. Many bloggers often create content on topics that they like and look for appropriate affiliate products to support the creation of their content. Alternatively, you can also choose a specific niche that you think is right for you and create your own content focused on these products.

Bear in mind that different types of products often come with very different degrees of affiliate commission. Retail products tend to have very low commissions, and your income is largely dependent on whether you can promote large quantities of these products. Large ticket commissions are usually charged for services or digital goods such as subscription and software.

To get a better idea of ​​how good some products are, you can use data from your affiliate network as a guide. In addition, a measure of interest can also be obtained using web-based tools such as Google Trends .

ShareASale Seller InformationExample. Information about the seller, including average sales for 30 days and the commission paid, is published on ShareASale .

3. Selling premium content

If you are not comfortable selling other people’s products, consider creating your own products to offer. Whether it’s new software that helps business owners, kitchenware, or a user guide, there are many different things you can create and offer on your website.

Digital downloads

The most common subjects are e-books and instructional videos. These items are based solely on your knowledge in your niche. They go a little deeper than short blog posts or offer very specialized information. It’s easy to bring e-books through platforms like Amazon Kindle Publishing and Smashwords .

Site Sites

Speaking of specialized information, some blog owners have decided to create a separate, membership-based area where the best articles or videos are posted. Those who are members can access this information. You can tempt people to sign up for membership by offering a short passage to encourage readers to sign up.

There are several keys to help make your membership area more successful:

  • Keep your membership reasonably reasonable. Think of $ 5 / month instead of $ 5 / day.
  • Offer quality articles, videos, guest speakers, and other events to your members. No one wants to pay for membership in something that is never updated.
  • Make payments periodically. using PayPal , Lane or any other recurring billing model so that membership payments and cancellations are automated. This is a huge time saver.

make money on blogsA membership area created by Copyblogger, where readers must register in order to access premium content ( see example).

 Learn More: (any article of your choice)


Chapter 7. Using Free Blogging Tools

Despite the fact that useful free tools and web services exist on the Internet, the problem is to select them among all other garbage and / or obsolete tools.

As a parting gift for reading my guide so far, I am going to provide you with a list of free tools that we use all the time in blog. Good luck, and I wish you success in your blogging journey.

Writing

  • After Deadline – Preliminary check of style and grammar.
  • Grammarly – The most popular web assistant.
  • Hemingway app – Write short and bold with this tool.
  • Freedom.to – Block distracting sites so you can focus on writing.
  • impersonation – A free tool to divert attention.
  • Evernote – The only tool that needs to be introduced.

Image editing

  • Fotor – Edit and create beautiful pictures for social networks, posters, invitations, etc.
  • Canva – Design beautiful images and social media posts.
  • Design Wizard – Create beautiful pictures using free templates and ready-made pictures.
  • JPEG Mini – Reduce .jpeg file size.
  • Tiny PNG – Reduce the size of .png files.
  • Skitch – Take images of notes.
  • Pic Monkey – An award-winning image editing tool.
  • Pik to Chart – A simple tool for creating infographics.
  • Pixlr – Image editing tool.
  • Favicon.io – Best favicon generator ever.

Free Stock Photos & Images

  • Icon Finder – A huge free catalogue of icons.
  • Morgule File – Over 350,000 XNUMX images for commercial use.
  • Stock Snap – A catalogue of site images with beautiful free photos is added weekly.
  • WHSR free icons – Free icons developed by WHSR designer.

Feedback and research

  • World Scientific – A free newsletter for academics.
  • World Fact Book – No kidding – world information directly from the CIA.
  • Tech Republic – White papers, reports, and case studies on technology.
  • Sherpa Marketing – Free Marketing Reports.
  • Trading Pub – Free magazines, white papers and case studies.
  • Hubspot Library – A good reference source in marketing.
  • CrunchBase – Startup News.
  • BuzzFeed Trends – Find the latest hot topics on BuzzFeed.
  • Creative Writing Hint – Ideas and tips for overcoming writing blocks.
  • Google Alerts – Receive email alerts of new content that you are tracking.

Social Media, Marketing and SEO

  • Bing Webmaster Tool – A free Bing site diagnostic tool.
  • Google Webmaster Tool – A free Google site diagnostic tool.
  • Walk On – Chase Your Competitors
  • Majestic SEO – The free version allows you to quickly check the site link profile (CF / TF) quickly.
  • Engage Bay -All in one marketing, sales and service automation platform
  • Related Pages Checker – Check for duplicate pages on your blog.
  • As a guide – Check the social metrics of your (or competitor’s) content.
  • Tweet Deck – Manage multiple Twitter accounts in one panel.
  • Buzz Sumo – Find popular content and influence on major social networks.
  • Bulletin board – Market research of social networks.
  • IFTTT – Publish content to multiple social networks easily.

Web analytics and performance

  • Google Analytics – Free web statistics.
  • Matomo – Google Analytics minus Google.
  • YouTube Analytics – The statistics of your YouTube videos.
  • WP Stats – Compare your WordPress blog with others.
  • Technological Street – Simple process and workflow management.

Site Speed ​​Testing

  • Bitcatcha – Check site speed from 10 places.
  • Webpage Test – Check the speed of the webpage in detail.
  • GT Metrix – Test and track web page load speed in detail.

Blog FAQs

1. How much does it cost to start a blog?

The estimated cost of creating a blog, including a domain name and web hosting, is less than $ 100 per year (less than $ 10 per month). This cost is based on self-hosting the blog (using WordPress). The cost breakdown will be: $ 15 a year for a .com domain name and about $ 60 a year for a web hosting fee.

2. How are bloggers paid?

To get a better idea of ​​how bloggers pay, I divided them into 2 types: one when you communicate directly with customers or advertisers, and the other when you join a program offered by a company or network.

When dealing directly with customers or advertisers, you have more control over prices. You can make money:

– Sale of premium content (membership on the site)

– direct advertising

– Selling your product

– Employment

– Writing and publishing sponsorship messages

3. How to start a blog for free?

There are many platforms where you can start a free blog today, including WordPress.com, Tumblr, or Blogger. To create a free blog, all you have to do is register and you can start publishing your content.

4. What is the catch of a free blogging platform?

Nothing comes for free in our world. The free blogging platform has several disadvantages:

– There are rules set by each platform that you must follow

– The domain name of your blog looks like a subdomain, such as “myblogname.wordpress.com” or “myblogname.tumblr.com”

– There is limited functionality, plugins and a choice of topics that you can do on your blog

– Typically, free platforms limit the ability to monetize your blog.

I highly recommend you start your blog using your own WordPress.org (which I covered in this guide). Besides overcoming the limitations of a free blog, the potential growth of your blog is unlimited.

There are many platforms where you can start a free blog today, including WordPress.com, Tumblr, or Blogger. To create a free blog, all you have to do is register and you can start publishing your content.

But here’s the catch:

  • There are rules set by each platform that you must follow
  • Your blog’s domain name looks like a subdomain, for example, “myblogname.wordpress.com” or “myblogname.tumblr.com”.
  • There is limited functionality, plugins, and a choice of themes that you can make on your blog.
  • Typically, free platforms limit the ability to monetize your blog.

screenshot taken from the WordPress Advertising Policy Page .

31 thoughts on “How to Start a Successful Blog in 2020”

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