Starting a blog was the best decision of my life. A decision I should have made much earlier. All that wasted time spent waiting for the right moment and years spent working for other people feels like bonded labor compared to the freedom that blogging has given me.
Blogging is easy. It does not cost a lot of money to start a blog. You just have to be willing to learn and apply your knowledge. It will take less than five minutes to get your blog up and running.
Blogging can give you personal and financial freedom. You decide when, where, and how much you want to work. You no longer need to take permission from anyone to take a day off or go on a vacation. You can be your own boss.
Do you want to know how to start a blog? Let me show you the step-by-step process to start a blog in 2021.
Let us start with the basics.
Let me tell you what a blog is. How is it different from a website? Why should you start a blog, and what are the benefits of starting a blog?
What is a blog?
The word ‘Blog’ is the shortened form of ‘Web Log’. A blog is an online journal or diary containing information which is dynamic and updated frequently. A blog can be standalone, or part of a website.
What is the difference between a website and a blog?
Blogs are online journals updated frequently, compared to a website which is usually static.
Who started the first blog and when?
Justin Hall, who was then a student of Swarthmore College, USA started the first blog in 1994 called ‘Links.net’
Is starting a blog worth it?
Blogging can change your life. You get the freedom to work from home and generate passive income. You are your own boss. If your goal to start a blog is to gain financial freedom, get control over your life and your time, then starting a blog is definitely worth it.
Why learn how to start a blog?
You should learn how to start a blog because starting a blog gives you the opportunity to;
- Be your own boss,
- Live life on your own terms,
- Make money and,
- Generate a passive online income.
In addition, it also presents an excellent opportunity to;
- Express your creativity,
- Learn new skills,
- Inspire people, and,
- Make a difference in the world.
How much Money do Bloggers make?
The below video appeared on CNBC and is the story of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner a 28-year-old who makes $ 100,000 a month through her blog which she runs from a recreational vehicle.
She had no idea about blogging or how to start a blog and had no intention of making money from it.
It was meant to be an online diary or journal to record her personal struggle with student debt.
But even with no serious effort to make money, the blog started generating income, and she had her first $100.
It took her 6 months with no serious effort. Imagine if you decided from the very start to monetize and make money from blogging you could do it much quicker.
It all depends on you. Look at this video below from CNBC.
That is a lot of money and only the top bloggers [i.e. the top 1-2%] are making this kind of insane amounts. Heck, I know that I am not making that much.
But think about it, if the top bloggers make that much money, can you not make a small fraction of it-say just 5% or even 2%? Would you be happy with that much?
Is that incentive enough to learn how to start a blog?
How do Bloggers get paid?
Below are some of the ways by which bloggers get paid.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
How to Start a Blog & Make Money Online.
What do you need to start a blog?
To start you will need,
1. a topic or a niche,
2. a domain name for your blog &
3. a hosting service.
Let us discuss each step.
Finding the Right Topic or Niche.
To understand how to start a blog for money and make money by blogging, you have to first identify a topic or a niche.
A ‘niche’ is the topic or the subject that you will be writing or blogging about.
This can be something that you are interested in and are an expert.
It can be a hobby about which you are really passionate about.
The idea must interest you enough to make you want to put in long hours to research and learn, to keep abreast of the latest developments in that field and pass on that knowledge to your readers.
It is important not to get bogged down with this decision though about which niche or topic to blog about because that will slow you down.
It is important to get started and things will fall into place.
Some popular topics or ideas for blogs are,
- Health and Fitness Blog,
- Technical Blog [If you are passionate about gadgets],
- Personal Finance and Investment Blog,
- Parenting Blog,
- Fashion Blog,
- Art, Music and Movie Blog,
- News Blog,
- Food Blog,
- Self-development / Personal development Blog,
- Traveling Blog
You could dig deeper into a particular topic and choose a very focused niche for your blog.
If you are starting a food blog, you can specialize in Indian, Chinese or French cuisine.
Knowing your Audience or understanding what topics people search for on the internet can be extremely helpful in deciding what to blog about.
If you are like the rest of us then you could even start by blogging about more than than one topic.
You will develop more clarity as you progress.
Most professional bloggers have more than one blog each devoted to a different but related niche as this creates more opportunities to monetize by benefiting and catering to a completely different set of audiences or readers.
If you decide to start blogging about more than one topic, then it will be useful if they happen to be related, such as personal finance and frugal living or traveling and bike trails.
If you are really excited about blogging and are eager to know how to start a blog to earn money online by blogging, using the same techniques as professional bloggers, then I suggest you download the below report.
To continue with how to start a blog for money in 2021, we now move to step # 2.
How to finalize a domain name?
This is step 2 before you actually start a blog and make money or generate passive income online or make money online by blogging about your favorite topic.
You need to decide a suitable name for your blog.
This is called the domain name.
This is the address that points to your blog’s location on the internet.
The domain name along with some other bits make up the address of your blog.
In the case of https://www.thebloggingguides.com
https is the protocol
www is called the subdomain
thebloggingguides is the domain name &
.com is a ‘top-level domain’
The key to understanding how to start a blog and make money in 2021 or make money from blogging is to make it easy for your readers to find your blog.
So when choosing a domain name for your blog it is very important to keep the following points in mind.
Keep it relevant.
The domain name should be relevant to the topic or field that you will be blogging about.
Keep it short.
Domain names should be easy to remember. So keep it short. The easier it is to memorize and remember then chances are people will keep coming back to your blog.
Always go for a ‘.com’ TLD – Top Level Domain. [very important]
Always go for a ‘.com’ TLD if it is available.
In case a ‘.com’ TLD is not available next best choice would be ‘.net’ or your country-specific ccTLD [eg. ‘.ca’ for Canada or ‘.in’ for India etc.]. TLD’s like ‘.org’ or ‘co’ is advisable only if the blog is associated with a company or any type of organization.
Most people are inherently biased towards ‘.com’ and it is still the most easily recognized TLD that most people associate with a domain name.
At any cost do not go for any of the low-level TLD’s like ‘.biz’, ‘.info’, ‘.agency’ [or any of the approximately 1500 TLD’s that are currently available] even if they are available cheap.
Don’t use hyphens or special characters.
Hyphens and special characters in a domain name make them hard to remember. It is easier to remember ‘www.myblog.com’ than ‘www.my-blog.com’.
Don’t use numbers.
Numbers cause confusion and should be avoided.
e.g. If you tell someone your blog address is ‘www.way2blog.com’ they might misunderstand it to mean ‘www.waytoblog.com’ or vice-versa.
Go for a longer registration period.
Register your domain for a longer period (3-4 years is recommended). There are two reasons for this.
The length of the registration period of your domain is a signal to the search engines that you are serious about your blog and not just testing the waters. This will help your site rank in search results. Google considers the expiration date of a domain as an indicator of its legitimacy. This can be crucial especially if your blog is new.
Secondly, you don’t want to be in an awkward position of having forgotten to renew an expired domain and then having lost it, having to start all over again with a fresh domain name.
In a famous incident in 2003, Microsoft forgot to renew their domain name which expired on Oct 23, 2003. Luckily for them, the person who had purchased it agreed to hand it over.
Coming back to the point of registering your domain for a longer period, this patent filed by Google indicates how important the expiration date is and clearly suggests that they could be using it as a ranking factor.
This is what it says.
Certain signals may be used to distinguish between illegitimate and legitimate domains. For example, domains can be renewed up to a period of 10 years. Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain and, thus, the documents associated therewith.Google Patent #US7346839
Ready to buy your own domain? Use the code ‘DOMAIN10’ or click the banner below to get a 10% discount at domain.com.
You could get yourself a free domain that comes along with the hosting plan from Hostinger.
The Best Hosting Service for a Blog
This final step in how to start a blog and make money in 2021 is probably the most important of the three steps.
The final step to understanding how to start a blog and make money, or to generate passive income by making money online blogging is to get yourself a hosting service for your blog.
This is the place on the internet or the server where your blog and all its content, files, and pages will reside.
In order to conceptualize and start creating your blog, you will require software or a CMS (Content Managing System) like WordPress which is a program that helps you design and build your blog.
In the old days, the only way to start a blog was to actually write code.
But nowadays it is easy to do with a CMS software like WordPress.
What is a CMS?
A CMS or Content Management System is software with which you can conceptualize and create a web page or blog without having to write code. Examples of CMS’s are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and many more. The most popular CMS is WordPress.
The websites of Sony, Vogue, The Obama Foundation, Angry birds, City university of New York and many more have been made using WordPress.
The best CMS platform for your Blog.
Beyond any doubt – WordPress.
Why is WordPress the best CMS?
WordPress is the best and most popular CMS for a blog because it;
1. Is free and open-source,
2. Is beginner-friendly,
3. Has lots of free themes and plugins for unmatched power and flexibility,
4. Has the best security features
5. Has SEO optimized themes and,
6. Is optimized for mobile devices.
So you can start creating and designing your blog almost immediately without having to install any additional software.
So which is the best hosting option?
The best hosting option is Hostinger, especially for a beginner.
Hostinger is the best for features offered, cost, reliability, customer service & even page load times.
A fast page load time is extremely important for SEO because in today’s world with so many resources available if your blog does not load up fast enough the viewer will move on to another site.
It has been shown that even a 1 second delay in loading can cause loss of page views by up to 11%. So for someone who is looking to start a blog and make money from it, this can be devastating.
Hostinger has really fast page load times.
As a beginner who wants to know how to start a blog intending to generate a passive income and make money by blogging, you need a plan that covers all your blogging requirements.
Click the banner below to get an
exclusive 90% off Web hosting plan + Free Domain
The Business Shared Hosting plan is the best, as it is affordable and it has all the features that you will ever need, including a free domain, free SSL and daily backups.
You should go for the ‘Business Shared Hosting plan‘.
The Business Shared Hosting plan with Hostinger gives you all the features that you will require and more to start your blog.
- Free Domain.
- Up to 100 Websites.
- Free SSL.
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee.
- Daily Backup.
- Free CDN.
- 100 Free Email Addresses.
- WordPress Acceleration (LSCWP)
- 24/7/365 Support
In the beginning, I hosted this blog on a different hosting service to save money but the performance score and the page load time were terrible.
Since switching to Hostinger, both page load time and the performance score have improved significantly.
As you can see in the report below
In the beginning, while using a cheaper hosting service, the performance score was just a paltry 68% with an LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) time of 2.7 seconds.
Below is the performance report after we moved to Hostinger. As you can see there is quite an improvement.
The performance score is now 99% (a 45% improvement) and the LCP time is now 0.9 seconds (a 66% improvement).
Below is the Lightspeed performance report now. Pretty impressive? See for yourself.
So if you want to know how to start a blog and make money in 2021 or make money by blogging and you seriously want to monetize your blog then you must stay clear of the temptation of opting for free blog hosting services because if you do that, your blog will hardly ever show up on any search results.
Google and other search engines do not consider free websites or blogs as authoritative, so your blog will never show up in their search results.
Building Your Blog
Below is a step-by-step guide about how to start a blog.
Start by clicking the link below to get an exclusive 90% off Web hosting plan + Free SSL.
Upon clicking the above button you will reach one of the landing pages on Hostinger like shown below.
Click ‘Start Now‘.
Choose the ‘Business Shared Hosting‘ plan as it is the as it is value for money and loaded with features.
Choose your preferred plan. I recommend the 48-month plan because it effectively locks in the cheapest rate for 4 years. You won’t have to worry about paying higher charges at the time of renewal.
Next, enter your email id or login through your Facebook, Github or Google account.
Select your mode of payment and press ‘Submit Secure payment’.
Confirm your mode of payment.
After you have completed your payment, you will receive confirmation of the same by email.
You will also receive a welcome letter such as the one shown below. It contains the link to your Hostinger dashboard.
Press ‘Click to Start’.
This brings you to the Hostinger dashboard, where you will find your hosting and domain listed.
Click on ‘Domains’.
If you have already registered your free domain, it will be listed here.
Else, to register your free domain, click ‘Get a new domain’.
In the screen that opens, you can check the availability of and finalize your preferred domain name. Once finalized, proceed to register the same. As the domain is available free with your plan, you will not be charged.
After you have finished registering the domain name, go back to the home screen.
On the Hostinger home page or dashboard, click on the ‘Manage’ button beside ‘Hosting’.
On the next screen, scroll down to the ‘website’ section and click on ‘Auto Installer’.
Enter the requested details.
In the first entry, under ‘Domain’, remember to choose ‘https://‘ from the drop-down menu.
Make a note of the “Administrator Username’ and ‘Administrator Password’ [Important – You will need it again later]
You will need to wait a few minutes while WordPress is installed.
After installation is complete, you will find your domain listed under ‘List of Installed Applications’.
Click on the first button [highlighted] under ‘Actions’.
Click on ‘EDIT WEBSITE’.
This will take you to the WordPress login panel,
This opens up the WordPress dashboard.
Make a note or bookmark this URL [https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/].
Installing a Theme
You now need to download and install a good theme.
The most popular theme among bloggers is Astra, because it is lightweight, fast, customizable, and has lots of features.
You can download this theme from their website – [click the banner].
The Astra homepage opens.
Click ‘Download Now’.
Enter your name and email address and click ‘Subscribe & Download’.
The Astra theme zip file is now downloaded in your downloads folder.
Now go back to your WordPress dashboard and click on ‘Appearance’.
Click on ‘Add New’.
Click on ‘Upload Theme’.
Click on ‘Choose file’.
Now navigate to the downloads folder where you have downloaded the Astra theme file i.e. astra.zip and double click.
Click on ‘Install Now’.
After a few seconds you will see the message ‘Theme installed successfully’.
You are now ready to start writing your first blog post.
To start writing your first blog post click on ‘Posts’
Click on ‘Add New’
A blank page will open. Here you can add the title of your first blog post and also add its contents which can be text, images or videos.
After you are done, click on ‘Publish’ and your post will go live.
So now that you know how to start a blog, go ahead and make your own.
To know how to monetize your blog, refer to my post below.
Now that you know how to start a blog, generate a passive income and make money online, waste no more time to get started.
It would be helpful for you to know the common amateur blogger mistakes that you should avoid at the beginning of your blogging career.
Waste no more time. get started and make your dreams come true.
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