I never thought it would happen … to the point where I could make a living as a professional blogger with the ability to travel anywhere in the world and work from my laptop.
Learn how to start a blog was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Before I started a blog, I was stuck in the rat race with a fixed schedule and could only climb the career ladder.
While I was still pretty happy in my daily life, I knew there had to be something more.
I had heard of this blogging thing and decided to give it a try. However, the start turned out to be quite difficult.
I didn't know what to write about, where to start or how to set up a website.
But you want to know why I followed it?
I was tired of waking up at 7 a.m. with my alarm clock, had to work a full 8 hours and only had a few hours after I got home from work.
Then I took the plunge that ultimately led me to the following lifestyle:
I can wake up whenever I want and go to bed at the hour I want. I am no longer stuck in the rat racing mentality. Growing something I can call my own has allowed my creativity to significantly increase the stress of companies. Corporate stress is a thing of the past when traveling, wherever I want, when I want
In short, I couldn't be happier with the way things went and I owe everything to this blog.
And I want to help you do the same.
In this guide, I'll show you step by step the details you need to know so that you can turn your blog into a blog Money machine.
The best part?
I went through it nearly 5 years by trying it out to find out what works best so you don't have to.
This article only contains what you need to know to create your blog and be successful with it.
And trust me when I say this: If I can, you can too!
One last thing.
Before you start reading, I just want to say that this article is as ultimate guide to start a blog. Reading takes a long time and can take a while.
If you are interested in a step-by-step version of this article, you can sign up for our FREE 5-day email blogging course that will walk you through the steps in more detail.
This free course is particularly suitable for those who want to do these steps daily because you have to do certain action steps every day.
Enough said – let's get started.
Choosing your niche in 4 steps
Instead of just randomly choosing your blog topic, I'm going to guide you through some creative brainstorming ideas so you can get a better grip on your niche and why you should think carefully before choosing one.
There are a few important points to note.
In this short section, we'll talk about:
Step 1: Follow your passion Step 2: Narrow your topic Step 3: Conduct market research Step 4: Can it make money?
Why choose a niche?
Before we start, let's discuss why you actually need to choose a niche.
Why you can randomly choose a topic and still run a successful blog, your chances of success are much higher if you actually think about what you will write about before, if you take the time to narrow it down a bit.
But before we concentrate on the essentials, we take the time to think about what a niche is.
A niche is a narrow topic in a broader category.
Let's take the broad category "pets" as an example. If we narrow this down, we can be more selective and select the category “pet reptiles”.
We can even go one step further and talk more about "my pet iguana", only talking about my pet iguana and the things that go with it.
What this does is that it gives you one clear and direct way where your blog is from.
It shows you what topics to write, how to do your marketing efforts, and gives your audience a better idea of what your blog is about.
This is especially helpful for new bloggers as they have no confusion about what topics to write about as long as they stick to the same topic.
Now when you choose an ideal blog topic, it should include the following:
High search volume Low competition High profit potential
Easier said than done, right?
However, if you think about it, you can probably narrow down your topic easily.
For example, when we return to "pets", we know that there is likely to be a lot of competition on the subject, so we may want to narrow it down a bit.
However, if I choose "my pet iguana", it is likely that there are not enough people looking for things on iguanas (with the exception of the few iguana owners out there).
But what about the middle of the two?
If we choose the "pet reptile" topic, we have enough topics to write about because there are so many reptile pets and there are probably not that many blogs that cover the same topic.
You just have to check the profitability.
These are some things to consider when choosing a niche.
After all of this is said and done, let's dive right in!
Step 1: follow your passion
I cannot stress this enough.
Following my passion has allowed me to continue writing for my blog 5 years in a row.
I would definitely not be able to do this on a subject that I was not interested in.
The great thing about following your passions or interests is that it will make your life so much easier.
That will be shown in your letter.
The first thing you'll notice is your writing.
Suppose you choose a blog topic that you have no interest in at all.
You will most likely not really care about what you are writing about, will not spend much time researching, and will be pretty lazy to make every piece a work of art.
Readers will take this up, not finish the piece you wrote, and most likely leave your website, which will ultimately not result in sales or promotions that you wanted them to do.
The worst part? You will not come back.
If you choose a topic that you are passionate about, your articles will most likely be well written, well researched, and reflect your passion.
In addition, you probably already have extensive knowledge of the subject, as you generally take care of it.
Choosing a topic you are passionate about is extremely important.
Because you are really interested in your topic and you notice it in every aspect of your blog.
This passion will continue to be reflected in your design, your marketing efforts and everything else that contributes to your blog.
The most important thing I can say is this:
It helps prevent burnout.
While some people get to the point where their blog is quite successful in a short period of time, most people don't, and it definitely wasn't mine.
If you stick to your passion, it won't be difficult to stick to it in the long run.
And for those who are only interested in making money, we have no judgments against you. We just want you to have a clear path and know your goals and intentions before you start.
Write a list of at least 5 possible topics you want to write about.
From there, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: narrow it down
This is similar to what we mentioned above:
If you decide to write on a broad topic, it will be extremely difficult to measure yourself against the authorities.
Let's take BuzzFeed and Huffington Post as examples. If we write a website that is very similar to it, it will be difficult to assert itself due to its wide audience and high level of authority.
Why should someone go to my website that doesn't have a good reputation instead of their website that has a good reputation?
So I have to stand out from others I've never seen before. And if that's not possible, at least an issue that not many people talk about.
If I select a niche within a certain category, I will also be considered an expert.
Let's say you write a blog about scorpions (yes, I like strange pets). They do thorough research and get the most out of your writing, and many of your viewers think you are the Scorpio King.
When the Huffington Post writes an article titled "Why You Should Own a Pet Scorpion", they still want to go back to your website more because you are the scorpion expert!
Although it is a highly regarded website, readers will most likely only read a blog about scorpions, as it is likely to have more knowledge on the subject.
Here are some other factors why you should narrow down your niche:
You have a very targeted audience. Readers know exactly what your website is about. Google recognizes that your website is your specific topic, and will increase you in the ranking for that specific topic
Hopefully this will give you clarity on why you may need to narrow down some of your topics.
Using the list you created in step 1 to choose your niche, browse the list to see if your topics are narrow enough.
If not, try to find out if you can think of something more focused. Take some time for this.
Step 3: conduct market research
Having a few narrowed issues in mind, we need to do some market research to determine if we have a sufficiently large audience for our niche.
As mentioned above, the best topic is one with the following:
Lots of people looking for this topic Low competition It makes money! $$$
This step allows us to use real online tools to determine these factors.
The first tool we will use is Google Trends.
With this tool we will look for three things:
Is this topic a new tip?
For example, there were probably many more articles about Donald Trump when he became president, but they have been silent since then.
We want to try to avoid issues that cover this trend because they are short-lived and most likely have passed their expiration date.
Will interest grow over time?
If your topic is new technology and popularity is growing, you can probably make sure your audience continues to grow.
Perhaps your topic has not yet reached mainstream and will explode as soon as it does (think of Bitcoin and how much it has gained popularity now).
Has interest increased steadily over time?
We want to see if people have been interested in this topic in the past and if people are still interested in this topic.
The topic you selected does not have to meet these three trend requirements to be successful. However, they give us a good indicator of whether our audience will be interested or not.
Go to Google Trends. On the start page you will be asked to enter a topic.
Let's stick to our "pet reptiles" and see what we get.
From the picture above we see the trend of the past 12 months for the term "pet reptiles".
Note that this table is not a comparison to other topics, Rather, the numbers for a certain period represent an interest in relation to the higher point on this topic.
Now let's look at the trend information of the past 5 years:
With a quick look at the two diagrams, we can quickly analyze some things:
The topic does not seem to be a new increase as there are no sharp increases and decreases in the graph. Interest has been maintained over the past year, although it will decrease in some months and increase in other months in the past 5 years. Interest has actually increased slightly, which means that reptiles for pets are becoming increasingly trendy
Based on this information alone, we can say with certainty that this topic meets the above criteria: it maintains interest over time, interest appears to be increasing, and it is not a short-term trend.
There are a few other ways you can do market research for your keyword, but we won't go into all of them here.
For those interested in a more detailed method, you can visit our Blog Launch Profit course, which will walk you through the basics of market research for your blog topic.
As a thank you for being our reader, you can enjoy it 10% discount on the course with voucher code 10 OPEN START LOG at checkout.
Google Keyword Planner
With the next tool we will use, we can determine whether enough people are looking for our topic.
After all, we don't want to write about a topic that nobody is interested in.
Go to Google Keyword Planner and click on "Go to Keyword Planner".
On the next page, enter your keyword and click the "Get Results" button (you must be signed in to Google for it to work).
You'll see a list of different keywords related to your topic and the search volume for that particular phrase.
As we can see from the results above, sticking to the example of "pet reptiles" gives us many results together with related keywords.
Most of these results have a fairly high search volume, which is great! This means that many people are looking for these topics.
You can play around with this tool by typing similar sentences to get accurate results. Maybe I want to try "reptile cages" when I think about writing about cages specifically for my pet reptiles.
I can see from my search that I get a lot of great results, like B. "Gecko cages", "reptile terrarium".
Many terms are available, and many of them display more than 1,000 monthly searches on Google.
Here's a quick general guideline on what to look for to determine if there is enough search volume for your keywords:
If you find about 50 different topics on your topic that have at least 250 searches a month, it will meet the criteria
Remember that this is not a final factor.
By that I mean that, although many people search for this topic, there may be other factors that prevent you from ranking for a particular keyword (your content, backlinks, competitors, and other fancy SEO topics).
But don't worry – as a novice blogger, you don't really have to worry about it.
The most important thing is to find a niche you are passionate about, with lots of topics to write about that people actually want to read.
* Note *: Using Google Keyword Planner is also a great way to get topic ideas for your articles.
Now for the assessment of the competition.
Let's go to Google to get an idea of how many pet reptile blogs there are.
Here are the results I get:
I went ahead and flipped through some of the pages to get an idea of what might be out there when it comes to blogs about pet reptiles.
My analysis shows that there are not too many.
Let's go one step further.
Do you remember how we found the keyword "gecko cages" in the keyword planner? Let's try this in our search:
The first results are Amazon and Petco. I can deduce a few things from this result:
Highly authoritative websites rank first and second for the term “gecko cages”. These websites generally do not specifically refer to pet reptiles. The articles that occupy the best spots for this term only sell one product, but not actually I'm not talking about gecko cages in general
From the information above, I can see that with some really good content and marketing, I may be able to outperform Amazon and Petco on Google for the term “gecko cages”.
I can provide content related to the best gecko cages to buy, what to look for in a gecko cage, the top 10 gecko cages, how much a gecko cage should cost in general, etc.
The Petco.com and Amazon.com websites only show a short list of gecko cages on their website, but do not include detailed information about gecko cages in general.
That's good news! This means that we may have already found a search term that may compete and rank on the first page of Google.
Try other keywords and see what results you get.
Perform the market research steps above using Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Search to determine if your niche can stand out and be found.
Remember to evaluate your competition and your search volume
Make a few brief notes on your niche worksheet about your thoughts and ideas about the information you have collected.
Use the Google Keyword Planner to display some keywords that may lead to great topics. Write them down too, since you're at it.
Now for the fun part: can it make money?
Step 4: can it make money?
Whether you blog for the monetization aspect or want to make a living, it's always nice to make a little more money.
And you never know – at some point it can lead to your full-time job.
I've compiled a list of the most profitable blog niches:
Fitness & Weight Loss Investing Health Dating & Relationships Self Improvement Pets Beauty Treatments Gadgets & Technology Personal Finance
If your topic is not on this list, that's fine. You can still make a lot of money. It may be a little more difficult to find ways to monetize your website.
Fortunately, there are monetization methods, no matter what niche.
How do we determine if your niche can make money?
There are many ways you can monetize your blog, but here are some of the most popular:
Ads Affiliate Links Courses Ebooks Worksheets The list goes on and on
For novice bloggers (and even advanced bloggers), the easiest and easiest way to monetize your blog is through advertising and affiliate links.
If your website is family-friendly, you will most likely be immediately approved (or after a few articles) for Google Adsense, one of the most popular ad networks on the web.
In order to increase our earnings even further, we are looking for partner programs.
Look for similar websites
If we continue to use our "pet reptile" theme as an example, we can see from the list above that this theme falls under the general "pets" category.
Therefore, we will look in other pet blogs to find out which products and services they advertise. We may use this information to possibly promote the same type of product.
What I get when I search for "pet blogs" on Google:
I finally stumbled across the best dog leash article from mypetsneedthat.com.
I can tell from this particular article that they are promoting Amazon dog leads. Use this information to determine if Amazon has an affiliate program by entering "Amazon Affiliate Program" in Google:
Fantastic! It turns out that Amazon Associates is the name of their affiliate program. After a little research, it turns out that if someone buys from Amazon, you can earn up to 10% commission on your links.
Now I've found that my blog can be monetized.
We won't go into monetization too much in this section, as we'll cover it in the following steps. But the important thing is that we know we can make money.
Let's move on to the next step.
Step 2: choose a blog name
Creating a title for your website may sound daunting, but it's actually pretty easy.
And if that doesn't keep you calm, we'll give you some detailed guidelines for choosing.
What is a domain name?
The first thing that every website needs is a domain name. So what is it exactly?
A domain is the URL of your blog.
For example, the domain for the Microsoft website is microsoft.com. The domain for Frugal For Less is frugalforless.com.
You can imagine a domain as well as an address for your house. In this case, it serves as an address for the position of your blog.
Wait, why are you talking to me about this technical nonsense at all? Can't I just choose a name?
As a blogger, it is important that you are familiar with the term, as you will come across it again and again.
What should I look for in a domain / blog name?
Now that you understand exactly what a domain actually is, let's look at the aspects of a good domain name:
Avoid special characters
Avoid special characters such as hyphens, exclamation marks or the like.
This is because websites that contain such characters are usually considered spam and are considered unprofessional.
Since you're blogging about a topic you know about, the best way to show it is to start with a domain name that is clean and professional.
In addition, URLs with special characters are often a little more difficult to remember.
Easy to type and say
Your domain name should be simple and easy to say.
By giving your website a catchy title, users will be able to come back more easily and enter their domain name directly in the browser.
Keep it short, direct, and clear
This goes hand in hand with what was said above.
If you make a short and sweet name, your blog title will be unforgettable. A short and direct name gives your blog a short message about what your blog represents.
When I write about "pet reptiles" I want to make sure that something is used that can be related.
I don't want to call my blog "Jewsnakes.com" because I talk more than just about snakes. MyPetReptiles.com would be better suited to my topic.
Try using a .com domain name
This is by no means necessary, but it is definitely the most common. We maximum Suggest to stick with a .com domain name.
It is a trusted domain extension that users are familiar with and trust.
There are of course some exceptions. However, as a new blogger, we recommend sticking with a .com to make things easier.
If your .com name was taken over by someone else and you absolutely need to have that specific domain name, you can use an .org or a .net, but don't try to go beyond it.
And we speak from experience when we say the following: Don't try to change your domain name later.
It is possible, but only an annoyance. Let's try to get it right the first time. So take some time to think about it.
Take a moment to think about some creative domain names.
You have no idea?
That's okay. We recommend using the Lean Domain Search website to get an idea of your blog name.
Enter your topic in the search bar and you will get a list of results from available Domain names. Have fun searching!
Step 3: Start your site with WordPress installed
We try to avoid as many technical aspects as possible in this tutorial to create the whole thing how to start a blog Business as easy as possible, but there are a few things you just can't avoid.
Do not worry about it. We'll make this guide so simple that even your cat can do it.
You need a host
As mentioned above, a domain name corresponds to the address of your house.
After we have selected a domain name, only the house itself is missing and you can think of the house as the house host.
We use the domain name to find the host, and the host then provides your web files to give you a nice looking website.
Every single website has both a domain and a host to be live on the internet.
We recommend using HostGator as a hosting provider for several reasons:
Upgrading to advanced plans is easy. Excellent customer support Integrated into WordPress for quick and easy installation. Free backup support Ideal for novice bloggers A. FREE Domain name for your first year It is extremely cheap
How much does it cost to start a blog?
We partnered with HostGator to offer you as little as possible $ 2.75 per month When you register with HostGator using our link and voucher code SHARED3660.
We get an affiliate commission when you register through our link, but it's a win-win situation: you get a better deal and we earn a bit of money to promote it.
Yes, There are ways to start a blog for free.
But do we recommend it? No way, and here are some reasons why:
You don't actually have your own domain name. He is seen as unprofessional and not as a trustworthy source of information. There is only a limited amount of bandwidth available. If your blog attracts visitors, it's difficult to monetize your content
If you want to run your blog as a professional company, you need a paid hosting and domain platform.
Now we come to the actual action and set up your website.
The following tutorial contains detailed step-by-step instructions for getting your website up and running.
Set up your domain name and hosting
Go to the HostGator page and click the "Get Started" button.
You will find that you can choose from three different plans.
We recommend using the hatchling plan for new bloggers as this is all you need. If you want to change later, upgrading is fairly easy.
Click on "Buy Now" where you will be asked to enter your details.
First enter your domain name. If you register your domain with HostGator, this is the case completely free for the first year.
I will be called mypetreptiles.com (I know – very creative).
If you scroll down a little, you'll see an option for Domain Privacy Protection.
We strongly recommend that you leave this check box checked as it protects your address, phone number and other private information from lawyers.
Otherwise, you should be prepared to receive a lot of random calls.
From there, you need to confirm your hosting plan.
We have already opted for the hatchling plan and suggest that most new bloggers will probably only want to start with the 12 month package.
Complete this step by choosing a username for your account and a safety pin to use when contacting customer support.
Geben Sie Ihre Rechnungsadresse und Kreditkarteninformationen in das nächste Formular ein.
Jetzt nur noch ein paar Dinge zu erledigen.
Wenn Sie ein wenig nach unten scrollen, sehen Sie viele zusätzliche Dienste, die HostGator bereitstellt.
Deaktivieren Sie alle diese Optionen, da Sie keine benötigen.
Stellen Sie sicher, dass der Gutscheincode SHARED3660 wird eingegeben, um 60% Rabatt auf Ihr Hosting-Paket zu erhalten.
Akzeptieren Sie die folgenden Bedingungen und klicken Sie auf die Schaltfläche "Jetzt auschecken!" um Ihren Kauf abzuschließen.
Warten Sie ca. 2 Minuten, bis HostGator Ihr neues Konto eingerichtet hat.
Auf der nächsten Seite werden Sie aufgefordert, mit der Gestaltung Ihrer Website zu beginnen. Wir werden dies jedoch später im Lernprogramm behandeln.
Fahren Sie fort und klicken Sie auf "Im Moment nicht".
Sie richten Ihren Domainnamen nur bei Ihrem Hosting-Anbieter ein. Lasst uns weitergehen.
Jetzt haben wir die zwei wesentlichen Dinge, die jede Website benötigt: eine Domain und einen Host.
Aber wie verwalten wir den Inhalt unserer Website tatsächlich?
Eine Website ist ziemlich kompliziert und enthält viel verrückten Code in einer Sprache, die die meisten von uns Nicht-Technikern einfach nicht verstehen.
Hier kommt WordPress ins Spiel.
WordPress ist eine Software, die den ausgefallenen Code einer Website in eine benutzerfreundliche Oberfläche verwandelt, mit der Sie Inhalte erstellen, Ihre Website gestalten und viele andere coole Dinge tun können.
Kurz gesagt, die Installation von WordPress wird Ihnen das Leben schwer machen so viel einfacher.
The best part?
WordPress ist bereits in HostGator integriert, daher dauert die Einrichtung nur eine Sekunde.
Wenn Sie die obigen Schritte ausgeführt haben, sollten Sie sich jetzt auf der Begrüßungsseite Ihres neuen Kontos befinden.
Klicken Sie auf den blauen Link "WordPress installieren".
Wählen Sie auf der nächsten Seite Ihren Domainnamen aus und klicken Sie auf die Schaltfläche "Weiter". Tun NICHT Geben Sie etwas in das Verzeichnisfeld ein (wenn Sie dies tun, unterscheidet sich Ihre Homepage von Ihrem Domain-Namen).
Füllen Sie Ihre Site-Informationen aus, stellen Sie sicher, dass beide Kontrollkästchen unten aktiviert sind, und klicken Sie auf "Installieren".
Die Installation dauert nur wenige Sekunden und Sie werden mit Ihren Anmeldeinformationen zur nächsten Seite weitergeleitet.
Wir empfehlen dringend, entweder einen Screenshot zu machen oder diese Informationen aufzuschreiben, damit Sie sie später nicht verlieren.
Klicken Sie auf die Schaltfläche "Anmelden", um zur Anmeldeseite Ihrer Website zu gelangen. Sie können jederzeit auf diese Seite zugreifen, indem Sie die URL yoursitename.com/wp-admin besuchen (in meinem Fall mypetreptiles.com/wp-admin).
Geben Sie Ihren Benutzernamen und Ihr Passwort ein, die Sie auf der vorherigen Seite gespeichert haben, und…
Herzliche Glückwünsche! Sie haben WordPress erfolgreich installiert.
Wenn Sie Ihren Domain-Namen in Ihren Browser eingeben und eine große, fette Nachricht mit der Aufschrift "Site Coming Soon" angezeigt wird. keine Sorgen machen.
Dies bedeutet nur, dass sich Ihr Domain-Name verbreitet. Für Laien bedeutet dies einfach, dass Ihr Domain-Name noch Zeit benötigt, um eine Verbindung zu Ihrem Host herzustellen.
Es kann bis zu 48 Stunden dauern, bis dieser Vorgang abgeschlossen ist, aber für mich dauert er normalerweise innerhalb von 10 bis 15 Minuten.
Jetzt kommen wir zum lustigen Teil: dem Entwerfen Ihrer Website.
Schritt 4: Erfahren Sie, wie Sie WordPress verwenden
Die erstmalige Verwendung von WordPress kann eine beängstigende Aufgabe sein.
Aber mach dir keine Sorgen. Obwohl es eine gewisse Lernkurve gibt, wird die Verwendung mit der Zeit recht einfach.
Machen wir uns Schritt für Schritt mit der WordPress-Oberfläche vertraut. Wir werden Sie durch das führen, was Sie in der WordPress-Seitenleiste wissen müssen.
Wenn Sie sich zum ersten Mal bei Ihrem WordPress-Backend anmelden, wird das Dashboard angezeigt.
Dieser Abschnitt enthält normalerweise alle Nachrichten von WordPress und Kontextmenüelemente zu anderen Dingen auf Ihrer WordPress-Seite.
Müssen wir uns um diesen Abschnitt kümmern?
Nein. Wenn wir keine spezifischen Plugins installieren (die wir später erläutern werden), benötigen Sie das Dashboard nicht.
Dies ist wahrscheinlich die Funktion, die Sie in WordPress am häufigsten verwenden werden. Beiträge sind die Blogs oder „Artikel“, die Sie schreiben werden.
Blog-Beiträge sind in der Regel in so genannten organisiert Kategorien, and you can create and select the category that you want your blog post to fall under.
For example, my personal finance blog uses the following categories:
Make Money Save Money Finance Reviews
Each post (depending on your theme, which we’ll get more into later) typically will display the author, publication date and category that it falls under.
The best part about posts?
They can be edited any time you want.
So don’t worry if you’ve published something and you’re not sure if it’s 100% where you want it to be – you can always go back and change it later!
You can create a post by clicking on “Posts” on the sidebar and clicking “Add New.”
Once you finish writing your piece of content and giving it a title, hit publish to see your post live on your site.
Go ahead and try it out!
Pages are a lot like posts. You create a title, they contain content and you’re able to edit them later on.
So what’s the difference?
Whereas posts serve as new pieces of information (think of a news site coming out with a new story), pages are considered to be pieces of content that are more “static.”
In other words, you probably won’t spend a lot of time updating these pages.
Here are some examples of common pages to get a clear idea of what we’re talking about
Pages typically serve to provide more legal or technical aspects about your blog.
One big difference between posts and pages is that pages don’t fall under any specific category.
Let’s go ahead and create our first page for fun. I’m going to create a contact page so that my readers can reach out to me.
Click on “Pages” on the sidebar and select “Add New.”
Create a title for your page and write some text. Then hit “Publish.”
You’ve just created your first page!
We’ll show you later down in the tutorial on how to access this page.
The next item on the sidebar is the media library. This is where any type of videos or images are stored.
You can add a piece of media from a post or a page, but you can do it more directly from the media gallery by clicking “Add New.”
Go ahead and upload a piece of media to give it a shot.
You’ll be able to use this image later in your pages and posts if you so desire.
We’ll show you how to insert images into your posts and pages in the sections below.
The thing I love most about blogs is that other readers can leave Remarks about the pages and posts that you’ve written.
In this section you can modify, delete or change any comments from outside readers.
This is a great way to check out any new comments that have been written in your blog instead of having to search through each post individually.
If you want to make any visual changes to your blog, the Appearance section is the place to do so.
Here you can make changes to your theme (which we’ll get more into detail about this below) and edit your widgets, menus, sidebars, logo, site title and more.
Plugins are either free or paid pieces of software that add additional functionality to your site. You can think of plugins like additional upgrades to give your blog additional features.
Here’s a few examples of what some plugins might do:
Block spam comments Add in additional WordPress security Increase your website speed Help with certain design aspects Almost anything else you can think of with the thousands of plugins out there
To get a feel for what plugins actually do, go to the plugins page on the sidebar and scroll down to view all of your plugins installed.
These plugins were automatically installed with your site. You can choose to either disable them or remove them if you like.
At the top of the plugins page, click on the “Add New” button. You can type in almost any word and you’ll be sure to find a plugin for it.
Here’s the results I get when I type in the word “blogging.”
There’s literally hundreds of plugins that appeared in my search results. Feel free to read the description or click “More Details” to get a better idea of what they do.
But not to worry – most of the time you don’t need many plugins (if any at all) to make your blog function the way you want it to.
Uninstall The Default Plugins
When you sign up with HostGator, they install a few plugins that you don’t necessarily need.
You can leave them installed, but we typically find that they’ll get in your way. Worst of all, they’ll slow down your site.
Go back to your plugins page and check all of the boxes next to each plugin except for the first one, Akismet Anti-Spam. This is the only plugin we’ll need at the moment.
Select “Deactivate” and “Apply.”
Once this step is complete, select all the plugins again except the first one. This time you’re going to get rid of them.
Select “Delete” and then “Apply.”
Note: You may notice that some sidebar items disappeared when you uninstalled certain plugins. This is because sometimes plugins will add an additional menu item to your sidebar for quick access.
The users section is a way to great additional users for your WordPress page.
Remember when you first logged-in to your WordPress page you were presented with a box that asked for your username and password?
You can also allow other people to access this page, but with certain restrictions.
Here’s a few examples:
Contributor – The ability to create and edit posts Editor – Can edit and publish posts written by contributors and also create posts Author – Can delete, edit, post and un-publish their own articles
When you first create your WordPress account, you’re automatically assigned to the administrator role. This means that you have the power to do all of the above and more.
As long as you don’t assign an additional user to the administrator role, you don’t have to worry about anyone “ruining” your site.
If there are any technical aspects that you want to change about your WordPress site it can be done in the settings section.
This includes your time zone, email address, how many posts should display on your home page and much more.
There’s only one thing we’re going to change in your Settings. On the WordPress sidebar, click on Settings and then click on “Permalinks.”
Make sure that “Post name” is selected instead of custom structure. This will change the appearance of the URL for any post or page that you create.
For example, if I create a page with the title “Contact,” the URL will be mypetreptiles.com/contact.
If I create a post with the title “Interesting Snake Facts,” the URL for this page will be mypetsnakes.com/interesting-snake-facts.
Making this change makes it easier for your audience to identify your page or post by its URL, and it makes it easier to remember.
Note: Remember that contact page we created above? It had the title of “Contact.” Now that you’ve changed the settings, try going to yoursitename.com/contact to access the page.
You most likely won’t ever need to change anything under this section.
Yet to tame your curiosity, this section can be used to import and export data from other WordPress sites, import posts from Tumblr and a few other features you most likely will never use.
Go ahead and browse through each of the menu items on the sidebar to familiarize yourself more with WordPress.
Don’t be afraid of breaking anything either. If you do end up making a drastic change, you can always undo the setting or contact HostGator customer support.
Again, WordPress may seem daunting at first, but I promise it gets a lot easier, really fast.
Step 5: Choosing a WordPress Theme
WordPress makes it incredibly simple to start designing your blog without any prior web design experience.
Before we dive into the design process, we want to stress the fact that you shouldn’t get too hung up on your design, especially little changes.
The reason for this is because you’re going to change your blog design thousands of times before you get exactly what you want.
For that matter, we suggest sticking with something you like and to slowly make changes along the way.
While a design is important, it’s not the most important aspect of your blog.
If you get too hung up on your site design, you’ll never get to the more important aspects of creating a successful blog such as creating great content.
For that reason, we suggest the following:
Get your design up Make changes to look nice Move on
The best part about all of this?
You don’t need any coding abilities to design your site with WordPress.
When I first started my blog, I didn’t even know how to get a website up, much less a single line of code. This doesn’t mean you have to either.
Themen are essentially out-of-the-box design packages that can be installed within WordPress.
You can change WordPress themes to change the style, feel and features of your blog.
If you’ve followed the instructions above, you should have your site up with HostGator looking something like this:
You’re probably wondering: why does my site look like this?
This is because HostGator automatically installed and activated the default theme called Twenty Nineteen. You can check this out by going to Appearance → Themes on your WordPress sidebar.
Your current WordPress only comes with 4 different themes to choose from, but there are literally thousands of different out there that you can install.
Free Themes vs. Paid Themes
There are both paid themes and free themes out there to help you design your WordPress blog.
Let’s take a look at the traits of free themes:
They don’t cost a dime They provide all of the necessary functionality that your site will need There are literally thousands of free themes to choose from if you wish to change your design No customer support Usually don’t come with additional features
Since there are tons of free themes out there with plenty to choose from, why would you ever want to consider buying a paid theme?
Paid themes are much more powerful for the following reasons:
Sind relatively inexpensive (between $30 and $100) Have an entire staff dedicated to customer support Additional functionality and features Most successful bloggers use paid or custom-built themes It’s going to be a lot easier to make changes to your design due to additional customization options
So should you go with a paid or free one?
If you can afford, it we suggest going with a paid theme.
It’s going to be that much easier to use and will save you tons of time since you’ll have a lot more choices amongst paid themes, and it will be that much easier to make any customizations. Ultimately, you’ll be saving lots of time.
But if you’re strapped for cash, we get it. Go ahead and start with a free theme to get used to playing around with it.
Afterall, you can always buy a paid theme later down the road and switch.
Our #1 favorite free WordPress theme is Astra while our #1 favorite paid WordPress theme is the X theme.
Our Favorite Free WordPress Theme: Astra
Astra is a free WordPress theme that’s quite popular amongst beginners and is rapidly gaining traction.
It’s fast, easy to use and great for those without any coding experience.
Let’s go over how to install the Astra theme and apply it to your new blog.
Once again, go to Appearance and select “Themes” on your WordPress sidebar. At the top you’re going to click the “Add New” button.
Type in the word “Astra” in the search box and you should see a couple of options appear. It’s most likely going to be the first option.
Hover over the box and click “Install.”
Once that finishes, hover over the box again and hit “Activate.”
You now have the Astra theme installed and activated on your new site. And if you type in our domain name in the URL bar of our browser, we should get something like this…
Okay, it’s not the fanciest thing in the world, but it definitely looks better than what we had. With a little bit of customization, we can make it look that much better.
If you want to get something that’s a bit more fancy, you can consider buying Astra’s Pro that comes with 20+ starter sites right out of the box or go with the X Theme that we mentioned previously.
Step 6: Customizing Your Site
Now that we have the free Astra theme installed, time to get our hands dirty.
Let the designing begin!
In order to make any quick and easy changes to your WordPress site, go to Appearance → Customize on your WordPress sidebar. You should end up with a page similar to this:
This is the customization page for our Astra theme. There are two important ways to make changes to our site:
Click any of the pencil icons to make changes to that specific part of the site You can also use the customization sidebar to make additional changes.
Note: We recommend leaving the “Hello Word!” post up for the time being so that you get an idea of how posts and your homepage will be affected by your design changes.
Before we get into the site design, let’s go through the pieces of our site from top to bottom.
At the very top of our webpage we notice that it says “My Pet Reptiles” and then “Sample Page” off to the side.
“My Pet Reptiles” is my site title and the “Sample Page” link is a menu item. The entire bar at the top is called the navigation bar.
Where you see the “Hello World!” article is the feed where new and old articles will be seen.
Off to the right side, we see a column that’s called the sidebar.
A sidebar is made up of widgets that each contain a unique functionality. On our current site, some of our widgets in our sidebar include a recent posts, recent comments and archives widget.
You probably want to make some changes to a few of these things on your site (at least I know I want to).
Instead of having the site title off to one side and the menu items to the right, I’d prefer one on top of the other. Go to your customization menu and click on “Header” and then select “Primary Header.”
I’m going to select the second image shown as it resonates more with my design style.
Großartig! Now my header is above my menu items. But it still looks pretty terrible since it says “Sample Page” there. Let’s add a few more things to that menu.
Go back to your customization menu and select “Menus.” Click on “Create New Menu” and give your menu a new title. You’ll also want to make sure the “Primary Menu” box is selected.
Hit “Next” and then “Add Items” to give you a list of what you can add to your new menu.
Remember when we created the contact page above? Let’s insert that into our menu by clicking on it.
You should see the contact menu item move over to the primary menu like in the image above.
Make sure to hit “Publish” to save your changes.
I refresh my site at mypetreptilles.com and here’s what I get.
It’s not complete yet, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Go ahead and try to add an About page and then adding it to your menu.
Go ahead and go through the customization menu of your theme and make any necessary changes that you’d like.
If you make a change and don’t like it, exit out and come back. As long as you don’t hit the Publish button, your changes won’t be made!
Step 7: Adding Content
Writing strong and in-depth pieces of content is by far one of my favorite things to do on my blog. I get to learn about a topic in great detail through intensive research, and I get to educate my audience about something they’ve (hopefully) never learned before.
For a lot of beginner bloggers out there, this is the one factor that deters people from starting a blog in the first place: the fear of writing.
When people tell me they don’t want to create a blog, I often hear the excuse that they don’t have any writing abilities/skills/experience/fill in blank here.
My response to all of that?
It doesn’t matter.
You will get better with time, as long as you take the time to practice.
When I first started blogging roughly 5 years ago, I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t even know how to structure an article (and I’m even more embarrassed to admit that I used to think that all new content went under pages and not posts).
Yet by comparing my very first article written and my last article written, there’s an immense difference in quality. And I mean big.
So how did I actually get good at this copywriting thing?
By writing – and doing lots of it.
If you don’t have any writing abilities/experience/skills//fill in the blank here, that’s what it may take for you.
And if this still hasn’t convinced you, I’m going to share some secret copywriting steps that will give you a jump start to your writing game.
Out of everything mentioned here, I can promise you one thing: if you keep at it, you will get better.
My 3 Favorite Tips For Writing Great Copywrite
Instead of just throwing you out there to the wolves, I’m going to give you my personal three favorite tips for writing great copywrite.
Of course there’s a lot more, but we won’t be able to cover them all in this post. In our paid course, we cover up to 16 steps for writing great copywrite.
Let’s begin with the first one.
1. Creating Great Headlines
It’s what anyone sees before they enter your post. Whether it be on your blog’s homepage or in Google, the title is the first thing that’s going to catch your reader’s eye.
This is why creating a great title is extremely important and can’t be overlooked.
But what is it that makes a great title?
It’s one that drives emotion and sends a message to a reader. Let’s take a look at some examples of this.
Going back to our reptile blog example, I’m interested in writing an article about some really cool snake facts.
I do my research, write my content and the only thing that’s left is to come up with a great title. With the most basic phrase in mind, I decided to create the following title:
Cool Snake Facts
What is this title actually telling me? That this article has some facts about snakes and they’re probably somewhat interesting.
Yet it doesn’t really call to the reader. What’s to stop them from clicking on another article titled something similar in Google?
Maybe we can try throwing some adjectives in there to spice things up.
Really Cool Snake Facts
Okay… instead of snake facts that are cool or interesting, they’re really cool. It’s a good start and adds a bit of excitement to the headline, but we can do better.
Really Cool Snake Facts That Will Shock You
Viel besser. Now we have a title that we know is about snake facts, but the facts within this article are probably ones that will send a small chill down my spine.
What this title does is drive emotion to the reader and gives them a reason to click.
Can we do even better? How about adding a number. Research shows that adding numbers to your titles gets more clicks. More specifically, the number 10 tends to do even better than every other number.
I’m going to make a few more changes to come up with the following:
10 Shocking Snake Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
Now we have a title that does a couple of things: it drives my curiosity since I probably didn’t know about these facts, but it also kicks in some emotion since I know that these facts will probably be shocking.
And to top it all off, the number 10 in front will help drive more clicks. If you don’t have 10 items in your article, you can always create more content or change the number in front.
But Jason, I’m really terrible at making creative headlines.
And my response is this: Great! That’s because you don’t have to be. We can look at some examples of other sites to see how well they do.
One of my favorite examples is by looking at Buzzfeed. Let’s take a look at some of the titles on their homepage and check out a couple of their titles.
Here we have the following:
40 Cheap, Small Accessories That’ll Make A Big Impact On An Outfit 27 Products That’ll Actually Help Make You Productive in 2020
Now we have a template to use. Let’s take out a few words and BAM!
___ Cheap ____ That Will _____ On ___ ____ ____ That’ll Actually Help Make You ____ in ____
From this template, I come up with the following:
20 Cheap Iguana Cages That Will Leave Your Pet Crawling With Joy 10 Tips That’ll Actually Make Your Pet Reptile Love You More In 2020
I didn’t follow the template to the letter, but pretty close, and now I have some great titles.
You may think click bait, but I think genius.
2. Structuring Your Content
Writing great content is important.
Yet having a great content structure is just as important.
In order to make a piece of content incredible, you need to make sure you have a clear guideline for your reader to follow.
If you have a large block of text, it’s going to cause your reader to leave the page due to the difficulty of reading.
By not having headlines or images that break up the text, your reader may get bored since the content isn’t visually appealing.
Then what’s the secret to creating great content structure?
Take a look at other bloggers that catch your attention and see what they’re doing.
Break Up Your Text
If you’ve read this far into the article, I’ll assume that I’ve kept you entertained long enough to assume my content structure is at least somewhat decent (or maybe you just like pet reptiles as much as I do).
If you notice one thing I do consistently is that I break up text.
Because it’s going to be less likely that someone reads this:
The paragraphs in this article are typically between one and three sentences, making it easier to navigate the page.
Using headers is another great way to break up your content. Not only does it help out your audience, but creating an outline beforehand gives you a great idea of what your content is all about.
In this article, I clearly break up the steps on blogging and subheadings in each of the steps to help make it more clear for my readers.
Want to know a really easy way to create an excellent outline of your content? Forschung.
One of my favorite sites to do this with is Udemy. This site has tons of courses available for you to dig through.
The best part?
They have ratings so you know which courses are doing the best.
Let’s head over to Udemy to take a look at some examples. You can type in your topic, but I’m going to scroll down to get an example.
I see a course on advanced stock trading strategies. This goes perfect for my personal finance site.
I also notice that it has a rating of 4.6 stars out of 1,877 ratings. It must be doing something right.
We can dig a little further by clicking on the course to check out the course contents.
Now I have my article structure ready.
Of course, I don’t want to copy, but at least I have a general idea. Take a look at a few courses related to your topic to get a better idea for some content structure for your article.
3. Keep It Casual
One thing to keep in mind when writing great content is to consider who you’re writing for.
For most bloggers out there, you’re most likely going to write in a casual style.
Essentially what this means is to write as if you were speaking to someone.
A great way to focus on the reader is by continuously using the word “you” or “your.” This pulls the reader in since now the article becomes all about them. We want to keep in mind that we’re catering to whoever is reading the post.
In order to back this claim up, some of the world’s best authors write at a middle school level or lower.
For example, F. Scott Fitzgerald – one of the most popular authors of our time – writes below an 8th grade level.
According to contently.com, most adults can’t read past an 8th grade level.
Therefore, it would make sense to keep our language casual, simple and easy to read.
A good way to do this is by using the following:
Active voice Simple words Fewer adverbs Short sentences
A good way to get into your writing style is by looking at what other bloggers are doing. If you see a great piece of content that you particularly like, ask yourself why.
What is this writer doing that keeps me so engaged? What can I take away from this article that I can integrate into my own writing?
Keep in mind that you don’t want to copy other writers out there since you want to attract others with your unique voice. Yet this is a great way to get started and to help you thinking about catering to your audience in a casual manner.
Want to determine how difficult your writing is to read? You can go to hemmingwayapp.com to check.
They rate your text and offer suggestions for improvement to keep your content simple and casual.
Creating Our First Post And Page
Now that you have some copywriting secrets under your belt, let’s publish our first post.
Head back over to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Posts.” From there, click on “Add New.”
And now we’re ready to begin writing our content.
Let’s use a few of the tricks we learned above to get started: an appealing headline, great content structure and a casual writing style for our readers.
Note: Most of the information in this sample article about snakes was made up. I’m actually not that knowledgeable about snakes.
When you finish, hit publish and take a look at your home page.
Du hast es geschafft! You’re officially a blogger with your first published post.
A Plugin That Makes Writing Easier
When WordPress came out with version 5.0 they completely redefined the content editor.
For most bloggers, this change was more annoying than helpful. I personally prefer the old content editor more beneficial, and that’s what I’m using right now.
If you want to try it out, you can activate it by installing the Classic Editor Plugin. Go to plugins and type in “classic editor.” Go ahead and install and activate the plugin.
Now when you write pages or posts, you’ll see something like this:
I personally find this version easier to use. However, if you prefer the new content editor you can deactivate the Classic Editor Plugin to go back to the new content editor.
Next Steps: Making Money
Now that you have your blog setup and traffic is rolling in, what next?
Time to make some money.
First, let’s get into the multitude of ways on how to make money blogging.
Affiliate programs are one of my favorite ways to make money blogging. They’re usually quite easy to implement and don’t require a lot of configuration on your end.
So what are affiliate programs exactly?
When you become an affiliate, you get paid to promote products of other companies.
For example, let’s say you write a post about the best pencils to write for your journal. You put a lot of time, effort and research into your post and finally list out 10 incredible pencils that anyone can use for writing in their diary.
You find that the top 3 pens are sold on Amazon.com and the latter 7 are on Walmart.com. In order to make your content more user-friendly, you put in links to each one of these pens to the respective websites where they’re sold.
If you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, you probably put in normal links to the website.
But if you’re an affiliate marketer, you put in affiliate links that earn you a commission when someone clicks on your link and buys something from said website.
In this example, you would make the first 3 links affiliate links for Amazon and the next 7 links would be affiliate links to Walmart. If someone buys something from Amazon, you can currently earn 1-3% on sales.
If your reader clicks and buys something from Walmart, you would also earn a percentage of whatever they purchased.
Amazon Associates is one of my favorite affiliate programs because it’s the easiest to implement.
While the commission isn’t very high (they recently had a reduction to just 1-3% of sales depending on the category), it’s a great way to get started with making money from your blog.
This affiliate program doesn’t require you to have any initial traffic to your site, and as long as you have 2-3 blog posts up you should be accepted.
Other Affiliate Programs
There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there. So how do you know which one to choose?
Go to Google and type in your product + “affiliate program.”
You’d be surprised at how many results you get for any product you type in.
Advertising is typically less profitable than affiliate marketing, but can also make a great addition to your revenue stream for your blog.
The most typical one is Google Adsense and doesn’t require any initial traffic to get started.
Yet when your blog starts getting 10,000+ users per month, you can start using alternative advertising networks that pay out a lot more.
Here are some of my favorites:
Ezoic (requires 10k+ sessions per month) Mediavine (requires 25k+ sessions per month) AdThrive (requires 100k+ sessions per month)
Keep in mind that just because you meet the traffic requirements that you may not be accepted into one of these advertising networks. Unfortunately, most of the time they won’t tell you the reason why either.
If that’s the case, search for alternatives or apply to a different network.
Other Ways To Make Money
There are plenty of other ways to make money blogging that the possibilities are virtually endless.
Here are some other ideas you might want to try:
Create an online course Write an ebook Make templates (wedding templates, personal agendas, etc.) More
Choose the best method that works for you.
Keep in mind that the reason we went into more detail on advertising and affiliate marketing is because it’s the easiest way for new bloggers to make money.
Creating a course or writing an ebook can be very profitable, but it’s typically a lot more time-consuming and requires you to use an additional platform to upload your materials.
And don’t get me wrong – you can make really good money just through affiliate marketing. A lot of blogs live off of it alone. In fact, it’s currently my primary way of making money through this blog.
Final Thoughts On Making Money Through Blogging
Hopefully this guide has served you on how to get your blog setup and to start making money with it.
There’s a lot more that we could cover, but that would be for another blog post.
If you’d prefer a video walkthrough of the steps mentioned above, check out our FREE 5-Day Money Making Blog Crash Course.
For those who want to go ahead and dive right into making serious money with your blog and treating it as a full-time business, we recommend taking our paid Blog Launch Profit Course.
As a thank you for being a reader, you automatically get a 10% discount at checkout when you use the coupon code 10OFFSTARTABLOG.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns I’d be more than happy to help. Feel free to leave them down below and happy blogging!