How To Start A Blog From Scratch
In 2020 [Step By Step Guide].

Blogging is a method of publishing your views or stories or information about a particular topic or subject on a website.

Blogging is one of the quickest, shortest, and smartest ways to become a brand, to acquire authority, to build a business or to make money.

It’s a good platform for people from all the professions to express their views and opinions and to influence the readers.

                                      

This is the best platform to share your new learnings, document your thoughts, and more importantly to generate passive income for yourself.

When you write and people visit your blogs and when they comment and share you automatically get to expand your network.

As the network improves, your brand improves.

Through blogging, you give value to your readers and that increases your credibility.

For example, a fitness enthusiast or a nutritionist writes blogs that can improve the health of the general public.

Similarly, Robin Sharma, one of the leading leadership coaches, writes blogs to convey his message to the public and to sell his books and courses.

You can also make blogging as your full-time career, as the opportunities here are exceptional: from running your successful blog to creating your marketing or consulting agency.

Here we discuss the five important steps to make a successful blog

Let’s get started

1. Selecting a Niche

 

Niche is nothing but related to what you’re going to blog about. Few examples are 

  • Digital Marketing
  • Health and Fitness
  • Beauty products
  • Traveling
  • Lifestyles and fashion
  • Technology and Gaming
  • Personal Finance

Selecting a niche is not an easy task. It might take days or a couple of months to decide.

You can try out IKIGAI Model which is a Japanese method to find your interests.

                                   IKIGAI Model which is a Japanese method to find your interests

As the diagram shows, ask yourself

  • What are you good at?
  • What do you love to do?
  • What does the world need?
  • What work of yours will you get paid?

The reason why you want to blog could be either one among these four because it’s your passion, or your mission or you want to take it up as your vocation or profession.

The choice is yours but take your time and choose your niche wisely.

Because many bloggers fail as they chose the wrong niche which they aren’t interested in and then they lose interest.

2. Domain and Hosting

 

Once you are done with your niche selection, it’s time for you to grab a Domain name for your blog. It’s an identity you give to your blog on the internet.

All these Google.com, Facebook.com, billionairediscipline.com you see are Domain names, you have to find a better name for your blog.

Step 1: Grab a domain 

Click on this link to buy your domain from Siteground. Choose a plan whichever you think is better for you.

            Different plans for Siteground subscription

Please note these prices may change from time to time.

Step  2: Rules to Get better Domain Name

While selecting a domain name, follow these simple rules :

  • Better prefer .com domain.
  • Don’t keep domain names too long.
  • Let it be easy for anybody to remember.
  • Avoid using symbols, numbers, hyphens, etc.
  • Keep it short and sweet- resonating with your niche. An Example could be sportskeeda.com

Find if the domain you are searching for is available.

siteground hosting

Step 3:  Complete Payment

Fill all your required details and make your payment.

Once you are done, the domain belongs to you. You will be the owner.

                     Fill all your details and make the payment to avail the subscription

There are Domain and hosting providers apart from SiteGround like- Bluehost, Godaddy, Big Rock, and many more.

After choosing your domain name, you must connect your domain name with hosting.

Step 4: Choosing a Hosting Provider

Hosting is what gives life and oxygen to your blog. Without hosting your blog will not be visible to the people.

Selecting a reliable hosting is the crucial decision you must make in blogging.

If you want your blog to perform smoothly and all your content to be available to your readers 24/7, select a trustworthy hosting platform that will take care of everything to make sure your blog is running perfectly all the time.

Most of the hosting companies also provide domain registration along with Hosting, so make sure you get both at one place to avoid any glitches in the future.

According to surveys and feedback from many bloggers, these two hosting providers are best in terms of service and support –  SiteGround and Bluehost.

                                                                                  Siteground is the easiest way to start your blog

We use Siteground as it is both best and the cheapest option.

3. Install WordPress

 

WordPress is a free blogging platform which you can use to create your blogs and website for free.

It’s the most simple, flexible, powerful,  and easy platform to use.

If you are a complete beginner without coding skills but want to start a new blog from scratch, WordPress is the best option for you.

WordPress is used by over 31% of all websites online including companies like BBC America, Sony Music, Microsoft News, Walt Disney Company, and much more.

WordPress is known for its safety and security. That’s why numerous banks in the world use WordPress to run their sites.

a) Installation 

Go to your Siteground account and login. You will see a setup option as shown below.

You have to choose wordpress and the software will get installed.

             Click on wordpress and install the software

Once it is installed, it will ask for a little information and you have to set a password.

That’s it. You can start.

b) Themes

Your success at blogging goes beyond writing. It includes how attractive your website looks too. It must look neat and pretty.

There are various themes in WordPress. You can choose whichever you think is the best and user friendly for your audience.

You can refer to Neil Patel’s article on 32 best free WordPress Themes.

If you are fine with spending some money to buy a good premium theme, You must invest in premium Theme for your Blog.

                                                                           World's leading wordpress page builder to start your blog

We recommend using Generate Press as a theme with Elementor Pro as the page builder which we use as it is one of the best and easiest ways to build any design you can desire of for your website.

c) Plugins: 

In wordpress, you are provided with lots of inbuilt plugins that act as wonderful tools to help you grow your blog.

It helps you to optimize your blog, improve user experience, protect from spammers, and helps to rank better in search engines.

          An image showing all the latest blogs

Here are the 5 most used plugins you can install and start using from day one.

  • Yoast SEO: Simplifies your SEO work
  • Jetpack: Helps to improve your website loading speed and protects from spammers.
  • Google XML Sitemap: Helps to generate a sitemap of your website which Google finds very helpful to index your website faster and start ranking.
  • WP Forms: Helps to build a user-friendly contact us form through which users can easily contact you. Don’t neglect this. 
  • Smush Image Compression and Optimization: You can upload many images on your page or posts with quick load time

d) Customization and basic setup

       dashboard- writing a new blog from scratch

There are mainly three areas to be customized – Header, Sidebar, and Footer.

You can include all main pages in your header or navigational bar to make it easier for users to navigate through your websites.

The sidebar can include your most read articles, Email  Capturing forms, search-bar, or any useful widgets based on your understanding.

Footers can include your few pages such as privacy policy, Terms of conditions, Contact us, and social media profiles of your websites.

Other changes you have to make are changing the URL structure from the default (Month and name) to the custom structure as highlighted below.

This way you’re making your blog’s URL more SEO friendly and easier to guess what can be expected after they click to your blog.

Further for your Homepage layout modification.

Go to settings under your Dashboard option and select the Reading section and change your default setting from Your latest posts to A Static Page (Homepage if you have multiple pages and you want to show all your latest posts under the homepage section ).

You can choose the least amount of blog posts you want to show on your first page, Don’t keep it more, check by testing how much it would be better based on your theme.

Change the option from full text to the summary, in this case, it would only show the first few lines from your posts readers can click on to read more to read complete articles.

It is very common to be lost and have no idea while you start a new blog from scratch, but this simple configuration will help you.

e) Publishing your first content 

Now that you are done with all the basics and important parts in terms of building a successful blog, it’s time to give some meat to your website.

Contents are everything no matter how well you set up if you don’t have content on your website, why will people even visit?

So you need to take this baby step for writing your first article.

        writing your first blog

    content writing

After you have written your first post, hit the publish button. Now pat yourself on the back. it’s a great win for you.

Now you need to be consistent in writing content for your website. You don’t have to write one article each day.

Commit to yourself how many articles you’re going to publish each week (for example, 1 or 3) and be consistent throughout no matter what.

4. Writing content for the website.

 

Your objective should be to write quality content that can stand apart and create an impact on the readers.

Before starting, you must do intensive keyword research. We are using the word intensive to stress its importance, and also to let you know it almost takes the same time as writing the content.

a) Keyword research

 

There is a saying “sweat more in practice and bleed less in war”. The same applies to blog as well.

If you spend more time in keyword research, half your work is done.

Earlier it was very easy for anyone to stuff keywords and rank your website on the top of the Search engine result page (SERP).

But as Google improved its algorithm and found how it is being misused and many legit websites being over ranked by these techniques of keyword stuffing.

Since then Google has improved a lot and is now holding a monopoly in the search engine market.

The main objective of keyword research is

 
  • To find out what people are searching, how many people are interested in similar topics, their demographics, and much more.
  • Formulating your content around the topics which users are interested in, not only writing what you want to write.
  • Using these keywords as business opportunities for your business or also by monetizing your websites through affiliate marketing since you have target visitors now.

We will be explaining with one of the famous free SEO tools in the industry- Ubersuggest.

Although there are many other paid tools to do keyword research, let us focus on understanding with the usage of Ubersuggest, you can anytime go and explore other tools once you know.

          Free tool to do keyword research

         Finding keyword

          201,000 search volume, 52 SEO difficulty, 60 paid difficulty and $2.03 CPC in United States

This is the user interface of the Ubersuggest tool you get once you type Ubersuggest on Google and try to open it.

Let us go with one of the most famous searched keywords- how to lose weight?

This is the interface you must focus on and learn the terminologies from. Let us see what those numerical terms are.

  1. Search Volume: is the number of times the particular keyword is being searched every month.
  2. SEO difficulty: This tells how difficult it is to rank for the specific keyword. The higher it is, the more competitive the keyword is.
  3. Paid difficulty: It tells about how much highly people are bidding for this keyword by Running advertisements.
  4. Cost Per Click: It tells you the amount you need to pay for each click if you are running an ad campaign for the particular keyword.

If you want more concrete and reliable data while doing keyword research You can use paid tools like Semrush or Ahref.

Click below to Try Semrush free for 7-days.

                                          SEMrush 

b) Best practices while doing keyword research:

 

When you are a beginner it is very obvious to get carried away even for the highly competitive keywords.

But also you should know, a new blog or website requires patience and consistency to attract visitors regularly.

As a beginner choose the less competitive keywords and create content around the keywords to build some authority in your niche.

Once you learn how to do keyword research, you can start using the SEMRush Tool      (Free Trial For 7-days) which has more features and is more accurate than UberSuggest.

You can refer to this article where we have explained how to do keyword research in-depth.

Methodology to write

 

Content should be neatly structured and easy to read and navigate for your audience.

We write our content on Google Docs which has additional features to even suggest grammatical errors.

                1. Traffic 2. Engagement 3. Conversion

                                             Picture Courtesy: Neilpatel.com
 

Any content will have four parts.

1. Headline 

 

After reading the headline, the audience should be clear about what the content is and how it is going to help them.

Make sure your headline is catchy.

BuzzSumo’s study discovered that the sweet spot for headline length is between 12-18 words.

Also, try to add Brackets to your headline.

You may ask why?

Because a study by OutBrain found that adding brackets to headlines can improve CTR up to 38%.

Our article 10 High-income skills to earn you in millions [2020] is the best performing article on our website. It also appears on the first page of Google.

What more proof do you need?

If you have an article titled “10 ways to wake up at 5.00 am” your reader will always be curious to know what those 10 ways are.

Using modifiers like “best”, “guide”, “checklist”, “fast” and “review” can help you rank for long-tail versions of your target keyword.

2. Introduction

 

The intro should be small with 6-7 lines.

It should be anywhere between 100-150 words.

You know that the start of anything should be good whether it be a movie or whether it be an article. Your goal should be to hook the audience.

Once you’re done with the introduction, show them the index page so that people can navigate easily.

3. Body or the actual content

 
  • To make it more engaging, write as you speak. Use “I” and “you” while writing.
  • Use active voice instead of passive voice wherever possible.
  • Break the paragraphs into lines. It is because most of your readers will read on the phone and paragraphs with 7-8 lines will look clumsy and messy while a paragraph with 1-2 lines will look neat and tidy.
  • Always try to use a story to convey the information you want to.
  • The articles which have more than 2000 words try to be on the top page of the search list.
  • It’s because people will spend more time on your site to read it. This will indicate Google that your article is good and will rank you higher.
 
  • “Keep reading until the end. We have a bonus tip for you”. You can use phrases like this to make them read until the end.
  • Infographics, pictures, videos, charts have an effective way of communication. It’s always told a picture speaks a thousand words.
  • Show authority. Show links from where you learned. When you do this it will help the readers and create rust.
  • Use the SEMRush tool. It will help you to create the right amount of readability and tone of voice. I will attach a few images to show you.
            1. Readability 2. SEO 3. Originality 4. Tone of voice             Readability score targeted and expected. No of words written and targeted

                   To see if targeted keywords and recommended keywords are used                 Tone of voice either formal, casual or neutral

This is the reason why you should be using it to boost your engagement with your audience. You can take a free trial and check it out yourself.

4. Conclusion

Conclude with a question. This will allow you to talk to your reader.

For example, it could be like

“I hope this guide shows you how to write great content.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you:

What’s the #1 tip you would like to try first?”

Also, ask in the conclusion if they have any questions or queries that they need to ask you.

Lastly, very importantly ask them to leave a comment to know how they felt about the article.

The overall objective is to make it user-friendly.

The reader should find it easy to navigate and capture all your content.

Here we have shown how you can create a compelling article in depth.

C)  SEO

 

SEO gives you an audience while your content gives you both audience and engagement.

SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) is a process adopted by the search engines to rank websites so that the users find the most optimized search results.

For example, if you search “Basics of Blogging 2021” you will see our website has been ranked first.

Why do you think so?

It’s because it is SEO optimized.

Why is SEO important?

 

SEO gives free traffic to your website without you having to spend a penny.

Various research has shown that people click on either of the first three results. They are mostly satisfied with what they are looking for.

So the primary objective will be to rank in top 3 or at least on the top page.

There are two ways to do SEO – On-page and Off-page

                                                             Content Traffic On page SEO Off page SEO

D)  On-page SEO

 

On-page SEO refers to all the activities you do on the website to rank your blog post on search engines.

It includes keyword research, writing good TITLE tags, anchor text, alt tags,  internal linking, creating good content, and much more.

  • Site speed

Google ranks your website based on your website page load time speed.

You can check your page speed through Pingdom or GT Metrix.

Your speed should be below 2 secs for desktop and below 1 sec for mobile phone.

Factors affecting it could be your page size, image size, and many more.

We have checked our site speed using GT Metrix. We are trying to improve our web speed.

According to a study by Neil Patel Agency “A delay of a single second in page response time can yield a 7% reduction in conversions”.

              on-page SEO optimization - site speed

  • Domain age and authority

Older websites rank faster than new websites.

So be consistent with your posts and as time goes by you’ll be able to rank better.

So the key is to work hard and be patient.

So take away is that the higher the age and authority of your website, the better.

  • Mobile friendly

           on page seo - mobile friendly test

Google has repeatedly stressed on the fact that the page ranking is based on its user experience.

Up to 60% of searches happen on mobile and only 40% happen through the desktop.

So it’s very very important for you to make your site mobile friendly. We can’t stress enough on this.

Google has its mobile-friendly test tool, which says “Yes” or “No”(in terms of mobile-friendliness).

Just type the keyword (mobile-friendly test) you can also check through Google search console.

It will also help you to fix the errors to make your website mobile-friendly.

So things to keep in mind is

  • Try to use mobile-friendly themes
  • Make your content readable and large
  • Try avoiding pop-ups for mobile devices
  • Your bounce rate should be as minimum as possible
  • Have a good responsive theme suitable for mobiles, tablets, etc.

In this article, we have explained in depth how On-page SEO is done.

E)  Off-page SEO

 

Off-page SEO refers to all the activities you do outside the website to rank your content on search engines.

It indicates to Google what people think about your website, how authentic and relevant it is. It is a good way to increase organic traffic.

As told earlier Google has 200+ factors to rank and the number one amongst them all is backlinks.

If you have got many backlinks, Google will understand that as your website is authentic and it stands apart.

It is common sense that people will only link to your site if they like your content and website. That’s the reason Google gives preference.

In this article, we have shared different ways to get a backlink and also relevant email templates for the same.

  • Interlinks

                     Interlinking methods

Internal link structure refers to a structure that lets you link the other pages of your website with any other relative pages.

It is highly difficult for you to rank all the articles from your website.

Some rank and some don’t.

Do interlinking from highly performing pages to poor performing pages of your page.

So when poor performing pages start getting traffic, it will make Google realize that it’s valuable content and it will rank them above.

By implementing a good interlinking process the overall health of your site will improve and so will your Domain Authority.

Interlinking is important for both SEO and navigation purposes.

The basic idea is “the more time people spend on your website, the higher your rank will be”.

5. Promoting and inviting traffic

 

It doesn’t matter how well you have done keyword research, how well you have written, and how well you have implemented SEO techniques. 

You have to promote your article to invite traffic initially. 

Step 1: Making compelling content to share 

 

a) Creating Epic Content

Create great content that will stand out from the millions of other blogs out there. People should be compelled to share your article.

b)  Hooking your audience

Hook your audience with facts, statistics, case study examples, tools, unique strategies, or any kind of visualization. 

This will make others share it and you get a backlink in return.

c)  Infographics

Make compelling infographics that people are forced to share with their audience and when they do so they link to your site.

                            Infographics on blogging statistics

You can also make infographics for others and get credits for it.

d)  If you have a unique strategy, then name it

Naming your strategies will help you to get linked very easily. “The moving man method” and “The Skyscraper Technique” were all named by Brian Dean of Backlinko.

e)  Have a headline that people would share

For example, consider you are writing about “ Ways to get rid of belly fat”

You can make your headline as “10 ways to get rid of belly fat”

Or “10 unique ways of getting rid of belly fat which you didn’t know”

This will increase the chances of people sharing it.

Step 2: Mailing others for a backlink by helping them out 

 

a) Guest Post

You can write a guest post on others’ websites and get a backlink. This concept is called guest blogging.

This is however more difficult from the first two because you have to reach out for them and do a lot of work just for one backlink.

You should give people a reason to link to you and in return if people find that posts useful they will come to your website and which helps to drive traffic to your new blog.

b) Find Broken links of another website

When you find broken links of other websites, contact the owner and tell them how they can replace that link with the link to your article which is more relevant.

This way you’re helping them and you’re also getting a backlink in return.

c)  Reach out to people who have linked to your competitor’s website

You need to use tools like Ubersuggest, AHREF, or SEMRush to find out who your competitors are for the keywords you want to rank.

Based on the search results you can also find several people who have linked out to them. You can contact them and tell them your reason why they should link to you instead of your competitor.

d)  Reach out to people who have outdated content

Customize your search on Google and find out older content. Read and see if the content needs to be updated and if it is performing well.

If not, reach out to them and tell them how you can help them.

Step 3: Make your users easy to share on social media

 

This is an example of Harsh Agarwal’s blog page. Here the sharing button is on the right side of the desktop.

In the mobile view, the sharing option is at the bottom of the screen.

         An option to share the blog on right side of the screen

                 use of social media to drive traffic to a new blog

You can look at 30 different ways of sharing the content, through social media, through direct message, through the mail, and also there is an option to print the article as PDF.

This is a very easy way to drive traffic to a new blog when your audience shares your article with their friends. If your article is good, then no doubt people will share it further.

Step 4: Promoting on Social Media and other platforms 

Neil Patel says

“I spend 20% of my time creating content and 80% of my time to market it”.

Here are some of the sources through which you can get traffic

  1. Quora
  2. Reddit
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Leave a comment on blog posts
  5. Participate in Facebook groups and answer their questions
  6. Email marketing
  7. Tweet multiple times a day (old content)
  8. Telegram
  9. Running Facebook or Google Ads

 You can learn more about promoting your blog, in this article.

Step 5: Monetization of your blogs 

                                             A woman with dollar note on one hand and a laptop in another

Once you have completed a few articles which have generated a good amount of traffic, you can make money blogging.

Here are 6 different ways to monetize your blogs. You can choose whichever suits you.

  1. Google Adsense
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Selling your product or courses
  4. Banner Ads
  5. Email Marketing
  6. Sponsored posts/reviews

You can read these methods of monetization in-depth here.

Conclusion: 

Let me conclude with one of the famous dialogue from Hollywood movie “The Founder” in which Ray Kroc the founder of McDonald’s says

“Now, I know what you’re thinking. How the heck does a 52-year-old, over-the-hill milkshake machine salesman… build a fast-food empire with 16,000 restaurants, in 50 states, in 5 foreign countries… with annual revenue in the neighborhood of $700,000,000.00…

One word…  

PERSISTENCE. Nothing in this world can take the place of good old persistence. Talent won’t. Nothing’s more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius won’t. 

Unrecognized genius is practically a cliche. Education won’t. Why the world is full of educated fools. Persistence and determination alone are all-powerful.”

Why did I share this quote with you? It is just to tell you that you are not late. You can succeed and you will.

Let us start with five important tips to keep in mind

1) Be determined to succeed, be consistent producing quality blogs and be persistent like Ray Kroc says.

Never lose hope. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. You can be one of the best bloggers. Just trust yourself.

2) Keep your blogs clean and structured. Who does not like cleanliness.

We buy clean things. Treat your blogs like a product and keep it clean. People will buy it.

3) Write for your readers and not to impress the search engines. Make it easy for your readers to understand.

Treat your reader nicely. Search engine algorithms are short term, but your readers’ impressions are long term.

If they like you, they will come back to you.

4) It’s okay to write two blogs per month but make sure it is the best you could ever produce.

Quality over quantity always. Put yourself in the shoes of the readers and think what you have produced is valuable.

5) Do not worry too much about traffic and monetization. Focus on quality and things will follow.

It takes time, it takes practice and what is important for you is to never lose hope. Be patient and do not expect results overnight.

Blogging is about giving value to the audience and impacting people’s lives. You cannot make money without helping them.

You alone can impact lives. Don’t tell you are just one person. So was Nelson Mandela and so is Elon Musk.

And don’t worry, blogging is not complicated. If you consistently work for one year, you can make $1000 a month, and slowly with the time you can scale it up to $10,000 a month.

Anyways, welcome to the world of blogging.

Do let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or queries. We will be more than happy to help you.

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