Are you a complete beginner who wants to start a blog for free and make money from it? If that’s the case, then you are at the best place on the planet.
From the last 5 years, I have been creating blogs for my clients and have successfully built a number high earning blogs for myself which helped me to quit my regular 9-5 job and enjoy a life of my own.
Just like you as a beginner, when I started my blog I had no idea of what to do. But slowly slowly, I learned things the hard way and was only able to find it piece by piece on a variety of websites. To save you time, I’ve created this free step-by-step blog tutorial and guide to teach beginners how to make a blog quickly and easily. It’s not as complicated as many people think!
To be frank, I am not ashamed to admit that when I was first learning how to build a blog I made a ton of mistakes but you don’t have to; you can benefit from my experience so that you don’t repeat these same mistakes when you make your own blog. I created this free guide so that a complete beginner can learn how to blog quickly and easily and eventually make a lot of money from it.
Here are the key steps to start a blog for free and earn from it.
Step 1: Pick a niche(topic) for your blog
Before you even start thinking about building a blog, the very basic step you have to take is to select a blogging niche. But you might have questions like how to pick a blog niche or topic for your blog? But even before that you might want to know, what exactly is a niche?
In simple terms, a blog niche is a specific topic area that you will be writing about most often and build your blog around it.
But the next question from you can be, how to select a niche for my blog? It’s simple. So, to pick the right niche for your new blog, simply start by making a list of all of the topics that excite you and make you want to talk about them. There are no restrictions – you can include just any personal or professional interests in this list.
- Think of things that you enjoy doing in your spare time. For example, are you an amateur photographer, or an avid programmer?
- Think all of the things that you would like to learn. For example, do you aspire to take cooking classes and become a better cheff?
- Lastly, think about all of your future plans and projects. For example, do you plan to go back to college to complete your education?
But remember that there are no restrictions – you can include any personal or professional interests on the list. This simple exercise will help you to select a niche that you are the most interested in. That way you will follow your passion and enjoy your blogging journey.
My tried & tested advice: Always go after your passion!
I have a detailed guide about choosing a profitable niche here.
Step 2: Pick a blog name
Now that the niche selection of your blog is done, the very next step is to pick a name for your blog. But you might wonder how to name your blog? The name of a blog is called a domain name.
Your domain name will be the very name by which you will be known online, no matter what niche or topic you choose. It’s your blog’s unique address in the world of Internet.
Here’s what you should consider when choosing a blog name:
- It should be short and catchy, easy to pronounce and type.
- You can also use combinations of your first and last names (e.g. johnsmith.com or tim.blog).
The general rule for picking a domain name is to get a “.com” domain, but some of the other extensions can also be used too. For example, “.net” or “.blog”. What’s important is that it’s about being memorable, so if a different extension helps you to stand out, then break the rules!
For more, here is a step-by-step guide for picking a great domain for your new blog.
Step 3: Get your blog online
Now that you have decided your blog niche and also picked your niche, now it’s time to get your blog online. This might sound hard or technical initially, but the steps below will walk you right through and make the process simple.
To get your blog up and running you need two things: blog hosting (also known as web hosting) and blogging software. The good news is that these typically come packaged together.
A blog host is a company that stores all of the files for your blog and delivers them to the user when they type in your blog name. You must have a blog host in order to have a blog.
You also need to have the software to build your blog. In this guide, I will be showing you how to build a blog using the WordPress blogging software because it is the most popular, customizable, and easiest to use.
so after you have bought your domain name from a good domain registrar, now it’s time to buy web hosting to host that domain.
After choosing a domain name, selecting a reliable hosting service is one of the most important decisions you have to make.
To a great extent, the functionality and performance of your blog will depend greatly on your hosting provider. The host makes sure that your blog is available 24/7 to potential readers and it’s where your content is stored online.
Set up wordpress
Now that you have chosen your favorite web hosting service, it’s time to set up WordPress on it. But you might wonder, what is WordPress? So, WordPress is just a blogging software that is most common for bloggers in the online community that helps you manage your content online.
Step 4: Customize your blog and pick a theme
The first thing your blog needs is a face (design and layout) and for that, you need a good WordPress theme. Installing a new WordPress theme is exciting and fairly straightforward.
Inside the WordPress dashboard after you have installed it, under the “Appearance” tab, click “Themes”. You will be presented with common options. You can click on the WordPress.org Themes button and search for free themes. There are more than three thousand themes available on WordPress.org.
The look and feel of your new blog rely mainly on the theme you choose. Your first-time readers will notice the overall appearance of it before they even take a look at the content. So select a theme that looks great is important, but also important that it works for your specific needs.
Here’s a quick guide for choosing your theme by searching within the WordPress dashboard:
- Read the description – Most themes come with a short description of features and functionality. Reading it can help you to figure out if the theme matches your needs.
- Preview the theme – Preview the theme (demo) to get an idea of the overall look, layout, and how customizable it is.
- Check the ratings – Star ratings will be visible in the preview and under theme details to give you a clear idea of how good the theme is.
If you can’t find a theme that you absolutely love, don’t worry. Settle on one that you like, and you can always change it in the future.
Once you install a theme, don’t be surprised if it still doesn’t look quite right. It is just a skeleton of a blog. To make it appealing, you’ll have to fill it in with content (text, photos, videos, etc.).
Should you choose a free or premium theme?
In my opinion, there are quite a number of free WordPress themes to choose from for any blog topic.
Remember, you can always pick a different theme later as you continue setting up your blog. All of the pages and unique content that you create will be transferred automatically to a new theme layout.
If the current stack of free themes does not satisfy your particular desire, you can check out premium themes. These themes are usually designed by third-party companies and sold on different WordPress theme sites. Their price range for single-use licenses ranges from $30 to $500, depending on which premium theme you choose.
Step 5: Write and publish blog content
Now that you have set up a theme of your choice, now it’s time to start writing about your favorite topic. But you might wonder, how to write a blog post for my blog? So far, you’ve established a domain name, chosen your blog hosting site, set up a blog theme, and you are ready to go. Your framework is complete.
You need to actually learn how to write your first blog post that is called content. On the web, any useful information or experience that you share with readers online is called “content.” It must be something valuable that people will want to interact with and come back for more.
WordPress CMS is structured in a way that you can publish your content as either Posts or Pages.
Before you begin publishing posts (day-to-day writing) on your blog make sure you fill in all the important static pages with content (such as About us, Contact, etc.). Let’s explore those types of pages for your clarity.
Prepare and publish content on main pages
Depending on your individual needs you can decide what pages to publish. but the following are the most common pages bloggers use:
- Homepage – This depends on the layout you choice. As I described above, when customizing your blog you can choose to display the homepage as a static page. In that case, you will have to prepare content for it.
- About us – The most common page on any blog is the “About us” page. This page tells new visitors what it is all about, who you are and why you run a blog about your niche topic that you chose.
- Contact – This page allows visitors to your blog to communicate with you. It can be a just a straightforward page with your email address plus your social network links, or you can use a simple contact form that visitors can use to contact with you.
- Products, Services, Resources – Static landing pages with any additional information that you want to include on your blog.
How to write your first blog post ?
Creating blog posts inside WordPress is nearly the same as creating pages. However, for a blog post WordPress lets you select categories and tags while pages don’t.
Wondering how you can write quality blog posts? It’s a simple 3 step approach.
- Point – State your main blog topic idea that you are covering.
- Prove – Give an example of the idea you are covering.
- Perform – Give a simple way to execute the idea.
Step 6: Optimize your blog for Search Engines: get found online
Now that you have set up important pages and start writing about your favorite content but this is not enough. You have to do SEO for your blog? Now you might wonder, what is SEO and how to do it for my blog and why is it important, anyway.
So, essentially, Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process that website owners use to get more traffic to their web pages from search engines (such as Google).
According to recent studies, 53% of all traffic for websites comes from organic search. This number shows how crucial it is to make sure that you optimize your WordPress blog for search engines to get found online.
SEO involves many different tactics and techniques. As a blogger, you will have to get familiar with these. I won’t be talking about any advanced processes here. The minimum you will have to do the following for every blog post or page you publish on your blog i.e perform keyword optimization and add SEO meta tags on all your pages.
This is the process of researching, selecting, and incorporating the right set of keywords that you think people will type in a search to find information like yours online.
Ideally, keyword optimization should be performed for any blog post or page. It’s important to select the main keywords (and related words) that you want to target for each page and make sure that you include them(and all related words) within the content.
This way it will be easier for search engines to understand your content that why a specific web page is about when they crawl it and you have a better chance to rank higher in search results.
SEO meta tags
When you publish a new blog post or page, you will need to add SEO meta tags for each piece of content.
If you want to start ranking your content in search engines, this is an important step to do. SEO tags should be prepared in advance and added when you create a new page or a post inside WordPress. You can add SEO meta tags via free plugins, such as Yoast SEO or any SEO plugin.
Please not that the title tag length should be between 50-60 characters (this is what Google typically displays) and the meta description tag can vary between 50-160 characters.
Step 7: Promote, market and grow your blog
By now, you’ve learned how to start a blog, how to create blog content, and how to get it discovered by search engines. But this is not just enough in this world full of competition. You have aggressively promote and market your blog to get traffic and traction. In essence, you have to promote and market your blog
It is important to understand that you can write the most compelling copy in the world and design a blog interface that would sell people their own shoes. However, if no one sees it, all of your hard work is in vain. So, you need to know how to promote your blog.
Before you start promoting your blog, remember Important checklists:
- Make sure that your content is live and ready for promotion.
- Test your blog on different devices (desktop, tablet, mobile) and browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge) to check that pages open correctly.
- Check your contact info and test your contact form to see if it works well there.
- Test your social sharing buttons so that people can easily share your content.
- Ensure that you adequately interlink your content so that people can easily find other important information on your blog.
- Give your visitors one or more ways to connect with you and subscribe to your email list.
- Set up Google Analytics to track your blog’s performance and visitors.
Let’s look closely at the basic promotion and marketing activities that you can apply to grow your audience and traffic once you build a blog.
Let everyone know about your blog
You might be wondering how to promote your blog and grow traffic? Get started by informing your friends, family, and colleagues about your new endeavor. Basically, you should let anyone know who might be interested in reading your content.
You should also do the following:
- Include your blog name (URL) in your email signature.
- Include it in your social media accounts or any online communities you are involved in.
- Use every opportunity to get the word out about your new undertaking.
Be active within your niche community
Get active on relevant blogs, forums, groups, and social pages.
Blogger communities are a good way to connect with other bloggers in your niche. You can engage, build friendships, and help each other in spreading content.
Here are some popular activities you can do to promote your blog and grow your audience:
- Blog commenting. Start posting comments on other relevant blogs. It’s a great way to build relationships with top bloggers within your niche.
- Social media marketing. You should make use of the social media platforms that best fit your own niche and style. Choose the one (or ones) that best fit your needs and start promoting your content to grow your audience there. Some of the most popular social media networks that bloggers use are Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- Guest blogging. Take the relationship a step further and offer to write guest blog posts for another website and get known in the community. Just be sure that you guest post on reputable sites and that the content is directly related to your niche. .
Getting organic traffic from search engines
By now, you already know that it’s important to optimize your content for search engines.
However, in order to increase your organic traffic, you will have to learn how to get your content to rank higher in search results.
There is no magic formula for higher rankings, but you should focus on the following factors:
- Create useful content for your readers, not search engines.
- Consistently create fresh and quality content.
- Make sure that the user experience is flawless.
- Ensure that your blog is secured (HTTPS), mobile-friendly, and loads quickly.
- Interlink your content and work on getting external links.
Advertising on the web (paid traffic)
While organic traffic is great, appropriate and well-informed use of paid media can help you to gain exposure and attention before your organic (naturally derived) traffic takes hold.
Paid traffic avenues include:
- Social media advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Search engine advertising via Google Ads or Bing Ads.
- Content discovery platforms such as Outbrain or Taboola.
Remember that you can always find other ways to promote your new blog. You just have to be consistent and patient with your strategies.
Step 8: Making money from your blog
Now that you have started promoting your blog and you have started building traffic and audience, it’s time to reap the benefits of your efforts. But you might be wondering, how to make money from a blog for free? Well, making money from a blog is called monetization.
Monetization is the process of translating your blog activity into earnings.
You should keep in mind that blogging isn’t just about making money. It is about creating useful content and writing blog posts that will attract readers and make them come back for more accepting you as an authority in that field
When starting a blog think about adding content that will generate future income. Based on my own blogging experience, as well as from working with other bloggers, I’ve learned that specific kinds of content are more effective for generating money.
Here are types of content that you should consider writing and adding to your blog for more visibility and growth:
- Listicles or top list
- How-to guides
- Tutorials and manuals
- Product reviews
- Product comparisons
Now, let me show you some different ways how bloggers make money.
Blog monetization channels
Our case study of the blogging industry shows that 59.8% of bloggers make money through blogging. But, how can YOU make money blogging? There are several options available, but below I’ll show you the best ways to earn income from a blog:
- Running ads on your blog
There are seamless possibilities for you to run ads on your blog. Whatever your niche is, you can opt for ads that are specific to what you are writing about or ads that simply better serve your advertiser’s purposes.
2. Enrolling in affiliate programs
Affiliate programs are ways of affiliating with retailers to promote their products and benefit from successfully carrying out sales through a commission.
Some things that you need to consider when enrolling in affiliate programs:
- The number of affiliate sales will strongly depend on the number of visitors you have.
- You need to be credible enough for your visitors to click on your links.
3. Selling your products and services
If you are creative and entrepreneurial, you could consider using your blog as a space for selling your own products and services. This is an option especially as your blog grows in readership, authority, and popularity.
There are WordPress plugins that you can easily integrate into a blog and start using to sell products online.
4. Selling sponsored posts
Advertisers are always looking for exposure and are willing to pay you for placing a sponsored post on the space of your blog.
Those posts usually promote advertiser products or services and are a good way to make some money from your blog. In the future, if you’re able to build a popular blog and become an authority in your niche, the advertisers could approach you to publish their posts.
Above are the most popular choices to earn money. However, there are more ways to monetize your blog.