How To Start A Blog {Going Beyond Startup For Beginners}

Aren’t you tired of every blog giving the same advice on how to start a blog?

Don’t you wanna know what to do after you get hosting and before you write a post?

How about, what to do after you’ve written a few posts?

If you want to learn how to start a blog from start to finish, this is your must-read post!

This guide is gonna make sure you know more than just how to create a website for a blog.

I’m gonna walk you through all the steps of building a blog that makes money.

This is a lengthy guide, therefore, I’ve included section highlights with jump links, so you can jump to the parts you’re most interested in.

You can also download the pdf version of this guide so you can have it to refer to whenever you want.

how to start a blog guide

Disclosure: Some of the links in this guide are affiliate links and I will get a small commission if you use them and complete a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Because this post is about how to start a blog, I’ll start off with

What is a blog?

A blog is a website that publishes regularly updated content.

Each piece of published content is listed in reverse chronological order, which means, the last article posted is shown first.

As a beginning blogger, some common questions you might have are:

Who can start a blog?

Anyone, Everyone, and most importantly, YOU.

Does it cost money to start a blog?

It cost money to build a profitable self-hosted blog for business.

However, if you’re building a blog for fun a free one will do.

How do I start a blog for free?

To start a blog with no money, you can use a free blogging platform.

The most popular free blogging platforms are Blogger and

They will host your blog for free on their platform and give you a domain name that will look something like

Is blogging profitable?

Yes. There are bloggers that are making 6 figures income and more each month.

How do bloggers make money?

Bloggers make money in a combination of one or more of the following ways: freelancing, affiliate marketing, display ads, and sponsored content.

I’m assuming you want to start a blog to make money.

If that’s so, this post is for you. You will learn how to start a self-hosted blog, not a free blog.

Self-hosted means, you purchase a domain name and pay for your own hosting in order to create a website.

Every blog needs a website.

So you’re gonna have to build a website or have one created for you if you want to start a blog.

But, before you start building your website you need to

Choose a Niche

A niche is the topic area that you’ll be blogging about.

Whatever ideas you come up with and decide to blog about, that is your niche.

For example food, games, phones, etc.

How to choose a niche

There are a number of different ways to come up with blog niche ideas.

You will hear things like, go with your passion, interest/hobby, skill, or market demand.

I recommend incorporating two or more if you plan to make money from your blog.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of choosing a niche based on the following:

Skills/Experience: If you choose a skill/experienced base niche, you’d be sharing about something that you’re good at and have experience in.

You can use your past/previous work or life experiences to help someone.

The more you know about what you’re doing, the better you’ll be able to help your audience and the more you’ll look like an authority in your niche.

Passion/Interest: Choosing a niche that you’re passionate about will keep you from getting bored easily or running out of ideas to blog about.

Because you’re so passionate about it you’ll be more excited to share. So be sure to figure out what you enjoy doing and what gets you excited.

Also, think about what you’re interested in learning about. You can blog about what you’re learning.

Market Demand: It would be unprofitable if you choose a niche no one is interested in.

Find a need and fill it.

Make sure your niche has people who are ready to spend money. If there’s no demand for your niche, you’re not going to make money blogging.

You can research your topic and check out the competition to get an idea of whether or not your desired niche is in demand.

My advice is to choose a niche that has a market demand + any one of the others.

If you want to learn more about how to choose a niche check out the articles below.

How To Choose A Profitable Niche In 2022

How to Find Your Business Niche by Business News Daily

How To Choose A Niche For Your Blog In 2022 by BloggingWizard

Now, let’s look at

How To Create a website?

The easiest and fastest way to create a website is to use website builders.

Website building platforms will allow you to create a website in minutes using drag and drop features.

They are the way to go if you want to start a blog fast.

With website builders, you don’t have to know how to code and you do not need any special tech skills or experience.

Let’s dive into the steps of creating a website using a website-building platform.

Steps to create a website

Your first step to building a self-hosted website is to

Choose a Domain Name

A domain name is the name people will use to find your business online.

Having a domain name gives you ownership of the website.

It is how you will be recognized and found by humans and search engines.

It is also the first piece of your brand.

Below is a screenshot of a domain example and definition by Moz.

domain name example
Source: Moz

There are many different domain extensions. Domain extensions are referred to as top-level domain or TLD for short.

For example, .com, .org, .edu, .gov, .info, etc.

.com domains are the most popular.

Best Tips for Choosing a Domain
  • Choose a name that represents your product or services (niche).
  • Use your name.
  • Make it easy to pronounce, remember, and type.
  • Keep it short. Short domains are easier to remember (2-3 words).
  • Use powerful adjectives to spice up your domain name.
  • Avoid using hyphens, numbers, abbreviations, and intentionally misspelled words.

You can purchase a domain separate from hosting, however, it will be cheaper if you get one with the hosting company you’ll choose.

Most hosting companies offer a free domain for the first year when you purchase hosting from them.

That’s the route I took.

If you’d rather get a domain separate from your hosting, you can.

There are domain registrars where you can get a domain at a reasonable price.

Godaddy is one of the most popular.

You can use the tool below to check if your domain name is available.

Now, let’s get a domain and purchase hosting.

Purchase Hosting

You’re probably wondering, what is hosting?

Hosting is a web/network of servers that keeps your website files/data safe and accessible on the internet.

Web hosting companies provide storage space for websites on one or more servers on the internet.

They take care of all the technical stuff and ensure that when visitors click a URL on your site the content of that URL is visible.

So, in short, web hosting is what allows your website to be visible online.

Watch the short video below to get a better understanding, if you don’t understand.

There are many types of hosting to choose from (shared, dedicated, VPS hosting, etc.).

For a detailed guide on web hosting providers and the different types of hosting read this guide.

Shared hosting is the best choice for beginners and it’s the most popular.

It’s also the cheapest.

What this means, is that you share a server and its resources with other websites.

There are many different hosting companies.

But, they pretty much all offer the same hosting services with a few differences.

One of their main difference is their pricing.

I’ll list a few of the preferred choices below.


Bluehost is perhaps the most popular web hosting company for bloggers. Their yearly plans start at $2.75 per month.

bluehost hosting plans


Hostgator is one of the best and most popular hosting companies around. They have yearly plans starting from as low as $2.75 per month.



Hostinger is the cheapest hosting provider on the market today, with their yearly plans starting as low as $1.39 per month.



Namecheap is the second cheapest hosting company, their yearly hosting plans start at $1.88 per month.

Namecheap hosting plans

Beginners Tip: Never choose the plan that allows you to have just 1 website. The price difference may only be a couple of cents to a dollar more for unlimited websites.

Hostinger and Namecheap are the most affordable hosting companies.

While Hostgator and Bluehost are the most popular choices for beginners.

I’m going to skip the parts that walk you through the steps of purchasing web hosting because the hosting companies do an excellent job of that once you click their get started button.

This guide covers web hosting in greater detail, as well as other hosting companies and also Amazon web service (AWS), Google Cloud hosting, and Yahoo web hosting.

Important Note: If you already have a domain name hosted with another company and you want to switch, you’ll have to point your domain to your new hosting.

This is done by using a DNS system (domain name server). Your hosting provider will give you anywhere between 2-4 nameservers.

You would then input the nameservers into your domain registrar’s custom nameserver fields 1 & 2. Once that’s done, you’re all set.

Just give it anywhere between a couple of minutes-hours for it to take effect.

After you’ve purchased your hosting it’s time to

Install WordPress

So, what is WordPress?

WordPress is a blogging platform that allows website users to store online entries or blog posts.

It is a content management system or CMS for short. This organizes web content such as pictures, videos, text, etc for your site.

Sam Smith says “I know I’m not the only one”, neither is WordPress the only CMS, but

  • It’s free
  • It’s easy to install and use.
  • The source code is open to the public so other developers or coders can work on it and improve it.
  • There are many plugins that can be installed to enhance every aspect of your site.
  • Developers are able to develop new plugins to make it even better.

Some other common CMS’ are Joomla, Drupal, and Ghost.

However, right now, I don’t know anything about them except for their names, so I can’t tell you anything about them.

I personally use WordPress and so that’s what I’ll focus on.

I currently use Hostgator hosting company but WordPress features are the same on all hosting companies.

To install WordPress, log in to your Hostgator or your hosting provider’s Cpanel.

Cpanel is the control center/panel of your hosting account.

Click sign in, to go to your Cpanel dashboard.


In the dashboard select install WordPress.

Hostgator cpanel

Click the install drop-down button and select quick install.


Click the drop-down menu and choose the domain name that you want to install WordPress on.

Next, set up your admin account details.


Select the theme you want or you can skip this step until after you’ve installed WordPress.

Next, enter the email address you want your log-in details to be sent to, and then hit install.

That’s it, WordPress is installed.

Now let’s

Customize WordPress

I’ll walk you through the steps of configuring your most important WordPress settings.

Your WordPress dashboard homepage will look like the image below.

wordpress dashboard settings

Click the screen options tab to open its settings, then check or uncheck whatever you want to show on your dashboard.

Now, let’s configure the WordPress settings.

Click on the settings tab, it will take you to the general settings.

The first thing you should do is make sure the WordPress and site addresses are the same.

wordpress general settings

Next, select general and enter the name of your site and tagline.

Check ‘anyone can register’ and set ‘new user role’ to ‘subscriber’.

Then set your preferred language. Save changes to apply settings.

Every time you make a change always remember to click save changes.

Next, select the writing tab and set your default post category to blog.

This will ensure that whenever you create a new post it will automatically be added to the ‘blog category’ if you didn’t specify where it should go.

If you don’t set this, each new post you create will automatically go under uncategorized.

Next, click the reading tab and select the page you want as your homepage. You can choose either a static page or your blog page.

wordpress reading settings

Next, decide how many posts you want to be shown on your blog pages. Also, if you want full text or excerpt (a few sentences).

Be sure to leave search engine visibility unchecked so search engines can index your site.

Remember to click save changes every time you change a setting.

Next, move on to the discussion settings.

wordpress discussion settings

The discussion area is where you set commenting preferences. Just read them carefully and select the best options for you.

Next, move on to permalinks settings.

Permalink means a permanent link. They are website URLs that should not be changed.

Permalinks contain your domain name + a slug at the end.

You should avoid having numbers or special characters in your slug. Try to make your slugs keyword-focused.

Be sure to check ‘post name’. This will keep your website URL’s structure neat and organized.

Finally, select your privacy policy page.

All websites must have a privacy policy. You can create one yourself or use a privacy policy generator to populate one for you.

With your WordPress settings out the way, it’s time to move on to your

Website Design

Your blog is your new baby, so now you have to beautify it.

The design of your website includes its theme, logo, colors, typography, plugins, etc.


A theme is a folder containing templates, images, and stylesheets to make your website beautiful.

Consider the theme as your website’s clothing.

To access the theme area, click on the ‘Appearance’ tab in your WordPress dashboard.

wordpress-theme access

By default when you install your blogging platform (WordPress), you’ll have access to a few free themes in the dashboard that you can activate and use.


There are many free blog and e-commerce WordPress themes in the WordPress library of free themes.

Scan through them and select the one that best suits your website’s purpose.

You can also purchase a premium theme from a place like Envato Markets, then upload, install, and activate it.

I personally use Generatepress, it’s easy to use, and fast. Plus their customer support staff is amazing.

Once you’ve installed your theme, it’s time to customize it.

The customizing of your theme includes your layout, colors, logo, images, fonts, etc.

Every theme is different and each has its own different look, however, the customizer dashboard is the same for all.

Your site identity area is where you’ll add your site title, tagline, logo, and site icon.

You would have already accessed this when you did the general WordPress settings. Skip this part if you’ve already set it.

The name of the site will show up if you don’t have a logo.

site title and tagline

Logo and Site Icon

Your logo should have a transparent background so that it can naturally blend in with any background color you choose.

I left mine white because my background color is white.

The site icon is what will appear in the browser bar next to your post or page name.

site icon and logo example

Site Layout

The site layout section allows you to choose how you want each section of your website to be displayed.

Here you decide if and where you want sidebars, widgets, etc.

site layout


Your site color section lets you set the colors for each part of your site.

If you have a premium theme, you can set the colors you want to be used on your site.

Some free themes come with color limitations. Some don’t give you the option of picking your own colors; you’ll have to choose one of theirs.


The typography section is where you’ll set the font style and size.

You can set your H1 color, size, and style. It can be different from the rest of your content.

Beginners Tip: Aim for a theme that has a simple design, is responsive, SEO friendly, and has great customer support. Themes give trouble sometimes and you’ll need support to quickly correct them.

Now we’ll take a quick look at

How To Create Menus, Categories, and Tags

Your menu is the navigation area of your website.

The menu gives your site’s visitors access to other parts of your site.

Whichever theme you install will come with some menu navigation areas. You can add, delete, or edit the menus you want.

There are two ways to access your menu area when you want to create or edit it.

Select create a new menu, add the name (main menu, footer menu, etc) and then click create menu.

Click the drop-down arrow if you want to edit a menu.

Once you’ve created your menu you can add pages, categories, links, etc.

To access the categories area click post and then select categories.

After adding your categories you can then add them to the menu.

To add categories or pages to the menu click the dropdown arrow and check the ones that you want.

Once done click add to menu, then select save menu.

The last thing you’ll want to do is decide where you want the menu to appear. That is in the footer, header, etc.

Here is a great post by Wpbeginner, that shows you in greater detail how to add menus and categories to your site.

Next, we’ll take a look at some

Essential Website Pages

Every website has pages. Some have one page, while others have multiple pages.

Pages are static.

Before you add pages to your blog, you need to decide on the purpose of your blog. Is it for fun or for business?

Knowing this will help you to determine which pages to create for your site.

For example, if you’re blogging for business then you’ll need a service/product page, whereas if you’re blogging for fun you wouldn’t need that page.

Ok, with that out of the way, below are some must-have pages every site needs.

1. Homepage:

This is the main page of your blog or your blog’s landing page. It is the first page your visitors will land on when they type in your domain name.

That page should tell what your site is about and help visitors easily navigate to other sections of your site.

2. Contact Page:

This page should have your contact information so that visitors or customers can get in touch with you.

3. About Page:

Your about page should tell your visitors who you are, your purpose, the mission, and the vision of your website.

4. Blog Archive:

This contains all the posts on your blog, it has the last post listed first. You should try not to let your archive page show more than 10 posts per page.

This is only if your website has a blog. Not all websites have a blog section.

5. Policy Page:

This page should let the users know why their personal information is collected, who has access to it, and what it’s used for.

On your privacy policy page, you can also have your disclaimer, terms and condition, and disclosure.


Your disclaimer protects you from lawsuits by letting the user know not to rely on information posted on your site.

In other words, let the reader know while you provide the information, results aren’t guaranteed.

Terms and Condition

Your terms section lets your users know what to expect from your site, and what rights and restrictions they have.

It protects you from liability and protects your work as well.


The disclosure lets your readers know how you make money from your site. If you’re an affiliate, partners require that you have an affiliate disclosure on your site.

Your disclosure can also go within each post that has affiliate links or in the sidebar.

Next, are your


Plugins are used to enhance the functionality and beauty of your site.

Installing a plugin is the same process as installing a theme.

how to install a plugin

Premium themes often come with certain specific plugins to make them functional.

There are many different types of plugins that you can use to give your site extra functionality.

However, the most important plugins you will need are

  • Page builder
  • Backup
  • Security
  • Caching
  • SEO
  • Google Analytics
  • Image optimizer

Page builder

This allows you to easily build web pages by simply dragging and dropping elements where you want them.

Examples are, Elementor and WPBakery.


This will allow you to backup your site files and data so you can retrieve them in the event something goes wrong with your site.

For example, UpdraftPlus.


Security plugins like Jetpack and Antispam Bee will protect your site from hackers and spam attacks.


Caching plugins store data for later use.

This helps to speed up your website.

An example of a caching plugin is the W3 Total Cache.


These plugins help you to optimize your content for search engines so you can rank on Google.

Examples are Yoast and Rank Math.

Site Kit

This is a Google software that connects your website to Google’s webmaster services so you can get valuable insights.

More on that in the website tracking section further down.

Image optimizer

This allows you to compress your high-quality images and make them smaller without changing their resolution.

Compressing your images helps your site to load faster.

Examples are Nitropack and Smush.

We are finally at the end of the create a website section.

How To Create A Website Key Take-Aways

1. Choose a domain name (free with some of the hosting companies below).

2. Purchase hosting.

Most affordable hosting: Hostinger and Namecheap.

Best hosting: Hostgator and Bluehost.

3. Install and customize WordPress.

4. Install a theme.

Generatepress is inexpensive, easy to use, responsive, and has great customer support.

You can also purchase nice themes from Envato Markets.

5. Create your essential pages (home, service, privacy policy, blog, and about page).

6. Install essential plugins.

If you followed along and created your website, CONGRATULATIONS!

That was a lot, wasn’t it?

Take a few minutes break and let it all sink in, then move on to

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is using emails to directly connect with your audience on a 1-to-1 basis and build a relationship with them.

It is also used to share information/updates, and promote your products/services.

After creating a website you need to have a landing page that will attract and engage your audience and prompt them to take an action.

However, a landing page must be connected to an email service provider (ESP) in order to capture a visitor’s email address.

Once you’ve obtained their email addresses you can use email marketing to connect with them.

Email marketing highlights

What Is An ESP?

ESPs provide an online business with tools and services to capture and store subscriber information, as well as manage email communications.

ESPs are also referred to as email marketing tools or platforms and email marketing software.

They manage all email marketing campaigns for the business.

Landing pages, lead magnets, and sign-up forms are essential parts of a blog or business.

Whenever you see a landing page or form requesting contact information it is always connected to an ESP.

Some of the best email marketing service providers are:

To learn more about the different types of email marketing software read this guide.


What Is A Landing Page?

A landing page is the homepage of your website.

It is the main page a visitor lands on when they click on a link to your site. That means any page can be considered your landing page.

However, in digital marketing, it refers to a page that is designed for a visitor to take a specific action.

Such action would convert that visitor into a subscriber or a customer.

A landing page will not work if it does not have a web form that is connected to an email marketing platform.

For example

When you click the ad link above, you’re directed to the site in the image below. That is a landing page.

landing page example

If you look carefully at the highlighted sections in the image above, you’ll notice that the purpose is to get you to take an action.

Every marketing landing page has a web/opt-in form.

opt-in form example
One-field opt-in form

All web forms have one or more data input fields, a call to action (CTA), and a lead magnet (freebie) connected to them.

The CTA is the message that tells the reader exactly what action to take (start your free trial).

CTAs are hyperlinks. They can be a button, image, or text link.

Remember, all web forms are connected to an email service provider/email marketing software.

Now, let’s look at

Why A Landing Page Is Important

A landing page has one intended purpose, that is, to get a visitor to take an action. Every link on that page will direct visitors to complete that action.

There are no distractions such as ads, images, banners, videos, or posts to take your attention away from the goal of the page.

Landing pages keep the readers focused on taking the specified action.

All landing pages are not the same, but they all have the same goal; that is, to convert a lead (visitor) into a subscriber (customer).

The goal is to get the reader’s email address.


Getting their email address is not easy unless you give them a good reason to hand it over or offer them something of value in return.

And that’s where a lead magnet comes in.

What A Lead Magnet Is

A lead magnet is something that you give away for FREE in exchange for an email address.

You’ve come across a few of those, haven’t you?

With your lead magnet, you give away something that will benefit the visitor if you want their email address.

Anything can be offered as a lead magnet, as long as it brings value to or benefits the lead.

In digital marketing, the most common

Types of lead magnets are:

  • Checklists
  • Toolkits
  • Ebooks
  • Discounts & Coupons
  • Free Trials & Samples
  • Free Consultations
  • Webinars

Take a look at the landing page example below and see if you can identify the type of lead magnet that is being offered.

lead magnet example

Did you notice that their lead magnet is a free trial? You get an A++ if you did.

In fact, they have two lead magnets on their page, a demo request, and a free trial.

And in order for you to access them, you have to submit your email address.

This brings us to web/opt-in forms.

What Is An Opt-In Form?

An opt-in form is a form that is used to collect information.

It is also referred to as a web form or sign-up form. The names are used interchangeably.

These forms can have more than one field to enter information.

It all depends on the purpose of your form.

However, the most effective forms have one or two form fields (name and email address).

The more information a form requires, the less inclined people are to sign-up.

Example of a two-field web form.

two field opt-in form
Two-field opt-in form

Web/opt-in forms differ in text and style from site to site, but remember, all have the same purpose.

There are many places on a website where you can put a web form.

Some common places to put a web form are:

  • Sidebar
  • Above the fold on a homepage
  • In the body of a post
  • As a ribbon at the top of a website
  • On the about page
  • In the footer
  • An exit-intent
  • A page takeover

Most websites have a web form in multiple places.

The most common areas are above the fold on the homepage and in the sidebar.

The key to winning with your subscribe form is to offer a great lead magnet.

To do this you must know and understand the needs of your target audience.

While capturing a visitor’s email address is important, it is even more important that you connect with them and make them feel welcomed.

This brings us to

Welcome Emails & Newsletters

After someone signs up for your free offer or subscribes to your list, you should send them a welcome email.

The email lets them know that you are a real person, you value them giving you their email address, and you have their best interest at heart.

You can personalize the message by adding their names and what they’re interested in if it was made known on the signup form.

Let them know how often they’ll hear from you and what to expect.

With a good email marketing tool, you can segment and personalize your audience.

List Segmentation

List segmentation is when you separate your subscribers into different groups/ categories based on their interests.

Create specific content for each segment.

Segmenting your list ensures that you are sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

When this is done there is a greater email open rate.

Once your list is separated, you can automate your emails.


Email automation allows you to send specific emails at specific times to specific people.

With automation, you don’t have to keep creating emails every time. You can create a workflow using an automation tool to set triggers and it will do the work for you.

Email automation is the perfect way to interact with your audience, get to know them, and build lasting relationships with them.

Email Marketing Key Take-Aways

1. Email marketing is very important for an online business.

2. Every website needs a landing page.

3. All landing pages have a web form connected to a lead magnet.

4. A lead magnet is always connected to an ESP.

5. Some of the best ESPs are

6. Welcome emails and newsletters help you build relationships with your audience.

That wraps up this section.


Thanks for tweeting.

Now, let’s dive into

How to write a blog post

As a beginner, writing a blog post is hard.

At least, for me it was.

I spent minutes just staring at the screen not knowing what to write. When I finally wrote something, I read it and deleted it.

Has that ever happened to you?

I get it. It’s your first blog post and you want it to be perfect. I’m guilty of that too.

Here’s a shocker😲, it’s never going to be perfect.

In fact, your first post won’t be half as good as the ones you’ll create after you’ve written quite a bit of post.

So, don’t trip, stress, or waste time trying to get the first few posts perfect.

You’re gonna end up updating them in the future anyway.

Beginners Tip: A new blogger’s first mistake is trying to be perfect. Skip perfectionism and focus on writing a few blog posts no matter how imperfect they are, you will update them later as your traffic grows.

Below you’ll learn

How to write a blog post for beginners

1. Pick a topic

2. Do keyword research

3. Decide what type of post you’re going to write

4. Come up with a killer headline and your subtopics

5. Outline your post structure

6. Start writing the body of your post (don’t write your introduction until after you’ve written the body content)

7. Focus on writing one section at a time for a few minutes then break for a while.

8. Optimize your post

With that said, below is a highlight of what we’ll cover in this section.

You need a target audience to write for.

If you’ve got your blog set up that means you’ve chosen a niche.

And now it’s time to find a problem you can solve, in that niche.

You’ll have no audience if you can’t solve any problems.


Identify A Problem

To find your target audience you need to identify a problem that you have the skills, knowledge, and experience to solve.

Everyone has problems, and for their problems, they need a solution.

So find a problem that you can solve, but make sure it aligns with your skills or experience.

Remember that your skills, knowledge, and experience are what you’ll use to bring value to your audience.

Once you’ve identified a problem there are 3 key things you need to know

1. Who you’re writing for (your target audience)

2. What they want (what’s their problem, pain point, desire)

3. How you can help (can you add value, solve their problems)

Think about who you want to serve and clearly define them.

You should have a clear understanding of who your target audience is, and what their problems are.

This will give you a better understanding of how best you can help solve them.

To find out what they’re searching for you need to do

Keyword Research

When it comes to writing blog posts that will get you free traffic, you need to focus on search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is the practice of writing and structuring your posts in a way that makes it easy for search engine bots and users to navigate your site and understand its content.

The key focuses of SEO are keywords and searcher intent.

Keyword research is the process of finding and understanding the search queries that people type into search engines when looking for something.

Keywords are the words or phrases a searcher enters into search engines.

For example, digital marketing.

There are seed or head keywords, and long-tail keywords.

Seed keywords are one or two words (marketing, digital marketing).

Long-tail keywords consist of three or more words ( how to start a digital marketing agency).

The keywords are what you will optimize your posts for.

This means when you write your posts you will add the keyword and its synonyms and phrases throughout your content.

By doing this, Google and other search engines will be able to understand what your content is about and add it to their database to show up on the search engine results page (SERP) when relevant.

This does not mean that you should keyword stuff your posts, or that your post will rank in SERP.

The key to keyword research lies in understanding the intent of the searcher; that is the reason why they are searching.

Beginners Tip: Target long-tail keywords that have low monthly search volumes (20-100). They will be less competitive and easier to rank for in search engines.

There are a number of free and paid keyword research tools that you can use to find keywords. Below is a list of the

Best Keyword Research Tools

These tools will give you a lot of useful information; they’ll even provide you with information on your competitors.

Below are the best keyword research posts that I’ve come across. They are very detailed, so read them if you want to get a better understanding.

Best keyword research guides for beginners

Let’s now turn our attention to

Where To Find Blog Ideas

There are tons of places online to find topics for a blog post.

If you’ve ever heard anyone say they’ve run out of topic ideas, that’s because they’re not looking in the right places.

I’ll even list a few unique places to find blog topic ideas.

Below is a list of places

Where bloggers find content ideas

  • Google search
  • Answer the public
  • Amazon
  • Course selling platforms (Skillshare, Coursera, Edureka, etc)
  • Social platforms (Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, etc)
  • Competitors website

Google Search

One of the first places to check for blog topic ideas is Google.

Head to Google and enter the keyword of your blog and you’ll see some topic ideas show up as you type.

Look at the people also ask section as well and you’ll get more ideas.

Tip: Use the search filters in Google to get more recent ideas.

To access the filters click on ‘Tools’ and then set your time.

You can also get ideas by looking at the news, books, and videos section.

At the bottom of Google page is the related searches, that’s another place to get a few ideas.


Answer the public is another place to get good content ideas.

Type in your keyword and set your preferences if you want.

The cool thing with this site is they show the topics in a nice organized way.


Do you shop on Amazon? I’m guessing you do.

I bet you didn’t know that you can also use it to find great blog topics.

Head over to Amazon and type your keyword in search under the book category.

Select a book that has high ratings.

Check if it has a ‘look inside’ text, then click and check out its table of contents for topic ideas.

Course Selling Platforms

Platforms such as Skillshare, Coursera, Edureka, etc, are great places to get tons of content topics to blog about.

Pick your favorite course platform and type your keyword in the search, select a course and check its ratings.

Then scan through the course curriculum and you’ll find lots of ideas.


This is another good place to find post content ideas

Type your keyword in the search bar and look at the suggested topics that come up as you type.

Also, check out the YouTube video titles and get ideas from there.

Competitors Website

One of the best places to get content ideas is your competitors’ sites.

Checking the site of your competitors will give you an idea of their most popular and best content.

You can use their topics and get ideas to create similar topics for your site.

Be sure to identify a few competitors in your niche so you can see what’s working for them.

Now that you have a list of places to find topic ideas, let’s move on to

Blog Post Structure

When I first began blogging I struggled to write and I procrastinated a lot.

That’s because I lacked something. I lacked structure.

Having a blog post structure gives your content direction, makes it easier to understand, and makes you more productive.

So before you write any blog post, decide what type of post you’re going to write and then outline your post.

There are a number of different blog post types. Below are some of the

Most common types of blog posts

  • How to ( provides information on how to do something)
  • Listicles (provides information in a list format)
  • Expanded list (provides information in the list within a list format)
  • Ultimate guides (provides detailed information)
  • Interviews
  • Trends and news
  • Case studies

After deciding your post type, it’s time to create an outline for your post.

The outline of your blog post will help you to have a clear focus on what to write about.

You won’t waste a lot of time staring at your pc trying to figure out what to write.

With that said, let’s take a look at the anatomy of a post.

Every blog post you write should have the following elements.

1. Title/Headline

2. Introduction

3. Subeadings that make up the body. It should include text, images, media, etc.

4. Conclusion

5. Call to action

Now that you know the parts of a post, it’s time to write and optimize your content.

How To Write And Optimize A Post

Creating a new post is easy. Log into your WordPress dashboard and follow the directions in the images below.

create a new post


As you begin to write you should optimize your content with your keyword and their synonyms and phrases.

h1 title

If you’ve installed and activated the Yoast SEO plugin, you will see the Yoast section at the bottom of your post’s writing page.

The first thing you should do is ensure that your keyword is in your title.

yoast focus keyphrase

Meta Description and URL

You should include your keyword in the URL and meta description.

The image below represents how your post will appear in search results.

The highlighted section is the part you see at the end of my title.

Those can be removed. I only use my separator and title.

The slug area is where you’ll put the keyword or phrase of your post.

For example, my title is ‘how to create a post’ I leave it as my focus keyphrase because that is the long-tail keyword I want to rank for.

Your URL should not be a long one.

I would use a short version of my focus keyphrase.

For example, create a post.

I could also leave it as ‘how to create a post’ since it’s not very long.

The meta description area is where you’ll put a description of your post.

That’s the part that will appear in search results under your URL and title.

Highlight important points and be sure to use your keyword/phrase. Make it good enough to grab the scroller’s attention.

Yoast SEO analysis

The Yoast plugin is powerful, it analyses your post as you write and lets you know where you’re going wrong.

Red circles represent things you need to fix and the green ones mean those are ok.


The readability feature is also very powerful.

It lets you know when your sentences are not flowing, if they’re too long or too passive, etc.

Use the plugin to guide you as you create your post.

It’s ok if you don’t get all the circles green, but try to get as many of them as you can.

Once you’re done creating your post, set the category, tag, and featured image, and then publish.

publishing a post

You don’t have to do anything to the permalink, it’s the URL slug that you’ve already set.

Remember we created categories earlier, but you can also add new categories from the area shown in the image.

You can also add tags, to make your content easier to find by readers.

The featured image is what would show up next to your title when displayed or below your title in the post if you select that option.

This is just a quick walk-through of how to optimize your content.

I covered how to optimize a post in great detail in a recent article.

Click the link to go to the detailed section on how to optimize your content.

Before you begin to promote your website try to have at least 10 posts written.

If you’re unable to write the content yourself, you can hire me to write and optimize your content for you.

Optionally, you can outsource it to freelancers on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.

How To Write A Post Key Take-Aways

1. Find a problem you can solve and write about it.

2. There are lots of places to find blog post ideas.

3. Do keyword research to understand the intent of the searcher.

4. Go after long-tail keywords. They are easier to rank for.

5. Determine which type of post you’re gonna write.

6. Make sure your post has a title, introduction, body, conclusion, and a call to action.

7. Write your introduction after you’ve written the main content of your post.

8. Use the Yoast SEO plugin as a guide and optimize your post.

That brings us to the end of this section.

Did you get value from it?

Just type ‘value’ in the comment if you did.

Now on to the hard part

How To Promote A Blog Post

Promoting is all about getting the word out about your business and driving as many visitors as possible to your site.

There are a number of different ways to do so and I’m gonna cover most of them here.

Below is a highlight of what will be discussed in this section.

1. SEO (technical, on-page, off-page, and content).

2. SEM.

3. Pinterest.

4. Link-building techniques to get backlinks.

Once you’ve written 5-10 exceptional blog posts, it’s time to start promoting your site.

But, how do you do that?

Well, there are two methods of promoting a business and each method has different techniques.

1. SEO

2. SEM

What is SEO?

When it comes to writing blog posts that will get you free traffic, you need to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO is using organic promotional methods such as guest blogging, and other link-building strategies to rank on Google and drive traffic to your blog.

SEO is the practice of writing and structuring your posts in a way that makes it easy for search engine bots and users to navigate your site and understand its content.

With SEO, marketers gain traffic organically by optimizing four main areas of their website.

1. Technical SEO: makes sure that your site is crawlable, user-responsive, and can be indexed.

2. On-Page SEO: focuses on the ease of use, and readability of your content for both search engines and visitors.

3. Off-Page SEO: focuses on building links to your site, so that you can be considered an authority in your niche.

4. Content Writing: this is strictly about the searcher and creating content that satisfies their query. The key focus of content SEO is keywords and searcher intent.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which is also sometimes referred to as Pay Per Click (PPC) is using paid methods to appear on the results page.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram advertising are all under the SEM umbrella.

SEM is a quick and effective way of boosting traffic to a business.

As a beginner, you probably won’t have a budget for paid traffic, so your best option would be to focus on gaining organic/ free traffic.

The easiest way to promote a blog as a beginner is by creating well-optimized content and using Pinterest and link-building tactics to attract visitors.

So your first step to gaining free traffic is by writing high-quality, valuable content and optimizing it for your audience.

Once you’ve published the content to your blog, head to Canva, create some beautiful pins, and start pinning on Pinterest.

Let’s take a closer look at

What Pinterest Is and How It Works

Pinterest is a visual search engine that uses pins.

People create pins on platforms like Canva, PicMonkey, etc, and then upload them to Pinterest and add keyword-rich descriptions and alt text to them.

How Pinterest Works

When you type a search query in Pinterest and you find a pin that you like, you create relevant boards and add the pins to them so you can return to them later.

It’s kinda like tagging, bookmarking, or adding to your favorite list.

Steps to getting started on Pinterest

1. Create a Pinterest account.

2. Convert it to a business account.

3. Create keyword-focused boards that are relevant to your niche.

4. Write keyword-focused descriptions for each board.

5. Create pins for each board.

6. Give your pins keyword description and alt text.

7. Pin each pin to its relevant board.

Create new pins and pin consistently and your traffic will increase.

Beginners Tip: Start with Pinterest from the day you publish your first post. Do not delay and PIN EVERY DAY.

Other social media platforms do work but Pinterest works the fastest and it’s the easiest way for a new blogger to get traffic to their site.

Try not to focus on too many social platforms at the same time, you should choose one or two to begin with and stick to them.

Now let’s take a look at

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back (backlinks) to your site.

Backlinks help to increase your search engine ranking.

The more authoritative sites you have linking to your website’s content, the more valuable Google will think your content is and as a result, the higher your site will be ranked in search results.

Links are extremely important if you want to rank in search engine results. This is one step that cannot and should not be skipped.

Link building requires you to have high-quality content. This way you can get sites with great domain authority to link back to your content.

There are a number of ways to acquire backlinks to your site. Below are a few ways on

How to get backlinks

1. Submit to blog directories such as Blog Flux Directory.

2. Find link roundups.

3. Join forums and Q&A platforms.

4. Join social platforms and participate in groups.

5. Sign up to help a reporter out (HARO).

6. Guestpost on high authority sites.

Blog Directories

Blog directories are websites that categorize and list blog posts.

Some blog directories have thousands of monthly readers, this can boost your site’s traffic.

When you submit your content, if it’s approved they will list your post under a relevant category based on its content.

This is an easy way to obtain backlinks.

For a list of some of the best blog directories refer to the following articles.

10+ Blog Directories Actually Worth Your Time by Blogpress

Blog Directories by Love to Know

Link Roundups

Link roundups are daily, weekly, or monthly collections of some of the best content in a particular category.

There are different roundups for each industry.

Link roundup sites curate lists of the best content so their readers can get the most value.

How to find link roundups?

You can find link roundups by using search strings or search operators. Below is a list of search operators to help you find link roundup sites.

  1. “Keyword” + “link roundup”
  2. “Keyword” + “weekly roundup”
  3. “Keyword” + inurl:roundup
  4. “Keyword” + intitle:roundup
  5. “Keyword” + best blogs of the week

Simply replace ‘keyword’ with your specific keyword, for example, “marketing” + “link roundup”.

For an in-depth guide to link roundups check out the article below.

The Link Builder’s Guide to Securing “Link Roundups” by Webris

Forums and Q&A Platforms

Join forums and Q & A platforms and leave helpful answers and comments.

Forums and Q & A platforms have people seeking answers to queries daily, if you can answer some of them and provide value, then that will help to build your credibility.

Social Platforms and Group Commenting

Social media is another powerful way to gain traffic to your site.

You have to figure out which platforms you want to promote on, and what type of content works best for your audience. Start off with 2 or 3 platforms.

Group commenting is a great way of building trust and showing authority once you’re able to provide value.


HARO is a platform where journalists seek answers/ information to help with articles they’re writing.

They have hundreds of requests daily. Sign up and scan through the category that is relevant to your niche and find questions that you can provide an answer to.

Once you’ve found a question you can answer, reach out to the reporter.

Below is a press release article that tells you the best way to use HARO.

PR Lesson: The Secret to Responding to a ‘Help a Reporter Out’ Query by Amy George

Guest Posting

Guest posting is also called guest blogging. It is the process of writing blog posts for other people’s websites.

The goal of guest posting is to get a link back from their site to yours.

You should write guest posts that are relevant to your industry.

For a deeper dive into guest posting read the articles below.

What is Guest Blogging? by Elizabeth Burnam.

What is a Guest Post? A Short and Simple Guide by Reputation X.

Most people would say that email marketing is a great way to promote a website, however, this is not true for beginners.

As a beginner, you don’t have a list and that’s why email marketing would not apply to you at this stage.

How To Promote A Post Key Take-Aways

1. SEO is a way to gain organic/free traffic to your site.

2. SEM is using paid advertising to drive traffic.

3. The quickest and easiest way for a newbie to gain website traffic is by creating optimized content and using Pinterest to drive traffic to it.

4. Link building helps with ranking. Google considers a site credible if it has authoritative sites linking to it.

5. Use link-building tactics such as guest posting, HARO, link roundups, blog directories, and Q & A platforms to acquire backlinks.

6. Social media is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website.

Now that you know how to promote your content, it’s time to analyze and track your promotion efforts.

This brings us to our next section

Website Tracking and analytics

Your content is out there and people are visiting your site, that’s exciting news!

But, do you know where they’re coming from or what they’re doing on your site?

That’s where tracking and analytics come in.

Tracking and analytics give you an understanding of your site’s performance, users, and what’s working as well as what’s not working.

It gives you the opportunity to improve the areas that aren’t working.

There are a number of free and paid tracking tools that will give you valuable website data.

Different tracking tools allow you to track different website metrics. Some important metrics that you need to track are the website’s performance, traffic, and user behavior.

The most popular and free tracking tool is Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

There is also a Google Search Console that allows you to see how your site is performing in search engine results.

With these insights, you can monitor and improve your site’s performance and visibility.

The easiest way to access the Google search console and analytics is to connect to Google Site Kit from your WordPress dashboard.

Once you have a Google account you can connect your website to the Google Site Kit.

Google Site Kit gives you easy access to Analytics, Search Console, Adsense, and Tag Manager.

From your WordPress dashboard select the Site Kit tab.

To set up the Site Kit, follow the images below.

Other web analytics tools are Crazyegg, Hotjar, User Testing, Act-On, and Google Optimize.

With everything in place for your new blogging business, it’s time to find out the most exciting part!

How Bloggers Make Money

This is the part that every new blogger is most interested in.

To make money blogging or in any online business, you have to SELL something.

Yep, it’s not a typo.

You have to sell either products or services, or a combination of both.

You can sell products or services for either yourself or someone else.

For example, you can become an Amazon affiliate and make money selling their products.

The ways in which entrepreneurs monetize their blog or online business are:

1. Freelancing

2. Affiliate programs

3. Display Ads

4. Sponsored Content

5. High-End Freelancing (courses, coaching, consulting, and memberships)


As a beginner blogger, the easiest way for you to monetize your blog is by freelancing your skills or experience.

Freelancing is when you trade your skill/talent and time for money.

If you’ve got a skill, work experience, degrees/qualifications, or testimonials in a particular field then you are one step ahead of many newbies.

You can get paid by offering your services in that area for whatever fee you choose.

For example, let’s say you’re good at designing graphics, then you could target audiences that need graphics created for their business.

The best part about freelancing is that you get paid when you decide, whether that is before you start the job or after.

You can learn more about freelancing in this guide.

If you have no skills or experience, don’t get discouraged because you can make money online with no experience.

Bloggers make money by marketing affiliate products.

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is the second-best way for a new blogger to make money.

It is easier and more profitable than freelancing but because it requires a decent amount of traffic I listed it as second-best.

Affiliate marketing is when you promote products/services on behalf of a company or person in exchange for a commission.

The payment may be a flat one-time fee or a percentage of each sale. Some programs even offer recurring monthly payments.

To get started with affiliate marketing you can either apply to a company directly or join an affiliate network.

To learn more about affiliate networks read this guide.

After your site has gained some traffic you can apply to ad networks.

Display Ad Networks

Display ads are the third easiest way bloggers make money online.

I say third because the best paying ad networks require your site to have a minimum number of monthly impressions before they’ll even consider your site.

Even though some ad networks don’t have a monthly minimum, they won’t approve the application if your site doesn’t have good traffic.

The bright side is that once you’ve been approved it can make a good addition to your monthly income.

You get paid for displaying ads on your site per click or per impression.

Pay-per-click (PPC) means you get paid whenever someone clicks on an ad on your site.

Pay-per-impression (PPI) means you get paid for every 1000 views an ad receives.

The most popular ad networks are:

1. Google Adsense


3. Ezoic: requires at least 10,000 monthly impressions

4. Mediavine: requires at least 50,000 monthly impressions

5. Adthrive: requires at least 100,000 monthly impressions

Sponsored Content

Creating sponsored content is another way that bloggers generate income from their blogs.

Sponsored content is content that you create and post on your blog for a company.

Sometimes a company may ask you to mention their product or service in one of your top-performing articles.

If your blog is popular enough, companies will seek you out. If your blog is not so popular, you’ll have to hunt these sponsorship opportunities yourself.

You can find sponsorship through influencer/sponsored networks.

Some popular sponsored networks are:

Before approaching any company about sponsored content make sure you have a lot of traffic going to your site.

Finally, you can make money blogging by doing

High-End Freelancing

Your own digital and physical products, coaching, consulting, influencer, and membership/subscription sites are what I call high-end freelancing.

These products and services are created or done by you.

Digital products include courses, eBooks, audios, etc.

Physical products can be anything you create or purchase to resell such as DIY crafts, e-commerce store/ dropshipping products, etc.

You can make money as a blogger doing one-on-one or group coaching or consulting.

There’s no shortage of ways to make money online whether you choose a blog or an e-commerce store

The Wrap On How To Start A Blog

Creating a website is easy.

Starting a blog and turning it into a profitable blogging business takes some time and work.

Anyone can start a blog. You just need to choose a niche and find problems you can solve.

This guide has provided you with all the information you need to set up a website, start your own blogging business and make money online.

If you’re ready to start a blog now, just choose any of the following hosting companies to get started.

Most affordable hosting: Hostinger and Namecheap.

Best hosting: Hostgator and Bluehost.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this guide are affiliate links and I will get a small commission if you use them and complete a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.

You can download the PDF version of this guide below, so you can refer to it anytime.

how to start a blog guide

I hope it serves you well. It was a pleasure writing it for you.

If you got value from this guide, please share it, tweet it, or pin it.

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