Last Updated on November 2, 2020 by Anant Vijay Soni
Want to start a blog? If you’re new to blogging and need inspiration on starting a blog, this is an ultimate guide that will show you every step you need to take in order to start a blog successfully.
Blogging is a fantastic activity that can help you show your expertise to the world, and connect with like minded people, but starting can be tricky.
I wrote this guide here because starting a blog is simple, but It’s not easy, otherwise, everyone would do it. You need to do it right and take every step carefully in order to launch a successful blog that YOU can use today.
This massive 4000+ word guide is dedicated to everyone of you who want to take action today, and start their own blog. It will definitely push you in the right direction.
WHAT THIS GUIDE WILL TEACH YOU?
It will teach you everything, and answer some of the questions like:
- How to start a successful blog?
- Why blogging?
- How to grow your blog faster?
- Why blog on WordPress.org?
- How to show your expertise to the world?
- Why SEO is important?
- How to do SEO for your blog?
- Can we make money from Blogging?
- How to make money blogging?
- And more…
Hello, I’m Anant Vijay Soni, that’s me on the right. I started my first blog back in Jun 2016 with the intention of making money online, and now two and half years later blogging is my life.
Blogging is what I love, I think of and I do on a daily basis. To read my full story, go to About me page.
Whether you want to start a blog to promote your business or you just want to share whatever you’re passionate about with an audience, this post will show you all the steps you need to take on starting a blog successfully.
Are you ready? Let’s begin!
Why To Blog?
People still ask me that is blogging important for their business or anything they do in their life, so I’d like to start with a few reasons why blogging is important and why you should start it today.
A blog is a place where you can share your thoughts on a specific topic and connect with like-minded people who are interested in what you do.
I started off this blog with 0 readers, but it quickly grew. Now everyone who visits my blog is interested in BLOGGING, and they connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Today blogging has connected me with thousands of like-minded people who love what I love.
Blogging has given me an opportunity to establish myself as an expert and helped me build authority in my field by sharing legitimate advice and by helping people through blogging.
Blogging is one of the best ways to make money online, but make sure that you blog about a topic you’re passionate about and don’t just blog for money.
Keep in mind that a blogger’s job is to do the work at first, and serve the needs of your audience. If you do blogging with full passion and potential, you’ll, of course, make money doing it.
It’s a lot of fun sharing your ideas and advice on a topic you’re interested in others. Isn’t it?
Enough of the potentials of blogging tough, now let me show you how to blog!
Ultimate Guide to Start a Blog on WordPress
This is definitely a long guide. In order to make it easy for you to go navigate through all the information on starting a blog, here’s the list of 20 tips and advice you can go through this long.
- Planning a Blog
- Choose a perfect blog topic
- Choose a good domain name
- Get a hosting
- Get on the Right Blogging Platform
- Set up WordPress
- Choose a WordPress theme
- Install Necessary WordPress plugins
- Secure your WordPress blog
- Start writing and improve your writing skills
- Include images in your posts
- Do basic things to improve your blog
- Network with other bloggers
- Learn SEO to improve your blog
- Go global with Guest Posting
- Leave comments on other blogs
- Be open minded
- Come up with blog post ideas
- Pay attention to your readers
- Learn every aspect of Blogging with Guide and News
This is the top 20 tips and advice with absolutely everything you need to know about starting a blog successfully.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in the details of it.
♦ Planning a Blog
Successful blogs always create a blog plan, and It’s important to give your blog a path to follow.
Unlike most of the bloggers who blog randomly and hope for success, successful bloggers always know what they should do to get what they want.
They always outline the strategies, propose the tactics, and list the tasks to be done to achieve their goals. In other words, they plan to succeed.
⊕ Planning will help in:
- Getting your blog on the right track
- Finding your blog’s voice
- Determining your goals
- Building authority and trust
- Anticipating the challenges and risks
♦ Choose a perfect blog topic
“The journey of thousand miles starts with one step”
Similarly, your blogging journey starts with the right topic selection and choosing the perfect topic for your blog will decide whether you fail or succeed online.
People will only read your blog If you write quality and useful articles on a specific topic that serves their needs, so how could you write a quality article on a topic you don’t have any knowledge on.
One of the common mistakes bloggers are making these days is that they aren’t blogging for a particular group of people and writing about too many topics on their blog which is confusing their readers.
Make it clear who the blog is for, say to a particular group of people, and target the specific audience.
⊕ Few topics to choose a topic for your blog
- Internet Marketing
- Social Networking & Media
- Web Design
- Personality Development
⊕ There are many tips to avoid choosing the wrong blog topic
- Don’t choose a topic that is popular but you know nothing about
- Avoid choosing a topic you see others are making money with
- Do not choose a topic that someone else recommended it to you
♦ Choose a good domain name
A domain name is your blog’s address on the web, like www.YourBlog.com.
A good domain name that makes people easier to find you is the first and most important step of being a successful blogger.
Domain name plays a huge role in your internet presence and It is the key to success in blogging or any other online business.
Forget yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.wordpress.com. Get your own personal domain name for your blog that must be brandable, SEO friendly, and user-friendly. See the ultimate guide on how to choose a domain name.
♦ Get a web hosting
If you’ve registered a good domain name for your blog, now you need to find the best web hosting service.
Web hosting is known as “space” on the web to put your blog files, images, articles, and theme, etc.
There are millions of web hosting companies on the internet offering different packages according to the needs of the customer.
It is a very daunting task for a newbie to find a perfect web hosting service because there are a lot of things to consider before choosing a web hosting service, with that keeping in mind I have written a guide on how to choose a web hosting service that will help you to decide on the best hosting service.
⊕ Recommended Hosting:
My choice is Hostgator for the easiest install and It is the best hosting service for WordPress bloggers. If you’ve any doubt, read my ultimate Hostgator review for WordPress bloggers where I’ve shared pros & cons, all features of Hostgator that make it different from other hosting providers.
♦ Get on the Right Blogging Platform
The most common question comes in mind when starting blogging is “where to blog?”
There are a lot of blogging platforms you can start with like Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad, Posterous, etc, but you will benefit more from WordPress.org
If you want to be a successful blogger and willing to make money blogging than you need to think about the right blogging platform.
A couple of months ago I discussed this topic briefly on which blogging platform to choose which can help you through the process of choosing the right blogging platform.
If you start with WordPress.org, you’ll get:
- Easy to customize themes and designs to make your blog look however you want
- Your own domain name without blogspot.com, .tumble or .typepad
- Easy setup and use
- Access to premium themes, just like NewsPaper and WordPress Blog Themes
- Plugins feature which is a lifesaver
- Unlimited ways to make money blogging
- Improved SEO
- Massive support from real expert people
It’s easier to launch a blog on WordPress.org than It seems to be. The process is just to choose a hosting plan, register a domain name and install your WordPress blog.
♦ Set up WordPress
If you’ve been here for any amount of time, you might know that I suggest everyone blog on Self Hosted WordPress (WordPress.org), because there’s a lot of reasons for this.
WordPress powers 22% of all websites worldwide and as of 2020 is the most popular blog software.
I’ve already shared some tips on how to install a WordPress from Cpanel on your hosting in my post I’ve linked above which says “Which blogging platform to choose”, so now the next step is to set up a WordPress blog after install.
Now If you’ve registered a domain name and selected the best hosting service, It’s time to go through some steps that are essential to perform to fully set up your WordPress blog.
- Manage author: After installing your WordPress blog, you need to remove the default admin account for better security and create a new account making yourself the administrator. After removing the default account, go to your WordPress dashboard, click on Users > Add News and fill out the form.
- Change the permalinks: The default posts permalink in freshly installed WordPress blogs is like https://www.anantvijaysoni.in?p=420 which is too annoying. In order to make it SEO and user-friendly, you need to change it to something like https://www.anantvijaysoni.in/starting-a-blog. You can go to Setting > Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard to make these changes.
- Set up general settings: Navigate to your WordPress dashboard, click on Settings > General and fill out the form of general settings correctly. If you need help in setting up the general settings of your WordPress blog, leave your question in the comments!
- Upload and activate your theme: If you’ve found a theme for your blog and want to install it, go to the Appearance > Themes > Install theme. Upload your theme and activate it.
I know there are a lot of other useful steps that I’ve missed which should be taken to successfully set up a WordPress blog. If you got another one, add a comment!
♦ Choose a WordPress Theme
Selecting a perfect WordPress theme is a frustrating process for almost every newbie blogger.
When It comes to WordPress themes, there are two types of WordPress themes: free WordPress themes and premium WordPress themes.
The first process is to decide you want to use a free theme or a premium theme.
Free themes are really great just because they’re FREE, so If you want to consider your blog as a business and you want to make money from your blog then you need to spend money on premium themes.
If you want to start a personal blog to explore your interest, you can use a free theme provided by WordPress, but If you consider your blog as a business and you’re serious about this BLOGGING this, you should spend money on premium ones.
⊕ Pick a theme related to your topic or industry
The most important step in choosing a perfect theme is that you should find a theme related to your blog niche. e.g. If you have a news-related blog then a Newspaper type WordPress theme is a perfect theme for you or if you have a photography-related blog then find a perfect theme that suits your blog content.
If you’re having trouble choosing a theme for your blog, you probably want to read my guide on how to choose a WordPress theme.
♦ Install the necessary WordPress plugins
Plugins are blog add-ons that do a lot of things for your WordPress blog, like show popular posts, social sharing buttons and related posts, etc. There is a plugin for any WordPress feature you can think of.
There are approximately 55,247 plugins in the WordPress plugins directory at a time of writing this which makes it quite difficult to discover the beneficial addition to your blog.
WordPress has proven Itself a dependable bogging platform due to It’s easy to use and install, that is the reason I’m madly in love with WordPress.
If you’ve just started a blog with WordPress and you aren’t familiar with useful WordPress plugins to use, here’s the list of some of my favorite WordPress plugins:
- Akismet: Protects your blog from spam comments.
- Yoast SEO: Best plugin to handle SEO concerns of your blog.
- Social share Icon: The plugin to show social sharing buttons in your posts, see below!
- YARPP: Shows related posts, see below!
- XML Sitemaps: Allows you to create XML sitemaps easily and quickly.
- Broken Link Checker: Notifies you about broken links and missing images on your blog content.
- Login Lockdown: A must-have WordPress plugin to secure your WordPress blog.
- WordPress Popular Posts: A simple plugin to show popular posts widget on the sidebar, check out mine on the right.
Have I missed any other useful WordPress plugin? Let me know with your comment below!
- 20 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for your Blog
- Top 10 SEO WordPress Plugins for Your Blog
- Top 10 Best Anti-Spam WordPress Plugins
♦ Secure your WordPress blog
It scares everyone If someone hacked their blog, especially when they spent hours building their blog.
If your blog was a target of a rookie hacker, honing his skills to make it to the big league? All of the hard work you put on your bog, hundreds of hours you spent on building your blog, growing your traffic and readership would be lost forever.
If you want to run a serious blog then you must, however, take the security of your blog very seriously. With that keeping in mind, I’ve written about some WordPress security tips to help you secure your blog.
♦ Start writing and improve your writing
Write the best articles you can. It is no doubt that effective writing is a blessing for a blogger and people will love to read your content If they like your writing style.
You need to engage your readers, encourage conversations, make them enjoy, and keep them interested in your writing skills. If you’re going to say what everyone else is saying, don’t bother saying it because you’ll sound stale and trite. Read my post on how to improve your writing skills.
Keep in mind that great content matters so much and every new visitor to your blog will subscribe If they see your content is useful, so share your experience and know-how and publish it.
♦ Include images in your posts
See how many images I used in this post? Doesn’t it look good?
I know it does, even an image is enough to spice up a blog post.
I always use images on each of my blog posts because I know the power of it.
Images give the reader a chance to click through that post even If they don’t want to and having an image to your blog posts will improve the look and design of your blog and make it more appealing, so always find good and catchy images in your blog posts.
♦ Urgent tasks to do after blog launch
Now If you’ve launched your blog by reading the guide above, It’s time to the post-launch period, isn’t it?
So here are some critical must-dos for you and your newly launched blog.
- Change your theme: It’s quite easy to change the theme of your blog. Go to appearance > Themes > Install Themes > Upload and then find your theme. You can search for free themes, or you can browse premium themes, like NewsPaper and WordPress Blog Themes which I’ve used for about 2 years.
- Create an about me page: Write an everlasting about me page immediately after your blog launch. If a reader is curious about what your blog covers, they’ll read the about me page to find out more. If It’s missing, they’re gone.
- Allow visitors to subscribe via email: Let your visitors subscribe to your blog via email and for newbies, Feedburner may be a great option, but many people still don’t know how to use it. Email is a preferred way to subscribe to content, so make sure not to neglect it.
- Sign up for Google Analytics: Google analytics will help you to track your visitors check the traffic stats of your blog. Analytics offers a wealth of data that can improve your blog.
- Verify your blog in Google webmaster tools: Verify your blog in Google webmaster tools and let Google send traffic to your blog and tell you what to improve on your blog.
- Build a sitemap for your blog: Build a sitemap for your blog to allow the search engines to easily find and index your blog archives. Google XML Sitemaps is a great WordPress plugin to build a sitemap for your blog.
♦ Network with other bloggers
I’ve written tons of articles on my blog about the importance of relationship building and why It’s important for bloggers.
According to me, It’s one of the best strategies to grow a blog because no matter what niche you’re in, you have to build a community of people related to what you do on your blog.
I’ve making an effort to responding to every comment on my blog because the interaction is what’s important. The long term goal of mine is to build a huge community on my blog, build authority and credibility. It’s time-consuming, but It’s a lot of fun too. Below are a few ways to network with other bloggers and build a relationship with them:
- Get on social media: You want to be where other bloggers and your readers are, these days people are on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and few other socializing platforms.
- Comment on other blogs: Commenting on other blogs in your niche is one of the best ways to connect and build a relationship with them. It can bring in lots of benefits if used widely.
- Join blogging communities: Blogging communities are where all blogging elites hang out and few of the best blogging platforms which you should join are Warrior Forum, Blog Engage, BloKube, and Bizsugar.
♦ Learn SEO to improve your blog
You might already know the importance of SEO (search engine optimization). Without having sufficient knowledge about SEO, you cannot be a successful blogger at all.
SEO had become a large part of blogger’s lives and If you want to make money out of your blog, than you have to learn the SEO strategies, tips, and techniques to get organic traffic on your blog from search engines.
Nowadays, the Internet itself is a treasure of information about SEO as information are shared widely and most frequently, so you don’t need to go anywhere and to spent money to learn SEO.
I’m also a learner of SEO and I’m still researching and cannot entitle myself as an optimizer, but I know what has worked for me and what haven’t, so I shared them on my post on SEO tips where I’ve written all you need to know about SEO and top 10 SEO optimization tips to get 1st rank on Google.
♦ Go global with Guest Posting
If you think you can blow up by just starting a blog and writing on your own blog, sadly It doesn’t work like this.
Smart bloggers write all around the globe to get their name out there.
Guest posting is one of the best and most effective ways of connecting with other bloggers, getting traffic, and backlinks from other reputable blogs.
Guest posting is when you write an article for another blog in your niche. At first It may seem like volunteering for the competition, but actually helps you both in the long run.
Guest posting will help you get yourself on those circles where the blogging elite hangs out. Practically this is the easiest way to build connections while allowing others to see you as an expert on the subject. See how guest posting on other sites can help new bloggers.
♦ Leave comments on other blogs
If there’s one piece of advice for building traffic to a blog for newbie bloggers more than any other, It is about leaving comments on other blogs.
Through commenting on other blogs, you’ll be reaching out to other bloggers in your niche and It is the start of fruitful relationships.
So, whenever you found something interesting to read, leave meaningful comments, bookmark blogs in your niche and revisit them regularly to build a relationship with the blog owner.
Leaving comments on other blog has a lot of benefits if used widely. Read 5 things I did to increase my blog comments.
♦ Be open minded
Be open minded, and always be on the lookout for new things that can help you improve your blog.
You need to be experienced in order to take your blog in the right direction, and experience comes by trying, by learning new things and by being open minded.
It’s good to collect as much information as you can collect and increase your knowledge of blogging and your niche.
Read other blogs in your niche, exchange experiences and write guest posts for each other and so on. Always try to be a learner and improve your blog.
♦ Come up with blog post ideas
There are times when bloggers don’t feel of writing and they feel their mind is empty of ideas to write on their blog.
Everyone runs out of things to write on their blog and this is one of the biggest challenges every blogger will face.
What to do in this case? Well, what you need is an inspiration and you don’t have to force it out.
Read as much as you can, take notes and get inspiration and ideas for your future blog posts. Read my post on 10 ways for finding blog post ideas.
♦ Pay attention to your readers
Do anything of the blue to acknowledge your readers, show them that you value them, connect with them on social media, highlight them to your other readers and convert first time visitors into returning readers.
You should strive to build loyal readership for your blog because the money comes automatically when you’ve targeted traffic and loyal readers and subscribers on your blog.
Build loyal readership first and than convert those readers in customers and make money from your blog, That is one of the best ways to make money blogging.
♦ Learn every aspect of Blogging with Me
Anantvijaysoni.in, aka Guide for The Blogging community, is a very cool community of bloggers where you’ll learn tips, tricks, and strategies that can help you grow your blog.
I’ve written hundreds of articles on the strategies to help bloggers, so If you’re new here, brew a cup of coffee and start by reading my welcome post that I’m sure will convince you to stay around.
Aside from bookmarking this blog, there are certainly other ways to keep in touch.
If you want to get the best of the blogging community then subscribe to my email list, and I’ll send you an email twice or thrice a week with most interesting tips on Blogging and internet marketing, etc.
Sound cool huh?
♦ Further reading to really power up your blog
Now If you’ve launched your blog, congrats! It’s time to get to work by reading these posts.
- How to secure your WordPress blog
- Top SEO optimization tips to get 1st rank on Google
- How to get indexed by Google fast
- 11 Killer Tips and Tricks for Successful Blogging
- How to convert first time visitors into returning readers
- Get your blog on the right track
- And more.
⊕ What now?
I hope that you’ve found the post to be helpful one that has given you a complete guide on starting a blog and taking it to the next level.
I love blogging and I think It’s the best way to make money online.
But It’s not easy!
Don’t let people tell otherwise.
I’d like to finish off by saying that I’m here for you, not only as a guide when you begin or continue your blog, but as a friend. So If you have questions regarding any blogging step, ask me by posting a comment below. I’d love to hear from you and answer questions on blogging topics.