How to Start a Blog in 2019: The Ultimate Step by Step Guide
Looking for advice on how to start a blog like the pros?
Setting up a blog only takes a few minutes. And if my 14 years old son did it, there's absolutely no reason why you can't.
It has never been so simple to start a blog from scratch and build a life-changing business around it, thanks to the hundreds of powerful and affordable resources available online.
Things have dramatically changed over the years. The Internet is now ultra competitive because everyone (CEO's, small business owners, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, jobless people, teens, stay at home moms, seniors, etc) want his share of the pie.
They all want (or already have) a blog!
A few years ago, all you needed to do was setting up your blog and start writing short blog posts. After a couple of weeks, traffic and sales would start to pour in.
Well, not today.
Did you know that more than 100,000 new blogs are created every single day? And nearly two million new blog posts are published daily?
How in the world people will find your blog?
Join the 14-Day Blogging Bootcamp Today! It's the most direct route to success...
Join the Free 14-Day Blogging Bootcamp!
That's why I've created this ultimate guide. I'm going to show you the right way to start a blog in today's ultra competitive online environment, even if you have zero experience and a tiny budget.
This is the exact strategy you need to follow in 2019 and beyond if you want to be successful.
I've spend countless hours (backed by many years earning money with my blogs) putting this "Recipe" together.
Not only you're going to learn the most important steps you need to follow before, during and after launching your blog, but you'll also discover everything you need to make sure your blog is a success.
Why should you listen to me?
I created my very first blog from scratch in 2007.
While most online marketers were creating static websites (not blogs) with website builders like Xsitepro, Dreamweaver, NVU, I was already blogging.
It didn't take me long to realize that blogs were powerful traffic and lead generators, and I leveraged the power of blogs and article marketing to earn a nice online income in multiple niches (languages, weight loss, fitness, currency trading and affiliate marketing).
Four years later (in 2011), through a lot of trials and errors, my online business had generated more than $100,000 in sales via my blogs, affiliates and email marketing.
Although the majority of my income was from affiliate marketing, I've also sold my own ebooks, courses and membership sites.
Hundreds of beginners (including many of my closest offline friends, and now my children) followed my guidance and step-by-step roadmap to build their online business from their blog from scratch.
In fact, way before I came online, back in 2000, I've built a highly profitable six-figure real brick and mortar business in the food market: "Pizza King".
Lastly, I have a college degree in commercialization strategies.
I understand what it takes to launch a successful blog that build trust and loyal followers.
If you are serious about starting a blog that pays the bills, I've got you covered.
I've created a TOC to give you a better experience, because it's a very long, in-depth guide.
I suggest you bookmark or pin this page so you can come back to it later. My goal is to make this tutorial the most comprehensive guide on the subject. I will constantly update it.
How to Start a Blog: The Ultimate Step by Step Guide
Below you'll find the exact steps you should follow for starting a blog.
Before you start your blog, you'll need the three main ingredients below:
1. Choose a topic for your blog
2. Choose a great domain name
3. Get a reliable web host (I use and recommend SiteGround Hosting)
1. Choose a topic for your blog
This step is critical. Yet for most people, this step is the last.
Listen up, before everything, you absolutely need to understand the correct blogging formula.
A Hungry Market > Your Blog > Your Offers = Profits
You find a market with a strong desire or problem searching for a solution, then you write for this market and present them a solution (the offer). This is how bloggers make money.
Most bloggers fail because they never get it.
But it won't happen to you.
Now, let's answer three important questions:
Question 1: Should I be an expert on the topic?
No, you don’t have to be an expert (yet). All you need for now is knowing more about your topic than the average beginner.
Question 2: Should I blog about about a topic I'm passionate about?
Look, you want to pick a topic that you enjoy. This will make a big difference in the long run, you'll avoid blog burnout, your interest in the subject will shine, you'll enjoy your life and your audience will enjoy reading your blog.
Please note that when I say "a topic you enjoy", that doesn't necessarily mean "your passion". It can be a topic you are good at, something you enjoy doing/talking about or a topic you'd like to know more about.
One of my very first blogs was in the Forex market, and guess what?
I wasn't passionate about Forex trading at all. I just wanted to learn more about currency trading. I grew my Forex blog as I was learning, and I made many affiliate commissions in that market.
Saying that, if you find a topic you are passionate about and you "Validate" it (I teach you how to do that below), then by all means, go for it.
It will probably be a huge success.
Question 3: What are the most profitable niches?
Great question. Any niche in these three big markets should be profitable.
- Health & Fitness
- Wealth / Money
These are also great: Hobbies & Interests
As you probably guessed, not all niches are created equals. Obviously, the (Wealth / Money) market has a bigger overall income potential than over markets.
Question 4: What if my niche is saturated?
Don't worry, this is a good thing. The more competitive, the more profitable. If other bloggers are making money, you can too.
You will need to find your unique angle, or if you prefer, your unique voice (I'll teach you how to do that later on).
Here's How to Find your Profitable Niche
What we want to do here is finding a market with a problem (or a strong desire) and deliver the solution (the offer) to that problem.
1. Start BRAINSTORMING Your potential niche
If you are not sure what you should blog about, here is exactly what you need to do:
Write down a list of the following:
These are the topics you can potentially blog about (it should take less than 3 minutes).
- 3 things you are good at (your areas of expertise)
- 3 things you are interested in or enjoy (your passions)
- 3 things you'd like to learn more about
By now, you should have 9 different potential topics.
Please understand that while you may be passionate about a topic, that doesn't necessarily mean there is a hungry market proactively searching for solutions to their problems.
That's why you need to...
2. Conduct Niche Research to validate the topics you brainstormed
Now you are going to find out if there is a market for each of these topics.
Below are the 5 characteristics of an ideal market:
1. They are passionate about your topic.
2. They have a strong desire or urgent problem (that you can solve with an offer).
3. They are actively searching for a solution.
4. They are willing to pay for it.
5. It's evergreen.
What you want to do here is taking one of your 9 potential topics and validate it by finding out if it satisfies the 5 criteria of the ideal market.
Here's how to do it:
A. Look at FB groups and forums (they are passionate)
B. Check Google Monthly Search Volume and Competition (they search)
C. Amazon (they buy)
D. Paid Ads (they buy)
E. Offline Magazines (they buy)
F. Check Google Trends (it's evergreen)
Next, when you completed this exercise, you can compare between the 9 topics and evaluate them to find the best one. It will become your unique blog topic.
You'll find even more details about these niche research and validation steps in an upcoming blog post.
Don't make this complicated. I know it looks scary, but it's pretty simple and straightforward.
2. Select and Register Your Domain Name
At this point, you should have an idea about what blog niche you'll go after.
The next step is to choose and register your domain name.
While it's a pretty simple step, it can be challenging to find the perfect domain name right away (even for experienced bloggers). Plus sometimes, you think about a killer domain name, but you find out it's already taken.
Should that happen, don't stress out.
Below, you'll learn how to easily pick a domain name, where you can buy one, plus a few useful tips, and some mistakes to avoid.
Oh, and if you are brand new to all this...
What Is A Domain Name?
It's your blog's address on the internet (e.g. this blog's domain name is: BloggingLeap.com).
Once you have a domain name, anyone will be able to type your domain name in their browser and access your site from any country.
Why Do You Absolutely Need Your Own Domain Name?
While owning your own domain is not an obligation and some people (mostly hobby bloggers, not blog marketers) just go with a free blog platform and get a domain that they do not own.
Sidenote: I did have two free blogs with blogger.com (they weren't my main blogs), they got decent rankings in Google for longtail keywords, and even payed some of my bills... but that was more than 10 years ago.
I strongly advise against going the free route for blog marketers.
You absolutely need to have a self hosted blog with its own domain name because doing that will give you total control over your business.
Imagine for a minute that you have a free blog with several hundreds visitors a day bringing a nice monthly income, and suddenly, your free platform is taken back from you!
You must think like a real business owner from the beginning. Okay?
How Do I Register My Domain Name?
Follow these two simple steps:
Step 1. Brainstorm and choose your domain name.
Pick a domain name memorable, brandable, short and unique. This will make your blog and business trustworthy.
One of my very first blogs was LearnFrenchExpert.com.
I also recommend you get a .com if possible, but if the name you like is already taken, there's absolutely nothing wrong if you use a .net, .org, or even a .co. Many successful bloggers use those.
Tip: K.I.S.S. Don't use any punctuation, underscores, hyphens "-" or complicated words in your domain. Avoid numbers as well unless it's your company name (e.g. 99designs.com).
To find your great domain name, try any of the seven methods below:
Method 1: The "Made Up Branded" name.
Just invent a name! These names has no real meaning, but we all know these businesses make millions.
E.g. Google.com, Ikea.com, Ebay.com.
Method 2: The "KW" name.
Add one or two niche keywords.
Note: It doesn't really matter if your keyword is in the domain or not to get rankings.
Method 3: The "Mixed" name
Combine two or three words together.
E.g. BloggingLeap.com, NerdFitness.com, SuccessChef.com
Method 4: The "French Touch" name
Add a French word like "Café" for example.
Method 5: The "With Me" name
You take one or two words, and you add your name. Easy.
Method 6: "Prefixes & Suffixes" name
You take a word and add a prefix or suffix.
E.g. Affilorama.com, Shopify.com
Method 7: The "Lazy Branded" name
It's your own name.
Try various combinations until you find a great domain name that you like.
Here are some tips:
Tip: If you are stuck or the domain name you like is no longer available, you can use a domain name generator like Lean Domain Search. That's how I found Bloggingleap.com by the way. I typed blogging in their search bar and it returned hundreds of domain ideas.
Step 2. Check Availability and purchase your domain.
Once you found a great domain name, you'll need to check if it's available, and then, you can to register it with a registrar (an accredited company where you purchase your domain name).
Prices for a .com are between $8-$13/year.
Don't forget to add your credit card on file and choose auto-renew.
Because if you forget to renew your domain name after one year, someone can take it from you, and you'll lose your visitors and all your hard work.
Sidebar: I didn't renew my main blog at mynetmarketingland.com, I let the domain expire in 2012. Now, if I want it, it costs $1,977!
I recommend Namecheap or Godaddy. They are both ICANN accredited trusted registrars. Personally, I prefer Namecheap because of their easier checkout process and user interface, plus overall, they are cheaper than Godaddy.
With Namecheap, you'll get a WHOIS privacy and an integrated email account for free with your domain.
Tip: Do not get web hosting or SSL or anything else from NameCheap. All you should do with them is register your domain (in the next step you'll see how to get a free SSL certificate with SiteGround web hosting).
And don't forget security. You need to lock your domain name in your registrar. Like that, nobody will be able to steal your domain.
Final thoughts: don't spend weeks trying to find the perfect domain name, it can be changed later. Many bloggers start with a name, and sometimes, as they refine their niche or start focusing more on branding, they get a new one and redirect the old domain.
Plus while your domain is important, your content is way more important than your blog name.
Many six-figure blogs have weird names, and that doesn't affect their expert status or income.
That's it, now that you have your own domain name, you need another ingredient to be found on the web: your web hosting...
3. Purchase Web Hosting
What Is Web Hosting?
A web hosting is a service that hosts your website and makes it available to others.
Your web host is your landlord (you pay your "hosting rent" monthly), your domain name is your address and your blog is the house.
You know the postman, right?... Imagine he knows your address (your domain name), but when he actually comes to that address to give you the mail, there's no house there!
Without a web hosting, no one will be able to see your blog. Like your domain name, your web hosting is critical for your business.
While it's the easiest steps in this tutorial, there are some mistakes you absolutely want to avoid if you don't want to regret later down the road...
Which WordPress Hosting I Recommend?
I highly recommend the web host I use for my blogs: SiteGround web hosting.
First, because as a blogger you don't want to pick any web host, but what you need is a high quality, fast and secure WordPress Host . SiteGround is one of the few web host companies that has specialized in hosting WordPress blogs.
I honestly believe it's one of the best place to start for a beginner. When it's the first time you start a blog, you need a tremendous amount of support, and they'll be there for you.
Have a look at these polls from one of the very popular WordPress Facebook Group about the best web hosting company:
Not only SiteGround is often rated #1 in many Facebook polls and recommended by thousands of bloggers, but they are also one of the few web hosting companies recommended by WordPress itself.
You can start a blog with SiteGround for just $3.95/month (paid annually), which is really inexpensive compared to the high quality hosting, fast customer support and high level security they provide, Plus your blog will load very fast, and you'll enjoy a 99.9% uptime.
With a reliable web hosting like SiteGround, you can be assured that your blog will be available online 24/7. In fact, the company was founded in 2004 and today, they host more than 1,800,000 domains worldwide.
And that's not all, you also get daily blog backups and smooth automatic WordPress updates. As an example, they did an awesome job during the major WordPress 5.0 update with the Gutenberg WordPress editor in 2018. It was one of the biggest WordPress update, and they handled it with great professionalism and outstanding support. Note that support and daily backups are critical for your blog's security.
There's another important thing you need to know. With a bad web hosting, your blog will be down sometimes, and your visitors will see a "Not available" message instead of your blog!
This can be really annoying, especially when you drive traffic to your blog with paid ads!
Also, later on, when your blog business grows, you won't need to switch to another more performant web hosting solution because SiteGround grows with you as you do.
A couple of years ago, my main blog got hacked. At first I couldn't believe it happened to me, but it does happen very often online (that's why I talk a lot about security).
When I finally admitted that it wasn't a nightmare and I really got hacked, I contacted my web hosting (I don't remember if it was Bluehost or Hostgator, since I've used these two web hosts at the time) to ask them for a backup.
Imagine how I felt when they replied that they didn't have any backup of my blog! I was paying my bills and living expenses with revenues from that blog.
Don't be a dumb blogger like I was, okay?
The bottom line is that if you want to avoid bad, or slow support, security leaks, downtime and other loading (slow blog) issues. Start your blog with SiteGround. You'll be able to concentrate on your business and avoid a lot of headaches.
Before you purchase your web host, I recommend you purchase at least 12 months of hosting for several reasons:
First, you'll save 60% and get the lowest price of $3.95 per month.
Second, paying for hosting on a monthly basis is a big no no. That would mean that your blog's domain name may expire every single month, and that could lead to many problems if your card expires for example.
Third, your purchase is risk-free 100% guaranteed. If for any reason, you can't continue with them, just cancel within 30 days, and SiteGround with give you a full refund.
Finally, paying one year upfront will actually motivate you to kickstart your online journey and take the blogging leap.
If like me you've run an offline business, you already know that starting your own online business for less than $100 the first year is a steal. I've invested thousands of dollars to buy my Pizzeria in 1999.
Now, I'm going to show you step-by-step how to start a blog with WordPress and SiteGround.
All the links will open in a new tab so you can sign up while you follow the steps in this easy tutorial.
Step 1. First, Click here to go to SiteGround, and select your Plan (save up to 60%).
Click "Get Started" under "Managed WordPress Hosting".
On the next page, Click "Get Plan" under "StartUp".
Note: I recommend the 'GrowBig' plan to my students. but if you are a brand new beginner just getting started online, and just want to test the water, you can definitely go ahead with the 'Startup' option because it has everything you need at your level. If you want to upgrade your plan to "GrowBig" later down the road to add another website, you can do that easily.
However, if you are really serious about your blog business, I strongly recommend that you get the "GrowBig" Plan (I am on GrowBig). You will be able to add as many blogs as you wish, plus you'll get even faster priority technical support (it's already lightning fast with StartUp), and you'll gain access to other Premium features like SiteGround SuperCacher WordPress plugin, free backup restores, and more horse power that'll boost your blog performance even more.
Step 2: Choose Domain: Next, select the box for "I already have a Domain"
Then, enter your domain name in the box and Click Proceed.
Step 3: Enter your account and payment information
Next, select your billing period.
I recommend you pay annually for a total of $47.40. If can afford to pay 3 years for $142.20, it's even better, because you'll lock the low price of $3.95/mth (after the 3 years are over, the regular price of $11.95/mth will apply).
Don’t buy the extra services, you don't need any of these.
Finally, Click "Pay Now"
Congratulations! Your WordPress blog is just One-Click away.
You will then receive a email confirmation from SiteGround with your login.
How To Set Up Your Domain Name On Your Own Server?
When you buy your domain at Namecheap, it will be hosted on their server. So Now, you need to connect your domain to your SiteGround hosting.
You are going to get your DNS at SiteGround, and copy and paste this info in your Namecheap account.
Here's how in 2 easy steps:
1. First, you need to find your domain name server (DNS) on SiteGround.
Go to your User Area > My Accounts > Information & Settings
There, you'll see your Account DNS.
2. Log into your domain registrar (NameCheap) and update your domain's nameservers so that they point to SiteGround.
Click Domain List > Manage
On that page, find the "Nameservers" section, and select "Custom DNS".
Now you simply input the nameservers you got from SiteGround in Steps 1
That's it, you're done!
Tip: It's pretty easy to do, but if for any reason you are still confused or you run into an issue while changing the DNS, just contact SiteGround lightspeed live chat support and they'll take care of you in a heartbeat.
4. Install WordPress (Your Blogging Platform)
Now, you are going to create your very own WordPress blog with SiteGround! I hope you are excited.
WordPress is already preinstalled in your SiteGround account, and all you need to do is to follow these easy steps to complete the wizard.
When you log into your Customer Area for the first time, a pop-up will ask you if you want to Start a new website on your account.
1. Select this option and click on the WordPress button.
Enter your Admin (user) email and a secure Password.
2. Click on the Confirm button.
3. Next, Click Complete Setup.
Congrats! Your new WordPress blog is now up and running.
Now, you can access your blog's Admin dashboard directly with your Admin and Password. You don't need to log into SiteGround to access your blog.
The default login URL for your WordPress dashboard blog is: "Yourdomain.com/wp-login.php". If your domain is SpanishProfesor.com, you'll access your dashboard at: SpanishProfesor.com/wp-login.php
Here's a snapshot of what you can do in your dashboard:
Think of your dashboard as your control panel. You can write, edit or delete your blog posts, change your blog's design (theme), create new pages, add media (images, videos and audios), enable comments on your post, add plugins and much more.
Before you write your first blog post and start promoting your blog to the world, you need to do a couple of things.
Your are going to change the look of your blog with minimal customization, and you'll also need to change the basic settings to increase your overall blog performance.
Don't worry though, you don't need to know how to code or anything like that.
5. Choose a WordPress Theme & Basic Blog Settings
The first thing you should do after your blog is live is getting a great premium theme. Don't worry, you don't need to be a coder or anything like that to get a great blog design.
A great looking premium theme usually costs between $30-$150. If you are on a tight budget, you can definitely start with one of the countless free themes available at WordPress.org.
Some of these free themes look pretty good and you'll be able to switch to a paid WordPress theme later when you are ready. You can find nice pre-installed free themes right in your Admin dashboard, just Go to Appearance > Themes > Add New.
You can then select featured, latest or popular. If you already know your blog topic, you can type it in the search box on the right:
Once you chose a theme, you can go ahead and customize it further to make it unique. Go to Appearance > Customize.
From there, you can change your theme, or customize the header, the fonts, colors, widgets, the menu and more. You can also see how it will looks on tablets and mobiles.
Please keep in mind that most of the free themes lack support and may even have security leaks, making them more vulnerable to hackers. Also, switching to a premium theme later down the road can be a real pain.
That's why I highly recommend you start off with a great looking premium theme right away. You'll save a lot of your precious time and make your blogging (and life) easier.
What makes a great WordPress theme?
It should follow the five criteria below:
- Simple Design (direct response style themes sell more)
- Clean Coding (for speed, security, and SEO)
- Mobile Responsive (if not, you'll lose 40% of your readers)
- Easy to Customize (drag-and-drop, no coding knowledge needed)
- Great Lifetime Support (this is priceless and a great time saver)
There are thousands of premium WordPress themes available out there. Some of the most popular themes are Thrive Themes, Divi from Elegant Themes, and the Genesis Framework with StudioPress child theme. You can also find hundreds of themes at websites like MyThemeshop and Themeforest.
Why I use and recommend Thrive Themes?
I recommend Thrive Themes because they have all the above and more advanced features that make blogging much easier. They are not selling standalone themes anymore. Right now, the only way to get one of the few Thrive conversion focused themes (I like these three: Pressive, Rise or Focus blog) is to signup to Thrive (all-in-one) membership. I use one of the thrive themes on this blog.
I'm not tech savvy at all, and having an all-in-one, simple and powerful solution allows me to focus on marketing, creating epic content and serving my audience. Being a member gives you access to all Thrive's products. Thrive architect (content builder), Thrive leads (lead generation), and Thrive optimize (A/B testing) are just a few of their amazing plugins.
As your business grow, if you decide to go with the Thrive Theme's membership. You'll find out that it's the most cost effective way of running your blog business. Putting everything together will become way more expensive with other themes, as I'll explain in an upcoming post. You can have a look at what they offer.
Once you've purchased your premium theme, all you need to do is installing the .zip file from your WordPress dashboard.
Beware! At this stage, some people go and spend $2,000+ on theme customization. Don't do that! Its crazy and useless, especially when you are just getting started.
In direct response marketing, simple sells more, and as a blogger, what really matter is your content. Plus changing your design without split testing is not a savvy move anyway.
I firmly believe that design isn't about changing or adding things on your blog just because you like it! Split testing should determinate what need to be changed or tweaked. It's not about your feeling.
Remember: Epic Content + Great Marketing + Irresistible Offer = Thriving Business.
Change The Basic Blog Settings
Next, you need to familiarize with your WordPress Admin dashboard and change the basic settings to enhance your blog.
I recommend you do the following:
1. Check the General Settings
Here you'll change your Site Title and tagline.
2. Change the Permalink structure
This important step will make your blog SEO friendly and pretty links. Just select: "Post name".
3. Create your core pages
4. Disclosure Page (your affiliate disclaimer)
There are some few more settings, but for now, these are the most important. Note that your theme and plugins may require special settings as well.
6. Install Recommended WordPress Plugins
Now that you installed your blog, changed your theme, permalinks, and created
your essential blog pages, I recommend you add some essential plugins.
What is a plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software will boost the functionality of your blog.
As an example, let's say you want to get better rankings in Google, for this purpose you can add the Yoast plugin (or the All in One SEO Plugin), and they'll help your blog to climb in the SERPs towards a top position.
While there are thousands of plugins (both free and premium) available, please keep in mind that you don't want to add dozens of plugins to your blog.
Because while you some plugins are highly recommended, as you add more plugins to your blog, you may encounter some issues. Your page load speed may suffer (this is bad for SEO), and some plugins have security leaks.
As I said with the theme, some plugins will change the way you operate in you WordPress admin.
How to Install a Plugin to Your Blog?
In your Admin Dashboard, Go to Plugins > Add New
Then, just search for the functionality you want to add to your blog, and click Install Now. Once you installed the plugin, you need to activate it, and don't forget to read the plugin's installation guide and instructions.
Highly Recommended (Must Have) Plugins:
Note: I have a Thrive Theme membership that includes many of the plugins below, but I assume you don't have Thrive Theme, so I give you the exact plugins you need to get your blog fully functional:
- Akismet: it's a free anti-spam plugin that will filter comment spam automatically.
- Yoast SEO: this free plugin will help you to get more traffic from Google.
- Social Warfare: This is one of the best Social Media sharing plugin available with a special Pinterest feature if you are going to use this platform. While the free version will get you going, most of the advanced features are in the premium (paid) version.
- SiteGround SuperCacher: This plugin will boost your blog's speed. It helps you to get more happy visitors (because if your page take more than 2s to load, they'll just leave your site and you will loose potential customer). It's only for SiteGround customers, but don't worry, if you host your site elsewhere, the best alternative is WP Rocket. It's not free, but it's way easier to use than other free cache plugins like W3 Total Cache.
- Wordfence: this is the most popular security plugin for WordPress. Your blog will be protected by Wordfence firewall to block malicious traffic and the malware scanner checks your theme and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections. No need to say that it's a required plugin.
- MonsterInsights: This free plugin will allow you to have a quick glance at your Google Analytics traffic stats right inside your WordPress dashboard. I use the free version, and it's pretty limited, but there's no need to upgrade to the paid version.
Other Specific Plugins You may need:
- Thrive Leads: If you want to build an email list, this is the plugin I use and recommend.
- Pretty Link Lite: If you are doing affiliate marketing, this plugin will cloack and track your affiliate links automatically.
- Duplicator: this plugin enable you to create a staging environment for your blog. If like me you just freak out when you see or hear any technical jargon like "staging"... this plugin will enable you to quickly and easily "clone" your blog so you can test new themes, plugins, or do anything to your cloned blog without fearing of breaking your main blog.
- WooCommerce: If you want to add a shop on your blog, no need to look further, this ecommerce plugin will get you covered.
This is it.
For now, you don't need more plugins. It's time to create content for your new baby...
7. Write and publish your first blog post
Now it's time for the fun part. You are going to create E.P.I.C. content for your blog.
You want your readers to love, bookmark and share your posts with others on social medias and forums.
E = Educate - The goal of your blog post is to answer questions in your niche and deliver value to your audience. Writing in-depth pillar posts that solve your readers's biggest problems is the best way to go. Your role is to educate them, give them what they want and make their life better.
P = Personal - You are unique and special, and if you want your blog to stand out, let your personality shine in your posts. Don't be afraid to share personal stories and bring your unique angle on hot topics in your niche. Some people will like your style, while other won't, that's totally fine. You only need to please your ideal readers and customers.
I = Improve - Your blog posts won't be perfect the first time you hit publish. You can always come back later and edit them to add images, inline optin forms, infographics and other great things to make them shine. Doing that will drive everlasting traffic and leads into your blogging business.
C = Conversational - Whenever you write a blog post, imagine you are talking with your ideal reader (and hopefully soon customer), just write in a conversational tone.
What should you blog about?
Well, obviously, you want to find the biggest challenges, frustrations and needs of your audience.
It's pretty easy to find all that information online. Just follow that simple 2 steps approach. Ask yourself two questions:
1. What is my audience searching for on Google and other social media sites?
For this step, you will perform keyword research.
2. What kind of content and topics get a lot of traffic in my niche right now?
For this step, you'll carry out competition analysis.
Once you answered these two questions, you will be able to create great content for your readers.
Tip: Later on, when you get a few hundred subscribers, just ask them what they want to hear.
From my experience, the best types of traffic-getting pillar posts are:
- Case Studies
Now let's talk about your content schedule?
You need to have a content marketing strategy in place. Nothing complicated, you just need to decide how often you are going to post new content on your blog, and stick to that schedule.
I recommend you focus on quality rather than quantity. Try your best to write great, sharable content in your niche, and don't forget to improve later.
How long your posts should be?
When you are starting out, you really want to go the extra mile. Don't be afraid to write long 2000 or even 3000+ word posts. Your goal here is to write some of the best content in your niche that will drive traffic for years to come.
Should you blog every single day?
Nope, you don't.
I suggest you post once a week, twice a month or whatever. Keep in mind that creating awesome and sharable content takes time.
As I already said above, your content marketing strategy should focus on quality rather than frequency. If you write E.P.I.C content and focus on actively promoting that content, your blog WILL get noticed. People will love your content and share it with others.
8. Launch Your Blog
The next step (but not the last) in this "How To Start a Blog" tutorial is to actually take massive action and launch your blog.
Once you've written 2-3 pillar posts, your core pages, and created your optin-forms, and landing pages, all you need to do is letting people know about it on social media. Announce it to your family and friends as well, let them know that it's your new "baby" and that you'd like them to help you spread them word.
Don't wait until your blog is perfect. It won't be. If you followed the E.P.I.C. content creation advice above, they will like your blog posts and won't have any problem sharing them with others, plus people love to help.
Referral marketing is a powerful way to get new eyeballs to your blog.
Wow! It was a long, in-depth, step-by-step guide. I hope that now you understand how to start your blog the right way.
I've not covered every single detail here because it would be way too much. The objective of this tutorial is to give you the right foundations.
I really hope you enjoyed it, it makes me happy. What makes me even more happy is when you read my material and take action.
Finally, if you made it so far, I guess you are really serious about blogging, and I'd suggest your read Part 2 of this guide where you'll discover the Right Way to GET MORE TRAFFIC to your blog in 2019 and beyond (Hint: Today is different, and a couple of BIG mistakes to avoid). Then, you can't really afford to miss Part 3: Learn How to Monetize your blog like the pros.
Part 2: GET MORE TRAFFIC to your blog
Part 3: Here's How To Monetize your Blog
And if you'd like to discover most advanced techniques and strategies to build a thriving business around your blog and marketing automation, the next step is to Join my free 14 Day Blog Launch Roadmap.
This is the next step in the Blogging L.E.A.P. training. I'll teach you how to kickstart your blog business with high quality content, email marketing automation and your perfect offer one step at a time.