How To Start A Blog And Make Money In 2020 – Easy Guide To Create A Blog

How to start a blog and make money
How To Start A Blog And Make Money In 2020 – Easy Guide To Create A Blog

Do you want to learn how to start a blog and make money online?

It is a lot easier than you think it is and I am going to teach you how to create a blog and get it online today!

Welcome to the easy, step-by-step beginners guide on “How To Create A Blog in 2020 and Make Money Blogging.”

Claim Your FREE Domain Name

Declaration:

This guide is free of charge, and some of the links are affiliate links. I earn commissions at no cost to you, which helps me take care of the maintenance costs of this website. Be rest assured, I have not, and will NEVER recommended any product or service I haven’t used myself.

1. Choose Your Blog’s Niche And Brand Name

In this section, we will learn the basics of blogging, like choosing your niche (subject), selecting the right domain name and web hosting for your blog, and guidance on selecting the right blogging platform.

Finding Niche For Your Blog, The Research Phase
RESEARCH – The Basis Of Successful Blogging
Basics Of Blogging (Click to expand)

You must have heard the word “Blog” frequently, from friends, on websites, on television, commercials, or even one of your very close friends’ own.

In the early ’90s, a blog used to be more of an online personal diary where people used to write about their daily activities or share their personal experiences.

Today, people and companies are creating blogs for various reasons: to educate readers on a particular subject and share their experiences, reaching out to potential customers, brand building, travel diaries, sharing recipes, and what not!

What is a Blog? (Click to expand)

A blog is an online journal or a diary of information that you write on your favourite topics.

The term blog is a mash-up of two words, “Web” and “Log.” The word logging means recording or arranging data (or content) in a particular order.

Writing a daily journal, or a diary is a form of logging, though not weblogging. You may call it traditional (old style) way of logging information.

Blogging - Old Style and New Style
Writing Journal Vs. Blogging

A person who owns a blog is a part of Blogosphere, the online community of blogs and bloggers.

A blog content can be many things like text, images, videos, audio, and you can write about anything you can imagine.

What Is The Purpose Of A Blog? (Click to expand)

A blog helps in reaching or connecting you to the right audience. They are the target audience who want to read what you are writing on your blog.

People are seeking out information online, primarily through search engines like Google.

Example:

A person travelling to Paris for the first time might want to read;

  • Things to remember before you land in Paris.
  • Things to See and Do in Paris
  • Common travel myths that are WRONG about Paris

And so on.

So, before you start creating your blog, I highly recommend choosing your niche (topic, subject).

ATTENTION new bloggers

A blog is an open platform; it is not your personal journal that nobody has access to.

Whatever you write and publish on your blog is publicly available, so ensure you know what you are doing. Posting sensitive or very personal information about yourself or somebody else can land you in serious trouble.

The list includes posting misleading information, defamations, blackmailing, threatening somebody, and anything that’s ILLEGAL by the law of your land.

Posting sensitive information can land you in legal trouble.
Avoid posting sensitive information.
Pick Your Blog’s Niche (Click to open)

Choosing the right niche is critical for your blog’s success.

niche is a focused, targeted subject that you serve particularly well.

There is no end to the blogging topics that exist in the world today. Don’t find a profitable niche or topic to blog for money. Instead, I recommend figuring out the topics you are good at and follow your passion.

If you want to share about your WeightLoss journey, your niche is WeightLoss. On a broader level, your niche is health and well-being. If you focus just on supplements for WeightLoss, that is your sub-niche.

A lot of Blogs fail to generate revenue and ultimately shut down because they neglect to choose the right niche, or they are overly money-minded from the start.

The key here is following your passion and not keeping a “money-first” attitude. If you try to chase money, you will lose your investment and time, which will lead to disappointment.

Don’t get into a random and unknown niche just because other bloggers are making tons of money or are getting a lot of visitors on their blogs.

Example Of An Overly Narrow Blog Niche (Click to expand)

Remember this; YOU have to do the writing for your blog, and you can do it effortlessly ONLY if you are passionate and enthusiastic about your niche. When you are good at something, writing about it gets super easy and fun.

If you DON’T choose your niche wisely, you will soon run out of ideas, and you will have nothing new to write about. So, pick a niche that you can write about frequently and for years to come.

Choosing an extremely narrow subject is not going to work, as well. For example, “Spiderman print t-shirts.” With an overly specific topic like this one, you will have nothing new to write very soon after starting your blog.

Too Narrow Blog Niche
Overly Narrow Blog Niche
Example Of An Overly Broad Blog Niche (Click to expand)

Choosing a too broad topic is also not going to help either—for example, Health, or Technology. You will struggle to build a targetted audience with a niche that is too generic.

Instead of Health, you can get a little more specific with the niche by narrowing it down to something like “Muscle Building,” or “Weightloss.”

If you want to target audience who want to build muscles, its better to create a blog that’s highly focused on Muscle building, and not a broad category like “Health.”

Overly Broad Blog Niche
Overly Broad Blog Niche
Targeted Blog Niche
Well-Targeted Blog Niche

A real example is my site BlogYep.com; I am focusing on “Blogging tips,” as you can see.

There will be roughly 31.7 million bloggers in the US alone, by the end of 2020, which makes choosing the right niche, even more critical.

If you don’t have a clear answer and you are finding it hard to come up with your blog subject, ask yourself the following questions:

• What do you love more than anything?
• What are you most passionate about?
• What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning or get you fired up to the point that you just can’t stop talking about it?
• What is it that you are really good at?
• What do others ask you about?
• What topics are you naturally drawn to?
• What subject do you love to read about?

Extraordinary blogs come from passion. If you don’t care about what you have to say, why would anyone else?

Pick Your Blog’s Name / Brand Name (Click to expand)

You are reading till here because you are serious about knowing how to start a blog. But, before we mover further ahead in this blogging guide, you need to deal with the most critical decision of your blogging game: picking the right name of your blog.

A niche is the subject of your Blog, while the name is the online identity of your blog.

Example:
Search engine is the niche, Google is the name.
Social networking is the niche, Facebook is the name.

Many bloggers struggle to find the right name for their new blog. Your blog name is how visitors are going to remember the blog website. It is your brand name.

Brand name?

Yes!

Personal branding is not something the early bloggers in the ’90s ever considered. If you are a blogger who wants to establish yourself through an online platform, then branding your blog becomes essential.

Your blog name should describe and easily communicate who you are and what your blog is about without creating confusion.

I am not going to go extremely deep and write an encyclopedia on choosing a blog name. In a way, this is a pretty straightforward and simple task. You just have to remember a few things.

How To Choose A Blog Name
Blog Naming Strategies

First and foremost, you have to ensure your shortlisted blog name is available as a username on the popular social media platforms that are important for your blog; like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

This tool will help you save time as it checks brand name availability on all Social media platforms: https://www.namecheckr.com/

Username Availability Checker
Username Availability Checker

Several options are available while choosing your blog name:

  • Do you want to use the founder or inventor’s name in the name of your blog? (like Hewlett-Packard and McDonalds)
  • Do you want to describe what you do (like Malaysian Airlines, SmartBlogger)
  • Do you want to describe an experience (like Sprint, TheDietPlate)
  • Take a word out of context (like Apple, Blackberry)
  • Make up a word (like Google, Yahoo)

My best pick in the above list is the second option: Describe what you do, and if possible, start your blog name with the niche keyword in the domain name for better results.

Some examples to give you a fair idea:

WeightLoss Blog name ideas:
WeightLossPro, WeightLossMag, LoseThatFat

Financial Advice Blog name ideas:
MoneyGrower, FinanceHelper, IncomeBlogger, MoneyMinded

Movie Review Blog name ideas:
MovieBuzz, WatchOrNot, MovieXpress

You got the idea!

2. Set Up Your Blog’s Domain Name And Web Hosting

Instead of randomly choosing a domain name and web hosting for your blog, it’s critical to understand how to choose the right domain name and web hosting for your blog.

Pick Your Blog’s Domain Name

That’s the .com of your blog.

Yes! Its time to pick a .com for your chosen blog name.

Blog Domain Name
Your Domain Name Is Your Identity
  • Having your own domain name looks very professional.
  • Your domain name should represent your blog’s name and purpose.
.Com .Net Or Something Else? (Click to expand)

Picking the right domain name is critical for the success of your blog that you are going to create.

  1. .Com is the most widely used and recognized TLD (Top-Level Domain). If your target audience is global, go with a .com. That’s my first choice as well.
  2. If you want to target your blog to a specific country, then country-specific TLDs is the right choice for you.

Example: .in for India, .us for USA, .au for Australia and so on.

According to GrowthBadger, .com ranks No.1 when it comes to domain name memorability. Indeed, a .com is always my first choice.

Furthermore, when people forget whether your domain ends with a com, .net. or .whatever, they are nearly 4 times more likely to assume it ends with a .com than anything else.

Choosing a catchy and easy to remember domain name with a .com TLD is critical if you are serious about starting a blog and make money blogging.

Pick Web Hosting For Your Blog

Always buy web hosting for your blog from a reputed web host.

The world’s most popular blogging platform WordPress, recommends BlueHost, DreamHost, and SiteGround web hosting on its official website.

If you are starting your blog as a beginner, I recommend signing up with BlueHost as it is best for beginners. Because you will be primarily focusing on generating content and readers for your blog in the first year, BlueHost is a good choice.

If your budgets allows you to spend a few dollars extra, I highly recommend SiteGround web hosting, you definitely get better performing server and faster loading website.

Both Bluehost and Siteground offer a 30 days, “no questions asked” money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with their service. ✌

What Is Web Hosting? (Click to expand)

A web host is a server (remotely located computer), that allows you to store all your website/blog files like videos, images, fonts and other script files.

When somebody visits your blog (www.YourBlog.com), you want them to see the content of your blog. A web hosting company provides you with the technology and services needed for your blog or website to be viewed on the internet.

We pay the web hosting company a monthly or yearly rent to use their server resources depending on the size of your blog and the number of visitors your blog gets.

How Much Does A Web Hosting Cost? (Click to expand)

You don’t need to buy a high-end and expensive web hosting plan if you are a beginner. A starter web hosting plan should cost you around $4 t0 $6 per month, paid yearly.

Web hosting costs depend on your blog’s requirements. You can start a blog for FREE or opt for a web host that is low-cost, medium-budget, or premium set-up.

There are some web hosting companies that offer hosting for your blog as low as $1.95/month. Please avoid them. You get what you pay for.

Most new bloggers make the mistake of buying cheap technology for their newly started blog. If you are planning to make money or side income from your blog, it’s better to go for a good server.

You don’t want people to wait for 10-15 seconds for your blog pages to load for them. You will lose your visitors that way due to the bad experience caused by the slow web hosting server.

Slow Loading Blog
Slow Loading Blog

A good Web host is one of the most significant investments you make for your blog, and your blog’s success depends on a reliable web hosting company.

So, if you are serious about starting a blog and make money blogging, always choose performance over price.

Why FREE Blogging option is not the best one? (Click to expand)

➤Well, with a FREE blogging platform, you will have very little control over your own blog, and your content is not really yours!

➤The blog platform provider will have the right to delete your blog at any time as you are setting up your FREE blog on their terms.

➤You will not be able to use your own domain name, and it is tough to promote your blog to others without a domain name.

You cannot ask your friends to visit: mytravelblog.blogplatform.com
mytravelblog.com is a lot easier to remember and looks more professional.

➤You cannot customize the design and layout of your blog.

➤You are not allowed to monetize your blog while the FREE platform provider can place ads in your content. (Not cool).

➤Thus, I highly recommend choosing your own set-up for greater flexibility and more financial opportunities for your blog.

Interesting Tool To Try

If you want to find which company a blog is using for their web hosting, you can visit https://www.whoishostingthis.com/

Enter the blog’s URL and instantly find who is hosting that blog.

Let’s Take Your Blog Online With BlueHost

Creating a BlueHost account to take your blog online

Click here to head over to BlueHost

and follow the steps below to create a web hosting account for your blog.

Step – 1
Visit Bluehost and from the main menu, under “WordPress,” click “WordPress Hosting”

Visit Bluehost and choose WordPress hosting
Visit Bluehost and choose WordPress hosting

Click the “Choose Plan” button.

Click Choose Plan
Click Choose Plan

Step – 2
Choose the basic plan costing $3.95/month. This plan is more than good for new blogs.

Select the "Basic" plan
Select the “Basic” plan

Step – 3
Enter the domain name that you have chosen for your new blog in the “Create a new domain” field.

Create a new domain
Create a new domain

Step – 4
Enter your “Account Information” and proceed to “Package Information” to choose your desired web hosting package.

Choose your desired hosting package
Choose your desired hosting package

DO NOT choose any package extras. You don’t need them right now.

Don't choose package extras
Don’t choose package extras

Step – 5
Enter your payment information, accept the terms and click the “Submit” button.

You have now purchased your web hosting plan.
Now, you should click the “create your account” button.

Click "create your account" button
Click “create your account” button

Set the password for your account, agree to the terms and click the “create account” button.

Set a password and create your account
Set a password and create your account

Congratulations! You can now login to your BlueHost account.

Login to your BlueHost account
Login to your BlueHost account

Step – 7
When you log in to your BlueHost account for the first time, you will be required to answer a few questions.

Step – 8
A few more final steps!
DO NOT choose anything other than “Blog” on the next screen. We will customise your Blog later-on. Click “Continue.”

Select Blog and click continue
Don’t choose anything else except for “Blog” and click “continue”.

Click “Skip this step” on “Tell us a little more about your site” screen.

Skip this step

Click “Skip this step” on “Pick a free or premium theme that inspires you” screen. We will do this late on.

Don't choose a theme and Skip this step

You are done with the set-up.

WordPress Set-up complete.

Click “Launch my site”.

Click "launch my site"

Read the prompt and click “launch my site anyway“. We will do all the customizations directly from the WordPress dashboard.

Click "Launch my site anyway".

You have now successfully completed installing “WordPress” on your BlueHost account. You can have a look at your Blog site by clicking “View my site”.

This will be a blank WordPress blog site and we will customize this in the next section of this guide.

Your Blog is launched.

NOTE:

There are two different Control Panels (dashboards) that you need to know; BlueHost and your Blog’s WordPress dashboard.

Your BlueHost cPanel login URL will be: https://my.bluehost.com/web-hosting/cplogin

This is the place where you will manage your BlueHost web hosting account, renewals, payments, etc


Your Blog’s WordPress login URL will be: https://YourDomain.com/wp-admin

This is the place from where you will publish your content and manage your blog.

Important Step (DO NOT SKIP)

> Visit your Blog’s URL: https://YourDomain.com/wp-admin (Replace YourDomain.com with your blog’s actual domain name.

> You will be prompted to “Login with WordPress.com” or “Login with username and password.” Choose “Login with username and password”.

> Click on “lost your password” option.

> Enter the email address used during the BlueHost purchase and click “get new password”.

> Check your email and make a note of your username mentioned in the email. Click the Password reset link and choose a new password.

> Now you will be able to log in to your Blog’s WordPress dashboard using this new username and password using the URL: https://YourDomain.com/wp-admin

> Bookmark this login URL: https://YourDomain.com/wp-admin

WordPress Blogging Platform?

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world

A blogging platform is like an Operating system on your computer (macOS and Windows) or smartphone (Android and iOS).

The software that allows you to control and manage your blog is the Blogging Platform.

I am not going to get too deep on this topic because it will confuse you if you are a beginner.

Why Choose WordPress? (Click to expand)

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. It has a large user community, excellent options to customize it, and is extraordinarily user-friendly and search engine friendly.

More than 55% of all websites in the world use WordPress. Now, that’s a huge number!

WordPress global usage statistics
WordPress global usage statistics

If you are looking for a complete solution to start your blog, then self-hosted WordPress is the answer.

The features and flexibility of WordPress.org make it perfectly suitable for serious bloggers.

You have complete control over all the aspects of your blog; like design, backups, security, SEO and content.

If you want to start a blog and make money from it, the WordPress platform is an easy, yet smartest option available today.

3. Configure Your Blog Settings

We have now purchased web hosting from BlueHost and installed WordPress on your blog’s server.

The default page after logging in to your blog admin is the “dashboard” page.

Your Blog's primary menu
Your Blog’s primary menu – “Dashboard”

The vertical menu in the left sidebar in your blog’s dashboard page provides you with access to the following features:

Dashboard: Your default administrator dashboard

Posts: Create a new blog post and edit existing ones, categorize your posts and create tags.

Media: This section is like your file manager. You can browse your existing library or add new media files like images, videos and more.

Pages: Create static pages of your blog; like about us, contact us, service pages and more. In WordPress, pages are considered as static content. These are the pages that change only once in a while.

Comments: Moderate your visitor’s comments through this section. You may approve, disapprove or edit comments of your blog visitors.

Appearance: This is a very important section of your blog. You can control the look and feel of your blog, add new themes, customize fonts, create menus, add a logo, create header and footer and a lot more.

Plugins: Plugins help you add more functionality to your blog. You can add, activate, deactivate or delete plugins. There are thousands of plugins that can help with practically any feature you want to add to your blog; like social media sharing, SEO, contact forms, Google maps and a lot more.

Users: Manage your blog’s users from this section. By default, you are the administrator of your blog and you have all permissions. You can add more users with limited permissions through this section like additional authors for your blog.

Tools: This is for pro users that help in database management, theme tweaks, importing and exporting content, etc

Settings: You can change and manage a variety of aspects of your blog through this section like your blog URLs, blocking search engines from indexing your blog, date and time settings, name of your site, email address and more.

Now before you start writing and publishing content on your blog, you need to make some necessary settings, and I will show you exactly how to do it through this video.

Topics covered in the video:

  1. How to set a “coming soon” page
  2. How to set the name or logo of your blog
  3. How to create a new user on your blog
  4. How to create core pages of your blog: Home, about me and contact us

4. Pick Your Blog’s Theme

A good blog design instantly builds trust.

Your blog’s design is crucial because it influences how your blog’s audience perceives your brand. The impression you make on them can either get them to remain on your blog or leave your site and turn to your competitor’s blog. This is why design is critical when learning how to start a blog and make money blogging.

You need to ensure you choose the right theme when you start a blog because the design of your blog makes your visitors stay on to your site.

As a beginner blogger, you have tons of themes available to choose from, right through your blog’s dashboard interface. You must understand how the WordPress dashboard works to utilize it’s powerful yet simple to operate functionalities fully.

Paid Themes, Buy or Not To Buy?

There are paid themes available that have a lot more complex features to suit the specific requirements of your blog.

If you are starting a blog for the first time, you might want to focus on publishing content and get used to the WordPress’ core functionalities before you think of any specialized paid themes.

That does not mean you cannot buy a professional-looking theme for your blog right away. In fact, I always go with a pro/paid theme as they make my blog look beautiful and engaging right from the start. If you have the budget, I suggest you go for it!

I always buy paid themes from ThemeForest, you can check out the top WordPress paid themes here.

If you do not like pre-built themes and want to build your own theme without any coding knowledge, then Elementor is what you need. Worth a look!

How To Choose And Install A Theme On WordPress

A step-by-step guide to finding and installing a new theme on your blog

1. Login to your Blog’s admin dashboard

2. Navigate to Appearance & click “Themes.”

Dashboard > Appearance > Themes
Dashboard > Appearance > Themes

3. Click “Add Theme”

Click "Add New"
Click “Add New”

4. Click the “popular themes” tab and choose your theme from the list or search for what you like in the search bar (like a travel blog, food blog) and pick the one you like or that suits your blog.

For this example, I am choosing the FREE theme “Astra” to create my blog as it is very popular and flexible.

Don’t fret if you choose to install a different theme as the navigation still remains the same.

I am recommending the Astra theme for your blog because it has everything you need as a beginner.

It has great support and also has upgrading options if you wish to do so in the future.

Choose a theme for your blog
Choose Astra theme (Popular and flexible)

5. Hover your cursor on the theme and click “install” and once installed, click “activate”.

Click install and then activate
Install and activate
Astra theme installed successfully on your blog
Astra theme installed successfully

You have now installed your theme successfully on your blog. Great work!

If for any reasons, should you wish to change your blog’s theme in the future, make sure you read this guide on “How to choose the best WordPress theme for your blog?

If you feel you need more power-packed features on your blog, you can consider upgrading your Astra theme to the premium version, check out the premium features.

How To Customize Your WordPress Theme

A step-by-step guide to the basic WordPress Theme customization

Time to make some basic customizations to your newly installed Astra theme.

1.Navigate to Appearance > Themes and click the customize button

Navigate to Appearance > Themes, click customize
Appearance > Themes, click customize

This is how the left and right side of the customization page looks.

Blog's theme customization page

The recent posts, recent comments, archives and cetegories that you see on the right-hand-side of the page called “Widgets”. You can reorder, add, edit or delete them according to your blog’s requirement.

Let’s delete a few widgets, “archives” and “meta”. Just click on the “edit icons” of these widgets and see what happens on the left-side of the page.

Widgets customization page
Widgets customization page

You are taken directly to the Widgets customization page. How cool!

You can now change the settings of this Widget. Let’s click the “remove” button to get rid of it.

Poof! Gone!

Click “publish” to update the changes on your Blog.

Click "publish" to update the changes on your Blog
Click “publish” to update the changes

Follow the same process and remove the “Meta” widget as well, and don’t forget to click “publish”.

2.Re-order your Widgets.

I like to order them as Search, Recent posts, Categories and Recent comments.

Just drag and drop to reorder your widgets, and don’t forget to click “publish”.

When I was still learning to operate WordPress, I used to forget clicking the publish button, and wondered why the hell is this not working. Lol.

Drag and Drop to reorder your widgets
Drag and Drop to reorder your widgets

3. Edit the footer of your blog (rebranding)

If you check the footer of your blog, you will see the “Powered by Astra WordPress Theme”. I normally don’t like to keep any kind of branding on my blogs, so let’s remove that.

Navigate to Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Customize

Editing the footer of your blog
Editing the footer of your blog

Click the “edit icon” and from the settings page on the left-hand side, just delete the highlighted code shown below. Don’t forget to click “publish”.

Delete the highlighted code

Refresh your blog to see the changes.

5. Connect Your Blog To Social Media And Email

In this step, we will be creating Social media accounts and link to them from your blog.

We will also learn how to create a contact form on your blog to enable users to reach out to you easily.

Go ahead and create profiles on the social media sites that are important for you like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.

Furthermore, I recommend creating a new email address to use it for your blogging activities. You can use your existing personal email address if you are ok with receiving lots of emails.

Adding Social Media Profile Links

A step-by-step guide to creating social media profile links on your blog

1.Install “WP social widget” WordPress plugin

Navigate to Dashboard > Plugins > Add New

Find “WP Social Widget” by using the search field.

Install WP Social Widget
Install WP Social Widget

Install it by clicking the “install now” button, and wait for a few moments. Once its installed, the “install now” button transforms into “Activate” button. Click Activate.

Verify the installation by navigating to:

Dashboard > Plugins > Installed Plugins, and you should see your newly installed plugin in this list.

Installed plugins page
Installed plugins page

2.Add the Social media profiles to the sidebar through widgets

Navigate to Dashboard > Appearance > Customize > Widgets > Main Sidebar > Add a Widget

Now, from the list of Widgets that shows up, you can find the newly installed plugin listed.

Find WP Social Widget
Find WP Social Widget

Click the “WP Social Widget”. Set the title of your widget and select “Blank (New Tab) page” option to open the links in a new page when someone clicks the social media profile links.

From the list of the social media icons, choose the ones you want to display on your blog.

Let’s choose FaceBook, Linkedin, Twitter and YouTube.

Fill your Social media profile links
Fill your Social media profile links

Click “done” after entering your Social media profile links and don’t forget to click the “publish” button.

You should now see a your social media profile links in the sidebar of your blog.

Social media profile links
Social media profile links

Simply drag and drop the widgets to rearrange them.

Rearrange the widgets
Rearrange the widgets

Don’t forget to click the “publish” button.

Widget Editing Methods

There are two ways to edit your widgets:

1) Dashboard > Appearance > Customize

2) Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets

The first option is better if you are a beginner as you can see the changes you make on your blog without leaving the current page.

Try both the options and see which method you like to edit your blog widgets.

Create A Contact Form

Create a contact form on your blog and link it to your email address

We have already created a “Contact me” page earlier in this tutorial.

It’s time to add a contact form on the page and link it to your email address, so that you receive an email whenever a user contacts you using the form.

1.Install WPForms plugin

Navigate to Dashboard > Plugins > Add New

Search for “WP Forms” using the search field.

Install and activate WPForms
Install and activate WPForms

After installing the WPForms plugin, you will see a new menu item.

WPForms - New menu item
WPForms – New menu item

2.Create a new contact form

Navigate to Dashboard > WPForms > Add New

You can create a form from scratch or choose an existing form template listed on this page: Simple form, Newsletter form or Suggestion form

Let’s use the “Simple form” template to create the form for our contact us page.

Click "create a simple contact form"
Click “create a simple contact form”

You should now see your Simple contact form.

Simple contact form editing page
Simple contact form editing page

You can click the fields to edit them, do drag and drop to re-order the form fields. Very simple and straight forward.

From the menu on the left-hand side of this page, navigate to

Settings > Notifications

Navigate to Settings > Notifications
Navigate to Settings > Notifications

Go ahead and make necessary changes to the notification settings page.

The options are pretty self-explanatory. If you are unsure, just set it to the default values and click the “save” button at the top right-hand side of the page.

Save the contact form
Save the contact form

You have now successfully created the contact form for your blog. But, it will not show up on the contact us page as yet.

We will have to “embed” the form to make it appear on pages or posts of your blog.

3.Embed the form on your “Contact us” page

Navigate to Dashboard > WPForms > All Forms

You will see a list of forms that are available to use.

On the right-hand side, find “Shortcode” and copy the shortcode of the exact form you want to use on your contact page.

Form shortcode
Form shortcode

Now let’s navigate to our contact page:

Dashboard > Pages > All Pages

Open the “Contact Me” page.

Paste the form shortcode
Paste the form shortcode

Paste the form shortcode at a place where you want your contact form to appear.

Click “Update”.

Time to visit your contact me page to test if the form is working.

Tada!

Contact form
Contact form

Fill in the details and submit the form to check if it’s working correctly.

Form submission confirmation
Form submission confirmation

Don’t forget to check your email to see how the email looks and edit it as per your needs.

Sometimes the emails hit your “Spam” folder. In such a case, open the email and click “report not spam”.

Report not spam
Report not spam

6. Write And Publish Your First Blog Post

A well-written and well-researched content is what makes people visit your blog and also share your blog posts on their social media. In blogging, more readers equal more money.

But, the big question is, what should you write about on your blog? Well, the biggest benefit of learning how to start a blog is that you can write anything you want.

If you are concerned about your English writing skills and grammar, you can use Grammarly, which makes your writing clear and compelling by correcting grammar and sentence formations.

Grammarly corrections
Grammarly corrections

Now that you have created a blog and made some fundamental changes and settings, it’s time to write your first blog post!

Navigate to Dashboard > Posts > Add New

You will be taken to a brand new post page where you can start writing from scratch.

New post page
New post page

Add the title of your first post and start writing your blog post content.

Add the title of your first blog post
Add the title of your first blog post

As you write, you may want to add more elements to your blog like images, headings, sub-headings, columns, YouTube videos and even widgets!

You can add these elements using “WordPress Blocks” or simply “Blocks”.

You can add a new block by clicking the + sign and then choosing the type of block you want to add.

Let’s choose to add an image using the image block.

Click the + sign and then select the “image” block.

Add an image block
Add an image block

Once you click the image block, you are prompted with three options to add an image into your blog post:

Upload – You can use this option to upload a new image form your computer.

Media Library – This option enables you to choose an existing image available in the Media Library of your blog.

Insert from URL You can insert an image from a different website or your cloud storage account just by entering the URL of the image.

Image upload options
Image upload options

If you are absolutely new to blogging, I recommend trying different blocks available and seeing how you can include them in your blog post.

Once you have completed writing your blog post, click the “Publish” button from the right sidebar that lists various blog publishing options.

You can add a lot of new content blocks through the WordPress plugins option.

I personally use these two already, and I highly recommend adding them to your blog: Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg and Atomic Blocks – Gutenberg Blocks Collection

Congratulations on writing your first blog post!

7. Optimize Your Blog For Rankings And Traffic

How to optimize a blog
Blog optimization techniques

We have come a long way in this blogging guide. We started from the nitty-gritty of how to start a blog, all the way through to optimizing your blog post. Wow!

But, I promise this is where it starts to get exciting. In this section of the guide, we will learn about optimizing a blog for search engine performance.

You want to optimize your blog so that more people discover your blog online through various channels like search engines, social media sites, and other blogs.

Google is the biggest search engine in the world, and you want to make sure you follow the guidelines they have set for websites and blogs. This will ensure your blog will be shown at the top of the search results page when somebody searches for a keyword related to your content.

The process of making corrections to your blog to meet the search engine’s guidelines and technical requirements is called “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO.

There are thousands of companies all over the world offering “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO services to companies or individuals who don’t want to break their heads and prefer a hands-free approach.

Go ahead and search on Google for keywords like SEO services, SEO provider, SEO consultant to see what I am talking about.

If you ask me, “How to create a blog and be successful at it?”, I would answer, “Optimize your blog well” and here are 7 fixes to improve your Blog’s rankings on Google.

Here are the guidelines by Google, if you’d like to have a look and willing to learn.

What is Blog Optimization? (Click to expand)

In simple terms, blog optimization is the process of making changes to your blog to meet the technical requirements of modern search engines like Google.

The two essential parts of Blog optimization are content optimization and technical optimization.

Content Optimization – It is a process of writing content in a way that enables your blog to reach the most massive possible target audience.

Technical Optimization – It is a process of improving the technical aspects of a website to boost its pages on the search result pages.

Making a website load faster, having search engine and user-friendly URL structure, more comfortable to crawl for your visitors, and search engines are the pillars of technical optimization.

This is where you will thank me for recommending WordPress to create your blog today.

WordPress is the world’s most Search Engine friendly Content Management System (CMS). Blogs or websites that use WordPress are already miles ahead with their optimization compared to the non-WordPress blogs.

The 2 Must-Have WordPress SEO Plugins For Your Blog

1. RankMath

Rank Math is a Search Engine Optimization plugin for WordPress that makes it easy for anyone to optimize their content with built-in suggestions based on widely-accepted best practices.

You can easily customize essential SEO settings, control which pages are indexable, and how you want your website to appear in search with Structured data.

RankMath Set-up Guide (Click to expand)

Navigate to Dashboard > Plugins > Add New

Navigate to Dashboard > Plugins > Add New

Search for RankMath, install and activate it.

Once installed, you will be taken to the set-up window, just follow the instructions below to install it successfully.

Click the “Connect Your Account” button.

Connect your account
Connect your account

On the next page, connect using your FB, Gmail or WordPress account. I usually use Google accout.

Once done, you should see a confirmation screen.

Next, navigate to Dashboard > Rank Math

If you are prompted once again to connect your account, click the button and confirm in the next screen.

Confirm account
Confirm account

After clicking the OK button, you will be prompted to choose an option: Easy, Advanced or Custom mode.

Rank Math installation options
Rank Math installation options

Choose the Easy mode and click “Start Wizard”.

You can choose to upload your logo if you have one and also choose the default Social share image.

Next, skip all the steps till the RankMath set-up is complete.

Set-up complete
Set-up complete

Click the “Return to dashboard” button to go back to your Blog’s dashboard.

2. W3 Total Cache

When people ask me, “How to create a blog that ranks well on Google?”, I always suggest them to focus on their SEO efforts and improve their blog’s performance. And when it comes to WordPress, W3 Total Cache has always been my go to plugin.

W3 Total Cache (W3TC) improves the SEO and user experience of your blog by increasing your blog’s performance and reducing load times by leveraging features like browser cache, image compression, content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.

Install and activate the “W3TC” plugin.

I am sure you know where to navigate and find the plugin.

A new menu item appears in your Blog’s WordPress dashboard, “Performance”.

W3TC menu item
W3TC menu item

Let’s configure the most important performance settings to load your blog faster.

Navigate to Dashboard > performance > General Settings

Now, don’t get overwhelmed looking at the settings page. When I saw this page for the first time, I was like, “WTF? Do I need to learn all this if I want to be a successful blogger?”

Don’t worry, you will get used to this in no time and its super easy.

You will see many settings blocks on this page: General, Page cache, Minify, Opcode cache, Database cache, Object cache, Browser cache, CDN, Reverse proxy, User experience, Statistics, Fragment cache, License, Miscellaneous, Debug and Import/Export settings.

So, this plugin is a BEAST when it comes to performance of your blog.

Let’s go ahead and enable a few important settings.

1. Enable Page Cache

Enable page cache
Enable page cache

2. Enable Minify

Enable minify
Enable minify

If you encounter a warning message, pls accept it and continue.

3. Enable Database Cache

Enable database cache

4. Enable Object Cache

Enable object cache
Enable object cache

5. Enable Lazy Loading

Under “User Experience” enable the Lazy loading option.

“Save all settings”, by clicking the blue button that is present in every block. You can click “save all settings” button and all settings from all sections will be saved.

Save all settings button
Save all settings button

Ok, now we have installed the two most important plugins that will take your blog to the next level.

Working With RankMath

Navigate to Dashboard > Posts > All posts

You will see a new column called “SEO Details”. It also shows the targeted keyword for the respective blog posts.

Looks like we haven’t set any keyword for our post as yet.

SEO Details
SEO Details

Open one of the posts you created.

On the right-hand side, you will something new. You can see a score! Click that score.

Enter your “focus keyword” that you want to target for that blog post.

In my case I enter the keyword “How to write a blog post?”.

And you will see instant changes in the score along with suggestions to improve your blog content and make it more SEO-friendly.

SEO score update
SEO score update

Try to get a score of 100/100.

Good luck!

Editing / Optimizing URLs Of Blog Posts

On the right-hand side of your blog post, there is an option called “Permalink”.

You can see the existing permalink of our blog post and how the entire URL looks under the “View Post”.

Permalink options
Permalink options

I normally delete the following “common words” from my blog post URLs:

The, was, at, so, a, to, and, are, they, that, with, of, for…

You got the idea.

Doing this will keep your URLs shorter and also help SEO.

My personal favorite Keyword tools (Click to expand)

A keyword research tool helps you find the right keywords that are most relevant for your blog posts.

Keyword tools also give you some critical information like total keyword searches per month (volume), search engine competition, and many more options.

It is easier to write blog posts with this information. You should focus on targeting long-tail (specific) keywords for every blog post.

Some of my personal favorite Keyword tools are Keyword Tool, Keyword Sheeter, Word Stream and Answer The Public

DONT forget to check them out!

8. Monetize Your Blog

We have learned the basics of blogging like How to start a blog, added a theme, installed plugins and also created a blog post.

Now, it’s time to convert your blog into an income source.

But, how? Let’s figure that out and monetize your blog.

Please Know This

Making money from blogging is not an overnight process. It takes time and dedication to achieve results. Instant results happen only in movies and not in real life.

Make sure you put in a dedicated number of hours every week, writing and promoting your blog content, and over time, you will start seeing the results.

There are practically dozens of ways to monetize a blog and start making money from it. In fact, many bloggers talk about various monetization options that are available.

However, I feel, if you are a beginner, you need a solution that is quick to implement and help you make money without having to spend a lot of time learning new things and then trying to implement it.

Some of the ways established bloggers make money:

  • eBooks – You can write and sell eBooks. Though this is not an easy way to monetize your blog, considering you are a beginner, I don’t recommend publishing an eBook, unless you know what you are doing.
  • Sell online courses – You can create online courses if you have the skills and passion to teach others about your favorite subject. Again, not a beginners thing.
  • Sell Banner Ads – This is a pretty popular and common method of generating money from your blog. You can sell your blog space and enable others to place ads on your blog and charge a fee for the same.

    However, you need to have an existing audience for others to buy your banner ads.
  • Some more options: selling sponsored posts, physical products, develop and sell a software tool, accept donations, and so on.

However, for beginners, I highly recommend sticking to the most effective and time tested methods to monetize your blog: Affiliate marketing!

Affiliate Marketing

When you introduce your visitors to products and services through your blog, you receive a commission for the sale from the company that you are tied up with.

You will have to sign up with companies that offer affiliate programs, enroll, and promote them on your website to make money.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods of monetizing a blog.

How affiliate marketing works?

How affiliate marketing works?

For example, if you’re running a fitness blog, you can quickly sell muscle, weight loss or bodybuilding products and supplements. When your visitors click your affiliate link and complete a purchase, you earn a commission.

And since your content is already attracting people interested in fitness, selling products and services related to fitness to your blog visitors, helps you create a near-automated stream of passive income.

Top benefits of Affiliate Marketing? (click to expand)
  1. You don’t have to create your own products or worry about shipping and customer service.
  2. The money you can earn from affiliate marketing is literally unlimited.
  3. Becoming an affiliate is absolutely FREE!

Affiliate marketing is purely a performance-based system. The larger the audience you have on your blog, the better your chances of making money.

Making money through blogging is about number games.

Most popular affiliate programs you can try: Amazon, Commission Junction and ShareaSale

Signup as an affiliate, fill up some basic forms, find the companies and products you would like to promote on your blog, and start making money.

9. Promote Your Blog And Start Making Money

This is where it gets a little tricky because many bloggers do not openly discuss about blog promotion.

Many bloggers still feel that if you start a blog, the visitors will automatically come to your blog.

Well, that’s not quite right.

The first thing you should do after publishing your blog post is to promote your blog content.

So, the big question is, how to promote a blog?

Social Sharing

Social sharing is the fastest way to promote your content because you already have friends and followers on your social accounts.

Once your blog post is ready, copy the link to your post and share it on all your social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, and others if you have more.

Join The Conversation

Find blogs that are related to your content and comment on them.

There will be many people who ask questions that you may be able to answer well. Don’t miss such opportunities. And when I talk about leaving comments, I don’t mean, “Hey! I love your blog”.

Contribute super helpful comments on other blogs that add value to other readers. At the same time, if you feel it would help them visit your blog for more info, politely share your post link to generate visitors.

Convert Your Posts Into YouTube Videos

This is comparably a new tactic, but many bloggers are doing it already.

You don’t have to create YouTube videos from scratch. I am talking about converting your existing blog posts into sharable video content and post them on YouTube.

Add Tweetable Quotes Into Your Blog Posts

This is probably one of the easiest ways of enabling people to share your content on Twitter.

Tweetable quote from your blog post
Tweetable quote from your blog post

Do note, the maximum Tweet length is 280 characters.

A Tweetable quote is a short and interesting quote that fits into the character limit on Twitter.

When someone click’s on the “Click to Tweet”, the visitor will get a pre-written Tweet to share on their profile.

Pre-written Tweet
Pre-written Tweet

Answer Questions Online

There are plenty of opportunities to answer questions online about the topic you have already published on your blog. Find those opportunities and utilize them to drive traffic to your blog.

The best examples are Quora and Reddit that cover pretty much any topic you could imagine of.

You can also participate no forums that are related to your topic.

You can search for the following keywords to find the forums related to your Blog niche.

(Your Subject) Forums

Replace (Your Subject) with your blog’s niche, like SEO, Blogging, Wedding photography, etc.

seo forums
photography forums
blogging forums

and so on..

Starting a blog and making money from it is topic that cannot be covered in one single post.

Do drop me a comment and let me know if you had fun creating your first blog.

Hi, Iam Vikas Solanki

I am an Internet marketing consultant, blogger, owner of an award-winning Quick service restaurant (DumSquare), and a cryptocurrency trader.

I am an amateur photographer on the side and also love travelling to exciting places.

BlogYep.com is my recent project focused on helping beginners start a blog.

How To Start A Blog And Make Money In 2020 – Easy Guide To Create A Blog

2 replies on “How To Start A Blog And Make Money In 2020 – Easy Guide To Create A Blog”

Hey Manish,

You are most welcome. As far as career opportunities are concerned, blogging itself has become a full-time job for thousands if not hundreds of professionals.
If you want to have a complete control over your blog, including monetizing (making money), the best solution is to have your own (self-hosting) blog, instead of Google Blogger or any other free blogging platform.
Let me know if that helps and I would be glad to help you further.

Best of luck!

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