Blogging is one of the most comfortable ways to make money online, especially if you’re passionate about a certain subject and writing comes second nature to you.
There are no deadlines or bosses constantly breathing down your neck and you get to work as much or as little as you want.
Once you’ve populated your blog with a decent chunk of well-researched and informative articles, you can expect passive income to roll in through ads, paid promotions, and other forms of monetization.
At the same time, you can’t just sign up with the first blogging platform you come across and start churning out one article after another without a sound and solid strategy in place, hoping to make millions.
It doesn’t work that way. If anything, blogging is a game of discipline, consistency, and a tiny bit of technical knowledge. Don’t worry about the latter! We’ll teach you the essentials of what you need to know to become successful as a blogger.
1. Get your own domain
Yes, you could get started for free using free blog platforms, but the better question is: should you? The problem with free platforms is that you’re never in direct control of your own destiny and the provider can shut you down at any moment without prior notice and without disclosing the reason.
On the other hand, posting on a blog you control means that no one can just pull the rug from under your feet just because they don’t like you or because your content doesn’t comply with some arbitrary set of guidelines.
And all these benefits come at a measly price of one Starbucks latte – surely something you can afford to spend if you’re at least somewhat serious about your business.
With this in mind, your first step is to visit a registrar of your choice and initiate a domain name search. A domain is kind of like your own unique plot of land in the digital space.
It’s what someone is going to type in the browser’s URL bar when they intend to visit your blog. Most people either pick their own full name, a fancy phrase, or the name of the niche. Don’t overthink this too much – something short and memorable works best.
2. Sign up for web hosting
Web hosting is a server that runs 24/7 and lets your readers access your content on demand. If you were to host your blog on your own, you’d have to keep your computer turned on all day and night while praying that nothing disrupts your internet connection. That’s just no way to live.
When you’re starting out, regular shared hosting is more than enough, and it won’t cost more than a couple of dollars per month (anywhere between $1 and $10).
When selecting a suitable provider, double-check it can guarantee you an uptime of 99.95% or more. Since you don’t want to be messing with the technical side of your operations at this point, make sure their customer support is responsive and that there are many ways to get in touch when you need help.
3. Install a CMS
A content management system (or CMS) for short is a fancy name for cloud-based software that lets you publish and edit your pages and posts without having to write a single line of code.
The good news is, most web hosting providers will give you access to 1 click installer scripts that don’t require any special technical knowledge. Otherwise, you can always write to their tech support to resolve the matter.
In case you’re still undecided about what CMS to run, our recommendation is WordPress.
This happens to be the most popular CMS by far, mostly due to ease of use and a plethora of free plugins available that can give your blog some additional functionality not included with your main installation.
4. Customize your blog
To stand out and get noticed in a sea of blogs that are out there, find a way to customize your blog and make it look unique. The simplest way to do that is to pick a theme other than the default one that comes with your installation.
This could be either a free or a paid theme, so just pick something you like from within the platform. Don’t worry, installing a theme is a 1 click process too!
When you’ve selected a theme, now is the time to truly make it yours and replace the logo with your own unique creation.
If you’re not a graphics designer, you can outsource this part to someone else who’s more experienced. Alternatively, use a free logo designer which should be more than enough to get you started.
5. Come up with a content strategy
Finally, there is the content strategy part of your business. Along with content creation, it’s where you’ll be spending the vast majority of your time from here on out. However, before starting, you should get acquainted with the basics of SEO and keyword research.
The main idea is to write about the kinds of topics that people are actively searching for every month as opposed to throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Therefore, your posts should provide helpful content on certain keywords designed to help and educate the reader.
To discover these keywords, there are many keyword tools to choose from, including Google’s Keyword Planner, so go with the one you like best.
The crucial thing to keep in mind is that you should pick the ones that have a decent number of monthly searches and not a lot of competition, generally known as longtail or LSI keywords (typically, they tend to have at least 4-5 words in them).
These keywords will be the building blocks of your content strategy. By researching them before you start writing, you’ll know in advance that there are people who would love to read an article exactly like the one you’re about to write, thus making it more likely you’ll be getting traffic on a consistent basis.
Blogging is one of the ways to establish a passive income stream. Since we’ve given you all the essentials you need, now is the time to apply what you’ve learned and reach your blogging and income goals through discipline and perseverance.