Blogging is no more like maintaining a journal or diary. To run a profitable blog, just posting content like the old school days is not enough. To start a blog is easy, but to maintain it and get maximum profit out of it is not an easy task. Blogging is nowadays a lucrative career option, and, for that shining career opportunity, you must have to put efforts. In the last decade, the whole scenario has changed in terms of internet marketing.

You will not be able to accumulate a single penny for just posting content, no matter how good that content is. You must have to maintain your duty hours towards your blog and be an active person in the blogging community. You must be passionate enough to run your blog.

Why Do You Want to Start a Blog?

Before diving into the blogosphere, we need to consider some correlated topics first and decide whether blogging is worthy for you or not.

My first question to you will be,

Why do you want to start a Blog?

And if your answer is one of the below, then go ahead.

You Have a Plan of Making Money from Your Blog

Yes, if you want to make money online, blogging is the best solution. With blogging, you will earn while you are sleeping.

Sounds good! Isn’t it?

But, remember blogging might not be as simple as you think. Old school blogging is almost dead. Blogging is now 20+ years of age. You need to work hard to start making a decent amount from it. If you are treating blogging as a get rich quick type work, then you are absolutely wrong. You should try something else.

To start a blog and making money with it, you must follow a strict action plan from the very first day. Blogging is a continuous process of learning and sharing valuable experiences to your reader.

You Want to Promote Your Business

Yes, if you are planning to promote your existing business by starting a blog, you are on the right path.

A business without a blog is just like a statue without a face. It is necessary for your brand awareness. More SEO optimized content on your blog will bring more organic traffic. And with increasing blog visibility your blog readers will convert to customers and thus boost your sales.

The most beneficial part of blogging is that you can boost sales without spending a penny.

You Want to Blog Just as a Hobby

Yes, many people out there do blogging just because it’s a hobby to them. There is nothing wrong with this.

There are also some hidden benefits. Blogging not only improves your writing skills but also you get more familiar with Search Engine Optimization, Digital Marketing, Web designing, etc. And with these skills, you can do more within your profession.

I have met many bloggers, who have started blogging just as a hobby or a side hustle, and finally, they became successful bloggers and blogging became their mainstream income source. Fortunately, I am one of them.

Is It Too Late to Start Blogging?

Blogging is no more like the old school days. If we look 10-12 years back, it was easy to get tons of traffic just publishing content and building some easy backlinks.

Why?

Because those days are the starting days of blogging as a career option. Fewer people are aware of the potential of blogging resulting in a fewer amount of blogs. Thus, the competition was low. Blogging was just a kid then.

SEO was an easy process then. You just needed to stuff your content with keywords, get tons of links from Blog Commenting, Forum Posting, Web 2.0, Press Release, etc and you are all set.

As soon as people realized that blogging might be a full-time income source, the scenario got changed. More people jumped into the Blogging field and eventually, the competition started. People started using blackhat techniques to increase the link profile to rank higher. Soon, the internet got crowded with irrelevant, low quality, and duplicate contents.

To control it, Google introduced Penguin and Panda, declared user-generated links as spammy. A lot of blogs were blacklisted overnight. And, thus Blogging got matured and become a lucrative career option.

It is not too late to start blogging. But yes, you need to start carefully right from the beginning. The competition is becoming harder than before. If you are interested in blogging to make some quick money online then blogging is not for you.

Blogging will become too hard for you if you haven’t set a goal for your blog’s future. Blogging is not an easy job, especially when creating quality content that your readers will love to read as well as share.

On the other hand, you must be smart enough as a blogger. Blogging is not just creating content. Your contents have only a 25% share of the overall success of the blog. You must care about the other elements too, such as SEO, Social Promotion, Relation Building, etc.

Just stick to a particular niche, create quality content, and smartly promote your content. That will make blogging easier and possible for you.


So, I assume that you have found your answer above. So, let’s proceed now.

How to Start a Profitable Blog from Scratch

To make a profitable blog you need to follow certain rules from the very beginning.

Choosing a Perfect Niche for Your Blog

Choosing a Niche for BlogThe very first step and most important step to start a blog is to choose the perfect niche for your blog. A blog niche is nothing but a specific topic about which you are going to write.

A blog without a specific niche will confuse its readers. For example, if a blog publishes different topics such as health tips, SEO tips, poetry, and gadgets, it will confuse audiences. It will look like a magazine rather than a blog.

First, you should brainstorm some topics that you have some knowledge about. Note down those topics and google them. Observe who are publishing content on those topics and how popular they are. You will have an idea about what types of contents are popular and depending upon that find your own niche which is less competitive.

If you have previous experiences in keyword research, that will be an added benefit. Take your ideas and plug them into a keyword research tool such as Moz Keyword Explorer that lets you search for free. When you do this, it will also suggest other related keywords, which helps you explore all aspects of your niche.

Thus make a fair decision. Niche selection is the most difficult part of blogging. Your niche should be that perfect topic that you have some knowledge, you are passionate enough, and has profitability.

Choosing Effective Domain Name for Your Blog

Choosing Effective Domain Name for Your Brand

So, you have selected your niche. Now, let us take a perfect domain for it.

The domain name has a direct impact on your Brand Name and the Niche. It should be related to one another. Search for the best available and eye-catchy domain name. You can search on any domain provider’s website, but there is no need to buy that domain separately, as you are going to have it for free with your hosting.

Points to be noted while choosing your domain name are,

  • The domain name should be easy to remember. It will help you in getting returning visitors.
  • It should be as short as possible, keeping in mind that it does not lose its meaning.
  • It should reflect your niche and the primary keyword. Do not try to over-optimize keywords.
  • It should be unique and eye-catchy. A unique name attracts more visitors.
  • Use an appropriate domain name extension. Do not forget about local TLDs, if you are going to target a specific geographical area that you’re in. To run a profitable blog, do not forget about SEO. A .com domain name is more likely to rank higher.
  • Always avoid using numbers and hyphens. This action will reflect that you are over inspired by another popular blog and trying to make a copy of that.

You can check the availability of domain names right from here using this amazing tool,

Choosing the Best Blog Hosting

Best Blog Hosting_Bluehost

There are several top-class hosting providers, among which you need to choose the cheapest and reliable one to start a blog from scratch.

You can host your domain free of cost at platforms like Blogger.com, but those are not recommended due to a lack of flexibility and security.

Being an amateur blogger, you can signup for Bluehost or DreamHost. Both of these hosting providers are recommended by WordPress.org itself along with SiteGround.

Though SiteGround is a feature-rich hosting than Bluehost and Dreamhost, I don’t recommend SiteGround anymore because of their sudden hike in price. Previously, I have happily recommended SiteGround for its reliable hosting solutions. But things have changed in the hosting industry and better, faster options have become available at the same price that SiteGround offers. You can have Managed WordPress Hosting like WPX Hosting at that price. Moreover, SiteGround’s support quality is reduced as it took away live chat and moved priority support to GoGeek only.

If you are a beginner, I recommend choosing Bluehost. Some benefits of choosing Bluehost are as follows,

  • Reliable hosting with an uptime guarantee of 99.99%
  • Superior speed despite being a shared hosting
  • SSD Storage
  • Free Domain Name
  • Free SSL
  • Free CDN
  • Free Email Accounts
  • High-Security Measures
  • 5 Levels of Support Systems
  • 30-Days Money Back Guarantee
  • And More

To know more about Bluehost, you can read my complete review of Bluehost and make your decision accordingly.

Choosing the Best Blogging Platform

Best_Blogging_Platform_WordPress

Several free blogging platforms like blogger.com, wordpress.com, wordpress.org, Joomla, Drupal, etc are available to choose from. But, choosing the right one is important to run a profitable blog.

Though you can start a blog on blogger.com, wordpress.com without hosting, but from the SEO point of view, it’s not advisable. Moreover, those free platforms have limitations from the design and customization point of view.

WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are the three giant CMS to start with, but, I personally recommend to use WordPress (wordpress.org).

Let us check some benefits of WordPress over other CMS,

  • WordPress is totally FREE, with many layouts/themes to download for free.
  • WordPress is extremely powerful and secure. It can run on most types of sites. Top blogs like TechCrunch, BBC America, MTV News, Microsoft’s News Center use WordPress.
  • WordPress is easy to use and learn
  • WordPress is more SEO friendly
  • WordPress has a huge support and developer community available to help.

Installing WordPress on Your Blog

Installation of WordPress is an easy task for all popular hosting providers. All these hosting providers are integrated with WordPress related services within their dashboard. You can install WordPress on your domain with a matter of few clicks.

Here is the point, why I recommend Bluehost. Being recommended by wordpress.org itself, Bluehost is integrated with a custom dashboard that provides a clean and user-friendly interface for WordPress users.

Let’s have a look at how to install WordPress on Bluehost,

  1. Login to Bluehost Dashboard
  2. Go to My Sites Tab
  3. Click on the Create Site button in the top-right cornerCreate Site_Bluehost_WordPress
  4. Enter Site Name and Site Tagline for your blog. You can change it later.Site_Name_Tagline_Bluehost
  5. Choose your domain name. You can use the free domain you have got with the Bluehost signup or use another.Choose Domain_Bluehost
  6. Click Next to install WordPress. Bluehost will install WordPress for you, and display your log in details.
  7. Login to your WordPress site and change necessary changes such as Login Password, Permalinks, Static Pages, etc.

Choosing the Best WordPress Theme for Your Blog

Choose Best Theme for Blog

Your WordPress installation will come with the basic Twenty Twenty Theme. But, I think you don’t like to look like a noob, isn’t it? So you have to customize your blog with an eye-catching theme.

Plenty of free themes are there to download and install right from your dashboard, but, I would suggest you use a premium one.

Why?

A large number of reasons why you need to select a premium WordPress theme for your blog. Buying a premium theme from a good source ensures a product of high quality. The same can’t be said of many free themes. A few of the finest premium theme shops bundle their products with intuitive user interfaces, that will let you make adjustments in design and formatting to your blog with the click of a button. Premium themes are usually updated frequently to keep up with new versions of WordPress. The same can’t be said of free themes.

If you want to look more professional, you can head over to following the Premium themes library and choose one as per your need.

Besides, I recommend you to opt for Elegant Themes. It is not just a theme. Elegant Themes subscription is bundled with 2 Premium Themes along with Divi page builder, Bloom Email Optin Plugin, and Monarch Social Share Plugin. Being a WPKeys reader, Get 20% OFF on Elegant Themes Subscription bundled with Two Premium Themes and Three Premium Plugins. All for just for $70/Year.

Read our complete Review on Elegant Themes

Best WordPress Plugins to Supercharge Your Blog

Best Plugins for Your Blog

Despite numerous plugins for WordPress out there you can only manage to use a few. Too many plugins will slow down your blog resulting in a ranking drop. With shared hosting, you will be able to manage up to 15-20 plugins effectively.

Choosing the best plugins is an important step to run a profitable blog.

Here is a curated list of the most useful plugins to get the most out of your blog,

10 Most Essential Free Plugins for Your WordPress Site

  • WordPress SEO by Yoast: Free but powerful SEO plugin for WordPress. It helps to optimize on-page SEO. The must-have plugin to run a profitable blog.
  • Akismet: Akismet is a free anti-spam plugin for WordPress. It helps to fight against spam comments. Another must-have plugin for spam haters.
  • WP Total Cache/WP Super Cache: Install any one of these two. These are cache plugins to boost the loading speed of your WordPress site.
  • WP-Optimize: It helps to clean the database of your WordPress site. It also deletes post revisions, removes all auto-saved draft posts, cleans spam comments, and cleans unapproved comments to make your database lighter.
  • Contact Form 7: Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, and you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, and so on.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights: It helps you to set up Google Analytics for your WordPress site with a few clicks.
  • WP Smush: Images have a direct impact on your website’s loading speed. WP Smush optimizes the images without changing their look or visual quality.
  • Jetpack by WordPress: Jetpack is a single plugin that can eliminate the need for more than15 plugins.
  • Shortcodes Ultimate: It is a mega pack of shortcodes. With this plugin, you can easily create tabs, buttons, boxes, different sliders, and much more.
  • UpDraftPlus: UpdraftPlus is a free WordPress backup plugin. It allows you to create a complete backup of your WordPress site and store it in the cloud or download it to your computer.

Some Premium Plugins to Supercharge Your Blog

  • Yoast SEO Premium: This is the paid version of the Yoast SEO Free plugin with a lot of functionality. This plugin will automate most of your on-page SEO tasks. With an automatic redirect manager and internal linking feature, Yoast Premium is no doubt the most powerful SEO plugin for WordPress.
  • WP Forms: WPForms is the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, order forms, payment forms, and other types of online forms with just a few clicks. This plugin will replace the free Contact Form 7 plugin.
  • OptinMonster: OptinMonster is the best lead generation plugin for WordPress. It allows you to create beautiful opt-in forms and popups on your WordPress blog and convert your users into subscribers.
  • WP Rocket: This is a premium Cache plugin for WordPress with Cloudflare integration. Best replacement for WP Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
  • SEMRush: SEMRush allows you to look at the keywords where your competitors are ranking. You can check out their paid keywords as well as their organic traffic.

Getting Ready to Launch Your Blog

So, you are finally technically ready to start a blog.

Are you wondering, what should be your first blog post?

Nobody knows who you are and what your blog is about. So, definitely, your first blog post should be to introduce yourself, a little journey about how you have arrived here for blogging, and what information are you about to share here.

This post is as important as addressing before a public speech. Though this post doesn’t carry any important information, it will clear your path to your next post.

Along with this intro post you are also advised to create some basic pages. The giant Ad publisher programs like Adsense will not approve your site without these pages. The most basic but still very important pages for your blog are,

  • About Page: This page is about you and about your blog.
  • Contact Page: This page is for those who want to contact you directly. Insert a contact form to help users to contact you easily.
  • Privacy Page: A privacy policy is a page contained on a blog that details how the operators of the blog will collect, store, protect, and utilize personal data provided by its users.
  • Affiliate Disclosure Page: If you are planning to promote affiliate products on your blog, an Affiliate Disclosure page will help you in future disputes that might happen.

How to Make Money Blogging

It’s true that you can not make money from the very first day of your blogging career. You need to establish your blog to a certain level to make cash out of it. Getting traffic to your blog is not an easy task. You need to maintain consistency, target appropriate keywords, and promote your blog to get the maximum exposure.

There are several ways to make money from your blog. Some of the most common ways to make money are

Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is when you recommend a product or service of others to your audience and get a referral commission for every time someone buys following your link. Amazon, CJ, and ShareASale are some platforms where you can find a huge list of products to promote from.

Contextual Advertising: Contextual advertising is advertising on a website that is relevant to the page’s content. In traditional contextual advertising, automated systems display ads related to the content of your site based on keyword targeting. You can signup for Google Adsense or Media.net for this purpose.

Direct Advertising: You can sell direct banner ad space on your website to get more advertising opportunities. You can charge a flat rate for your banner spaces depending upon the duration and size. Plugins like Adsanity allows you to manage Google AdSense as well as your own ads.

Sponsored Posts and Paid Reviews: Sponsored blog posts can be a great way to make money on your blog. A sponsored post is content for which the blogger is paid to post by a business seeking to get its information in front of targeted readers. Similarly, you can also make money by writing paid reviews on your blog.

Offer Services: You can also make money from your blog by offering different services related to your blog niche. For example, if your blog niche is digital marketing, you can offer services like SEO, Web Designing, etc.

Apart from the above-mentioned ways, there are several other ways to make money from your blog depending upon the blog’s popularity and your expertise level.

Improving Authority of Your Blog

You are not alone in this blogosphere. To be recognized by the major search engines like Google, you need to improve your domain authority. Domain authority is directly proportional to the backlink profile of a domain. in order to increase your domain authority, links pointing towards your blog should be needed from various blogs within your niche. Without quality backlinks it is impossible to run a profitable blog, you will not rank higher on Google, no matter how good your contents are.

But, how to get those backlinks?

Well, backlinks are of two types. One is user generated and another is Editorial. It is easy to build User-Generated links, but Editorial links are basically awarded to the best content on the internet.

User-generated links can be built through blog commenting, Guest posting, etc. However, links earned through easy techniques like blog commenting are no longer so effective. These links are usually no-followed or UGC no-followed. As the name suggests, these links are not followed by Search engines and don’t pass link juice.

Besides, you can try to build links through guest posting. Links can be generated through guest posting within the content. Links that are within content that are usually followed and are more powerful than the UGC no-followed links from blog comments.

For guest posting, find some high authority blogs within your niche and with a good amount of followers. Ask if you can post on their website. As per usual, you can post a link or two in your author biography at the bottom of the blog or relevant blog post link to the post. These are backlinks and since these are from a high authority website, those will pass link juice to your blog.

On the other hand, Editorial links are hard to get. You can not build editorial links by yourself. You need to create solid contents on your blog that influences others within your industry, and somehow they link back to your articles within their own.

The interesting fact is that Google only recommends editorial links. These links are purely natural and Google likes natural links. A small hack, how-to guides are the best ways to get editorial links.

Though links from blog comments are regarded as spammy links, but it can still help to get traffic and build relationship with others within your niche. Eventuallly, it helps in getting opportunities for guest posting and even get some editorial links.

Final Thoughts on Starting a Blog

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Similarly, Blogging is a continuous learning process. You could not be a successful blogger, without having a positive mindset always. You should be very professional and passionate enough from the very first day. I have seen many bloggers that jump into the blogging industry after being motivated by some successful bloggers earning figures, thinking of being successful within a month, and in the end, they just quit.

Have you ever read about Pete Cashmore of Mashable? He dedicated 18 to 20 hours a day just talking about it in his blog. Within 18 months of posting an average of 2 to 3 blogs per day, Cashmore grew Mashable’s monthly readers to 2 million.

How inspiring? Isn’t it?

Everyone will dream to have that successful blogging career, but only a few have the courage to chase the dream.

Cashmore had that courage, so did it at 20 years of age. 20 hours a day for 18 months! How passionate and dedicated he was!

Making a successful career like Cashmore is a difficult task. But, blogging could become your primary income source. You just need to stick to it and passionate enough to run your blog.

Just go ahead and start your blog!

I might miss some important points. Feel free to discuss it in the comment section. I would love to hear your voice.

If this article helped you in any way, please do not hesitate to share it.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a blog for free?

You can start a blog for free on various blogging platforms like blogger.com, wordpress.com, wix.com, etc. However, all these blogging platforms offer subdomains to host your blog. If you need to use a custom domain like YourDomain.com, you will need to pay for it.

How much does it cost to start a blog?

You can start a blog for free on free blogging platforms like blogger.com or wordpress.com. However, to start a self-hosted blog with a reliable hosting provider like Bluehost will cost you $47 for the first year. You will have the domain name for free within the hosting plan.

How do bloggers get paid?

The easiest way to get paid from blogging is to running ads on your site. There are plenty of ad publisher programs like Adsense, Media.net etc for this purpose. You can even sell advertisement slots for direct advertising. However, the best way to earn money through blogging is the Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s products or services. You can generate $500 or even more from a single sale.

Should I start a blog in 2020?

Yes, indeed! Blogging is nowadays regarded as one of the most lucrative online career options. However, you need to be passionate enough right from the beginning. A successful blogging career needs proper planning and dedication. The competition is getting harder day by day. Doing proper keyword research and promotion makes it easy to succeed as a blogger.

Is blogging a waste of time?

Blogging is not a waste of time if and only if you are not sure what you are doing. If you are just publishing posts without proper planning, you are definitely wasting your time. If you are not building relations with fellow bloggers and not promoting your content, blogging is a waste of time. If you are blogging to make some quick money online then you could be wasting your time. Blogging can’t be measured by cash. Your goal must be to help others by providing quality stuff. And with the passage of time, you will be definitely rewarded for your efforts.

Is Blogging Safe?

If it is asked about the safety of choosing to blog as a career option, then yes, it is safe. It is safe if you are not working on the wrong niche. It is safe if you are not copying other’s contents.
If it is asked because of the potential threats like hackers and malware, then also yes, it is safe if you have taken the right steps to prevent those. There are several ways available to keep yourself safe from these potential threats. If you are working on a WordPress platform you may read this – 10 WordPress Security Tips to Keep Your Site Secure