HOW TO START A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY(2021 GUIDE)
Do you want to start a profitable and successful bog? Yes, I want to start a blog and get paid. Starting a blog is easy, but making a blog good and successful isn’t easy as we thought. Still, in today’s guide, I will teach you how to start a WordPress blog that has great potential, so you can easily earn passive income every month(blogging made easy).
This step-by-step guide is for both newbies, intermediate, and experts. You can quickly start a blog or a website without hassle.
Before we continue, let’s get to know what a blog is.
What is a blog?
A blog is an online journal or type of website where articles are arranged in chronological order. I.e., the last post you publish on your blog will be above other posts.
Blog’s are known for consistently publishing web content online. Blog’s are just online magazine or newspaper dealing with a particular subject(called niche in blogging). Blog’s allow blog owners to share opinions and discuss various topics where readers may comment on posts. Forbes, Blogimize, and NY Times are examples of a blog. Blog’s are slightly different from websites.
Then what’s a website?
Websites are just like a place where people visit to get what they want. It’s not meant for interaction or regularly sharing posts online, just like blogs do. An example of a website is google. The user came to search for information and not to interact with google’s search engine result page. Some websites also have a blog where they publish informative content for their audience.
This guide is for anyone who wants to create a blog or a website.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN INCLUDES;
-How to start a WordPress blog or website
-How to make money with your blog
-How to make your blog SEO friendly
-How to choose the right niche for your blog
-How to choose a good and perfect domain name for absolutely free
-How to set up your WordPress blog/website
-How to install WordPress on your hosting plan with a one-click install
-How to Purchase a fast, secure, and a reliable hosting plan
-How to install a fast and responsive theme
-How to install must-have WordPress plugins that will help you grow your blog(well-optimized plugins)
-How to create pages on your blog/website
-How to publish posts on your blog
-How to easily customize your blog
-How to connect your blog to google analytics automatically
-How to connect your blog/website to google search console
-What makes wordpress.org the best, and why you need to blog on wordpress.org
-How to promote and grow your blog
-How to create WordPress pages(must have to have a professional blog/website and to get quick Adsense approval)
-How to create WordPress posts
-How to create a secure WordPress blog/website
-How to generate free organic traffic with your blog
-How to make your blog successful
-How to add functionality to your blog and make it dynamic
-Do you want to avoid common mistakes newbie bloggers often make that hurt the growth of their blog?
-And knowing the right blogging platform to blog on and much more
-Real-life example; why top social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp is successful? What made Elon musk the richest man on earth?
Affiliate Disclosure: Some of my links contain affiliate links. If you purchase any service with my affiliate link, I ought to earn a small commission with zero additional cost. Also, some of my recommended services have discounts.
P:S; YOU CAN CONTACT ME FOR FREE BLOG SET-UP IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DO IT YOUR SELF. BUT MAKE SURE YOU GO THROUGH THE GUIDE BEFORE DECIDING TO CONTACT ME.
This tutorial on starting a blog/website would take you a minimum of 40 minutes to complete everything.
It covers 101 blogging steps required to create a profitable blog and make money online from the comfort of your home. Let’s flow.
Do you need anything before starting a blog that makes money? Yes, of course. Below are what you need to get ready before starting a WordPress blog.
-30 minutes of your time
-A web hosting plan and,
-A domain name
I know some of these terms sound weird to your ear, don’t worry, I will explain more thoroughly.
WHAT IS A NICHE?
A niche is a blogging category of your blog. If you want to make a blog for daily trends or news/gossip, your niche is entertainment. If you’re going to blog about football, tennis, and the likes, your niche is sports. Here at blogimize.com, my niche is digital marketing. I publish content about blogging and SEO. It’s crucial to choose the right niche for your blog. Choosing the wrong one might get you elsewhere out of your success (route)path.
WHAT IS A WEBHOSTING?
A Webhosting company is a company that handles your blog to ensure everything is working fine. They render Webhosting services to you for some amount of fee for the service they render to you.
All your data(posts, images, videos, and other files are store on your web server/host). Without a Webhost, you can’t have a blog or website.
Without you having a physical home in which you live, can anyone visit you anytime at home? You don’t have a place to sleep at night if you don’t have a house or residential building. That’s how web hosts work. Without a host, your blog won’t have a place to live online so that anyone can visit it anytime.
A host or web server is a computing machine that serves your blog and its content. It ensures your blog is secure and free from hackers or any form of attack. A reliable and high-performance host makes your blog is accessible, safe, fast, and functional all the time.
In general, a host is your blogs’ home.
A reliable, fast, and highly encrypted(secure) web host pricing ranges from $10-$20/month, billed annually($90+). I will show you a hosting plan that’s affordable and reliable to purchase on this guide.
WHAT IS A DOMAIN?
A domain is the name of your blog(e.g., blogimize.com, google.com, facebook.com. Also, it’s the URL address(www.blogimize.com/free-blog-images) to the files and contents on your host.
Let’s assume you don’t have an address mapped to your house; how can someone locate you? The same thing applies to a domain name. If you don’t have a domain name (URL address), it’ll be hard for people to locate your blog quickly. They can only access your blog with ease if you have a domain name attached to your blog.
A domain name makes it possible to have a unique URL address(uniform resource locator).
What is a URL?
A URL(uniform resource locator) directs your visitors to the right page that houses the information they want to view. Just as your home address and its apartment ID. When someone clicks on my domain’s URL address, “https://www.blogimize.com/blog,” they will be automatically be directed to my “blog page”(unique page) on blogimize.com, where all my latest post lives.
Domain name registration usually starts from $9-$15 per year. I will show you how to get a free domain later on in the guide. Keep reading.
Now you know the meaning of a niche, a domain name, and a web host, it’s time to guide you on a step-by-step basis to start a blog and make money.
PS: when choosing a domain name, always make sure it is easy to read, pronounce, and spell. Avoid using symbols and numbers on your domain. Select “.org domain” if you are about to start an organizational blog or website. Choose “.com” for commercial blog/website. 4-14 characters long are the best length for your domain. Avoid longer domain names. Avoid using double-letter words like “bloggersstream.” Brand your blog with your domain if you want to be unique in your industry. Use generic words to make it more descriptive(Techinsider for tech blogs, BloggingTips for blogging blog).
QUICK TIP ON HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT NICHE FOR YOUR BLOG
1-Identify your strength. Your strength is what you can do easily. I started blogimize.com because I’m good at teaching people how to start a blog and make money. That’s why I choose to blog in the blogging niche.
2-Knowing your passion. What do you love to do without being reminded OR notified? I guess that’s what interest’s you. Blogging has been my passion ever since am 15 years, and that influenced me to start a blog that guides you on how to create your blog.
After all, it’s my passion and hobby. It interests me. Your interest might be to deliver the latest news to the masses, teach people how to make any recipe, or guide people on designing a blog and the likes.
In all, choose a niche you have strength, knowledge, interest in, and passion.
It’s not right to blog on a niche you don’t like just because others blog and make money on it. When you encounter challenges bloggers face, you won’t resist them because you never like the niche. But if you were in a niche you love, you can fight and overcome any obstacle that comes your way because you do it with passion.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE A NICHE YOU ARE HAVE KNOWLEDGE AND INTEREST ON
1-It makes it easier for you to publish content on your blog from your knowledge
2-You can write contents from your experience
3-You will hardly run out of post idea
4-You won’t get tired doing what you love
I could remember when one of my clients ask me to write a blog post on the blog I created for him. I found it hard to write a 700-word count article for him because I was writing on a niche that doesn’t interest me, which I have very little knowledge of (health niche).
But when I am writing content related to blogging, I never get tired because I love doing it, and it is my passion.
I have a single blog post of 7k-11k word counts. This particular blogging tutorial (how to start a blog and make money) is a 10k+ word count article. It’s easy and possible for me to achieve such a result because I write out of my experience.
Let’s move on.
CHOOSING A BLOGGING PLATFORM
A blogging platform is a tool you can use to create or make a blog. We have many, but the one we will discuss today is the most popular ones(WordPress @WORDPRESS.COM/WORDPRESS.ORG and google Blogspot @blogger).
All of them have weaknesses and strengths. But above all, wordpress.org is the best, without a doubt. WordPress powers more than 40% of the web.
Most new bloggers don’t know that WordPress has two versions. Sub-standard version(wordpress.com) and the full version(wordpress.org).
The main difference between the two is that the lite version(wp.com) has limitations like google Blogspot(blogger). In contrast, the full version doesn’t have any limit. In wordpress.com, yes, you don’t need to purchase a hosting plan for your blog, but its limitation and restriction are heart-breaking(terrible).
You can choose whether to purchase a domain name or the one offered to you by wordpress.com(something like this, “yourdomian.wordpress.com”). The only thing you will need to spend for your wordpress.org(standard blog) blog is hosting and a domain name.
You can’t choose to host your blog on any server(web host) of your choice; You must host your content on wordpress.com. While wordprss.org is self-hosted, you can host it on any server of your choice.
WordPress.com is not suitable for anyone who wants to make his or her blog/website a money-making business. WordPress.com, just like google blogger(Blogspot), limits what you can do with your blog.
You can’t have a website with wordpress.com or blogger; it’s only possible with wordpress.org. Of course, a blog is different from a website. You can’t use a 3rd party plugin or any plugin of your choice in wordpress.com. You can only “JETPACK,” which is WordPress-owned property, and it can’t perform 10% of everyone’s needs. Jetpacks paid version is highly costly, which you can get 3rd party plugins for free on wordpress.org that offers the same feature as that of a jetpack.
In blogger, you cannot use any plugin since there’s no directory for plugin installation.
You can’t upload music files or large video files on wordpress.com, but you can on wordpress.org. WordPress.com, just like Blogspot(blogger), has the right to discontinue your blog if you go against their policy. But it’s not that way in wordpress.org because you’re not hosting your website’s/blog’s on WordPress or google server.
You have a dedicated place you host your blog online, which you paid. They can’t control your blog if you are on wodpress.org. But they can if you are on wordpress.com or google blogger because it’s free to use.
Blogger and wordpress.com are for those who are blogging with no interest in making serious money with their blog. WordPress.org has all the necessary tools(plugins and themes) that make your blog successful, not available on wordpress.com and Blogspot.
WordPress.org has thousands of free and paid plugins and themes you can use to rank your post, optimize your blog for speed and performance(which is now a Google ranking factor).
WordPress.org also has tools that help you generate free organic traffic, monetize your blog and generate leads for free and otherwise.
WordPress.org is flexible; they don’t limit you in any way, just like wordpress.com and Blogger(Blogspot) do.
Most blogs and websites you will encounter are self-hosted (wordpress.org) because they take their blog/website as a business. My blog @blogimize.com is on a self-hosted blogging platform(wordpress.org CMS) and hosted on a preferred hosting company (hostinger).
As you can see, I have 100% control of my blog because I’m not on a free limited blogging platform like blogger and worpress.com. That’s because I take my blog as a natural source of income, so I wouldn’t like anyone to control or restrict my blog if I mistakenly go against their policy.
If you want to take your blog or website to a greater level, utilize wordpress.org.
WordPress.org makes the workflow more accessible, easier and faster by providing us with a variety of free and premium tools that do specific tasks. With wordpress.org, you can have a dynamic(functional) blog or website, which is not possible for blogger and wordpress.com users.
GETTING YOUR RESOURCES READY(HOSTING AND A DOMAIN)
To create a blog, you need a hosting plan and a domain before starting a blog. The hosts I will share with you are reliable. One of them has been operating since 2003, hosting millions of blogs worldwide.
WordPress being the most extensive content management system(CMS), I highly recommend it because the service is good. Imagine WordPress recommending your service? It’s just like google recommending your service. Tell me, if google recommends your blog as a reliable source, who will be afraid of visiting your blog? That’s a sign of reliability and a good reputation. Also, they offer a free SSL certificate(mandated by google).
Do you know? Suppose your blog/website doesn’t have an SSL certificate. In that case, your blog/website will hardly rank on the search engine result page(SERP) because the blog isn’t secured. Thus, not reliable, which will make way for hackers to hack and steal your data away from you.
Daily backups make sure your blog is secure in case of any misconfiguration, which you can revert from the backup copy. They also offer domain name registration worth $9-$15/year. So you don’t need to pay for domain name registration for the first year when you purchase a hosting plan from their company. Purchase a hosting plan from any of the web hosting companies below.
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies, hosting millions of websites and blogs globally. They offer free SSL(secure socket layer) for site security, a free domain name and, unlimited bandwidth to accommodate your traffic.
They have a 65% discount for new customers and lots more. Since WordPress recommends Bluehost, you don’t have to think twice before determining if their service will serve you better or not.
Most bloggers recommend it because it’s reliable, well secured, and robust(strong). Bluehost costs around $7.99/month, but if you use the Blogimize affiliate link, It will cost you about $3.45/month.
Bluehost has built a reputable brand. That’s precisely why top blogger and affiliate marketers recommend their service. Bluehost is an excellent option for anyone who wants to purchase a one-year plan or anyone who doesn’t want limits on traffic visits in a month. Use Bluehost if you’re going to buy shared hosting for short term plan(one year plan). Hostinger is recommended for cloud hosting on long-term plans(2-3 years plan). I use Bluehost on my client’s blogs, while I use hostinger on my blog(blogimize).
Hostinger, on the other hand, is well known for providing quality web hosting service at affordable rates. Usually, the web hosting service starts from $0.99/month, but they have limitations in bandwidth. They have a maximum number of visits you can have on each plan. Unlike Bluehost that doesn’t have limits on traffic, hostinger does. You are entitled to about 5,000 blog visits per month on their basic shared hosting.
Hostinger is an excellent web hosting service. I have been using it on my blog blogimize, and it serves me well. It’s very fast in speed and connection. They offer free SSL certificates, free domain(shared premium hosting and above), free CDN(content delivery network for fast loading web pages), and lots more.
If you want the best of hostinger, use their cloud hosting service because it has enough resources and 4x faster in speed than shared hosting. If you want a fast loading blog, use hostinger’s cloud hosting(their best cloud hosting is powered by google cloud infrastructure). Hostinger is best for a long-term plan. If you want to purchase a 2-3 years plan with enough resources as I did for blogimize, hostinger is the best option for you. Use hostinger if you are on a lower budget.
Now let me guide you on how to purchase a hosting plan with Bluehost or hostinger without paying for domain free. You only pay for web hosting while you get a free domain name.
STEP 1: HOW TO PURCHASE WEB HOSTING PLAN AND GET FREE DOMAIN
HOW TO PURCHASE A WEB HOSTING SERVICE FROM BLUEHOST
HOW TO PURCHASE A WEB HOSTING SERVICE FROM HOSTINGER
STEP 2: HOW TO INSTALL THE LATEST VERSION OF WORDPRESS ON YOUR HOSTING ACCOUNT
INSTALLING WORDPRESS LATEST VERSION FOR YOUR BLOG/WEBSITE.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system(CMS) that allows us to create and manage our web content. Unlike blogging platforms (Blogspot) and microblogging platforms like Twitter and, Tumblr that only allows us to have a blog where we publish articles online. With a CMS, you can create a blog or a website, design it, manage it and add extra functionality to your blog or website. WordPress is the largest CMS on earth, powering over 40% of the web. 90% of USA blogs and websites are using WordPress.
Both Bluehost and hostinger have made it easier for us to install WordPress automatically on our blog/website with a one-click install. All you need is to click on the install button, and that’s all(no hassle or stress).
Now you have gotten web hosting, log in to your Webhosting account using your credentials (login details).
Then click on the one-click button to install WordPress on your server. Be sure you select “https://” as your URL structure before the installation. And never forget to set a custom password for your blog. Some hackers do try to hack your blog by trying to use default WordPress login details (“admin” for username and “pass” for password).
When they visit “yourdomain.com/wp-admin” and type in the admin and pass in the required field, they could log in to your blog without your consent. So it’s highly recommended to use your username and a strong password when installing WordPress for your blog/website. When the installation is complete, you can log in to your WordPress dashboard to set up, customize, design, or add extra functionality to your blog.
2.1: On your web hosting dashboard, click on “edit website” for hostinger users or “login with Bluehost” if you purchased a Bluehost hosting plan to log in to your WordPress dashboard. Alternatively, you can enter this (“yourdomain.com/wp-admin”) on your browser address bar to log in manually with the username and password you supplied when installing WordPress on your server. If you have login successfully is time to work on your site/blog.
STEP 3: INSTALLING ANY THEME OF YOUR CHOICE
What is a theme?
A theme is a template that determines the look, feel, and functionality of your blog/website. Your website or blog template defines the appearance of your blog or website.
Do you know? The theme you use on your blog affects your blog/website’s speed? It’s essential to install a fast-loading theme to make the best of your user’s experience. Generate press is the fastest loading theme, according to research. It loads in one second on mobile and 0.8 seconds on desktop.
Astra is an alternative to the GeneratePress theme, which loads in two seconds on mobile and under one second on desktop. Both themes are premium theme but have a free version which you can use. Here in blogimize, I use the Generatepress WordPress theme to speed up my blog. Most bloggers use it because it’s very fast in speed. Since Google made speed a ranking factor, we all need to optimize our blog for speed to rank high on the search engine result page(SERP). A blog that takes much time to load will rank behind those that load faster.
HOW TO INSTALL A WORDPRESS THEME(WP THEME)
3.1: On your wordpress dashboard click on “appearance”>> then click on “themes”>> and “add new”
When a page displays WordPress recommended options, select your preferred theme and click on the “install button” to install it and “activate it” when the installation is complete. Alternatively, you can use the search bar to search for any WordPress theme you want to install on your blog. Click on the customize button to customize your blog/website.
You will see modules/settings for header, footer, menu, sidebar, homepage, additional CSS, and otherwise on the customization section. Your theme will determine what you can customize on your blog. We will discuss customization later in this blog starter guide.
PS: All themes have unique features and functions. Install the one that best matches your blog or website in terms of features and functionality. If your blog is about news, search for information related theme and install.
STEP 4: INSTALLING REQUIRED PLUGINS
Another crucial aspect of blogging is creating a dynamic blog/website(a functional blog, not static). WordPress plugins do that for you. Below are lists of must-have WordPress plugins you need to install on your blog and what it does.
HOW TO INSTALL A WORDPRESS PLUGIN
The same protocol for installing a WordPress theme applies to the WordPress plugin. There’s no difference.
On your wordpress dashboard click on “plugins”>>”add new”> to add new plugin.
You can upload a plugin, install featured plugins or search for anyone using the search bar.
INSTALL REQUIRED PLUGINS
Below are the list of required and must-have plugins for your blog/website and what you can use it to do.
1-AMP plugin: AMP is the acronym for accelerated mobile page. It helps a page to load faster(AMP is for a slow blog). If your blog is speedy, avoid it.
2-PAGE SPEED OPTIMIZATION PLUGIN. Page speed optimization helps you optimize your blog for speed and performance.
3-A CACHING CDN PLUGIN. Caching and CDN(content delivery network) plugin help you store a copy of your blog on a caching server. It distributes your content to the nearest server within your audience location. When anyone requests to visit the page, it will be served from a cached version nearest to their location and not from the central server. CDN makes your page load faster because users don’t need to wait for the page to travel a long distance to get the information from the central server.
4-SEO PLUGIN. SEO is the acronym for search engine optimization. We optimize our blog for both users and search engine to rank on the first page in the google result page. These plugins help us to optimize our posts for search engines to rank high.
5-CONTACT FORM PLUGIN. A contact form plugin helps your blog visitors to contact you anytime from your blog. Anyone can send you an e-mail message from your blog without leaving your blog with a contact form.
6-PUSH NOTIFICATION PLUGIN. Your blog visitors who subscribe to your blog will get a notification when you publish a new blog post on your blog with the help of a push notification plugin. When a post is published, they will receive updates via a web browser to visit your blog post.
7-SOCIAL SHARE AND SOCIAL FOLLOW PLUGIN. Your blog visitors can easily follow you on any social media platform you specified with a social follow plugin. The same applied to social sharing, making it easy for people to share your blog posts to reach a wider audience.
8-E-MAIL LIST BUILDER. Don’t you want to have subscribers you send e-mail newsletter anytime anywhere? Indeed it’s required and very important because you can promote your blog post, increase your earnings and page views with your e-mail list builder.
9-WRITING ASSISTANT. With a writing assistant, you can easily find an error with your writings and fix it.
Please install only one version from the option listed below. I.e., install only one plugin that does a specific task. Don’t install two plugins that do the same thing. It can cause conflict on your blog.
We have two popular AMP versions, the official AMP plugin(AMP DEV) developed by Google developers and one from an independent WordPress developer. Both are great but googles amp is slightly limited in terms of functionality while faster than the other.
PAGE SPEED OPTIMIZATION PLUGIN
Litespeed and is a free all-in-one WordPress plugin for speed optimization. It has features like caching, minification(removing unwanted elements from your program), image optimization and lazy loading, an inbuilt CDN for content delivery, and lot’s more. With it, you can optimize your blog for speed. Phastpress is a lightweight and fast-growing page speed plugin that is not yet popular like Litespeed. Without a doubt, Phastpress has better optimization than other page optimization plugins because it has Gzip compression, which others lack the feature.
CDN AND A CACHING PLUGIN
Cloudflare is the largest CDN on earth, with over 200 data centers around the globe. CDN helps distribute your website’s or blog’s content to the nearest server eradicating the need for reaching out to the main server to process a request. The best alternative to Cloudflare is MAX CDN and QUIC CDN of Litespeed.
Semrush is a well-known brand for providing SEO and digital marketing tool for bloggers, content marketers, and SEOs. Semrush helps you achieve any goal in SEO. It’s an SEO tool hub with over 45 tools for social media marketing and optimization, search engine marketing and optimization, content marketing and optimization, keyword research, rank tracker, brand mention and monitoring, writing assistant, and many more tools. Rank math is another plugin you will need. It’s an on-page optimization plugin. You can use it to optimize your post for both users and search engines. It’s pretty different from semrush. You can have the two in one blog or website.
Semrush makes your workflow easier. With semrush, you can conduct adequate keyword research, site audit, content audit, social post-management, and otherwise. It’s a premium plugin starting from $99/month. It’s indeed excellent value for money because it has over 45 different tools you could imagine. You can go for a free 30 days trial to learn more about their plugin before deciding to purchase it.
I use the semrush SEO web app to carry out SEO tasks on blogimize. Do you know? Forbes uses a semrush tool to benchmark their competitors, carry out SEO tasks, and quickly rank their posts in SERP(search engine result post).
Contact form 7 and wp-forms are the best form builder in the market. Both plugins are easy to use and set up.
Have you ever heard about WebpushR, PushEngage, or Onesignal? The three tends to be the best in the market.
SOCIAL MEDIA SHARE/FOLLOW PLUGIN
Add-to-any is well known social share, and social follow plugin. It allows users to share your post and as well, follow you on social media. And this is a friendly alternative to add-to-any. It also displays a shared count of your social shares. You can as well use the Superb social follow and share plugin.
E-MAIL LIST BUILDER
Of course, if you don’t build an e-mail list for your blog, you are missing to collect leads from your target audience. Most e-mail list builders are premium tools. They ensure your subscribers are stored online so you can easily send your subscribers e-mail campaigns anytime.
With e-mail list contacts of yours, you can drive traffic and sales to your blog without depending on social media or search engines like google to drive traffic to your blog. Convertkit is not just an e-mail list builder; it is also a lead generator. With their premade landing page templates that convert, you can build an e-mail list even if you cant design a landing page that generates leads.
They have a free plan to test their service before deciding to upgrade to a pro version. Sendinblue is one of the best alternatives to Convertkit. The money is on the list. You only pay when you send out e-mail campaigns; unlike others that charge per contact(subscribers), Sendinblue charges you per sent e-mails. It also has an online chat module and SMS contacts to store users’ phone numbers which you can use to send them SMS campaigns. You can as well you can embed a chat button on your blog to communicate with your audience.
I remembered when I got negative feedback on a piece of my writing. That’s because I don’t use a writing assistant tool that finds and fixes typographical and grammatical errors on my blog posts. You must have heard of Grammarly. It’s a great writing assistant tool. Millions of blogs and websites use it to write their blog post.
STEP 5: MANAGING YOUR BLOG’S/WEBSITE’S SETTINGS
Now I will guide you on how to manage your WordPress settings, including permalink.
Permalink is your URL structure.
5.1: On your WordPress dashboard, go to ‘settings”>”general” and input your blog’s/websites’ title ( name of your blog ). You can choose to select your date format and “save changes.”
5.2: Click on “settings”>”reading” and select the option to either display the latest post on your homepage or not. You have to choose a blog post page(you will need a web designer to design a landing page for you if you decide not to have your latest posts on your homepage). Now you need to specify the number of posts to display on your homepage or blog post page. 10-20 is what I recommend.
Select “summary” and continue. Post summary shows a snippet of the post’s content instead of the complete content on the blog post page.
5.3: Again, click on “settings”>>”discussion” and specify how your comments should be. Select “newer” if you want the latest comment to be at the top of the page(recommended). By default latest comments should be above others.
PS: In the text area provided in the discussion settings page, you can automatically filter out or permanently delete some spammy comments from your blog. All you have to do is to list those words in the “disallow comment keys” section, that’s all.
Let’s say you don’t want anyone to comment words like “scam, legit, money, damn, www, .com, .net… Include those terms and their variants in the “disallow comment section.”
There would be no comment with any of these words on your blog. When someone adds a comment statement with such terms, the command you set will filter it out automatically. You can use this strategy to auto accept or manually approve specific comments on your blog. Make sure you add the right words in a field provided for it. There are a couple of things you could do on the discussion settings page. You can choose to approve all comments manually, automatically, or delete or approve comments with certain words. Don’t forget to “save your changes.”
5.4: Finally, on your “settings page,” goto “permalink,” and select “post name” in the “common post” section and “save changes.”
STEP 6: CREATING VERY IMPORTANT PAGES
-FTC DISCLOSURE: Do you monetize your blog? If yes, you need to have a page that explains how you monetize your blog. It’s compulsory to comply with the federal trade commission(FTC). If you earn through affiliate marketing or the likes, you need a page for it.
-TERMS AND CONDITION OR TERMS OF USAGE: This page enlightens users on using your blog or website and conditions for using it if there’s.
-BLOG POST PAGE: This page displays your latest blog posts. If you have a landing page as your homepage, you need a blog post page. If you chose to have your latest posts on your homepage, then there’s no need for a blog post page.
-CONTACT ME/ CONTACT US PAGE: How can your visitor contact you without having to leave your blog? It’s with the help of a contact form. A contact page is needed to make it easier for anyone that wants to reach out to you for partnership, recommendation, or negotiation. Do you know why I asked you to download the contact form 7 plugin? You will use it to create a contact form that users will use to reach you from your blog.
-ABOUT ME/ABOUT US PAGE: What is your blog/website objective? Who are you? On this page, you need to write about your business and yourself too. Make it easy for people to know who you are and what your online business does.
Now you know the pages you need, it is time to guide you on creating a WordPress page on your blog.
HOW TO CREATE PAGES/CATEGORIES/TAGS IN WORDPRESS
6.1: Goto “pages” in your WordPress admin dashboard and click “add new.”
6.2: On the screen that displays, input the page’s title, add content in the body and click the publish button to save your work(you can leave the body empty and add contents to it later). The choice is yours.
Repeat this step for all the pages, categories, or tags you want to have on your WordPress blog or website.
You need to have categories for some posts. You will learn more later in this guide.
STEP 7: HOW TO CREATE POSTS IN WORDPRESS.
Creating a WordPress post is simple. It’s the same as creating a page.
7.1: On your WordPress admin dashboard, click on “posts”>> then “add new”
7.2: Input the title or headline of your post and write its body content.
7.3: At the right sidebar, click on “category” or “tag” to categorize or tag your post. Also, you can add a featured post, post description, alternative image text(ALT KEYWORD) at your right sidebar.
7.4: Click on the “+” sign to add blocks to your post. You can add a block for image, text, video, link, social follow, contact form, and otherwise with the “+” plus sign.
7.5: With the “intersect icon,” you can easily add links to any text on your post.
7.6: click the “preview button” to view your post and the “publish button” to save your writings.
STEP 8: HOW TO SET UP YOUR WORDPRESS PLUGIN
Plugins add extra functionality to your blog/website. I will guide you on how to set up some of the recommended plugins I mentioned earlier.
HOW TO SET UP RANK MATH SEO PLUGIN
Rank maths has lots of features that we won’t discuss in this post. I will only guide you by setting up google analytics, searching console, and fixing all 404 pages with it.
WHAT IS A 404 PAGE?
A 404 page is a page that doesn’t exist on your blog or website. When someone clicks on a 404 page, they will land on an empty page without any content. It is bad for your user experience. Never mind, I show you how to get rid of it.
Both search console and the google analytics are Google-owned property used to know how your blog performs in search results. Search console is meant for technical aspects while google analytics is for site analysis.
8.1: Click on the rankmath icon on your dashboard. You can locate it on your left sidebar or top bar.
8.2: click on “redirection” and select “custom redirection.” Then input your homepages domain URL or unique 404 page URL if you have any. Doing this will automatically redirect anyone that lands on a “404 page” (not found pages) to your homepage or a custom 404 page.
8.3: Toggle on the “auto-post redirect” option. It helps you avoid a 404-page error when you change your post URL slug(an URL slug looks like this blogimiz.com/start-blog, blogimize.com/start-a-blog, blogimize.com/monetize-a-blog…)
8.4: Don’t forget to save your changes.
8.5: Click on “analytics” to verify your google analytics and search console account. Select “analytics” for google analytics
8.6: Use your facebook account, google account, or WordPress account to log in to your google analytics account and continue.
8.7: Return to rankmath settings page.
8.8: Toggle on the option to “install google analytics” tracking code and connect. If done correctly, your google analytics account will automatically be active on your blog/website.
8.9: Click on “search console” to configure the google search console account for your blog.
8.1.0: Open “console.googlr.com” in a new tab.
8.1.1: Input your “blogs URL as your domain name property” and copy a code generated.
Note: You need to choose the option to verify your blog with meta code.
8.1.2: Return to your rank math settings page and paste the meta code in the search console path provided for it.
Alternatively, you can verify your search console property by navigating to “appearance”>>” theme editor”>>”header.php,” paste the meta code in the bottom section and save changes.
PS: Don’t do this if you don’t know how to place the code. It could not work if you put it in the wrong section. Better still, use rank maths to verify your search console.
If you followed the proper configuration on this post, your blog google analytics, search console, and 404 fixes would work perfectly.
HOW TO CONFIGURE LITESPEED PLUGIN
8.1.3: On your WordPress admin panel, click on “LiteSpeed cache.”
8.1.4: On the Litespeed dashboard, click on “cache” and enable all cache except object cache(this requires some technical and advanced configurations). Ensure you enable browser caching.
8.1.5: Goto “image optimization” and select “image optimization settings” to manage its settings.
8.1.6: “Switch on” option for “optimize original images,” select “replace original images with web font images,” and “save changes.”
8.1.7: Goto “page optimization” and switch on options for “CSS minify, load CSS asynchronously, async lib, generate critical CSS and inline CSS.
8.1.9: In media settings, toggle on the option for “image lazy-loading.”
8.2.0: Click on “CDN” and enable ‘QUIC. Cloud” CDN. It’s easy. All you have to do is to log in with your Google account and generate a key. That’s all.
You have successfully optimized your blog/website for speed. Let’s continue.
HOW TO SET UP SUPERB FOLLOW/SHARE PLUGIN
8.2.1: Visit your WordPress admin section and navigate to superb follow/share plugin settings
8.2.2: Click on “share buttons” and chose where you want to display share buttons on your blog and save changes.
8.2.3: Select social media platforms you would like your audience to share your posts to save changes.
When you make a post, a social share button will be at the bottom section of that post. You can repeat these steps for “social media follow” settings.
HOW TO SET UP CONTACT FORM FOR WP-FORMS
8.2.4: On your WordPress dashboard, navigate to “wp forms.” You can also locate it in the plugin section
8.2.5: Click “Add new” and select “simple contact form.”
8.2.6: Customize the form or save it with the default settings provided by the developer.
8.2.7: Save and continue.
8.2.8: Now go to the “contact us/me page” you created in your WordPress page section.
8.2.9: Open the page to edit it. Click on the “+” plus sign button and add a block for “contact form by wp forms.”
8.3.0: Now, select the form name you created from a list of the drop-down menu displayed.
8.3.1: Publish the page.
When your visitor visits your contact page, they can directly send you an e-mail message within your blog.
If you are still reading up to this level, you are great indeed. I will guide you on Customizing your blog, generating traffic for your new blog and, making money with your blog regardless of your niche. Mistakes to avoid as a new blogger to be successful are steps left on this guide( how to create a successful blog and make money ).
STEP 9: HOW TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR BLOG.
The customization module differs in terms of the theme you are using on your blog. The template you use determines the level of customization you will have on your blog/website. I will guide you on customizing your blog using generate press theme, precisely what I am using on my blog.
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR BLOG USING GENERATE PRESS THEME(GP THEME)
9.1: On your WordPress dashboard home, click on “customize site” or goto “appearance”>>”Edit homepage.”
9.2: Click on “menus,” input the menu name, select “primary menu” for it and continue.
9.3: Click “Add items” to add contents like pages or posts to your menu. Your menu can contain links, pages, posts, categories, or tags.
Since this is your primary menu, all you need is navigational links, essential pages, and categories(this makes your blog/website easy to navigate).
9.4: Click on “categories/pages” to add categories and vital pages(about, blog, and contact page) on your primary menu.
If your blog is about SEO, you should use category for SEO (search engine optimization), backlinking and, SEM(search engine marketing). If you are blogging on entertainment niche, you need to add categories like ‘sports, news, or trends. Add relevant category to your primary menu.
If you’re still wondering what a menu is. It’s your blog’s navigation where most essential links live. It helps to navigate from one page to another.
Your primary menu is accessible on all pages of your blog/website. Users can use it to navigate with ease on your blog.
Note: If your homepage doesn’t display your latest posts, you need to have a “BLOG” page on your menu to make it easy for anyone that wants to access your latest posts page.
9.5: Return to your customizing page and go to “sidebar or main sidebar.’
9.6: Click “add widget” to add a widget to your sidebar
Here you can add vital blogging widgets to your sidebar.
You can add an e-mail subscription form, custom HTML, links, social follow, or your money post to your sidebar. When someone finishes reading a post/page’s content, the next thing they will see is your sidebar widget if they are on mobile view. It is a way to present important call-to-action on your blog/website. Your sidebar widget will live on all the pages and posts on your blog/website. It’s essential to add relevant widgets to your sidebar.
9.7: Save your changes by clicking on the “publish” button.
9.8: Click on homepage settings to configure it and click on publish button. You have to select from two options available(display latest posts on your homepage or chose blog post page)
9.9: Return to your post customization page. Go to “add widget”>>”footer widget”
9.1.1: Click “Publish” to save your changes.
You are done creating, setting up and, customizing your WordPress blog. Bravo! You are rocking; keep reading to learn how to get users to visit your blog and ways to monetize your blog.
STEP 10: HOW TO GENERATE TRAFFIC FOR A NEW BLOG/WEBSITE
If you have a newly created blog, the next thing that comes to your mind is how do I generate traffic for my blog?
Do you know? Traffic is money in blogging. Without anyone visiting your blog/website, you won’t make money in blogging. When people begin to visit your blog, you will start to earn some amount of money. You will hardly monetize your new blog if no one views it. Below are common ways to drive traffic to a new blog or website.
1-BUILD AND JOIN RELEVANT SOCIAL COMMUNITY/GROUP
Most common and recommended social community or group you should create are a Facebook group, quora/Reddit community, telegram, and WhatsApp group. Join other relevant groups in your blog niche to promote your blog post to a targeted audience that converts. When promoting your blog post in other people’s communities, always provide value and build trust before advertising your blog post. Be neutral to avoid removal from the group. Build a close relationship with admins and moderators of the groups to make it easy to share your blog post links and promote your article. Share your group post to similar groups of yours. Invite your friends to be part of your group and encourage them to invite their friends.
2-BUILD E-MAIL LIST
An E-mail list is among the best ways to generate free organic traffic to your blog. All you need is an e-mail list builder like convert kit, Sendinblue, Aweber, or active campaigns. With an e-mail list builder, you can easily collect leads(your blog visitors e-mail address) to send them an e-mail newsletter anytime from your blog. Don’t depend on google free organic traffic. Diversify your economy by building an e-mail list. When users subscribe to your newsletter, they want you to send them relevant and helpful e-mail newsletters. You can use this medium to send e-mail campaigns to your subscribers whenever you publish a new blog post on your blog. Your E-mail list will increase your page views and thus, increasing your AdSense revenue.
3-MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PUSH NOTIFICATION PLUGIN ON YOUR BLOG
Push notification is an untapped goldmine. It helps us drive traffic to our blog. Push notification is extraordinary because anytime you create a new post on your blog, your subscribers will always get a new post alert. WebpushR, onesignal, gravitek, subscribers, and PushEngage are my recommendations.
It would be best if you defined when to display a prompt subscription option to your visitors, that’s all. When they agree to receive your updates, they will be receiving notifications when you make new posts. You can as well use it to send manual post notifications.
4-TARGET LOW COMPETITION OR LONGTAIL KEYWORD
Keyword in SEO(search engine optimization) are terms you write contents on or specific term/phrase you include on your post to rank it on google. Keywords like “start a blog” is a short tail keyword that is very hard to rank on search engine result page(SERP).
The keywords below are all examples of low, competitive keywords “How to start a blog in Nigeria. “How to start a blog in the UK(united kingdom). How to start a blog in Australia. How to start a blog in the USA(united states of America). How to start a blog in Canada. How to start a blog in Ghana. How to start a blog in South Africa.” It’s easy to rank because it’s a specific longtail keyword. The list of terms above is undoubtfully easy to rank on SERP(search engine result page).
Target keywords with low KD (keyword difficulty). They are easy to rank.
They are easy to rank in SERP(search engine result page). SEO tools like Semrush will help you find lower competitive keywords you can easily rank for and generate free organic traffic.
5-DON’T HESITATE TO HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA SHARE BUTTONS ON EVERY POST
Do you know? Your blog visitors do promote your blog post if you provide value. When you write helpful content and ask them to share, most of them will share your blog post with their friends on the social community, improving your blog post traffic and social traction. Sharing is caring. Inform your readers to help you share your content after reading your article.
6-WRITE HELPFUL CONTENT
Beyond doubt, when people find your post helpful and informative, they will share it with their users regardless of the source. Don’t just write. Write valuable content for your ideal audience. Always write content that has value. Google now uses users’ experience as a ranking factor. Ensure your readers have a good user experience to stand a chance of outranking poor contents in SERP(Search engine result page). And also, gain referral links that drive referral traffic to your site/blog. When bloggers or journalists read your post and find it interesting, informative, and helpful, they are likely to share it with their vast social fanbase. Provide value with your content.
STEP 11: HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR BLOG
Now you have created your blog from scratch, the next thing I will enlighten you on is how to earn with your blog. Below are common ways to monetize your blog.
1-BECOME AN AFFILIATE MARKETER
Partner with companies and businesses and promote their product or services as an affiliate to earn money per successful sale. Affiliate marketing has been my best source of income on my blog. I recommend a couple of services while making money online with my blog. Whenever someone uses your affiliate link to purchase a product or service, you will earn some amount of money from that company you are promoting.e
2-CREATE ROOM FOR SPONSORSHIP
It’s hard for people to know that your blog/website accepts sponsored posts or advert without making them public to visitors. Create an “ADVERTISE WITH US PAGE OR BANNER.” It makes people think about negotiating with you to promote their product/service on your blog and earn money with your blog. Advertisers will pay you to place banner ads or sponsored posts on your blog/website.
An ad network is 3rd party advertiser. They negotiate with advertisers and then pay you to display those ads on your blog or website. Advertisers pay Google to promote their product/services by showing it to a targeted audience and google then pays you by displaying it on your blog. Google AdSense tends to be the best and most popular ad network in the market. There is another ad network you can sign up for, media.net, propeller ads, and Adsterra is a few from the list.
4-SELL DIGITAL PRODUCT
Digital products are what we see, feel but can’t touch. If you decide to sell websites, domains, blogging/SEO tools, you are selling a digital product. An E-book is an example of a digital product. Create an e-book that resonates with your audience and sell it on your blog/website to make passive income. You can sell an unlimited number of e-books to your blog visitors.
Do you have a physical or digital product to sell? Can you make a physical product that your audience love? Offer the product for sale on your blog/website. You can also purchase premade products on popular e-commerce stores or marketplace and resell them on your blog.
Aliexpress, Alibaba, eBay, and amazon are a prominent marketplace to purchase cheap products from suppliers and manufacturers. You can sell something like home gadgets, electronics, groceries, and clothes with custom writeups that go hand-in-hand with your blog/website.
6-RENDERING OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Make use of yours to monetize your blog/website. What can you do perfectly? Render services for it within your blog and make money. Can you design a blog, youtube cover photo, infographics, or video presentation?
Render services for it and make money with your blog. If you are good in SEO, WordPress, or writing, offer professional service about it and earn from the comfort of your home.
Do you want to be a successful blogger? One thing you should care for is avoiding mistakes upcoming bloggers make. Avoiding these mistakes will make you successful.
STEP 12: MISTAKES NEWBIE BLOGGERS OFTEN DO WHEN STARTING A BLOG
Below is the blogging advice I give upcoming bloggers.
1-DESPERATE TO MAKE MONEY FROM DAY 1 AFTER STARTING THE BLOG
Most new bloggers I have ever met prioritize making money on launching their blog. Instead, focus on publishing helpful content and generating traffic (visitors) to your blog. Yes, it’s good to think of how to monetize your blog. Still, traffic and quality content should be your primary focus after creating your blog/website. Many bloggers quit blogging. They didn’t see the result they thought of because their main focus is to earn money.
Traffic is money, and content brings traffic to your blog/website. If you focus on creating helpful content, people will begin to visit your blog and share your content, which generates many visitors to your blog. Do you know why WhatsApp is more popular than it was? The main focus is getting people tO use their platform for free. When WhatsApp was a paid social media app, their traffic was very little because the owner tried to monetize it from the go. Before using it on “Ios,” you need to pay a minimum of $1 before downloading it. Also, you need to pay a monthly subscription before while using their platform.
But immediately mark purchased it, he removed all the subscriptions and focused on increasing their userbase. Now WhatsApp makes a lot of money from API(application programming interface) because their fanbase is enticing(now it’s the largest messaging app on earth). Verified brands pay to their API to automate pieces of stuff that make their business workflow more accessible and faster. If Facebook had made money their number one priority, it wouldn’t be the largest social media platform on earth.
Focus on creating high-quality and helpful content. Your number one priority should be traffic and building a good relationship with your visitors to make a massive amount of money with your blog/website. Traffic is money. Without traffic(visitors), you won’t be able to monetize your blog.
2-HAVING ZERO KNOWLEDGE IN YOUR NICHE
Many bloggers choose to blog on a particular niche. Why? They believe it’s highly profitable or maybe, they see that most people blog on that niche or that their friend blogs on that. It is not a good blogging practice.
If you do because others are doing, you have a 50/50 chance of succeeding. Because a friend of yours is successful or unsuccessful doesn’t guarantee you will be successful or unsuccessful. Find a niche you have at least a considerable level of knowledge or one you love to blog on. Even if you don’t know the blogging niche you like, don’t have bias mind. All I will advise you to do is to learn from experts and successful bloggers in that field.
3-CHOOSING THE WRONG BLOGGING PLATFORM
WordPress indeed is the most popular and the best CMS(content management system) in the market. It powers over 40% of the web. Most bloggers will choose wordpress.com over wordpress.org because they don’t have money for hosting and domain or thought the two are the same. It’s completely different. WordPress.com(wp.com) is the lite version of wordpress.org(wp.org). WordPress.com lacks essential blogging tools. It has many limitations, so it’s not suitable for bloggers who want to take their blog to the next level.
4-BLOGGING WITHOUT PASSION
I want to start a blog and make money, but I don’t have a passion for it. How can I go about this? It is the most common type of issue most of us face when starting a blog. Blogging indeed is lucrative and highly profitable. It requires money, knowledge, passion, time, hard work, and patience. Without love in whatever you are doing, you will find it hard to cope with any condition or overcome any obstacle that might come your way. I blog on digital marketing sub-niche @blogging because I am passionate about it. Even if I don’t make money in 6 months intervals, I will be doing it because I’m doing what I love. Try to do it as your hobby and watch out how your money flows in.
5-CHOOSING THE WRONG HOSTING PROVIDER
Many bloggers chose poor and cheap hosting providers without thoroughly reviewing their performance, features, and quality. Most cheap hosts are substandard and of low quality. Only a few of them are worthy. Before you choose a hosting provider, make sure their review is outstanding.
If an authority in any field recommends the host, then it’s likely to be reliable. An authoritative blog/website can’t recommend an inferior product or service that could hurt its business trust.
Before an authority recommends your product, it must be of great value to users. Do you know why most bloggers recommend Bluehost? It’s because their service is reliable. WordPress recommends it. The same applies to “SEMRUSH SEO TOOLS HUB.” The vast majority of bloggers and affiliate marketers recommend it because it’s one of the best SEO tools out there. Forbes uses it, and it’s a sign of good reputation and reliability. I recommend hosting cloud hosting because I am using it, and it serves me well.
6-NOT HARDWORKING/SMART WORKING
The blogging niche has competition. Some have low competition, while some have high competition. You need to work hard but more brilliant if you want to take your competitor’s position in the search engine result pages, social media, and other channels. Don’t sleep and go. Don’t believe in fantasy(imagination).
“Work like every waking hour of the day-ELON MUSK.”
Suppose you had read about Elon musk(one of the richest men on earth). Probably in his motivational speech on “HOW TO START A COMPANY,” you will realize that hard work pays. There was a time he’d sleep on a couch along with his brother. They work all day, 7days/week. They work overnight, working with their system. The position he is in right now doesn’t come from above. He worked hard to the extent of selling his first company for 300+ million dollars. He wouldn’t be wealthy up to this level if he did not work hard but more thoughtful. Work hard, Play hard. Hard work pays.
FAQS(FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)
HOW CAN I GET ADSENSE APPROVAL FAST?
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORDPRESS.COM AND WORDPRESS.ORG?
IS WORDPRESS BETTER THAN BLOGGER?
WHAT IS THE BEST BLOGGING PLATFORM?
HOW TO RANK A BLOG
IS BLOG DIFFERENT FROM A WEBSITE?
BLOGGER VS WORDPRESS
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HOSTING PROVIDER
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DOMAIN NAME FOR MY BLOG
WHATS URL ADRESS
IS URL DIFFERENT FROM DOMAIN
How can I start a free blog?
THE BOTTOM LINE(SUMMARY)
Although this is such a long guide, I believe this guide covers all you need to know when starting a blog that makes money. You have learned how to customize a blog, install quality plugins, and a fast-loading WordPress theme.
Now you know how to monetize your new blog and become successful in blogging by avoiding common mistakes new bloggers often make. Before you exit the page, I would like you to help me share this guide with your friends on social media and subscribe to receive my latest updates. Indeed sharing is caring. Others will find it helpful. Let them know about it.
Check out a few of these helpful guides.
How to choose a perfect domain name for your blog
How to choose the best blogging niche for your business
50+ ways to monetize your new blog
How to move your wordpress.com blog to wordpress.org (switch from wp.com to wp.org)
How to move your blog from blogger(Blogspot) to WordPress without losing ranking, posts, or any content
Hostinger review(we use hostinger on our blog @blogimize)
semrush review(best SEO tools hub, used by Forbes)