It’s free for anyone to use (you just need a cheap webhost & domain name)
It’s super easy to use even if you never built a blog before
They have over 5,000 free themes to choose from to make your blog look awesome
Over 91% of all blogs are running Wordpress, including this one!
Why You Shouldn’t Create A Blog On A Free Platform
People don’t know the difference between starting a self-hosted blog and using free blogging websites.
One of the biggest mistakes I see new bloggers make, is using a free blogging platform when they are just getting started. Everyone wants to learn how to start a blog for free thinking they will become a famous author and make a stack of money.
But if you do this, you will seriously limit your potential success as a blogger.
Once you have picked your domain name (don’t buy it yet), I have some great news:
The hardest part of setting up your blog is over!
Now we just need to get it online and that can be done with a few clicks of the mouse and it really doesn’t matter if you want to learn how to start a fashion blog or a travel blog or even just have somewhere to write reviews of your family trips – the process is the same.
Step 3 – Setup Web Hosting & Wordpress
Next we need to setup your blogs hosting, install Wordpress and connect it with a domain.
If all of that sounds scary don’t worry, most of it happens automatically with a couple of clicks, but first let’s go over some basics.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is what keeps your blog “online” and stores all of your blogs files, images and content. If you don’t have a web host then no one else would be able to see your blog!
A good web host means that your blog will be available to every single person in the world, every single second of every single day.
Avoid Bad Web Hosting Companies!
There are both good and bad hosting companies & choosing a host is an important part of starting a blog.
Many cheap hosts overload their servers which means your blog will be slow, which means updating it will take longer and it will take longer for your visitors to load it.
That is usually backed with terrible support so when you do have a problem, you’re on your own. All of this means you can’t focus on building and growing your blog.
So the only hosting company I recommend for beginners is A2Hosting because-
1 Click Wordpress installation – Installing Wordpress takes less than 30 seconds.
24/7 support – No matter what happens, they are available to help.
Free SSL – Get a free SSL certificate at zero cost to you
Turbo Servers – Much faster than other budget hosts because of their SSD & turbo cache setups so your blog loads quickly.
Now Wordpress is installed, it’s time to customize your new blog to your liking.The first thing we are going to do is find and install a theme that you like.
The design of your blog plays a huge role in the success of your blog because it’s the body language of your blog.
How To Choose A Great Wordpress Theme
Simple & clutter free – The simpler it is to read and navigate your site, the better!
Mobile responsive – Your blog needs to look great on mobile as well, this is non-negotiable.
Optimized for speed – Your blog needs to load quickly to keep visitors engaged
SEO ready – It should be built with search engine optimisation in mind
Easy to customize – Ideally you can change the layout or colours in a couple of clicks
Built in shortcodes – This makes it easy to style your blog posts
The great news is there are thousands of free Wordpress themes that you can choose from.While they might not have all of the best features and support, they are free.
To find a Wordpress do that just go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
From here you can browse through the featured, popular and latest themes to your heart’s content. Just mouse over any that you like to get a live preview or to install and activate one.
Once you have done that you can go to Appearance > Customize to tweak things like colors & fonts easily-
Just keep tweaking things until you are happy!
If you are serious about your blog then you might want to invest in a pro WordPress theme that will help you to stand out from the crowd & save a lot of the headache that you often find with free themes (like things not working properly/zero support).
In fact I highly suggest you watch the video below which explains all of the problems I had when I started my blog-
Hopefully you don’t make the same mistakes!
In fact I worked alongside the MyThemeShop team to build the custom theme that you see on the blog right now.
So if you want a Wordpress theme that builds trust, loads quickly, ranks well and positions you as the authority in your niche then you can download my theme here.
Step 5 – Writing Your First Blog Post
Now comes the fun part, it is time to start writing your first post!
Writing & publishing your first blog post might seem scary but I’m going to guide you through the process.
First of all login to your Wordpress admin dashboard (yourdomain.com/wp-admin) and then go to Posts > Add New.
You will be presented with a screen like this-
Let me explain exactly what you are seeing here-
Title Area: This is where you write the title of your blog post
Add Media: This is where you can upload images/gifs/videos
Content Area: This is where you write the main content of your post with text formatting tools above
Publishing: This is where you control if your post is published and live to the world or you can choose to schedule it in advanced.
Other: Choose or create a relevant category for your post or upload a featured image. If you don’t know what tags are then don’t worry about them.
Feel free to write anything you want for your first blog post as you get used to the Wordpress system and learn to use it’s features.
Here is an example post-
Once it is done, just click on the blue Publish button and voila!
You have just written and published your very first blog post!
Now give yourself a pat on the back and take a break because you have just started your very first blog! Congratulations!
Frequently Asked Questions About Blogging
So now you know how to start a blog the right way, I am sure you have a bunch of questions!
So I did my best to answer as many of your blogging questions as possible below.
Just click on the question(s) below to instantly reveal the answer!
Starting Your Blog
How much does it cost to start a blog?
The short answer would be around $80 to $100.
But the long answer is that this really depends on how much money you want to invest.
For example if you just buy hosting and use a free domain it can be next to nothing.
At the other end of the spectrum you could spend $300 getting your site off the ground if you want to buy premium versions of plugins, have a higher-quality logo made and get a customised premium theme.
If this is your first blog though I’d recommend the $80 to $100 I mentioned earlier. This is more than enough to get you hosting, access to a good email marketing platform, a good-quality premium theme and a logo. Becoming a blogger doesn’t need to be expensive.
You don’t need to be a ‘writer’ to be a good blogger.
Instead you just have to be able to communicate what you’re trying to say clearly, with good grammar and correct spelling. Infuse a little bit of your own personality and bring out your creative side then you’re onto a winner.
This comes mostly through practice and writing something, even just a few sentences, every single day and getting feedback on it.
I found it really helpful to develop my own blog voice that people could come to expect and set the tone of my brand.
It meant that I could self-edit my work in accordance with what I want the blog to read like, and improve my work against my own standards.
For example, every blog post I write should look stick to these rules:
Tell it like it is – straight & to the point
Like I’m talking to a friend in the pub
No more than 3 sentences in a paragraph
Short & punchy
Keep it simple
If I don’t hit all of them in a post I know I’ve not done a good job.
But it also pays to learn some of the tricks of the trade that improve your work so take a look at my website content and SEO copywriting articles to learn more.
Should I write my blog posts in English or my native language?
In order to answer this you need to answer the question, “Who am I trying to reach?”.
English is the biggest market on the internet, but it’s also not the only language on the internet.
You can be just as profitable (if not more) in Hungarian or German or Spanish or Hindi or Thai if the people you want to reach also speak that language.
There are lots of success stories of people using English, despite it being their second language, and having great success.
But there are also thousands of success stories of people blogging in their native tongues and finding success too. Just like the Comunio sports blog, all in German, that reaches thousands of people in Germany, Switzerland and Austria every day.
If your English skills are good enough, and the people you want to reach are reading in English, then go for English.
Just don’t be worried about being too niche by using your native tongue; you may find the people you want to reach only read in that language.
How often should I be publishing new blog posts?
This is a hard question to answer and it’s another one of those annoying, it depends, answers. Why?
Because this really is a non-question. It’s not a problem that you should be worrying about, because the style of your blog, and the amount of work you’re able to put in will dictate how often you should post.
Seth Godin famously blogs every day. But his blog posts are short and they’re mostly his thoughts on things. However Robbie Richards was able to grow a site to 400,000 page views with just 20 blog posts, but they’re much longer and in depth.
Frequency doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all about what you cared to say, when you said it and how you deliver that message to people.
If you post one epic blog post a month but spend 30 hours a week promoting that to people and finding new readers for it, the results could be just as good as if you write a new post every day and spend just a few hours promoting it.
How often you choose to say it doesn’t matter.
Instead create an environment where when you speak, people listen. That way you can post as often as you like which allows you the freedom and gives you the space to work on your site when needed. Once a day, once a month, doesn’t matter as long as your audience wants to hear what you have to say.
How many words should my blog posts be?
A good rule of thumb is to aim for a minimum 1,500 words and then adjust for your audience.
There is evidence to suggest that longer posts are better for blogs. Looking at research curated by QuickSprout, they tend to get more backlinks, social shares and comments, while also ranking higher in Google.
But that’s not to say that short posts aren’t effective, either. I think one of the best points of view on this comes from the Content Marketing Institute, where they say:
“A blog post is like a mini-skirt:
It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.”
If your post only needs 1000 to fully cover the subject to depth and provide enough value, then your post only needs to be that long. However if that post needs 5000 words, then it should be 5000 words long too.
No more or no less than what is needed.
But it’s also important to be aware of how your audience responds to different lengths of content. If you start getting more, or less, interaction and engagements when the post length changes, read the data and adjust accordingly.
Just make sure before adding new content that it is valuable and not just white noise that will encourage your readers to leave.
What type of blog posts should I be writing?
There are lots of different types of posts that you could write and I highly suggest you sign up to my free course that gives you some amazing templates to work with.
But for your best bang for buck you should start with these 5 types of blog posts-
How To Posts
Then you can get an idea of what your audience responds to and adjust accordingly.
These are easy to draw inspiration for, don’t require too much research, and the structure is really flexible.
Although the more you put into a post, the more you’re going to get out of it.
Getting People To Read Your Blog
How do I get people to read my blog?
Traffic is probably the most written about topic on the internet. And truth be told there are millions of ways to get people onto your blog.
For example if you run a blog about helping English speaking Expats in Dubai, you’d find all of the forums where those expats go to look for help, create great content that answers their questions, and then share it with them.
It doesn’t have to be forums, it could be social media or guest posting on other blogs they read or finding the newsletters that they’re signed up to.
How do I get more people to come to my blog from Google?
Further below you can learn how to integrate good SEO habits and start to get traffic through Google.
But once you’ve set up the basics, where do you go from there?
Well teaching that is far beyond the scope of one small portion of this FAQ so I highly recommend you visit my SEO portal to learn more.
Do I need to use social media?
You don’t need to, but it’s a good strategy to implement.
Having a presence on social media can help you build traffic, connect with new readers and increase your reach. It’s a great way to let people know about a post as soon as it’s gone live.
After a mailing list where your registered readers receive your articles, it’s one of the most direct ways of reaching your audience and they can go straight to your full post by simply clicking the link.
But don’t try to spread yourself too thin. Many new bloggers sign up to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope and Snapchat. But that’s honestly not manageable.
Instead focus your time on one channel where your audience spends most of their time – probably Facebook – learn their policy and get really good at that one channel.
Once you’ve figured it out, move over to another platform and repeat.
What is the easiest way to publish social media updates?
There are two ways you can approach the creation of Social media updates.
The first, is to simply go to each of your social media profiles and post the links of your blog posts. Old school.
Whilst this is effective, it can take a lot of time and isn’t necessarily an easy or the best process to manage.
On the other hand you could decide to use a tool like Buffer to help you get the job done much more quickly.
Buffer is a tool that will help you post social media updates to all of your social media profiles.
The good thing about Buffer is that you can schedule your social media updates, allowing you to ‘front load’ your social media efforts.
Buffer also makes it easy for you review data, in terms of how your social media updates are driving traffic to your blog.
You can use this information to get a better sense of what content people are enjoying. You can then use that information to create similar posts in the future, of which have a higher chance of success.
The people receiving your social media updates might not always respond to the links that you are posting, because the blog post within the update doesn’t appeal to them.
You can help fix this by using different benefits, within different updates.
For instance, let’s say that I’ve created an interior design blog post related to ‘decorating an apartment bedroom.’
The name of the blog post might be ‘5 Interior Design Tips for Apartment Bedrooms’ and so I might post a social media update which uses that headline.
However, not everyone will respond to that.
The next time, though, I could post ‘Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Bedroom Amazing’ and on another I could use ‘Quickly Transform the Appearance of Your Apartment Bedroom.’
The core content remains the same, but I’m now able to appeal to people who value ‘cheap’ strategies and those who value ‘fast’ strategies. This therefore helps increase my reach.
You’ll also want to take some steps to improve the level of engagement that you have on social media.
In doing so, you’ll be able to develop a better connection with your audience whilst also increasing the potential number of people that will share your content.
One way you can foster engagement, is by simply asking your audience questions.
Not every social media update has to relate to a blog post and sometimes it can be a good idea to just speak to the people who belong to your audience.
If you’re ever struggling with something consider asking your audience for advice, or even just their opinion on a certain product or strategy.
You can also foster engagement answering questions that your audience has, directly on social media.
This is a good way to show off your expertise, increasing the number of people who will see you as an authority.
You can also do this using a Facebook Live video and this can be a good way to host a Q&A session; you may even want to consider create a Facebook Group.
When you create a Facebook Group you’re essentially creating a community of people who all share the same interests as each other. This can help foster interesting discussions and build goodwill with your blog.
Getting people onto your mailing list is a lot simpler than you might think. But it does require a lot of hard work although I share some simple strategies in my free blogging course.
The key is to give your reader a reason to want to give you their email address. Usually this is in exchange for something high value:
Take a look at your own email subscriptions and think about why you’re subscribed to them. Usually it’s not just because their content is great. No, usually you exchanged your email address for something else.
For example they may have offered a free course, or eBook, or seminar or you may have needed it to get the results to a quiz on their site.
Take a problem that your reader really struggles with and try to solve it for them with a free product, then ask for their email in exchange.
Are there any tools that make getting people to sign up to my email list easier?
Sign Up Page: An exclusive page where people can sign up to your mailing list.
But depending on how you want to run your blog you can begin to expand on this. For example if you want people to write guest blog posts for you, you can add a ‘Write For Us’ section.
It’s worth mentioning that youneed to focus on creating good content at first. If every post is a sales pitch, you’re going to turn people off. Help people first, get paid second.
Option 1: Adsense
Adsense is a platform owned by Google. When using Adsense all you have to do is install a little bit of code on your blog and then AdSense will automatically show ads.
When people click on these ads, you’ll generate an income. You can use a WordPress plugin to help you properly set up and shown Adsense ads.
Here’s an adsense ad running on a blog you’ve already seen, called Pinch of Yum.
It’s worth mentioning that this is probably the easiest way to monetize your blog. But it’s not going to make you a millionaire! And it can often damage the view of your site.
I much prefer this second option…
Option 2: Sponsored Ad Placements
Now, this method is very similar to what Adsense, but with a few exceptions.
Firstly, it still relies on you showing ads on you generating an income, using advertising.
However, with this approach, you’re instead allowing for individuals or companies to approach you and request permission to advertise on your site, within specific placements. Like on my homepage here:
You get to set the terms here and you’ll also have greater control of what ads are shown on your site.
This will be highly dependent on the value of the traffic on your site. The more of it you have, and the higher quality, the more you’ll be able to charge.
Option 3: Affiliate Marketing
This is anotherhugesource of income, and one that I use on my blog. (You can see the results of this in each of my monthly income reports).
Affiliate Marketing involves selling a product on behalf of someone else.
Think of it like this; every time you recommend a product, you get a cut of the sale. And it doesn’t cost the buyer any money at all! A win for everyone, right?
The simplest way to set this up is through Amazon as an Associate. But you canalsodo this by finding products you use and seeing if they have an affiliate program.
Option 4: Product Creation
This method requires more effort from you, since you need to learn what product people want, create it and then market it, all whilst taking care of existing customers too.
Product creation is themost profitable method because you get to keep 100% of the profits. Or, you can have your own affiliates to sell products so you can make money without even needing to be there.