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5 simple steps to start a blog in 2020

1 May 2020

Do you want to start a Blog in 2020 and make money?

How to start a blog

Having new side hustle ideas for 2020?

A man thinking to start a new blog

Blogging had helped people since the times when the Internet was still a new-born. So, you are in the right place, this is simple 5 step process to start a blog.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how to start a blog (on a budget), It’s easier and faster than you think in 2020! I’m going to make this guide super detailed as I can.

This method is the easiest and fastest way to start a self hosted Blog. Things have changed in 2020 and it is much easier than compared to the past years. 

I want to make sure that you don’t need any technical knowledge to start a blog, gone are those days were people used to code their websites.Now you can use the drag and drop builders/themes.

If you are going to follow the step by step instructions, I am sure that you can start a blog today.

One last thing before we get started:

The time required to create your blog can be around 30 minutes, so sit at your personal space, have your brewed coffee or whatever you like and let’s get started.

This is the one guide I was looking while I was starting a blog:

Now there are lots of guides on how to start a blog.

But When I started, I was searching every website for the tutorials.

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So I wanted to collect all the required tutorials and techniques at one place. That is the reason behind this blog post. Before getting into the guide, I want to make sure that you need to know the following things. 

1. Domain name: This is your address on the internet. 

My domain name is “Durgathiyagarajan”- I have chosen my name as a domain name. 

2. Hosting: Hosting is your online home where the domain name lives. 

I am using Hostinger hosting. 

3. Word press – This the powerful platform for creating a blog.

I am using Word Press. org- This is a self-hosted blog. 

These are the things you need to take online. This will not be a “how to start a blog in 10 minutes” kind of post.

Starting a successful blog takes some time, planning the strategy, implementing the required blog building tasks and much more.

The readers will see only the emerged part of the iceberg at the launch day. 

Follow these steps to start a blog in 2020 and make money:

I have separated it into two parts. Part 1 is Startup phase and second part is Building phase. Those have stated can move to second part.

Here is a clear mind map of starting a blog

Mind map showing how to start a blog in 2020
Mind map view of starting a Blog

Part-1 The Starting Phase of starting a blog

Here is what we are going to deal in the part 1

  • Decide what you want to blog about.
  • Choose a blogging platform
  • Select a domain name
  • Get website hosting
  • Start your new WordPress blog in 30 minutes

Step 1:Decide What you want to blog about?

This is the most vital step before leaning forward. You need to come up with a great idea, and Your concept has to be unique in your way.

Get the answer to these three questions while choosing your niche, and you have to be active  going forward with the same idea.

  • Am I interested in learning more about the topic/Niche?
  • How can I be unique on a particular Niche/Topic?
  • Everyone is telling about niche, so what a niche is?

Let me clarify each,

1. Am I interested in learning more about the topic/Niche?

Honestly, you should do blogging if you love what you are doing. It’s not a monthly contract that ends in a month or a weekly schedule that closes in a week, but it is going to be your daily routine work. So, you can work on topics which interests yourself. You have to be curious about your niche to develop ideas, unique content to make you successful.

2. How can I be unique on a particular Niche/Topic?

For example,

You come up with fashion or gardening–try to be more specific. You can do quick research on the main keyword. You’ll get millions of blogs on the same topic.

Re-think and focus on a more narrowed topic. 

For example, in the fashion niche, You can be more specific by choosing the bridal makeover. 

There is a super creative blogger who’s known for making thread jewellery. And she’s earning income through a blog and selling her products online. Isn’t that awesome? Just like her–you need to figure out what you are best at.

3. Everyone is telling about niche, so what a niche is?

Step 2: Choose a blogging platform:

Choosing a topic is niche. This is the most crucial step in blogging. Not everyone is expertise to choose a topic suddenly. Some people may have an interest in so many topics, but not all the readers want to read all the topics. Based on your readers and the money making capability, one has to choose a niche. 

You have built an idea, an active blog niche, and now, you want to choose a platform to put in your thoughts.

I agree with many free blogging platforms (Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, etc.) allow you to create a new blog, update content and share. But, are those platforms worth joining?

If you want to start a personal blog with no intention of starting an online business or a career – you can fully utilise free blog sites. Few people make money from those free blogs too.

So, you get the gist of what I am going to conclude here.

Yes, you are right, I recommend WordPress

WordPress comes with two options

WordPress.com, which is FREE, and WordPress.org, still Free but needs investment for hosting and a yearly investment if you have a domain name.

Confused?

To start a blog which is best WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

Okay, let me declutter a little about them both so that you can start understanding what they offer and which will be perfect for you.

WordPress.com (Free) If you are a hobby blogger. It also gives you the flexibility to update to a self-hosted one in future. It comes with limitations such as It will restrict you to run ad campaigns, several widgets, and many plugins. These campaigns are the way to make money on a blog.

But, with self-hosted WordPress.org, you can utilise several tools, plugins, widgets, themes, add-ons, and multiple applications to create a site that you’ve ever imagined.

If you plan to get into blogging as a career, then I’d recommend using WordPress.org as an efficient blogging platform. Even if you are a newbie, there are tons of videos, articles and blog posts to teach you.

This tutorial will show you all the steps to start building a blog on your own.

There is no second thought for selecting WordPress as the blog platform.

Step 3:Select a domain name :

The domain name is a company name /Brand name. It is your virtual address in the web world. It must shorten your mission and vision of your brand in a single name, and at the same, it must be easy to remember.

My domain name is Durgathiyagarajan.in.

Tips for choosing a domain name:

  1. Make it easy to type and remember
  2. Make it short and crispy
  3. Make it Keyword friendly

How to choose a domain name?

Step 1: If you have a name, you can go ahead with that. If not use Step 2.

Step 2: Head over to Business name generator.

This website helps you to find the domain names and you can check if the website is available.

For the keyword “Blogging” and the industry Fashion and photography, I have got few domain names.

Likewise, you can use your own.

You even have the option to filter the names and check the availability of the domain name.

How to purchase a domain name?

When you are done with finding a domain name, It’s time to purchase.

You can register a domain name from your web host, I don’t recommend this way. 

I highly recommend purchasing separately from domain name vendors like Namecheap, GoDaddy etc.

Step 1: Head over to Namecheap

Step 2: Enter your chosen domain name in the search bar as shown below

image

Step 3: Add to cart

Step 4: Complete the checkout process

You have a domain name. Now you need to connect this domain to a hosting.

Step 4: Get website hosting:

 Website hosting is the place where your blog lives.  This is the server which keeps your blog 24/7 online and all your content and data will be stored here.   

Comparably small yet significant investment for your long-term blogging success.

Things to know before choosing the web hosting

  • Page load speed
  • Uptime
  • Customer service

Page load speed: Time taken to load your blog.

Uptime: Time the server has stayed up and running

Customer service: Service provided by the hosting company to solve your issues.

I use, and I recommend you using the same.

It is better than Bluehost and other hundreds of hosting service providers.

I love Hostinger for the customer service they provide. Their 24*7 customer service is fantastic. I not a tech savvy person and I don’t know to code, for setting up certain technical things I needed help. Hostinger live chat has helped me a lot.

Additionally, Hostinger is offering free SSL certificate as a part of the package. SSL provides the trust of Google and customers.

Click here to buy hostinger

Then choose the plan you want and the tenure you wish to.

image 1

Usually, I prefer the business shared hosting, because you can add as many domains as you want. At the start, you will have the idea to have only one blog, but at future, you may have more than one like me. I run three blogs simultaneously. So business plan fits me. I have 4 years of hosting plan. The minimum I recommend you to choose 2 years plan that will be a beneficial investment.

image 2

For beginners going for a premium shared hosting along with 4 years is considered beneficial. Since you need some time to survive in the blogging space and earn money. So 4 years of investment give the enough of time you need.

image 3

Then click add to cart and then checkout

It will ask you to login, I already have an account so it automatically detects that and is logged in. You can create an account and proceed to the final payment choice.

After making the final payment , Hurray ! you are done.

All you have to do is to login to your mail and check the emails from Hostinger and proceed with the steps.

The interface is pretty awesome for beginners to use. Everything from email to hosting can be accessed from one interface.

No need to remember password for cpanel, email and hosting login. Everything can be accessed with one Hostinger login ( I found this literally useful, as I tend to forget passwords more often)

Now Start your blog:

Start your timer, Login to your Hostinger admin area. The freshers screen will show you the things you purchased as seen below. Under hosting tab you will see your premium/business hosting.

Step 1: Click on manage button start installing the wordpress.

image 4

You will be taken to the next screen.

When you scroll down you will found Auto installer.

Step 2: Click on auto installer and then in auto installer screen, choose WordPress.

image 5

Step 3: Click on wordpress.

image 6

As I have mentioned earlier there are many Content management systems but the most prefer WordPress as it is open and easier to manage and you have unlimited tutorials to access it.

Step 4: In the WordPress installation screen , It will ask you to fillin the username and password. Fill those details and click install.

Remember it is not necessary to worry about the tagline for now.

Finally click install button.

image 7

Congratulations! You got an online asset!

Check out my free blog starter kit and download it here.

It has all the essentials you need to start a blog. The blog startup guide, Niche finder, one reader persona and much more. Check it out.

The Blog starter kit computer mockup 1

You now know how to make a blog using WordPress. You have installed WordPress on your own. As you can see, it was effortless and straightforward.

You are done with the five simple steps to start your blog-Part 1


Part-2 : The Building Phase

Here is an overview of What we will be going through in the next steps.

  • Overview about WordPress dashboard
  • Making the basic changes needed in WordPress
  • Designing your blog with a theme
  • Power up your WordPress blog with plugins
  • Creating the essential pages for a blog
  • Writing and Publishing the blog post
  • Steps to get your first readers
  • Finally, the money-making part.

An Overview About WordPress Dashboard:

You can access the WordPress dashboard by clicking WP-Admin button that you will see after installing the WordPress.

image 8

The other way go to WordPress admin area is

http://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin here you have to enter the username and password that you gave during installing.

image 9

The bar on the left side with the black background is your access area.

Posts: You have to click here to write blog posts, edit and remove.

Media: It is like the gallery that you have in your mobile. Contains all the images and videos that you upload to your WordPress blog.

Pages: To create, edit and delete the pages.

Appearance: Here you can customise the overall look of your blog.

Plugins: Plugins are the heart of the blog. It powers up the blog. It is the life saver of all the non tech writers. You have a plugin for all tasks you need to perform with your blog. It can be compared with the mobile applications.

Like how you can use an application to edit your photos and videos in your phone, plugins work in WordPress.

Settings: Writing,reading and all other changes required can be done here.

Let’s see everything in detail.

Make the Primary changes you need in the WordPress blog.

Step 1: Go to WP-admin,

Step 2: Click Settings

Step 3: In general settings Fill in the essentials marked.

image 10

Set the proper time zone.

Fill in the site title and tag line. Tag line can be left empty if you have no idea.

You can update later on.

Create a Page:

Step 1: Navigate to pages section

Step 2: Click on add new > name the page “Home”

Create as many pages as you want.

Have a rough draft of what are the pages you need for your blog. Then start creating the pages.

image 11

It will take you to the editing page where you can name your blog.

image 12

Let’s name it as home page and Now the Home page is created.

You can either have a static home page or your blog pages as your home page. When you few blog posts ready and you have geared up with the freebies then you can build a home page.

Likewise create all the other pages.

Designing your blog with a theme:

A WordPress theme changes the design of your website. Changing your theme changes what a visitor sees when they browse to your site on the web. You have an unlimited option of designing the way you want, WordPress don’t restrict you to the fixed boxes or columns. Every year WordPress releases free themes.

Free themes have limited options, and it doesn’t have a look like my blog or well-designed blog. 

There are over 50000  free themes available in wordpress.org directory.

The question arises, are all the theme safe to use?

Are those SEO optimised?

Do they have specific mobile customisation? Most of the readers today read through the mobile phones. Mobile compatibility for websites is important in 2020 and further. 

Will those themes will not slow down the loading times? I mean Speed-optimised?

The answer is certainly NO.

A Well-designed theme can certainly increase the visitors. That means your money-making capability grows with that. 

To bypass these mishaps, prefer a splendid WordPress theme that provides you all the features in one.

I am not a techy geek. I don’t know coding, but still I survive in this blogging world only because of the drag-and-drop builders. 

Trust me in 2020 and further; it is possible to create an outstanding blog with only a few lines of codes. 

Why Do you need a premium theme?

As the word states ‘premium’– It is premium with the features that free themes don’t have.

Most of the premium themes today offer all in one solution of

Mobile optimisation

Speed optimisation and 

SEO optimised

You get a premium support from the theme provider. you can raise your queries through their support option. Which you cannot get in free themes.

Divi- Is the life saver of all the non-techy geeks. All in one drag and drop builder that helps you build a better blog.

Most of the blog I design for my clients, I do it with Divi theme. It is the primary time saver. once you understand it, it is possible to build super quick websites.

You can Download the Divi Theme from here and Upload it.

How to Upload the Divi theme?

Download the theme from the Elegant themes- You will get an offer when you purchase through my link.

Click here to get

Click here to buy Divi -With 10% Offer

Once you have the downloaded file,

navigate to Appearance > Themes.

image 13

Click on add a new theme, after that click on upload new and select the Divi theme in .zip format.

Boom! you just installed the Divi theme, now click on activate, and that’s it.

Make Your Divi Theme Ready to Use:

Divi theme is as simple as you make a cup of coffee.

Let’s set up the Divi theme quickly.Start by the General tab. Just use my settings on your Divi theme, as shown in the image.

image 14

To upload logo Divi> Theme options> Logo >Select the file >Upload.

All the other WordPress customisations are explained in the other post-Click here

Write and Publish Your First Post:

Now is the time to write and publish your first content.

Every beginner has the writer’s block of what to write in their first post. Break that writer’s block by planning your content in advance. Research the top posts in your niche and come up with an idea to what to write.

To write,

Head over to dashboard>Posts>Add new>Opens up editor, write and publish.

image 15

It is always a best practice to write in your word processor. You can use Microsoft word, Google Docs or any other applications that supports you and have a local copy of your text. Thinking of what to write in your first blog post?

3 Quick winning tips for writing:

There are around 2 million WordPress blogs and more than 113 million words are published every day. To make you stand out of the crowd, here is what you need to do.

  • Write a post that speaks directly to your readers: Use “You” frequently, so that it points to the readers. You need not try to please everyone, but make sure to point them.
  • Add value to your readers: If you help your readers genuinely it will pay your dividends for sure.
  • Create awesome content: Bring-in the latest and new content what your readers are craving for.

Till now you have seen the basic setups that you need. It is really as easy as a 7th grade student can follow step by step.

Start Getting Traffic:

Once you are ready with at least 10 blog posts out there, you will probably shift into the next phase of blogging, where you will promote the posts.

It will probably be tough when you want to drive through traffic at the beginning. 

Here are the two strategies that can bring in traffic at the start.

They are

  • One strategy is to drive traffic through On page SEO. learn the basic SEO that you need. You need not be an expert to rank, basic knowledge with outstanding content will make sure the success. 
  • Second, the well-known strategy of promoting your blog posts through social media. Sign up to the social networks and begin connecting with your niche communities and start building relationships with them so you can easily build traffic consistently.

The next post on the row helps you drive traffic to your blog.

Start making money:

A final crisp on making money from your blog. Everyone says your website is your online asset. 

Yes, actually it is!.

When put forward the right ways to make money, it is a money-making machine.

You have so many options of making money out of your blog. 

In a crisp I just share the most popular ones here. 

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Display advertisement
  • Selling digital products
  • Offer services 

Affiliate marketing

When promote someone products, you get paid when people buy from your link. That is affiliate marketing. There are many profitable affiliate sites that you can join to find the products in your niche and you can start promoting them.

Display advertisement:

Every beginner blogger relies on Google adsense for displaying ads in their blog. While this is not only the primitive way of displaying ads.There are other ads networks  that you can join to make money. You get paid based on the click and impressions. When you have a good traffic, surely it will help you making money.

Selling Digital products:

When you create some useful products, you will really rock. Applications that users might find useful, Ebooks, Courses, digital art everything comes under digital products.

Check out my products here

Everything helps bloggers to build a better blogging life. 

Offer Service:

I design blogs; I offer freelance service. That is my primary option of making money before making this website. Then I learnt Professional digital Marketing and now working as a Full-time digital marketing consultant. 

This is my side hustle. 

Likewise, You can offer your services in your niche. 

Writers can write ebooks, blog posts, for other bloggers and much more. 

Designers can design logos, vector arts, design websites, make flyers, make social media posts etc.,

There are so many other ways to make money from your blog. Especially when you blog in a professional way that turns into a business.

Remember: Blogging is not a Quick Rich scheme

When you have written tons of blog posts and get 10k page views every month.Apply for an ad network and make money every month. 

When you use a product and recommend it to your readers. If someone buys through your affiliate link, you make a commission. 

Things work this way.

Blogging is a money-making business with a minimum cost.

Its your time to begin your side hustle:

Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

You learnt how to choose a niche, a domain name and then got hosting for your domain.

Check out the next posts in this series to design your blog.

Have you started your blog? Ready to rock 2020? If you have used this guide, I love to hear your comments below. Feel free to share the blog you have started and opinion about this post.

About Me

Durga Thiyagarajan

Durga Thiyagarajan

Digital Marketing Consultant

I teach business owners, coaches and entrepreneurs the actionable steps for building a successful online business through digital marketing strategies.

Free Blog Starter Kit

Get 10+ Free guides and checklists required for every beginner.

Free Blog Starter Kit

Get 10+ Free guides and checklists required for every beginner.

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Only Book that covers all the details required for turning your blog into business

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