This is a step by step guide on how to start a blog in 2020 that makes $1000 every month.
If you want to create a blog and wondering where to start, then you will love this easy guide.
In this guide, I will cover:
- How to Choose Blog Niche
- How to set up a blog on WordPress
- How to optimize a blog for Search Engine Ranking
- How to write your first blog post, optimize for SEO and Publish
- How to promote it On Social Media
- How to create backlinks for your blog
- How to monetize Your Blog
Let’s get started and learn how to make a blog and earn money.
How to Start a Blog in 2020 and Make Money
How to Choose Blog Niche
Choosing blog niche is a first and important step towards starting a blog.
If you are clear what you are going to write about on your blog then you can jump to the second step by clicking here.
If you don’t have any idea what to write then keep reading.
Your blog should be focused around some topic. So the question arise how you are going to choose that topic?
Here are some questions which can help you in knowing.
Do you have any kind of experience which you want to share with others?
For example, when I started my first blog, I have little experience about SEO and I started this to share backlink resources. That time I thought everyone will find those resources useful so I putted them at one place (my blog). And eventually, people found my blog and love the content and they started requesting to share more. That’s how I become a blogger.
So if there is something that you know and think other will find it beneficial for them. Then go with it.
Do you eager to learn about something more than anything else?
Is there something that you find most interesting and you love to know more and more about it. Then you have known what to write.
In fact, if there is something that you find most interesting, you already know lot about it.
Now you know how to choose blog niche, time to move to 2nd step that will help you to setup your WordPress blog.
Start Your WordPress Blog with BlueHost
There are several cheap web hosting companies out there to start your WordPress blog. But for starter nothing is better than BlueHost concerning cost & performance. It is most widely used and well known hosting provider.
In fact, I also use it for my few micro niche blogs.
Ready to start your awesome journey? Follow below step by step instructions.
Step1: Choose Hosting Plan
First of all click here to get started. After clicking, you will land on the page look like below. Here you will see three plan including Basic, Plus and Choice Plus.
Choice plus is best plan for you. It offers all what you need now and in future for your blog. It starts at $5.45/month.
WordPress hosting package is specially built for wordpress. That makes your blog 2.5x faster and more secure.
It costs you more as compared to shared web hosting package. But don’t worry it is worth it. With WordPress hosting package plan, you don’t need to worry about wordpress installation and other techy stuff. BlueHost will do all themselves for you.
Step2: Enter Your Blog Name
After clicking “Select” option, you will redirected to order page where first option is Domain. Here you need to enter your blog name. And click “Next”.
Naming blog is an important thing. You name it once and it is known from it forever. Hence, spend some time and be creative to come up with a good domain name.
Quick tips for choosing a good blog name
- It should be meaningful, short and memorable.
- Easy to spell
- Don’t use hyphen (-).
- Easy to pronounce
- Use keywords
- First priority should be acquired .com domain
- Avoid copyright issues & legal conflicts
- Check social media handler availability
Step 3: Enter Account, Package & Payment Info
In “Account information” section, you need to fill all required details. There is nothing to explain. You do it every time when you register at any website.
“Package Information” Section. Here you need to pay attention.
If you have enough fund, I will recommend you to go with 36 months plan. It reduce overall cost up to $5.45/month even more when special promotion offers is running like black Friday, cyber Monday and festival sales etc.
If you have tight budget then 12 months hosting plan will be good choice for you. That will cost you $7.45/month.
Best thing is that BlueHost offers 30 days money back guarantee. If you feel within 30 days, blogging is not for you, you can cancel your hosting account and get back your all money. Yes, Blogging is only business that can you start right now with no risk.
Third Section is “Package Extras”. Here you need to unselect Bluehost SEO Tools Start and SiteLock Secuirty Essential check boxes.
Last section is “Payment information”. Fill all required details.
Now, you have reached at the end. Go through all options to ensure everything is correct. After checking, click at last check box to accept Bluehost’s terms of services and cancellation policy and then click “Submit” button.
Now you have done your job. Let’s Bluehost do their job.
Once your blog is live, Bluehost will send you a confirmation email with all essential details to access your wordpress blog. Usually this process takes 10 – 20 minutes but sometimes hours. So don’t worry if it is taking more time.
Once you get BlueHost confirmation email with login credential like username and password. You are ready to design your blog.
Step 4: Design Your Blog
To give a professional look to your blog, you need a WordPress theme.
Here are three popular and best themes provider.
I use StudioPress theme at UpdateLand. And for my some blogs, I use MyThemeShop themes. StudipPress themes are pricey as compared to ThemeForest and MyThemeShop. And I am in love with them because they are simple, clean and easy to customize.
If you can afford StudioPress theme then go with them, highly recommended.
And if you are on a tight budget, get one from ThemeForst or MyThemeShop. You can change it in future. No worry.
After purchasing theme, log into WordPress Admin dashboard by following URL: http://yourblogname.com/wp-admin/ (replace yourblogname with your blog name as in my case I will replace yourblogname with updateland). And then go to “Appearance” and click “Theme”.
After Then you will see Add New option at Top. Click on it
After clicking, you will see “Upload theme” button at top. Click it and then you will see a drop down with an option “Choose File”.
Click ”Choose File” to upload your WordPress theme and click “Install Now”. After installing, you can manage theme from theme section. You can design sidebar with the help of widgets (available under theme section).
For adding category into menu, Go to Appearance > Menus. Now add categories to menu according to your blog requirement. If you stuck, feel free to drop a comment below right now. I will love to help you asap.
Step 5: Install WordPress Plugins
Here are some must have WordPress plugins which every new blog needs.
- W3 Total Cache
- Wordfence Security
- Yoast SEO
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- Contact Form 7
- WP Smush.it
Now you have setup your blog on wordpress. Time to optimize it for search engine ranking.
How to optimize a blog for Search Engine Ranking
Go to your blog dashboard, click Yoast SEO > General in sidebar.
Now click “Webmaster Tools” tab and hit “Google Search Console”.
After clicking, you will need to login into Gmail account. If you already login, then click “Alternate Methods” and select “HTLM tag” option.
After clicking, you will have a new drop down with Meta tag properties. From this code, copy content value or alphanumeric string without inverted commas.
Paste this into “Google Verification code” field under “Webmaster Tools” tab. And then click “Save Changes”.
Now click “Verify”. This way, Google Webmaster Tools configuration is done.
Next, Go to Yoast SEO and click “Search Appearance”. And then click “General” tab. Now select title Separator. Enter your blog title into SEO title box and blog description into Meta description box.
Next, choose organization if your blog represent organization otherwise choose Person and enter your name in next field.
Click “Save Changes”.
Next, Got to Content Types tab, enable Show posts in search results. Show or hide “Date in Google Preview” whatever you want. Enable Yoast SEO meta box. And apply same setting for pages. After completing, click “Save changes”.
Next tab is Media. Set this to “Yes” as recommended.
Next Tab is Taxonomies. It gives you control to allow/disallow categories and tags in search result pages. Set “No” for both to avoid duplicate content issue. And Click Save Changes.
Other tabs setting, you can do according to your blog requirement.
Next, Go to Yoast SEO > General. And then go from Dashboard to Feature tab. Enable all features by clicking ON.
And finally click “Save Changes” button. This way, you have done Yoast SEO setting for your blog.
Set Up Blog Post Permalinks
Permalinks are your blog post URL. It plays important role in SERP. Google love short and descriptive permalinks.
Go to “Settings” in the left side and then click “Permalinks”.
Select “Post Name” and hit Save Changes. Post Name format is mostly used format. I also use same format for UpdateLand.
Now, your blog is optimized for search engine. Time to write your first blog post or I must say start blogging. Let’s jump in “How to blog” part.
How to write your first blog post, optimize for SEO and Publish
For writing a blog post, first you need to keyword research. In simple words, by doing keyword research, we find a keyword around which we write blog post.
For example: For this post, keyword is how to start a blog.
If you are thinking why you need to do keyword research, let me help you with this.
Keyword research helps you in knowing how many people are searching for a specific query.
I remember my starting blogging days, when I ended up writing blog posts which have zero searchers.
I will recommend to check out this guide on keyword research.
If you are aware already about keyword research, then you can write your first blog post by following steps.
- Login into WordPress dashboard https://yourblogname.com/wp-admin/
- Now click on Posts.
- After clicking on Posts, you will see four options: All Posts, Add New, Categories, and Tags. You need to click on “Add New” Option. After clicking, you will redirected to editor.
Now you are ready to write. Enter title of your blog post into first section. And second section for blog post content. You can use “plus into circle” symbol to add block like heading, paragraph and image etc.
If you are finding this process little complicated, then you can simply write in doc and paste into editor (I mostly do the same).
Once you have done with title and content. Click on Save Draft, option at top in right side to save the content you had written.
Now time to add Meta description, keyword and modify permalinks. To do the same, scroll down editor. And you will find Yoast SEO (Images is shown below for your help).
At top, you will see three options: SEO, Readability, & Social. Now click at SEO and enter your primary keyword in the field of Focus Keyphrase.
Now click at Edit snippet Option.
After clicking, you will see three fields: SEO Title, Slug, & Meta Description as shown in below image.
Let me explain these terms for better understanding.
SEO Title: SEO title is the title which shows in search engine result pages. Better you optimize it, more the chances to rank (not only depend one thing but matters defiantly). It can differ from blog post title but not necessary.
Slug: It tells you how your blog post url will look like. Keep it short. Avoid stop words (Examples a, an, the, and etc.) and year also.
Meta Description: Meta description gives a brief to users about your blog post. And it displays in search results. Every time you write Meta description, ensure you place your primary keyword in starting. It should be unique. Thus avoid to copy others blog post’s Meta description. You can check for taking ideas or come up with better one.
Now, you know what you need to enter. Once you are done, you can click on SEO analysis to see Analysis results. It shows result with problems, improvements and good results like below screen shots.
If you think, you can implement suggestions. That’s great but don’t do anything blindly. Green light shows you are doing great. Red indicates there are room for improvements.
With the help of readability analysis, you can know how readable your blog post is. If you are getting red score, you are really need to consider Yoast SEO suggest.
I will simply advise you to write short sentences to avoid confusion. Always use conversation tone. Simple is best. Make sure everyone can understand your words.
Social option will help you to set Title, description and image for Facebook. If you want to show some specific image and Meta tags then you can make changes otherwise leave it blank.
Featured Image, Categories & Tags Settings
You will find featured image, categories and tags options in the right side of editor under document option (as shown in image).
To add featured image, click on featured image > set featured image > Upload files > Select files. Now you will see a new window to choose image. Go to that specific folder where you had image. Select image and click at open option. Now add alt text in the field of Alt text and click on Set featured image. It is done. Look how easy it was.
To add categories, Go to Categories > Add New Category. Then you will see a field named “Add New Category”. Enter category name and click on Add New Category button. This way, you can add all relevant categories to your blog.
To add Tags, Go to Tags. You will see here a field named “Add New Tag”. Add all relevant tags here (I personally add 3 – 4). Tags are closely related words to your keyword.
Finally, your first blog post is ready to go live on the web. Click on Publish button (at top in right side). And it is done.
Now you know how to write & publish a blog post into WordPress. Time to learn how to promote it on social media to bring instant traffic. Let’s jump in.
How to Promote Your Blog Post at Social Media
Social media plays important role when comes to drive instant traffic to your blog.
Popular social media platforms that sends huge traffic to your blog are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram & Pinterest.
To promote your blog on social media, follow below steps.
Step1: Create Social Media Handles
It is easy process. Let’s start with Facebook.
Facebook Fan Page Creation for Your Blog
To create your blog handle at Facebook, first login into your account. Now you will see Create Option at top into right side. Click on it and after this click on Page option. Then you will see two options: Business or Brand and Community or public figure.
You need to choose first one Business or brand. Now click at “Get Started” button. Then you will see two fields named “Page name” and “Category”.
Your page name is your blog name. And category is the blog category.
For ex: If you are going to write about travel, then write travel into category field and enter. It will show all relevant categories, choose one which describe most to your blog. And then click at “Continue” option. Now click at “Skip” option and again “Skip”. Don’t worry you can image later.
Now you can see a new page with your blog name. Now Upload a cover photo and profile photo. It should represent your blog name. And invite your friend to like your page.
Inviting options are available in right side (Screen shot added below for better understanding). Clink on “Invite” button and it is done.
Create Twitter Handle for Your Blog
Creating twitter handle process is same as you register an account for yourself on Twitter. Here only at the place of name, you need to use your blog name.
If your blog name is not taken by anyone. Then after completing registering process, you will see profile url like www.twitter.com/yourblogname.
If it shows any number after your blog name means it is taken. Hence, you need to change username with little creativity to make it perfect.
Here are some initial that you can use to come with perfect handler.
If above initial doesn’t sound good with your blog name, consider adding below words at the end.
- Official (only work for short blog name)
To change username, Click on More > Settings and Privacy. Then you will see Username field under “Login and Security” in right at top. Click at Username and make changes. Then save.
Create LinkedIn Fan Page
To create LinkedIn fan page for your blog, first off all login into your account. If you don’t have one then register now and wait for 8 days. To create a company page, your account should be 7 days old.
Once you logged in, click on “Work” option then you will see a window in sidebar. Now scroll down, at bottom you will see an option named “Create a Company Page”. Click on it.
After clicking, you have four options (Small business, Medium to large business, Showcase Page & Educational institution) to choose from. Click on “Small business” and enter all required details & upload logo of your blog. Then click on “Create Page” a button at bottom.
Note: Upload banner that describes your blog perfectly.
Page creation is done.
Now you know how to create page to promote your blog on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Creating fan page on Instagram and Pinterest are quite similar. And I am sure you can do that yourself without my help. In case, you stuck, drop a comment below. I will guide you.
Time to move towards next step.
Join Relevant Groups/Community & Share Your Blog Posts
Groups/Communities are great sources to drive instant traffic to your blog post and increase brand awareness.
Here I am telling you how to join relevant groups at Facebook.
It is very easy process.
Enter relevant keyword into search box, then click on Groups and Facebook will show a list of relevant groups.
For example: If you blog about SEO, then you can enter keywords like SEO, Link Building, Search Engine Optimization, Digital marketing etc.
Click on “Join” button to join groups. Once group admin approve your request, you can share your blog posts or useful information with group members.
For LinkedIn, process of joining and searching communities is quite similar.
Note: Only share your blog post, in 4 -5 groups in a day to avoid spamming and Facebook blocking.
If you share same post in more groups in a day, Facebook blocks your blog URL. After that you can’t share your blog URL even in chat with friends.
Connect With Bloggers in Your Niche & Share Their Blog Posts
Networking play an important role in blogging. Hence, I will advise you to start making real connection (not just friend at social media) with other bloggers in your niche from day one.
Here is what I did to connect with bloggers, when I was new to blogging.
I sent request to popular bloggers, few of them are accepted. Then sent request to their friends (who are bloggers).
If you don’t know popular bloggers in your niche, you can google.
For ex: if you are starting a travel blog, then you use queries like Top travel bloggers to follow at Social.
Once you are friend with them, share their blog posts. In return, you will receive some shares for your blog posts eventually.
Ask Your Friends to Share Your Blog Post
After publishing a blog post, you can drop a message to your friends and ask for sharing.
Before asking, make sure you have already shared their posts in previous days.
It will increase chances of sharing your post. Everyone love to return a favor. Exceptions are always there.
In fact, few bloggers have big fan following. So if they share your blog post with their followers, you will get massive traffic and great exposure to your blog.
Now you know how to promote a blog at social media. Time to jump in towards next step of this guide on how to start a blog.
How to Create Backlinks for Your Blog
Backlinks are important as much as content for your blog. Here, I am going to tell some link building strategies for your blog.
Directory Submission: Directory submission is still an effective technique of link building. it provides permanent backlinks. Every directory submission site has own guidelines so always read guidelines before submitting your website. I shared a post before some days ago, in which I described directory submission guidelines and share a directory submission list also.
Social Bookmarking: Social Bookmarking is best way to get instant backlinks for blog posts. It is helpful in fast indexing and driving traffic to site. Use only best sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, delicious and Pinterest etc.
Blog Commenting: I love blog commenting method as compared to another one. It gives double benefit. Double benefit means it helps to make relationship with blogger and creating backlink also. Is it not cool? Check below post to read blog commenting guidelines and get good blog commenting list.
Forum Posting: Forums are sources to connect with targeted audience more than a technique of creating backlinks.
Steal Backlinks Sources from Competitor: it is a really cool technique, I hope you will also love this. First find out you top 10 competitors, check from where, they are creating backlinks.
How to monetize your blog
Here are the best ways to make money from your blog.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Placing Ads
- Sponsored Review
- Offering Your Services
- Sell an ebook
My favorite method to make money from blogs.
And I will recommend you to focus on affiliate marketing from day one of your blogging journey.
Affiliate marketing is a process to promote a product and earn a commission when someone buys a product using your affiliate link.
Affiliate link is a tracking link that you get when you join any affiliate program to recommend a particular product/service.
Some affiliate programs offer one-time commission and some offer recurring commission.
One time commission means you get money once when someone buys a recommended product.
Recurring commission means you get money every time when referred user pays. This way money keep coming in your pocket regularly.
Now you know what affiliate marketing is and how it works. Time to make money.
To earn money from affiliate marketing, first, you need to find the best affiliate programs & networks.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend hours to find out high paying affiliate programs & networks.
I am listing them below. 🙂
Best Affiliate Marketing Programs & Networks
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Affiliate Program
- Impact Radius
- CJ Affiliate
- Flex Offers
- Thrive Themes
Now you know best affiliate marketing programs and networks. Time to take action.
So why are you waiting? Join them right now and start promoting.
Another easy way to make money from a blog is by placing ads.
Google AdSense is one of the best ad networks that pays a high amount to place ads on your blog.
It pays on CPC (cost per click) basis. This means you get paid whenever someone clicks on an ad.
For placing Google Adsense ads on your blog, you need to apply for Google AdSense.
They manually review your blog and then decide to approve/disapprove your blog.
There are several alternatives to Google Adsense in the market. But no one can beat them in terms of the amount they pay.
In fact, they show relevant ads on your blog. While other networks’ ads are irrelevant, spammy and cheap.
So always try to get Google Adsense approval if you want to make good money with placing ads.
If you have hard luck, you can give a try to Media.net, a true Google Adsense alternative.
Media.net offers CPM (cost per thousand impressions) ads. Ads are relevant to your blog content.
A quick way to monetize your blog.
Sponsored Review is a process of reviewing a software/service on your blog and get paid in return.
If you have a blog with decent traffic, advertisers will reach you.
In another case, you need to reach out.
Here are some quick tips which you need to implement to get more sponsored review requests.
- Give a professional look to your blog by using a premium theme
- Get a well-designed logo
- Create Contact, About Me & Advertise page
- Add Review Category
- Publish 4 -5 detailed review articles
- Reach out to brands that are reviewed recently by fellow bloggers
Here are some things which you need to remember while accepting/publishing sponsored review request.
- Product/service should be relevant
- Do honest review
- Give nofollow backlinks only
- If you decide to give a dofollow backlink (exception case), give to brand name only and also ensure to give backlinks at least 2 high authority websites.
- Take half payment in advance
Offering Your Services
If you are expert in something, then start offering your services to your blog visitors.
Use your blog as a platform to sell and make money online.
Create a “Service” page and list all your services there.
And ensure it is accessible from home page.
Apart from blog, you can sell you services at freelance platforms like Fiverr.
Several PRO bloggers are making passive income by selling their eBooks.
If you know something that will useful for your audience to grow, then you can write an eBook on same and sell it on your blog.
These were all best ways to make money from a blog.
I will recommend you to focus on #1 Affiliate marketing from day 1 of your blogging journey to make passive income from your blog.
This way, I have reached at the end of guide.
Now, you know how to start a blog in 2020 and earn $1000 every month.
My job is done. And yours start now.
If you face any problem to start your own blog, drop a comment right now. I will love to help you.