Looking into starting your own blog? Great news! Our goal today is to give you all the basic information about blogging for beginners. We will talk about WordPress, hosting, audience and monetization. So you can start blogging for an income!
Blogging has become a mainstream part of internet culture. The ‘Blogosphere’, which is a collective term to identify all blogs on the internet. As all blogs run via the internet, they are all some way connected to each other. Discussions in the blogosphere are often used as a gauge of public opinion on certain political and personal matters. A successful blog can reach millions in as short as 3 years.
This has resulted in the Orwell Award for blogging on political matters between 2009 and 2012.
Before you start, a vital part of blogging for beginners is that you know what it is you wish to blog about. Pick your ‘niche’ as it were. Blogs can be about literally anything in life, and as such, millions of blogs exist that cover millions of issues. If you are starting a blog as a business venture it will be highly beneficial to target your content toward a specific audience. Hence why ‘niching down’ is important.
Research your niche and see what the competition is doing, what the readers like and how they react to different types of content. Don’t be put off starting if your niche has large players in the field. The internet is still reaching more and more people every day and never has a market had the potential for so many content providers. Subscribers will often read a number of different blogs that cover a range of subjects, so don’t be scared to dive in the deep end and get your voice heard!
When you have selected your niche and audience, it’s time to start building the platform which will deliver your content to your prospective readers!
Blogging for beginners isn’t easy, unless you use WordPress! In case you haven’t heard of it, WordPress is the number one blogging platform on the web and powers over 60 million websites. This feat was not built on weak foundations; the power of the WordPress platform has led to millions of the most popular sites on the web being successful.
WordPress allows you to build a website with all the things you would expect, without writing a single line of code. However, nothing is stopping you from coding your own themes, plugins and pages for your site! WordPress Experts can help you build the blog of your dreams, that provides world class content to your audience.
This blogging for beginner’s article has been written for WordPress. Other platforms are available, but none of them come close to the functionality and popularity of WordPress!
Time to get started building your blog! It can take as little as 5 minutes if you know what you’re done, if not, expect the setup to take a few hours. So get yourself a cup of coffee and let’s get started with blogging for beginners!
Self-Hosting Or WordPress hosting
Hosting, in layman’s terms, is paying a company a yearly or monthly fee, to keep your website available on the internet, and open to anyone who wishes to view it. Many different companies offer hosting packages that cater to all sorts of different types of websites, luckily for you, blogging for beginners is quite a simple affair. That means you can get away with a simple web hosting package to start with, and as your blog grows your hosting fees will grow with your blog.
You have two choices when it comes to WordPress.
The first of those is WordPress Hosting. You can get a free account or pay a yearly amount to WordPress, who will keep your site secure from hackers, available on the internet and at decent speeds too! WordPress hosting is a good start for blogging for beginners. As your audience grows you will want to go self-hosted though. Your hosting functionality is limited by using this hosting option.
Self-hosting is the ideal way to start blogging. It gives you absolute control of everything about your website and allows you to grow in your own way.
You will need to choose and register a domain name when blogging for beginners. A domain is the URL link at the top of your web browser, it’s how people get to your site. You should register a domain tailored to your niche. For example, if your niche is fishing, chose a domain with fishing in the title, e.g. bensfishingblog.com or benthefisherman.com.
You can get hosting packages that come with a free domain, or purchase one for as little as $5.
Back to the hosting. Many options are available, and the costs start from $100 a year all the way up to the thousands of dollars. Budget yourself between $200 and $500 if you really want a professional blog set up, with a premium theme.
Ensure your host has the option of ‘One Click WordPress Installation’. This will save you having to install it manually, which can be an intricate process! Blogging for beginners doesn’t have to be daunting, your hosting provider will be able to help with this part if you get stuck.
Make Your Blog Stand Out With Themes
After the installation process is complete, you now have a blog! Congratulations, now it’s time to get working on the design of your site!
Themes are what you use to customize the look of your blog. You can get thousands upon thousands of different themes, all with their own options and unique design. The range from free to hundreds of dollars, it’s important not to bogged down on choices here. Remember that the content you provide your audience is the single most important thing to consider when blogging. Sure, you want a good looking site, but there’s no need to comb through the entire theme library trying to find the perfect theme. Choose one that you like the look of and start there.
Changing themes is something you can do in the future if you get tired of your look.
When blogging for beginners we recommend purchasing a premium theme for your blog. Premium themes come with a much better design quality and have many, many more customizable options and tweaks, allowing you to truly personalise the look of your blog. You want to look at spending about $99 on a decent premium themes.
Here we are, you are well on your way now, blogging for beginners isn’t too bad huh? This is the time to really focus on getting your message out to the world.
When starting out, you want to fill your blog with lots, and we mean lots, of great content for your readers. As a general rule of thumb, you want to start prioritising quantity over quality to start with. Do your best to post between 2 and 5 new articles every week. When you reach a decent audience size, about 500-1000 monthly readers will do, you want to start spending more time on your articles.
At this stage of your journey, you should know what your audience wants. The blog is yours, so feel free to do what you want with it, but keep your readers in mind, post more of what they like and throw away the trash. A good way to gauge what content your readers enjoy is to ask them. Post articles with a call to action, ‘Tell me what you think in the comment section’ or ‘I’d love to hear what you guys think’ are some simple ways to build audience engagement and learning more about blogging for beginners.
Grow Your Audience
So things are going well, you have a small group of loyal readers, who enjoy your content and keep coming back for more. Great news! blogging for beginners is working, it’s time to scale up!
Doing research on this area is crucial to your continuing success. You can find hundreds of different techniques to grow an audience online. We will list a few here, but never stop learning!
- Guest posting on other blogs is a good way to start, reach out to other blogs in your niche, or similar niches and write some great content for them. Make sure you link back to your site in these articles.
- Comment everywhere. Find articles, videos and websites about your niche and start engaging with the people there! Let them know what you do and ask them to check out your content Don’t be too pushy though! Provide value first and then ask for something in return.
- Advertise your blog. Do some simple advertising on a few different sites. Google AdWords is a good place to start, but difficult to master. Facebook ads on the other hand, are easy to set up and get running, and you can potentially reach billions of people!
- Get social. Make sure you have your blog on all the social platforms, and use them daily to promote yourself. A great tip here when blogging for beginners is to only self-promote after you reach 500 followers on any type of platform. Keep providing excellent quality content and your followers will skyrocket as they tell their friends about your blog!
Monetize Your Blog
This is the fun part, it’s time to get some returns for all your hard work!
Don’t expect to be making millions on day one, most blogs don’t start turning in any kind of decent revenue until they reach roughly 10000 people per month. And trust me, those are minor numbers when you think of the giants like BuzzFeed, whose site gets more than 200M monthly unique visitors, and more than 7 billion monthly global content views.
Back to the subject at hand, monetizing your blog can be done in a wide range of ways. The most common way when blogging for beginners is to let people advertise to your readers, this is a double edged sword though, if you start bombarding your readership with ads you may find them leaving instead of coming back for more. Be careful with ads, people in this day and age are constantly bombarded with adverts all day, because of this, we don’t like being sold to by people we follow out of enjoyment.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with a blog. Affiliate marketing is basically selling other people’s goods, to your audience. There are a few ways to go about this. Product reviews are a popular way to promote goods, give your audience a genuinely honest review of something they will be interested in and provide an affiliate link to the item. Whenever someone buys something via that link, you will receive a commission!
Selling your own products is another way to generate revenue when blogging for beginners. Consider providing guides on your niche. Using the fishing example from above, you could offer your readers a guide on the best fishing spots in the country, or how to properly maintain fishing gear. Or produce your own line of fishing gear and sell it via a webstore attached to your blog!
You might consider charging a subscription service for your content. This is a dangerous way to monetize your blog, if your content is truly unique and the best in the world then you can pull it off. As you are blogging for beginners, we would not recommend charging your readers just for articles and videos.
However charging a subscription model for a service which you provide your readers is a different kettle of fish, you could create a course to train people interested in your niche, or deliver goods related to the niche on a monthly basis. Fishing lures and bait for example.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to blog monetization. You will no doubt encounter many opportunities to make money from blogging. How you go about this is entirely your decision, always put your reader’s interests before your own, if you want to continue being a success when blogging for beginners!
Good luck out there with your blogging for beginners journey! Here are my 6 lessons when I started building my blog.