How do I start a successful blog and make money using Bluehost just as you are making USD250 per day? I replied to the fellow, you need to take blogging seriously and not just a hobby.
To start a successful blog and make money, you need;
- USD 145-200 ( this is the approximate start up cost)
- to know the why of blogging ( decision on what to blog about)
- to know the where of blogging ( chose preferred blogging platform)
- to get a mobile responsive WordPress themes for design outlay
- to register a unique domain
- to get a cost effective webhosting server ( Bluehost is recommended)
- to install WordPress software
- to start writing articles ( blog posts), remain consistent, work hard and continue to learn
Table of Contents
- My story – breakdown of my earnings
- What is Blogging, knowing the why and where!!
- Free Blogging platforms And Why You Should not use them
- The Right Approach – wordPress.org vs Wordpress.com
- Choosing a Niche
- Choosing the perfect Blog design
- Choosing a name And Domain Name
- Website hosting (Recommended Company)
- Configuring your blog, Installing plugins, overall settings
- Pages set up, categories, menus and Widget settings
- Overall blog configuration, settings
- Professional tips on blog post ( tips on getting first 30 posts)
- How to publish your first Blog post – Rules of the perfect Blog Post
- Setting up your blog on Google search console and Google Analytics
- Google indexing your posts
- Google penalty triggers to avoid
Success Tips / Promotion / Getting Traffic
- Use of social media accounts
- How To Network and expose your blog
My story – breakdown of my earnings
My first online earnings of USD 0.07 cent was made about 7 years ago; that was when I was a writer on hubpages, I was averaging about 20 USD per day (from Google Adsense) when my account was suddenly closed for no reason and I had serious heartache for more than 3 months before I braced up to set up my own blog
First Rule: Set up your own blog and do not depend on other people’s blog either as a writer or contributor to make money. The hard way is actually the best and only way to SUCCESS.
After setting up my own blog, I started writing on the new blog, made some money, but after 1 year and 3 months, I was hit by Google penalty and all my daily earnings disappeared; I was frustrated for almost 5 months before I had the courage to start all over again.
After this, I set up two other blogs and all of them failed at the end of the day. In late 2015 (November), I started two new fresh blogs and both is giving me approximately USD150-250 per day.
Second Rule: Do not give up; when you fall, rise up and be renewed. It takes months and sometimes years to start making reasonable money.
My experience has taught me that with blogging, you need to focus on what you know best, be a good writer (and sometimes hire people), focus on product and service oriented niche of blogging (and not just information based), diversify your blogs (by having 2 blogs with different niches), concentrate on affiliate marketing and your own products (to sell) and finally be a good friend to Google
Third Rule: Be creative, and focus on product, sales or service based niche of blogging
What is Blogging ( knowing the why and where)
Blogging is taking your diary of events and uploading on it online for your friends and readers to know the latest updates about you. It is a personal online avenue to share your ideas with the outside world. The real idea of blogging did not take into account the possibility of making money, however, the concept of blogging has evolved into a money making machine when done properly.
As you are about to start, there are some facts and myths I would want you to know and probably knock out:
- Blogging is not rocket science; the only major requirement is your ability to write. If you can write, then give blogging a chance. It is fun, easy and not stressful at all.
- Making money with blogging is not easy, especially if not done properly (e.g. choosing the wrong niche and/or choosing a niche you do not have adequate knowledge about). You will need to work hard if you want to make money.
- Anybody can run a blog; be it a president, busy man, pastor or reverend (just find your niche, your groove and the unwavering desire to start).
- Running the blog as a hobby or on part time basis will not give you your desired success or may slow your success down.
- You must have the passion for blogging; along the journey, you will become discouraged, become fatigued, discouraged etc; but if you actually love what you are doing, then the impetus to keep on moving will naturally propel you forward.
Step 2 (1)
Free Blogging platforms And Why You Should not use them
I must be honest with you here; there are free blogging platforms that you can use to get started. It cost zero sum of money to launch your blog on these platforms. However, it is never recommended because of numerous disadvantages.
The following are the popular free blogging platforms and their disadvantages:
Blogger is the oldest platform and it is run by Google. Though it is flexible to use, and to some extent, most people get started on this platform before they migrate to a better platform which is WordPress.org platform.
- You can’t get a brand name; your blog will be in this format ( just an example): nameofyourblog.blogspot.com
- You cannot make money on it, except through Google AdSense ( you will be extremely limited)
- Advertisers will not see you as a serious fellow to transact with
- You are not in control ( the blogger account can be closed anytime)
The WordPress.com is the free platform and the disadvantages are also the same with the blogger platform mentioned above.
Tumblr offers a free blogging platform but do you know what? All their blogs are not indexed in Google, so , what is the point. This is a no go area.
It is true that you can set up a blog on Facebook, but the blog is either in the form of running a Facebook page and /or group.
It is not a blog in the real sense because you cannot publish a blog post; you cannot run advertisement like Google AdSense. The only thing you can do is just like the normal Facebook account where you post updates, pictures and videos of yourself or things you want.
The only way to make money with a blog on Facebook is by promoting affiliate products to your followers (likes).
My candid advice is ‘do not start your blog on Facebook’ because there is even more restrictions when it comes to making money with product promotion. Secondly, you are not in control and FB can close your account or the page/group anytime.
Step 2 (2)
The Right Approach – WordPress.org
This is the best platform and it is the recommend platform on which more than 31% of blogs and websites are built on. All my blogs are built using WordPress.org and I must say it is the best experience so far. It is easy to use, easy to update and you can build any type of blog without having to stress yourself about a single line of code. I will explain and teach you everything in this tutorial.
With WordPress.org, it is premium and you have to buy your domain name, host the domain name and also get WordPress themes ( for the designing concept). Full explanation is detailed below.
Choosing a Niche
The beginning of this journey actually starts with choosing a niche. There are various niches out there, however, the best niche you can start with is the niche you know about i.e the one you can be sure you are an authority and also the niche you honestly love.
For example, we have fashion, beauty, lifestyle, technology, food (cooking), news, entertainment, tutorial focused niches etc. You need to launch a niche you will not find stressful.
- Want to know about Fashion blogging; read it here
- Want to know about beauty and skin care? read it here
- Want to know how to set up a technology blog, read it here
- Want to know about cooking/food related? check it out
- And also about online news blogging; check it out
Just check and search the entire haceweb blog, I have published extensive guidelines on virtually all types of blogging niches out there.
Another point is , not all niches gives the same amount of revenue because of their different advertisement/money making revenues; in this case, if you want to focus on popular niches/money making niches/EDD ( exact domain name) etc.; you will need to make research on that.
To do that, I recommend you use the world renowned tool (used by professional bloggers and myself) to get ideas, know traffic statistics etc.; the tool is SAMURAI ( SIGN UP FOR THE FREE TRIAL).
Choosing the perfect Blog design
The niche you chose determines to some extent the type of design you want for the blog. Generally, there are free WordPress themes (design templates) out there, but none of them is safe, secure and can actually give you what you need (again, they are limited because they are free). I will never advise you to go for the free templates.
Each niche has professionally designed WordPress themes that are search engine optimized, gives you good ROI ( return on investment e.t.c).
From my experience, I have been using most of these ready made, professionally designed templates from reputable companies rather than wasting my time on coding/programming or trying to design the blog myself.
So, if you have a niche in mind or general blogging, you will need to search for your preferred choice through the recommended companies below, buy your preferred WordPress themes (templates, it is generally in the price range of USD35-USD129.), download the ZIP file to your laptop/PC/desktop computer and have it ready for the installation/upload in the next stage of the tutorial below;
For example, I have listed out some designs for select niches below:
The above template designs are just examples. For you to see different template blogging design templates ( WordPress themes), go to the above mentioned companies ( also seen below) and thoroughly search (you can type the keyword in their search box e.g. medical, college, tutorial, money making, computer, celebrity, Google Adsense etc) for design that will fit your purpose.
And remember, to always view the demo!!
After this, just save the ZIP file, and continue with the domain name registration and web hosting for your new blog.
Choosing a name And Domain Name
If you chose the wrong name, then you will have trouble and future problem with branding. The name you chose for your blog should be an identity that defines you, your purpose, products and services.
Look at popular bloggers out there, check out their names, check the uniqueness of their identity and try to replicate same.
Please know that the name you chose automatically becomes your domain name; the domain name is the technical name understood by the web and other internet protocols; it’s the real identity of your blog online.
When choosing a name/domain name; please bear in mind that the name should be:
- Short and memorable
- Not more than 12 letter words
- Unique, unused and easy to pronounce
- The same name will be used for your Facebook, Instagram, twitter, Google+ and possibly Pinterest Account (but the most important of all is Facebook, Instagram and twitter)
- So, when thinking of the name to use for your domain name, also think of using that same across all your social media accounts.
Take a look at social media accounts of Facebook, twitter, and Forbes accounts:
- For Facebookcom – Facebook.com/Facebook, twitter.com/Facebook
- For Twitter – Facebook.com/twitter, twitter.com/Facebook
- For Forbes – Facebook.com/forbes, twitter.com/forbes
For example, Forbes is the name of the popular entertainment/news blog and the domain name is forbes.com; Facebook is the name of the world’s most popular social networking website and the domain name is facebook.com; twitter is the name of the world’s most popular microblogging social networking real time blog and the domain name is twitter.com
You need to be cautious, calculative and pencil down different names you will likely use for your domain name (because this is the beginning of the start of your new blog); To do that, I recommend you use the form and tool below ( From Bluehost company) to do the search immediately
Search very well, and if the preferred name you want is available, I recommend you register it immediately and keep it for yourself ( because other people from all over the world are doing the same research you are doing, you need to act fast and smart to get the domain name immediately!!)
Website hosting (Recommended Company)
As soon as the domain name is available for purchase, you will also be presented with the option of hosting the domain name.
Hosting the domain name means, you are buying a space on the internet (through the use of web server, provided by the web hosting company) that will make your domain name to be seen and accessible online.
Without hosting the domain name, the domain name is useless and will not function/work.
For a starter, I recommend the same company you used for your domain name registration; Bluehost is reliable, dependable and it is the hosting company I am using for this blog and my other blogs.
With USD3.45 per month, you can get started, and if you decide to host with them (you will not pay again for the domain name registration, it automatically becomes free, saving you an approximate sum of USD17 per year).
Configuring your blog, Installing plugins, overall settings
If you are well able to get the domain name and hosting correctly, then I congratulate you ( or if you have problem or need help, just reach out to me through the chat feature below or through the contact page).
This next stage is a little bit technical, and I will explain everything you need to know with both pictures and video tutorials.
Follow the screen shot below for the registration of the blog on Bluehost and also for the initial set up instructions.
Please note the following points:
- Your login to your Bluehost account will be created for you; typically, this involves your email address and your password will be chosen by you.
- Please keep it safe somewhere (including your password); because this is the engine room of anything you want to do for your blog.
- When installing, chose WordPress software ( you will be asked or shown the logo); please also note and write down the login ( username and password).
- When the installation is complete, you will be taken away from Bluehost and shown your WordPress dashboard like the one below.
- And if you are not , just sign out of the Bluehost Cpanel ( Account), then open your browser and type in the login of your new WordPress bog ( in most cases, it will be in this format, yournewblog.com/wp-admin/ or www.yournewblog.com/wp-login/ ;
- With the earlier mentioned WordPress Login I told you about, you will now use it to sign into your blog; if successful, you will be shown the WordPress dashboard as shown above.
At this point, the actual settings and configuration of your blog is just starting, please be patient and follow the guidelines and further instructions below:
Step 7 (1)
Designing / Configuring your blog
From the dashboard, the first thing you will need to do is to change the default/initial design that came with the installation and upload your earlier purchased WordPress themes/templates. Follow the screen shot below.
- Locate the ZIP file
- Click on appearance, then themes, then click on Add new; follow the screen guide; locate the downloaded ZIP file and upload it.
- Watch the video below
Template Demo Upload
However, in some cases, you may want to have the demo (as displayed in the template you purchased) uploaded on your blog for two reasons.
- Probably because of easy ways to edit the contents and gradually add yours
- Probably you want your blog to look full and professionally looking exactly like the demo.
To do that;
- Go to your ZIP file, unzip it by opening it
- locate demo.xml ( or anything that ends with .XML)
- Once you find it, upload the .XML ( that is the demo content); before uploading, you will need to install the WordPress import plugin ( see the image and video below).
Watch the video below for tips to upload the demo contents;
If you get this done, the next step is to install what is called WordPress plugins. Plugins powers your new WordPress blog and they are highly important for any task you want the blog to carry out. For instance, you need a plugin if you want to be selling downloadable items/eBooks/Music e.t.c. on the blog or even offer services and collection of your money using PayPal.
Step 7 (2)
Plugin Installations and Configurations
There are some basic/primary plugins you need to install immediately. These basic plugins are listed below:
Other plugins you may want to consider includes:
- Mail Poet: Helps you to get email leads of visitors and enables you to send newsletters to your subscribers/readers.
- Easy Digital Download plugin) : to sell eBooks and collect money using PayPal
- AMP plugin ( to turn your blog to Google specified Mobile responsive blog and make it load faster)
- Image crusher etc.
To install the plugins, follow the guidelines below:
From your dashboard, locate appearance, and under appearance, locate plugins and from there, click on Add new.
- From the new page, locate the search box towards the right hand side, type the name of the plugin you want to install e.g. Yoast SEO.
- The plugin will be displayed, and simply click on install and later on “Activate”.
Or simply, you can download the plugins and upload them using the above method ( but you will click on upload, instead of using the search box to upload).
For easy guidelines, watch the video below:
After the above installation and configurations, there are some important configuration settings you should do immediately.
- You are going to change the default Permalink settings to ‘name’. To do that, go to your settings (from the same dashboard, scroll down and you will see settings. Click on it, locate permalinks, click on it and change the present settings to ‘name’
- Again, since you are still setting up your blog, it will not be wise for the search engines to start crawling and indexing the blog yet. You have to tell Google and other search engines not to index it yet. To do that, go to general ( from the dashboard), check the box that says ‘ search engines should not index this site’
- After you have set up the entire blog and ready for people and search engines to start visiting and reading the contents. You MUST come back here and ‘uncheck’ the box, or else nobody will know about the site and you will not get a single visitor. ( please remember this important issue)
Step 7 (3)
Pages set up, categories, menus and Widget settings
If you uploaded the demo as explained earlier, then you already have pages, categories, menus and posts created. The task before you will just be editing of these stuffs, start adding your own contents or simply deleting them and starting new.
However, if you did not upload the demo, then you need to start creating some important pages, categories and also set up your menus.
You need to create and set up the following pages immediately:
- About pages
- Contact page
To create a page, see the image above.
Contact Form Creation in The Contact Page
However, creating a contact page with contact form is quite different. The first task is to :
- Use a Jetpack plugin
The first task to do is to make sure you connect and activate your JetPack plugin and you will do this by linking the JetPack plugin with a new free wordpress.com ( you are just going to link them together, do not bother posting articles on the wordpress.com account). The notification to do that will be displayed on the dashboard clearly.
After linking them together, you will be brought back to you WordPress dashboard ( your blog dashboard). Then go to your newly created contact page, refresh the page, then go the edit portion of the page. On top of the edit tools, you will see the icon for ‘insert contact form’ ( as shown below). Click on it and finish up the configuration.
The standard best practice is that all published blog posts must fall under a particular category. The default category for any WordPress powered blog or site is ‘uncategorized’. Depending on the niche you are into, the following are some basic category that you should create and publish related post under.
- Apple category (any post or news related to Apple products e.g. iPhone etc.)
The task before you is to draft out categories that will be present on your blog and then create them. To create a category is simple and easy, follow the steps below:
Follow the images below and also watch the video below
Step 7 (4)
Creating Your Menu
The image below is the perfect description of what a blog menu is and what it actually looks like. The menu is actually an important part of the design and configuration settings, without a menu, a blog look empty and disorganized.
- To create a menu, please understand there is a primary and secondary menu settings; to set up one, follow the guidelines below:
- Go to menu settings by going to appearance, under appearance, click on menu
- On the menu page, click creates a menu (and selects the pages and categories you want to be displayed on the menu).
- In most cases, your primary menu contains ‘Home’, ‘About’, ‘Contact’, Advertisement, Products, services, terms of service etc.
See the images below and also watch the video below for more guidelines
And also watch the video below:
Overall blog configuration, settings
The above guidelines are more than enough for you to understand how to set up your blog, no matter the niche you are considering. However, for more understanding, you can reach out to me though the contact page or through the live chat features below.
In addition, you can watch the video below for more tutorials:
Setting up your blog on Google search console and Google Analytics
After doing all the above tasks, you need to set up and submit your new blog to Google search console and Bing. The two are search engines, but the most important is Google. Follow the guidelines below to set up your blog on Google search console and analytics.
- Go to Google search console at: www.google.com/console
Follow the instructions and guidelines.
For more understanding, it is important and compulsory you watch the video below:
Please understand that the Google search console is an important and integral part of the whole concept of search engine optimization. It is important you understand it, set up your blog on it and totally configure it.
However, for a starter, I recommend you install the Yoast SEO plugin ; use it to learn about SEO, how to use ‘fetch as’ feature to quickly index your posts, and also know how to use the sitemaps etc.
Google Indexing Your Posts
When you publish a new blog post, you have to manually submit the post/article on Google search console to that Google can index it and add it to their database. With this process, it means, your blog post would be seen and available on the search pages.
You are doing this manually because your blog is new but as your blog grows, you do not need to do it manually because it will be added automatically.
Google penalty triggers to avoid
Most blogs struggles to be seen, make profit and rank high on Google search pages not because the posts are not well written but majorly because the laws of Google were not applied and followed.
If you flout Google’s ranking rules, Google will penalize you. Some of the rules you should know are explained below:
- Do not copy and paste other people’s content
- Avoid duplicate content
- Avoid thin content ( your articles or post should be more than 300 word count)
More of the penalty triggers are explained in this comprehensive posts by Neil Patel; Read it here.
How to publish your first Blog post – Rules of the perfect Blog Post
Watch the video below on how to publish your first blog post, what to do, how to make use of the blog post settings and adjusting the category you are going to be publishing it under.
Professional tips on blog post (tips on getting first 30 posts)
This is the beginning of your blog publishing and you need to plan everything very well so as to achieve faster growth rate and become successful.
From my experience, it is recommended to have at least 10-20 articles/post that is ready. What you will do is that you will schedule each post to be published (e.g. one article per day) for the next 20 days.
And before the next 20 days finishes, you already have another article (batch) on ground and you schedule them.
The reason is because Google and other search engines love new articles; and they give authority to a blog that is seen to be publishing a blog post or article on a constant and consistent basis.
Another major point of emphasis is this; your blog post should exceed 1000 word count; from experience and from research, it has been proven that long blog posts tends to rank higher on Google search pages than blog posts with about 350-700 word counts.
Immediately you publish a blog post, do the following:
- Share it on twitter
- Share it on Facebook
- Use fetch in Google console to submit the post and get it indexed immediately
- Interlink the post to each other on your blog
If you feel overwhelmed on getting blog posts, then you can outsource some of the task to professionals at:
- Guru or Odesk
- Or simply hire professional freelance writers ( though this option is expensive but it is the best!!)
Success Tips / Success Tips / Getting Traffic
The steps to take to be successful are not rocket sciences; if the steps are carefully followed and implemented, then success is not far at all.
Invest in the quality of your blog posts
Nearly all sorts of topics are already covered on the internet, no matter the title or article of interest; you will discover that thousands of such are already published on the net.
What is needed from your own side is that you should invest in the quality of the type of blog post you are going to be publishing. Publish authoritative, well researched, non-duplicate articles.
Embed high quality videos, pictures and images to add flair and interesting explanation to your blog posts. Add polls if needed and try to write with a neutral flair. Don’t write for the search engines but for people. Readers should be able to understand and easily comprehend what you are trying to explain in the article.
Forget about publishing 150-400 word count posts but rather try as much as possible to write and publish nothing less than 1500 word count post.
Research has shown that quality long blog posts tends to rank high on Google search pages than ordinary short blog posts.
Use of Social Media Networks
Successful bloggers and website publishers invested heavily on the use of social media; the reason being that the use of social media is important for the overall success of your blog.
For your blog to experience success, the number one factor needed is traffic; you need people to visit the blog and execute an action on it.
Getting the traffic is the challenge, but!!
This is where social media ( e.g Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat etc) plays a huge and important role.
You will need to :
- Go to the above mentioned social media network and open a free account on them
- Remember to open the free account using the name of your domain as earlier explained because of branding advantages
- Set up your profile on Facebook, twitter, Google+, Instagram with professionally looking pictures and background photos.
For overall understanding on how to get the above task done easily and achieve good returns on investment (ROI), then I recommend you check out the below resource materials:
- hidden secret to get massive Facebook traffic using groups, read it inside my earlier post on how to create a website like buzzfeed ( here) and revenue sharing website ( here)
How to Network and expose your blog
By now, you will have realized that running a successful bog is serious work and it is not a child’s play. Do not be deceived by all those blog earning reports, what the publishers of those report fail to tell their readers is the enormous amount of work and time they invested on their blog.
Since your blog is a brand new blog, fresh and just out of the heaven; nobody knows about it, and as such, you will have to go the extra mile and let the blogging community and people know about it.
This is where the issue of networking comes into practice!!
To network and make your blog known and popular, you will:
- Open an account with major social networking websites as explained above and drop the URL of your blog ( in such a way that it can be clicked on): an example is shown below of a twitter account profile of rsadaily
- Open an account with Google+ and create your profile
- Join relevant blogging communities on Google+ and participate ( the winning trick is to get the admin of their communities and ask for their permission to share your contents)
- Join relevant Facebook Groups and participate ( do the above mentioned winning trick)
- Join premium social bookmarking websites and submit your URLS ( i.e the addresses of each of your published blog posts). A very good example is klinkk.com and www.growthhackers.com/
- Join bloglovin and submit your blog
- Go to Bing search engine and get your blog registered and indexed
- Do the same thing with yandex.ru and get your blog registered and indexed
- The most powerful networking tool is to blog comment. You visit relevant blogs, read their blog post and drop meaningful /insightful comment with a link to your blog. Drop at least 2 comments on 10 different blogs every week.
If you need assistance, you can reach out to me through the contact page section.