About a decade back, people started blogs to pen down their feelings and express their opinions on the world wide web. It gave many people a means of voicing their opinions and the resulting comments and shares meant that voice was being heard! With time, blogging also became a means of promoting one’s business or as an online portfolio and today many people use blogging as an essential part of growing their business. If you’ve seen people earning an income from blogging and wondered if you could do it too, you’ve come to the right place!
How to Start a Blog to Make Money?
How to Start a Blog
Well first things first – how do you start a blog? Starting a blog is actually quite easy, you don’t have to be expert in web design or other geeky stuff in order to start a blog! A basic knowledge of the internet is more than enough to get you through the process of creating a blog. But the most important task is to first decide your niche – your area of interest about which you are going to be blogging about.
How to Choose a Niche
Choosing a niche might be instantaneous for some of you, but may require a little more thought for others. In any case, you need to choose a niche that you are sincerely interested about and which you can see yourself blogging about for a long time. It shouldn’t be a temporary fad that you are hooked on to right nown but which might fade tomorrow! You can choose a niche that represents a hobby you are interested in or a topic you are passionate about. Here are some examples:
- Arts and Crafts
- Bollywood (Yes, bollywood can also be a topic if you are filmy)
- Interior Design
These are very broad categories and while they are easy to blog about, it can get too generic. Besides, there are thousands of websites under each category already, so you need to specialize, i.e. narrow down the niche.
For example, let us consider ‘Cooking’. Cooking is a very broad topic and there are countless cookery blogs in India alone (of which nearly 70% are earning well!). Since the field has become very competitive, we need to narrow it down to a more specific niche like these:
- Easy 10 minute recipes – This will work especially for busy Moms who don’t have much time to cook
- Paleo – This is a growing trend and can become popular
- Indian Desserts – You can become the Indian dessert queen
- Baking – This can again be narrowed down, like ‘sugar free baking’ or ‘gluten free baking’
- Juices and smoothies ( Just by simple green smoothies , these ladies have made a business for themselves)
- Weight Loss recipes
- Low Fat recipes…… and so on and so forth
Once you’ve settled upon a niche, you’ve now got to decide upon a name for your blog. It needs to be unique enough to stand out from the rest, but it should also reflect upon what you’re going to blog about. Here are some more things to consider when deciding a name:
- Choose a name that is easy to say and spell
- Use a name that defines your unique brand
- Do not use a hyphen , full stop or any special character
Following these rules will come in handy when you’re buying your domain, as we’ll see later.
Once you’ve decided upon a name for your blog, you now need a place to host it! Your hosting is the space that will actually hold your website, so it’s very important.
Which Hosting to Choose
I always recommend Bluehost hosting, as it is safe and reliable. They have a great customer support system and you can talk to a human instead of a machine!! That is a huge relief and something that I learnt the hard way! When I first started this blog, I took the wrong advice and bought cheap hosting. One fine day, to my horror, the entire blog went missing!! After sending them endless emails, they informed me that there was virus in one of my files because of which they had taken down the entire site! Imagine, all my hard work gone to waste. To top it all, there wasn’t anyone in customer care whom I could talk to and it took all of two days to sort it out.
That was when I realized how crucial a good customer support team is and I can vouch for Bluehost as they are very helpful and answer even the silliest of queries that the non-geeks among us may ask!
OFFER : If you buy Bluehost hosting through this link, then you get a bonus – free website installation!! Isn’t that great news?
How to Buy a Domain
By now, you’ve probably decided upon your domain name, which will be similar to your blog name. The domain name of this blog is: “mylittlemoppet”. A domain name can end in .com, .in, .org or something similar, though I would always recommend a .COM as it is most standard domain irrespective of location. Many users will type in your domain name directly into their address bar, so your domain name needs to follow the rules we listed out earlier, such as not having any special characters. You can read more about naming your domain here.
You can buy a domain separately, or you can get it free here with hosting. Once you’ve bought your hosting, you need to follow a few simple steps to link your domain name to it.
There are many packages available that include various features like additional security, backup and search engines. You can customize your package by choosing the features you want for your blog.
Once you’ve selected whatever you want, just go ahead, pay and you’re done!
How to Set up your Website
Now comes the actual setup. While there are many ways to setup your blog, the most recommended and popular option is WordPress. You don’t need to go anywhere else to do this; you can access it directly from the control panel of your hosting account.
All you need to do is start a fresh install for your new blog, and choose the domain name you registered in the previous step.
Follow through with the installation steps till the end. You can go for the default options and make changes later when you’re more sure about the WordPress features you’d like to see in your blog.
And that’s it!! Your blog is all setup, easy as pie! Now all you need to do is start writing a new post and letting your creativity shine through. It is important to post consistently to get the readership you desire, which will in turn translate into sponsors and ads. With sincerity and original, quality content, there’s no reason for you not to get a good reader base and soon the money will start rolling in!!