Want to learn how to start a blog from scratch in 2021 and make money by blogging?
Awesome! You’re in the right place.
Starting a blog from scratch can be tedious if you don’t know the exact steps for starting a brand new blog.
When I started my blog I spent a lot of time searching for the right information regarding how to start a blog and make money. It took me months to gather all relevant information and figure out what is actually required for starting a blog.
If I had found a step-by-step guide for blogging at that time, my time would not have been wasted.
That is why I will share with you a complete beginner’s guide on how to start a blog in 2021 and make money with blogging.
After you read the full article, you will be able to start your own money-making blog in just 15 minutes.
So, if you’re ready to learn how to start a blog and make money with blogging, let’s dive in.
How to Start a Blog From Scratch in 2021
Make sure to read this ultimate guide thoroughly to learn what it takes to start a blog the right way.
Here are the steps to starting a successful blog:
1. Find the niche for your blog
2. Choose a domain name
3. Get a web hosting
4. Select a platform for blogging
5. Choose a Theme
6. Install must have Plugins
7. Publish quality content
8. Promote your blog to get traffic
1. Choose a Niche for Blogging
The first and most important step to start a blog is to choose the niche (topic) for blogging. The whole blogging strategy will depend on the niche of your blog.
You can not just write about anything that comes to your mind to make money from a blog. Blogging is a serious business and needs proper planning, to make money from it.
Most of the bloggers fail and quit blogging in just a few months. Do you know why?
Because they don’t realize the value of selecting a niche for blogging and write about random things.
When it comes to blog growth, blog traffic, and monetization of the blog, a niche blog generally outperforms a nicheless blog.
Don’t underestimate the power of niche blogging.
Niche helps you in writing content for a targeted audience which in turn brings genuine readers to your blog.
Example of popular blogs and their niche:
Techcrunch, a famous blog works on the technology niche. Moz is the world’s most successful blog in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) niche.
How to choose a niche for blogging?
Choosing the right niche for blogging is very important for the success of your blog. Everyone talks about choosing a niche based on passion. It is good advice for sure but not completely right.
There are a few more things you need to consider for selecting your blogging niche, like:
- Are you really interested in that niche?
- Does the niche has good business value?
- How competitive is your blog niche?
- Demand (present and future)
“A good niche for blogging is a combination of both passion and profitability.”
Passion For the Topic
If you are not passionate about your blog topic, it will be very difficult for you to create enough content for your blog. Soon you will lose interest in blogging and quit.
On the other hand, if you’re passionate about your niche, you will be ready to read, write, learn & talk about the topic and always will have something to share with your readers and subscribers.
Profitability in the Topic
For most newbie and established bloggers “Money” is a great source of inspiration for continuing blogging.
Even if you create great content, you’ll not like to take it further if you could not monetize your blog.
Sooner or later you’ll realize that there is something wrong with your blogging niche. Ultimately you have to rebrand your existing blog and start from the beginning.
So, it is quite necessary to find a profitable niche for blogging that you’re passionate about.
After passion and profitability, the next thing to consider is the competition in the niche and its demand.
Generally, a niche with the high competition is the one with more profit potential.
But for a beginner, it is better to stay away from a high competition niche. This is because big blog websites are already working in these niches and it is very hard to compete with them.
“Select a niche which is high in demand and low in competition.”
These are some very critical points to consider for choosing a niche for blogging.
To be a successful blogger you must select a good niche and understand who is your ideal reader.
2. Choose a Domain Name
The second step for starting a blog is to choose a domain name for your blog.
A domain name should be; easy to remember, easy to pronounce, and easy to type.
A domain name is actually the URL (uniform resource locator) of your blog or you can say it is your blog name.
You will be known online by this name. This is your online identity and people type it in the browser to visit your website.
For example, www.plantmoremoney.com is the domain name of my blog Plant More Money (blog name).
Most domain names are already taken by others.
So if you have a domain name in your mind, you can check whether the domain is available or not, by visiting the Bluehost website.
A domain name generally costs around $12 to $14 per year.
However, in this article, I’ll show you how you can get a domain name for FREE.
Quick Tips for Choosing a Domain Name
Keep the domain name as short as possible.
Try to include your focus keyword in your domain name.
Do not use numbers in your domain and also make sure it is easy to spell.
Use the TLD (top-level domain) extension.
There are many domain extensions targeting a particular niche or country like .in for India, .us for the United States, .uk for the United Kingdom, and many more.
But I recommend you to go for .com which is the most popular domain extension.
If you want to start a sports blog, you can go for something like Sportsmania.com. For beekeeping, you can choose something like Beekeepersguide.com.
Do not spend much time finding a great domain name. Your blog’s success will depend on the content you’ll provide to your readers.
3. Web Hosting: The Home to Your Blog
The third step to start a successful blog is to get good web hosting.
You might be wondering, what is web hosting, and from where to get it?
Web hosting is a server that allows you to store your content and make it available to your readers 24/7.
If a domain is the address of your website, hosting is the home where it actually lives.
Selecting web hosting is one of the most important decisions to make while starting a blog.
This is because the performance and functionality of your blog depend on the hosting provider.
It is like, someone (reader) has reached your address (domain) and wants to visit your home (blog). He knocks on your door and waits for someone to open the door. Here two things might happen.
One, as the visitor knocks on the door, the door opens instantly. The visitor checks what you have in your home and leave happily to return again. (Opportunity grabbed)
Second, the visitor knocks on the door. Gets no response from inside and returns annoyed. He will never come back. (Opportunity lost)
The same thing happens in your blog. A good web hosting service provider will always be there to open the door for your blog visitor, getting more happy readers.
There are tons of web hosting service providers but I recommend you to go for Bluehost, the best hosting platform recommended by most of the top bloggers, and WordPress.org.
Bluehost is the best web hosting service provider to start a blog because it offers;
All these features you can get at just $3.95 per month.
How to Get Web Hosting for Starting a Blog?
Follow the steps to purchase the best web hosting with a free domain name:
1. First of all, visit the Bluehost website.
2. Click on the get started button
3. Now you will see various web hosting plans namely Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. Read the plan features and select the hosting plan that best meets your requirements.
4. The next page will ask you to set up your domain. If you have already decided on your website domain name, enter it and click on the Next button.
Otherwise, you can skip this step and create your domain later.
5. In the next step, you need to fill in your account information like your name, address. City, state, country, etc.
6. While filling in your package information, select the plan for 36 months.
7. If you need some extra features, you can choose them from the package extra option.
However, you do not need to pay for these extra features as all necessary features are already included in the plan.
This way you can save approximately $150 before starting a blog.
8. After putting in the account information and checking your package information, now is the time to make payment.
You can make payment either by credit card or PayPal (see more payment options).
9. When you complete the payment process, you will get a success message from Bluehost confirming your purchase.
You have just got the best web hosting and a free domain.
So far you have done a great job and your blog is almost ready.
Now you need to create your Bluehost account and set a strong password for the same. Login to your Bluehost account and get ready to set up your blog.
4. Choosing the Right Blogging Platform
Choosing the right blogging platform is another very important step.
This is a place where you will do all your blog post writing, customizing, and publishing work.
A blogging platform is also known as a Content Management System (CMS).
There are a lot of platforms for starting a blog. A few of them are:
But among these which one is the most suitable platform you should choose for starting your blog?
If you’re thinking of making money with blogging, I highly recommend going for WordPress as this is the best blogging platform to start your new blog.
Why WordPress is the best blogging platform?
A good platform for blogging is one that is easy to set up, easy to use, and does not require any coding skills.
Also, it should be flexible so that when your blog grows in the future you could easily make necessary changes in this.
WordPress gives you all these features and that is why WordPress is the most popular and best blogging platform to start a blog.
How to create a blog in WordPress?
Starting a blog in WordPress is super easy. You can start a WordPress blog easily with Bluehost as it enables you to install WordPress in just one click.
WordPress blog is easy to create and user-friendly.
But there is something about WordPress where people often get confused and that is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
However, they both have the same name i.e. WordPress but there is a huge difference between the two.
WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org – which one to choose?
- Free to use up to 3 GB of space (with heavy restrictions)
- Good for hobby bloggers who don’t care about making money with blogging
- Limited monetization options
- Do not allow you to upload plugins and custom themes
- Your domain looks ugly like yourownsite.wordpress.com. You can not get your own domain like yourownsite.com for free. If you want to get one, you have to pay for it.
- Free to use and user-friendly
- You get full control of your website
- Fully customizable design
- Can use free or paid plugins and themes
- A great choice for those who want to make money with blogging (easy monetization)
If you want to start a blog that makes money, I recommend using self-hosted WordPress.org as your blogging platform.
5. Theme For Blog Designing
The next step in learning how to start a blog is choosing the right theme to design your blog.
The first thing a visitor notices in a blog is its overall appearance. If he does not find it interesting, he just leaves it.
Due to poor blog design, the visitor does not look at the content within the blog no matter how great it is.
How your blog looks depends on the theme you use.
So, an eye-catching and attention-grabbing theme is necessary to drive more visitors to your site and retaining them for a much longer time.
There are tons of free and paid themes you can install on WordPress.
But as a new blogger, when you do not have enough money, you can start designing your blog with a free theme.
When you start getting enough traffic, you can get a paid theme to monetize your blog properly.
However, if you can afford it, it is better to get a paid theme initially.
Because, when you change the theme in later stages it takes time and you again have to work on the same thing.
In order to install a theme on your WordPress blog, you need to go to Appearance > Themes > Add New Themes > Popular (select a theme of your choice).
A theme should be simple, responsive, SEO friendly, supportive, and have good ratings and reviews.
Few popular themes to start a blog
2. Elementor (Page builder)
3. Thrive Themes
4. Elegant Themes
These are some of the best WordPress themes for bloggers.
If you desire to earn money from blogging and grow in your blogging career, you need to invest in your theme and plugins.
6. Must-Have Plugins to Start a Money Making Blog
When you start a new blog, you find a lot of features missing like social sharing buttons or table of contents and many more.
These features are very essential to make your WordPress blog more attractive and better performing.
Here comes the role of plugins.
Plugins are the software tools that help you add awesome features to your blog to enhance the overall functionality.
WordPress offers tons of plugins. You need not install all of them as this will slow down your WordPress blog and it will be difficult to manage them.
Here is the list mentioning a few of them.
Yoast SEO or Rank Math SEO: Yoast SEO and Rank Math SEO are two of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins. These plugins help you optimize your blog post titles, descriptions, content length, and arrangement to make your blog readable and SEO-friendly. You can install any of them for free.
ShortPixel: This is an awesome plugin to compress the size of images on your blog without reducing the image quality.
Akismet: This is a free anti-spam WordPress plugin from the WordPress creator. As a newbie blogger, you will get a lot of spam comments. Akismet is a must-have plugin to deal with these spam comments on your blog.
Social Warfare or Social Snap: Must have a social sharing plugin to get more traffic to your WordPress blog. These plugins help you add beautiful social sharing buttons in your blog to share your content on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others.
WP Forms: This plugin helps you creating a beautiful contact form on your blog so that your readers can easily get in touch with you.
OptinMonster: A great plugin with lots of tools to capture your reader’s email and converting a reader into a subscriber. You can show the Email subscription pop-up to a reader when he is about to leave the blog and make him join your email list.
MonsterInsights: A must-have plugin for every blogger. You can connect this WordPress plugin with your Google Analytics to track your blog traffic.
Insert Headers and Footers: This is a simple plugin to add important codes like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Google Search Console, custom CSS, and many more to your WordPress website’s header and footer.
Easy Table Of Contents: As the name says this plugin helps you add a table of content in your blog post. The reader can easily see what your blog post contains. It often gives a great user experience.
ThirstyAffiliates: If you’re an affiliate marketer or want to do affiliate marketing through your WordPress blog, you must install this plugin. This is my favorite affiliate marketing plugin. It helps to convert an ugly-looking affiliate link to look nicer and make it more clickable.
You have successfully learned how to start a blog.
If you haven’t yet started a blog, try Bluehost to get your hosting.
Now the next step is to create content for your blog and make money blogging.
7. Publish Quality Content
I am sure you’re excited to write your first blog post. Even I was when I started my self-hosted WordPress blog.
But just writing a blog post is not important. What’s important is to write a great piece of content.
Quality of content is of utmost importance.
People do not visit your blog to check how it looks like (however looks retain them on the blog).
They reach out to find answers to their questions or solution to their problems.
So you need to create awesome content for your readers.
Tips for writing quality content
1. Figure out what’s demanding in your niche, what solution people are looking for, what type of content is already present on the web, and what else can be added to that content.
2. Try to create a pillar post and cover as much information as possible about the topic. This is because long-form content gets more traffic than short ones.
3. Write a great headline to get more clicks on your post. No matter how great is your content but no one will read it if your post headline is not good. You can use the free headline analyzer tool to check the strength of your headline.
4. Try to add different media formats like images, videos, info-graphics, etc. Make sure to add a featured image in each of your blog posts.
5. Learn and do SEO to rank your blog post for getting more organic traffic.
Once you’re ready to write your first blog post, go to the WordPress dashboard and click on Posts > Add New for writing your first blog post.
Use the above tips to write an amazing blog post. Check the SEO suggestions by Yoast SEO and ensure your post is SEO-friendly.
Choose the category for your post under which it will fall.
Once your content is ready, hit the Publish button.
Till now you have learned how to start a blog and publish the content/post.
After publishing your first post, it’s time to promote your blog.
8. Promote Your Blog to Get Traffic
The next step in learning how to start a blog and make money online is driving traffic to your blog.
SEO will take months to rank your content and get traffic to your blog. So, it is better to promote your blog to bring traffic and make money blogging.
Share your blog post with as many people as possible.
Promoting your content is more important than creating it. This is because if you have created great content but no one reads it, it is worth nothing.
There are different ways to promote your blog and bring good traffic to it like; sharing content on social media, commenting on other blogs, guest blogging, etc.
Popular social media and other platforms that bring traffic to the blog are:
Be active on these social networks and let everyone know about your blog.
The more traffic your blog gets, the more are chances to make money with blogging.
9. Make Money by Blogging
So you have learned how to start a blog, create quality content, and promote your blog.
Now, what’s next?
Let’s monetize the blog.
There are many ways to monetize your blog i.e. make money with blogging. A few of them being;
Google AdSense: This is one of the best and easy blog monetization methods. Almost every new blogger goes with this blog monetization method. However, you need traffic and views to make money with Ads on your blog.
So write and publish at least 15-20 blog posts on your blog before applying for this blog monetization method.
Affiliate Marketing: This is one of the most popular ways to make money online. Most bloggers make a large part of their online income from affiliate marketing by selling third-party products.
Sell Your Own Products: E-Books and online courses are some of the most popular digital products that most bloggers sell to make money from blogging.
Sponsored Posts: Another way to make money blogging is to write sponsored posts for others. Collaborate with the brand(s) related to your niche and write the post(s) featuring their product(s). This is as simple as that.
Offer Services: You can use the blogging platform to sell your services or skills. Create a page on your blog and advertise your services. In the process of learning how to start a blog and make money, you will learn a lot of things.
If you become an expert in any of them like SEO, Email marketing, Blog designing, you can help others to solve their problems and get paid.
These are just a few ways to make money by blogging. If you are serious about blogging and ready to put your time and effort, you will get a lot of opportunities to monetize your blog.
But as a beginner blogger, you need to focus on creating great content both in terms of quality and quantity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Blogging
What is a blog and how does it work?
A blog is basically a website that contains information about a topic or different topics in written form.
It is a combination of two words, “web” and “log.”
The activity of putting, maintaining, and updating the content on the blog is called “blogging” and someone who does blogging is called a “blogger.”
Why do you need to start a blog?
The reason to start a blog varies from person to person. But the following are the most common reasons for starting a blog :
- Making money online from home
- Start a blog to earn passive income
- Starting a blog to earn fame
- Sharing your own story/knowledge
- Blogging as a career/business
Is it possible to make money with a blog?
Making money with blogging is certainly possible if you do it the right way. By the right way, I mean to learn how to do blogging and blog monetization.
There is no guarantee that blogging can earn you a full-time living but there are many bloggers who are earning thousands of dollars every month. They are doing it full-time and making money by blogging.
How to start a blog and get paid?
I am sure by now you know the answer to this question. This whole blog post is about starting a blog and making money from it.
But in case if you have not read the article and directly came to this point, consider reading it to learn how to start a blog and make money blogging.
Can I start a blog for free in 2021?
Yes. You can start a blog for free on platforms like WordPress.com and blogger.
But I suggest not to start a free blog if you wish to make money from blogging. Free blogging platforms are not good for blog monetization.
If you really want to make money from blogging (either part-time or full-time), I would highly recommend you to make some initial investment, purchase hosting and start your own self-hosted WordPress blog.
How much does it cost to start a blog in 2021?
You don’t need a huge investment to start a blog in 2021. Two basic things you need to start a blog from scratch are a domain name and web hosting. Fortunately, with Bluehost, you can get both at just $3.95 per month. Starting a blog could be your best decision and investment ever.
Is blogging profitable in 2021?
Yes. Blogging is a highly profitable and rewarding career.
There are people who say that the right time to start a blog was 10 years ago. But the reality is that blogging is more relevant and profitable today than ever before.
Today you have access to all the information, technology, and tools to grow your blog.
So much so that people are making the blogging side hustle as their full-time business.
So, definitely blogging is profitable in 2021 and this is the best time to start a blog.
Final Words on How to Start a Blog from Scratch
I have shared everything you need to know about how to start a blog from scratch and make money. Blogging is a highly rewarding career if you are ready to learn and work consistently.
Now that you know how to start a blog in 2021, it’s time to take action.
So, what are you waiting for?
Be an action taker and start your own WordPress blog today with Bluehost.
I hope this was helpful.
If you still have any queries, you can ask me in the comments.