A ROADMAP TO BLOGGING
Thinking of starting a blog?
And just don’t know what is it all about?
This blogging to beginner roadmap is just an overall idea of how people earn from a blog.
There’s so much buzz about websites making money. But How?
This is just a shallow taste of what blogging is.
1. SELECTING YOUR NICHE
Blog Topic Ideas
The very first step in blogging is what you want to blog about.
The first blog generally becomes a mess as we start writing about multiple topics and everything we like or know.
Blogging for a hobby? Go ahead. Write multiple topics and it will not matter.
But if you want to earn from the site then it is better to start off with a particular niche.
In fact, hobby blogs are also for earning like the one you see in a recipe blog or DIY.
But once again they too focus on any particular niche.
Writing about a single or particular topic is good both for Google and Pinterest.
How to decide your blog niche?
While deciding on your blog niche you will find many people saying to follow passion as you will need to write extensively about it.
It is true.
But you can also choose something which you wish to learn and research more and more.
Ask yourself the questions like:
What is your passion and why do you want to write?
Whom do you want to serve?
You cannot solve queries for everyone. A pet supply along with a nail artist won’t go well.
So you need to know your readers.
Who are your readers?
What problem do they have? Or what problem they could be facing while carrying on certain things.
Someone who has pets is most likely to search for homemade foods, better foods, fur-related queries, or anything related.
So know your readers and that is how you can start writing specifically and targeted posts.
2. BUYING YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Figuring out your blog name
Your blog name should be something related to your niche.
I have my first site called coolwebfun.com. That literally means nothing and to date I regret it.
Currently, I have 4 sites running and the rest of the blog names are all related to their niche.
Who are your readers?
Like the example of the pet supplies niche. You know well readers well here.
They all love their pet.
So something like adorablexyz.com, or lovingxyz.com will go well.
Check Social Media
Social media presence is now a must.
You should go through the FB page with your desired name and check if some established blogs are already there.
You may want to check with Pinterest, and Instagram usernames as well.
Buying the Domain
Namecheap, Godaddy is among the popular cheap domain name providers.
Siteground also provides a domain name. But I chose Godaddy over Siteground domain names because of the price difference.
Have heard positive reviews about Namecheap. So you should check with that too.
While buying the domain, you will see that most of the names you prefer are already sold.
In that case, take a pen and paper and keep on writing all the available domain names you are getting according to your choice.
Then you can find out the most suitable domain name for your blog from the list.
3. GETTING A HOSTING PLAN
You have bought a domain and next is web hosting.
What is a web host?
Web hosting is a company that gives services and hosts websites on the internet.
Basically, to get your website active, you need a space in the webserver to store your website files that are provided by hosting companies.
The most popular hosting companies are Siteground, Bluehost, BigScoot, and many many others.
Currently, I am using Bigscoot, and no complaints so far.
They have very good customer support and downtime is almost zero.
As I have always purchased my domain names through Godaddy so I need to point my nameservers to Bigscoot.
If you cannot do it, they are always there to walk you through every detail.
4. SETTING UP YOUR WEBSITE
To make the website just follow the steps.
Make a website: Build a site in less than an hour
- Choose a domain and hosting
- WordPress Installation
- Get your business email from your hosting for free
- WordPress tours and settings
- Add posts, pages, menus
- Activate your SSL
- Setting up your site with Google and Bing
- Setting up Google Analytics
5. DETERMINING THE KEYWORDS FOR YOUR BLOG
Keywords? What are they?
Cute cat, sweet cat, adorable cat, and funny cat all are keywords.
Keywords are just the words that are typed by the user to get specific results.
Your blog niche has specific and related keywords.
For example, you have a site for pet supplies.
So the keywords like dog food, cat fur, rabbit foods, and pet well-being, such keywords will be spread all over your blog.
So, eventually (After 30 posts or something with 2000 words each post for an average) Google will come to know what is your site all about.
You may start receiving SEO traffic of 50 visitors a month after 1 month or so, but real traffic picks up once your keywords are spread all over your different posts.
That is why it is always beneficial to have niche sites that have similar keywords to offer.
A lifestyle blog also comes up in searches but have a look at their domain age and DR. They stand with a high Domain rating which means they have a huge amount of backlinks from authority sites.
Okay for a beginner, I do not want to speak about DR and backlinks as it will be confusing, and in the long run, that is what matters apart from quality posts.
In a similar way determining the keywords for your posts
So what do you need to include in your posts?
The keywords that are related to your posts.
You cannot use the same keyword over and over again. That is spamming and there is no place for spamming now.
Instead, use similar keywords that people might be searching with.
Like dog foods, food for the dog, dog food names, and homemade dog food all mean the same but different users will type differently.
Checking for competition analysis
The most important part of blogging is if you want to rank in search engines.
Ahrefs, and Semrush all are SEO tools.
I love using another tool called ‘Keywords Everywhere’.
Keywords everywhere give the volume of searches for the keywords.
It does not give any competition analysis but is quite handy when you can use it as a Chrome extension.
Keywords Everywhere cost $10 for 100000 credits. Every search query along with all the related keywords data is considered as 1 credit.
So for $10, it should go up to 90 days on average searches.
Ahrefs cost $199 a month.
Yes pricey but totally worth it when you are doing any competition analysis.
DR( Domain Rating), backlinks, and broken links data are easy to get from Ahrefs.
For beginners all these are confusing and keyword research is an entirely different chapter.
So to get things straight, sites with many backlinks, domain age, and authority is likely to rank for a keyword more easily than a site that has less authority.
Once again why do niche sites rank more easily than a site with multiple topics?
Writing for a single niche over time with quality posts is likely to gain authority for that niche and that is when you start ranking for keywords related.
Another SEO tool is priced at $99 a month.
Semrush gives the PPC value in a better way than Ahrefs.
Check the link of Ahrefs vs Semrush if you want to learn about the difference.
So what to do as a beginner?
As the SEO tools will dig a hole in the pocket and I know as a beginner it is difficult to spend such an amount when you are not earning from your blogs yet.
I would say to install the keywords everywhere.
That would give the search volume which will be useful.
At least you will know the keywords that are in demand.
You need to write posts with keywords that people search for.
Ubersuggest is a free tool that you can use too but with limited searches a day.
6. WHY POST URL IS SO IMPORTANT
You can change your entire post, the targeted keywords, titles, and everything, but not the URL of the post.
So while writing a post first be sure of your keywords, and use that primary keyword as your URL.
It is not, that you cannot change your URL ever, but it will require a 301 re-direction, and then also I doubt if you will not lose any rankings still.
So it is better to fix it from the very first.
Go to WordPress Dashboard> General Settings
7. MARKETING YOUR POSTS
Billions of blogs are created every day. A roadmap to blogging should definitely include how to market the blog.
So how people are going to find your posts?
How do you think Google going to rank you if you do not help with the placement of your keywords in your posts or do some social media postings?
SEO or search engine optimization is important for anything online. Whether a blog or a business.
Digital media marketing is so important and popular standing in this era that if you bring your offline business online then you would want to optimize for local SEO to come up in local searches.
SEO is how Google finds you.
Search engine optimization is not hard at all. All it takes is to learn the correct thing and implement it.
On-Page SEO means optimizing the posts with keywords and other targeting phrases that speak what is the post all about.
Check out the 7 on-page SEO factors that are important while writing a post.
To implement on-page SEO completely I would highly recommend Debbie Gartner’s On-page SEO ebook.
Next comes the Off-Page SEO.
Off-page SEO is all about the work which you need to do apart from the posts you write.
Read this 10 Off-page SEO to get a clear concise.
This is one of the fastest ways to get some initial traffic.
Pinterest is a visual search engine.
Have you ever checked Pinterest?
It is a gem of photo collages.
You can start seeing some traffic from Pinterest from month 1, unlike SEO which takes at least 8 months to show something decent.
Check out these steps for creating a Pinterest Business account.
For Pinterest, I can never stop recommending Carly’s Book.
It has some super in-depth knowledge of Pinterest.
Though Pinterest’s algorithm changes every now and then, still the book will always be useful to understand How Pinterest works.
There are definitely other social media like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to bring traffic to your site. It all depends on which niche you are working on.
Pinterest can be super successful with recipes, DIY, and fashion blogs, while vacations, and holidays, I feel will be a hit for Instagram.
Finally what matters is bringing traffic to your blog.
8. EARNING FROM YOUR BLOG
Okay, finally you are here for what you were waiting for.
The most lucrative part of blogging is earning from your own blog whether it is a hobby blog or a niche site.
The first form is what most bloggers start with.
Am sure you have seen the ads all over several sites.
There is AdSense, monumetric, adthrive, mediavine, just to name a few.
It all requires a minimal amount of traffic before you can join them.
Adsense: Pays penny
But it is a Google product and you need to be in good standing with Adsense before you can join with top advertisers such as Mediavine or Adthrive.
The requirement is not stated clearly. But having 15-20 original posts on your site is good enough for Adsense to go in my experience.
Mediavine: I run Mediavine on two of my sites.
Requires: 50,000 Monthly sessions before you can apply.
All the post needs to be original.
The site should have a good standing with Adsense, which means AdSense should not have rejected you.
Before I get on to the next I must say I have been rejected by Mediavine thrice for my first site while having 2,00,000 visitors a month, all original posts, and having good standing with AdSense.
So it is much more than their criteria. It’s about the overall blog feel, the products that you are offering, and the way your site looks.
Adthrive: Requires 100000 monthly visitors before you can apply while other things are the same.
One of the most profitable sections of blogging.
What you do is promote other people’s stuff. Something which you have used.
You can promote stuff by not using it too, by relying on the people who have used it.
Look at Amazon.
It is a ground for the biggest affiliates.
People rely on the platform, so it is easy to gain trust by promoting their products.
There are several other affiliate programs, run by different companies where you need to sign up for free.
Once they approve your site, all you need to do is promote their products that align with your niche.
OWN PRODUCTS TO SELL
This is the place where you control your own money.
It can be bigger than any affiliate earnings if done right.
E-Courses, Printables, PDF Downloads, and E-books are just to name a few.
You can even sell physical products for a certain local area.
I have come across many blog planners that are physical products they deliver.
You can tie up with Esty to sell your printables.
My Take on Roadmap to Blogging
Blogging is a process of learning.
I started blogging as a choice career in 2018. Before that, I had spent a year learning the basics.
Just like you had a few years with college degrees, the same way you need to learn blogging from courses (paid ones).
The free ones are not bad but they will never give away all the information for free definitely.
Everything is on the internet but you need to join the dots.
And finally, it’s your writing that is connecting with the readers.
Even Google pushes your posts up in the ranking if it finds people spending more time on your posts than the ones that are ranked above yours.
So you know, ultimately it’s for people who you are writing for and not any search bots.