how to start a blog - step by step guide
Blogging, Making Money Online

Starting a Professional Blog: The Ultimate 15-Steps Plan

Whether you are setting up a blog for the first time or already have had some experience with blogging in the past; there are a number of steps that you will always go through. Experience shows that starting a blog is easier if you follow these steps in a logical way, as opposed to chaotically jumping from one step to another (and back). That is why we have listed these steps for you. Both for the novice and the “serial bloggers” it’s a handy reminder in development for setting up a new blog!

1. Choose a niche based on you passion

Try to find a golden middle between passion and logical reasons for starting a blog. Where do you see opportunities in the market? How can you link these opportunities to a personal desire? Or the other way around: what are your passions? And how can you link these to opportunities in the market? When you choose a topic out of passion, this ensures that you will not run out of things to say about your main subject.

2. Brainstorm all the possible topics

Now that you have chosen a niche, you write down in keywords all possible topics that you can blog about within your niche. Do not impose any restrictions on yourself; Write down everything that comes to mind. You can use this brainstorm at a later stage to organize the structure and categories of your blog.

3. Select your most important keywords

Which keywords do you want to be found on? Move into the head of someone looking for information that fits your blog. Set up a list for this, ideally on paper so you have a better overview of the topics.

4. Keyword selection with Google keyword planner

Now it’s time to connect the dots and make sure you are not only implementing keywords that are “hot” and looked for a lot, but also that you are found on the web, using these keywords. Hot topics often equals tough competition. Starting a blog and only attacking keywords with a high level of competition does not make much sense. As a starting blogger, some keywords will be too heavily competed to score high. It is easier to find out which keywords have a nice monthly search volume but are probably not have such a heavy competition. With the help of the Google keyword planner, you get an indication of how often a search is made for a certain keyword and the associated competition. Select mainly keywords with a monthly search volume of > 1000. A good idea is to take long tail keywords, this way you chop a lot of competitors off, because many people are stubbornly trying to rank high for 1 or 2 words search terms.

5. Register a domain name

Here you have roughly 2 options: 1: You can register a domain name with a domain registrar. 2: You can register a domain name when creating a hosting package (hosting companies such as NameCheap will always give you a free domain when you purchase a hosting package). Since the domain name is often included in the package price, think about the name in advance. This can be a domain name with a keyword that you like to be found on, but can also be a brand name, which is a somewhat more universal choice. A few years ago it was still preferable to choose a domain name with a keyword. The current trend is that more and more value is being given to strong brand names.

6. Regulate hosting

brainstorm the offers on the internet regarding web hosting. If you start a blog just before Black Friday, you will probably be able to get a hosting page for a lot less. You can, of course, start a free weblog on WordPress.com or via Blogger.com, but if you want to create a successful blog and be taken seriously, we always advise you to do this with your own domain name and your own hosting.

Keep it simple. Purchase a package from a hosting provider where installing WordPress is possible in an easy way (check if php and mysql are supported and if there is an easy way to install via an installer such as Installatron or Fantastico Deluxe). Choose a hosting company with an intuitive admin panel such as cPanel or DirectAdmin. Are you planning to start several blogs or websites? Then take a hosting package where you can store multiple websites (as a rule of thumb, the first.

7. Find a suitable WordPress theme

Starting a blog is relatively easy with WordPress. There are thousands of free and paid (premium) WordPress themes available thta you can choose from. There is a suitable theme for every blog concept. If you want to be sure that a theme is not buggy and has a clean code, go for a premium design, it will only cost you a few dollars yet will save you so much time editing and ironing out bugs. We, at LoreleiWeb use the Florence theme from SoloPine designs, which we bought for $60 at the time the theme was launched. A framework has the advantage that certain core files are always kept up to date and stick to the latest developments, which can have a positive influence on the SEO, performance, and security of your website.

8. Install WordPress

Go to wordpress.org, download WordPress and install it in the root folder of your web hosting account. Most web hosts now offer this option via the admin panel (or cPanel), so you don’t need to be tech-savvy to install a blog on your server.

9. Create a Google account

If you did not have one already, register for a Google / Gmail account. You can also log in directly into your Google analytics account. The beauty of a Google account is that you can manage mail, manage files and share them, schedule appointments straight in your calendar and synchronize it, all under 1 login, wherever you are synced accross all logged in devices. And that is so easy.

10. Create a Google webmaster tools account

In addition to following statistics, we will, of course, also be able to analyze a little deeper how our blog performs. Google Webmaster Tools is an ideal tool for this. Sign up for this, for example, to keep an eye on the keyword rankings of your blog. You do not have to dive deep into the tool for now. Take a look at the main features of Google Webmaster Tools for you as a blogger.

11. Create a Facebook fan page for your blog

Everyone has Facebook, so if you do not have it yet, then you should get one from now on. You will use this account to share interesting blog posts with interested fans. You can easily get your first fans by inviting people from your own network to your new blog, whether these are your colleagues or family. Don’t have many friends yet? Then ask that nephew with 800 friends if he can recommend the link of your blog to his friends.

12. Create a Twitter profile

There are dozens of social media platforms, but Facebook and Twitter are the largest, so we focus our attention on these two. You can easily create your Twitter account by choosing a username and password. Then fill in your profile, and you can pimp your profile with photos for example. Then add a link to your blog in your Twitter bio.

There may be other social media channels that may fit your blog well, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, you name it. But let’s leave it for later. For now, it is important that you do not drown in the number of social media channels. Whichever you choose, choose no more than 2, in the beginning, to focus on.

How to make money with your blog?

If your ambition is to make money with your blog then the following 3 tips are for you. Do not blog for the money, save yourself the time and stop reading.

13. Create a Google Adsense account

Adsense is a monetizing solution from Google that allows you to quickly show ads on your blog. If your goal is to make money blogging, this is a great way to get your first dollars.

Be aware that you have to choose whether your AdSense account should be a business or a private account. You can not change this later. If you initially create an individual account and want to create a business account later on, then that is of course possible.

14. Choose an affiliate network

With affiliate marketing, you make promotion for third parties products and get paid if the promotion converted. You can earn money in this way per click (CPC), sale (CPS) or per 1000 impressions of an advertisement (CPM). There are several affiliate networks that you can join. These networks mediate between the demand from advertisers and the offer of publishers (including bloggers).

15. Create accounts with “content brokers”

There are more and more parties that mediate between advertisers and bloggers. This way you get the opportunity to earn money with paid content as a blogger. The most common form is that you write an advertorial and place it on your blog. Always keep in mind a number of guidelines when placing advertorials.

With all that being said, there are, of course, many more factors, when it comes to creating a successful blog. You need a lot of practice with content creation, SEO and marketing, so be sure you subscribe to our blog, and we will deliver fresh blogging tips to your mailbox every week!

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