Wondering how to start a blog and make money?
You’ve come to the right place.
Typing ‘How to start a blog?’ in Google will give you millions of results. Most of them are very good at telling you exactly how to build your blog.
They show you how easy it is to start a blog under 15 minutes. Follow 10 steps, and boom, you’ve started your brand new blog.
What they don’t tell you is how to start a blog that is successful. A blog that will make you money.
That’s where this guide is different.
Here, you get a 28-day action plan on how to start your blog.
Each day you’re given a task. Once you complete that you can move on to the next day.
If you’re technically adept, you can go through these steps at a faster pace.
But if you’re on the verge of starting your first blog, I suggest sticking to the schedule.
If you follow this guide to a T, at the end of 28 days, you should have a blog that is set to make money. Not only that, your blog will have ample content, and you should have made some serious connections in your niche (super hard to achieve without a proper plan).
Before we get started, let’s get some motivation. Here are a few things blogging can do for you.
- It can give you financial independence (life-changing stuff).
- You can become your own boss (Imagine that).
- It can save tons of time (time spent traveling to work)
- You can work from anywhere (Say goodbye to cubicles)
- You can spend more time with your family (on your terms)
- Blogging introduces you to new people (networking made easy)
- Your overall quality of life improves (the dream)
There are thousands of bloggers (including me) who make a full-time income with their blogs.
The question is, how badly do you want it?
Stick to the plan with determination, and you’ll knock it out of the park.
Let’s get started.
How To Start A Blog (& Make Money) – Stupid Simple 28-Day Plan
- Day 1 – Niche Research
- Day 2 – Getting Web Hosting For Your Blog
- Day 3 – Setting Up Your Blog
- Day 4 – Analyze Your Competition
- Day 5 – Your Blog’s Content Strategy
- Day 6 & 7 – Write Your First Blog Post
- Day 8 & 9 – Write Your Second Blog Post
- Day 10 – Making Some Friends
- Day 11 – Write Your Third Blog Post
- Day 12 – Write Your Fourth Blog Post
- Day 13 – Making Some More Friends
- Day 14 – Write Your Fifth Blog Post
- Day 15 – Take a Breather
- Day 16 – Write Your Sixth Blog Post
- Day 17 – Write Your Seventh Blog Post
- Day 18 – Write Your Eighth Blog Post
- Day 19 – Some Friendly Compliments
- Day 20 – Write Your Ninth Blog Post
- Day 21 & 22 – Making Your Friendship Stronger
- Day 23, 24 & 25 – The Ultimate List Post
- Day 26, 27 & 28 – Promoting Your List Post
- BONUS: What To Do Next?
- BONUS: How To Make Money From Your Blog
- How To Start A Blog – F.A.Qs.
Day 1 – Niche Research
What’s a niche?
Simply put, a niche is your blog topic.
You can’t run a blog where you write about everything. You need focus, and your niche gives you that. Your blog content will be around your niche. Everything you do on your blog is based on your niche.
How do you choose a niche?
The simplest way is to ask yourself a few questions.
What do I want to write about in my blog?
Will I enjoy writing about that topic for years?
Who are my readers?
In most cases, these three questions can help you find a niche you’re interested in. If this doesn’t help, don’t worry.
Ask yourself. What are you passionate about?
Is it a sport? Gadgets? Saving money? Parenting?
Find your passion. Does it look like a great niche? Can you write on that topic?
If yes, then, by all means, jump right in. Choosing your passion as your niche gives you a massive headstart.
You will write your heart out, and that’s great for your blog. Also, you won’t get tired writing about your passion, and that’ll work out well in the long run.
But I don’t have a passion (or) I don’t want to turn my passion into a blog.
That’s perfectly fine.
There are many methods to get inspiration for a niche.
The most straightforward technique is to look around you. What do you see? Does anything interest you? Your laptop? The furniture in your room? See if you can find something that piques your interest.
The next method is to take the old route. Remember magazines? They’re still the best way to research niches. Pick a magazine and see if you can find something interesting in it.
Whatever method you follow, make sure to make a list of niches that interest you, even the tiniest bit.
Still no luck?
Go to Amazon’s directory page.
This page is a bird’s eye view for all the things Amazon is selling.
Each category represents a market or a niche you can base your blog on.
For example, take the Smart home category. That’s a great niche. This page is full of niches like this one.
Still can’t narrow it down to a niche?
Well, here a list of niches that is pretty good for starting blogs. Pick your poison.
- Food Blogging
- Restaurant Reviews
- Food Photography
- Fine Dining
- Food Cuisine
- Kitchen Gadgets
- Weight loss
- Beauty tips
- Tech Tutorials
- Gadget reviews
- Make Your PC
- Computer setup
- Personal Finance
- Loan tips
- Make money online
- Infographics design
- Online courses
- Language learning
- Communication skills
You can either select one of these or use them as inspiration to find more niches.
Drilling down into these niches also works great.
For example, you can divide the cooking niche into sub-niches such as vegan cooking, cooking for meat lovers, cooking Indian food, cooking French food, and so on.
Once you zero in on a niche, it is time to validate that niche.
Ask these four questions.
Are You Passionate About This Niche?/Can You Write 50+ Posts Per Year?
But you said passion wasn’t necessary?
That’s right. It isn’t.
But it’ll be a lot easier to write 50 posts a year when you’re passionate about the subject.
If you can write these many posts without being passionate, then, by all means, go ahead.
How Big (Or Small) Is The Niche?
One mistake you shouldn’t make is selecting a niche that is too small or too broad.
Imagine going after the ‘Diet plans for people aged above 60’ niche.
It could be a good niche. But how big is it?
You need to pick a niche where you can write content for years to come. That’s a prerequisite. No compromises here.
Also, you don’t want to go after something that is very broad like health.
If you start a health blog, you’ll target a very broad niche. Losing focus after a few months (or weeks) is a real possibility.
On the other hand, a nutrition blog for people with lactose intolerance can be an excellent, laser-focused topic.
Are People Interested In This Topic?
You can be the Wikipedia of a topic. That doesn’t mean people will flock to your website and read it all.
Some niches are offline and don’t have a lot of readers.
A good example would be painting. It is a huge offline niche, but its online presence would be only a fraction of it.
One of the ways to check it is by using Google Trends.
Plug your niche into Google Trends and see how it looks.
If you see a diminishing interest for the niche, it is time to go back to the drawing board.
Can You Monetize This Niche?
A good niche has multiple streams of monetization.
You should be able to run advertisements, push affiliate offers, write sponsored posts, sell your services, and so on.
If you’re good at what you do, you can make money in pretty much any niche.
But if you know the potential of revenue you can generate with a niche, you can shoot with a much better aim.
For example, if you’re starting a recipe blog. Find someone who runs a recipe blog and figure out how much they make.
This is an income report from Whole Kitchen Sink.
It doesn’t mean that you’ll make this much in the next two months, but it gives you an idea of what is possible.
By this time, you should have picked your niche.
Once you do, let’s go to Day 2.
Day 2 – Getting Web Hosting For Your Blog
Now that you have selected your niche, it’s time to build your blog.
To build your blog, you need to get a domain name and web hosting for your blog.
A domain name is how you’ll call your website. Google.com and Facebook.com are examples of domain names.
Find A Good, Brandable Domain Name
Your blog needs a name, and it has to be brandable.
Your domain name has to be
- Easy to remember
- Maximum 3 words
- Without misspellings
- Coherent to your niche
It’s good to have a keyword in your domain, but that doesn’t mean you have to stuff in as many keywords as possible.
Let’s say you’re in the ‘dog training’ niche.
Some excellent examples of brandable domains are MySweetPuppy.net, SitStay.com, and DogStarDaily.com
You can add a prefix to your niche keyword to arrive at your domain name. Say you want to use the word ‘puppy’ in your domain name, then adding prefixes would give us options like
You can also add suffixes to get awesome domain names
Do you see where I’m going with this?
PuppyCentral.com, a brandable domain name, is much better than PuppyTrainingForBeginners.com
Moreover, choosing a brandable domain name can also give you the option to expand into your niche later.
If you start your blog as a puppy training blog, you can later add information on puppy nutrition, puppy health, and more. A keyword-rich domain name won’t give you this liberty.
Now it’s time to register your domain name.
Go to NameCheap.com.
It is my preferred domain registrar, and I’ve had zero complaints with them so far. I used to use GoDaddy, but trust me NameCheap is much better.
Type in your domain name and hit enter.
You can see that PuppyCorner.com is a premium domain, and they’re asking for a premium. You don’t need to spend that kind of money at this stage.
PuppyCorner.net is available for the regular price which is perfect.
I usually insist on getting .com as it is the easiest extension for people to remember.
So try different variations, and get yourself a nice .com domain name.
Getting Web Hosting For Your Blog
Now that you have picked a brandable domain name for your blog, it’s time to get web hosting for your blog.
What is Web Hosting?
A web host is where you’ll host your blog.
Your web host will store all your images, posts, and other important files. Simply put, without web hosting, you can’t run your blog.
There are free hosting options like Blogger, WordPress.com, and medium. These are great as they are free, but that’s where the advantages end.
With free hosts, you have several limitations. You can’t design your blog to your heart’s content. They don’t allow you install plugins or free themes from outside. You won’t even be able to integrate analytics which is essential for any blog.
To avoid these problems, self-hosting your blog is absolutely necessary.
What should you expect in a good web host?
A good web host should provide the following.
- Free SSL Certificate
- Free CDN
- Staging Tool
- 24/7 Support
The web hosting service that ticks all the boxes above is SiteGround.
You can get affordable hosting with SiteGround. Installing WordPress on your blog is as easy as 1-2-3, thanks to their WordPress starter.
SiteGround offers excellent performance for blogs and compliments it with a ton of features. You get a free SSL certificate which is a must-have these days. You also get free CDN which makes loading resources from different parts of the globe much faster.
Other notable features are its excellent security, backups, and their super helpful 24/7 support via phone, chat, and tickets.
All these features make SiteGround the best web hosting for beginners who want a stress-free web hosting experience.
Go to SiteGround.com (You can get 70% discount by using this link)
Click the WordPress Hosting option.
You are presented with three options on this page.
The StartUp plan is good for people on a budget. But the downside is that you can only get hosting for one site.
The GoGeek plan is on the expensive side for a beginner.
The GrowBig Plan is my recommended plan. With this plan, you can host unlimited sites which is great when you’re expanding with more sites.
It also gives you more web space and supports more visitors when compared to the StartUp plan.
Click the Get Now button on the GrowBig option to go to the next page.
SiteGround asks you to enter your domain name.
Enter the domain name you’ve registered at NameCheap and click Proceed.
Fill all the personal details as required.
Select a data center that is closest to your target audience.
Picking The Right Period
Selecting 12 months will save you a lot of money as opposed to going with the monthly plan.
If you choose the monthly plan, you’ll pay $30.90 for the first invoice, and $19.95 per month for the rest of the year.
That brings the total hosting cost to $250.35 which is four times more than the 12-month plan and $107.55 more than the 24-month plan.
So select the 12-month plan (or the 24-month plan if your budget allows), and get your web hosting.
If you see this, you’ve successfully got web hosting my friend.
On to the next day.
Still Don’t Have Web Hosting?
If you still don’t have Web Hosting at this point, I recommend you to get SiteGround Web Hosting now. By using the link below, you can get a 70% discount on the regular price.
Day 3 – Setting Up Your Blog
Let’s continue from day 2 and setup your blog.
You’ll receive a mail from SiteGround with the subject, ‘Important Information About Your New Hosting Account‘.
Open that mail and you’ll find the nameservers for your SiteGround account.
Now it’s time to change your domain’s DNS settings.
Go to your NameCheap account.
In the dashboard, you’ll find your domain. Click the Manage button next to it.
It’ll take you to this screen where you can update the DNS settings. Enter SiteGround’s DNS values and click the green tick mark.
You should get a message saying that it can take up to 48 hours to take effect. It usually happens in a couple of minutes. Personally, the longest time I had to wait for the DNS changes to take effect was about an hour.
Now, go the SiteGround website and log into your account with the username and password you created during registration.
You get a screen with multiple options.
Click the ‘Start a New Website’ radio button and select WordPress as the software to install. Enter the WordPress login details as requested.
Hit confirm and your settings will be updated like this.
Click the ‘Complete Setup’ button to proceed.
Once the process is complete, You’ll get this screen.
Like it mentions on the screenshot, you will get an email that confirms the setup completion.
Click the admin URL you received in your email and log in using the username and password you created during the WordPress install.
You are presented with a wordpress starter page from SiteGround.
This is probably the easiest way to install WordPress on your blog.
Click start now and you’re taken to a page where you can select the theme of your site.
Browse through the free themes and select one that looks good.
You can change your theme later if you want. Once done, click the next button.
You can see a screen with recommended functionality for the site.
Select the Contact Form plugin and click next.
We get a screen that talks about marketing.
Just select the ‘Optimize for SEO’ option and click complete.
Once the process is complete, you should get a finished screen like this.
Click ‘Go to Dashboard’ button and you’re taken to your WordPress Backend.
This is where you’ll do everything that is related to your blog.
Whether you are adding media to your site, publishing a post, adding plugins, changing the appearance of your site, this is where it all happens.
Installing Useful Plugins
Once you’ve installed WordPress on your site, the next step is to install some must-have plugins. Almost all my sites have these plugins because it’s super important for your site.
Thanks to SiteGround’s WordPress Starter process, you should already have Yoast installed.
Yoast is an SEO optimizer plugin that is great for a lot of stuff.
Click the SEO link on your dashboard’s sidebar to bring up Yoast settings.
There is nothing do in the ‘General’ menu item. So let’s move on to the ‘Search Appearance’ item.
Here you can change the title Separator, SEO Title, and add a meta description to your site.
Once you add a description for your site in the meta description field, hit save.
Under the Taxonomies tab, Change the ‘Show in search results’ settings for both Tags and Formats to ‘No’ as it will only index already indexed content.
Click save when done.
Other than that, you don’t have to mess with any other Yoast settings.
Like Yoast plugin, WP forms should already be installed in your site.
If you’ve skipped the WordPress starter steps, install WP forms plugin.
The contact page is one of the most important pages for a blog. You can whip one in a couple of seconds with the help of the WP forms plugin.
You can also use the Contact form 7 plugin if you prefer that instead.
Insert Headers And Footers
There are times when you have to insert codes in the header or footer section of your blog.
For example, to use Google Analytics, you have to enter the tracking code in the header portion. If you’re not technically strong like me, you would be one confused blogger.
With this plugin, you can simply enter the code in the header field, and your job’s done.
Very useful plugin.
A caching plugin is a must-have for all WordPress blogs. It will improve the performance of your blog in more ways than one.
I prefer the SG Optimizer plugin for beginners because it is made by SiteGround where we’re hosting the site.
It is also pre-installed like Yoast and WP Forms.
Another reason I like this plugin is that it does the work of multiple plugins. It not only improves the performance of the site, but also compresses images, and lazy loads them which is great for improving site speed.
Make the following changes as shown below.
Under Supercacher settings
Under Environment Optimization
Under Frontend Optimization
Sometimes making these changes can break your site. If you see any visual discrepancies, then trying alternating the settings to get the best results.
If you still can’t figure out what’s wrong, contact Siteground support. They’re quite fast when it comes to support queries.
Under Image Optimization
Wordfence is a security plugin for your blog.
It offers protection from brute force attacks and malware attacks.
If someone is trying to access your wordpress admin area, you can lock him out after a certain number of attempts. You can also lock people out if they use the forgot password option too many times.
You can also decide the amount of time a user is locked out as well.
Wordfence also sends emails when there are plugins to be updated as they can be a vulnerability.
Wordfence has a premium version which has many features that justify the price.
The free version is perfectly fine for what we’re trying to do.
Google Analytics And Google Search Console
Google Analytics is a very important tool in every blogger’s arsenal.
It is the best analytics solution on the web, and you can drill down to get details that you didn’t even know existed.
Go to analytics.google.com.
Click ‘create account’ and open a new Google Analytics account.
Once you complete the registration, you are presented with this screen.
Click sign up and proceed.
In this next page, you have to fill in your account name, website name, URL, and also select the industry category. You can also select the time zone you want to be in.
Once that is done, go to the bottom of that page and click ‘Get Tracking ID’. Agree to their terms (definitely read it once before you do. jk.) and get the tracking ID.
Copy the gtag.js code. Go to your site’s dashboard and open the ‘Insert headers and footers’ plugin from the side menu.
Paste this code in the <head> section.
That’s it. Your job is done.
Google Analytics is enabled for your site, and you can track visitors and much more.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a very important tool for webmasters.
If there are any issues with your website, you can get it directly from Google through the Google Search Console.
Go to Google Search Console.
Click ‘Start Now’.
Click the ‘URL Prefix’ option and enter your site’s URL.
We’ve enabled HTTPS using the SG optimizer plugin. So enter your URL as ‘https://sitename.com’.
Since we’ve already installed Google Analytics on the site, site ownership is auto-verified here.
Proceed ahead and go to your GSC dashboard. You’ll see the option ‘Sitemaps’ to your left.
Click it and go to the next page.
You’ll see a field to enter your sitemap URL.
Remember the Yoast SEO plugin? It has already created a sitemap for your site.
Enter ‘sitemap_index.xml’ in the field and click submit. You’ve added your sitemap to your GSC.
Adding a sitemap will help Google access your newly made content. This may also help in indexing the newly created pages on your site.
With that, the initial set up of your WordPress blog is complete.
You may need to do some changes in the future, but for now, you’re all set.
Please proceed to Day 4.
Day 4 – Analyze Your Competition
Many beginners undermine the advantages of analyzing the competition.
With a brand new blog, you must not skip competition analysis.
As a new player in the niche, you need to know what you’re competing against. With the help of competition analysis, you can gain useful information about
- Your competitor’s content strategy
- What’s working for them
- Their successes and failures
- Their monetization strategies
- In-depth niche posts
- How they get their readers
- How you can copy their successes
- How they are a threat to you
Step 1: Find Your Competitors
Finding your competitors is the easiest part.
Let’s say you’re in the ‘Web Design’ niche.
Go to Google and type ‘Best Web Design blogs.’
From the search results, you can quickly get a bunch of web design blogs.
Make a list of web design blogs that allow users to comment.
Make sure you have at least 20 blogs on your list.
Step 2: Researching Competitor’s Content Strategy
Understanding what’s working for your competitor is very important.
If something works for your fellow niche blogger, then there is no reason why it wouldn’t work for you.
To learn their content strategy, let’s find the most shared post on their blog.
For this example, let’s take SmashingMagazine.com.
Go to Buzzsumo.
Buzzsumo is an excellent site for researching your competitor’s content and see what works for them.
They have a 7-day free trial. You can register for that without a credit card, and make full use of it.
After registering, go to the Content Analyzer tab, and type in ‘smashingmagazine.com.’
You should get the following result.
By default, the results are sorted by total engagements which are great for us.
You can now see the best-performed posts for this site.
Look how popular the first post is. Go to the site and see what they’ve done with the content.
Make a note of it.
Do this for the other posts as well.
Now, you’ve researched the most popular posts of smashingmagazine.com, and you know what works for them.
By now you should have an idea about what content clicks with your audience.
Go ahead and do the same for the remaining competitors in your niche.
Step 3: Understanding Monetization In Your Niche
How do your competitors make money?
Do they run ads?
Are they affiliates of niche products/services?
Do they write sponsored posts?
Do they have their own courses or products?
Visit your competitor’s site and find it out.
If they are running ads, you should be able to spot it right away.
Browse their posts and see if they are pushing any affiliate offers. If they’re writing sponsored posts, make a note of it too.
Knowing this is important as you will also monetize your blog later.
After performing these 3 steps, you should have a clear idea of
- Who your competitor is
- What their content strategy is
- How they make their money
You’re now way ahead of someone who skipped this step altogether.
And that’s one hell of an advantage.
Day 5 – Your Blog’s Content Strategy
No. We’re not writing blog posts today.
We’re just finding post ideas so that we can work on them later.
Why is this step necessary?
When you have ten solid blog post ideas in your hand, you know the work cut out for you. The chances of getting distracted by a shiny object are less when you know you’re busy for the next ten days.
So how do you find what articles you write?
For this step, we’re are going to need a free Chrome extension: MOZ bar.
You can get it here.
Register for a free account with MOZ so that you can use the toolbar.
Let’s take the ‘Fishing’ niche for example.
Without much research, I can take a wild guess that the most competitive keyword in this niche might be ‘How to fish’.
Let’s take a look at the results.
You can see the MOZ bar at work.
Here, you see two metrics, PA and DA. PA is page authority and DA is the domain authority.
The higher these metrics are the harder it’ll be to overthrow that search result.
You want, at least, three search results with PA less than or equal to 30.
The lower the PA the better are your chances.
These results should also have less than 30 links pointing to them.
Needless to say, if you target this keyword, you’re going to have a hard time putting your article on the map. There is only one result with PA under 30.
So now, we target what’s called a long tail variation of this keyword.
Instead of ‘how to fish’, let’s target ‘how to fish for bass in a lake’.
The search results look like this.
We can see three results with PA equal to or less than 30. All three of them have very few backlinks. This is the kind of keyword we need to go after.
Yes, this long tail keyword will have a lot less search volume, but it is also a lot easier to rank.
With Google’s sandbox approach for new sites, it is going to take at least six months for your site to get going. Meaning, you’re not going to get much traffic in the first few months.
So it is wise to go after low competition keywords instead of fighting a losing battle.
At the end of this day, you should have at least 10 keywords that satisfy our criteria.
Only when you complete this step, you’ll move on to the next day.
Struggling to find good keywords? Read my free Keyword Research Guide to find low competition, profitable keywords (opens in a new tab)
If you still can’t find quality low competition keywords in your chosen niche, maybe that niche isn’t for you.
Go to day 1 and restart your niche research.
If you’re good to go, march ahead soldier!
Day 6 & 7 – Write Your First Blog Post
Welcome to day 6, and it is your big day.
You’re going to write the first blog post for your blog. No pressure.
Remember the 10 keywords you’ve already found?
Take any one of those and start your content mill.
How to write your first article?
Back in 2012, an article that is 500 words long was good enough. In 2014, that changed to 700. It only kept increasing every year.
So what’s a good content length?
We don’t know that. But we do know that Google rewards longer form of content more than shorter ones.
So how long should your first post be?
Let’s ask Google herself.
Type in your keyword and hit enter. You have your search results.
Go to wordcounter.net.
Open your first result, copy the content, and paste it on wordcounter.net. It’ll instantly give you the number of words on that page.
Do this for all the search results, and note down the number of words in each and every listing.
For example, let’s take the keyword ‘how to fish for bass in a lake’. You get something like this.
From this, you can find the average word count for this search term. I didn’t take into account the last result as it can skew the average.
So we have an average word count of 1530 which is pretty decent.
But the topmost result has 3065 words on their page. And the next best result is around 2016 words.
So the minimum target for us, in this case, would be more than 2000 words.
This is not a scientific method, but it sure does help in figuring out how long our content needs to be.
Now, just because you have to write more than 2000 words, don’t make your article a fluff piece.
Your article needs to be on point and long at the same time. If 1500 was all you can do without adding fluff, then be it. Don’t stretch your content cause the readers (and Google) won’t like it.
Now you know how long your content should be.
You also have to make it much better than the ones on the first page of Google.
One of the ways to achieve it is by properly formatting your post.
These are some formatting rules I follow and you should too
- Make paragraphs shorter. Not more than 3 sentences in a paragraph.
- Write in simple English. Don’t confuse your readers.
- Include relevant images
- Include bullet points and tables as required.
- Bold important points to gain the reader’s attention.
- Use Yoast SEO’s Readability Analysis and optimize smartly.
You can also make your article better by covering topics the first page results have missed. It takes a lot of research but is worth it.
If you’re not a native English writer, then you might make a lot of mistakes when starting out.
Grammarly is a free Chrome extension that can correct simple grammar and spelling mistakes. The premium version is even better, but at this point, the free version does a fantastic job.
Once your article is ready, go to your WordPress dashboard and publish the content. It is a straightforward process.
That’s it, your first blog post is live.
Day 8 & 9 – Writing Your Second Blog Post
Yes, for the next two days, you will focus on writing your next blog post.
Follow the same procedure, and write your second post.
After you publish your second blog post, go to day 10.
Day 10 – Making Some Friends
Your blog is up and running with two pieces of content.
Now it’s time to make some friends in your niche.
We’re going to use a free tool called Feedly.
Feedly is an RSS aggregator. It is great for streamlining your online reading. I’ve been using it for years, and it is super handy.
On Day 4, we made a list of competitors and influencers in your niche. It’s time to add them to your Feedly.
Once you create your account, you can go type in your competitors. When you find your competitor, you can click follow.
You’ll be asked to create a feed. Just give it a suitable name and you can add all your influencers to this list.
Once you’ve added your niche competitors and influencers, your feed will look somewhat like this.
You can see all the latest posts from your competitors in a single place. All you have to do is click the link and you’ll be taken to their site right away.
This is very convenient as you can get a gist of what the post is about. So if it is something you’re not interested in, you don’t waste any of your time by visiting the site.
Now, back to making friends.
Find recent posts from the most influential sites in your niche.
See if they have a comment section with a link back to your blog.
If they do, start commenting.
Read the entire post and leave a meaningful comment. Don’t just go, ‘great post’ or ‘awesome work’.
Leave a comment that captures the site owner’s attention.
Make a mark.
We’re not commenting for links. I asked you to find blogs that allow links so that people can visit your site. When you make insightful comments, readers will take a look at who you are. Some might even visit your website.
Today’s task is to find 10 blogs who posted recently. You will read their posts, and leave comments that are engaging and thought-provoking.
Once you complete the task, go to day 11.
Day 11 – Write Your Third Blog Post
Write. Write. Write.
Day 12 – Write Your Fourth Blog Post
More. Epic. Content.
Day 13 – Making Some More Friends
Just a couple of days ago, you commented on your niche’s big boy sites.
Now it’s time to find more sites in your niche.
Make another list of 20 blogs in your blog topic. They don’t have to be big. They can be sites that have a decent readership.
In fact, it is easier to get noticed when you give insightful comments on these blogs.
Make another feed in your Feedly. Give it a suitable name.
Read the recent posts and leave comments they can’t ignore.
Leave comments on, at least, 10 to 15 blogs. It’ll take a lot of time, but it’s all worth it.
Day 14 – Write Your Fifth Blog Post
Hurray. Your site will have five awesome posts once you complete this step.
Day 15 – Take A Breather
Step back and take a look at what you’ve achieved so far.
- You’ve built a site from scratch.
- You’ve made crucial competitor research
- You’ve written 5 pieces of solid content
- You’ve made insightful comments on influential blogs
You deserve a rest.
Take a day off. Go out. Or watch Netflix (and chill?).
Day 16 – Write Your Sixth Blog Post
You know what to do.
Day 17 – Write Your Seventh Blog Post
Just do it.
Day 18 – Write Your Eighth Blog Post
I know it’s hard. Don’t give up.
And no more GIFs for you.
Day 19 – Commenting Round 2
It’s time to make more comments.
Remember the blogs that published your comments?
See if they have a new post. If they do, go read it right away and leave an engaging comment.
They are seeing your name only for the second time, so make sure the comment catches their attention.
Ask a question.
Start a debate (a friendly one, of course).
Do something that makes them remember your name.
Leave a second comment on at least 10 sites.
Day 20 – Write Your Ninth Blog Post
You’re the master at writing blog posts. Right?
This should be easy.
Day 21 & 22 – Making Your Friendship Stronger
You’ve commented twice on certain blogs.
If you’ve followed the steps properly, you should have done that on at least 10 blogs.
It’s time to make things official.
Go to an influencer’s site and find a post that you really liked reading.
You should tell them how much you liked the post.
Here’s a template.
I read your blog post titled [post name].
It was the best stuff I could find on [topic]. I really appreciate your taking the time to give us such excellent content.
[Tell them how it impacted you in a couple of sentences but keep it simple]
Have a nice day!
If you’re reaching out a ‘dog training’ blog, this is how it should be
I read your blog post titled ‘7 Ways to Teach Your Dog Basic Commands’
There were some really good tips I couldn’t find anywhere else. I really appreciate you taking the time to give us such excellent content.
Your tip about teaching the stay command is the easiest I’ve seen. I wish I had known that when I was teaching commands to my dog.
Thank you once again for the great content.
Have a nice day!
How nice is this email?
Can you receive an email like this and not reply to the sender?
Now, in their eyes, you’ve just been promoted from a random blog commenter to a serious reader of their blog.
Do the same for all the blogs that have approved both your comments.
It’s going to take some time, but it’s time well spent.
You should be able to finish this stage in two days. If it takes more time for you, don’t worry about it.
Finish this stage and move on to the next step.
Day 23, 24 & 25 – The Ultimate List Post
You are going to make the ultimate list post for your niche.
Some good examples of list posts are
- 52 Effective Social Media Post Ideas and Examples to Fill Your Calendar
- Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2019)
- 49 Tasty and Healthy Office Snacks You’ll Love
- 44 Healthy Low-Carb Foods That Taste Incredible
Why should I write a list post?
A list post is the easiest way to get attention to your blog.
When done correctly, it can generate a lot of social traffic with minimal effort.
But most importantly, it puts you on the map.
If you can write the best list post for your niche, you can become niche-famous in a very short time.
So do I have to spend three days writing this?
That’s up to you.
But don’t be content with a list post that has only 7 points or 12 points.
Go for 51 points. Or 101 points.
Take inspiration from the examples given above.
Do all the research you can, and come up with a stunning list post idea.
Write your list post, and enrich it with photos and videos wherever necessary. Format it so that it looks nice on the eyes.
Publish your list post and go to the next day.
Day 26, 27 & 28 – Promoting Your List Post
Now that you’ve published your awesome list post, it is time to promote it.
How do we promote our list post?
With the help of our friends, of course. Our friends from Day 21 & 22.
Yes, we are going to send them another email. This time, we’ll present our article to them, and ask them their opinion.
If things go well, they might even share your list post with their followers which is huge for a 25-day old blog.
The promotion happens in two stages.
In the first stage, you present your article to the influencer and ask their opinion of it. You ask them if there are any corrections to be made.
That’s it. You’re not asking for any share as it can ruin the friendship you’ve built so far.
The email will be something like this
How are you?
Hope you’re having a great day!
I just published a post on my blog titled [post title]. I was wondering if you’d mind taking a look at it.
Also, could you please give me a little feedback on the post?
If you’re busy, I understand.
Use this template and send this email to all people who have emailed on day 22 and 23. Be sure to make minor variations so that it doesn’t look like a cookie-cutter email.
Wait for a day and see if you get a reply.
As you’ve already established some communication with them, you should get a reply soon enough (or later depending on how busy they are).
Once you get a reply from them, it’s time to move to stage two.
If your list post is excellent, chances are your influencers themselves will share it with their followers.
If they do share it with their followers, all you have to do is to send a simple thank you mail. Like this one
That’s wonderful of you to share my post with your followers. Thank you very much.
I really appreciate the time you’ve taken out of your busy schedule to read my post. I truly value your feedback.
Thank you again.
Now, what if they gave you the feedback you asked for, but didn’t share it with their followers.
Well, you should ask for it. In a nice way.
The template below is a good one but use your own spin on this.
Thank you so much for your valuable feedback.
I really appreciate you taking the time to read my post.
There’s one more thing…
It’s too much too ask, but it would be a great honor if you could share this post with your followers.
I totally understand if you don’t want to.
Keep doing the great work with your blog.
This is probably the nicest way to ask for a share.
Try this and you might get a share from one of your niche influencers with tons of followers.
If you can get a few shares from some of the established sites in your niche, you will get a lot of attention.
That will also bring your blog a stream of readers.
With this, the 28-day plan ends.
In these 28 days, You
- Performed solid niche research
- Analyzed the competitors in your niche
- Found content topics for your site
- Registered a domain name
- Got web hosting for your site
- Installed WordPress and a good-looking theme
- Installed important plugins for your site
- Wrote 10 pieces of content on your blog
- Commented on multiple influential blogs
- Emailed influencers about their posts
- Promoted your list post to influencers through email outreach
There are thousands of blogs that get lost without a proper plan to follow.
If you stick to this plan and achieve everything mentioned above, then you are here to stay in the world of blogging.
What To Do Next?
First of all, congratulations!
If you’re here, you should have an awesome blog and made some cool connections in your niche.
Your determination knows no bounds.
Now you’re wondering what to do next?
There are so many things you can do to follow up the 28-day plan.
Let’s discuss them.
Create More Content
If you followed the guide, your blog should have ten excellent blog posts.
It’s time to add more.
Find more keywords and start writing more content.
In your second month, you should aim for at least 10 to 15 blog posts.
If possible, you should write a couple of pillar posts.
A pillar post is the content your blog will be known for.
For example, if you’re a dog training blog, then your pillar post would be, ‘Dog Training: The Definitive Guide.’
Writing a pillar post takes a lot more time than your regular blog posts. You need to do more research, and it needs to be a lot longer than your regular posts (without fluff, of course).
Establishing A Publishing Frequency
For your blog to be successful, you need to publish regularly.
You don’t have to publish daily, but having a publishing frequency set up can come in handy.
For a new blog, depending on the niche, you can publish 2 to 3 new posts a week.
You can even publish one blog post a week if you’re doing long form content.
The key here is to not stop publishing.
Your blog will grow when you continue to publish solid content at regular intervals.
In the coming months, you should aim to publish at least eight blog posts a month without compromising on quality.
Make More Friends
In the last 28 days, we spent some time in making friends.
When you have friends in your niche, it is a lot easier to run a blog. You feel like you belong in your niche.
When you have a new blog post, you can ask them to critique your post before you hit the publish button. They may even share the post with their followers if they like it.
Well, it’s time to make more friends. Or you can make existing friendships stronger.
Continue commenting on blogs, and tell them how good their new blog post is. You can also comment if you don’t agree with what they’ve published.
When making a counter-argument, don’t be rude. Be polite and put your point across. The idea is to build a relationship, not to lose one.
The more friends you have in your blogosphere, the better.
Publish Guest Posts
One of the best ways to get the attention of your niche audience is through guest posts.
Guest posts are blog posts you publish on other established blogs who already have an audience.
By publishing guest posts,
- You will get more exposure as an expert
- Your site receives some eyeballs
- You get a backlink to your site
- You can get more guest posting opportunities
How To Find Sites That Accept Guest Posts?
While there are many methods to find sites that accept guest posts, let’s keep it simple for now.
Go to Google and type “keyword”+”write for us.”
This will return niche blogs that contain the words “write for us.” You can write guest posts in these blogs. Be sure to check what their requirements are.
You can also make use of the following Google search strings to bag more opportunities.
“Your Keyword” “guest post”
“Your Keyword” “this is a guest post by”
“Your Keyword” “contribute to our site”
“Your Keyword” “become a guest blogger”
“Your Keyword” “guest post wanted”
“Your Keyword” “submit your content”
“Your Keyword” “guest article”
“Your Keyword” “accepting guest posts”
“Your Keyword” “become a contributor”
“Your Keyword” “contributing writer”
With these search strings, make a list of blogs that accept guest posts.
Making The Move
Now you need to ask these blogs a chance to guest post on their site.
You can’t just go and ask for a guest posting opportunity. They don’t know you, or your blog.
Luckily, we know how to make connections. Don’t we?
Visit their blog and leave a couple on comments on their posts. Do one today, and another after a couple of days.
After a week, send them a mail about how one of their articles helped you.
You can use this template for inspiration.
I came across your [blog post title] post yesterday. I really took a lot of pointers from the post.
[Say something specific from that post and how it helped you]
I really appreciate you for taking the time to publish awesome content.
There’s a good chance that you’ll get a reply, as you’re not asking for anything.
If you don’t get a reply, move on to the next blog. If you do get a response, let’s reserve this blog for the next stage.
Pitching Your Guest Post
After you get your reply, wait for a few days to pitch your guest post.
When it’s time to pitch your guest post, send an email using the template below.
I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and have to say that it has excellent content when it comes to [topic].
I would love to contribute a guest post to your site.
I can assure you that the guest post will be of the highest quality. Your readers will love it.
Here a link to my blog: [blog link]. You can assess the quality of the content there.
Would love to know if you’re interested.
This template should give you a good result. Feel free to make adjustments to this template to suit your niche.
If you get a reply that they’re interested, then give them a list of topics that would suit their readers.
Write Your Guest Post
So a blog just showed interest in publishing your guest post.
This is no guarantee that they’ll publish your guest post.
You have to hit them with high-quality stuff they can’t say no to.
That’s the kind of guest post you’re going to write.
Your guest post should
- Be at least 2500 words
- Give high-quality information on the topic
- Contain actionable tips
- Not contain any fluff
Add relevant images to your guest post. You can also add internal links to the blog that is publishing your guest post. Bloggers will appreciate this as internal linking to their own posts shows that you know the way around their blog.
Be sure to give a pleasant intro to you and your blog in the author bio. If your guest post is good, people are going to read the author bio. You want it to be inviting.
Your work is not over even after your guest post is published.
Promote your guest post on social media.
Reply to all the comments you get on your guest post. This shows that you are committed to your post which can come in handy for your next guest post.
Try to publish at least 2 to 3 guest posts a month.
You can also do some link building, but let’s save that for the later months. Right now, focus on writing more content and publishing more guest posts.
How To Make Money From Your Blog
When people search Google for ‘how to start a blog?‘, they want to not only start a blog but also to make money from it.
Blogging is a very lucrative business.
If you’re willing to put in the work, you will be rewarded handsomely.
But, it doesn’t happen overnight. Usually, it can take months before you see your first dime.
It can sometimes even take a year before your blog takes off.
Patience is a virtue when it comes to blogging.
If you’re hellbent in making money off your blog, here are some ways to make it rain.
Affiliate Marketing is probably the most popular way of monetization among blog owners.
You promote other people’s product and make a commission when you make a sale. Your sale is tracked through a special link provided by the product owner.
Almost all niches have products that can be promoted.
You can promote either physical products (think Amazon) or digital products (software, courses, etc).
One of the things that make affiliate marketing more attractive is the payout. You usually get a good percentage of the products price as commission.
Some digital goods pay up to 100% commission which is just awesome.
One of the easiest ways to make money from your blog is through advertising.
Google Adsense has been bloggers’ go-to advertising option for a long time.
Getting approved into Google Adsense is also getting harder year after year.
If that’s the case for you, you can make use of other options like Media.net and other advertising networks.
To make good money with advertising, you need a lot of visitors to your website.
If you’re only getting a few visitors here and there, forget about making money and make your site bigger and better by the day.
Once your blog starts getting a good amount of traffic, you’ll start seeing some impressive advertising income.
If you’re an expert who can pass on knowledge to your readers, then you can make an online course and sell it on your blog.
Once your course material is ready, you can open your course in these platforms and make them available for your readers.
If you have a hungry readership, online courses can be really profitable.
Your Own Product
This is very similar to having an online course, but instead, you will have a physical product or a digital product to sell.
Every blog thrives on the fact that you can solve your reader’s problems.
If your physical or digital product solves your readers’ problem, then there’s no reason why you can’t sell it to your readers.
But before pitching your products to your readers, you must have a good relationship with them. It can take months to build a good relationship with your readers, and you must wait patiently.
If you pitch a product to a guy who just visited your blog, you will only be seen as a money-hungry blogger.
It is crucial to time your pitches which is why it is super helpful to have an email list.
A sponsored post is when you get compensation for writing about someone’s product or service or brand. You get paid to put their product/service in front of your audience.
To get these opportunities, you need to reach a level of growth in your niche. No one will spend money on a blog with very few visitors.
When you start receiving sponsored posts request, do your research. See if the brand is a good fit for your audience. If not, don’t be afraid to say no. There will always be more opportunities.
When you decide to write a sponsored post, it would be a good idea to let your readers know it upfront.
You don’t want your readers to think that you’ve become a selloff. Telling them upfront would help in avoiding a backlash like this.
Freelancing is a great way to monetize a personal blog.
If you’re a writer, you can sell articles and blog posts. You can also become a ghostwriter for someone who’s not as comfortable with a topic.
If you’re a designer, you sell your freelancing services for design.
If you’re a photographer, you can sell services like photo corrections, making photos better, and so on.
You get the point.
When your blog is new, it can be hard to get a freelancing client. But once you have a happy client, it can be very easy to take off.
You can use platforms like UpWork to build an initial portfolio. Then you can transfer your portfolio to your blog and get more clients.
When you have an established blog, you will get more opportunities as a freelancer.
How To Start A Blog – F.A.Qs.
How To Start A Blog For Free?
Starting a free blog is the best way to go if you’re starting. If you want to make blogging a hobby or want to improve your writing skills without spending any money, then a free blog is perfect.
You can use platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, Medium, Wix, Weebly, and Tumblr to start your free blog. They cost nothing and allow you to sharpen your blogging skills.
If you’re going the free route, you may not be able to use your domain name (not free). You have to settle with something like Yourblog.wordpress.com.
Can You Make Money With A Free Blog?
Any blog can make you money. You have to grow your blog to a decent level to make money. You need to put out quality content and get a loyal readership. Once you reach this level, making money won’t be a problem.
If you have plans to make your blog popular and resourceful, it is better to self-host your blog with your domain name. This way, you can maintain the identity of your blog without having to change it from a free blogging platform to your web host.
How To Select A Blog Topic?
Selecting the topic for your blog is the most critical part.
Ask yourself what you like the most. Do you have any hobbies? If you’re passionate about something, then you can have a good time writing about it.
Refer to Day 1 where we discuss niche research. This should help you get started.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
There are many ways to make money from your blog.
You can rent space for advertisements, run ads on your blog, become an affiliate, write sponsored posts, sell your products or services, promote your own online course and so much more.
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?
That depends on two things: you and your blog’s niche.
Some blogs make upwards of $100,000 a month.
Your blog can make money literally in any niche. But how much depends on the niche. Some niches are super lucrative like make money online, personal finance, and tech stuff. If you’re in the right niche, you will make good money.
The second factor is you. Blogging is a lot of work. If you are willing to bust your rear off, then it will bear results. If you’re lazy, it can take forever to earn income from your blog.
How Long Does It Take To Money From Blogging?
You can’t make money from your blog overnight. It can take months before you see your first dollar.
With the Google Sandbox in place, it can take up to six months for your blog to get some impactful traffic. Till then, the only thing you can do is to build your blog and make valuable connections.
After the sandbox period, you’ll slowly start getting traffic. Once you get some traffic, you should be able to make money off your blog if you’ve done everything right. That’s why it is essential to follow a guide like the ‘Stupid Simple 28-Day Plan‘ for your blog.
How Hard Is It To Make Money Blogging?
When people ask the question, ‘How to start a blog?’ it is usually with the intention of making money.
Making money blogging is definitely possible. But the road to that has become a bit more challenging. A few years back, you might start making money a few weeks after launching your blog. Now, it can take a few months.
If you’re willing to put in the work and have some patience, making money off your blog can be really easy.
Can My Blog Be About Multiple Things?
While it is possible to write about multiple things in your blog, I would recommend sticking with one topic per blog.
When you write about multiple things in your blog, it is hard to target a specific group of people. When you write about one topic, you know for sure what your readers want.
It is also a lot easier to monetize a blog when it is based around one niche. You can make more money as you’ll get focussed advertising opportunities that pay more rather than general ads that pay a fraction of it.
If you need help in selecting a niche, you can go here for assistance.
Will My Blog Be Successful?
If you’re willing to work hard on your blog, your blog will be successful.
A lot of blogs don’t see the light because the owners get lazy, and stop working on the blog after a couple of months. Either that or they fall prey to the Shiny Object Syndrome.
When you commit to your blog with a proper publishing calendar, your blog will grow in time. When you do this for a long period, success is imminent.
What Is The Best Blogging Platform?
There are many blogging platforms out there, and every time I start a blog, I’ve gone with WordPress.
In my opinion, WordPress is the best blogging platform out there. I’m sure most fellow bloggers will agree to this.
WordPress comes with a ton of features that make your blog better by the day. You have literally thousands of plugins that can do things for you without you having to do anything technical.
WordPress is also more secure when compared to other platforms. If you’re going to start your blog, I highly recommend going with WordPress as your content management system.
Is WordPress Free?
Yes. WordPress is free.
You can go to WordPress.com and start a free blog right away.
But with a free blog, you don’t get a custom domain. Your site will be yourblog.wordpress.com.
You don’t get a lot of themes to choose from; only the free themes are available. There is also no email or live chat support if you start a free blog with WordPress. So if you went into some trouble, you’d have to find the solution yourself.
Some of the features you’ll miss in a free WordPress blog are advanced design customization, advanced social media, site monetization, analytics integration (this is big), payments integration, installing plugins you need, and many more.
Though you get a free platform for expressing yourself, there are many limitations. That’s why it is better to go with a self-hosted blog from the get-go. All you need is hosting from SiteGround and a domain name from Namecheap.
Yes, there is an upfront cost, but it is totally worth it as you don’t have to deal with migrating issues later.
What Is The Best Niche For Blogging?
If you’re genuinely passionate about something, you can make a successful blog out of that niche.
In fact, any niche can be good if you can put the work in.
Some of the popular niches for blogging are cooking, DIY, tech stuff, and finance.
If you need more help in researching niches, go to day 1.
How To Get More Traffic To My Blog?
Traffic is the most essential component of a blog’s success.
You can get traffic in two ways. Free and Paid.
Free traffic is the most lucrative of the two. For one, it is free and comes from search engines. To get free traffic from search engines, you should rank on the first page for the keyword you’re targeting.
To be able to do that, you should know the basics of on-page and off-page search engine optimization. When done right, SEO can get you tons of traffic that is laser-focused.
Paid traffic, on the other hand, is trickier than free traffic. It can take a lot of time (and money) to master paid traffic. One of the main reasons to use paid traffic is because traffic is immediate. When done wrong, you can lose a lot of money real quick.
For beginners, free traffic is the way to go. Target keywords with low competition and get traffic from search engines like Google and Bing.
What Is The Best Free WordPress Theme For Blogging?
One of the best advantages of choosing WordPress as your content management system is that you have tons of free themes to choose from.
Though there are a million free themes to spoil, it is vital for a theme to have the following features.
- Customization options
- Support for page builders
- Compatibility with plugins
It is hard to find free themes that tick all the boxes. But there are a couple of themes that meet these requirements.
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme is that’s built with speed in mind. The theme has one of the best codes in the world of WordPress. You get a good set of features in the free version. There is also a Premium version (Blogger Hideout uses the premium version) that has a library of sites (think multiple themes in one) and other premium features.
Astra is another great free theme for your WordPress blog. The free version is customizable to an extent. It is as responsive as GeneratePress and scores well when it comes to page speed. Astra also has a premium version with a boatload of features.
That concludes this blog post from my end. It’s up to you now.
If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comment section below. I read every single one of your comments.
Also, if you took any value from this post, please do me a favor and share this with your friends on social media.