Blogging isn’t easy. However, being consistent, committed, and treating your blog like it’s your in-real-life business will be incredibly rewarding. Your hard work will lead to an endless stream of passive income.
I’ve seen it first-hand from a private blogging group that I’m in. I’ve seen how it can change a person’s life for the better. Over the years, I’ve been constantly asked by friends and families for help with their first blog.
Before You Read:
I understand that the SEO niche is incredibly competitive. This SEO or blogging guide is one of my experiments. Whether it ranks or not – this guide intends to help people around me. I consider myself decent at SEO/Blogging, not an expert.
I wrote this guide to help people around me. I’ve had a long blogging journey, and sharing my part of the journey could help others avoid the mistakes I’ve made. You will encounter affiliate links throughout this guide, earning me a commission for qualifying purchases. It won’t be spammy, I promise.
I created this guide, “How to Start a Blog For Beginners,” to show people the steps I take to achieve the blogs I have helped build today. I’m no expert or anything. Like many, I entered the blogging world with zero experience and guidance in 2018.
The first year was incredibly tough for me. I made countless mistakes. I didn’t know who to turn to for help. I couldn’t tell whether information on the internet was from gurus trying to score a course sale or truthful information.
Since 2018, I have published nearly 4,000 articles. I had to learn from many unnecessary mistakes. I hope you’ll avoid these little obstacles and mistakes I’ve encountered in this guide. I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
From time to time, I would go back to my first article on an old finance blog and realize how much I have improved in content writing. Like all bloggers, you will also cringe at your first article one day. Don’t worry – I’m here to ensure you won’t cringe as hard as I did.
If you’re completely new to the blogging world, you can continue to scroll down and learn more about it. You can go directly to my blogging blueprint by clicking here if you already have an idea and a basic understanding of blogging.
Introduction to Blogging
There are many reasons why people choose to enter the blogging world.
People often blog for reasons such as:
- Increasing Business Sales
- Increasing Brand Exposure
- Sharing Daily Life (diary, ranting, journal, etc.)
- Achieving Financial Freedom (Passive Income)
- Freedom in Life (traveling, hobbies, etc.)
Earning a full-time income should be an end goal because it’ll provide you with financial freedom and more time to explore your creative side. Your passive blogging income would allow you to focus on your hobbies and spend more time with your loved ones.
Your time in life is limited and working for other companies until you reach a certain age wouldn’t be an ideal plan. By the time you retire from your job after over 35 years, your immune system wouldn’t be as strong as it used to be. You’re more prone to health problems.
Health problems would prevent you from trying the things you wanted to try when you were younger. One of the reasons why I love blogging is how drastically a person’s life can change within several years of hard work and dedication.
Power of Blogging
I often tell people how powerful blogging is. When a business is declining, blogging can lead to the revival of that business. If you’re in sales, a blog could capture valuable leads. Blogging will help people learn more about your work if you’re an unknown music artist.
You can monetize to earn money if you know your subject (niche) and provide helpful content. You could become an authority in your niche and network with other companies. Your journey into the blogging world will be a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience.
You’ll have a basic understanding of building websites, search engine optimization (SEO), graphic designing, and improving your writing skills, which could lead to high-paying jobs. It’s a win-win situation, and it’s all because of your decision to start a blog.
Blogging Pros and Cons
From my personal experience, I feel that blogging has more advantages compared to disadvantages. The moment I published my first article in 2018, leading to today, I could see how much I’ve improved. I created this list of advantages and disadvantages based on my personal experience, so you’ll know what to expect.
- Improve Your Writing Skills: Your writing skills will improve as you write your content.
- Expand Your Vocabularies: You will have a wider range of vocabularies.
- Become an Expert in Your Niche: Depending on the niche you picked, you will become an expert in your topic.
- Learning WordPress: WordPress is used by a majority of websites. Your skill in using WordPress will slowly improve as you go.
- Learning SEO: When you learn how to get organic traffic effectively through search engine optimization, you learn a marketing skill that can be applied to almost any business.
- Your Blog Becomes Your Asset: Your website becomes your asset. Generally, a website valuation ranges between 24x to 40x monthly earnings (6 to 12 months average). Many companies are constantly searching to purchase websites that are earning. Example: A website earning $1,000 a month could be valued between $24,000 to $40,000.
I’m usually optimistic and will likely see the good side of things. What I see as an advantage or disadvantage could be biased depending on your experience and perspective.
- Blogging Takes Too Much Time: Blogging can indeed take up a lot of your time. However, you can make it work with proper time management. Your first article will probably take a good chunk of your time. As you write, you get better and faster because you will know what to do from start to finish.
- Blogging Costs Money: It costs money to run a blog. Depending on your hosting and where you purchase your domain, running a blog costs less than $30 a year. It could be $100 a year if you invest in other tools. I believe it’s worth the cost even if you work on your blog for one hour per week. Instead of paying several hundred dollars for a course, you’re learning many valuable skills that could be applied to many businesses. So even if you’re struggling to achieve (and it happens) in the blogging world, you’re not losing if you’re learning.
Whenever I search for case studies and guides, I click on blogging statistic articles if I come across them. Learning about these statistics gave me a better insight and perspective. Some of these statistics aren’t blog-related but knowing them pushed me more toward my goals.
List of Interesting Statistics (2022)
- At least 80% of millionaires are first-generation millionaires.
- Google is the most visited website in the world, with 85.3b visitors in May, 86.6b visitors in June, and 87.3b visitors in July.
- The world’s top five most visited websites are Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- The top three most searched keywords on Google Search in the United States are Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon.
- At the time of writing this article (September 16th, 2022), 8 billion searches have been made on Google alone.
- 90% of online startups fail within the first four months of launch.
- According to AstuteCopyBlogging, 80% of blogs will likely fail in less than a year.
FAQ: Introduction to Blogging
Here are some commonly asked questions about blogging.
What are the disadvantages of blogging?
Answer: Some disadvantages of blogging are sacrificing a good chunk of your time and costing money. The cost of running a blog can be low or high, depending on how you approach your journey.
Some bloggers hire content writers, while others write the content themselves. You will have less free time, but you should see it as a free learning lesson.
How effective is blogging?
Answer: Blogging is incredibly effective and can promote anything. You can promote your content (music, art, etc.), collect leads, and build an email list. You can do local SEO to attract more customers if you own a restaurant.
How I Got Into Blogging
Growing up, my experiences taught me many valuable life lessons. The recession had an enormous impact on my life as a kid. I remember our family working our way into a middle-class family and slowly losing everything.
I remember I was wrongly upset at my parents for constantly moving. I went to six elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. As a high school student, everyone around me already had their group while I struggled to find mine.
I had incredible friends, but the recession brought out the introvert in me and made me who I am today. It made me more independent whenever I had to move to different schools to be in a class with strangers.
A Game That Changed My Life
As someone who grew up without a main group of friends, I spent most of my time playing an online game that changed my life. I started ‘MapleStory‘ as a kid, and it was fascinating to me because, in this game, you can collect items to trade with people from all over the world.
I spent hours studying this game’s economy. Unlike many MapleStory players, I played the game differently. I traded on the game every day after school and remembered the prices of nearly every item.
Eventually, students who played the game at my school were willing to pay me cash for game currency. It made me realize that my passion growing up is learning how to achieve financial freedom because I can’t imagine myself working for a company until I’m old. Life is too short.
Lesson From a Professional Failure
I experimented with many projects growing up. Even though most of these projects failed, they taught me many new things from my mistakes. I lost track of how many projects I failed, but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t keep trying.
Here are some of my failed projects:
- Growing and Monetizing an Instagram Account: Back in 2013, I created multiple Instagram accounts to monetize. Some of them (@didyouknow_instagram, @click_play, etc.) reached over 10,000 followers. Unfortunately, I lost my email and account password in 2014.
- Printing and Selling T-Shirts: When I noticed hype around a specific niche, a friend and I decided to print these shirts and tried selling them. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long, and I learned that shirts are one of the most saturated niches.
- Dropshipping in Car Accessories Niche: I failed this project terribly. As a kid, I remembered how many YouTube videos were saying how easy it was to earn money online doing dropshipping. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and required a good amount of knowledge.
- Running a Cryptocurrency: Throughout my life, I created several cryptocurrencies. However, it requires a lot of investment, such as paying thousands to get onto a cryptocurrency exchange and running a team.
These were one of the few projects that I failed. After failing many projects, I finally stumbled across SEO and blogging in 2018. I experimented with it and have published nearly 4,000 articles since then.
I spent countless days reading other bloggers’ journeys and case studies. At one point, I kept searching for new information because it almost felt like I’d read everything on the forums to blog posts.
It made me realize the power of a blog. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy task, but I couldn’t bear the feeling of not moving anywhere or progressing in life. In 2018, I created my first blogging website and had worked and built over 10+ websites since then.
I’m not an SEO expert, but I’ve learned from thousands of hours of experience. It’s been nearly five years, and I have worked on:
- Finance Blog: 300+ Articles Published
- Air Drone Blog: 20+ Articles Published
- Vivarium Blog: 300+ Articles Published
- Pet Blog: 2,000+ Articles Published
- Pet Blog: 150+ Articles Published
- General Niche: 300+ Articles Published
- Other Niche (Multiple Websites): 100+ Articles Published
My blogging experience taught me many valuable lessons and SEO strategies while opening a whole new perspective and possibilities for succeeding in life.
I’ll share with you these personal experiences of mine, so you can avoid the pain and struggles I went through as a blogger.
If you believe you have the mentality to pursue this path and change your life, you can start with my blogging blueprint.
FAQ: How I Got Into Blogging
Here are some questions people often ask me. These are mostly life and blog-related questions.
Are you still playing MapleStory?
Answer: From time to time, I hop on the game to check out updates. Unfortunately, playing the game takes too much of my time.
Why are you making an SEO guide if you’re not an expert?
Answer: Even though I don’t consider myself an SEO expert, I’ve had my fair share of knowledge since my first blog. I learned a lot from the number of websites I’ve built and published content on.
I’ve had people constantly asking me for help with building their first website, and that alone pushed me to create this blogging guide.
My Blogging Blueprint: Your Journey Starts Here
Before we start with my blueprint, I’d like to mention that my blogging blueprint isn’t perfect. Every blogger has their preferred hosting, SEO tools, and ideas.
I made this guide to share the exact steps I took, so at least I know how to help you if you have any questions. Before you purchase any SEO tools for your blogging journey, you’ll need to invest in hosting and a domain.
You should at least have a niche in mind, install WordPress, and work on the website’s appearance before finding out what tools you need. This journey you’re about to embark on will be a rollercoaster of emotions.
Here’s a list of some useful tools that you should keep in mind. I use most of these tools and have found them incredibly helpful throughout my journey (A-Z):
- Ahrefs is a powerful tool used for keyword research and learning about your competitors. I wouldn’t worry too much about Ahrefs if you’re starting.
- Canva is an incredibly powerful tool that I highly recommend. You can edit images and create infographics and logos. Canva is one of my most used tools since I create featured images for my blogs and work.
- Google Search Console (GSC) is a must. Google Search Console helps you measure your website’s stats. You can use Google Search Console to connect to your website and index your pages manually.
- Grammarly is a grammar tool that will save you hours editing your content. When I entered the blogging world, I used the free version. After subscribing to the premium version of Grammarly, I think I’ll remain a subscriber. It’s an incredibly effective tool that will save you lots of time.
- Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension and another one of my everyday used tools. Whenever you search for a keyword on YouTube, Google, or other platforms – you’ll be provided with a set of data such as cost-per-click (CPC), monthly volume, trend, and competition level. Keywords Everywhere is a powerful extension that is one of those tools worth the cost for me. You can sign up, create an account, and install this extension on your browser. When I created my account, Keywords Everywhere was free to use. Now – it’s $10 per 100,000 credits. I use this tool daily, and 100,000 credits would normally last me several months.
- Nimbus is another highly used browser extension for my daily tasks. This is a free extension that saved me countless hours. You can assign a specific key to screenshot anything you want on your browser, crop, and use arrows. I find Nimbus much more efficient than Windows Logo Key + Shift + S and PrtScn.
- SEMRush is another helpful tool similar to Ahrefs, which you can use for keyword research. However, the subscription cost for SEMRush can be pricey, so it’s better if you wait until your blog starts earning money. Occasionally, SEMRush will likely offer a 30-day free trial. When you sign up for a free trial, you should make the most out of it by analyzing your competitors and finding keywords that you can rank for.
- Windows Logo Key + Shift + S is a classic keyboard command that could help you screenshot anywhere on your computer. You can screenshot the game that you’re playing or your home icons. I use the Nimbus extension because it’s more efficient and quick. However, this keyboard command would help me screenshot anything outside the browser.
You’ll stumble across these terms when you enter the blogging or SEO world. Understanding these terms will make your life many times easier. These blogging terms are listed in alphabetical order (A-Z):
- Alternative Text: Short for Alt Text, an Alternative Text is used to describe an image. Using Alt Text will help search engines understand your image and where to place them on the rankings for image search.
- Anchor Text: When you insert a URL into a text on your post, this would be considered an anchor text.
- Backlink: A backlink is when another website links to yours. A backlink could be described as an incoming link or an inbound link. There are various types of backlinks.
- External Link: An external link is when you link to another website’s page. Example: Wikipedia, Another Blog, a social media post, etc.
- Guest Post: When you guest post, you have permission to publish content on another website. Guest posting for other websites should help increase your trust and authority. People often guest post to increase brand exposure and for a high-quality backlink.
- Heading: When writing your first post, you’ll see an option to change your text from Heading 1 (H1) to Heading 6 (H6). You can use headings to organize your content. Most websites will use H2 to H4 since your post title on WordPress is automatically H1.
- Internal Link: An internal link is when you link to another page on your website. Example: Your website’s posts, pages, etc.
- Keyword: A keyword is a phrase you use to optimize your content. Some keywords are more difficult to rank than others. Many keywords have different monthly search volumes. People often mistake a keyword for a single word. Example: ‘How to Start a Blog’ is a keyword.
- Meta Description: You write a meta description to help search engines and visitors understand what your page is about. When you search for something, you’ll notice a little box of summary or description under each website. Many people will tell you that meta description isn’t important, but I believe it’s important.
- SEO: SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. SEO can be applied to many platforms. You can do SEO to rank your Facebook Group, website on search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo), or videos on YouTube.
With that in mind, here’s a list of my 8-step blogging process:
- Brainstorming Your Website’s Niche
- Buying a Domain Name For Your Blog
- Find a Hosting and Connect it to Your Domain Name
- Installing WordPress
- Customizing Your Website Using WordPress
- Installing Useful WordPress Plugins
- Keyword Research (Content Ideas)
- Publishing Your First Blog Post
Step 1. Brainstorming Your Website’s Niche
Brainstorming your website’s niche is one of the process’s most exciting and crucial steps. There are easy and difficult niches. For example, a gaming blog would be much easier to rank than a finance blog.
It will be easier for you if you choose a topic you know by heart. You want to prove to the search engines that you’re an expert and an authority in your niche. Some niche requires more learning and studying than others.
Some niche requires an authoritative source. If you’re not a lawyer but provide lawyer advice, your readers will have difficulty trusting you for legal advice. Lawyer niche would fall under Google E.A.T. You shouldn’t take this niche if you’re not a lawyer.
Types of blogging niches that require a more authoritative source (difficult):
- Credit Cards
If you enjoy a game but are not an expert on the topic, you can learn as you go. You should choose a niche where you can share valuable and helpful information with your readers.
Types of blogging niches that you can teach while learning (easy to medium):
Providing helpful information would slowly establish you as an authority long-term. When your website becomes an authority, your content will rank better because of your trust score. Before fully committing to a niche, you must understand Google E.A.T. and Y.M.Y.L.
Learn Google’s Search Quality Guidelines Before Deciding on a Niche
Once you understand these two terms and learn about what happened to my first (finance, unfortunately) website, you’ll better understand what niche to go for.
I made the mistake of going for a highly competitive niche and went all over the search rankings because I couldn’t fully establish myself as an authority.
- Google E.A.T. comes from Google’s Search Quality Guidelines (Section 4.1), which stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.“
- Google Y.M.Y.L. stands for “Your Money or Your Life” on Google’s Search Quality Guidelines (Section 2.3). Google YMYL exists because certain topics could impact a person’s emotions, finance, and well-being.
Both terms are on Google’s Search Quality Guidelines and are crucial to understanding which niche you should aim for. For instance – if you decide to go for a YMYL niche, you’ll have to know your stuff and prove to Google that you’re an authority.
Most YMYL niche websites take longer to build trust with Google’s search engine, which I believe is a good thing. If I Google search health-related questions, I would want the answers from a trustworthy source.
Examples of YMYL blogs include:
Examples of non-YMYL blogs include:
- Pets (aquarium, cats, etc.)
- Movies (reviews, guides, etc.)
- Passion Hobbies (art, music, etc.)
Generally, YMYL blogs are extremely difficult to rank if you don’t have experience with your chosen topic. I’ll share my experience and why choosing a YMYL niche was a huge learning lesson.
In 2018, I started my first blog in the finance (debit cards and making money online) niche. Around that time, I thought starting with any niche would work as long as I put effort into building it.
Unfortunately, most of my articles were struggling to rank. Even after 300+ articles, I would barely reach 500 organic traffic daily. The rewarding part of getting YMYL traffic is the high CPC on Adsense.
Most of my Adsense clicks would range from a few dollars to $13 per click. It was exciting and rewarding, but I’ve made many mistakes that were incredibly difficult to undo.
These mistakes were obtaining low-quality backlinks and using PNG images on nearly every blog post. The image size was large, lack of proper internal links, messy permalink, and constant hit by Google updates. Eventually, I sold the website for $11,000.
If you noticed, sometimes searching up a YMYL topic on Google would load search results with a .gov (government) or .edu (education) domain. These domains are considered top-level domain names (TLDs) owned by government entities and academic institutions.
After you decide on a niche, you should start brainstorming your brand or domain name. It can be something catchy or basic. Most successful blog websites I’ve come across use 1 to 3 words as their domain name.
Niche Ideas For Your Blog
- Virtual Reality
FAQ: Brainstorming Your Website’s Niche
What niche is best for beginners?
Answer: For beginners, it would be wiser to go for a niche that’s not considered YMYL, like health-related or finance. You can choose a sport-related, animal, or hobby niche.
Step 2. Buying a Domain Name For Your Blog
Buying a domain name is an exciting part of the journey. During the old SEO days, many people purchase matching keyword domain names. This used to be an effective ranking strategy, but in the long run – content is king. Search engines have improved and will continue to improve.
In 2020, I experimented with a website using an expired domain, which was a matching keyword domain name. Since the keyword was low-competition, I noticed that the domain ranked for that keyword (pet keyword). The domain I snatched belonged to an inactive band.
I believe that exact match keyword domains can play a small role in ranking. While it helps, a competitor’s website with informative content would likely outrank you. As search engines improve, exact match domains become less effective.
You can purchase your domain on multiple platforms like:
- GoDaddy: I’ve read many terrible stories about people using GoDaddy. Your experience might be different, but I added GoDaddy to this list since it’s one of the more popular providers.
- Namecheap: I’ve been using Namecheap since beginning my journey, and I haven’t had any bad experiences. Since I’ve been a long-term customer at Namecheap, I’ll show you the steps from A to Z.
When purchasing your domain, avoid certain characters, like adding a dash between words or using a period between words. I highly recommend going for a .com domain. If you love the name you’ve chosen, but .com is taken, using a .net would be fine too.
Examples of domains with unnecessary characters:
- andy-o-lam.com 🚫
- andy.olam.com 🚫
Using characters like dashes and periods in your domain name makes it more confusing for visitors to find you. While I believe that it doesn’t affect SEO, you should always make it easier for your readers.
If you plan to use numbers, don’t make it too confusing by using too many numbers, either. Throughout my years of blogging, I noticed many successful websites would use 2 to 3 words in their domain name.
Buying a Domain Name on Namecheap
Buying your domain name on Namecheap is as easy as A-B-C. You’ll be asked to create an account after selecting your domain. You can create an account before following these steps or do it after.
Step 1. Go to Namecheap.com
Step 2. Search For an Available Domain Name
Step 3. Add Your Domain Name to the Cart
Step 4. Click on View Cart
Step 5. Confirm Order
After you confirm your order, Namecheap will ask you to create an account if you haven’t already. You can sign in to complete your domain purchase if you have an account.
FAQ: Buying a Domain Name For Your Blog
Do you have to buy a domain name for a blog?
Answer: Yes, you’ll have to use a domain name for your blog. Your domain name will become your asset as you build and grow your website.
What domain name should I use for my blog?
Answer: You should use a catchy or easy-to-remember domain name for your blog. Avoid using dashes or periods between the words in your domain name.
Step 3. Find a Hosting Plan and Connect it to Your Domain Name
Connecting your domain to a hosting might sound confusing to you. I remember it was confusing when I had zero knowledge of building websites. When you purchase your domain name, you’ll have to find a hosting to host your website.
While I use Namecheap because it’s easy and efficient, there are other hostings that you can check out:
- Bluehost: Bluehost offers a $19 domain registration coupon for the first one-year of registration. Bluehost has a variety of hosting services. This hosting service has several packages like the Basic ($14.99/month), Plus ($19.99/month), Choice Plus ($24.99/month), and Pro ($34.99).
- Hostinger: The hosting services offered by Hostinger are Single ($1.99/month), Premium ($2.99/month), and Business ($3.99).
- DreamHost: Hosting plans at DreamHost are Shared ($2.95/month), DreamPress ($16.95/month), and VPS ($13.75/month)
- HostGator: At HostGator, there are three plans that you can choose from. These hosting plans are Hatchling ($11.95), Baby ($12.95), and Business ($17.95).
- SiteGround: At SiteGround, the cost of shared hosting is $19.99 a month. There are different options to save money, such as a 12-month plan, 24-month plan, and 36-month plan.
You can browse and find a hosting you feel is most suitable for your website. I normally use Namecheap’s hosting, so I’ll guide you on connecting your domain to your hosting using Namecheap. There are different types of hosting that you should know, and this isn’t only on Namecheap.
When searching for a hosting plan, you’ll come across shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, dedicated server hosting, and cloud hosting. There are many other types of hostings, but I’ll cover these four.
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Server Hosting (VPS)
- Dedicated Server Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
Connecting Your Domain Name to a Hosting
When connecting your domain name to hosting on Namecheap, there are three ways to approach this, depending on where you purchase your hosting. If your hosting plan is on Namecheap, it should be easier for me to guide you.
- Your hosting plan is on Namecheap.
- You have a hosting plan outside of Namecheap.
- You have your hosting server with a set of records.
Step 4. Installing WordPress Through cPanel Using Namecheap
Once you finish installing your hosting to your domain, you should now be able to access cPanel. The process of installing WordPress should be simple. You go to your cPanel, locate the Softaculous app, and install WordPress.
Step 1. Go to Your Dashboard on Your Namecheap Account
Step 2. Scroll Down to Find Your Domain Name
Step 3. Hover Your Cursor to the Icon and Click on Go to cPanel
Step 4. Click on Softaculous Apps Installer
Step 5. Look For WordPress and Click ‘Install’
Once you’re done with installing WordPress, you should install these useful WordPress plugins. You should avoid installing as many plugins as possible because it could slow down the website. A slow website will likely lead to a decline in rankings, which means a decline in organic traffic.
FAQ: Installing WordPress
Can I install WordPress For Free?
Step 5. Installing Useful WordPress Plugins
A WordPress plugin is like a Google Chrome Extension. You find a ‘software‘ you need and install it into your WordPress website. You can find plugins created by people around the world. Some are free, and some are not.
FAQ: Installing Useful WordPress Plugins
What are examples of plugins?
Do you need to use plugins in WordPress?
Step 6. Customizing Your Website Using WordPress
Customizing your website is another exciting part of the journey. You can choose a suitable theme and find the right appearance for your blog. You should avoid any flashy themes because it’ll slow down the website and likely deal with issues along the way.
FAQ: Customizing Your WordPress Website
Step 7. Keyword Research
Keyword research is an important step in the process. If you don’t do your keyword research properly, it’ll waste a lot of your time if your focus is on organic traffic growth. When you do keyword research, you can use many tools to collect data.
You should focus on a keyword’s competition level and volume. A medium-level or high-level competition keyword would be difficult if you’re running a new website. You should focus on a low-competition keyword first to slowly increase your authority.
The tools I normally use for keyword researching are:
- Keywords Everywhere
FAQ: Keyword Research
What is keyword research?
Is keyword research the same as SEO?
Step 8. Publishing Your First Blog Post
If you want search engine traffic, optimizing your content is important. According to Google, there are over 200+ ranking factors. You won’t gain as much traffic if you don’t SEO-optimize your content.
I’ve tried publishing articles that aren’t optimized on a test website. You’ll take longer to index, you might not index, and search engines will have more trouble understanding your content.
If you over-optimize or do your SEO in a spammy way, it might work for a short time until you either get penalized or dropped in rankings by the search engines.
From my experience publishing over 3,000+ articles, I’ll share my content structure and what worked best for me. I can’t promise you that this structure will be the best.
After doing your keyword research and you’ve come up with a topic you want to write about, I highly recommend you structure your post. For me – I would normally start by writing out my imaginary table of content.
I’ll use the keyword, ‘make money online,‘ as an example. Don’t start your blog using this keyword because this is incredibly competitive. I’m only using this as an example to show you.
FAQ: Publishing Your First Blog Post
What should be my first post on my blog?
Answer: Your first post on your blog can be anything related to your niche. Since your blog is completely new, some content will rank faster than others. You should be fine if your first blog post is relevant to your niche and you’re targeting a low-competition keyword.
How much should a beginner blog post cost?
Answer: Assuming you want to hire writers for your blog, the cost for a beginner blog post depends on the writer’s skill, how long it takes to research, and how long you want your content to be.
How do you introduce a new blog?
Answer: I don’t think you need to introduce your new blog to anyone. You can publish and let your content and wait for it to rank. People who want to read your content will find you on search engines.
How do I promote my first blog?
Answer: If you want to share your content with a community, you can share your post on Reddit, Pinterest, Facebook Groups, and email lists. When I have ads on my website, I rather let Google collect data and earn from qualified ad clicks.
Advice For Your Blogging Journey
Your blogging journey will be filled with many emotions. There will be days when you will see trickles of traffic, and there are days when you see zero traffic.
Your first $1 earned will be an unforgettable experience. Your first 100 visitors a day will be another milestone. If you take it one step at a time, you’ll see that little seed you planted grow into an enormous tree.
Blogging isn’t easy, but I’ve met many committed bloggers. No matter how often you fail, you’ll succeed if you keep pushing.
Monetization Ideas For Your Blog
There are so many ways to monetize your blog. However, you shouldn’t focus too much on monetization until you see more traffic. After 10 to 20 articles, I recommend that you apply to Adsense since getting approved could take days or weeks. Many people use Adsense and eventually move on to Ezoic, Mediavine, or AdThrive.
Some companies will require you to apply or meet organic traffic requirements. Here are some advertising networks and monetizing ideas for your blog (A-Z):
- AdThrive (Advertising Network): After reading many case studies and learning about other bloggers’ journeys, AdThrive is the top advertising network. Many people who switched from Adsense/Ezoic to AdThrive earn 2 to 3 times more.
- Amazon Affiliate Program (Affiliate): When shopping for products, people are more likely to purchase products on Amazon for many reasons, like quick delivery. Amazon has an affiliate marketing program or the Amazon Associates Program, where bloggers can promote its products and earn a commission for every qualifying purchase. You’ll have to meet a qualifying number of sales within a timeframe, or your account you’ll be removed from its program. Another great thing about being part of the Amazon Associates Program is that when a user clicks on your affiliate link, you’ll earn a commission for anything else they purchase after a certain number of days. Most of these commissions from Amazon affiliate sales range from 1% to 10%.
- ClickBank (Affiliate): Before the Amazon Associates Program, marketers widely used ClickBank (black hat and white hat). It’s not as popular compared to a decade ago. Some of the services or courses were legit, but many products would make me feel skeptical. Even then, some people are still earning thousands daily. The commission is much higher than Amazon, but the conversation rate is lower.
- Ebook: Whether your website is about specific hobbies or plants, you can write and promote your ebook. What I love about ebooks is that once you write them, you can promote and sell them forever. If your niche changes every year, you can always go back and update your book.
- Google Adsense
SEO Tips, Experiments, and Theories
After publishing thousands of articles throughout my journey, I’ve documented many SEO experiments. I’ve seen what worked and what didn’t work.
Included in this list are my studies and additional tips to make your SEO more efficient. Some of these tips might seem basic, but not everyone knows them. Since it helped me in the past, I figured it’ll help you too.
1. You Don’t Have to Highlight Every Line
This might seem like a basic tip, but it was incredibly helpful. Let’s say you have a single line like H2 and want to center it. You don’t need to highlight the entire thing.
All it takes is one click; you can press center, and the whole thing will center. You can apply this tip to save you time editing your content. This editing trick works for blockquote and aligning.
2. Table of Content Can Enhance Your SERPs
Do you know when you search for something and see those little clickable links below the main page? You can get them to appear by using a table of content. There was a moment when I noticed why certain search results have them and others don’t.
Well – using a table of content is your answer. These pages all have a table of content. I had pages that didn’t have these and added a table of content, and these links appeared on the SERP.
3. Thin Content isn’t Short Content But Plain Text
Many people think thin content is short content, but it’s not. If you write an article without any internal linking, external linking, and other SEO, it would be considered content.
Thin content lacks proper SEO. Search engines will have a harder time understanding your content. Therefore, you’ll have a harder time getting organic traffic.
4. Get Traffic From Google Video Search
I hardly hear people talk about getting organic traffic from Google Video Search. You can utilize video search and make the most of your articles by adding relevant YouTube videos at the bottom of your posts. You will index on video search when you link a YouTube video at the bottom of your post.
I believe that this is a win-win situation because you’re promoting the YouTube channel. You can credit the channel, but I’ve noticed that Google automatically does it for you on the SERPs, which I thought was interesting.
5. Find More Keyword Gems By Changing Your Location
When I was traveling to a convention, I spent some time doing keyword research for a blog. I thought we covered nearly every topic for a specific niche at the time.
I was wrong. I flew to another state (Las Vegas, Nevada), and I discovered many new topics when I did keyword research there. That’s when it hit me.
You can use a VPN and change your location to discover new hidden keywords. There are tons of gems; all it takes is changing your location. You’d be surprised by what new keywords you can find.
6. Write About a Local Business, an Easy Long-Tail Keyword
Some long-tail keywords may seem low-competition but can be quite difficult to rank for. If you find local family businesses surrounding your niche, you can target their business names by writing a genuine review or guide.
Writing about businesses is a great way to boost your networking and will benefit your website and the business you’re writing about. Doing this will help increase your website’s authority, which could help other articles rank.
7. Click-to-Call Link
Did you know you can turn a phone number into a call link? While I can’t guarantee rankings, users interacting with your page would probably signal to Google that your content is helpful.
With Classic Editor on WordPress, you can add a call link by highlighting the phone number, clicking on ‘Insert URL,’ and it should be labeled as:
- tel:(999) 999-9999
The click-to-link result should look like this:
I’ve tested both formats, and it should properly work with or without the dash and parentheses. Adding a click-to-call link should help make your page more useful.
8. Click-to-Email Link
This tip is similar to click-to-link. If you’re writing a business review and want to link the business email, you can add a click to the email link.
For Classic Editor, you have to highlight the email and click on ‘insert link.’ Once you click on ‘insert link’ in the toolbar, WordPress should automatically format it for you.
If it doesn’t do it automatically, you can do it manually by typing in the email format, which is:
The click-to-email result should look like this:
9. Losing a Keyword Ranking is an Opportunity
I’m not talking about losing keywords that you meant to target. It’s not uncommon for websites to rank for keywords unrelated to the topic.
Sometimes, websites will even rank for keywords that are closely related. If your website ranks for thousands of keywords, you can use SEMRush or Ahrefs to track lost keywords.
Most of the time, these keywords unrelated to your page should be easy to rank. This is a great way to find valuable keywords to target.
10. Customize Horizontal Line with CSS
Did you know that you can customize horizontal lines? If you search for WordPress customized horizontal lines, you’ll find many incredible templates. You can change a horizontal line to paw prints, emojis, or anything that’ll fit your website’s niche.
11. Take Over The Rankings if a Forum Post isn’t Helpful
If you ever searched for something and came across a forum post on the top of the results, here’s your chance to claim your title.
When a forum post ranks on the first page, you can publish an informative/more in-depth article, and soon enough, you’ll be above that post.
Examples of social media and forum posts:
You can find out what keywords they’re ranking for through popular tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs. If you see a social media or forum post on the first page, you can beat their rankings.
12. Adsense Can Earn More Than Ezoic
When I started blogging, I often posted on forums and communities for advice. Sometimes, I’ll binge through the posts and read them. When you start with an advertising network, it’ll most likely be Ezoic or Adsense.
Many people will tell you that Ezoic is better than Adsense, but you should still test and compare the two. For instance, my finance website was earning me several dollars a day back then with Ezoic.
However, when I switched to Adsense – it earned me 3x more. It all depends on your niche and ad placements. Even though Adsense was better for my finance website, Ezoic earned more for my pet website.
You’ll often encounter questions like “which advertisement network is better?” You should be testing these networks because every website is built differently with different demographics.
13. Learn a Competitor’s Theme and Plugins Used
14. Add Links to Your Website’s Images
You know you can add captions to an image, but did you know that you can add links to an image on your website? Depending on your goals or what you want to do, you can add a link and make it clickable.
You can do this by clicking on an uploaded image that’s already inserted into your post, clicking on ‘insert link,’ and copying/pasting the link you want.
Now your readers can click on an image, which will take them directly to the link. You can add a link to the source of an image or for other reasons.
When I started my first blog, I would always search and find information to learn. One of my favorite and most memorable blogging YouTube videos is from Create and Go.
You can watch “How to Start a Blog in 10 Mins – Simple and Easy” from Create and Go down below: