Last Updated on September 24, 2020 by Biswajit Nath
Blogging is no more like maintaining a journal or diary. To run a successful blog, just posting content like the old school days is not enough. Blogging is nowadays a lucrative career option, and definitely, for that shining career opportunity, you must have to put efforts. In the last decade, the whole scenario has changed in terms of internet marketing.
You will not be able to accumulate a single penny for just posting content, no matter how good that content is. You must have to maintain your duty hours towards your blog and be an active person in the blogging community. You must be passionate enough to run your blog.
Before diving into the blogosphere, we need to consider some correlated topics first and decide whether blogging is worthy for you or not.
My first question to you will be,
Why you want to launch your Blog?
And if your answer is one of the below, then go ahead.
Have a Plan of Making Money from Blog
Yes, if you want to make money online, blogging is the best solution. With blogging, you will earn while you are sleeping.
Sounds good! Isn’t it?
But, remember blogging might not be as simple as you think. Old school blogging is almost dead. Blogging is now 20+ years of age. You need to work hard to start making a decent amount from it. If you are treating blogging as a get rich quick type work, then you are absolutely wrong. You should try something else.
To make money from your blog, you must follow a strict action plan from the very first day. Blogging is a continuous process of learning and sharing valuable experiences to your reader.
Want to Promote Your Business
Yes, if you are planning to promote your existing business by starting a blog, you are on the right path.
A business without a blog is just like a statue without a face. It is necessary for your brand awareness. More SEO optimized content on your blog will bring more organic traffic. And with increasing blog visibility your blog readers will convert to customers and thus boost your sales.
The most beneficial part of blogging is that you can boost sales without spending a penny.
Blog Just as a Hobby
Yes, many people out there do blogging just because it’s a hobby to them. There is nothing wrong with this.
There are also some hidden benefits. Blogging not only improves your writing skills but also you get more familiar with Search Engine Optimization, Digital Marketing, Web designing, etc. And with these skills, you can do more within your profession.
I have met many bloggers, who have started blogging just as a hobby or a side hustle, and finally, they became successful bloggers and blogging became their mainstream income source. Fortunately, I am one of them.
So, I assume that you have found your answer above. So, let’s proceed now.
Let’s Start a Successful Blog
To become a successful blogger you need to follow certain rules from the very beginning.
Choosing a Niche for Your Blog
The very first step and most important step to become a successful blogger is to choose the perfect niche for your blog. A blog niche is nothing but a specific topic about which you are going to write.
A blog without a specific niche will confuse its readers. For example, if a blog publishes different topics such as health tips, SEO tips, poetry, and gadgets, it will confuse audiences. It will look like a magazine rather than a blog.
First, you should brainstorm some topics that you have some knowledge about. Note down those topics and google them. Observe who are publishing content on those topics and how popular they are. You will have an idea about what types of contents are popular and depending upon that find your own niche which is less competitive.
If you have previous experiences in keyword research, that will be an added benefit. Take your ideas and plug them into a keyword research tool such as Moz Keyword Explorer that lets you search for free. When you do this, it will also suggest other related keywords, which helps you explore all aspects of your niche.
Thus make a fair decision. Niche selection is the most difficult part of blogging. Your niche should be that perfect topic that you have some knowledge, you are passionate enough and has profitability.
Choosing Effective Domain Name for Your Brand
So, you have selected your niche. Now, let us take a perfect domain for it.
The domain name has a direct impact on your Brand Name and the Niche. It should be related to one another. Search for the best available and eye-catchy domain name. You can search on any domain provider’s website, but there is no need to buy that domain separately, as you are going to have it for free with your hosting.
Points to be noted while choosing your domain name are,
- The domain name should be easy to remember. It will help you in getting returning visitors.
- It should be as short as possible, keeping in mind that it does not lose its meaning.
- It should reflect your niche and the primary keyword. Do not try to over-optimize keywords.
- It should be unique and eye-catchy. A unique name attracts more visitors.
- Use an appropriate domain name extension. Do not forget about local TLDs, if you are going to target a specific geographical area that you’re in. To run a successful blog, do not forget about SEO. A .com domain name is more likely to rank higher.
- Always avoid using numbers and hyphens. This action will reflect that you are over inspired by another popular blog and trying to make a copy of that.
How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform
Several free blogging platforms like blogger.com, wordpress.com, wordpress.org, Joomla, Drupal, etc are available to choose from. But, choosing the right one is important to run a successful blog.
Though you can blog on blogger.com, wordpress.com without hosting, but from the SEO point of view, it’s not advisable. Moreover, those free platforms have limitations from the design and customization point of view.
WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are the three giant CMS to start with, but, I personally recommend to use WordPress (wordpress.org).
Let us check some benefits of WordPress over other CMS,
- WordPress is totally FREE, with many layouts/themes to download for free.
- WordPress is extremely powerful and secure. It can run on most types of sites. Top blogs like TechCrunch, BBC America, MTV News, Microsoft’s News Center use WordPress.
- WordPress is easy to use and learn
- WordPress is more SEO friendly
- WordPress has a huge support and developer community available to help.
Choosing the Best Blog Hosting
There are several top-class hosting providers, among which you need to choose the cheapest and reliable one to run a successful blog form the beginning.
You can host your domain free of cost at platforms like Blogger.com, but those are not recommended due to a lack of flexibility and security.
Being an amateur blogger, you can signup for Bluehost or SiteGround. Both are recommended by WordPress.org itself.
If your budget is tight, you may consider using Bluehost. You can have this top-class web hosting solution for just $3.95 per month using our affiliate link. Else, SiteGround might be a better option for you.
Though SiteGround costs slightly more than Bluehost, in terms of performance and support, SiteGround is far better than Bluehost.
The features and benefits that influenced my mind to recommend SiteGround over Bluehost are,
- The very first consideration is the speed factor. The website loading speed of Siteground is much better than Bluehost. Bluehost is still struggling with a mediocre speed.
- Siteground provides free migration service and unfortunately, Bluehost doesn’t.
- Though Sitegound and Bluehost both offer 24/7 support, the support quality rating is much higher in the case of Siteground.
- SiteGround provides daily automated backups. Bluehost also does it but with a third-party tool called CodeGuard which costs $8/Month.
- In the case of Website Security, SiteGround provides better security like anti-bot AI that protects its customers from brute-force attacks. On the other hand, Bluehost still relies on Cloudflare to protect its customers from DDoS attacks.
You may also take our free service at Free Blog Setup Service
Choosing the Best Theme for Your Blog
Your WordPress installation will come with the basic Twenty Twenty Theme. But, I think you don’t like to look like a noob, isn’t it? So you have to customize your blog with an eye-catching theme.
Plenty of free themes are there to download and install right from your dashboard, but, I would suggest you to use a premium one.
A large number of reasons as to why you need to select a premium WordPress theme for your blog. Buying a premium theme from a good source ensures a product of high quality. The same can’t be said of many free themes. A few of the finest premium theme shops bundle their products with intuitive user interfaces, that will let you make adjustments in design and formatting to your blog with the click of a button. Premium themes are usually updated frequently to keep up with new versions of WordPress. The same can’t be said of free themes.
If you want to look more professional, you can head over to following the Premium themes library and choose one as per your need.
A special discount to BloggingTop readers,
Get 20% OFF on Elegant Themes Subscription bundled with Two Premium Themes and Three Premium Plugins. All for just $70/Year.
Read our Complete Review on Elegant Themes
Best WordPress Plugins to Supercharge Your Blog
Despite numerous plugins for WordPress out there you can only manage to use a few. Too many plugins will slow down your blog resulting in ranking drop. With shared hosting, you will be able to manage up to 15-20 plugins effectively.
Choosing the best plugins is an important step to be a successful blogger.
Here is a curated list of most useful plugins to get the most out of your blog,
10 Most Essential Free Plugins for Your WordPress Site
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: Free but powerful SEO plugin for WordPress. It helps to optimize on-page SEO. The must-have plugin to run a successful blog.
- Akismet: Akismet is a free anti-spam plugin for WordPress. It helps to fight against spam comments. Another must-have plugin for spam haters.
- WP Total Cache/WP Super Cache: Install any one of these two. These are cache plugins to boost the loading speed of your WordPress site.
- WP-Optimize: It helps to clean the database of your WordPress site. It also deletes post revisions, removes all auto-saved draft posts, cleans spam comments, and cleans unapproved comments to make your database lighter.
- Contact Form 7: Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, and you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, and so on.
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights: It helps you to set up Google Analytics for your WordPress site with a few clicks.
- WP Smush: Images have a direct impact on your website’s loading speed. WP Smush optimizes the images without changing their look or visual quality.
- Jetpack by WordPress: Jetpack is a single plugin that can eliminate the need for more than15 plugins. Learn More
- Shortcodes Ultimate: It is a mega pack of shortcodes. With this plugin, you can easily create tabs, buttons, boxes, different sliders, and much more.
- UpDraftPlus: UpdraftPlus is a free WordPress backup plugin. It allows you to create a complete backup of your WordPress site and store it in the cloud or download it to your computer.
Some Premium Plugins to Supercharge Your Blog
- Yoast SEO Premium: This is the paid version of Yoast SEO Free plugin with a lot of functionality. This plugin will automate most of your on-page SEO tasks. With automatic redirect manager and internal linking feature, Yoast Premium is no doubt the most powerful SEO plugin for WordPress.
- WP Forms: WPForms is the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, order forms, payment forms, and other types of online forms with just a few clicks. This plugin will replace the free Contact Form 7 plugin.
- OptinMonster: OptinMonster is the best lead generation plugin for WordPress. It allows you to create beautiful opt-in forms and popups on your WordPress blog and convert your users into subscribers.
- WP Rocket: This is a premium Cache plugin for WordPress with Cloudflare integration. Best replacement for WP Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
- SEMRush: SEMRush allows you to look at the keywords where your competitors are ranking. You can check out their paid keywords as well as their organic traffic.
How to Post Your First Blog Post
So, you are finally technically ready to run a successful blog.
Are you wondering, what should be your first blog post?
Nobody knows who you are and what your blog is about. So, definitely, your first blog post should be to introduce yourself, a little journey about how you have arrived here for blogging, and what information are you about to share here.
This post is as important as addressing before a public speech. Though this post doesn’t carry any important information, it will clear your path to your next post.
Along with this intro post you are also advised to create some basic pages. The giant Ad publisher programs like Adsense will not approve your site without these pages. The most basic but still very important pages for your blog are,
- About Page: This page is about you and about your blog.
- Contact Page: This page is for those who want to contact you directly. Insert a contact form to help users to contact you easily.
Link Building from the Beginning
You are not alone in this blogosphere. To be recognized by the major search engines like Google, links pointing towards your blog should be needed from various blogs within your niche. Without quality backlinks it is impossible to run a successful blog, you will not rank higher on Google, no matter how good your contents are.
But, how to get those backlinks?
There are several methods to build quality backlinks, among which Guest Posting is regarded as the most effective one. For guest posting, find some high authority blogs within your niche and with a good amount of followers. Ask if you can post on their website. As per usual, you can post a link or two in your author biography at the bottom of the blog or relevant blog post link to the post. These are backlinks and since these are from a high authority website, those will pass link juice to your blog.
Another powerful method to build backlinks is Blog Commenting. To do blog commenting effectively read the topic first and then deliver a thoughtful and relevant comment. Though this method is not so effective as Guest Blogging, combine 100 comments together and it can influence your ranking for sure.
For other various methods read 20 Smart Ways To Get Quality Backlinks Easily
Wrapping it Up
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Similarly, Blogging is a continuous learning process. You could not be a successful blogger, without having a positive mindset always. You should be very professional and passionate enough from the very first day. I have seen many bloggers that jump into the blogging industry after being motivated by some successful bloggers earning figures, thinking of being successful within a month, and in the end, they just quit.
Have you ever read about Pete Cashmore of Mashable? He dedicated 18 to 20 hours a day just talking about it in his blog. Within 18 months of posting an average of 2 to 3 blogs per day, Cashmore grew Mashable’s monthly readers to 2 million.
How inspiring? Isn’t it?
Everyone will dream to have that successful blogging career, but only a few have the courage to chase the dream.If you don't have the courage to chase the dream, don't dream. It is just a waste of time. Click To Tweet
Cashmore had that courage, so did it at 20 years of age. 20 hours a day for 18 months! How passionate and dedicated he was!
Making a successful career like Cashmore is a difficult task. But, blogging could become your primary income source. You just need to stick to it and passionate enough to run a successful blog.
I might miss some important points. Feel free to discuss it in the comment section. I would love to hear your voice.
If this article helped you in any way, please do not hesitate to share it.
This was really very informative
Thank you for sharing such an insightful post about running a successful blog.