Oct 18, 2021
How to Start a Blog – A Complete Guide for Beginners (2021)
Starting a blog can be beneficial to your personal brand or business. It’s an excellent outlet for self-expression and can increase online visibility, connect you with your audience, and become an additional source of income.
This article contains a comprehensive beginner-friendly guide on how to start a blog. We’ll discuss finding a niche, setting up a blogging platform, publishing content, promoting your blog, and more.
Too busy to read? Check out this video tutorial instead.
How to Start a Blog in 8 Simple Steps
If you’re looking for a quick guide on how to start a blog, here are the eight steps you should take:
- Choose the niche for your blog. Go for something that you’re passionate about. Ideally, it should be a topic that will interest others as well.
- Get web hosting and a domain name. Purchase hosting that best suits your budget and needs. Then, come up with a custom name for your domain, check its availability, and register it through a domain registrar.
- Set up a platform for your blog. Choose a platform and set it up so you can start publishing content.
- Create your blog with WordPress. We have chosen this platform as it is the most popular one.
- Design and customize your blog. Change its design and functionality to your liking.
- Publish content. Familiarize yourself with the available publishing tools and start planning, writing, and posting articles on your blog.
- Promote and grow the following of your blog. Strategize and execute ways to promote your blog to increase its traffic and gain loyal readers.
- Monetize your blog. Once you have sizable traffic and readership, implement methods like ads and affiliate marketing.
In the upcoming sections, we’ll break down each step in the journey to start a blog and provide more details.
1. Choose Your Blog Niche
A niche refers to a specific topic that your blog will focus on as well as determine your target audience. Moreover, it’ll help you pick out the name for your blog and develop a focused blogging strategy.
It may be tempting to cover a broad range of topics when starting a blog. However, trying to master every subject is incredibly difficult and unsustainable. You might pull off a few successful posts, but your audience will be scattered, making it hard to maintain a loyal readership.
That’s why it’s important to stick to a niche that can get you a devoted following. A dedicated audience will look forward to your next piece of content, giving your blog a steady stream of traffic.
To find the perfect niche for a successful blog, keep the following tips in mind:
- Pick a niche that you like or are passionate about. Writing about a topic you enjoy will always be more fulfilling instead of forcing yourself to write about something you’re uninterested in.
Think about your hobbies, interests, or topics you’d like to learn more about. If possible, make them more specific.
A good example would be a book blog that is focused on reading on a budget.
- Pick a niche that has audience potential. There should be a level of pre-existing interest in your chosen topic to make sure that you’ll have an audience to write to.
Use Google Trends to find the search volume of specific keywords related to your niche and determine whether people are talking about it on social media and community forums.
Doing so can give you blog post ideas to write about to boot.
- You don’t have to be an expert to profit off a niche. Being an expert brings a certain authority with it that many readers look for, but it’s not a requirement. What’s more important is having a unique perspective and the willingness to learn.
For example, you might not be a professional photographer, but you can still start a blog about getting into photography as a beginner.
If authority seems essential for your idea, you can feature interviews with experts on your blog.
2. Get Web Hosting and a Domain Name
Once you’ve settled on a niche, it’s time to start preparing a website for your blog. Two of the most important steps for getting any blog online are securing web hosting and a domain name.
In short, web hosting is a service that allows you to publish a website and all of its files online, making it possible for people to visit it.
Purchasing hosting means renting server space owned by a hosting provider, giving you access to an allocation of resources needed to run your blog.
Types of Hosting for Blogs
Most web hosting companies, including Hostinger, offer different types of hosting services. Depending on the kind of blog you’re planning to run, some hosting plans will fit your needs better than others.
Let’s take a brief look at each type of hosting package offered by Hostinger:
- Shared Hosting. The most affordable type of hosting, wherein users share the resources of one server between multiple websites. It’s excellent for small websites like personal blogs. Shared hosting plans start at $1.39/month.
- WordPress Hosting. A type of shared hosting that’s optimized for WordPress websites. If you plan to use WordPress for your small blog, this plan is a perfect choice, starting at $1.99/month.
- Cloud Hosting. A powerful yet easy-to-use type of hosting where users get access to resources from a cloud network of servers. It’s worth upgrading to Cloud Hosting once you have a lot of content and a considerable following. It starts at $9.99/month.
- VPS Hosting. A powerful and flexible type of hosting where users get dedicated resources from a server. VPS hosting is an excellent choice for technical experts who want complete control over server resources. VPS hosting plans start at $3.95/month.
- WooCommerce Hosting. A type of hosting specifically designed for online stores built on WooCommerce, the open-source WordPress eCommerce plugin. WooCommerce Hosting starts at $3.99/month.
Every plan offered by Hostinger comes equipped with a free SSL certificate, 24/7 live support, and is eligible for a 30-day money-back guarantee.
After hosting is set up, it’s time to get a domain name. A domain name is what visitors have to enter into the address bar to reach your site. For example, hostinger.com is our domain name.
To secure a custom domain name, purchase it from a domain registrar of your choice. Some web hosting companies, including Hostinger, double as domain registrars. Therefore, it’s possible to buy web hosting and a domain at the same time.
If you buy hosting for one year or more from Hostinger, you’ll receive a free domain name for one year as well.
When choosing your domain name, make it memorable so that visitors are more likely to revisit your blog. It should be as close as possible to your blog name. To help with brainstorming domain name ideas, try our domain checker or a domain generator.
3. Set up the blogging platform
Once you’ve purchased a hosting plan and chosen a domain name, it’s time to decide on the platform that your new blog will run on.
Hosted or Self-Hosted?
Depending on which platform you choose, you’ll either opt for a hosted or self-hosted solution. It’s essential to know the difference between the two.
Hosted platforms are all-inclusive. They usually include all the tools needed to build a website. There’s no need to purchase hosting and a domain name separately.
Here are the pros and cons of choosing a hosted platform or a website builder for your blog:
- Quick setup. Hosted platforms are often all-in-one website-building solutions. There’s no need to purchase hosting or a custom domain name separately before building your site.
- Exceptionally beginner-friendly. Using a hosted platform is easy, even for complete beginners. As a result, starting a personal blog and publishing your first post is possible with just a few clicks.
- Dedicated support. Many hosted platforms have a dedicated support team you can contact over live chat, email, or phone.
- No maintenance work. The security and backup of the site are handled by the platform – you can focus on publishing and promoting your blog.
- Limited control. You must abide by the platform’s rules and restrictions. Exercising complete control over your site and hosting resources isn’t possible.
- Limited ownership. Your blog and all of its content are stored on the platform’s server, so you don’t fully own them.
- Inflexible. Most hosted platforms are built on a closed-source system. The templates and add-ons are usually limited to what the service officially offers. Additionally, migrating to another platform is often impossible – you may need to remake the website from scratch.
- Difficult to scale. Hosted platforms aren’t designed to handle massive websites. If you have plans to grow your website, consider using a self-hosted platform instead.
Alternatively, you’ll have to purchase blog hosting separately if you decide to go for a self-hosted blog. Examples of self-hosted platforms are content management systems such as WordPress.org, Drupal, and Joomla.
A content management system (CMS) is software that allows users to build and manage a website through a graphic user interface. It enables people to create websites without having to code them from scratch.
Here are the pros and cons of having a self-hosted platform or a CMS:
- Complete control. You’re free to adjust the settings and manage the resources of your hosting – it all depends on the hosting plan you have chosen.
- Seemingly endless customization. With a self-hosted platform like WordPress, you’re free to choose from thousands of WordPress plugins and themes from the official directory or third-party sources.
- Complete ownership. You fully own your blog and all of its content because you’re renting the space they’re stored in.
- Built to scale. Self-hosted platforms can sustain websites of any size as long as your hosting provides sufficient resources.
- Steeper learning curve. Even though using a self-hosted platform is significantly easier than hand-coding a website from scratch, it still requires some technical knowledge compared to website builders.
- Requires some time to set up. Unlike the instant setup of most hosted platforms, self-hosted platforms require extra steps like purchasing web hosting, registering a domain, and installing the platform’s software.
- No dedicated support. Most self-hosted platforms don’t have customer support. However, WordPress, being the most popular website platform, has large community support. Many hosting providers also offer CMS-related customer support.
- Must be on top of security and maintenance. You’ll be responsible for keeping your blog secure and properly maintained. This means installing security add-ons, setting up regular backups, and installing software updates.
If you own a small website with a limited amount of content, such as an online portfolio, using a hosted platform is the better choice. However, if your blog has a lot of content and you expect it to grow, a self-hosted platform is the better long-term solution.
If you opt for the self-hosted platform, choosing the right web hosting company and plan is very important. Make sure to select a plan from a reputable hosting company that suits your budget and offers a high uptime guarantee, advanced security technology, and comes with all the features you need.
Hostinger is an excellent choice if you’re looking for secure and reliable web hosting at an affordable price. We offer layered protection against DDoS attacks and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Our hosting plans start at $1.39/month.
4. Create a Blog with WordPress
As we’ve discussed, there are numerous blogging platforms to choose from. For the most well-rounded experience, however, we recommend starting out with WordPress, the self-hosted CMS.
WordPress is one of the best CMSs available and an excellent platform for a blog. Even though it can power almost any kind of website, it was initially designed for blogging. As a result, WordPress has numerous blog management tools and features.
Even though WordPress has a steeper learning curve than most website builders, there are many available resources to help users learn how to use it. Once you get the hang of WordPress, its daily management will become much easier.
The first step is to install WordPress on your blog site using the auto-installer provided by your hosting provider through the control panel.
Here’s how to do it on Hostinger’s hPanel:
- Navigate to Website -> Auto Installer.
- Under WordPress, click Select.
- A new window will pop up. Fill in the form with the correct details:
- Check whether your domain name is correct.
- Type in the Administrator Username, Password, and Email. This login information will be used to access your WordPress dashboard or admin area.
- Enter your Website Title. The blog name is usually written here. It can be changed later from the Site Identity settings on the WordPress dashboard.
- Choose your preferred Language.
- Select Always update to the latest available version to get the latest features and security patches.
- Select Install.
5. Publish content and grow your blog
Once the installation is complete, log in to your WordPress admin area. Here, you can begin to make changes to your new blog.
This section will focus on how to design and customize a self-hosted WordPress blog. We’ll cover WordPress themes and how to customize them. We’ll also go over plugins and the setup of pages that your blog should include.
Pick a Blog Theme
A theme is a pre-made design template for WordPress sites that can be customized further. There are both free and premium options available in the WordPress library and third-party sources like ThemeForest. Over 8,400+ are available in the official WordPress theme directory alone.
With premium themes, expect to get access to dedicated support, regular updates, and premium plugins bundled with your purchase. Free themes might be enough for some blogs, but they usually include little to no support, making premium themes worth the investment.
When looking for the best theme for your blog, consider these crucial factors:
- Pricing. If you’re eyeing a premium theme, make sure that the theme is worth its price. Compare it to other similarly priced themes.
- Appropriate design. The design of the theme should fit the content of your blog. When in doubt, always prioritize simple designs that elevate your blog entries.
- Features. Check whether the theme you want includes features like a drag-and-drop builder, premade layouts, and customer support.
- Responsiveness. Use a responsive theme that’ll adapt to any screen size – over half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices.
- User reviews. Before getting a theme, read whether people have had a positive experience with it.
To install a theme from the WordPress directory, log in to your dashboard and navigate to Appearance -> Themes -> Add New. Hover over the theme you want and click Install. Once the installation is complete, Activate it.
To install a theme from a third-party source that you’ve downloaded, select Upload Themes, upload the .zip file of the theme, and then install and activate it.
Design your Blog
After activating your chosen theme, it’s time to adjust the website design further.
The rule of thumb is to aim for simplicity. Remember – the main selling point of a blog is the content. Therefore, make sure that the reading and browsing experience will be sufficient for your visitors.
Consider applying these tips to achieve the best look for your blog:
- Install a drag-and-drop page builder plugin like Elementor or Beaver Builder for a more intuitive designing experience.
- Pick color combinations, layouts, and fonts that contribute to an enjoyable user experience.
- Add an image gallery to make your blog content more engaging.
- Incorporate a logo to solidify your blog’s brand. You don’t have to create one from scratch or hire a graphic designer – there are many free logo makers available.
- Use icons in place of text when appropriate. They make your site more visually appealing. Social media buttons are a good example.
- Study resources on web design inspiration if you’re feeling stuck.
If you wish to delegate the task of designing your blog, you can hire a web designer.
Install Plugins and Tools to Extend Functionality
A plugin is a piece of code that extends the functionality of a WordPress website. Plugins provide extra features and can be installed, adjusted, and removed quickly. Managing plugins requires no coding knowledge.
Different plugins serve different purposes. Some increase site security, others perform backups, receive contact forms, moderate comments, or add Google Analytics.
We recommend you check out the following essential plugins:
- iThemes Security. This plugin extends the security features of a WordPress site.
- UpdraftPlus. Use this plugin to simplify backups and site restoration.
- WPForms. With this plugin, you’ll be able to easily create forms.
- Akismet Spam Protection. As the name implies, this extension helps combat spam.
- MonsterInsights. This plugin links a site with a Google Analytics account.
Just like with themes, there are free and premium plugin options. Premium ones usually offer extra features and support. Some plugins are freemium – this means there is a free version with basic features available that can be upgraded by paying for the premium version.
Before choosing a plugin, make sure to check its user ratings and reviews first. Some plugins lack regular updates, essential features, or have been coded poorly. It’s safe to assume that a plugin with a high rating and a large number of downloads will work well.
We recommend installing only the most necessary plugins, as having too many of them may slow your site down. Keeping all of them updated will also be tougher. If you use shared hosting, try to have up to five active plugins at a time.
To install a plugin, log into the dashboard and go to Plugins -> Add New. Browse or search for the plugin you want, then install and activate it.
Uploading a third-party plugin file is similar to uploading a theme – simply select Upload Plugin.
Create the Necessary Pages
Website pages contain the static content of a site. Unlike posts, pages require little to no edits or updates. The most common types of pages websites have are the following:
- Homepage. It is the introductory page of a website. This is what your visitors will see when they enter your domain name into their browser’s address bar. The homepage should include snippets of your best and latest content.
- About page. It’s the section of a site where visitors can learn more about a website or brand. It may include a bio, the objectives of the site, and representative pictures.
- Contact page. This page contains information on how to get in touch with the website administrator. A contact page usually includes an email address, a phone number, links to social media profiles, a contact form, or an address with its location on Google Maps.
Different types of blogs may need specific types of pages. For example, if your blog features an online store, you may need to add product pages to your website.
To create a page, open the dashboard and go to Pages -> Add New. You will be taken to the WordPress text editor. Use it to write and format the copy of the page and add relevant images, videos, or forms.
6. Pre-Launch Campaign and Publish Blog Content
Before you start blogging, it’s essential to take care of the pre-launch campaign. A well-planned blog is more likely to succeed. You’ll have to make decisions regarding the kind of content you want to publish and its posting schedule.
To develop a successful content strategy, follow these recommendations:
- Specify your goals. Avoid setting abstract targets to track your progress. Instead, aim for concrete milestones, such as “1000 newsletter subscribers by the end of the year.”
- Identify your target audience. Get to know the common characteristics of your demographic – their personalities, needs, anxieties, and hopes.
Check out online communities where your target audience meets up. For example, if your blog is about books, check out r/books on Reddit. If you are able to put yourself in your readers’ shoes when writing, your content will resonate with them.
- Find your competitors. Find out who the main competition in your blog’s niche is. Read and analyze their most popular posts, find out what works for them, and try to find areas where your blog can perform better or offer a unique perspective. This will help you stand out from other blogs.
- List the topics you will write about. When choosing them, consider every piece of information you’ve found regarding your target audience and your competitors.
Perform keyword research to find out the level of interest and the competition for each chosen topic. There must be a strong, data-driven reason for why each topic was selected.
- Schedule your posts. The key to building a loyal readership is consistency. It’s better to stick to a regular schedule rather than churning out a large number of posts and disappearing for an extended period.
With the pre-launch process out of the way, it’s time to start writing blog posts. Here are some tips to make each new post count:
- Be clear and concise. Use easy-to-understand language and keep sentences and paragraphs short. Avoid large blocks of text that may intimidate readers.
- Use headings, subheadings, and lists. They help readers find the information they need faster.
- Add images and graphics. Visual content makes your posts more engaging. Sometimes, they are necessary – especially if you’re writing a how-to guide, for example.
- Apply SEO best practices. Use tools like Yoast SEO to incorporate search engine optimization into your writing and publishing process. It can dramatically improve your blog’s visibility on search engines.
To create your first blog post, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Posts -> Add New. You will be taken to the WordPress text editor – the tool for writing and formatting your content.
The WordPress text editor allows you to add and edit blocks or sections of different types of content. Blocks may include text of various formats, media, design elements, widgets, and embeds. To select and add a new block, simply click on the + button located at the top left of the editor.
If you want to include a predesigned template in your new blog post, browse the items under the Patterns tab.
Once you’re done writing, formatting, and adding content to your post, make sure the settings are correct before publishing it. To access the post’s settings, click the Gear Icon located at the top right of the editor.
In the settings sidebar, you can choose whether you want to allow comments, add tags, set the post’s categories, or upload featured images.
Before you publish the post, Preview it first to make sure it looks exactly the way you want. Go back and edit the post if needed. Once you’re satisfied, proceed to Publish the post.
7. Promote and Grow Your Blog Following
The next step is to get people to read your blog. Even if you have high-quality content, it won’t matter if it doesn’t reach your target audience. That’s why blog promotion is vital.
Optimize Your Blog with SEO Practices
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to a set of techniques used to increase the ranking of a website on search engines.
Getting a website to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs) is essential. According to BrightEdge, 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic searches. If you have posts and pages ranking high on search engines, your blog will be more likely to enjoy a steady stream of organic traffic without having to purchase advertisements.
Here are some of the most common tips for blog SEO:
- Keyword research. To have a better chance of ranking high on SERPs, target specific long-tail keywords with low competition. Use tools like Google Trends, SEMRush, or Ahrefs to gather keyword-related information.
- Sign up for Google Search Console. It’s an essential tool for tracking your website’s performance on Google. It will let you know which keywords bring you the most traffic and which websites link to yours.
- Install an SEO plugin. If you run a WordPress blog, Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins. Some website builders, including Zyro, have built-in SEO features.
- Apply on-page SEO best practices. Some essential on-page SEO tactics include optimizing images, adding meta descriptions, and changing permalink slugs.
- Increase website performance. Faster page speeds positively affect SEO. Make sure to follow website performance guidelines to speed up your website.
Build Your Blog Audience on Social Media and Online Forums
Promoting your blog on social media and online forums is an excellent way to find your audience and connect with them. Your goal should be to find the communities in which people interested in your niche gather and then lead them to your blog to drive traffic.
97% of bloggers use social media to share their posts. It’s a popular method to generate traffic, but this figure also means that the competition is high. Therefore, focusing your time and energy on a well-strategized social media strategy is essential.
The first step is to ensure that you incorporate social media into your blog. Readers who find your content interesting or valuable will likely want to follow your social media accounts and share your content with others.
The next step is to pick the social media platforms to promote your blog on.
Each social media platform has its unique characteristics, and not all of them will be suitable for your specific niche. Therefore, researching each platform’s demographics before you start promoting on social media is essential.
Here is some information about the most popular social media platforms:
- Facebook. The biggest social network with 2.89 billion monthly active users worldwide. Men aged 25-34 make up 18.9% of their user base, making them the largest demographic on the platform. 98% of Facebook users access it via mobile, so make sure your blog is also mobile-friendly.
- Twitter. There are 206 million monthly active users on Twitter, and male users dominate the platform by 70%. It has earned a reputation for providing real-time updates on various topics, with over 59% of its users admitting to getting their news from Twitter.
- Reddit. The social news aggregation and discussion platform has over 430 million monthly active users. Reddit’s most popular age demographics are adults aged 25-29, followed closely by young adults aged 18-24. Reddit has over 100,000 active communities for almost any niche, making it a great platform for finding your target audience.
- Instagram. This photo-sharing app giant has around 1 billion monthly active users. Instagram users’ gender demographics are nearly balanced, with 51% of users identifying as female and 49% identifying as male. Adults aged 25-34 and young adults aged 18-24 dominate the platform with 32.8% and 29.6%, respectively. If you have visually appealing blog content and your target audience skews younger, Instagram is an excellent fit.
- Pinterest. The popular social image-sharing platform has over 478 million monthly active users. Female audiences dominate Pinterest, making up 76.3% of its user base. Additionally, the US leads Pinterest usage by a substantial margin. It’s a worthy option for blogs whose audience is predominantly American women.
- TikTok. Crowned as the fastest growing social network ever, the video-sharing app TikTok has collected about 689 million monthly active users. Gen Z dominates the platform – 41% of its user base being teens and young adults aged 16-24. If your blog content targets young adults, try promoting your brand on TikTok with bite-sized video summaries of your articles.
Develop an Email Marketing Strategy for Your Blog
Email marketing refers to sending emails to a group of people to promote your blog. Even in the age of social media, email marketing remains an effective way to retain blog readership.
It’s worth noting that it is also known to have the highest ROI compared to other marketing methods.
Many hosting providers offer custom email accounts to their clients. If your website platform doesn’t come with email, consider purchasing separate email hosting. This will allow you to create a professional email account like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the three critical steps of email marketing:
- Choose an email marketing tool. An email marketing tool will simplify the management of your email marketing campaigns. If you have a WordPress blog, there are many newsletter plugins to choose from.
- Build an email list. On your homepage and individual posts, always encourage new readers to sign up for your email newsletter. You can offer incentives like exclusive content and free ebooks via email to convince them.
- Send high-quality emails. Make sure to offer real value in every email you send. Craft engaging subject lines that reflect the content of the email. Add call-to-action buttons, such as “Read here,” that link to your blog post.
Try Out Guest Blogging
Guest blogging or guest posting is publishing content for other websites. The general idea is to gain exposure for your blog by getting published on websites with a large following. It’s also an opportunity to include backlinks to your blog, which can have a positive effect on SEO.
Be sure to only choose websites that are relevant to your niche. That way, you’ll make sure that you write guest blog posts that will attract your ideal target audience.
When pitching an article to one of the websites you’ve selected, make sure that the topic fits the theme of the website.
If your pitch is accepted, begin writing the guest post. In addition to providing backlinks to your blog, use internal links that direct readers to other posts on the website. Avoid blatant promotion of your blog.
Once the guest post is published, remain in contact with the webmaster you worked with. If the guest post does well, your future pitches are more likely to be accepted by other bloggers.
8. Monetize Your Blog
Once your blog has taken off, there will be opportunities to make money blogging. There are many ways to go about monetizing your blog. Here are some of the most common methods:
- Affiliate marketing. By becoming brand affiliates, bloggers can earn money using affiliate links. Every time a blog visitor makes a purchase using the affiliate link, the brand affiliate will earn a commission rate of around 5-30% of the product’s sales price.
- Paid ads. Bloggers can include ad space on their website by signing up for an ad network. Ad networks like Google AdSense help bloggers connect with brands relevant to their audience quickly.
- Sponsored posts. Reach out to brands to get paid for writing about their products. Before you do this, make sure your blog has a considerable amount of readers and traffic.
- Digital and physical products. Create an eCommerce site for your blog and sell physical and digital products related to your content. For example, sell digital products like online courses and eBooks that cover your blog posts in a more in-depth manner. Selling physical merchandise is worth considering as well.
- User subscriptions. Create exclusive content that visitors can unlock with a subscription to a separate membership site or a section of your blog. Maintain the value of the subscription by regularly offering unique, high-quality content.
Why Start a Blog?
The reasons for starting a blog will vary from person to person. However, if you’re looking for an extra nudge, here are some reasons why joining the ranks of new bloggers can be great for you:
- Self-expression. A blog is a medium to write and share your thoughts on a specific topic. This process is exciting and therapeutic for many people.
- Connecting with people. Running a blog allows you to reach new people, build a blogging community, and make friends. If you’re a professional, it’s a great way to network with other experts within your industry as well.
- Making money. There’s no denying that blogging has become a lucrative online business. It’s a flexible and mostly risk-free option for a side hustle.
- Learning new skills. By starting and running a blog, you’ll improve your skills and learn new ones, including writing, marketing, SEO, and web development.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog?
It’s possible to create a blog today without spending much money. The following is an estimation of how much it costs to start a self-hosted WordPress blog using Hostinger as your hosting provider:
- Hosting. Hostinger’s WordPress Starter plan is an excellent choice for small blogs powered by WordPress. The starting price is $2.99/month or $35.88/year.
- SSL certificate. An SSL certificate lets your readers know that your blog is safe to visit. Hostinger offers a basic SSL certificate for free. However, you may want to upgrade to a more advanced SSL certificate down the line, which costs $7.49/year.
- Domain name. Hostinger offers a free domain for one year. Renewing a .com domain costs around $10/year.
- WordPress. The self-hosted WordPress core is open-source, which means it is free to use any way you see fit – including downloading and modifying it.
- A theme. Although there are many well-made free themes out there, they usually lack features, customization options, and support. Instead, we suggest purchasing a premium theme for around $60.
- Plugins. Many plugins are also available for free. However, you may need to upgrade to the premium version of some plugins to gain access to additional features.
Having two premium plugins installed will cost around $150/year. If you buy more premium plugins, adjust this figure accordingly.
- Marketing and SEO. The costs will depend on which methods you focus on and which tools you use. However, if you’re just starting out, it’s possible to market your blog using free tools like MailChimp and Google Trends to avoid spending any money.
- Maintenance. Most WordPress maintenance such as software updates and backups can be done on your own using free tools. However, WordPress can be prone to technical problems, so it’s a good idea to set aside around $100/year for maintenance.
With these figures, the total cost of the first year of blogging amounts to $363.37. Keep in mind that your expenses can be lower or higher depending on your needs.
We suggest making a list of what you need and setting a budget to avoid overspending. If your budget is limited, you can always start with more affordable or free options and upgrade them later once your blog turns a profit.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we’ll answer some of the most common questions people interested in starting a blog have.
Is Blogging Still Profitable?
Yes. As long as people still look up information on the internet, it will remain possible to run a profitable blog. If you work strategically within your chosen niche, you will be able to make a lot of money blogging.
How Much Can I Earn Blogging?
This varies significantly from blogger to blogger. According to a study done by ConvertKit, the average revenue of blogging is $54,108 per year.
Keep in mind that there is a significant gap between how much professional and hobbyist or new bloggers earn. The same study reports a yearly revenue of $16,267 for non-pro bloggers.
Should Blogging Be a Full-Time Job or a Side Hustle?
Blogging full-time allows you to focus all of your time and energy on blogging. However, it’s riskier, because you won’t have access to a regular paycheck.
Blogging as a side hustle is safer, as you’ll have a steady income from your day job. However, your blogging activities will have to take a backseat.
Generally, we recommend blogging part-time when starting out. You should only consider making your blog a full-time endeavor once it has started growing considerably.
What Are the Most Profitable Types of Blogs?
Many blog niches can be highly profitable if you strategize well and publish consistently. Here are some examples of the most profitable types of blogs:
Food. In addition to publishing food-related content like recipes and kitchenware reviews, food bloggers have the opportunity to sell cookbooks and partner with kitchenware and produce companies.
Beauty and Fashion. Beauty and fashion bloggers publish posts like product reviews, lists, and tips and tricks. Hence, there are opportunities to earn money through sponsors and affiliate links.
Personal Finance. Money is a subject that affects everyone, so personal finance is a topic that people are curious about. In addition to publishing articles on money management, there are opportunities to sell ebooks and online courses.
Home Decor. Many homeowners are looking for ways to increase the comfort and beauty of their homes. Home decor bloggers publish tutorials, product reviews, and lists that can include affiliate links.
Starting a blog has many advantages for your personal and professional development. Additionally, it’s a great way to earn extra money. The good news is that it is now easier and more affordable than ever to begin your blogging journey.
In this guide, we’ve broken down each step of how to start a blog – from choosing the right niche, picking and setting up the platform for your blog, publishing content, to promoting and monetizing your blog.
We hope that this article has helped you learn the process of starting a blog. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.