SECTION 1: The 6 Steps to Start A Blog When You Have No Experience
- Pick the type of blog you want to start.
- Pick a blog name and register your domain.
- Pick where to start your blog – no WordPress installation required.
- Choose your free WordPress blogging theme
- Download the five free essential plugins for your new blog.
- Create a simple blog plan.
Pick the Type of Blog you Want to Start
As simple as it may sound, this is one of the most crucial steps you’ll take when you’re starting your blog.
If you’re wondering why I said that keep reading You’ll see why I did in a minute.
What you blog about will influence a lot of things like:
Who you attract to your blog
How profitable your blog will be
And how fast it will take you to monetize your blog.
Additionally, the topic you choose to blog about will also be a forever thing.
What that essentially means is that you’re going to write a lot on the topic that you choose.
So that leads me to ask you a question…
Are you passionate enough or are you knowledgeable enough to write a whole lot of content on the topic you choose to blog about even if you don’t start making money in 3, 6 or 9 months?
If you’re not sure I Got You covered. I’m not a Monster I wouldn’t leave you hanging just like that.
I created a simple framework for you to follow that I’m going to share with you here today.
And even if you already have a blog topic in mind, I would suggest that you still follow along.
It will literally take you 2 minutes to implement.
So let’s jump right into it.
How to Pick a Topic to Blog About
Step 1: Find your Passion
Write down what you are passionate about. You can use a paper or the notes app on your phone (if you are a digital nomad like myself)
Think about all the things you gravitate towards especially when you’re on social media.
Step 2: Write 30 blog topics from the top of your mind.
Don’t worry about keywords don’t worry about anything just write.
This will help you figure out if you can write blog content for a long time about the topic that you’re passionate about.
Step 3: Find products that you can promote on your blog.
If your ultimate goal is to make money blogging, then you need to start looking at ways you’re going to make that money from the very beginning.
It’s something I like to call, “Having the end in mind.”
And what better way to do that than through affiliate marketing.
All you have to do is think of all the products you’ve ever used before and create a list.
Take for example this blog you’re on. You can tell I love fashion, I’m a foodie and a marketing strategist.
So when I was starting this blog, I created a list of all the products I had ever used or bought for someone. Then, I applied for the affiliate programs if they were available.
Now, I’m sure you’ve used a couple of products before. Follow the same steps above and you’ll be able to enroll yourself in a bunch of affiliate programs.
But I’d not advice you to enroll to more than 3 affiliate programs.
That number might not make any sense to you at this point but you’ll see how this helps you at the end of this post.
So keep reading…
Step 4: Perform A Competitor Analysis.
Don’t let those words scare you.
It just means finding out what other bloggers in your niche are doing.
Niche = Your passion (for the extreme newbs)
It’s rare to come by a blog post that gives you in-depth advice but I’ll do it here.
The reason why you are conducting competitor analysis is because you want to find out if your blog topic is something that people want to read and if you can be able to make money off of it.
In short competitor analysis validates your blog topic much like any other business validates a business idea.
But how do you go about it?
How to conduct competitor analysis
- Find your competition
I’m pretty sure that you know two bloggers in your niche. They could even be the reason why you want to start a blog.
- Find out how much money they’re making
If they’re making money it means that there is a high possibility that your blog will also make money. And these days it’s pretty easy to know how much a blogger is earning through blog income reports.
- Find a gap
First figure out the type of content that these bloggers are creating.
Then, instead of copying their content ideas, identify a gap that they haven’t exploited.
If you love Instagram growth tips you’ve heard about Vanessa Lau. She says that she noticed that most Instagram tips at the time were for influencers and e-commerce stores. But there were no Instagram tips for coaches and so she started creating content around that topic.
Now let’s bring that example home
So let’s say you decided to start a fashion blog and you’re writing fashion blog posts. You can focus on writing tutorials rather than product listings like these ones:
What your zodiac sign says about your style.
How to tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is authentic or not.
How to measure your bra size at home.
If you follow the method above, you’ll be able to quickly choose the type of blog you want to start and what topics you want to blog about.
In fact, if you follow the framework to a T, you’ll be able to build a blog that stands out in your niche and makes you money.
That’s actually the reason why I said choosing your blog topic is the most crucial part of your blogging journey.
In short, choosing the right blog topic makes the monetization of your blog way way easier than if you jumped into starting a blog blindly.
Pick a Blog name/ Domain name.
Your blog name is a reflection of three things – the topic/ topics that you’ve chosen to blog about, your personality or your blog vision.
For me I chose the name pinning spot because of the Vision I have for this blog
I won’t tell you my blog Vision because that’s company secret for now.
But I will give you a little blog name secret. wink wink
Your blog name will help you rank for keywords on Google
So if you are looking to start a blog to increase sales to your store/ business, find a name that your ideal audience is searching on Google and use it as your blog name.
That way when you write blog posts with those keywords, they will easily rank on Google.
Others Ways to Name Your Blog
Use Your Own Name
This is especially useful if you’re trying to build a personal brand.
Combine Two Words Together
You can do this if you have multiple topics or you have two topics. For example fitness and finance topics can make the Blog name fitnancials.
Things to Avoid When Picking Your Blog Name
Avoid putting hyphens
Avoid difficult spelling. The easier the name is to remember the easier it will be to google it.
That’s it …
But regardless of my advice to you, remember that this is your blog, not mine.
So do not let me or anybody else dictate how you name your blog. Pick a name that you’re truly comfortable with and you’ll be proud of.
Where I got My Blog’s Domain Name
I bought my domain over at namecheap. It was only $0.99. And I love it because it comes with a private business email for free.
That way, I can reach out to brands and they will take me seriously instead of the casual @gmail mail….
I know this because I once worked in a PR company and it was easy to tell who was a newbie blogger and who wasn’t just from the outreach emails they would send.
And ultimately we would never consider working with a blogger using @gmail mail service. It just shows you’re not taking your business seriously or you’re still fresh in the industry.
And because very few brands want to work with newbies, you’ll have a hard time finding partnerships meaning less mullah…
And remember I promised at the beginning that you’d only spend $35 to start your blog. Well now, you’re remaining with $34.
Pick Where to Start Your Blog
Choosing a place to host your blog is the second most important step of starting a blog.
You want a combination of freedom, speed and ease of use when it comes to hosting your blog.
Freedom to choose how your blog looks, what is placed on your blog and most importantly what appears on your domain – in short you want to avoid the free blogging platforms.
Good website Speed to ensure you don’t frustrate your visitors to the point they leave before they read what’s on your website.
And ease of use to make the whole blog setup process a motivator to create great content rather than leave you demoralized.
That’s why I recommend Namecheap’s easy WordPress hosting ( Easy WP hosting)
It’s the fastest hosting on the Internet. Yes, they’re even faster than Bluehost.
That’s pretty cool.
The memory size they allocate to my blog allows it to be extremely fast.
Take a look at the loading speed of my blog and I have over 50 blog posts with a ton of images.
This is all thanks to Namecheap.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Pros of Using Namecheap Easy WP Hosting for Your Blog.
Easy for Beginner bloggers.
If you’re anything like me and have zero coding experience, or anything technical hurts your brain, then easy WP hosting is for you.
They take away all the WordPress installations and give you the simplest way to set up your blog.
I set up this blog in only 10 minutes. And I’m not tech savvy at all…
Yikes I know….
The first time I also heard the words “WordPress installation” I knew I was screwed….
And I was… I’ll give you that story in just a short while
but I know for a fact that Easy WP is the best place to start your blog if you’re a beginner.
I know it’s a bold statement but I have some experience to back it up baby
quick Disclaimer: I’ve launched this blog twice….
yes you read that right.
I first started this blog in May 2022 but it failed MISERABLY…
Then I launched it again in early November the same year.
And one of the reasons this blog failed the first time is because I spend a ton of time trying to figure out the technical parts of starting a blog.
I paid for the monthly hosting of Siteground that cost $36. And I spent 9 days on the backend trying to figure it all out.
And when I finally got around to write my first blog posts, the WordPress editor was extremely slow.
Looking back on it I wish I had found namecheap Easy WP before I had discovered Siteground because my blog would have substantially grown than what it is right now.
But it’s worth noting that the hosting was not entirely responsible for my blog failure.
Other factors contributed like the fact that I paid for 1 month hosting instead of the yearly plan anticipating to make money with a new blog in one month.
Hahahaha… what a joke!!
And the fact that I spent a substantial amount of time constantly checking my Google analytics.
But that’s a story for another day…
Moral of the story is….
Get a hosting that is designed for your needs.
So if you’re a blogging newbie, your number one priority is to get a host that is easy to use.
Easy WP costs $2.90 per month making the total $34.88 for the yearly plan
And $6.88 on the monthly plan…. But you get a FREE month on the monthly plan.
Though, I wouldn’t recommend getting the monthly plan because it’s a lot more expensive in the long run.
I’m currently using the yearly plan and it’s been amazing.
I don’t get anxious when it gets to 27th and I don’t have extra money to pay for my blog’s hosting.
It’s quite a relaxing feeling.
And since we’re on the topic of blogging expenses, I did promise that you’d spend a lot less on your road to starting a blog if you follow my method.
So you’re currently remaining with $35. And now your hosting costs $34.88.
Meaning everything else I recommend in this post is absolutely free…
And yes, I practice what I preach. The only amount of money I’ve spent so far is on hosting and my domain.
Free SSL certificate.
Namecheap provides SSL certificate as a freebie. (if you don’t know what that means it’s basically the lock you see infront of a domain when you search for info on the internet. It tells Google that your domain is secure and that people can safely visit your site.)
I like that I get a free SSL certificate because these tiny virtual things cost anywhere between $7 – $11 per year.
lf you ask me, I’d rather buy a domain for $0.99 than buy an SSL certificate @ $7.
So if any one of these things should be offered as a freebie, I’d pick to get the certificate as a freebie rather than the domain.
Pre installed Free Themes & Plugins.
Remember how I talked about choosing a hosting that suits you as a beginner blogger, well Easy WP does it again.
When you get it, it comes with preinstalled plugins like woocommerce, Brizy themes / Nene themes.
They’re Highly Reliable
Easy WP guarantees 99% uptime…. so you’ll never have to worry about your blog going down, visitors not finding your website or such issues…. EVERRRRR!!
And if you ever happen to fumble around and delete your blog by mistake, you can easily restore it with just a click.
Great Customer Care Support
I cannot tell you the number of times I have reached out to the Namecheap support team with simple questions and how they’ve been super helpful and patient because I didn’t even know some of the technical terms that were used.
Like I remember there was one time I wanted to find out how I could have my blog posts showing on Google with the words under your title….
I didn’t know it was called metadescription.
But the lady was so helpful and even told me what it was called. They give you much more than hosting
They respond quickly. The longest time I’ve ever had to wait for a response from Namecheap customer service was 5 minutes…
Well that’s the time I actually counted. I wanted to get the actual time it takes for them to respond so that I can write this post for you with facts.
All that seems cool but how do you really start your blog with Namecheap
Let’s do it together…
Namecheap Easy WP Blog Setup
Head on over to Namecheap Easy WP. You’ll see the 3 tiers available.
Toggle, the top button to choose the yearly plan.
Choose get starter.
You’ll be redirected to the sign up page.
Sign up if you don’t have an account with Namecheap. If you do just login.
Once you sign up you’ll be requested to confirm your email and you’ll be prompted to confirm payment.
You’ll be offered multiple methods of payment. Namecheap supports PayPal, Debit cards credit cards and Bitcoin.
You can either deposit the funds to the Namecheap account if you’re uncomfortable with leaving your credit card details on their website or just leave if on there.
I have my card details on the website and I’ve never had a problem with credit card fraud.
Once you’ve made payment, you’ll be redirected to the Easywp dashboard where you’ll name your blog.
Easy WP will automatically attach your blog name to your WordPress backend so you won’t have to set that up.
You’ll then be redirected to attach a domain name. If you followed along with this guide and bought a Namecheap domain, it will automatically show up in the drop down menu.
At this point, your SSL certificate will be automatically activated.
Then, you’ll be redirected to choose which plugins to include in your WordPress setup.
Pick everything… they’re all free
Now it’s time to change your WordPress password to something that you can easily remember.
Simply click the 3 dots at the top and click on change WordPress password.
Then hit the W on the page, it will take you the WordPress login page.
Use the Password you created and the email you used to login to your Namecheap account.
You’ll be directed to your WordPress backend….
Notice that there is nothing technical that you have to do including a WordPress installation.
You can tap yourself on the back… You officially own a blog.
Now let’s give your blog some character…
Pick a WordPress Theme & Personalize it
At this point your blog doesn’t have any character. It’s just plain.
That’s why you need a WordPress theme.
Remember how I told you I am not tech Savvy, I really meant it.
So all that you see on my blog is basically a theme.
It comes pre-made and all I have to do is add some pictures of myself, top it with my own words, add a dash of character, pick out my brand colours and I’m good to go.
Plus, it’s completely free.
My blogging theme is called Neve WordPress theme
And the creators of the theme purposely made this theme free for new bloggers.
Talk about somebody looking out for new bloggers.
You can find a ton of other free WordPress themes if you use Neve app or Brizy.
As you can see in the picture below all the templates are readily available and you can upload them alongside with the demo content to help you create a blog that looks good.
If you are completely clueless on how to get your WordPress theme live, here’s how I did it.
Head over to brizy on the left side of your panel.
Scroll down to starter templates and click on it.
You’ll find all the free templates available.
If you’re using the neve option like I did or you want a WordPress theme like the one I’m using, click on “Appearance” on the left side panel.
Click on starter sites.
You’ll find all the free templates that you can choose from.
Click import when you see the one that you like.
It’s that simple.
If you don’t like the free WordPress themes that are available you can always get free themes from themeforest.net
If you find a WordPress theme that you like on themeforest.net
Download it to your laptop as a zip file.
Head over to the Appearance tab
At the very top, click “Add New” or “Upload theme”
Upload the theme and activate it.
There are also over 200 WordPress free themes when you click “Appearance” then “Themes” and then scroll down.
You will most likely find your blog theme if you use all these methods I’ve mentioned above.
How to Quickly Setup your Blog & Customize your WordPress theme
Start with the official pages.
I’m talking about the disclaimer page, Affiliate disclosure page, and terms and conditions page.
Don’t worry you can get them free of charge.
And if you’re wondering what the hell these are… be calm.
These pages do a lot of things for you but in a nutshell, they help your blog comply with online regulations.
In short, you’ve got to have them to make money from your blog.
I got all the ones I have from…..
You’ll get asked a few questions about your blog and what you intend on doing on the blog to make money.
And then the tool will generate your very own official pages in 30 minutes.
Then you’ll copy the information, create a new page for each official document and paste them in the pages tab.
This is how mine look like.
Quick Disclaimer: Make sure you read through all the documents. You need to know what you’re putting on your blog because you are liable for anything on your blog.
Pick out the colors, the favicon, your logo and the fonts you want on your blog.
This is the favicon (just Incase you don’t know)
All the branding happens on the frontend.
If you’re logged into your WordPress backend and you Google your website on another tab on your laptop, you’ll see this.
All you have to do is click edit and this bar will appear on the left side.
Ensure you don’t spend a majority of your time stressing on how your blog looks.
You’ll have a ton of time to change that in the future.
After all nothing is set in stone with your blog appearance.
Write out your About Page…
Writing your About Page shouldn’t be difficult.
Don’t overthink it.
I simply wrote the events that led me to start my blog.
Why I started my blog
What I was doing before I started my blog.
The topics my audience would find in my blog.
And my blogging goals for the year.
I figured that simplicity is the key to everything…
Especially because I was a beginner with no accomplishments in my Niche, I thought I’d keep it real simple.
Create your Contact Page
In all honesty, I only did this because I intend on getting clients and make it easy for brands to reach out to me
But it’s not really necessary when you’re starting a blog.
I have simply put my business email and that’s it.
Setup your homepage
The homepage is such a huge undertaking.
Set aside at least 3 – 4 hours or more to completely set it up.
It’s the face of your blog so you need to make it look good.
You know how they say first impressions matter… well, that really applies here.
If your homepage looks shitty, then people will have a shitty perception of your brand.
So ask yourself how you want people to feel when they come to your blog and apply it.
For example, if you visit my homepage you’ll realize it’s clean and professional because I want people to see me as an authority in my Niche.
If I wanted people to feel calm or playful, I’d put a ton of fun, bright colors.
So visit a bunch of websites and notice how you feel with each homepage.
The one you like most or feel you resonate with most, try and emulate that style and incorporate your own personality.
At this point you have a blog with personality… Now, let’s get some free tools that will make your blogging life a lot easier.
5 Free Essential Plugins for Your New Blog.
If you are a new blogger, then you are at a greatest risk of wasting about 12 hours of your day EVERYDAY figuring out the backend of your blog.
That’s about half of your day.
Meaning you’ll be producing less content.
And that’s really bad if you want to start a blogging business.
That’s why you need plugins.
Not only will they save you time but they will make your blog easier to use and give it that professional feel.
There are a lot of plugins that can do a lot of things! But for the purpose of making this post super simple, I’ll stick to 5.
These 5 are some of the most useful WordPress plugins that any new blogger needs – and they’re free.
So let’s talk about them
As the name suggests it’s an SEO tool. SEO stands for search engine optimisation for the extreme newbs.
This is one among my favourite plugins so let’s talk about why that is.
What I love about this plugin.
The plugin checks your web pages to make sure that they are visible by search engines. If Google cannot see your blog posts chances are you’ll never rank on Google.
It is a free tool but it also has premium tiers. – You know I love me some free stuff 😉😉
And believe it or not ever since I started my blogging career I have never bought the yoast SEO premium features.
So you don’t really need to purchase the premium features.
The plugin is unbelievably easy to use. All you have to do is install it and its features automatically show up at the end of your blog post in the editor tab.
What I love most about using yoast SEO is that it helps me write blog posts that are optimized for Google Search.
I’m able to see how many keywords I have incorporated in a particular blog post. And that helps Google figure out what my blog is about.
There are few other features I love like having the ability to see how many words are in my blog posts. The feature helps me know that my blog post has the opportunity to rank.
As you know, longer blog posts perform well on Google Search. Though that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your blog posts will rank on Google.
There are other ranking factors that Google looks into before placing your post on the first page of Google.
If you’re interested in learning SEO, I’ve got one hell of a detailed SEO guide that will help you do just that.
Remember the earlier you incorporate some of the things talked about in the post, the more you increase the chances of your blog posts ranking on Google.
WP cache plugin
This is an amazing plugin especially if you intend on having a ton of pictures on your blog.
I currently have it set up because I intend on having a lot of photos especially because of my fashion category.
That’s because having a lot of photos that are not compressed on your blog will relatively slow down your website even if you have a fast website.
And if you have been following along you remember I talked about having a fast loading website to ensure that you don’t frustrate your visitors.
And that’s exactly what WP cache plug does. It stores your site’s data locally and make it load faster. It does this by storing your site’s data to a file on your server, instead of having it stored in the cloud.
You can think of it as storing a website like you would store data on a hard drive. The data is stored locally, meaning that you can access it when you’re offline, and then retrieve it later when you’re online.
It’s a great way to make your site load faster and Ofcourse it’s free.
Social Warfare Plugin
So, what is social warfare?
Social Warfare is a plugin that allows you to see what social shares your site is getting.
I know, that sounds boring but it serves to show people that you are an authority in your niche.
For example if you have a ton of shares on a blog post, people will tend to trust you more than if you don’t.
Speaking of not having shares, I love this plugin because you can hide the number of shares you have if you don’t have a high number of shares.
Also, it makes it super easy to share your posts and pictures to social media.
The plugin is able to pull the title of your blog posts and your pictures if you want to share it to Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
There are a lot of other plugins that do the same thing but Social Warfare is different in a number of ways.
It has a nice interface that makes it easy to use and understand which you’ll hardly ever get with other free social sharing plugins.
I also love the fact that the sharing buttons don’t look old fashioned or outdated like most of the free social sharing plugins.
Plus, you can change the color of the sharing buttons to match the aesthetics of your website.
It’s more or less the only plugin that does what it does at the price tag that it offers.
And ofcourse it has paid plans that have a lot more features but I’m on the free plan and it’s been working just great.
Wow wow wow…
I absolutely love jetpack because I don’t have to upload many of the other plugins.
The plugin does a variety of things..
It’s truly a multi-purpose WordPress plugin.
And the best part is that there is a free version for it that covers everything that most new bloggers would require to run their blogs successfully.
I’m on the free plan and I’m having a blast with it but I intend on getting the paid version so that I’m able to fully access the Jetpack CRM and videopress because of my work as a Pinterest marketing manager.
If you ended up choosing namecheap WP starter as your blog host then you will realize that the jetpack plugin comes with the package that you get from Namecheap.
It comes with a variety of tools which will help you
Speed up your website.
Protect your website from spam attacks,
Join the wordads ad network
And even host your videos without them being on YouTube or Vimeo.