Are you hunting high and low about how to start a blog and earn money in India since you figure out blogging as clear as mud?
That’s not your problem solely. When I started blogging back in 2018, blogging was all a greek to me also. That’s why here I will offer you a unique and simple guide on how to start a blog and make money in India.
Before jumping into this detailed guide on how to start a blog from scratch in 2020 let me allow to answer the frequently asked questions.
What time does it take to start a blog?
It typically takes less than an hour to start a blog.
How much does it cost to start a self-hosted WordPress blog in India?
You can start a blog by investing $100 a year. To start a blog you need to buy a domain name [$8.88 a year] and buy Webhosting from ‘WordPress’ recommended WebHost [$6.99 a month].
To start a blog do I need to be a technical geek?
Absolutely not. You can start a blog by reading this guide within one hour. All you need is a computer and a fast internet connection to start a blog.
How to become a blogger in India?
To become a successful blogger you must acquire not only writing skills but also marketing skills.
Since English is not our native language, make sure that you learn proper English and then start a blog. The content’s grammar and spelling do not send any tête-à-tête signal to search engines. But grammatical mistakes and spelling errors deter visitors. Further, it increases the bounce rate. Since user experience is one of the ranking factors in Google’s search results, the bounce rate will negatively impact the PageRank.
Is it the right time to Start a Blog in India?
According to the latest statistics, the total number of internet users in India by the end of 2023 will touch a whopping 666+ million. So, the best time to start a blog is right now.
How to start a blog in India from scratch in 2020
To start a blog you needn’t be a technical geek who has an inside and out knowledge of programming languages namely PHP, HTML, CSS, etc. You can start your blog in 7 easy steps,
- Step #1. Select a niche that has earning potential along with your interest and passion,
- Step #2. Choose a blogging platform,
- Step #3. Buy a Domain and WebHost from WordPress recommended web-hosting providers,
- Step #4. Customize your blog,
- Step #5. Write Your First Blog Post,
- Step #6. Start promoting your blog from the first day,
- Step #7. Monetize a blog.
Step #1. Select a Profitable Niche
The first thing is you make sure whether you really enjoy writing a diary on a daily basis that depicts all of the major events and thoughts you have encountered in a day.
You must decide whether writing a blog post is Your Cup of Tea. In other words, you must have the ability to deliver a long-form of content consistently and enough perseverance to stick to the plan.
When you have a goal to make money from blogging you should create blog posts in the field of your interest and passion with the potential to generate passive income.
Many bloggers suggest you must have a passion and interest to start a blog. But I don’t agree totally with that fact.
Do remember passion is not the only concern to start a blog.
What if you have the passion and start a blog but aren’t able to make money after 2 years? Should you continue blogging?
The statistics will not inspire you. Around 97% bloggers shut down their blogs within a year, since their blogs neither get search engine traffic nor can make money from it.
How to find a profitable niche?
Let’s make it clear with an example.
After Matriculation you have three options namely, Science, Arts, and Commerce. Since you have picked Science after higher secondary, you are left with three options Engineering, Medicine, and B.Sc. In the event you opt for Engineering, you have various options namely Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Aviation, etc.
From the above example, you will find,
- Science, Arts, and Commerce are the 3 primary markets,
- Engineering, Medicine, B. Sc. are the submarkets,
- Mechanical, Electrical, Aviation, etc. are few of the niches that exist in this world.
Now you should pay close attention to pick your favorite niche. Here are the few broad markets that exist in the world,
- Self Improvement,
Here are the few submarkets under the broad market of Wealth that exist in the world,
- Real Estate,
- Make Money Online,
If you have opted ‘Make Money Online’ then here are the few niches,
- Social Media Marketing,
- Selling Online Courses,
The biggest blunder a newbie bloggers make while starting their blogs is that they start their blogs on Broad Markets or Sub-markets rather than in a Niche. Find a profitable niche where you can run your niche blog for the upcoming 10 years. Blogging is not a 1600m sprint, but a 42.2 km marathon.
Now validate the NICHE you brainstormed
Just imagine if you…
- Have picked a niche that you are passionate about, but there is hardly any audience interested in that topic. You will neither be able to build a community nor earn a decent income.
- Picked a niche since others have generated decent revenue, but you aren’t passionate about, you will struggle to deliver engaging content and shut down your blog within one year.
- Opted a niche that is not only you are interested but also has a huge audience but you find hardly any products or services to promote, then you may be a popular blogger but you’ll never earn a penny.
Next, it is time to research the following points to find whether you can make money in any specific niche. To evaluate a niche you should consider the following points,
1. Are you able to write 50 Awesome Engaging SEO optimized blog posts?
2. Is there any audience interested in the topic you have opted for?
3. Are other blogs that work in the very same niche you have opted for making money?
To make money from a blog niche try to find suitable answers to the above-mentioned questions. Let’s find the answers to the three questions mentioned above…
Question 1: Am I passionate about the topic and able to write 50+ posts?
This is the work that will ensure your success in the near future. If you apply the Pareto Principle, this 20% work will decide the 80% outcome of your online venture. If you have the ability to deliver long-form, engaging content, and update consistently then you will get success. Since it’s easy to create blog posts, but hard to update them consistently.
Question 2: Are there any audience who is interested in the topic?
Here I will offer you the three upside-down resources that can help you to find if there is any audience who is interested in your target niche.
Resources#1. Google Trends
Just go to Google Trends and type your niche to find whether the topic is popular. For example, if your niche is ‘Investing’ then here is the result of Google Trends,
Since you have found that there is a constant rise in Google Trends, if you are passionate about that topic then you should work in it.
Believe me, Quora is a Goldmine to find the exact number of audience in any niche. Just go to Quora and type your niche to find whether the topic is popular or not. For example, if your niche is ‘Investing’ then here is the result of Quora,
From the above screenshot, it is clear that ‘investing’ is a quite popular broad market with a whopping 5.2 million followers. You can pick a niche among ‘Stock Market’ [3.1 million followers], ‘Mutual Funds’ [1.2 million followers], ‘Real Estate’ [648.4K], Trading [2 million followers], etc.
Resources# 3. Reddit
With Reddit, you will be able to find how many followers a subreddit has got. If you are in the ‘Investing’ niche then you will find a whopping 1.1 million audience under the subreddit ‘r/investing’.
It is a good idea to start your blog in the ‘Personal Finance’ niche, as the subreddit ‘r/personalfinance’ has a whopping 14.2 million followers.
Question 3: How other blogs make money?
Since you are not the lone wolf in the ‘Investing’ niche look at how other blogs in your niche make money. Find if other blogs are making money by,
- Offering courses and services
- Promoting affiliate products and services,
- Selling e-books,
- Displaying Ads,
- Sponsored Posts,
Now let’s make it clear how one of my blog in the ‘Investing’ niche make money,
- Offer various services namely, Investment Education, Financial Planning Services.
- Selling ‘Financial Planning’ e-book that costs ₹99.
- Promote Affiliate products such as Stock Market books, Personal Finance books, etc. and earn a decent affiliate income from amazon associates,
- Display Ads and
- Sponsored Posts.
Do Proper Keyword Research
After you are 100% certain in which niche you want to start a blog, the next task before you is to do proper keyword research.
Why Keyword Research?
Keyword research demands utmost priority, because this will decide your success/failure on next SEO efforts namely on-page SEO, acquire high-quality backlinks, content promotion, etc. Keyword research gives you an insight into what your target audience turns upside down in Google search. It is easier to find profitable keywords.
By applying various blogging tools and resources for keyword research you will be able to find your target audience by scanning what exact words and phrases they type in the search engines.
Here I will offer 3 step processes to make keyword research that enables a newbie to make money from a blog.
Step #1. If you find your niche that has good earning potential then you can make money. Else you are wasting your time for no good.
Step #2. Use SemRush, Long Tail Pro to find low competitive profitable keywords. After that, you should find out whether there are affiliate products or services available in your niche to promote. Join Amazon Associates, ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, etc. where you can find various products to promote and earn an affiliate commission.
Step #3. Do check the income reports of famous bloggers in your niche. Make sure you found a niche that will make big bucks in the near future.
So, don’t hunt for the perfect niche. You should create a blog around a niche where you have the ability to deliver quality content that has the potential to earn you a lot of money.
How to Find low competitive profitable keywords
Now, let’s dig how to find low competitive profitable keywords. Here we will make upside-down research on how to find low competitive high conversion keywords that will boost your income.
Needless to say, there are three kinds of keywords namely
Short-tail keywords or popular keywords – If you are in the investing niche here are the few examples of short-tail keywords, ‘Undervalued Stocks’, ‘Penny Stocks’, etc. These keywords are highly competitive and the search results are dominated by big guns like ‘Investopedia’, ‘Economic Times’, etc.
Long-tail keywords – Unlike short tail keywords, long-tail keywords are money keywords that consist of 4 words or more. These keywords clearly signal the user personas or intent. Here are the few long-tail keywords in the highly competitive ‘Blogging’ Niche,
- ‘How to Start a WordPress Blog with SiteGround’,
- ‘How to Start a WordPress Blog on Bluehost’,
- ‘Best Domain Registrars in India’,
By targeting low competitive profitable keywords you will be able to generate a decent affiliate income.
Are you in a fishing expedition to attract search engine traffic and making money from your blog? If yes, then you should make use of the Keyword Golden Ratio to find less competitive profitable keywords.
What is Keyword Golden Ratio?
Keyword Golden Ratio is quite helpful for newbie bloggers that don’t have any backlink profile or authority. Here you will learn how Keyword Golden Ratio helps you,
- Since newbie bloggers need to get some traffic from search engines and generate a small income from their blogs to stay motivated, by applying KGR you will earn a decent income.
- Since KGR allows a blogger to dearth less competitive keywords, your site will rank within a few days without any backlinks.
- KGR enables a blogger to boost conversion rates since you publish quality content for your target audience in any specific niche or sub-niche.
- Since you manually calculate the KGR, your competitors won’t find your site’s profitable keywords via web tools.
How to calculate Keyword Golden Ratio?
The Keyword Golden Ratio can be calculated by dividing ‘The exact number of Google results that contain the keyword’ and ‘monthly search volume’ of that specific keyword that doesn’t surpass 250.
Now let’s dive how you can make money by applying Keyword Golden Ratio.
- If KGR<0.25, it is easier to rank in the Google search results once the page gets indexed by Google,
- If 0.25>KGR<1.00, still there is a chance of getting ranked under 250, once the page gets indexed by Google,
- If KGR>1, it is a highly competitive keyword even if it has a low search volume of 250.
If you are a newbie and just have started, find a less competitive keyword with a KGR under 0.25.
How to find less competitive long-tail keywords by applying KGR?
Now let me offer how to find less competitive profitable keywords that fit with the keyword golden ratio. Here we will offer you a case study in one of the most popular niches – The Electronics Niche. You will be surprised that you can make money by applying KGR in a niche that has various authoritative sites and highly competitive.
To dearth best KGR compliant profitable keyword, I make use of SemRush. It saves a lot of time and effort to find keywords with search volume, keyword difficulty. Here is the 3 step process to find profitable keywords.
Step #1. Go to SemRush and just type ‘best affordable Bluetooth in-ear headphones’ in the SemRush search box and you will find the term has a monthly search volume of 90[United States].
Step #2. Now head over to Google and type [allintitle:best affordable Bluetooth in-ear headphones] in the Google search box.
Here you will find only 4 results.
Step #3. Now let’s calculate the Keyword Golden Ratio.
KGR = 4/90 = 0.04.
Congratulations! You have found KGR compliant keyword.
Example#2. Head over to SemRush and just type ‘best 12-inch nonstick frying pan with lid’ in the SemRush search box and you will find the term has a monthly search volume of 60.
Now head over to Google and type [allintitle: 12-inch nonstick frying pan with lid] in the Google search box.
Here you will find only 2 results.
KGR = 2/60 = 0.03.
Should I target with a KGR<0.25 but the search volume>250
Let’s make it clear with an example.
You have found a keyword that has a search volume of 1100. If the KGR is 0.20, that means you have to compete with 220 other sites probably targeting the same keyword you are targeting.
When you follow the KGR strictly and target a keyword with a KGR of 0.25 and a search volume of 250, you’re going to compete for a maximum of 62.5 websites.
From the above example, it is clear that you will face more competition when you target a keyword with a higher search volume. So, it is a good idea to search such low competitive buyer keywords to make money.
How to optimize the post for better rankings
If you use RankMath or Yoast SEO plugin for on-page SEO, don’t use the exact keyword 4 times or 5 times. These SEO tools suggest using the keyword too many times to increase the keyword density. Rather than using the same keyword, again and again. Optimize your post by related keywords and LSI keywords. My rule of thumb is to use the keyword once in the title and once in the blog post.
How YOU will generate $1000+ within one year from Amazon Associates?
Let me show you how you will generate affiliate income of $1000+ within a year from Amazon Associates,
- By applying the KGR technique, you should shortlist 50+ blog posts ideas within a week.
- After completion of keyword research head over to Amazon and conduct a witch-hunting of best products in your target niche that has 4+ user ratings and price is between $25 and $50.
- On completion, now you need to write at least 2+ blog posts of 2000+ words each every week.
Apart from that, you should submit upside down guest posts in authoritative sites in your niche.
Believe me, within a quarter you will generate an affiliate income of $100 a month solely from Amazon Associates.
Step #2. Choose a blogging platform,
When you want to start a blog you have two choices. You have to choose whether you are about to start a blog on free platforms [blogger.com or wordpress.com] or self-hosted platforms [wordpress.org].
Even though the free platforms offer you to set up a blog free forever I do recommend starting your blog on self-hosted platforms. Free platforms have the following drawbacks,
Drawback #1. A prefix will always be there after your domain name i.e. www.reviewcage.blogspot.com, www.reviewcage.wordpress.com, etc.
Drawback #2. When you start your blog on free platforms you are not allowed to install and activate third-party plugins for customization.
Drawback #3. When you start your blog on wordpress.com you are not able to place any advertisement in your blog.
Drawback #4. Have you ever noticed any website ranks on the first page of Google search results that are like ‘jharna.wordpress.com’? Suppose not. It’s a herculean task to rank in Google on any specific keyword with a free blog.
Drawback #5. The most important one is you are not the owner of the blog when you start your blog on the free platform. You can’t sell your blog since you are not the owner. Apart from that, there is an inherent risk of shutting down your blog if Blogger or WordPress finds that it violates its terms and conditions or policy.
The Benefits of starting a blog on a self-hosted blogging platform
Contrary to the free platforms i.e. Blogger, WordPress.com, Medium, Wix, etc. here are the top 3 reasons why we recommend you to start your blog on self-hosted blogging platform i.e. WordPress.org,
#1. You can customize your blog and build a stunning landing page that looks professional to enhance the first impression and trust.
#2. You can install useful plugins namely Updraftplus to backup your site to a remote location. You create a membership site by installing LearnDash and collect the email address of your site visitors and much more.
#3. You become able to monetize your blog via banner advertisement, sponsored post, affiliate marketing, etc.
It is the best approach to start your blog on self-hosted blogging platforms rather than free platforms. You can start a blog with just $6.99 a month with SiteGround.
How to start a blog for free in India
Are you still interested to start your blogging journey in free platforms and wondering how to start a blog in India for free? Let me guide you to kick start. Just head over to Blogger.com or WordPress.com and create your blog by entering your email. After that, you need to choose a domain name. A prefix i.e. ‘.wordpress’ or ‘.blogspot’ will be added after the domain name. If you want to start a blog on free platforms, I recommend you to buy a custom domain name from Namecheap since it costs $8.88 a year. After entering a domain name you need to choose a theme to design your blog. Now start creating content.
How much it costs to start a blog in India on Self-hosted Blogging Platforms
Starting a blog doesn’t require a tidy sum. Here are the costs incurred to start a blog,
Purchase of Domain = $8.88 a year
Purchase of WebHost = $6.99 a month i.e. $83.88 a year.
The total cost incurred $92.76.
Offer: You can contact us for the GeneratePress Premium theme that costs $49.95 free forever.
Step #3. Buy a domain and WebHost from ‘WordPress’ recommended web-hosting providers,
A domain name is your address on the web that allows an internet user to access your website. The domain name is managed by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN allows Domain name registrars to sell, transfer, renewal of domain names.
Before buying of a domain name here are the 5 points to consider,
#1. Always buy a ‘dot com’ domain extension. In case you target specific country wise traffic then you are free to buy country level domain extension namely, ‘dot in’ for India, ‘dot ar’ for Argentina, ‘dot ru’ for Russia, etc.
#2. Buy a domain name that is easy to pronounce and remember. Don’t include a hyphen, numbers, and complicated words in the domain name.
#3. You can include the niche keywords to make sure what is your blog is all about.
#4. If your target domain name is a ‘premium’ domain that costs the earth then you should skip it. Instead, go to ‘Thesaurus’ and find relevant keywords and buy a relevant domain that doesn’t cost the bomb.
#5. Pick a trustworthy domain registrar the price chart of which doesn’t seem like a daylight robbery.
You can buy a custom domain from Namecheap that is ICANN accredited domain registrar. Unlike Godaddy, Namecheap charges $8.88 a year even if you have bought for 10 years in comparison to $17.99 a year on renewal irrespective of the time horizon of 10 years.
Buy WebHost from WordPress recommended Webhosting providers
Are you confused about which WebHost is suitable to kick start your blog? Before buying a WebHost you should analyze the WebHost on following parameters,
Speed – You should check if the WebHost satisfies Google’s benchmark of the ideal Server Response Time that is lower than 200 milliseconds. Additionally, you should check whether the WebHost loads faster in not only America/Europe but also India.
Uptime – You should pick a WebHost that offers 99.99% uptime.
Security – Pick a WebHost that will protect your website against malware, hacking, and cyber-attacks.
Features – You should check How much Web Space and Databases a WebHost offers. Additionally, you should check whether your WebHost offers free CDN, Daily backup of your database, custom email address etc.
Price – The cost varies between $0.99 a month and $729 a month. You should pick a WebHost that fits your needs i.e. for how many websites you want to buy hosting, how many visitors you are expecting your blog will get etc.
Instead of sharing a detailed list of Top 3 or Top 7 WordPress hosting providers, I will offer you what I use and have found the best. Since you are starting a blog that targets the users in India you should go with SiteGround.
Top 10 Reasons Why you should opt SiteGround
Since its inception, SiteGround is one of the #1 most popular ‘WordPress’ recommended webhost that empowers more than 2 million websites. Here we will offer you the pros and cons after we run a blog on SiteGround that will help you to take more informed decision whether you will buy webhosting from SiteGround or not. Here are the top 10 pros why you should opt SiteGround,
Pros #1. SiteGround is a ‘WordPress’ recommended webhost,
Siteground is the official ‘WordPress’ recommended webhost that empowers over 2 million websites. Since ‘WordPress’ empowers more than 34% websites around the globe, you can opt what ‘WordPress’ recommends.
Pros #2. SiteGround has 6 Data Centers across 4 continents,
Unlike InterServer that has one data center in the United States, SiteGround has 6 data centers in Iowa [US], Eemshaven [Netherlands], London[UK], Frankfurt [Germany], Singapore[Asia], and Sydney[Australia]. Pick your nearest data center for faster loading. Additionally, SiteGround offers Cloudflare CDN, a content delivery network free of cost that will boost your site speed. Cloudflare has expanded its global network across 100+ countries. This will help your site to load faster irrespective of geo-location.
Pros #3. SiteGround will help your site to load 10x faster
According to the latest research, if your website doesn’t load within 3 seconds or less, the users abandon your site and increase bounce back.
If you want to start a website that has fast loading time then you should buy hosting from SiteGround. They offer software and hardware to load your site faster. Here are the key features that SiteGround offer to make a site superfast,
- Solid State Drivers in all of their servers that will help sites to load faster than the regular hard disk drives.
- Apache and NGINX Server [HTTP/2 enabled] for speed optimization to speed up the server performance and boost site speed.
- WP-CLI Technology that helps you to update plugins, configure installations on multiple sites you own, and much more.
- SSH technology that allows a user to secure remote login from one computer to another with strong authentication that protects the security and integrity with strong encryption.
- SG-Optimizer helps to boost site performance and enable faster loading.
SiteGround automatically updates the software that helps a site to stay safe with respect to slow loading time and security issues.
Pros #4. SiteGround offer exceptionally quick Server Response Time
Server Response Time is the difference between a user is requesting a page in his browser and the server responding to that request. This is the most crucial parameter since according to Google’s PageSpeed Insights, the ideal server response time should be under 200ms.
If you opt for the ‘Managed WordPress StartUp’ Hosting plan of SiteGround, they offer a quick server response time with a worldwide average of 137ms.
Pros #5. SiteGround offer a Guaranteed 100% Server Uptime
Since they utilize the latest technologies namely Linux Containers Technology, Anti-Bot AI, Secure Account Isolation Technology, SiteGround offer 100% uptime, no downtime since 2014.
Pros #6. Robust 24 x 7 Customer Support
Siteground is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Live chat, phone support, and email tickets. If you want assistance on the phone, just call SiteGround, your waiting period doesn’t exceed 1 minute.
Pros #7. Free Daily Backup of your Database
Siteground offers free daily backup of your database, plugins, etc. free of cost for not only Cloud hosting but also Shared hosting. If you want to start your blog from scratch owing to loss of data, submit a ticket, and your site will be restored within half an hour free of charge!
Pros #8. Free SSL Certificate and Custom e-mail
Unlike GoDaddy that charges $63 for one site for SSL Certificate, Siteground offers SSL Certificate through Lets Encrypt free forever. Apart from that, SiteGorund offers you to create an unlimited custom email address with 2000MB mailbox size with its basic ‘StartUp’ plan.
Pros #9. Free Migration
Unlike Bluehost that charges $150 for site migration, Siteground offers free site migration. If you aren’t satisfied with your current webhost you should opt SiteGround. After the purchase of your desired plan contact the support team and they will migrate your site within 24 hours with no downtime.
Pros #10. 30-Days Money Back Guarantee
After the purchase, if you aren’t satisfied with Siteground then you can ask for a refund within the first 30 days of purchase. SiteGround will transfer the refund within 7 business days in your bank account.
Top 3 Cons of SiteGround
Since Carnot Engine isn’t 100% efficient, SiteGround has its drawbacks too. Here are the top 3 cons of SiteGround,
Con #1. A hefty fee on renewal,
Even though SiteGround lets you start your own blog as low as $6.99 a month for its ‘StartUp’ shared hosting plan, SiteGround tolls a hefty $14.99 a month on renewal.
Con #2. Each hosting plan has Limited Resources
Besides SiteGround’s robust performance, its shared hosting plans offer limited resources,
- 10 GB Web Space for StartUp plan,
- 20 GB Web Space for GrowBig plan,
- 30 GB Web Space for GoGeek plan.
Apart from above, even though SiteGround offer unmetered traffic it has a traffic threshold for its shared hosting plans,
- ~10,000 Visitors for StartUp plan,
- ~25,000 Visitors for GrowBig plan,
- ~1,00,000 Visitors for GoGeek plan.
So, if your site has exhausted the ideal traffic threshold of any plan, the site’s performance will suffer.
Con #3. Affordable Options Available
If you are caught short to buy SiteGround hosting there are various options available. You can pick DreamHost to start your blog as low as $2.59 a month. The biggest reason why we recommend DreamHost is that this webhost not only is a WordPress recommended webhost but also it doesn’t hike its charges on renewal.
How to buy Webhosting from Siteground
Here is the step by step guide on how you can buy Webhosting from SiteGround with screenshots,
Step #1. Pick a plan among ‘RELIABLE Web hosting’, ‘MANAGED WordPress Hosting’, ‘HIGH PERFORMANCE WooCommerce Hosting’, and ‘AUTOSCALABLE Cloud Hosting’.
After picking ‘WordPress Hosting’ click on the tab ‘GET STARTED’.
Once redirected to the next page you need to pick a plan among ‘StartUp’, ‘GrowBig’, and ‘GoGeek’. Now click on ‘GET PLAN’.
Step #2. Now you need to enter the domain name.
After buying a domain from Namecheap, choose ‘I already have a domain’, enter the domain name, and hit the ‘PROCEED’ button.
Step #3. In the final step, you need to furnish,
- ‘Account Information’ i.e. Email, Password.
- ‘Client Information’ i.e. Name, Address, Phone, etc.
- ‘Payment Information’ i.e. Credit/Debit Card Number, Cardholder Name, CVV Code, etc.
- ‘Purchase Information’ i.e. Plan, Data Center, Period of hosting. Since you target the Indian audience you should choose ‘Singapore, Asia’ data center.
After the transaction is successful, you need to verify your phone number and Credit card.
Step #4. Customize your blog,
After a successful login to your dashboard, click on ‘SET UP SITE’.
Now click on the ‘START NEW WEBSITE’ and install ‘WordPress’ Application.
You will be required to set up your login details namely email address and password.
Now SiteGround will give you two domain name servers.
After you are done with all the setting, log in to your dashboard by typing in the URL bar,
After visiting the SiteGround Dashboard, click on the ‘SSL Manager’ tab under the ‘Security’ section. Now install new SSL. On successful installation click on the ‘HTTPS Enforce’ tab and enable the ‘HTTPS Enforce’.
Enter your WordPress dashboard now you should install a theme that fits your niche.
Then install the theme. Go to the setting tab and fill the required information under the ‘General’, ‘Writing’, ‘Reading’, ‘Discussion’, and, ‘Permalinks’, etc.
Install Useful Plugins
On completion, you need to install useful plugins that are quite handy.
#1. Google XML Sitemaps
By creating an XML sitemap you tell the search engines about all of your website content, pages, categories, etc. The XML sitemap is quite useful. It enables search engines to discover and index your content in search results.
#2. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
This is a free web-based analytics tool that enables a webmaster to analyze the traffic on their blog. After the successful installation of this tool, this will give you a snapshot of visitors, bounce rate, what pages they visit, average sessions time, etc. By analyzing these key matrices you can prepare your content to boost conversion.
To protect your data from hackers you need a backup solution that regularly backs up your WordPress site’s content and database. UpdraftPlus offers a webmaster to backup the database to a secured remote location namely Google Drive, Google Cloud, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.
#4. Accelerated Mobile Pages
After Google introduces Mobile-first Index, a webmaster must optimize its pages that can deliver content quickly. By installing AMP, you will notice that it improves the user experience and your site visitors tend to stay longer in your site. It will lead to reducing the bounce rate. The AMP compatible site is most likely to get higher rankings that boost the traffic.
#5. Rank Math
Rank Math is an SEO plugin that allows a webmaster to set a target keyword, insert ‘alt’ keywords on images, meta description, and offer SEO score along with suggestions to optimize a blog post.
#6. Ad Inserter
To display an ad at the right spot without editing the code, Ad Inserter is one of the best plugins you can install. The free version of this plugin offers 16 blocks that enable you to place ads in different positions namely, before/after content, before/after post, before/after/between comments, and much more.
#7. Social Snap
Social Snap is a social media management plugin that allows a webmaster to display social media buttons before the site visitors to share the post/page in social media. You can add social share buttons of various social networks before or after the post content, a floating sidebar.
Once you get traffic from search engines, you will witness a significant number of spam comments in your comment section that awaits moderation. To filter the spam comments you should install Akismet in your WordPress site that allows you to moderate only genuine comments not spam comments.
The WP-Forms is an easy drag & drop WordPress form builder that allows you to create contact forms, email opt-in forms, suggestion forms, payment forms without editing the HTML or CSS code [100% responsive and mobile-friendly].
This is a popular lead generation tool that allows you to show exclusive offers such as deals and discounts for a specific time or capture the email address or promote your blog post, etc. before the visitors who visit your site.
- Read also: Top 75+ Blogging Tools and Resources
Step #5. Write Your First Blog Post,
Are you dreaming of making $1000 a month by writing only 50+ blog posts within a quarter, 500+ word articles each?
If yes, then you are living in a fool’s paradise.
It doesn’t matter which niche you select, you won’t get success in blogging by writing a 500+ word blog post.
To make money from blogging you need to attract search engine traffic by conducting proper keyword research and delivering long-form SEO optimized content.
Before conducting keyword research you must create the following pages,
- About Us,
- Contact Us,
Make a proper keyword research
To attract search engine traffic [free of cost] you need to audit what terms or phrases your audience type in the search engine. Keyword research reveals,
- The search volume, CPC, and competition of any specific keyword/phrase to attract visitors from search engines.
- The Length of the articles ranking on the first page of Google. Needless to say, the average length of a blog post that is ranking on the first page consists of a 2000+ word.
- Relevant search queries/terms apart from your target keyword searching by your target audience.
What is On-page SEO and How to do On-page SEO?
After doing proper keyword research, set your target keyword. Now you need to deliver SEO optimized content. Here are the few compelling on-page SEO strategies you can apply while writing a blog post,
Point #1. Create compelling and catchy headlines,
The title tag of your blog post is the first thing your audience will notice. You should pick a title that invokes emotion or offers a solution for any problem of your target audience.
Point #2. Organize your content,
Before writing, you should decide the areas the blog post will cover. By dividing your article into short paragraphs and proper subheading i.e. <H2>, <H3>, <H4>, you will deliver a stunning blog post that is easy to read and understand.
Point #3. Include focus keyword,
You should include the focus keyword in the blog post’s title, meta title, meta description, image ‘alt’ attributes, and in the subheadings.
Point #4. Create Stunning infographics to boost readability and user experience.
Point #5. Insert relevant internal and external links in your content.
What is Off-page SEO and How to do Off-page SEO?
Contrary to On-Page SEO, Off-page SEO is a critical part that is beyond a webmaster’s control. Here are the topmost ranking signals that search engines i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing, take into account while ranking a web page,
- The higher the number of referring domains from authoritative sites is, the higher the ranking in SERPs increasing search traffic receives.
- Relevancy of the referring domains and IPs plays a vital role. Relevancy is the new ranking signal. Suppose you are in the investing and finance niche. If you have acquired a link from an investing blog this will boost search engine visibility than a link from a health blog.
- A Dofollow link from old domains is more effective than the new ones.
- You need to optimize your permalink of a blog post to boost organic Click-Through-Rate since organic CTR is among the key matrices used by search engines to rank a post on specific search queries.
- Focus on reducing the bounce rate. A higher bounce rate signals search engines that the pages don’t satisfy with the search queries.
To get high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites you can follow the best practices,
Strategy #1. Write a compelling guest post in authoritative sites in your niche.
Strategy #2. Find if there are any broken links in the sites where you want a backlink. Once found notify the webmaster and offer a blog post to replace the broken link.
Strategy #3. Try Help a Reporter Out to get quality backlinks from authoritative sites being a source.
Strategy #4. Monitor from where your competitors acquire backlinks. Go to SemRush and analyze from where your competitor’s links are coming. Find out by applying what tactics they are getting quality backlinks. If you find that they gain backlinks via a guest post, write a compelling guest post and earn a backlink from the same website.
- Read also: Link Building Strategies: The Complete List
Step #6. Start promoting your blog from the first day,
Here are the top 10 blog promotion tactics you can apply to promote your blog,
Strategy #1. Include simple social sharing buttons,
By installing Social Snap you should place the social share buttons not only above/below the post content but also on images that help your audience to share your content in social media with ease.
Strategy #2. Promote your blog at Facebook
You can create your own Facebook group but this is a time-consuming process to reach a significant number of members. You can join relevant Facebook groups to promote your blog post.
Strategy #3. Promote your blog at Twitter,
To promote a blog post you should tweet at least 10 times a day. Use proper hashtags and twitter cards to reach a broader audience.
Strategy #4. Promote your blog via bookmarking sites,
You should join Quora, Reddit, Yahoo Answers! to leverage the audience. Search the relevant queries in these social bookmarking sites. Once found give the best resources from your blog and place a link. This will drastically increase your blog traffic.
Strategy #5. Blogger’s outreach
This is my favourite technique to boost the site’s traffic. You can approach the famous blogger in your niche for guest blogging, or content partnerships. Before sending a personalized email you should share their content in social media tagging them to come to their radar. This is a time-consuming process. But let me tell you this will yield fruitful returns in the long run. Once you engage with the influencers, they will definitely share your blog post with their audience if found helpful.
Strategy #6. Start promoting your blog post via email marketing
The best way to retain organic traffic is to make visitors into email subscribers. After you have large email subscribers notify them about your new blog post at the best plausible time. Needless to say, the best time to send an email to your subscribers is about 10 AM in India. You can include the email signature inserting your blog link to help a reader to visit your blog directly from an email. To boost social share you must add a social share button in the email that enables a user to share your content directly from the email.
Strategy #7. Start promoting your blog post via web push notifications,
Strategy #8. Submit Guest posts with niche blogs to attract traffic,
Strategy #9. Transform a blog post into a stunning YouTube video and upload it in YouTube,
Strategy #10. After making an authoritative blog you must join webinars and events as a guest speaker.
Step #4. Monetize a blog,
The amount of money you will make from a blog depends on the following factors,
- What niche you have opted,
- How many page views a month your blog has got,
- What category of blogger you are i.e. blog as a hobby or as a professional one,
- What is the commission rate of affiliate programs in your niche? You won’t make a $1000 a month only by joining Amazon Associates since the affiliate commission varies between 1% and 10%.
- What services/courses are you offering to your target audience,
The blog you are reading right now had made ₹52,000+ last year since I started this blog as a side hustle. Here are the revenue streams of this blog,
- Displaying a banner advertisement,
- Offering Online courses/Services,
- Selling e-books,
- Promoting affiliate products/services by joining relevant affiliate network/program.
Hope this article will help you to start your self-hosted WordPress blog and make money from blogging. If you have found this post helpful feel free to share so that other Indians start their blog too.