Do you belong to those people who maintain a journal to note every single event they have got in a day?
If yes, then congratulation.
You are just a step away to start a WordPress blog that can make a million dollars by sharing your expertise.
What is a blog?
Just like a journal where you depict all the events you have had, a blog is just a web version of your journal where you share what you love in an informal or conversational style.
Why Start a Blog?
Do you know around 61% of US adults purchase a product or service after reading a blog post?
Apart from your 9 to 5 job, a blog enables you to make a 5 figure income if you can implement your ideas from the first day. Here are the biggest reasons why you should start a blog right now,
Reason #1. By using your expertise in any field you can educate or guide your target audience to take a more informed decision or make them more productive.
Reason #2. To start a blog you will learn the basic technical know-how like preparing infographics, editing pictures, SEO of your blog posts, email outreach, etc. Additionally, Blogging enables you to organize your thoughts.
Reason #3. You can easily make money once your blog becomes an authoritative one. By placing a banner advertisement, or promoting products/services you can easily make money from your blog.
If you think that blogging is as easy as to make a cup of tea then you aren’t probably aware of what goes behind the curtain. To succeed in blogging, you must have passion, dedication to learning, perseverance, deadly effort.
How to Start a WordPress Blog With Siteground
You can start a WordPress blog with SiteGround in the following 8 steps,
- Pick a profitable niche in which you have strong knowledge and passion,
- Buy a Domain name,
- Buy a Webhost,
- Install WordPress,
- Install and Activate useful Plugins,
- Deliver SEO Optimized content,
- Promote your blog,
- Make Money Blogging.
Step #1. Find your blog niche
Write breathtaking content that you love and can stick to in the long term. This is the common advice given to the novice bloggers by the various experts. But honestly say, you can’t succeed in weight loss or e-commerce since there are heavyweights out there.
Here are the key parameters you should consider while picking a niche,
Set up a blog following your interest
It’s quite an exciting process from buying a domain name and web host to write an astounding blog post.
Picking a niche is more crucial than ever since there are 31.7 million bloggers out there. Before starting a blog you should write at least 25 articles in black and white. If you succeed you will start your blog in that niche. Many a blogger chooses a niche apart from his/her niche since anyone else is making money from a blog.
Do Proper Market Research
Is there any audience who wants to read that I love to write?
This is the most crucial question every blogger should ask himself.
Let’s find it.
Go to Google Trends and enter your niche keywords.
You will find the interest over time of your niche. You should pick an evergreen niche that you can write for years to come.
Make Keyword Research
To make money from blogging you should write content that can solve any problem or ease the daily life of your target audience. By making use of SEMRush you can find various keyword ideas with key statistics namely monthly search volume, competition, CPC, etc.
Can you make money from that niche?
To find a profitable niche you should make use of Google. Head over to Google and type your niche related keywords.
Have you found various ads?
If yes, you are successful to find a niche to monetize. Apart from Google AdWords visit popular blogs of your niche and analyze if peer blogs are applying these tactics to make money,
- Place banner advertisement,
- Sell services or e-books,
- Promote affiliate products.
If the answers sound promising then let’s move to the next step.
Step #2. Buy a Domain name
A domain name is the web address where internet users access your blog or website. Every digital marketer advises you to pick brandable keywords to start a blog. But you must stop to erode the best resource i.e. time for searching Brandable names for your blog.
Let’s take a simple test.
Ask the people who neither know you nor bother your interest what your domain name means. If they don’t answer within 5 seconds then your domain name is viable.
If your target audience doesn’t figure out what your domain name means they will bounce. This not only hinders SEO but also Google assumes your content doesn’t meet the searcher’s intent. Thus your post rank lower in search results.
Here are the few points to consider while buying a domain name,
Buy a domain with ‘.com’ extension — If you tell your friend about your site capitalante, your friend types capitalante.com without asking the domain extension. If you don’t buy a domain name with ‘.com’ extension then you lose another reader and probably a paying customer.
Buy a domain name that is easy to pronounce — Suppose you make phone and your friend tells what’s going on. You tell your friend that you have started a blog a while. When you tell a name like ‘reviewcage’, your friend is likely to be able to type with ease since the words ‘review’ and ‘cage’ is easy to pronounce.
Avoid Hyphens in the domain name — It is not a good idea to buy a domain name with a hyphen when your desired domain name is already taken. Your target audience will likely visit your competitor’s site if they don’t include hyphen while typing the domain name.
Best resources to buy a domain name
Step #3. Buy a Webhost
A WebHost allocates a space called servers to store your content, visuals, etc. When any user types your website or blog in the URL bar your WebHost allows the user’s computer to connect with the server to deliver the desired content through the browser.
Domain Registrars offer not only domain registrations but also Webhosting services. So, it is quite a tuff call to pick the best WebHost. To solve the riddle we will make use of a filter.
It is a well-known fact that around 35% of websites are powered by WordPress. Let’s walk through what they recommend. Here are the 3 WebHost recommended by WordPress,
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 opy 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 Hosting
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 start a blog with SiteGround with Screenshots of the pages which is quite helpful.
Step 1: Choose a Hosting Plan
After visiting SiteGround you will find three plans namely ‘StartUp’, ‘GrowBig’, and ‘GoGeek’. If you are starting your blogging journey with one website then you should go with ‘StartUp’ Plan. In case you want to create multiple websites then you should go with ‘GrowBig’ Plan. If you want to set up your own e-commerce website then you should opt for ‘GoGeek’ Option.
Step 2: Input blog’s domain name
After you are redirected to the next step i.e. step 2, SiteGround offers two options namely ‘Register a New Domain’ and ‘I already have a Domain’.
If you are looking for a Domain name from SiteGround it will cost you $15 a year. This price is quite costly compared to Namecheap which offers a ‘dot com’ domain extension at the price of $8.88 a year.
If you buy a domain name from SiteGround you don’t need to worry about DNS, the loading time of domain, etc.
In case you have bought a domain name from domain registrar namely ‘Namecheap’, enter your domain name and click on ‘Proceed’.
Step 3: Select a Period of your Webhosting Package and proceed payment
After choosing domain now you need to choose ‘Period’ among various options for ‘12 months’, ‘24 months’, ‘36 months’. We recommend you to choose a hosting plan for ‘36 months’.
Why choose ‘36 months’?
In case you choose 12 months,
Hosting expenses for the 12 months will be $83.88.
Since on renewal, you need to pay at regular price the hosting expense for the next 24 months will be $359.76.
The total expense for 36 months is $443.64.
In case you choose for 36 months your total cost will be $377.64.
Step #4. Install WordPress in your blog
After log in to your SiteGround dashboard click on the ‘Set up Site’ button.
Step #1. After you click ‘Set up Site’ you will be redirected to the setup wizard. In the setup wizard, you will find two options namely, ‘Start New Website’, ‘Migrate Website’.
In this case, since you are going to start a new WordPress blog, select the ‘Start New Website’ button.
Step #2. Once you click on the button you need to furnish the following details,
- ‘Do you know which software you are going to use’ among various options namely, ‘Joomla’, ‘WordPress’, ‘Magneto’, etc? In my opinion, you should choose ‘WordPress’ since it empowers almost 35% of the websites around the globe.
- Enter your email and password.
Step #3. Now you are in the final step to start a WordPress blog with SiteGround.
After you have successfully purchased the hosting package you just need to change the Domain Name Server i.e. DNS of the domain in three steps,
- First step – After logging in go to ‘Domain List’ and click on the ‘Manage’ button of the domain.
- The second step – After visiting the ‘Nameservers’ section choose ‘Custom DNS’ from the dropdown list.
- The third step – Finally put your ‘Nameservers’ which is given by ‘SiteGround’.
Now, Let’s head over to the WordPress dashboard. You can visit your WordPress dashboard by typing the following URL in the web browser. If you have bought a domain name [capitalante.com] and hosting for that website from SiteGround, type [capitalante.com/wp-admin/] to visit your dashboard.
Step #5. Install and Activate useful Plugins
After activating the theme you need to install WordPress Plugins. Needless to say, WordPress plugins not only improves the functionality, efficiency but also boosts/enhances the user experience. After installing Word Press here are the few essential plugins every blogger should make use of,
Plugin #1. Google XML Sitemaps
It is necessary to dominate the top of the search engines and to do so your website needs indexing. By creating a Sitemap you give access search engines to uncover all of your website content, images, etc. When you have created a sitemap, search engine i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing crawl indexes your entire site.
Simply XML [eXtensible Markup Language] sitemap acts as a bridge between your website’s content and search engine. Once indexed your content will be crawled by the search engine. Your content will be shown by the search engines according to the relevant search queries.
After login to your WordPress dashboard go to plugins and hit the tab ‘add new’. Type ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ and you will find it. After installing and activate, your site will be crawled and indexed by search engines i.e. Google.
Plugin #2. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
Since you have started your online business by creating a blog you will need to know the following details.
- The traffic your blog gets via a search engine, social media, etc.
- From which country or region your traffic comes.
- How long your audience stays on your blog?
- What are the pages they visit?
- What kind of devices your website visitors use i.e. desktop or laptop, tablet, mobile phone, etc.
- Finally, you will able to prepare your content marketing strategy to boost sales i.e. conversions by following age, gender, interest, demographics, etc.
After login to your WordPress dashboard go to plugins and hit the tab ‘add new’. Type ‘Google Analytics by MonsterInsights’ and you will find it. After installing and activate, you will find the above-mentioned data and statistics.
Plugin #3. UpdraftPlus
Do you belong to those novice bloggers who have a nightmare that hackers may hack your website/blog and erase your site content? This is not the only scenario where you may lose your data after spending hours and hours to build excellent content. The best way to protect from the above threats you should install ‘UpdraftPlus’ plugin to regularly backup your WordPress site. This is one of the best WordPress backup plugins free of cost.
By making use of ‘UpdraftPlus’ you can create automatic backups on a preferred schedule i.e. ‘week’, ‘fortnight’, ‘monthly’, etc. You can store your website or blog’s backup to your computer. You can also store your data to a cloud storage provider namely, Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.
Plugin #4. Accelerated Mobile Pages
If you have started your blog right now then you are aware that Google has emphasized mobile-friendliness as the ranking signals in its search result. So, you need to optimize your website to load your page on mobile quickly. If your content does not load quickly it will increase your blog’s bounce rate. To boost load time and user experience you should make use of ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’. You can make use of this plugin either free of cost or upgrade to ‘premium’ for more functionality and features.
Plugin #5. WordPress SEO by Yoast
If you are looking for SEO plugins then this is one of the best SEO plugins to boost the website’s conversion rates and sales. Yoast SEO enables a webmaster to identify and avoid duplicate content so that you are not penalized by Google. Apart from that, you can set your ‘focus keyword’, ‘meta descriptions’, ‘URL’ of your post, etc. Additionally, Yoast SEO offers various suggestions such as,
- Are there any inbound and outbound links in your post?
- Whether your post is written excessively on passive voice or not,
- Readability score to boost user experience and sales.
- Whether your ‘Focus keyword’ is on ‘meta description’, ‘URL’, ‘images ‘alt’ text’, ‘title’ or not.
Plugin #6. Ad Inserter
After you get approval from various ad networks, this tool is quite helpful to manage ads. The free version offers more than enough to get started. The free version offers 16 blocks to monetize your blog. Just simply put the code which you have got from an ad network to get started. You need to choose where you are going to show ads among various options namely ‘before content’, ‘after content’, ‘between paragraph’ etc. Apart from that, you can set after how many paragraphs ads will be shown.
Plugin #7. Social Snap
To boost your blog traffic if you want to get traffic from social media then Social Snap is the best plugin to share your content. Social Snap offers the following features.
- Your visitors can share the content across 30+ social networks.
- You can add share buttons above the post, below the post, and in the sidebar [left or right].
- Social Snap display share counts to boost your post’s authenticity and popularity.
- You can easily add ‘ClickToTweet’ buttons in your content.
- Apart from sharing your content, the users can follow your social media accounts.
Plugin #8. Akismet
Have you got a comment from ‘Free Credit Insurance’ which tells you that you wrote an awesome post and put a link to a website apart from your niche? If yes, then you should install ‘Akismet’ to protect your blog from comment spam. Akismet has blocked billions of spam comments since inception i.e. 2005. Once you get traffic from the search engine and your blog is quite popular the percentage of spam comments can be as high as 85%. In that scenario, Akismet is the best plugin which saves a lot of time to moderate a comment.
Plugin #9. WP-Forms
To create a beautiful contact form, email opt-in form, or PayPal payment form to receive payment from any user, WP-Forms is a one-stop platform. The Drag and drop editor enables a webmaster to create a beautiful form within 5 minutes with ease.
Plugin #10. Hello Bar
Hello bar is a useful tool which is quite handy to
- Convert website visitors to a subscriber of your mailing list,
- Offer ‘Free e-books’, or ‘Free 7-day course’ in exchange for the email of the site visitors,
- Display limited time offer which will be ending soon,
- Sell your products or services namely ‘ebook’ or ‘a beginners course’ etc.
Needless to say Hello bar is a great tool that will boost your marketing efforts without compromising the user experience.
Step #6. Deliver SEO Optimized Content
Caution: When you write an article that is neither user-focussed nor optimized with targeted keywords, your content may rank on page 20 of the search results.
Here are the key factors to consider while preparing content,
Target a specific audience
It’s like shooting in the dark if you fail to identify the right audience and deliver engaging content around that search keywords.
Keyword research enables you to find what your target audience is searching through the internet. Additionally, research monthly search volume, the competition of your target keyword.
After analyzing the results optimize your blog post following your audience’s search intent.
Once the target keyword is found, you should write engaging content to boost readability.
While creating content you should deliver a long-form of content [at least 3000+ words] that makes the site visitors stick to the blog post and continue reading.
When your target audience sticks to the blog post and increases the ‘Dwell time’, it signals the search engine i.e. Google that this page is relevant to the search query. This will boost your Google rankings.
Organize and Optimize your blog post
After furnishing the best possible draft you should organize and optimize your blog post. Here are the key points to consider,
- Post Title – Include your focus keyword in the post title.
- URL – Include focus keyword and make it short to boost CTR.
- Meta Description – Include focus keyword in the meta description of the blog post.
- Heading – Make use of proper Heading tags to optimize the blog post.
- Image Alt Attributes – Since Google doesn’t read an image you should enter proper ‘alt’ text that will help search engines to understand what an image is all about.
Step #7. Promote your blog
Digital Marketers namely Brian Dean of Backlinko, Neil Patel, recommend that you should spend 90% of your time promoting your blog and the rest 10% to deliver SEO Optimized content.
Here are the few actionable techniques that will help you to promote your blog.
Strategy #1. Guest Blogging
This is the easiest but effective way to promote your blog. After creating an engaging content visit the relevant blogs in your niche that are highly authoritative ones. Once accepted you can place relevant blog posts of your blog in that post or place a link in the author bio.
Strategy #2. Bloggers Outreach
Are you the sole blogger in your niche?
Prepare a list of your niche blogger and pitch your blog post even before you publish your post. This is the most effective way not only to promote your blog but also to build a relationship with them. If done with proper strategy you will gain a valuable backlink from a blog.
But how you will find the email address of peer bloggers?
You should make use of Hunter and you will find the email of any blogger.
Strategy #3. Analyze your competitors’ backlinks
To rank in search results you should create not only link-worthy content but also acquire high-quality links from relevant highly authoritative blogs.
To get high-quality links first you need to decide at what keyword you want to rank for.
Just head over to SEMRush. and enter the keyword in the search box.
You will find the blogs that are ranking on the first page of Google for your target keyword.
After picking the blog that ranks higher in the search engine the ‘backlink checker’ option reveals all the links [nofollow or dofollow] pointing towards that page.
After analyzing the results pitch your post to the webmasters who have linked your competitor’s blog post.
Strategy #4. Build an e-mail list and deliver your latest post to your subscribers
You should start capturing the e-mail of your site visitors from day one of your blogging journey. You can make use of Mailchimp to send an e-mail newsletter to your email subscribers.
Strategy #5. Share your blog post in social media and social bookmarking sites
Sharing your blog post on social media is still an effective way to boost your blog’s traffic. Apart from social media, you can share your content in social bookmarking sites namely Reddit, Medium, and Quora, etc.
To get viral, write a list-post or how-to post in that convincing manner that stirs up emotion. Find what blog post heads over to Buzzsumo. After typing your focus keyword Buzzsumo reveals the social shares a blog post gets. Apart from list post, deliver posts that stir up emotion to get viral on the web.
Here are the few tools that I personally use to manage social media,
Buffer – This is a social media management tool. Buffer’s free plan allows a user to manage 3 social media profiles and schedule up to 10 posts a month. When you upgrade to its Pro plan you can manage 8 social media accounts and schedule 100 posts a month. The ‘Pro’ plan costs $12 a month when billed annually.
Sendible – Unlike Buffer Sendible doesn’t offer free plan but 14-day free trial. Sendible allows you not only to schedule your post but also offers an analytics report on how your posts are performing across social media. The ‘Base’ plan costs $16 a month when billed annually.
Step #8. Make Money Blogging
How much traffic do I need to make money blogging? This is one of the top most question a blogger asks. Honestly say you can make $1000 a month with 10000 visitors a month from search engines. Let me show you the top 7 ways to make money blogging.
Option #1. Offer online courses or services
Do you know Ramit Sethi of IWillTeachYouToBeRich makes over $1 million a year? After you have established an authority blog you can make a decent income by offering online courses.
Option #2. Affiliate Marketing
You can make money as an affiliate marketer by promoting relevant products of your niche before your target audience. You can sign up to various affiliate networks namely Commission Junction, Share A Sale, etc. You can promote physical/digital products or services and earn up to 50% commission on the qualifying sale.
Option #3. Advertisement and Sponsored Content
You can place banner ads, contextual ads to get approved by various ad networks namely, Google Adsense, Media Net, Infolinks, etc. Additionally, you can write sponsored content to make money.
Option #4. Selling e-Books
Just like ours you can also sell e-books and make money. You can make use of Amazon Kindle Publishing to publish your e-book.
Option #5. Create a Membership forum and charge a fixed fee to join
You can create a membership forum by making use of MemberPress and charge a flat fee to join either quarterly or annually.
Option #6. Create an e-commerce Store to sell physical products
Are you good at creating handicrafts? You can create your e-commerce store by making use of the WooCommerce plugin.
Option #7. Accept Donation
Needless to say, Wikipedia’s large portion of revenue comes from the donation. You can add a PayPal button to accept the donation from your blog’s audience.
I hope you will find this article helpful to kick off your blogging journey. Let me know if you have found any questions regarding how to start a blog in India with SiteGround. Do share this post with your friends if you have found this post helpful.