How To Start a Blog in 2021 – Expert Guide For Serious Beginners

Start a Blog

There are more than five million (5,000,000) articles on the internet on how to start a blog. You can Google search it yourself or check out the image below.

How To Start a Blog

With the internet flooded with millions of articles on how to start a blog, finding the best guide that answers all your questions and doubts about blogging might be pretty uneasy.

But relax! I’ve done the difficult part in this ultimate guide. 

With more than 5 challenging years of blogging and experiences with several blogs, you won’t be missing out on the essentials of starting a successful blog in 2021. 

I and my team are also available to help you out on issues related to starting your blog.

Handpicked for you : How to Start an Instagram Blog in 15 Steps- Expert guide

The Truth They Won’t Tell You About Starting a Blog in 2021

Blogging has evolved over the years. It has become saturated that any newbie who jumps into the blogging industry without a proper guide like this stands a 90% chance of being suffocated.

However, not many blogs will tell you this. 

They only talk about how profitable blogging is, ignoring the challenges newbies will face if they miss out on any of the essential step-by-step guides to start a successful blog in 2021. 

Here is a full list of blogging statistics and facts that are helping millions of bloggers make profitable blogging decisions.

But you know what? There’s a good part to this. 

For blogging to be saturated means it’s highly profitable, and bloggers are making tons of money from it.

This means you can start your blog, make money, and enjoy your share of the internet cake.

With that said, let’s get on to starting your blog.

How To Start a Blog in 2021 and Establish Your Internet Identity

How To Start a Blog

Find the best niche to blog about

This is the first step towards starting a successful blog in 2021.  Here, you get to decide what you’ll be blogging about. 

However many wannabe bloggers get it wrong here, which continues to be the wheel of too many blogs extinction.

Why? They just decide on a niche probably because they are passionate about it. It’s like starting a blog because you simply love music.

It’s okay to start a blog about your passion. Still, there are other factors to consider if you want to keep your blog off the list of blogs dying within their first 2-3 years.

  • Do some research on the audience, and decide on a niche people are interested in. You don’t want to start a blog on a niche with a discouraging amount of audience.
  • You should also choose a niche you’ve got some knowledge of. Yeah, you can blog about a niche you don’t know much about as you can always learn with time.
  • Still, creating contents for your blog will be a little challenging. 
  • Watch out for heavily saturated niches. These are usually the most profitable niches in blogging; like sport, fashion, music, News.

There are brands already established in these areas. Your enthusiasm should be angled on establishing yourself as an authority in a more concentrated niche.

Don’t even think of competing with them yet; it’s like a baby in the ring with a giant.

So, narrow it down to a particular sub-niche like; soccer in sport, or hip hop in music. 

Here are some of the most profitable blogging niches you can narrow down and start a blog about:

  1. Fashion
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Sports
  4. Education
  5. Technology
  6. Marketing
  7. News
  8. Entertainment

Choose a platform to set up your blog

There are many blogging platforms available, but I’ll help you choose the best.

You can choose to start your blog on either a self-hosted platform or a free one, although there are pros and cons to the two.

Still, I’d recommend you set up your blog on WordPress, a self-hosted blogging platform for millions of blogs, including mine (IncomeHob).

Self-hosting (e.g WordPress.org)

Self-hosted platforms (content management system) gives you the access to fully own your blog.  

This means that you will have your custom domain (e.g www.yourdomainchoice.com).

Monetization is also easy on a self-hosted blog. 

You easily make money from your blog by putting up Ads or using other monetization strategies.

A self-hosted blogging platform like WordPress also gives you unlimited customization access. 

So, you can edit your blog to taste with zero knowledge of coding.

Free hosting (e.g Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr)

Many new bloggers are always tempted to use free blogging platforms, as you’ll be able to start a blog for free. 

However, you should know that there are discouraging limits “free”. 

Free hosting will put your blog under their policies and restrictions. 

A slight disregard for any of the policies could result in your blog being seized or permanently deleted.

Also, using a free host will limit your blog as a subdomain (www.yourbog.thehost.com). 

I’m sure you don’t want your site to look anything like that. 

Moreover, starting your blog on a free platform makes the host indirectly own your blog.

Although free hosting is really good for testing a blogging platform. 

Still, you’ll have to get a custom domain and if you want to get serious with blogging.

What would you do if they decide to remove your blog someday for some irrelevant policy excuses? 

A free host or a pocket-friendly self-hosting? I’m sure you already know which one is best for you.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to start a blog on WordPress; a platform that powers more than 2 million websites across the globe.

How to start a blog on WordPress

Pick a suitable domain name

Your domain name is the blog’s address on the internet. 

If anyone wants to find your blog, all they have to do is search for it on the internet.

So what do you want to name your blog?

Chill. Maybe there is a name on your mind already. You still have to carefully choose a domain name for your blog.

In case you eventually want to turn your blog into a brand, you don’t want a name that will limit you.

Your domain name should also be interesting, easily pronounceable, and describing the purpose of your blog.

A short and simple domain name will easily stick in the mind of your readers. 

It will also help avoid misspelling your domain name, thereby redirecting your blog visitors elsewhere.

Your domain name can be the popular dot com (.com), or you may want to go for other TLDs like .net, .org, .blog, etc. 

It depends on the audience you want to serve and the primary purpose of your blog. You can get a domain name for about $15 or less.

As long as you keep paying the fee, either annually or monthly, the domain name will always be yours.

In case you can’t come up with a domain name, Bluehost will allow you to choose later.

Want to check if your domain name is available? Use my recommended domain search tool below.

What to do if your domain name is taken

Has your desired domain name been taken or unavailable?

As much as it isn’t good news, there are workable options you can try out.

Check if your domain name is available for other TLDs. If yes, you can break the rules and go for anyone you prefer.  

I’d recommend .net, .org, or .blog. They are some of the most used tlds aside from country targeted tlds like .uk, .us, .ca, .ng, etc.

You can also try coming up with a better domain name by asking for suggestions. Friends can also share their ideas with you.

Get a pocket-friendly hosting

Since you now know how to choose a domain name, it’s high time to secure reliable hosting for your blog.

Your domain name is simply the address to your blog. A web hosting is an online space or store for your content.

Your hosting also makes your content available to your readers.

It is unarguable that the performance and ranking of your blog on the internet depend on your hosting service provider.

So before you start a blog, make sure to find the best, most reliable, and pocket-friendly hosting for your blog.

Here, I’d recommend Bluehost. The company has been around for years, serving value to millions of bloggers; both the ‘Big dogs’ and ‘Uprising’.

Aside from their excellent customer service, you also get a free domain which in turn saves you some extra bucks on getting a domain.

You’ll be given plan options to choose from, depending on whether you want the basic hosting plan or a bigger hosting plan. The latter allows multiple blogs hosting, unlike the basic plan which allows one blog hosting.

However, I recommend that you go for the basic shared hosting plan. It’s pocket friendly and fits best for your new blog. 

The next step is to choose your blog domain name. 

Here, you can create a new domain name if you don’t have one. 

In case you’ve got a domain name already, you can still connect it to your hosting. Just enter your domain name in the option that says Use a domain you own.

Next, you’ll need to fill out your account information. Please carefully enter your information and make sure it is correct.

You’ll finally have to enter your card details to make payment for blog hosting and accept the terms and conditions.

Pretty simple, isn’t it? You’re now a blogger in the making.

Install WordPress

Now that we have a domain and hosting ready, we should start setting up your bog, starting by installing WordPress.

  • Go To Your Cpanel.
  • Find the “Softaculous Apps Installer” in your Cpanel, select it.
  • You’ll see the different content management systems available. Search for WordPress and select it.
  • Enter the basic details you want to use for your blog; like user name, password, blog name, and site title.
  • Hit the install button. The installation process will start immediately. Wait for a moment,  the installation will be done shortly.

Choose a simple and attractive blog theme

After the successful installation of WordPress on your site, your blog will be live and accessible.

You may not so much like the layout, don’t bother about it. 

It’s a default theme, and you can change it to any other one you want.

Still, I recommend that you choose a simple, lite speed, and attractive blog theme. 

Heavy themes will slow down your blog and cause a bad user experience for your audience.

And trust me, nobody likes ‘slow’ when it comes to surfing the web.

Here is how to change the theme of your WordPress blog:

  • Go to your WordPress admin panel ( also called WordPress Dashboard)
  • Navigate to the Appearance and select Themes from the side menu of your dashboard.
  • Click on the Add New button.
  • Enter the name of the theme you want to use for your blog in the search box. You can also upload one from your computer. For this blog, I use Generate press wp theme.
  • Click the Install button on the theme you want. It may take a few seconds to successfully install your theme.
  • After the installation, tap on the Activate button to apply that theme to your blog.

There are many themes out there, so making a choice can be quite challenging as you wonder which one is best for your blog.

Well, for easy use, speed, SEO, and lots more amazing features, I recommend you use the Generate press wp theme.

The theme comes in a free and paid version. 

The paid version has lots of customization options, so you can design your blog to taste.

Some other great themes like wp themes like Generate press include Astra, Schema, and Authority pro.

Create an attractive logo for your blog

Your blog logo represents your blog essence. 

It’s what people will see at the top part of your blog. So make it simple and attractive.

You can hire a professional graphics designer or use any of the free logo makers available online.

Your blog logo may also include your blog tagline.

Install essential plugins

Plugins are used to add additional features to your WordPress blog. 

They also help change some functionalities of your blog without coding.

There are more than 57,000 WordPress plugins available. 

While many WordPress plugins come free, some are paid, as a result of their special functionalities.

Bluehost will add some plugins to your blog by default. 

You can check out the plugins already added to your blog by selecting the Plugins tab in your WordPress Dashboard. 

You can add more plugins, update them, deactivate, or delete the ones you don’t want.

Here is a list of some recommended plugins for your new blog:

  • Jetpack – A popular plugin that monitors your traffic, sends you downtime alerts, secures your blog, and lots more features.
  • RankMath – An efficient SEO plugin that helps optimize your blog and content for search engines. This SEO plugin is serving many bloggers by providing all on-page optimization strategies to help blogs rank higher in search engines. 

Many other amazing features come with Rank Math. You can start enjoying its fully packed functionalities as soon as you install and activate it on your WordPress blog.

  • Askimet – This is an important plugin that will help you protect your blog from spam and malicious content.  
  • Contact Form 7 – It’s used to add a contact form to your blog.
  • Wordfence – This plugin will update you about your website security and protect your blog from aggressive crawlers.

Bonus Tips: Use a caching plugin like WP Rocket. It’ll help increase your site loading speed and boost your ranking on search engine result pages (SERP).

 Create essential pages for your blog

Now that we are done adding essential plugins to your blog, we should create pages that will help your visitors or audience understand your blog.

Here are the important pages you should have on your blog:

About Us: This page helps describe the essence of your blog; what your blog is about, what services you offer, your achievements and other information about your blog.

Contact Us: This page will contain information on how your audience can reach out and connect with you. It can also contain links to your social network handles.

Product or Service Page: Here’s where you provide detailed information and links to your services or products.

Privacy Policy: This is where you give details on how you protect your visitors’ information.

Write and publish your first post

Congratulations on successfully setting up your blog.

You’re now at the stage where your consistency and the value you produce will determine how successful you’ll be in your blogging career.

You need to start creating highly valuable content.

Start by drafting your points down, dissect your ideas, find proofs for the working solutions you’re providing, add the solutions.

This plan will give you a clear and well-structured outline of how to create your content. 

It will also help your readers or audience to be able to consume your content easily without getting confused. 

Quality and easily accessible content will give your blog quality recognition in the eyes of search engines like Google, Bing etc. With this, your content will rank better.

Bonus Tips: Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization to help increase your advantage to rank on search engines. Do keyword research before writing your blog post. It’ll help you know what your audience is searching for and the right keywords to write on.

Check out these FAQs related to How to Start a Blog in 2021

Why should I start a blog?

The right answer to this will help you set the goals for your blog.

Do you want to build a community of like-minded individuals like you? 

Do you have an idea you want to share with the world?

Maybe you want to create your portfolio or a medium to share your knowledge with millions of people. 

A blog gives you an unhindered space and access to these.

You may also start a blog about that thing you’re so passionate about; food, gaming, art, photography, travelling, sport, news, etc. 

You can also start a blog for your brand, network with others and build a company. 

With a blog, you can be self-employed.

So, carefully think and ask yourself why you want to start a blog. I’m sure you’d find an answer which is the purpose of your blog.

Should I blog for money or passion?

Many newbie bloggers often ask this question. 

So the answer is this, “Blog for passion”.  Thousands of blogs die every day and this is because most bloggers tend to blog for the money. 

Without a true passion for blogging, you’ll eventually lose the will to blog. 

Making money from your blog should be your secondary goal as a blogger. 

Focus on giving value first, and you’ll get paid for it. 

This is one of the secrets of IncomeHob’s success.

How long does it take to start a blog?

Aside from the parts of choosing your niche, your domain name, and hosting. You can set up a blog in less than two hours. 

An experienced blogger with knowledge of a content management system like WordPress will do it in less than one hour. 

However, you can spend more time customizing and designing your blog to your taste.

Do I have to know how to code before I can start a blog?

The straight answer to this is ‘No’.

Blogging has evolved over the years. You can now start a blog without any knowledge of coding.

There are plugins, easy to use themes, scripts, and other tools to help you with setting up your blog.

Yes, you’ll eventually have to acquire some basic knowledge of web customization, but this has nothing to do with coding. It’s just simple web editing.

Still, a little knowledge of HTML/CSS/Java/PHP could help you someday. 

Also, you can always hire a professional web developer to handle difficult tasks; like adding extra features to your blog.

This way, you’d be able to focus on creating valuable content for your blog and let a trusted professional handle your blog customization.

How do bloggers make money?

This is one of the propelling reasons many bloggers rush into blogging and fail in the end.

Still, it’s an undeniable truth that bloggers are making tons of money online, and the strategies they employ in making money from their blogs vary; depending on what they blog about (niche).

Here are ways bloggers make money from their blogs:

Displaying Ads: You can make money from your blog by displaying third-party ads on your site. You can be getting paid per click (PPC) or impression (PPI).

In short, your earnings will be determined by the number of visits on the page the ads are displayed, and the number of times your visitors click on the ads. 

Affiliate Marketing: 

Here you make money from the purchases made through your link. 

This means that you’ll get paid a particular incentive when visitors come to your blog, click your affiliate on the product you’re promoting, and eventually make a purchase.

The affiliate sales and your earnings strongly depend on the number of visitors to your blog, how well you’re able to convince your visitors to make purchases, and whether or not they make the purchase.

Merchandise

Many creative minds like yours are out there creating and selling their products through their blog.

You can do the same. Create your product, promote it on your blog, and make money every time a visitor makes a purchase. 

Maybe you’re offering a particular service instead, you can promote your service and make money from it.

There are more monetization strategies that you can also use like selling sponsored posts etc.

It depends on the niche of your blog, how much traffic you’re getting and what service you’re offering.

Start your blog first and find out which one is best for you.

Can I start a blog for free? ($0.00)

Well, you can. There are hosted blogging platforms that allow you to start a blog for free. 

However, there are discouraging limits to a free blogging platform.

You may not be able to customize your blog as you want, your blog name will be a subdomain of the free blogging platform, and you may be able to monetize your blog or enjoy the full benefit of a self-hosted blog.

The simple truth is that your blog is not your own if you use a free blogging platform. 

Your blog may get deleted for some slight or irrelevant policy issue you don’t even know about.

So I recommend you use a free blogging platform only when you’re experimenting, and go for self-hosting if you want to get serious with blogging.

How long does it take to start making money from a blog?

This is a question many newbie bloggers ask. 

Well, you may start making money from your blog within the first six months of your blogging career.

It depends on how much traffic your blog is getting and the monetization strategies you implement.

Still, I recommend that you focus more on creating quality content for your blog. 

This will bring in more visitors, turn them into customers or subscribers, and skyrocket your earnings.

Final Thoughts on How To Start a Blog in 2021 For Beginners

Now that you’ve fully set up your blog and published your first post, what else is on the to-do list?

This is where the true journey of your blogging career begins. Consistency and high value will set you apart for the best.

Learn as you grow. Develop your knowledge and skills by reading other blogs, watching related youtube videos and also subscribing to a quality masterclass.

Talk to experts, ask questions from other friendly bloggers, join online communities of serious bloggers, and drop comments on other blogs to boost your visibility, authority, and Identity as a blogger.

Do you find this guide useful? If yes, kindly drop a comment below. 

I would love to know your suggestions and answer your questions too.

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