You have a great idea for a blog, but you don’t know how and where to start. You’ve spent countless hours trying to build the perfect blog and you’re sick of the frustration of trying to figure things out for yourself.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Your blog is up and running but It’s not going as well as you would like and you are out of ideas on how to attract loyal readers or clients.
If it does sound familiar then you already know how crazy it can be trying to get quality advice and support.
That’s why I created this tutorial where by, am going to hold your hand step by step and show you exactly what you need to do to build your blog the right way.
I will try to cover almost all of the necessary ASPECTS of running a successful blog from scratch. If you are a complete beginner, be sure to hold on tight because you are in for a treat today!
But first, let me make things straight, this tutorial is for peeps who are ready to learn and put into action what they just learned.
If you have been wondering how and where to start a blog.
Where will you get traffic for your blog, what topic should you talk about? Should you go with your passion, Knowledge or experience?
What will you get in return for all of your hard work?
Then this is the right guide for you.
I’ve laid out everything step by step with Screenshots, PDF checklists and worksheets that will go a long way to help you build a successful blog.
This Tutorial is not for people who are looking to make a quick buck out of this, If making money is your only prime motive then kindly close this window and move on with your life.
But, if you are anything like me or most successful bloggers in this space, then you have a real desire to help people out with your knowledge, expertise, experience or passion.
Money always comes when you sincerely provide solutions to problems that people are facing in their daily lives.
Here’s What You Will Learn:
- Why You Should start a Blog
- How To Start a Blog
- How To Understand and Choose The Right Audience
- How To Write About A Topic Your Audience Will Think You have Super Powers
- How To Choose the right Domain name
So… Lets dive right in!
Why Start A Blog?
You are probably wondering why the heck should you start a blog? Do you even need it?
Actually, one of the biggest regrets in my life is not starting a blog sooner. I always tell myself, if only I started sooner…
I would have reached more people.
Help more bloggers and changed more lives.
But this is not the time to live with regrets, so am over it by now. I admit that from time to time these thoughts still come into my mind. And Its totally okay.
If you want to start a blog just to make money out of it, You will Fail. Period.
The desire has to be much bigger than that, because what if you don’t make a dime for the next six months after you start your blog?
Yes, it happens.
I didn’t make anything for the first seven months since I started blogging.
But because I had a bigger purpose than just making some few bucks, so I didn’t quit and I continued persisting, learning and improving every single day.
I was making every mistake a newbie blogger can make under the sun…
Like choosing the wrong topic for my audience, wasting tremendous amount of time on things like my theme, logo, which hosting provider should I choose, the name of my blog, which email marketing software should I use… blaa blaa blaa
Actually none of that really matters! I’ll get to that in a minute…
So here are the three things I believe on why you should start a blog… Well, Today.
1. Blogging gives you a voice
A place where you can speak your heart out. Its something that you own and nobody can take it away from you.
If you follow the step by step instructions that I’m going to lay out to you today, you will build an audience of loyal readers that would love you and look up on you. You will inspire them, change them and rock their world!
2. Blogging helps you to learn and grow
What if you don’t know about a certain topic, but your readers frequently ask you about it? So you go out, do some research, learn and teach it to your audience. In the process, you learn and grow. And at the same time you help your readers do the same.
See how powerful this is?
3. Establish Authority
Your readers will start viewing you as an Authority Expert once you start and set up your blog the right way. Whenever they have a question about a topic you write about, they just come to you.
Whenever other bloggers/experts talk about a topic that you always write about, they think of you and they link your site for their audiences as well.
You’ll create more business opportunities, network and build relationships with other bloggers in your space. You’ll be featured in other blogs, get speaking engagements and many more other good stuff.
I could go on and on why you should start a blog Today. But because I believe you know why you want to start a blog and that’s why you are here in the first place 🙂
How To Start a Blog The Right Way
This is the nitty gritty part of building your blog. This is where most people get stuck. They don’t get help, so they quit.
Yes, you may find help when you buy an online course or do some thorough google search, but still not be able to do it because its not layed out step by step for you and believe me, most online courses suck!
They just don’t live to the expectation.
This is where I come in and help.
You lucky devil 🙂
Here’s my step by step instructions and I’ll try everything in my power to illustrate from A-z
First off, these are the things you need:
- A domain name
- Hosting Service
- Auto responder
So… Lets get started!
Getting a Domain Name and Hosting Services
You have only 7 seconds to get attention from your new visitors, so your domain name should be catchy and unique, Google no longer uses domain keywords as a ranking factor, but its always good to use a name that is pretty much relevant to your niche.
Using your real name is also okay if you want to build a personal brand. I’ll cover how to choose the right domain name later in this post, so for now just look at the way I purchase my domains in the screenshots below and you’ll get into it later.
I purchase all of my sites using Godaddy, I have never had any problems with it, and their support is awesome.
But for now, lets use Siteground because when you decide to use their hosting services, they let you choose your desired domain name for free. So you don’t have to buy a domain name from other registrars.
Which is pretty cool.
In the screenshots below I show you how to get a domain name, get hosting services and make your site go live. (note: If you decide to buy through this Siteground link I get a little commission out of it)
Step 1 : Head over Siteground
Once you are at Site ground’s website, hover over WordPress services then select WordPress Hosting;
Step 2 : Pick the right Plan for you
Don’t hassle over it, look through each plan and choose whats best for your needs. I recommend the GrowBig Plan, Why? Because It has some amazing Premium WordPress features you don’t wanna miss…
Step 3: Choose your domain name
Register a new domain name, so that you can get it for free. If you already have a domain name its totally okay, Siteground will also migrate that domain for you for free!
Step 4: Fill out your details
Note: Don’t purchase any random domain name yet, because… later in this post I will show you how to craft a unique domain name that will make your blog even more awesome! If you already have a domain name idea, then go ahead
Installing and Configuring WordPress
You’ve probably heard of WordPress, It is the most used content management system in the web today. It helps you build and manage your websites and blogs with ease.
You gotta love WordPress. It helps even the most non tech savvy guys like me, create amazing looking websites. You are only limited by your imagination.
If you have never heard of it, its totally okay.
Siteground has probably walked you through their set up process and by now you, I believe you have logged in to your WordPress dashboard.
If you’ve still not logged in then follow the screenshots below on how to log in once your set up is complete with Siteground.
Step 1: Head over Google or Your Favorite browser/search engine
And you’ll probably see something like this after you enter your credentials,
It could also be different because WordPress keeps updating every now and then…
I won’t be getting into the part of crafting your first post/page, adding plugins and all those other stuff because that alone is a whole article of its own and Ill cover them in the next tutorial series.
Don’t you worry though, those stuff are pretty darn easy!
So for now, just follow through the next steps and be sure not to get distracted by anything else…
Choosing Your Theme
After we install WordPress, it usually comes with a default theme. In our case, it came with the 2016 WordPress theme.
Please don’t hassle or sweat over it.
You have to get a premium theme before you start creating any content, that’s just my rule these days…
So that once you are done with the designing part, you can start focusing on nothing but your content and marketing strategies.
I’m guilty for using and recommending my clients to use a free theme as they are getting started. Because I didn’t see the point of using a premium theme if you don’t have any readers yet.
Urging why every serious blogger should get a premium theme.
Why do I recommend thrive themes?
Because, not only will you get several beautiful themes to choose from for your website.
You’ll also get thrive leads – a plugin that will start building your mailing list faster than ever, you’ll also get many more other cool stuff like landing page builder (you don’t have to pay for any other landing page soft-wares like lead pages), you’ll also get thrive content builder and a whole range of further benefits.
Step 1: Go to Thrive themes
(This is an affiliate link)
Step 2: Scroll your way down and click see plans and pricing
As you scroll down, also check out the goodies you’ll be getting once you become a thrive member;
Step 3: Pick a plan
Notice that you can pay either quarterly or annually, so choose according to your budget…
I’ll leave the next few steps for thrive themes, they have some good training videos and they’ll probably walk you through every step of the way… If you still have doubts/concerns, feel free to ask me anything in the comment section below.
Pro Tip: Choose one theme and stick with it. Don’t make the same mistake I did of changing my themes more often than I changed my pajamas 🙂
Your website is up and running! Am impressed you’ve reached this far, where most people don’t.
Most people can have an idea but never really execute that idea into reality and they live with regrets all of their lives.
It is my sincere hope that I helped you see the light in this noisy and saturated online space, where by there are lots of false claims and myths you wanna stay away from…
So you might be wondering, what’s next Nadeem?
Am going to help you choose and understand the right audience for your blog and choose a topic they can’t resist 🙂
How To Understand and Choose The Right Audience
If your Audience is wrong, everything you do will be wrong.
“You have to make your blog as an extension of your readers and not you. Yes you should be part of it, but not entirely.”
So you simply have to understand and choose your audience first before you do anything on your blog. Get this wrong, and you are doomed to fail.
Step one: Create a List of Your Areas of Expertise based On Your Knowledge, Experience or passion
Just write down everything you have in your mind, for now don’t judge or be skeptical about what to list;
- What areas in your life are you really knowledgeable about?
- What topics are you really obsessed with?
- What kinds of questions do people come to you for answers?
- Who do or would you love to serve?
- In what areas of your life have you achieved incredible things?
- What kind of tribes do you already belong to?
- What kind of things do you really love to do?
I personally feel good when I use a pen and paper, then I start jotting things down.
You should do the same or you can use your favorite text editor…
You can also download the worksheet I created for you that will walk you through all of the steps : Worksheet Download
Step two: Choose An Expertise Where You Can Work On Right Now
What you have to do is start filtering stuff down and you want to choose an expertise which you can work on right now – based on where you can help the most people.
It should be something that you can talk about for the next five years or so without getting bored. So take your time and choose one expertise that is aligned with your knowledge, passion or experience.
Pro Tip: Choose an area which is mastery, where by it is difficult to accomplish if not impossible – A area where person can’t really master.
Step three: Create a Mind Map of all the different audiences Interested In Your Expertise
Am going to use a free online tool to create a mind map example as a guide on how you can create your own mind map of your audiences. You could also use pen and paper if you don’t want the hassle of using an online tool.
I use mindmeister – Feel free to check it out and create your own mind map
Write down as many audiences as possible
Step Four: Eliminate Any Audience that is…
- Not composed of at least 5 million people (This is the magic number). Your audience has to be this big to have any chance to succeed.
- Without an ongoing interest in your Expertise/Topic.
- Any audience that has incompatible Subgroups – like teen parents can never be grouped together with Single parents, they just don’t fit together.
- Any Audience that is outside the range of 25-55 years old.
- Not connected through social media.
- Any audience you cannot work with
- Any Audience that doesn’t speak English – Sorry, you cannot build a successful Spanish or French blog (Its Not entirely impossible, but its gonna be hard to scale your business 🙂
Now Lets take a look at the Big ten Topics that your audience has to be aligned with in order for you to have a chance of success
- Self Improvement
- Social media
- Personal Finance
- Creative Endeavors
Now to further target your audience and make sure you get the best out of them, ask yourself this question from your mind map, where by now… I believe you have already eliminated some of the audiences that did not fit in our criteria…
how many of the big ten topics are involved in each audience I wrote in my mind map and they still fit in the criteria above? (the criteria in step four)
And now… Are you ready to hear this?
The audience that is involved with the most topics wins!! Congratulations! You have just defined your Audience! Hureeeeyyyyy!!
Why? Simply because, the broader the audience, the bigger the potential!
Pro Tip: Don’t narrow yourself to one Topic. Narrow it down to one audience who have interest in various Topics (example – Bloggers as an audience – they need traffic, content strategies, email marketing strategies and many more other stuff)
How To Write About A Topic Your Audience Will Think You Have Super Powers
Now that you have already chosen your audience, what you have to do now is create valuable content on topics that are aligned with your audience.
For example; my audience are bloggers who want to start and grow a successful blog, the topics that they will be interested in are Getting Traffic, Email marketing strategies, content marketing strategies, Seo and many more other stuff…
Take one Topic that you love and It’s aligned with your audience and excel in it. Read and study everything you get your hands on this topic.
Why are we doing this?
Because… Most successful bloggers out there are known for one thing (topic), not that they can’t talk or write about other topics for their audience. They are specifically known as an expert in one topic.
Jon Morrow of SmartBlogger, he is known as one of the best writers in the blogging space.
Dereck Halpern of Social Triggers is known for using psychological triggers to boost traffic and conversions.
So take one topic, focus, master and excel in it until you are seen as an expert in that particular topic.
Develop a skill called Empathy
Jon morrow of smartblogger says this is one of the most valuable skill any blogger can acquire.
In its basic form, ‘Empathy is The Intellectual identification and understanding the feelings, thoughts or attitude of another.’
Use this template to fill in the blank
Why would “Your Audience” be Interested in “Topic”
In my case, “Why would bloggers be interested in getting traffic?”
Then do the same thing with other related topics, for example;
“why would bloggers be interested in Seo”
“why would bloggers be interested in email marketing strategies”
Now I want you to take a pen and paper again 🙂 or your favorite text editor and write; Desires & Goals on the left side and write Fears & Frustrations on the right side (see screenshot below)
Just write down everything that comes into your mind, what desires or goals that you think your audience needs and why would they be interested in that particular topic that you want to be seen as an expert on…
And what are the fears and frustrations they come across as they try to accomplish their desired goal?
Next, write down the achievements that they are likely to have as a result of accomplishing their desired goals. (see screenshot below)
Now I want you to eliminate any achievement that is;
- Off topic
- Uninteresting to 20%+ of your audience
- Quick to accomplish
- Impossible for you to deliver
The information you have now is Gold! It will probably lead you to a Great Start! This is something most start up bloggers over look, and to me, this is one of the most important aspects of you succeeding as a blogger.
How To Find The Right Domain Name
There are number of ways on how to choose the right domain name for your website. Now that you know who is your audience, what are there desires and goals, what are there fears and frustrations – it will make it easier for you to choose the right domain name.
This is how your domain name should be;
- Connected to your audience
And these are the myths
- They have to be short
- The use of keywords in your domain
- Use your name (I actually fell for this myth and most people do, I invested so much time and money in this domain that’s why I have not changed it – I’ll probably do just that in the future days 😐
The reason why you are not supposed to use your name is because when you are just starting out, its going to be so hard (not Impossible) to gain any kind of traction or credibility.
So you have to choose a name that your audience will remember… Please don’t make the mistake I made in using my name, although you can always change it later on.
If your blog’s name Isn’t already captivating then you are already falling behind.
Method one on choosing your domain name:
Name the audience
If they succeeded, what would they call them selves? In this example I’m going to use Bloggers as the audience and lifestyle as one of the achievements
Singular domain: “Lifestyleblogger.com”
Plural domain: “Lifestylebloggers.com”
The + Singular: “Thelifestyleblogger.com”
Plural + Only: “Lifestylebloggersonly.com”
Method two on choosing the right domain :
Name the result
So go through the results that you wrote down earlier and start jotting down ideas and phrases that would be eye catching and spark curiosity to your visitors.
Method three on choosing the right domain :
Name the topic + audience
What is the blog about? Referencing from what you wrote down earlier, start writing down and crafting name ideas and choose the one that you think describes what your blog is about…
For example the guys behind Copyblogger did this awesomely well as they named the topic and the audience.
What we have covered
I hope deep in my heart that this tutorial was useful and it actually took you from point A to Point B. My goal was to take you from a complete beginner to having your own website, to understanding and defining your audience and topics and set you up for a great start.
Now if you did not follow through the action steps, please do that now and make sure you complete all the steps.
If you did go through and completed all the action steps, then I believe you now have;
- A website
- A captivating domain name
- A good understanding of your Audience
- A good understanding of the topics that are aligned with your audience
- A good understanding of the fears and frustrations of your audience
- A good understanding of their desires, goals and achievements
This is a start of a three part series. Where by, in the next tutorial – I’m going to cover other important aspects of your blog like how and why you should have a content marketing strategy, how to find blog post ideas, how you are going to promote your blog and how to connect and network with other bloggers/Influencers.
Wrapping things Up
It won’t always be easy but I know you can do it. From time to time you’ll have unanswered questions and self limiting beliefs. And believe me, its totally okay.
I’ve helped dozens of people start a blog the right way, and I know you can do the same. Just shoot me a message below if you have any questions, and I’ll be glad to help you out 🙂
I sincerely hope that you got a lot of value out of this… and if you did, please follow these next couple of steps…
Step 1: Introduce yourself in the comment section – What’s your name? Where are you from? Why did you decide to start a website/blog? What are you currently struggling with?
Step 2 : Share this tutorial with as many people as you can, so that they can also get value out of this, start a website or define their audience the right way.
Optional step: Enter your email address below so that I can notify you when I’m done creating the next tutorial of this three part series that will cover step by step instructions on how to
- Craft your content marketing strategy
- How to find blog post ideas
- How to create viral blog posts that people would love to read and share
- How to get traffic for your blog without spending all your time and money on promotions