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How to Start a Blog to Make Money Online in 2020 Ultimate Guide?

If you have always been interested in blogging but failed to find a detailed step by step guide on how to start a blog, this guide is a lifesaver. We know that blogging was a way easier a few years back, but still, you can make money from your blog. 2020 is the best time to start your blog and make money from blogging.

We are not talking about blogging as a hobby. We are talking about the real deal here. You can generate passive income with blogging, and all you need is just proper guidelines. If you want to start a blog in 2020, stay with us till the end. This guide on how to start a blog in 2020 is meant to be equally useful for both fresh and experienced bloggers.


Find your WHY

We do nothing without a proper motive behind it. We join classes to get an education, we drink water to quench our thirst, and we go for a morning walk to refresh our mind. Simply putting, we don’t make even a single move without having a reason.

You are ready to learn how to start a blog, but why do you want to do it? What motivated you to start a blog in 2020? Whether you want to make your online appearance or you want to make money with blogging. There are countless reasons to start blogging in 2020, and here are the top five reasons to start a blog in 2020:

  • You want to promote your brand.
  • Want to start blogging to make money
  • Generate a side hustle along with your regular job
  • Follow blogging as a full-time job
  • Learn SEO to offer the services later on

Along with all of these things, the most important thing is freedom of work. You are free to set your own working hours and work on your own terms. Whether you like to travel a lot or prefer to stay in the room all day, starting a blog is the best option for you in all scenarios.


Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Blog in 2020

Starting a blog is not rocket science, but making is successful is going to take some time. The Internet is full of blogging resources, and every guide will direct you to another path. So, keep gathering all the information that you get from online resources. If you want a single complete guide on how to start a successful blog in 2020, this blogging guide is enough to start a blog from scratch.


1. Choose Blog Niche

Choosing the topic or niche of your site is really important, and the blogging game starts with this step. The blogging niche can be anything that you find interesting, like cooking, sports, movies, product reviews, and solo dancing. Anything that you can write about is the potential niche for your site. Most of the experienced marketers and bloggers suggest that you should choose a nice that lies within the area of your passion and skillset. To some extent, this approach is right, but these things may not generate your desired income out of your blog.

Monetization is Goal

Is your passion going to get monetization for blogs? Is there any scope of making money from your selected niche? Not every niche generates good money for the blogger.

Just imagine that you are a content marketer and want to share content regarding your skills on the blog. You focus on selling your services, and you write almost 20 posts about your projects and skills and then spend enough amount of time making every perfect.

After months, you start getting some traffic, but most of them are the users who want to learn content marketing, and they are not interested in your services. As your end goal was not the monetization and you were planning on making it a service website.

Selection of Profitable Niche

Instead of following your passion and skills, let’s talk about the smart strategy of choosing the profitable niche for blogging in 2020. You need to consider these four business factors:

·  Audience revenue potential

You need to understand your target audience on a more personal level, and it will help you to understand how much they are willing to invest in the solution that your site is offering.

· Potential of affiliate marketing

Can you earn by recommending different products to your audience? Affiliate marketing business model is simple, where you earn a commission by selling the products of the manufacturer.

Most of the famous companies have their affiliate program where you can apply to get the personalized links for your site. When you post the link of your site, you will get a commission for every sale made through your site and that link. Even if you want to leverage affiliate marketing to make more money, you need to work on the raking your keywords.

· Professional leverage

Can you use the site to get clients for your services or products? The professional leverage allows the marketer to give a more personalized touch to the site.  Here are some questions that you must ask yourself for the professional leverage:

  • What is my experience level?
  • What connections do I have in the market?
  • Can my professional experience help me to generate more money?
· Keyword research

You may not realize it, but the success of your blog highly depends upon your keywords. The terms and queries that users put in the search bar to look for any specific information are known as keywords. To get more traffic, you need to find the best keywords in any field. There are many famous tools and strategies to find the best keywords for any niche. A perfect keyword for your blog must have:

  • High search volume
  • Low competition
  • High CPC

2. Write End Goals for your Blog

If you want to know how to start a blog that can generate passive income for a long time, you need to set goals first to craft a feasible plan. Setting your goals will give you a clear track to follow so that you can track the progress. You need to set the short term goals before chasing the long term goals.

Setting Short Term Goals

You don’t need to write that I will be on the top of the blogging niche, or my blog will be famous till the end of 2020. These goals don’t make sense. Instead of writing random things, follow some realistic goals, and make goals precise with time limits and other figures. You can write short time goals for starting a blog like:

  • I will post the first 20 articles before June 5
  • I will share social media posts before June 10
  • I will post three guest posts before June 12
  • I will build my mailing list to 300 subscribers in the first month to starting a blog

3. Pick a Domain Name

Choosing a clear and relevant name for your website is as important as your content is. You must spend enough time thinking about it and then finally selecting the domain name that sounds professional. Here is an advice that you can “niche down” and choose an ultra-specific name. You should choose a website name that’s wide enough to allow you to pivot if required. If you cannot put in the effort and run out of the name ideas, even you are unable to choose a good new domain name.

You can start working more on your internal content of the site and make it quality work. Also, try promoting and it for a long voyage. Select a name and start worrying about being precise in your posts and site data.

Here are some points which you need to consider before choosing your domain name.

· The Expense of Domain

After you select a name for your domain, you have to buy that name from a domain registrar company. Normally, it costs $10/year or more.

· Your name for a Domain name

There is nothing wrong with picking your name as a domain name, as it will allow you to upload multiple ideas together. You will not have to stick to just one approach when you choose to put your name. A personal domain is more adaptable than the one based on a definite niche. If you have used your name, you will not have to change it while you add different things under your site.

Domain Extensions

Domains usually come with the extensions by which they look professional and depict as a proper website. These include .com, .us, .sport .org, etc.

Though, .com is the top-level domain that’s more comprehensive and often supported by search engines.

Other important things to examine

  • The domain should be clear, and sound professional means it must not too long and complex that people are unable to pronounce it. It must be unique and memorable so that people admire your work.
  • Don’t confuse people by using a lot of numbers and hyphens in your domain name.
  • Keep it simple, easy to read, and must use clear spelling.
  • It must be something that reflects your niche right away and somehow linked with your brand or service.

5. Choose WordPress Hosting and Buy Domain Name

Are you enjoying reading this article? Things are going to get interesting as we have jumped to the first practical step towards creating an amazing website. To start creating the website, you need to create an account on Bluehost so you can buy a custom domain for your website.

Visit Bluehost.com

Open your browser and Bluehost official website to create an account to buy web hosting services. You will be able to make a purchase at the Bluehost website.

Get Started with Bluehost

You will see the “Get Started” button at the bottom. This button will take you to the next step of starting your amazing website.

Choose the Web Hosting Plan

At the home page of Bluehost, you will see different pricing plans for starting your WordPress site. There, you will see three different pricing plans:

  • Basic web hosting plan for $3.95 per month
  • Plus web hosting plan for $5.95 per month
  • Choice Plus web hosting plan for $5.95 per month

As you are just getting started, the Basic web hosting plan is perfect for your business needs. Don’t worry; we know that your traffic is going to increase in a few months. You can upgrade to the Plus web hosting plan at any time.

Choose Domain Name for Website

A domain name is the online representation of your business. Choosing the custom domain name is really important as your readers are going to remember your website with your domain. You can search for your business name in the domain section. If your desired domain name is already taken, you can try different extension or can try some similar suggestions.

If you already a domain name from a different provider, you can use that domain name.

Create a Bluehost Account

Creating an account with Bluehost is really simple. The website is really simple to navigate, and you will find clear instructions at every step. The page will show all the fields and boxes that you need to fill in order to proceed with creating a Bluehost account. Just provide your personal details and business details.

Just like account for any social media site, you don’t need to worry about the personal information. Your billing information and personal information are safe with Bluehost.

Add Optional Add-Ons

To make things more affordable for you, Bluehost has added some amazing add-ons too. You will see a page where you will see different options to add extra options like a subscription for two years at a discounted price. 

You will see some featured products too at this page.

Domain Privacy is Essential for Site

Domain name privacy is available for Bluehost webhosting services at a very reasonable price. This add-on protects your website and domain name against spamming and exposure to the malicious links.

Why do you need Domain Privacy?

Some of your website information is going to be available for the public. Other users can access the personal email address by using 3rd party services. Having this add-on for your Bluehost can be a good shield again email address abuse.

Buy Domain Privacy Add-on

Buying Domain Privacy add-on is not a must thing to do but this add-on is available at a lower price for the users and it can give your website, a better sense of the security. Email abuse can lead to harm for the website and the connected email so you need to protect your information with Domain Privacy Add-on.

Other Add-Ons

Here are some other Add-ons and services that can help your website to perform better. Some add-ons come with the refund policy and some don’t offer the refunds. But most of the add-ons come with the expiry date and you can terminate them if you don’t like the service:

  • CloudFlare Platinum
  • Dedicated IP
  • Google Apps
  • Constant Contact
  • GoMobi
  • Site Backup & Restore Pro
  • SiteLock Domain Security

Checkout Bluehost

Once you have entered all the billing details and other information about your business, you need to finalize the purchasing process. Choose a strong password and remember the password and login details for future use.


6. Select your Blog’s Theme

After you have made the Word Press account, you need to pick the right theme for your account. The theme is a combination of files, style sheets, and templates that reveals the features and layout of your Word Press website. There is a default theme set on the account already, but you can customize it in your way. For that, there is a customization menu through which you can change according to your preferences. The theme appearance editor allows you to edit, such as the identity of your site, you can apply different colors for the fonts, number blocks, and other things.

Blog design principles

You must set the font size between 14 and 17 so that it is easily readable. The site must carry menu navigation, which looks good on mobile and computer desktop. You don’t need to spend money to buy a paid theme if you can get a free one you like. Yet, it should look nice and professional and free of complications.

At last, don’t overdo the layout and design of the site; the information should be accessible.

Install a new theme for the blog

First, log in to your WordPress account; add your credentials to do so. After logging in, the WordPress dashboard will appear. From the sidebar menu, Open “Appearance” and select “Themes’ from that menu. Now, click the “Add New” button at the top of the page. You will have tons of options for themes to choose from.


7. How to Install WordPress

You are still with me, and it means that you are enjoying the process of making a website in 2020. At this stage, we are done with:

  • Creating account on Bluehost
  • Choosing the custom domain name
  • Choosing the plan for your web hosting
  • Why do you need to choose own a website
  • How to add custom email for your business

The next step is the most important step in creating the website with Bluehost. The next step is to install WordPress in your Bluehost dashboard.

You don’t need to worry as Bluehost allows one-click installation of WordPress. Installing WordPress in Bluehost is really simple, and that’s one of the best things that I love about Bluehost.

Important Note

Once you have completed the account setup, you need to remember these login details for future reference. You can save the email and password in your online vault or can make a separate file to save the email and password. Make sure that no one has access to this file except you. Whenever you need to login to the WP Admin panel, enter the link in the WP Admin panel and get access to the WP website dashboard.

Go to Bluehost Dashboard

As you are already logged in your Bluehost account, go to the dashboard and choose “My Sites” button.

Enter the Website Details

Once you have chosen the “My Sites” option, you will see a window where you will be asked to enter the basic details of your website. You don’t need to worry about this step as you are just going to enter the Name of your website and the Tagline for your website. If you don’t have anything in mind, you can edit these details later too.

Choose your Domain

In the drop-down menu, you will see the domain names that you have in your account. As you have already purchased a custom domain name for your website while creating the Bluehost account, choose that one.

There will be some other plugins too, and these plugins can be installed on your website. You can do these edits later on too.

Install WordPress for Bluehost

After clicking the “Next” button, Bluehost will install WordPress for your website. This is an automated process, and you need to do nothing. In a moment, your account will be ready with WordPress installation.


8. How to Setup WordPress Site?

Now, you are ready to set up your business site or blog with WordPress. If you don’t know about WordPress, I have your back.

WordPress is the CMS that allows you to create a stunning website from scratch without writing any code or complicated programming. WordPress is powering millions of websites and online businesses. You need to pay attention to this step. Creating a WordPress site is the main purpose of this article.

You have seen that I have made things really easy for you by explaining each and every step with clear guidelines. I am going to do the same for this task too.

You don’t need to get distracted by advanced options and functionalities as we are at the beginner stage at this moment. Here are some things that you need to keep in mind while creating a stunning website with WordPress:

  • Make things simple and clear
  • Write original content
  • Make the navigation easy and simple
  • Share the website with other businesses in the same niche
  • Keep updating your site

Let’s have a look at steps that you need to perform in order to create a website with WordPress.

Theme Installation

The first step in creating a WordPress website is to choose a catchy and professional theme for your site. There are a lot of free themes available on WordPress that you can choose for your website. 

A theme is just a layout for your website and how your website is going to be displayed on your user’s screen. Choose any theme that has your desired functionalities and options. Once you have opened any theme, you will see the button to install that theme for your Bluehost site.

For themes, you have some options that you need to know before choosing the right theme for your site. Here are some major theme selections for your site:

Free WordPress Themes

Free WordPress themes are great for startups. You get almost all the functionalities that you need to for your business. We will suggest you start with a free theme. You can change and upgrade your website theme at any time. You have full control over your website and themes. These free themes may have some limitations but still, great option to get started with free stuff.

Premium WordPress Themes

I am using a paid theme for my website. I wanted to add some unique functions in my site and those functions were available in a paid theme. These premium themes are:

  • Unique in designs
  • More functions and customization
  • Improved plugins and performance
  • More optimization for the search engines
  • Secure and faster

To start using any theme for your site:

  1. Go to Appearance in the left menu
  2. Choose Themes
  3. Add the theme or choose the one
  4. Once you have selected the desired theme, click the “Install Theme” option

You can play with other settings later on. Try different things and settings for your site under the appearance tab.

Feature Rich Themes

There are some themes like Divi that has countless options to make your site as per your business needs. Like other themes from WordPress, this one is also simple and easy to use, but you get a lot of other options too that are useful for both experts and experts.

Divi is one of the most famous themes for WordPress sites. Instead of working in the backend, you can make visual changes for your website with Divi theme.

Theme Builders

Do you have a custom design in mind but did not see any suitable WordPress theme in the library? Well, for such situations, you need to choose Elementor. When it comes to the best page builders for WordPress, Elementor is the best option for you.


9. Install Plugins

Just imagine you need to add a table of things in your site. Do you know how to add tables or other similar things on the website? Well, you don’t need to do things with manual coding. For these things, we have WordPress plugins.

These plugins are designed to offer easy edits for your site. There are different themes for different options and tasks. You can find plugins for almost anything for WordPress site.

Here are some free and paid plugins that you must be using for your website in 2020.

Yoast SEO

Yoast helps to make things better for improved ranking in the search engines. You can optimize your site in a better way with Yoast SEO.

Analytify

You can get analytics about Google traffic right in your dashboard with this plugin. You can analyze the performance of your site by analyzing the stats from this plugin.

Wordfence

For the better security of your site against malware attacks, you need to install this plugin. It protects your website by improving the firewall of your site.

Akismet Anti-Spam

Most of the users will try to attack your site with spam comments and links. This plugin will check the comments for any faulty link and spams.

Classic Editor

If you are not happy with the latest WordPress updates and want to restore the previous version of the WordPress, you need to install this plugin.

Elementor Page Builder Plugin

It’s about time for a live page builder, with no limits of design. It is a page builder that delivers high-end page designs and advanced capabilities, never before seen on WordPress.

Here are some amazing benefits of having Elementor Page Builder Plugin for your site:

  • Custom CSS
  • Add global widgets
  • Animate headlines
  • Build pages visually
  • Add custom fonts
  • Design custom layout

10. Configure Important Website Settings

You are almost done with basic things and steps that you need to perform to create a stunning website with Bluehost and WordPress. There is a lot more to play within the WordPress site. You can keep trying new things and settings for your site.

There are some common settings and options like how to show the URL of your site and what to include in the URL. You can add the date or post number in the post URL or set custom URL with permalinks.

Set Permalinks

Permalinks determine the web page address for every post of the website. To make the link easier to find, try to keep the permalink simple and clean that gives an idea about the nature of the page too.

If you don’t like the given structures of the permalinks, you can set custom URL too for your posts with custom permalinks.


11. Start Creating your Content

You have survived through all of this, and it means that you are ready to produce your killer content. You need to come with a long term content strategy if you don’t want to face any issue later on. While creating the posts and articles, use the keywords and other SEO factors strategically.

The real game of blogging starts from here, and you can follow us by subscribing to the newsletter for the latest and up to date blogging tips and tricks that can help you to scale your blog. Just have patience and attitude of the winner to get things done the right way.

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Written by Usama Arbakan

I am a big fan of the digitization of businesses and have been helping bloggers and startup owners with business marketing for the last 4 years. My educational background includes Bachelor's in Commuter Science Degree and several diplomas in marketing and writing. Currently, a part-time blog writer at Ad Specto.

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