Starting A Blog In 2021: Blogging Basics 101 | Pepper Content

Starting A Blog In 2021: Blogging Basics 101

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 20/08/219 min read
Starting A Blog In 2021: Blogging Basics 101

Table of Contents Introduction How to Get Started with a Blog Designing your blog Installing essential plugins Setting up your content calendar Write your blog posts Building an SEO-friendly article Publishing Blog Posts Promoting Your Blog Participating in the blogging community Monetizing your blog Tracking and improving your blog That’s all for now! Frequently Asked… Continue reading Starting A Blog In 2021: Blogging Basics 101

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • How to Get Started with a Blog
    • Designing your blog
    • Installing essential plugins
    • Setting up your content calendar
    • Write your blog posts
    • Building an SEO-friendly article
    • Publishing Blog Posts
    • Promoting Your Blog
    • Participating in the blogging community
    • Monetizing your blog
    • Tracking and improving your blog
  • That’s all for now!
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Planning to start a blog and hoping to succeed so that you can finally quit your 9-5 job? Great!

The bad news? It’s not going to be easy. The good news? It’s not going to be that challenging either!

But here is an essential blogging tip before you go ahead: be diligent, passionate, and have PATIENCE! Amit Agarwal (the founder of labnol.org) took almost a decade to become an overnight success as India’s first tech blogger, and his current earning is $60,000 per month.

Now that you understand the trifecta of blogging, here’s a rule book to follow. After all, like life, there are no shortcuts to winning as a blogger.

The aim is to take baby steps and not get overwhelmed. Hence, the article is divided into a bite-sized action plan covering every aspect of blogging, from choosing a hosting website to creating an email list when starting a blog in 2021.

Let’s get started!

How to Start Writing a Blog?

1. Designing your blog

Decide a niche

When starting a blog in 2021, you first need to have the right niche. Ask yourself what you are passionate about and see if there’s an audience for it. The quickest way to identify this is through a Google search!

For example, if you are a professional baker, search for the most common baking terms.

This way, you can follow your passion, gather readers, and enjoy your journey of being a blogger. 

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The results are plenty, but the first few will give you insights into how people are scouring the web for baking recipes.

If you are passionate about it, don’t worry about your niche being too weird. Once you decide on the niche, you must validate it. This is crucial for the success of your blog. 

Here are a few steps that you can take for the validation process: 

  • Check the size of the niche
  • Research on your competitors
  • Analyze the potential to make money out of it

It will help in getting a clear idea about your proposed niche. At times, taking a good blogging course can also provide you with a clear idea about the place you have to choose. 

Pick a domain, hosting service, and blogging platform

Your domain name is the name by which you are going to be known over the internet. It is the unique address of your blog over the internet. Decide a short and straightforward name that isn’t a homophone. Don’t stress over the name a lot that it prevents you from starting the blog, as it will take time to transform it into a brand.

Users who know your domain can type it into the address bar of the browser. But others can discover you through online search engines, such as Bing or Google. Hence, you must come up with a unique blog name. 

Choose a hosting web central service from GoDaddy or BlueHost. Both are cheap and boast good customer support. Go with the basic plan and ensure to opt for domain privacy and protection.

Finally, choose WordPress as your CRM platform as it is user-friendly, reliable, and offers many free plugins.

Once ready, get to the designing part. Set your brand’s persona, craft a coming soon page, select good fonts, customize the homepage design, and create an about us page. 

Also, don’t forget to see what your competitors are up to!

2. Installing essential plugins

The most tempting benefit of choosing WordPress is its plethora of plugins. They will ease your life and help personalize the website.

Tip: There are over 52,000+ plugins. Install the necessary ones, or they will end up slowing your page speed.

Here are some essential plugins:

  • Yoast: To help measure and give you insights into your web page’s (article’s) SEO and readability.

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  • Jetpack: To manage the website’s speed and security. 

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  • Akismet Spam Protection: It will scan comments, forms, and user-received data to prevent malicious content on your website.

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  • WP Forms: An easy WordPress form builder to collect submissions from your readers.

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  • XML Sitemaps: To create search-engine-friendly sitemaps for your website

3. Setting up your content calendar

To win the game of search engines, you must write about something intriguing, unique, and value-adding for your readers.

But who is your audience? Thus, before writing, create your buyer’s persona. Identify your target audience, what they are looking for, and how you can help them.

The next step is to conduct a competitive analysis. See what your competitors are writing about and see what you can do to upgrade it for your audience.

At this stage, you will probably have plenty of ideas. So how do you prioritize them?

Create a content calendar. Jot down the dates of special occasions, days, and research on Google Trends. This will help you plan and cover everything that’s time-sensitive without delay.

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At this point, you must also decide how many posts you want to publish – daily, weekly, or monthly. The ideal answer to this is to start publishing 1 per week. However, if you have more time on hand, you can post daily too.

You can increase this number gradually.

4. Write your blog posts

Now that you have organized your content calendar, it’s time to start the central part-writing!

People do not read a blog just because it looks nice or they are publishing content frequently. They read it because they are interested or care about what it says. Creating rich content will bring you more readers and will help you with your success. There are many free online courses for blogging that will tell you how to start writing your blog. An online blogging course can provide you with blog starting tips and necessary information to get your hands dirty. 

Start with researching the topic, followed by creating the structure of the article. This ensures you don’t deviate from the main subject. If your main aim is to earn money from the blog, you have to do some research to decide if there is a market demand for that niche. Find out if your prospective audience is searching for what you are planning to write about. 

Before writing your blog, you must select at least 5-10 keyword phrases after extensive research. Choose a keyword that sees high traffic. 

If you want to come up with a clever blog post idea, here are a few tactics:

  • Check what other bloggers in the same niche are covering. 
  • Take a look at the most successful posts and find out what readers like the most. 
  • Chat with some experienced bloggers and brainstorm some new ideas. 
  • Reflect on the blogging mistakes you have made previously while choosing a topic. 

What other things to take care of?

  • Headings: Your headings need to be catchy. Understand the psychology of your readers and use words that create FOMO in them.
  • Introduction: It will make or break your article. The introduction needs to resonate with the audience. So step into their shoes and address the pain point in your article.
  • Scannability: Give your article more white (breathing) space. Write shorter paragraphs and divide your content into subheads.
  • Add visuals: Try to break the content with more visuals for readers to consume it quickly. Add images, videos, or even witty but relevant gifs.
  • Takeaway: What action do you want the user to take after reading your article? Place a proper call-to-action that directs the user’s path to take action, whether subscribing to the newsletter or buying a product/service.

One common problem that most beginner bloggers face is plagiarism. Often when you follow other blogs, you subconsciously follow their writing patterns and lose the originality. If you feel you are just paraphrasing, stop right there!

Take a break and get back to it with a fresh perspective. It’s always quality vs. quantity.

5. Building an SEO-friendly article

Research, observe, and add – this should be the mantra when writing the article!

Marketers usually conduct heavy SEO research using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Uber Suggest. But is it indispensable?

Well, the goal is to make the article user-friendly. And you don’t necessarily need paid tools for this. Here’s how you can make your article SEO-friendly without an in-depth understanding of SEO or splurging on tools:

  • Research competitor’s article: See the words they use in the headers and search them in Google to see if they appear in suggestions.
  • Google Trends: Go to Google Trends and search your topic. Trends and breakout topics will appear at the bottom. You can include those queries in your article to make it more user-friendly.

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  • Google Suggestions: Google suggests user queries, keywords, and so much more if you notice them. See the sections – Search suggestions, People Also Ask, and the suggestions at the page’s bottom.

Now prepare the list of all the keywords you come across and check them on Google Analytics for their frequency.

Include the higher volume ones in H1 and H2 and the rest in the descriptions. Don’t forget to add keywords in your image’s alt tag and URL (which needs to be short and easy to remember).

6. Publishing blog posts

So you are done writing your blog post? Great. Don’t rush through publishing.

Take a short break before proofreading your article. This will help you see the article in a new light. If possible, run it through your friends or fellow bloggers for profound insights.

Next, check the URL, ensure alt tags are added, and the meta description is proper.

While publishing, create a checklist comprising essential points that you should check for every article. This will come in handy for you or others you hire at a later stage. 

7. Promoting your blog

Publishing your article and believing that SEO will do the work for you is not true!

The real work starts post-publishing. It is essential to market your article across different digital platforms. This includes promoting it on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Quora, Flipboard, Reddit, etc.

  • The first prominent place to turn to is social media. Choose the platform that best suits your niche and attracts your target audience. This is important to keep in mind when you are promoting your blog. There’s no use promoting your blog on every social media platform. Look for the channels that will provide you with the best returns. 
  • Guest blogging on relevant sites and blogs can also prove to be of great help. With this, you will be able to connect with an already established audience. 
  • At times, simply throwing your ideas out into social media might not be much effective. Rather be a part of online communities, and targeted forums can provide you with a better return on your time. But you have to find the right ones. Check out the relevant groups on Facebook to learn about some vibrant communities. 
  • You can also use an email newsletter to grow your blog audience. It is one of the most potent ways to keep your readers engaged. 

The long and short is, market your article everywhere you get a chance. Some people go as far as commenting on other related articles to promote it. It is an excellent way to build backlinking.

Remember your blog won’t grow overnight. You will have to experiment with different features like push notifications, ask people for newsletter subscriptions through the signup page, etc. You can even host giveaways.

8. Participating in the blogging community

To gain traction on your blog, you must connect and collaborate with people in similar niches, interact with your readers via comments or social media platforms, and become a part of the blogging community on social media groups (there are numerous).

This will help you feel more inclusive, motivated and learn real-time growth and blog starting tips from other experienced bloggers.

9. Monetizing your blog

The ultimate goal is to earn out of your blog. There is a reason making money from the blog has been placed at the end of the guide. Unless you already have a large audience base, you cannot expect to make money. But remember, monetization should not be your only focus when it comes to blogging. 

Here’re some ways to do so:

  • Google AdSense: This is the easiest way to monetize your blog. All you have to do is sign up with Google Ads.
  • Freelancing: In case you want to start earning from the blog quickly, selling your services is the easiest option you have at hand. To find a client, you need a strong pitch. Make sure you have some work samples to show your client.
  • Affiliate Marketing: You can sign up for affiliate marketing programs of Amazon, ShareASale, etc. Most of the known brands have affiliate marketing. Once you have a small readership, you can broker an advantageous affiliate deal with a brand with products you would like to promote through your blogs.
  • Other options: Offer sponsored guest posts or launch a digital service/product. Unless you have a small audience on the blog, it will take some time to grow the readership to a point where you have the option of sponsored content. For sponsored content, make sure that you don’t alienate the readers. 

10. Tracking and improving your blog

What gets measured gets improved! Use tools like Google Analytics and MonsterInsights (WordPress plugin) to see your traffic, ranking, and more. 

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This will help you understand what your readers like to read, the vocabulary, and more. Based on this, you can work on the upcoming articles as well as revamp the existing articles.

Moreover, content marketing and SEO evolve every day. Hence, there’s always something new to implement in your article.

So keep your old articles updated, repurpose old articles (like create and add infographics, etc.), and don’t forget to update your plugins!

That’s all for now!

Blogging is a pretty competitive niche. According to Semrush, there are 500 million+ blogs out of 1.7 billion websites. Growing a successful blog ultimately comes down to being engaged and excited with the new blog. If you want people to read what you are writing, you have to give them a reason, and all other metrics such as traffic, monetization, etc., are going to follow. 

Hence, it is wise to learn from others’ mistakes. We hope these blogging tips for beginners help give your blog the head start it needs. 

FAQs

1. What types of blogs are in demand now?

Different types of blogs are in demand now. However, some of the most popular are travel, food, lifestyle, photography, personal, and health and fitness blogs. 

2. Can I ask questions in my blog?

Yes, asking questions to the readers is an excellent way to grow your blog for various reasons. Firstly, it will make your readers feel that they are participating in the blog. Secondly, it will make the readers feel more connected to what you have to say. There is nothing like coming to a blog post where readers interact to give it the sense of being alive. 

3. How do bloggers get paid?

Most bloggers make money by placing ads on the site. Every time a reader clicks on the ad, they get paid for the click. You get money based on how many people are checking the ad. 

4. When should I start my blog?

The sooner you start with your blog, the better it is for you. It will give you time to mold the blog as it is an organic process. Your blog is going to take time and is going to build as you add content and posts. You can take free blogging courses on when and how to start writing a blog

5. Is an online blogging course worth it?

Yes, when you choose the right course, blogging courses are worth it. You will find hundreds of top blogging courses on the internet. You just have to be sure you are choosing the best online blogging course. 

6. Is it worth starting a blog in 2021 as a career option?

Blogging as a career is an excellent prospect. Nevertheless, it isn’t easy. The success rate is relatively low. Some bloggers fail as they fathom blogging is a get-rich-quick scheme. But to be successful, you require a lot of hard work and patience before you can start to generate revenue. 

7. Do I need to know coding to become a blogger?

No, you don’t have to know coding to become a blogger. There are several blogging platforms out there that make it easier for you to start. You can also take the best blogging courses for beginners to know how it works.

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