This is not just another blog post on the internet. It’s a complete guide on how to start a blog. So, I have divided this guide into few simple steps you can follow to start your first blog.
Before you start, remember that blogging is not going to get you success overnight. It takes time so patience is required for success. Don’t expect too much too early !
Blogging is a new trend to earn money but people in India aren’t that much aware about it. So, when i started blogging, I had no idea about hosting plans and domain names.
I don’t want you to face such problems, so i will be mentioning some good websites from where you can purchase domain name and hosting plans at best prices.
So, let’s begin but before that I would like to talk about the most asked question by Indian bloggers.
Paid vs Free blog (WordPress vs Blogger)
Let’s accept this, we are Indians and we don’t want to invest online because that’s not in our DNA. But, the reality is that you won’t be able to rank your blogger page on Google if you go for a free blog.
Google blogger or other free blogging platforms will provide you a free subdomain like xyz.blogspot.com.
The problem with this type of domain name is that you won’t be able to get organic traffic as Google gives preference to top level domain names like example.com as they seem to have more authority.
Also, free blogging platforms won’t give you the functionality to add plugins or optimize your website. That’s why bloggers prefer self hosted wordpress.
Seo isn’t easy on blogger and you will need wordpress plugins like yoast seo for that. So, obviously if you want your blog to rank in google, you need to optimize your blog.
However, if you are blogging because it’s your hobby and you are not serious about making money from it then it’s fine, you can go ahead with blogger or other free platforms.
But, if you want to build a brand with which you will be able to earn descent amounts of money and finally want to be an online marketer, you must invest and go for wordpress.
I think now it’s clear that why you should purchase a domain name and hosting for your blog.
Now let’s build your first blog !
Steps to start a blog in India -in 10 steps:
If you do read till the end, there are some bonus topics as well. So, let’s jump into the details !
1. Choosing a topic or niche
This is the initial and an important step when you are going to start your blog. You must be very clear that why you are going to start a blog. What is your motive behind it ?
Many people want to start a blog but can’t decide what to write about.
Here, I want to tell you that when deciding about a topic ask yourself, “Can I write on this topic for a long period of time (say 5 years) ?”
You must choose a topic which interests you the most, about which you have an expertise or something which you are passionate about and can write about it in the long run.
Still can’t decide what to write about ? Let me help you, these methods might not sound much convincing but I also used these when I started smashbig.com. Additionally, you can checkout 20 best blogging niche ideas.
5 tips to choose a niche to start a blog in India
1. Ask yourself, Why do you want to start a blog ?
2. Write down 5 topics of your interest (these can be broad categories of broad topics ). For example: Health
3. Under each 5 topics write down sub-categories (atleast 2-3) of your expertise. For example: Diet Plan
4. Under your most preffered sub categories start writing about 20 article ideas which you can write about. For example, : Diet plan for overweight males, Diet plan for underweight females etc.
5. If you were able to write down 20 or more blog post ideas under a category, therefore choose that as a niche for your blog.
2. Get a Domain Name.
Now that you have decided the topic or niche your blog will be about. Let’s talk about the next step which is to get the perfect domain name for your blog.
Before you start your blog, remember domain name is very important and it’s not easy to change your domain name once you have chosen it.
Many bloggers make this mistake of randomly choosing a blog name and regret it years later. Think of your blog as a brand. A brand never compromises when it comes to brand value.
Tips to choose a perfect domain name
1. It should be easy to spell.
2. It should be easy to remember.
3. Your domain name should not be very long.
4. Your domain name should pass the phone test. If you tell your domain name over a phone to a person, they must get it at once and not ask you to spell it. example: smashbig.com
5. Try using simple words like bigmoneyblog.com (just an example)
6. Always choose TLD (top level domain) name such as .com . You might be getting .in or .co.in or .co at cheap prices but such domain names are very difficult to rank on google so avoid them.
7. Choose non keyword domain name over keyword containing domain name because this will help you to build a brand. Think about long term !
8. If still you can’t find a domain name for your blog, you can use domain generator , just enter your preferred keywords. It will provide you domain names for you to start your blog.
How to purchase a domain name in India ?
I bought my domain name from hostgator . You can purchase from any website online but make sure to read about the hidden costs.
The first year cost is very low to lure people and the renewal costs are 3 times more.
So make sure you contact their support guys and ask about all the charges before jumping in.
Here i have mentioned the process to buy a domain name from Hostgator.
Step 1: Visit hostgator domain registration page and enter your preffered domain name.
Step 2: You will see a list of available domains, go for TLD as discussed above. After that, choose and click add to cart and then checkout.
Step 3: Check your order summary and click on continue.
Step 4: Enter your payment details and boom ! Congratulations you just bought domain name for your blog.
Next, we have to move ahead and buy hosting for our blog which is discussed in the next topic.
3. Buy a hosting plan
There a ton of companies offering hosting plans but beware about the hidden charges. These websites offer 1st year hosting at very cheap prices but the renewal prices are 3 times the initial price offered.
I personally would recommend you to go for Siteground hosting plan or Hostgator. I have found these two to be the best in the market. However, this website is hosted on Hostgator servers.
If you are a beginner and has just started your blog, I would recommend you to go with the basic plan for a single domain. You can always upgrade later whenever you feel the need.
However, when choosing the plan make sure you buy the hosting for atleast 1 year. This will help you save money at the same time you are not investing a big amount of say 5 years of hosting.
How to buy hosting from Siteground
Step 1: Go to siteground.com and you will see three plan options.
Step 2: Select the StartUp plan.
Step 3 : Enter your purchased domain name and proceed.
Step 4: Enter your personal and payment details and continue.
Step 5: Check your email for cpanel login details. Login to your cpanel.
4. Install WordPress
This is the fourth step in my guide on how to start a blog. So, after you have purchased your blog domain name and hosting. You need to install wordpress now.
How to install WordPress in Cpanel ?
Step 1: In your CPanel, find Softaculous and click on it.
Step 2: Click on install wordpress. Make sure to install wordpress in root directory, so leave in Directory field empty.
Step 3: Name your blog and put a tagline. Choose username and password. Don’t Forget this username and password !
Step 4: Click on install. It will take some time. After that, you will see a link to login to your wordpress like www.example.com/wp-admin. Use your username and password to login.
5. How to add theme to your wordpress blog ?
Once logged in to your wordpress dashboard, you now need to add a theme for your website. Therefore, follow the steps below to add a theme.
Step1: Go to the theme section on the left sidebar and click on add new theme.
Step2: Search for Astra theme. Download and activate.
Step3: Now your basic website layout is ready. Therefore, you can go ahead and customize it.
6. How to install a plugin ?
So, in this guide of how to start a blog, the 6th step is about plugins. WordPress plugins are small tools, which are very very important to start your wordpress blog. In other words, think of them as small tools which will give you additional functionality.
Step1: Go to the plugins menu (located in the left sidebar) and click on Add new
Step2: Search for the plugin that you need to install ( I have mentioned some in the next section) and click on install. Once installed you need to click on Activate and the plugin will start working.
7. What are the necessary plugins for wordpress?
Following are the plugins, which are recommended and used by smashbig.com as well.
1. Akismet Anti-Spam : For protection against spam comments
2. AMP : For quick page load, also helps in increasing website rank in google. Trust me google loves it.
3. Elementor : Website builder (highly recommended)
4. Essesntial addons for elementor: This will give you some more features with elementor.
5. ShortPixel: Image optimizer (website will load fast).
6. W3 Total cache: This will help you manage cache, also increases speed by reducing the load time.
7. Yoast Seo : You must go with the premium version of this plugin. However, if you don’t want to buy, you can go with the free version.
These are the plugins that i personally recommend, you can add more according to your requirement. However, I would suggest that don’t add too many plugins as it will affect your website speed.
8. Do Keyword Research (very very very important !!)
Before you start writing an article make sure that you do enough research about the topic that you want to write about. You should look for a focus keyword and it’s search volume.
Keyword research is very important and this is what will help rank your webpage in google or in other search engines.
What is a keyword and how to search for the right keyword ?
What is a keyword ?
A keyword is word or a collection of words which which a user enters in a search engine to search for a similar subject. For example: best washing machine, good washing machine, cheap washing machine.
In the above example you can see that to search about washing machines people use these similar type search queries. Therefore, you can target these keywords and include them in your webpage/article. In addition, this will help google find your webpage whenever that particular search keyword is being entered.
How to search for the right keyword ? / How to do keyword research ?
To search for a keyword some tools are used among which some are free while others are paid. If you are a beginner I would recommend you to go with the free ones so that you can practice and learn.
Step1: Use Google Suggest. When you type in a keyword, google will suggest you what other people search regarding that subject. Just type in half of the search query and let google suggest you.
Step2: Use Google adword planner. This will help you understand the search volume of the keyword and will also give you suggestions. Go to keyword planner. Enter keyword and click on Get Results.
Step 3: Look for the search volume of the keyword and also note the suggestions as these are the long tail keywords that you must include in your wepage in order to rank it higher in google.
Step 4: Look for the search volume of the keyword and also note the suggestions as these are the long tail keywords that you must include in your wepage in order to rank it higher in google.
9. Create original and valuable content
So, now that your blog template is ready and in addition, you have the required keywords. Now, it is the time to write your blog posts.
Remember that Google is not a fool. if you post duplicate content by copy pasting from another blog of your niche, you will never be able to rank in google and Google may even penalize your account.
In addition, many Indian bloggers make this mistake of copying content and because of it, they aren’t able to generate organic traffic to their blog.
Conclusion, DON’T COPY
While you write, do keep an eye on what yoast seo plugin is suggesting you and try to modify your content accordingly.
Always write articles related to your niche. In other words, your blog should contain articles relevant to your niche.
One mistake that I have seen many Indian bloggers make is that their blog isn’t about a particular niche as they can’t decide their niche.
So, what happens is that, their blog contains articles about travelling, technology and much more. Now, when google bots crawl such a website, they get confused and are unable to decide that what this website is about.
For instance, if I start a blog about technology, then I should never write about travelling or pet care on that blog. Google doesn’t likes such blogs, so avoid doing such practices.
In addition, never write on one topic twice. So, whenever you write an article, make sure give your best.
10. Seo for your blog posts
When we write a blog most, the most important thing to keep in mind after content is seo (search engine optimization). So, what exactly is seo and why is it important ?
Search engine optimization is a process by which you optimize your content so that the search engine can relate the keywords to generate your page as result.
In other words, seo is a way by which we tell google that for a particular search query our page is the best. This helps in driving more organic traffic to blog.
Whenever someone asks me how to start a blog, i just tell them to focus on two major things, content and seo.
Beginners often do make a mistake and underestimate the power of seo. In addition, Indian bloggers often get exhausted writing the content and are very desperate to post it.
This results in poor organic traffic, which means they make less money out of that blog. So, before starting your blog make sure you learn some seo.
10 Seo tips for indian bloggers
- Use your focus keyword (focus keyword is your main keyword) in first paragraph
- Avoid using date in your permalink
- Use post name as permalink
- Use more transition words
- Keep using your focus keyword once in every 200-300 words
- Use synonyms of focus keywords
- Sentence should not contain more than 20 words.
- Don’t write huge paragraphs, instead use small paragraphs.
- Don’t stuff up keywords in a few paragraphs instead, distribute them.
- Use passive voice ( You and I).
11. Promote your blog
There are two ways to get traffic for your blog.
- Organic Promotion (via google or other search engines)
- Paid Promotion
For organic reach, remember that content is the king and learn seo. In addition, this will help you rank your page higher in google and you will get good traffic.
But the point is that it takes time for a blog post to rank and organically generate traffic for your blog. So, we can’t stay dependent on a search engine for traffic. Instead, we can use social media to promote our blog.
Whenever someone thinks about how to start a blog, they must think about how to promote it as well. Prepare your blog promotion strategies.
You can create a facebook goup to promote your blog, and whenever you write a new post you can drop it’s link in the group. This way you will also get a backlink.
Create a twitter page for your blog and keep posting your blog links with hashtags relevant to your blog niche.
You can also join quora and while you answer the questions, you can add your blog link and ask people to go to your blog for additional information.
Remember, whichever platform you use, make sure that you post in the group related to your niche.
For example, if your blog is about pet care then don’t post in facebook group which is about bikes and cars.
Additionally, you can use Medium, it’s a great platform to republish your blog posts to generate traffic.
Moreover, your content won’t be considered as duplicate as medium gives credits to the original source.
The methods mentioned above to promote your blog are all free of cost but they take time to show up results.
However, if you want faster results, you can go with paid promotions.
In my suggestion, go for paid promotions only if your blog has affiliate links or you sell products online.
But, if you are expecting income through Adsense, then it makes no sense to promote your blog and make money from ad clicks.
Though it will result in great amounts to targeted traffic which can help gain you some initial subscribers.
11. How to get Backlinks ?
First of all, let’s understand what are backlinks and how are they beneficial for our blog. A backlink is your website link that other websites contain and point at your website.
For example, if you write a guest post on someone’s blog which is of your niche and at the end you paste your own blog link there. This will give you a backlink.
Backlinks are a factor that Google uses to rank webpages. So, if your blog has more quality backlinks than your competitor, then your blog post will rank higher.
Thus, backlinks can drastically improve your blog’s ranking. Now let’s understand how to get them.
As mentioned earlier, you can write guest posts. At the end of the post, drop your blog link where you will be giving details about the author (i.e you).
Other ways of getting backlinks include putting your link in social media profiles like twitter, facebook, quora etc.
Note: Google believes in quality, so prefer getting quality backlinks. Don’t go for shortcuts like buying backlins or using backlink generator. They will do more harm than good.
12. Monetize your blog
Now that you know, how to start a blog, the next question is that how to earn money from your blog ? So, below are a few ways to earn money from your blog.
1.Google Adsense :
This is the most popular platform to set up ads on your blog. Google has a reputation and also pays well.
Also, you will not be worried about any kind of frauds. Also, Google releases paychecks at particular intervals without any delays.
So, this is the most preferred ad source among Indian bloggers. However, if you can’t get adsense approval don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.
You can try other ad platforms like media.net
2. Media.net :
The most sought after ad network after Google Adsense, media.net can also be used to display ads on your blog.
However, your aim should be to get Adsense. Apart from these two, there are many more alternatives available but do read terms and conditions before jumping in.
3. Affiliate Marketing :
Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product on your blog and when people buy using the link on your blog/website, you get a commission.
Also, the buyer gets discount on the product. So, it’s a win-win situation for both.
4. Sell courses on your blog :
You can make money by selling video courses or pdf or ebooks related to your niche that is made by you.
This is also an effective way to earn money from your blog. You can also set up an ecommerce page on your blog and sell other products as well.
But, do remember that whatever you sell it must be relevant to your blog niche and the customers must be able to relate with your blog and the product.
You can sell products related to your niche on your blog. For this you can setup an e-commerce page on your blog.
6. Amazon Affiliate Program:
This is one of the post popular affiliate programs on the internet. For joining amazon affiliate, visit amazon.
You need to create a micro niche specific blog and rank it on google. So, whenever someone searches for it online, your page will appear in search results.
So, try to describe the product in as much detail as possible.
Now, the best thing is that whenever the user clicks on the affiliate link of your product and visits the amazon website.
If the user makes a purchase within 24 hours of clicking your link, you get commission.
Above all, you will not just get the commission for the single product you referred, but for the total value of the cart.
7. Paid reviews
When you reach a certain level of authority in your blogging career, brands will approach you for paid reviews of their products.
So, i believe that by now you know how to start a blog and I have a few tips for you.
1.Before you start, remember that your blog won’t start receiving traffic in hundreds or thousands. So, be patient.
2. Don’t expect results in short period of time. The results will be long term.
3. Also, don’t expect to instantly earn from your blog, the income from the blog will be low initially. But, it will increase with time.
4. Be consistent, you must be consistent. Keep posting 2 -3 blog posts a week initially. When you have a subscriber base, then you can post 1 article a week.
5.Update your old articles, this will help you drive lots of traffic on your old posts. So, keep updating your old posts on a regular basis.
6. Don’t start blogging just for the sake of money, otherwise you will end up messing things up. Start a blog if you love writing and spreading knowledge.
7. Again I would like to say be patient, patience is the key to success in this field.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there are many platforms like Blogger, Medium, WordPress but then you will have to use their subdomain.
What are the requirements to start a blog in India ?
You just need a topic, a domain name and a hosting to start a blog.
Well, it depends on various factors. I will write a detailed post about it soon.
You should start a blog only about things you are passionate about.
You should start a blog to gain authority in a particular niche and spread knowledge.
Yes, you can earn money from your blog by monetizing it. Please check the 12th topic above (how to monetize a blog )
Yes, you can blog full time and make a living out of it. Many people are doing it across the globe.
Blogger, if you are serious about blogging and want to make money and earn recognition through it.