How to set up a free blog and earn money?

Many disciplines out there are closer to rocket science than blogging. You may not admit it, but not being geeky should not be a reason to stay away from computers. School-going kids these days have even learned how to set up a free blog and earn money!

Everyone has experience or knowledge that can benefit your neighbor. And in the online sense, they can be halfway around the world.

As a beginner, setting up a blog can seem like a daunting task, but it’s not. With a step-by-step guide, you’ll have one in no time at all. It is what I intend to take you through on here.

In an earlier post, I’d explored the best free blog websites‘ platforms. There are many like Blogger, Medium, and Weebly. But my personal preference is WordPress.

Determine your niche

The first task before setting up the blog is determining the audience you will be serving. That’s is what is known as a niche. It’s a defined area of expertise like cooking, motoring, sports footwear, etc.

You usually use your interests and passions to discover your niche. It is vital to have a niche that will hold your interest for a long time.

It will make the process of producing content that much easier. But you don’t have to know all the nitty-gritty as you can study and research with time.

Other considerations you need to reveal are the size of the market and its profitability.

Using keyword tools is the right approach as they show historical search volumes. Try your hand with Jaaxy. It’s free for up to 30 searches.

Choose a blog and domain name

Once armed with a niche, come up with a name for your blog. It is essential for branding like a conventional business name. Also, WordPress needs a site title which is the blog name.

It’s also best to keep the domain name the same as the blog name for brand-ability, but not always. For example, I could have the domain name petemyers.com, but the blog name is Peterson Myers.

Still, use the niche to come up with an appropriate name. For example, if you are into cooking, you could think of cooking lane, cooking baron, my kitchen secrets, etc.

The list is endless. It’s up to your imagination. Use online tools like Business Name Generator and Nameboy.

For a free blog website domain name, note there will always be an extension to the chosen name. The domain thenerdychef.com will be something like thenerdychef.wordpress.com.

Get your blog online

Getting your blog online means sourcing a web hosting service.

When you host your website, it means it is live. And it can be accessed by anyone on the web by simply typing the domain name into a browser.

But how do we achieve this?

Head on over to SiteRubix. It is a robust web hosting platform that supports WordPress. It is FREE to sign up.

how to set up a free blog and earn money - SiteRubix

Enter your chosen website name in the given text box. You will get feedback whether that name is available or not. Some web addresses tend to be popular and may already have been taken up by others.

You will have to come up with another variation if that’s the case.

After you click on the Build My Free Website button, you will gain access to set up further the necessary options needed.

At this point, you might get a pop-up form to sign up for Wealthy Affiliate. It gives you access to training and coaching that shows you how to get your blog ready for making money.

Read this step-by-step website set-up guide for the necessary actions involved.

Customize your blog

You have access to thousands of themes. Depending on your design biases, you can change to any that suits you.

And the beautiful thing with WordPress is that you can change themes easily without affecting anything. It’s like changing clothes you can do it as often as you want.

Moreover, WordPress has a repository of several free plugins.

Plugins are pieces of software that add new features or enhance existing ones. Functions like improving SEO, capturing emails, managing comments, and so on are a few examples.

There are also things called widgets that you can play around with to customize your page and posts layout.

All these are accessible from the Appearance menu once you log in to your WordPress website’s dashboard.

set up a free blog and earn - WordPress dashboard menu

Customization is also an ongoing process, and you’ll likely be changing things on the website bit by bit over time.

Create the initial content

For search engines to visit, crawl and index your website, you’ll need to set up some content.

If you had not created a top-level menu, now is the time. You’ll need navigation that will direct readers from one webpage to the next.

Set up pages based on the subtopics from your earlier research. Include an about me and privacy policy pages. Content for the privacy page is generally the same save for sections mentioning your website and address.

Use this privacy policy template available in the free Lesson 7 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification.

There is also advice on how to craft a personalized about me page within the same lesson.

Once done setting up the pages, write and publish your first post. You do not have to stop at this. Add more if possible.

Make sure to set up a timetable for publishing content regularly. It will be the heart and soul that drive your blog.

Promote your blog

By promotion, I mean placing the content in front of the target audience.

At the initial stages, traffic from the search engines will be minimal at best. But this will pick up as you continue to add content with time.

As a result, you might need to explore other avenues of traffic as you await Google to rank your content favorably.

There are many sources, but social media has most of the numbers. You have to do it the right way for maximum visibility and impact.

Create profile pages to use for posting your latest articles. If you can afford it, pay for ads to boost your posts for a wider reach.

Don’t expect immediate results. It will take some tweaking of your message to get it right.

Also, explore Pinterest as pins are visible for much longer compared to Facebook and Twitter. I often see pins that some pinners put up four years ago. Imagine the number of impressions and clicks over all that time!

Join forums to interact and also share your website.

Ultimately optimize for search engines as they are a good source of traffic without doing much like social media.

Monetize

The final step is the monetization of the website. Again, there are many ways to do this. But what I consider for starters is affiliate marketing and selling ad space.

However, these are not important if you are not getting enough traffic. You are better of spending more of your time creating relevant content and SEO activities.

Without a targeted audience, monetization will not amount to much.

Once you have a good level of traffic, then include affiliate links and banners in your content. There’s no distinct level of traffic to start monetization. Some discretion will have to come into play.

As your blog and revenues grow exponentially, you can explore other monetization ways. But this might take a few years.

As a beginner, pay attention to building systems that will sustain your processes over the long term.

A firm foundation is what has gotten top blogs to where they are today. And they are quite a number.

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