You have decided you want to start a blog with no money but don’t know where to start? Well, you’re in the right place – here is my beginners guide to blogging!
How To Start A Blog with No Money?
You can start a blog for free with companies like WordPress, Blogspot and Medium. WordPress is free to use and can even be free to customize with free themes. They offer free hosting but I was suggest upgrading to shared of dedicated hosting should you want a little more freedom.
Blogging is a wonderful thing; it gives you an opportunity and voice. You can write about anything you want and share it with your readers. If you turn your new blog into a success it can even provide an extra source of income.
I’ve put together a super-easy guide to start a new blog from scratch to turning it into a success. This guide will help you with everything you need to know from getting started, to the correct setup to attracting traffic and building your audience to make this a success
Why do you want to start a blog?
The first step on your journey to start a blog is the ‘why’. Why are you here? Why do you want to start a blog? What are you hopes and dreams of what the blog will do?
It’s important to have a good idea of your why before you start. If your reasoning is to write for fun, without a real business plan then your steps would be different to someone wanting to start a blog as a business venture to make money.
I’m going to assume at some point you want your blog to make money, because everyone would like more money, right?
Your next step once you have a good idea of why you want to start a blog is deciding what to write about. Before you do anything at all you should have decided on a niche and have around 10 – 15 blog post ideas around that niche that you can write straight away.
Deciding on a niche
A mistake a lot of people make is assuming you should write about everything, wear many hats and try and solve all the problems – this is not sustainable, nor will it make your blog a huge success.
You need to define a niche and your ideal reader who you want to write for. Your ideal audience will have their own set of interests, problems and struggles which your posts will help them solve.
By niching down and writing around one topic area you will help your SEO (search engine optimization). This is because when Google crawls your website it will see content around one area, keywords that link together and will therefore see you as an expert in that field and will show your posts higher in search results
It will also keep your readers longer, if there are lots of other similar posts that answer more of their questions then the reader is more likely to click around your blog and spend longer reading rather than leaving after reading one post.
Make sure your niche and topic area are ones you love. If you’re not in love with it then keep thinking, if you start writing on an area you are not passionate about chances are you won’t continue with the blog and you will get bored of the creation process
Deciding on a blog name
By this point you should have decided why you want to start a blog with no money and what niche you’re going to write about, you’re almost ready to start the technical aspect of starting a blog but first you need to decide on a name.
This is important because you will be stuck with this forever, so make sure it’s what you really want. Brainstorm a few ideas, think about keywords and what people might Google to reach your blog.
Try and pick a short catchy name, one that will still resonate in years to come and one that will not age. Once you have a name you need to check the domain is available, you should also check the social handles are free too it’s important you maintain consistency across all platforms.
If your name is available as a domain, and all the key social platforms then you are all set to start your blog and claim them as your own.
Where to host your blog
So, you have your niche, your ideal audience and you have now picked a name. Now you need to decide where to start your blog with no money and where to host it. There are many options out there but two of the more popular options are Blogger and WordPress.
If you’re brand new to blogging, I’d say to open a test account on both to have a look around the interface and system to decide which you prefer.
You will read a lot out there about how you must use WordPress if you plan to monetize, which isn’t strictly true.
There are a lot more options for customization and plugins to help your journey but personally I found the interface on blogger simpler. There isn’t a right or wrong answer on who you should host with, and it doesn’t need to be a final decision.
If you decide to start with a Blogger platform (which is free) there are many tools out there to migrate across to WordPress at a later time.
One thing you absolutely must do if you start with blogger is to buy a vanity URL, this will get rid of the .blogspot.com and make your blog look more professional
Alternatively if you do have a tiny bit of money behind you and want more freedom then check out BlueHost for cheap, reliable, fast hosting from less than $5 per month.
Content is always king
You should now have the bare bones of a blog; you should have a platform where you are running your blog with a name you’ve chosen and an idea on a niche.
As I mentioned earlier before officially launching you should have 10 – 15 blog post ideas in the pipeline, this is so your readers have something to read when they land on your blog.
Your content is the single most important thing to focus on, it’s the reason people are visiting and is the reason whether they stay or bounce straight off your blog.
By already having a minimum of 10 blog posts it gives your readers a good feel for you and your content and what to expect in the future, this gives them a reason to subscribe to your blog and want to come back.
You should also try and have a regular posting schedule and editorial calendar. If you post at the same time / day regularly your readers will come to expect a post and visit your blog at that time thus increasing your traffic.
An editorial calendar helps you plan ahead, it gives you an idea of what you’re going to write so you know what research to do, pictures to take etc.
You can plan evergreen content to keep readers returning and any key holiday dates that may come up, I recommend keeping a month in advance on your calendar so you can plan and publish accordingly
Final step before launch – Google Analytics
Your blog is almost ready, you’ve got your 10 draft posts ready to publish but your last step before going live is making sure you have Google Analytics installed, this is crucial from the start.
It may not seem it as your traffic will be smaller to begin with, but it will provide you with so many insights such as how people are reaching your blog, which posts are doing well, and which search queries people are using to reach your blog.
These are all helpful for further refining your niche and helping you create new blog posts to answer the questions your audience is searching for.
You now have a blog with a clear defined plan and niche, social channels all consistently with the same handles, 10 draft blog posts you can push out and a method to track all your new traffic to help you decide on your next 10 blog posts – you’ve officially started a blog!
What else would you like to know about starting a new blog?