Blogging has become one of the most popular ways for people to start an online business and generate income. With over 600 million blogs online today, blogging is certainly not just a passing fad.
The best part about blogging is that literally anyone can start a blog, even with zero experience. While building a profitable blog does require work, it’s completely doable for blogging beginners.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through exactly how to launch a profitable blog in 2022, step-by-step. Whether you want to blog for profit, creativity, influence or to help others, this article has you covered.
Why Start a Blog in 2022?
Here are some of the top reasons you should start a blog this year:
- Low barrier to entry – It’s free to start a blog on many platforms like WordPress.com or Blogger. Web hosting is affordable, often less than $10 per month.
- Own your platform – On social media, your content lives on someone else’s platform. With a blog, you own your content and platform.
- Complete control – You choose what topics to cover, without worrying about algorithms or demonetization.
- Make money blogging – Blogs allow you to monetize through advertising, affiliate marketing, virtual products and more. Top bloggers make over $100K/month.
- Build authority – Blogging boosts your expertise and influence. 92% of marketers say blogging is critical for their business.
- Flexibility – Blog whenever and wherever you want. Blogging can work around any schedule.
The time is now to start a blog. Let’s look at how to launch your blog step-by-step as a beginner.
Step 1: Choose Your Niche
The very first step to take when starting a blog is to determine your niche (your blog’s topic focus).
Choosing the right niche is crucial because this determines your audience, how easily your blog will be found in search engines, and how well your blog can monetize.
Here are some tips for choosing a profitable, sustainable niche for your new blog:
- Pick a niche you’re passionate about – This will make creating content long-term much easier.
- Make sure your niche has a sizable audience – Use Google Keyword Planner and social media to validate demand.
- Choose a narrow, focused niche – Broad niches like “tech” or “beauty” are hard to succeed in. Go for long tail niches.
- Avoid overly competitive niches – Consider going after less competitive keywords in your niche for an easier path to success.
- Consider monetization options – Some niches have far more monetizable products and services than others.
- Check for existing blogs in your niche – Make sure there’s still room for another blog rather than too much competition.
Here are some examples of great niche ideas that check these boxes:
- Dog training tips
- Minimalist living
- Drone cinematography
- Overcoming social anxiety
- Home decorating on a budget
Take your time brainstorming and vetting niche ideas. Once you’ve selected your niche, you can move onto the next steps.
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name
Your domain name is your blog’s address online – www.yourblogname.com.
Choosing the right domain is key for your brand and SEO. Here are some tips for picking the perfect domain name for your blog:
- Make it short and memorable – Opt for something catchy and easy to remember.
- Use keywords – Incorporate your main keyword(s) for a boost in SEO.
- Get the .com version – .com domains rank higher and are most recognizable.
- Avoid hyphens – Hyphenated domains hurt your brand.
- Consider alternatives – If yourperfectname.com is taken, try .blog, .co or myperfectnameblog.com.
- Run it by others – Get feedback from objective people before purchasing to catch issues.
- Do a trademark search – Make sure your domain doesn’t infringe on any trademarks.
Some domain registrars to look into are Namecheap, Google Domains, Bluehost (free with hosting plan) and GoDaddy. The cost is usually $10-20 per year.
Tip: Register your domain for at least 2-3 years, which looks more professional.
Step 3: Get Web Hosting
In order for people to access your blog online, your blog needs to be hosted on a web server.
Web hosting providers rent space on their servers to websites and provide tech support. Some popular hosting options include:
- Shared hosting – You share a server with other sites. Basic and budget-friendly but can be slow. Popular picks: Bluehost, HostGator, DreamHost
- WordPress hosting – Optimized hosting for WordPress sites. Fast and efficient. Popular picks: WP Engine, Kinsta
- Cloud hosting – Flexible hosting spread across multiple servers. Scales to handle more traffic. Popular picks: SiteGround, A2 Hosting
- Managed hosting – Hands-on support in managing updates and security. Great for beginners. Popular picks: Kinsta, WPEngine
When comparing web hosts, look at their server configurations, uptimes, page loading speeds and support ratings. Expect to pay $5-30+ per month based on your needs.
Many hosts offer free domains, email accounts, SSL certificates, daily backups and website builders. Overall Bluehost and SiteGround offer a great mix of affordability, features and WordPress optimization for new blogs.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Now it’s time to install WordPress, the most popular CMS (content management system) used by over 43% of all websites.
Advantages of using WordPress include:
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- Open source and completely free to use
- Super easy to install and use
- Highly customizable with themes and plugins
- Constantly updated and backed by a huge community
- Built-in SEO and scalability as you grow
Once you’ve signed up for web hosting, installing WordPress takes just a few minutes through your host’s auto-installer. Usually it’s just a few clicks to get WordPress up and running.
Your web host should provide instructions for installing WordPress. The process typically goes:
- Log into your web hosting account and go to the auto-installer section (cPanel on Bluehost for example).
- Search for WordPress and click to install it.
- Enter your site title, admin username/password, and site URL.
- The installer will automatically create the WordPress database and configure everything.
- Once installed, log into your WordPress dashboard at yourdomain.com/wp-admin to get started.
That’s it – WordPress is now live on your blog domain and ready to customize.
Step 5: Optimize General WordPress Settings
Now that your WordPress blog is installed, it’s time to optimize the general settings. This will improve your blog’s performance right off the bat.
Under Settings > General in your WordPress dashboard:
- Title – Update your site title and tagline for branding.
- Permalink – Change to post name for SEO benefits.
- Timezone – Set your blog’s timezone so dates/times sync properly.
- Date format – Choose your preferred date format.
- Membership – Disable user registrations to prevent spam signups.
- New user defaults – Select ‘subscriber’ as the default role.
- Admin color scheme – Choose a color palette for your dashboard.
Next, update the discussion settings:
- Default article settings – Check ‘Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article’ to help pingbacks.
- Email me whenever – Select all boxes to stay updated on all comments/pings.
- Before a comment appears – Check ‘Comment must be manually approved’ to prevent spam comments.
- Comment Moderation – Check ‘Hold a comment in the queue if it contains over 2 links’. Set to 10+ for tighter security.
- Avatars – Uncheck ‘Show Avatars’ to save space in your comments section.
- Other comment settings – Uncheck boxes as needed to disable comments on old articles, page comments, etc.
That covers the key general settings areas to optimize right away for your new WordPress blog.
Step 6: Improve Security
Security is crucial for any website, especially new blogs which are vulnerable targets for hackers.
Here are important tips to secure and protect your WordPress blog:
- Install an SSL certificate – Adds HTTPS encryption to your site. Often free from your host.
- Strong passwords – Use strong, unique passwords for all accounts/logins. Consider a password manager.
- Limit login attempts – Use a plugin like Loginizer to limit login attempts and block suspicious IP addresses.
- Disable file editing – Disable the theme and plugin editors in WordPress to prevent backdoor editing access.
- Automated updates – Enable auto updates for WordPress core, themes and plugins to stay on top of vulnerabilities.
- Backup regularly – Backup your WordPress site and databases in case you need to restore or recover lost/hacked files.
- Avoid outdated software – Delete old themes, plugins and PHP versions which may have unpatched security flaws.
- Privacy settings – Select appropriate privacy settings for your site, pages, posts, comments etc.
- Additional layers – Consider WordPress security plugins, a firewall, VPN, reverse proxy, multi-factor authentication and more for maximum protection.
Following WordPress security best practices will help keep your new blog safe as it starts to grow. Don’t let security become an afterthought.
Step 7: Select a WordPress Theme
One of the best parts of launching a new WordPress blog is choosing your theme – this is the design and layout of your site.
You can browse and preview themes right within your WordPress dashboard. Here are some tips for selecting the best theme:
- Mobile responsive – Pick a responsive theme that adapts to any device. Mobile traffic accounts for over 50% of website use today.
- Fast loading – Ideally under 2 seconds with a score of 90+ on Google PageSpeed Insights.
- SEO optimized – Ensure the theme uses semantic HTML and builds in SEO best practices.
- Secure – The theme should be frequently updated and free of known vulnerabilities.
- Simplicity – Choose a clean, minimal theme to avoid a cluttered look.
- Customization – Look for custom widgets, layouts and design settings to make the theme your own.
- 1 column layout – Single column (full width) themes optimize conversions and ROI according to research.
Both free and premium WordPress themes can be great options. Just be sure to stick with reputable theme companies like Elegant Themes and ThemeForest.
Once installed, you can customize your theme’s design, fonts, colors and more.
Step 8: Set Up Your Home Page
Before publishing your first blog post, you’ll want to get your home page set up properly. This is the first impression visitors will get of your blog.
Here are some tips for optimizing your homepage to convert visitors:
- Use a static homepage – Display your latest blog posts on a separate page for greater homepage flexibility.
- Feature your 3-5 best posts – Hand pick a few must-read, high traffic articles to spotlight.
- Include an opt-in – Add an email opt-in form, free content upgrade or other incentive to generate leads.
- Prominent call-to-action – Share what you want readers to do, usually with buttons to your best content.
- Show blog post snippets – Display excerpts from your latest articles so visitors get a taste of your content.
- Highlight your expertise – Include a bio, credentials, awards or anything that builds authority in your niche.
- Clean layout – Organize your homepage content into clear sections, with plenty of white space.
A well-optimized homepage both introduces who you are and entices visitors to explore your blog further.
Step 9: Start Creating Content
Now for the fun part – it’s time to start publishing blog posts!
Consistency is key – aim to publish at least 2-3 blog posts per week in the beginning. This gives readers fresh content and helps your blog to start ranking.
Follow this process for creating high-quality blog content:
- Brainstorm topics – Keep a running list of blog post ideas and titles. Look at search volume, seasonality and current events for inspiration.
- Do keyword research – Use Google Keyword Planner and other tools to find keywords related to your topic with sufficient search volume.
- Research the topic – Dive deep into your topic for a comprehensive understanding. Take good notes.
- Create an outline – Organize all of your research and thoughts into a coherent outline.
- Write a draft – Following your outline, start writing a draft covering each section and subtopic.
- Insert visuals – Add images, charts, videos etc. to make posts more visually appealing.
- Edit and refine – Tighten up your content, check for flow, grammar and spelling. Have a friend proofread.
- Publish and promote – Publish your post then share it on social media, email lists etc. to start driving traffic.
Rinse and repeat! Over time it will take you less effort to research and create new posts in your niche.
Step 10: Monetize Your Blog
You’ve optimized your blog and begun creating awesome content. Now it’s time to start monetizing your blog to begin earning income from all your hard work.
Some of the most popular ways to monetize a blog include:
- Advertising – Google AdSense, Mediavine, BuySellAds, Ezoic and more. Cost per click or impression.
- Affiliate marketing – Promote relevant products and get a commission on each sale.
- Freelance services – Offer your skills and expertise as a service.
- Sponsored posts – Get paid by brands to create branded content and campaigns.
- Physical/digital products – Sell your own informational products like eBooks, courses and merch.
- Email marketing – Build an email list and sell products/services to subscribers.
- Membership sites – Offer exclusive content, tools and more for a monthly/annual fee.
Building multiple income streams will maximize your earning potential. Affiliate marketing in particular can become quite lucrative for established blogs that drive a lot of buyer traffic.
Over time you can expect to earn anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands per month based on your niche, traffic and monetization strategies.
Launch Your Profitable Blog
Congratulations, you now have all the steps needed to successfully launch a profitable blog as a beginner – even with zero blogging experience.
The key to blogging success is consistency. Keep optimizing and expanding your blog over time. Build up your content library and audience. Diversify your traffic and income sources.
Then one day you’ll wake up to find you’ve grown a thriving business from your passion.
You got this! What are you waiting for? It’s time to start your blog.
If you found this guide helpful, please share it with others who have dreamed of launched a profitable blog. This could be the motivation they need to finally get started!
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about launching a profitable blog as a beginner:
How long does it take for a new blog to make money?
It typically takes 6-12 months for a new blog to start generating income. You need time to build traffic, establish expertise and integrate various monetization methods. With consistent effort most blogs begin earning their first dollars within a year.
Do blogs still make money in 2022?
Yes, blogging remains a highly viable online business in 2022. There are people earning 6 figures+ blogging on everything from travel to business coaching. As long as you target an audience willing to spend money and provide value, a blog can be quite profitable.
Is WordPress truly the best blogging platform?
WordPress is hands down the best platform for beginner bloggers. The free open source WordPress CMS powers over 43% of all websites for good reason – it’s easy to use and customize yet extremely powerful and scalable. The vibrant WordPress community also provides endless support.
What’s better paid blog hosting or free blog hosting?
Paid web hosting is highly recommended for blogs you plan to monetize. Free hosts often inject ads, impose limits and offer lackluster performance. Quality paid hosting like Bluehost and SiteGround empowers your blog with speed, security and the latest features. The low monthly cost is well worth it.
How much traffic do you need to earn $100K blogging?
It depends largely on your niche, audience and monetization methods – but roughly 250,000-500,000 monthly pageviews is a common range for a $100K/month blog income. So you can earn a full-time income online with less traffic than you may think by focusing on quality over quantity.
Is affiliate marketing or display ads better for monetizing blogs?
Affiliate marketing often earns significantly higher income per visitor compared to display ads. However, mixing both affiliate promotions and display ads together provides the best results. This diversifies your income sources while maximizing earnings.
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