Are you looking for an answer as to how to start a blog for free in 2020? Recently blogging has become popular, and I am sure many of you want to be a blogger.
What is a blog anyway? Well, a blog is a type of website that primarily focuses on written content, called blog posts.
If you think you are creative and can produce unique content but don’t know where to start. Then look no further and continue with my article and you will find all your answers in it.
You can start a blog from scratch in less than 30 minutes, and I will guide you through the whole process, step by step.
There is only one criteria to be successful as a blogger: a passion for your subject.
Step #1: Select a Suitable Niche for your Blog
The first thing you have to do for starting a free blog in 2020 is to select a niche for your blog. Keep in mind that niche is the audience or your targeted readers for whom you are writing blog posts. The main plus of a niche
blog is that they are easy to monetize and are profitable.
Therefore, for a successful blog choosing a perfect and suitable niche is important. So, try to select the niche in which you are knowledgeable and have a passion for excelling. Because it will increase your chances of success.
Step #2: Choose a Blogging Platform
When I say choosing a blogging platform, it means looking for the best blog sites that best match your needs. You have two options here either you can go for the free or self-hosted platform.
There are numerous free platforms where you can start your blog. Among them, almost 95 percent of bloggers use WordPress. Other free platforms include Blogger, Tumblr, Ghost, Blog Engine, and many more.
Did you know that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are actually two very different platforms?
WordPress.org also known as “the real WordPress”, is the popular website platform that is open-source and 100% free to use for anyone. All you need is a domain name and web hosting.
This is why it is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress.
By keeping your blog on a free platform you let your name belong to them. You are going to be subject to their rules and their limitations. When you're trying to learn how to make money with a blog, they can either restrict or ban
advertising on your site, or even put their own advertising. If you're serious about blogging, you're going to want to get off free blog platforms.
Step #3: Pick a Domain Name
Now it’s time to choose an attractive, unique, and novel name for your blog. Your name represents you online; therefore, you must choose a good domain name. In the end, it’s about being memorable, so if a different extension
or country code helps you be memorable, then go for it!
When selecting a name, you can either go for a famous "dot com” or a country or niche-specific domain. However, the best option is to use a “dot com” name. An additional tip regarding your domain name is that it’s better to use
a combination of words that represent your niche as well. Your domain will be yours as long as you continue paying the annual fee ($10 to $15 for a .com domain).
Use this tool to verify the availability of yourn domain name:
Bluehost is offering users a free domain name, SSL certificate, and a discount on web hosting which is a perfect deal for anyone looking to start a blog for free.
All domain name records are stored in a centralized database called registry. For a domain name to be recognized, it needs to be added into that database with all related information about it.
A domain name registrar is given permission by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to make changes to your domain name’s information in the database on your behalf.
Step #4: Get a Web Hosting Account
Selecting reliable hosting services after selecting a domain name would be one of the most important decisions that you make. The functionality and performance of your website will rely to a great extent on your blog hosting. The host
ensures that your site is available to potential readers 24/7 and this is where your files are stored online.
I recommend using Bluehost.com for web hosting and domains. Bluehost hosting plans start from $7.99/month ($3.95/month with
my discount link) and offers free domain registration for the first year. Getting a domain name and
hosting from the same company saves you some time and money.
1. To get a web hosting account, simply visit Bluehost and click on “Get Started”.
2. Next, choose your web hosting plan (I recommend the Plus plan as you get more unlimited features with this deal and you can host more than one website on the account)
You can always start on the basic plan and upgrade to the Plus Plan whenever you want.
3. Choose and register a domain name (free for the first year). If you already have one, type it out in the righthand box.
Keep in mind that Bluehost doesn’t offer country-specific domain endings, such as .de, .it, or .co.uk. If you want, you can buy them from Domain.com or GoDaddy.com separately.
If you already have a domain name that you bought somewhere else, Bluehost allows you to hook it up to your new hosting plan. In this case you will have to update your name servers. Here’s a guide from
Bluehost on how to do that.
4. Create your account by filling the contact, billing and payment information on the last page.
BlueHost accepts many different types of payment methods, including most major credit cards. The connection between you and BlueHost’s billing department is encrypted and protected for peace of mind.
Bluehost also offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you change your mind.
5. Confirm your account
After you’ve completed the registration and submitted your payment, you’ll receive an email from BlueHost with a link that’s used to confirm your account. Below the congratulatory message, you’ll find a button to create
your password. Click on it and choose a password that’s easy to remember.
Step #5: Install WordPress On Your Server
Bluehost offers a simple, one-click install for WordPress.
Once you have signed up with Bluehost, you will able to install your WordPress blog with just one click. If you
signed up with another hosting company, don’t worry, most of them offer one click install for WordPress blogging platform, so it should be very simple no matter which platform you choose.
Here’s what you have to do to install WordPress on Bluehost
1. Log in to your account at Bluehost.
2. Go to “Home” page and click on the blue button “WordPress”
3. Wait for the WordPress installation to finish
Bluehost will let you choose your admin login and password for WordPress when it’s done installing.
If you are using a web hosting service, that doesn’t offer an automatic or a quick install for WordPress, read this manual installation guide.
Step #6: Choose a Wordpress Theme
Once WordPress is installed on your website, it's time to customize it by accesing your dashboard. Just go to: www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and login
using your credentials for your admin account. Once you log in, you’ll see this dashboard:
One of the best things about a WordPress blog is that with only a few clicks you can alter the overall layout and design. Customizing your blog's look and feel is by far one of the most exciting and satisfying parts
on the road to build your WordPress site.
WordPress comes with a ton of free themes to choose from, so start with one of the options you like in Appearance > Themes > Add New Theme. The best news is, most of them are FREE, and you can
customize them easily (without any coding knowledge).
Make sure to have an appealing, practical, and eye-catching blog theme that matches perfectly with your niche. But it should not be too flashy. The first thing your readers will note is your blog theme, so it must be
good and look professional.
When choosing a theme, keep in mind your selected niche as your theme must be in correlation with your niche. Because you are just starting blogging, therefore, it is better to choose a free theme. When selecting a
Read its description
Check for responsiveness
See the ratings for the theme other bloggers gave
Preview the theme to see whether it looks good for your blog or not
Step #7: Add Plugins and Customize Your Theme
Although the WordPress theme you have chosen to use already comes with its pre-configured basic design, you can still change parts of it with or add other regular elements on your website such as contact forms, galleries,
sliders, newsletter subscription form, etc.
For the beginning let's customize some basic things. To do this go to Appearance → Customize where you will find the following options:
“Site Identity” – set your blog title, add a logo image and a site icon (favicon).
“Colors” – set the basic colors of your design.
“Header” – set your header graphic or image.
“Background” – set your background graphic, image, or color.
“Menus” - create navigation menus
“Widgets” - set additional content blocks (sidebar)
other theme-dependent settings
You can find more than 50,000 plugins available in the free WordPress plugin list. Whatever you want to do, there is a plugin for it. WordPress plugins are applications that allow you to add new features (without writing
any code) to your website.
To install plugins just go to Plugins → Add new and browse through the list or search by keyword. You can also sort them by Popular to see the most installed
and used ones.
To help you cut through all the thousands of plugins, here are the 10 must-have WordPress plugins to install when you start a blog in 2020.
Step #8: Start Writing Content
Now it’s finally the time to do for what you have created your blog. You have completed all the frameworks for your blog, and now is the time when you can start writing for your blog. Write something unique and informative
that your readers are looking for.
To write a blog post, click on the Posts → Add New menu in your WordPress dashboard. You will see an editor area where you can write your first blog post. Once you’re
done writing, click on the Publish button on the top-right corner of the screen to make your blog post available to public.
Keep in mind that all the information you provide should be authentic and honest. Find popular topics or the one in which readers are interested. Without a good content chance of your blog success is minimal.
Lastly, learn more about your readers and decide on the factors which act as a pillar for your content. Focus on what your reader expects from you and deliver the content according to their demands. Therefore, make
a long-term strategy for your blog. Try to understand the motivation behind creating a blog.
Step #9: Promote Your Blog
Creating a well-designed blog and writing great content is just the start. In order to get readers you should also be able to promote your blog. The blogging world has become competitive; thus you need good promotions
to reach your audience. A recently popular way to promote a blog is by social media.
Search engines are often the biggest source of traffic for most websites. Most beginners don’t optimize for SEO when creating a blog. SEO or search engine optimization helps users find your blog in search engines.
If you want more traffic, then it’s very important that you optimize your blog for SEO from the beginning.
In addition to using SEO as your only choice to drive traffic to your website, there are many other ways to promote your website, such as using a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) program or paying bloggers to write reviews of
your goods or services on their blogs.
Step #10: Monetize Your Blog
You can make money from your blog by monetizing it. But keep in mind that the main objective of blogging should be to create unique content for the audience and not just to earn money.
There are several ways to monetize your blog. You can sell goods and merchandise online or place advertisements and earn compensation from advertisers by promoting their products and services – given that 61 per
cent of online consumers make purchases based on blog reviews, this may turn into a highly profitable venture for you.
Running ads on your blog
There are many possibilities for you to run ads on your blog. Depending on your niche, you can select advertisements that are unique to what you're writing about, or advertisements that actually suit the interests
of your advertiser better. One of the most common ad choices is Google Adsense.
Enroll in affiliate programs
The second most frequently used monetization technique by bloggers is affiliate marketing. Basically, you are recommending your favorite goods or services to your readers and you get a referral fee when they make
a purchase by using the link on your website. The key is to recommend high-quality products and services that you already use and trust.
Sell products and services
If you are more on the entrepreneurial side, you may want to consider using your blog as a venue for selling your products and services. As your blog grows and you begin to see a wide audience, your products
and services will begin to sell themselves. There are plugins that you can easily integrate into your blog and start selling, such as the WooCommerce plugin.
Write and sell an Ebook
Another great way to make money is to compile existing content from your own blog and sell it as an ebook which your visitors can download. Whether your blog has a commercial platform(such as WooCommerce or BigCommerce),
or it may be sold somewhere else, the ebook can be sold separately. Amazon and their KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) service provide great publishing potential.
Advertisers are always in need of publicity and willing to pay you to write a sponsored article on your blog. Such posts usually endorse goods or services from advertisers, and are a perfect way to raise some extra
money for your site. If you can create one of the most popular blogs in the future, and become an expert in your niche, the advertisers will approach you to publish their posts.
Starting a blog for free is not difficult. Follow the steps mentioned above to start your blog for free in 2020.