So you’re finally interested in starting a blog of your very own are you? Well you’ve come to the right place! Whether you want to have your own little corner of the web for your personal blog, or you want to blog about your small business (or even make extra money or quit your day job), blogs can be tailored to do anything you want these days. From business websites to lifestyle blogs, here’s an easy way for you to setup your blog step by step from scratch!
I’m going to help you get started with your own blog in just a few easy steps, which you can either read about below if you need it to be quiet, or follow along with the tutorial video embedded in this page below. We’ll cover how to choose a domain name, setup your blog or website hosting, which blogging CMS to use, tweaking your site, and even a couple cool ways to come up with great content ideas quickly, so it’s easy for you to write your first posts! Let’s get started…
Pre-flight check: Common Beginner Questions Before You Create A Blog[accordions][accordion title=”Pre-Flight Questions You Say? What Is This Nonsense!”][/accordion][accordion title=”Can I just start a blog on one of the free blog hosts?”]
Should I Start A Free Hosted Blog Or A Self Hosted Blog? Free Blog VS Paid Blog
You can start your blog on one of the free blog hosting platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, or Tumblr.com, but you won’t have the control over every aspect or own your own domain name. (it’ll be a sub domain like cleverleverage.wordpress.com instead of cleverleverage.com
Additionally the reason I won’t use a free blog host myself, is they can shut you down at any time for no reason, and many of the platforms own the rights to your content and images you post on their platform (you agree to this in the fine print when you signup for an account). I’m not ok with that, in any way shape or form, so I can’t recommend it, nor would I use it myself. For the price of a latte once a month ($5 bucks/mo NOT per day!), you can have your own self hosted blog.
Beware Of Restrictions On Free Blog Hosting Sites Like Weebly!
( I was not aware of this earlier when I originally made these videos)
[/accordion] [accordion title=”How much does it cost to start a blog?”]
How Much Does A WordPress Blog Cost To Start And Run (and how to get it cheaper)
The average price to start a blog is around $10 – $12 bucks for your domain name, and $5 – $10/mo for your blog hosting. All in all for everything you need, on average it costs around $20 dollars total to start your own blog.
There can be additional costs involved if you want to buy a custom theme to have a fancy look and feel (we’re only talking $30-$50 bucks here), but it’s not a must and you could choose to do that later on down the road, or not and stick with the great free themes.
Is There More Affordable Blog Hosting? Or Any Discount Coupons For Cheaper Blog Hosting Deals?
Frequently some of the blog hosting companies will run promotions where if you pay for your blog hosting by the year (12 months or more), they’ll lower the monthly price to $3/mo and throw in a free domain name when you signup. So around $50ish dollars for the year, including the cost of the domain name. (They claim to give you a “free” domain name, but it’s really just a more marketable loss leader for the loyalty of being a customer for at least a year. Keep in mind, the biggest benefit of going with one of these free domain offers from a blog hosting company, is that it’s easier to setup.)
This is about the cheapest blog hosting deal you’re going to get when they run these promos. If there are any current deals like that from Bluehost or Liquidweb, I’ll link them up in the tutorial. Best deal right now that I know of for beginners: $3.49/mo blog hosting at Bluehost with a FREE domain with 12 months or more.[/accordion] [accordion title=”What are the biggest problems with setting up a new blog for a beginner?”]
Are There Any Problems To Watch Out For As A Beginner Blogger Starting My First Blog?
The biggest problem I see for a beginners starting his or her first blog, is being sold on the idea of how easy it is to setup a really good looking blog, without complete step by step instructions. Being left hanging with a default WordPress install, and no further guidance on what to do next, is not a fun position to be in. This is the biggest pitfall in my opinion, because you won’t realize it until the end. It’s not that you can’t figure it out on your own, but why make it a frustrating experience you know? The easier it is for you, the more likely you are to succeed.
It can be very frustrating to follow someone’s screenshot tutorial, have your blog setup in 5 minutes, and then not realize that there are several things you need to do after that in order to get going in the direction you want until after the fact. You need to know how to customize the theme so your site looks like your vision. You need to know how to disable bullshit plugins that slow your blog down. And on and on… The biggest tip I can give you, is only follow tutorials that can show you the end result before you begin. This way, you know what to expect, and you will feel confident you have the right tools at your disposal to complete it.
My aim with these How To Tutorials, is that they’ll give you the complete steps from A to Z for whatever topic we’re covering! This way you won’t get stuck on the problems most beginner bloggers encounter when trying to setup their first blog… Things like creating DNS records, creating databases, installing scripts and not knowing where to look when they break, etc…
My goal is to make sure you can avoid these common frustrations that make most people quit. If you’re struggling with something and want me to do a tutorial on it, go to the QOTW page and let me know![/accordion] [accordion title=”Starting a blog on WordPress.com VS WordPress.org – Which is better?”]
Starting A Blog On WordPress.com VS WordPress.org – Which Is Better?
First off, WordPress.com is not self hosted. We’ve covered this before, but the main difference is you’re on a sub domain (like cleverleverage.wordpress.com) and you don’t have full control over what happens to your blog.
For a lot of people this isn’t a big deal and they just want a free blog. For me personally, I wouldn’t put any kind of effort into that whatsoever.
In my opinion, WordPress.org (self hosted) is better in every single way. You get to own your domain, do whatever you choose with your content, and monetize your blog any way you want. I don’t want any limitations when it comes to creating my blog, so I opt for the self hosted version every single time.
Additionally, I wouldn’t want to start out on the free version (wordpress.com), and then have to migrate my blog to a self hosted install. (wordpress.org) It’s not super hard to do that, but knowing the pros and cons beforehand, it’s much easier to avoid having to transfer my blog and all the steps that go with it. ( move my images and files, and ensure my permalink structure stays in tact during the migration so there aren’t a bunch of dead links once complete, 301 redirect the old domain, and blah blah…) [/accordion] [accordion title=”I don’t know any website coding, will I be able to easily customize my blog?”]
Is WordPress Easy To Use For A Beginner? And Is It The Best Blogging Platform To Get Started With?
Absolutely! With all of the themes and plugins available for WordPress these days, self hosted WordPress is by far the easiest way for you to get your blog up and running… AND looking the way you want.
You don’t need any technical knowledge to create for own blog, just good tutorials to help you along the way.
When I first started almost 10 years ago, there weren’t as many options like there are today. If you want a specific function on your blog, you don’t even have to hire a coder to code it for you; it likely already exists as a plugin or code snippet you can copy and paste![/accordion] [/accordions]
How To Start Your Own Blog From Scratch Quickly & Easily (With Video Tutorial Included)
Remember, the video tutorial is right below (make sure you select HD on the youtube player!), and if you need it to be quiet the written steps are just below the video in easy to access tabs!
How To Start A Blog On WordPress In 6 Easy Steps (written version)[tabs] [tab title=”Step 1″]
How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Blog
If you’re not familiar with it already, a domain name is your blogs home on the internet… much like your home address. For example, CleverLeverage.com is my home for this blog, and I chose that domain name to emphasize that this is a lifestyle blog, focusing on leveraging what we have at our disposal to improve our lives. If you wanted to start a blog on fashion for instance, you might choose a blog/domain name called KatesFashion.com, or Fashionista.com for something more stylish and brandable yet industry related.
I’ve got a couple tools for you that will help you brainstorm ideas if you need to. Don’t use these tools to register your domain name just yet, they’re just for coming up with a name if you need help with that at this point and we’ll use a discount link to buy it later.
The first one is called Domain Word Maker, and it will let you input a seed keyword/topic for your blog, and then add creative words to it to give you creative domain name ideas. So going with this example, if you put in “fashion” select 15 characters from the dropdown box, and click GO, you’ll have some oddball names that you can scroll through for inspiration. I’ve come up with many domains this way, and while it might not have been one exactly in the list, I would see something catchy and it would give me a cool rhyme idea or word combination.
The next domain name generator I have for you is Name Mesh. You can simply add a couple words to the domain search (I used “fashion blog”) and it will spit out some other combinations you may not have thought about yet. This one isn’t my favorite, but a lot of times you will see a related word that fits. (for example, it gave me “style blogger.com” which fits, but it turned out to be taken already, so I’m not sure if the lists are always reliable/available domains.)
For random blog names, you can try Dotomator, but I haven’t had much success in coming up with something brandable with this one… occasionally something cool will pop up. (Brainverse.com and Dabtube.com popped up for me when I was making this tutorial… could be kinda cool for a blog!)
Next up is Lean Domain Search, and this tool does a great job of generating domain name ideas you probably wouldn’t have come across in the first two tools. I input “fashion” again, and got back a couple names I thought were cool like Strata Fashion.com, and Fashion Tonic.com which could be cool spins on the latest trendy stuff.
The last one is Panabee, a good tool to use if you want to come up with a business name or something generic/catchy. Don’t register your domain just yet using any of these tools, we’ll save that for later in case a free domain promo is going on or something at the time you’re reading this.
Pick a domain name you like, and use the below tool to make sure it’s available. If it is, go to the next step.[/tab] [tab title=”Step 2″]
How To Register Your Domain Name And Setup Web Hosting For Your Blog
Alright you are off and running… it gets easier as we go! Now that you have a domain name picked out, we need to get you setup with some blog hosting so you can have a live website. For beginners, Bluehost is the best option on the market right now, and they currently have a special too… $3.49/mo with a free domain name if you purchase 12 months or more. Normally the domain is $10/yr, and then the hosting would be $7.99/month at regular price, so this is about the cheapest deal for blog hosting with a free domain you’ll find right anywhere now. And the phone support with Bluehost is very good, which is why I recommend them for beginner bloggers in case you need anything down the road.
We’re going to take advantage of the free domain with Bluehost, and register your domain name and hosting at the same time so it’s easier for you. Keep in mind I have the video tutorial on embedded in this tutorial as well, so if you want to follow along that way you can watch my screen at any time by scrolling further down the page and clicking play on the first Youtube video. (if you’re on a smartphone or tablet, the direct youtube link is: How To Start A Blog In 20 Minutes)
Go to this Bluehost discount page, and once there hover over Products, then click on Shared Hosting. Scroll down and select the Basic Package, and you’ll be taken to the next page where you can enter your blogs domain name under the New Domain box. Click next after you typed your domain in with NO spaces and double checked the spelling.
Fill out your account information and use an email address you have easy access to on the computer you’re using… you might want to copy and paste the confirmation email later after you signup.
Select the account plan with your desired discount (the more you signup for the cheaper it gets, but the 12 month starter is fine) under package information. You don’t need any of the extra add ons except for Domain Privacy Protection if you want your information kept private. If you hover over “more information” right next to the domain privacy protection checkbox, you’ll see the difference.
Enter your billing info, check the TOS confirmation box, and click submit. Now we’re ready to install your blog!!
Which CMS To Install And Use For Your Blog
We’re going to use WordPress for your new blog, the same blogging CMS I use here on Clever Leverage myself. I think it’s the best blogging platform out there, and the plugin and theme customization options are endless. To do this it’s best if you follow along in the tutorial video, or if you’re at work and need to be quiet, use the screenshots I’ve been adding as thumbnail images throughout this tutorial. (click on them to make them full size)
Once you do that, it might take a couple of minutes to setup your account, and you should see a notice on the page that your hosting account is being provisioned. Wait a couple of minutes, and you’ll be able to access your my account page once the page refreshes.
You’ll see a menu of your account, and you want to scroll down to where it says “Website Builders.” Click on the icon that says Install WordPress, and it’ll take you to the one click auto install page. Select START a brand new install. Select your domain from the drop down menu if it’s not already selected. Do not put anything in the box to the right it, leave it blank. Click check domain which makes sure everything is ready to install your blog.
Almost there! Select the check-box to show advanced options. Type your blog’s name, pick an admin username (do not use an email address like is shows in the screenshot, and do not use ADMIN either) like ‘mattsblog’, pick a password, and then your email address. Make sure the checkbox for Automatically create a new database for this installation IS SELECTED. Check the TOS box once again and click Install Now.
That’s it, your blog is now installing and this will take a few minutes. Take a break and go get a drink while it does its thing, and when you come back it’ll be ready to view live on the internet! 🙂
Once your blog install is complete, login to your admin dashboard by clicking on the wp-admin url listed on your screen, or simply go to www.yourdomainname.com/wp-login.php
Your website is now live on the web, so head over to yourdomainname.com to see your new blog live on the web!
In the next section, we’ll go over customizing your WordPress blog, adding plugins, and making your blog look like an actual professional blog!
Which Plugins Are Good For Beginner Bloggers
At this stage of the tutorial I’d recommend you switch over to the video guide below so you can see how to search for and install plugins in real time. There’s also a complete WordPress reference section with updated lists of WordPress Plugins and Themes used in these tutorials.
The best must have plugins beginners should install on their new blogs are:
Customize The Look And Feel Of Your Blog With A Free Or Paid Premium Theme
If you follow the steps in the video tutorial, you’ll see the theme search area from within your WordPress dashboard, where you can search for as many free themes as you’d like. The options to customize and re-skin your blog are endless… with new designs coming out each week, you’ll never get bored with your blog’s design.
In this blog starter guide, we chose the Pinboard theme, as it’s free and offers a lot of customization that looks sharp in very little time. You can use this free stylish looking theme for a variety of applications as well… From a personal blog all the way to a business website/blog, it’s very versatile.
The nice thing about WordPress, is once your blog is setup, you can change the look and feel as many times as you want, but you don’t lose your content which is awesome!
If you want to use something more snazzy, see some of the other starting a blog tutorials here on Clever Leverage, or simply pick up a premium theme from one of the WordPress Theme Designers. In the future, I’ll make many more industry specific blogging tutorials, so check the HOW TO section every once in a while.[/tab] [tab title=”Step 6″]
How To Structure Your Blog, Content, And Navigation
For most beginner bloggers, you’ll want to structure your new blog similar to how we did it in the tutorial video. I may post some advanced guides at the bottom of this page for particular setups in the future.
You’ll want to create “Pages” (not posts) for your Homepage, About, Contact, etc… That way you can set those in your navigation and won’t have to fool with them when you’re blogging.
Your Posts and Categories act as the main structure for most bloggers content. This way you can update or add new posts as much as you want, and not have to change the site structure since the categories and tags update themselves automatically with your post loop.
So make a couple dummy posts to get your feet wet, and add a couple categories that suit your subject matter. For instance, if your blog is about sewing (fun fact: my Grandmother used to sew everything under the sun!), you’d most likely want a couple categories like: Sewing Patterns, Sewing Machines, Sewing Ideas, and Sewing Projects… just to give you an idea.
You want Categories to cover the broad scope of your content, but not exhaustive to where there’s 50 of them and it’s hard for a new reader to see what the hell is going on. (basically less is more in this case, until you get heaps of blog posts under your belt… then expand a bit, but do it slowly)
Tags should not be overused either. A good example would be if you had multiple posts about sewing patterns of the same type (let’s call the posts Floral Sewing Patterns #1 & Floral Sewing Patterns #13) that were already in the Sewing Patterns category… But you wanted a way for users to find them quickly amongst all the other type of sewing patterns you have, you would simply tag both posts with a new tag called Floral Patterns or Floral Sewing Patterns… whichever makes the most sense and makes them easier to find in the future after your blog gets a lot bigger.
I’m going to save the rest for an advanced tutorial you will find toward the bottom of this page. I’ll cover things like: How to find out what your audience wants to see on your blog, and a quick easy way to uncover the most popular questions in your industry THAT YOU CAN ANSWER to establish yourself with your new blog.
I hope you’re enjoying getting acquainted with your new blog so far! 🙂[/tab] [tab title=”Bonus #1″]
How To Quickly Give Your Brand A More Professional Social Image
The reason I put these steps before claiming your social accounts, is so that when you do set them up, you have stylish looking photos and logos to use as your branding.
You’ll want to use your logo and header photos across your social accounts, so your blog brand looks congruent and people recognize you within a second or two. Quick links to the tools I use for this are to the right, or see the Resources page for more.[toggle title=”Claim Your Blog/Brand Social Accounts Quickly & Easily Before You Get Popular”]One of the things that can give you a head start to coming across as a more professional blogger, is having your branded social accounts match your blog brand. It might seem silly to you, or it might seem like a no-brainer. Either way, a quick way to do this and see if you can get the main accounts to all match, is to use KnowEm.
There are a couple reasons you’d want to do this, but primarily being able to drive social traffic and not confuse your readers with funky social names later on (can you imagine if my social accounts were like CleverMateo91 instead of CleverLeverage?!?!) making it difficult to find and follow you across various platforms.
I suppose you could wait a while to do this step, but it’s one of the first things I do after buying a domain name. I want to ensure the most important social accounts are at least claimed right from the beginning… even if I don’t end up using them for a while.
Additionally, most blogging themes have social integration already built in as well, so right from the get go you can start linking up all of your accounts to get more subscribers. Not to mention brand congruency across platforms!
The main reason to do this now, is most bloggers wait until they get popular to decide to claim their branded/keyword virtual real estate… and then it’s too late and you end up with wonky looking social accounts that no one can remember. Is that a complete deal breaker if a social account name isn’t available? No, but normally in the beginning you still have the opportunity to do something about it.
In my opinion, the accounts that really matter for your blog brand are: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube.[/toggle] [toggle title=”How To Make A Blog Logo Without Photoshop”]cooltext canava picmonkey?[/toggle] [toggle title=”Where To Get Free Stock Photos To Make Your Blog Look Good”]free wp plugin? stock photo sites [/toggle]
What To Write About When You’re Just Getting Started
How To Find Blog Topics For More Helpful Blogging Ideas For Beginners (plus 2 secret tools you can use for free)[/tab] [tab title=”Bonus #3″]
How To Get Started Monetizing Your Blog From Day 1[/tab] [/tabs]
Niche Tutorials For Starting Your Blog On Specific Topics
How To Start A Fashion Blog
How To Start A Food Blog
How To Start A Mom Blog
Advanced Guide To Starting Your Own Blog: What To Blog About And How To Get Good Blog Post Ideas Quickly & Easily (so you can blog effectively)
I’m going to reiterate a few points from the bonus tabs above, because not everyone opens all the tabs, and some people who are reading this on mobile devices might have a hard time viewing.
I’ll cover a few things in a bit more detail and make extra video tutorials to help you with:
- What To Blog About When First Starting Your Blog
- How To Find Easy Blog Post Ideas And Establish You In Your Niche
- How To Make Money Blogging
- How To Monetize Your Blog (and the various ways bloggers get paid for their writing)
What To Write About When You’re Just Getting Started
How To Find Blog Topics For More Helpful Blogging Ideas For Beginners (plus 2 secret tools you can use for free)
If you’ve already gone though the bonuses in the tabs above, this might be a bit redundant and your blog should be well on it’s way to being structured properly. I’m going to guess you probably already have a few key subjects you know about, and would like to create content around, right? We’re going to expedite the blog post ideas process, by identifying what people are actively looking and searching for, so you can write about it. You won’t struggle to come up with blog post ideas like a lot of beginner bloggers, and your potential readers will get the information they’re looking for. Win Win right??
I’ll break this into sections below, and continually update this as I have more time to make new videos. If there’s a component you’re struggling with, or something you’d like to see, jump over the the QOTW page and shoot me a quick message so I can help you with it.
How To Blog Effectively
My Blog Post Headline Cheat Sheet: The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do When Starting A New Blog
A lot of people get hit with analysis paralysis when starting a new blog. It’s very common to have thoughts like, “What should I write about? What to blog about? I thought XYZ would be good, but now I see it written and I think it sucks!
Well, I have a little process to prevent you from staying stuck with your new blog, and it’s the exact same process I follow here for myself on Clever Leverage. You might not like it, or think it’s somewhat corny (insert lame, clickbait-ie, blah blah phrase here) but if you just use it as a foundation for your content, you’ll get the momentum you need when you’re just starting out and the good stuff will follow.
You’ve Gotta’ Get Frequent Before You Can Get Good
Even I get stuck in the rut when starting new projects from time to time, and I’m going to give you my little cheat sheet I personally use to make sure this doesn’t happen. Whenever I start a new blog website, I always do some light keyword research (whether in my head or using a tool) to come up with blog post ideas (set to draft in my WordPress dashboard of course) right away.
Copy and paste these headlines into your WordPress dashboard and fill in the blanks, literally. Do it now!
- How To [solve problem you’re knowledgeable about] (And [insert side benefit here] in under xx minutes)
- How To [insert skill you can teach here] – Step By Step
- The Ultimate Guide To [insert your niche focus/problem you can solve/industry here] From The Experts
- 7 Tips To Deal With [common industry problem your readers will have] In No Time Flat
- 5 Steps to [insert the problem you’re going to solve here] ([side benefit followed by desired outcome synopsis])
- Are You Sick & Tired Of [insert common problem here]? Start [insert desired outcome here] By [insert first step here]
- If You’re Suffering From [ x problem ] And Worried About [ x portion ] (this is what worked for me)
- How To [ solve x problem ] The Right Way (with x benefit or validation example here)
- You’re Already A [ insert creative spin on whatever your reader is trying to achieve here], You Just Don’t Know It Yet
- I Tried 5 Ways To Conquer [ x problem ]: Here’s What Happened To Me
- Does [ x product ] Actually Work? (And how [implementation specification] affects [desired outcome])
Now again, these might be less than ideal for your niche, and you may have to adjust them some to fit your vertical. But using them right away will force you to populate your blog so you can gain momentum by seeing it take shape. Most themes and websites cannot be configured or completely visualized without at least 10 posts or pages of content, and a lot of people get stuck. At the very least, this will give you something to skip that lull period where you don’t know what to do. The best part is, you can change it at any time with the click of a button. Now get going!
How To Find Frequently Asked Questions In Your Industry So You Can Easily Find Blog Post Topics You Can Write About
You don’t need to struggle to come up with blog post ideas like most new bloggers do. I’m going to show you a quick way to easily figure out what your industry readers have common questions about, and how you can turn those into long tail blog posts ideas that will help you get traffic with no audience.
Your number one goal here should be to provide the best possible answers in your niche to establish yourself as the authority. If this is a subject you’re just learning about, make damn sure to do your research to the best of your ability, and focus on helping people better than anyone else.
We’re going to leverage FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) from your niche, and if you’re super knowledgeable on your blog’s topic already, you’ll probably already be able to think of good content for some of these right away. Instead of just doing it off the top of your head though, we’re going to use a couple keyword tools, and make a list of blog posts you can set to draft right inside your WordPress dashboard.
Head on over to KeywordTool.io (it’s free to use for what we need) and enter in one of your sub niche keyword/blog topics. It’ll give you a list of keywords, but also a list of questions if you click on the questions tab. You’ll see a list of commonly asked questions related to your seed keyword, and most all of these make great long tail blog posts to start you off without all the headaches of formal keyword research for content marketing.
Take a couple of them, and copy them to a text file. There’s a section below if you want to jump ahead and formulate them into blog posts titles you can set to draft. Follow along in the video to see it step by step, and you’ll never have to worry about running out of blog post ideas ever again.
Keyword tool.io to get questions
How To Do Fast Initial Keyword Research For Blog Posts So You Can Know What To Blog About First (The fastest way/keyword tool to see what’s popular)
This is a paid tool I use to do very fast keyword research. In fact, I don’t even use the Google Keyword Planner anymore because Term Explorer is so much more efficient. I’m not sure if they still give out free accounts with limited functionality or not, but it’s fairly inexpensive considering what it can do for you.
Please don’t confuse this with how most people recommend you do keyword research for blogging. I use this as a baseline to gauge what sub topics are most popular, and to establish a hierarchy of keywords to later gather long tails around. (but I want them to be prioritized beforehand, and Term Explorer is the best keyword tool to do that with)
The difference between using Term Explorer and Uber Suggest for this initial keyword research phase, is that I can see commercial intent metrics just based on CPC and PPC competition. Not to mention being able to sort by search volume. Although search volume is not the end all be all, if you misuse that metric and base everything you do off of it, you’ll skip over a ton of great long tail keywords that are more beneficial for you.
How To See What’s Popular On Social And Model Your Image Designs After So You Can Get Your Blog Noticed Faster – Get Traction – And Get More Blog Traffic
An easy way to see what’s already working well in your blogging niche, is to use Buzz Sumo to see how many social shares an image or article has gotten on the various social platforms.
As you probably already have seen just using your own Facebook or Pinterest account, certain things get a lot of re-shares and re-pins compared to others. Buzz Sumo will let you quickly see what’s the most popular based a keyword search.
So let’s say your blogging topic is fashion. We’ll head over to Buzz Sumo and type in fashion or fashion bloggers. We’ll sort by last 6 months so it’s not super old, and select just images since we want to see a style of image we can create for our own blog that has an easy chance of becoming popular.
How To Use Free Related Keyword Tools So You Can Have An Endless Supply Of Daily Things To Blog About (all while staying on topic for your readers!)
You might not like the name, but the easiest related keyword tool to use is Keyword Shitter. It’s free, and it works very very well. The main reason I use this tool over Uber Suggest and Keyword Tool.io, is that I can sort the results with negative filters, all without having to export the csv list to Excel.
So how are we going to use this tool for daily blog post ideas, so you never run out of things to blog about? Simple, anytime you’re feeling inspired to write about a particular topic, you can simply plug in a few seed keywords into this tool, and it’ll generate a list of similar things people are interested in.
This can help you in two ways: one, it’ll make your blog posts more comprehensive, and two, it’ll help you identify little nuances about a product or topic that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. Best of all, this tool is free, so you can simply repeat this process over and over for endless supply of things to blog about.
So let’s get it done, shall we? Go to Keyword Shitter, and type in a seed keyword or two. For this example, we’ll stick with vegan recipes. Type “vegan recipes” in the box and hit go! As you can see, you will quickly get an ever-growing list of ideas based on that seed topic. Some of these are really really good, and one that pops out instantly at me that would make a GREAT blog post title is: Vegan Recipes Carnivores Will Love!
Now let’s take it a step further, since we like the catchy phrase, and see what else would be related to vegan recipes for carnivores. We’re going to assume we’re writing a blog post now titled: 7 Vegan Recipes Carnivores Will Love!
Maybe we’re new to veganism, or we just want to see if there are any related sub topics we didn’t think of on our own. So we go back to Keyword Shitter, and type in “vegan recipes carnivore.” A few cool words pop up that I didn’t think of, and they might even make a better blog post title than what we came up with before. (will love, and will devour are great too)
Now wait a minute here, there’s something else that stands out immediately. You see that persons name listed in there? What is that about? A quick google search for “vegan recipes for carnivores roberto martin” reveals that Ellen DeGeneres’ personal chef Roberto Martini has put together a book of vegan recipes he’s been preparing for her for years!
Now I don’t know about you, but I would have never known or thought about that in a million years. What’s even better, is we just organically found a great way to monetize this blog post, in addition to a great source to quote with celebrity credibility. If I wasn’t doing this exercise to make this guide for you, I would have never stumbled upon this particular topic… And I’ve searched for vegan recipes in the past too!
I can’t stress how powerful this process can be for you and your blog. It might seem a little basic or even ridiculous at times, but just doing this one simple exercise/process when you’re ready to write about something, cam often take your blog from being mediocre to successful much much quicker.
How To Use Competitors Blogs Or Bloggers You Follow To Identify Ways To Make Your Blog More Successful
I’ll tell you right up front, this does not mean to copy other bloggers. That’s the fastest way to stump your own creativity, and ensure you aren’t developing your unique voice with something to offer. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a little competitive intelligence, especially if you can identify methods popular bloggers are using successfully, that you can adopt to your own niche.
For this exercise, we’re going to hop over to SEM Rush. SEM Rush is a competitive research tool that give us site ideas for common sub niche applications maybe we haven’t thought of yet. And hopefully, let us discover other methods of content marketing, monetization, and funneling being applied successfully by bloggers in other verticals.
Once at SEM Rush, let’s just type in a topic similar to what we’ve already used in the above example. I’m going to go with “food blog.” You’ll get a keyword overview, including organic search volume, ppc spend, etc… Scroll down to the part that says organic search results. I’m going to click on site #4, www.smittenkitchen.com.
This will take to a domain overview for that site, and what we want to look at is the top organic keywords. Click on view full report.
Semrush to get competitors site ideas for common sub niches you haven’t thought of
Lsigraph.com to generate a list of related lsi keywords that can guide some of your body content
How To Start Your Blog Off With A Clean Professional Look
I’m going to cover a few resources where you can buy custom wordpress themes, along with some free themes also. My opinion is themes are cheap, and I normally buy one that fits my niche when starting out, even though I have a deep seated desire to create a custom one for every new project… I don’t allow myself to do that, and instead focus on moving forward instead of harping on a tiny design tweak here and there and be in the same position months from now with nothing to show for it.
My favorite resources for paid themes are Themeforest, Studiopress, Thesis, CreativeMarket, and Mojothemes.
If you’re looking for a particular type of theme to suit your new blog type, make sure to check out the niche tutorials I have on other parts of the site that include industry specific theme options.
- How To Start A Food Blog
- Food WordPress Themes
- Recipe WordPress Themes
- How To Start A Fashion Blog
- Fashion WordPress Themes
- Magazine WordPress Themes
- How To Start A Travel Blog
- Travel WordPress Themes
- How To Start A Music Blog
- Music WordPress Themes
- How To Start A Book Blog
- Review WordPress Themes
- Book WordPress Themes
- How To Start A Photography Blog
- Photography WordPress Themes
- Scenic WordPress Themes
Intermediate Tutorials On How To Setup Your Blog – What To Do If You Already Own Your Domain Name
How To Setup Your Blog If You Already Have A Domain
The process for setting up your blog, if you’ve already bought a domain name, is just a little different with a couple different steps. No matter where you purchased the domain, you can still use Bluehost or Liquidweb to host your blog, you simply select “I Want To Use An Existing Domain” during the setup process.
The only difference is, you’ll need to update your nameservers at your registrar before your blog will go live. To do this, you need the nameservers listed in your welcome email after you setup your web hosting account like we did in the tutorial above.
Once you have those, head over to the company you registered the domain with, and edit the DNS records (nameservers) with what was listed in your welcome email.
For example, if you look at the screenshot to the right, you’ll see the Bluehost nameservers are ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com. Simply edit those within the domain manager if you’re on GoDaddy or NameSilo, and give it some extra time to propagate.
How To Setup Your Blog And Get A Free Domain
I know we just covered what to do if you already own some domains and want to get your blog setup, but if this is your first time, I’d urge you to take advantage of one of the free domain offers from some of the hosts out there.
But not for the reason you might think!…
Let’s be real here, we know nothing in life is TRULY free right? They’re just offering you a “free” domain (which really means heavily discounted) for you aggreeing to 12 months of service with them for $3.49/mo. But there’s a hidden benefit here that you might not know about!
You see that process listed above, talking about how to update nameservers and all that jazz just to get your blog online? You don’t have to do any of that when you get your domain from a company like Bluehost… It automatically connects to the hosting account, saving you the trouble of having to do that.
For this reason alone, I recommend you go with Bluehost or another hosting company I use, and take advantage of a “free” domain that comes all set up for you.
Common Questions Newbie Bloggers Have When Starting Their Own Blog[accordions] [accordion title=”Can I Start A Blog For Free? I See Everyone Saying I Need A Self Hosted Blog, What Up With That!”]Here’s the deal. You can start a free blog on Blogger.com, Tumblr.com, Weebly.com, And Blogger.com. BUT! It’s probably never going to go anywhere if you don’t take it seriously.
And yes, I do make a commission if you sign up for a self hosted blog via one of my tutorials, but here’s the truth most other people won’t tell you. I hate free blogging accounts because they don’t let you customize the whole thing, and they put their advertising banners all over your content… after all they’re giving you the blog “for free” right? Meh.
It’s just not for me, and if it’s not for me I wouldn’t recommend it to a close friend or family member… So I can’t recommend it to you in good faith either. My personal recommendation, and what I do for my own blogs, is buy cheap hosting that costs less than $00.30 cents per day. You can get the same deal I get here. Follow this tutorial too so it’s easy for ya.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Can You Start A Blog On Twitter And Facebook?”]Unless they came out with something more advanced than Facebook Groups, not to my knowledge. Not sure why you’d want to do that anyway, but you can definitely leverage some power utilizing facebook groups in your private blogging circle. Here’s a secret link to my private one – DON”T TELL ANYONE!!!
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Can Anyone Start A Blog, Or Do I Have To Be A Techie?”]Nope. WordPress, cheap hosting, and my tutorials as well as many others on youtube can guide you through the process of setting up your own blog in no time flat. I will tell you though, once you get the hang of blogging on the regular, it can be addiciting! Not to mention you’ll be wanting to quit your job and do this full time. 😉
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Can I Start A Blog Anonymously Or Should I Show My Face?”]You could start a blog annonymously, but why? Sure, I could teach you how to use proxies, how to buy prepaid credit cards at the gas station, how to setup fake and anonymous WHOIS details that doesn’t get flagged by ICAAN, but for what?
Show your face, be someone real, and help some people. You will feel better about your life, your mission, and you’re life’s purpose.
Take it from someone who’s done the blackhat churn and burn thing…. sure it makes money, but it’s an empty existence, believe me. Touch others. Be helpful. Show your face so they can thank you, otherwise you’ll never get that gift by remaining annonymous, I promise you that.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Can You Start A Blog On An Ipad?”]Hell yes player! Or playette! 😉
You can do almost everthing you can do on a computer with an ipad, including setting up your hosting account, installing your blogging software of choice, and getting your first post up and running baby.
Why would you want to? I have no idea. The thought of typing shit in on my ipad versus the computer is crazy to me, but maybe I’m weird. 🙂
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Can I Start A Blog On My Phone?”]Nah Dawg, don’t do it. Refer to above about ipads. SCREEN TO SMALL TO TYPE EASILY MAN!
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Why Did You Start A Blog?”]I personally started a blog because I realized I was not leveraging my time to the best of my ability. I also recognized that if I stayed down the path I was on (local web services to companies in Central Florida) I wasn’t going to be happy with the outcome. I knew there was more, something else I should be contributing to the world, and I needed a more personal outlet that I could be passionate about and still mix in business.
I love helping local companies, don’t get me wrong. But, I’m at the limitations they sometimes place on themselves, which in turn limits the amount of satisfaction I get from helping them. It’s awesome to see companies grow from your efforts, especially after teaching them how to leverage the internet to get more customers and so forth. But, and it’s a big BUT, when you get good at it and start picking up larger clientele that’s a corporate environment, you’re essentially at the mercy of the internal system. Ideas, techniques, and marketing tactics to improve the company get tossed out the window on a whim. Sure, you make money, but once you do that a couple times it looses it’s luster.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”How Do I Start A Blog For Free Without Buying A Domain Name?”]Well, for starters, owning your own domain name is one of the most leverageable actions you can take. When someone owns a brand that’s been built up, and then it has value, you can put a dollar amount on what that asset is worth. Why you’d want to gyp yourself I have no idea.
My advice: do not start a blog if you don’t want to buy a domain name. Can you imagine me standing here shouting from the rooftops… Hey start a blog on my free platform — youblogname.cleverleverage.com so you can build up my brand, let me make money off of your content, and a whole host of other things.
That’s what you’re getting when you setup a free blog on sites like blogger.com, wordpress.com and so on…
Secure your name on the web you can call home… And this is coming from someone who’s owned over 1800 domains at one time.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”What Does It Take To Start A Blog?”]Well, I’m not sure what you want to do with it, but in order to have a successful blog and make money, you have to be in service. Find a problem you have solved for yourself and create a blog around it. Help other people who are struggling with what you struggled with, and make things to make it easier on them. (hint – if you had a big brother when you went through this horrible thing and it made it much easier to deal with, what was it? Good, now go build that!)
If you’re talking about what does it take to SETUP a blog… nothing more than a couple bucks and about 20 minutes of your time. Poke around, I have tons of blogging tutorials you can use to help you out.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”How Do I Start A Blog On Tumblr?”]Go to tumblr.com and create an account. It’s that easy. I don’t think it’ll get much traction though, and I hate their interface… it’s so damn complicated I won’t use it at all.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”How Do I Start A Blog On WordPress?”]Go to wordpress.com and create an account if you want to have a free subdomain blog like yourblogname.wordpress.com.
If you want to have a real blog you can do something with, follow this tutorial here to get setup with a self hosted blog.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”How Do I Start A Blog And Get Paid For it?”]Haha, the infamous blogger question babe. Well, there’s so many ways you can make money with your blog, this is hard to answer. You can do scammy things like blog about people’s work at home programs, or you could create something meaningful and helpful to a large group of people.
If those people were willing to give you a dollar to help them with something, how many would you help? Do that and you’ll never have to worry about getting paid to blog ever again.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”How Does Someone Start A Blog Around One Of Their Hobbies And Make Money?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog?”]It doesn’t have to cost anything if you want a free subdomain (like cleverleverage.wordpress.com), but if you want to create a blog where you can have the freedom to customize anything you want without limitations, it’ll be about $5 bucks a month plus the cost of your domain (usually $10/yr).
[/accordion] [accordion title=”What Is The Average Domain/Hosting Price? And Is It Worth It To Pay For 12 Months In Advance To Get A Free Domain?”]The average cost for blog hosting is around $7.99 per month, and the domain will run you anywhere from $8.99/yr to 12.99/yr. If you’re going to keep your blog for more than a year, it makes sense to go with a company like Bluehost where you can pay for 12 months up front at a discounted rate of $3.49 per month and get your domain name for free.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”How Does A Kid Start A Blog?”]This is a tricky question to answer. For one thing, I’d be worried about why my kind wants to start a blog, and more importantly who they’re going to connect with out on the interwebs. There are a lot of weirdos out there I can tell you that much. I’d recommend for a child that just wants to blog about fun stuff and share with their friends, that you set them up a free blog on wordpress.com.
The first thing you want to do is create a gmail account that’s tied to your cell phone. What I mean by that is create a fresh gmail account for your children to use, and in the settings when creating the new account verify it with your cell phone via text. Now let your kids use this email in particular to create any future accounts associated with the blog…. everything from the facebook fan page for their blog, to the free blog account on wordpress.com.
If there are ever any problems, you’ll be able to reset the password and change any info/access should you need to censor anything in the future. Aside from that, it’ll be a good learning experience for your kids, and is an excellent idea under the right supervision.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”What Does It Really Take To Start A Blog In 2015+?”]It’s 2015 right now, but only for a couple more months at the time of this writing. It’s busy in the tech world, and new content creators are coming online everyday. Some spaces are getting very saturated, while new micro markets are continuing to emerge each year as well.
I think you can take this two ways: that everything is too competeitive and there’s already people starting blogs on the topics you want to write about, OR, the abundant mindset is that this is the best time to be alive, and the opportunities are damn near endless right now. I choose the latter, and I hope you do too. I know this is a round about way to answer this question, but really in 2015 and beyond, all it really takes to start a blog is your desire to do it and a few bucks. When you make a go of it and want to blog full time, your results will be directly proportionate to the effort you put in.
Too long? Short answer: about $50 bucks, writing 3k words per day for 6 months, and a lot of learning.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”When Does A Blog Start Making Money?”] When you have enough converting traffic to produce revenue. I.E.- when you provide enough value to enough people, solve problems for them to the point that they’re willing to give you money in exchange for saving time, and when you’ve put in enough effort to justify consistent readership.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Should I Start A Blog About My Life?”]Probably not. Unless it’s going to be interesting or you’ve struggled through something that you can help others with. This is not the era of the Jenners. You should start a blog in order to connect with others and have something to offer. You blabbing away about your life (I’m talking like “here’s where I went today, this is what I bought, this outfit is cute” etc…) without any substance or real purpose behind it is a waste of time in my opinion. The only way I see it differently, is if you just want to use it as a learning experience, learn how to setup and run a blog, learn how to manage a hosting account, and learn to network on the internet…. then I see it as benefitial and it might turn into something more later on.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Where Should I Start A Blog At?”]Personally I wouldn’t start a blog anywhere other than on your own domain name of your choosing. Starting a free blog on free blogging sites like wordpress.com, blogger.com, and tumblr.com would be equivelent to remodeling and upgrading a home you are renting. Great for the owner and long term value, terrible short term investment doing property improvements on someone else’s property.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”Why Start A Blog For Your Business?”]This should have it’s own book just for this answer. Essentially, you want to have a blog for any service based or local business so you can compete int he current landscape of local internet marketing… which is only going to get more competitive.
Regular updated content/customer projects, expanding your reach via answering commonly asked questions will establish your company as the authority in your local area (instead of them using sites like HomeAdvisor, Yelp, and so forth, which still matter but for a different reason entirely), and increased local lead generation from your company’s blog are just a few of MANY points as to why you’d want to start a blog for your business.
I need to put together a guide for this process, please remind me.
[/accordion] [accordion title=”What Topics Should I Start A Blog About?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”What Can I Start A Blog About?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”Who Should Start A Blog?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”I Would Like To Start A Blog But I’m Not Confident?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Can I Start A Blog That Matters?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”What Are The Total Costs Involved In Starting A Small Blog?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Can A Beginner Blogger Make It In A Saturated Blogging World?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”Can I Really Start A Blog And Quit My 9 – 5 Day Job?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Much Do The Top Bloggers Make Blogging Full Time?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”Where Should I Host My Blog?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”Which Hosting Company Can Make My Blog Or Website Faster?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”Where Are The Best Places To Get Themes For My Blog?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Do You Start A Real Estate Blog?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Do I Start A Fashion Blog?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Do I Start A Food Blog?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Do I Start A Photography Blog?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Can I Start A Blog In 10 Minutes?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”How Much Does A Starting Blogger Make?”] [/accordion] [accordion title=”Where Can I Find Books On How To Start A Blog?”]There are a few places that have decent books on starting your own blog. However, it really depends on what type of blog you want to start. For instance, if you want to start a food blog, I’d probably recommend you check out Food Blogger Pro by Lindsay since she makes over $30k per month with her food blog… I might be better suited with the technical stuff, but she can definitely help you out a lot more than I ever could with the food/recipe stuff. Her and her husband even have a course on how to take the best pictures for your food blog so it gets more traction on Pinterest. You can see it in action here.[/accordion] [accordion title=”Do You Have Any Classes On How To Start A Blog For The First Time?”]I Don’t personally have any classes per-say, but I do have several tutorials that can help with all of the stages you’ll encounter. But sometimes my way of teaching doesn’t resonate with some readers for one reason or another. In that case, here are a few courses that help with starting your blog and getting rocking and rolling.[/accordion] [/accordions]