If you are thinking to create your own blog or if you have a blog already, remember that this is 2020. Blogging has reached a very advanced level and competition has also increased greatly.
That’s why, when you start a blog, you have to plan everything well in advance to achieve success.
But don’t worry, In this article, I will tell you in 7 steps how to start a successful blog.
- Choose Right Blogging Platform
- Buy A Domain Name and Good Web Hosting
- How to Create a Blog on WordPress
- What to Do After Installing WordPress
- Must have WordPress Plugins on every Blog
- How To Make WordPress blog More SEO Friendly
- Start Blogging with Compelling Content
How to Start a Successful Blog
The trend of blogging is increasing day by day and many new blogs are created every day but all blogs do not get success. The biggest reason, they do not follow any tactic and their blog goes behind in the competition.
If you are thinking of creating a successful blog, then you have to follow a few steps that I’m going to tell you below.
There are many paid and free blogging platforms available to create a new blog. In which Blogspot and WordPress are very popular.
If you choose a wrong blog platform at the beginning, then later switching can be very difficult.
I recommend you to start a blog with self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org) but do not pick WordPress.com instead of WordPress.org. Here is a guide – What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
For WordPress.org, there are thousands of premium & free WordPress themes available in the market that provide a great look and millions of plugins help to add new features to your blog.
Also, if you have any problems with your WordPress blog, you will find a lot of tutorials on the internet to fix them.
But to start a blog on WordPress, you will need a domain name and web hosting. If you have a low budget, then you can create Blog on Blogspot Platform provided by Google.
Buy A Domain Name and Good Web Hosting
If you want to start blogging in a professional way then you will need a domain name and a good hosting.
The domain name is the name of your blog on the Internet like justbrightme.com while hosting is the storage where your blog data is stored.
Choose the domain of your blog always small and unique. Also, your domain should be related to your niche.
But do not make a mistake while buying a hosting. Always buy hosting from a trustworthy hosting company.
There are many web hosting companies in the market that promise to be the best, but after buying the hosting from them, you will feel that they have cheated you.
If you make a mistake in choosing web hosting, this will affect both your blog SEO and traffic. The reason, your blog will be mostly in downtime and your blog will load very slowly. Here I have created a list of Best Web Hosting Companies You Can Use.
I recommend you to purchase Bluehost hosting because it is a very reliable and oldest hosting company at cheap prices. Even it offers you a free domain for 1 year. It is also recommended by wordpress.org
Bluehost.com offers a free domain for 1 year. But Bluehost.in does not provide free domain.
Here is a guide on how to purchase hosting from Bluehost.in:
First, go to the Bluehost and click on Hosting >> Linux Hosting.
This will take you to the pricing page. Scroll down the page and choose your pricing plan. Its business plan is very popular among the users and allows to create 3 websites while Standard Plan allows you to launch only one website.
After selecting the plan, click on buy now button.
Now it will ask you “Do you already have a domain for your hosting plan?” That is, you already have a domain.
Just, you have to click on “no” and enter a domain name for your blog. If you want to use the other extension instead of the .com, then click on the .com extension and select another extension.
In this page, you will need to click on Select >> Checkout option.
After clicking on Checkout, it will redirect you to the Order Summary page. You can remove unwanted order here, only pay for hosting and domain. Plus you can choose time duration for your hosting and domain name.
After checking everything properly, click on the proceed to payment button.
In the next step, you have to sign up for Bluehost account. Click on “create an account in 10 seconds”.
And fill up your account informations such as name, address, email etc.
When you click on create account, it will redirect you to the Payment Options page.
After the purchase is completed, you will receive an email with details related to cPanel.
How to Create a Blog on WordPress
You will find many options in your hosting dashboard (cPanel). 90% of them will not need to use, so you ignore them.
First, log in to your Bluehost account and then click the “Manage Orders >> List / Search Orders” button.
Then click on the Domain name.
In the next page you will need to click the “Manage Web Hosting” button.
Now your hosting cPanel will open, scroll down to the Software section and click on “Softaculous Apps Installer”
In the next page, select WordPress and then click on the Install Now button, below you can see in the screenshot,
A new page will open, here you need to enter your blog name, username, and password. You can later change them according to your needs. Here’s the guide,
Here you will see some templates that you can install on your blog. But you do not need to do this right now. You can also install the theme later on your blog. Here is a guide – How to Install WordPress Theme
Once you’re done, click the install button. WordPress installation process will start, it will take approximately 1 minute. After the process is completed, login and password information will be sent to the registered email address.
Congratulation! You have created your first WordPress blog.
Now Update Your Domain Nameserver
Again, log in to your hosting cPanel and click on the “Manage Orders >> List / Search Orders” button. Then click on the Domain name.
Click on the Name Server details within your hosting section,
It will give two Name servers, simply copy and save them to notepad.
Now go to the Domain Registration section and click on Name Servers. A popup box will open, copy and paste the name server in these boxes. Then click on Update name server button.
Name servers take 72 hours to propagate. After this, you can log in and visit your blog.
What to Do After Installing WordPress
If you want to run a successful blog, then after installing the blog on WordPress, you have to do some essential settings.
1. Install SSL Certificate
SSL Certificate switch your blog from HTTP to HTTPS.
And HTTPS is a ranking signal. So this is the most important settings after installing WordPress.
By using Https on your blog, you can easily increase your search ranking and blog traffic.
2. Delete Default Post, Page, and Comment
When you install WordPress, you get demo content like post, page, and comment.
Login to your WordPress dashboard and go to Posts >> All Posts and delete the default “Hello world” post.
Just like the first process, go to Pages >> All Pages and delete the default “Sample Page”.
Finally, click on “Comments” and delete the demo comment.
3. Set your timezone
Set the time zone of the blog to your local time so that when you schedule a post, they are live according to your time zone.
To set the time zone, click Settings >> General.
4. Change WordPress Permalinks
Permalink is a very important setting to start a successful blog.
WordPress’s default permalink structure is not SEO friendly and it looks like this.
But do not worry, you can easily make it SEO friendly. Click on Settings >> Permalinks and select Post Name permalink then click the Save Changes button.
Here’s a guide – Best Permalink Structure for SEO
5. Update Your WordPress Ping List
By default, WordPress comes with popular ping service. But you can add more ping service to this list.
Click on Settings >> Writing then scroll to the update service section and add your ping service.
6. Install a Good WordPress Theme
When you install WordPress, it gives you the default theme (Twenty Nineteen). This theme is also good but I would recommend you use Lightweight and Well-coding themes on your blog. Here’s a list – 34 Best SEO Friendly WordPress Themes
In this list, I have listed both Free and paid themes. You can install any one according to your needs and budget.
Keep your blog simple and clean and responsive.
7. Change Blog Title and Tagline
If you have not changed the blog’s title and tagline during WordPress installation, you can change it now.
Click on Settings >> General page. Here you will see the site title and the tagline. You just need to change it.
8. Delete Inactive WordPress Themes/Plugin
Inactive WordPress themes/plugin affects your blog loading speed. As well as create security vulnerabilities.
Click Appearance >> Themes to see all your installed themes. If you see any Inactive WordPress Themes here, then delete it. Similarly, you can also go to the plugin page and delete the Inactive Plugin.
9. Enable Spam Protection for Comment
Spam Comments Take the unnecessary space on your WordPress hosting, which increases the size of your database and also affects your blog loading speed. There are several ways to moderate spam comments in WordPress. You can manually moderate it. But It will take a lot of time.
Its alternatives, you can deal with spam comments using antispam WordPress plugins. These plugins automatically block spam comments on your blog.
10. Set Favicon
Favicon is a small icon that appears in the address bar of the visitor’s browser. It makes your brand professional and credible.
Also, when a visitor bookmarks your blog, your blog’s Favicon is visible. Here’s a guide – 13 Best Free Favicon Generator Online
11. Connect Your Blog to Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a very good tool developed by Google. This helps track your blog performance (how your blog is performing in Google).
You can get Valuable Insights of your blog from Google Search Console such as Crawl errors, Ranking Keyword, impressions and many more. Here’s a guide – Google Search Console Overview- Complete Beginner’s Guide in Hindi
12. Submit Sitemap
First, create a Sitemap for your blog. To create a Sitemap, you can read this guide – How to Create XML Sitemap for WordPress (4 Ways)
After creating a Sitemap, click on the ‘Sitemaps’ option in the Google Search Console dashboard, then paste the last part of the Sitemap’s URL (sitemap_index.xml) and click on the Submit button.
13. Add Social Share Button
You can allow visitors to share blog posts quickly on social networking sites by adding social sharing buttons to your blog. A lot of Social share plugins are available in the market. Here’s a guide – How to Add Social Media Share Buttons to WordPress Posts (4 Easy Ways)
14. Check Your Site’s Visibility Settings
WordPress comes with a built-in option that prevents your blog from being indexed to the search engine. If you mistakenly check this option, your blog will not appear in Google Search Result. This option is great for the newly launched website/blog.
To check this, click on Settings >> Readings page and uncheck Discourage search engines from indexing this site box.
These are some of the most important settings after installing a blog on WordPress.
Must have WordPress Plugins on every Blog
Creating a blog on WordPress is very easy, but this is not your last step. You will also need to add more features. And for this, you will need plugins. Here I will tell about some plugins that should be on every blog.
It is an antispam plugin developed by Automattic. Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions to prevent your blog from publishing malicious content.
But you’ll need an Akismet API key to use it but the best thing is that API Key is free for personal blogs.
Alternatively, you can also use the Antispam Bee plugin to protect your blog from spam.
There are many paid and free SEO plugins available in the market but Yoast SEO is the most popular.
Plugin gives full control over indexing. Also, help to create custom Meta Tag, Meta Description, Post Title on your blog. Further, there are many such features that are essential to improve website or blog SEO.
Developed by automatic. This is the best plugins offers Design, Marketing, and Security solution. It is available in both free and paid versions.
- It provides own network to load images of your blog
- Lazy image loading to improve the user experience
- Site stats and analytics
- Automated social media posting and scheduling
- Brute force attack protection, spam filtering, and downtime monitoring
- Daily or real-time backups of your entire blog
- Secure logins with optional two-factor authentication and many more features.
4. Cache Plugin
A Cache plugin improves loading speed and helps to get rid of slow loading. There are many best cache plugins available for WordPress.
It generates static HTML files of your blog, and when a visitor visits your blog then it serves static HTML files instead of heavier WordPress PHP scripts.
WP-Optimize clean your WordPress database and removes all unnecessary data trashed/unapproved/spam comments, pingbacks, trackbacks and expired transient. It is easy to use.
6. Image Optimizer Plugins
You can easily provide better speed and performance to visitors by optimizing your images.
When you upload images to your blog, image optimizer plugins reduce the size by compressing them and your blog loads faster than before.
7. Lazy Loading Plugins
Compared to any other element, the image takes more time to be loaded, and if there are so many images in your article, it increases your page load time but using Lazy Loading Plugins on your blog you can improve performance.
If you install the lazy load plugin on your blog, then your image will be loaded when a user scrolls down your page. Lazy load will greatly improve your blog page load time and save bandwidth.
Redirection is the most popular redirection plugin. You can easily manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors. This can help reduce errors and improve the user experience.
9. Security Plugin
There are plenty of paid and free plugins available for security. You can use anyone on your blog but Wordfence security is very popular in all of them. It includes firewall and malware scanner that protects your WordPress blog.
Some of the best Security Plugins
- Wordfence Security
- All In One WP Security & Firewall
- Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening
- Cerber Security & Antispam
- Shield Security for WordPress
- Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall
UpdraftPlus is the most popular backup plugin. You can backup your blog files and database into the cloud and restore with a single click.
It provides many 3rd-party storages like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, OpenStack Swift, and email to store your backup file.
It comes with a free and paid version. Its free version works perfectly for a small website or blog. Here is a guide – How to Backup WordPress site completely using UpdraftPlus plugin
How To Make WordPress Blog More SEO Friendly
WordPress is an SEO friendly CMS but you can make it even more SEO friendly and can easily get a good rank in Google search result.
1. Use SEO Plugin
Using SEO plugin you can make your WordPress blog more SEO friendly. There are many SEO plugins available in the market.
But I recommend the Yoast SEO plugin. This is a very popular and best SEO plugin for WordPress.
Key features of Yoast SEO
- You can change the SEO title and meta description of the post.
- You can add Focus keywords
- Create XML Sitemaps
- It also includes .htaccess and robots.txt editor
- You can use Title and Meta description for taxonomies (category and tags).
- [Premium] Redirect manager
- [Premium] Automatic internal linking suggestions
- [Premium] Synonyms & related keyphrases
- [Premium] offers News SEO, Video SEO, Local SEO and WooCommerce SEO extensions
2. Make Your Blog Faster
Speed is one of the Google ranking factors.
If your blog takes more time to load, then your blog will not perform better in Google search results. You need to pay attention to this.
Fast loading affects both ranking & user experience and performs better in search results. Here’s a detailed guide – 18 Ways How to Speed Up WordPress Site (UPDATED)
Quick tips to improve loading speed:
- Upgrade to PHP 7.3
- Optimize your image size
- Keep only useful plugins
- Delete unwanted media
- Minify CSS and JS Files
- Use a good cache plugin
- Minimize Redirects
3. Use Nofollow Tag for Affiliate Links and Untrusted
When you add a lot of links to your blog, it boosts your blog SEO. But, some links can reduce your Rankings.
Affiliate Links and Untrusted/spammy links play an important role in reducing your ranking. If you use such links on your content, use rel = “nofollow” tags for them.
If you use a plugin to manage affiliate Links on your blog, you can easily set the No-Follow attribute for your Affiliate Links.
4. Link Old Article to New Article
Internal linking is very important to make your content better and relevant. This technique improves blog SEO and reduces the bounce rate.
Internal linking makes your content even more useful to users. Also, increases page views.
5. Optimize Your Blog Images
If you use a lot of images on your blog, it is very important to compress and resize them. This reduces your image size and improves page speed.
There are lots of free and paid plugins available in the WordPress repository that can help you optimize your images.
In addition, you can use online image resizing and compressing tools.
Use a proper name and ALT tag to make your image SEO friendly. This helps in getting better rank in image search. Here is a guide – How to Optimize Images for SEO
6. Create High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are the oldest Google ranking factors and Google uses this to rank content on the first page. Also, this helps to increase the domain authority, ranking and traffic of your blog.
But if you create bad/spammy or low-quality backlinks for your blog, then this can greatly harm your blog’s ranking.
Always try to get high-quality backlinks. 100 quality backlinks equal to 1000 low-quality backlinks.
7. Disable Author Archives in Single-Author Blogs
If you are running a single-author blog, keep author archives disabled. Because there will be the same content on the Author Archives and Homepage. This can arise the problem of duplicate content on your blog.
You can use the WordPress SEO plugin (Yoast SEO) to disable or no-index the author pages.
9. Use CDN
CDN improves your blog’s performance. It creates a Cache version of your blog on its servers and provides content to users through the servers that are closest to the user’s locations. This reduces your server load and improves page load times.
There are lots of CDN services available in the market. Currently, I use CloudFlare on my blog. This is a very popular CDN service and also provides free SSL with a free plan.
10. Use Cache Plugin
Cache plugin is very important for any WordPress blog or website. This makes your blog super fast and reduces the load on the origin server. A lot of caching plugins are available in the WordPress repository.
But W3 Total Cache is the best plugin for WordPress that comes with great features like page caching, browser caching, object caching, database caching and minification. Its alternative you can use the WP Super Cache plugin.
The main goal of the Cache plugin is to reduce the page speed of your blog and improve the user experience.
11. Link Your Special Content as Much as Possible
If you have articles on your blog with unique research which provide great value to the reader, then link them as much as possible to your other content. Also, put them in the sidebar/footer of your blog.
This strategy will tell the search engine, this content is special and is more noticeable.
12. Optimize Your robots.txt File
Robots.txt is a small text file that is found in the root folder of your WordPress blog. You can instruct search engine bots to crawl and index specific directories or pages of your blog.
By customizing this you can improve both your blog’s SEO and Ranking. But a small mistake can hurt your ranking and traffic both. Here’s a guide – How to create the best Robots.txt file for SEO
13. Publish Fresh Content Regularly
Google gives priority to those blogs in SERPs, which regularly publish content. This enhances both your ranking and blog reader. But your content should be informative and useful.
If you publish 4 posts a week but do not publish anything next week, then it’s worse than publishing two posts a week.
14. Keep Checking Broken Links on Your Blog
Broken Links greatly influences both your ranking and user experience. If there are too many broken links on your blog, Google will crawl your blog slowly. And search engines (like Google) will understand that the blog owner does not maintain the blog well.
Thankfully, WordPress.org has a free Broken Link Checker plugin that handles broken internal and external links on your blog. Also, this plugin automatically sets the ‘nofollow’ tag for Broken Link so that search engines do not follow them.
15. Check Errors for Google Webmaster Tools
It is very important to regularly check Errors (mobile issues, security issues and crawl errors) in Google Webmaster Tools.
As I said earlier, If there are too many Errors on your blog, Google will crawl your blog very slowly. For fast crawl, fix those Errors as soon as possible.
16. Set Preferred Domain in Google Web Master Tools
Set Preferred Domain for your blog. This tells Google to use your blog with “WWW” or non-www version. It boosts your SEO.
17. Increase Your Blog’s DA
DA stands for domain authority. It is a metric developed by Moz. Higher domain authority sites get higher rank in search engines and more traffic.
Domain authority is built on a scale of 1 to 100. You can check your blog DA using Moz’s free tool, Link Explorer.
Quick tips to increase the domain authority of the site:
- Publish quality content
- On-Page SEO – Plays a vital role to increase DA
- Internal Linking
- Create high-quality backlinks
- Disavow bad links
- Be patient and let your domain be old
Here is a detailed guide – How to Increase Domain Authority 2019 (16 Ultimate Guide)
17. Keep an Eye on Your Backlink Profile
It is very important to monitor blog backlinks. If your blog loses backlinks, your blog’s ranking may decrease.
There are so many tools available to check Backlink like – Ahrefs and Link Explorer that can help you monitor your Backlink Profile.
18. Stay Up-to-Date with Google Algorithm
It is very important to be updated with Google algorithms. If you do not pay attention to Google’s algorithms, you will not be able to achieve success in blogging. There are many blogs that get lots of traffic from Google. But after updating Google algorithm, their traffic dramatically decreased.
Therefore it is very important to keep an eye on Google algorithms and update your blog with new algorithms.
Start Blogging with Compelling Content
Content is king
You optimize your blog SEO properly, but do not pay attention to the content quality, so you can never succeed in blogging.
Therefore, if you want to start a successful blog, then creating SEO friendly content is very important.
A good SEO friendly content greatly influences your blog’s search engine ranking and can take your content to Google’s first page.
1. Keyword Research
Keyword research is essential for your blog’s success. Because it is an important component of SEO.
If you do not keyword research while writing content then your content is completely useless and you are wasting your time. Such content can not rank in the search engine.
Keyword research is very important for writing compelling and SEO friendly content. Here is the best guide – How to Keyword Research for SEO
2. Use Related Keyword List
Use related keywords in your content. It helps search engines better understand what the content is about.
And your content will rank well in the search engine.
3. Optimize Title Tags (Headlines)
Title tags help in increasing CTR. If you do not optimize it properly, you lose the opportunity to improve your content potential.
When search engine bots crawl your article, they check the title tag. If you optimize it correctly, your content will rank well in the search engine.
4. Use SEO Friendly URLs
Always use SEO friendly and short URLs for your blog posts. So that search engines can easily understand your page topic.
Make sure you add target keywords to your URL. It makes your content even more SEO friendly.
5. Optimize Meta Descriptions
Meta description is a brief overview of your content that attracts visitor to click on your article.
Meta description also plays an important role in increasing CTR on your content.
Use target keywords and related keywords to better optimize meta descriptions. If these keywords exist in the search query, they become bold, which attract the attention of the visitor.
6. Make Habits for Internal linking and External Linking
Try to add internal links and external links in your content. It increases your content value and adds more information to your visitor.
This strategy shows to Google that your article is trusted and well-referenced.
7. Use media and optimize images with ALT Tags
An image equals to 1000 words. If you use the media in your content, then it helps to make your content more compelling.
But the worst thing is that Google can not read the image. It reads the image based on the alt tag of the image.
Therefore, never forget to add the appropriate alt tag to your image.
This technique helps you achieve better rank in image search.
8. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing makes your article spammy, unnatural and useless.
If you think that keyword stuffing will boost your search ranking, then you are absolutely wrong. This reduces the ranking of your content even further. Here Google explains the stuffing stuff.
Use related keywords, synonyms and LSI keywords in your content.
9. Content Length
Long content ranks well in Google search results. If you write long-form content for your blog, you will get a positive result.
Long-form content performs better than the short-form and thin content in the search engine.
10. Quality Content
Quality content attracts both visitor and search engine. But your content should be unique and quality.
If you do not write useful and informative blog posts, then no one will visit your blog.
And you are putting termites on your blog. Such content greatly influences your ranking. Always try writing good and SEO friendly content for your blog.
Wrapping It Up
Here, I told you how to start a successful blog.
But you can not successful your blogs overnight. This is a long time process. You have to be a little patience.
Keep one thing in mind, Quality content is very important. If you follow all the strategies but do not pay attention to the quality of the content, then all your efforts are useless. Google will not rank your content in search results.
We’re done, and it’s now your turn! Find this article helpful? Don’t forget to share!