How to Build a Successful Blog in 2020
Have you ever thought about creating your own blog? Or do you already have a blog that is not sure how to move to the next level?
If your answer is “yes”, then this page is where you want it to be.
Why use this blog guide? A little bit about myself
I founded “Uncovering the Secrets of Web Hosting (WHSR)” in 2008, partly because of the strong welcome from the blogging community and our growing strength. Since then, WHSR has grown to be one of the leading websites that offer web hosting advice on Net, How to Build a Successful Blog in 2020 and I have attracted the strongest voice of the brand in contemporary blogs-all these people have put their opinions into this book and website It is the preferred resource for anyone who starts using self-hosted blog routes.
With this effortless guide, I will provide you with some of the fastest, easy to understand, and most effective solutions to your blog ’s problems. These solutions are based on my own experience and the thinking of people who like their work Out.
Chapter 1 Starting a blog from scratch
Building a blog in 2020 is easy and cheap.
The most popular blogging software, WordPress.org , is free. Professionally developed WordPress themes and plugins are free. There are literally millions of free introductory tutorials (including this tutorial). The only cost involved in setting up a blog is what you pay for web hosting and domain names.
Of course, it can become very tricky at a later stage. But in general, blogging is feasible for everyone with a computer and Internet connection. In fact, you can actually create a blog and get it running in the next 20 minutes. The steps mentioned in the following steps are exactly how I started my blog.
Basically, what you need to do is:
- Choose a good web host and domain name
- Point your domain DNS to your virtual host
- Install WordPress on a new web host (it is very easy to use the automatic installer).
- Log in to your WordPress and publish your first article.
- that’s it.
Does it sound easy? you bet!
I will guide you through the following steps. Feel free to skip to the next chapter if you already know how to set up your blog.
1. Choose a good web host and domain name
How to Build a Successful Blog in 2020
To create a self-hosted blog, you first need a domain name and a web hosting account.
Your domain is the name of your blog. Physical things you ca n’t touch or see; but only a string of characters can give your website an identity—such as a book title or location. Your domain “tells” visitors what type of blog they are visiting.
how to build a successful blog in 2020
On the other hand, web hosting is where you store blog content (words, blog themes, images, videos, etc.).
Domain name – where to register?
You can select and register your domain name through a domain name registrar. GoDaddy , NameCheap , wandering and Domain.com is the most popular on the market some of the registrar.
Please note that it is important to separate domain name registration from web hosting. Just because your web host provides a free domain name does not mean that you should let the hosting company control your domain name registration. Personally, I use NameCheap to manage my domain name registration; but any other reputable domain name registrar will do. In this way, I can change my domain DNS at any time and avoid being locked by a specific web host. I strongly recommend that you do this to protect yourself.
Web hosting – where to host your blog?
As for web hosting, check my best web hosting selection and hosting review index .
For starters, I recommend starting with a shared web host.
In shared hosting – although hosting resources are smaller than other resources (VPS, cloud, etc.), you need the budget (usually less than $ 5 / mo when registering) and technical knowledge to start. When choosing a web host for your blog, here are five considerations:
- Reliability – Your blog needs to be stable and can be accessed online 24 × 7.
- Speed -You need a host that loads quickly because speed affects user experience and search ranking.
- Pricing – hosting at a price of less than $ 5 / month is a good start, at this stage, you do not need premium services.
- Growth space – As the blog grows, you will need to upgrade the host (additional features, more server features, etc.).
- Technical Support -The Internet is changing rapidly, and someone always provides technical support to you has been very good.
Recommended for novice blog hosting
InMotion Hosting is a web hosting that I am willing to personally guarantee. Several things they stand out from the competition, including stable server performance (uptime> 99.98%) and the rich features provided for basic portals. Most importantly, for beginners, their price is the best choice.
Hostinger is one of the cheapest web hosts around, especially during honeymoon. Despite being a budget hosting company, Hostinger still provides a lot of advanced hosting features for blogs.
SiteGround is one of the best WordPress hosting service providers, it is recommended by WordPress.org. They provide a similar custom architecture for websites using WordPress, just like Bluehost (another web host recommended by WordPress.org), despite the lower price.
Just because web hosting is very popular does not mean that it is best for your blog. View hosting performance and double check before making a decision.
2. Point the domain name DNS to your web host
Next, you need to update the DNS record at the domain name registrar (you registered the domain at step 1) to point to your web hosting server (InMotion Hosting, Hostinger or SiteGround).
DNS stands for Domain Name System and is used to direct any incoming users to the server’s IP address. Therefore, when the user enters “WebHostingSecretRevealed.net”, the DNS record will obtain the IP address of my web host and serve the website to the user.
3. Install WordPress to your web host
To start blogging with WordPress, you first need to install the system into a web host. This can be done manually, or it can be done automatically using the one-click installation application. Both methods are very simple and can be done easily.
WordPress manual installation
To take a quick look, you need to perform the following steps:
- Download and unzip the WordPress software package to your local PC.
- Create a database for WordPress on a web server, and a MySQL user with all permissions to access and modify it.
- Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.
- Open wp-config.php in a text editor (notepad) and fill in the database details.
- Place the WordPress file in the desired location on the web server.
- Run the WordPress installation script by accessing wp-admin / install.php in a web browser. If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http: //example.com/wp-admin/install.php; For example, if you install WordPress in your own subdirectory named blog, you should Visit: http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php
- You are done
WordPress one-click installation
Today, most bloggers do not install WordPress manually.
For your reference, the image below shows where you can find the automatic installation feature on the Hostinger dashboard. To install WordPress, simply click the circled icon and follow the anti-counterfeiting instructions-your WordPress system should be up and running in less than 5 minutes.
For different web hosts, the situation may look different, but the process is basically the same. So if you do n’t use one of these hosts I show here, do n’t worry.
I personally think that WordPress is the best blogging platform for newbies. According to Built With statistics, more than 95% of blogs in the US are built using WordPress . Worldwide, almost 2.7 billion blogs run on WordPress .
4. Log in to WordPress and publish your first article
After installing the WordPress system, you will be provided with a URL to log in to the WordPress admin page. In most cases, the URL looks like this (depending on the folder where you installed WordPress):
Go to that URL and log in with your preset username and password; from there, you will now be located on the back end (dashboard) of the WordPress website – this is part of the blog and only you as an administrator can access it.
At the time of writing, the latest version of WordPress is version 5.3.2-by default, you will use WordPress Gutenberg as a text editor. Gutenberg brings great flexibility to the WordPress platform. This is especially useful for beginners because many things (such as setting the background color) and more no longer require coding. The block system also helps in the management of commodity layout.
To write and post a new post, simply navigate to the left sidebar, click “Posts”> “Add New” and you will be directed to the writing screen. Click “Preview” to preview the content of the front end (what readers will see), click “Post” after the post is completed.
Hello there! Now, you have published your first blog post.
Bookmarking your WordPress wp-admin login URL is a good idea, because you will come here often.
chapter 2. Design a blog look
Now that we have prepared WordPress, it is time to conduct a more in-depth study. Like all CMS, WordPress blog consists of 3 main elements:
- CMS core -the system we installed using the automatic installer,
- Theme – The “front end” of the blog, where you can control the appearance of the blog, and
- Plug-ins – add-ons that allow you to control and function on your blog (more on this later)
To design or customize the appearance of a blog, all we have to do is customize a set of PHP and CSS files that are usually located in the / wp-content / themes / directory. These files are separate from the WordPress core system, and you can make changes as needed.
Most individual bloggers will not create their own blog themes from scratch. Instead, what most of us have to do is to choose a ready-made theme (or original theme) and customize it according to our needs. There are countless beautiful WordPress themes on the Internet – a simple search on Google will take you to millions.
If this is your first time setting up a WordPress blog, my advice to you is to start with a ready-made theme and make adjustments throughout the process.
Here you can get ready-made WordPress designs:
- Official WordPress theme directory (free)
- WordPress theme club ($ 89 per year-one-time payment of $ 400)
- WordPress theme market (one-time payment of $ 30 – $ 100)
We will review each option below.
Here you can get all free WordPress themes. The themes listed in this directory follow very strict standards provided by WordPress developers, so I think this is the best place to get free, error-free theme designs.
2. Paid WordPress theme club
Another way to get high-quality paid themes is to subscribe to the WordPress theme club.
If this is the first time you have heard about the theme club, then it works as follows: you pay a certain amount of money to join the club, and you can get various designs in the club. Themes provided by theme clubs are usually professionally designed and regularly updated.
Elegant theme , Studio Press and craftsmen topic I recommend three WordPress themes club.
There where there are a lot of other people – even some clubs cater to specific industries, such as real estate brokers or school; but we are dealing with only three in this article.
The elegant theme can be said to be the most popular WordPress theme club in the industry. The theme website has more than 500,000 satisfied customers, providing more than 87 beautiful and amazing themes for you to choose. It also enables you to download advanced plug-ins that will enhance your online business. The subscription price for elegant themes is cheap enough. You can access all themes on an unlimited website at a price of $ 69 per year. If you also want to use the plugin, you must pay $ 89 per year. If you like Elegant Themes, you may wish to purchase a lifetime plan with a one-time payment of $ 249.
My experience with elegant themes is generally positive, and I have no problems recommending them.
It is affordable and easy to use, and the customization options are almost endless. Whether you are a casual blogger or an experienced businessman, Elegant Themes is not only a good way to enhance the beauty of your website, but also helps to make your website easy to navigate and user-friendly, which is conducive to attracting more visitors and promotion business.
If you are a long-term WordPress user, then you may have heard of StudioPress. It is very popular Genesis framework applicable to all StudioPress theme of minimalism and SEO friendly WordPress framework.
StudioPress provides flexible pricing based on your needs. Genesis Framework with sub-themes can be used for a one-time payment of $ 59.99. Premium themes including Genesis Framework are priced at 99 each. If you want to access all the topics, you can pay $ 499.
Artisan theme is not your usual WordPress theme club. This theme club instead of using pre-made layout download themes, but allows you to build from scratch through 20 topic modules (call to action, tiling, portfolio elements, etc.).
You can release the module on its theme. It is the most functional and contemporary two themes are indigo and modules . Unlike other WordPress theme websites, you can only buy the theme separately for $ 129.
The off-the-shelf website is perfect for those who do not want to easily customize WordPress themes. Just choose the theme that best describes your business and you can set it up in minutes. If you have installed the theme from the store as specified, you can only use ready-made websites.
3. WordPress theme market
The WordPress theme market is where you can choose and purchase professionally designed themes from multiple vendors. Because WordPress has such a huge user base, there are actually many great markets (and thousands of vendors and developers) to choose from.
For example, my personal favorite – ENVATO Market , can organize a large number of advanced WordPress themes neatly according to the theme, adding dates, user ratings and prices.
Chapter 3 Adding features using plugins
Plugins are add-on applications that can run on top of WordPress and add new features to WordPress blogs. More than 55,000 plugins WordPress.org official plugin catalog Now, there are hundreds of thousands more available in other markets.
The blog uses plugins to add various functions to the WordPress blog. For example, you can:
- Create an online store using the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress
- Use the following to create a job board WP Job Manager plugin
- Use the following method to make podcast site simply plug Podcast Press
A must-have plugin for WordPress beginners
If this is your first time using WordPress, start with some basic (free) plugins:
Plug-ins for security and spam protection
Akismet is one of the oldest plugins provided with WordPress by default. This plugin helps to check all comments based on its service to see if they are spam. It collects all spam and allows you to view it on the blog’s “Comments” management screen.
On the other hand, Vault Press is a real-time backup and security scanning service designed by Automattic. The plugin provides you with the function of backing up and synchronizing all posts, comments, media files, revisions and dashboard settings on the server. WordFence and iThemes Security are plugins that combine all necessary WordPress security features. The main function of the plugin is to enhance the security of the blog without worrying about functional conflicts or the lack of any content on the website or blog.
Plugins improve blog performance
Two other plug-ins you should also study the performance of a cloud torch and WP Super Cache . Cloud Flare is a free plug-in provided by CDN company Cloud Flare; WP Super Cache is jointly developed by Donncha and Automattic, and Donncha and Automattic have now developed and operated WordPress.
Caching plugins are an indispensable tool in the modern blogging world – by improving server performance, reducing download time and increasing page loading speed, it greatly improves the user experience.
If your blog contains many pictures, please consider adding EWWW image optimization . It is a one-click image optimizer that can optimize image files in the library. It also has an automatic image compression function, which can reduce the image size when uploading images. By optimizing images, you can reduce page load time and improve site performance.
Although WordPress is an SEO friendly blogging platform, with the help of plugins, there is still a lot of work to be done to improve your basic live SEO score.
Gutenberg block plugin
With the introduction of the Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0, bloggers can now use block-based editors to create content. By default, WordPress provides a basic set of content blocks, such as paragraphs, images, call-to-action buttons, shortcodes, etc. By adding the Gutenberg Block plugin, you can add more engaging elements to your blog (eg FAQ, accordion, author profile, carousel, click tweet, GIF block, etc.).
Chapter 4. Find niche markets and create content
Usually this is how novices start blogging: they write their work on Monday, hobbies on Tuesday, watch movies on Wednesday, and express political opinions on weekends. In short, these people only write a large number of topics without focusing on them.
Yes, these blogs will accumulate stable followers among their friends and family; but that’s it.
When you randomly write a blog, it is difficult to have a large number of loyal readers, because people will not know whether you are a movie critic, food critic or book critic. Advertisers will also be reluctant to advertise with you because they do not know your identity. To build a successful blog, you need to find a niche.
How to choose the right blog market segment?
To find the right blog segment, here are the key points to consider.
1. Meet the needs
If you ever thought “I hope someone will write this on a blog”, it’s a-ha moment. If this is a topic you want to know, then it may be a topic that others want to know.
How to Build a Successful Blog in 2020
What unique knowledge do you have? How do you provide unique themes that others cannot provide? It can even be done through interviews with experts.
2. What you are passionate about
Remember, in the next few years, you will write, read and talk about your subject every day. If you are not interested in the subject of your blog, then perseverance is very difficult.
In addition, you will enjoy writing these topics.
3. Themes with endurance (evergreen content)
Although controversial, there is no guarantee that your topic will appear next week. For example, if you are passionate about Vine and start to focus on blogging, then when it is out of date, you lose content. It’s best to focus on more general topics, such as “cutting social media trends” or “rock image applications.” This way, if a fashion is outdated, your blog can still keep an eye out for anything that replaces it.
Your blog needs in niche markets that can make money .
Ask yourself if this is a theme that attracts readers and generates revenue through advertising or sales. If you use a blog to support your existing business, will the blog attract new customers? If you just blog because you are passionate about this topic, is there a way to monetize your personal blog?
I use SpyFu , a pay-per-click advertising tool that sometimes estimates the profitability of niche markets. My logical basis-if an advertiser pays Google Adwords thousands of dollars, then it will definitely make money in this area. These are the two examples I found:
to find the right blog in this paper market segments – If you need more help, be sure to check.I and Gina (Gina) are discussed in detail
Chapter 6. Make money with a blog
2. Affiliate marketing
Member marketing is a performance-based business where companies pay people who promote their products-these people are called members.
Most affiliates pay affiliates through a cost per operation (CPA). This means that as long as action is taken, members can make money. This usually takes the form of sales (when someone buys something) or leads (when someone signs something, such as a newsletter, free trial, registration, etc.).
How to start?
As a new blogger, the best way to enter the door of affiliate marketing is by registering in the affiliate network. Sites like CJ Join or Shareasale represent a range of products from multiple vendors. They also provide useful tools for new blogs that can help you track sales and act as an intermediary to ensure that you are paid fairly.
Which member product do you want to promote?
Selecting the member products to be promoted is a bit of a “chicken or egg” problem. It depends on which direction you want to choose. Many bloggers often create content about their passionate topics and look for related member products to support their content creation. In addition, you can target specific market segments that you think are suitable for you and build content for these products.
Please consider that different types of products are usually accompanied by different levels of membership commissions. The commissions for retail products are often very low, and your income depends to a large extent on whether you can promote these products. Large commissions are often used for services or digital goods, such as subscriptions and software.
In order to better understand the performance of certain products, you can use the data in the member network as a guide. Alternatively, you can from the network tools (such as Google Trends .
3. Sell premium content
If you are not satisfied with selling other people’s products, please consider creating your own products to provide. Whether it is new software to help business owners, cookware or operation guides, you can create and provide many different projects on the website.
The most common items are e-books and instructional videos. These projects are based only on your knowledge of specific areas. They are deeper than short blog posts or provide very professional information. Easy access to e-books through a similar platform Amazon Kindle publishing and crush word .
Speaking of professional information, some blog owners choose to create a separate area based on membership and place the best articles or videos in that area. Those members can access this information. You can provide short excerpts to attract readers to subscribe, thereby attracting people to register as members.
There are a few keys to help your member area become more successful:
- Keep memberships reasonable. Think of $ 5 / month instead of $ 5 / day.
- Provide high-quality articles, videos, speakers and other events for your members. No one wants to pay for something that will never be updated.
- Pay regularly. Use PayPal , Stripe, or any other regular billing model to automatically pay and cancel membership This can save a lot of time.
Find out more profit by means of blog reading Kevin mooreton (Kevin Muldoon) of case studies in order to sell $ 60,000 BloggingTips.com .
Chapter 7 Using Free Blogging Tools
Even though useful free tools and web services do exist online, the trouble is to use them in all other spam and / or outdated tools.
As a parting gift for reading my guide until here, I will provide you with a list of free tools we have been using at WHSR. Good luck and success in your blog journey.
- After the deadline – advanced style and grammar checker.
- Grammarly crack -the most popular online writing assistant.
- Hemingway Application – Use this tool to be short and bold.
- Freedom – Block distracting websites so you can focus on writing.
- Motto – non-intrusive writing tool.
- Evernote – a tool that needs to be introduced.
- Fotor -a beautiful photo tool for editing and designing social media posts, posters, invitations, etc.
- canva -Design beautiful images and social media posts.
- Design Wizard -Create beautiful images using free templates and ready-made images.
- JPEG Mini -Reduce the size of .jpeg files.
- Tiny PNG -reduces the size of .png files.
- Skitch -Record images.
- Pic Monkey – Award-winning image editing tool.
- Pik to Chart – Simple information chart creation tool.
- Pixlr -image editing tool.
- Favicon.io – by far the best website icon generator.
Free Stock Photos & Images
- Icon Finder – a huge free icon catalog.
- org files -more than 350,000 commercial images.
- Stock Snapshots – an image catalog site with beautiful free photos added every week.
- WHSR Free Icon – Free icon designed by our in-house designer.
Reference and Research
- World Science -Free academic newsletter.
- World Fact Book – no kidding – get world information directly from the CIA.
- Technology Republic – White papers, reports and case studies on technology.
- Marketing Sherpa – Free marketing report.
- Trade Bar – Free magazine, white paper and case study.
- Hubspot Library – a good source of market reference.
- CrunchBase – news about startups.
- BuzzFeed Trends -Find the latest hot topics on BuzzFeed.
- Creative writing tips – ideas and tips for overcoming writing barriers.
- Google Alert -Get alert emails about new content you are tracking.
Social media, marketing and SEO
- Bing Webmaster Tools – Bing’s free site diagnostic tool.
- Google Webmaster Tools – Google ’s free website diagnostic tool.
- Follow -track your competitors
- Majestic search engine optimization – the free version allows you to quickly check the site link configuration file (CF / TF).
- Engage Bay -Integrated marketing, sales and service automation platform
- Similar page checker – check for duplicate pages on the blog.
- Like Explorer -Check social indicators of your (or competitor) content.
- Tweet Deck – Manage multiple Twitter accounts in one dashboard.
- Buzz Sumo – Find popular content and influencers on major social media networks.
- Marker board -social media market research.
- IFTTT -Easily publish content on multiple social media platforms.
Website analysis and productivity
- Google -Free web statistics.
- Matomo – Google Analytics minus Google.
- YouTube data analysis -statistics of your YouTube videos.
- WP Statistics -Compare your WordPress blog with others.
- Process Street -Simple process and workflow management.
Website speed test
- Bitcatcha -Check site speed from 10 locations.
- Web Page Test -Check web page speed in detail.
- How to Build a Successful Blog in 2020
- GT Metrix -Test and track webpage loading speed in detail.
1. How much does it cost to build a blog?
The estimated cost of building a blog that includes domain names and web hosting is less than $ 100 per year (less than $ 10 per month). The fee is based on a self-hosted blog (using WordPress). The cost breakdown is as follows: .com domain name is $ 15 per year, and the web hosting fee is $ 60 per year.
2. How do bloggers get paid?
To better understand how bloggers get paid, I divide them into two types: one is that you deal directly with customers or advertisers, and the other is that you join programs provided by companies or networks.
When dealing directly with customers or advertisers, you have more control over pricing. You can make money by:
– selling premium content (member site)
– direct advertising
– selling products
– working committees
– writing and publishing sponsored posts
3. How to create a blog for free?
Today, you can build free blogs on many platforms, including WordPress.com, Tumblr or Blogger. To create a free blog, you only need to register to start publishing content.