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So You Want To Start a Blog


In this article, I will discuss the process you must go through to create a profitable blog.

Choose a Niche

This is a very important first step. Before you can run, you have to get in the starting block. Choose a niche that you are passionate about such as health and fitness, personal finance, travel, pets, etc. Check out our Affiliate Program Directory for niche ideas.

Keyword Research

Knowing what keywords are popular for your niche is important. Why? Because you can attempt to find a domain name that has one of those keywords in it.

These would be the keywords that people are using to find what they are looking for. As an affiliate marketer, you want to know the keywords people are using.

Look for keywords that are not competitive. For example, the keyword “dog leashes” are highly competitive. You do not stand a very good chance of getting ranked highly in the Google search engine for this keyword.

However, a keyword such as “dog leash diy” or “dog leash paracord” are non-competitive.

How do you do that?

Google Keyword Planner: This is a free tool that is provided by Google Ads. It allows you to see the estimated search volume, competition level, and suggested bid for a given keyword.

Surfer SEO: Surfer SEO is a tool designed for on-page optimization of web pages to improve their search engine rankings. It provides an analysis of the top-performing pages for a given search query and provides suggestions for optimizing your page based on factors such as keyword usage, page structure, and content length.

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer: This is a paid tool that provides keyword data including search volume, keyword difficulty, and keyword ideas. It also allows you to analyze the keyword rankings of your competitors.

SEMrush: This is another popular paid tool that provides keyword data including search volume, keyword difficulty, and keyword ideas. It also allows you to track your website’s search rankings and those of your competitors.

Moz Keyword Explorer: This is a paid tool that provides keyword data including search volume, difficulty score, and keyword suggestions. It also provides information on keyword opportunities based on your website’s existing content.

Ubersuggest: This is a free tool that provides keyword data including search volume, keyword difficulty, and keyword ideas. You get three free searches daily. If you upgrade you unlock all of its functionality. It also provides information on related keywords and top-ranking pages for a given keyword. Ubersuggest is very slow.

YouTube Search Bar: Try this. Go to YouTube and type in a keyword and type in dog leash and see what other keywords appear below such as “dog leash pulling” or “dog leash diy.”

ChatGPT: A new AI General Language Model can be used for keyword research. This model is evolving and could potentially replace all keyword research platforms. I recommend learning how to use ChatGPT.

Select a Domain Name

You will need a website. There is no way around this. Before you can build a website, you need a domain name that reflects what your blog is about. For example, if your niche is personal finance, then you might want a domain name like personfin.com or financegator.com (these are just examples).

Domain names are very easy to get and they are not expensive at all. (I own 25 domain names including this one ipsarion.com).

You can search for and purchase domain names from Hostinger, A2 Hosting, SiteGround, Bluehost, and many other web host companies. See our 2023 Comprehensive Affiliate Guide for more information.

Your domain name should be a .com name and something that your visitors will remember. Keep them as short as possible. Nobody wants to type long domain names in their web browsers.

On average, it will cost you $10.99/year for a domain name.

Get a Web Host Account

Web Host companies are companies that have banks of powerful servers that are connected to the Internet backbone.

They hold or host all of the files, data, images, and media that collectively make up your website, including the WordPress content management system.

Once your website is built, the web host company ensures that your domain is connected to their system, and when visitors type your domain name into their web browsers, your website displays.

Web hosting accounts come in different sizes and prices depending on how large your website will be. I can say that web hosting accounts are not expensive today. (Back in the day they were very expensive).

The best web hosting companies are Hostinger, A2 Hosting, Bluehost, and SiteGround.

You can get a web host account and domain name all in one place with these companies.

To give you an idea of what a web host account will cost you. Compare and choose a plan that fits your business.

Website Builder Platform

Once you have chosen a niche, selected a domain name, and selected a web host package, next you need to select the platform you want to build your website.

I highly recommend WordPress. Why? Because it is powerful, robust, and scaleable, has a theme for any niche you select, it’s easy to learn, and is free. WordPress is especially suited for blogs.

Most websites are built with WordPress.

I also recommend learning how to build your own websites. Learning WordPress is a lifetime skill that will save you lots of money.

Want a fast track in learning WordPress to an expert level? Check out WP101. It is the best comprehensive WordPress course that there is.

Almost all Web Host companies have what is called a cPanel. A cPanel is your backoffice dashboard that lets you install WordPress at the click of a button so that you can build your website.

Setting Up Your Core Web Pages

Your website should have at least four core pages. These are:

  • The “Home” page – (Front door or landing page to your website)
  • The “About” page – (About you and/or website mission)
  • The “Blog” page – (All your blog articles (posts) live here.
  • The “Contact” page – (A contact form)

*** Most WordPress themes have these four pages built in.

As you build out your website, you may add more pages as you see fit.

Set Up Google Search Console

Don’t let this one scare you.

When your website is all built out, you should go to The Google Search Console and enter your website sitemap URL there. Your site map URL will be something like https://yourdomain.com/post-sitemap.xml

The site map is a file that contains a URL list of all of your web pages and posts. This file is dynamic meaning that it changes (grows) as your website builds up.

All you have to do is go to Google Search Console, click on the sitemap link, and enter your site map URL and click the submit button.

Google will index (include) all of the web pages and posts in its search engine.

Google periodically revisits this file to see if more pages and post URLs have been added or removed and update inclusion in its search engine.

You never have to add another site map file. As you create more pages, blogs, and updates to your website, your site map file is automatically updated.

It’s free!

Many website builders fail to submit a site map to the Google Search Console.

Don’t forget! 🙂

Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to see how your website is performing.

Google Analytics provides various types of data related to website and app performance. Some of the key types of data provided by Google Analytics are:

  1. Audience data: This includes information about the visitors to a website or app, such as their location, age, gender, interests, and behavior on the site.
  2. Acquisition data: This includes data about how visitors arrive at a website or app, such as through search engines, social media, or referral links.
  3. Behavior data: This includes data about how visitors interact with a website or app, such as which pages they visit, how long they stay on a page, and which links they click on.
  4. Conversion data: This includes data about how visitors complete specific actions on a website or app, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.

Just go over to Google Analytics and add your domain there. Your domain is referred to as a “Property.”

Minimum WordPress Plugins To Install

There are many WordPress plugins. A a minimum, I recommend installing Yoast SEO and Site Kit.

Yoast SEO. You can install the Yoast SEO plugin from within your WordPress plugin dashboard. It will automatically create the site map file for you. As mentioned above, you just enter the URL in the Google Search Console.

Site Kit. The WordPress Site Kit plugin is a tool that allows WordPress users to access and display data from various Google tools directly on their WordPress dashboards.

Once installed and connected to a Google account, the plugin provides insights and data from Google services such as Google Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, and PageSpeed Insights, all in one place. This means that users can easily see and monitor their website or app’s traffic, search engine visibility, ad revenue, and page speed performance, without having to switch between different tools or log in to different accounts.

The Site Kit plugin also provides helpful tips and recommendations for optimizing website performance, based on the data collected. This can help users improve their site’s SEO, increase traffic, and ultimately grow their online presence.

Overall, the WordPress Site Kit plugin is a valuable tool for WordPress users who want to easily monitor and improve their website’s performance using data from various Google services.

Join Affiliate Programs Within Your Niche

Before you start writing blog articles about your niche, it makes sense to join affiliate programs or affiliate platforms within your niche so that you will have affiliate links to place in your articles. Check out our Affiliate Program Directory.

Write Blog Articles

Research 10-15 non-competitive keywords and write articles around them.

For example, for the longtail keyword “cheap but good digital cameras” you will want to incorporate the keyword into the title, description, and content of your article.

The Amazon Associates Program is a great affiliate platform for just about any product. In this example, I will promote cheap but good cameras.

When writing a blog article, focus on quality over quantity. Your aim is to provide valuable information that is relevant and useful to your readers.

You do not have to write a voluminous article when a shorter to-the-point article will do. Keep in mind that readers end to have shorter attention spans online and a shorter article may be more effective.

Some topics may require more in-depth coverage and therefore, a longer article may be necessary. However, some topics may not require a lot of detail and can be covered in a shorter article. Similarly, the purpose of the article can also affect the length.

Write your article and link your affiliate links to the keywords seeded throughot your article. Dn;t over do it, however.

Check for spelling and grammar mistakes and post your article.

Move on to the next keyword and associated article.

I recommend writing blog articles that have no affiliate links in them at all. You do not have to sell to your readers in every article you post.

Also, you do not have to be perfect. You are not going to dot every eye and cross every “T.”

Trying to be perfect will only slow you down.

Write 1-2 blog posts per week for about 90 days and see what kind of results you get in the Google Search Console.

Focus on Content First NOT Monetization

For the first 90 days, focus on producing quality content rather than monetization. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. Be patient. Yes, include links in your articles.