How to Create a Blog From Scratch, FREE!
“Super Excited! Got my blog up and running in under an hour, created some basic content, and there is already traffic from Quora and Twitter!”
Melody Lin – Melbourne, Australia
Here we look at how to create a blog from scratch that will make you passive income online. You’re likely visiting this page because you’ve decided you want to start earning money by something that you’re passionate about, while being location independent, and being your own boss.
Am I right?
If so, I’m happy to say, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve spent a lot of time putting this blogging guide together for you in a step by step way.
So first things first… You’re going to need a main hub, which is where you will store your wonderful content and direct traffic to. Better known as a blog!
How to Create a Blog From Scratch | What to Start A Blog About?
Creating a successful blog is simple, but takes consistency and effort, and consistency and effort are best achieved by creating something around what you are passionate about.
What are you passionate about? This is often a difficult question to answer for some people. To help you figure this out, there is an exercise you can do that will better enable you to envision your future blog.
You’re going to answer 4 questions and create a sort-of mind map.
It really helps if you pull out a pen and paper for this so you can see common, correlating answers that will help point you in the right direction.
Don’t be lazy here at step one. Get that pen and paper out or note taking app. Your first step is the foundation for those steps that come after.
I’ve tried writing blogs in areas I thought would be profitable, and after a few weeks, it’s just became too hard to be consistent with content production as I simply didn’t care that much about the topic. It becomes a chore, which is the exact thing we want to escape from.
The 4 Questions
1. What did you grow up around and have developed knowledge in?
Maybe you come from a family of educators, or you’ve always gone out fishing with your parents, or gone on camping trips, or played football. You’d be surprised at the passive knowledge you may have developed during your early years that can actually start pay off now.
2.What have you been doing in the last 5-10 years?
This is another question that is trying to identify strengths you have built. Maybe you’re great at technology and programing but would rather blog about technology than work in a tech company. Think about jobs and hobbies you have been involved in or drawn to.
3. What do people say about you or compliment you on?
A lot of people think they’re good at something, but they really aren’t. But, if other people are saying it, especially strangers, you can give it a lot more validity. Think about what people say you are good at. From anything such as skills or even the way you communicate. Are you funny? A good writer? A wizz at fixing things? Can you cook? Can you explain the intricacies of various street soccer tricks? Write it all down.
4. What can you talk effortlessly about?
This is probably the most important question, because this will be the basis of your content. If you don’t do yoga but want to write a yoga blog, how many pieces of content do you really think you can write? 1 or 2? So ask yourself; When hanging out with your friends, what topic do you find yourself the most engaged in? For me it’s online business, dating, and premier league football. I know I could create blogs on these and produce large amounts of content, continuously, and without much effort. I know this because I have done it.
Time to Create Something!
After you’ve figured out the kind of blog you wish to create and promote, you can now get into the nitty-gritty of creating your site in order to starting to use it as a vehicle to monetize your life.
There are 4 stages involved.
- Create a Domain name and find a host.
- Create the site and add a theme
- Start creating keyword optimized content that Google will love
- Start promoting
Building Your Site With SiteGround
I’ve taken the guesswork out of which host you should go with. I know there are a lot more ads out there for other hosts, but ads don’t mean anything if your speed and service is bad.
Bloggers who are in-the-know know that SiteGround is currently the best performing host around. SiteGround is as cheap as the others and is overall a better quality host.
If you go through this link, you can make things easy and get a special deal on SiteGround hosting and domain name registration.
This special deal allows you to get hosting for only $3.95 a month. That will be all you pay if you have a domain name already.
If you also need a domain, SiteGround will charge you a fairly standard rate of 15.95 a year for a .com.
Setting up your Host and Domain
The first thing you want to do is set up your host and domain from the SiteGround website.
You are going to create a wordpress site. So after you click on Get Started under WordPress Hosting, you will be presented with various plans.
It’s ultimately up to you, but for a single blog/website go with the affordable $3.95 plan.
Recommend Hosting: Great for NEW bloggers looking to set up a website. Click here and get a SelfMadeNewbie.com Exclusive discount of $3.95 a month!
Choose a Name
Like many first time bloggers, you might get to the part of the process where it’s time to choose a domain name and draw a blank.
It’s important you choose something that you like, because once you choose it, there is no going back. You need to think about your brand and choose something memorable and relatable.
If you are really stuck, the domain name generation tool on FlameDomain.com might be able to help you with some ideas and get those creative juices flowing.
After you have chosen a name, it’s time to secure it by entering it into stage two of your domain setup.
Enter Your Details
The next step is to enter in all of your necessary information and payment details.
The second part of the form will ask you about any additional add-ons or whether you want to pay for a year or more up front. This is totally up to you.
If you’re looking for extra confidentiality you can opt for Domain Privacy, but it’s not going to have any effect on the performance of your blog, neither will installing SG Site Scanner.
After you purchase the domain is officially yours. Congratulations! You’ve just purchased a piece of online real estate. You’re already on your way to building something great!
Did you think it would be more complicated? I tried to make that as easy to follow as possible, but really it’s a matter of just taking action and following steps.
A lot of people get caught up for hours or even days, researching and contemplating minor details. It’s called analysis paralysis. You’ll be happy with SiteGround, I’ve used them for years and had no issues. You should also be happy with the decision you made today, which was to stop thinking and start doing.
Installing a Fresh Version of WordPress
Upon logging into SiteGround for the first time there is a Wizard that generally appears and is extremely easy to follow. Simply click on Start a new website and choose WordPress.
Failing that you can access the Sitebuilder from the SiteGround Control Panel as you can see below. This will start you in the process of building out a fresh WordPress Install.
Goto My Accounts > Sitebuilder Tab > Enable
Choose a Theme
Once your Site is created, you’ll want to create a theme. Simply go to Appearance on the left menu, and then click Add New.
Choose whichever theme you want. This can always be changed later on.
After that, you are basically all done!
I would recommend playing around in WordPress and practise customizing how your theme looks. It’s very common for it to look pretty lame in the beginning, but remember, you have NO content! so it’s going to look pretty barebones.
Once you start producing posts and pages, your site will start looking more fleshed out, and things will start looking a lot better.
Recommend Hosting: Great for NEW bloggers looking to set up a website. Click here and get a SelfMadeNewbie.com Exclusive discount of $3.95 a month!
Increase Traffic To Your Blog
Now that you’ve gotten a little more comfortable with your blog, you want to get more engaging traffic to your blog.
These are all free and are how I myself get traffic to my own blog.
If your blog is your heart, and then traffic is the blood flowing in and out of it. If there is no blood the heart dies. That’s the importance of traffic and a great analogy to live by.
Keyword Ranking On Google
Ranking for keywords is going to be a primary driver of traffic to your website and they are something you need to think about before creating any content.
The first thing you think of in fact.
Most people only try to rank for one keyword, but you can actually rank for many and it’s a lot easier to as well.
For example, trying to rank for the keyword “how to dribble a basketball” on the front page of Google is very difficult as a new website. At the time of writing this, “how to dribble a basketball” is searched roughly 1,900 times a month.
However, this is all fine because you can try and rank for less competitive keywords that are searched 200-300 times and sprinkle them throughout your articles.
At the top middle and bottom of these keywords you can see one with 260 searches, one with 320, and another with 260. If you sprinkled these keywords throughout your article then you can potentially get 820 views to your site.
Multiply that by 10 blog posts and you’re well up in the 1000’s of potential views.
Down the line, the more traffic you get the more Google will deem your site to be an authority on a certain topic. Domain authority means everything, and the stronger it gets, the faster and easier you will rank for both low and higher competition keywords.
How Do You Do It Exactly?
I thought you’d never ask.
So when you go to write an article or post some content you want to first go to Google Keyword Planner, which can be accessed from that link, or via Google search.
In the search box, enter the search term you are looking for and click on Get Ideas.
What you would then do is see which articles show up that have a competition of around 200-300 searches, and copy a few into the content area of your soon-to-be-typed blog post.
Choose a few and throw each of those keywords into your blog post around 2-3 times for every 1000-1,200 word article you write. Don’t throw 10 key words into a 200 word article. This is known as over-optimization and it won’t work.
If you write good articles and produce a lot of content, Google will start ranking you higher and higher in search for all of those keywords you have chosen.
Engage With Your Niche Community
Engaging with your Niche community online is another awesome way to get traffic to your blog.
There are various ways to engage with the community that surrounds your niche.
Comment on Blogs
Find blogs related to your niche and comment on posts they make. Not spammy, but read what is there and make honest contributions to what the content is about.
An easy way to find blogs is to do a basic search of
your niche + blog
After you search, click on the Tools button next to Settings, and then on the left, click on where it says Any time.
Choose blogs from the past 24 hours or past week.
There are 2 reasons you want to find recent blogs to post on.
- WIth every post you are able to leave your name AND website link (backlink)
- If the blog becomes popular, your post will be at the top and seen by a lot of eyes.
Again. Do not go around spamming blogs with your website or with lazy comments. Can’t emphasize this enough. Cheating doesn’t work.
Answer Questions In Your Niche
This is one of my favourite ways to get traffic and one that is talked about a lot. You may have heard of the $1.80 strategy by Gary Vee. This is basically on the same frequency as that.
It basically involves going onto platforms such as Quora, Twitter, or even Instagram (one will be better than others depending on your niche) and engaging and answering questions people have in your community.
Spend A lot of Time on Quora
I use Quora a lot in conjunction with my YouTube Channel. In Quora this involves following keywords and answering actual questions. On Twitter and Instagram it involves searching for relevant hashtags.
If we stick with the Basketball niche for the example, here someone has asked about getting better at basketball and it has 100+ answers and about 2,000 views. Like with blog commenting, you can also include your website under your name.
This method has the potential to drive thousands of visitors to your site should you provide awesome value to people.
A good method to follow is to answer their question in a general way, then drop a link to content on your website with a more in-depth answer. Within your content you may even have affiliate links to related products.
Don’t ever try to drop affiliate links into Quora. Nobody likes it, and everyone is hip to the script of marketers trying to catch a quick buck. Instead, think about adding value, and getting people to your content where you are giving more value and yet also exposing them to your brand.
Collaborations are another great way to build brand awareness. By contributing on other peoples blogs that have a lot of authority you can get a lot of traffic flowing back to your site and some powerful backlink action going, which is great in Google’s eyes.
If you want to know where you can make guests posts try going to Google and typing.
niche + “accepting guest posts”
As you can see above, the top two blogs appear to be accepting. Pretty easy, right?
If there is a site that you want to submit a guest post on but doesn’t show up, you can always email them or contact the owner on Twitter. The cool thing is that many blogs owners will jump at the chance of having content provided by someone else, as it means less work for them!
Contribute to Facebook, Google+ Groups and Forums
Another great way to make a name for you and your blog is to contribute, engage with, and answer questions posed in Social Media groups and forums online.
On both Facebook and Google+ there are very active communities in almost any niche you can think of that are accessed simply by using the search bar and filtering for Groups or Communities.
Like with Quora or leaving Blog Comments, it’s best to not spam these groups or you will be simply banned. But you can post valuable small content linking back to your site with more detail.
A Valuable Takeaway
The pattern you may have noticed here is that you get what you give, and there are no real shortcuts. GIVE value first and reap the benefits of that down the line.
A secondary takeaway is that if you are every stuck for what content to produce in written, video, or audio format. Pay attention to what is commonly asked in your community and base content off that!
Using the BEST Social Network Platform
If I were to create a social media list these days, it’d probably be a lot. Platforms are popping up all over the place, so it’s important to choose the best social network platform for you.
There are advocates who say distribute content on as many platforms as you can, and there are those who say focus on one or two. I think in the beginning the latter is the best option, but eventually you should expand.
Different niches will suit different platforms. You’d obviously focus on Instagram if you had a younger demographic or were using a lot of photography. You might even be already good at one kind of platform.
Use any strengths you have going forward and go with what you feel as far as other platforms go. This is not a one size fits all answer, however an effective use of any social network platform will yield lots of traffic to your blog.
Email Collection (IMPORTANT!)
Many people will tell you that an Email distribution list is the backbone of any online business, and they’re not wrong.
I’ve tried many different Email platforms, but my favourite one is GetResponse.
GetResponse is simply the cheapest option with the most features out on the market today. Nothing comes close. ClickFunnels is nearly 10x more expensive, Active Campaign is more of a CRM and also around $70, and MailChimp is just too simple with a lack of automation options.
GetResponse Email Automation Interface
An email list can also be automated with GetResponse, allowing you to direct people through a funnel using one of the best interfaces I’ve seen on the market. If you click here you can also sign up for a no-credit card 30 day free trial.
Bottom line, you need to be eventually start considering capturing emails from people who visit your site, or you’re simply letting people come to your site and leaving freely, which will naturally lead to leaving money on the table.
Although people claim to hate pop-ups and email opt-in forms, the data shows that they do work. The plugin I’ve used for this site is from Thrive Leads, and their pop-up and landing page plugins link up seamlessly with services like GetResponse.
ThriveThemes in its entirety is the current authority on lead capture in my opinion.
ThriveLeads Snazzy Popup Templates
Go Forth and Conquer!
That’s all there is to know really. We have covered a lot and the fact you’ve gotten this far says a lot about you. You’re willing to take action and start going after something most people are scared to go after.
- Choosing the best Interest/Niche for You
- Setting up a Domain
- Setting up your Blog
- Producing Content for your Blog using effective Keywords
- Promoting Your Blog via Engaging your Community
- Using Social Network Platforms Effectively
- Capturing Emails of Visitors to Your Site
That’s a lot and a lot to take in, so if you want extra help I have a FREE more in-depth 3 part video training series that is an over the shoulder look at how I create 5 figure blogs, exactly.
ALL Free – NO catch. Click below!