How to get your own blog
While setting up my own blog, I have followed a path that I will try to explain to you below. I hope that by reading this article you will come across useful information and thus get to your own blog faster. Here I will describe all the necessary steps from setting up a page to publishing an article and attracting traffic, which may bring some earnings.
In the beginning, you need to ask yourself why you want to have your own blog. Usually, the reason is that you would have something to say and would like to share it with others. The internet has given us this ability to communicate with the whole world and a blog is a suitable tool. I’ve traveled a lot already and initially shared this with loved ones, but I thought my experience could benefit someone else. I am also left with a structured form of memories of these experiences. Today, the most common blogs are on the topic of lifestyle, food, fitness, music, sports, do-it-yourself …
When you find a topic you would like to write about, you should set up goals for your blog. Your goal could be just to write something and leave it, without any expectations. Or you could have specific goals like 10.000 visitors per month, but you must know the path that leads to it. But you need to know that it will require effort and some time to achieve this (I’m currently at 1.000 visitors per month after 1 year). If your goal is to earn quickly I advise you to look for something else. Currently, there are up to a billion blogs on the internet and just a small portion is earning money. I would say it is a minimum of 5 years needed.
Now we know we are going to write a blog. We defined the content. Our goals are clearly set. We have not only the desire but also the necessary will to make it happen. I will place the next steps in four groups: technique, content, traffic, and earnings.
Table of Contents
Before we can write anything we will have to set a blog somewhere. There are basically two paths here. An easier way is to put it on some existing blog platform (e.g. blogger or tumblr). It can be set up in a matter of minutes, the cost is zero, but at the same time you are limited by the capabilities available to you. A harder way would be to set up a blog on your own domain using WordPress, Wix, or something similar. Below I will describe second option where the advice is more in place.
No matter which route you took, you will need to name your blog – you will choose a domain name. Here you need to take time to think because this will be your brand in the future. People will recognize you by that name, search engines will look for you by that name. Over the years, the name will gain on power. The domain itself is supposed to reflect the content of the blog. What’s the name supposed to be? The name should represent you and the topic you are writing about. There should be no strange characters in the name (only the English alphabet) and it is better if the name is not too long. If the domain is longer, they suggest that hyphens be placed between the words, which should give better results. I mentioned my blog is Dr Jam Travels. My nickname from my school days is Jam, a couple of years ago I became a doctor of science (phd), the content is about traveling, so Travels. Why in English? Because I would like to attract more foreign audiences. We can find a lot of tools online to help us move keywords into a meaningful domain: https://instantdomainsearch.com/domain/generator.
Top Level Domain
Once we have chosen the name, we still need to determine under which top-level domain (TLD) you will be classified. It is part of the domain name system on the Internet, under which DNS servers assign names to IP addresses managed by ICAAN. The computer name on the internet consists of a domain and an extension. The far-right part of the page title is TLD. In practice, .net, .com, .org or, for state, .si is used for Slovenia. Eg. my site is drjamtravel.blog. A BLOG is my TLD. I chose it because it reflects the content of my website.
When we chose TLD, we now have to register or lease our domain. Check in advance if it is already taken. This service is chargeable. The price depends on the TLD you have choosen. At the annual level, this costs 5 to 25 €. There are many companies in the market that are authorized domain registrars. Browse the internet and find a suitable one. I choose Domain.com.
The next step is to choose the provider where our blog will reside. This means that we need disk space on the server that has access to the Internet. The alternative would be to have our own server, but this would not be smart given the time and money required. Where your site you will host is also related to the next chapter, which platform you will use. Of course, this service is also chargeable. The monthly cost starts at around € 3. I choose the Blue host provider because I use WordPress. If your audience will be mostly from one country, I suggest a provider from that country, because of the speed.
You could go make your own website. But there are many platforms available today that are easy to use and flexible to meet a wide range of needs. The most widespread is the WordPress platform, which I also use. Installation is easy with most hosting providers and you can install your new blog page within 10 minutes. However, you can think of something else, possible alternatives include Wix, Constant contact, Gator, Weebly Squarespace. However, you can opt for CMS systems if you were to build more complex sites like drupal and joomla.
From now on, we will only write about WordPress, because I also use it myself and I can advise based on my own experience. At this point, you can already write individual articles and publish them. But I would definitely suggest you have fun with the look of your blog itself. The effect will be proportionate to the effort put in. The basic theme for the layout is Themes, which determines the shape of each page widget (whole page, header, footer, menu, widget, CSS, …). Find a template that meets both visual and functional requirements and install it. The suggestions then further specify the properties that are configurable. You have free and paid templates available. You can find over 8000 different Themes here https://wordpress.org/themes/. I chose Hueman and adjusted only a little. Unfortunately, I am not too good at designing and there is still something to be done here.
Plugins are add-ons that extend the basic functionality of the WordPress platform. Almost 60,000 of them can be found here https://en.wordpress.org/plugins/. And again, you have free and paid versions. When installing these plug-ins, I would like to draw your attention to two things. First, plug-ins can be incompatible with each other and can stop a page from working. Second, having too many plugins installed can drastically affect the speed of your site. By being careful when installing, test and, if necessary, remove the last installed plug. I personally use about 20 plugins. In the following, I will list the ones that are useful for everyone:
- AMP – to create a mobile-friendly page
- GDPR Cookie Consent – for the purpose of informing about cookies within the EU
- Rank Math SEO – a tool to help you format search engine friendly text
- Site Kit by Google – a tool that shows you page traffic, what is the source of traffic …
Now that we have met the technical requirements, we can start writing. This is the explanation for why we set up websites at all. You write about what you want, how you want it, and in a style that suits you. However, there are a couple of tips to help you set up text in a format that will garner more traffic. Regardless of the ranking, you should make sure that the content is current, interesting and always fresh. Also pay attention to grammar. The opening sentences should describe what and how you will handle the article.
Of course, it all starts with the title. The title should summarize the essence of the article and contain keywords. The length should be below 40 characters. Titles that contain a number or are written as questions achieve better results. The use of high-charge phrases also achieves good results (e.g. Beautiful Iceland).
There are different opinions about the length of an individual article. But the general rule is that longer articles attract more readers. The optimal length is between 1500 and 2000 words. However, it is better to have shorter content that is relevant to the topic being covered than to forcibly insert sentences for the purpose of achieving volume.
Subtitles and table of content
As the text will be longer, it should be divided into meaningful paragraphs that will have their own subheadings. At the top of the article, an index of headings should appear for better transparency and easier movement between parts of the article.
The image says more than a thousand words and the use of the latter in the article is desirable. In doing so, pay attention to a couple of things; it should be of high quality, it should not be too large (page loading), in the right ratio for different displays (basic, gallery, AMP, …), it should be equipped with a title and ALT text.
In the text, you use hyperlinks to pages that further and in-depth the specific topic you are currently describing. Links should be to both internal and external sources. However, don’t overdo it with the number of links, because that’s just a list that directs readers to other sources.
Categiries and tags
Assign the post to the categories to which it also belongs in terms of content. In addition, add tags that best describe the article. This will make it easier for readers to find their way to the article.
What is written must then be published. It is desirable that it be published frequently, at least 2x a week. It would be ideal at the same time interval, where readers would be accustomed to some continuity. For those who are more precise, the time and day when it is published is important. I suggest you follow the traffic on your site and you’ll get a sense of when your audience is ready to read. Yes, to achieve this you can prepare an article in advance and determine the exact time of publication.
You will be able to have interesting content that is current, but if readers don’t know where it is they won’t get it. Once upon a time, it was necessary to publish a page with search engines. Today, search engines use algorithms (spider/crawler) to search the internet and find your site yourself. However, even if the search engine finds, it does not mean that readers will find you because you will be among the results on 10th page.
Search engine optimization or Website optimization is the process of improving a website, which results in the display of the latter in relevant searches. Eg. if we write an article on the topic of Iceland we want the latter to appear at the top of the results on Google when someone enters Iceland. The two main factors are the keywords in the content and the established website. The most common factors are links in the article, images in the article, and others. The Plugin (Rank Math SEO) can help us write a good article. In addition, there are various online SEO services such as SEMRUSH, UBERSUGGEST, …
Proper use of keywords is the key 🙂 Use words that are substantively related to your article. But be moderate. If used excessively, this will have negative results. It is always a good idea to check which words your competitors have. Again, a pre-mentioned online service is available here.
In order for your site to gain weight, it is important that as many external links as a possible point to it. It is not only the number but also the quality of these pages that matters. If pages with more weight point to you you gain more from it. Of course, content should be of high-quality so someone will point to it. You can also take care of some additional links with cooperation, writing comments, participating in forums, and the such.
Today, most users on the Internet. use social networks. This is an ideal opportunity to advertise your content. By publishing your article in a group that is interested in a particular topic.
If you write likable content, readers will be happy to share it. This will give you free advertising. It is therefore necessary to make this possible as easily as possible. Today, Plugins are available that allow you to easily share on Facebook, Pinterest, email, and other channels.
You can notify your regular readers by email when a new article is published. However, to build a reader base again takes time. Today, there are a huge number of tools available to help you collect subscribers, send emails, and last but not least, make it easy to unsubscribe from subscriptions. Usually, loyal readers are a cheap way of marketing. However, you should definitely avoid SPAM.
If earning is your core motive, chances are you’ll soon give up on your blog. Mainly because it takes time for achieving this in addition to quality content. In the beginning, you create content. Then you attract readers. And only then can you get some money. Listed below are the basic earning options available to you.
You can rent advertising space on the blog to individuals. However, here you should find out for yourself who would like to advertise with you. And as long as you don’t have a solid site visit, no one would trust you with advertising. Therefore, companies have developed the platform as an intermediate link between the advertising space on the pages and companies that would market their products and services. The strongest, of course, is Google with AdSense and Ads. Easy to apply, there are no high standards on who can apply. Payments, however, are low, in cents per thousand views (CPM), and in tens of cents per click per ad (CPC). You get a payout when you collect € 70. I’m at € 10 after almost a year, but it’s a growing trend. The goal is to reach the level of monthly costs, which is currently 3-4 € for me. If I also had 100x more traffic, this is not money from which a person would get rich. But it can be a change in your pocket.
In the article, you mention the provider of a particular service with a link. If the reader goes to this page and buys something there, you will get a share of what is sold. For tourism, booking is available here to book accommodation. But it can be anything from Lonely Planet Books, to travel supplies on Amazon. I don’t have any experience yet, but a couple of colleagues have quite positive results.
Here the author writes an advertising article for the company, where he describes a certain service or product and gives an assessment. He gets money or this product / service for free as compensation. In travel, the evaluation of inns and hotels is at the forefront. I have a somewhat negative attitude towards this type of article because you cannot be objective in evaluating something for which you are paid. Maybe I’ll be there myself someday?
You can also market your own products or services on the blog. Examples could be guides, tips, travel lectures, composing travel arrangements, or products with your logo (hats, mugs, T-shirts, …).
If we want to have a successful blog, just desire, and will are not enough. It will take a lot of effort and time, as well as some money. I hope the above description of the necessary steps makes this job easier for you.