Are you struggling to connect all the dots in blogging by yourself?
Don’t worry. We have all been there.
This guide is a compilation of frequently asked questions on blogging by beginner bloggers.
Whether you are a complete newbie thinking of starting your blog or a beginner who already has one, I’m sure you will find answers to your questions in this FAQ
I’ll be constantly updating this guide with new information and questions that you might ask in the comments section.
This guide is divided into 4 sections, depending on which stage you are at of your blogging journey.
- Stage 1: Thinker
- What are the definitions of terms Blog, Blogging, and Blogger?
- What is the difference between a blog and a website?
- How to start a blog?
- Which platform is recommended for complete beginners?
- What skills do I need to start a blog?
- What is a niche in blogging and how do I select one?
- What if there are other sites that are already doing the same thing as me?
- Stage 2: Make Money Blogging
- Stage 3: Tech can’t stop me right now
- Do I need to know coding? I'm not tech savvy
- What is domain?
- What is hosting?
- What is a C panel?
- What is professional email? How to set it up?
- What is WordPress?
- What is the difference between WordPress.org Vs WordPress.com?
- What is the difference between WordpPress.org vs Blogger? (Self-Hosted Vs Free Platforms)
- What is a WordPress theme, plugin, and widget?
- What is SEO?
- What is Email Marketing?
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- Stage 4: Action Hero
- Can you list all the steps in sequence for starting my blog?
- How to start creating content?
- How to write good content?
- When should I publish my site?
- What blogging tips can you give once my blog is published?
- Can you list a sequence of things I need to do once I publish my blog?
- How to get traffic to my site?
Stage 1: Thinker
What are the definitions of terms Blog, Blogging, and Blogger?
Blog: A blog is a type of website that regularly posts written content revolving around a particular topic.
The only exception to this rule is personal blogs in which you can post about anything you want. But even then, the articles often revolve around a central theme or idea.
Blogger: Blogger is an individual who runs and operates a blog.
Blogging: Blogging is a combination of all skills that are required to run a blog. It includes writing content, promoting, marketing etc
For a non-serious hobby blogger, the skill set is often limited to just writing content.
But for someone serious about making an income from blogging, other skills like Marketing through Social Media and Emails, Promotion and Outreach to other bloggers, working knowledge of blogging platforms like WordPress etc is also required.
You can learn more about blog basics and definitions in this article.
What is the difference between a blog and a website?
Three things that differentiate a blog from a website are:
- It gets more frequently updated with new information and articles.
- A blog allows more engagement with readers by giving them an option to comment at the end of an article.
- Content in a blog is categorized in categories and tags.
How to start a blog?
Starting your own blog has never been more easier.
There are both free and paid ways of starting your blog.
Free platforms that allow you to start your own blog are Blogger, Medium, WordPress.com, Squarespace, and Tumblr.
Paid platforms are also called self-hosted platforms as you are completely in control of your blog and not at the mercy of some other platform. Ex.Wordpress.org (CMS)
Self-hosted platforms give you the complete autonomy to design and run your blog the way you want.
You can start your blog in 20 minutes by following 5 simple steps. You can read the article for the detailed step-by-step procedure.
Which platform is recommended for complete beginners?
It is recommended to start your own blog using Self-hosted Platform like WordPress (CMS) for following reasons:
- You are serious about making money from blogging.
- You want complete autonomy to design your blog the way you want and you want to add more features to it in the future easily.
- Spending about 50 dollars per year to get all these extra features, sounds like a good deal to you.
If you want to pursue this as a hobby, then Blogger and Medium are also good options.
You can check out the complete comparison of 6 Best Blogging Platforms in this article.
What skills do I need to start a blog?
There are no said prerequisites to start blogging other than an ability to craft your own thoughts in words and curiosity to learn and improve.
Even writing skills can be improved over time.
Writing for blogs is a lot different than academic writing.
Perfect grammar and sentence structure don’t play such a significant role.
The focus while writing for blogs is more on what value you are providing to the readers and how you convey it to your audience.
Rest of the things can be learned through the process of learning by doing.
What is a niche in blogging and how do I select one?
Blogs that publish content on anything and everything gives mixed signals to readers as well as search engines like Google.
This is the reason, they are often NOT successful.
On the other hand, blogs that publish content related to a very specific topic build a loyal fan base of readers interested in their content.
For example, if you are looking for fashion advice, you are more likely to go to a fashion blog than a general blog.
Niche blogging allows you to select a topic you know about and love and build an audience around that.
This also gives you satisfaction and motivation to write about topics you are interested in, without thinking of it as work.
Recommended Reading: How to choose a Blog Niche You won’t Regret
What if there are other sites that are already doing the same thing as me?
There are so many restaurants on every corner. Do they lose their business just because of one more restaurant down the street?
The Internet is a big place that serves 3.2 billion people and it can accommodate thousands of sites all writing on the same topic.
As long as your content is good and valuable, you are sure to find your audience.
Just make sure your content is not the exact replica of your competitors.
Make your content a little different from others, bringing in your own experience and answering questions that your competitors might have missed.
Stage 2: Make Money Blogging
Do bloggers really make money?
Yes, bloggers do make money from blogs.
Some of the top bloggers make more than 100,000 dollars each month.
But, there are also some who fail to persevere and give up before they could make a penny.
Patience and Consistency is the key to earning income from blogs.
Every new blog goes through the dark tunnel phase that I have discussed in this article on blogging tips. Read to find out the best strategy to come out of that phase.
How to make money blogging?
There are infinite number of ways to make money from blogging, once you get enough traffic.
Some of the best ways of making income are Affiliate Marketing, Advertising, Branding, Selling Digital or Physical products, Freelance writing, Giving Consulting Services etc.
You can read this article on How to make money from Blogging for all the information you need.
How much time does it take to make money from blogs?
Starting a blog is like starting any other business where you are investing your time and energy without expecting immediate monetary compensation.
Google doesn’t trust a site that’s brand new and it also takes time to build trust with your audience.
Having said that, 6 months is a good average based on my experience to start making side-income while it can take up to 1 year for making full-time income from your blog.
Some get lucky and start making money in less than 3 months, while others stumble until they eventually find their way.
In case you stumble, just remember there are people who have already done this before and there’s no shame in seeking help when you need it.
How much does it cost to have a blog?
In case of Self-Hosted(paid) platform, you need to purchase your own domain and hosting.
The cost of a domain if purchased from Godaddy is around 10 dollars for a year, while the hosting can cost 3-5 dollars each month.
Stage 3: Tech can’t stop me right now
Do I need to know coding? I'm not tech savvy
Technology has evolved a lot and you don’t need to know coding to create your own blog.
Many themes on WordPress come with drag and drop WYSIWYG builders that make designing a blog really easy.
You can create and design your own blog, without writing a single line of code.
Many paid themes these days give you the option to import the entire design of a website in one click.
Recommended Reading: WordPress for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide for Bloggers
What is domain?
The domain is the virtual address of your site on the internet. For example (www.blogfundas.com) is mine.
This is the address that people will type in their address bar or browsers to visit your site.
You can purchase your domain from Godaddy.com.
What is hosting?
Just like you store files on your computer, the files of your website which includes all the images, blog posts, code file etc are stored in some special computers(hosts), which makes your website accessible to all.
Web hosting is the place where all your website files are stored and made available for everyone who’s using the Internet.
Recommended reading: Best WordPress Hosting for your Blog
What is a C panel?
Once you purchase hosting, you are given access to web-based hosting control panel, where you view all the files of your website and it also allows you to manage many things to operate your website.
You can set up your professional email, install SSL certificate to make your site secure and also install WordPress on your site in one click using C-panel.
It also contains many other useful tools that are required to manage your website in the back-end.
What is professional email? How to set it up?
Professional email is your business email, which ends with the name of your business or domain name. For example. email@example.com
Your Email is going to be the most critical aspect of communication while blogging, so it’s better to use a professional email to establish trust.
Normal email accounts are not able to leave the same impression as professional emails.
The best way to set up your professional email is by using Google Apps and Gmail.
You can use this guide to learn how you can set up a professional email address for your blog using Google Apps for work.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free and open source software that makes it insanely easy for anyone to start a blog.
But, it’s more than just a software that lets you create a blog and publish articles.
30% of sites on the entire Internet are built using this incredible platform.
Technically, WordPress is a CMS( Content Management Software) that makes it easier to build any type of website without any knowledge of coding.
Since it is being used by millions of websites its constantly being updated and keeps getting better.
I have written an entire article on WordPress for beginners to clear your doubts and help you get started.
What is the difference between WordPress.org Vs WordPress.com?
The incredible free and open source software that we talked about above is available on WordPress.ORG
It is a CMS (content management software) that can be used to build almost any type of website you want, very intuitively and without using any code at all.
On the other hand, WordPress.com is a commercial company that lets you host your blog on their platform for free with limited features.
You need to pay more money in case you need more features on WordPress.com.
For more clarity, you can read my WordPress for beginners guide shared above.
What is the difference between WordpPress.org vs Blogger? (Self-Hosted Vs Free Platforms)
The software available on WordPress.org comes under the category of Self-Hosted Blogs.
The software is free to use and download, but you have to purchase your own domain and hosting for using it.
You have complete ownership and autonomy to design and add features to your blog, as you wish.
On the other hand, we have free blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress.com, Medium, Squarespace, Tumblr etc. which let you host your blog on their platform.
These free hosted platforms are commercial companies that give you limited features in comparison to Self-Hosted Platform and charge money for more features and functionalities you might need.
Free Platforms like Blogger and WordPress.com are a good option for those who want to start blogging as a hobby.
But WordPress.org (Self-Hosted) wins hands down if you are serious about blogging and making money.
Even this blog is built using WordPress( Self-Hosted) Platform.
What is a WordPress theme, plugin, and widget?
WordPress Theme: Theme is used to change the design of your site. You can think of theme as a design template that can completely change the appearance of your blog.
WordPress offers you thousands of themes to choose from. They can be both free and paid.
WordPress Plugin: Plugins are pieces of software that can be installed with one click to add more functionality to your blog or website.
Think of Plugins as apps used in Android and IoS. There is no limit to what can be done using these plugins.
Just like themes, they can be both free and paid.
WordPress Widget: The area beside the article on your blog is called the sidebar.
The widget is a small block that can be used to perform specific functions like adding social media icons, author bio, Ad placement in the sidebar area of your blog.
What is SEO?
The Internet is vast and deep like an ocean, and your blog is a small island in this vast sea.
People usually start the blog with an expectation that people will start coming on their blog as soon as they hit publish. (That never happens)
Most people who surf the internet hardly ever go past the usual big sites like Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
And when they want to search for information they use Google.
But there are so many search results, and only 10 slots are available on the first page of Google. You can connect rest of the dots.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of optimizing your blog and content in such a way, that your site appears on first page of Google.
It’s not that difficult if you are a beginner, you can read this guide to get an idea about SEO.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your blog and build trust with your readers.
Most people will visit your site only once and never come back again.
It’s important to capture emails of these visitors and turn them into your loyal audience using Email Marketing.
Moreover, your blog completely depends on Google and other Social Media Networks for traffic.
Email Marketing is one medium that you completely own and you can notify all your subscribers at once when you publish new articles.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
If you own a shop or you are a product seller, Would you mind giving small commission to a person who helps you make a sale?
This is the essence of Affiliate Marketing.
There are millions of people who want to sell their products, services, software tools etc on the Internet.
If you run a blog on a specific topic, you are bound to have followers and readers who have interest and intent to buy products in that niche.
For example. A beauty and fashion blog can promote products related to fashion and each time the reader clicks on a link on their blog and purchases a product, the blogger gets a commission for making that sale happen.
Yes, Each link can be tracked and you don’t need to do anything other than putting that link in your article.
You just need to sign up as an affiliate(The person who makes that sale happen) with these merchants and product sellers.
Amazon is the biggest Merchant that pays millions of dollars each year, just in affiliate commissions.
Stage 4: Action Hero
Can you list all the steps in sequence for starting my blog?
Sure, I’m listing all the steps in sequence so that you don’t have any doubts.
- Book a Domain
- Buy Web Hosting
- Install WordPress and buy a Premium theme like Divi (Skip this if you know how to design)
- Plan and Execute your Website Basic Design
- Write at least 5 quality articles.
- Publish your blog.
You can follow this guide for the complete procedure to start your own blog.
How to start creating content?
If you don’t already have ideas, you can just head onto google search and let Google give you some ideas about the topic you are wanting to write about.
Keep an eye out for the topics that are being suggested by Google auto-suggest as you are typing your keyword in the search bar and at the bottom of search results page.
You can also check out other blogs in your niche to get an idea about which topics they are covering and also their way of doing it.
Once you get a general topic or keyword, you can use free keyword research tools to get more ideas around that topic or keyword.
Best free keyword research tools are Uber Suggest, Google Keyword Planner, KW Finder and Google Trends.
How to write good content?
The number one rule for writing good content is to understand the reader.
Everyone is looking for something.
It could be information, motivation, inspiration, entertainment, value or just a simple solution or deal.
It is your job as a content creator to create content that acts as a bridge between what they want and how they are going to get it.
Every reader comes to your article with a certain intent.
If you can fulfill that intent of the reader in the best way possible, no one can stop you from creating awesome content.
When should I publish my site?
You can publish your site as soon as you finish writing 3-5 articles.
You can then consistently post articles on your blog from that point.
Just remember that it will take time for both Google and readers to build trust with your site.
During the initial days, just set a target like publishing X number of articles in X days, and don’t stop until you get there.
Google will gradually begin to trust your site and send visitors.
What blogging tips can you give once my blog is published?
Focus on writing articles and promoting them actively on different social media networks.
Set a schedule for yourself in which you can allot time for writing as well as promoting your content.
First 2-3 months will be spent just figuring out things, writing articles and setting up your blog to your liking.
Install all the relevant plugins like Social Warfare, Disqus, Askimet etc
Can you list a sequence of things I need to do once I publish my blog?
This sequence can vary depending on which niche you are in and other factors.
But, I’m giving a general sequence that’s applicable to almost all new blogs.
Don’t hurry about getting everything right the first time, no one does.
- Make your Social Media Profiles preferably on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
- Get an Email Marketing tool like MailChimp(Free) and also make your professional email.
- Sign up for a free account of Mail Chunk to capture emails of people visiting your blog.
- Craft your series of Emails you will send to your subscribers and also maybe a Lead Magnet like Free Ebook.
- Get a Push Notification Software like One Signal(Free).
- Launch your blog with a bang by using a Facebook Ad Campaign.
How to get traffic to my site?
You will hardly get any traffic from search engines in the first month unless you are writing on something with a very low competition.
So it becomes more important to focus your energy on creating quality content and also on promoting it actively across all platforms.
Share your articles in relevant FB groups that allow sharing and also sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit
Write answers on Quora and insert links in your articles in between.
You can also create Facebook and Pinterest pages for your blogs and use them to bring traffic.
It’s also a good strategy to run ad campaigns on Facebook to expose your blogs to a much bigger audience in the initial stages of your blogging journey.
Once you have enough articles, you can get in touch with other popular bloggers and ask them for a guest post on their blog. This will give you an opportunity to impress their audience with your blog posts and bring some of their traffic back to your blog.
The traffic will eventually grow.