How to start a blog

If you are wondering how to start a blog and how to make money out of it, let me tell you a short story.

Life is really awesome in the mountains, isn’t it?

You get to breathe fresh air away from polluted cities. It’s so fresh, so green, and so quiet all around. Every time I come here, I simply feel rejuvenated. For you, it’s a normal thing, an everyday luxury which we come to experience at a price. And you are blessed to get it all free.

I asked the room service guy, Amrit who I had known from the last visit to this hill station.

Sahi kehte ho sir ji, chhuri ke dhaar ka pata usi ko hota hai jispe pyaaz katati hai. (means, only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches).

It turned out to be different. I had no intention to hurt him anyway. I had simply asked in the excitement as I was really enjoying every moment of my stay in the valley.

And he continues – you are right on whatever you said about the benefits we have about being born in the lap of nature. But, life isn’t awesome here. it’s much more difficult than the life you lead in the cities. If you need a simple matchbox all of a sudden, you need to go three and a half kilometre below the curvy slopes to the market to buy one. And then, the job of this hotel is seasonal. When it’s heavy snowfall, no tourists come around and we lose our jobs and go back to our hometowns 15 kilometres away. The most difficult period of the year in our lives, as we live only on the meagre savings with hardly anything to earn on.

I was moved. Yes, I perhaps touched the wrong nerve.

I asked him casually to change the topic, what are your hobbies?

I love to write and sing songs – mostly in my regional language. Besides that, as I have gained good knowledge about herbs and their benefits from my grandfather, I explore them and love to talk about their benefits. I feel really good talking about it. If you would like I will show some herbs and their benefits in the morning. When you wake up …

Okay! I will see to it. I interrupted to stop him as I had something to do I recalled. He left.

The following morning, when he came, I saw his innocent face and could not stop relating his hardship to my initial days. I told him about how he could start a blog and write about the things he loved. And, he talked about his inability to write in English yet boasted of his skills of using Google, Facebook, and YouTube. I said a few lines of motivation and convinced him that he could do better in Hindi as well and if that’s very difficult to type, use English alphabets to write Hindi as he must be typing in chats.

I set up a WordPress blog for him and gave him some training. He said he could manage to use the hotel’s computer at night to write as he has good terms with the hotel staff around.

After a year when I happened to visit the place again, I did not find him there. On inquiry, I could know that he now drives a taxi, which is his own by the way, and comes to the hotel only when there’s any pick or drop for a traveller. He is doing great with his blog and recently got married to a beautiful girl he loves. His blog gives him leads for the taxi hire, hotel, and tour guide bookings which he earns a commission on. He plans to study Ayurveda and become a practitioner in his village.

I left my phone number for him to call back. He called after a few days and thanked me a ton and said –

Life is really amazing in the mountains!

I couldn’t stop smiling…

This is one of the several life-changing stories which I have witnessed and been a part of somehow or the other in my life so far. This one is very close to me and the very thought of it brings a smile on my face.

The moral of the story is – blogging can be life-transforming if you do it right and do it with consistency. It must not have been easy for Amrit as he did not even have a laptop when he started. But he did not let his resourcelessness become the obstacle. He did it passionately and with consistency.

So can you!

You might face issues,  but if you love writing, have a passion for anything specific, don’t hold, start today. It’s going to be amazing.

The beauty of blogging today is that you can start with a topic of your choice. Anything that you are good at, and willing to be better at it in the process.

Making money out of blogging is just cherry on the cake. You can make money too and you can do that either being home or anywhere around the world. So, if are not sure how to start a blog but you want to be a blogger, here are few tips that can really help you start your own blog and make money out of it.

Find your niche

The first thing is to decide what you are going to write about, finding the niche of your blog. Here you can be very specific to a topic or write about multiple topics. There’s no constraint. However, if the main purpose of blogging is to make money, you must spend some time analyzing if the niche you have chosen is going to be profitable enough over a period or not.

If you choose topics that are being searched and read online by a large percentage of people, you will find competition. On the contrary, if you select a very narrow niche, it’s going to be difficult to generate a good amount of traffic. If your niche is competitive, there would be several bloggers already writing similar to what you are going to write. But don’t worry, more competition simply means the availability of larger audience size as well. While the narrow niche is easier to establish authority on.

In short, there are two sides to the coin. Both of these scenarios have their pros and cons.

Setting up the blog

The next step of getting started with blogging is to set up a blog. You can either get a domain for yourself and set up hosted WordPress to start blogging. Or you can get yourself a free blog with a site like Blogger.com or WordPress.com.

The idea of starting a blog can be overwhelming and intimidating but don’t worry, it’s not rocket science either. Being a successful blogger doesn’t mean you have to have all the technical skills. If you are low on resources but an avid learner, you will learn it all in the process. However, if you can afford it, you can hire someone to do it for you.

The point is that it’s possible in any scenario.

Create Useful Content

I believe that your website, the blog, is like the jewellery on a woman and the content is the soul – the character she possesses. Just like the type of character one has is more important than the appearance, your website’s content is more important than its design. Do not be overwhelmed with the overall look and feel of your blog. Make sure it’s easy to navigate and loads faster on both mobile and desktop devices. Leave the rest and focus on writing, the very soul of your blog. You can get the rest of the jewellery when your purse gains some weight.

When you write a blog post, don’t think of the monetary aspect of it from the beginning, try to create values. Help, muse, enlighten or influence your readers, the rest will follow.

Do not hold back thinking much about other things at the moment, start – that’s the best you can do. Trust me, it all will be great along the journey. Do not aim for perfection from day one, it’s achieved through the journey.

Quality content will attract more and more readers and help you establish your blog into the big leagues. Choosing the type of content to write on can be difficult at times, but you can start by writing on topics that interest you the most and once your blog kicks in, you can experiment and explore options. The idea is not to write on difficult topics to gain traffic. Even the most niche topics gain popularity over time based on their usefulness. Yes, that’s the word, it’s the usefulness that matters.

The key to creating content is to make it as productive as possible. Doing this will help you build a community around. It will help develop trust with the audience and it will later help you more when you start making money through it.

Connecting With The Audiences

After you have been successful writing on a consistent basis – say – for a period of 3 months, you will start noticing a community around your blog. A reasonable number of people coming back to relish on your content.  This is where you have to set aside some time to connect with your audiences. Their opinions make your blogs better and constructive criticism always accounts for a scope of improvement.

Ask for people to leave comments and ask questions and when they start doing it, tap the opportunity by entertaining their requests in time, yes in time. Let your Netflix subscription expire.

At this stage, your blogging journey will start to get challenging, but don’t worry it will pay off. The dawn not far away now.

You need to put in more work and effort into your posts to make them more valuable. You have the onus to keep your audience engaged and make them happy with what they come looking for at your blog and in your posts.

At the same time, be active on social networking sites. Post consistently, moderate comments and engage with them on your social posts as well. If the gravity of your content is visually high, focusing more on the platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram where the content of similar ilk does particularly well will have benefits.

The Time To Cash In

By now, you must have understood as to how you can start a blog.

Now it’s time. The final step, where it all boils down to, is the joy of cashing in.

Your passion for writing can generate monetary benefits depending on the kind of things you endorse in your blogs. If you don’t endorse anything, a program like Google Adsense can be just the right thing. For those who don’t know about Adsense much, it’s a program by Google which helps website owners or publishers monetise their website traffic by showing ads.

Google takes ads from advertisers and shows them on the publisher websites. When such ads are clicked by website visitors, Google shares a percentage revenue with the publisher. Apply for it and get it set up to start monetizing now.

If not Adsense, there is a vast spectrum of opportunities that you can tap on to generate income from. Things like freelance services, consulting, affiliate marketing, sponsored reviews, etc., are simply some of them.

Remember, your blogs will not start generating money as soon as you start writing.  Don’t expect it that quick. You need to blog consistently for a period without thinking about monetizing. In my experience, that’s usually a period of 3 to 4 months if you post at least 3 to 4 blogs a week.

To sum up, let me make it clear that there’s nothing like free lunch. Everything has a cost. The cost of a successful blogger is – his/her passion, commitment, consistency, and the ability to bring in value. It takes a lot to make it to the top, but it’s equally true that if you give what it asks for, there’s nothing that can stop you.

All the best!

And yes, find me around in your journey. If you have any question about starting a blog or monetizing it, you can leave comments below.

How to Start a Blog and Make Money Writing what You Love the Most?
Ratan Jha
Need help with digital marketing?

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