How to Start a Blog from Scratch with Little Money

Blogging remains one of the most popular ways to communicate online and form communities devoted to like-minded pursuits. Blogging was once exclusive to personal journaling. But these days you can blog about almost anything. Bloggers can become extremely successful and many people have made professions out of it.

Starting a blog online is relatively easy. However, blogging is more than just about posting your musings on a website. To monetize from your blog, you will need to post high-quality, lead-generating posts.

If you are thinking about making a career in blogging or starting a blog as a side gig, you will find some helpful tips below to get started. You won’t require a lot of money to launch a blog.

Just read on for a beginner’s guide to blogging and know how to start a blog from Scratch

Brainstorm Ideas

The first step to blogging is to figure out what you want to blog about. Some bloggers know exactly what they want to write about, right from the start. For others, it takes time and they need to try out several different ideas before settling on a concept. If you don’t come up with a topic for your blog immediately, don’t panic. Brainstorm for ideas based on what interests you.

There are no rules for choosing the topic you want to blog about. However, it’s generally understood that bloggers should select a topic based on what they already know or something that interests them. For example, a lawyer may start a legal blog. But the same lawyer can blog about knitting if that is something that deeply interests him or her.

There are no restrictions on the topic you choose. But do take care to choose wisely because you will ultimately have to blog about it several times a month.

Read What Others Have Done

Do you have absolutely no idea what to blog about? For inspiration, look at what other bloggers have done already. Check out popular blogs and various blogs that end up being mentioned on the news. The most successful bloggers, in general, don’t write about random subjects. They know how to personalize topics and make them interesting enough to draw in large numbers of followers.

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Find Your Niche

As mentioned above, successful bloggers choose unique topics. The fact that blogging is immensely popular comes with a caveat. You are most likely to find dozens of blogs under generic topics like “traveling Europe,” or “baking cookies.” The competition among bloggers is high. To stand out, newbie bloggers need their own niche.

Think of a niche as being a topic so unique that no one else can come up with a blog similar to yours. For example, consider the very successful blogging story of Julie Powell. She was just a writer who loved to cook when she launched her blog. Her posts were about her attempts to recreate the French recipes of the legendary chef Julia Child. The blog was so successful that Powell ended with a book deal, which was later adapted into the movie, “Julie and Julia,” starring Meryl Streep.

What made Powell’s blog so successful was her topic of choice. Her blog is about cooking, a rather generic field, but she managed to make it specific and personal. Likewise, try to find a niche topic that no one else has covered before to interest potential readers.

Come up with a Structure for the Blog

As you brainstorm topics, think about how you want your blog to look. Would it accompany posts with videos? Would you like to add a podcast as well? Some bloggers link their posts to Instagram accounts. It’s important to think early on about what the overall structure for your blog would be. It would affect the design of the blog as well as your content strategy.

Invest in a Good Computer

Blogging is not a computer-intensive task. However, you may want to upgrade your laptop or desktop if you are still using a machine you purchased years ago. While word processing is easy enough for an old computer to handle, web design might not be. You would have to install a CMS client to update your blog. Not to mention, the storage you would need, to store photos and videos for the blog.

If you plan on creating videos for the blog, you would require a rather powerful computer capable of handling video editing tasks. A regular blogger can make do with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and about 500GB of internal storage. However, it’s recommended to go for as much RAM memory and storage as you can. Buy a computer that best suits your needs. You can research online for the type of computer you need so you don’t end up overspending on a machine.

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Design the Blog

Once you have a topic in mind, you can start designing the blog. This process is now easier than ever, thanks to free content management systems like WordPress and Joomla. These two platforms are the best for blogging. There are certainly others you can consider, such as Wix and Drupal. Wix is supremely easy to use, though limited in features. Drupal and Magento are better suited for those who are already familiar with designing a website.

This is the part where you may have to spend some money. You can, of course, launch a blog for free on a site like WordPress. But if you want to use certain themes, plugins, or security features, you may have to pay for some. You should decide how much you are willing to pay. Overall, it won’t cost much. You can start a very appealing blog with a budget of less than $100.

Designing a blog may be easy, but it can be tricky to get the layout right. Remember these two very important aspects: mobile responsiveness and speediness. Your blog, regardless of the design, must load fast under 2 seconds and be easily viewable on handheld devices like smartphones. If you get these two aspects down, your blog is ready to attract followers.

Customize the Theme

You can choose any theme you like, but make sure to customize it so that your blog doesn’t resemble other websites created with the same theme. As with the topic you choose, a unique look is essential for a successful blog.

If you are starting with a big budget, you can consider hiring a professional web designer to set up your blog. However, this is not necessary if you are cash-strapped. There are plenty of detailed guides on CMS forums that teach beginners how to design a blog using a specific platform.

Create a Unique Domain Name

Launch your blog with a free domain offered by the CMS you choose. However, it’s best to invest in your own unique domain name. You can register your own domain for as little as $10. The process is relatively affordable so it’s worth spending some money on. Having a unique domain will make your blog memorable to readers and make it easy to convince advertisers to market on your site.

Find Lots of Great Images to Use

Don’t forget to prepare images to use on your blog. Whenever possible, avoid using stock images. Here is a website that provides free images that you can use. Common stock images could make your website look fake or artificial to readers. Use your own images, preferably photos that you have taken. Be very careful not to use copyrighted images on your blog that may lead to hefty fines.

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Start Writing!

Now the basics of setting up your blog are just about done. The next step is to start writing posts. You are free to choose how to write them. Commercial-minded bloggers use short posts that readers can quickly get through. You can also create long, informative posts, which tend to get better search engine rankings.

Develop your own writing style that will stand out from the rest, if possible. More importantly, keep your blog free from spelling and grammatical errors by using Grammarly. Your posts should be professional enough to convince readers to subscribe.

Diversify the Blog Content

Don’t restrict yourself to text posts alone. Online readers are more attracted to visual content than textual content. Use images to keep your blog interesting. In addition, offer a diverse array of content for viewers, such as infographics and videos. Monotony doesn’t bode well online.

Prepare a Digital Marketing Strategy

No modern blog ever became successful without a marketing plan. As the competition for attention is stiff, you would need a full-scale digital marketing strategy to attract attention to your blog. On the bright side, you can do this for relatively free. On the flip side, expect the marketing aspect to take up a lot of your time.

Most bloggers promote their blogs via social media channels. Some also guest post on blogs and allow other bloggers to guest post on their own. This strategy allows readers to click on links that take them to the desired site.

If you don’t mind spending some cash, you can promote your blog via a search engine and social media ads. It’s preferable in the beginning when your blog has little traffic. If the ads do bring in subscribers, you can decide to continue down the paid marketing path.

Don’t forget search engine optimization and conversion rate optimization. These are also part of digital marketing. SEO and CRO are not that hard to do. Search for tips and advice offered by marketing blogs or newspapers to familiarize yourself with these concepts.

Once you have designed your blog and have some content on hand, start beta testing the website. You can ask friends to chip in and help. Collect bug reports and user feedback to improve your blog design. It should be in the best shape for public consumption.

Once your blog is up online, there is still more work to be done. Now you will have to promote, promote, and promote your content to attract readers. Get people to subscribe—the larger the number of subscribers, the easier it would be to monetize your blog.

I hope this small overview guide is totally a shot to help you on How to Start a Blog from Scratch. If you want to know more then do comment below and let me know.