Want to learn how to start a blog in 2020 and make six figures income out of it?
Wondering if it is still possible to make a full-time living from blogging in 2020 so that you can actually quit your regular day job?
Well, I’ve good news for you!
Blogging is still profitable in 2020 and you can definitely make a full-time living even if you start your blog today.
This is one of the many benefits of blogging. 😉
Hi, my name is Jaimin Kapadia and I’m a full-time professional blogger.
Last year, I decided to learn how to start a blog and launched my blog – Screwed Up Engineer.
And guess what?
Learning how to start a blog is the best decision I’ve ever made…
Screwed Up Engineer is a living example that proves you can still start a blog in 2020 and make a full-time living from blogging in just a few months, not years.
All you need is the right strategy.
Well, there are a couple of reasons.
So, if you’re someone who is frustrated with your regular 9 to 5 job or just simply want to follow your passion for blogging, then you’ve come to the right place.
But before we jump to the step-by-step process, let’s first address the elephant in the room!
When it comes to blogging, I, and almost every other blogger, get asked this question…
Short answer: a big, fat YES!
While it’s true that the video content is dominating right now, especially on platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and now Tiktok.
But, if you take a look at the recent studies and reports, they tell a different story.
So, Yes. You should definitely start a blog right now.
And I’m going to show you how in 10 easy steps:
In this massive, 10-steps guide, you will learn everything about starting a blog, from how to pick the right blog niche to essential WordPress plugins and best blog promotion strategies.
Picking a niche is the most important step of this process.
In fact, if you don’t pick a niche and instead, build a blog that talks about everything, then you’ll definitely fail.
You see, when you write about multiple niches on your blog, it will become really tough to build a loyal audience for your blog.
Now, some people might argue that blogging about a single niche will limit your blog’s growth. But in reality, it’s the complete opposite.
When you don’t define a niche for your blog, you’ll struggle a lot in growing your blog.
Take blogs like Backlinko or I Will Teach You To Be Rich for example.
Now, I can give you hundreds of examples of how sticking to one niche can help to turn your blog into a profitable business, but I’m sure you got the point.
So now, the only thing that remains is, learning how to choose the right niche for your blog.
When it comes to picking a niche for your blog, most bloggers will tell you to pick a topic that you’re most passionate about.
They’ll advise picking a topic at the intersection of passion, experience, and skills.
Ideally, picking a niche through this model makes perfect sense…
Except it doesn’t.
In my opinion, this model is missing one most important component – Monetization.
Before you make any judgment, just hear me out.
Let’s say that you follow the common advice of picking a niche based on your skills, experience, and passion.
Suppose your passion is fitness and you already have some years of experience as a personal gym trainer with proven skills to help people actually lose weight and build muscle.
So now, you decide to launch a fitness blog where you:
Ideally, this strategy should work.
But I can guarantee that this blog will fail.
Monetization wasn’t #1 priority and therefore making money from this month could take at least one or two years.
And when a project takes years to monetize, you’re highly likely to quit before it reaches the monetization-ready stage.
Just think about it.
As human creatures, we all want recognition and rewards for our work. Whether you’re a blogger, designer, comedian, or any sort of artist, we all want people to appreciate our creations and to be shared with others.
And since your fitness blog was not created to make money but rather just to share your fitness knowledge on the internet in the hopes that people will discover it and appreciate it, this blog will take years before you can monetize it.
And as a result, you’ll quit before it makes any money.
In fact, this is the same reason why 95% of bloggers fail. They start only with passion and don’t treat their blog as a business from day one.
They usually write for months or years, get burned out when they don’t see the outcome they expected, and eventually quit.
So, now that we know that choosing a niche based on your passion is a terrible idea when starting a blog, it’s time that I share the right way to pick a niche for your blog.
To choose an ideal blog niche, you need to keep in mind the following three most important factors:
Let’s begin with understanding the ‘Audience Revenue Potential’.
If you’re planning to launch a new blog in 2020, then instead of choosing your passion as your blog niche, focus on identifying your target audience, and most importantly, understanding their pain points that you’ll solve through your new blog.
In simple words, you need to identify & solve pain points that a large audience is ready to spend their money on.
Take my blog, for example.
When I started Screwed Up Engineer, I was a 23-years old dude working in the tech industry. I was working long hours, sacrificing time with family, and getting burned out trying to climb the corporate ladder.
So, I launched my own blog to be able to earn passive income online, escape the rat race, and have freedom over how I spend my time – and my life.
And therefore, my blog audience is basically people just like me:
But, the research process is not over just yet.
Once you identify your audience and their pain points, the next step is to identify how much your target audience is willing to solve their pain points?
Are they willing to spend money?
If your answer is YES…
This is basically called the audience revenue potential and now you fully understand it.
That being said, here are a couple of blog niches that have and still are making the most money.
The next important factor to consider for choosing the right niche for your blog is:
Once you’ve discovered some lucrative pain points that a large audience is willing to spend money on to solve them, the next step is to use all the advantages you have.
You see, in order to build a truly profitable blog, you need to first build online influence.
And to build online influence, you need to leverage everything at your disposal like your professional experience, skills, connections, etc.
If you don’t know how, start by asking yourself:
If you’re just starting out, then you might not have much content published out there.
This is where leveraging your professional connections helps immensely.
So, approach anyone you know with a blog and/or start building relationships with other bloggers, so you can guest post on their authoritative websites to build your online influence.
And when a blog owner allows you to write a guest article, be sure to include a backlink to your blog (more on this later).
Backlinks will help to improve your blog’s authority, which will eventually increase your rankings on Google SERP.
However, before you start reaching out to other bloggers to allow you to write a guest article, you need to first figure out the right keywords to target.
This brings us to the next important factor…
Keyword research is the most important step in this process.
You see, you need to first figure out what exactly your target audience is searching for on Google to find solutions to their problems.
In other words, you need to gradually become an expert at Keyword Research and SEO to be able to reach your target audience effectively.
Fortunately, there are many keyword research and SEO tools like SEMRush (free 7-days trial) out there to help us to easily find the right keywords for our blogs.
SEMRush, for example, provides us with different keyword metrics such as keyword difficulty, monthly search volume, and the average cost per click to identify the right keywords to target.
But how do you identify the right keywords based on these metrics?
Well, it’s really simple!
You need to basically find keywords with low competition and high monthly search volume.
Below, I have shared the keyword difficulty and monthly search volume classification.
Monthly Search Volume:
From this classification, you should begin by targeting low competition and low/medium search volume keywords.
These keywords will help you bring potential customers on your blog fast and even spread the word about your new blog on the internet.
Simultaneously, you should also approach other sites to allow you to submit a guest article to build your online influence and increase the authority of your blog by receiving a backlink.
In a nutshell, after discovering lucrative pain points of a large audience, doing the keyword research, and leveraging your professional connections, it’s time to get to work.
The next step of starting a new blog process is to determine your blog’s goals.
When starting a new project, be it a blog, a business, or anything, you need a way to keep track of everything.
So, after choosing your blog’s niche, the next important step is to determine its goals, both short-term and long-term to keep track of progress.
For instance, when I started Screwed Up Engineer, I kept track of my blogging goals in a simple Word file.
Here are a couple of items I added in my blog goals list:
As you can see, there are both short-term and long-term goals on this list.
I have already achieved most of these goals and therefore, I have checked them off from my Word file and added new ones for this year.
Now, if you’re not sure how to determine the right goals for your new blog, I will give an easy-to-follow trick.
Start small. But think big.
Simply put, write down what exactly you want to achieve with your blog in the short-term as well as in the long-term.
And while you’re at it, make sure to write down S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Apart from creating a S.M.A.R.T. goals list, there are a couple of other points you need to consider such as:
In a nutshell, set simple, short-term and long-term goals, keep track of each goal you set for your blog, and always be up-to-date with the pain points of your ideal customers.
So, now that you’ve selected your blog niche and wrote down short-term and long-term blogging goals, it’s time to move towards the next step, which is choosing the name of your blog.
Choosing a good blog name is important, but not as important as you think.
Most bloggers (including myself) make the mistake of wasting weeks of time trying to come up with a perfect, catchy, and memorable blog name.
The common advice is that you should niche down and choose an ultra-specific blog name that also has your main target keyword in it.
But the main problem with this approach is, it’s quite difficult to get an exact-match keyword domain name these days.
For example, let’s say you want to name your blog – Photoshop Tutorials – to help you rank on Google. But as you might already know that this type of domains are already taken.
Moreover, if you choose a blog name that’s too narrow and then lose passion after a few months or run out of content ideas, then you’ll have to start a new blog from scratch.
So, it’s better to broaden the focus of your blog and choose a broader blog name, so you can pivot later if necessary.
If you still can’t come up with a unique name for your blog, then just start a blog under your full name.
A blog named after you will allow you to write about anything you like.
And, you can also easily change the niche of your blog anytime in the future whereas a blog named Photoshop Tutorials will limit you to Photoshop-related topics.
Now, once you’ve finalized a name for your blog, it’s time to purchase the domain and web hosting for your new blog.
A domain is basically a name that your future blog readers will type in their browsers to find and explore your blog.
For example, if you decided to start your blog under your own name Sam Maxwell, then you’ll need to buy a domain name called SamMaxwell.com.
Web Hosting, on the other hand, is basically a server space that you lease from web hosting providers to upload the files of your blog. Without web hosting, there would be no blog.
Now, at this point, I’m sure you must be wondering:
Of course, you can!
But you shouldn’t start a free blog if you want to make money from your blog.
You see, there are lots of platforms that allow you to start a blog for free, but all of them come with serious limitations such as:
So, it’s clear that you shouldn’t look for ways to start a free blog.
Instead, you should buy a custom domain name and web hosting to start your blog.
In fact, Buying a domain and web hosting for your blog is very easy.
And the good news?
They both are super affordable!
However, if buying a domain and web hosting for your blog seems overwhelming, don’t worry.
I will guide you through the entire process below.
Now, rather than giving you dozens of options to buy a domain and web hosting for your blog, I will recommend you to go with the best option in the market – SiteGround (special discount link).
SiteGround offers the best customer support, which is why it’s perfect for beginner bloggers.
So, I highly recommend purchasing your domain and web hosting from SiteGround.
Here are the steps you can follow to register your domain and buy web hosting for your new blog.
Step #1 – Visit SiteGround from this link to get a special discount.
As you click on the link, you’ll be redirected to the SiteGround Web Hosting page as shown below.
Click on the “Get Started” button under “WordPress Hosting” to proceed further.
As you’ll click on WordPress Hosting, you’ll be redirected to the SiteGround Pricing Page as shown below.
I recommend you go with the “StartUp” plan as you’re just starting out and StartUp plan has all the necessary features for a new blog.
Step #2 – Enter Your Domain Name
Enter the domain name that you choose earlier for your blog.
Now, if you still haven’t been able to come up with a unique, catchy, and memorable name for your blog, then just start a blog under your own name.
After entering the domain name, click on the “Proceed” button to move forward.
Step #3 – Enter Your Account Information
As you’ll click on the “Proceed” button, you’ll see a form like above.
Now, fill all the details asked.
Step #4 – Enter Your Payment Information
Once you’ve filled your account information, you’ll see a form to fill your payment information as shown below.
Step #5 – Confirm All Terms and Proceed
It will take a couple of minutes for SiteGround to ready your account.
Now, check the email that you entered in the account information form as you’ll receive an email from SiteGround with all your important details.
You’ve successfully purchased a domain and web hosting for your new blog.
The next step is to Install & Setup WordPress for your blog.
To install and setup WordPress, open the SiteGround home page, click on Login and enter your credentials to log into your newly created SiteGround account.
As you sign in to your SiteGround account, you’ll a screen like shown below.
Select “Start a new website” from the checklist and then click “WordPress” as shown in the above image.
Now, scroll down and you’ll see a form like shown below.
Enter all the admin details asked in the form.
This form will basically create a new admin account for your WordPress blog.
And from now on, you will have to use this account to make changes to your blog.
Once you’ve entered all the details, click on the “Confirm” button to proceed further.
As you’ll click on the “Confirm” button, you’ll see a pop-up window like shown in the image above.
Click on the checkbox to agree with SiteGround’s Terms and Policies, and click on the “Complete Setup” button.
Once you click on the “Complete Setup” button, SiteGround will take a few minutes to install and setup WordPress for your new blog.
You’ll see a pop-up window as shown below once the WordPress is installed.
Next, click on the “Proceed to Customer Area” button to move forward.
Now, find and click on the “My Accounts” tab from the menu as shown in the below image.
Next, “Go to Admin Panel” to open the admin dashboard of your new blog as shown below.
Once you click on the “Go to Admin Panel” button, you’ll be redirected to the WordPress admin login page as shown below.
Finally, enter your login credentials to access your WordPress admin panel.
Also, bookmark your WP admin panel URL – http://your-new-blog.com/wp-admin
Replace the “your-new-blog” with your blog domain name and open that link.
Now that you’ve finally installed WordPress, it’s time to change the default WordPress theme into an eye-catching WordPress theme.
Remember, theme is an important element of your blog.
Having a nice, user-friendly, and eye-catching theme will help you instantly grab the attention of your blog visitors and turn them into loyal readers.
Now, WordPress provides lots of free themes, but these free themes are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
And if you want to make money from your blog, then I highly recommend investing in a premium theme that will not only make your blog look intuitive and eye-catching but also protect your blog from cyberattacks.
So, which premium theme is best for your new blog?
Fortunately, there are lots of options!
Below, I have listed down some of my personal favorite premium theme providers.
Now, once you’ve picked and purchased a premium theme for your blog, it’s time to upload it from the WordPress admin panel.
First, download the .Zip file of the theme you purchased from your premium theme provider.
Next, go to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Appearance”, and then click on “Themes”.
Now, click on the “Add New” button as shown in the image below.
As you click on the “Add New” button, you’ll be redirected to the shown below.
Now, click on the “Upload Theme” button highlighted as in the image below.
Next, select the .Zip file that you downloaded earlier from your theme provider and click “Upload”.
It will take a minute or two for WordPress to install your theme.
Once the process is completed, you can customize the design layout according to your personal preference under the Appearance tab.
Now, your new blog is almost ready, and all you need now is a couple of essential WordPress plugins to help you with blogging.
Blogging is hard work. You need to take care of a lot of things such as optimizing content and blog loading speed for SEO, having the perfect social sharing buttons, and many more.
Fortunately, there are lots of WordPress plugins available for everything.
Below, I have listed some of the best WordPress plugins that I personally use for my blog.
So, these are my most favorite and essential WordPress plugins to use in your blog.
Now, let’s move forward and publish your first blog post.
What should my first blog post be about?
Most bloggers overthink this and waste a lot of time trying to come up with a creative post idea.
Now, your first blog post can be about anything you want.
But, if you’re confused, then I recommend keeping it short and simple.
For instance, your first blog post should be about introducing yourself, sharing a little bit of your background, why you started your new blog, and what readers should expect from your blog in the future.
Let’s suppose that you’ve started a new fitness blog.
So in your first blog post, you can introduce yourself, where you’re from, what experience you have in fitness, what have you achieved so far, and what readers should expect from your blog.
That being said, let’s go ahead and publish your first introductory blog post in WordPress.
Login to your WordPress admin panel, navigate to the “Posts” section in the left sidebar and click on the “Add New” button as shown in the below image.
Now, let’s begin with writing the title of your first blog post.
You can name your first blog post whatever you like, but if you’ve no clue then here are a couple of ideas:
Go ahead and pick the one you like and write it in the Title text area.
Once you’ve decided and written the title of your first blog post, it’s time to write the content.
Again, if you’ve no clue, you can simply introduce yourself, share your background, your experience, and what to expect from your blog.
Here’s an example:
Once you’ve written the content, upload a blog banner image by clicking on the “+” icon, and select the “Image” button as shown in the below image.
Once you’ve uploaded your blog banner image, conclude your blog post with a Thank You note to your readers who have taken out time from their schedule to read your post.
You can also ask your readers to leave a comment at the end of every blog post you write.
Now, at this point, your blog post is currently in the “draft mode”, meaning no one can read it on the internet until you publish it.
So, once the post is ready, it’s time to hit that “Publish” button.
To publish your first blog post, all you need to do is find the Publish button on the top right corner as shown in the image below and click “Publish”.
Once your blog post is published, there will be a link to this post that you can share on your social media or email it to your connections.
Now, you can begin writing your blog posts targeting specific target keywords related to your niche.
After you publish a few blog posts on your blog, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start applying the best blog promotion strategies to attract readers to your blog.
Now, in order to promote your blog, rank on the first page of Google for your target keywords, and get lots of organic visitors, you need to create lots of backlinks.
You see, backlinks are super important for increasing the domain authority of your blog, which will ultimately help your blog to rank higher on Google’s Search Engine Results Page.
Domain Authority is calculated between 1 to 100, where 1 is lowest and 100 is highest.
Remember, the higher the domain authority, the higher you’ll rank on Google.
And the higher you rank on Google for your target keywords, the more organic traffic you’ll receive from Google.
With that, let me share with you two of the best blog promotion strategies that have proven to increase the domain authority of my blog and for thousands of other bloggers.
Guest Posting has been a proven strategy to build your online influence, connect with other bloggers, and get a free backlink for over a decade.
However, guest posting also takes a ton of effort, so get ready to hustle and put in hard work.
Now, if you don’t know what is guest posting or how to get started, then here are 4 simple steps you can follow:
1 – Hunting for Guest Posting Opportunities
To get started with guest posting, first you need to find websites and blogs that accept guest posts.
To make it easier for you, I’ve already found a few resources:
These lists should keep you busy for a while.
Now, once you select a few sites to reach out to, you need to check a couple of things before moving on to the next step.
Firstly, you need to check the domain authority of the website/blog you’re planning to approach.
Secondly, you also need to check its estimated traffic.
Now, there are plenty of free tools out in the market to check the DA and estimated traffic of any website.
However, I recommend using Small SEO Tools.
Click here to open the domain authority checker tool of Small SEO Tools.
Now, paste the domain URLs of all websites you’re planning to approach for guest posting.
Once you’ve entered website URLs, scroll down and click on the “Check Authority” button as shown in the below image.
Once you click the “Check Authority” button, it will take a few seconds to display the results.
NOTE: You must only consider websites above 25+ DA to approach for guest posting.
Now, once you’ve finalized one or more websites with 25 or higher domain authority, it’s time to check their estimated organic traffic.
For this, you need to install the SimilarWeb extension.
So, go ahead and install the extension.
Once you’ve installed the SimilarWeb extension on your browser, open one of the websites you’ve decided to approach for guest posting and click on the “SimilarWeb” extension to check its estimated organic traffic as shown below.
As you can see, the website has around 2 Million estimated organic traffic, which means it is definitely worth publishing your guest post on this website.
Now, once you’ve checked the domain authority and estimated organic traffic of a few websites, it’s time to move forward in the process and come up with guest post topic ideas to pitch the website owners.
2 – Coming Up with Guest Post Topics
The next step is to come up with a couple of topics for your guest posts.
It goes without saying that the topics you decide should be relevant to your blog niche.
So, come up with at least 3 different guest post topics for each website you’re planning to reach out.
And while you’re researching for topics, make sure to read the editorial/guest posting guidelines of sites you’re planning to approach.
Most websites and blogs that accept guest posts have a dedicated page for their guest post guidelines as shown in the below image.
Make sure to read these guidelines to learn about their minimum number of words requirements, on what topics the particular website is accepting guest posts, and most importantly, if the website is providing a backlink to your blog or not.
At this point, make sure to approach only those websites that provide a backlink to your blog.
Once you’ve read the guidelines and created a couple of guest post topics to pitch the website owner, it’s time to draft a compelling guest post approach email.
3 – Pitch Your Guest Post Topics
Instead of giving you tips on how you should write a Guest Post outreach email, I’m just going to save time for both of us and share the email template that I have been personally using.
The below-mentioned guest post outreach email template has worked for me 95% of the time.
This is Jaimin Kapadia, founder of Screwed Up Engineer blog.
I wanted to get in touch with you guys personally to tell you that I really enjoy reading articles on guest-post-name.com
I’m an avid reader of your blog so much so that I was thinking to contribute an article on it.
In fact, I have already come up with a couple of guest post topic ideas, which are all mentioned below.
So, which topic did you like the best?
Let me know and I will send you its final draft as soon as possible. 🙂
Now, once a blog or website owner approves one of the topics you pitched, it’s time to move on to the last step of this process.
4 – Writing the Approved Guest Post
Once you’ve been given the green light, start writing the article.
Here are a couple of tips you should keep in mind while writing.
Remember, you must write high-quality content for all your guest posts in order to increase the chances of your guest post getting approved and published.
If you compromise on quality, blog & website owners might reject your guest post and all your writing efforts will go ashtray.
So, focus on writing high-quality articles that add value to the website you’re trying to publish your guest post to.
Earlier, bloggers and SEO experts recommended only to comment on blogs that provide do-follow backlinks.
While it was true but it doesn’t matter if you get a do-follow or a no-follow backlink nowadays.
Google recently announced that from March 1, 2020, it will use No-Follow backlinks as a Hint and use them for crawling and indexing.
This means all the No-Follow backlinks that you build will also help to improve the domain authority of your blog.
So, you no longer need to invest time in finding blogs that provide do-follow backlinks in blog comments.
However, it is important to consider a few key things when submitting comments to blogs for building backlinks.
So, now that you know how to build backlinks to increase the domain authority of your blog and build your influence online, it’s time to start applying these two blog promotion strategies aggressively.
Next, we will look at the best ways to make money from your blog.
Before I share the best ways to make money from your blog, I want to take a moment and thank you for having to read this far.
The How to Start a Blog guide is almost over.
Let’s quickly go through the best blog monetization strategies that I and many other successful bloggers use to make money from blog.
This is the most common way to make money blogging. You can easily monetize your blog traffic and make a considerable amount of money by placing banner ads on your blog.
Now, there are many ad networks like Mediavine available in the market. But most of these ad networks have a minimum requirement of 100,000 page views per month.
However, when you’re still in your growing phase, you can join the Google Adsense program.
Many bloggers around the world are still using Google Adsense and making a full-time living off it.
If you’re an expert at anything like Social Media Marketing, then you can definitely make money by offering Social Media Marketing services to your readers.
When I launched this blog, I made most of my money by offering Content Writing Services to my readers.
Affiliate Marketing has proven to be an effective way to make money from blogging. In fact, the majority of my income comes from affiliate marketing currently.
Affiliate Marketing is all about promoting products related to your blog niche and once a reader makes a purchase through your affiliate link, you will earn a small commission for each sale.
Once you’ve built your online influence and have at least 500 email subscribers, you can consider creating and selling your own courses.
This might take a lot of efforts, but the hard work is definitely worthwhile. I personally know many bloggers that make over $100,000 per month just from selling their courses online.
With that, we have now arrived at the end of this How to Start a Blog guide.
I sincerely hope that you liked this post and if you’ve any questions or doubts, feel free to reach out to me for help.
Now, there are a couple of common questions/doubts/queries that I receive on a daily basis.
So below, I have answered all those common questions to help you to get started with your own blog.
Ans – Starting a blog for free is very easy. There are many free blogging platforms such as WordPress, Wix, Tumblr, and Medium that allows everyone to start their free blog. However, if you want to make money from your blog, you won’t be able to do it using free blogging platforms.
Ans – Starting a blog costs as low as $3.95 USD per month from SiteGround, which makes starting a blog very affordable.
Q:3 – How do bloggers make money?
Ans – There are lots of ways that bloggers make money. Some of the common ways to make money are:
Ans – Yes, you can definitely start your own blog right now and still succeed. This blog is a living example of it. All you need is the right information and I’m committed to helping everyone who wants to start a blog and succeed.
You’ve finally learned how to start a blog in 2020.
I recommend you to subscribe to my newsletter to get notified as I publish more useful blog posts like this in the future.
That being said, I hope you liked this blog post and gained value from it.
In case you have any doubts, feel free to ask them in the comments below.