Ever wondered how to start a blog in the Philippines and make money online? Or, do you already have your blog that you are unsure how to take to the next level?
If you answer “yes,” then you’re in the perfect place.
I’m fortunate that I learned digital marketing while I’m still in college. I’m often asked by my friends what it takes to build a successful blog. So I’ve put together this thorough guide to help you manage your blog and make a living out of it.
Here, I will guide you in understanding everything from choosing a niche, setting up a blog on WordPress, how to write, and how to earn.
What Is A Blog? Is It Still Worth It In 2021?
A blog online journal where people can share their expertise or knowledge with other readers on any subject.
Yes, blogging is still profitable in 2021. What’s beautiful about it is that you can write content now and earn passive income for years. Especially now that digital marketing is growing, blogging is beneficial for making money.
Chapter 1. Creating A Blog From Scratch
Step 1. Discover Your ‘Why’
Everything we do in life produces a result, so the critical question is, “What result do I want to produce? You must ask this question when starting a blog.
Having an end goal from the start is essential. Just “earning some cash” isn’t enough.
I listed out possible end goals if you’re still trying to figure them out:
1. Make Money Online
Blogs are a great way to earn money today. Many readers look to influencers as a source of trusted information. Companies see this as well, especially during this COVID19 pandemic. Your opportunities lie in your niche and audience.
2. Promoting Business
Blogs help build a digital presence. The more visitors spend time on your site, the higher your odds of a conversion. Many companies online are convinced blogging is the most valuable type of content.
3. Creative Outlet
If writing is your hobby, and you don’t take things too seriously, you can blog at no cost. There are several decent free web hosting providers like Hostinger.
Even if you want something that performs a little better, blogging can be achieved for under ₱5000 a year. It’s possible, but the road is not easy. Along the way, you’ll learn skills like image editing, SEO, writing, and more!
Step 2. Choose Your Niche and Blog Name
Finding a niche means carving out a unique spot where you can thrive. Your niche must be: something you’re passionate about, solves a problem, not too much competition.
Things you must remember in coming up with a blog name:
- The shorter, the better
- Be creative
- Pick a name you’re willing to stick for at least a few years (branding)
- Avoid hyphens – they make your name harder to remember
- Tools can help: Namecheap Name Generator
What else to consider?
- Who is your audience?
- Always think when you are producing content: “Would my audience like this?”
Step 3: Choose your Blogging platform
When I started blogging in 2015, I used the free version of WordPress.com, but I know it won’t work when I decided to make blogging a valid business. I had to pay for my platform.
With my experience, I can tell you one thing for sure. The best domains are professional and elicit trust from readers and followers.
Google won’t do well if they have a domain name like google.wordpress.com. It’s not professional.
So, I recommend you use WordPress.org and then get website hosting elsewhere. It’s excellent for beginners. Based on statistics from Kinsta, there are over 20+ billion blogs run on WordPress.
Step 4: Get your Domain and Hosting Account
To start a blog, you will need a domain name and a web hosting account.
A domain is your Internet address that gives your website an identity. It’s how people find you online.
Examples of domain are: Google.com / Facebook.com / nameofyourblog.com
Web hosting is where you store your blog content (words, themes, videos, images, etc.). The actual house addresses points that make it possible for your website to be accessed by everyone on the web.
Where to Register Domain Names?
My preferred domain name provider is Namecheap. I bought a 3-year domain name in Namecheap for just $27 and several other domain names from them. One thing I liked is that they have excellent 24/7 customer service, and they’re way cheaper. They also offer free WHOIS privacy protection with every domain purchase.
Where to Host your Blog?
I recommend shared hosting for starters because they require less budget (often ₱250/mo at signup) and technical knowledge to begin.
When you choose a hosting service, these are some essential things to pay attention to:
- Support – one of the most significant factors you must consider when choosing a host. In case you’ve encountered any problem, the tech staff is there to help you.
- Backups – so you don’t lose all your work.
- Cost – you can find a cheap, quality hosting provider.
- WordPress Integration
- Server Power/Speed – a site that loads slowly is annoying.
Recommended Blog Hosting for Newbies
Dreamhost is one of the web hostings recommended by WordPress.org. Some features of Dreamhost include 24/7 support, a free SSL certificate (to keep your website safe), an unlimited number of email addresses, a 1-click install for WordPress, and other popular web apps like Joomla! and others.
Visit website: https://www.dreamhost.com/
Visit website: https://www.bluehost.com/
Bluehost is fast, reliable, and cheap shared hosting that comes in three flavors – Lite, Swift, and Turbo. Lite is the recommended plan for new bloggers. It allows you to host one website, five databases, and 25 email accounts.
How to Point The DNS to your web host
Domain Name System or DNS is used to direct any incoming user towards the server’s IP address. So, when a user enters “profittakeoff.com,” the DNS records will fetch the IP address of my web host and serve my site to the user.
Example: Pointing DNS from Dreamhost nameservers at Namecheap.
Step 6. Setup Your Blog on WordPress
To start blogging using WordPress, you need to install it from your web host dashboard. This can be done easily with a manual or automatic one-click installation app.
WordPress Manual Installation
Here are the simple steps you need to do:
- Download the WordPress package to your local PC.
- Unzip the file.
- Create a MySQL database and user for WordPress on your web server.
- Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.
- Open wp-config.php in a text editor (notepad) and fill in your database details.
- Place the WordPress files in the desired location on your web server.
- Run the WordPress installation script by accessing wp-admin/install.php in your web browser. If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/wp-admin/install.php; if you installed WordPress in its subdirectory called blog, for example, you should see: http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php.
Complete the installation.
WordPress One-Click Installation
Most web hosting nowadays has one-click installation services (depending on which web host you are using); the installation process is easy and can be done in just a few simple clicks.
Here’s an example auto-installation feature on the Dreamhost dashboard.
To install WordPress, click “WordPress” and follow the instructions, and it should be up and running in less than 5 minutes.
Things might look different for various web hosts, but the method is the same.
Find Your WordPress Admin Page and log in.
Once you have got your WordPress installed, you will receive a URL to log in to your WordPress administrator page via your email. In most cases, the URL looks something like this:
Pro Tip: Bookmark your WordPress wp-admin login URL since you will be using it very often.
Go to your login URL and input your preset username and password. You will have access to your dashboard where only you as the administrator can access.
Chapter 2. Designing Your Blog Appearance
Step 7: Select your Blog Theme & Design
Critical aspects of a theme you should consider
- Mobile responsiveness – ensures your website displays correctly regardless of the device on which it is viewed.
- Loading time optimized – a slow page speed will negatively affect your website.
- Page Speed – a measure of the amount of time it takes for the content on your page to load.
- SEO optimized -ensure that your website is visible on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!
- Beautiful designs
- Easy customization
- Prompt tech support
Most individual bloggers pick a ready-made theme (or a basic theme) and customize it according to their needs. There are millions of beautiful WordPress themes around the Internet.
If this is your first time blogging, I suggest that you start with a ready-made theme and tweak it along the way.
Where To Get WordPress Themes:
Official WordPress Theme Directory
Visit: WordPress Theme Directory
This is a place where you can get all the free bug-less WordPress themes. The themes listed in this directory are provided by the WordPress developers and they follow very tight standards.
Recommended WordPress Themes for Newbies
More than 180 free and paid WordPress theme templates.
Price: $47/year or $249/lifetime
Astra Themes is arguably the most popular WordPress theme in the industry, with over 1 million users. The site offers over 180 beautiful themes to choose from.
It also lets you access premium features that will supercharge your online business. The subscription on Astra Theme is affordable enough at just $47/year. If you love AstraThemes, you might as well purchase the lifetime plan for a one-time payment of $249.
My experience with Astra Themes was overall positive. It is easy to use, and there are endless customization options.
Whether you are a casual or an experienced blogger, Astra Themes is a great way to create a stunning website, and it helps to make your site navigable and more user-friendly, which is good for boosting traffic.
Price: $59/year or $249/lifetime
GeneratePress is a freemium lightweight WordPress theme that focuses on speed, stability, and accessibility. Start your website off in the right direction, whether you’re a hobbyist, freelancer, or agency.
It has over 3 million downloads and over 80,000 users.
Price: $69 – $199/theme
ThemeIsle offers two of its most functional and contemporary themes: Neve and Hestia Pro. You can only buy the Hestia Pro individually for $69.
They also have FREE beginner-friendly themes for starters that are easy to install and set up. You can do lots of customization, they are mobile-friendly and SEO optimized. They met all of the criteria I’ve mentioned and provided helpful and responsive customer service.
Chapter 3. Add Plugins and Pages
What is a WordPress plugin?
A plugin is an add-on application that adds new features and functionality to your blog. There are over 55,000 free plugins in WordPress.org’s official plugin directory right now.
For example, you can:
- build an eCommerce store using the WooCommerce plugin
- Make a podcast website using the PowerPress Podcasting plugin by Blubrry
- Make a membership site using Paid Memberships Pro
Add WordPress Plugins
While preparing to launch your blog, use SeedProd plugin to make a beautiful Coming Soon Page.
Security & spam protection Plugins
Akismet helps check all your comments against spam. It gathers all the spam and lets you review it in your WordPress dashboard.
Total Upkeep is a real-time backup and security scanning service designed by Boldgrid. This lets your backup all your website files and dashboard settings on the servers.
WordFence and iThemes Security tighten a blog’s security without having to worry about conflicting features or missing anything on your site or blog.
Mask your website using Hide My WP Ghost Plugin. This adds filters and security layers to your site to prevent Scripts and SQL Injections, Brute Force attacks, XML-RPC attacks, and more.
It also changes and hides the common paths, plugins, and themes paths, offering the best protection against hacker bots attacks.
Plugins for better blog performance
You should also look into is Cloudflare, a cache plugin. Dreamhost has a built-in Cloudflare CDN that you can integrate right from their cPanel, to improve site performance for FREE. (not many hosting companies offer these solutions)
It improves the user experience extensively by increasing the server performance and page loading speed, reducing the time taken to download.
Page Builder Plugin
WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor offers a set of essential content blocks such as a paragraph, image, call-to-action button, shortcode, and so on.
But by adding in page builders, you get to add more engaging elements (for example – FAQ, toggle list, author profile, image carousel, blockquotes, GIF blocks, etc.) to your blog.
Elementor is the best page builder plugin to try out.
Step 2: Create Your Essential Blogging Pages
About – must contain your intent and story. This will help your readers understand you’re a real person and that they can trust and connect with you.
Contact – another absolute requirement when starting a blog. As your blog grows, a simple contact page can bring many different opportunities for you. . You can use a contact form plugin such as WPForms with a contact form or add your email address.
Chapter 4. Writing Content
How To Write A Blog?
Commit to writing five blog posts yourself. Do this to develop your brand voice and understand precisely what it takes to create evergreen content.
Here are the key points to consider.
- Fill a need – People are drowning in social media updates, news feeds, emails, and different kinds of promos. It’s increasingly hard to get people to read your content. However, you can still do well if you know who your ideal audience is and what they are looking for. Ask yourself, “Is this a topic that you’d like to know more about, or do other people want to know about? How can I provide something special to the topic better than your competitors?
- Evergreen content – these are topics that will still be relevant 2-3 years from now – it never goes out of date.
- Profitable– Your blog needs to be in a niche that you can make money from. Ask yourself, “Will this attract readers and create income? If you are blogging to support your existing business, “does the blog bring in new clients?”
I use SEMrush to find if keywords are profitable. If advertisers are paying thousands of dollars to Google Adwords, there must be money to be made in this field.
Don’t get distracted; this is your #1 focus right now.
- To check grammar errors, you can use a free version of Grammarly to proofread your work.
- Use Title Capitalization Tool. It’s free.
- I recommend you use Coschedule for scheduling your posts. It will help you organize blogs, social media, and more. It’s super easy and affordable, + it comes with a free headline analyzer.
- For graphic design, I recommend Canva.
- Remember to use keywords and be engaging. The goal of any blogger is to provide value. Here are some keyword tools: SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool, LongTailPro
Chapter 5. Growing Your Blog Readership
The sad truth for many bloggers out there has taken them too much time to build their readership. Getting their first 1,000 pageviews can take months, and some very specialist blogs never seem to get there.
Here are five basic strategies to help you take your blog from Day 1 to 1,000 page views.
Step 1: Claim Social Media Profiles
Claiming your profiles protects your brand. If you’re a beginner, focus on one platform first because your main focus needs to be on the content that you create. Don’t try to be everywhere.
Know what makes content spread virally. One of the best books on producing viral content is Contagious by Jonah Berger. For social media pplatforms, I recommend you embrace Pinterest because you can gain organic traffic even if you’re a newbie.
Aside from social media, you also need to add Google Analytics and Google Search Console access to your blog. These tools will help you understand who the people are visiting your site, your most popular content, and where your blog visitors are coming from. The good news is they’re free.
Step 2: Build Your Email List
Email marketing is an excellent source of traffic and selling your products. Even if you’re a beginner, you must start building a ‘tribe’ of raving fans. All you have to do is write a post every day and promote reasonable offers.
Building a list is free. It will serve you when all platforms crash.
Step 4. Connect with Other Bloggers
“Shared and done” is no longer the name of the game.
You must continually share your posts, over and over. If you are invited to join a group Pinterest board that matches your niche, sign up and share and comment frequently. If you enter a list of like-minded bloggers, odds are they will share each other’s content regularly – weekly or daily. This will help grow your readership and engagement.
Step 6. Blog Commenting
Blog commenting is one of the best ways to build traffic – that also happens to be free!
There are two golden rules to blog commenting:
- Always write a quality comment. If you don’t have something meaningful to add to the discussion, don’t leave a comment (Don’t write “Thank you – great post” comments… they’re worthless)
- Only drop a link where appropriate. And link to a relevant post of your own (not just your blog URL) that adds value to the original post and discussion.
Step 6. Forums and Q&A Platforms
Forums and Q&A platforms are excellent places to show your expertise to an interested audience.
The method is to observe ongoing conversations in your niche to chime in when you have something helpful to say. You’ll need a good feed reader, such as Feedly, to make this work.
In terms of which Q&A platforms to use, I recommend
- Quora, Reddit, and Yahoo! Answers – these are three of the best general Q&A platforms
- Tripadvisor – For travel bloggers
- You can also join Facebook groups (check their rules before commenting)
how much does it cost to start a blog?
how much content do you need to start a blog?
how to start a blog and earn money?
How to start a blog for free?
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading! I hope you find this guide helpful and valuable. If you did, please consider sharing this post with your friends and fellow bloggers on social networks.