How to Start a Blog for (Next to) Free in 2021

You want to add value to people by blogging about stuff but you are not too financially buoyant. Therefore you want to discover how to start a blog for free today. This is the right guide for you.

Starting a blog today is easier and cheaper than before. Gone are those days when you have to pay real big money just to host a blog.

In this article, you will discover how you can start a blog easily for next to free. The steps are easy and can be done by anyone. Ensure you read till the end then take action.

How to Start a Blog for (Almost) Free in 10 easy steps

1. Define your purpose

Why do I want to start a blog? This is the question you should ask yourself before starting a blog. There are many reasons people start blogs – to make money, for passion, to deliver value to people, etc. These are a few of the purposes for starting a blog.

Therefore it is important to define your purpose before you start a blog. Somewhere along your blogging journey, you might find it challenging and feel like quitting. But if you have a definite purpose for the blog, it will keep you going.

2. Choose a niche

The second step after defining your purpose is to decide on which niche to choose. A niche is like a specialty. It is an aspect of blogging you want to dive into.

There are many profitable blogging niches out there you can choose from. You can decide to go into the dating niche, make money online niche, health and wellness niche, fashion niche, software niche and so on. There is almost no aspect of life you can’t blog about. Many bloggers even choose a niche of a niche to blog about.

However, when deciding your niche, it is important to choose a niche you can’t get tired of writing about. Publishing contents on a blog can be a daunting task sometimes but when you keep writing on a particular niche it gets easier for you over time.

3. Get a domain name and web hosting

To start a blog for next to free, the next step is to buy an affordable domain name and web hosting. A domain name is the address of your blog. It is what makes your blog visible to people on the internet. www.google.com is an example of a domain name.

In order to buy a cheap domain name, you have to search if the name you desire to use is available and not yet taken by someone else. Simply use the search tool below to do that.

A web hosting on the other hand is a space on the internet where all the contents of your blog will be kept safe. It does exactly what the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of your computer does.

Web hosting companies have physical servers around the world where all the contents on the internet are stored securely. When you buy a web hosting plan, you’re literally buying a space on one of the servers.

Get a massive discounted web hosting plan HERE.

A domain name and a web hosting are all you need to get your blog up and running. After you’ve done that, go to the next step.

4. Customize

The next step for starting a blog for almost free is to setup the blog you just created properly. After you buy a domain name and a web hosting plan, you will be given a user name and a password, which you can change anytime. This will give you access to your blog’s control panel. From the control panel, install WordPress. You can do that with just a click in the control panel.

Majority of the blogs all over the world use WordPress as their Content Management System (CMS). WordPress allows you to manage your entire blog seamlessly. It allows you publish contents, design your blog pages, install a theme, install plugins and many more.

After installing WordPress, you should install a good, responsive theme from your WordPress dashboard to make your blog look good. I use and recommend Astra theme. It’s free to install.

The next step is to install necessary plugins. Plugins are to websites as apps are to phones. You need plugins like Yoast SEO, Google Analytics, etc.

5. Index your blog

Indexing your blog means informing search engines like Google of your new blog. The advantage of indexing your blog is that your blog contents will be visible to people in search results. All websites that you find on Google search results page have been indexed. If they haven’t, they won’t show up.

The video below will show you how to index your blog with Google instantly.

6. Learn SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a way of optimizing your blog so that your blog contents get to the first page of search results on search engines. The ultimate goal of a blog is to get people to visit it. That is why you have to optimize your contents well so that people who are searching online can find it.

Neil Patel teaches SEO well in his blog post.

7. Do keyword Research

Next is to do keyword research. Keyword research simply means topic research. This is a very important aspect of blogging. It can largely determine the success or failure of a blog.

You have to research about keywords that people are searching for online before writing any post. As a blogger you don’t write what you want but what people want. You write for others, not for yourself.

That is why keyword research is crucial in blogging.

There are online tools that can help you for this research. Some of them are: Google auto-complete feature, answerthepublic, Keyword Sheeter, Ubersuggest, KWFinder, SEMRush, etc.

Some of these tools are free while others are paid. However, the free tools have limited features. One of the benefits of the paid keyword tools is that they help you determine “keyword difficulty”. Certain keywords are difficult to rank for on search engines because the “big guys” in the industry have written about them already. How then do you determine these keywords? You might need a paid keyword tool for that. Aside that, paid keyword tools have a host of other features also.

You can begin your keyword research with the search widget below.

8. Create quality contents

After doing a good keyword research, you should consider writing quality blog posts. Put your readers in mind when you are writing. Also, don’t forget to write in a simple way that anyone can understand. Using too many big words will only make you lose your readers.

9. Be persistent and Consistent

You should be persistent and consistent too. They are some of the qualities of successful bloggers. The more contents you have on your blog, the better for you. That is why you should strive to create contents consistently on your blog.

10.          Monetize the blog

Why blog for passion alone when you can easily monetize it? After publishing a number of contents, you should consider monetizing your blog. Normally, you need enough traffic to your blog to start making money from it but there are ways you can monetize it with little traffic.

5 Profitable Ways to Monetize Your Blog (with or without Google Adsense)

1.    Affiliate Marketing

One of the most profitable ways to monetize your blog is through Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate Marketing is a business model that involves promoting other people’s products and getting paid a certain percentage of the profit. This business model is what big companies like Amazon, Aliexpress, etc. use to make massive profits.

You don’t need a lot of traffic to use this monetization method on your blog. All you have to do is write problem solving articles relating to the product you want to promote. For instance, you can write a blog post about “best laptop for students”. If you are an affiliate for a laptop company and people buy a laptop through your link on your blog, you will get paid a percentage of the profit.

2.    Create and sell digital courses

Another profitable way to monetize your blog is to create and sell digital courses. Lots of people invest in knowledge. Therefore, if you have knowledge of the solution to a particular problem many people have you can package it for sale. You can package your knowledge in form of videos, audios, or eBooks for sale.

This is another unique way to monetize your blog.

3.    PPC Ads

Pay per Click companies are advertising companies that place advertisements on your blog and pay you for each person who clicks on them. The most common is Google Adsense. However, your blog must meet certain conditions before you can be accepted into this program.

There are many other PPC companies out there. Popads and Acecpro are known to allow new blogs into their program.

4.    Display Advertising (Banner Ads)

Another great way to make money off your blog is to accept banner advertisements from individuals. There are people who want to leverage on your blog traffic to advertise their products or services. You should bill them for this.

5.    Sell physical products

Moreover, if you have physical products to sell, you can leverage on your own blog to promote and sell them. Big companies leverage on this method to sell their products. They usually have a section of their website dedicated for blogging.

You should certainly consider this method too if you have physical products to sell.

How do I Start a Blog with No Money?

Perhaps, you are on zero budget and you still desire to start a blog. There are blogging platforms that will accord you the privilege of starting for totally free. Take note however that free blog sites have limitations to them.

Some downsides of blogging on free platforms are:

  • You can’t easily monetize them
  • You don’t have full control over your blog
  • You won’t have your own customized domain name.
  • Branding yourself on free blogging sites is a bad idea

Let’s consider some blogging platforms that allow you to blog with zero budget.

Top 5 Free Blogging Platforms

1.    WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a totally free and easy to use blogging platform for beginners. However, the downside of it is that you have limited features to explore as opposed to a self hosted blogging experience that wordpress.org offers you.

2.    Blogger

Blogger is a free blogging platform owned by Google. It is an alternative to wordpress.com that anyone can use. This free blogging platform is mostly used for personal blogs.

3.    Jimdo

Jimdo is another free platform where you can start a blog with zero budget. However, Jimdo has a lot of limitations. It doesn’t have an interface specifically designed for blogging.

4.    Wix

Wix is also a free blogging platform. It allows you to design your website with its drag and drop feature.

5.    Weebly

Weebly is similar to Wix. It allows you to start a blog for free. It also has drag and drop features to design your website easily.

Can You Monetize a Free WordPress.com Blog?

WordPress.com is indeed a free blogging platform. As limited as it is, you can still make money from it. The easiest way to monetize your free WordPress blog is through Affiliate Marketing. You can leverage on your free blog to promote other people’s products and services and get paid for it.

You can also monetize your free wordpress.com blog by selling eBooks. If you have information products to sell, your blog is a good place to sell them and make money.

Can You Monetize Blogger?

Although building your blog on a free platform such as Blogger is not the best idea. However you can still monetize your Blogger blog just like WordPress. You can sell information products either in form of eBooks, audios or videos on your free blog.

Also, you can make money on Blogger through Affiliate Marketing.

Conclusion

You just discovered how to start a blog for almost free. The steps are easy. Have a definite purpose, choose a niche, buy an affordable and reliable domain name and web hosting, setup the blog properly, do keyword research and start writing SEO friendly blog posts.

Also, you can monetize the blog using different methods such as Affiliate Marketing, PPC Ads, selling banner advertising spaces or even selling physical products.

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