How to Start a Blog (From a Seven-Figure Entrepreneur)
Hey, I’m Adam Enfroy.
I’m a pizza guy turned blogger, course creator, and entrepreneur behind the blogging course, Blog Growth Engine 4.0.
And no, that’s not a lie!
In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to start a blog from the ground up in the exact same way I teach my students in Blog Growth Engine.
This step-by-step guide on how to start a blog includes everything you need to know to start a successful business in the 2020s. Including:
- How to find a profitable niche
- Search engine optimization basics
- How to set up your website
- How to choose a name
- How to market your blog
- How to monetize your blog
This is the exact same information that has helped thousands of students start their own blogs and grow to $5,000, $10,000, and even $50,000 per month or more.
- Struggling to figure out where to even start with blogging
- Wondering how to start a blog, but don’t know anything about online marketing
- Confused and overwhelmed by all of the “how to start a blog” information out there
- Tired of your 9-5, feel like you’re wasting your potential, or constantly failing at blogging over and over again
- Or just curious about starting a blog
This guide is for you.
Ready? Let’s get to it.
First off, I totally understand if you just want to jump into my guide on how to start a blog. Feel free to skip this if you want, but I think it’ll be invaluable for your blogging journey if you hear my own journey first.
I’m really nothing that special. Yes, I have achieved some success in life. But it’s been more through sheer determination and hard work than any special gifts.
….I’m a college drop out.
…..I had a regular old 9-5 for most of my adult life.
….I worked at a pizza place until I was 26.
I think I was like pretty much every other kid in their mid-twenties. I felt stuck. I felt like I was wasting my potential. I felt like I had no direction in life.
I was just yearning for something more. I NEVER ONCE thought I’d get into blogging. But I knew I needed SOMETHING new.
That’s when I found digital marketing. I got an entry-level job. Within 5 years, I was in Austin, Texas and working for a tech company.
Life was good, but I just didn’t feel fulfilled. I had all this knowledge now, all these skills. But there I was sitting at a desk all day working for some big faceless tech firm.
Not really the American dream, right?
I didn’t grow up dreaming of sitting in an office for a decent salary.
That’s when I decided I wanted to take everything I’d learned about content, systems, branding, and business, and find a way to apply it to MY BRAND. I thought, “how can I build a personal brand while running it with the efficiency of a Fortune 500 company?”.
THAT’S WHEN MY PERSONAL BLOG GOT STARTED…
And guess what? IT WORKED.
All of the knowledge and experience I gained working in the trenches of a massive company paid back immediately on my blog. I started it in January 2018.
Within 7 months, I was making $40,000 per month just from my blog. I quit that lifesucking job and started traveling the world.
Soon, I doubled that to $80,000 per month. I knew I had something that could be life changing for most people.
That’s when I created Blog Growth Engine, an online course and community dedicated to helping people achieve the same dream I did: To get out of the rat race, quit their jobs, and work on projects they really care about – and working wherever they wanted to whenever they wanted to.
Flash forward, and Blog Growth Engine now has thousands of students and 6 full-time coaches. It’s one of the most supportive and knowledgeable blogging communities in the world.
Not too bad for a college dropout turned pizza boy.
In 10 years, I’ve gone from working at a restaurant to running multiple seven-figure online businesses.
My own blog regularly generates over $100,000 PER MONTH in revenue.
If I can do it, anyone can.
And that’s what this guide is all about: to give you the same knowledge it’s taken me a decade to learn. Now, you don’t have to make all he mistakes I did. I’ve done that already.
If you follow these same steps, I’m sure you can achieve some success too.
- Your niche is more or less the topic of your blog or the “space” that you’ll be writing in – examples include outdoors, tech, fitness, yoga, fishing, and pretty much any other topic. Anything could be a niche!
- Niching down is critical. It helps you build a brand, find a target audience, and rank on Google
- Finding your niche makes it easier to determine what to write about and build a content plan
- Once you conquer one niche, it’s easy to branch out to new ones
- The best niche is the one niche that no one else can ever replicate: YOU
First off, that’s not the most flattering image of me, but it’ll have to do.
Your blog niche is more or less the specialized topic that your site is about. It’s simple as that. It could be something like men’s fitness, raising kids, makeup, or even landfill operators or professional referress – they’re all niches.
Here are a few examples:
My niche is how to start a blog.
My entire business is around blogging.
I teach how to start a blog, how to make money blogging, and how to grow a blog by recommending software, online courses, and social media tools – among other things.
One of our coaches here – Eddy Balle – has a site that’s all about AI and blogging.
He really should be in the how to grow a mustache niche, though. That’s a work of art right there.
Some of the biggest websites on the internet started out as niche blogs.
TechCrunch is all about tech and startup news.
Nomadic Matt is about traveling on a budget.
The Penny Hoarder started out as a blog about saving money before growing into an unrecognizable monstrosity.
Some blogs even have very broad niches. Cup of Jo is a massive blog about women’s culture. It publishes blog content all about dining, fashion, relationships, and design.
OK, let’s move on from this for now. I think you’ve got a good grasp on what a blog niche is.
Before we cover how to find your niche, you need to understand two key things first:
- Why a niche is so important
- Why you need to find a niche within a niche
Don’t worry, this is the fun part. I really wish I were you right now. There’s really nothing more exciting than finding your niche and planning your path to $10,000 per month and beyond.
Let’s do it.
The reason is that Google prefers sites with a clearly defined topic.
It’s just easier for their algorithm to determine what you’re about (and rank you for your keywords).
It also just makes logical sense for your site to be about one thing, doesn’t it? Unless you’re Leonardo Da Vinci 2.0, you probably won’t be an expert in a dozen different things.
People specialize in certain skills or topics – that’s just how things work.
Remember the MySpace style days where you just blogged about whatever you were doing or thinking about?
“Hey, I’m having toast and coffee for breakfast!”. “Now I’m off to school – here are my thoughts on the education system!”.
Those days are gone. While it’s still your own blog, it’s not really about what you’re doing. It’s about the value you can offer other people.
Blogging is a Google-driven business now. You need to play by its rules.
Long story short, having just one topic for your blog is better for everyone:
- You: You know what to write about, you have more expertise, and you can build a brand
- Google: It’s easier for it to determine what you’re about and rank you for topics
- Readers: Having just one specialized topic means you create better content and can reach a more targeted audience. The more you give that audience what they want, the more they’ll love you.
It’s a rare win-win-win.
OK, that’s why you need a niche. Now let’s cover a very important concept that most new bloggers don’t quite understand.
The concept is called a “sub-niche”. You could also call it a narrow niche or “micro niche”.
I find that students often come to me with a niche idea like “hey, Adam, I want to get into the fitness niche” or “I want to start a fashion blog”.
That’s great, but you have to be more narrow and focused than that.
It can’t be a super broad topic like health and fitness.
You’ll be up against massive blogs with billion-dollar budgets and massive teams. You’ll never outrank them in search engines, and you can’t outspend them for ads…so, how are you going to build a business?
The answer is you need to find a niche within a niche to get started first.
My own blog – AdamEnfroy.com – is a good example.
“How to start a blog” is my sub-niche. Notice how it’s not something broad like “how to make money online”.
When I started this blog back in January 2019, I realized I was going up against massive blogs like NerdWallet, Neil Patel, and Indeed.
I would’ve been dead in the water. You will be too if you try to take on the big dogs from day 1.
I needed to go a step further into the make money online space. That’s why I decided to start a blog on how to start a blog and make money with it.
If I tried to start a blog on just “make money online”, I would not be where I am today. Not a chance.
You’ll need to find your own little corner of your niche to start with, too. Just like I did.
Here’s another example, Mommy Travels:
Mommy blogging is a massive niche. And it’s as cutthroat as it gets.
The potential is staggering, but there’s no way a new blog can compete with the giants in the industry. It’s just not possible.
So, instead of writing about general mom topics, she writes about traveling as a mom with kids.
There’s a super important technical reason for this with Google.
Going narrower lets you rank faster with less effort. And once you build some trust with Google, it’s way easier to start ranking for harder topics more easily.
Google (and other search engines) cares a lot about tons of different SEO factors like:
- The age of your site
- How much overall authority you have
- How much content you have
- How many links you have
- How many trust signals your site has
As a new site, you won’t have ANY of these things – let alone all of them. And definitely not nearly enough to outrank bigger sites in your niche.
If you go into a narrow sub niche, it’ll be much easier to rank. You won’t need as much to rank a blog post for something like “best travel accessories for moms” as you would for “parenting tips”.
The good news is that you’ll notice a snowball effect with your site once you do start ranking.
Once you rank for a few topics, you get more trust from Google, links from other sites, and more visitors. That gives you more “juice”, helping you rank for harder topics.
See what I mean? Once you rank for these easy topics, it becomes exponentially easier to rank for harder – and more lucrative – topics. You just need to start very narrow, then expand once you’ve got some credibility in Google’s eyes.
Let’s take a detour for a second and get back to the difficulty of ranking for broad terms.
If you try to rank for broad terms like “parenting tips”, you’ll be up against juggernauts.
Check out the results:
No way you’ll outrank the CDC or Parents.com.
But if you go for something narrow like single mom vacation ideas, it’s a much shorter climb to the top:
Let me give a quick recap.
When starting your first blog, you need to find a niche within a niche.
Starting narrow will help you rank faster and grow your authority in Google’s eyes. Once you gain some traction in that area, you can easily branch out into other areas.
OK? Now that you know that you need to find a narrow niche, let’s cover how to do it. I’ve got the perfect blog niche for you no matter your skills or expertise.
BUT, before we get to that, let me cover the niche selection process a bit. It’s crucial that you understand that first before anything else.
Niche selection is the single most important factor in starting a successful blog. It is mission critical.
Here’s another way to think about it.
Your blog niche determines:
- How much money you can make
- How hard it is to rank
- How much work you have to do
It can’t get more important than that.
If you choose the wrong niche, you will fail. If it’s too hard to rank or there’s no money in it, then it doesn’t matter what you do.
Your ideal niche lies at the intersection of the following 4 things:
- What you’re good at
- What you care about
- Profitability (that includes ranking)
- What you can leverage
Another way to think about it is a concept that Colin (my business partner) and I call the Authority Flywheel. And as with all things, the best way to explain this to you is with a fancy Canva graphic:
Look at that. A nice little flowchart/cycle hybrid.
Here’s what I mean by all of these things:
- You: Your skills, experience, passions, and story.
- Experience: What unique experiences do you have? Single dad raising two kids? Mom who knits all of her kid’s sweaters? Solopreneur who built a 50-employee agency from their bedroom? Any unique experiences will do.
- Market: Is there a market? Can you make money? Can you even rank?
- Leverage: What do you have that you can leverage to build your blog? Accreditation? A large personal network? Connections with big sites for links?
Here’s a simple example of how the Authority Flywheel might look in real life.
Imagine you’re a certified yoga instructor who loves health and wellness. You probably have a studio or work for one, you’ve got a big client base and a directory of names with your studio, and you know there’s a big market out there.
Sounds like a great opportunity to start a yoga blog.
You’ve got it all:
- You: You love yoga and are good at it.
- Experience: You’ve got a ton of experience learning and teaching it.
- Market: Who doesn’t love Yoga? I’ll subscribe to this imaginary blog now and buy anything you’ve got.
- Leverage: You can leverage your existing students to start visiting and liking your blog. You can have the studio promote your blog. You can even take videos in the studio for the site. And lastly, if your name is on the studio’s website or in a directory somewhere, that’s a great signal of trust that Google will love.
Here’s my first assignment for you.
Start writing down your Authority Flywheel. Not tomorrow – NOW.
Write down all of your skills, experiences, stories, passions, and things you can leverage.
Here’s a quick window into how Colin teaches it in our course:
Then, once you do that, do some basic market research to validate your subniche idea.
Take your sub niche and write down 5 topic ideas, then search them on Google to see what’s there. If there are a bunch of small sites ranking for your topic, that’s a great sign.
In all my time blogging, my most successful students have all been in one niche:
The niche of YOU.
By that, I mean: the most successful bloggers build a blog around themselves. Their brand.
My blog is all about me.
Our most successful students in Blog Growth Engine also have their own brands. And now they’ve become coaches.
Like Eddy before:
And Jessica La too:
Jessica started writing online as a hobby, but once she started approaching her personal brand as a business, she made $10,000 in 3 months selling content services and links (a big Google ranking factor – more on this later).
When you build a brand around yourself, you gain advantages that no niche can ever rival:
- You can pivot super easily, because you aren’t confined to any one niche. You still should write about one sub-niche to start, but if it doesn’t work, you can always change
- It’s easily scalable
- You can build a brand on YouTube or IG that creates synergy with your blog
- It’s easily brandable
- It’s something no one can replicate
See the insane level of power you get when building the brand of YOU?
- Use keyword research tools to find low-competition topics
- Once you start ranking for low-competition keywords, it’s easier to rank for harder ones. Build slowly
- Create a content plan and stick to it
- You want to create a mix of content that informs and content that sells
Once you find your niche, it’s time to start planning your first articles.
The goal here is to find as many easy wins as possible.
Trust me, once you see a few of YOUR articles from YOUR OWN blog ranking on Page 1, you will feel invigorated.
This is exactly how I started this blog you’re reading now, and I grew it to $80,000 PER MONTH in a few short years. That could be you too.
Ready to dive into content planning? Let’s do it.
Imagine building your blog like steering a massive ship.
In this case, building a content plan is like making a map and plotting a course: it makes sure you’re going in the right direction.
The reason this is so important is pretty simple – content planning determines your ability to rank your blog for keywords, and determines how much money you’ll be making 3-6 months down the line (more or less).
Your goal here is to use keyword research tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush to find low-competition key terms. Once you have them, you’ll know exactly what to write, when to write it, and why you’re writing it.
Don’t worry, these tools are fairly simple to grasp even if you’re a complete beginner. Notice how simple the Ahrefs dashboard is when you look for relevant keywords:
All you need then is a good process and a killer instinct.
If you do this the right way, within a few short weeks, you’ll have a bunch of new blog posts that could:
- Rank in Google
- Bring traffic to your blog
- Generate helpful links to your blog
- Maybe even start generating some ad revenue or affiliate revenue
That’s what I’m going to teach you here.
Different types of blog posts serve different purposes in your blogging business.
The two main types are:
- Informational: These are meant to inform, teach, or inspire your audience. They also can help other articles rank better by giving you more authority with Google. Some might even generate some ad revenue, but this isn’t their main purpose.
- Transactional: These are the money posts. They are usually product reviews like “best hiking boots for beginners” or “the top gaming laptops of 2023”.
Your content plan should include a decent mix of these two types of content.
But as a rule of thumb, it’s better to have more informational content than transactional. Google doesn’t like sites that try to sell too much. It prefers sites that inform readers.
First things first: You need to develop a killer instinct mindset here. You need to attack your competition where they are weak.
Remember, you’re a new blog. There are going to be a bunch of older, bigger blogs above you. It’ll be like Luke Skywalker and the Resistance against Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire.
What did the rebels do? They attacked where the Empire was weak: right at the flaw in the Death Star.
You need to do the same.
The way you do this by finding low-competition keywords. These are the low search volume keywords that other websites haven’t bothered with or haven’t optimized properly.
These are normally called longtail keywords. That’s just a fancy term marketers use that means longer, more specific search terms. So, instead of “parenting tips”, a longtail keyword would be “best parenting tips for toddlers”.
OK? Here’s how to do it.
This is actually a lot easier than you think. Honestly, it feels like black magic to me even after all these years.
All you’ll need to do with Ahrefs is enter in keywords, and this tool will show you some amazing information that helps you determine exactly what to write about to rank in Google.
For this example, we are going to use a simple niche: the outdoor niche.
Here’s an example of a keyword we found in the outdoor camping sub-niche:
Ahrefs shows you all of this in one simple dashboard:
- Keyword Difficulty: How hard it is to rank for this keyword.
- Volume: How many people are searching for this keyword.
- Traffic Potential: A rough estimation of how much traffic the #1 page receives for this key term (and all other key terms it ranks for).
- Global Volume: An international breakdown of traffic by country.
It also gives you a ton of helpful keyword ideas and similar terms (and even product ideas too).
Remember that map and course I was talking about before? Ahrefs just plotted it for you.
Let me show you how to use this tool to build your content plan.
Seed keywords are broad keywords in your niche that you use to find low-competition keyword ideas.
It’s like planting little seeds in the ground and watching them grow into blog topic ideas.
The best way to find them is to just brainstorm broad ideas related to your niche that you think people would search for.
Let’s stick with camping.
Some seed keyword ideas might be:
- Camping checklist
- Camping equipment
- Best camping tents
- Best backpacking destinations
- Best places to camp
It all depends which niche you’re in.
If you were in the men’s fitness niche, it might be things like men’s workout supplements, bicep exercises, or home muscle building workouts. If you know your niche well enough, you’ll discover plenty of seed keyword ideas.
All you need to do is plug one of your seeds into Ahrefs and click the “matching terms” button in the top left corner:
There are a ton of great blog ideas here. I bet that was way easier than you thought it was going to be.
This is one thing I try to stress to every new blogger: it’s way simpler than you think it is.
Yes, it’s hard work. But it’s not very complex. Find your niche, find your keywords, and start pumping out content.
Now, it’s just a matter of finding the right topics to write about.
The first thing to look at is KD or “Keyword Difficulty”.
This is more or less an approximation of how difficult it will be to rank for this keyword. As a new blog, you don’t want to go over 15-20, with some exceptions.
I see a lot of good ideas here:
- Festival camping checklist
- Camping checklist PDF
- Camping checklist with kids
These all make for great ideas for your first blog post.
Hang on, let me make one super important point here.
In the beginning, you want to create a lot of “link bait” posts. These are posts with a lot of interesting content or good ideas that other sites want to link to. When another site links to your site, that’s called a “backlink”.
Google loves this. The more sites that link to your site, the more Google sees you as a great resource (and the better your rankings).
Things like lists are link bait gold.
Check this out:
That blue column all the way on the right is the number of backlinks those blog posts have.
So many bloggers DO NOT DO THIS. This will be a huge competitive advantage for you. While they’re busy creating content that nobody cares about or wants to link to, you’ll be getting a lot of links from other sites and boosting your rankings.
If I were you, I’d use Ahrefs to find:
- 3 informational posts (preferably these link bait posts)
- 2 transactional posts (product reviews like “best camping equipment”)
- 1 unique post (this could be your personal story or a topic you really care about)
This will set a great foundation. The best part is publishing your blog posts and seeing the fruit of your labor. It’s so invigorating. Once you have 5 posts up, you’ll be motivated to get to 10, 20, 50, and beyond. It’s really an incredible feeling.
- Naming your blog is much more important than you think
- You can’t go too narrow or too broad. It has to be the sweet spot
- Do not buy anything from WordPress.com. Get a domain name and web hosting from other companies
- The best domain name is the probably the simplest one there is (read on to find out)
You have no idea how long it took me to choose AdamEnfroy.com. I agonized over it for hours.
…That’s a joke.
Choosing a blog name is 10 times more important than you think it is.
Most new bloggers go too narrow with their blog domain and pigeonhole themselves into one small niche forever. Or, they go too broad and nobody really knows what their blog is about.
You need a name that is simple, brandable, and memorable. And it can’t be too broad or too narrow. This is not easy to do.
But we do have one simple lifehack that makes it extremely easy. We’ll get to that in just a minute.
Here’s me talking about a site called Texas Kayak Fisher. It’s super specific.
There are some advantages to this, but this person has completely chained themselves to writing about kayak fishing for eternity. Not just kayak fishing, but kayak fishing specifically in the State of Texas.
If this person ever wanted to branch out into boating, water skiing, or literally anything else, it would be tough.
Do not do this.
There are few key reasons for this:
- It’s too niche and very constricting
- You can’t pivot if the niche doesn’t work out or you find something better
- It’s very hard to build a large brand out of this
I know I told you to start out in a small niche. But the end goal here to build a massive online brand.
These sites have all gone from small blogs to massive brands. That’s what you need to do if you want to make it to six and seven-figures (and beyond).
There’s one very simple way to get the perfect domain name that we share in our course. And I’m going to give it to you now.
The best blog name is…
That’s right. The best blog name is your name or some minor variation of it.
That’s why I chose AdamEnfroy.com. A lot of big-time gurus, educators, creators, and influencers do this, but you can do it too. You can and you should. You don’t need to have a massive brand to justify this either.
ALL of my most successful students do this exact same thing.
Here’s Paul Aroloye:
Paul makes makes more than $5,000 per month now just from his website between his blog and his SEO services.
That’s the cool thing about this method.
It doesn’t really matter what your blog is about. You can make it about anything. You can even change to anything you want down the road if things don’t work out in one niche.
It’s infinitely scalable and infinitely pivotable.
Paul writes about software, SEO, and AI:
It’s important to note here that even though it’s your brand, you’re still writing about topics in a specific niche. It’s just that your blog name is your name. It’s the brand of you – whatever you happen to be an expert in.
If you choose something like TexasKayakFisher.com, you’re stuck with just that niche until the sun burns out.
But if you choose yourname.com, there’s no limit to what you can do. You could:
- Change your niche if need be
- Expand into other niches
- Add brandable assets like a YouTube channel
- Offer your own services like SEO or content writing
- Gain more trust from Google and social media users
My favorite part of this whole idea is that it’s super easy and requires 0 thinking. Instead of spending days thinking of the perfect site name, you could just skip all of that and settle the issue now.
All you’d need to do would is go buy the domain name.
A domain name is just your blog’s address on the web (e.g, AdamEnfroy.com). And web hosting is just a service that keeps your blog running and accessible to the public. Without web hosting, nobody would be able to find your site.
The good news here is that a domain name and web hosting plan are pretty cheap, and they’re easy to install.
You can get a cheap domain name at NameCheap.com for about $10 per year.
As for hosting, there are two ways you can go about this:
Cheap hosting will be anywhere from $2 – $6 per month.
It won’t be as fast as premium hosting, though.
Web speed is insanely important for SEO. Google has even said so itself. If your pages load too slowly, your rankings will suffer and readers will bounce (leave your site) at an ultra high rate.
That’s terrible for SEO, conversions, and branding.
Thankfully, there are some cheap web hosting options that are fast enough to get the job done.
My favorite is Hostinger. Sites that run on Hostinger load in anywhere from 2-4 seconds on average IF fully optimized.
2 seconds is fast if you can get to that speed. 4 seconds is solid but close to the tipping point.
But if you’re on a budget, you’ll save a decent chunk of change compared to our top option. Just don’t expect great customer service. And if your site grows very large, expect things to slow down quite a bit.
WPX is legit the best hosting service out there for blogs. It’s built specifically for WordPress blogs (more on this in the next step). And it’s got a private delivery network, meaning you won’t have to share with anyone else.
That makes it insanely fast.
Sites load in anywhere from .8 – 2 seconds when optimized properly. They’ve also got amazing customer service and site security. Myself and the coaches have been using WPX for years, and there are rarely any issues. And in the rare cases we do encounter a problem, someone is there to answer in about 30 seconds…or less.
If you’re starting a WordPress blog, WPX is without a doubt the best.
If you’ve got the budget, it is 100% worth it to invest the extra money in WPX. Your site will load faster, it will rank higher, and your conversions will be higher. That’s a major competitive advantage. You need all the strength you can get when you’re going up against bigger, older blogs.
If your competitor’s blogs are running on WPX, you’ll be just one step further behind.
Further Reading: Choosing web hosting is a big decision, so don’t take this lightly. Read our full breakdown of the best web hosting companies to get the full deep dive into the best web hosts. You’ll find speed tests, pros and cons, features breakdowns, and our personal experiences with each of the blog hosting providers.
- First, DON’T PANIC
- It’s easy to set up a very simple website, and that’s all you need. You can have a successful blog with just a few simple web pages. You don’t need a fancy blog design to make money
- Buy a WordPress theme – a pre-designed website layout to make your life way easier
- Build your 4 core pages and you’re ready to go
OK, it’s time to set up your website. And, yes, you’re going to need a website for your blog to live in. That’s just how it is.
Don’t worry, with WordPress, this is way easier than you think it is.
You can have your own blogging website in a day or so even with 0 previous design experience. That’s actually why there are so many blogs these days – it’s dead easy to set one up!
WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform in our industry. Nearly half of the entire blogging world runs on WordPress. And there’s good reason for that.
Unlike other blogging platforms like Wix or SquareSpace, WordPress is designed for optimal usability, SEO, and customizability. Every successful student of mine has a WordPress blog without exception.
In fact, I’m not going to give any other platform the time of day here.
Plus, WordPress has hundreds of templates. These are more or less pre-designed website layouts that make building a website easy. You can add new pages pretty quickly without the help of a designer or developer. Just choose a page style, give it a title, and add it.
Just. Start. A. WordPress blog. It’s easy.
Let me show you how to set up your website in the simplest way possible that’s still optimized for conversions (clicks and sales) and search engines.
Please, do not make this one major mistake. It could ruin everything.
Read the following very carefully.
DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM WORDPRESS.COM.
Please look at the following image:
DO NOT pay for any of these.
You will only be using the WordPress blogging platform to set up your website. WordPress is an open source platform, so you can actually use it totally for free.
You’ll buy everything else you actually need from other providers.
This is called a “self hosted WordPress blog”.
A self hosted WordPress blog is when you have a 3rd-party hosting company (like WPX or Hostinger) host your site rather than hosting it on WordPress. Don’t worry, the term isn’t super important. What’s important is that you buy hosting from 3rd-party web hosting companies and don’t pay anything to WordPress itself.
I don’t want you to waste a ton of money for no reason. And I definitely don’t want you to go through the hassle of getting a refund.
So just remember, DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM WORDPRESS. Just use their blogging platform.
The right way to set up a website is through your hosting provider. In this case, we’re going to show you by using WPX – our #1 recommended WordPress host.
Notice Eddy there? It’s so easy he did it with his eyes closed. He may have even been sleeping.
First thing you need to do is head to your web host and choose a plan. Again, we’re using WPX, so that’s what I’ll demonstrate this with.
Go ahead and choose your plan.
The Business plan will do just fine for now. I know it might seem expensive, but remember, you’re getting free site speed optimization, and the fastest site speed in the entire industry.
That’s a major competitive advantage.
Once you do that, enter your domain name into the box on the next screen:
Then, select your server location. This is where your site’s data will be stored. We recommend choosing the location where the majority of your website’s visitors will be coming from.
OK, from here it’s gravy. Once you pay for your subscription, head to your dashboard and select “manage websites” on the left:
Once you click that, click “Add New Website” in the bottom right of your screen.
Last step is to enter your domain on the tab that appears and then install WordPress:
The best thing about WPX is how great their support is.
They are there to help you if any of this gets overwhelming. I know that it can be tough if you’ve never done it before. Just open their live chat and tell them “hey, I need help installing WordPress”, and they’ll walk you through everything.
One of the best things about a WordPress blog is that you don’t even need to design it. You can just buy a pre-designed website template from a designer and use it for your site. These are called themes.
WordPress themes are pre-designed templates that make building a website easy.
They come with colors, fonts, sections (e.g, header, your story, and services), and simple blocks that let you add new sections right on the left hand side of the page builder.
Think of a WordPress theme like having a designer come in and make your site’s layout and design for you, except you’re just paying for pre-built site they’ve already made. You just buy that layout, install it, and you’re good.
We recommend Kadence, because it looks great, it’s light and fast, and it’s easy to add new pages. This is going to come in handy in the next step.
Unlike other WordPress themes like Elementor, Kadence is very minimalistic.
This makes it easy for to add your own unique twist on your site. And since it’s very minimalistic, it’s super fast. Remember, site speed is a major ranking factor.
There are other great themes.
Again, Elementor is nice. Divi, Astra, and StudioPress are great too. But if you want an easy, clean, and fast blog theme, Kadence is the best choice. We DO NOT recommend free WordPress themes. They are free for a reason: They are very low-quality.
Once you purchase it, just go to your WordPress dashboard and select it from the “themes” tab:
Are you still with me? Trust me, I know how you feel.
I had to do ALL OF THIS on my own. But, it was way better than working at a pizza place…not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’d just had enough late nights and unhealthy pizza dinners to last a lifetime.
There’s just one more step. Hang in there.
OK – Do. Not. Panic.
Again, WordPress makes this super easy. This is why we recommend that all of our students crreate a WordPress blog – WordPress is your friend.
Let me explain something very critical to you first:
Your blog website is not supposed to be beautiful and flashy. It’s supposed to be light and simple. Too many new bloggers get caught up in making their WordPress blog beautiful rather than fast, clean, and easy to access. Don’t be like them.
You’re only going to need to 4 core pages at the start. We call this concept an MVP or minimum viable website. That’s all you need to get off the ground and start making money online.
The 4 pages you need are:
BGE coach Eddy nails his About Page here. No fluff. No BS. Just who he is, what he does, and where you can find him.
Then, the rest of the page goes into detail about his background and all of his skills:
I think it’s best that you use your About Page to tell your story, display your achievements, and show accreditations. People like to learn from and connect with real people these days. Don’t hold back!
Your home page might vary based on what niche you’re in and what exactly you’re trying to do.
However, you really only need a headline, a headshot of you, some of your latest blog posts, and a snippet of your story.
Once you have enough content, you can start breaking up your articles into categories to give readers easier access.
Again, don’t overcomplicate this.
Check out Brian Dean’s homepage for BackLinko:
It’s just him, a quick headline, a testimonial, and a signup box. And look at how many tabs he has. 3!!
The rest of his homepage is just testimonials and big publications where he’s been featured. You DO NOT have to overcomplicate things at all.
Your blog page will be the template for each blog that you create.
By that, I mean that when you create a new blog post, they will more or less have the same layout and style.
Creating a blog page is pretty simple. This is just like the other pages – you don’t want to complicate things yet.
Forget about fancy table of contents and call out boxes and all that. Just get some blog posts up first.
The key here is to have as little white space as possible on all sides of your blog so that it doesn’t distract the reader.
Check out a page from my blog that our writer, Kevin, wrote:
It’s very minimalistic. Keep it simple!
This is the central hub of your entire blog.
This is where you’re going to allow access to everything you’ve ever written.
You can do this either with a sidebar or without a sidebar. A sidebar is just a little section off to the side where you can add some extra things. For example, an author profile. Here’s a screenshot from within our course about it:
Make your archive accessible from your home page by adding a tab to the home page with a dropdown menu. Here’s how Eddy does it:
It’s just a simple drop down menu with all of his different categories.
That’s it! That’s really all you need :).
You’re ready to start creating your first blog post and bringing in visitors!
I’m proud of you.
Further Reading: If you have the budget and experience, and would like to build a larger site, be my guest. Check out my article on the 19 best website builders to get my thoughts on which builder is best for building your site.
WordPress plugins are tools that add more functionality to your website.
For example, some plugins like Yoast SEO help with search engine optimization. Yoast makes it easy for you to see how well optimized your site is, add in keywords, and a bunch of other helpful SEO features.
But I find that many bloggers go overboard with plugins when they start a new blog. The problem here is that some plugins are “heavy” and really slow down your site.
You do not need the following plugins:
- Monster Insights
- Hello Dolly
These will do nothing for you, and slow your site down. If you’re a new WordPress blog, that could be a website death sentence.
They may also conflict with plugins that you do need, like YoastSEO.
- Quality content is the most important factor for success and running a profitable blog
- Content determines how much money you make and how well you rank
- Great content is useful, in-depth, and interesting to read
- You must write content that is easy to read and formatted properly
- Make sure to add as much practical advice as possible
Writing good content is crucial for SEO.
Quality, engaging content is how you grow a following, sell products, and build a brand.
It’s the driving force behind:
- How much money you earn: Great content increases conversion rates (the percentage of people who buy something from you) AND it helps boost rankings. The more people spend time on your site, click, and engage with your brand, the more Google likes your site.
- Your rankings: Google is getting smarter and smarter. You can’t just cheat the system anymore. We’ll cover this in a bit more depth below, but for now, just know that Google prefers content with depth, expertise, and helpful information for readers.
- Your brand: It’s hard to convince people you’re an expert in something if your content doesn’t prove it. The biggest bloggers in my niche like Brian Dean, Neil Patel, and dare I even say myself and the team here at AdamEnfroy.com all put a ton of time and effort into our content.
Here’s the power of good content proven with real data:
Imagine big spikes like this in time on page and sales on all the articles on your site.
This is a massive competitive advantage. Most other bloggers just don’t put the time and energy into writing great content. If you do, you will reap the rewards.
Think about it this way. Your content determines:
- How much time people spend on your site
- How many people sign up for your email newsletters
- How often people buy from you
- Your rankings with Google
This is the single most important part of growing a large business. Period.
In fact, sites that have either gone too broad or have published too much poor-quality content have been getting hit hard in the most recent Google “helpful content” update.
Check this out:
Here are 4 sites owned by a massive company in different niches. Most of this content was either very poorly edited AI content, or it was very shallow, unhelpful content with no expertise or analysis.
Here’s another excellent screenshot from a case study by Dr. Marie Haynes where a client of hers got hit hard in the content update:
At the bottom of the traffic dip where it says “worked on quality improvements”, she and her team helped the company improve content by adding human experience, analysis, and meeting user intent – as well as removing “spammy” content only for SEO purposes.
The results are pretty clear.
Write great content FROM THE BEGINNING. Or you’re eventually going to pay the price.
Before you can understand how to write great content, let’s take a look at some typical low-quality “SEO” content:
Imagine you wanted to buy a laptop and found this blog post.
Does it help you at all?
No, not really.
- It doesn’t sound like a real gamer at all. It sounds like AI or a corporation
- It doesn’t provide any helpful details
- It doesn’t elaborate on key points
- It doesn’t talk about benefits at all
It’s just fact after cliche after fact after cliche.
Great content is the exact opposite.
If you want great content, you need to do the following:
If you claim to be an expert, you need to sound like one. Readers can sniff this out in a heartbeat.
That means, if you’re in the outdoor niche, you need to sound like a real camper, runner, hiker, or whatever sub-niche you happen to be in.
Let’s use that example above again:
This doesn’t sound like a real gamer or laptop expert. It sounds like Chat-GPT.
Here’s how to sound like a real expert:
- Use regular words rather than “smart words”
- Use I or we
- Talk TO the reader a lot by using YOU and YOUR
- Ask the reader questions like “want to know the best part?” or “sounds good? Then you’ll like this…”
- Use humor
- Add stories and personal experiences
If you’re stuck, go to YouTube and listen to real humans talk about your topic and use that as inspiration.
In general, you want to write like you speak instead of writing like a school essay or corporation. Web content is a totally different animal than “academic” writing.
The internet is a war for attention. There are literally infinite options for readers to choose from. If you make their lives difficult, they are going to go elsewhere.
You need to write content that’s simple and pleasurable to read, AND that’s easy to skim.
Here’s an example from a video game review I tried to read earlier today:
Is this easy at all to read?
The paragraph is huge. There’s tons of punctuation. And there are a bunch of big words strung together.
This is very poorly formatted web content, and readers are getting tired of it.
In general, you want to write with the following standards:
- Short sentences
- Short paragraphs
- Low-reading level words
- Lots of white space
- Bulleted lists
- The occasional BOLD or italics for pattern interruption
And don’t be afraid to break grammar rules online either.
Make up your own words, start sentences with conjunctions, and use one-word sentences. It’s the Wild West out here. There are no rules (except these quality content rules).
Let’s call back to that gaming laptop review one more time and tear it apart some more. It’s nothing personal – it’s just a tour de force in writing bad content.
My biggest issue with this content is that it’s just not helpful at all. Someone who Googles “best gaming laptop” wants to make a decision on which laptop to buy and wants YOU to help them make it.
A bunch of facts doesn’t help them at all.
Imagine you went into Best Buy and asked them “hey, what’s the best gaming laptop”? And the sales assistant just said “this one is an excellent choice”, “it’s powerful”, and “it uses the Intel Core I7 processor”.
You’d be like “uh, ok. So what?”.
You need to actually EXPLAIN what all of these things mean and tell them why they make it a good product to buy.
You could add things like:
- Benefits: What are the good things that come from an I7 processor? Faster gaming? All-day battery? I really don’t know. I don’t play computer games.
- Comparisons: Why is this laptop better than competitors?
- Key Details: It’s well constructed? With what? Why are those materials good? How do they work? What are the benefits of those materials, anyway?
If not, I wouldn’t have spent all week writing this 10,000 word guide on how to start a blog. I would’ve gone back to that beach resort in Mexico I just went to a few months back and started jet skiing again.
Alas, here I am…just kidding, I love all of you.
When all else fails, you can always improve content with:
- Practical tips
Add as much of this into your articles as possible.
I want to leave you with one last blog post writing tip here. This is more to do with processes rather than the content itself.
It’s a process Colin and I have trademarked called the Content Assembly Line.
If you approach your content system like an assembly line, you will find success. It’s all a matter of putting the work.
Remember, blogging is both a content quality game AND a content volume game. The more quality content you create, the more success you’ll have.
And you can assemble more blog posts by using an assembly line. That’s how all major chains and large businesses succeed, right? Standardized processes.
Everyone’s processes will vary slightly, but in general, you need to follow an assembly process like this:
- Keyword research to find topics
- Writing outlines
- Writing your content
- Editing it
- Monitoring it for rankings
And, in the beginning, write everything from a blog template. I highly recommend using at least a basic content management system like Trello or Notion to create content and run your business.
Create SOPs and guidelines that you follow strictly. And whenever you hire a new writer, make sure they fully understand your processes. This also ties back into that content plan I asked you to make earlier. When you’re writing blog posts from a plan, it’s a lot easier to get more content out faster. And that’s how you’ll find success.
AI will always have its place in content writing, but it’s not the miracle solution that everyone thinks it is.
AI writes in a super stiff tone, it doesn’t know what’s valuable to a reader, and it’s very repetitive. It’s also super cringe with its humor. Sites relying on AI content are getting destroyed in Google’s ranking these days.
AI is a great way to assist you in writing content. But you’re always going to need humans to outline, generate, and edit articles. And you’re definitely going to need humans to add expertise and opinion into your articles.
You can do this with AI if you know how. Check out our article on the best AI writing tools for more in-depth analysis on how to use AI the right way.
Most of our students who want to start a blog ask me how blogs are even making money.
That’s a great question.
Let me answer it quickly, so you understand how a successful blog can earn $5,000, $10,000, or even $50,000 a month or more.
The most common ways to monetize a blog online are:
- Google Ads: This is when Google Adsense displays relevant ads to your visitors on your blogs. They’ll pay you based on how many views or clicks your blog post gets. This is another reason why it’s so important to publish a lot of content, even if that particular content isn’t selling anything. Sure, that blog post might not sell any produces, but it could bring in a lot of ad revenue.
- Affiliate Marketing: This is the transactional type of blog post I mentioned in the content planning section. These are usually “best” posts where you review products. In these posts, a company you partner with will give you a special link called an affiliate link that you insert into the review. If someone clicks that link and buys the product, you’ll get a commission. Check out our post on the highest paying affiliate programs to get a better idea of profitable niches with high-paying affiliates.
- Your Own Products: Many entrepreneurs create their own products like courses, eBooks, a newsletter, or even physical products. That’s the goal of building a large brand: eventually you make your own physical or digital products.
- Email Marketing: Influencers in the online world often have a newsletter or other email offer. For example, you could offer a free downloadable in exchange for a visitor’s email address. Once you have that email, you can give free information and eventually try to sell them products via email.
That was a huge article. But it was a ton of fun to write, and I really hope you got a ton of value from it.
This is your roadmap to starting a blog, achieving financial success, and being your own boss working anywhere at any time you want.
Thousands of students in Blog Growth Engine have used this exact same process to start blogging and are living that dream right now.
Now you know it’s possible, and you know how to do it. All you need to do is start putting in the work.
If I were you, I’d start doing this now:
- Start filling in your authority flywheel and brainstorming blog post ideas
- Do some basic research on Google to see what your competition is like
- Look at other blogs in your niche for inspiration and begin to brainstorm blog topics
- Start building a content plan using Ahrefs or SEMRush. Ahrefs has a free keyword generator to start giving you ideas. The rest you can do manually by thinking of keywords and typing in Google
- Write down a basic content plan of topics you know you can write about
Once you have all of that, you are ready to start. If I can do this, anyone can.
Best of luck!
- Adam Enfroy
A: A beginner can start blogging relatively easily, so long as they have the right knowledge. Starting a blog requires finding a niche, doing keyword research, getting a blog domain and web host, and setting up a personal blog website. You only need a few blog pages to get your website up, and with a WordPress theme like Kadence, it takes just a few clicks. Once your site is ready, just start writing topics for your blog online, and you are set.
A: Bloggers get paid in a few different ways. Some make money from ads. In this case, they’d run ads on a blog post and get revenue from Google for everyone that views that blog post. Others make money from affiliate partnerships. They might write a blog post promoting a product, and if someone clicks a link in that blog post and buys a product, they’ll receive a commission.
A: It’s difficult to start a blog for free, but it can be done. You would need a free blogging platform, a free domain name, and a free WordPress theme. There are some free platforms out there like Blogger, but we don’t recommend them. If you’re serious about starting a business, you need to pay for it.
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