Start a Free Blog to Make Money - Beginner’s Guide for 2019

how to start a free blog

Want to START A BLOG for free? 🎯  

You should start one with Google Blogger (Blogspot).

It's the fastest & easiest free blogging platform on the planet!

Below, I’m going to show you exactly what you need to get started. 
Let's dive right in! 

The Steps Covered in This Free Blogging Guide

One very last thing before we get started:
Creating a free blog on Blogger.com takes under a minute.
But there are a few other things you need to know, so grab yourself a coffee and let’s boogie.
If you need help, get in touch with me here and I’ll answer any questions you have (about blogging). 😉

How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps:

There are five steps to starting a free blog. If you follow this guide exactly, you’ll succeed!
  1. Create a Free Blog with Blogger.com
  2. Choose a Niche
  3. Write the Perfect Blog Post
  4. Get Google Featured Snippets
  5. Useful Resources for Blogging
Without further ado, let’s jump in to Step 1.

Step 1 - Create a free blog with Blogger.com

Google Blogger (Blogspot) is the best free blogging platform
Here's why:
Let's walk-through how to create a free blog on Blogger:

  • Go to Blogger.com
  • Click on CREATE YOUR BLOG. Or on SIGN IN (upper-right corner of the window)
  • Login to your Gmail account. Or create a new Gmail account
  • Enter a Display Name and click Continue to Blogger
  • Click on Create New Blog>Choose a template>Then click on Create Blog
  • Type a title for your blog
  • Type a URL for your blog
  • Get your own domain (optional, but highly recommended)
  • To customize your layout: Click on Theme (left side of the page)>Then click onCustomize
  • To adjust other blog settings: Click on Settings (left side of the page)
  • To create a post: Click on New post button (top of the screen)>Enter a post title>Enter your post content>Click on Save
  • To publish live on the Internet: Click on Publish
There are other alternatives you should be aware of. 
They are listed below:
  1. Wix
  2. Weebly
  3. Medium
  4. Squarespace
  5. Ghost
  6. Hugo (for coders)
  7. Jekyll (for coders)
Cons of free blogging services (including Blogger & WordPress):
  • Your blog can be taken down if you violate policies of free blog platforms. 
  • Some platforms (like WordPress.com & Wix) place ads on your site, which can really slow things down. 
PRO TIP #1: Make regular backups of your blog. If your blog is taken down you can move your content to a paid blog.
PRO TIP #2: Build an email list. Free sites like WordPress.com, Blogger, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube… change their algorithms. Which can affect your traffic and bottom line.
PRO TIP #3: If you'd like to avoid any possible issues with your content violating terms of service on free platforms start an 'almost free' WordPress blog (affiliate link)on Bluehost. It costs $2.95/month with an annual plan.
Important! Most free blogging sites have major SEO limitations. Make sure the blogging platform you choose has the following features:
  • HTTPS and HTTP/2
  • AMP
  • Sitemap
  • Robots.txt
  • Fast speed (under 3s)

Step 2 - Find a Niche

The secret to winning in the SERPs is to “punch in your weight class”.

In other words, find a targeted niche and low competition keywords that your website has a chance of ranking for.
Without a targeted niche as a strong base, a new blog can't beat the big websites in the SERPs.
For example, starting a blog about "photography" is 
extremely competitive. 
And a new blog is very unlikely to get a #1 ranking using this keyword.

Narrowing down your blog's niche to a topic like "underwater photography" is way less competitive. But if you do keyword research you'll find THAT niche is  
still way too competitive 
 
for a new blog. So keep drilling down until you find a winner, for example "underwater arctic photography.

Each time you narrow your niche, you cut down the competition of a broad market. And make it more likely that your post will rank #1 for that search term in Google.
CHOOSING YOUR TOPIC
So how do you choose a topic?
Easy:
List three things  you are passionate about (or want to learn about).
Can you picture yourself spending hours researching and writing about this topic?
FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH
This is a very important, you shouldn't start your blog until you have completed this step.
Here's how to do it for free: Watch the video below [start at :34] from Project 24

Step 3 - How to Write the Perfect Blog Post

Once you have chosen a low competition niche for your blog it's time to start writing.

THE SECRET SAUCE:
I dived into it, and it turns out that the best way to get a #1 Google ranking for new blogs is to follow this formula:

targeted niche + low competition keywords + response post + SEO = #1 Google Ranking 
Blogs drive traffic to websites through awesome posts.

#1 Google Ranking for New Blogs [Mini-Tutorial]

SERP (Search Engine Results Page) FAQs:
  • Google page 1 results get a WHOPPING 92% of traffic on Search. 
  • AND the No. 1 position in Google gets33% of ALL search traffic!
  • New sites take more time to rank than established sites.
THE SECRET SAUCE:
I dove into it, and it turns out that the best way to get a #1 Google ranking for new blogs is to follow this formula:

targeted niche + low competition keywords + awesome response post + good SEO = #1 Google Ranking

Google's algorithm makes it hard for new blogs to rank for competitive keywords.

Not only do new sites take longer to rank, but they don't have domain reputation, backlinks, & other important SEO juice yet. 

This is where the THE SECRET SAUCE comes in.

Let's dive in:

CHOOSE A TARGETED NICHE

Check!

USE LOW COMPETITION KEYWORDS

Once you've chosen a targeted niche, the secret to winning in the SERPs is to “punch in your weight class” with low competition keywords that your website has a chance of ranking for. 

If there is one thing you cannot skip, it is keyword research.
Here's how to do it for free: Watch the video below...
WRITE AN AWESOME RESPONSE POST
Combining a targeted niche, low competition keywords, & great response post content will get you ranked faster if you're a new blog. 

Response posts are about 1200-1500 words long. And directly answer niche questions that aren't answered anywhere else online. For example "How much does an RV weigh?" 

These types of posts rank faster in Google than staple posts or pillar posts. 
If you write staple posts or pillar posts first, they will not rank.

Staples posts = shareable posts like "27 Tips for This or That". You should write staple posts after writing your first 10 response posts.
PRO TIP #1:
 After publicizing your response and staple posts, start writing pillar posts. These are epic posts that are long and very informative. They take a lot of work to write and forever to rank (about a year) but these types of posts get shared and linked to often. 

PRO TIP #2: Check out your competition. Find out what their most popular articles are. Look for articles that have a low word count and are outdated. Then write a better, longer, newer post. 

PRO TIP #3: Write 30 high quality articles on your website. Project 24 recommends 10 response posts, 10 staples posts, & 10 pillar posts. 

Give the most helpful answer to user search questions . This makes users and Google happy. It's also good for your rankings. Win-win-win.

GOOD SEO
The most important SEO considerations when starting and growing a blog?
  • Awesome Content
  • User experience
  • Site reputation
READ: [Featured Snippets: 200+ Tips for Writing the Perfect Blog Post]

Step 4 - Get Google Featured Snippets

When a user asks a question in Search, Google might show a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page.
These featured snippets are sometimes referred to as the #0 ranking position. 
They look something like this in the SERPs:
#0 Ranking for New Blogs - Google Featured Snippet
#0 Ranking - Google Featured Snippet
You definitely want to try to win featured snippets. 
Here's how:

1. To start, choose a low competition keyword. Keep in mind that higher-volume terms get snippets more often. 
2. Review of your competitors’ featured snippets as a starting point for a list of keywords you want to focus on. 
3. Once you've done keyword research write a great response post that answers a user question. Make the first paragraph in your blog post something that repeats the question. This should be prominent on your page. 
7. Make the second paragraph your answer paragraph. It should be 3-4 sentences long (about 40 to 55 words). Format the answer in a paragraph HTML tag <p>.
8. The second paragraph should also be bolded. It should be a quick summary. And directly answer to the user question.
9. Formatting your content as a list, using the <li> tags can also help.
10. Then, provide more content in the post that answers the question as completely as possible.

Important!
  • If you are a local business, focus on positioning for Google map results. Featured snippets are not seen in local results. 
  • Types of search terms that often return featured snippets are: financial, mathematical, time, transitional, status, requirements, health, DIY processes.
  • The types of searches which rarely return featured snippets are: local, info/help, factual, shopping, images and videos. 
READ: [
How to Get Featured Snippets: A Beginner's Guide for 2019
] 

Step 5 - Additional Resources for Beginner Bloggers

These resources may help avoid losing time and money when it comes to your first blog-enjoy!:
And that’s it! If you get stuck or have any struggles with your new blog, get in touch with me or leave a comment on my YouTube channel (in any of the videos).
Happy blogging! ☕

NEW BLOGGER FAQs

Why start a blog?

  1. Blogging is popular because it makes money. Top bloggers make over 6 figures annually.
  2. Blogs also get more Google traffic. Google loves blogs!

Why do 99% of bloggers fail?

The main reason:

They throw in the towel too soon. 
Some brutal truths about search engines...
Domain age affects how long your site will take to rank in Google:
  • Websites less than six months old are considered new by Google
  • These new sites tyically gain search ranking more slowly
  • Most bloggers typically give up after the 4th or 5th month

The other reason:

Traffic!

According to searchengineland.com, most of website traffic comes from:
  • organic search (51%)
  • other: display, email & referred (34%)
  • paid search (10%)
  • social (5%)
New blogs cannot compete with established sites for competitive keywords.

AND since 75% of users never scroll past the first page on Google, posts that don't rank, don't get traffic.

PRO TIP #1: Pinterest, YouTube and Reddit are proven to drive massive free traffic to blogs. 

Watch the traffic tutorial video below for how to get free traffic to new blogs:
    PRO TIP #2: Google takes longer to rank new sites. Factor this into your expectations. And consider starting a second (free) blog in the meantime.  

    How can I start a free blog with WordPress?

    The second best choice for a free blogging platform is WordPress.com.
    Here is a quick tutorial for getting started:
    • Visit the WordPress home page and select the Start Your Website button to register for a free WordPress account.
    • Enter a valid email address that has not been used to create another WordPress account in the account sign-up screen.
    • Enter a username and password of your choosing
    • Confirm that you've read the terms and conditions of the WordPress website
    • Click the Continue button
    • In the first field, enter a name for your blog
    • Answer the questions that WordPress asks including what your blog will be about
    • In the section under How comfortable are you with creating a website? you'll see a scale ranging from Beginner (1) to Expert (5). If this is your first blog, select 1 and press Continue
    • In the screen that opens, enter your blog's name in the field under Give your site an address
    • Click the Blog option. You'll see a list of available URL (address) choices. There is usually only one free option and several paid options.
    • Click Select next to the free option. The screen that opens explains the free plan and several paid ones.
    • Click the Start with Free plan. You can change this later.
    Congratulations! Your free WordPress blog Is Created.

    How do beginner blogs make money?

    1. Affiliate Marketing
    2. Google AdSense
    3. Other Ad networks 
    4. Display Ads
    5. Sponsored Blog Posts
    6. Sell Digital Products
    7. Sell Online Courses
    8. Create a Paid Membership Website
    9. Start an ECommerce Business
    10. Sell Freelance Services (like social media marketing, coaching, consulting, copywriting, design, training…)
    11. Host a Paid Webinar
    12. Write Reviews
    13. Flip Your Blogs
    14. Create Restricted Members Only Content
    15. Create a Private Forum
    16. Create a Directory Website
    17. Create a Job Board With Paid Submissions
    18. Create a Paid Business Directory
    19. Create an Event Calendar With Paid Submissions
    20. Syndicate your content
    21. Accept Donations: Patreon, PayPal, Buy Me A Coffee
    22. Meet-up Events. Charge people to attend and/or charge a sponsor for the event.
    23. Online Events
    24. Promoting a Local Business: Direct traffic to your business website
    Ideally you want to diversify your income sources.
    As they say, you don't want all of your eggs in one basket.

    How do I register a domain name?

    If you want to appear professional online, register your own domain (aka website address). You receive a free sub-domain with your free Blogger site (like yourblog.blogspot.com). But this doesn't look as professional as a domain name (like yourblog.com). 
    You don't have to get a domain. But, it's a good idea.
    It costs about $12+ per year on Google Domains.
    Important! When you're ready to register a new domain name for your site, definitely get the Domain Whois Privacy feature. This add-on costs extra, but it's a privacy feature that is highly recommended. *Please note that you should not purchase any other add-ons when registering your new domain.

    FINAL TIPS + FURTHER READING

    • Start blogging for free today on Blogger or WordPress.com. Blogger is an easy place to start. 
    • If you are not convinced about free blogging and want to start with a paid WordPress blog, I would go with Bluehost since they offer a free domain and money-back guarantee. 😉

    👋 Additional New Blogger Resource

    Whew! You made it! If you liked this article, please sign up for a free trial of GetResponse (affiliate link) before you go! If you want to build an email list fast, their exit popup converts like hotcakes! 
    how to start a free blog for beginners
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