Starting a Blog in 2024: MY 6-Step plan

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Starting a blog and growing it from scratch this year is way tougher than the previous years. From deciding on a unique niche to attracting visitors to your blog, the process is often a hurdle for new bloggers.

And what’s more?

The blogging industry has changed over the years, and the change is still happening, even right now!

What you might have Learnt about blogging might be a bit outdated today. And if you keep practicing the same old things, you might just be spinning the wheels.

But, A well-defined plan can significantly ease the journey of starting a blog in 2024. That’s why, in this post, I outlined a clear, 6-step plan I would use to start a blog from scratch.

Let’s get started…

1. Choose a Niche based on interest and profitability

First of all, instead of running after every topic and interest on the internet, my first step would be to choose a good niche and build authority on it.

The truth is most of the beginners often fail at this step. It is tempting to cover several topics on your blog, but it is almost impossible to get anyone to stay put. When you try to target everybody, you end up reaching no one.

I admit I made this mistake in the past. In 2017, I launched a blog called SwaggNg. it was supposed to be a fashion blog targeting a Nigerian audience interested in fashion and style. But instead of focusing on the niche, I wrote content on other topics including politics and biography.

So what happened?

The blog on its own became confusing for anyone who visits it, and the rest was a story.

Now, most bloggers believe that your niche should be something you already have a big deal of knowledge about (or something you are passionate about).

While this is true, I personally believe that your blogging niche should focus on topics that people are interested in, and of course, something that has profit potential.

What do I mean?

You see, just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean the guy next to you is interested in it.

You could churn out hundreds or thousands of blog posts, but if no one is interested in what you’re writing about, your blog won’t get any views. You would just be wasting time, effort, and money.

How I would go about choosing a niche in 2024?

What I would do if I were to choose a niche for a brand new blog Is to focus on three things:

  • Interest
  • Competition
  • Profit Potentials

Interest

While every other blogger would advise you to follow your passion, I will come in and tell you that there is no point in following your passion if there’s no available audience to listen to you.

What I mean is that your chosen niche should be interesting to you and your audience.

If you choose a niche that you have no interest in, you will find it difficult to produce content, and when you do, your detest will show in your writing.

At the same time, if you choose a niche that no one is interested in, you will just be wasting your time and effort.

Let’s start with finding our interests…

Identifying your interests can be a journey of self-discovery. you will have to ask yourself a series of questions, like:

  • What are the things that energize you?
  • If you were to learn something new, what would you like to learn?
  • What do you like doing in your free time?
  • What matters most to you?
  • What were your Childhood Dreams?

These questions will help you figure out what your interests are. for example, If I were to learn something new, I would love to learn new frugal skills (by the way, I’ve been practicing frugal living lately).

Trust me, you will have a different answer to each of these questions. Write them down somewhere.

The next thing is to check if there are people interested in whatever your interests are.

The best way to check this is by conducting simple keyword research using free tools like Google. Just type in your keywords into Google and pay attention to the “people also ask” section.

Tony's Realm - Starting a Blog in [year]: MY 6-Step plan

The “People also ask” implies that people are actually searching for topics in that niche. That means there’s an audience. What we don’t know at this point is the size of the audience (we will find out later).

Competition

After you’ve confirmed that the niche has an audience, you need to check the competition to decide whether it’s worth pursuing.

Most bloggers would advise that you find a yet underserved niche. While it is almost impossible to find such a niche in 2024, What I would do is choose any niche of interest where I can find multiple keywords with moderate or low-ranking difficulty.

Competition means that you will have to compete with other blogs on SERP (Search Engine Result Page). It could also mean that the niche is profitable (if not, why the competition?).

To know what the competition level of a given niche is, you will need to use a complex keyword tool such as the MOZ keyword research tool or SEMRush.

Let’s see what the niche “frugal living” looks like in terms of competition.

Tony's Realm - Starting a Blog in [year]: MY 6-Step plan

With a ranking difficulty of 49, you might be deceived that the niche is kind of competitive. But if we go deeper, we are going to find other keywords that most other bloggers are currently not targeting.

Tony's Realm - Starting a Blog in [year]: MY 6-Step plan

Anything below 40 is considered easy and less competitive.

Profitability

Next, I would check if there are products I can sell to the audience.

There are several ways to monetize a blog in 2024, and the easiest way to by recommending products and services to your audience. It is called affiliate marketing.

While choosing a niche for a brand new blog, I would consider niches that have a high demand for products and services.

You can find out if your niche has a high demand for products and services by doing proper keyword research, and finding commercial and transactional keywords, eg. “Best Budget trackers”.

But for now, let’s use a different approach.

Since we are talking about profitability, and the easiest way to go about it is with affiliate marketing, the smart thing we need to do is to visit two or three affiliate networks to find out if there are products we can promote.

My favorites are Impact and shareAsale.

Let’s reconsider “frugal living”… What I would do is browse through the shareAsale marketplace categories to find if there’s anything closely related.

Tony's Realm - Starting a Blog in [year]: MY 6-Step plan

As you can see, there’s something for me to sell. This means my niche idea is profitable.

2. Avoid cheap (nearly free) hosting plans

I hate to admit that I love cheap things (everybody does), but when it comes to starting a blog to either support your business or earn a living from the Internet, cheap hosting is not always a good idea.

While most web hosting companies have their unique selling points, cheap hosting plans are usually common among them.

You know what I’m talking about; all those $0.99/month hosting plans and all its likes.

There’s something about these kinds of hosting plans that your hosting provider won’t tell you. Your hosting space is always limited, and your capabilities are restricted.

Think about how much traffic you are expecting every month. Then think of how much traffic your hosting plan can handle.

Forget the “unmetered bandwidth” that comes with most hosting plans, there’s always a cap on the amount of traffic it can handle, that will force you to upgrade your plan.

And what’s more?

You will have limited storage space, resources, and unprofessional customer support.

When choosing a hosting plan for my blog, I will have to consider different factors. Things like:

  • Traffic expectations – If I’m expecting a high amount of traffic, I will need a hosting plan that can handle such traffic. It’s definitely not gonna be cheap!
  • Content Management System (CMS) – WordPress is the most popular CMS for bloggers. So, choosing a hosting plan that’s already optimized for WordPress might make sense.
  • Uptime – To make sure my blog is always accessible and available, I will need to make sure my hosting provider has a good uptime history. I would read user-generated reviews on Trustpilot.
  • Security – The rate of cybercrime is high. My hosting plan should have a strong security system in place to secure my data and that of my blog readers.
  • Renewal rate – This one is very important to me. I will avoid web hosting plans with significant price hikes on renewal.

Luckily, there are reputable web hosting companies that offer affordable plans with all the features you need to get started. A company like Hostinger provides beginner-friendly plans with excellent uptime, security features, and 24/7 professional customer support, all at a reasonable price.

Plus, Hostinger loves WordPress!

3. Build a social presence ahead of my blog launch

If I’m starting a new blog in 2024, I will not rely on SEO traffic alone. In fact, I will do more social media promotion than SEO.

I’m not saying that SEO is not worth it in 2024, but as a beginner with no SEO experience and low domain authority, it is better not to ignore Social Media at the early stage of your blogging journey.

What I would do if I were starting a blog as a newbie is to build a strong social media presence first, and then launch my blog later and direct my social audience to it.

I would do this for some reasons:

SEO takes time and effort – It can take months, or even years before you can see results with SEO.

Social media algorithms are not as sophisticated as Google’s algorithm – At least, some social media platform algorithms favor new creators. This means that, as a newcomer, you have a chance to build an audience faster.

Social traffic converts – Platforms like Pinterest have an audience with buying habits. This means that you will not only building an audience, but also customers.

Target audience is active on social media – Social media is a place where people come whenever they have free time on their schedule. So, there is a high chance that you will be seen.

So, what social media platform will I start with?

If you are thinking you can be on every social media platform out there at a time, you may have to rethink.

It’s not completely easy to build a social media presence on one platform, talkless of several platforms. What I would do is choose three platforms and work consistently until I start seeing good results.

One platform I will not forget to add to my mix is Pinterest because it is the most powerful when it comes to sending traffic to your blog. I will use Tailwind to plan, design, and schedule content easily.

4. Stick to a schedule

Let’s face it, the majority of bloggers only write blog posts when the inspiration flows in. Yes, even me! But starting a blog afresh? what I would do is create a schedule, and stick to it.

And not just creating a schedule, but planning my posts ahead!

I will have to decide what day to put out a new blog post, and what kind of post I will write that day. Plus, I will brainstorm different blog post ideas ahead.

When starting a blog as a beginner, consistency is one thing that will keep pushing you far.

First of all, a consistent posting schedule helps your audience know when to expect new content from you, encouraging them to return to your blog regularly. Plus, you already know fresh content… It’s what Search Engines love!

Talking about consistency, planning posts in advance can help you avoid scrambling for last-minute ideas and ensure a steady flow of content.

Setting a schedule for your blog…

Setting a schedule for your blog is not just about writing new blog posts and publishing at a frequency, It also involves promoting your blog on different channels.

First, there’s something called a content calendar that allows organizations to plan, organize, and manage the publication and distribution of content over a specific period.

Tony's Realm - Starting a Blog in [year]: MY 6-Step plan
Source: Semrush

To set a schedule, start by creating a content calendar that works for you. It’s up to you to decide your posting days. But you will need to be realistic about your time commitment.

But wait… Is there a thing like ” the best days” to post on your blog?

I knew you would ask! Well, there’s been a debate about which days are the best for publishing new blog posts, with some people saying it’s Tuesdays and Wednesdays while others claim it is Saturdays and Sundays. But I will let you find out what works for you.

5. Don’t monetize on the GO!

Most of us want to start a blog to make money. It’s quite understandable! but what I don’t understand is why a blogger who is just getting started would want to start making money on the go.

Blogging is not money magic. it never was, and will never be.

If you try to make money with a new blog, you will be disappointed because making money depends on several factors,  “traffic” being at the top of the list.

If I was starting a blog afresh, I would work on my traffic before trying to monetize anything. I will tell you why.

See, without real people visiting your blog, it’s impossible to make money blogging.

People need to visit your blog, view ads,  click affiliate links, or make a purchase for you to make money. But how easy is it to drive real targeted traffic and engage them?

That should be your concern!

You need quality content, a good promotion strategy, and an authentic product that people actually need to solve their problems.

The best way to go about it is by doing thorough topic research to find out what people are struggling with, and figuring out how to write content to address the issues.

Once the contents are out there,  what I would do next is to plan a promotion strategy that will help me reach my audience wherever they are.

The first strategy would be SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO is simply a way to make blog posts appear on the first page of search results. If you don’t know about it, I recommend reading the MOZ blog as it contains in-depth SEO tutorials and guides.

Other promotion strategies would be Pinterest, Facebook niche groups, Quora and Reddit.

6. Blog like it’s a Business (not a hobby)

Blogging seems to be a hobby for many people, and a side hustle for others. but as for me, I like to see my blogs as a full-fledged online business.

While blogging can be used to share your thoughts and ideas, it has another side that can help establish you as an expert in your field.

For example, when you are consistent in producing high-quality content, it will help position you as a reliable source of information and attract potential clients to you.

I’m not saying that blogging can’t be your hobby. In fact, it’s one of mine. When I’m not writing computer codes, I’m blogging.

But being a hobby doesn’t mean you won’t treat it like a real business.

To start with, Blogs can generate income through several means. You can sell advertisements, promote affiliate links, join AdSense and earn with display ads, or even sell your own digital products.

When it comes to freedom, blogging offers a unique blend of creativity and business ownership. You control the content, direction, and monetization strategy. Meaning you are your own boss!

Another reason why I would blog as a business, not a hobby is because a well-maintained blog is a long-term investment. The more content you create, the more traffic it attracts organically through search engines and the more money it will make.

Summary

While a strategic plan is important when starting a blog in 2024, it is important to remember that your blog’s heart and soul lie in its content.

Your blog content should be focused on user intent in your niche, this way, your content will truly resonate with your audience, establish you as a trusted resource, and ultimately drive traffic and engagement.

So, are you ready to start a blog now? Keep these steps in mind, conduct thorough research on your chosen niche and user intent, and most importantly, enjoy the journey!

Blogging can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to share your knowledge, connect with others, and potentially build a successful online business.

Still have questions or unsure where to start? Leave a comment below and let’s chat! I’m happy to help in any way I can.

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