You have been thinking about starting a blog or podcast for a while now, but you don’t know where to start. Well, you have come to the right place.
In this guide, I’m going to show you everything from how to get your first visitors and subscribers all the way through monetizing your blog or podcast with affiliate links and crowdfunding campaigns.
What is a blog?
A blog is a website that’s used to share your ideas and thoughts on a particular topic. It can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, but the most important thing is finding something you love writing about.
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a series of audio recordings that you can download and listen to on your computer or mobile device. The great thing about podcasts is they let you distribute all kinds of content, including text, video, music, and much more.
What does blogging mean?
Blogging means writing for the web (especially in an online blog). Anyone can start their own blog by signing up with one of the many free services available today like WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogger.
These are easy-to-use tools where anybody could create professional-looking websites without any coding experience at all!
Furthermore, there is nothing stopping anyone from recording audio files (podcasts) which you then upload to iTunes so people worldwide have access to them through various devices such as their iPhone or Android.
How do you start a blog?
Blogging is free, simple, and fun if done right!
1). Register a domain name
The first step to starting your own blog is picking out the perfect domain name.
This should be easy for anybody because there are literally thousands of generic domains you can pick.
But choose a domain that will communicate what your blog is all about.
Once you have decided on the name, go ahead and register it. To register it, you will need at least $1.
See, a domain costs money (though you may be lucky to get it for free from some web hosting companies).
Either way, .com domain goes for $8.75 per year, .xyz for $0.99 per year, and .net for $11.19 per year among others.
2). Pick hosting
The next step is to pick the perfect hosting service which includes a free domain name (if you don’t already own one) and plenty of bandwidth to support all your visitors who will eventually come to read, comment on or share your blog posts with their friends online!
You can do that by using Truehost, which by the way, is a well-known web host around the world.
The company is extremely affordable because they charge less than $70 per year (and even cheaper if purchased for a longer period).
It is also possible to start blogging without spending anything at all by getting started with WordPress.com where you have complete control over the design but limited features unless you upgrade. However, that’s not the subject of this guide.
For those who already own their own domain name, feel free to use whatever hosting service you want as long it’s affordable and reliable (make sure they support WordPress).
I personally recommend Truehost Cloud. Here are some more reasons why Truehost is my top choice for new bloggers:
- Unlimited Web Space
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 24/hr Email & Phone Support
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Unlimited FTP Accounts
- Unlimited Databases
- 99.999% Uptime
Click here to see your special offer If you have any questions about how blogging works or are ready to make the jump, I would be happy to answer any questions you have.
3). Choose a blogging platform
The blogging platform you choose is another important factor for your success.
You can use Blogger or Tumblr if you want to create a blog where all the content is hosted online but I recommend WordPress because it’s free, easy-to-use, and extremely customizable!
This platform allows anyone to host their own website(s) with ease so they have total control over their content which makes Google love them more than spammers who are constantly trying to manipulate search engine results through various techniques that used to work back in 2012 but not anymore!
4). Choosing the right theme
Once you have installed wordpress, go ahead and choose a theme for your blog.
It is also essential for anybody starting out with blogs or podcasts to pick an attractive design template under the ‘Appearance > Theme’ section of any self-hosted WordPress platform.
This step is important for any kind of website, but more so if you are trying to build a brand because it will play an integral role in the level of trust people have with your business online.
If they don’t like what they see on their screen when coming across your blog or podcast for the first time, most won’t bother leaving a comment below which means no new leads and no chance at viral traffic down the road.
The best place to find free themes that look amazing is by checking out Elegant Themes.
They offer thousands of high-quality designs created exclusively for WordPress users who want something different from all those bland blogs about cats, recipes, or how-to guides found everywhere else around the web.
They also have some exclusive premium themes that are included in their membership package which is worth checking out if you’re serious about blogging.
Just make sure to pick one that goes with the overall theme of your content while making it easy for new visitors to quickly understand what they can expect on your blog or podcast.
It is also advisable not to go overboard by trying too many colors, buttons, and other fancy stuff because not only will it take longer for people who come across your site (especially search engines) but most won’t even bother clicking below due to how busy the page looks!
5). Install plugins for optimal performance
The truth is that most bloggers and podcasters don’t realize how much difference a few must-have plugins can make for their site.
For example, if you want to do keyword research or check your backlinks as an SEO strategy it’s advisable to install Yoast SEO.
This plugin makes it easy for anybody using WordPress to optimize your articles around your chosen keywords.
By doing so, you are making it easy for your blog posts to rank on Google, garnering your free organic traffic.
6). Start publishing your content
Once you are happy with everything mentioned above, it’s time to start publishing your blog posts.
While WordPress provides a rich-text editor that makes it easy for anybody to write long-form articles or short updates in just minutes, I recommend using the free WP Smart Editor plugin because it lets you format text as professionals do!
This means having better control over how titles are displayed compared to most other plugins out there which don’t offer these kinds of features at all.
It also allows users to change text colors depending on what they want their headlines and links saying so overall it’s an extremely useful tool when trying to create a unique style for any kind of website including blogs and podcasts alike…
Just be sure to always proofread your content before publishing because there’s nothing worse than having spelling mistakes and grammatical errors all over the place!
Fortunately, WordPress offers a spellcheck feature which makes it incredibly easy to check anything you write in just seconds so any problems will be caught instantly.
This is especially useful if you’re writing multiple posts per day like I do for our own blog where we publish new articles at least once every three days on average…
What about additional features?
If you are planning on hosting images in your posts, I highly recommend WP Smush because this premium plugin will reduce image sizes so they won’t take forever to upload while increasing page load speeds at the same time.
There are also some additional features that can be useful for those looking to monetize their blogs and podcasts such as the ability to automatically create Amazon product thumbnails from existing images or a Pinterest pin-it button which is perfect if you’re promoting products on your site.
Last but not least, don’t forget that many of these plugins are completely free so there’s nothing stopping you from trying them out today – just install one or two at a time until everything looks perfect including social media sharing buttons which most modern websites now include as standard…
How do you start a podcast?
Podcasting is relatively easy to get started with because it’s all about audio.
Just make sure you have the right equipment like a high-quality microphone and recording software before starting anything else!
Also, do some research on how people can subscribe (iTunes is probably your best bet here), what file format they need to be uploaded (most will want MP3), and where exactly this should be hosted if possible (we use Soundcloud for ours).
To start a podcast for your blog, follow these steps;
a). Find a niche – what are you going to be talking about? Are you an expert on the subject matter? If not then find somewhere else to share your opinions because nobody will want to listen…
But considering you already have a blog, it should be easy to figure out what you want to talk about in your podcast.
All you have to do is transform your blog posts into audio. And maybe conduct interviews and such.
b). Pick a name for your podcast – make sure it’s catchy and easy to remember!
You can even make it the same as your blog.
If we wanted to start a podcast for your Truehost blog, we would probably call something like; Truehost Show.
c). Find a co-host – this is optional depending on your style, but I recommend having someone help you out with the show since most podcasts have two or more people involved.
d). Get some recording equipment – if you’re going to be talking into a microphone for hours at a time then invest in a high-quality one that won’t break down after just one month of use…
e). Pick an audio editing software – there are plenty available so take your pick from whatever works best for you personally.
For beginners, though Audacity seems ideal because it’s free and relatively simple to learn…
f) Start podcasting! There’s no real ‘guide’ here besides developing great content and keeping your audience engaged.
And remember, consistency is key so try to publish something new at least once or twice per week if possible!
So, go ahead and start creating content. This should go without saying but it’s very important that whatever you talk about during each episode is informative for everyone involved.
Nobody wants mindless chatter taking up airtime!
g). Promote your podcast – just like any other form of online marketing today, promotion needs to be done before anything else! Some ideas include creating social media profiles (don’t forget LinkedIn), submitting listings to directories, and emailing your subscribers about new episodes.
Where can you listen to podcasts?
You are definitely not going to want just one place so here are some of the best podcast repositories on the web; iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Spreaker (this is what we use), Podomatic, and Soundcloud for example.
You will also want a website or blog which you can easily embed those files into as well…but since you already have one, go ahead and embed these audio files on your blog.
How to monetize your blog and podcast
Here are some of the best strategies you can use to make money with your blog and podcast;
a). Display adverts
Display ads are normally bought on a CPM basis so you’ll earn X amount of money every time someone views the advert.
You can use a plugin to integrate Google AdSense or Mediavine into your blog and start earning immediately…
b). Affiliate marketing
Affiliate links work by getting paid whenever somebody makes a purchase by clicking it.
This is often done through Amazon Associates for example which gives you an impressive 20% commission per sale!
It’s definitely worth doing if possible because this will help cover any costs associated with running your podcasts such as hosting fees, equipment etcetera…
c). Digital products
Selling digital products like ebooks, whitepapers, software manuals, etc. may seem daunting but trust me when I say it’s very easy to do!
And you’ll make a lot more money this way than trying to sell physical items…
Getting sponsorship is another great idea because they’re essentially free funds that will help with any extra costs involved.
Start by putting together an email pitch and sending it over to relevant companies in the niche, many of which are probably running their own podcasts already…
e) Sell your blog or podcast
If there aren’t too many people listening then why not try selling access?
This may sound crazy but some bloggers have turned their sites into full-time jobs so don’t rule anything out until you’ve tried at least once…
There you have it, how to blog and podcast for beginners. All the necessary things you need to get started soon and make money online.
If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.