As a beginner when you take a step forward to launch a blog for yourself or a website for your business, there are so many new things to do and learn.
Also, it is difficult to get it right the first time around without proper guidance.
You might have hundreds of questions like which platform to use, how to select the perfect domain name, which is the best hosting service provider, which niche should you start with and many more.
If these questions are left unanswered you might get confused about whether to go ahead and launch your first site or not?
To help all the beginners who want to start their own blog but couldn't get started due to lack of proper information, I have created this blogging guide in the form of a detailed frequently asked questions checklist which will not only help you in understanding all the basic concepts of blogging but also help you in selecting the right blogging products & tools.
This blogging guide checklist will save you lots of money because you won't spend money on useless products which are of low quality or which doesn't work as described.
I have recommended tools and products in this checklist which I myself have used and have researched properly.
Please note that some links in this checklist are my affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase from my affiliate link I would get a commission at no extra cost to you.
Let's proceed and check out all the frequently asked questions related to blogging.
1. What Is A Website?
A website is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name such as amazon.com, microsoft.com and wikipedia.org.
To make your website LIVE you need services of a web hosting company. These services of a web hosting company are required to allow these pages and content to be accessed over the World Wide Web.
Businesses, Government agencies, Schools, Hospitals, Trust and others, create websites with important information such as services offered, contact phone number and addresses, etc.
The main content of a website normally remains the same. That is why it is also called static content. Website content is organized in pages and is not updated frequently. These contents are meant to provide specific information to your website visitors.
2. How Is A Blog Different From A Website?
Blogs are a type of website. A Website has static contents that are not frequently updated whereas content of a blog is dynamic in nature and is regularly updated with new content.
The content of a blog is presented in reverse chronological order. Newer content appears first than the older one. Blog content is often referred to as a blog post.
WordPress.org is the most popular platform to create a blog.
If you’re considering starting a blog, we suggest reading our most popular post How to Start a WordPress Blog.
3. How Much It Cost To Start A WordPress Blog Or A Website?
Starting a blog or a website mainly involves buying a domain name and a hosting plan.
A domain name typically costs around $10 to $15 per year. You can buy a domain name from popular Domain Registrars like Namecheap or GoDaddy.
A hosting plan cost normally varies from one hosting company to another. For beginner bloggers, I would advise you to start with a shared hosting plan as it is affordable than other hosting plans such as dedicated or VPS hosting.
A shared hosting plan would cost anywhere between $5 to $10 per month.
Domain FAQs & Answers
4. What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is your website name. It is an address where Internet users can access your website.
It is this address that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website.
Domain names are equivalent of an IP (Internet Protocol) address.
For example, http://www.technicalwall.com is a domain name. To access it, you need to enter it in the browser URL.
Every domain consists of at least two parts: the actual domain name and the TLD or Top Level Domain.
Some examples of top level domain are .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO etc.
- http is the transfer protocol
- technicalwall is the domain name
- com is the Top Level Domain or Domain extension
Also Read: How to select a good domain name?
5. What Are Different Blogging Platforms To Start A Blog?
Following are the blogging platforms that can be used to start a blog. Some are free while some are paid.
2. Constant Contact Website Builder
You can set up your blog on all the 10 blogging platforms as mentioned above.
6. Which Is The Best Blogging Platform?
WordPress.org is the best platform for blogging.
Why? Because it is an open-source free blogging platform that allows you to build your website or blog within minutes.
With 50000 plus plugins it becomes so easy to use and customize WordPress.
Plugins helps you to add awesome features to your blog.
One more important feature of WordPress is that it is search engine friendly.
In WordPress, you can easily create SEO friendly URLs, categories, and tags for your posts.
Almost 33% of all websites in the world are using WordPress. And almost all popular bloggers of the world are using WordPress for their blogs.
Even I am using WordPress for my blog Technicalwall.com.
Though WordPress is free to use, you need to have a domain name and a hosting plan to use it.
That's it. I hope that now you know which is the best blogging platform for your blog.
7. Which Are The Popular Blogging Niche?
I have compiled some popular blogging niche which you can consider for your new blog.
New Bloggers couldn't take action to start a blog because they get confused about which topic they should start blogging. Due to this confusion, they failed to start a blog for themselves.
To remove this confusion, I am sharing below 70 Blog Niche Ideas to help you in selecting the topic for your first Blog.
Let's check them out.
Blog Niche Ideas:
- Skin Care
- Oral Health
- Nutrition and Supplements
- Weight Loss
- Home Remedies / Natural Medicine
- Self Confidence
- Men's Grooming
- Running exercises
- Beauty Products / Beauty Tips
- Hair Care
- Video Games
- Nair Art
- Wild Animals
- Vehicles (Car or Bike)
- Real Estate
- Interior Designing
- Other Sports
- Travel Tips
- Travel Guide
- Recipes / Cooking
- Healthy Food
- Sea Food
- Wines / Beer
- Baking Tips
- Coffee / Tea / Drinks
- Coffee or Tea or Juice Maker
- Kitchen Tips
- Personal Insurance
- Financial Advice
- Manage Monthly Budget / Financial Planning
- Loan - Home Loan, Personal Loan, Educational Loan, Vehicle Loan
- Credit Card Advice
- Tax Saving Advice
- Stock Market
- Mutual Fund
- How to make money online
- Email Marketing
- Facebook Marketing Tips
- Instagram Marketing Tips
- Twitter Marketing Tips
- Amazon Affiliate Marketing
- Gadget reviews such as smartphones, laptops, iPad, etc.
- Tech Guide
- Graphic Designing
- Time Management
- Career Advice
- Tutorial - Excel, Android Apps, WordPress, etc.
- Relationship Advice such as Love advice, Marriage advice
- Dating Guide
- Wedding Planner
Select the topic from above which interests you most and on which you can write blog articles.
I hope the above blog topics will help you get started. Once you select any topic or niche for your blog, start researching more on these topics so that you could get more ideas on your selected topic.
8. Can I Get Domain Name For Free?
Many hosting companies provides domain name free with their hosting plans.
So, if you are looking for a free domain name, you can buy hosting plans from GreenGeeks or Bluehost.
Thus, to get a free domain name and cheaper hosting plan you can go with either GreenGeeks or Bluehost.
Click here to get free domain and cheap hosting from GreenGeeks.
Click here to get free domain and cheap hosting from Bluehost.
9. Can One Buy Domain and Hosting From Different Companies?
Yeah definitely. Many people have the misconception that they must buy domain and hosting from the same web host, which is far from true.
Please note that if you buy your hosting and domain name from same web host, for example, GreenGeeks, then they set up the connection between the domain name and the hosting automatically. You are not required to perform any additional steps.
You just need to implement an extra step to connect your domain to your hosting account.
10. Why Should One Buy Domain and Hosting From Different Companies?
Bloggers who have multiple websites often buy their domain names from Domain Registrars like Namecheap or GoDaddy and hosting from different web hosting companies.
Why? Because it helps them to manage their domain names better.
Let's say they don't like their current hosting provider service, then they can easily migrate to other hosting provider.
Since their domain names are at a single place (Domain Registrars) they are not required to go through the hassles of transferring their domain names from web host to another saving lots of time and effort.
Thus, if you are planning to launch multiple websites in future I would recommend you to buy domain name from Namecheap and hosting from other web host.
11. How To Find Perfect Domain Name?
Always choose a top level domain for your blog such as .com.
Why? Because Google Search Engine indexes these domains well in search results and has world wide acceptability.
12. How A Perfect Domain Name Looks Like?
A perfect domain name must fulfill the following criteria:
1. Your domain name should be related to your blog niche. If possible, use your blog keyword in the domain name. Though it is not mandatory.
2. Your blog domain name must not be more than two words. Short domain names are easier to remember.
3. Do not use -, _, /, or any other special characters or numbers in your domain name. Users will find it difficult to remember the domain name.
13. How To Buy Domain Name From Namecheap?
Before proceeding to buy a domain name you must decide and finalize the name of your domain.
You can use the following online tools to find your perfect domain names.
After you get your choice of domain name follow the steps as mentioned below.
Go to Namecheap.com and enter your domain name and select Search button.
Now it will ask you to add the domain name to cart. Select Add to cart.
Namecheap will give you some additional option to choose from, like Web Hosting, EasyWP Starter, PositiveSSL, VPN, etc.
If you are only concern with buying a domain name, you can ignore these options and select Checkout.
One of the two advantages of buying domain name at Namecheap are:
- The cost of domain name is cheaper than other Domain Registrars like GoDaddy and Domain.com, and
- It provides free WhoisGuard for lifetime. WhoisGuard is required to keep your data safe and helps to avoid spam.
Select Confirm Order to continue.
In this step you will be required to register at Namecheap.com with your username, first name, last name, password and email id.
If you already have an account at Namecheap, just enter your username and password to login.
After successful login, you can make payment for your domain name with credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or Paypal.
That's it. You see it is so easy to purchase a domain name. Now you are proud owner of a domain name.
You will soon receive a confirmation email from Namecheap in respect of your purchase.
Click here to buy a domain name from Namecheap.
Also Read: I own a domain name now what?
Hosting FAQs & Answers
14. What Is Web Hosting And Why It Is Needed To Start A Blog?
To make your website live on internet you need a host for your website.
A web hosting company is such host which provides space on their server to host your website so that anyone can access your website on the internet.
Thus, basically you buy a space, called hosting plan, for your website or blog from the web hosting provider to host your website files (images, databases, post, pages, etc.).
You must buy hosting plan from reputed and reliable hosting provider. I recommend Siteground and A2hosting as they provides fast servers, free SSL certificates, unlimited storage, easy cPanel, almost 100% up time, 24 by 7 customer support, free backup and many other features and benefits.
15. Which Are Some Of The Best Hosting Providers?
There are many good hosting providers that are reliable and secure. But I recommend the following hosting providers to my users. These hosting providers has been in the business for many years and already managing thousands of websites around the world.
Following are the best hosting providers recommended by Technicalwall.com
If you are a newbie blogger and then I would recommend the following web hosts:
Siteground is the best hosting provider that I would recommend to any newbie bloggers. However, if it seems unaffordable then you could go with A2hosting, GreenGeeks or Bluehost.
For growing WordPress websites that has been around for some years and seeing significant increase in traffic, I would recommend them the following web hosts:
Also Read: Best Web Hosting Services
16. One Should Buy Hosting Plan For the Short Term Period or the Longer Term?
Many web host provides upfront discount to its new customers on its hosting plans.
When you buy a hosting plan for only one year, you would get discount only for one year and after one year you renew at the original price. You won't get any discount.
However, if you buy the hosting account for a longer period, let's say 3 years, then you get discount for whole 3 year at a stretch.
Thus, you save lots of money if you buy hosting plan for the longer period.
17. What Is The Difference Between Shared Hosting And Dedicated Hosting?
In a shared hosting environment, multiple websites are hosted on one server, all utilizing the same resources such as server’s processing power, memory, and disk space.
A single server’s maintenance and other costs are distributed amongst its many users. Since it involves sharing resources with other users, shared hosting plans are often cheaper than other hosting plans.
Who buys shared hosting plans?
Newbie bloggers first launch their blogs with shared hosting because it requires little technical skill, or in-depth knowledge of servers and their plans are also cheaper.
Thus, if you are just starting out as a blogger and are looking for a beginner friendly, and cost-effective option, then you can go for share hosting without hesitation.
However, if your budget is high then you must go with dedicated hosting.
In a dedicated hosting environment your website is hosted on a single server that is dedicated specifically to your website.
Thus, the resources on the server such as processing power, memory, and disk space are only utilized by your website resulting in more robust website performance and security.
However it is costlier than the shared hosting plan.
Who buys dedicated hosting plans?
If budget is not a problem for you then I would advise you to go with dedicated hosting.
Further more, if you were in the shared hosting plan earlier and now your blog has grown significantly in terms of sales and revenue, you can consider upgrading your plan and migrate to the dedicated hosting.
18. How To Buy A Hosting Plan From Siteground?
The process of buying a hosting plan from any web host are almost similar.
You just have to select the
- hosting plan of your choice,
- period for which you want to buy the hosting plan
Here, I am going to show the process of buying a hosting plan from Siteground (our recommended web host).
Siteground is one of the most popular hosting platform. It is recommended by top bloggers of the world. In fact, Syed Balkhi (wpbeginner.com) and Brad Smith (hostingfacts.com) has recommended Siteground as their preferred hosting platform.
Go to Siteground.
Step 1: Choosing a Hosting Plan
SiteGround has three plans.
- The StartUp plan is perfect for people who only wants to create a single website.
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer. You can create unlimited websites under this plan. It includes SuperCacher that greatly improves website speed.
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like more server resources and GIT integration.
I would recommend you to go with GrowBig plan as it has much more features than the StartUp plan and you can create unlimited number websites under this plan.
Select GET PLAN under GrowBig.
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name
You can choose to buy a new domain, or sign up with an existing domain. You can select Register a New Domain, if you want to buy a new domain.
Step 3: Review and Complete the Order
In this step, select the period for which you want to buy the hosting plan. You can buy for minimum 12 month period. But if you can go for 2 year or 3 year plan you could save good amount of money.
Enter your details like name, address, phone number, email address, etc. Make the payment with your credit or debit card.
That's it. You have successfully purchased a hosting plan at Siteground.
Within few minutes you will get a confirmation mail from Siteground and you could start managing your blog.
WordPress FAQs and Answers
19. How To Install WordPress In Your Blog?
There are many options to install WordPress in a blog.
Here, I am going to tell you the easiest process to install WordPress in your blog.
Log in to your hosting account from where you have purchase the hosting plan.
After login, open cPanel (every popular web host provides cPanel to manage your WordPress files, sub-domain, SSL certificates, php versions, and others).
Under cPanel scroll down to Softaculous and select WordPress and perform the below mentioned steps.
in the Choose Installation URL enter the name of your blog (i.e. domain name).
For example, my blog is technicalwall.com so I will enter the same in this field.
Then enter your site name and a little description about your blog.
Now comes the important part.
Enter the Admin username and Admin password.
Store this information safely.
You will use this credentials to login into the WordPress dashboard.
Now, select the Install button (See the image given below).
Withing few minutes WordPress will be installed and loaded into your domain.
For more information, also read: Start a WordPress Blog
20. How To Launch WordPress Dashboard?
After WordPress has been successfully installed, your URL to login into the WordPress Dashboard would be like this:
Replace example by your domain name.
After entering the URL in address bar of a browser, press Enter.
You will be asked to enter your WordPress Username and Password.
WordPress Dashboard also allows you to install and update WordPress with its latest version, WordPress themes and plugins.
21. What Is A WordPress Theme?
A theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website.
They can be changed, managed, and added from the WordPress Dashboard.
Always go with premium theme because they are not resource heavy. They are light weight and hence, does not consuming whole lot of your resources.
While choosing a premium theme you should look for the following features:
- Optimized for speed and performance
- SEO optimized
- Responsive design
- Free and regular updates for life
- Good Support
Free themes lack premium features and after some time their developer stop releasing updates which may also cause your website to break.
I recommend the following premium themes for a WordPress blog:
Recommended Reading: SEO friendly themes
22. How To Install A WordPress Theme?
Installing a WordPress theme is fairly simple.
When you buy a premium theme, you are required to download the theme. The theme is downloaded in the form of a zip file.
Let's say. you purchase the theme from GeneratePress and downloaded the theme in a zip file.
Now log in to the WordPress Dashboard and go to Appearance >> Themes >> Add New.
Now select Upload Theme.
Now click on Choose File and select the zip file and select Install Now.
Your theme will now be installed. After successful installation, activate the theme.
This completes the process of installing a WordPress theme on a blog.
Also Read: GeneratePress Theme Review
23. What Is A WordPress Plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website.
Plugins can extend functionality or add new features to a WordPress websites.
Plugins are necessary to optimize your website speed, SEO, security, image compression, backup, etc.
24. What Are Some Of The Essential WordPress Plugins?
Some essential plugins that you must install and activate in your WordPress blog are:
- WP Rocket
- Updraft Plus
- Contact Form 7
- Litespeed Cache
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- Thrive Architect
- Thrive Leads
Click here to read the complete list of essential plugins.
25. How To Install A WordPress Plugin?
Installing and activating a WordPress plugins is similar to installing a WordPress theme.
In your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins >> Add New.
Let's say we want to install Header and Footer plugin. Enter header and footer under Keyword (see image).
Select Install Now.
Within couple of minutes, the plugin will be installed. Now it will ask to activate it. Select Activate Now.
That's it, the plugin has been installed and activated successfully.
Repeat the same process to install other plugins also.
Blog Traffic FAQs and Answers
26. What Is Google Analytics And Why It Is Important For A Blog?
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It is the most widely used web analytics service on the web.
Once you start your blog it becomes important for you to analyze your traffic. It helps you to target specific audience and convert your visitors into subscribers and your subscribers into customers.
Google Analytics help you make data-driven decisions by showing you important stats that matter to you most.
By adding google analytics to your website you can track your website traffic and users activity such as session duration, pages per session, bounce rate etc. along with the information on the source of the traffic.
Click here to learn how to add Google Analytics tracking code in a WordPress blog.
Recommended Reading: Add Google Analytics to GeneratePress theme blog.
27. What Is Google Search Console And Why It Is Important For A Blog?
If you submit your website to Google Search Console it will help you to track which blog post are driving more traffic to your blog or which keywords are getting more impression and traffic.
You can also see stats related to your keywords position in Google search results.
Another reason is that if something goes wrong and your blog post are not indexed by Google then you can check for errors in Google Search Console and identify the issue.
Click here to learn how to submit your website to Google Search Console.
28. How To Drive Free Traffic To A Blog?
Never be dependent on only one source of traffic for your blog.
If you are getting traffic from only Google, it is good but you never know when your website will be affected by some Google algorithm and your website ranking will be down.
So, always try to diversify your traffic sources. Get traffic from different sources.
Below I have listed some sources from where you can get targeted traffic to your website.
1. Create Facebook Fan Page for your blog or website. Add your website link in your profile. Start with your friends, relatives and fellow bloggers. Ask them to like your FB page. As soon as you post any new article in your blog, post a link of that article in your FB page also to drive traffic from FB to your blog.
2. Create your account in Quora and here again, add your website link. Try to answer questions related to your blog but don't put your blog link in all of your answers. As a rule, if you are answering 10 questions add your blog link in 2. This way you will not be banned by Quora and you will get free traffic from Quora to your blog.
3. Create your account in Pinterest. Add your website in your profile. Create Boards and add your blog articles with your website links. Follow other boards related to your blog. Pinterest is also a great source to drive free traffic to your blog.
4. Do blog commenting in blogs related to your site and add your website link every time you comment. It will also help in driving traffic to your site.
5. Create account in Twitter and add your website in the profile. Like FB, try to post your articles link regularly. Follow other popular twitter pages.
6. Try to convert your blog visitors into email subscribers. Add opt-in form in your blog and ask your visitors to subscribe to your newsletters. Email Marketing is one of the most effective ways of getting repeat visitors to your site.
Try all the strategies mentioned above and you will start getting free traffic to your blog.
Blog Monetization FAQs and Answers
29. How Do I Make Money From My Blog?
There are many money making opportunities for your blog.
If your blog is getting decent traffic from search engines like Google then you can monetize your blog by joining some advertisement network and placing their advertisements inside your blog content.
Some of the advertisement network that you can join are:
Apart from these ad networks you can also earn money by joining affiliate marketing networks like ShareASale, Commission Junction, ClickBank or JVZoo.
You can also join some affiliate marketing program. This I will cover in much detail later in this article.
30. How To Get Approval From Google Adsense Or Other Advertisement Networks?
Please follow the below mentioned guidelines before applying to ad network like Google Adsense.
- Use top level domain for your website or blog.
- Add at least 20-30 articles in your blog. Insufficient contents are straightway rejected by Google Adsense.
- Make sure that your blog gets at least some traffic from Google.
- Make sure your blog is responsive which means it displays fine in desktop, mobile and tabs.
- Don't use duplicate content in your blog.
- Don't use copyright images in your blog.
- Your blog must have clear navigational menu.
- Make sure you are 18+.
- Make sure that your blog doesn't falls into the following categories - pirated content, sex entertainment/adult materials, hacking or cracking tutorials, unlawful drugs/paraphernalia or some other illegal stuff.
Follow the above mentioned guide and your blog would get approved easily by these ad networks.
31. How Much Time It Would Take To Earn The First Dollar?
The answer to this question depends on the time and effort you are going to put in your blog.
So, the only person who can answer this question is – YOU.
There are so many factors that determines when and how much you will earn in future.
Let's say for example, the quality of your articles, your backlink building efforts, on-page SEO of your blog post, how fast you learn from your mistakes and rectify them and others.
However as per my experience I can say that anything between 3 to 6 months is the time it will take to earn your first dollar.
We are now at the end of the article - Blog Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.
I have tried to answer some common but important questions related to blogging that are frequently asked by newbie bloggers.
I hope that this article would help in removing any confusion that a newbie blogger may have in respect of starting a blog from scratch.
I also hope that by going through this FAQs they would able to avoid common blogging mistakes that most newbie bloggers make in their blogging career.
The insightful topics mentioned in this Blog FAQs would help any newbie blogger to take the right decision in selecting the right tools and resources to create their blog.
I wish you lots of success ahead in your blogging career.
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