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How To Start A Free Blog (With On-page SEO Practices) - specks

how to start a free blog

It's very flagrant that many people have turned blogging into a passive income stream. The emergence of blogs was to help people write about things that matter to them, In one sense - things they are passionate about or problems they were facing at a time in their lives and probably what to help people facing similar issues.

Without wasting much of your time, let's go into the nitty-gritty of things.

TABLE OF CONTENT

  • What is a blog?
  • What is domain name and web hosting
  • How to select a niche for your blog?
  • How to create a BlogSpot account?
  • How to upload and extract a BlogSpot theme?
  • Complete BlogSpot SEO settings
  • How to create a page?
  • How to create your first blog post?
  • Tips to become a successful blogger
  • How to make money from your blog

What is a blog?

A blog is an online journal web page where someone can put his thoughts, ideas, or beliefs for people to consume. Blogging has been around for a long time, and many people are beginning to leverage it. Many individuals, companies, and brands use blogs to promote their business.

It’s all about delivering valuable resources to the right audience. A blogger looking to become successful has to over-deliver - putting this factor into consideration will give you the best possible chance of success. So, how can you start a free blog for yourself or business? Do you need any startup capital? Are you minds filled with negative thoughts because you have no experience writing for clients on the web?

Thankfully, this beginner’s guide is going to help you achieve a lot of transparent benefits. Today, we're going to learn how to start a free blog with a platform called Blogspot.com (a website builder by Google - the Mountain View giant).

In the meantime, why not start a free blog today! Many successful bloggers have quit their 9-5 jobs so they could focus more on delivering transparent content to their audience. I'm not advising you to quit your 9-5 job - perhaps having more than one source of income isn't a bad idea though; so what have you got to lose? The more money you have the easier your problems would be solved. After all, it took four sources of river to water the garden of Eden - so, your dependency shouldn’t be on only one source of income.

Please do not be intimidated by the headings. Most terms here would be completely foreign to you and it might seem overwhelming. But do not worry yourself; I'm going to break everything down to be more precise. Just so you know, It took me over a year to get to where I am today. If it went through all this process and I made it through; you can also do it.

What is domain name and web hosting

Before getting started, I will like to tell you about the role of a domain name and a web hosting service.

A domain name is the name of your website; in other words, it is what people will type in the URL to search your website. For instance, YouTube's domain name is youtube.com, Facebook's is facebook.com, and Google's domain name is Google.com. A domain name can cost anywhere around $0.99 and it can go up to hundreds of dollars. However, with Domainking.ng you can get domain name at cheap affordable price. Furthermore, it also offers cheap web hosting services.

A web hosting service provider provides the space needed to store your website files. On the other hand, a web hosting company is responsible for housing our website content. With Interserver.net you can host your website with as low as $1 - $2.50/month.

For those who are new to blogging; we're going to use Blogspot.com to host our free blog. BlogSpot is a service by Google and it has been around for many years now. Keep in mind that WordPress is recommended is still the busiest content management platform and the best for building blogs. WordPress is a platform that will allow you to create and customize your website; you don't need any coding skills to use WordPress. Creating a blog or website with WordPress will require a hosting service and a domain name. If you want to use WP, you need to purchase a hosting plan. For the sake of beginners, we're not going to use WP to create a blog, we're going to use BlogSpot.

Blogspot.com does not require you to buy any hosting plan because Google would host your files for you with no cost. You only need to buy a domain name because you'll need it if you want to monetize your blog with Google Adsense which we would still talk about in the upcoming modules..

How to start a free blog in 5 minutes

How to select a niche for your blog?

You need to narrow down your audience before you can start producing content for them. Before you start writing content for your blog, you need to have an insight into your niche. We can't just go about producing any content for random individuals. The more specific you are the more people you will reach. Having identified your niche, you need to find four suitable categories that will support it. If you're going for the health niche; you could have other categories like Crypto, selling courses with Tiktok, affiliate marketing, and other related topics. You need to have a clear idea of what people are interested in before you begin to produce content. If nobody is interested in your topic - trust me, you'll have a tough time promoting your content online. I recommend you check Google Trends or any other keyword research tool to like answerthepublic.com to see how interest in a topic is increasing and decreasing over time. After you have finally decided on what your niche should be, then you can start planning your content so it would suit the interest of searchers. Use keyword research tools to discover the search terms your audience is searching for. You can use this data to tailor your content accordingly.

For starters, you'll need to have a Google Account. With your Google account, you can access all of Google's products and services like Gmail, YouTube, Maps, and more. If you do not have a Google account, go to https://account.google.com/ to create an account. If you already have a Google account, go to Blogspot.com to create your free blog account.

Title :

You can type in the title you want to give your blog. The title is the piece of text that would display at the top of your browser. Set your display - your real name or you stay anonymous.

URL :

Choose a unique name for your blog. Your blog name might have some sought keywords related to your industry. If you're going into the "health and fitness niche"; your blog name could have some related keywords like ÷ exercise, workout, weight, and nutrition. Keep in mind that this could help your blog get noticed when searchers are looking for information.

So, what if your site name your blog (bellafitness.org or workoutguide.com) sounds cool right? Having done that go ahead and save - boom your blog is live on the internet; we're just getting started and to be Frank with you, you have so much work to do to keep your blog running.

How to upload and extract a BlogSpot theme?

However, our website is now live and it may seem basic. By default, blogger would assign a template to your blog. Don't worry you can edit your new blog and make it attractive in no time. To start editing, we need to login to our blogger dashboard and navigate to "theme" - here you can upload, restore/upload a new theme, optimize your blog for mobile and also edit the entire blog. To make your blog attractive, click on restore to upload a new theme.

A template or theme is a design that allows you to customize the appearance of your site. The advantage of using a theme is that we don't have to design our blog from scratch. If you got blogger default themes, I bet you won't have any attractive themes. So, we're going to download an attractive theme online. The mean I'm using for my blog was purchased for $30 way back in 2019. Simply go to Google and search for "free blogger templates" and you'll find a huge collection of free themes to download. If you've found an attractive template you like, download it. It is worth knowing that most of the templates have .zip extension, so you can't use it unless you unzip it. To unzip your template, head over to eazyzip.com to unzip files online. Download the .html extension of the template you unzipped. Once you download the new file, go to your admin dashboard to upload it.

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Complete BlogSpot SEO settings

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the practice a website must undergo in other for a website to increase its traffic, ranking, and visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs). There are basically three kinds of SEO practices we can do, they include: On-page SEO (these are practices done inside the website), Off-page SEO (these are practices outside the website e.g. posting on social media) then finally we have Technical SEO. This has to do with your website speed, buying and linking of domain names, and securing your website with SSL. Below are the best On-page SEO practices for your blog.
  1. Keyword Research:

  2. Keyword research is the process of looking for possible search terms or phrases people type in the URL of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex when looking for products, services, or even general information. Keyword research is important because it gives us the ultimate opportunity to rank well in search engines for any specific topic people are looking for. We'll talk more about keyword research in the modules below.
  3. Meta Description:

    A Meta description is a little piece of words that appears under the blue link of any search result. The function is to give an insight into the content the author is trying to communicate to you. A Meta description doesn't appear on your blog but it appears only in a search engine result index. The aim of Meta description is to give an insight into what the content of the web page is about and also to persuade and convince the searcher to click through the search result to your site. The Meta description creates the first impression; it should include a compelling description that will trigger a user to click on.
  4. Robot.txt File:

  5. Robot.txt file extension is a piece of command created for bots. You can upload this file on your blog. The function of a robot.txt file is to instruct search engine spider/bot/crawler which URLs to access on your blog. So, if you want your blog to have control over what is being crawled, then you need this file. It's very easy to generate a robot.txt file. To generate the file; head over to Smallseotools.com to generate a robot.txt file. "Allow all search engines" and copy the generated script then paste it on your blog.
  6. Google Search Console:

  7. Google Search Console is a collection of tools that will help your blog and also monitor its performance in the Google search index. Google developed this tool to help you resolve server errors you might encounter, site load performance, and security issues like hacking. To make your blog shine in search result pages, you need to set up search console. To begin with, go to search console . Select get started button. Click on the menu icon at the top left corner and select Add Property. then type in your blog URL, Continue and Google will very your property immediately. To check how your blog is performing over time, click on performance. For other issues that may arise, you can fix them here.
  8. Analytics:

  9. Google Analytics is a powerful tool by Google that enables you to review and get an insight into how your blog is doing online. Google Analytics will record the rate at which visitors visit your blog and how they left off after, analytics will tell you the gender, age, device, and location of the visitors that came to your blog. Analytics can help you leverage traffic by providing insight into what view caught the attention of your readers. Google Analytics will help you to know which content has the most engagement on your blog by generating a breakdown of page views. This tool can do wonders for your online business. So, let's see how we can install Google Analytics on our blog.

    How to create a page

    The contact page, about page, privacy policy page, sitemap page, and terms of use page are the most important pages your new blog should have. Having created your pages, you can then link them using HTML. Pages are usually used to add stagnant content that doesn't change very often. For example, a contact us page enables readers to easily reach you when there is a need. A contact page can include a form that your visitors can fill out or your social media links. To create a page on blogger, go to your admin dashboard; select the menu icon on the top left corner, and click on a page. "Add new page" . A page title is the name of the page. For instance, About US. Write a piece of content about your blog. You can add your brand image too. We want to make sure that visitors will not be able to comment on the page, so go to the page settings by the right-hand side to disable readers’ comments. When you are satisfied which that, click publish.

    How to create your first blog post

    Before you begin to write our content; you should do your keyword research - we want to know how the keyword is doing over time. We are going to use wordtracker.com to find keywords for our content. Before I wrote this content, I conducted my research and discovered that 1150 people in the United States are searching for how to start a free blog every single month. This is a good keyword that can put my blog in front of people looking to start their journey in content writing without breaking the bank. So to begin with, go to wordtracker.com - type the keywords you want to rank for into the search box. For example, how does affiliate marketing work. Select the country you wish to target and search. Wordtracker will now show you the metrics of the keyword. Pay close attention to the search volume (the average number of people searching for the keyword per month over the last 12 months). You'll see the keyword competition and IAAT (the total number of web pages that have exactly the keyword in the blue link that will show on Google search results and also in the anchor text). The IAAT can act as keyword density and the figure shouldn't be high; 15 - 20 is the maximum. So, be mindful when selecting your keywords. Once you have a clear idea of the keyword you want to rank for; you can start writing.

    Some notable qualities of easy to rank keywords

    • Long tail keywords and Scarcity
Long tail keywords should ideally be 4 - 6 words. For example, how to optimize a blog post for SEO. Use keywords or phrases that are frequently searched for by people but are not being used by many websites. You can look at your competitor’s website to see if they are placing those keywords correctly. That being said, also check if the keywords show as the blue link on Google search result page. If you cannot find that, then probably the keyword is scarce, your competitors are not aware of the keyword or they do not know how to target the keywords.

Your keywords should be used in the post title, place keywords in the first and last paragraph of your content. You are only allowed to use the keywords only once in (h1) tags and in two or more subheads like (h2, h3, and h4). It's not necessary to have them in every location; it depends on the structure of your content. You can also place keywords in the post description. Depending on how lengthy my content is, my keywords should appear roughly about 7 times in my write-up. Pay close attention to the ALT text of your images. Try to add a sensible description for the image ALT. ALT texts enable search engines to index your images as quickly as possible. ALT text also helps visually impaired persons to understand what the image is all about.

Tips to become a successful blogger

  1. Focus on helping people:
  2. When you start your blog, you shouldn't focus on how to make money. Of course, we want to make money from blogging but that shouldn’t be your priority. Your focus should be on how you can deliver value to your audience. Keep in mind that there are other sites doing exactly the same thing as you. If your visitors do not find your content engaging or relevant, they might just hit the back button on their browser and go to another website. Do not focus on how to make money when you're starting out - focus on how you can help your audience solve their problems.
  3. Be outstanding:
  4. You need to be different from the crowd. Find what works best for you and make that your standard. Look at what your competitors are doing to improve their websites and copy their strategy. Let the quality of what you offer to people be unique.
  5. Over deliver:
  6. To be outstanding takes a lot of effort and time. You can go the extra mile to give your audience the best content possible. Look out for what possible questions your audience may likely want to ask and try to answer them within your content.
  7. Persevere:
  8. Keep doing what you're doing even if you do not succeed. The only way to be successful online is to be consistent with your work. No matter the situation you're passing through, do not give up. I have a lot of friends who cannot afford to go to the university or who could not do what they dreamt of becoming simply because there's no support from anyone. When I started my first blog in 2016, there was no one to help me out. Still, I kept pushing through because I knew what I want to achieve.

How to make money from your blog

  1. Affiliate Marketing:
  2. Is the process of promoting a product or service for a company or brand. Every time someone buys the product or service you're promoting, you're getting a share of the money the product owner is receiving. On my blog, I'm promoting several products like systeme.io (all-in-one marketing platform), Adscreative (14x better conversion rate on Google ads plus free $500 credit), Getresponse (a powerful email marketing service with automation, autoresponder, and landing page builder), interserver.net (one of the cheapest web hosting company). If you review any of the services above and you purchase a paid plan on them, I will get a share of the money going to the company. systeme.io, Adscreative, and Getresponse are companies that are delivering valuable and transparent services to people from all walks of life. Anytime someone buys a product or someone takes action on those products and services directly on their website, the company takes all the profit.

    Interserver.net is one of the leading web hosting provider in the world - as a matter of fact, interserver is a recommended for hosting your WordPress website or blog. Interserver.net wants to make extra income by providing space for people to host their website - so, they will begin to look for affiliate marketers. People who can promote their product for them. I've registered as an Interserver.net affiliate marketer - and I have my unique affiliate link. Whenever someone buys a web hosting plan through my affiliate link I will get $100 as a commission. You are not promoting these products for free.

    Here is another scenario. A WordPress expert has made a course so he could teach beginners the ins and out of WordPress. He's selling his course for $100. He's looking for affiliate marketers who would help him promote his coursed and they will earn 40% of the $100. The owner of the WordPress course would earn $100 every time any of his affiliate marketers drives sales, but this time, the $100 isn't for the course owner alone. He gets $60 and then the affiliate marketers get $40. The owner of the course is happy, the affiliate marketer is happy, and the person who bought the course is also happy - everybody is happy and it's a win-win situation for you. I wrote a detailed step-by-step guide on how to do affiliate marketing, you can check it out.

  3. Google Adsense:
  4. Adsense is a platform by Google. It was created to help those who have websites with valuable content. Google Adsense is one of the best ways to earn money from your website, blog, or forum by placing ads on them. Each time someone clicks or views those ads on your website you'll earn from it. Adsense has become very strict this day. Your website needs to meet and adhere to its policies before you can get approval. Adsense would not approve a site that does not produce original content or a site that uses an AI content generator to produce content. Your website should be very easy to navigate and accessible by Google. Way back in 2019, I didn't get approved upon my first application because my site was down/unavailable. Google could not access my blog. After fixing the issue, I reapplied and I got approved. Your blog content should be unique and relevant. You can read more on how to monetize a website with Google Adsense so you won’t get denied when you apply.
  5. Selling your own product:
  6. A lot of people are making thousands of dollars these days with Amazon Kindle Publish (KDP). I haven't leveraged KDP yet but the profit is very huge. You can write on a topic you're passionate about. If you have many years of experience in a particular aspect of life you can write about it. Keep in mind that the product you're selling on your blog should closely match your niche. You cannot write a marriage cancelling-eBook for an audience interested in learning forex trading. The more you narrow down your audience, the more specific you become and the more insight you have about them so you can give them what they need.

    You can sell your own producte eBooks, or online courses on your website with systeme.io (all-in-one marketing platform for business owners). It has all you need to market and sell your products online. I'll recommend you use systeme.io because it has an online course creator tool. You can create digital courses for your audience, build a free website, start a blog, and send unlimited emails with their email marketing system and more marketing features.

      Conclusion: how to start a free blog (with on-page SEO practices)

      I'm glad that you read this content up to this point and that's a clear indication that you are so interested in this content. It took so much time and effort to put this content together - so, I'd be so glad if you share this content on popular social media platforms and forums to help a lot of people out there. You can subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest news and career-changing updates like grants and competitions for content creators. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this content, please drop your comments below and I'll reply to all of them. It is also worth knowing that this content contains affiliate links to products and services that would help you solve your daily problems - if you purchase any product through those links I will earn from them and this is the best support you can ever give to me. Now that you have learned how how to start a free blog you can begin to create your free blog. I wish you a successful blogging career - see you in the next post.

      About Frank Chukwurah

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