The Ultimate Guide to starting a Blog in 2023

How to start a Blog in 2023 – Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Guide To Starting a Blog

Read up on how you can start, run and generate revenue with thisall-in-oneguide to blogging and building an online presence to attract more leads and opporutinites for yourself or your business.

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How do I stand out from my peers?

This was my exact thought back when I was in college. 

Because I sensed the overwhelming amount of students that passed with the same qualification in hand. This meant that, to survive in a new world

  1. You need to be a lifelong learner
  2. You need to have your own voice in the world

And me being an introvert, making videos at the time was not much of an option I even thought about.

So just for the sake of having a creative outlet, and keeping a record of all my learnings, I started writing online.

Like Napoleon Hill says in Think and Grow Rich-


“The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.” - Napoleon Hill

Starting a blog was one of the best ways to do it.

Once I started publishing regularly, I met people who had similar interests, people who were high achievers, and people who owned businesses.

This already meant I was treading into territory beyond conventional college qualifications.

You see, getting seen by people just happened to be the byproduct of writing and creating online. And it came with a lot of benefits, primarily because that blog gave me my first-ever internship.

The place I worked at, used blogs to generate leads and audiences… this was new to me at the time. Also, I soon realized, that if you do it right, writing a blog opens up a big world for you.

A world where you are not alone and weird, a world that is willing to employ your skills regardless of your education, a world that is willing to bet on your name alone.

That’s what blogging does for you. 

It gives you a place online to just speak your thoughts, deposit your knowledge and meet new people opening up a multitude of possibilities.

And so to help you do this for yourself, your business, or your brand, I’ll take you through everything you need and teach you how to start a blog so you may later use it to your advantage.

Who this Guide is For?

  • If you are a Solopreneur, or an Entrepreneur or a CEO or a Business owner of a new brand – or someone who wants to have Long-form Articles o Thought Leadership articles in your content marketing game.
  • If you are a Personal Brand or a Creator that wants to build authority online by publishing content to attract leads.
  • If you are a Coach who wants to build a community and nurture leads by educating your audience through quality and targeted content.
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About the Author

Sudhanshu - LinkedIn Ghostwriter + Personal Brand Consultant

Content Alchemist | The Social Introvert | Word Nerd | Coffee connoisseur | Anime Lover 

Back in 2017, I had no real life and knew almost nothing about writing. (I wasn’t in the mindset to pursue academics.)

At the time I was pursuing academics but in 2018 I had a major burnout.

My mental health and my academics suffered, and I was completely crushed.

Most people thought that this is it — I was a failure and wasting my life away on some childish dream. 

I graduated, took a deep plunge into the ocean of the internet, and got obsessed with learning.

Now I am a content writer turned:

  • LinkedIn Ghostwriter and a Personal Brand Consultant for Busy Experts 
  • Teach new creator how to write and create content for the internet. 

But beyond that, I am a Philomath, a sucker for anime and martial arts building my own digital empire by helping others build theirs.

Chapter 1: Introduction

  • What’s a Blog?
  • What is it’s purpose?
  • What are it’s benefits?

What is a Blog?

Back in 1994, Justin hall was given the credit for creating the world’s very first blog. 

However, at the time it was considered more of a personal homepage than what we know as a blog today. But later in 1997, John Barger coined the term “Weblog”, a term he used to describe the activity he did – “logging the web”.

At the time, a blog was used for personal logging or maintaining an online journal of sorts. It was more of a way to record and share information with the world, on any topic of the writer’s choice.

Now let’s fast forward to today.

Blogs have become regularly updated websites or pages that are used for personal agendas or as a business tool for marketing.

In fact, creating and publishing articles and blog posts online are integral to a marketing funnel. They are possibly the largest and most powerful weapon digital marketing has to offer.

What does blogging actually mean?

Maintaining a blog can be a simple affair if you are doing it for yourself.  However, if you are going to use it as a tool for personal branding or company branding, a lot more thinking goes behind blogging.

For example, take Hubspot – an American developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. 

They use blog posts to generate leads by attracting a particular buyer persona. These posts aren’t random, they have a precise strategy that helps their words make money for them.

Similarly, we have Justin Welsh – he has built a personal brand around building an online audience as a solopreneur.

He uses his blogs and newsletter to build his own audience by helping people build their audience. Sick right!?

So, if used properly, blogging not only helps you record information but builds a following around it and eventually helps you monetize that following.

Now we know, what a blog can do and what it means. 

So let’s figure out what is the purpose of posting consistently.

What does a blog post do to get you the audience you deserve?

What is the Purpose of a Blog Post?

According to reports, the internet is filled with over 600 Million Blogs in 2022.

This number keeps increasing day after day.

To give you some more insights into the blogging world, check out this research by Growthbadger

There are numerous reasons to start a blog although very few take the effort to make theirs stand out.

You can use a blog to build a business and launch projects by boosting your ranking on Google (SERP) and gaining visibility.

Featured: What is the Purpose of a Blog? and Do You Need One? (Insider’s secrets)

What’s the Benefit of Blogging?


A blog has more than one benefit to count, so let’s list them out here:

1. Blogs help you gain credibility

The longer you blog, the more content you publish, and the more value you give to your readers, the better your online and offline niche authority.

2. With a strategic approach, you can build an authentic fan base

If you use a marketing funnel or sales funnel and build a strategy around the reader’s journey. And you write content around the reader’s pain points i.e. solve their problems, they will appreciate you and your content.

They will be your fans. Get 1000 of those and you have a loyal base of people who will keep coming back for you.

3. Build a personal brand

Use specific keywords you want to be identified for, in your blog and every piece of content.  The more your intended keyword comes into your content, Google will associate your image with that keyword.

People will start noticing you for that word or words. Many professionals or creators use this aspect to their advantage and take part in the creator economy.

You know! To Earn bucks!

4. Highlight and learn new skills

Even if you aren’t a niche blogger and want to do it for fun, there is still an upside to it.  You can use blogging as a way to learn new things and build your personality online.

For example, take Ali Abdaal, he started off as a blogger, then became a Youtube, and then became a full-time creator. For for everything he learned, he wrote an article or an essay, if you will, and posted it on his blog.

The more he did this, the better his network became… he was able to connect with like-minded people from around the globe. He learned while teaching people and learning from them, and in turn, showing the world his skills for learning and applying the knowledge he gathers.

You can try something similar.

5. Increases visibility and revenue

It’s simple logic, really.

The more you write, the more your content shows up, the more people come to you and the more people will buy from you. It is like casting a net to catch fish.

(Although not an appropriate thing to say, it is a good enough analogy for this situation.)

Chapter 2: How to Start

  • Free V.S. Self-Hosted
  • 10 Simple Steps to Start Your Blog
  • How to Run a Blog Effectively

How to start a Blog: Free V.S. Self-Hosted

Utimate guide to Blogging Self hosted vs free

Blogging has become a popular way to put your heart out for people to see. 

And in recent years, this lead to the development of various free blogging platforms. Platforms like Blogger or are some popular platforms that have been around for a long time.

However, the only problem with free blogging platforms against a paid domain is the ownership of the content and the feel of the website.

A free platform looks and feels less professional than what a paid domain can look like. Especially if you are going to use your blog as a means to build a brand or promote stuff online.

A paid domain gives you ownership of your content, your website, and a space on the internet that you alone will own. Plus a self-hosted blog can install extra plugins that modify the performance of the sites.

With that let’s move on to the main event.

(I’m gonna talk about the self-hosted version of building a blog.)

10 simple steps to start your own blog

Now let’s talk about the thing we have been building up towards.

I’ll take you right from buying a domain to writing and publishing your first article.

This entire process resembles building a castle.

You find land, sign a lease for the land, accumulate the raw material for building, build a foundation, do some planning, and put everything together.


NOTE: Go through steps 1 to 5 as an overview and gather all your choices in on place before buying or executing any of them.

Step 1: Choosing a platform

Seeing as you want to start and continue creating content, you’ll want to manage all the content you will post. For that, you will need a Content Management System (CMS). 

There’s plenty of systems out there, then again, WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. 

Now you might face some confusion here… there is WORDPRESS.COM and there is WORDPRES.ORG.

These are two very different entities. is a free blogging platform, and is for self-hosted websites or blogs.

Alternatively, you can use Wix or Squarespace as well.

Step 2: Pick a hosting provider

Now that you have a CMS, you need a place to host your site.

Think of it like building a house: your CMS is going to be your foundation, and your hosting provider will give you the land to lay down that foundation.

There is a variety of hosting options to choose from

  1. Hostinger
  2. SiteGround
  3. Bluehost
  4. Hostgator

These hosts will give you customer support, security, and uptime.  This makes them perfect because it will save you the effort of managing the well-being of your site.

If anything goes south, they will handle all the hassle and let you go about your business of sharing value with the world.

Step 3: Find the right Audience

Now, once you have your hosting plan set up it is time to look at the people you will be writing for i.e. your audience.

Finding your audience is really the most crucial part of any digital empire.

There are a couple of ways to do this

  1. You could look at your competitors 
  2. Dive into forums and social media to find out what people are talking about
  3. Go according to trends
  4. If you have someone in mind, make a Persona using free online like tools Hubspot’s Make My Persona.

If you are a business owner you definitely need to have this figured out for yourself, because this is where your revenue is going to be generated.

However, there is another reason I placed this before picking a niche. The reason being that to start and run a successful blog you need to do two things.

  1. What your audience finds valuable and interesting
  2. What do you find valuable and interesting?

Yes, you can pick a niche of your liking and start blogging, but just think, you start writing for a topic and there is no demand for it, or there is a demand for something,  yet you don’t know it yet since you didn’t do enough research.

And, honestly, I have been through this and suffered big time, and I feel you should be spared from that burden.

So you need to have this figured out before anything else.

Step 4: Find a Niche

As you have figured out your audience, you need to figure out what type of content you will make for them.

There are 3 different types of niches you can explore

  1. Industry-based niche: such as web3, digital marketing, and productivity
  2. Subject-based niche: this could mean book reviews, movie reviews, news, or politics.
  3. Audience-based niche: this can be people from a certain age group, entrepreneurs, or small business owners.

So how do you find your niche, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do you study and talk about most of the time?
  2. What is it you have experience in doing?
  3. Is it something that can be valuable to people?

You will most likely find the answer to the first two in a couple of hours. The third question needs a bit more grunt work.

To answer the third question you can do some keyword research, competitor research, dive into public forums, and also check on google trends. 

You should also see if it could help you monetize your website down the line. The niche you choose should check off all these requirements.

Because in the end, you want to reach people with your content.  And if there is no audience for what it is you want to talk about, there is no point to any of this.

(Although that is never true, there is audience for everybody.)

Here is a list of some niches you can try your hands on

  1. Finance 
  2. Business 
  3. Marketing 
  4. Sales 
  5. Design and development 
  6. Technology 
  7. Education 
  8. Entertainment 
  9. Travel 
  10. Food and drink 
  11. Beauty and fashion 
  12. Health and Fitness 
  13. Relationships 
  14. Gaming 
  15. Science and medicine 
  16. Lifestyle and hobbies 
  17. Your own journey.

You have the whole internet at your disposal to figure this out, but good places you can look at are Pinterest, Quora, Youtube, and plain old Google.

Step 5: Select the blog name and domain

Once you narrow down your niche, it is time to pick your domain name and blog name.

Now, both of these can be the same, still there are some best practices I would recommend you follow.

  1. Stick to the .com extension, alternatively, you can use .in, or .org.
  2. Use your intended Keywords in the name to make it SEO friendly.
  3. Keep it short – less than 15 characters is good enough.
  4. Make it easy to spell
  5. Make it quirky and unique and brandable
  6. Avoid hyphens and underscores

Research your domain name before getting it, someone else might have a similar name and you don’t want to be mixed up.

To make things easier you can use domain name generators. These sites give you some good and creative ideas.

I’ll leave some resource links in the Workbook that accompanies this page as well.

Step 6: Setup and design your blog

You’ve got your blog niche, your blog name, your domain, and your hosting. No, it is time to install a CMS.

There are a bunch of content management systems you can install on your domain, here are some examples:

  1. WordPress
  2. Squarespace
  3. Wix
  4. Joomla
  5. Shopify (If you want an eCommerce store)
  6. Drupal

If you ask me though, I’d say choose WordPress in a heartbeat. It is beginner friendly, it’s got tons of templates you can use to design your website.

Most of these templates are free!

NOTE: Be consistent with brand colors and fonts throughout the site to make it more effective.

NOTE: The Pages You Will Need

You don’t need to add a lot, just the bare minimum and the basics are enough to start off your site.

Here are the non-negotiables:

  1. Home page
  2. About page
  3. Contact page
  4. Blog 

Having these is enough for a blog, however if you are a company you need to add some more pages

  1. A Privacy Policy
  2. Disclaimer
  3. Legal documents.

Other than that, it’s all up to your imagination.

For inspiration, you can take a look at these blogs:

  1. College Info Geek 
  2. LifeHacker
  3. Tim Ferris
  4. FarnamStreet
  5. HubSpot Blog
  6. Mashable
  7. Entrepreneur
  8. Marie Forleo
  9. James Clear
  10. Zen Habits

This list is a healthy mix of business blogs and personal blogs across different audiences.

Step 7: Brainstorm for Topics

You have your domain ready, your pages ready and your designs ready.

Now is the time to come up with topics you will talk about.

Brainstorming topics shouldn’t be too difficult if you have clearly mapped out your niche.

There are a bunch of ways you can brainstorm. You can use

  1. Spider diagrams
  2. Freewriting
  3. The 5 Whys
  4. Mind Maps
  5. The Cluster Pillar

There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do this, still, you want to come up with a topic that is broad and deep enough at the same time.

And has a good search volume.

However, even if you don’t come up with a ton of ideas try to choose 3 core topics and 3 subtopics in each. That is good enough to start and optimize your blog, and a way to give you ideas to last long enough before your next brainstorming.

You can also look at what other people are doing in your chosen niche by going on sites like Blogolovin or Feedly.

Step 8: Writing your First Blog post

Pick a topic and subtopic and begin writing.

Your first piece may suck if it is the first time you are writing.

Then again, don’t worry too much, for starters just write the way you talk.

Some of you may have this fear of being judged online, and for that I would say, you just block out all the noise.  You will get better at it the more you do it, it is like a muscle.

Think of it like writing an essay you’ll submit in your class.  That means you will have to segment it properly, add sections, and images, format it properly, and have good grammar.

Upload what you’ve written on your blog and hit that publish button.

Step 9: Create an Editorial Calendar

Now, this is an optional step for your personal blogs, but for a business blog, this is a must-have.

Make a calendar that mentions what topic you’ll cover on what day, right down to the date and time.

In business blogging, you need to pay extra attention to consistency, because that is the way you get your website to rank higher on the SERP. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you pour out a whole lot of content that is low in quality and high in word count and is keyword stuffed. 

Do that and you can kiss your website goodbye, cause google will blacklist it.

You can make an editorial calendar in a simple Google Sheet or Calendar. Or if you want to get a little more organized and systemized you can use apps like Trello or Asana.

Step 10: Promote your blog post

Now writing your blog post will amount to nothing if nobody reads it, right? 

When you post on your blog you will have to take efforts to promote your post anywhere you can. 

Now you might ask, “then what is the use of incorporating keywords if I’m gonna have to bring in all the readers myself?” Well you see, it takes roughly 90 days for SEO to take effect and start indexing your blog higher in its SERP.

Until then you can promote your blog post on all your social handles by giving an excerpt about your blog and giving them a link to read it.

You will have to be a little clever here, you can’t just expect people to read it right? You will have to give them a reason to read it. Build curiosity by writing promotion posts way before you publish something on your website, this could be anything from an Instagram Story, a tweet, a LinkedIn post… you have a lot of options.

How to Run an Effective Blog?

Starting a blog is easy enough, the real work goes into sustaining it.

One of the mistakes I made in my previous projects was not thinking of the sustainability of the site. Running a blog is no less than running a One Person business, and you should treat it that way.

So here are 5 things to keep in mind that will help you run your blog effectively once it is launched:

1. Have a strategy and calendar prepared for an entire quarter

I briefly talked about making an editorial calendar in Step 9, but don’t just make it for a month or so. Rather, prepare an editorial calendar and content strategy for an entire quartet in advance and follow it religiously.

This helps with two things

  1. Not having to worry about the next idea for your blog post
  2. It will help you track your progress and assist you in adjusting your plan

2. Optimize for SEO even if you are not looking to generate revenue

You can be as creative as you want, even so, indulge in some basic SEO optimization for all pages and blog posts.

This will help you land in Google’s good graces. 

Doing simple things like having keywords in your meta description, and adding alt text to images or keywords in URLs… simple stuff like this goes a long way.

It is a give-and-take, a win-win situation. Google Gets valuable content while you get a presence and potential revenue.

3. Use different styles for your blog content to keep it fresh

Don’t stick to just one style for the blog post. 

Mix it up with

  • Essays
  • Listicles
  • Educational
  • Aspirational
  • Experimental
  • Case studies 
  • QnA style
  • Personal stories

This keeps you from going into burnout and helps you write content consistently.

4. Once in a while do some competitor analysis

If you are maintaining a personal blog, you can do this once in a while to get inspiration from other creators. 

For a business or a personal brand blog however, you should be doing competitor analysis every month to see what your competitors are posting. 

This will not just give you ideas, it will also educate you on what type of content is working and what marketing tactics are they using, what is their main source of traffic, which category they are ranking in.. etc in the same time.

Trust me when I say this, having a thorough analysis of your competitors’ content will give you ideas and different ways to position your own blog to the market.

5. Find and stick to a structure

You can experiment with the style of posts you write all you want, i would still suggest you have a basic structure for yourself and stick to it.

Are you going to utilize the H3 tags to break up long texts?

Do you want to show recent posts?

Will your content be wide or narrow?

Will it be left-aligned or center-aligned?

Have all this figured out and keep it with you at all times. Some common building blocks in a blog post would be

  1. The Headers
  2. Sidebars
  3. Your Sharabale links
  4. A table of contents for your post
  5. An Author box
  6. Footer navigating to relevant links on the website.

If you set these preferences early on you will cut down your publishing time by 70%. 

CMS like WordPress has a convenient feature of setting default appearances through its theme settings. (Other CMSs have their own versions of it as well.)

Chapter 3: Types & Revenue

  • Different Types of Blogs
  • How do bloggers make money?

Different types of blogs you can leverage

There are plenty of creative ways you can use your blog as leverage to build audience and revenue.

Personal Blog

Personal Blogs are mostly about the writer’s life. Their learnings, stories, goals… it can be anything.

There is a lot of creative freedom in personal blogs because you don’t have to be bound by a niche or audience. 

You can write and publish about anything you want.

Just think of it as an online diary or an individual life commentary.

Some great examples of this category are

Personal brand Blog

This type of blog is great for entrepreneurs, a founder of startups, an executive, and personal brands.

Think of this as a personal blog on “steroids”. 

A personal brand blog can play a crucial role in driving your business growth.

Simply put a personal brand blog can be used to improve your online presence by crafting your brand voice, and talking about your expertise and experience in that niche.

Some great examples of this category are:

Corporate Blog

A corporate blog or a business blog is blogging for your business.

It’s an integral part of inbound marketing methodology – “attracting customers with free value or expertise.”

It’s a strategic approach to creating value and content that aligns with your target audience and nurtures long-term relationships.

Some great examples of this category are:

  • Canva
  • Evernote
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Business Insider
  • Wistia

Personal Service Blog

This type of blog can make revenue from ads and affiliate links at the same time it primarily serves a different purpose.

They serve as a means for the blogger to get hired for a particular service they are selling. This type of blogging relies heavily on the CTA.

Some great examples of this category are:

Niche Blog

It is exactly as the name suggests, you talk about 1 niche and 1 niche only. This could be a finance blog, a productivity blog, a graphic design blog…anything.

These types of blogs are good if you want to give super deep information on one particular niche or industry. Some great examples of this category are

Affiliate Blog

These blogs promote other people’s products or services using links tht identify your blog’s traffic, and in return give you a commission.

Reverse Blog

A reverse blog is a type of blog that has no single blogger or author to call its sole content producer. 

You could say that it is partially run by guest bloggers. They have a limit on the number of comments, which differentiates them from forums.

They commonly have an approval or rating system, a login form, and moderators to keep track of the users or writers.

How do blogs get you bucks?

For blogs to start earning revenue it needs to have quality content and huge amounts of traffic.

Once you get that there are several ways your blog can make you money.

Starting with ads and affiliate links, serve as a source of consecutive passive income.

You can also sell your very own branded stuff as well, for example,

  1. Online courses and workshops
  2. Books, Ebooks, and Merchandise
  3. Freelance services
  4. Coaching and Consulting 
  5. You can do speaking gigs
  6. Do sponsored content

Many bloggers earn a modest $500 to $2000 a month during their first year of consistent quality content publishing.

Additionaly, if you are a more established and seasoned blogger you can expect you make anywhere from $5000 to $15000 a month.

To give you some perspective, The Huffington Post makes $250 million per year, Brian Clark from Copyblogger makes $32 million per year, and Pat Flynn from Smartpassiveincome makes $25 million per year.

So yeah, blogs can not only become a passive income source but can also become your primary income source.


Having a blog is great whether you are a Student, a Business owner, an Entrepreneur or a CEO.

Having your own personal corner on the internet where people can find you and you can build a community around something you love is a great way to impact millions of people around the globe.

If you do it long enough, you can build a self-sustaining digital empire that brings your revenue and customers for your products or services.

The only thing you need to do is be consistent with your writing.

If you want to start your blog be sure to choose your audience wisely, pick a fitting platform, have good design and branding, and make the site user-friendly.

If you are interested in building a brand or business you should write specialty content and experience-based content. And learn some basic SEO.

Now all you need to do is pick a platform and start writing and put yourself on the map.

Hope to find you on google, HAPPY BLOGGING!

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