UPDATE for 2020: Read updated guide to start a Self-Improvement Blog Here.
Why to Start a Blog? Blogging is Better than Pussy (Jk)
In this article we go through how to start a blog from the scratch: planning the topic of your blog and deploying it live on the Internet.
We also go through some tips how to generate traffic and build audience, some basics of the Web Designing, if you have no experience on programming and you would like to learn some, must get Plugins on your WordPress Blog to secure and speed up your site.
You’ll learn how to effectively build a blog, monetize it and start generating passive income.
About my Blogging History
I actually started my first blog around in the 2011 or 2012. It was the time I was just making my transformation from the kissless Virgin to Player.
At that time I hadn’t enough patience, knowledge and most important, life experience to write helpful content with the experience of 2 years of self improvement.
I decided to quit it back then.
Then I decided to start again from the scratch, this time with 5 to 6 years more experience on my niche: dating, picking up women etc.
Choosing the topic of your Blog
The very first thing before doing anything, is to choose the topic/niche of your blog.
It should be something you have real life experience with, informational blog (Like mine mostly are).
Or something you are going to do and report about it.
Things to avoid when you are choosing the topic for your site:
- Topic related to things you have no experience (on information site). Let’s say you have never went to gym and you start writing working out tips. Won’t work. On the other hand, you can start creating ”report” blog if you start going to gym and write about your progress.
- Copycat. Never copy other people’s hard work. Not only your site can get banned by google search, but you will lose authority and reputation when people realize you have copypasted some more known bloggers articles. The content you write, must be your own unique content!
- Choose a topic that can be related to your real life and experiences. By doing this you can build authority and unique content. Example if you create website about ”how to fix errors on Windows 10”, those kind of sites are not the going attract visitors like real life experiences. These kind of info sites mostly get people to find the fix for problem and they will never come back. But if you write about interesting stories that people can relate, you are more likely to build authority and getting audience. Self-improvement blogs and zero to hero stories are always interesting and reveals a story behind real human.
- Don’t select a one niche topic, like how to build wider shoulders. You can create a combination of informational and reporting blog and expand your topics from there. Example you create self-improvement blog with zero experience on gym. You go to gym and write about your progress, little by little you start building audience and authority.
When you have enough confidence and experience, you can start sharing tips about how to build wider shoulders besides all the other self-improvement related topics you had. I originally wrote about going solo to bars and picking up women, then I expanded to fitness, nutrition, martial arts and now I have expanded about blogging or making money, as I have now done blogging for few years.
If you have no ideas what to blog about, you can create progress report blog about my program of becoming immune to rejections, meaning you already haven’t done it and you are new to mastering your Dating Life. There is always demand for dating advice and you can start your own journey of blogging about it. I would be very interested about that kind of blog.
Planning the website
I didn’t want to start blog with zero posts, as I had read that sites with little to none content won’t list good in google search.
Originally I wrote my content on the paper with pen and made about 10 drafts of the posts.
Then I decided to turn those paper drafts into digital format and created localhost WordPress site on my laptop. (Localhost is website your computer is hosting and don’t require internet connection).
Deciding the name of the blog
The next step about creating a website or blog after writing down some content, is to choose attractive domain name (Domain is the URL of the site, example google’s domain is www.google.com)
I had many ideas going though my head about the name of my site I was thinking of.
Some were good, some were horrible and some were too saturated in the market of dating.
I had to think about something more personal I had a good amount of experience.
I started to write down on the paper the story of my self improvement journey, and then it clicked. I remember how I started going alone to bars and clubs, continuing it by developing the alpha lonewolf demeanor by getting shit done by going solo:
The LoneWolf Mentality
And I was ready to take the next step and register the domain name and move my content from the laptop to the live internet server.
Things to do and avoid when creating a live Website on real Internet
My first website was hosted on those free blogging sites, like wordpress.com or blogspot.com.
Notice that wordpress.com is not same as wordpress.org
By hosting your blog on the wordpress.com you don’t own your site. It can be banned anytime if the wordpress.com decides so.
That’s why I recommend you to buy own domain and hosting, even it cost a little bit.
Things you need to have to gain full control over your site:
- Buy domain. It can be very cheap, starting from $10/year.
- Buy hosting. Depending of the hosting site and what kind of hosting plan you buy, the price can vary a lot. But it can be as cheap as $5/month.
Those two things are the only things you need to start your own website or blog that you have full control.
Good and legiminate sites for buying domain would be:
They can also get you a hosting plan so you don’t need to register on another site to buy separated hosting.
You see, building your own website or blog isn’t expensive and requires little invest financially:
Domain $10/year + Hosting $5*12(months) = About total $70 in Year
Installing CMS (WordPress)
After you have registered your domain and bought hosting plan, it takes about 1 to 3 days when your site is deployed to live mode.
If you have no idea how to install CMS (Content management system), example WordPress, which I prefer as it’s very user friendly for newbies and have many useful plugins.
WordPress Installation Part I
Many hosting sites have automated WordPress installation. It’s usually few clicks where you type site name, username of the admin and password. The rest is generated automatically.
If there is no option like that, go to wordpress.org and download the latest version.
You need to go to your control panel and find file edition, which will open page with lot of folders.
There is a folder called ”public_html”. That’s the folder where you add pages visible to your visitors.
Very Basics Of Web Designing
Example, if you have know experience on programming or web design and want to start from the basics, just open notepad and add this code on it:
Then save it as index.html (Remember to choose ”all files” below the input field you type the name of the file).
Now move this file on your public_html folder and open your site, it should look like this:
That’s very baby steps of the HTML and Web Design.
Anyway, to not go for off topic and make this Web Design and programming course, skip below and go back to ”WordPress Installation Part II”. Below are though some great cons to learn basics of the Web Designing:
If you are interested to start becoming Web Developer, there are lot’s of good sources and courses on Internet which helps you to learn programming at home and in the best scenario can help you to get a new career.
If you are going to create a website, I highly recommend to learn at least some basics of the web programming, so you don’t need to download tens of plugins on your blog.
There are cons of having too many plugins, as they can slowdown your site, or in the worst scenario have security risks with bad code.
Example, you would like to have a widget of related post below your article (This kind of widgets are more likely to get your visitors stay), there are tens of plugins for this, but you can very easily create this kind of widget by yourself if you have some sort of knowledge about programming and WordPress.
Also you can easily customize the outlook of your site with little knowledge of HTML and CSS.
And best part probably is, if your site is broken due to some invalid code, you can easily find the solution and fix it. When you read the reviews of the WordPress Plugins, there are always comments that ”0 stars plugin, it broke my site and I’m stuck now”. When you have some sort of knowledge about Web Designing, you can fix there errors easily and save lot of time without headache and hours of frustration.
The basic languages you need to learn for customizing WordPress:
Some great sources to learn programming and Web Designing at home, if you have zero knowledge about programming:
Start with small projects you are interested, it can be a simple website with nice design, and you can build up your skills from there and create example online shop as a project.
It’s very possible to become good and well paid Web Developer without getting a Degree in IT.
If you are more interested, create some projects and build a beautiful portfolio site about your projects so you get viewed and reputation.
You can start working as a FreeLancer from the home. Or at the beach while laying at hammock with laptop and getting paid.
WordPress Installation Part II
Okay, after you have downloaded the wordpress.zip file, you can either extract it directly on the public_html folder or on your computer and move the wordpress folder from there to public_html.
Depending of the name of the folder, default it’s something like wordpressX.XX, you can temporarely rename that folder example ”myfirstwordpressblog”.
Now if your site’s name is example www.myveryfirstblogwebsite.com, type on the browser: www.myveryfirstblogwebsite.com/myfirstwordpressblog and you should get manual installation of the WordPress.
Above is though bad practice, as now everytime you want to enter on your WordPress control panel or blog, you need to type the /myfirstwordpressblog after your domain name.
The best way is to extract the content of the myfirstwordpressblog directly in to public_html folder. The content of the myfirstwordpressblog is something like in the image below:
All those folders and should be placed in the root of the public_html folder.
Now when you type your site name in the browser, you get the Installation of the wordpress.
Fill the required input fields, the name of the site, admin name, password…
And continue the installation.
After installation, your site have some content and default WordPress theme. There is usually log in button, if it’s missing, you can type in the browser www.myveryfirstblogwebsite.com/wp-login.php
You’ll be redirected to Admin login page. Wp-login.php is default name for login URL and you should rename it for security reasons.
Congratulations! You have just successfully installed WordPress on your website and you are nearly finishing this frustrating installation part.
WordPress Installation Part III
Now after you have logged in first time as an Admin on your own website, you are likely to start writing content and get visitors on your blog.
There are unfortunately some installation steps left though.
There are few must get plugins for your blog before starting. Download links are below (They open in new tab so you don’t need to close this article)
Security of your site is the #1 priority. You don’t want to get your blog hacked and losing all your precious content. Also you can add your site on maintenance mode with these so you can do critical chances on your site.
Some great free Security Plugins for WordPress:
- BulletProof Security
Follow the instructions of the plugins and block some vulnerabilities on your site.
You want to know how much visitors you are getting daily, where is your audience coming from and what are the most popular pages.
Free and good statistics plugins for WordPress besides Google Analytics:
- WP Statistics
- Slimstat Analytics
Some not so must, but good to have:
–WPtouch. It’s completely free plugin and you can easily customize the mobile view of your site without any knowledge on programming.
–Easy Table of Contents. If you are about to write long articles, this is great plugin for that purpose. It automatically generates a beautiful Table Of Content widget on the top of your article with clickable links that redirects reader on that chapter of the article.
How to install WordPress Plugins?
There are few ways to do this. Easiest way to install plugin is probably going on the dashboard on your site and click ”add new” on the Plugins side bar.
You just need to drag and drop the zip file of the plugin you just downloaded and it will be installed automatically.
When you open the public_html folder where you installed the WordPress, you’ll see folder named ”wp-content”. Open it.
After you click that folder, you’ll see folder called ”plugins”.
Open it. There is probably some default plugins you don’t need to be conserned about. Extract the zip file of the plugin you downloaded on that folder. Make sure the path is correct, so you’ll get the plugin working. It should be like this: ”wp-content/plugins/NewPlugin”. Sometimes there are child folders on the zip-files that can make the path to plugin like this:
”wp-content/plugins/NewPlugin/NewPlugin”. Fix that path if it’s incorrect.
Customizing the User Interface and Design of the Blog
Now that you have done the not so interesting part, the installation, it’s time for the fun part.
Designing attractive user interface on your blog. This is what I do everytime I create new site before adding the content.
Nowadays there is great build in customizing tool for your site, when you go to ”Appearance” on the Dashboard and select customize.
It’s good, but limited and if you really want to design your site, you can create your own child theme without breaking the current one (Requires programming knowledge)
There are some custom themes on WordPress, but I haven’t personally never tried them out.
I like to use the default one’s and make child theme from them, meaning if I would directly edit the default theme and it get’s an update, all the code I have written will be lost.
On the child theme you are safe and can play with the theme without breaking it.
It’s very easy to create one.
Go to wp-content folder (Same where you would add plugins) and from there themes folder.
If you are using example twenty-nineteen, just create new folder called twenty-nineteen-child.
Add there file called style.css and open it with text editor. This is the file where you can edit the CSS of your theme, like colors, text-sizes and so on. Add this to the top of that file:
Theme Name: Twenty Nineteen Child
And you are good to go for modifying the CSS of your site.
If you would like to edit header of the theme just add file header.php on that folder and write the code.
It’s that simple. Read more about creating child themes here.
Time to start creating great content
Now you have an attractive theme and all the required plugins to speed up and secure your site.
It’s time to start writing content!
Hopefully you chose a topic you are familiar or passionate about, so you have lots of unique content to write about.
If already have years of experience on the topic, write a long, informational articles about the subject.
If you want to make live blogging and write about your routines, just choose the topic you are really interested and start writing daily about your progress. These kind of posts don’t need to be long like the informational articles.
How to get Visitors and Promote your content
There are things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which purpose is to rank your site high example on the google search results.
The most important thing to get ranked good is to write long topic for your article and somewhere around 2000-3000 words.
I realized huge difference on my site when I combinened some of my short articles in to long one (Complete Cold Approaching Guide).
SEO and the Google’s algorhitms are changing all the time, so there is no reason to focus too much on SEO.
Promoting your content
There are lot’s of places to promote your site, but you shouldn’t just spam everywhere ”Check my article about getting sixpack in 2 weeks”.
- Forums. Write some informational stuff and avoid promoting your blog. When you build some reputation, people will come to your site when you have left subtle traces to your site.
- Social Media. I have heard it’s one of the best places to promote your site, on the other hand I have never tried it out. I should. And report about it.
- Quora. Just don’t spam links to your site but write helpful content. And don’t add links to your site in every answer. Only one’s that can be related on your article.
- Youtube. If you can create videos about your topic, Youtube can be an excellent tool to build traffic. I haven’t though made it yet. I was planning to create some video content but couldn’t finish that project.
- Blog posting. I just did this first time few months ago and actually generated good amount of traffic. I though it won’t work on 2019 but it did. Search blogs related to your topic and leave non-spammy comment.
In 2019 there is the term blogging v2.0. It’s not about anymore only writing articles, but there are podcasts, vlogs and so on.
I’m still doing the OG stuff and I’ve been so far only focusing writing articles.