• Darshana Ananth

How to Start a Free Blog - Content Ideas & Driving Traffic

Sharing your thoughts on the internet has never been as easy as it is now. Likewise, starting a blog is just as simple. Keen on sharing your expertise on a subject? Create a blog and start publishing content right away that can be accessed by people from all over the world. Not just that, you can start monetizing your blog and make a living out of your passion.


How to start a free blog?


You can start a blog for free on websites like WordPress, Blogger, and Wix. These are some of the most user-friendly website creation tools out there. All you have to do is sign up, select a theme for your website, and start publishing your articles.


Create a free WordPress Blog


You can build your own website by signing up for a free WordPress account.

  1. Head over to Wordpress.com

  2. Click on Get Started and Sign up for a new account.

  3. Enter your email address and choose a username.

  4. Enter your website name in the blog address box i.e., the URL of your website.

  5. Choose the free plan for your website.

  6. Click on the create blog.

And, you're done! You can review or update your details later on your WordPress profile.

WordPress has free and premium plans that you can choose according to your website's needs. A free WordPress website is perfect for beginners who want to test the waters before committing to a paid version.


They have paid monthly/yearly plans that provide custom domain names, themes, and a lot more, if you'd like to upgrade your website. This is great for people who want to start out professionally. Nonetheless, both the free and paid versions can be monetized.


Features

  • Effective and easy content management

  • Unlimited posts, pages, images, and more

  • Add multiple editors for your website

  • Post Scheduling

  • Website Portability

  • Access to multiple plugins

  • Good backup and security

Premium Plans


Each plan comes with a list of features that you can refer to on their official website.

  • Personal - Rs. 160/month, billed yearly (Best for Personal Use)

  • Premium - Rs. 280/month, billed yearly (Best for Freelancers)

  • Business - Rs. 640/month, billed yearly (Best for Small Businesses)


Create a free Wix Website


Wix is another great website-building platform. It's very versatile and user-friendly. They have hundreds of free themes you can choose from.

  1. Head over to Wix.com

  2. Sign up using your email address, Facebook account, or Google credentials.

  3. Choose the kind of website you want to create.

  4. Customize your website to your liking by choosing from a list of beautiful themes.

  5. Publish your website to go live.

Wix offers monthly and yearly premium plans for custom domain names, premium themes, email marketing campaigns, and a ton of extra features for an affordable price. You can create a personal blog, a professional website, or an e-commerce site using tools on Wix. Personally, I use Wix and it's been great!


Features

  • Drag & drop interface

  • Mobile and SEO optimized

  • Unlimited Fonts

  • Good site speed

  • Extend site features with Wix App Market

  • Large template collection

  • Good customer support

  • Post Scheduling with built-in SEO enhancer

  • Internal Marketing tools

Premium Plans

  • Combo - Rs. 125/month, billed yearly (Personal use)

  • Unlimited - Rs. 185/month, billed yearly (Good for larger projects)

  • Business Basic - Rs. 225/month, billed yearly (Ecommerce & business)


You might like: A Guide to Starting a Successful Blog


Content Ideas for Blogs


Now that you've set up your blog, you need to put out some content. It is good to be clear about the niche that you're going to be working on before you start putting out articles. Blogs with a consistent niche do much better than blogs that post random content online.

Here are some content ideas or profitable niches that you can start with.

  • Self-improvement

  • Fitness

  • Health

  • Making Money Online

  • Pets

  • Beauty & Skincare

  • Fashion

  • Photography

  • Entertainment & Movie Reviews

  • Dating & Relationships

  • Digital Marketing


How to Drive Traffic to your Blog


There are a number of ways to drive traffic to your blog rather than waiting on organic traffic to grow over time. At first, it is going to be difficult. Not many people are going to be reading your articles. Don't be disheartened and trust me, you're not alone in this.


People gravitate towards authentic and valuable content that can improve their lives. So, make sure your content provides just that, else you're going to get lost under a pile of thousands of similar blogs.


Social Media


Share the link to your articles on every social platform available out there (wherever relevant, please don't spam). It's a great way to get some exposure. Make sure to use the right hashtags to get found by the people who are genuinely interested in reading your work.


The Reposting Method


All you have to do is copy your article and paste it into different social platforms to drive more traffic to your website. The trick is to add links that lead back to your website. Here, people who are interested in your work will definitely click on your links to learn more about your blog.


You can repost your article on the following platforms:

  1. Forums - search for forums related to your niche and post your link or your articles there

  2. Quora - by answering questions related to your topic of interest

  3. Reddit - by answering questions related to your niche

  4. Medium - write articles on your niche and use backlinks

  5. Google QHub - submit your articles to questions asked by people on Google


Search Engine Optimization


Before you start writing an article, you need to do some serious research on keywords. Keywords help your articles get found on Google. Keyword is the magical portion that will help you rank on Google search results.


There is a whole world out there educating new bloggers on SEO best practices and the do's and don'ts of SEO optimization. Make sure to do your research before you get started. I'll be writing a detailed article on this topic very soon.



Paid Traffic


Here, you run your articles as ads on Google and a few other sites to promote your blog. This is effective to some extent and does get you some traffic over a period of time. However, it isn't the most sustainable of methods in increasing your traffic.


Rather than targeting a new audience every time, it is best to retain some of your regular readers. This is possible when you put out valuable content consistently. In my opinion, content is king!


You might like: 6 Online Jobs that pay $50-$100 Every Week


Final Thoughts


Blogging is not a lost art. It is definitely possible to build a career through blogging, just that it takes some time and lots of valuable content. Stay consistent and keep putting out good content.


Blogging is definitely not one of the get-rich-quick schemes. So, in my opinion, you shouldn't get into blogging with the mindset of making a quick buck. Yes, it is possible to make a decent income and that's a topic to discuss for another day. My next post will be on how you can monetize your blog, so stay tuned.


Take care.

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