Blogging 101: Starting a Blog in 2019 – Day 1

Are you confused about the idea of blogging? A career in blogging will give you freedom — not just to express yourself — but the freedom to make money in the comfort of your home.

When you blog — you write. You published stories, mostly from your real-life experience. You can concentrate writing on a single niche or topic or you can pick several topics and build a multi-niche blog.



The best way to determine what would be the perfect subject to blog about is your expertise or passion. Share your expertise to help people.

Blogging is about helping others. For example, when you have some tricks in organic gardening — then it could be your best starting point. You can start a blog about organic gardening and help people start their own organic garden, as well.

Yet, when you blog, you are not confined with pure writing. You can create infographics, you can post pictures along with your writeups, and you can do video, as well. With our example above, creating a tutorial or help article about organic gardening can be more effective with a video.

Interestingly, blogging is a new form of career — when you become successful with blogging — you will be earning some passive income.

There are a lot of people who are already successful with Blogging and content marketing, one of my long-time favorites is Darren Rowse. He is the founder of problogger.com, and he had successfully convinced his wife to try blogging, as well… sweet! Darren Rowse is based in Melbourne, Australia.

I have followed him since 2012. To be honest, I was not able to apply all his tips and recommendations on how to build a successful and profitable blog — however, I am inspired to work hard on blogging because of him. He also started from scratch and worked his way to become a successful blogger and mentor to new bloggers like us.

Through the years, I have realized that blogging is NOT for people who easily quit and so the saying is TRUE: quitter never wins. If I have quit working on selfhelparchive.com, then this blog is long archived on the Wayback machine.

When you are new to blogging, don’t expect to succeed right away. There will always be failures… Right now, you’d thought that with the availability of tutorials and ebooks about successful blogging — then you can do magic, as well — and do the shortcuts of money making and passive income… well, it is probably just a hype… there is no shortcut.

Blogging is a process

There is no shortcut. If you dream of FREEDOM — you have to work on it.

Imagine, if you can build a successful blog that can earn you a passive income — then you are not obliged to work on a traditional job and leave your family with the care of a Yaya or Kasambahay (baby sitter).

Most importantly, you are not obliged to work 8 hours a day, 5 to 6 times a week.

You have no BOSS… indeed, you are the BOSS.

And since you are the BOSS — you can choose the things that you want to do — the things that you love to do… things that can make you happy…

Moreover, your income will depend on your effort. If you do your best — expect more income coming… in short — blogging is not just a new form of career — but a new form of digital business.

When we say “digital business”, it is not a brick-and-mortar shop — and your office is your sofa or your favorite spot in the house… you can even do your work on the bedroom, etc. And, you can work on your favorite pajama — no dress code! It’s a complete freedom…

With a digital business — you can also avoid the traffic — and perhaps you can contribute to the solution of the traffic of a growing city. Here in Davao City where I live, the place is used to be brilliant — no heavy traffic like Manila… but right now, congestion has started… heavy traffic is already a problem with the major roads of the city.

Sitting and waiting for a vehicle to start moving is exhausting… thinking your body is already craving for food or rest. Indeed, doing a home-based business has a lot of benefits.

Yet, blogging is not just home-based… you can blog wherever you want. For example, travel bloggers do love to travel with their laptop in a backpack. They can write some awesome blog post near the beach, as long as their laptop is charged and wifi is available.

With blogging, you are not confined to the four corners of an office, or of a work routine. In short, there is no boredom. When you are doing a task all over again, from January to December — that will make you bored and it will not excite you anymore…

Importantly, if you are a Mom or a Dad, you can watch your kids grow… you can guide them and give them the right guidance whenever it is necessary. You are not away with them, in return, your kids will become closer to you…

The family is always greater than fame or money.

A sad reality, when you leave your kid with the care of a baby sitter, your kid is more attached to her… and most of the times, your kid will long for the presence of his Yaya, than yours. My wife and I will never let that happen, so we are hands down with our 3 growing children…

In order to make it happen — I had started my online job.. well, right now, I am still attached to a company, but my work is completely home-based. Aside from that, I am working here on Self-Help. As I said earlier, blogging is a process. When you decided to blog, you have to do it first on the side — during the weekends or your vacant times… while waiting for it to prosper, you have to keep your job.

However, blogging, although done on the side, should have equal importance… remember, it will be your future career and digital business!

Are you ready to start?

Now, that I have mentioned some of the many benefits of blogging — I want you to start, as well. I just dont want you to follow my story — but I want you to follow my footsteps.

The best time to start is NOW. If you have a passion for writing, blogging may work for you. You don’t have to write in excellent English, because writing will improve as long as you keep doing it.

There are several tools online you can use for free to check your writing such as Grammarly. Yes, I am using Grammarly in Chrome and Firefox, and it works well with the blogging platform that I am using which is WordPress.

What’s good, you also have the freedom to blog in Filipino (Tagalog).

One of the best monetization programs that a new blogger can use is Adsense by Google. In fact, Self-Help is using Adsense right now. Adsense is easy to set-up. This program is suitable for new bloggers — and yes — Adsense supports Filipino language. If you can express yourself more in Tagalog, then you may monetize your blog with Adsense later on…

If you are not a Filipino and happened to read this post, you may check if your language is supported by Adsense here.

Picking up a blogging platform

There are two widely used blogging platform that you can choose. A blogging platform is like a brick-and-mortar store. It is where you will display your product. Right now, since you are a blogger, your product is your writeups.

  • WordPress
  • Blogger.com

Both platforms are free to use. There is no sign-up fee, importantly, there is no maintenance or monthly fee.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Self-Help is running on WordPress. So, let me talk about the benefits of using WordPress in brief.

In our day 2, I will talk each in details and guide you for the set-up.

WordPress

WordPress is an open-source script and has an active development over the years. WordPress is supported and developed by thousands of brilliant developers based worldwide.

WordPress also powers 36% of all the websites in the world wide web.

In terms of flexibility, WordPress is 101% flexible. If you run a website on WordPress, you can definitely look outside the box. In other words, the possibility is endless.

If you want to blog and sell some handicrafts on the side — then you can build an online store using WordPress. You can blog and create an online store at the same time, all powered with WordPress.

Blogger.com / Blogspot

Blogspot is powered and hosted by Google. Most blog beginners, especially if they want to taste the water first — starts with Blogspot.

Blogger or Blogspot is 101% free of charge. When you have a Google account, it automatically entitles you for a Blogger.com account, as well.

When you encounter a blog with an extension of blogspot.com such as myorganicgarden.blogspot.com — that blog is hosted on Blogger.com.

It is believed that some 2% of the websites on the web is powered with Blogger.

If you just want to write, without thinking much of flexibility, Blogger is right for you.

Blogger is focused on writing — building e-commerce and the likes is not possible unless you are a coder.

Blogging involves a little amount of investment

Going on day 2, I would like you to understand that we are not just creating a life diary… Back on the early days of blogging, one would create a blog to scribble his daily life experiences — without the aim of turning a blog for profit…

Yet today, blogging is your career. Our career. Our digital business. So, building a business entails some expenses, right?

You CANNOT start a business without a capital, and so is blogging. That is why building a blog need some money out of your pocket. But you have to start low… Don’t be scared… the cost is so little compared when you try to venture out some traditional business out there.

While I have given you an option where to start a blog — but I always prefer you to start on WordPress.

Some people would start with Blogger and then migrate on WordPress. I have experienced that, as well. My original blog in 2012 was originally built on Blogger — but later on — I have decided to migrate it on WordPress for greater flexibility and a complete ownership.

To be concised, WordPress has two versions:

  • WordPress.com
  • WordPress.org

The first one is much like Blogger, wherein it will host your content, all you have to do is concentrate in writing… and initially, you get a wordpress.com extension such as myorganicgarden.wordpress.com.

But my focus here is the second option, the self-hosted version of WordPress. The self-hosted version is only a script, and like Blogger.com and WordPress.com — it is also 100% free.

The Self-Hosted version of WordPress

When you consider blogging as your future career and digital business — the best platform is the self-hosted version of WordPress which I will talk in details in Day 2.

With a self-hosted WordPress blog — you own its complete ownership. It is yours.

Ownership is very important when you start pouring in efforts and capital. Isn’t it?

Who owns your blog?

Blogger.com — you use their platform and they are hosting it at NO cost on your part. Technically speaking, they still own it and it is still their property.

WordPress.com — no difference when you blog on Blogger.com. You are given the priveledge to blog at no cost. You have no control in terms of hosting and the likes.

Self-hosted WordPress — you host your own WordPress blog… you decide what hosting to use. You have complete control over anything. You can do what you want with your WordPress installation without restrictions. You set your own rules.

Flexibility — Look outside the box

Use something that is flexible. Do not settle into something that will hinder you to explore and look outside the box.

While it is good to start absolutely free, you have to consider the future. For example, if you settle with Blogger.com — you can start for free — you can start away with your first post. However, if you want some advanced features like building an ecommerce store, or a membership site — you must find something outside blogger to achieve that… that also means migrating to another platform like WordPress will be an option.

Migration is easy, but technically speaking it is tricky. There are several technical things to consider when migrating a blog from Blogger to WordPress. You have to ensure that all things work as before in order that your readership will not be affected, as well as your search engine ranking…

Why take the risk if you can settle into a home you can permanently live on? That is WordPress…

Prepare for the future

Just like what I said, settle on a place that you can permanently live on… a place that you can do the things that you want — a place that will allow you to extend your creativity.

I don’t want you to start blogging right now and then stop. Whatever happens, if you have the passion for writing and helping people — make it happen.

Helping people is priceless… it is an achievement more than money. We are now in the era that everyone has given the chance to extend a hand. Ordinary people like us can make a big difference by helping people through blogging.

Blogging is helping… if you have that in mind — success is within reach… you can definitely grow your readership if your number one goal is to change lives…

Hence, choosing a blogging platform that allows you to house the future is vital to your blogging success. Don’t limit yourself to just writing — along with the process — you want to try something NEW and you want to give your growing audience something AWESOME…

Make it happen with WordPress… a Self-Hosted WordPress blog.

For as low as $2.88 a month (around 150.00 Pesos), you can run a self-hosted WordPress blog. This hosting plan is good for a new site that is still gaining some traffic or readership, along the way, upgrading your plan is smooth and easy.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a business wherein a web hosting company will let you rent a space on the cloud. Since you are building a digital business, you are renting a space so you can build your website.

It is a computer space that will allow you to host all the necessary files needed in the construction, running and maintenance of your WordPress site.

I know that some people are hesitant to build a self-hosted WordPress blog because they thought that a web hosting plan is expensive. Yes, there are expensive hosting plans suited for websites with millions of traffic.

But, there are also hosting plans suited for beginners offered by reputable hosting companies such as Namecheap. Self-Help is hosted on NameCheap on a Stellar Plus shared hosting plan, but as a beginner, the Stellar plan for $2.88 a month is good enough for you.

24/7 chat support — Namecheap is excellent in their services, and its 24/7 chat support is a big bonus. If you want some help with your website, you can always ask for expert assistance.

Importantly, we have a Blogging 101 group on Facebook, it is an exclusive group where you can ask my personal assistance on things such as WordPress, hosting, designs, and more… interestingly, I am giving away some $350 worth of premium blogging tools to help you get started — slowly and surely…

A big bonus of using WordPress

When you blog on WordPress, there is a big potential that you will become a self-taught WordPress front-end developer or designer.

That was my experience. When I started blogging in 2011, I had no idea about WordPress. However, when I signed up on Fiverr.com, one of the fastest growing marketplace for freelancers, I have realized that I need to learn WordPress.

Why? Companies and bloggers are willing to spend money for some WordPress help. The people who spend money for their websites are using WordPress… If you know WordPress — you can sell WordPress services on Fiverr.com and start building your awesome freelance career… at your own pace and schedule.

Okay, I think my introduction is a bit long… I have so much to say here, just to make your realize that blogging is a lucractive career… and it is a career that will give you freedom, as well…

Freedom to do the things that you love, and the freedom to help people despite being an ordinary person… above all, your freedom to set your own working schedule so that you have more time for the family…

Self-fulfillment for me is not money. I am fulfilled when I see my family close to me and happy!

We have to always remember that family is greater than career, greater than fame or greater than money. All the things that we do are for our beloved family — that is why being closer to them, spending more time with them — is a priceless gift — that we can both treasured with.

I believe that self-fulfillment is not having my dream car, it is not about earning six figures… self-fulfillment for me is to see my family happy — not just because they have all the material things — but because I am always there for them…

Again, I am excited to help you get started… and guide you all the way through… If you haven’t like my Facebook page yet, I’ll invite you to like it here. Importantly, please don’t forget to join our Blogging 101 Exclusive group on Facebook!

Ooopps, before you leave, I’ll invite you again to read an inspiring post by my fellow writer here on Self-help – Jen. She talked about how we can improve our productivity through personal development.

Source of images: Pexels.com (with text modifications)

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Prime Aque is the back-end guy of Self-Help. He is a blogger and WordPress front-end designer. Importantly, he is a husband and a father of three wonderful kids. His firstborn are twin girls. He loves writing and sharing.

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