The Blogger’s Handbook – 101+ Resources On How To Start A Blog

The Blogger's Handbook
First Published: 2012; Last Updated: Monday, March 17, 2014

No matter if you’re a newbie or an experienced blogger, you want to take your blog to the next level. Don’t you? Here’s a list of over 101 blogging resources which should help you to start a blog and make it a better one. I have categorized the resources so that it won’t confuse those first time bloggers who probably have dozens of questions. Of course there are literally hundreds of blogs which helps you to “Make Money Blogging” but those blogs post the same content over and over again. So, I have made sure that there are no two blog posts that share the same stuff here.

How To Start A Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Before I actually start, let me remind you something, this guide is NOT one of those “How To Make Money Online” course but it will help you to build a successful blog and make money from it. It’s a guide to blogging covering almost all aspects of blogging and must be useful to both beginners and professional bloggers.

Let’s Get Started!!

In a nutshell, I have organized the blogging resources based on the following categories:

Blogging Basics

Blogging

The blogging basics introduce you a “Blog” which is a web journal, or an online diary. It answers the following questions: What are the differences between a blog and a website? Any benefits? What you should blog about? How to become an authority blog?

Blogging Platforms: Blogger vs. WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

Blogger vs. WordPress

Blogger is a web-based tool by Google that helps you publish your content to the web instantly. Blogspot is a weblog-hosting service run by Blogger and is integrated with Blogger.

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS). It is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.

WordPress.com is the free hosted version of WordPress. You can sign up immediately for a free WordPress blog and start blogging within seconds. You don’t have to download any software or pay for domain or web hosting. WordPress.com has hundreds of themes, and includes the functionality of many plugins, but you can’t upload your own plugins or themes.

Blogger.com offers a http://example.blogspot.com address while WordPress.com offers a http://example.wordpress.com address.

 WordPress.org is an open source and free blogging software. You can upload and install themes and plugins, run ads, and edit the database. It is completely customizable and can be used for almost anything.

Domain Names

Once you identify a niche, it’s time to register a new domain name for your blog. A domain name is a lot more than you think. It’s your identity to the outside world so it must be easy to say, remember and spell. Your domain name should essentially reflect your niche so it must be unique and concise. Ideally, it should be a .COM, .NET, .ORG or a country code top level domain such as .us, .in, .co etc.

Web Hosting

Now that you have purchased a domain name, you need a web hosting to setup your WordPress blog. Almost all the top web hosting companies offers one-click WordPress installation and it takes less than 5 minutes to setup the blog as you don’t have to download anything. I personally recommend HostGator and it is recommended by WordPress.org as well.

Blogging – Tips, Resources & How To’s

It covers everything you wanted to know about WordPress (assuming that you chose WordPress over Blogspot as your blogging platform) from installation, to set up, to maintenance and some other stuff.

Content Creation

“The key to building a quality website that performs well in search is to focus your website and content on users, not search engines.”

Whenever you’re thinking about search engines, it’s much, much, much more important to think about the quality of your content. For example, on my blog, I don’t post every day. Sometimes I don’t post every week. But I try to make sure that each post has something useful about it… – Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Webspam Team

Blogging Frequency: How Often Should You Post?

How important is the frequency of updates on a blog?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of your blog/website in search engine results pages (SERPs) for the targeted keywords. If it sounds novel to you, then I would encourage you to read the SEO Starter Guide by Google. Also, do follow Webmaster Guidelines so that you get enough Google love.

Pay Per Click Advertising

If you want to drive targeted traffic to your blog/website then you may consider pay-per-click advertising. I recommend this only if you are selling a product or service. Otherwise you don’t really have to consider this.

Drive Traffic To Your Blog

A blog without traffic is just like a dead blog. You have to content. Now, how to drive traffic to your blog? Below are some of the useful resources that should help you to build traffic to your blog.

Monetize Your Blog: Make Money Blogging

Make Money Blogging

Your blog is valuable (learn how to value your blog here) because when you have descent traffic you can make quick bucks by placing Google AdSense ads. However, it’s not easy to get approval these days. So, you have to wait until your blog is established. But you can try any of the following AdSense alternatives instead.

Where To Get Support For Your Blog?

Help
Image Credit: Betsyweber

Your blog is up and running, right? Now, where to get support for your blog? If you’re using a Premium WordPress Theme then you will get the support from your Theme developer. Otherwise you can depend on Support Forums by WordPress, Blogger or independent Webmaster Forums. If you have an issue and none of those forum members were able to help you then you may have to hire a WordPress developer.

  • WordPress Codex – Documentation, tutorials and best practices for WordPress.
  • WordPress.org Forums – It’s the official community support forums for self-hosted WordPress.org blogs.
  • WordPress.com Forums – It’s the official community support forums for WordPress.com blogs.
  • WordPress Resources – It’s the best place to learn more about WordPress with the answers to common problems or situations that arise when using WordPress.
  • Blogger.com Help – Official help page of Blogspot with How-to’s and insights.
  • Blogger.com Product Forum – Share your Blogger expertise and seek out answers in this user-powered community.

Let me know if I missed a category or some useful resource so that I can update the list. And feel free to contact me or leave a comment below if you have any trouble with any of these resources. I’ll do my best to help you or will suggest an alternate resource.

Happy Blogging! :)

  • http://www.bloggingaster.com/ Yogendra

    A very informative & descriptive guide for beginners as well as advanced users. Sometimes we miss few things that all are covered here. Thanks @ Mahesh Mohan.

  • http://Www.seekdefo.com George

    Bloggers exploit listed posts as whores. An excellent write up.

  • Soha Naveed

    Excellent tips Mahesh. Incredibly understandable for a freshman like me. I never got to know the importance of adding AdSense and found it extremely disturbing when I scrolled various websites and blogs. But your posts here made me realize the actual importance of it.
    Thanks for this post!

  • http://www.neurogoody.com raghavendrabsrg

    Hello Mahesh sir, I’m very much in love with this site of yours. It is very neatly built and organised. And i thank you very much for this wonderful post with a variety of links to very good quality reads. I’m a newbie tech blogger and still in a process of finding that blogging ‘niche’ for myself.

  • Martina

    I have to say, I normally steer clear of comments sections, but I just had to tell you, this is FANTASTIC. I’m so happy I stumbled across your site, I feel like it has everything I could possibly need. I’ve been reading and reading and reading and I think my eyes are getting blurry, but every line I feel like I’m learning something new which is going to help make my blog amazing. Thank you so much!!

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Hi Martina,

      Thanks a ton for the kind words. You just inspired me to update this blog post… :)

      It was actually written for beginners and then I realized that it’s targeting experienced bloggers to take their blog to next level… So it’s definitely pending an update and I’ll launch another Handbook targeting beginners when I get a chance.