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!!
- Minterest Web Directory – It’s a Web Directory for Bloggers, Internet Marketers & Webmasters organized by category.
- My Favorite Tech & Marketing Blogs – It’s a list of my favorite tech and marketing blogs organized by category.
- Content Discovery Tools – Over 25 tools to find great social media content.
- Content Curation Tools – If you’re a blogger then you should start content curation too.
- New to Minterest? Start here!
In a nutshell, I have organized the blogging resources based on the following categories:
- Blogging Basics (Scroll down)
- Blogging Platforms (Scroll down)
- Domain Names (Scroll down)
- Web Hosting (Scroll down)
- Blogging – Tips, Resources & How To’s (Scroll down)
- Content Creation (Scroll down)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (Scroll down)
- Pay Per Click Advertising (Scroll down)
- Driving Traffic (Scroll down)
- Blog Monetization (Scroll down)
- Blog Support (Scroll down)
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?
- What Is A Blog? – If you’re new to the world of blogging.
- Blog Or Website – The Real Difference – What’s the real difference between a blog and web site? What makes a blog stand out?
- 21 Key Benefits Of Blogging – What are the benefits of blogging? And, how can you benefit from having your own blog?
- How To Find Your Passion – You must be passionate about what you’re writing about. So, discover your passion before you start blogging.
- How To Choose A Niche Topic For Your Blog – Once you find your passion you must choose a niche topic for your blog. E.g. if you’re passionate about “Health” then you can blog “Health Tips”.
- Why Niche Blogging Is Better Than General Blogging – Reasons why niche blogging is more effective than a general blog which focuses on almost anything.
- How To Become An Authority In Your Niche – Now, learn why you should become an authority in your niche.
Blogging Platforms: Blogger vs. WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
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.
- WordPress vs. Blogger (Blogspot) – Compare WordPress and Blogger.
- WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org – Compare WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
- Choosing A WordPress Theme: Free Or Premium? – Pros and Cons of Free & Premium WordPress Themes.
- Free WordPress Themes Directory – Collection of over 1,500 Free WordPress Themes with a graphical and textual preview available for each theme. Or go to http://www.your-domain.com/wp-admin/theme-install.php and use “Feature Filter” to find a theme based on specific features and install in one-click.
- Top 15 Premium WordPress Theme Marketplaces – If you’re looking for a premium WordPress theme then it’s the best place to start.
- WordPress Plugin Directory – With over 20,000 free plugins you can extend your WordPress blog to do almost anything you can imagine. Or go to http://www.your-domain.com/wp-admin/plugin-install.php and install any plugin in one-click.
- How To Import Content Into WordPress From Another Content Management System (CMS) – If you have a content on Joomla, Drupal etc. then you can still import the same to your self-hosted WordPress blog.
- How To Migrate Your Blog From Blogger To WordPress
– If you already own a blog at Blogger then you can migrate to WordPress.
- How To Migrate Your Blog From WordPress.com To
WordPress.org – If you already own a blog at WordPress.com then you
can migrate to self-hosted WordPress.org.
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.
- Branding & Domain Names – It’s all about branding and it’s importance.
- Choosing The Domain Name For Your Blog [Beginners Guide] – It helps you to choose a domain name by explaining the factors to consider when choosing one.
- How To Hack A Dominating Domain Name For Your Website [Advanced Guide] – It’s a more advanced guide on how to choose a domain name with 17 super useful domain finder tools.
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.
- Domains vs. Hosting vs. Website – So what’s the difference between domain names, hosting, and a website?
- Web Hosting Comparison – Top 25 Web Hosting Companies – It’s the ultimate web hosting comparison chart that compares the best web hosting companies by price and features. So compare the top 25 web hosting companies and sign up for one.
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.
- How To Install WordPress On HostGator – If you signed up for another web hosting company then you can contact their support team for help or do a site search to get instructions.
- Getting Started With WordPress: Basic Settings – Once you install WordPress you should configure some basic settings.
- Top 37 WordPress Plugins To Supercharge Your Blog In 2014 – It’s my personal review of over 30 essential plugins with quick stats of each plugin like – Rating, Downloads & Last Updated Date.
- How To Find Free Stock Photos – Over 20 websites to get free stock photos, images & clipart for your blog.
- 7 Must Have Sidebar Widgets On Your Blog – Sidebar is essential so that your visitors can access your contents easily.
- How To Setup Google Analytics On WordPress – You must install Google Analytics on day 1 itself to analyze your traffic.
- 3 Steps To Identify Blog Topics That Are Relevant To Your Audience – If you still don’t know what to write about.
- How To Setup RSS & E-mail Subscriptions In FeedBurner? – You must host your RSS feeds on FeedBurner and must redirect all your WordPress RSS feeds to FeedBurner.
- 15 Tips To Speed Up Your Website [Advanced Guide] – Speed matters! It’s an advanced guide on how to speed up your blog/website.
- How To Design Your Blog For Awesome SEO – It offers some guidelines to follow while designing your blog.
- 9 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid – It points out the common failures which you should avoid.
- How To Show Your Author Information In Google Search Results – Show your Google+ profile picture on Google SERPs as it increases the credibility.
- How To Increase The Security Of Your WordPress Blog – It’s a list of WordPress security tips by a professional blogger whose blog was hacked recently.
- 13 Google Analytics Alternatives – If you have a business blog or an e-commerce blog then you should try some Google Analytics alternatives which offers advanced features.
- 17 Statistics to Monitor on Your Blog – It features 17 metrics of your blog which you should monitor.
- The Art Of Social Media Timing – Find out when is the best time to share on social media.
“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?
- 26 Tips For Writing Great Blog Posts – It offers 26 tips for writing a great blog post.
- 52 Types Of Blog Posts That Are Proven To Work – It introduces the types of blog posts which gains attention.
- How To Create Great Content That Performs Well In Search Engines – It’s a Google Webmaster Help Video that tells you how to create great content.
- What Is “High Quality Content” According To Google? – It lists some of the key points to ask yourself when you create content.
- What Is “Low Quality” Content? – Just in case you want to know how they define low quality content or thin content.
- 20 Ideas To Write Catchy Blog Titles – It’s an interesting article that features 20 great title ideas for your next blog post that compels your visitors to “click”.
- 50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills – Over 50 tools and resources to help you improve your writing skills.
- Why You Should Target Long Tail Keywords – It tells you why should target long-tail keywords while writing a blog post.
- 50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills – It’s a collection of over 50 useful resources that will help you to improve your content writing skills.
- Interlink Your Old Blog Posts – It tells the importance of linking your own content.
- Using Outbound Links To Improve Your Blog – Learn why you should link to other blogs/bloggers.
- 12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time – It features 12 blogging mistakes which you should avoid.
- Daily Blogging – Should you blog daily?
- The Secret To ‘Daily Blogging’ Is To ‘Start Writing’ A Blog Post – What you should know if you’re struggling to write a blog post daily.
- 21 Tips To Earn Links And Tweets To Your Blog Post – It’s a powerful guide on how to write a killer blog post which acts as a link bait (the art of creating high-quality content that users will appreciate and link to).
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.
- 40 Essential SEO Terms Marketers Should Know [Glossary] – It’s a complete glossary of essential SEO terms.
- Analyze A Top Blog In Your Niche [For Competitor Analysis] – Perform some analysis on a successful blog in your niche.
- 10 Free SEO Analysis Tools For Competitive Analysis – It’s all about identifying your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
- How To Do SEO Keyword Research? – What is SEO Keyword Research and learn how to do it using Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
- 10 Free SEO Keyword Density Tools – You must be careful about the Keyword Density of your pages as Google will penalize you if you stuff it.
- How To Check Keyword Ranking On Google SERPs? – Lean how to track the position of your keywords in search engine result pages.
- Link Building Strategies And Tips – Post Google Panda & Penguin – Get some link building strategies, ideas and tips. Also, know what you should avoid in your link building campaigns.
- Over 60 Web 2.0 Sites To Get Instant Backlinks – It lists over 60 social media websites to increase the backlinks to your blog in several ways.
- Top 30 Free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools – It’s the ultimate SEO Tools directory covering all or nearly all aspects of Search Engine Optimization.
- 7 Tools To Check The Speed Performance Of Your Blog – It analyzes your blog and offers suggestions to improve its performance.
- Google PageRank Is Not Dead – Some case studies, myths & facts.
- Google’s 200 Ranking Signals – A complete list.
- Google Duplicate Content Guidelines – Google’s view on several aspects of duplicate content.
- How To Find The Traffic Of A Website [For Competitor Analysis] – Get the traffic stats of other blogs in your niche.
- Google Panda & Penguin [Tips & Resources] – Tips and resources to recover from Google algorithmic updates.
- The Definitive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Handbook – All the SEO resources you’ll ever need.
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.
- What Is Pay Per Click Advertising? – Drive targeted traffic to your website in minutes.
- Google AdWords Advertising Policies – It’s an overview of Google’s advertising terms, guidelines and the landing page policies.
- Free Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising Credits Worth Over $300 – Kick-start your search engine marketing campaigns with free pay-per-click advertising credits.
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.
- Top 30 Web 2.0 Sites To Drive Traffic To Your Blog – It’s a list of social networks that can drive traffic to your blog in one way or the other.
- 101 Ways To Link Build In 2012 – It’s a 2012 article by Search Engine Journal which introduces 101 ways to build backlinks.
- 21 Tactics To Increase Blog Traffic [Advanced Guide] – It shows 21 tactics to drive traffic to your blog based on 2012 search engine guidelines.
- The Ultimate Guide To Guest Blogging – Guest blogging is an effective way to build your brand, increase traffic and build quality backlinks.
- How To Evaluate Guest Post Opportunities [Advanced Guide] – Guest blogging establishes yourself as an expert in your niche. So, here’s an advanced guide on how to evaluate guest post opportunities.
- Increase RSS Subscriptions – Offers tips on how to increase your RSS subscribers.
- Leave Comments On Other Blogs In Your Niche – Fiver reasons why you should leave comments on other blogs.
- How To Use Forums To Drive Thousands Of Readers To Your Blog – Join a forum in your niche and start participating.
- Social Media Marketing Beginner’s Guide – Learn how to leverage the Social Media to drive traffic to your blog.
- 50 Ways to Increase Engagement on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – It offers 50 tips to increase user engagement on your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profile.
Monetize Your Blog: 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.
- Make Money Online – Over 90 amazing websites for anyone and everyone.
- 24 Google AdSense Alternatives – You can monetize your blog using any of these AdSense alternatives and make money blogging.
- What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Work? – For majority of the blogs advertising is the only source of revenue. Try affiliate marketing!
- Top 10 Affiliate Networks To Monetize Your Blog With Affiliate Programs – It features the top 10 affiliate networks for affiliate marketing.
- How Much Traffic Do You Need To Make $100,000 A Year Blogging – If you want to become a six-figure blogger then how much traffic do you need?
- Make Money Blogging: At No Cost & Zero Promotion – Are you a freelancer? If so, learn how to showcase yourself as an expert and build a brand using your blog.
- Make Money Guest Blogging – Over 30 reliable blogs that pay over $50 for your guest posts.
Where To Get Support For Your Blog?
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.