How to Start a Successful Blog

Earning money while doing something you enjoy is the dream for many. And whether you want to earn a little extra pocket money in your spare time, or are looking to set up something that could eventually go on to become a full time job then blogging is a great option. You don't need a lot of money or equipment to get started so you have nothing to lose by giving it a go, and if you stick with it there are all kinds of opportunities that can open up. I've been lucky to have worked with so many incredible brands, been invited to exciting events and earned income from the comfort of my sofa through blogging and you can too. While it's important to be realistic (you're not going to be able to quit your job by next week or possibly even next year) with patience, hard work and determination it can definitely become a reliable source of income. If you're looking to set up a blog and want to know how to go about it from the beginning, here's what you need to do. 

What will your blog be about?
The great thing about blogging is the world is your oyster, you can write about whatever you want. Maybe you have a hobby or interest and feel that you can provide useful information to help others. Perhaps you enjoy making people laugh and can write witty, humorous or satrical pieces. Maybe you just want to write about your life in the form of an online diary style blog. Or perhaps you’ve just finished studying gel nail courses online and your blog is part of the marketing for your new businessWhile you'll need to write about things that genuinely interest and excite you and you have some knowledge of, blogs are written to be read so its important to consider your audience too. Your posts should provide value to a reader, this could be in the form of educational information, humour and wit, or the value could come from being able to relate to your experiences and opinions. It can be useful to do your research by reading similar blogs to what you plan on setting up. Consider what the blogger writes about, the sort of content they create as this can give you ideas for your own work.

Name your blog
This is more difficult that it seems, so give yourself some time to figure it out. Ideally you want something short and snappy, but finding names that aren't taken can be a struggle. You could come up with a list of name ideas and give yourself a few days to mull them over, speak with family and friends too and check that what you've come up with sounds ok. Once you have a shortlist, check that the name isn't being used elsewhere, and that you can get the .com (or etc) domain name you want and social media handles you want. If you go to, you can type in your name idea into the search bar and it will show you if the name is being used. If not, go ahead and purchase it once your blog has been opened you can link the domain name to it.

Open your accounts
With your new blog name, you'll need to open the following:
  • A blog account (Blogger and Wordpress are two popular options)
  • Social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok to promote your content
  • An email account for your blog 
Once your blog account is open, you'll need to link your purchased domain to your blog. You can find instructions on how to do this on Google, or use the live chat feature and speak to an advisor wherever you bought your domain from. There are a few steps involved but you only need to do this once. 

Customise Your Blog
While your content is the most important thing, the aesthetics of your site are so important and not to be overlooked. Many people clicking on your site will be put off if it looks unprofessional or messy, but thankfully there are easy ways to achieve a smart finish. If you're not clued up with coding, my advice is to go on Etsy and purchase a template. These can be easily uploaded, and will instantly transform your site with very little hassle to you. You'll know yourself that theres a certain standard you expect from web pages, you want them to be well laid out and easy to read, the right amount of white space on the page and professional looking branding. You're able to get all of this by choosing a nice template without having to mess around with it too much yourself. 

Consider search engine optimisation
Once everything is all setup, you can then get down to blogging! Once you've created content you're pleased with, give it a once over before hitting publish. Consider using subheadings to break up paragraphs which allow people to easily skim for information if they want to, and generally make it easier to digest. Consider using keywords that the audience you're hoping to attract will be typing into search engines to find content. While you don't need to be a marketing expert, doing some research into basic SEO and what keywords to incorporate can be useful. At the very least, having some foundation understanding will prevent you from accidentally using techniques that can be harmful to your blog. For example, keyword stuffing is a tactic that will harm your site- Googles algorithyms are powerful so don't try and cheat the system. Check out this post for tips on how to improve search traffic in 2022.

Use high quality images
Your content is what will keep people coming back to your site, but images are likely to attract them in the first place. The right pictures can really bring your words to life, so aim to add high quality, interesting and vibrant images to your site. Taking your own photos is always best, but if you need to find stock images then sites like Pexels and Pixabay have thousands that can be used for free. 

Gain backlinks
Backlinks are what give your site authority on the web. Gaining lots of high quality backlinks will improve your domain authority, and this is a metric that companies will look at to decide whether or not they want to work with you on sponsored opportunities. While it's not the only thing, it is important and so focusing on backlinks is an important part of your strategy. High quality backlinks are those that come from high quality websites, one way you can get these is by asking other bloggers if they would be willing to accept a guest post from you. This allows you to provide useful content for them with a link back to your own site. It's a very time consuming process, but an important way to grow as a blogger. Work with good quality sites only, since lots of links from spammy websites will have the opposite effect and reduce your domain authority. 

When you're first starting out, see it as a hobby and don't consider it to be a side hustle since it can take a while before you reach the stage where companies will contact you about paid work. In the early days, focus on creating engaging content that you enjoy producing and that you're really proud of. From there, your site will begin to grow and become more authoratative on the web over time.