[Watch Me] Start a Blog for Free and Make Money
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[Watch Me] Start a Blog for Free and Make Money

How do you start a blog and make money?

My Paystack blog earnings (in Naira)
My Paystack blog earnings (in Naira)

What are the steps required to set up a blog for free?

Hello and welcome to my blog. This week, we are going to be talking about a very popular topic - how to set up a blog in 2024.

Now, I have written several guides on starting a blog including this massive guide on how to make $1,000 blogging. Here:

My name is Simon Zaku and I'm from Nigeria and I have been blogging for more than 10 years. I started my first blog here in Jalingo, Nigeria around 2010.

old zakxloaded blog by simon zaku

This happened on a Friday evening when I stepped out of my house to stroll around the neighbourhood. I met this really good friend (and mentor), Benedict.

I noticed Ben was really excited so I asked him the reason behind his excitement. 

Ben said;

“Simon, I just got $60 from my blog”.

He had just gotten his first $60 pay from Google’s AdSense program. 

This is one of my favourite stories to tell; probably because it is the story that put me on this career path I am in twelve years later. 

I was so confused because $60 was a lot of money in Nigerian Naira at the time. 

So I asked him how he was able to make $60 from his laptop at home. He replied;

“I made $60 by showing Google Ads on my blog”

I didn't know what Google AdSense was so I asked and he said Google AdSense is a platform that allows bloggers to make money by displaying sponsored ads on their blogs or websites or YouTube channels.

I was mute.

There was a problem. I didn't even know what a blog was.

Yeap before 2010, I had no idea what a blog was and got to know from Benedict Job after he got paid $60 from Google AdSense.

So I asked Ben what a blog was and he said I should google it out. 

I hurriedly went home, got my mom's laptop (I didn't have a device, a computer or a phone) and read anything I could about blogging. 

At the time, blogging experts and leaders were Ryan Biddulph, Pat Flynn, Seth Godin, Neil Patel, Jon Morrow, and a few more that are still doing awesome stuff today.

I used Google and ended up creating a blogger blog that same day. 

That was how I created my first blog and went into blogging.

Fast forward to today, I have created and set up so many blogs for my brand and SEO clients as well. 

I have driven millions of traffic to my clients' blogs, my blogs and to different blogs on the Internet and have also grown my blog to $1,000 per month right from my hostel bunk in Joseph Babalola University, Osun State, Nigeria.

This whole blogging guide will help you create a blog in 2024.

Now, a lot has changed since I started blogging in 2010. Today there are more efficient tools, there is AI and lots of software and plugins for bloggers.

Twelve years ago, I started a blog on blogger BlogSpot.

simon zakus blog

Today, there are better and faster blogging platforms you can use. I use and recommend a few hosting services like Wix, Bluehost, HostGator, Hostinger, Eukhost, etc (more on blog web hosts this later).

More on my story here:

Let us get into the major aspect of setting up a blog in 2024.

Starting a Blog for Free: A Step-by-Step Guide by Simon Taki Zaku

How to Create a Blog for Free: the Ideal Guide to Start a Blog

How can you set up a blog for free?

I have broken this entire guide into three steps. 

  1. The first step is selecting a niche.

  2. The second step is selecting a web hosting service provider.

  3. The third step is setting up your blog in five minutes.

Now, for this post, I am going to show you how to set up your blog using Wix and I'm going to show you why I prefer Wix over WordPress (even though WordPress is a better option in terms of features).

Also, at the end of this post, I'll give you a free PDF guide which contains a checklist of all the pages and posts your new blog must have for it to rank in search results. 

This checklist basically contains the major pages you must create after setting up your website or blog.

It is completely free and you can download it after this blog post.

1 - Selecting a Niche for Your Blog

The first step is selecting a blog niche. This was one of the most difficult aspects for me because I never had a mentor to guide me on how to select my blog niche.

Selecting a blog niche is very crucial. Just like starting a business, you must find a suitable space that is able to attract readers, customers or clients. 

Just like a business, you come up with an idea with a profitable market. A market with customers, clients and is able to grow.

What type of blog is most profitable?

As Pat Flynn said, starting a blog also requires the same energy as starting a business.

You must pick a blog niche that is profitable enough and is also lucrative

It means that the blog niche you are picking must have a huge enough audience that are interested in your blog market. 

Unlike years back when you could just start a fun blog as a journal where you can jot things or post stories without a plan or strategy in place.

If you want to make money blogging, you must be able to pick a niche that is lucrative and has a huge audience you can tap into. 

Ask yourself…

Are people only searching your blog niche or are they also willing to pay for products or services in your space? 

This is something I see a lot of bloggers get confused about. Selecting a blog niche must be profitable.

A blog niche can be huge and popular yet not lucrative. 

A blog niche can have a lot of users searching it and wanting to learn about it, but only a few people actually willing to swipe their cards and pay for products or services.

For example, if you start a music review blog, there are only a few ways you can earn money like sponsored ads, Google AdSense and maybe sponsorships on music. But if you want to start a blog and make money as a beginner, you should go into something monetizable. 

For example, you can create courses, digital products, sell software, join affiliate programs and lots more to make money from your blog.

Thankfully, I have a detailed guide on the profitable niches and how to select a profitable niche for your blog. In this guide, I also included 30 of the most profitable blogging niches to consider today. 

Here is the blog guide:

2 - Selecting a Web-hosting Service for Your Blog (we use Wix for this Guide)

The second step is selecting a web host that is perfect for your blog niche and the type of blog you want to publish. 

There are lots of beginner bloggers that I see making mistakes when it comes to selecting the best or perfect blog host for their websites. 

You see, not every web hosting service provider is the same. There are differences. 

They offer;

  • different features,

  • different pricing,

  • different functionalities,

  • different upgrades and or additional services. 

Here is a typical example. 

At the time of writing, GoDaddy does not offer the SSL certificate to domains for free. Users pay an extra fee to get the SSL certificate. 

Unlike with HostGator or Wix. 

With Wix, the SSL certificate is included as a free feature when you get a yearly premium plan on Wix.

You should understand the features, functionalities of some of the web hosting platforms before you go ahead to host your blog.

From my experience, these are the best web hosting services for bloggers. These are also some of the popular ones most bloggers use and provide great reviews on.

(I am affiliated with some of the resources I recommend from personal experience. Thus I make a little commission if you decided to use my unique links to register at no extra cost to you)

Personally, I use Wix, Bluehost and Hostinger to host all of my blogs and my clients' blogs. 

I use Wix because it is simple to use, cheap and it provides this Wix ADI feature which is an AI tool that sets up your website for you fast.

I love the Wix ADI feature and the pricing plans.

Secondly, Bluehost. I also use and recommend Bluehost because it offers more robust features because you can host WordPress which offers a lot of functionalities when it comes to blogging. 

Which is better, Wix or WordPress?

When it comes to blogging, hosting your blog on WordPress offers a more versatile functionality than hosting it on Wix. But I prefer to use Wix because it is simple and easy to use and design my website to my taste. 

Unlike Wix, WordPress is a little bit advanced and not so simple to navigate around or use. 

You need a little bit of experience to be great with WordPress. But if you want to go with WordPress then Bluehost or Hostinger are great platforms to consider. 

Hostinger also offers robust features just like Bluehost. But like Bluehost, it is a little bit technical to use compared to Wix. But if you prefer to host your blog on WordPress then Bluehost or Hostinger are great platforms to use. 

For this guide, I will be showing you a step by step plan on how to create a blog for free on Wix.

Setting Up a Blog for Free: A Step-by-Step Guide to Create a Blog on Wix

Now, when it comes to starting a blog on Wix, then it means you are in one of these categories:

  • You do not have any Wix Website yet.

  • You have a Wix website but want to install a blog to your Wix website.

Let's start with the first which actually covers all the steps in the first and second category of bloggers.

How to Create a Wix Website:

Step 1 - The first step to creating a blog on Wix is to create a Wix website. You can create a Wix website for free.

To create a Wix account, head over to Wix.com and sign up with your email address. You can also sign up using your Gmail account.

wix website simon zaku create a blog for free

Click on the “Blog” and then the Get Started button to create your Wix account.

wix blog for free

Put in your email address and confirm the email address. Choose a strong password and confirm.

Or you can Continue with Google or a Facebook account.

Now, you can use the Wix Studio which is really great but a bit more expensive than the traditional Wix Editor.

wix studio wix editor create a blog

Let’s use the Wix Editor option. 

Today, Wix’s brilliant tool allows users to build their blogs really fast and here is how.

wix ai

Click on the “Start Chat” to begin using the Wix AI tool.

wix ai chat

wix ai chat box simonzaku

wix ai website creator for blogs

wix adi ai

wix blog design ai

Add as much information as possible to ensure you get the perfect taste for your new Wix blog.

As you can see, Wix AI has already generated great, powerful words and phrases to use on my new blog.

wix ai is great to set up a blog

Next, click on the Go to Dashboard to proceed.

simonwrites blog using ai

You should be redirected to your official Wix dashboard. Now this is where you will be spending most of your time and hours as a new blogger.

wix official dashboard

Let’s move to the next steps…

start a new blog on wix

Click the “design site” at the top right hand corner of your dashboard to design your site’s look.

wix designer

For this, let us allow Wix to create a site for you using the information you provided to Wix AI.

start a blog for free on wix

Fill in and review your details and click Next to continue.

wix blog design

Select your website design preferences and select Next.

creating a blog for free on wix

How to Create a Blog for Free in 2024: the Ideal Guide to Start a Blog2

wix ai blog design tool

adding pages to your new wix blog

adding wix blog pages

Select your Pages and your Wix site should be LIVE.

live blog pages on a new blog

You can click the Go to Editor button to edit your site, the ‘View Live Site’ to see how your new Wix website looks like on the internet.

Here how this very one we created looks like by visiting my unique Wix-hosted domain link (https://simonzaku.wixsite.com/simonwrites):

simon zakus new blog on wix

I will leave this Wix website Live so you can view to see exactly what we just created.

Click here to visit the Free Demo Wix Website I just designed in this post.

The next thing is to add the blog feature into your new created Wix website.

How to Integrate your blog into Wix:

integrate a blog to your wix website

From this page, access your Wix Dashboard.

NOTE: You can access your Wix dashboard from any device by visiting Wix.com and sign in to your Wix account. You will be automatically logged into your Wix dashboard where you can publish blog posts, edit website design, do SEO, add plugins, pages, and dozens more.

Here is a typical Wix Dashboard:

a typical wix dashboard

set up a new log on wix for free

To integrate a blog to your new Wix website, navigate to the Apps section on your Wix Dashboard and click App Market.

new blog

And this is what the Wix App Market looks like:

wix app market for bloggers

Using the Wix App search bar, search for ‘Wix blog’.

wix blog post

wix blogsearch results creating a blog

Click the Official Wix Blog App and Install. To do this, click on ‘Add to site’.

official wix blog

install blog to a new website by simon zaku

After installing the Wix Blog App. Click on the Go to Editor to add the blog section on your website. Here is how to do it;

Wix blogging application

Click on the Add to Site and in a few seconds, the Wix Blog feature should be added to your newly created Wix website.


adding the wix blog

You should see the ‘Blog’ section in your menu or at the top of your page.

new blog page set up a new free blog

After creating your Wix blog, what do you do next?

You plan and publish your first blog post. Luckily, I have a series of guides on how to write great blog articles, but here is the one I recommend:

recommended blog post for readers creating a blog

But here is a technical step by step process on how to publish a blog post on Wix.

How to Create and Publish Your First Blog Post on Wix

On your Wix Dashboard, navigate to the ‘Blog’ section located on the left sidebar.

blog section on wix dashboard

Navigate to the ‘Posts’ section and click Create New Blog Post.

Wix blog posts

new wix blog post

start a blog today with wix

Add great content in order to generate traffic and social media shares from social media users. 

Click the Publish button to take your post live online. You can use the Preview button the view how the post looks before publishing.

The sidebar (left) includes the Add, Settings, SEO, Categories, and Tags sections respectively.

wix blog settings for new blog

The Add section allows Wix users to insert images, videos and other files within a blog post. The Settings allows users to edit things like social media preview, author, and the preview image.

adding a new blog post on wix create a blog

wix blog featured image starting a blog for free

The SEO section allows Wix users to properly optimize their blog pages for search engines like Google and Bing. Wix SEO does a great job in helping me optimize my blog posts before I publish.

wix seo assistant create a new blog free

setting up a new blog post seo settings on wix

Today, my posts are doing great on Google and Bing.

simon zakus posts appearing on google search results

Be sure to add Categories and Tags to each blog post for better structure and SEO.

What is Next for Your New Wix Blog?

How do I get traffic to my new blog?

How do I get traffic to my blog if I have 0 visitors?

After setting up your blog on Wix or Bluehost, the next thing that comes to your mind is how do you attract traffic to your blog? 

How do I get initial traffic to my blog?

First off, you need to see blogging as a business rather than an online journal. I mean, there are bloggers out there pulling out $100,000s monthly from their blogs. 

You can read how I am able to leverage this blog to make at least $1,000 per month from this blog.

To run a profitable blog, you need leads. And to generate leads, you need traffic. 

Depending on the type of blog you want or how you want to monetize your blog, you can use adverts, display ads (like Google AdSense), or sell digital products. 

If you want to display ads, then you might not really need to process leads, attract leads and convert leads. 

You might not necessarily need to nurture leads because you would be generating most of your revenue from visitors, from people who view your blog post on your web pages. 

I put more of my strength into creating my own digital products to promote to my audience (you), but from time to time, I also publish display ads on the blog but at the moment, that only accounts for a little percent of my blog’s income.

You see, there are some major ways bloggers generate income online. These are the two main categories of how bloggers make money:

  1. Display ads (could be from Ad companies or affiliate products just like I do on this blog).

  2. Digital products (eBooks, online courses, PDFs, memberships, files, etc).

The first thing you want to put into consideration is the necessary pages, posts and cornerstone pages that you need on your blog. 

There are certain pages that are very important for boosting SEO, for link building, for visitor experience, for great user experience and all of that.

Some of these pages are very crucial and allow you to rank better.

(This introduces us to sitemap. One of the first things you want to do is submit a sitemap to Bing and Google, which are the two major search engines)

These pages are your about page, your hire me (or hire us), your ‘store page’ and other major pages your type of blog or website requires.

A cornerstone page is a major page on your website that you need vistas to go to when they come.

That's majorly your sign up or buy from me or your landing page, your major page on your site. So you can have two, three, four or even ten, but it is best to keep it to a minimum. 

I see people creating a lot of pages, but that's wrong, it will hurt your SEO. So just keep a few and then optimize them properly for search engines. 

These are the list of the necessary pages that you must create on your website. Here are the most important website pages every blog should have:

  • Blog

  • Homepage

  • Privacy and Cookie Policy Pages

  • Disclaimer Pages

  • About me (or About us)

  • Contact Page

  • Services (or Store)

  • Testimonial Page

  • Pricing and Packages

  • Features 

  • FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Some of these greatly affect SEO. In fact Google pays attention to a site’s page navigation:

navigation pages are crucial for blog search engine optimization

Some of these pages also help you when it comes to legal issues like Privacy policy, disclaimer and cookie pop-ups. 

These are all the necessary pages that you need to create on your website. I have included a free downloadable resource that includes all of these pages so you can download it and when you are setting up your website then you can refer to it and include all of these pages on your blog or your website. 

After creating these blog pages, the next thing you think about is how do I generate traffic to my new blog?

Generating traffic requires a lot of work and thankfully I have an effective strategy that works for beginner bloggers and also expert bloggers to generate traffic. 

I use this to promote every blog post I publish (on my blog and my clients').

It is called the OSISR blog promotion technique.

What is the OSISR blog promotion technique by Simon Zaku?

The O stands for Outbound links. I simply link out to influential bloggers in my niche (SEO, B2B) and I email them to check out the posts to see their links. 

A good number will be happy to share your post on their social accounts.

The S stands for Similar Post Sharers. I use Buzzsumo (trial version available) for this. 

I use Buzzsumo to automatically find users who have shared similar posts to mine and reach out to them. Buzzsumo allows users to extract social media users who have shared similar content to mine. 

I reach out to them and ask them to check my blog piece too. 

The next is the I, which stands for Influencers (social media influencers). 

For every blog post that goes live, I try to add an influential quote within my post. I then reach out to them to check it out. 

The S stands for Social Media Scheduling. To attract blog traffic, you must constantly post social media. 

Social media barely generates traffic, so to maximize your followers, you need to regularly post.

I use Buffer to schedule all of my social media posts across X, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google Business Profile.

The final step in the OSISR blog promotion technique is ‘Reach Community Networks. 

What are community networks and how can bloggers leverage them for traffic?

These are other social directories and networks that let users share website and blog links on the Internet. Some of these are;

  • Medium

  • Quora and Quora Blog

  • Facebook and LinkedIn groups

  • Scoop it

  • Discover

  • Triberr (having a little tech-glitch at the moment)

Finally, which app is free for blogging?

What is the best free blog maker?

  1. Wix

  2. WordPress

  3. Blogger BlogSpot

  4. Medium Blog

  5. Quora Blog

Now before you go, here is your free PDF guide which contains a checklist of all the pages and posts your new blog must have for it to rank in search results. 

important blog pages for every new blog

I hope this helps :)e

How to Create a Blog for Free in 2024: the Ideal Guide to Start a Blog
share this blog post - pin this image to your Pinterest boards :)

Have a productive day, my blogging friend.

Simon T. Zaku

Owner of simonzaku.com

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